A Miracle in Stone: The Great Pyramid, by Joesph A. Seiss, , at sacred-texts.com
A learned and able historical critic and lecturer recently stated to his audience in this city that what is thus claimed for the Great Pyramid may be true, and likely is true. And if such is the probability or even the possibility, the matter is not only worthy of our examination, but it would seem to be our duty to test it in every possible field of inquiry.
The theory is somewhat startling, and altogether so new and wonderful that some will doubtless be disposed to shrink from it as nothing but an extravagant fancy. It ought, however, to modify such a feeling when we remember that we live in an age of wonders,
an age which answers well to the ancient prophecy of a time bordering on the end, when men would become great travellers and explorers, and as a consequence the stock of human knowledge be remarkably increased.
MODERN PROGRESS AND DISCOVERIES.
There certainly never was another period of such intense running to and fro in the earth or of such astounding growth in the range of human information as this in which we live. Events, inventions, and discoveries the most momentous crowd upon each other beyond our power to keep pace with them. Their multiplicity bewilders and confounds us. The whole life, condition, and dwelling-place of civilized man is being revolutionized by them. We travel now in palaces with every ease and luxury, and faster than the winds. We converse by electricity across oceans and continents. We spin, and knit, and weave, and print, and even calculate by automatic machinery. We copy nature and record her aspects by sunbeams. The whole world has become one neighborhood. Men have made visits to the poles, mapped the currents of the sea, belted the earth in every direction with lines of railroads and steamers, thrown down
the walls which for ages separated between nations, brought all types and kindreds of men face to face, and rendered a journey around the globe a mere summer's recreation.
And especially in recoveries from the long-forgotten past, in the reconstruction of history before the historic periods, and in the bringing to light of the wisdom and science of primeval ages, our times have been extraordinarily rich and fruitful. The last quarter of a century has been a very resurrection time in this regard. Ages of which we had only the dimmest hints have been marvellously recalled from their oblivion. With the ability to decipher hieroglyphics and cuneiform inscriptions, old worlds have newly opened to our contemplation. By the mastery of languages, the tracing of them to their primal sources and connections, the searching out and bringing together of the scattered fragments of antiquity, and the exhumation of ancient remains, the original migrations of the race have become traceable, and much of their long-lost history has been reclaimed. Things hitherto referred to the department of myth, fable, and dream, have suddenly assumed the character of authentic traditions. A little while ago, "Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar,"
and Calah, and Resin of Asshur, and Ellasar, and "Ur of the Chaldees," were mere names in Genesis, with scarce another known trace of them; but the mounds of Mesopotamia have yielded up their bricks and stones to modern research, and their long-silent tongues have been loosed to tell where these places . stood and what mighty peoples once inhabited them. Babylon and Nineveh have thus unbosomed their records to testify how truly the Bible spoke of them and what wealth, luxury, arrogance, and power once were theirs. The names and exploits of their kings, their conquests, their religions, their gods, their sciences, and their styles of life now stand in many instances revealed before our eyes. Arabia, till lately thought to be a mere desert waste, and so marked on the maps, has disclosed grand seats of empire, with civilizations once existent there superior even to Greece and Rome. Moab's rocks have become vocal with attestations of the sacred records. Bashan's giant cities, and houses covered with stone, and gates and doors of hinged rocks, and walls and bars proportioned to their once giant occupants, have been visited and their ancient wonders verified. Palestine has been resurveyed, its old localities identified, and the
miracles of its history marvellously authenticated. Schliemann is uncovering Homeric cities and bringing up Homeric heroes and the old Homeric civilization out of their long-lost tombs. Even the whole way back through prehistoric ages to Nimrod and Noah is being laid open and lighted up by modern explorations. And why should it amaze us that from the land of Egypt also,—that land of oldest and most numerous monuments,—that land where nothing perishes,—that land so specially chosen of God as the theatre of his most stupendous miracles,—there should also be a bursting forth of unsuspected light to mingle some superior beams with the general illumination?
And if perchance these new disclosures should be of a character more sacred and imposing than what is being exhumed in other lands, it is what we might reasonably anticipate from a country so singularly linked with some of the most marvellous Divine administrations. It is a type of the world, indeed, but in its milder aspect; the darker type is Babylon. Even Bunsen tells us that Egypt has ever been the instrument for furthering
the great designs of Providence. It has been at least the principal background of the most illustrious displays which have marked the career of God's chosen people. Israel could not become a nation without Egypt. The first and greatest of Israel's prophets was rescued from a watery grave, nurtured, schooled, and outwardly fitted for his sublime legation by the daughter of Egypt's king. Abraham himself, though from quite another section of the world, was ministered unto by Egypt. Joseph became the illustrious type of Christ by connection with Egypt. Humanly speaking, Jacob and his house would have come to a sad end had it not been for Egypt, which furnished him with bread, welcomed him to its richest lands, and gave his body a royal burial when he died. To Egypt's sovereign God sent that double dream of the kine and the ears of corn, which proved the means of Joseph's exaltation and of the salvation of so many peoples. Even when the blessed Jesus was born into our world Egypt was his asylum from the bloody sword of Herod, and once more and most literally of all were those words of Jehovah fulfilled, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." It was Egypt that gave to mankind the first translation of the
[paragraph continues] Hebrew Scriptures. It was Egypt that proved the stronghold of Christianity after Jerusalem fell. It is from Egypt that we have the noblest and greatest fathers of the Christian Church. And however ignoble now may be the land or its population, we may rest assured that God has something further to accomplish by means of a country of which he has thus availed himself in the past, and that out of it will yet. come some of the greatest of sacred marvels which are to mark the closing periods of time.
THE GREAT PYRAMID'S DISCLOSURES.
Some may doubt with regard to such anticipations; but they are already being realized in the recent revelations of the Great Pyramid. For forty centuries enshrouded in the deepest mystery, that mighty pillar has at length begun to yield up its secrets. As a mere building it stands at the head of the world, in age, in vastness of dimensions, in perfection of workmanship, and in the practical mastery of problems too hard for all our boasted modern art and machinery. There is not an instance in all the vast structure in which its architects miscalculated or failed. They built for permanence. They planned their work to survive
all the commotions of nature and all the Vandalism of man. Signally, also, have they succeeded. Not a stone necessary to its ulterior purpose has come short of its office. A monument has thus come down to us from beyond the classic ages which exalts and dignifies the land in which it stands. It is an edifice of stones so wisely chosen, so justly prepared, so wonderfully handled, so admirably joined, and in the proper places so exquisitely cut and polished, that it is without an equal in any land. It is likewise pervaded with the highest intelligence. There is not an inch of it which does not speak. Even after the lapse of four thousand years of observation, study, and experience, there is not a nation or people whose wisdom or every-day affairs it is not capable of improving. There is reason to think that we have not yet reached the fulness of its grand symbolizations; but if nothing more should come of the further study of it, enough has been ascertained to render it the most interesting problem of our times.
THE PYRAMID AND THE PROPHETS.
