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Joab" was buried in his own house in the wilderness" when slain by the order of Solomon for the murders he had committed; and the greatest severity to which they usually exposed an individual was to deny him the rites of burial.t

A question might arise whether the Egyptians positively prevented a king, thus rejected at his public ordeal, from being buried in the catacomb prepared for him, or, merely forbidding the celebration of the pomp customary on that occasion, conducted his body privately to the sepulchre. But the evidence of the sculptures, in one of the tombs of the kings of Thebes, appears conclusive on this point. The name of the monarch has been erased ; which shows that he was not admitted to the consecrated precincts of the royal cemetery; and this suggests that the same custom prevailed in Egypt as with the Jews, of burying the kings rejected by the public voice either in their own private grounds, or in some place set apart for the purpose.

It was not the dread of this temporary disgrace which the Egyptians were taught to look upon as the principal inducement to virtue: a far graver consideration was held out to them in the fear of that final judgment which awaited them in a future state, where they were to suffer both for crimes of omission as well as of commission, and where nothing could shield them from the just vengeance of the Gods. The same doctrine is put forth in the writings of Plato, who, in his Seventh Epistle, says,

* 1 Kings, ii. 34.

+ Ps. lxxix. 3. Jer. xiv. 16., and viii. 2., and xvi. 4.

"It is necessary, indeed, always to believe in the ancient and sacred discourses, which announce to us that the soul is immortal, and that it has judges of its conduct, and suffers the greatest punishment when it is liberated from the body."

The commission of secret crimes might not expose them to the condemnation of the world; they might obtain the credit of a virtuous career, enjoying throughout life an unsullied reputation; and many an unknown act of injustice might escape those who applauded them on the day of their funeral. But the all-scrutinising eye of the Deity was known to penetrate into the innermost thoughts of the heart; and they believed that whatever conscience told them they had done amiss was recorded against them in the book of Thoth, out of which they would be judged according to their works. The sculptured walls of every sepulchre reminded them of this solemn ceremony; the rewards held out to the virtuous were reputed to exceed all that man could imagine or desire; and the punishments of the wicked were rendered doubly odious by the notion of a transmigration of the soul into the most hateful and disgusting animals. The idea of the punishment was thus brought to a level with their comprehension. They were not left to speculate on, and consequently to call in question, the kind of punishment they were to suffer, since it was not presented to them in so fanciful and unintelligible a

* Vide suprà, p. 183. Vol. I. (2d Series) p. 316. and Plate 87.

guise as to be beyond their comprehension: all could feel the disgrace of inhabiting the body of a pig; and the very one they beheld with loathing and disgust probably contained the soul of a wicked being they had known as their enemy or their friend.


"The Egyptians," according to Herodotus "were the first to maintain that the soul of man t is immortal; that after the death of the body it always enters into that of some other animal which is born; and when it has passed through all those of the earth, water, and air, it again enters that of a man; which circuit it accomplishes in 3000 years." This doctrine of transmigration is mentioned by Plutarch, Plato, and other ancient writers as the general belief among the Egyptians, and it was adopted by Pythagoras and his preceptor Pherecydes, as well as other philosophers of Greece.

Plutarch says that "the Egyptians thought

*Herodot. ii. 123. Vide suprà, Vol. I. (2d Series) p. 211.

St. Augustin says, "Ægyptii soli credunt resurrectionem, quia diligenter curant cadavera mortuorum; morem enim habent siccare corpora et quasi ænea reddere; gabbaras ea vocant." It is singular that the word now used in Egypt for a tomb is gabr or gobber. Aug. Sermon. c. 12.

Conf. Lucian's Gallus; and Hor. 1. Od. xxiii. 10. :—

"Panthoiden iterum orco

Demissum; quamvis clypeo Trojana refixo
Tempora testatus, nihil ultra

Nervos atque cutem morti concesserat atræ."

Plut. de Is. s. 72. and 31.

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the souls of men, which still survive their bodies, returned into life again in animals;" and that they considered it right to prefer for sacrifice those in whose bodies the souls of wicked men were confined during the course of their transmigration;" while the precept in the golden verses of Pythagoras


ειργου βρωτων ων είπομεν, εν τε καθαρμοίς Εν τε λύσει ψυχης κρινων,”.

commands men to abstain from food connected with the purifications and solution of the soul.

The reason of this purification of the soul I have already noticed, as well as the greater or less time required, according to the degree of sin by which it had been contaminated during its sojourn in the world. Herodotus fixes the period at 3000 years, when the soul returned to the human form +; and Plato says §, "If any one's life has been virtuous, he shall obtain a better fate hereafter; if wicked, a worse. But no soul will return to its pristine condition till the expiration of 10,000 years,

*Vide suprà, Vol. I. (2d Series) p. 316.

The same occurs in these lines of Milton's Comus :

"But when lust,

By..... lavish act of sin,

Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
The soul grows clotted by contagion,
Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite lose

The divine property of her first being."

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This seems to disagree with the custom of giving all good men the name of Osiris immediately after their burial, as if their soul had already returned to the Deity, whence it emanated.

Plato, in Phædro, p. 325., transl. Taylor.

since it will not recover the use of its wings until that period, except it be the soul of one who has philosophised sincerely, or, together with philosophy, has loved beautiful forms. These, indeed, in the third period of 1000 years, if they have thrice chosen this mode of life in succession . . . . shall, in the 3000dth year, fly away to their pristine abode; but other souls being arrived at the end of their first life shall be judged. And of those who are judged, some, proceeding to a subterraneous place of judgment, shall there sustain the punishments they have deserved; but others, in consequence of a favourable judgment, being elevated into a certain celestial place, shall pass their time in a manner becoming the life they have lived in a human shape. And, in the 1000dth year, both the kinds of those who have been judged, returning to the lot and election of a second life, shall each of them receive a life agreeable to his desire. Here also the human soul shall pass into the life of a beast; and from that of a beast again into a man, if it has first been the soul of a man. For the soul which has never perceived the truth cannot pass into the human form."

It is possible that the Egyptians also supposed the period of 3000 years to have been confined to those who had led a philosophically virtuous life; but it is difficult to determine if the full number of 10,000 years was required for other souls. From the fact of the number 10 signifying completion

*This agrees with the Egyptian notion of a winged soul. Vide suprà, Vol. I. (Second Series) p. 442.

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