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Jit BÇ greajt npjso wjncb the following work 
ba# made pa accou/ft of the authpr's freedom 
iif, rqgard to matter* p£ religion» may probably 
occasion spmp. pfople to. be offended* with the 
rcpublicaiipn of if. Bjit an exception of this 
kind must surely be the effect of prejudice, and 
is impossible to be defended upon the prin- 
ciples of reason arid philosophy. True rdi- 
gipft is not afraid, of bearing the strictest exa- 
mination; the attack* of infidels, instead of 
weakening ber ajjthprity, rathçr contribute to 
her, txiurnpfys. She if ever ready to hear 
^ha^L^er adversaries, have to. oppose; and calm- 
ly en^ayours to, refute their errors. This is a 
iqapcim agreeable to sound sense, and the con- 
trary doçtrinç, is calculated only for the meri* 
dian of thç inquisitiorj. 



It must be acknowledged, however, that in 
writings of this sort, some regard ought to be 
shewn to the illiterate and the vulgar ; neither 
is it fit that their minds should be unhinged in 
their assent to the true religion. This indul- 
gence to the public is shewn' in the following 
translation; care has therefore been taken to* 
make*proper strictures on such passages as are 
most exceptionable, and even tohrefute at large» 
some articles which may be suspected to have 
a dangerous tendency. * 

These are blemishes, which, as a judicious 
critic observes, are capable of disfiguring, but 


not of intirely destroying the merit of this work. 
Though our author is no divine, he is a poet, 
an historian, a philosopher, and in many re-- 
spects a most agreeable writer. In such a 
multiplicity of articles he has an opportunity of 
displaying not only his wit and humour, but 
likewise a great fund of erudition. * Where he 
does not intermeddle with*religion, he is very 




« -- \ 


■2 * v J-**» 

.*- - 


entertaining, and oftentimes instructive. Even 
when writing on religious matters, he is not 
always deserving of censure; for instance, his 
article of toleration contains excellent doctrine» 
and shews him to be endowed with good na- 
ture and humanity. This appears even in the 
singularity of many of his notions, which were 
owing to* the- favourable opinion he entertains 
oî mankind. He. thinks that we are Mbt natu- 
rally prone to vice; that virtue consists only in 
doing good to our neighbour ; that neither the 
Greeks nor Romans were idolaters; opinions, 
which, however erroneous, are an indication of 
his benevolent disposition. 

'>s . Il 




J^BRAHAM is a name famous in Asia Minor 
and Arabia, like Thaut among the Egyptians, 
the first Zoroaster in Persia, Hercules in Greece, 
Orpheus in Thracia, Odin among the Northern 
nations, and many others, known rather by 
their celebrity than l?y any authentic «history. 
Here 1 speak only of prophane history ; for as 
to that of the Jews, our teachers and our ene- 
mies, whom we believe and detest at the, same 
time, the history of this people having mani- 
festly been written by the Holy Ghost, we have 
for it all the sentiments we ought. We here 
address ourselves only to the Arabs, who boast 
of being descended from Abraham by Ishmael, 
"and believe that this patriarch built Mecca, and 
that he died in this city. The truth is, that 
Ishmael's progeny has been favoured by God 
infinitely more than that of Jacob. Both races 
indeed have produced robbers, but the Arabian 
robbers have prodigiously surpassed the Jewish. 

B Jacob's 




Jacob's descendants conquered only a very small 
country, and that they afterwards lost ; whereas 
the descendants of Ishmael have extended their 
conquests over a part of Europe, Asia, and 
Africa, have founded an empire greater than 
the Romans, and have driven the Jews from 
those holes of theirs, which they called the 
Land of Promise. 

To judge of things only by the instances of 
modern histories, it is not likely that Abraham 
should have been the father of two nations so 
very different: we are told that he was born in 
Chaldea, the son of a poor potter, who subsisted 
by making little earthen idols. Now how should 
this potter's son go and found Mecca, at the 
distance of three hundred leagues, and over im- 
practicable déserts? If he was a conqueror, he 
certainly would have bent his arms agairist the 
fine country of Assyria; and if only a< poof 
man, as represented to us, he could hardly found 
kingdoms in foreign parts, his only monarchy 
must have been his home. •- • 

Genesis makes him seventy-five years of age 
When hé left the country of Hafan, after the 
*ath of his father Terah the potter. But thfe 
same book says, that Terah .having begotten 
Abraham in his seventieth yea*, ht lived to the 
age of two hundred and five years (*), and that 


■I T. 


( T ) M. Voltaire is ready tb start objections, but 
never offers to give any solution. \The^cripttHtf &tp 9 
Genl xi*- that " Terah, after having lived seventy 
** years, begot Abraftarri, NachoiyaiKpHanm.'' Now 
thou^'Abraliam be named' first, itisnotcertak tfeat 


ABRAHAM.' 3 ] 

Abraham did not leave Harasi «ill after his fa- 
ther's decease : thus from Genesis itself it is dear» 
that Abraham, when he left Mesopotamia was 
aa hundred and thirty-five years of age ; and he 
only went from one idolatrous country to ano- 
ther, called Sichem in Palestine. And where- 
fore did he go thither ? why leave Euphrates* 
fertile banks lor so rocky, so barren f*)a coin»* 
try, as that of Sichem, and withal lo lemote ? 



he was the eldest of the three: on the contrary, it 
seems probable, that he was not born in the seven- 
tieth year of Terah ; because it is expressly said, in the 
following chapter, that Abraham going from Haran im- 
mediately after the death of his lather, who departed 
this life at the age of two hundred and £vc years, tw 
then only seventy-five years old. The consequence ia> 
that Abraham was born in the one hundred and thir- 
tieth year of the life of Terah, and not in the seveg» 
tieth : so that Terah having begun to have children in 
the seventieth year of his life, Haran and Itfaetior 
must necessarily have been born before Abraham; 
therefore Abraham departed from Haran in Mesopota- 
mia, not in the one hundred and thirty-fifth, but in the 
feventy-fifth year of his age. 

(* ) The author, upon all occasions, represents the 
country of Palestine as a barren d&greeahfe spot, and 
not at all answering the description in Holy -Writ, 
where it is called a Land flowing wkhJtfirk aaé'Ho* 
ney . But we may observe, with the learned Dr. Shaw; 
(hat, were the Holy Land so well peopM ant cufeU 
vated at present as in forsaer tiroes, .it. would cstill be 
more fruitful than the very best port of Syria and 
Phoenice. The barrenness or scarcity, which some 
authors* either ignorantly or jmalicknrslyy complain 
of, does not proceed from the,. incapacity or natural 
unfruitfulness of the country, .but from the waikt of 
inhabitants, and the great aversion there is to labour 

B % and 



The Chaldean tongue muft have been very dif- 
ferent from that of Sichem, neither was h a 
trading place. Sichem is above an hundred 
leagues from Chaldea, and with many desarts to 
pass, through: but God ordered him on this jour- 
ney, intending to shew him the country which 
his issue were to possess many centuries after 
him* The reasons of such a journey are what 
the human mind can never conceive (*). 

No soonej has he reached the little rocky 
country of Sichem, than a famine obliges him as 
hastily to decamp, and he goes away to Egypt, in 

Jueft of a subsistence. Memphis lies two hun. 
red leagues from Sichem ; now is it natural to 
go for corn so very far, and where one knows 
nothing of the tongue ? These are odd peregri- 
nations for a man near an hundred and forty years 

With him he brings to Memphis his , wife 
Sarah, who, in age, was little more than a child 
to him, being only in her fixty-fifth year. As she 
had a great share of beauty, he was for turning 
it to account : make as it you were only my sis- 

and industry in those few who possess it : otherwise 
the land is still capable of affording its neighbours 
the like supplies of corn and oil, which it is known 
to have done in the time of Solomon. Thus there is 
no forming an idea of its ancient flourifhing state 
from its present barren condition, which is entirely 
owing to the want of culture. 

( 3 ) One would imagine our author had never heard 
of such a memorable sera as "The Call of Abraham," 
when this holy man was made choice of to be the 
stock and father of all believers. 


ter, said he to her» that I may have kindness 
shewn to me for your sake* He rather should 
have said to her, Make as if you were my 
daughter. — The king became smitten with young 
Sarah, and gave her sham brother abundance of 
sheep, oxen, he asses, she asses, camels, and man 
servants, and maid servants ; a proof that Egypt, 
even then, was a very powerful and well policed 
and consequently a very antient kingdom ; and 
that brothers coming to make a tender of their 
sister to the kings of Memphis were magnificent* 
ly rewarded. 

Young Sarah had, according to soriptiire; 
reached her ninetieth year, when. God promised 
her that Abraham, then full an hundred and fixty; 
should get her . with chi!4 within the! twelve* 
month. ..-':'. 

Abraham, being fond of travelling, went into 
the frightful wilderness of Kadesh, with, his, preg+ 
nant wife, who, it seems, was still so youpg and 
pretty, as to kindle in a king of this: wilderness 
the like passion which the Egyptian monarch 
had felt for her. The father of the Faithful hem 
enjoined her the same lie as in Egypt : and thus 
his wife, passing for his sister, got mare qattlte 
and servants ; so that Sarah turned out ncMncori* 
siderable fortune to him. Commentators having 
written a prodigious number of vol urnes to justify 
Abraham's condu&( 4 ), and reconcile chronology, 
to those commentaries we must refer the reader. 
They are all the works of men of great parts and 
sagacity, consummate metaphysicians, vend of ail 

* F e » 

. — f - ■ ■■ ■ ■ . ■' ' j _ . — * 

( 4 ) There is no necessity for justifying Abraham's 
<ônduét : though Sarah might have been Abraham's 

*B 3 sister 

prepossession, and the farthest in the work! from 
any thing of pedantry. 


x\NGELym'G*eek a Messenger: it mat- 
ters litdeto'ke informed that the Persians had 
the» Feries, the Hebrews their M alacs, and the 
Greeks their Demonoï. 

But what may, perhaps, be more interesting 
toknpw is, that the Supposition of intermediate 
beingS'betweeti'the Deity and us, prevailed among 
the first men; these are the demons and genii 
feigned by antiquity; -man has always made the 
gods in his own likeness. As princes were Teen 
t&fignify their orders by messengers, the Deity of 
«course. also dispatches couriers. Mercury and 
Iris were celestial couriers and messengers. 
«: Thtf Hebrews, i that chosen people, under the 
iramtfdidta-guidance of the Deity itself, at first 
gave no names to the angels whom God, after 
itttrie'timè, was pleased to send to them; hut, 
tiurittg>their captivity in Babylon, they borrowed 
the names -used by the Chaldeans. The first 
word we hear of 'Michael and Gabriel is in Da- 
niel, then a slave among those people. Tobias, 

a Jew, 

sister by the father's side, and -consequently,the ex- 
pression be true ; yet it was ambiguous, arid calculated 
for deceptioft, and therefore cannot be justified. Abra- 
ham, though father of the faithful, was fubject to hu- 
man infirmities, and here, in particular, he betrayed 
his distrust of God's providence. 


a Jew, who lived at ?Nineveh, lcnew the Angel 
Raphael, who took a journey with his son, to 
herp him in getting a sum of money due to him 
by Qabel, likewise a Jew. 

In the Jewish laws, i.e. in Leviticus and Deu- 
teronomy, not the least mention is made of the 
existence of angels, much less of worshipping 
them; accordingly the Sadducees believed no 
Such thing. 

But in the historiesof the Jews they frequent- 
ly occur*; these angels were corporeal, and with 
wings at their back, as the Mercury of the Pagans 
had at his heels. Sometimes they concealed' their 
wings under their apparel. Bodies they surely 
had, for. they ate and drank ; and the inhabitants 
of Sodom were for abusing the angels who had 
come on a visit to Lot. . • 

The antient Jewish tradition, according to 
Ben M ai mon, makes ten degrees or orders of 
angels, i. The Chaios Acodesh, pure* holy. 
*. The Osamins, rapid. 3. The Oral im, the 
strong. 4- The Chasmalim, the (lames. 5. The 
Seraphim, sparks. 6. The Mai ac him, angels, 
messengers, deputies. 7. The Ëloim, the gods, 
or judges. 8. The Ben £loim, children of the* 
gods. 9. Cherubim, images. 10. Ychim, the 

The history of the fall of .the angels is xiçt to be 
met with in the books of Moses ; the first word 
of it is in the prophet Isaiah,, who, in a divine 
rapture, calls out to the king of Babylon, " What 
is become of the exacterof tributes ? the fir-tree^ 
*nd cedars rejoice !at thy overthrow : how art 
thou fallen irom heaven, O Hrlel, thou morn- 
ingstar?" This HELELJias been rendered by. 
the Latin word Lucifer ; the appellation of Luciv 

B 4 fer 


fer has afterwards been allegorically transferred 
tô the prince of the angels who dared to make 
war in heaven. And lastly, this name, originally 
signifying phosphorus, and the dawn of day, is 
come to denote the devil. 

The Christian religion is founded on the fall 
of the angels : the rebels were tumbled down 
from the spheres of bliss into hell, in the center 
of the earth, and became devils. A devil tempted 
Eve under the figure of a serpent, and brought 
damnation upon mankind, till Jesus came to 
deliver them, triumphing over the devil, who, how- 
ever, still tempts us. Yet is this fundamental tradi- 
tion to be found only in the apocryphal book of 
Noah ( 5 ), and there quite differently from the re- 
ceived traditions. 

St. Austin, in his hundred and ninth letter, ex- 
pressly attributes ethereal or very thin bodies both 
to good and bad angels. Pope Gregory II. has 
reduced the ten degrees of Jewish angels to nine 
choirs, to nine hierarchies or orders. These are 
the Seraphim, the Cherubim, Thrones, Domi- 
nions, Virtues, Powers, Archangels, and lastly» 
the Angels, from whom the other eight hierar- 
chies receive their appellation. 


( 5 ) If our author means by fundamental tradition 
the " Fall of the angels," as he seems to do, he is cer- 
tainly mistaken when he says it is to be fojund only in 
the apochryphal book of Noah : for in the^ad of St. 
Peter, c. ii. ver. 4. it is expressly sajd, " For if- God 
u spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them 
<c down to hdl, and delivered them into chains of 
u darkness." The like we find in the epistle of St. 
Jude, ver. 6. " And the angels which kept not their 
« first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath 
" reserved in everlasting chains under darkness." 


The Jews had in the temple two cherubim, 
each with two heads, one of an ox, the other ot 
an eagle, with six wings : but for some time past 
they have been painted as a flying head, with two 
little wings under the ears, as angels and archan- 
gels are under the figure of young persons, with 
two wings at their back. As to the thrones and 
dominions, the pencil has not yet presumed to 
meddle with them. 

St. Thomas, question 118, article a, says, 
That the thrones are as near to God as the cheru- 
bim and seraphim, because it is on them that God 
sits. Scotus has computed rhe angels to amount 
to a thousand millions. The ancient mythology 
of good and bad genii having spread itself into 
Greece, and so on to Rome, it has* there been 
sanctified, and to every man has been assigned a 
good and evil angel ; one assisting him, and the 
other annoying him, from his cradle to his cof- 
fin : but, whether these good and evil angels con- 
tinually shift stations from one to another, or 
whether they are relieved by others of their or- 
der, is not yet known. Hereupon St. Thomas's 
Summary of Divinity may be consulted. 

Neither is it exactly knoivn, where the angels 
keep themselves, whether in the air, the void, or 
the planets ; this God has thought fit to conceal 
from us. 




A HAT there have been Anthropophagi, or 
man-eaters, is but too true ; such were found in 
America, and there may be some still ; and in 




ancient .time it was not the Cyclops alone who 
sometimes fed upon human flesh. Juvenal relates, 
that among the Egyptians, that people so famous 
fqr its laws, so wise, and so very devout as to 
worship ^crocodiles and onions, the Tintirites.ate 
one or. Uieir enemies who had fallen into their 
hands. And this, is not a tale on hear-say : this 
inhuman act was committed almost under his eyes, 
he being then in Egypt, and but a little way from 
Tintira* He farther quotes the Gascons and the 
Sagoruines, who used to eat their countrymen* 

In 1725, four Mississippi savages were brought 
to Fontainbleau, where 1 had the honour of con- 
versing with them. One being a lady of the coun- 
try, I took the liberty to ask lier, whether she had 
ever eatea men, to which, with an unconcerned 
frankness, she answered in the affirmative; On 
my appearing something shocked, she excused 
herself, saying r was better, after killing an 
enemy, to eat him, than to leave him to be. de- 
voured by beasts, and that conquerors deserved 
the preference. We in pitched battles or en- 
counters kill our .neighbours, and, for a most 
scanty hire, prepare a. most plentiful meal for ra- 
vens and worms. Herein it is that lies the horror, 
here is the guilt; what signifies it to a dead man 
being eaten by a soldier, or a crow, or a dog ? 

We shew a greater respect to the dead .than the 
living; but both claim our regard. The policed 
nations, as they are called, were in the right not 
to spit their enemies, as from eating neighbours 
they would soon come to eat countrymen, by 
which the social virtues would be reduced to 
a low ebb. But the policed nations, far from 
having been always so, were for a long time wild 
and savage, and amidst the multitude of revolu- 


(ions In tmrglobe, the human tace.faas.bQcn some- 
times .very numerous, and sometimes very thin. 
The present case' of. the elephants, lions, and 
tygers, .whose species are very much decreased, 
has been that of man. In times, when a Goon* 
try was bare of inhabitants, they lived chiefly hy 
hunting ; scarce any other arts or .trades were 
known among them; and the custom of feed- 
ing on what they had killed, almost naturally 
led them to treat their enemies like their deer 
and boars. The sacrifice of human victims was 
the .effect of superstition, the eating them was 
owing to necessity. 

Which is the greater crime, to hold a solemn 
assembly, in order to plunge a knife, by .way of 
honouring the Deity, into the heart of a beautiful 
girl, adorned with fillets and ribbons ; or to pick 
the .bones of an- ugly fellow, whom we have 
killed in our. own defence? 

Yet we have more instance&of sacrificing girls 
and hoys, than of eating them ; there is scarce 
a known nation where Such sacrifices have not 
obtained, Among the Jews it was called the 
Anathema ; this was a real sacrifice, and the 27th 
chapter of Leviticus enjoins not to spare the souls 
which have been devoted: but in no place are 
they ordered to eat them ; they are only threat- 
ened with it ; and Moses, as we have seen, says to 
the Jews, that if they fail in observing his cere- 
monies, they shall not only be plagued with the 
itch,; but that mothers shall eat their children ( 6 Jt 
In Çzekiel's time, indeed, the eating of human 
^ '..'•• ffesh 

(•) This is denounced as a curse, that the mothers 
shall eat their children through extreme hunger. 


flesh must have been common among the Jews, 
as he foretels them in chap, xxxix, that God 
will give them not only to eat the horses of their 
enemies, but even the riders» and the other great 
warriors. This is clear, and positive ( 7 ) ; and in- 
deed why might not the Jews have been man-eat- 
ers, since this only was wanting to render the 
chosen people of God the most abominable upon 

I have read in the anecdotes of the history of 
England, in Cromwell's time, of a woman who 
kept a tallow-chandler's shop at Dublin, whose 
candles were remarkably good and made of the 
fat of Englishmen. Some time after one of her 
customers complaining that her candles were not 
so good as usual, why, said she, for this month 
past I have had few or no Englishmen. I would 
fain know who was most guilty, they who mur- 
dered the English, or this woman who made such 
good candles of their tallow ? 



( 7 ) This is a strange perversion of Ezekiel: the 
chapter above-mentioned contains God's judgment 
upon Gog, Israel's victory, and the feaft of the 
fowls. The prophet foretels a complete victory over 
Gog, his princes, and his army. The field where 
they are slain is compared to a table of entertainment, 
and the feathered fowls and beasts of the field are in- 
vited to partake of it. '« Come and gather yourselves 
to my sacrifice, ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, 
and drink the blood of the princes of the earth; ye 
shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots.' 9 
that is, with horsemen and thofe who ride in chariots. 
Is this a proof, that the eating of human flesh was 
common among the Jews, because, after the slaughter 
of an enemy, their dead bodies were exposed to the 
feathered fowls and beasts of the field? 

1 < 


W AS it as a god, as a symbol, or as an ox, 
that Apis was worshipped at Memphis ? I am in- 
clined to think that it was as a god by the fanatics, 
and only as a mere symbol by the wise, whilst 
the stupid people worshipped the ox. Was it 
well in Cambyses, when he had conquered Egypt, 
to kill this ox with his own hands ? why not p he 
gave the weak to see that their god might be 
roasted, and nature not stir a finger to revenge 
such a sacrilege. The Egyptians have been greatly 
cried up ; but I, for my part, scarce know a more 
contemptible people. There must ever have been 
both in their temper and government, some radi- 
cal vice, by which they have been kept in a per- 
petual servitude. I allow that in those times of 
which we have scarce any knowledge, they over- 
ran the eartb, but since the historical ages, they 
have been subdued by all who thought it worth 
their while ; by the Assyrians, the i'ersians, the 
Greeks, the Romans, the Arabians, ilie Mame- 
lucs, the Turks ; in short, by every body except 
our Croises, these being more imprudent than 
the Egyptians were cowardly. It was the corps 
of Mamelucs which defeated the French. Per- 
haps there are but two tolerable things in this na- 
tion ; the first, a freedom of conscience ; they 
who worshipped an ox never compelling those 
who worshipped a monkey to change their reli- 
gion; the second, the hatching ol chickens in 

We have many pompons accounts of theirpy- 

ramids; but these very pyramids are monuments- 



of their slavery, for the whole nation roust have 
been made to work on them, otherwise such un- 
wieldy masses could never have been finished. 
And what is the use of them ? Why, forsooth, 
in a little room within them is kept the mummy 
of some prince or governor, which his soul is, 
at the term of a thousand years, to re-animate. 
But if they expected this resurrection of the bo- 
dies, why take out the brain before embalming 
them ? Were the Egyptians to rise again without 
brains ? 


