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we had determined to stick by. And here I may say that a great deal of injury is done by those travellers who give way to extortionate demands. If people would only have the firmness to resist these demands, and give only what is fair and reasonable, their action would have an excellent effect upon the Arabs in the interest of all future travellers. The result was that we camped in a sort of amphitheatre of rocks, and spent the night, and started off for Petra next morning at four o'clock, long before dawn. It was a very beautiful sight, when the sun began to illumine the sky, the rays being thrown back on the whole of the great plateau on the western side of the Arabah, lighting it up with the most wonderful colours, reflected in gold and silver from the heavens. We divided ourselves into two parties, one of which was to ascend Mount Hor and go down into the Wady Musa, or Petra, while I was myself to cross to Petra only, as it was too much for me to make the ascent. Major Kitchener was one of the party which ascended Mount Hor, in order to make a number of observations wherewith to connect the triangulation of Southern Palestine to the north and the mountains of Sinai to the south ; and this he accomplished The Arabs of Petra, when they found we were leaving, supposed we had gone for good. They had come down on the previous day from the table-land of Edon, where they were tending their flocks, with the view of fleecing us completely ; but, on seeing us march back towards the Arabah, they thought we were really off, and went their way towards the hills. The consequence was that next day, when we visited Petra, it was deserted, and we came off without any of the usual annoyances to which travellers in that region are exposed. Our party ascended Mount Hor, and came down to the valley. We were able to visit many of the wonderful temples, tombs, and palaces of the Wady Musa, apd returned late in the night to the canıp we had left in the morning. I may add one fact that came under my notice, which is that in that region the air is so pure and clear, as Dr. Chaplin, who knows it well, will bear me out in saying, that one is constantly deceived as to the size of objects which appear only a short distance from the observer, and it is found that they are much larger than one would suppose, judging from one's experience in England.

A VISITOR.—Do any of those temples date back to the time of the Edomite occupation ?

Professor HULL. I think the tombs do, but the temples are all Greek or Roman, indicating that the architects were, at any rate, acquainted with Grecian and Roman art and architecture. Some of them have points of resemblance to the Persian architecture, and others to that of Egypt, as seen in the sloping of the pilasters, and so on. But no one can say how far they go back, except that the date must have been several centuries before the Christian era. A VISITOR.

Are there any traces in the tombs and caves of their having been used as places of sepulture ?

Professor HULL.-Yes; there are no sarcophagi, but there are the ledges on which the bodies were placed.

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A VISITOR.- Are there any signs of their having been used as dwellingplaces ?

Professor Hull.—That is a point on which one is somewhat puzzled. One does not see where the inhabitants resided-possibly in tents. Perhaps I may be allowed to say with reference to the Biblical prophecies regarding Edom, and Petra its capital, that there is no city or country mentioned in the Bible as to which the prophecies have been more literally fulfilled. If we go back to the time of Isaac, there is one great fact that lies patent before us ; the case of the blessing which was conferred on Jacob the younger son, and withheld from Esau, the elder son. In the first place, we know, as a matter of fact, that the descendants of Jacob are living at the present day, scattered all over the world, and are numbered by millions. On the other hand, there are no representatives of Esau, as far as we know, living at the present moment : they have entirely disappeared. It will be in the recollection of all here that, when the Patriarch was moved to add to the blessing he had conferred on Jacob, by conferring a blessing on Esau, he said, “By thy sword shalt thou live and shalt serve thy brother, and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” This prophecy would seem to have been literally fulfilled in this way, that in the great battle of the Valley of Salt, at the southern end of the Dead Sea, the Israelites were victorious over the Edomites, of whoin there was a tremendous slaughter, and the victors occupied Petra ; consequently in that way the descendants of Jacob bad the dominion, but Esau had a terrible revenge, for when Jerusalem was sacked by the armies of the Assyrians, the Edomites were present, and took part in the capture and sack of the city. It is in reference to that that we find in the Psalms the pathetic words,—“Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem ; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof." There it was that Esau broke the yoke of Jacob from off his neck. With regard to Petra, there are several prophecies in the prophetic books of the Old Testament referring to that place, which are seen to have been literally carried out by its present condition. It was to be desolate and without inhabitants, and to be the abode of owls, vultures, and wild beasts ; all this is literally fulfilled. It would be worth while to go over all the passages in the prophetic books referring to Edom and the Edomites, and compare the actual condition of that country and its people with the prophecies concerning them, as originally uttered.

Mr. S. R. PATTISON, F.G.S.-Professor Hull seemed to speak with some little doubt in reference to one point, namely, where and of what character were the dwellings of the inhabitants. Of course, at the time of Solomon, Petra must have had a large population-probably a trading and industrial population. But where are their dwellings? And the same question may be asked of almost every people of great antiquity. In all probability they were principally built of what we call “cob,” or mud, in Devonshire. In the south of Spain, and in most countries where there is a lack of stone, the dwellings are manufactured of some such material, and doubtless the rainfall

and other meteorological influences to which they are exposed accounts for the manner in which they have disappeared. Let us take the case of our own forefathers. All their habitations have gone except those we find dug or hewn out in the form of caves. No doubt the caverns found in the hills and rocl have served at all times alternately as residences and as tombs. This must have been the case in all countries where the population has lived at the base of sandstone and limestone cliffs. This, I think, is the only way in which we can account for there being no traces of the dwellings belonging to the former population of Petra. Of course, it may be suggested, from the social condition of this people in ancient times, that a vast majority of them were in a servile condition, and I am afraid were very badly lodged. Moreover, I do not think they can have been possessed of the structural advantages of the present day; and consequently we must not expect to find cottages equal to the dwellings of our modern artisans and labourers. All we can tell is that their dwellings were of a perishable character. It is a marvellous thing that all people appear to have been influenced by devotional feeling, and in all places were accustomed to dedicate their best things to the worship of their God, and therefore their most elaborate structures, their most beautiful carvings,—whether we find them in the forests of America or the temples of Villafranca, or in any other part of the world where any measure of civilisation has prevailed,—and the best and most ornate of their edifices, are those that have been erected to the worship of God, in that way testifying to the intuitive religious sense which recognises the existence of a Superior Being.