It would also seem as if God's inspired prophets knew of this marvellous pillar and
regarded it as a sacred. wonder. The Greeks as early as Alexander's time placed it at the head of their list of "the seven wonders of the world." But Jeremiah before them wrote of "signs and wonders in the land of Egypt," and of the placing of them there by "the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts" (Jer. 32: 18-20), which would seem to refer to this pyramid. He was in Egypt when he made this record. He went there at the fall of Jerusalem that he might write his prophecies and send them to his captive countrymen in Babylon. His method was to fortify his testimony by appealing to all the records and monuments which Jehovah had made of his power and greatness in the earth. He accordingly refers to "signs and wonders in the land of Egypt," of which he says that they still existed when he wrote,—"unto this day." He is commonly thought to allude to the miracles of the Exodus, which certainly were "signs and wonders" exactly to his purpose. But those are specifically noted in a subsequent verse, and in phraseology better suited to them. The language here suggests something monumental, something locally fixed. It naturally implies a Divine memorial, continuously abiding, and then still to be seen in
[paragraph continues] Egypt. It was something "set" there. The word is the same in Hebrew and in English, and with much the same sense in both. * It may be metaphorically used with regard to miracles, but when used of things continuous for hundreds of years after the placing, the sense is cramped and strained when applied to miracles like those of the Exodus, which disappeared with the relenting of Pharaoh and the departure of Israel. So keenly has this been felt that critics have been forced to speak of a probable substitution of one word in place of another, and men have cast about for some remaining physical marks of the Mosaic miracles in order to satisfy the terms of the record. Hence we read in Trapp's Commentary on the passage, "Orosis writeth that the tracks of Pharaoh's chariot-wheels are yet to be seen at the Red Sea!" The Great Pyramid on the new hypothesis would nobly help such critics and commentators out of the mud, and grandly meet the exact phraseology of the prophet. Interpreted then by the most cogent laws of language we here have a Scriptural recognition
of some enduring monument in Egypt, built by God's appointment, and meant to be a witness to him.
Isaiah makes a similar reference of a still more circumstantial and positive character. In chap. 19: 19, 20, he prophesies, "In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord, and it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt."
This "altar" and "pillar" are not two things, but one and the same as sundry expositors have observed. The language is poetical, and has the common parallelism of Hebrew poetry. Given in the form and sense of the original, it would read
Everything in this prophecy seems to look to the Great Pyramid. It refers to some specific and telling monument, and all its terms most fully apply to this marvellous pillar. There is nothing else known to which they do apply in literal accuracy and fulness.
Note how admirably the titles fit. "Altar" in Hebrew means "the lion of God." The Great Pyramid is pre-eminently the lion among all earthly buildings, and the new theory claims that it is Divine. The altar as described by Ezekiel is largely pyramidal in form, and is called "the mountain of God." And a mountain, surely, is the Great Pyramid, and one of a very remarkable character. The sacred books of the Hindoos call it a mountain—Rucm-adri—"the golden mountain." It is "a pillar," and hence not a sacrificial but a memorial altar. It is a mammoth obelisk,—one great individual shaft,—and now also believed to be sacred.
The location likewise corresponds. The Great Pyramid is the hub or centre of Egypt's curved shoreline, and so is "in the midst of the land," as nothing else to be thought of ever was. Yet it is also "at the border thereof." It stands on the extreme southern limit of Lower Egypt, and on the natural dividing line between the two Egypts. It is thus doubly "in the midst" and doubly "at the border."
The time also answers. Six times the note is sounded, and in every instance in the usual Messianic and eschatological formula—"in
that day,"—a day which nowhere finally locates this side of the period of the restitution of all things." Whatever else the prediction may cover, it cannot therefore be considered exhausted yet, and necessarily brings us down to the times bordering on the end. By permission of Ptolemy Philometor, certain Jews built a quasi temple and altar at Heliopolis, which some take as the subject of the prophecy. But that erection was against the law and could not be called Divine, though by man's self-will intended to be so. Besides, that was an altar of sacrifice and not a memorial pillar as here described. Others think the reference is to the establishment of churches in Egypt, which were numerous in the early Christian ages. But these properly had no visible local altar at all, neither had they any one monumental pillar "to answer this description. When this altar gives forth its witness to Jehovah, Egypt, Assyria, and Israel are to become a holy triad of divinely approved peoples, which has never yet occurred. "A Saviour, and a great one," is then to come to Egypt, and deliver from all oppressors. But this is the language designating the glorious Redeemer of the world, and we degrade and profane it by applying it as some have done to
the pagan conqueror, Alexander. Christ, indeed, came to Egypt in his infancy, and afterwards in his Gospel, but never in the character of a national deliverer. We therefore look in vain for any true and exhaustive fulfilment of this prophecy in the past. It must refer to the latter times, and it fits to nothing known but the Great Pyramid. Even Vitringa, as early as the beginning of the last century, threw out the idea in his commentary on this place that some one or other of the existing monuments of Egypt is here involved.
THE PYRAMID AND THE BOOK OF JOB.
There is a still more distinct reference to the Great Pyramid in the Book of Job, 38: 1-7. We there have one of the grandest descriptions in the Bible. The speaker is God, and the subject is the creation of the earth. The picture is the building of an edifice. Elsewhere in the book the earth is said to be hung upon nothing; so that we must not suppose ignorance of the real facts when the earth is here likened to a building resting on foundations. To overwhelm the pride of the human understanding, the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without
knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man, for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations fastened [or "made to sink" as a seal into wax]? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Behold here the architecture of God! The terms are those of the geometer—the master builder. Here are the bases, the jointings, the lines, the height, the corner-stone, the measures!" And the style of the building is unquestionably the Pyramid. That "cornerstone" spoken of in the singular, its emphatic isolation from "the foundations," and the singing and shouting of the heavenly hosts over the mighty achievement at the laying of that particular stone, require the proper pyramidal edifice. The picture will not interpret of anything else. That corner-stone could not be at the base, * for others were there against
which no such marked distinction in truth existed, and its laying would then have been at the beginning, at which time this celestial celebration would be out of place. Even Barnes, contrary to the erroneous imagery by which he tries to interpret the passage, agrees that "the time referred to is at the close of the creation of the earth." And as this celebration according to God himself is at the laying of that corner-stone, it must needs be a top stone—a corner-stone at the summit—whose laying completed the edifice and showed the whole work in finished perfection. But for such a corner-stone at the summit there is no place in any then known form of building, save only the Pyramid, of which it is characteristic.
Nor is it only to the pyramidal form in general that the allusion is, but to a particular pyramid. By that strange reference to the sunken feet or planting of the foundations in "sockets," we are conducted directly to the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. Two socketed "encastrements," "socles," shoes, or incised sinkings
into the rock were found under two of its base corners by the French savants in 1799, which were again uncovered and described by Colonel Howard Vyse, in 1837. And as God here speaks of such a fastening down of the foundations in general, Prof. Smyth was persuaded that there were corresponding "sockets" at the other two base corners, and when search was made for them in 1865, they were found by Messrs. Aiton and Inglis, assisted by Prof. Smyth. Here then are the whole four "sockets" or fastened foundations. Nothing of the sort exists at any other known pyramid. They are among the distinctive marks of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. They are the enduring tracks of its feet cut into the living rock, by which Almighty God himself identifies it for us as the original image from which his own description of the creation is drawn. Men may treat the matter as they will, but here are the facts showing a Divine recognition of this particular edifice as the special symbol of the earth's formation!
And from the same passage we also get some important rays of Divine light with regard to the builders of this pillar and their estimate of it.
The singers and shouters at the completion
of the earth's creation of course were heavenly intelligences, as most expositors agree in teaching. But as the laying of the capstone of the Great Pyramid is divinely given as the symbol of the laying of the capstone in the fabric of our world, the singers and their rejoicings so sublimely referred to in the one case must also have bad place in the other.
It is never to be overlooked that there are earthly "morning stars" and "sons of God" as well as heavenly ones. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." There were such "sons of God" on earth before the flood. Adam was one of them, and his immediate descendants in the line of Seth were others. Many of them apostatized, but some remained faithful. Noah was one of those faithful ones, and he was brought over the great water bearing with him all the sacred rites, traditions, and revelations of his holy fathers. By him the newly baptized world began once more. From his coming out of the ark to the building of the Great Pyramid, the call of Abraham, and the commission of Moses, was really the morning time of our present world. Like other mornings it had its noble "stars" and "sons of God" who shone with patriarchal faithfulness and glorious testimony
in their time. Shem and number of his seed at least were of this class. Job, and Melchisedec, and Abraham were pre-eminent among them. Jehovah has always had a people of his own among men, a people who reflected his mind and will, preserved his revelations, obeyed his commands, and kept to the pure worship of his name. Even long after the call of Abraham there was yet a true "priest of the Most High God" in Palestine, and another in Midian, and inspired Gentile prophets as late as the days of Moses and Aaron. These were God's "sons" by faith in him and "stars" of light amid the darkness of those early times—noble harbingers of the coming day.