JUSTIN MARTYR, who wrote in the year 
170 of our œra, is the first that mentions the 
Apocalypse, attributing it, in his Dialogue with 
Tryphon, to the apostle John the Evangelist. 
This Jew asks him whether he does not believe 
that Jerusalem is one day to be restored in all its 
former splendor ' Justin answers; him that it i« 
the belief of all Christians who have a right way 
of thinking. " There was," says he, " among 
" us a respectable person named John, one of 
" Jesus's twelve apostles; he has foretold that 
" the faithful shall dwell a thousand years in Je- 
'*• rusalem." 

The thousand years reign went current a long 
time among-the Christians, and this period was 
in great repute among the gentiles. At the end 
of à thousand years the souls of the Egyptians re- 
turned into their bodies ; the souls in Virgil's 
purgatory underwent a purification for the same 
space of time, et mille per annus.. The 
Millenarian new Jerusalem was to have twelve 



gates, in remembrance of the twelve apostles, the 
forrn square, the length, breadth, and height, 
twelve thousand stades, that is five hundred 
leagues ; so that the houses must have been five 
hundred leagues high : this could not but make 
it to those living in the upper story something 
troublesome : but however, this is what the Apo- 
calypse says ( 8 ), chap. xxi. 

Though Justin be the first who attributes the 
Apocalypse to St. John, some persons disallow 
his testimony, seeing, in the same dialogue with 
the Jew Tryphon, he says that,, according to the 
apostle's narrative, at Jesus Christ's going down 
into Jordan, the waters of that river boiled, and 
were all in a flame; yet not a jot of this is to 
be found in the apostolic writings. 

The same St. Justin confidently cites the 
oracles of the Sybils, and farther pretends to 
have seen the remains of the little houses in the 
Pharos of Egypt, where the seventy-two inter- 
preters were shut up in Herod's time. For suck 
an assertion the author seems to have been hira> 
self a proper subject for confinement. 

St. Irenaeus, next in succession, and who* also 
held the Millenium, says, that he was inferradd 
by an old man, that St. John composed the Apb* 
calypse : but it has been objected. to St. Irenaeus, 


( 8 ) The description of the New Jerusalem isent 
tirely figurative; so that to take each metaphor in a 
literal sense is ridiculous* The length, and the breadth* 
and the height of it are represented equal, to denote 
that in the new city all parts shall be equal in perfec- 
tion. The design of the whole is only to shew, that 
the mansions of the blessed will be most glorious 



that he has written, there can be but four gospels, 
as there are but four parts of the world, and four 
cardinal winds, and that Ezekiel saw only four 
beasts. This reasoning he calls a demonstration ; 
and it must be owned, that Irenaeus' demonstrat- 
ing carries as much weight as Justin's seeing. 

Clement of Alexandria, in his Electa, men* 
tions only an Apocalypse of St. Peter's, which 
was highly respected. Tertuliian, a warm stick- 
ier for the Millenium, not only affirms that St. 
John has predicted this resurrection, and reign 
in the city of Jerusalem, but that this Jerusalem 
was then forming in the air; that all the Chris- 
tians in Palestine, and the very Pagans, had seen 
•it forty nights successively,, but unluckily this 
city disappeared at day-light. 

Origen, in his preface to St. John's Gospel, 
quotes the oracles of the Apocalypse, but he like- 
wise quotes the oracles of the Sybils: yet St. Dio- 
nysiusof Alexandria, who wrote about the middle 
of the third century, says in one of his frag- 
ments preserved by Eusebius, that almost all the 
doctors rejected the Apocalypse, as a senseless 
book, that, instead of being written by St. John, 
the author of it was one Cerinthus, who borrow- 
ed a respectable name, to give the greater weight 
to his chimeras. 

The council of Laodicea, held in 360, did not 
admit the Apocalypse among the canonical books; 
and it was something odd, that Laodicea, a church 
to which the Apocalypse was directed, should re- 
ject a treasure particularly appointed for it ; and 
even the bishop of Ephesus, a member of the 
council, should also reject this book of St. John, 
though buried in his metropolis. 



It was visible to all that St. John kept stirring 
in his grave, the earth continually heaving and 
falling; yet the .same persons who were sure 
that St. John was not actually dead, were also 
sure that he did not write the Apocalypse. But 
the Millenarians tenaciously persisted in their 
opinions. Sulpicius Severus, in his Sacred His- 
tory, Book IX. calls those who did not hold the 
Apocalypse, mad and impious. At length, after 
many doubts and controversies, and council 
clashing with council, Sulpicius's opinion pre- 
vailed ; and the point having undergone a tho- 
rough discussion, the church ( from whose j udg- - 
ment their lies no appeal) has decided the Apoca- 
lypse to have been, indisputably written by St* 

Every Christian sect has attributed to itself the 
prophecies contained in this book. The English. 
have found it in the revolutions of Great Britain ; 
the Lutherans in the^isturbances in Germany ; the 
French Reformed in the reign of Charles IX. and 
the regency of Catherin^ de Medicis ; and they 
are all equally in the right» Bossuet and New* 
ton have both commenced on the Apocalypse : 
but, after all, the eloquent declamations of the 
former, and the, subliine discoveries of the latter, 
have dope them much greater honour than their 
comments* " 4 /», . ■ . 

m ■ * * 


F i .*» 

ORMERLY he who was possessed of .any 
secret in an art, ran great risque of being, looked 
upon as a sorcerer; every new sect -was accused 
<tf inûrdering înfantf klthexelebrationof its my*- 
*: ' C teries; 


teries ; and every philosopher who departed from 
the jargon of schools, fanatics and cheats never 
failed to charge with atheism, and ignorant and 
weak judges so surely passed sentence on them. 

Anaxagoras took upon him to affirm, that the 
sun is not guided by Apollo, sitting in a car 
drawn by four mettlesome steeds ; on this he is 
exclaimed against as an atheist, and obliged to 
fly his country. 

Aristotle being accused of atheism by a priest» 
and not able to procure justice against his accu- 
ser, withdraws to Çhalcis. Butin all the history 
of Greece there is not a more heinous transaction 
than the death of Socrates. 

Aristophanes (he whom commentators admire 
because he was a Greek, not considering that. 
Socrates was also a Greek) Aristophanes was the 
first who brought the Athenians to account So- 
crates an atheist. 

This comic poet, who is neither comic nor a 
poet, would not have been allowed among us to 
nave exhibited farces at St. Laurence's fair. To 
me he seems more contemptible, more low-lived, 
and scurrilous than Plutarch makes him, who 
speaks of him in this manner : " Aristophanes's 
44 language is, indeed, that of a wretched quack, 
" full of the lowest and most disagreeable points 
" and quirks; he cannot raise a- laugh among the 
44 very vulgar, and to persons of judgment and 
44 honour he is quite insupportable; his arro- 
44 gance is beyond all bearing, and all good 
44 people detest his malignity." 

So this, by the bye, is the buffoon whom Ma- 
dam Dacier, amidst all her admiration of So- 
crates, can find in her heart to admire. This is 
the man who remotely prepared the poison by' 



which infamous judges put an end to the exist- 
ence of the most virtuous man then living in 

The tanners, the shoemakers, and semp- 
stresses of Athens were hugely diverted with a 
farce, where Socrates being haled up into the 
air in a basket, proclaims that there is no god, 
and makes his boast, that he had stole a cloak, 
whilst he was teaching philosophy. Such a peo- 
ple, and whose bad government could counte- 
nance such scandalous licentiousness, well de- 
served what has happened to them, to be brought 
under subjection to the Romans, and to be at 
present slaves to the Turks. 

"We shall pass over the common space of time 
between the Roman commonwealth and our 
days; observing only, that the Romans, who 
were much wiser than the Greeks, never mo- 
lested any philosopher for his opinion. It was 
not so among the barbarous nations who seated 
themselves in the Roman empire. The emperor 
Frederic II. having some difference with the 
popes, was immediatelv arraigned of atheism", 
and reported to have been, jointly with his chan- 
cellor de Vineis, the author of the book intitled 
The Three Impostors. 

Our Chancellor de l'Hôpital, that excellent 
man, was branded as an Atheist, because he op- 
posed persecutions, " Homo doctus sed ver us 
*' atheos 1 ." A Jesuit, Garasse, as much be* 
low Aristophanes as the latter was below Homer; 
a wretch whose name is become ridiculous 
among the very fanatics, makes every body 


m ■ ■■■■» — ^ . 1 . . ■ I ' l ,. b_ M _, i j i _„_ 

(') Commentarium Rerum Gallicarum. 1. xxviii. 

C 2 



atheists ; at least this is the appellation he gives 
to. all who have incurred his displeasure* With 
him Theodore de Beze is an atheist, and he it 
is who led the people into an error concerning 

Vanini's wretched end raises no indignation 
or pity. like that of Socrates. This Italian was 
only an insignificant pedant: yet was he no 
atheist*. for which, he suffered, but as far from 
it as man ceuld be. 

He was a poor Neapolitan churchman, a kind 
of preacher and professor of divinity, a vehe- 
ment disputer in quiddities and universals; *• et 
" utrum chimera bombrnans in vacuo possit co- 
M medere secundas intentiones." There was no- 
thing in him which looked toward atheism ; and 
his idças of. God are perfectly agreeable to the 
most sound and most approved theology. " God 

is his beginning and end, the Father of both, 

in no need of either; eternal without existing 

intime, every- where present "without being in 
" any place* To him there is neither past no* 
" future, . space nor time; the Creator and Go- 
" vernor of all things; immutable, infinite with- 
"out parts; his power is his will, &c." 

Vanini was for reviving the fine thought of 
Plato, espoused, by - Averroes, that God had 
created a chain of beings from the most minute 
to the largest, and theiast link of which is fasten- 
ed to his eternal throne ; a notion which, though 
it haa more of sublimity than truth, is as far from 
atheism as something- from nothing. 

He travelled to dispute and make his fortune ; 
but unluckily, disputing is the very opposite road 
to fortune* every person against whom one enters 
the list being thus made a rancorous and irrecon- 




ctleable enemy. . Hence Vamni's misfortunes \ 
his heat and rudeness in disputing brought on 
him the hatred of some divines; and having a 
quarrel with one- Francon, or Franconi, this 
man, being connected .with his enemies, charged 
him with being an atheist, and teaching atheism. 

This Francon, or Franconi, -supported by 
some witnesses, had the barbarity, when con- 
fronted with Vanini, to maintain, with aggrava- 
tions, the whole of what he « had advanced; 
whereas Vanini being interrogated, what he 
thought of the existence of Cod-, made answer, 
That, agreeably to the church, he worshipped 
one God in three Persons; and taking up a 
straw, which lay on the ground, " This," says 
he, " sufficiently proves that there is a Creator;" 
then made a very fine speech on vegetation and 
motion, and the necessity of a Supreme Being, 
without whom there could be neither motion or 

The President Gramont gives us ah account 
of this speech in hi* history of France, now 
scarce known ; and this historian, from an in* 
conceivable prepossession, will have it that 
Vanini spoke only out of *• vanity or fear, and 
44 not from a sincere persuasion." 

What grounds could the President Gramont 
have for such a rash and sanguinary judgment ? 
Jt is manifest, that, on Vanini 's answer, he 
ought to have been cleared of the charge of 
atheism. But what' was the issue? This Un- 
happy foreign priest dabbled likewise in physic^: 
a large living toad, which hé kept in a vessel of 
.water, being found at his house, was triade use 
of to charge him with sorcery, and ib& téad was 
$aid to be the only deity he worshipped. $eve- 

C 3 ral 


ral passages of his books were wrested to an 
impious meaning, than which nothing is more 
easy and more common, taking the objections 
for answers, putting a malicious construction on 
every ambiguous phrase, and misrepresenting 
innocent expressions. At length his enemies 
extorted from the judges a capital sentence 
against him. 

This death could not be justified without ac- 
cusing this unfortunate creature of most horrid 
crimes ; and one Mersenne, a Minim, a name 
quite suitable to his character, has been so mad 
as to affirm in print, that Vanini set out from 
Naples with ten of his apostles, to go and con- 
vert all nations to atheism. Such incongruity ! 
How could a poor priest have twelve men in 
his pay? how should he have prevailed with 
twelve Neapolitans to undertake an expensive 
journey, and at the hazard of their lives, for the 
sake of disseminating this abominable doctrine ? 
Could a king afford to hire twelve preachers of 
atheism ? . This is such an absurdity as never 
came into any one's mind but Father Mersenne. 
But from him the tale has been repeated over 
and over ; the journals and historical dictionaries 
have been stained and sullied with it; and the 
public, who are fond of extraordinary things, 
have greedily swallowed it. 

Bayle himself, in his Miscellaneous Thoughts, 
speaks of Vanini as an atheist, making use of 
him in support of his paradox, " That a society 
" of atheists can subsist/' He affirms that Va- 
nini was a man of very regular morals, and died 
a martyr to his philosophical opinions. Now, 
in both, is he mistaken ; Vanini, though a priest, 
in his dialogue written in imitation of Erasmus, 

does ' 


àotï not hide from us that he had a mistress, 
named Isabella ; he was both a free liver and a 
tree writer, but he was no atheist* 

A century after his death, the learned La 
Croze, and another under the name of Philale- 
thes, wrote a vindication of him ; but the me- 
mory of a poor Neapolitan being what few give 
themselves any concern about, these ingeni- 
ous persons might have saved themselves that 

The Jesuit Hardouin, with all Garasse' s rash- 
ness, but much more learning, in his AthEI 
detecti, accuses the Descartes, the Arnaulds, 
the Paschals, the Nicolas, the Malbranches, of 
atheism ; but it was their good fortune to come 
to a better end than poor Vanini. 

From all these facts, I now proceed to Bayle's 
mora] question, " Whether a society of atheists 
" could subsist?" And here let us previously ob- 
serve, the enormous contradiction of men in 
disputes; they who most furiously inveighed 
against Bayle's opinion, they who have with 
the greatest rancour denied the possibility of a 
society of atheists, have since as confidently 
maintained, that atheism is the established reli- 
gion in China. 

They are certainly very little acquainted with 
China; for had they only read an edict of the 
emperors of that vast country, they would have 
seen that these edicts are like sermons, frequently 
making mention of the Supreme Being, as go- 
verning, punishing, and rewarding. 

At the same time they are not less mistaken 
concerning the impossibility of a society of 
atheists ; and I wonder how Mr. Bayle came to 

C 4 overlook 



overlook a striking example* whifch would bave 
given a decisive victory to bis cause. 

Why is a society ot atheists thought impos- 
sible? Because it is thought that men under no 
restraint could never live together; that laws 
avail nothing against secret crimes; and that 
there must be an avenging God, punishing in 
this- world or the other those delinquents who 
have escaped human justice. 

Though Moses's laws did not teach a life to 
come, did not threaten any punishments after 
death, and did not give the primitive Jews thé 
least insight into the immortality of the soul ; 
still the Jews, so far from being atheists, so far 
from denying a divine vengeance against wick* 
edness, were the most religious men on the face 
of the earth. T^iey not only believed the exist- 
ence of an eternal God, but they believed him 
to be ever present among them ; they dreaded 
being punished in themselves, in their wives, in 
their children, in their posterity to the fourth 
generation; and this was a very powerful re- 
straint. , 

But, among the Gentiles, several sects had 
no curb; the Sceptics doubted of every thing; 
the Academics suspended their judgment con- 
cerning every thing ; the Epicureans held that 
the Deity could not concern itself about ihuman 
affairs, and, in reality, they did not allow of 
any Deity ; they were persuaded that the soul is 
not a substance, but a faculty born and perish», 
ing with the body; consequently their oftly 
check was morality and honour. Thé Roman 
senators and knights were downright atheists, as 
neither to fear or expect any thing from the 





gods amounts to a denial .of. their existence ; «a 
that the Roman senate, in Gaesar and Cicero's 
time, vas, in fact, an assembly of atheists. 

That great orator, in his speech tor Cluen* 
this, says to a full senate, •' What hurt dees 
44 death do to him ? All the idle talcs about hell 

none of us give the least credit to ; then what 

has death deprived him of? Nothing but -the 

feeling. of pain." 

Does not Caesar, dateline's friend, in order 
to save that wretch from an indictment broaght 
against him by the same Cicero, object, that to 
put a criminal, to death is not punishing him; 
that death* is nothing, that it i&only the end of 
our sufferings, that it is rather a happy than a 
.fatal moment ? And did not Cicero and the whole 
senate . yield to . these . arguments ? . so that the 
conquerors and legislators of (he known universe 
.were evidently a society of men without any fear 
of God ; and thus were xeaL atheists* 

Bayle afterwards examines whether idolatry 
be more dangerous than ■ atheism ; whether the 
disbelief of a deity be, .more criminal than the 
having unworthy opinions of him? and herein 
he is of Plutarch's mind r «thinking a disbelief 
preferable to an ill opinion* But, .with' sub- 
mission to Plutarch, nothing can be more evi- 
dent than that it was infinitely better for . the 
Greeks to stand in awe of Ceres, Neptune, 
and Jupiter,; than to be under no manner of 
awe ; the sacredness of oaths is manifest and ne* 
cessary, and they who hold. that perjury will be 
punished, are certainly. more to be trusted than 
those who think that a false oath will be attended 
,with no ill consequence* It is beyond all ques- 


tion, that in a policed city, even a bad religion 
is better than none. 

Bayle, therefore, should rather have exa- 
mined which is the more dangerous, fanaticism 
or atheism ? Now fanaticism is certainly a thou- 
sand times more mischievous; for atheism sti- 
mulates to none of those sanguinary procedures 
for which fanaticism is notorious; if atheism does 
not suppress crimes, fanaticism incites to the 
commission of them. Allowing the author of 


Chancellor de l'Hôpital was an atheist, still the 
laws he made are wise and good, and all his 
counsels tended to moderation and concord. 
The fanatics committed the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew. Hobbs was accounted an atheist, 
yet he led a quiet harmless life, whilst the fana- 
tics were deluging England, Scotland, and Ire- 
land with blood. Spinosa was not only an 
atheist, but taught atheism ; yet who can say he 
had any hand in the juridical murder of Barne- 
weldt ? It was not he who tore the two De Wits 
to pieces, and broiled and ate their flesh. 

Atheists, for the most part, are men of study, 
but bold and erroneous in their reasonings, and 
not comprehending the creation, the original of 
evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the 
hypothesis of the eternity of things, and of ne- 

The sensualist and the ambitious have little 
time for speculation, or to embrace a bad system ; 
to compare Lucretius with Socrates is quite out 
of their way. Such is the present state of things 
among us ! 

It was otherwise with the senate of Rome, 
which almost totally consisted of atheists both 



in theory and practice, believing neither in Pro- 
vidence nor a future state. It was a meeting of 
philosophers, of votaries to pleasure and am* 
bidon ; all very dangerous sets of men, and who, 
accordingly, overturned the republic. 

I would not willingly lie at the mercy of an 
atheistical prince, who might think it his in te. 
rest to have me pounded in a mortar : I am very 
certain that would be my fate. And, were I a 
sovereign, I would not have about me any athe- 
istical courtiers, whose interest it might be to 
poison me, as then I must every day be taking 
alexipharmics ; so necessary is it both for princes 
and people, that the minds be thoroughly im- 
bibed with an idea of a Supreme Being, the 
Creator, Avenger, and Re warder. 

There are atheistical nations, says Bayle, in 
his Thoughts on Comets. The Caffres, 
the Hottentots, the Topinamboux, and many 
other petty nations, have no god : that may be ; 
but it does not imply that they deny the exist- 
ence of a Deity; they neither deny nor affirm : 
they have never heard a word about him ; tell 
them that there is a God, they will readily be- 
lieve it ; tell them that every thing is the work 
of nature, and they will as cordially believe it ; 
you may as well say, that they are Anti-Cartesi- 
ans as to call them atheists. They are mere 
children, and a child is neither atheist nor theist; 
he is nothing. 

What are the inferences from all this ? That 
atheism is a most pernicious monster in sove- 
reign princes, and likewise in statesmen, how- 
ever harmless their life be, because from their 
cabinet they can make their way to the former ; 
{hat if it be not so mischievous as fanaticism, it 

C 2 is 


is almost ever destructive of virtue. r L congra- 
tulate the present age, oh there beinç fewer 
atheists now than ever ; philosophers having dis- 
covered that there is no vegetable without -a 
germ, no germ without design, &c. and that 
corn is not produced by putrefaction. 

