Druidism -- By: Edward D. Morris

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:43 (Jul 1854)
Article: Druidism
Author: Edward D. Morris


Rev. Edward D. Morris

Most of those errant tribes who at the beginning of the Christian era inhabited the northern and north-western portions of the continent of Europe, were distinguished by striking similarities of language, of institutions, and of character. Such resemblances plainly lead to the conclusion, that these numerous tribes, scattered over the wide regions from the shores of the Atlantic to the Baltic Sea, were the disparted offshoots of some common oriental stock. During those long periods which lie beyond the limits of authentic history, they probably migrated at intervals from the sunny lands of Central Asia to the plains of Germany and Gaul; constantly pressed onward, partly by necessity, and partly by the larger hordes which followed them, till at last, they found their devious course obstructed by the waters of the western ocean. But, through all their long and frequent wanderings, and in spite of mutual diversities and conflicts, they carefully preserved the prominent peculiarities of that common stock from which they sprang. Their numerous dialects are manifestly the kindred scions of some generic root Their social and civil institutions have many curious and striking points of similarity. Their religious sentiments, and their varied modes of worship, appear like fragments of some ancestral system, such as may in some past age have flourished along the banks of the Euphrates and the Indus.

None of these points of resemblance is more obvious or more remarkable than Druidism. From that period in which the regions of Northern Europe were first subdued by Roman power, to that in which the advancing influences of Christianity had rooted out most of the prominent characteristics of Celtic barbarism, this peculiar institution is known to have held an important position, and wielded a commanding influence, among nearly all the Indo-Germanic tribes. As a social system, at once civil and religious, it entered into all departments of society; and left its distinct impression on all the prominent features of individual

and national life. Druidism, therefore, becomes an interesting theme of research and of contemplation, in reference both to its distinctive elements, and to its position as one of those primary forces whose influences sometimes combined and sometimes antagonistic, have evolved as a resulting product the complex society of modern Europe. It will be the main design of this Article, to bring into view the more prominent features and elements of this peculiar system; and to define the nature and extent of its influence over those unlettered tribes among whom it flourished.

It is a striking fact, that almost every nation, at some earl...

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