Mr. T. CHAPLIN, M.D.-I think it must be admitted that these old-world matters are much more intimately associated with many of our modern ideas and with much of our more recent history than we aresometimes apt to imagine. Personally I feel exceedingly indebted to Professor Hull for the interesting and able paper he has put before us. In making a few remarks upon the subject, I ought to premise that I have never been to Petra myself, although I have been very near it, but from time to time I have been in intercourse with people coming from that remote part of the world. It is interesting to remember that in the barbarous times which succeeded the death of Alexander the Great, when the Asamonean family rose in power, the invasion of Idumæa took place, and the country became subject to the Jews. Antipater, who afterwards became Prefect of that district, was the father of the famous Herod, who built the Temple of Jerusalem which existed at the time of our Lord. Christianity prevailed in that district in the earlier centuries of the Christian Era, and a Bishop of Petra still exists, although he has no clergy to superintend and no flocks to look after. I remember him as a very venerable and amiable man, and his office is one that possesses a certain interest through his being what is called in Jerusalem the “Fire Bishop," by which is meant that he is the officiating Bishop on the day after Good Friday, when the remarkable ceremony of the Holy Fire takes place, the pilgrims who assemble at the Holy Sepulchre believing that fire comes miraculously from the tomb of our Lord. Another

point of great interest is the existence of a tribe of Jews in the neighbourhood of Khaiber, to which allusion has been made. I have seen some of these, and had one under my professional care in Jerusalem for a long time. I tried to make something out of him, but he was too ignorant. He always said he was a Jew, but he looked more like a genuine Bedouy. Indeed, he spoke of himself rather as one of the children of Israel than as a Jew. He stated that his tribe were the men of Israel, and that is an expression used by all the Arabs with reference to the Jews as well as to the Israelites. The man was so ignorant that he could not even repeat the Jewish profession of faith, so that I had great doubts whether he was a Jew at all ; and I think that, if these people really are Jews, they have entirely given up the Jewish religion. He told me the tribe to which he belonged has the right of collecting a tax or toll from the Mahommedan pilgrims who come down from Damascus on their way to Medina and Mecca ; but I very much suspect that that tax or toll is not given voluntarily, but is exacted from the strangers by these so-called children of Israel whenever they get a fitting opportunity. Another point on which I would say a word is in reference to the dwellings of the ancient inhabitants of Petra. Professor Hull's paper concludes with an allusion to the Rechabites, who were commanded not to build houses. I do not understand that, although these rocky excavations in Petra have evidently been made with the greatest care, there is any evidence that they were used for human habitations, and it seems to me to be a question whether the people who lived in Petra did not reside in huts or tents. I think Josephus relates that one Scaurus, a Roman general, invaded Idumæa and besieged Petra, burning all the place around, though he could not have burned Petra itself. So that I conclude that the inhabitants of the district were accustomed to live in houses that might be consumed by fire. With regard to the discovery at Petra of what is called the “altar of Baal,” that is a matter of great interest. Imust say, I have my doubts as to its having been an altar of Baal. We know that, in countries where it is quite certain Baal was worshipped, the altars that have been discovered are very different from that which exists at Petra, and, as far as I am aware, no altar, that can be shown to have been an altar, has ever been discovered in any part of the world resembling this one. I should be rather inclined to imagine that this may have been a magazine for corn, such as exists in many districts near to Petra, where corn is stored in order to preserve it from decay.

The Meeting was then adjourned.

1

ORDINARY MEETING, MARCH 21, 1887,

D. HOWARD, Esq., VICE-PRES., CHEM. Soc., IN THE CHAIR.

The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and confirmed, and the following Elections were announced :

MEMBERS :-W. Dunbar, Esq., C.E., M.T.E., South Africa ; S. M. Tweddill, Esq., South Africa.

ASSOCIATES :- -G. B. Buckton, Esq., F.R.S., Surrey ; G C. Bompas, Esq., F.G.S., London.

Also the presentation of the following work for the Library :“The Mineral Springs of Keswick." By J. Postlethwaite, Esq., F.G.S. The following Paper was then read by the Author :

KRISHNA, AND SOLAR MYTHS. By the Rev. RICHARD

COLLINS, M.A., late Principal of Cottayam College, ,
Travancore.

H

AS the human apprehension, or idea of the Divine,

described as anthropomorphism, crystallised, in more national philosophies than one, into the same theory of some local Divine Saviour manifested in a human person or character ? This would seem to be the hypothesis of not a few of our modern writers. Thus it is quite fashionable to represent Jesus Christ as the Semitic development of this idea, parallel with, for instance, the Hindu developments of Krishna and Buddha. Again, some have not hesitated to represent the story of Jesus Christ as eclectic, shining with borrowed rays, for which it is much indebted to Hindu intuiti speculations. Lately an attempt has been made to intensify and centralise this anthropomorphic theory, by representing Krishna, Buddha, and many others, together with Jesus Christ himself, as parallel national adaptations of an original myth of the Sun-God. This view is taken in a series of articles in

a publication called Knowledge, where Mr. Richard Proctor

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the three following features

everywhere presented by the adaptations of the ancient solar myth : “First, the Sun-God was announced by a star; secondly, he was born in a cave; and, thirdly, sacrificial offerings were presented to him.”

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