Such "morning stars" and "sons of God" were on the earth when the Great Pyramid was built, corresponding to those in heaven when the earth was made. And as the one structure is the symbol of the other, even to its most hidden mysteries and measures, the analogy would be singularly incomplete in one of the most significant features of the divinely drawn parallel if the singing and shouting did not occur in one case as in the other.
But if these early light-bearers and children of God on earth sung and shouted at the laying
of the capstone of the Great Pyramid as the heavenly hosts sung and shouted when the fabric of the world was completed, they must needs have understood it and been in deepest sympathy with it. It must have been identified with their most sacred thoughts and contemplations. It must have been of a character in full and glorious accord with what distinguished them from other people and made them "stars" and "sons of God." It must have been something most profoundly related to Jehovah and the holy treasures of his ancient revelations and promises, and hence not a mere obtrusive tomb got up by some proud, oppressive, and beast-worshipping worldly tyrant.
From the Book of God itself we thus legitimately gather that the Great Pyramid did not originate with idolatrous Egypt; that it connects with the most precious things of those "sons of God" who shone as lights in the dim morning of the world's history; that it was the subject of their devoutest joy and gratitude; and that in their esteem it was everything which it is now supposed to be.
THE PYRAMID AND CHRIST.
But then we would expect it also to refer to Christ and redemption. The great subject of
all sacred Revelation is the Christ and his glorious kingdom, and we can hardly suppose this pillar Divine if it has not something on this point. Men may well sneer at the idea of a special revelation to old Cheops or his architects to teach the diameter, density, and temperature of the earth. Something of mightier moment to mankind must be involved when Jehovah thus interposes. Such claims need to be tried by the pre-eminent theme of all inspiration. But even on this high ground the Great Pyramid sustains itself full as grandly as in the sphere of cosmic facts and geodetic measures.
When Zerubbabel and Jeshua were engaged rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple on the return from the great captivity, they had in hand a work of extraordinary greatness, difficulty, and discouragements. So important was it in itself, and so bound up in history and type with another and greater restoration, that it was made the occasion and subject of special Divine communication through Zechariah the prophet. And in those prophecies that work and all that it typified is set forth under the image of the building of the Pyramid. A "great mountain" of worldly power and difficulty was in the way, but God said it should
become "a plain before Zerubbabel," as the Gizeh hill was levelled to receive the Great Pyramid. As despite all hindrances the Pyramid was successfully carried forward to completion, even to the laying of the peculiar corner-stone of its apex amid the songs of "the morning stars" and the shouts of "all the sons of God," so was Zerubbabel and he whom Zerubbabel typified to succeed in their Divine work, even to the "bringing forth of the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, 'Grace, Grace unto it.'" (Zech. 4: 6, 7.) The pyramid idea is absolutely essential to an intelligible and consistent interpretation of this imagery. The picture is an exact parallel to the one in Job, only transferred from nature to grace, from geologic to Messianic territory.
By necessary implications of Holy Scripture then the Great Pyramid is immutably linked with the building of the Church of which the adorable Jesus is "the headstone," "the chief corner-stone."
It is also a clear and outstanding fact that the Scriptures continually make the pyramid capstone the type and symbol of Christ, both in the Old Testament and in the New. Who heeds to be reminded with what brilliant diction Moses likens Jehovah to a rock, and how
triumphantly he asserts against all the heathen world, that "their rock is not as our rock, even our enemies themselves being judges!" Out of the very spirit as well as letter of the Holy Book every Christian congregation using the English tongue, often lifts up its voice to Jesus, singing
He is not only such a rock as that which yielded thirsty Israel drink, or as that which gives the weary traveller shelter from the scorching sunshine or beating storm, or as that which the prudent builder seeks whereon to found his house securely, but especially such a rock as that which forms the apex of the Pyramid—a rock which is the head and crown of all the works of Providence and grace—the unique bond in which the whole edifice of time is united—the headstone of redemption lifted high above all other rocks, "that in all things he might have the preeminence." So David conceived of him when he sung, "The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner," or "the head corner-stone," as the Septuagint renders it. (Ps. 118: 22.) So Peter being
[paragraph continues] "filled with the Holy Ghost," conceived of him when he said to the Jews who had condemned and crucified him, "This is the stone which was set at naught by you builders which is become the head of the corner." (Acts 4: 11.) Hence, also, he wrote to his scattered brethren in the faith as having come to Jesus, "as unto a living stone disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious," in whom they also "as lively stones were built up a spiritual house," according to the saying of God, "Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious," even "the stone which the builders disallowed," but which now "is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence even to them which stumble at the word." (1 Pet. 2: 4-8.) So Paul conceived of him when he wrote to the Ephesians, Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord, in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the spirit." (Eph. 2: 20-22.) And the same conception Jesus applied to himself when he said, "Did ye never read in the
[paragraph continues] Scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected the same is become the head of the corner? And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder." (Matt. 21: 42-44.)
All these are great central passages of the Divine word, and not one of them will interpret without the Pyramid, whose light alone brings out their full significance and beauty. It is absurd enough when men speak of a river's head at one end of it., and its mouth at the other end; but it is unbearable to represent the Holy Ghost treating of the head of a thing as in its toes. Interpreters may put such absurdities in the Bible, but its author never does. The head is not the foot nor the foot the head in any consistent or intelligible use of language. So the head corner-stone cannot be the foot or foundation corner-stone. Where there are four alike, to regard one as chief is a mere conventionalism without reality in fact, and such as the Bible never employs. Common architecture furnishes no one pre-eminent corner or corner-stone. There is no head corner without the Pyramid. That alone has such a head at the head, or a cornerstone uniquely and indisputably the chief. It
has the usual four at the base, alike in shape, place and office, but it has a fifth, different from all others and far more exalted. It is at the top, and properly the head one. It is the last to come into place and so may be long rejected while the building still goes on. The base corner-stones must be laid at the beginning. Work cannot proceed while either of them is disallowed. They are also of such regular shape as renders them capable of being worked in as well at one place as at another. They furnish no occasion to be disallowed. Not so the head corner-stone. The shape of that is altogether peculiar. It is five-sided and five-pointed. From foundation to summit there is no place at which it will fit till everything else is finished and its own proper place is reached. Till then it is naturally enough rejected by the builders. They have no place for it. To those ignorant of its purpose it is only in the way—"a rock of offence and a stone of stumbling." With one sharp point always sticking upwards, any one falling on it would necessarily "be broken." And when on its way to its position hundreds of feet in the air were it to fall on any one it would certainly "grind him to powder."
But though rejected to the last, it finally
turns out to be the very thing required, and reaches a place to which it alone fits; a place above all others, where it sublimely finishes out and binds together everything in one glorious whole. It is itself a perfect pyramid, the original model of the edifice which it completes and adorns. It is emphatically the head stone of the head corner. It is at the head and not at the feet. It has its own peculiar angles and they are the angles of the entire structure. There is but one stone of that shape and it is the shape of the pyramid complete. It is the stone which stands toward Heaven for every other in the building. Every other stone in all the mighty construction stands in it, and has place with reference to it, and is touched by its weight and influence, as well as sheltered under its lines, and honored and perfected by its presence. It is indeed the "all in all" of the whole edifice. To its angles is "all the building fitly framed together." And in it every part and particle that belongs to the structure from foundation to capstone has its bond of perfectness, its shelter, and its crown.