Some unphilosophical geometricians have re- 
jected-final causes, but they are admitted by all 
real philosophers ; and, to use the expression of 
a known author, " A catechist makes God known 
" to children, and Newton demonstrates him to 
•• the learned.' ' 


XjAPTISM, a Greek word, signifying immer- 
sion : men being ever led by their senses, easily 
came to fancy that what washed the body like- 
wise cleansed the soul. In the vaults under the 
Egyptian temples were targe tubs * for the ablu- 
tions of the priefls and-the initiated. The Indi- 
ans, from time immemorial, purified therafelves 
in the* Ganges, and the ceremony still subsists 
among them. The Hebrews adopted* it, baptiz- 
ing all proselytes who Would not submit to be 
circumcised ; especially the women,- as exempt 
from that operation, except in 'Ethiopia only, 
were baptized ; it was as regeneration ; ft impart- 
ed a new soul, among them, as in Egypt. Con- 
cerning this, see Epiphanius, Maimonides, and 
the Gemara. 

John baptized in the Jordan ; he baptized even 
Jesus Christ himself, who, however, never bap- 
tized any one, yet was pleased to consecrate this 
ancient ceremony. AH signs are of themselves 
indifferent, and God annexes his grace; to such 




as he thinks fit to chose. Baptism soon became 
the principal, rite, and the seal of Christianity. 
The first fifteen bishops of Jerufalem were all 
circumcised, aa4 there is no certainty of their 
having ever been baptized* 

In the first ages of Christianity this sacrament 
watf abused, nottui\g : being more common than 
so delay baptism till the agony of death ; of this 
the emperor .Constantine is no slight proof. This 
was his way of reasoning : Baptism washes away 
all sin, so that I may kill my wife, my son, and 
ail my relation^ then I'll get myself baptized, 
and so gd to heaven 3 and he acted accordingly. 
Soch aa instance carried danger with it; and, by 
degrees, the custprfi-of delaying the sacred laver 
till death, wore off* 

The Greeks always adhered to baptism by im« 
mart ion; ;but the Latins, towards the end of the 
eighth century, having extended their religion 
over Gaul and Germany, and seeing that immer- 
sion infold countries did not agree with children* 
substituted in its stead aspersion, or sprinkling, 
for which 'they were often anathematized by the 
Greek church. , . 

St. Cyprian,, bishop of Carthage, being asked 
whether they whose bodies hack been only sprink- 
led wene-really baptised; he answers, in his seven* 
tieth letter that -several churches did not hold 
them *ob$ -Christian? * <that he does, but withal, 
what grace -they, hav£* is infinitely less than that 
of those who* according ta the primitive rite, had 
been dipped three times. 

After immersion a Christian became initiated ; 
wtarea4:hefp&:h* was<only a catechumen ; but 
inkialio» required» securities and sponsors, who 
wejse caljediity a.»a*nrçe aûswerable to that of god- 


fathers, that the church might be sure of the 
fidelity of the new Christians, and the sacred 
mysteries be not divulged. Wherefore during 
the first centuries, the Pagans, in general, knew 
as little of the Christian mysteries, as the Chris- 
tians did of the mysteries of Isis and Eleusis. 

Cyril of Alexandria, in a writing of his against 
the emperor Julian, delivers himself thus: " I 
" would speak a word of baptism, did I not fear, 
" that what I say might come to those who are 
" not initiated." 

Children were baptized so early as the second 
century, it being, indeed, very natural that Chrif- 
tians should be solicitous for this sacrament to be 
administered to their, children, as without it they 
would be damned ; and, at length, it was con- 
cluded that the timje of administration should be 
at the end of eight days, in imitation of the Jews 
administring circumcision. The Greek church 
still retains this custom. However, in the third 
century the cuftom prevailed of not being bap- 
tized till near death. 

Those who died in the first week, some rigid 
fathers of the church held to be damned ; but 
Peter Chrysologus, in the fifth century, found 
out Limbo, a kind of mitigated hell, or, proper- 
ly, the borders, or suburbs, of hell, whither un- 
baptized children go ; and the abode of the pa- 
triarchs before Jesus Christ descended into hell. 
And ever since it has been the current opinion, 
that Jesus Christ descended into Limbo, and not 
into hell itself. 

It has been debated whether a Christian could, 
in the deserts of Arabia, be baptized with sand ; 
but carried in the negative : whether rose-water 
might be used for baptism ; it was decided that 



it- must be pare water, yet muddy water would 
do on an emergency. Thus the whole of this 
discipline appears to depend on the prudence 
of the primitive pastors, by whom it was insti- 


IS it possible any one should say, or affirm in 
writing, that beasts are machines, void of know- 
ledge and sense, have a sameness in all their 
operations, neither learning nor perfecting any 
thing, &c. 

How ! this bird which makes a semicircular 
nest when he fixes it against a wall, who, when in 
an angle, shapes it like a quadrant, and circular 
when he builds it in a tree ; is this having a 
sameness in its operations ? Does this hound, after 
three months teaching, know no more than when 
you first took him in hand ? Your canary-bird, 
does he repeat a tune at first hearing, or rather 
is it not some time before you can bring him to 
it ? is he not often out, and does he not improve 
by practice ? 

Is it from my speaking that you allow me sense, 
memory, and ideas ? Well ; I am silent; but you 
see me come home very melancholy, and with 
eager anxiety look for a paper, open the bureau 
where I remember to have put it, take it up and 
read it with apparent joy. You hence infer, that 
I have felt pain and pleasure, and that I have 
memory and knowledge. 

Make then the like inference concerning this 
dog, who, having lost his master, runs about 
every where with melancholy yellings, comes 


3* B BASTS. 

home all in a ferment, runs np airf dowh, rovt;» 
from toom to room, till at length he finds his be-' 
loved' master 'in J«s. closet, and then expresse* 
his joy in softer cries» gesticulations; • and fawn- 

This dog, so very superior to man in affection» 
is seized by some barbarian virtuosos, who nail 
him down on a table, and dissect him while liv- 
ing, the better to fchewyou thetneseraic veins. 
All thé same organs of sensation which are in 
yourself you perceive in him. Now; Machinist, 
what say you r answer me, has nature created all 
the springs of feelings in this animal, that it may 
not feel? Has it nerves to bé impassible? For 
shame! charge not nature with such weakness 
and inconsistency . 

But the fcholastic doftors ask what the soul of 
beasts is ? This is a queftion I don't understand. 
A tree? has the faculty of receiving sap into its 
fibres, wf circulating it* of unfolding the buds of 
hs leaves and fruits. Do you now ask me what the' 
sou lof- a tree is ? It- hafs received these properties 
as-'the animal above has received those of sensa- 
tion, memory, and a certain number of ideas. 
Who' farmed all those properties, who has im- 
parted all «these faculties ? He who causes the 
gtass ôf thefield to grow, and ihe earth to gnu' 
vitate towards the son. 

The souls of beasts pre substantial forms, says 
Aristotle/ who has been followed by the Arabian 
school* ami' this by the Angelic school; and" the 
Angelic school by the Sorbonne, and the Sorbbnne- 
by no body in th* world, - r . 

The souls of beasts are material, is the cry of 
other philosophers, but as little to thé purpose as 



the former ; when called upon to define a mate- 
rial «oui, they only perplex the cause : they muft 
neceflarily allow it to be sensitive matter. But 
whence does it derive this sensation ? from a 
material soul ; which must mean, that it is matter 
giving sensation to matter; beyond this circle 
they have nothing to say. 

According to others, equally wise, the soul jof 
beasts is a spiritual essence, dying with the body, 
but where are your proofs ? What idea have you 9 
of this spiritual being ? which with its sensation, 
memory, and its Chare of ideas and combinations, 
will never be able to'know so much as a child of 
six years* What grounds have you to think, 
that this incorporeal being dies with the body ? 
But still more stupid are they who affirm this soul 
to be neither body nor spirit. A fine system 
truly I By spirit we can mean only something 
unknown, which is not body ; so that the upshot 
of this wise system is, that the soul of beasts is a 
substance, which is neither body, nor something 
which is not body. 

Whence can so many contradictory errors 
arise ? From a custom which has always prevail- 
ed among men, of investigating the nature of a 
thing before they knew whether any such thing 
existed. The sucker, or clapper, of a bellows is 
likewise called the soul of the bellows. Well, 
what is this soul ? it is only a name I have given 
to that sucker, or clapper, which falls down» lets 
„ . .. in the air» and rising again, propels it through a 
pipe on my working the bellows. 

Here is no soul distinct from the machine it- 
self ; but who puts the bellows of animals in ma* 
tion ? I have already told you : he who puts the 
heavenly bodies in motion. The philosopher 

D who 


who said " Deus est anima brutorum," was in 
the right : but he should have gone farther '. 


jlxSK a toad what is beauty, the supremely 
beautiful, the to-kalon, he will answer you, 
that it is his female, with two large round eyes 
projecting out of its little head ; a broad and 
flat neck, yellow belly, and dark brown back. 
Ask a Guinea Negro ; and with him beauty is a 
greasy black skin, hollow eyes, and a fiat nose* 

Put the question to the devil,. and he "will teH 
you, that beauty is a parr of horns, four claws, 
and a tail. Consult the philosophers likewise, 
they will give you some unintelligible jargon for 
answer, they must have something correspondent 


• I once sat next to a philosopher at a tragedy ; 
that's beautiful, said he! How beautiful ? said I ! 
•because the author has attained his end» The 
-next day he took a dose of physic, which- had a 
very good effect ; that's a beautiful physic, said 
I; u has attained its end : he perceived that a 
medicine is not to be called beautiful, and that 
the word beauty is applicable only to those things, 
which give 'a pleasure accompanied with admi- 
ration ; that tragedy; he said, had excited these 
two sensations in him, and that was the to-ka- 
lon, the beautiful. ' '< 


^ " ^ 

* This is the Pythagqrean system, * Quod Deus sh 
anima mundi." See Ruaeus on Virg. JEn. lib. vi. 
ycr. 726. 

We went to England together, and happened, 
to be at the same play, perfectly well translated ; 
but the spectators, one and ajl« yawned. OhUiol 
said be, the tq»kaion, I find» is not the same in 
England as in France; and, after several perti- 
nent reflections, he concluded that beauty is 
very relative ; that what is decent at Japan is in- 
decent at Rome, and what is fashionable at Paris 
is otherwise at Pekin ; and thus he saved himself 
the trouble of composing a long treatise on the 


x\S we know nothing of spirit» to ape we alike 
ignorant of body : we perceive some properties.; 
but what is this subject in which these properties 
reside? All is body, said Democrat» and 
Epicurus; there is no body at all, said the dis- 
ciples of Zeno the Elaean. 

Berkeley, bishop of Cloyne, is the last who 
has gone about to prove the nonexistence of 
bodies ; and he deals chiefly in captious sophisms ; 
there is, says he, neither colour, smell, nor 
heat, in them ; these modalities ace in your sen* 
sstions and not in the objects; a truth, which 
being before sufficiently known, he needed not 
0S have taken the trouble of proving. But from 
thence he proceeds to extension and solidity, 
which are essential to body, and is for proving 
that there is no extension in a piece of green 
cloth, because this cloth, in reality, is not green I 
this sensation of green is only in you, therefore 
the sensation of extension is likewise only in you: 
and having overthrown extension, he concludes^ 

D a that 

36 BODY. 

that solidity being annexed to it, falls of itself, 
and thus there is nothing in the world but our 
ideas. So that, according to this philosopher, 
ten thousand men killed by as many cannon shot, 
are, in reality, only ten thousand conceptions of 
our minds. 

My lord of Cloyne might have avoided expo- 
sing himself to such ridicule; he fancies that he 
proves that there is no such thing as extension, 
because a body through a glass appeared to him? 
four times larger than to his naked eye, and four 
times smaller through another glass : thence he 
concludes, that as the extension of a body cannot, 
at the same time, be four feet, six feet, and only 
one foot, such extension exists not ; then there 
is nothing. He needed only to have taken a 
measure, and say, however extended a body 
may appear to me, its actual extension is so many 
of these measures. 

He might easily have seen that extension and 
solidity are very different from sounds, colçurs, 
tastes, and smells, &c. These are manifestly 
sensations excited by the configuration of the 
parts. But extension is not a sensation : 
though on the going out of a fire I no longer 
feel heat ; on the agitation of the air ceasing I hear 
nothing; and from a withered rose I smell no- 
thing; yet the fire, the air, and the rose, have 
all their extension, without any relation to me. 
Berkeley's paradox really does not deserve a 
formal refutation. 

But the cream of the jell is to know what led 
him into this paradox. A long time ago I had 
some talk with him, when he told me, that his 
opinion originally proceeded from the incon- 
ceivableness of what the subject of extension is; 

v and 

BODY. |7 

and indeed he triuifiphs in that part of his book, 
where he asks Hilas what this same subject, this 
substratum, this substance, is? It is, an* 
s wers Hilas, the body extended ; then the bishop, 
under the name of Philonoiis, laughs at him; 
and poor Hilas, perceiving that he had said ex- 
tension was the subject of extension, and thus 
bad talked sillily, is quite abashed, and owns that 
it is utterly inconceivable to him; that there is 
no such thing as body; that the world, instead of 
being material, as commonly thought, is intel- 

It would have become Philonoiis only to have 
said to Hilas, we know nothing concerning the 
constitution of this subject, of this extended, 
solid, divisible, moveable, figured, substance, 
&c. We know no more of it than of the think* 
ing, feeling, and willing subject; still this sub- 
ject certainly exists, since it has essential pro- 
perties from which it cannot be separated. 

We are all, like the Paris ladies \ they live 
high wkhout knowing the ingredients in ragouts; 
so we make use of bodies without knowing the 
composition of them. What is body made of? 
of parts, and these parts are reducible to other 
parts. What are those last parts ? still bodies ; so 
you go on dividing, andarenevernearerthemark. 

At length, a subtile philosopher, observing 
that a picture is made of ingredients, none of 
which is a picture, and a house of materials of 
which none is a house, fancied bodies to be con- 
structed of innumerable little beings, which are 
not bodies, and these are the monades sp 
Much talked of. This system, however, has 
its fair side, and, had it been confirmed by Re- 
velation, I should think it very possible. AU ' 

D 3 these 


thesfc tiiintrte beings would be mathematical 
points, species of souls waiting only for a tegu- 
ment to put themselves into k ; this would make 
a continual metempsychosis, a monade entering 
sometimes into a whale, sometimes into a tree, 
and sometimes into a juggler. This system is 
full as good as another; 1 can relish it full as 
well as the deolension of atoms, the substantial 
forms, 'versatile grace; and Don Calmet's vam- 



Dialogues between Cu-su, a disciple of Con- 
pucius, and Prince Kou, son to the King of 
Lou, tributary to the Chinese emperor Gnen- 
van, four hundred and seventeen years before 
our common ara. 

Translated Into Latin -by Father Fojuqubt, for- 
merly a Jesuit. The manuscript is in the Vatit 
can library, Number 427 59. 


. W HAT is meant by my duty to worship hea- 
ven (Chang-ti) ? 

Cu-su. Nbt the material heaven, which we 

see with our eyes; for this heaven is nothing .but 

the air, and the airis composed of every kUidof 

earthly exhalations. Now what a folly would 

'it be to worship vapours? 

Kou. It is, however, what I should not 
much wonder at; men, in my opinion, have 
: given into greater follies. 



Cu-SU. Very true; but you being born to 
rule over others, it becomes you to be wise. 

Kou. There are whole nations who worship 
beavcn and the planets* 

Cu-su. The planets are only so many earths 
like ours; the moon, for instance, might as well 
worship our sand and dirt, as we prostrate our- 
selves before the moon's sand and dirt. 

Kou. What is the meaning of what we jso 
often hear ; heaven and earth, to go up to hea- 
ven, to be deserving of heaven? 

Cu-su. It is talking very sillily; there is no 
such thing as heaven (*) ; every planet is environed 
with its atmosphere as with a .shell, and rolls in 
the space round its sun ; every sun is the center 
of several planets, which are continually going 
their rounds ; there is neither high nor low, up 
nor down. Should the inhabitants of the moon 
talk of going up to thé earth, of making one's 
self deserving or the earth, it would be talking 
madly; and we are little wiser in talking of de- 
serving heaven.' We might as well say aman 
must make himself deserving of the air, deserving 
of the constellation of the dragon, deserving of 

Kou. I believe. I understand you; we are 
only to worship God who made heaven and 
earth. : ! . 

' Cu-sû; To be sure, we are to worship God 
alone. But in saying that he made, heaven and 
earth, however devout our meaning may the, it 

.. is 

(*) This is only disputing about words; a place df 
future rewards, which the Chinese philosopher seems 
to allow, is Heaven, wherever it bfe. 

D 4 


is talking very sillily. For if by heaven wer 
mean the prodigious space in which God kindled 
so many stihs, and set so many worlds in motion, 
it is much'more ridiculous to say, " Heaven and 
'.' earthy" than to say, " the mountains and a grain 
•"of sand." Our globe is infinitely less than a 
jfgrainirf isand, in comparison of those millions of 
ten thousands of millions of worlds, among the 
infinitude?.^, wtych we are lost. All that we can 
do, is to join our feeble voice to that of the innu- 
merable beings^ which, throughout the abyss of 
expansion, ascribe homage and glory to their 
adorable Creator. 

Kou. It was, then, a great imposition to 
tell us, that Fo came down among us from the 
fourth heaven, assuming the form of a white 

Cu-su. These are tales which the bonzes 
tell to old women and children. The eternal 
Author of all beings is alone to be worship- 

Kou. But how can one being make the 
other beings ? 

Cu-su. You see yonder star: it is fifteen 
hundred thousand millions of Lis from our globe, 
and emits rays which on your eyes form two 
angles equal at the top; and the like angles they 
form on the eyes of all animals ; is not this mani- 
fest design? Is not this an admirable law? and 
is it not the workman who makes a work ? and 
who frames laws but a legislator? Therefore 
there is an eternal Artist, an eternal Legislator. 

Kou. But who made this Artist, and what 
is he like? 

Cu-su. My dear prince, as I was yesterday 
walking near the vast Palace, lately built by the 



icing your father» I over-heard two crickets'; 
one èaidto the other, What a stupendous fabric 
is hère! Yes, said the other; and though I am 
not' a little proud of my species, he who has 
made this prodigy, must be something above a 
cricket; but I have no idea of that being; such a 
one Lsee there must be, but what he is I know 
nbt.< ; 

Kou. You are a cricket of infinitely more 
knowledge than I ; and what I particularly like 
in you, is your not pretending to know* what 
you really do not know. 


Cu-su. You allow, then, that there is an 
Almighty Being, self-existent, supreme Creator, 
and Maker of aU nature. 

Kou. Yes; -but if he be self-existent he is un* 
limited, consequently he is every- where, he 
exists throughout all matter, and in every part 
of mysdf. 

Cu-su. Why not? 

Kou. I should then be a part of the Deity. 

Cu-su. Perhaps that may not be the conse- 
quence ; behold this piece of glass, you see the 
light penetrates it every where, yet will you say it 
is light ? It is mere sand, and nothing more : un» 
questionably every thing is in God; that by 
which every thing is animated must be every 
where. God is not like the Emperor of China, 
who dwells in his palace, and sends his orders by 
kolaos. As existing he must necessarily fill the 
whole of space, and all his works ; and since he 
is in you, this is a continual document never to 
do any thing to raise shame or remorse. 




Kou. But for a person serenely to consider 
himself before the Supreme Being without shame 
or disgust, what must he do ? 

Cu-su.- Be just. 

Kou. And what further? 

Cu-su. Be just. 

Kou. But L AOKiutn's sect says, there is no 
such thing as just or unjust, vice or virtue. 

Cu-su. And does Laokium's sect say 
there is no such thing as health nor sickness ? 

Kou. No, to be sure ; what egregious non- 
sense that would be ! 

Cu-su. And let me tell you, that to think 
there is neither health nor sickness of soul, nor 
virtue nor vice, is as egregiousan error, and much 
more mischievous. They who have advanced 
that every thing is alike, are monsters: is it alike, 
carefully to bring up a son, or, at his birth, to 
dash him against the stones ; to relieve a mother, 
or to plunge a dagger into her heart ? 

Kou. That is nffrribie! I detest Laoki- 
um's sect; but just and unjust are oftentimes so 
interwoven, that one is at a loss. Who can be 
said precisely to know what is forbidden and what 
is allowed ? Who can safely set limits to good 
and evil ? I wish you would give me asurerule 
for this important distinction. 

Cu-su. There can be no better than that of 

Confutzee, my master, " Live as thou wouldst 

" have 1 lived when thou congest to die ; use thy 

•" neighbour as thou wouldst have him use thee. ' 

Kou. Those maxims, I own, should be man* 
kind's standing law. But what am I the better 
for my good life, when I come to die ? What 
mighty advantage shall I get by my virtue? - 
That clockgoes as well asever clock did ; but when 

' ' ' • *M 



it cames to be worn out, of should it be destroy» 
ed by accident, will it be happy for having 
struck the hours regularly ? 

Cu-su. That clock is without thought or 
feeling, and incapable of remorse, which you 
sharply feel on the commission of any crime. 

Kou. But what if by frequent crimes I 
come to be no longer sensible of remorse. 

Cu-su. , Then it is high time an end should 
be put to your being ; and take my word for it, 
that, as men do not love to be oppressed, should 
that be the case, one or another, would stop you 
in your career, and save you the committing 
any more crimes. 

Kou. At that rate God, who is in them, af- 
ter allowing me to be wicked, would allow them 
likewise to be so. 

