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Ch. 2: Gems in Ceylon

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correspondence with the 12 signs of the zodiac in their quarterly trines (the diurnal trines East and West, and the nocturnal North and South), as elucid­ating the arrangement of the 12 stones of Aaron's breastplate (Exodus xxviii. 17-20), and its zodiacal symbolism. Here beginning with the south side, and reading off backward by the east and north to the west side, the Hebrew names of the 12 stones assigned by tradition to the 12 tribes, arrange themselves in four rows exactly in the order given in Exodus xxviii. 17-20. This explains the order of the stones therein given, and confirms the tradition which has always assigned the odem stone to Reuben and the jaspeh to Benjamin, the only two absolute identifications of the whole 12. It is to be observed also that the camp order of the.tribe, when "registered" with that of the 12 signs of the zodiac in their trines, as a horoscopic square; that is with Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, on the East, the post of highest honour; Virgo, Caprrcornus, and Taurus, on the South ; Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini, on the West, and Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer, on the North; it will be observed that this "registration" places Judah in the sign of Leo, "the Lion of Judah." Moreover, the six favoured tribes occupy the six diurnal signs; that is, the dominant tribes ap­propriated them to themselves; while the six other tribes are found in the nocturnal signs; that is, were relegated to them. Observing this, it is im­possible, irrespective of anything further to go upon, to avoid coming to the conclusion that "Aaron's breastplate" was a four-square figure of the heavens,
and specifically a zodiacal palladium ; which was worn as an amulet, and used as an oracle, after the manner of Dr. Dee's divining crystal. He (the Chairman) felt so convinced of this that he would arbitrarily translate the Hebrew names of the breastplate stones by those of the foundation stones of " the New Jerusalem," as given in Revelations xxi., in every instance in which there can be no reasonable doubt of the tribe to which they appertain. There were however, wider and deeper reasons for his holding this view. Recent anthropo­logical and antiquarian research had taught us that the religious sentiment fxhibits itself at first in those degraded forms of polytheism which have been
Ch. 2: Gems in Ceylon Page of 442 Ch. 2: Gems in Ceylon
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