About such imagery there should be no question. In all the richness of the Scriptures there is not a more luminous, expressive,
and comprehensive picture of the Christ, in himself, in his experiences, in his relations to his friends or foes, in his office and place in all the dispensations of God toward our race, than that which is given in these texts when studied in the light of the Great Pyramid. These passages alone consecrate and sanctify it forever. In them the Holy Ghost takes hold of it, traces in it a sacred significance, and assigns to it relations and connections, the truth and beauty of which cannot be disputed. And thus by the highest authority known to man it is rendered impossible to be thoroughly true to the utterances of inspiration, and yet regard this venerable monument as nothing but the profane tomb of a pagan despot.
THE PYRAMID AND THE CHRISTIAN DISPENSATION.
And this sublime testimony to the Great Pyramid from without is also fully sustained by its own testimony from within. We have seen in a former lecture how grandly it symbolizes the truths of nature. Let us glance now at its symbolizations of Grace.
Prof. Smyth relates that in the course of the summer of 1872, Mr. Charles Casey, of Pollerton Castle, Carlow, wrote him that while he had followed and adopted all the explanations
as to the metrology of the Great Pyramid being of more than human scientific perfection for the age in which it was produced,—yet to call it therefore divinely inspired or "sacred" seemed to him to be either too much or too little. "Now, said Mr. Casey, unless the Great Pyramid can be shown to be Messianic as well as fraught with superhuman science and design, its 'sacred' claim is a thing with no blood in it,—nothing but mere sounding brass." Nor was this an unreasonable test. And it is one which I am happy to say the Great Pyramid very nobly stands.
The first to break ground in this department was Robert Menzies, a young shipbuilder and draughtsman, of Leith, Scotland, a Christian Israelite who never saw the Great Pyramid, but had long been engaged in the devout study of the works which describe it. In 1865 he wrote to Prof. Smyth that the immense superiority of the height and finish of the Grand Gallery over every other passage is owing to the fact that it represents the Christian dispensation, while the other passages symbolize only human histories or preparatory dispensations. He also had good reason for this conclusion, more perhaps than he knew.
The Christian dispensation by common consent
dates from the birth of Christ. If the Grand Gallery represents it, then the mark for the birth of Christ is the commencement of that gallery. The unit or that which counts one in pyramid measure is the inch, and so the inch, as in the diagonals of the base, symbolizes the grand unit of time, a year, at least in the floorlines of the passages taken as scrolls of history. Measuring thirty-three inches then from the beginning of the Grand Gallery for the duration of the earthly life of Christ, we come precisely over against the mouth of that mysterious "well" with its ramp-stone cover gone, as if violently forced out from beneath. That "well" extends irregularly down through the masonry and rock to a wide cavern, and thence to the entrance of the bottomless pit itself. It is a striking symbol of death, sealing up in the sepulchre, descent into hell, and triumphant resurrection in irresistible power. And it comes at a place to fit precisely to the death and resurrection of our blessed Lord. This certainly is a very strong point with which to begin.
The Christian dispensation is emphatically the dispensation of new life. Its pervading spirit is that of resurrection. Basing itself on the resurrection of Christ as its great sealing
fact, it went everywhere in the power of the Holy Ghost awakening men out of their moral graves and calling them forth in a new birth, "that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Most intensely also is this signified throughout the whole length of the Grand Gallery of our Pyramid. It is lined along its base on both sides with ramp-stones like "washboards" to a stairway. They are about a foot high and wide, and they are all cut with miniature symbolic graves every one of which is open. More than this, right by the side of each of these open graves is a neatly cut stone set vertically in the wall. It is a symbol of standing upright, and almost audibly proclaims the tenants of those open graves risen, as all true Christians are, not only from the death of sin, but to an heirship of a still completer resurrection through him who is to come again. There are eight times seven of these open graves. Eight is the number of new life and resurrection, and seven of dispensational fulness, so that by their numbers they also signify this newness of life. We thus have one of the intensest and most spiritual features of the Gospel as emphatically pronounced as stones can speak it.
The Christian dispensation is likewise pictured in the Bible as made up of seven churches headed by "seven stars" which are "the angels of the seven churches." So the best and earliest commentators explain that first vision of the Apocalypse, which allows very little room for differences of opinion. And a corresponding symbol of the same is contained in this Grand Gallery. It stares every one in the face the moment the place is entered. All writers have described it as one of the peculiar beauties of the singular arrangement. Each side of the wall is made up of just seven courses of finely fitted polished stones, the one overlapping the other and extending the whole length from commencement to termination. It is the gallery of the seven courses just seven times the height of the other passages. Besides, this gallery has special relations to the Pleiades. It tells in several ways of those benignant and exalted stars. In its own way it thus also points to the "seven stars" as presiding over the seven churches.
As a matter of historic fact the Christian dispensation followed immediately on the Jewish economy, of which it is the crown and completion. The law leads the way to Christ. This historical succession is also carefully preserved
in the symbolizations of our Pyramid. The first upward passage which leads to the Grand Gallery is just the number of inches in length which the best chronologists give as the number of years from the Exodus to the birth of Christ. It is the way to the Grand Gallery as the Jewish dispensation is the way to the Christian.
The Christian dispensation also has a fixed limit. It is to terminate with the coming again of the Lord Jesus to judge the quick and the dead. Every commission under which we now act extends only to that time. And that coming of Christ to end this age is everywhere presented as impending,—as a thing which might occur any day. All this is likewise symbolized in the Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid. Its termination is as distinctly marked as its beginning, and even the impendingness of the end is not overlooked. Its south or further wall leans a full degree and overhangs its base as if it might fall at any moment.
From my studies of the Apocalypse, I was led to publish years ago my firm belief that the present Church period is to be succeeded by a dispensation of judgment extending through years before the great consummation
is reached. And here we have it most evidently symbolized next after the end of the Grand Gallery. There the passage becomes low again, for the Church as such has ended its career. There the "granite leaf"—a great frowning double stone—hangs in its grooves, beneath which every one that passes in must bow, exhibiting a most impressive picture of "the great tribulation" of the judgment period. There also are the rules and measures by which the Pyramid was constructed, all graven on the stones, indicative of the complete righting up of everything according to law and justice. And then only comes the entrance into the grand and polished granite chamber of the king.
One of the most exalted steps in the history of the Church is that which was accomplished during the first quarter of our present century. It was in the first twenty-five years since 1800 that Christendom throughout the world formed its great organizations for the dissemination of the Holy Scriptures, for the publication and general diffusion of religious literature and Gospel truth, and for the sending out and support of missionaries to the heathen, to plant the Church of Jesus in all lands and islands. It was in those years that the Christian world
experienced a revival of aggressive evangelization and missionary zeal, the greatest and the most general since the days of the Apostles, the effects of which continue with still increasing power. The coming into activity of these organizations with their results was so marked an advance on everything of the kind for more than twelve hundred years, and so universal that we might justly expect it to be noted in any complete prophetic symbolization of our dispensation. Accordingly following the floor-line of the Pyramid's Grand Gallery towards its upper end we come to a grand step three feet high. I long wondered what it could mean, as it is the only one in the whole length of the glorious passage after that somewhat corresponding rise not far from the beginning. But when I came to count the number of inches from the commencement of the Grand Gallery to this upper step the mystery was solved. The number of those inches is close about one thousand eight hundred and fourteen, which at the rate of an inch for a year brings us to the very centre of those years in which the Church universal made this mighty, and unexampled stride. Beyond this step there is no further ascent. The great stone which forms it is also the weakest and most fractured
and dilapidated of all the stones in the whole passage-way of the Grand Gallery. It shows a marvellous rise, but an equally marvellous absence of solidity and strength. It is the image of brokenness, feebleness, and the want of firm texture. It seems as if crumbling away under the feet of those who stand upon it. And this again most strikingly accords with the poor, rent, weak, and wasting character of the Christianity of our times, though they be times of universal evangelization. It is Christianity, and evinces a great rise in effort and aim; but it is a very shattered and infirm Christianity, with but little solid substance left and incapable of enduring long.