Cu-su. God has endued you with reason, 
neither you nor they are to make a wrong use of 
it; as. otherwise you will not only .be unhappy 
in this life, but how do 3^1 know but you may 
likewise be so in another ? 

Ko U. And who told you there is another life ? 

Cu-su, The bare uncertainty of it should make 
you behave as if it was an undoubted certainty. 
- Kou. But what if I am sure there is no such 

Cu-su. That! defy you to make good. 


-Kou. You urge me home, Cu-su; my be- 
ing rewarded or punished after death, requires 
that something which feels and thinks in me, 
must continue to subsist after me; now as no 
. part in nae had any thought or sense before my 
. Jwrth, wby,should it after my death ? What can 



this incomprehensible part of myself be ? Will 
the humming of that bee continue after the end of 
its existence ? Or the vegetation of this plant, 
when plucked up by the roots ? Is not vegetation 
a word made use of to express the inexplicable 
mode appointed by the Supreme Being, for the 
plants imbibing the juices of the earth ? So the 
soul is an invented word, faintly and obscurely 
denoting the spring of human life* All animals 
have a motion, and this ability to move is called 
active force; but this force is no distinct being 
whatever. We have passions, memory, and 
reason; but these passions, this memory, and 
reason, are surely not separate things, they are 
not beings existing in us, they are not diminutive 
persons of a particular existence, they are gene* 
rical words invented to fix our ideas» Thus the 
soul itself, which signifies our memory, our rea- 
son, our passions, is only a bare word* Whence 
then motion in nature ? from God* Whence 
vegetation in the plant ? from God. Whence 
motion in animals ? from God. Whence cogi- 
tation in man ? from God '. 

Were the human soul a diminutive person, in- 
closed within our body, to direct its motions and 
ideas, would not that betray in the eternal Mak- 
er of the world an impotence and an artifice quite 
unworthy of him ? He then must have been in- 
capable of making automata, which shall have 
the gift of motion and thought in themselves. 
When I learned Greek under you, you .made me 


1 This opinion of the Chinese is the Pythagorean 
dogma of the ** Anima Mundi," which has been 
fully refuted by Cud worth, Dr. Clarke, and several 
other learned divines* 


read Homer, where Vulcan appears to me an 
excellent smith, when he makes golden tripods» 
going of themselves to the council of the gods; 
but had this same Vulcan concealed within 
those tripods one of his boys, to make them 
move without being perceived, I should think 
him but a bungling cheat. 

Some iow-thoughted dreamers have been 
charmed with the fancy of the planets being 
rolled along by genii, as something very grand 
and sublime ; but God has not been reduced to 
such a paltry shift : in a word, wherefore put 
two springs to a work when one will do ? That 
God can animate that so little known being 
which we call matter, you dare not deny ; why 
then should he make use of another agent %o ani- 
mate it ? 

Farther ; what may that soul be which you 
are pleased to give to our body ? From whence 
did it come ? When did it come ? Must the 
Creator of the universe be continually watching 
the copulation of men and women ? closely ob- 
serve the moment when a germ issues from a 
man's body and passes into that of a woman, and 
then quickly inject a soul into this germ ? And 
if this germ dies, what becomes of its soul? 
either it must have been created ineffectually, or 
must wait another opportunity. 

This is really a strange employment for the - 
Sovereign of the world ; and it is not only on the 
copulation of the human species, that he must be 
continually intent, but must observe the like vi- 

Sjilance and celerity with all animals whatever ; 
or, like us, they have memory, ideas, and pas- 
sions ; and if a soul be necessary for the for- 
mation of these sentiments, these ideas, these 



passions, and this memory, God must be perpe- 
tually at work about souls for elephants and fleas, 
for fish and for bonzes. 

What ideas does such a notion give of the 
Architect of so many millions of worlds, thus 
obliged to be Continually making invisible props 
for perpetuating his work ? 

These are some» though a very small sample, 
of the reasons for questioning the soul's existence, 

Cu-su. You reason candidly; and such a 
virtuous turn of mind, even if mistaken, cannot 
but be agreeable to the Supreme Being. You 
may be in an error, but as you do not endeavour 
to deceive yourself, your error is excusable. 
But consider what you have proposed to me are 
only doubts, and melancholy doubts; listen to 
probabilities of a solacing nature : to be annihi-» 
lated is dismal ; hope then for life. A thought 
you know is not matter, nor has any affinity with 
it. Why then do you make such a difficulty of 
believing that God has put a divine principle in* 
to you, which being indissoluble, cannot be 
subject to death ? Can you say that it is impossi- 
ble that you should have a soul ? No, certainly: 
and if it be possible that you have one, is it not 
also very probable ? How can you reject so no* 
ble a system, and so necessary to mankind ? Shall 
a few slender objections withhold your assent ? 

KoU. I would embrace this system with all 
my heart, on its being proved to me ; but it is 
not in my power to believe without evidence. I 
am always struck with this grand idea, that God 
has made every thing» that he is every where, 
that he penetrates all things, and gives life and 
motion to all things ; and if he is in all the parts 
of my being, as he is in all the parts of nature, 

I do 


I do not see any need I have of a soul. Where 
is the use or importance of this little subaltern 
being to me who am animated by God himself? 
Of what improvement can it be ? It is not 
from ourselves that we derive our ideas, they ge* 
nerally obtrude themselves on us against our 
wills; we have them when locked in sleep; 
every thing passes in us without out* intervention. 
'What would it signify to the sôul, were it to say 
to the blood and animal spirits, be so kind as to 
gratify me in running this way, they will still 
circulate in their natural course. Let me be the 
machine of a God whose existence all things 
proclaim aloud, rather than of a soul whose 
existence is a very great uncertainty. 

Cu-su. WelU if God himself animâtes you, 
be very careful of committing any crime, as d&- 
filing that God, Who is Within you ; and if he 
has given you a soul, never let it offend him. In 
both systems you have volition, you ate free, 
that is, you have a power, of doing what yon 
will ; make use of this power in serving that God 
who gave it you, If you. are a philosopher, so 
much the better, but it is necessary for you to be 
just ; and you will bfe more so when you come 
to believe that you have an immortal, soul. 

Be pleased to answer me» Is not God sovereign 
and parfefct Justice,? 

Kou. Doubtless ;< and could he. cease to Be 
%o (which is blasphemy to think) I would myself 
act equitably. ». 

Cu-su. Will it not be your duty, when on 

the throne,- to- reward virtue and punîsk-vîce? 

$nd can you think. of God's not doing what is 

incumbent on youfself to do ? You know that 

' tfcefe are, and ever will be, in this life, good 

- - -1 - • . fi&À 


men distressed, whilst wicked men prosper: 
therefore good and evil must be finally judged 
in another life. It is this so simple, so general, 
and so natural an opinion, which has introduced 
and fixed among so many nations the belief of the 
immortality of our souls, and their being judged 
by divine justice on their quitting this mortal te- 
nement. Is there, can there be, a system more 
rational, more suitable to the Deity, and more 
beneficial to mankind 1 ? 

Kou. Why then have so many nations re- 
jected this system? You know, that in our pro- 
vince we have about two hundred families of the 
old Sinous, who formerly dwelt in part of Ara* 
bia Petrea ; and neither tney nor their ancestors 
ever believed any thing of the immortality of 
the soul : they have their five books as we have 
our five King; I have read a translation of 
them ; their laws, which necessarily correspond 
with those of all other nations, enjoin them to 
jespect their parents, not to steal nor lye, to ab- 
stain from adultery and bloodshed ; yet these laws 
are wholly silent as to rewards and punishments 
in another life. 

Cu-su. If this truth has not yet been made 
known to those poor people, unquestionably their 
eyes will one day be opened. But what signifies 
a small obscure tribe, when the Babylonians, 
the Egyptians, the Indians, and all policed na- 
tions, have subscribed to this salutary doctrine ? 
If you were sick, would you decline making use 


1 Our author has omitted the natural proofs of the 
immortality of the soul, which the reader may see ia 
Dr. Clarke's Evidences of Natural and Revealed Reli- 
gion, p. 265. See also our remarks on the word Soul. 


of a remedy approved by all the Chinese, because 
some barbarous mountaineers had expressed a 
dislike of it ? God has endued you with reason, 
and this reason tells you that the soul must be 
immortal, therefore it is God himself who tells 
you so. 

Kou. But how can I be rewarded or pu- 
nished, when I shall cease to be myself, when 
nothing which had constituted my person will be 
remaining ; it is only by my memory that I am 
always myself : now my memory I lose in my 
last illness; so that, after my death, nothing un- 
der a miracle can restore it to me, and thus re- 
place me in my former existence. 

Cu-su. That is as much as to say, should a 
prince, after making his way to the throne by the 
murder of all his relations, play the tyrant over 
his subjects, he need only say to God, It is not 
I ; I have totally lost my memory ; you mistake, 
I am no longer the same person. Think you 
God would be very well pleased with such a so- 
phism ? . 

Kou. Well, I acquiesce ; I was for living 
irreproachable for my own sake, now I will do 
so to please the Supreme Being. I thought the 
whole matter was for my soul to be just and vir- 
tuous in this life ; but I will now hope that it 
will be happy in another : this opinion, I do per- 
ceive, makes for the good both of subjects and 
sovereigns; still the worship of the Deity per» 
plexes me. 


Cu-su. Why, what is there that can offend 
you in our Chu-king, the first canonical book, 

£ and 


and which all fee Chinese emperors have so 
greatly respected. You plough a field with your 
own roydl hands, by way of setting an example 
to the people» and the first fruits of it you offer 
to the Chang-ti, to thé Tien, to the Supreme Be* 
ing, and sacrifice to him four times every yean 
You are king, and high-priest, yoa promise God 
to do all the good which shall be in your ptower; 
is there any thing in this which you cannot di- 
gest ? 

Kou. I dm very far from making any ejtcep. 
tionsj I know that God has no need either of 
our sacrifices or prayers, but the offering them ft» 
him is very needful for us ; his Worship was not 
instituted for himself but on our account. . I am 
very much delighted with praying, and am partit, 
cularly careful that there shall be nothing jidicu* 
lous in my prayers ; for were I to cry out till my 
throat isflead, " That the mountain of the Changrti 
" is a fat mountain, and that fat mountains are ndt 
" to be looked on ;" though I should hâve put thfe 
sun to flight, and dried up the moon, Will this 
rant Be acceptable to the Supreme Being, . or of 
any benefit to m^ subjects or myself?- .. 

Especially, I cannot bear with the silliness of 
the sects about us ; on t>ae side is Laotze, whom 
his mother conceived fcy thfe junction Jof heaven 
and earth, and was fourscore years pregnant with 
him. I as little believe his doctrine of univers 
sal deprivation and annihilation, as his being 
born with white hair, or his going to promulgate 
his doctrine on a black cow. 

The god Fo I pût ta» the* same .footing, not- 
withstanding he had a white elephant for his fa- 
ther, and premises' immortal , life» 

One thing* at which I cannot forbear takiwg 



great offence, is the bonzes continually preaching» 
such chimera», thus deceiving the people in or- 
der the better to sway them ; they gain to them- 
serves respect by mortifications, at which indeed 
nature ihudders. Some deny themselves, during 
their whole lives, the most salutary foods, as 
if there was no way of pleasing God but by a 
bad diet. Others carry a pillory about their* 
necks, and sometimes they richly deserve it; 
they drive nails into their thighs as into boards g 
and for these things the people follow them in~ 
crowds. On the king's issuing any edict which: 
does not suit their humour, they coolly tell their 
auditors that this edict iê not to be found in the* 
c ommenta ry - of the god Fo, and that god is io be 
obeyed preferably to men. Now, how am I to re* 
medy thispopular distemper, which is extravagant 
to the highest degree, and not less dangerous 
Toleration, you Know, is the principle of the 
Chinese, and indeed of all Astatic govern- 
ments; bat such an indulgence must be owned 
highly mischievous, as exposing an empire to 
be overthrown on account of some fanatical 

Cu-su. God forbid tbat'l should go about 
toejotingaish in you the spirit of toleration, that 
quality so eminently respectable, and which to 
souls is what the permission of eating is to bo* 
diet. By the law of nature, every one may 
believe what he will, as weilaseat what he will; 
A physician is not to AiH his patient» for not ob. 
serving the diet which helralprescribed to them ; 
neither has a sovereign a /right to hang his aub- 
jects for not thinking as he thinks ; but he ha» à 
right to prevent disturbances; and with prudent 
measure* tie will *eiy easily mot jout «upenmiojia 

E2 of 


of all kinds. You know what happened to Daonv 
the sixth king of Chaldea, about four thousand 
years ago. 

Kou. No. I pray oblige me with an ac- 
count of it. 

Cu-su. The Chaldean priests had taken it 
into their heads to worship the pikes of the Eu* 
phrates, pretending that a famous pike called 
Oannes, had formerly taught them divinity ; that 
this pike was immortal, three feet in length, and 
a fmall crescent on the tail. In veneration to 
this Oannes, no pikes were to be eaten. A 
mighty difpute arofe among the divines, whether 
the pike Oannes had a soft or hard roe. Both 
parties not only fulminated excommunications, 
but they several times came to blows. To put, 
an end to such disturbances, King Daon made- 
use of this expedient. 

He ordered a strict fast for three days to both 
parties ; and at the expiration of it, sent for the 
sticklers for the hard roed pike, who accordingly 
were present at his dinner; a pike was brought to 
him three feet in length, and on the tail a small 
crescent had been put. Is this your god, said he 
to the doctors ? Yes, Sir, answered they ; we 
know him by the crescent on the tail, and make 
no question but he is hard-roed. On this the 
king ordered the pike to be opened, it was found 
to have the finest melt that could be. Now, said 
the king, you see this is not your god, it being 
soft-roed ; and the king and his nobles ate the 
pike, and the hard-roed divines were not a little 

{tleased that the god of their adversaries had been 

Immediately after the doctors of the opposite 
side were sent for, and a pike of three feet, with 

a crescent 


a crescent on his tail, being shewn to them» they, 

wirh great joy, assured his majesty, that it was 

the god Oannes, and that he had a soft roe; but 

behold ! on being opened, it was found hard- 

roed. At this the two parties, equally out of 

countenance, and still fasting, the gooa-natured 

king told them that he could only give them a 

dinner of pikes, and they greedily fell to eating 

both hard and soft-roed without distinction. 

"This closed the civil war, with great applauses 

of king Daon's wisdom and goodness; and since 

that time the people have been allowed to eat 

pikes as often as they pleased. 

Kou. Well done, king Daon! and I give you 
my word I will follow his example on every oc- 
casion, and as far as I can, without injuring any 
one; there shall be no worshipping of Fo's and 

I know that in the countries of Pegu and 
Tonquin, there are little gods and little Tala- 
poins which bring down the moon, when in the 
wane, and clearly foretel what is to come, that 
is, they clearly see what is not, for futurity is 
not. I will take care that the Talapoins shall 
not come within my reach, to make futurity pre- 
sent, and bring down the moon. 

It is a shame that there should be sects ramb- 
ling from town to town, propagating their de- 
lusions, as quacks their medicaments. What a 
disgrace is it to the human mind, for petty na- 
tions to think that truth belongs to them alone, 
and that the vast empire of China is given up 
to error? Is then the Eternal Being only the 
god of the island of Formosa or Borneo ? Has 
he no concern for the other parts of the uni* 
verse ? My dear Cu-su, he is a father to all men, 

E 3 he 


her allows every one to eat pike : the most ac- 
ceptable homage which can be paid to him is 
being virtuous ; the finest of all his temples, as the 
great emperor Hiao used to say, is a pure heart* 


Cu-su. Since you love virtue, in what man* 
ner do you propose to practise it when you come 
to be king? 

Kou. In not being. unjust to my neighbours 
or my subjects. 

Cu-su. To i do no harm. does not come up 
to virtue. I hope my prince will do good, will 
feed the poor by employing them ia useful la- 
bour, and not endow sloth; mend and embellish 
the highways, dig canals* build public edifices, 
encourage arts, reward merit of every kind, and 
pardon involuntary faults. 

- Kou . This I call not being unjust ; those 
things are plain duties. 

Cu-su. Your way of thinking becomes a 
king; hot there is the. king and the man;, the 
public life and private life. You will he mar- 
ried ; how many wives do you. think of having? 

Kou. Why, a dozen, I think, will do: a 
greater number might be an avocation from, -bu- 
siness ; I do not approve of kings with their 
Aree hundred wives and seven hundred conçu* 
bines, and thousands of eunuchs to wait on them. 
This humour of having eunuchs, especially, ap- 
pears to me a most execrable insult and out- 
rage to human nature. The castrating of cocks 
I tan forgive,< as seating, the better for it ; hut I 
«never have heard of eunuchs being roasted. What 
is the use of their being thus mutilated? It im- 
proves their voices; thaJJala-i Lama has «fifty 



of them purely to ?iag ja his paged. L# b\m 
tell me whether the Changed js jpuch delighted 
with the clear pipes; o£ -these fifty geldiogp. 

Another most ridiculous thing is the bonzes 
not marrying. They boast of being wis^r than 
the other Chinese; weJJ £hen, Iqt them shew 
their wisdom in getting wise children. . An-pdd 
maimer o f. worshipping the Chang-ti, to deprive 
him of worshippers; and, to be sure, they must 
have a great affection for mankind, who go the 
way to extinguish the Species ! The gqpd Jittle 
Lama .called Stelca i^ant Ejupi, used to 
say, u That every priest ought to get as mwy 
" children as he could:" what he preached he 
practised, and was very useful in his generation. 
For my part, I shall -marry all the lamas and 
bonzes, and lamasae* and hoozesses, .who shall 
appear to have;a;call to this holy wprk; besides 
making them; better patriate, I shall tbhik it nç 
small aervice.xo my dominions. " 

Cv-su* What an excellent prince shall we 
have in you ! I cannot forbear weeping fpr joy. 
But you will not be satisfied with .having wives 
and subjects, for, after. all, one canaot be pçr. 
petuaUy drawing up edicts, and getting chil- 
dren ; you xrill likewise make yourself some 
friends. ■*■ *• , ,~\'< 

Kou. I am not without some already, and 
those good ones, putting me in mind of piy 
JEaults, and I allow, ^myself the liberty of repjoy* 
ing theirs; we likewise mutually ^bptfort a^4 
encourage .one another; friendship ii the balip 
of lite, it -excels that of the chemist tEruil, $njl 
even all the ♦nostrums of the great Jlanoud ace 
not comparable to it. I think friendship should 

.J£ 4 . : *■ . .have 


• * 

have been made a religious precept* I have a 
good mind to insert it in our ritual. 

Cu-su. By no means; friendship is suffici- 
ently sacred of itself. Never enjoin it; the 
heart must be free : besides, were you to make 
a precept, a mystery, a rite, a ceremony, of 
friendship, it would soon become ridiculous 
through the fantastical preachings and writings 
of the bonzes : let it not be exposed to such pro- 

But how will you deal with your enemies ? 
Confutzee, I believe, in not less than twenty 
places, direct us to love them : does not this ap- 
pear something difficult to you ? 

Kou. Love one's enemies! Oh, dear doc- 
tor 1 nothing is so common. 

Cu-su. But what do you mean by love ? 

Kou. Mean by it what it really is. I was 
a volunteer under the prince of Decon against 
the prince of Vis-brunk; when a wounded ene- 
my fell into our hands we took as much care of 
him as if he had been our brother: we have 
often parted with our beds to them, and we lay 
by them on tygers skins spread on the bare 
ground ; we have tended and nursed them our- 
selves : Is not this loving our enemies ? You 
would not have us love them as a man loves his 
mistress ? 

Cu-su. I am exceedingly pleased with your 
talk, and wish that all nations could hear you, 
for I have been informed of some so very con- 
ceited and impertinent as to say that we know 
nothing of true virtue; that our good actions 
are only specious sins ; that we stand in need of 
their Talapoins to instruct us in right prin- 
ciples. Poor creatures ! A few years ago there 



was no such thing as reading or writing among 
them, and now they are for teaching their 


Cu-su. I shall not repeat to you the com- 
mon places, which for these five or six thousand 
years past, have been retailed among us, re* 
lating to all the several virtues. Some there 
are which only concern ourselves, as prudence 
in the guidance of our soul, temperance in the 
government of our bodies ; hut these are rather 
dictates of policy, and care of health: the real 
virtues are those which promote the welfare of 
society, as fidelity, magnanimity, beneficence, 
toleration, &c. and, thank heaven, these are 
the first things which every woman, among us, 
teaches her children ; they are the rudiments of 
the rising generation, both in town and coun- 
try; but I am sorry to say it, there is a great 
virtue which is sadly on the decline among us. 

Kou. Quickly name it, and no endeavour 
of mine shall be wanting to revive it. 

Cu-SU. It is hospitality; for since inns 
have got footing among us, this so social 
virtue, this sacred tie of mankind, becomes more 
and more relaxed : that pernicious institution, I 
am told, we have borrowed from some western 
savages ; who, probably, have no houses to en- 
tertain travellers. My heart melts with delight 
when I have the happiness of entertaining, in 
the vast city of Lou, in Honcham, that superb 
square, or my delicious seat of Ki, some gene- 
rous stranger come from Samarcande, to whom, 
from that moment, I become sacred, and who, 
by all laws human and divine, is bound to en- 


tertain me, on any caltl may have ifitoTartary, 
and to be my cordial friend. 

