Vestiges Of Culture In The Early Ages -- By: M. P. Case

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 009:36 (Oct 1852)
Article: Vestiges Of Culture In The Early Ages
Author: M. P. Case

Vestiges Of Culture In The Early Ages

M. P. Case

If reliable histories could be given us of the great nations and events of the world, prior to the time to which authentic accounts now extend, they would find no lack of interested readers. It is at first view a singular fact, that so little of the first half of the world’s history has come down to us; and that over full three thousand years of human events, a sea of oblivion has long rolled its waves. Only here and there arises anything out of that sea, which presents definite outlines. Between the early and later ages, there yawns a wide gulf which Revelation only traverses, and that but at a few points. Profane annals fail us, or give place only to legend and tradition, while yet we are midway on our journey to the primitive time. Far be-

yond stretches away a night of ages whose darkness is relieved only by a few solitary stars.

There can be no doubt that there were, during all those centuries, now silent to us, materials enough from which such histories as we have supposed might be constructed. The undoubted facts of which we are certain, show that, in pre-historic periods, the race flourished and was spread over the earth; that powerful empires arose and held sway for their time, and that mighty men of renown lived and left their impress upon the world. Some of the oldest writings assert such facts as these. But the details are unfortunately lost. After all the certainty we can gather, there is still left a wide field for inference and conjecture. As yet the manuscripts and monuments have not been found, which tell us much in detail of those old empires, and of the men who figured in those primitive times; or explain the origin of those systems of philosophy and religion, which were existing in full life in the days of the oldest historians whose writings have come down to us.

We will be thankful, however, for what we do know. And we think, that the great facts which are now fairly within our possession, if rightly combined, will lead us to yet further general knowledge of those earlier ages. If we take all that profane history and other memorials of the past can give us, and add to this what the Bible reveals of the social, political and spiritual condition of those primitive times, we may undoubtedly reach some correct conclusions, respecting their general culture and civilization. We are not aware of any extended research in this particular direction with reference to such an end; and we sincerely suspect that if such research were pushed far enough, it would become a certainty, better ascertained that even now, that the early centuries of the world were very far from being characterized by mental imbecility and barbarism, as some...

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