Thus there is scarce a feature of our dispensation from the birth of Christ till now, or that is anywhere foretold of its end, which is not symbolized in the Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid. Man in all his ingenuity is incompetent to devise a simpler and completer chart of it, were he to labor at it for ages. And yet here it is in all its great facts, characteristics, and relations, in its beginning and end, in its constitution and history, in what went before and in what comes after, built into an edifice of mighty rocks more than three times
seven hundred years before Christ was born. All this certainly is very remarkable.
Is it then within the reason of man to say that there was nothing above and beyond mere human power and calculation here,—no potent presence of that MIND which knows the end of all things from the beginning, and giveth wisdom unto the wise?
THE PYRAMID AND THEOLOGY.
Tested also by the more inward substance and contents of sound Scriptural doctrine, the facts are equally remarkable and cogent.
The foundation of all sacred doctrines is the existence of a personal and eternal God, the Almighty Maker of heaven and earth. The Bible pronounces that man a "fool"—one criminally self-stultified—who can find it in his heart to say, "there is no God." So also the Great Pyramid teaches. It symbolizes the earth and all the universe as a contrivance, a work, a building, shaped to Promethean plan. It must therefore have had a contriver, an intelligent and potent author, greater than itself. It thus pronounces at one and the same time against Atheism; against Sabaism, against Pantheism, and against all idolatry and false worship. It knows nothing of a world without
an architect, of creaturehood without basis or centre, of beauty without parent or birthplace, of good without a bosom out of which it flows, of thought without reason, of effect without a cause. It proclaims the universe a product, and one self-competent God as its author.
It is an essential part of orthodox theology that Jehovah is a three-one God. "The true Christian faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance." And when we ascribe glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, we rightfully add "as it was in the beginning," for so is the representation in this Pyramid before the Bible was written. On each of its four faces as in its fundamental figure it presents to every beholder the geometric emblem of the Trinity, the same that is accepted by the Church and exhibited in nearly every place of Christian worship. Creation is the reflection of God himself, and the Pyramid as a symbol of the creation gives impressive token of His mysterious Tri-unity. Nature reflects Trinity, and this symbol of nature does the same with a depth and stress which cannot be disputed. Shaw states that the Deity is typified by the outward form of this pile, and that
form is a triangle whether viewed on either side or from either corner.
The architect of the world this monument likewise proclaims to be the King of the world, a governing and upholding Providence as well as a tri-personal Creator. Those measures, motions, interrelations, and vast revolutions which it symbolizes, all tell that the universe does not hold God but that thus he holds and manages the universe. They are the grasp and pressure of an infinite and Almighty hand, whose fingers clasp the crystal poles of the earth and heavens, and under whose protecting palm the continents and seas, planets, suns, and systems pass with unfaltering steadiness from age to age. And the conformation of its shape, measures, avenues, and openings, to cosmic and celestial facts, themselves the symbols of an eternal Providence, proclaims the potent presence of God in the histories as well as in the constitution of the earth.
But the Bible tells also of an evil power in the universe—an anti-God—whom it describes as an apostate angelic being who has obtained a terrible influence over the affairs and destiny of man. He is called the Dragon, the old Serpent, Satan, the Devil. He is declared to be a murderer, a tempter, a destroyer, a liar,
the author of all evil, under whose usurped dominion mankind, unhelped of God, are hopelessly inthralled. And this too is strikingly expressed by the Great Pyramid.
From the earliest known times different portions of the heavens have been designated, and known by certain figures supposed to be outlined by the stars which they embrace. There are now about eighty of these constellations. The stars of which they are composed the Bible declares to be for "signs," as well as for seasons, days, and years. The probability is that the earlier and most remarkable of these designations were made by God himself even before the flood. Josephus attributes the invention of the constellations to the family of Seth, the son of Adam, and refers to ancient writers as authorities. Origen affirms that it was asserted in the Book of Enoch that in the time of that patriarch the constellations were already divided and named. * Volney
informs us that everywhere in antiquity there was a cherished tradition of an expected conqueror of the serpent, and asserts that this tradition is reflected in the constellations as well as in all the heathen mythologies. Dupuis, also, and others of his school have collected ancient authorities abundantly proving that in all nations this tradition always prevailed, and that the same is represented in the constellations. Indeed, antiquity with one voice declares for their very early origin, and the results of modern investigations by astronomers themselves confirm the traditions and reveal internal evidence of their having been constructed more than five thousand years ago. Cassini commences his History of Astronomy by saying, "It is impossible to doubt that astronomy was invented from the beginning of the world; history profane as well as sacred testifies to this truth." Bailly and others assert that astronomy must have been established when the summer solstice was in the first degree of Virgo, and that the solar and lunar zodiacs were of a similar antiquity,
which would be about four thousand years before the Christian era. They suppose the originators to have lived in about the fortieth degree of north latitude, and to have been a highly civilized people. Prof. Proctor, by calculations based on Hindoo and other astronomies, traces the authors of this science to some people residing between the rivers Cyrus and Araxas, not very far from Mount Ararat, at a date perhaps two thousand two hundred years before Christ. Sir William Drummond says, "The fact is certain that at some remote period there were mathematicians and astronomers who knew that the sun is the centre of our system, and that the earth itself a planet revolves around it." The constellations were certainly known in the time of Job, and are familiarly referred to in that very ancient book. Seyffarth says they are as old as the human race. The author of Mazzaroth makes the origin of the constellations antediluvian, and thinks they were framed by inspiration for sacred and prophetic purposes. There are actual astronomical calculations in existence with calendars formed upon them, which eminent astronomers of England and France admit to be genuine and true, and which carry back the antiquity of this science together
with the constellations to within a few years of the deluge, even on the longer chronology of the Septuagint. Sir John Herschel finds much fault with these old constellations as barbarous and unscientific. He would have these contorted snakes, miscalled bears, lions, fishes, and the like, banished from our astronomies as too oppressive to the student's memory. But the author of Mazzaroth very well suggests that this learned astronomer perhaps never carne across the proper meaning of these grotesque figures or never duly studied them as symbols, or he would have been less anxious for their obliteration. Nay, the specimens which modern astronomers have given of their skill at such reforms do not much recommend the giving of free scope to them in this particular. The universality of these ancient groupings must ever secure their retention, however disliked by scientists. And the very inconvenience of them for naked astronomical purposes is proof not of the barbarism of their inventors, but that they were meant to serve some further end. The most important historical, theological, and prophetic truths have been inscribed on the heavens by means of them, so that they need only to be stripped of the changes, caricatures, and interpolations of
the heathen Greeks and modern scientists in order to show us the outlines of the Bible on the sky, and to prove that in a high, evangelic, and most impressive sense "the heavens declare the glory of God." The author of Mazzaroth and others have not only said but shown that we have in these ancient constellations a medium of communication with the mind, theology, and hopes of primitive man, and that we here may read the fact that God has spoken to our race, given to it a Revelation from the beginning, and embodied in it precisely the same great truths afterwards written and developed in the sacred Scriptures. Everywhere do we encounter the traditions of Abraham's skill in the knowledge of the heavens, how he argued from his observations of the heavenly orbs, and how he occupied himself in Egypt teaching the priests of Heliopolis in the lore of the skies. Doubtless this was not the naked science of astronomy as the schools conceive of it, but as respected the theological and Messianic truths symbolized in these celestial hieroglyphics, in which, as in the more literal promises, he rejoiced to see Christ's day, and saw it and was glad. (John 8: 56.) Well, therefore, has it been that these ancient "signs" have been preserved. And mankind
have reason to pray that no hand of intermeddling science may ever sweep them down, but that they may continue to stand unto the end in all the almanacs of time.