The savages I am speaking of do not $<Jmii 
strangers into their huts, filthy as they are, with- 
out their paying, and dearly too, for such sordid 
reception ; and yet those wretches, I hear, think 
themselves above us, and that our -morality is 
nothing in comparison of theirs. Their preach- 
ers fexcel Confutzee himself; in a word, they 
alone know what true justice is, and a sign of it 
is, they sell on the roads some sophisticated stuff 
for wine, and their women, as if mad, rove about 
the streets, and dance, whilst ours are breeding 

Kou. I very much approve of hospitality, 
and the practice of k gives me pleasure ; but I 
am afraid it will be much abused. Near Thibet 
dwells a people, who, besides the badness of 
their habitations, being of a roving disposition, 
will» on any trifle, go from one end of the world 
to the other; and, on your having occasion to 
go to Thibet, so far from returning your hospi- 
tality, they have nothing to set before you, nor 
so much as a bed for you to lie on; this is 
enough to put one out of conceit with courtesy. 

Cu-su. These disappointments may easily 
be remedied, by entertaining such persons only 
as come well recommended. Every virtue has 
its difficulties and dangers, and without them 
the practice of virtue would want much of its 
glory and excellence. How wise and holy is 
our Confutzee ? There is not a virtue which 
he does not inculcate ; every sentence of his is 
pregnant with the happiness of mankind : one, 
at present, recurs to me, I think it is the fifty- 
third : 

" Kind- 


* * * 

u Kindnesses acknowledge with kindness, and 
never revenge injuries. ,, 

What maxim, what law, can the western people 
bring in competition with such exalted morality? 
Then in how many places, and how strongly, 
does he recommend humility ? Did this amiable 
virtue prevail among men, there would be a total 
end of all quarrels and broils. 

Kou. I have read all that Confutzee, and 
the sages before him, have said about humility; 
but none of them, I think, have been sufficiently 
accurate in their definition of it. There may, 
perhaps, be but little humility m taking on one 
to censure them ; but, with all due humility, I 
own that they are beyond my comprehension. 
What is your idea of humility ? 

Cu-su. Humility I take to be mental mo- 
defty; for as to external modefty, it is no more 
than civility. Humility cannot consist in deny- 
ing to one's self that superiority vhich we may 
have acquired above another. An able phyfician 
cannot but be sensible that he is possessed of a 
knowledge, infinitely beyqnd his delirious patient. 
The teacher of astronomy must necessarily think 
himself more learned than bis scholar ; but they 
must not pride themselves in their superior ta- 
lents. .Humility is not debasement, but a cor* 
rective to self-love, as modesty is the tempera* 
ment to pride, 

Kou. Well, it is. in the practice of all these 
virtues, and the wojffliip of one simple and uni- 
versal God, that I propose to live, far from the 
chimeras of fophists, and the illusion of false 
prophets,. The love of mankind shall be my 
virtue, and the love of God my religion. As to 




the god Fo, and Laotzee, and Vitsnou, who has 
so often become incarnate among the Indians, 
and Sammonocodom, who came down from 
heaven to fly a kite among the Siamefe, together 
with the Camis, who went from the moon to 
visit Japan; I cannot endure such impious fool- 

How weak, and at the same time how cruel, 
is it for a people to conceit that there is no god 
but with them only ! it is downright blafphemy. 
The light of the fun irradiates all nations, and the 
light of God shines only in a little insignificant 
tribe in a corner of this globe. That ever such 
a thought could enter the mind of man! The 
Deity {peaks to the heart of all men of all na- 
tions, and they should, from one end of the uni- 
verse to the other, be linked together in the bonds 
of charity. 

Cu-su. O wise Kou! you have spoke like 
one inspired by the Chang-ti himself; you will 
make a worthy prince. From being my pupil 
you are become my teacher. 



XS it so, that formerly the Japanese knew no- 
thing of cookery ; that they had submitted their 
kingdom to the great Lama ; that this great Lama 
arbitrarily prescribed what they fhould eat and 
drink ; that he used, at times, to send to you an 
inferior Lama for receiving the tributes, who, in 
return, gave you a sign of protection, which he 
made with his own fore-fingers and thumb ? 

\ # THE 



Alas ! it is but too true ; nay, all the places of 
the Canusi, or the chief cooks of our island, 
were disposed of by the Lama, and the love of 
God was quite out of the que ft ion. Farther, 
every house of our seculars paid annually an 
ounce of silver to this head-cook of Thibet, 
whilst all the amends we had was some small 
plates of relics, and these none of the best 
tasted ; and on every new whim of his, as mak- 
ing war against the people of Tangut, we were 
saddled with fresh subsidies. Our nation fre- 
quently complained, but all we got by it was to 
pay the more for presuming to complain. At 
length love, which does every thing for the best, 
freed us from this galling thraldom, One of our 
emperors quarrelled with the great Lama about 
a woman ; but it must, be owned that they who 
in this affair did us the best turn, were our Ca- 
nusi, or Pauxcospies ; it is to them that, in fact, 
we owe our deliverance, and it happened in this 
manner : 

The great Lama, forfooth, insisted on being 
always in the right; our Dairi and Canusi would 
have it that sometimes, at least, they might be in 
the right. This claim the great Lama derided, 
as an absurdity ; on which our gentry, being 
as stiff as he was haughty, broke with him for 

Ind. Well, ever since you have had golden 
days, I suppose ? 

Jap. Far from it ; for near two hundred 
years there was nothing but persecutions, vio- 
lences, and bloodshed among us\ After all our 

c l Canusis 


Canusis pretending to be in the right, it is but 
an hundred years since they hare had their right 
reason ; but since this time, we may boldly 
esteem ourselves one of the happiest nations on 
the earth. 

Ind. How can that be, if, as reported, you 
bave no less than twelve different sects of cookery 
among you ? Why you must always be at dagger* 

Jap. Why so ? If there are twelvte cookà, 
and each has a different receipt* shall we, instead 
of dining, cut each other's throats ? No : every 3 
one may regale himself at that cook's whose 
manner of dressing victuals he likes best. 

Inû. True; tastes are not to be disputed 
about: yet* people will make them a matter of 
contention, and all sides grow hot. 

Jap. After long disputing, men ccfme to see 
the mischiefs of these jarring», and at length' 
agree on a reciprocal toleration; and certainly 
they can do nothing better. 

Ind. And pray what are these cooks wh6 % 
make such a stir in your nation about the art of 
eating and drinking ? 

Jap. First, there is the Breuxehs, who never 
allow any pork or pudding ; they hold with the 
old-fashioned cookery; they would as soon die, 
as lard a fowl ; then they deal much in numbers; 
and if an ounce of silver be to be divided %erweëii 
them and the eleven other cooks, they instantly 
secure one-half to themselves, and the remainder 
take who will. 

Ind. I fancy you do not often foùl a plate with 
these folks. 

Jap. Never. Then there is the Pifpates, 
whd, on some days of the week, and even for a 



considerable time of the- year, will gormandize 
on turbot, trouts, soals, salmon, sturgeon, be 
tbey ever so dear, and would not for the wèrld 
touch si sweetbread of veal, which may be had 
for a groat. 

As for u4 Cariusi, we are very fond of beef and 
a "kind of pastry ware, in Japanese called pud* 
ding. Now all thé world allows our cooks to be 
infinitely more knowing than those of the Pis- 
patés : nobody has gone farther than we in find- 
ing out what was the garum of the Romaiis $ we 
surpass all others in our knowledge of thé onion* 
of ancient Egypt, the locust paste of the primi» 
tfre Arabs, thé Tartarian horse-flesh ; and there 
is always something to be learned in the books of 
those Canusi commonly known by the name of 

I shall omit those who eat only in Tarluh, those 
who observe the vintal diet, the Batistans, -and 
others ; but the Quekàrs deserve particular no- 
tice. Though I have viery often been at table 
with them, I never Saw one get drunk, or sweat 
ah oath. It is a hard matter to cheat them, but 
then they never cheat you. The law of loving 
one's neighbour as one's self ièems really pecu- 
liar to them ; for, in good truth, how can an ho* 
nest Japanese talk of loving his neighbour a* 
himself, when, -for a little pay, he goes as a hire* 
ling, to blow his brams out, and hew him with a 
Tour inch broad sabre, and all this in form ; then 
he, at the same time, exposes himself to the tike 
Tate, tô be shot or sabred : so he may with tnore 
troth be said to hate his neighbour as himself. 
This is a phrerizy the Quekàrs were never pos- 
sessed with. They say, «tfftd verf jtîrstly, that 
£oor mortals are earthen Vessels, made to Hast 



but a very short time, and that they (hould no* 
wantonly go and break themselves to pieces one 
against another. 

I own, that were I not a Canusi, I should take 
part with the Quekars ; for you see, that there 
can be no wranglings nor blows with such peace- 
able cooks. There is another and very numerous 
branch of cooks called Diestos ; with thefe every 
one, without distinction, is welcome to their 
table, and you are at full liberty to eat as you 
like ; you have larded or barded fowls, or neither 
larded nor barded, egg sauce, or oil ; partridge, 
salmon, white or red wines ; these things they 
hold as matters of indifference, provided you say 
a short prayer before and after dinner, and even 
without this ceremony before breakfast; and with 
good natured worthy men they will banter about 
the great Lama, theTurlah, Vincaland Memnon, 
&c. only these Diestos must acknowledge our 
Canusi to be very profound cooks; and espe- 
cially let them never talk of curtailing our in* 
comes ; then we shall live very easily together. 

Ind. But still there must be cookery by law 
establiflied, or the king's cookery. 

Jap. There must so ; but when the king of 
Japan has regaled himself plentifully, he should 
be chearful and indulgent, and not hinder his 
good subjects from having their repasts. 

Ind. But should some hot-headed people 
take on themfelves to eat sausages close to the 
king's nose, when the king is known to have an 
aversion to that food; should a mob of four or 
five thousand of them get together, each with his 
gridiron, to broil their sausages, and insult those 
who are against eating them— 

Jap. In such a case they ought to be punished 




as turbulent drunkards. But wé bave obvi- 
ated this danger; none but those who follow the 
royal cookery are capable of holding any employ* 
ment ; all others may, indeed, eat as they please* 
but this humour excludes them from fome emo- 
luments. Tumults are strictly forbidden, ami 
instantly punished without mercy or mitigation ? 
all quarrels at table are carefully restrained by a 
precept of our great Japanese ' cook, who nas 
written in the sacred language. " Suti raho, eus 
" flat, natus in usum laetitiae scyphi* pugnare 
" tracum eft :" that is, " the intent of feasting 
" is a sober and decent mirth; but to tktow 
" glasses at one another is savage/' 

Under these maxims we live very happily; 
onr liberty is secured by our Taicosemats; we 
are every day growing more and more opulent; 
we have two hundred junks of the line, and are 
dreaded by our neighbours. 

Ini>. Why then has the pious rhymer Recna 
(son to the so justly celebrated Indian poet Rec- 
na J said in adidaâiG work of bis, incitled'Gfitc*» 
and not the Graces, „ 

Le Japon où jadis brilla tant de lumière, 
Nc'est pfàs qu'uè triste amas de foikfr riâùtu. * 

" Japan, once femed for intellectual light, 
" lies now involved in error and, chimerical 
** vision." 

Jap. That Rectia is himself an affant vMon- 
ary. Does not that weak Indian know, that it is 
we who have taught his contrymen what light is I 
That it is to us India owes its knowing the course 
of the planets; that it is we who have made 
known to man the primitive laws of nature, and 

F the 


the doctrine of fluxions ? To descend to thing» 
of more common use; by us his countrymen 
were taught to build junks in mathematical pro- 
portions; they are beholden to us for those co- 
verings of their legs which they call wove stock- 
ings. Now is it possible that, after such admira- 
ble and useful inventions, we should be mad- 
men? And if he has rhimed on the follies of 
others» does. that make him the only wise man? 
Let bim leave us to our own cookery, and, if he 
must be versifying, I would advise him to chuse 
more poetical subjects. 

This Recna, trusting to the visionaries of his 
country, has advanced, " That no good sauces 
" were to be made unless Brama himself, out 
" of his particular favour, taught his favourites 
" to make the sauce; that there was an infinite 
" number of cooks, who, with the best intentions 
" and most earnest endeavours, were under an 
impossibility of making a ragout; Brama, 
from mere ill will, disabling them." Such 
stuff will not go down in Japan, where the fol- 
lowing sentence is esteemed an indisputable 

" God never acts by partial will, but by general laws. 

Ind. What can be said! He is full of his 
country's prejudices, those of his party, and 
his own. 

Jap. A world of prejudices indeed! 





do, my dear Theotimus, you are going to be 
a country parson. 


Yes, t have had a small parish conferred on 
me, and I like it better than a larger; it is more 
suited both to my parts and my activity; having 
but one soul myself, the superintendance and 
direction of seventy thousand would certainly be 
too much for me; and I have ever wondered at 
the daringness of those who have taken on them 
the care of those immense districts.. I cannot, 
in any tolerable measure, find myself equal to 
such a charge; a large stock really frightens me, 
but with a small one I may perhaps do some 
good. I have a smattering ot the law, enough, 
with my careful endeavours, to prevent my poor 
parishioners from ruining one another by litiga* 
tions ; I am so far a physician as to prescribe to 
them in common cases ; and I have so far looked 
into our best treatises on agriculture, that my ad- 
vice may sometimes be of service to them. The 
lord of the manor and his lady are mighty good 
sort of people, devotees; they will second 
my endeavours to do good, so that I promisé 
myself a very happy time of it, and that those 
among whom I am to live will not be the worse 
for my company. 

Arist. But could you not like to have a 
wife? It would be a great comfort after preach- 

F 2 ing, 


ing, singing, confessing communicating, bap- 
tizing, and burying, to be welcomed at your 
return home by an affectionate, cleanly, and 
virtuous wife; she would take care of your 
linen and person, divert you when in health* 
tend you in sickness, and make you the father 
of pretty children, the good education of whom 
would be of public advantage. I really pity 
your order, whose whole time is spent in the 
most valuable service of mankind, yet are de- 
barred of a comfort and solacement so delectable, 
and withal so necessary» 

Theot. The Greek church makes a point 
of encouraging marriage in their priests; the 
church of England and the Protestants univer- 
sally act with the like wisdom ; but the policy of 
the Latin church is quite opposite, and I must 
submit to it. Perhaps in the present prevalence 
of a philosophical spirit, were a council convened, 
its decrees would be more favourable to human 
nature than those of the council of Trent; but 
till that happy time, I must conform to the pre* 
sent laws; lam no stranger to its difficulties, 
but so many of my betters having taken the yoke 
on them, it is not for me to murmur. 

Arist* You have a great share of learning, 
and are likewise master of a nervous eloquence; 
how; do you intend to preach before a congrega- 
tion of villagers? 

Thèot. As I would before kings. I will 
insist on morality, and never meddle with con- 
troversy. God forbid that I. should go about 
diving into concomitant grace, effectual grace 
Which may be resisted, sufficient grace which 
does not suffice ; or examining whether the angels 
who came to Lot had a body, or only feigned to 



e?t. A thousand things there are, which toy 
Congregation would not understand, nor I nei- 
ther; ray endeavour shall be to make them good, 
and to be so myself; but I shall make no divines» 
nor be so myself, no more than shall be abso- 
lutely necessary. 

Arist. You will make a good priest, in- 
deed! I think I must purchase a country-house 
in your parish* But be so kind as to tell me how 
you will manage confession. 

Theot. Confession is highly beneficial, a 
strong curb to vice, and a very early institution. 
It was anciently practised at the celebration of all 
the mysteries of the church; and we have imi- 
tated and sanctified so devout an observance; it 
avails greatly, turning resentment aqd hatred 
into forgiveness and friendship ; by it the pretty 
rogues are induced to restore what they bad stolen. 
I own it has also its inconveniences. There are 
too many indiscreet confessors, chiefly among 
the monks, who' sometimes teach girls more 
fooleries than they learn among the young men» 
In confession there should be no particulars; it 
is no juridical interrogatory, but only a sinner's 
acknowledgment of his faults to the Supreme 
Being, before another sinner, who is soon to 
make the like acknowledgment. This salutary 
avowal is hot made to gratify a frivolous cu- 

Arist. And excommunications; will you 
ever proceed to such extremities? 

Theot. No; some rituals excommunicate 
grashoppers, sorcerers, and stage-players. Gras- 
hoppers I shall never exclude from my church, 
for they never come there ; as little shall I ex- 
communicate sprcerers, seeing there are none ; 

F 3 and 


and stage-players being authorized by the magis- 
trates, and pensioned by his majesty,-k would 
ill become me to brand them with infamy : and, 
to be ingenuous, I can with pleasure read a play, 
when kept within the limits of decency ; such» 
for instance, as Athaliah and the Misanthrope, 
which contain a great deal of moral instruction. 
The lord of our manor has some such pieces 
acted at his seat by young people of a theatrical 
turn ; these exhibitions lead to virtue through the 
attractive of pleasure, form the taste, and greatly 
contribute to a just elocution. Now, for my 
part, in all this I see nothing but what is very 
innocent, and even very useful ; so that I intend, 
purely for my instruction, to be sometimes a 
spectator, but in a latticed box, to avoid giving 
offence to the weak. 

Arist. The more you let me into your way 
4>f thinking, the more desirous am I of becoming 

Îour parishioner ; but one point remains, which 
think of very great importance. How will 
you do to hinder the peasants from fuddling on 
the holidays, which, you know, is their chief 
way of keeping festivals ? Some, overcome, by 
a liquid poison, are seen with their heads drooping 
almost to their knees, their hands dangling, 
their sight and hearing lost, in a condition very 
much beneath beasts; led home reeling by their 
lamenting wives, incapable of going to work the 
next «day, often sick, and sometimes irrecover- 
ably besotted. Others, inflamed by wine, raise 
quarrels, which soon come to furious blows; and 
these brutal scenes, a disgrace to human nature, 
have not seldom been known to end in a murder. 
It is a known truth, that the state loses more sub- 
jects by holidays, than by wars; now how will 




you, if not eradicate this execrable custom out 
of your parish, at least bring it under some 
regulation ? 

Theot. I have a remedy at hand; I shall 
not only give them leave, but exhort them to 
follow their occupations after divine service; and 
that I will take care to begin very early, for it is 
their being unemployed on such days which sends 
them to public-houses ; on the working days we 
hear of no riot or bloodshed. Moderate labour 
Î6 good both for soul and body: besides, the state 
wants their labour. Let us suppose, and the 
supposition is within bounds, five millions of 
men, one with another, doing ten pennyworth 
*>f work, and that these five millions of men are, 
by such a custom, rendered quite useless no less 
than thirty days in the year ; consequently the 
state is deprived of work to the value of thirty 
times five millions of tenpences ; now God never 
enjoined drunkenness, nor such detrimental ob- 
servance of festivals. 

Arist. This will be reconciling devotion 
and business, and both are of God s appoint* 
ment ; thus you serve God, and do good to your 
neighbour. But amidst our ecclesiastical feuds, 
with which party will you side ? 

Theot. With none. Virtue never occa- 
sions any disputes, because it comes from God; 
all these heart-burnings are about opinions, 
which are the inventions of men, 

Arist. Excellent! I wish all priests were 
like you» 






XJLOW oW may your friend Christopher be? 
Twenty-eight. 1 have seen both his contract 
of marriage, and the register of his birth : I have 
known him from a child ; twenty-eight is his 
age. I am as certain of it as certain can be. 

Soon after this man's answer, who was so sure 
of what he said, and of twenty others, in con- 
firmation of the same thing, I happened to be 
informed that, for private reasons, and by an 
odd contrivance, the register pf Christopher's 
birth was antedated. They to. whom I had 
spoken, knowing nothing .of this, are still in 
the greatest certainty -of what is not. 

Had you, in Copernicus's time, asked all. the 
world, Did the sun rise, did the sun set, to-day? 
they would, one and all, have answered, That's 
a certainty ; we are fully certain of it : thus they 
were certain, and yet mistaken. 

Witchcraft, divinations, and possessions, 
were, for a long time, universally accounted the 
most certain things in the world» What, num- 
berless crowds have seen all those fine things, 
and have been certain of them! but at present, 
such certainty begins to lose its credit. 
. A young man, just^entered on geometry, and 
gone no farther than the definition of triangles, 
calls on me : Are not you certain, said I to him, 
that the three angles of a triangle are equal to 
two right angles ? He answers me, that, so far 
from being certain, he has not a clear idea of 
the proposition ; on which I demonstrate it to 
him; this, indeed, makes him very certain of 
it, and he. will be so as long as he lives. 



. Here is a certainty very different from the 
former: they were only probabilities, which, 
on being searched into, are found errors; but 
mathematical certainty is immutable and eternal, 
I exist, I think, I feel pain; is all this as 
certain as a geometrical truth ? Yes. And why ? 
Because these truths are proved by the same 

?rinciple, that a thing cannot, at the same time, 
e and not be. I cannot, at one and the same 
time, exist and not exist, feel and not feel. A 
triangle cannot have and not have a hundred and 
eighty degrees, the sum of two right angles. 

Thus the physical certainty of my existence 
and my sensation, and mathematical certainty, 
are of a like validity, though differing in kind. 

But this is by no means applicable to the cer- 
tainty founded on appearances, or the unanimous 
relations of men. 

