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“From Quintus to M. T. Cicero.
“The temples of the Britons are raised and constructed in a circular form, with obelisks of stone, over which are imposts, all of huge dimensions, untouched by the chisel; a peace-offering to Geranius, or Apollo, the sun. The huge stones," of which they are composed, lay scattered by the hand of nature on the plain: these, with myriads of labourers, the high-priest caused to be rolled up on the inclined planes of solid earth, which had been formed by the excavation of trenches, until they had attained a height equal to their own altitude ; these pits being dug, they were launched from the terrace, and sunk so as to stand perpendicular, at due and equal distances in the circle, and over these were placed others horizontally. After having completed one circle, they formed another that is concentric at some distance, and towards the extremity of the area of the inner circle, they placed a huge stone for the purpose of religious rites. When the Sun enters into Cancer, is the greatest festival of the god; and on all high mountains and eminences of the country, they light fires at the approach of that day, and make their wives, their children, and their cattle, to pass through the fire, or to present themselves before the fire in honour of the deity. Deep and profound is the silence of the multitude during this ceremony, until the appearance of the sun above the horizon, when, with loud and continued exclamations, and songs of joy, they hail the utmost exaltation of that luminary, as the supreme triumph of the symbol of the god of their adoration.” " Cooke, in his Enquiry, &c. has given us a particular account of Abiry nos AB1R1, Potenţes, signifying in the language of the founders, THE MIGHTY ONEs ; of whom the whole was an emblematical representation. Speaking of this amazing work of Abiry, he says, “than which a grander and more extensive design scarce ever entered into the imagination of man; and which, when in perfection, was, without question, the most glorious temple of the kind which the world has ever heard of.” Dr. Stukely, in a letter to Mr. Peter Collinson, F.R.S. dated March, 1766, states, that the immense work of Abury, cannot be less than 3000 years old : and is so large, that the whole village of Abury is now contained within its circumference. Of Stonehenge, Cooke says, “When you enter the building, and cast your eyes around on the yawning ruins, you are struck into an ecstatic reverie, which none can describe, and they only can be sensible of that have felt it. Other buildings fall by piece-meal, but here a single stone is a ruin. That the Druids were considerable adepts in mechanics, we have very convincing proofs in the stupendous remains of Stonehenge, and other of their works, some single stones, in which are said to be more than forty tons weight ! To accommodate great assemblies, whether on religious or civil accounts, the place seems peculiarly adapted; for which purpose I believe the world does not afford a nobler spot. Its situation is upon a hill, in the midst of an extended plain, one hundred miles in circuit; in the centre of the southern part of the kingdom; covered with numberless herds and flocks of sheep, in which respect the employment and the plains themselves are patriarchal; where the air is perfectly salubrious and exhilirating, and the yielding turf fine as the surface of a bowling-green. From almost every adjoining eminence the prospect is open into Hampshire, Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, and takes in all the lofty hills between Marlborough and Sandy-lane, sustaining the long range of Wandsdyke and the mother church of Abiry. The meaning of its ancient denomination was Choir Gaur. Yo, choir in the Hebrew tongue, is the Concha marina, or round double sea shell, which very exactly comprehends the idea of circle within circle, and is thence used to signify any lofty pile of building raised in that form. Yu gaur is a gathering together of the people, collectio, congregatio. So that the proper signification of Yu-Yo, choir gaur, is, the circular high place of the assembly or congregation.” " The stones of which this temple was composed, according to Dr. Stukely, undoubtedly were brought fifteen or sixteen miles off, prodigious as they are, from those called the Grey Wethers, near Abury on the Marlborough Downs, all the greater stones, except the altar, being of that sort; for that being designed to resist fire, is of a still harder kind; it is a composition of crystals, of red, green, and white colours, cemented by nature with opaque granules, of flinty or stone matter. The stone at the upper end of the cell, which is fallen down and broken in two, the Doctor tells us, weighs above forty tons, and would require above one hundred and forty oxen to draw it, and yet it is not the heaviest stone to be found there. He goes on to give it as his opinion, that the building of Stonehenge was not long after the invasion of Egypt by Cambyses, when many of the priests and inhabitants in general dispersed themselves to all parts of the world; and some coming as far as Britain, introduced their learning, arts, and religion amongst the Druids; and perhaps had a hand in this very work, the only one where the stones are chiselled: this was before the second temple of Jerusalem was built, and before the Grecians had any history. At a place called Biscau-woon, near St. Burien's, in Cornwall, there is a circular temple, consisting of nineteen stones, the distance between each, twelve feet; and a twentieth in the centre, much higher than the rest. The circle of Rollrich-stones, in Oxfordshire, and the Hurlers in Cornwall, are two of those Druid temples. In Scotland, we meet with numerous traces of Druidical superstition. In the shire of Murray, are many stone circles. One, in Inerallen parish, is full of graves, and was, in the last age, a burial-place for the poor people, and still for unbaptized children and strangers. Another in the Strathspey and parish of Duthell, consists of two circles of stones, and is called Chapel Piglag, from a lady of that name. Within half a mile of it is a small grove of trees, held in such veneration that no one will cut a branch of it. Several Druidical temples, as the people call them, and many cairns, lie on the east side of the Spey. Between Fort-William and Inverness is a circle of stones. Cairns are found on the top of the hill of Dunevam in Calder; to the east of Gateside between Elgin and Forres, on the muir of Urquhart, and in many other places, are great broad heaps of stones, surrounded with stones set on end in the earth, and joined close—some of them have a circle of such stones at the top, and one or more altar-stones within the inner circle. Such a cairn
* “Al Janabius observes, that many of the Arabian idols were no other than large huge stones, the worship of which the posterity of Ishmael first introduced. To us it seems most probable, that these great stones were the first public places of Divine worship amongst the Arabs, on which they poured wine and oil, as Jacob did upon the stones that served him for a pillow, when he saw the vision. Afterwards, they might worship these stones themselves, as the Phoenicians in all probability did.”—Universal History, vol. xviii. p. 387.