One of the oldest and most universal of these ancient constellations is the Dragon or Great Serpent. The chief star embraced in that group (α Draconis) is situated in the monster's tail. And to that star the entrance passage of the Great Pyramid was levelled, so that α Draconis at its lower culmination then looked right down that inclined tube to the bottomless pit. Mankind marching down that passage would therefore be moving under the sign and dominion of the Dragon. Thus in a manner which startles by its vividness the Great Pyramid answers to the Bible in saying that there is a Devil, who has somehow obtained an awful potency over the human race, and that mankind under him are on the way to the pit of destruction. The picture is that of a tube over which the Dragon presides, whose incline is fearfully downwards, and which terminates in hell! Could the story be told in simpler or more graphic terms?
Some laugh at the idea of a hell. Even whole denominations calling themselves Christians make it a point of faith to deny the
existence of any such thing. But the Bible tells about it as a dark and mysterious underworld—a bottomless pit—a subterranean region of hopeless misery,—out of which there is no escape. And here is the symbol of it in the Great Pyramid—a room far under the centre of the edifice, one hundred feet down in the solid rock, having neither bottom nor outlet. It has continuity in a tube on the further side, but it is endless, the same as the pit is bottomless. With singular significance has this feature been copied in all other pyramids, to whose hopeless subterranean chambers the kings of idolatrous and self-justifying Egypt were consigned. Hence the words of Ezekiel (31: 14-18): "They are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. . . This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God." And in the facile and smooth descent of that main passage-way leading directly down to the pit we have the symbol of the tendency and hopeless destiny of man since his fall into Satan's power, except as recovered by some gracious intervention superior to nature and mightier than the Devil.
But the glad and glorious teaching of the
[paragraph continues] Bible is that God has interposed, introduced a new and saving economy, calling Abraham, commissioning and inspiring Moses and the prophets, establishing for himself a consecrated people, and preparing the way for a sublime Deliverer in Jesus Christ, who has brought forgiveness and eternal life into the world, and arranged for a new and eternal dominion of righteousness and peace, which is to dethrone Satan and bring man back to original blessedness. This is the very soul and spirit of the Scriptures—the master theme of both Testaments and of all their institutes. And the same is the great subject of all the chief parts of the Great Pyramid's interior—the burden of its noblest passages—the story of all its upper apartments.
The first ascending passage begins at the point which answers in the number of its year-inches to the date of the Exodus of Israel. It also covers by its length the precise number of inches that there were years from the Exodus to the birth of Christ. We thus identify it as the Pyramid's symbol of the Mosaic dispensation. That dispensation was an upward movement in human history founded on direct supernatural interferences of the Almighty, and so this is an upward passage with the
same angle heavenward as that of the entrance passage is hellward. It is a most expressive symbol of a special and effective interposition of God to raise men up from their decline toward destruction, and thus furnishes us with a monumental testimony to the whole Scriptural representation of that economy.
But the Mosaic dispensation was only intermediate and preliminary to something greater and higher. Hence that upward passage suddenly enlarges into a far more magnificent ascending opening. The top abruptly rises to seven times the previous height, and everything is correspondingly exalted into the Grand Gallery. This is the symbol of the Christian era, the grandest section in all the scrolls of human history. It begins at the inch which marks the Saviour's birth. Thirty-three inches from that beginning bring us to the startling symbol of death, burial, descent into hell, and resurrection from the dead,—to that fearful "well" with its heavy stone covering broken out by an upward force which tore away a part of the wall itself, "for it was not possible that he should be holden of death." The entire length is covered with thirty-six overspanning stones, the number of months of Christ's public ministry. And beyond is
the granite King's Chamber in which all consummates. And there the polished walls, fine materials, grand proportions, and exalted place, eloquently tell of glories yet to come. It is the chamber of fifties, which is the grand jubilee number.
Nay, for those Gentiles who never knew of Israel's worship and sacred books there is also a word of hope inserted. They are not necessarily all lost. From the lowest depths of Ethnic apostasy the Great Pyramid still indicates a way up through the atoning death of Christ to the celestial blessedness. It is a steep, tortuous, difficult, dangerous, and uncertain way, not likely to be found and safely traversed by many; but it is there. It is a speaking symbol of what the inspired Apostle declared so long afterwards, that "in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him," accepted through the mediation of Christ.
Here are symbolizations of sacred histories whose warp and woof is miracle. Here are expressions the soul of which is the same Divine breath which animates and fills the Testaments of God. Here are heavenward pointings and indications of the way to eternal life as distinct and gracious as those which
mark the holy Evangely itself. It is the Gospel pronounced in stone. It is the testimony of "Jesus and the resurrection" put up in imperishable rock. It is redemption memorialized in marble more than twenty centuries before the Christ was born! Could it be mere accident? Was it not rather the dear God above us laying up the sublime things of his grace in enduring lithic records which man could not alter nor time destroy to demonstrate to the skeptics of our day how unreasonable and inexcusable is their unbelief?
THE PYRAMID AND THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
The Bible moreover tells of a nearing day of judgment—a time when the Almighty power that made us will reckon with us concerning these earthly lives of ours, and deal out destiny according to the uses we have made of them. In all its addresses, whether didactic or prophetic,—whether to warn the wicked or comfort the pious,—whether for the vindication of God or the foreshadowing of what is to become of man,—the Bible everywhere refers us to an approaching crisis, when the principles of eternal justice must go into full effect, when the trampled law will inexorably enforce its supremacy, when everything must be righted
up, and all that is adverse to truth and good be forever blasted; when faith and virtue shall be rewarded and enthroned, and all else sink overwhelmed by a majesty which nothing can withstand. It is described as a time of sorrow and unexampled distress for the unbelieving world—a time of fears and plagues and great tribulation to all but God's watching and ready ones, to whom it shall be a day of glorious coronation in heaven. Its coming is spoken of as sudden—when men in general do not expect it—when many are saying, "Peace and safety." Like the flood upon the old world—like the tempest of hail and fire which overwhelmed Sodom and Gomorrah—so shall it come upon the nations. When men think not, the Son of man cometh. And all this too is solemnly pronounced by the Great Pyramid. That Grand Gallery stops abruptly. It is suddenly cut off in its continuity. From a splendid passage-way twenty-eight feet in height it ceases instantly, and the further passage is less than four feet. The floorline then no longer ascends. A ponderous double block of frowning granite, hard and invincible, hangs loose over the low and narrow pass now. In the same antechamber in which it hangs, the rules, measures, and weights appear engraven
in majesty upon the imperishable granite, for every one to pass under. The tokens are that now judgment is laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, that every cover may be lifted, and every refuge of lies swept away. Everything here indicates the inexorable adjudications of eternal righteousness.
And that solemn time is also everywhere represented as now close at hand. As far as theologians have been able to ascertain, all the prophetic dates are about run out. The Scriptural signs of the end have appeared. Every method of computation points to the solemn conclusion that we are now on the margin of the end of this age and dispensation. Nor does the Great Pyramid fail to tell us the same thing. Measuring off one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven inches from the beginning of the Grand Gallery for the one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven years since the birth of Christ, there remain but a few inches more to bring us to its end. So likewise when we go forward on the dial of the precessional cycle to observe the condition of the heavens when the last of these inches is counted off, the astronomical indications are correspondingly remarkable. The Pleiades which were on the meridian when the Pyramid
was built are then far to the east, with the vernal equinox at the same time precisely the same distance from that meridian to the west, whilst the distance front one to the other measures the exact age of the Pyramid at that date. At the same time α Draconis will again be on the meridian below the pole, but then just seven times lower than at the time of the Pyramid's building. This final downwardness of seven times is strikingly suggestive of the Dragon's complete dethronement. And what is still more remarkable, whilst α Draconis is on the meridian at this low point, Aries, the Ram, appears on the meridian above, with the line passing exactly through his horns! A more vivid astronomical sign of the overthrow of Satan under the dominion of the Prince of the flock of God it is not possible to conceive. It is as if the very heavens were proclaiming that then the ever-living Lamb takes to him his great power, and enters upon his glorious reign!