How, say you, are not you certain that there 
is such a city as Pekin? Have you not some 
Pekin manufactures ? Are you not certain of 
the existence of Pekin from the accounts of 
persons of different nations and different opi- 
nions, and writing violently against each other, 
when preaching the troth in that city. I answer, 
that it is highly probable there was such a city at 
that time, but I would not lay my life on its ex- 
istence; whereas at any time will I stake my life 
that the three angles of a triangle are equal to 
wo right angles. 

The Diction aire Encyclopédique has 
a very droll assertion, that should all Paris say 
that Marshal Saxe is risen from the dead, a man 
ought to be as sure and certain of it, as he is that 
the marshal gained the battle of Fontenoy, oh 
hearing, all Paris say so. Excellent reasoning! 

I believe 



I believe all Paris when it tells me a thing mo- 
rally possible ; must I therefore believe all Paris 
when it tells me a thing which is both morally 
and naturally impossible ? 

The author of this article, I suppose, was in a 
bantering strain, and the other author against 
whom it was written, probably means no more 
by his extatic applauses at the end of it. 


IT is an old supposition, that all events are 
linked together by an invincible fatality : this is 
destiny, which Homer makes superior to Jupiter 
himself. This sovereign of gods and men frankly, 
declares that he cannot save his son Sarpedon 
from dying at the time appointed. Sarpedon 
was born at the very instant that he was to be 
born, at any other he could not be born ; so he 
could not die any where but before Troy ; he 
could be buried no where butin Lycia; his body 
was at the destined time to produce herbs 
and pulse, which were to be changed into 
the substance of some Lycians. His heirs were 
to institute a new form of government in his 
dominions; this new form was to affeft the 
neighbouring kingdoms, and this put those who 
bordered on these neighbouring kingdoms on 
new measures of peace or war : thus the fate of 
the whole earth came gradually to be determined 
by that of Sarpedon, which depended on another 
event, and this by a chain of other events, was 
connected with the origin of things. 

Had only one of these transactions been dif- 
ferently disposed, it would have caused a differ- 
ent universe; and that the present universe 



should exist and not exist is an impossibility, 
therefore it was not possible for Jupiter, with all 
his omnipotence, to save his son's life. 

This system of necessity and fatality, has, ac- 
cording to Leibnitz, been struck dut by himself, 
under the appellation of sufficient reason, 
but it is in reality of very ancient date ; that 
no effect is without a cause, and that, often, 
the least cause produces the greatest effects, is 
what the world is not to be taught at this time 
of day. 

My Lord Bolingbroke owns, that the trivial, 
quarrel between the Duchess of Marlborough 
and Mrs. Masham put him upon making the 
separate treaty between Queen Anne and Lewis 
XIV. This treaty brought on the peace of 
Utrecht. This peace settled Philip V . on the 
Spanish throne. Philip V. dispossessed the 
house of Austria of Naples and Sicily; 
thus the Spanish prince, who is now king of 
Naples, evidently owes his sovereignty to Mrs. 
Masham : he would not have had it, perhaps he 
would not so much as have been born, had 
the Duchess of Marlborough behaved with due 
complaisance towards the Queen of England; 
his existence at Naples depended on a few fol. 
lies committed at the court of London. En- 
quire into the situation of all the nations on the 
globe, and they all derive from a chain of 
events, apparently quite unconnected wjth any 
one thing, and connected with every thing. In 
this immense machine all is wheel-work, pully, 
cords, and spring. 

It is the same in the physical system : a wind 
blowing from the south of Africa and the aus« 
Jral.spas, , brings with it part of the African at- 



inosphere, which falls down again in rain among 
the vallies of the Alps, and these rains fructify 
our .lands. Again*our northern wind watts our 
vapours among thfe negroes : thus we benefit 
Guinea, and are benefited by it ; and this chain 
reaches from one end of the universe to the 

But the truth of this principle, I think» has 
been stretched to a strange excess. Some will 
have it, that there is no atom ever so minute 
but its motion contributed to the present dis- 
position of the whole world ; and that every 
petty incident, whether among men or brutes, is 
an essential link in the great chain of fatality. 

Let us understand one another: every effect 
has evidently its cause, recurring from cause to 
cause, up to the abyss of eternity; but every 
cause has not its effect traced forward to the end 
of time. That all events proceed from others I 
own ; as the past has brought forth the present, 
the present produces the future; every thing 
has fathers, but every thing has not always 
children. This cannot be better elucidated than 
by a genealogical tree; every family is deduced 
from Adam, but many of its branches die with- 
out issue. 

The events^of this world are not without their 
genealogical tree : the inhabitants of Gaul and 
Spain are indifputably defcended from Gomer, 
and the Russians from Magog, his younger bro- 
ther, for so it is said in many huge books; then 
we are of course indebted to Magog for the 
sixty thousand Russians now in arms towards 
the confines of Poroerania, and the sixty thou- 
sand French in the neighbourhood of Franck- 
fort. But I do not. see how Magog's spitting 



to the right or left near Mount Caucasus, or his 
making^ two or three arche» on the inside of a 
well, or his lying on his right or his left side, 
could have any considerable influence in the 
Czarina Elizabeth's resolution of sending an v 
army to the assistance of Mary Theresa, Empress 
of tne Romans. That my dog dreamed or did 
not dream in its sleep has any relation to the 
grand Mogul's coiicerns, is what I cannot see 

It must be considered, that all things are not 
full in nature ; and that every motion is not 
communicated successively, so as to be conti- 
nued round the world. On throwing into water 
a body of equal density, you easily conceive 
that in some short time the motion of such body, 
and that which it has caused in the water, wilt 
cease ; motion is lost and recovered : thus the 
motion which might have been produced by 
Magog's spitting in a well, can have no affinity 
with what i£ now doing in Russia and Prussia ; 
thus the present events are not issued from all 
the former events ; they have their direct lines ; 
but a thousand petty collateral lines do not in 
the least conduce to them : I say it again, every 
being has its fathers, but every being has not 
children. I may possibly erilarge on this head, 
when I come to speak of Destiny. 


AT my first reading Plato, I was charmed 
with his gradation of beings, rising from the 
slightest atom to the supreme essence. Such a 
Scale struck me with admiration ; but, on a closer 
survey of it, this august phantom disappeared, arf 



formerly ghosts used to hie away at the Crowing 
of the cock. 

Fancy is 9 at first, ravished in beholding the 
imperceptible ascent from senseless matter to 
organized bodies, from plants to zoophytes, 
from zoophytes to animals, from these to men, 
from men to genii, from these aethereal genii to 
immaterial essence, and lastly numberless dif- 
ferent orders of thèse-essences, ascending through 
a succession of increasing beauties and perfec- 
tions, to God himself. The devout are mightily 
taken with this hierarchy, as representing the 
pope and his cardinals, followed by the arch- 
bishops and bishops, and then by the reverend 
train of rectors, vicars, unbeneficed priests, dea- 
cons, and subdeacons ; then come the regulars, 
and the capuchins bring up the rear. 

But from God to his most perfect creatures 
the distance is something greater than between 
the pope and the dean of the sacred college ; 
this dean may come to be pope, whereas the 
most perfect of the genii never can be God.» 
Infinitude lies between God and him. 

Neither does this chain, this pretended gra- 
dation, exist any longer in vegetables and ani- 
mals, some species of plants and animals being 
' totally extinguished. The murex is not to be 
found; it was forbidden to eat the griffin and 
ixion, which, whatever Bochart may say, have, 
for ages past, not been in nature ; where then 
is the chain ? 

. If no species have been lost, yet it is manifest 
they may be destroyed, for lions and rhinoce- 
roses are crowing very scarce. 

It is far from being improbable that there 
have been breeds of men now no longer existing ; 




but I grant that they all have been preserved, as 
truly as the whites, the blacks, the Caffrcs, to 
whom nature has given a membraneous apron 
hanging from their belly half down their thighs; 
the Samoiedes, where one of the nipples of the 
women's breasts is of a fine ebony, &c. - 

Is there not a manifest chasm between the 
monkey and man ? Is it not easy to conceive a 
two-legged animal without feathers, endowed 
with understanding, but without speech or our 
shape, which we might tame and instruct, so that 
it should answer to our signs, and serve us to 
many purposes ; and between this new species 
and that of man, might not others be contrived ? 
Farther, divine Plato, you quarter in the fir* 
marnent a series of cœlestial substances. As for 
us, we believe the existence of some of these 
substances, being taught so by our faith. But 
what grounds can you have for such a belief ? It 
is to be supposed that you never conversed with 
Socrates's genius ; and the good man Heres, who 
kindly rose from the dead, purely to communi- 
cate to you the mysteries of the other world, did 
not say a word to you about such substances. 

This supposed chain is not less imperfect in 
the sensible universe. 

What gradation, pray, is there between those 
planets of yours? The moon is forty times 
.smaller than our globe. In your journey from 
the moon through the ether you meet with 
Venus, which is nearly as big as the earth. 
Whence you come to Mercury turning in an 
ellipsis, which is very different from Venus' 
orbits ; he is twenty-seven times smaller than 
our planet, and the sun is a million times larger. 
Mars is five times smaller; the former performs 



his orbit in two years» Jupiter its neighbour in' 
twelve, Saturn takes up thirty» and yet Saturn» 
the most distant of any» is not so large as Jupiter. 
Araidft these disproportions what becomes of the 
gradation ? 

And then, how can you think that, in such 
immense voids, there can be a chain- whereby 
every thing is connected ; if such a chain there 
be, it is certainly that discovered by Newton» 
and by which all the globes of the planetary 
world gravitate towards each other, throughout 
these immense spaces* 

Oh! Plato, thou so much admired, your 
writings swarm with fables and fictions; and the 
Cassiterides, where» in your time» men went 
quite naked, has produced a philosopher» who 
has taught the world truths as great and sublime 
as your notions were erroneous and puerile* 


V^OMES from a Greek word, signifying im- 
pression and graving; it is what nature has en- 
graven in us; then can we efface it ? This is a 
weighty question* A mishapen nose, cats eyes» 
or any deformity in the features, may be hidden 
with a masque, and can I do more with the cha- 
racter which nature has given me ? A man na- 
turally impetuous and passionate comes before 
Fraiïcis I. king of France, to complain of an out- 
rage t the prince's aspect, thé respectful beha- 
viour of the courtiers, the very place, make a 
powerful impression on him. With eye* caft 
down, a soft voice, and every sign of humility, he 

E resents his petition, so that one would think 
e was naturally as mild and pôlitè 9 ar afé (at 



least at that time) the courtiers, among whom he 
is eVen out of countenance ; but if Francis I. 
be a physiognomist, he will easily discover by the 
sullen fire in his eyes, by the straining of the 
muscles in his face, and the compression of his 
lips, that this man is not really so mild as he is 
obliged to appear. The same man follows him 
to Pavia, is taken with him, and confined in the 
same prison at Madrid ; here the impression made 
on him by Francis's aspect and grandeur ceases ; 
he grows familiar with the object of his respect. 
One day drawing on the king's boots, and doing 
it wrong, the king, soured by his misfortune, 
takes pet ; on this my gentleman, shaking off all 
respect to his majesty, throws the boots out of 
the window. 

Sixtus Quintus was naturally petulant, obsti- 
nate, haughty, violent, revengeful, and arro- 
fjant ; this character, however, seems quite mol- 
ified amidft the trials of his noviciate. But no 
sooner has he attained to some consideration in 
his order, than he flies into a passion againft his 
superior, and severely belabours him with his fists, 
till he lays him sprawling. On his being made 
inquisitor at Venice, his insolence became in- 
tolerable. On his promotion to the purple, he 
was immediately seized with the rabbi a pa* 
pale, which so far got the better of his natural 
character, that he affected obscurity, mortifica- 
tion, humility» and a very weak state of health* 
At length he is chosen Pope, and now the spring 
recovers its whole elasticity, which had been so 
long under restraint : never was a more haughty 
and despotic sovereign known. 

" Natuiftfti expellas, furca tamen ipsa redibit." 

G Religion 


Religion and morality lay a check on the force 
of the natural temper, but cannot extirpate it. A 
sot, when in a convent, reduced to halt' a pint of 
cyder at each meal, will no longer be seen drunk, 
but his love of wine will ever be the same. 

Age weakens the natural character; it is a 
tree which produces only some degenerate fruits, 
still are they of one and the same nature. It 
grows knotty», and over-run with moss, and 
worm-eaten : but amidst all this, it continues 
what it was, whether oak or pear-tree. Could 
a man change his character, he would give him*- 
self one - r he would be superior to nature. Can 
we give ourselves any thing ? What have we that 
we have not received ? Endeavour to rouze the 
indolent to a confiant activity, to freeze the impe- 
tuous into an apathy, to give a taste for poetry 
and music to one who has neither taste or ears, 
you may as well go about washing the Black- 
moor white, or giving sight to one born blind. 
We only improve, polish, and conceal, what pa* 
ture has put into us; we have nothing of our 
own putting. 

A country gentleman is told, there are too mapy 
fish in that pond,, they will never thrive,; your 
meadows are crowded with sheep, they have not 
grass sufficient, they fall away to nothing. Some* 
time after this advice, it so falls out, that the 
pikes devour half the carps, and the wolves thin 
his meadows, so that what sheep are left, fatten 
apace. Shall he pique himself pri bis manage», 
ment ? Well, this country gentleman is jio other 
than thyself: one of thy passions has swaljowed 
up the rest, and thou boastest of self- con quest, 
How very few among us, who may not be com* 
pared to that decrepid general, ninety years old, 



CHINA. 83 

who meeting some young officers making a little 
free with girls, said to them, quite in a passion, 
Fy, gentlemen, what do you mean! dpi set you 
any such example ? ... 


W E go to fetch earth from China, as if we 
had none ; stuffs, as if we were without stuffs ; 
a small herb to infuse into water, as if our cli- 
mates did not afford any -simples. In return, 
which is a very commendable zeal, we are for 
converting the Chinese; but we should' not of- 
fer to dispute their antiquity, < and tell «hem that 
they are idolaters : for, indeed, what would be 
thought of a capuchin who, after being kindly 1 
entertained at a seat of the Montmorenci's, should 
go about to persuade them that they were but* 
new made nobles, like secretaries of state, mid 
accuse them of being idolators, having dbfcerved 
in this seat two or three of the constable's statue^ 

which they highly value *■ « ; . 

. The celebrated Wolff, mathematical professor 
in the university of Halle, once made a judicioutt 
oration on the Chinese philosophers i he p raised 
this ancient race of men, though different from 
us in the beard, eyes, nose, ears, and reasoning;; 
he commended the Chinese as adoring one Su-- 
preme God, and cherishing virtue** thus doing 
justice ta the emperors of China, to the Kolâos, 
to the tribunals, to the literati :the ju&tice, whieh; 
the bonzes deserve, is of a different kind. • }^ 
This Wolff, you must know* drew to' Hal tea 
great resort of scholars from all nations :' there 
was in the same university a professor of divinity 1 
named Enget» Who had scarce a single scholar 7 

G % this 

84 CHINA. 

this man, exasperated at starving with cold m rnV 
empty auditory, conceived a design, and, to be 
sure very justly, to ruin the professor of mathe- 
matics, and, as usual with such men, he charged, 
him with not believing in God. 

Some European writers, utter strangers to Chi- 
na, had affirmed, that all the men of any note or 
consideration at Pekin were atheists ; now Wolff 
had commended the Pekin philosophers ; Wolff 
therefore was an atheist ; envy and hatred never 
formed better syllogisms. Yet this argument, 
with the help of a cabal and a protector, appeared 
so conclusive to the king of the country, that he 
sent the mathematician a dilemma in form, the 
import of which was, either to leave Halle in 
twenty-four hours, or to be hanged. As Wolff 
always reasoned very justly, he immediately left 
the city ; but by his departure the king lost two 
or three hundred thousand crowns a year, which 
the great number of that philosopher's scholars 
brought into the kingdom. 

May this be a document to sovereigns, not al- 
ways to lend an ear to calumny, and sacrifice a 
great man to the rancour of a blockhead. 

Let us return to China. 

What do we mean here, at the farthest part of 
the west, thus virulently to dispute whether Fohi, 
Emperor of China, was the fourteenth Emperor 
or not, and whether Fohi lived three thousand, or 
two thousand nine hundred years before our com» 
mon aera? 1 should laugh at two Irishmen wrang- 
ling at Dublin about who, in the twelfth century, 
was the owner of the estate which I now hold ; is 
it not clear that they should be determined by me, 
as having the writings in my hands ? The case, I 
think, is similar, with regard to the first emperors of 

4 . China; 

the flrifPiiHMt et oac coonfinr are «be bet 

leaned before Foca* the 
tenk vdi be, xfeat Gam* was then very wett 
peo pl ed , and haul lavs and a political constko~ 
«km. Now, let aae ask too, whether a natioo 
hVing in towns, and having laws and sovereigns* 
does not imply a prodigious antiquity ? Consù 
der the time thai most have passed, and the con- 
cunence of circumstances, before iron could 
be found ont in the mines, and then fitted for 
agriculture; and likewise before the invention 
of the shuttle and all other trades. 

Some who play the fool with their pens have 
contrived a whimsical sort of calculation ; the 
Jesuit Petau, in his sagacious computation» at 
the epocha of only two hundred and eighty-five 
years alter the deluge, gives the earth an hun« 
dred times more inhabitants than can be supposed 
in it at present. Cumberland and Whiston are no 
less ridiculous in their calculations» Good men I 
Had they only consulted the registers of our 
American colonies, they would have been asto- 
nished. They would have seen how very slowly 
the human species multiplies, and very often, so 
far from increasing, diminishes. 

Let us, therefore, who are but of yesterday, 
descendants from the Celts, who have but just 
cleared our wild countries from the forests with 
which they were overrun ; let us, I say, leave 
the Chinese and the Indians in the quiet enjoy- 
ment of their fine climate and their antiquity; 
especially let us forbear calling the Emperor of 
China and the Soubah of. Decan idolators : nei- 
ther are we to be infatuated with Chinese merit. 

G 3 The 

8§ CHINA. 

The constitution of their empire is, indeed» the 
best in the whole world, the only one which is 
entirely modelled from paternal power (the man- 
darins, however, chastise their children very se- 
verely) the only one where the governor of a 
province is punished, if, at the expiration of his 
office, the people do not shew their approbation 
of his. conduct by loud acclamations ; the only 
one which has instituted prizes for virtue, whilst 
every where else the laws only punish vice ; the 
only one whose Uws have recommended them* 
sehrçs ta its conqueror», whilst we are still swayed 
by the cuftoms of our conquerors, the Burgun- 
dians, the Franks, and the Goths. But it must 
be owned, that the commonalty who are bonze- 
ridden, are no less knavish than ours ; that fo- 
reigners are extremely imposed on, as amongst 
us ; that in sciences the Chinese are two hundred 
years behind us; that, like us, they have a thou* 
$and ridiculous notions, that they give credit to 
talismans and judicial astrology, which was also 
6ur case lor .a long time. 
• ' It taunt farther be owned, that they were 
amazed at our thermometer, at our way of freez* 
irig liquors by salt-petre, and with Torricellfs 
and Onto Gueric's experiments, just as we our* 
selves were at our first seeing those physical ex* 
bibitions v farther 1 ., their physicians do not cure 
mortal distemjpers, any more than ours; and the 
slighter illnesses nature alone cures them, as 
here : notwithstanding all this, the Chinese, four 
thousand years ago, when we did not know our 
letters, were masters of all that is essentially use- 
ful in that knowledge which we so much value 
ourselves on at present, 






J. . 

AN vain have several of the learned expressed 
their wonder, that in the historian Josephus ( 9 ) 


(• ) That the passage concerning Christ in Josephus's 
history is universally allowed to be interpolated, is not 
true ; very learned men have maintained the contrary. 
Besides, this is but a negative argument, which can be 
of no manner of weight against the positive and un- 
doubted authorities of Pagan writers, not one of 
whom is mentioned by our author. Nothing can be 
more disingenuous. The star that appeared at Christ's 
birth, and the journey of the Chaldean wifemen, are 
mentioned by Chalcioius the Platonist: " Est quoque 
** alia sanctior & venerabilior historia, quae perhibet 
" ortu stellae cujusdam non morbos mortesque denun- 
44 datas, sed descensum Dei venerabilis ad human» 
" conser vationis, rerumque mortaliuni gratiam : quam 
** stellam cum nocturno tempore inspexissent Chal- 
" daeorum profeâo sapientes viri, & consideratione 
u rerum caelestium satis exercitati, quaesisse dicuntur 
** recentis ortum Dei, repertaque ilia maj estate 
u puerili veneratos esse, & vota Deo tanto conveni- 
'* entia nuncupassc. In Commentario ad Timseum." 
The slaughter of the innocents by Herod is related by 
Macrobius, who, at the same time, has given us a re- 
flection made on that occasion by the Emperor Augus- 
tus : " Cum audisset inter pueros, quos in Syria He- 
** rodes rex Judaeorum intra bimatum jussit interfici, 
44 iilium quoque ejus occisum, ait, u Melius est He- 
u rodis porcum esse quam filium." Lib. ii. cap. 4. 