THE PYRAMID AND THE JEW.
It is the opinion of many earnest believers in the Scriptures that God is not yet done with the Jews as a distinct and peculiar people. As a nation they rejected Christ and fell from
their high pre-eminence, and are now on precisely the same footing with the Gentiles with regard to the Christian dispensation. There is no way of salvation nor any special privileges for them now other than the Gospel offers to all men alike. Through the atonement of Christ and union with him, there is redemption for their souls the same as others, but in no other way. But the belief of many is that they are preserved in their singular distinctness, even in unbelief, as the subject of a grand restoration and conversion when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and that blindness in part has happened unto them, in which as a people they will remain till the time of the revelation of Jesus Christ at his second coming. And to this belief the Great Pyramid would also seem to answer in a very marked manner.
A special national token of the Jew is the sabbatic system. It was given of God, and made to pervade the whole Jewish economy as a thing by which the chosen people were to be distinguished from all other nations, and in the observance of which they were to exhibit themselves as God's people. Disregard of this was held to be treason to their King, and a forfeiture of all their rights to the promises
[paragraph continues] And this sabbatic system is specially characteristic of the so-called Queen's Chamber and the horizontal passage leading to it.
They reached their highest point when of them Christ was born. The same unbelief by which they then were broken off they have ever since retained. Hence the avenue which I take as a symbol of their history from Christ's time is horizontal, except that the last seventh (If it drops lower than any other part. If the latter chapters of Ezekiel (from the thirty-sixth onward) and many other passages are to be literally taken, and there is great difficulty in understanding them in any other way, there is to come for Israel a, grander restoration than that of their return from Babylon, when they will be re-established in holiness according to their ancient estate, and all their early institutes again be righted up and put into full effect. Hence this low horizontal passage terminates in a grand sabbatic room full of the most important notations of the measures and proportions of the whole Pyramid.
Those who hold to this restoration of the Jews hold also that they will be returned in their present unbelief and blindness as regards the true Messiah, and will only afterwards have the scales removed from their eyes after
the manner of Paul, who in this respect was as one born before the time. And this also would seem to be distinctly set forth. Two ventilating tubes have recently been discovered in the so-called Queen's Chamber, which the builders left entirely closed over with a thin unbroken scale, which not only shut them front all observation but rendered them of no practical effect whatever. The room has therefore always been noted for its foul air and noisome smell, for the atmosphere there was left without circulation for four thousand years. These tubes extended inward through the masonry and into the stones forming the walls of the room, all nicely cut, but for about one inch they were not cut through into the room itself. On the hidden sides of the walls these air-channels were open, but on the visible sides within the room the surface was smooth, even, and unbroken, the same as any other part. It was only by something of an accident that these scales were broken and the channels opened into the room itself. So singular an arrangement could have none other than a symbolic intent. No architectural reason for the peculiarity can at all be traced. And most strikingly would it serve to signify the blindness of the Jew. and his deadness in unbelief, needing
only the breaking away of those scales for the free breath of God to purify everything again. And if this is the meaning of the symbol, it accords precisely with the idea of the re-establishment of the Jewish nationality before the great conversion, and that this breaking away of the disabling and defiling scales of blindness and unbelief remains to be accomplished after entrance upon the state symbolized by this room. And even then it is only removed by a breakage and violence entirely distinct from the ordinary course of things, which would also be fulfilled in case the general conversion of the Jews is to be brought about after the manner of that type of it exhibited in Paul, who was converted as no other man ever has been by the personal apocalypse of the Lord Jesus.
It is also fully agreed by those who hold to the belief of a restoration of the Jews, that they will then be lifted spiritually far above the dead level which has characterized them as a nation since the fall of Jerusalem, and that quite a new, higher, and holier spirit than they ever experienced before will then be breathed into their ancient ceremonial. And the same would seem to be symbolized in this chamber. It has no proper floor, and is entered
from a very low plane, even lower than the avenue in general. But inside there is a baseline marked evenly around it at a range with the square top of the entrance passage, indicating a grand lifting up after having entered. It is in the relative spaces above this line that the sabbatism and exalted proportions and commensurations of the apartment appear.
This opens an entirely new field in pyramid interpretations, which calls for a more enlarged and thorough examination. But what does that horizontal sabbatic passage, starting from the level of Christ's death and dropping lower in the last seventh of its floorline, mean, if not the Jew who has risen no higher since the rejection of his Messiah, but has fallen lower of late by his rationalism, though still preserving his distinctness from all other peoples? What can that remarkable, separate, sabbatic room mean, if not intended to set forth a separate and peculiar earthly destiny of the Jew? And what can that grand uplifting and the breaking through of those thin stoppages of the ventilation signify, if not the re-quickening by the Spirit of God which is promised to the Jew for the sake of his fathers, when once he shall look upon him whom he has pierced?
THE PYRAMID AND HEAVEN.
The crown of Christian theology and hope is the doctrine concerning heaven, the residence of God and his glorified people. When the Saviour left the earth, he said, "I go to prepare a place for you." Abraham looked for a permanent city. Paul spoke hopefully of "a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." John beheld and wrote of "that great city, the holy Jerusalem," even "Jerusalem the golden," of which the Church ever sings with such fondness and delight. And this too is symbolized in the Great Pyramid. If nothing else, the granite chamber in which the dispensations of this world terminate may serve to tell of it. But that chamber seems rather to relate to the consummated earthly than to the heavenly. There is reason to believe that another and superior chamber exists in the mighty edifice, more fully answering to the celestial city. The sabbatic chamber is on the twenty-fifth course of the masonry, and the granite chamber on the fiftieth. To make up the complete count there would have to be a third on the one hundredth course, corresponding to "the third heaven." The Apocalypse, that book of the
consummations, seems also to call for such a chamber. As "the seven churches" under "the seven stars" are found in the Grand Gallery, and the judgment dispensation in the ante-room leading to the granite chamber, and "the great tribulation" in the granite blocks which hang over the passage-way through that ante-room, there would need to be another and higher apartment to answer to the heavenly Jerusalem, which the Apocalypse introduces as the crown of all. The piles of ancient rubbish from the building of this pyramid which cover the breast of the hill also add their indications of another chamber of grander materials than the others, and higher up in the edifice. After a rain Prof. Smyth paced about among the gutters which the wash cut into these piles of chips and splinters of stone, to see what he could find. "Towards the top of the heap and just in front of, though at a great distance from, the Pyramid's entrance portal," he found "frequent splinters and fragments of green and white diorite." This is a compact, very hard, crypto-crystalline formation, whitish, speckled with black or greenish-black. It is the material of which the celebrated stone statue now in the Boolak Museum is cut. It is not native to the pyramid region,
and could only have been brought there from far, whilst the number of these spalls and fragments intermixed with the earth and other chippings and offal in the process of this pyramid's building would indicate some extensive use of that excellent material in this structure. Their occurrence near the top of the furthest distance of these piles from the Pyramid would show that the use made of this rock was high up in the edifice and toward its completion. But in none of the present openings has anything been found made of diorite, or anything like it. Therefore, Prof. Smyth, in debating over these fragments, says, "I was compelled to gaze up at the Pyramid with its vast bulk, and believe that there is another chamber still undiscovered there, and one which will prove to be the very muniment room of the whole monument." *
And even the way to it may perhaps be found from a suggestion which I draw from the Apocalypse. The numberless multitude before the throne of God (chap. 7: 9-17) comes "out of the great tribulation," and if those granite blocks suspended over the way through the ante-room to the King's Chamber denote the great tribulation, as they so expressively do,
the way to a room symbolic of heaven would seem to be directly from those blocks, just where nobody has ever searched for it. Those blocks hang in grooves, and have a boss or knob left on the side as if meant to be slid up for a purpose; and the vision of John would seem to imply that the lifting of them would uncover the way to the room which would be the symbol of glory. A light bore . with a rod so directed as to strike behind those blocks would probably reveal whether or not there is such a passage from either side at that point. And until the facts are ascertained by adequate examination, I am inclined to believe, from general analogy and from the correspondence in all other points with the Bible, and especially with the Apocalyptic outlines, that behind those blocks will be found the way to another and superior chamber, situated in the upper centre of the building on the one hundredth course of the masonry. I also anticipate that when it is discovered it will present an exact square, sixteen pyramid cubits every way, with perhaps three distinct entrances on each side, and answering in its prophetic readings to the twenty-first chapter of the Book of the Revelation. Of course this is only a hypothesis, a theoretic persuasion which needs
to be tested by further explorations, but it rests on considerations sufficiently strong to beget in me the belief that it will be verified in fact. Hence I have had the place and proportions of such a room indicated on the diagram.