G 4 Christ's 


they meet with no trace of Jesus Christ, the 
little passage relating to him in his history being 
now universally given up as interpolated. Yet 
Josephus's father must have been an eye- witness 


Christ's crucifixion under Pontius Pilate is related by 
Tacitus : " Tiberio imperitante, per procuratorem 
**. Pontium Pilatum supplicio affectus crat." Lib. xv. 
The earthquake and miraculous darkness attending it, 
are recorded by Phlegon, Ub. xiii. Chronicorum sive 
Oiympiadum. To) $' erg* rUs C. B. 'OXi/^wiâSoç 

ÇoV x.a.1 vi/£ *& rriS *>t*éç as ryévcro, oisb koci dséçocç 
tv *«çavw (pavwou, (tekt/aoç t« y*zyas xarà Btôuviav 
yevoij^vèsra zsoXkatiuuLasKaLTisefa» — Besides, these 
very circumstances were mentioned in the public Ro- 
man records, to which the early writers of Christianity 
used to appeal, as of undoubted authority with their 
adversaries. See Grotius de Ver. Rel. Chr. lib. iii. 
Dr. Clarke on the Evidences of Natural and Revealed 
Religion, p. 357. And Mr. Addison, in his little 
treatise on the Christian Religion, sect. 2. 

The difficulties in the history of the Evangelists are 
such as may be easily removed by consulting the an. 
notations of learned expositors, or even by a diligent 
meditation of the Scriptures. If the obscurity of a 
work were an argument against its authority, there 
would be an end of all historical credibility. We 
meet with difficulties in Polybius, Livy, Plutarch, an4 
yet we doubt not of their veracity. 

But to come to the difficulties mentioned by our au- 
thor: 1, The Zachariah mentioned by St. Matthew, 
is most probably concluded to be the son of Jehoiada, 
whom the Jews stoned to death in the very court of 
the temple, at the command of Joash (Chron. ii. 24.) 
And as for the father's name not agreeing, Jehoiada 



ef Jesus's miracles. This historian was of the 
priestly lineage, and being related to queen Ma- 
riamne, Herod's wife, is minutely particular on 
all that prince's proceedings, yet wholly silent as 
to the life and death of Christ. Though neither 
concealing nor palliating Herod's cruelties, not 

a word 

might have two names, which was not an uncommon 
thing among the Jews. Besides, even if we could 
not find such a Zacnariah in the Jewish history, is it 
a proof that he never existed ? Is it to be supposed 
the Scripture has given us every transaction of that 
nation, and that nothing has been omitted by the sa- 
cred historian ? 

3. The difficulties about the genealogy of Christ have 
at all times been made use çf as an argument by the ad- 
versaries of our holy religion. St» Matthew and St. Luke 
have given us two genealogies, which differ in ap- 
pearance, but agree in the main. The Jews were very 
exact in their genealogies, and no doubt but the evan- 
gelists took that of our Saviour from the public records, 
3ut it is supposed by very learned writers, and with 
the greatest probability, that one of these genealogies 
is that of Mary, and the other that of Joseph. St. 
Matthew made the genealogy of Joseph, who was 
the last male of David's race descended from Solo- 
mon ; and St. Luke that of the Virgin Mary, by Na- 
than from David. There are other opinions in regard 
to the solution of this difficulty ; but this is sufficient 
to shew that the two genealogies may be reconciled. 
To conclude, we may safely affirm, with the learned 
Dr. Clarke, that the evidence which God has afforded 
for the truth of our religion is abundantly sufficient; 
and that the cause of men's infidelity is not the want 
of better evidence, but the dominion of their passions, 
which prevents them from hearkening to any reason- 
able conviction. 


a word does he say about his ordering the chil- 
dren to be massacred, on an information that a 
king of the Jews was just born. According to 
the Greek calendar the number of children put 
to death on that occasion amounted to fourteen 

Of all the cruelties ever committed by all the 
tyrants that ever lived, this was the most horrible; 
a like instance is not to be found in history. 

Yet the best writer, the Jews ever had, the 
only one of any account with the Romans and 
Greeks, makes no manner of mention of a trans- 
action so. very extraordinary, and so very dread- 
ful. He says not a word of the new star which 
bad appeared in the east at the Saviour's nativity; 
and a phœnomenon so singular could not escape 
the knowledge of such an accurate historian as 
Josephus : he is likewise silent as to the darkness 
which, at noon day, covered the whole earth for 
the space of three hours, whilst the Saviour was 
on the cross ; the opening of the tombs at that 
awful time; and the number of the just who rose 
from the dead. 

: It is no less a matter of wonder to the learned 
that these prodigies are not taken notice of by any 
Roman historian, though they happened in the 
reign of Tiberius, under the very eyes of a Ro- 
man governor and garrison, who naturally would 
have sent the emperor and senate a circumstan- 
tial account of the most miraculous event ever 
beard of. Rome itself must for three hours have 
been involved in thick darkness, and surely such 
a prodigy would have been noted in the annals of 
Rome, and those of all other nations. But God, 
I suppose, would not allow that such divine 



things should be committed to writing by pro- 
pfaane hands (')• 

The same learned persons likewise meet with 
some difficulties in the evangelical history. They 
observe, that in St. Matthew, Jesus Christ says 
to the Scribes and Pharisees, that upon them 
should come all the innocent blood shed on the 
earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to that 
of Zachariah the son of Barac, whom they slew 
between the temple and the altar. 

In all the history of the Hebrews, say they, we 
meet with no such person as Zachariah killed in 
the temple before the coming of the Messiah, nor 
in hi& time; but Josephus, in his history of the 
siege of Jerusalem, (chap. xix. book iv.) men- 
tions a Zachariah the. son of Barachiah, who was 
killed in the middle of the temple, by the faction 
of the Zelotes. This has given rise to a suspi- 
cion that St.. Matthew's gospel was not written 
till after the taking of Jerusalem by Titus. But 
if we consider the infinite difference there must 
be between books divinely inspired and such as 
are merely human* all .these doubts, difficulties, 
and objections, immediately vanish. It was 
Cod's- pleasure that his birth, life, and death, 
should îe shrouded in a cloud of respectable 
darkness; His ways in all things are different 
from ours. 

The learned are also at a great loss to recon- 
cile the difference of the two genealogies of 
Christ. Jn Su Matthew, Joseph's father is 
.•; .■. ■ . > .\ , Jacob, 

• lb 

\* • 

(*) Josephus's silence is very well accounted for by 
the bishop of Cloyne, in lus Minute Philoso- 
pher, p. 313. 



Jacob, Jacob's Matthan, Matthan's Eleazar; 
whereas St. Luke says that Joseph was the son 
of Heli, Heli of Matthat, Matthat of Levi, Levi 
of Janna, &c. They cannot reconcile the fifty-six 
ancestors in Christ's genealogy from Abraham, 
mentioned by Luke, to the two and forty differ* 
ent ancestors in the genealogy from the same 
Abraham, given by St. Matthew; and they are 
shocked that Matthew, mentioning forty-two 
generations, enumerates no more than forty* 

They likewise are at a stand about Jesus not 
being the son of Joseph but of Mary. They 
farther have their doubts concerning the miracles 
of our Saviour, and quote St. Austin, St. Hi* 
lary, and others, who interpret the account of 
these miracles, in a mystic and allegorical sense : 
as the cursing and withering the fig-tree for not 
bearing figs when it was not the time of figs ; the 
sending the devils into the swine in a country 
where those creatures were not allowed of; the 
turning the water into wine towards the end of 
an entertainment, when the guests were already 
heated with liquor. But all these cavils of the 
learned are put to silence by faith, whose merit 
is enhanced by these difficulties. The scope of 
this article is purely to follow the historical clue, 
and give a just and precise idea of those facts 
which nobody offers to controvert. 

First, Jesus was born under the Mosaic law ; 
in conformity to this law he was circumcised ; 
he conformed to all its precepts; he kept all its 
feasts, and preached only morality; he made no 
revelation of the mystery of his incarnation ; he 
never told the Jews that he was born of a Virgin ; 
he received John's benediction» being baptized 



by him in the river Jordan, a ceremony to which 
great numbers of Jews submitted ; he said no* 
thing about the seven sacraments, nor did he 
institute, in his life-time, the ecclesiastical, 
hierarchy. He concealed from his cotemporaries 
that he was the Son of God, generated from all 
eternity, consubstantial with God, and that the 
Holy Ghost proceeded from the Father and the 
Son ; he did not inform them that his person 
was composed of two natures and two wills: 
these great mysteries were, in after-times to be 
declared to man by persons illuminated with the 
light of the Holy Ghost. During his whole 
life he did not in the least deviate from the law 
of his forefathers. He shewed himself to the 
world only as a just man, acceptable to God, 
persecuted by envious doctors, and condemned 
to die by prejudiced magistrates. It was his 
pleasure that all the rest should be done by' the 
holy church which he established. 

Josephus, in the 12th chapter of his history, 
mentions an austere sect of Jews then recently 
founded by one Judas Galileus, " They make 
" light," says he, " of all earthly evils. Such 
is their resolution, that they brave tortures, 
and on an honourable motive, prefer death to 
life. They have chose to be burnt, to be 
'• slain, and even their bones to be broken, nu 
" ther than utter the least word against their 
" legislator, or eat any forbidden food." 

This character seems to belong to the Judaites 
and not to the Essenes; for Josephus's words 
are, " Judas was the author of a new sect totally 
•* different from the other three, i. c. the Sad- 
4 * ducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes." And 
further on, he says; " They are by nation Jews, 
... " they 





** they live in a close union among themselves, 
•• ana hold all sensuality vicious and sinful." 
Now the natural import of this phrase shews the 
author to be speaking of the Judaites* 

However it be, these Judaites were known 
before Christ's disciples began to make any con- 
siderable figure in the world» « 

The Thérapeutes were a society differing both 
from the Essenians and the Judaites, and Kad 
some affinity to the Indian Gymnosophists and 
Brarains. " They have," says Philo* <• impulses 
** of heavenly love, by which they kindle into 
" all the enthusiasm of the Coribantes and 
" the Bacchanalians, and are raised to that state 
" of contemplation after which they aspire. 
" This sect had its rise in Alexandria, where 
the Jews were very numerous, and spread ex- 
ceedingly throughout Egypt." 
John the Baptist's disciples likewise spread a 
little in Egypt» but especially in Syria and 
Arabia; Asia-minor also was not without them* 
The Acts of the apostles, ch. xix. says that St. 
Paul met with several at Ephesus; and asking 
tNfen, " Have you received the Holy Ghost?" 
TKey answered, " We have not so much as heard 
•• that there is a Holy Ghost:" he said to them; 
M What baptism, then, have you received?'* 
They answered him, "The baptism of John." 
For some little time after Jesus's death, there 
were several different sects and societies among 
the Jews; the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the 
Essenes, the Judaites, the Thérapeutes, the dis- 
ciples of John, and the disciples of Christ, whose 
little flock God led by paths unknown to human 
Believers first had the name of Christians at 



Antioch, about the sixtieth year of our common 
sera; but, as we shall see in the sequel, they 
were known in the Roman empire by other ap-» 
pellations. Before that time they distinguished 
themselves only by the name- of Brothers, Saints, 
and Faithful. Thus God, who had come down 
on earth to be a pattern of meekness and self-de-» 
niai 9 founded his church on very weak, and ap- 
parently mean beginnings, and kept it in the 
same humble and mortified condition in which 
it pleased him to be born. All the first believers 
were of low parentage, obscure men, ' working 
with their own hands. The apostle Paul imi* 
mates, that he supported himself by making of 
tents. . St. Peter raised to life Dorcas a semp- 
stress, who used to make garments forthebre* 
thren ; and the believers of Joppa used to hold 
their meetings in the house of âne Simon a 
tanner, as may be seen in chap, ix* «of* the' Acts 
of the Apostles. • -. - - • . • «• 

The faithful secretly spread themselves in 
Greece, and some went from thence* to Rome, 
mingling with the Jews, to- whom the Romans 
allowed a synagogue. At first they «ontinyed 
with the Jews; and so far practised circéfcù 
cision, that,, as we have elsewhere*observedf -the 
fifteen first bishops of Jerusalem .were every -one 
circumcised. *-••> ,..,.. - t >» 

The apostle Paul, on taking with him Timothys 
whose father was a Gentile* circumcised him 
himself, at the little town of Lystra; *bufc Tkus, 
his other disciple, would -not submit to that 
ceremony. The disciples of Jesus continued ia 
unity with the Jews, till Paul bringing strangers 
into the temple, the Jews raised a persecution 
against him, and charged him with «n» intent of 
*, subverting 


subverting the Mosaic law by the doctrine of 

Jfesus Christ. It was in order to clear himself 
rom this accusation, that James proposed to 
Paul his having his head shaved, and purifying 
himself in the temple, along with four Jews, 
who had made a vow to be shaved: " Them 
•• take, and purify thyself with them," says 
James to him (Acts ch. xxi.) " that all may know, 
*• that all things whereof they were informed 
" concerning thee are nothing, and that thou 
" keepest the law of Moses." 

This did not in the least abate the charge of 
impiety and fieresy against Paul, and his trial 
was ot some continuance ; but the very articles 
for which he was indicted evidently shew, that 
he was come to Jerusalem to observe the Jewish 

His own words to Titus (Acts chap, xxv.) are, 
44 Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against 
" the temple, have I offended any thing at all." 

The apostles promulgated Jesus Christ as a 
Jew, an observer of the j ewish law, and sent by 
God to inforce the observance of it. " Circum- 
•' cision verily profiteth," says the apostle Paul, 
(Rom. ii.) " if thou keepeft the law ; but if thou 
•• be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is 
" made uncircumcision. If the uncircumcision 
44 keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his 
4( uncircumcision be counted for circumcision ? 
44 He is a Jew who is one- inwardly." 

When this apostle speaks of Jesus Christ in 
his epistles, he does not make known the ineffable 
mystery of his consubstantiality with God. " We 
4 * are," says he, in the fifth chapter to the Ro- 
mans, " delivered by him from the wrath of 
44 God; the gift of God is come to us through 

4 < the 


"-the grace imparted to one only man, Christ 
" Jesus ; Death has reigned by the sin of one 
" man, and the just shall reign in life by one 
M man, Jesus Christ." And in chap. viii. "We 
" are heirs of God, and co-heirs with' Christ :"• 
and in chap. xvi. •• To God, who alone is wise,' 
" be honour and glory through Jesus Christ."*— ' 
" Ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." Cor. i. 3. 
And 1 Cor. xv. 27. " All things are subject to 
" him, God certainly excepted, who hath subject* 
M ed all things to him." 

Some difficulties have occurred in explaining 
the following passage in the epistle to the Philip* 
pians :/• Let nothing be done through vain glory, 
* but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other 
••' better than themselves ; let this mind be/ m ydii 
" which was in Christ Jesus, who, -being in the 
u form of God, thought it not robbery to be 
•* equal with God" (*). The sense of the passage 



(*) This passage bas been greatly strained by the 
Socinians, from whom our author seems to have bor* 
rowed his remark. The original is, *Oç ev yjbfph 
©eS uirdp%ojy hQ* âp&ayfjAfiryri(rar»ro iivcct ltr&®e&: 
which in our English Testament is almost literally 
rendered thus: "Who being in the form of God, 
ft thought it not robbery to be equal with God."" Now 
we grant it would be difficult to find the example of 
modesty and humility meant by St. Paul» aodaflutfed to 
by the churches of Vienne and Lydfl in the aboveli ties 
alone; but we should take the whole passage* toge- 
ther, and what follows will demonstrate the settse*: 
" but made himself of no reputation, and took updji 
11 him the form of a servant, humbletl himself, awj 
* became obedient unto death." ThatTs, though-in 
his divine form or nature, he thought it, not robSety, 

H ox 




seeras very well set forth in a most valuable mo- 
nument of antiquity, a letter from the churches* 
of Vienne and Lyon, written in the year 117 ; 
part of it turns on the modesty of fome of the 
faithful: " They would not," fays the letter, 
take on themselves the august title of martyr* 
(for a few tribulations) imitating Jesus Christ, 
" who bearing the likeness or image of God, did 
" not think the title of God's equal belonged 
" to him/' Origen, likewise, in his commen- 
tary on John, says, " Christ's greatness has ap- 
" peared more resplendent in his humiliation, 
" than if he had thought it no robbery to be God's 
" equal." And, in reality, the contrary expli- 
cation is a palpable inconsistency. What can 
be meant by " believe others your betters, 
" imitate Jesus, who thought it no robbery, no 
" usurpation, to make himself God's equal ?" 
This would be a flat contradiction, overthrowing 
what precedes ; it is giving an example of ambi- 
tion for a pattern of meekness; it is a trespass 
against common sense. 

Thus it was that the wisdom of the apostles 
founded the infant church, and this wisdom was 
not difcomposed by the contest between the 


or any usurpation, to be equal with God ; yet conde- 
scended to take the form of a servant, that is, human 
nature, and to lessen himself for the salvation of his 
people. Is not this an unparallelled example of hu- 
mility and modefty ? and is not this the .plain obvious 
sense of the above passage ? And doe* not this shew 
how easy it is to wrest the meaning of any text of 
Scripture, as the Arians and Socinians have done in 
the present case, in order to evade a very strong proof 
of Christ's divinity. 


apostles Peter, James, and John, on one fide, 
and Paul on the other. It happened at Antioch : 
the apostle Peter, alias Cephas, alias Simon Bar- 
jona, used to eat with the Gentile converts, 
overlooking the ceremonies of the law, and the 
distinéHons of aliments : he and Barnabas, toge- 
ther with other disciples, made no manner of 
scruple to eat pork, things strangled, or animals 
which divide the hoof, but do not chew the cud ; 
but a number of Jewish Christians coming there, 
St. Peter associated with them, returning to his 
former abstinence from forbidden meats, and the 
observance of the Mosaic ceremonies. 

This procedure has an air of discretion ; he 
was unwilling to.gjv^any offence to his Jewish 
brethren ; but St. Paul declared againft him with 
some harshness: " I withftood him," says he, 
" to his face, for he was to blame." Gal. ii. 

This quarrel appears the more extraordinary in 
St. Paul, who, as having at first been a perse- 
cutor, should have shewn more temper ; befides, 
he himself had cone into the temple at Jerusalem 
to sacrifice, had circumcised his disciple Timo. 
thy, and had performed those Jewish rites for 
which. he now upbraids Cephas. St. Jerom will 
have it that this bickering between Paul and 
Cephas was only a feint. In his first Homily, 
tome iii. he says, that they acted like two plead- 
ers at the bar, who grow warm, and use keen 
language, only that their clients may have the 
higher opinion of them ; that Peter Cephas be- 
ing appointed to preach to the Jews, and the 
Gentiles being Paul's department, they affected 
a quarrel; Paul to gain the Gentiles, and Peter 
to gain the Jews. But St. Austin can by no 
means relish this opinion. " I am sorry," says 

H 2 he, 



he, in his epistle to Jerom, " that so great ft 
" man should patronize a falsity, patron u M 


Farther, if Peter was appointed apostle to the 
Jews, and Paul to the Gentiles, it is very pro- 
bable that Peter never came to Rome. The Acts 
of the Apostles make no mention of Peter'» 
journey into Italy. 

However that be, about the year sixty of our 
sera, the Christians began to separate themselves 
from the Jewish communion ; and this was what 
drew on them such censures, invectives, and 
persecutions from the synagogues of Rome, 
Greece, Egypt, and Asia. Their Jewish bre- 
thren not only charged them with impiety and 
atheism, but formally excommunicated them 
three times in their synagogues, even on the sab- 
bath-day : still God upheld them amidst all their 
trials and sufferings. 

Several churches were gradually formed, and 
before the end of the first century, the separation 
between the Jews and Christians became total i 
but the Roman government knew nothing of thi» 
schism ; neither the senate nor the emperors of 
Rome concerning themselves about the wrang* 
lings of a little party, which, till then, God had 
conducted in obscurity, and was raising by in* 
sensible degrees. 

Let us take a view of the state of the religion 
of the Roman empire at that time. Mysteries 
and expiations were in vogue almost all over the 
earth. Though the emperors, the grandees, and 
philosophers, secretly made a jest of those mys- 
teries, still it behoved them outwardly to con- 
form to the public worship, lest they should ir- 
ritate the people, who, in religious affairs, give 



law to their betters ; or rather these, to chain 
them the faster, appear to wear the same chaips. 
Cicero himself was initiated into the Eleusinian 
mysteries. The principal tenet set forth in these 
mysteries and splendid festivals was the know- 
ledge of one only God ; and it must be owned 
that Paganism has nothing more pious, and in 
every respect, more admirable, than the prayers 
and hymns used in those mysteries, and of which 
fragments are still remaining. 

TheChriftians likewise, worshipping only one 
God, paved the way to their success in convert- 
ing Gentiles. Even some philosophers of Plato's 
sect became Christians : hence it is, that the 
fathets of the church, for the three first centuries, 
were all Platonics. 

The inconsiderate zeal of some did not affect 
the fundamental truths. St. Justin, one of the 
first fathers, is censured for saying, in his Com- 
mentary on Isaiah, that the saints should reign a 
thousand years on the earth, in full enjoyment 
of all sensual delights ; he has been blamed for 
a position in his Apology for Christianity, that 
God, after making the earth, left the care of it 
to angels, that these fell in love with the women, 
and that the issue of this passion are the devils. 
Lactantius and other fathers have been con- 
demned for inventing Sybilline oracles ; he af- 
firmed that the Sybilla Erythrea made four Greek 
verses, of which the literal interpretation is, 

44 With five loaves and two fishes 

He shall feed five thousand men in the desert, 

And gathering up the remains, 

With them snail fill twelve baskets." 