THE PYRAMID AND THE SPIRITUAL UNIVERSE.
But man is not the only rational creature God has made. As the interval below, between him and nothing, is filled up with uncounted orders and forms of being, so on rational as well as Scriptural grounds it is part of our common faith that there are many intellectual and spiritual orders above, between him and the infinite Creator. These rank in series over series of angels and archangels, seraphim and cherubim, principalities and powers. And as the Pyramid is a Scriptural image of the Church, so it is also of this whole spiritual universe. Galloway, in his Egypt's Record of Time, has noted that "the ascending scale of natures above man was revealed to Jacob in vision. The collective nature of man is, as it were, at the basis of a mighty pyramid of spiritual natures ascending by successive stages to one glorious apex, from which the whole derives unity, from which the whole has proceeded,
and on which it depends for existence. This glorious spiritual pyramid appears to be that which was revealed to Jacob at Bethel, when a solitary traveller on his way to Padan Aram: a mighty ladder or scale of being ascending from man to the highest heaven; a sublime idea of the spiritual universe proceeding from one, and built up into one glorious head, a world not of gross and dead materials, but of living spirit and flame, full of the adoring love and active service of God, at the summit of which the presence of Jehovah was beheld revealed" (pp. 339, 340). And this grand, striking, and truthful conception of the universe bound together and headed up in One supreme original of all, we have here in material form, consolidated in stone, worthy in some measure too of the eternal vastness and magnificence of the subject.
Thus then the Great Pyramid answers throughout to all history and all Revelation. The substance of both Testaments and all the dispensations of God toward man are here traced in unchanging rock, more than five centuries before Moses. How came these things into this pile, and nowhere else on earth but in the Bible? Whence came this sublime science before the days of science,—this knowledge
of all history then only in its beginnings,—this understanding of all sacred doctrines and prophecies before all other existing records of them? By what marvellous eccentricities of chance originated these monumental prophecies, this prehistoric picturing of coming ages, these symbolizations of the mysterious Providence of God toward our world for four thousand years, this fore-announcement of the end from the beginning, this sublime petrifaction of the divine word ere ever a chapter of it was traced in our Scriptures? When we find these things in the Bible written long afterwards we call them inspired. What then shall we call them when we find them all securely laid up in stone hundreds and thousands of years anterior to that Holy Book, and now opened to us with superadded marvels upon which the Bible scarcely touches? I know not how others may be impressed, but I feel as if I would be shutting my eyes to truth, suppressing the force of evidence, and withstanding demonstration, did I not joyfully admit and embrace the fact that we have here a precious memorial from the same blessed Jehovah from whom we have our glorious Bible, erected by some chosen people whom his own Spirit guided, and at the same time a most
ancient monumental witness to all the holy truths and histories.
And yet the subject is not exhausted. There are various other interesting matters to be considered, all tending to the same conclusion; but I cannot enter upon them now. Reluctantly, I must close again without reaching the end of what needs to be said in a proper presentation of the case. Only one little item more, which seems to belong here, will I yet notice, and with that I conclude this lecture.
THE PYRAMID AND JERUSALEM.
If this Pyramid is what it would thus seem to be, it would be natural to infer that it ought to have some connection with or reference to Jerusalem. All the institutes and revelations of God had their chief centre there for more than a thousand years. God made it his own sacred metropolis, the only one he ever had localized upon earth. There his only temple stood. There his holy law was deposited. Thither his people were required to come for the celebration of their most distinguishing services. There was the royal seat of his chosen kings. There was the sacred capitol of his consecrated priests, of his inspired prophets, of his holy scribes. There the glorious
[paragraph continues] Messiah presented himself to the elect nation. There he died for the sins of the world. There he rose triumphant from the dead. There he ascended into heaven. There he poured out the Holy Ghost. There he inaugurated the Christian Church. There he sent forth his inspired apostles for the conquest of the world to the religion of the cross. Nay, there he is to appear again when he comes the second time as he has promised. And if the Great Pyramid belongs at all to the great system of God's redemptive interpositions it could hardly be wanting in some reference to that "city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel." So at least it appeared to me, and led me to search for the missing indications. I knew that the Pyramid's most distinguished cubit answers to the sacred cubit of Moses; that the capacity measure of the Pyramid's granite Coffer is the same as that of the Ark of the Covenant; that the sabbatic system of the Jews is distinctly noted in connection with the Queen's Chamber; and that the molten sea had proportions of earth-commensuration which also appear in the size of the Pyramid's main chamber. These are indeed remarkable and significant coincidences, but they do not give so direct a reference as I thought ought to exist.
[paragraph continues] It hence occurred to me to ascertain the exact direction of Jerusalem from the Great Pyramid and to try whether it would fit to any of its interior angles. Having used two different maps to make sure of accuracy, the result carne out exactly the same in both, namely, that three of the main inside angles of the Great Pyramid applied to its north side eastward, point directly to Jerusalem! If a cannon-ball were shot from the Great Pyramid's north side at the precise angle eastward as that of the entrance passage computed with the base-line, or that of the main ascending passage computed with the same line, or that of the Grand Gallery computed with the passage to the Queen's Chamber, that ball, could it reach so far, would strike the Holy City!
Of itself this might be passed as of no special significance, but taken in connection with what has been developed in this lecture, the unexpected discovery induced a feeling as if the half-smothered pile with all its burden of centuries suddenly arose out of its sands and rubbish, lifted up its stony hand, and looking the very image of old time, pointed its heavy and half pendent finger to the city of Melchisedek, David, and Solomon, saying as with a voice out of the bottom ages, "Look over
there! Savants of the earth, and all ye that inquire, go yonder! There observe, listen, and wait, and ye shall know whence I am, and whereof I witness!"
110:* It is again and again rendered, to make, to put, to cause to be, to order, to appoint, to ordain, to place, to set up, to erect. Gesenius gives as its first and main sense, "to set, to place, to put, referring to persons or things which stand erect." Vatablus translates it by posuisti, placed, set up, erected, built.
115:* This is also distinctly expressed in the ancient Coptic version, translated by Archdeacon Tattam. There in the sixth verse the language is, "Who hath laid the corner stone upon p. 116 it?" If a base corner-stone were in contemplation it would be in place to speak of the placing of the building upon it; but only a top or summit corner-stone can be said to be laid "upon" the building, and no building has such a top cornerstone but the Pyramid.
140:* The Book of Enoch, translated by Bishop Lawrence, is as a whole, an apocryphal production, dating somewhere about the beginning of the reign of Herod, before Christ. It has some ten chapters devoted to the mysteries of astronomy, the heavenly bodies, and their relations and revolutions. It will at least serve to show what was the feeling on the part of those whom the writer represents when he says that all these things were made known to Enoch by Uriel, the holy angel, who gave "the whole account of them according to every year of the p. 141 world forever, until a new work (or creation) shall be effected which will be eternal." The twelve signs of the Zodiac are plainly indicated in this book. See Book of Enoch, chap. 71, seq., pp. 84, 85, and 232.
161:* Life and Work, pp. 187, 188.