H 3 It 


It has likewise been made a crime to the first 
Chriftians, that they were for palming on the 
world some acrostics, as written by an old Sybil, 
all beginning with the initial letters of the name 
of Jesus Christ, each in its order. 

But, notwithfianding this zeal of fome Chrif- 
tians, which was not according to knowledge, 
the church, under a divine superintendency, was 
daily increasing. At first the Christians used 
to celebrate their mysteries in lonely houses and 
taverns, and in the night time ; from which prac- 
tice, according to Minutius Felix, they got the 
appellation of «Lucifugaces ; Philo calls them 
Gesseans ; but, during the four first centuries, 
they were most commonly known to the Gen- 
tiles by the name of Galileans and Nazarenes ; 
that of Chriftians has, however, obtained beyond 
any other. 

Neither the hierarchy, nor the rites and usages, 
were established all at once ; the apostolic times 
were différent from the succeeding. St. Paul, 
in his first epistle to the Corinthians, directs 
them, that, in a public assembly of the brethren, 
whether circumcised or uncircumcised, when 
several prophets were for speaking, only two or 
three should speak ; and in the mean time, if any 
one had a revelation, the prophet who had begun 
to speak was to be silent. 

It is owing to this custom of the primitive 
church that to this day, some Christian sects hold 
their assemblies without any hierarchy. Every 
one was then allowed to speak in the church, 
women excepted ; what we call the sacred mass, 
and celebrate in the morning, was the Lord's 
Supper, originally administered in the evening ; 
these usages altered as the church gathered 



ttrengthè A more extended society required 
more regulations, and the prudent pastors con- 
formed to times and places. 

According to St. Jerorn and Eusebius, when 
the churches had received a form, they gradually 
-came to consist of five different classes. The 
superintendents, episcopi, whence are derived 
the bishops ; the elders of the society, presby. 
teroi, the priests, ministers, or deacons; the 
Pistoi, believers, or initiated, that is, the baptized, 
who were admitted to the Agapaes, or feasts 
of charity ; and the catechumens and energu- 
raenes, who were candidates for baptism. None 
of these five orders were distinguished by any 
particular vesture or garb, nor was any of them 
«bound to celibacy ; witness Tertullian's dedicat- 
ing a book to his wife ; witness thé example of 
the apostles. No painting or sculpture was seen 
in their assemblies during the first three cen- 
turies. The Christians used carefully to conceal 
their books from the Pagans, and trusted none 
with them except the initiated ; the catechumens 
were not permitted to say the Lord's Prayer. 

But what most distinguished the Christians, 
and continued down to our times, was the power 
of driving out devils with the sign of the cross. 
Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, owns, 
Numb. 133, that Antinous, who had been de- 
ified by the emperor Adrian, wrought miracles 
in Egypt., by charms and prestiges ; but the 
devils, says he, quit the body of the possessed, 
on the bare pronunciation. of the name of Jesus. 

Tertullian goes still farther, and from the re- 
mote part of Africa where he was, says, in chap. 
■33. ot his Apologeticon, " If your gods do not, 
-" in the presence of a true Christian, own them- 

H 4 *• selves 


" selves to be devils, we freely consent that you 
" put that Christian to death. Can there be a 
•' more evident demonstration ?" 

Jesus Christ, indeed, sent his apostles to 
drive out devils. The Jews, likewise, in his 
time, had this power ; for, when Jesus had re- 
lieved some demoniacs, and sent the devils into 
the ibody of a herd of swine, and performed 
many other such cures, the Pharisees said, It is 
.by tne power of Belzebub he drives out devils : 
but Jesus answers, * * If I drive them out by 
" Belzebub, by whom do your sons drive them 
" out ?" That the Jews boasted of such a power 
is indisputable; they had exorcists and exor- 
cisms. On these occasions they called on the 
name of the God of Jacob and of Abraham, 
and consecrated herbs were put up the demo- 
niac's nose (Josephus gives some account of 
.these ceremonies). This power over the devils 
was taken away from the Jews, and transferred 
to the Christians, who, for some time past, seem 
likewise to have lost it. 

This exorcising power comprehended that 
of preventing or defeating magical operations ; 
for magic was ever in repute among all nations. 
All the fathers of the church bear witness to it. 
St. Justin owns, in his Apologetic, book Hi, 
that the souls of the deceased are often evoked, 
and from thence draws an argument in favour 
of the soul's immortality. Lactantius, book vii. 
of his Divine Institution, says, " Should any 
V one dare to deny the existence of souls after 
*• death, the magician will soon convince him 
" by making it appear." Ireneus, Clement 
Alexandrinus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, all af- 
firm the like. At present» indeed, it is other* 



•wise, and we hear no more of magicians or de- 
moniacs; yet such there will be, when it so 
pleases God; 

When the congregations of Christians were 
•become considerable, and several presumed to 
insult the Roman worship, the civil power ev- 
erted itself against them, and the commonalty, 
«specially, were most violent in persecuting this 
new religion. The Jews, who confined them- 
selves to their synagogues, so far from being 
persecuted, had particular privileges, and were 
allowed the exercise of their religion at. Rome, 
as they are at present ; all the different worships 
in the several parts of the empire were tole- 
rated, though the senate did not adopt them: 
but the Christians making no secret of their 
detestation of all those worships, and especially 
that of the empire, were several times exposed 
to cruel trials. 

One of the first and most celebrated martyrs 
was Ignatius Bishop of Antioch; he was con* 
demned by the Emperor Trajan himself, then 
in Asia, and, by his order, sent to Rome to be 
exposed to beasts, at a time when other Chris* 
tians were under no open molestation in that 
city: His accusation is not known ; but that 
Emperor being otherwise famous for clemency, 
St. Ignatius's enemies must have been very vio- 
lent m their prosecution. The history of his 
martyrdom relates that the name of Jesus Christ 
was found engraven on his heart in golden cha- 
racters; and thence it is, that the Christians, in 
some places, took the name of the Theophori; 
which Ignatius. had given to himself* 

We have still a letter of his, in which he 
Entreats the bishops and Christians not to oppose 



hit martyrdom; whether that, even then, the 
Christians were strong enough to attempt a 
rescue, or that some of them might have in- 
terest to obtain his pardon. Another very re- 
markable circumstance is, that the Christians 
of Rome were allowed to go and meet him, 
when he was brought thither; which evidently 
proves, that the man and not the sect was 

The persecutions were so far from being con- 
tinued, that Origen, in his third book against 
Celsus, says, " It is easy to compute what 
" number of Christians have died for their re- 
•* ligion ; few, and only from time to time, and 
*• by intervals, having died on that account." 
**" So careful was God of his church, that, in 
spite of all its enemies, five councils were held 
in the first century, sixteen in the second, and 
thirty in the third ; all tolerated : though some* 
times they were forbidden, the magistrates, in 
their mistaken timidity, fearing that they might 
produce disturbances. Few of the reports of 
the proconsuls and praetors who pronounced 
sentence on the Christians are now remaining, 
and those are the only vouchers for ascertaining 
the accusations brought against them, and their 

We have a fragment of Dionysius of Alex- 
andria, containing an extract of a pro-consul 
of Egypt, under the Emperor Valerian, which 
is as follows: "Dionysius, Faustus, Maximus, 
" and Cheremon, being brought into court, 
" the prefect Emilian thus addressed them: 
" From my discourse with you, and from the 
" many particulars I wrote to you, you 
" must have been sensible that our princes 

" have 


° have shewn you great lenity and indulg- 
" ence; I again repeat it to you, they refer 
" your life and safety to yourselves, and put 
" your fate into your own hands : they require 
" of you only one thing, and that no more 
" than what reason requires, which is to 
" worship the patron gods of their empire, and 
" to forsake that other worship, which is so 
" contrary to nature and good sense. 

" Dionysius answered: Every one has not 
" the same gods, and every one worships those 





a set of ungrateful people, obstinately slighting 
the kindness which the emperors would shew 
you. Assure yourselves, no longer shall you stay 
here ; I will order you away to Cephro, in the 
farther part of Lybia ; that, by the emperor's 
command, is to oe the place of your banish* 
" ment : farther, do not imagine you shall be 
allowed there to hold your meetings, or to go 
to pray in those places, which you call Ceme- 
" tenes ; any such thing is absolutely forbidden 
" you, and what I will not allow." 

Nothing bears more evident marks of truth 
than this trial, and it shews that these meetings 
were occasionally prohibited ; as with us, the 
Calvinists are. not allowed to hold any meeting 
whatever in Languedoc; and ministers and 
preachers have been hanged, and even broke 
upon the wheel-, for their disobedience. Like- 
wise in England and Ireland, the Roman Catho- 
lics lie under the same prohibition, and, on some 
occasions, the delinquents have been condemned 
to die. 



Amidst all the severity of the Roman Jaws 
God inspired several emperors with indulgence 
towards the Christians. Dioclesian * himself» 
whom ignorant people reckon a persecutor, and 
the first year of whose reign is still the epocha of 
martyrdoms, for above eighteen yeais openly 
countenanced Christianity, and the most impor- 
tant posts about his person were filled by Chris- 
tians. He even allowed a stately church to be 
built opposite his palace at Nicomedia, where he 
frequently resided ; and, to crown all, he married 
a Christian lady. 

Galerius Caesar, from some unhappy preju- 
dices against the Christians» by whom he ima- 
gined himself ill used, induced Dioclesian to 
demolish the cathedral at Nicomedia. A Chris- 
tian of more zeal than wisdom tore to pieces the 
Emperor's edict, and this gave rise to that so 
famous persecution, in which, throughout the 
whole extent of the Roman empire, above two 
hundred persons were sentenced to die, exclu- 
sive of those whom the populace, ever fanatic 
and inhuman, might massacre, without any form 
of law. 

So great was the number of martyrs at differ- 
ent times, that much circumspection is requisite, 
to avoid weakening the truth of the history of the 
real confessors of our holy religion» by a dange- 
rous mixture of fables and false martyrs. 

The Benedictine Don Ruinait, otherwise a 
person of learning equal to his zeal, should have 
chosen his authentic acts with more discretion. 
A manuscript, for being taken from the abbey 
pf St. Benedict on the Loire, or from a convent 
of Caelestines at Paris, and its agreement with a 
manuscript of the Feuillans, is not the more 

authentic ; 


authentic ; its antiquity must be evident, it must 
bave been written by persons living at the time 
of die event, and farther must bear all the marks 
of truth and genuineness. 

He might very well have omitted the story of 
Romanus, which happened in 303. This young 
man, it seems, had obtained Dioclesian's pardon 
atAntioch; yet, as he says, the judge Asclepi- 
ades condemned him to be burnt. The Jews, 
who had flocked to the execution, mocked young 
St. Romanus, and floutingly asked the Christians 
how their God, who had- delivered Shadrach, 
Meshach, and Abednego, should suffer them to 
be burnt ; on this, though the day was remarkably 
fine, such a tempest arose as immediately 

Îuenched the fire: then the judge ordered young 
ton&nus's tongue to be cut out ; and the empe- 
ror's first physician being present, officiously 
performed the operation, cutting his tongue off 
at the root. The young man, who before stam- 
mered, now spoke very fluently. The emperor 
was very much surprized at any one's speaking 
so well without a tongue; and the physician-, to 
repeat the experiment, cut out the tongue of a 
man who happened to be passing by, but he died 
immediately after the operation. 

Eusebius, from whom the credulous Ruinait 
bas taken this tale, should have had so much 
respect for the real miracles performed in the 
Old and New Testament, which no body will 
ever call in* 'question, as not to foist among them 
such suspicious stories, which may give offence 
to the weak. 

This last persecution did not spread through- 
out the whole empire. England had at that time 
some glimmerings of Christianity, which, how-. 



ever, soon were smothered, but appeared again 
under the Saxon kings. The southern parts of 
Gaul and Spain swarmed with Christians. Caesar 
Constantius Chlorus shewed them very great 
favour in all those provinces. He had a concu- 
bine who was a Christian, and this no less a per- 
son than Constantine's mother, or St. Helena, 
for they were never openly married; and he 
even dismissed her in the year 292, on his mar- 
rying the daughter oPMaximian Hercules; but 
she retained her ascendency, and made use of 
it to inspire him with a strong affection for our 
holy religion. 

Divine Providence, by means apparently hu- 
man, now brought about the establishment .and 
superiority of this church. Constantius Chlorus 
dying at York in 306, and his children by the 
daughter of a Caesar not being of age to claim the 
empire, Constantine boldly got himself chosen 
at York by a body of soldiers, mostly Germans» 
Gauls, and Britons. It was not likely that such 
an election, made without the consent of the city 
of Rome, the senate, and the army could sub- 
sist ; but God gave him a complete victory over 
Maxentius, who had been chosen at Rome, and 
at length rid him of all his colleagues. It must . 
be owned that, at first, he rendered himself ut- 
terly unworthy 6Î the Divine favour, murdering 
his wife, his son, and all his near relations. 

What Zozimus relates on this head may be 
questioned : he says, that Constantine, tortured 
with remorse, after so many crimes, enquired 
of the pontiffs of the empire, if they had any 
expiations for him ; and their answer was, that 
they knew of none. Indeed there had been none 
lor Nero, for in Greece he did not presume to 



assist at the sacred mysteries. Yet the Tauroboli 
were then in use, and it is not easy to believe, 
that a despotic emperor should not have found one 
priest to grant him expiatory sacrifices. Perhaps, 
it is still less to be believed, that Conftantine, 
being taken up with war, actuated by ambition, 
and surrounded with flatterers, could be at leisure 
for remorses. Zozimus adds, that an Egyptian 
priest, who came from Spain, having gained 
admittance to him, assured him of an expiation 
of all his crimes in the Christian religion. Osius, 
bishop of Corduba, is suspected to have been 
this, priest. 

However that be, Constantine openly com- 
municated with the Christians, though he ne- 
ver was above a catechumen, deferring his 
baptism to the hour of death. He built the city 
of Constantinople, which became the center of 
the empire, and of the Christian religion. Now 
the church begins to assume an august appear- 

It is to be observed, that from the year 314, 
before Constantine resided in his new city, the 
Christians smartly revenged themselves on their 
persecutors. They threw Maximian's wife into 
the Orontes, they murdered all his relations in 
Egypt and Palestine, they massacred all the ma* 
gistrates who had distinguished themselves by 
their zeal against Christianity. Dioclesian s 
widow and daughter, who had concealed them- 
selves at Thessalonica, were discovered, and 
their bodies thrown into the ijea. It were to be 
wished that the Christians had not given way so 
much to the spirit of revenge?, but God, in his 
vindictive justice' was pleased that the bands of 
the Christians, as soon jas they were at liberty to 

' f act > 






act, should be dyed with the blood of their unjust 

Constantine convened at Nicea, opposite to 
Constantinople, the first oecumenical council; 
and in which Osius presided* There was deter- 
mined the great question, which disturbed the 
church concerning Christ's divinity: one side 
availing themselves of the opinion- of Origen, 
who, in chap, 6. against Celsus, says, "We 
•• offer up our prayers to God, through Jesus, 
who holds the middle place between created 
natures and the uncreated nature, who bring» 
to us his Father's grace, and presents our 
prayers to the great God as our high priest." 
They also pleaded several passages of St. Paul, 
some of which have been mentioned ; but their 
Capital foundation was these words of Jesus 
Christ himself: " My Father is greater than I;" 
and they held Jesus, as the first-born of creation, 
as the most pure emanation from the Supreme 
essence, but not precisely as God. 
• Thé other side, who were the orthodox, pro- 
duced passages more suitable to the eternal deity 
of Jesus, as this: " My Fathef and I are the 
" same thing;" words which the adversaries 
make to mean no more than " My Father and I 
" have the same design, the same will; I have 
*•- no other desires than those of my Father." 
Alexander bishop of Alexandria, and after him 
Athanasius, headed the orthodox : in the oppo- 
site party were Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia, 
seventeen other bishops, the priest Arius, and 
many other priests. The quarrel immediately 
'was inflamed, St. Alexander having called his 
adversaries Antichrists. 
At length, after much disputing and wrang- 


Kng, the Holy Ghost, by the mouths of tw° 
kindred and ninety-nine bishops against eighteen, 
gave the following decision ; ** 'Jesus is the only 
V son, of God, begotten of thé Father,' i. e. 'of 
•? thé substance of the Father, God- of God, 
" Light of Light, very' God of very God; * of 
" one substance with- the Father; we likewise 
" believe in the Holy Ghost, &c. M Such was 
the form of words- in that council, and this in- 
stance shews the great superiority of the bishops 
above mere priests ; for, according to two pa- 
triarchs of Alexandria, who have written the 
Chronicle of Alexandria in Arabie, Wo thou- 
sand persons of the second order sided with 
Arius. He was -exiled by Constimtine, : but 
soon after the like punishment fell off Athana- 
siusr and Arius was recalled to Constantinople: 
with- such fervour; however, did St. Macarrus 
pray to God that he would deprive AfiUr of life 
before he came into the cathedral, that Go£ heard 
his prayer, and Arius died in 330/in/lnVway , to 
the church. The empetorConstahtine departed 
thil life in-337# delivering his vrill into the hands 
of aa : Arian priest, and expiring in the arms of 
the chief of tneArians, Eusebius' bishop of Ni» 
comedia: he ifas-not baptized till on his deatfn 
bed; but lie left the* church triumphant though 
divided." -•■' •■-•••» •* • * «--♦••> : --- : 

The Athanasiaris and E&sébians made War on 
each other with the 'most jiplacable animosity; 
and what is now called Ariamsin was, fofca long 
time^itbe established doctrine in all the proving 
ce* of the empires * <<• -y" '■* '• •— ' - 
Julian the Philosopher, nicknamed the Apos- 
tate, was fertecotnmodàfing these divisions, but 
failed in his good endeavours. 

I The 


The second general Council was held in 38 if 
at Constantinople. In it was explained what the? 
council of Nice had not thought fit to say, con- 
cerning the Holy Ghost, adding to the Nicean 
form, "That the Holy Spirit is the vivifying 
" Lord, proceeding from the Father, and that 
" he is worshipped and glorified with the Father 
•* and the Son," 

It was not till towards the ninth century, that 
the Latin Church gradually enacted, " That the 
" Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the 
- Son." . 

In 1431 the third general council, held at 
Ephesus, determined that Mary was really the 
mother of God, and that Jesus had two natures 
and one person. Nestorius, bishop of Constan- 
tinople, for moving that the Blessed Virgin» 
should be called the mother of Christ, was de- 
clared by the council a second Judas; and the 
two natures were farther confirmed by the coun- 
cil of Chalcedonia. 

I shall slightly pass over the following ages as 
pretty well known. Unfortunately every one 
of these disputes occasioned wars, and the church, 
was obliged to be continually in arms. God- 
farther permitted, to exercise the patience of the 
faithful, that in the ninth century the Greeks 
aftd Latins should come to an irrecontileàble 
rupture; he farther permitted that the West 
should be distracted with twenty-nine bloody 
schisms for the see of Rome. 

In the mean time, almost the whole Grecian 
churchy and the whole of the African church, 
were eris4aved by the Arabs, and afterwards 
fell under the Turks, wjio erected Mahometan? 
on the ruin* of Christianity. The Roman 





church subsisted, but always defiled with blood, 1 

in the course of above six hundred years of | 

discord between the Western empire and the | 

Sriesthood: but these very quarrels encreased 
sr power; for the German bishops and abbots 
made themselves princes, and the popes, by de* 
grees, acquired an absolute dominion in Rome, 
and a country of a hundred leagues in extent* 
Thus God tried his church by humiliations, 
disturbances, and by prosperity and magnifi- 

This Latin church, in the sixteenth century, 
lost half Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Eng- 
land, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, and 
Holland. It has, indeed, by the Spanish con- 
quests,, gained more ground in America than it 
has lost in Europe ; but if its territories are en- 
larged, its subjects are much decreased. 

Divine Providence seemed to design that Ja- 
pan, Siam, India, and China, should be brought 
to acknowledge the Pope's supremacy, as an 
equivalent tor the loss of Asia-minor, Syria, 
Greece, Egypt, Africa, Russia, and the coun- 
tries abovementtoned. St. Francis Xavier, a 
Jesuit, who carried the holy gospel to the East 
Indies and Japan, when the Portuguese went 
thither for costly merchandize, performed mi- 
racles in plenty, all attested by his reverend 
brethren : some say that he raised nine persons 
from the dead; but father Ribadeneira, in his 
Flower of Saints, reduces the number to four, 
agd that's full enough. Providence so eminently 
prospered this enterprize, that, in less than an 
hundred years, there were thousands of Roman 
Catholics within the Japanese islands. But the 
devil was not wanting to sow his tares among the 

I 2 good 


good seed. The Christians formed, a destructif» 
plot, which being followed by a cruel war; trjey 
were all extirminated in the year 1638. ..Here» 
upon the natives denied all strangers: admittance 
into their harbours, except theDutch, accounting 
them to be mere merchants, and not Craistians.; 
they were obliged to tread oa the cross befbrg 
they were allowed to dispose of their goods*; and 
this was done in a prison where they w^ere^ con- 
fined immediately on their arrival at NaogazakL*'. 

The Roman Catholic and Apostolic religion 
was not proscribed in China till of late, and with 
less cruelty. The Jesuits, indeed, had not dis* 
played their supernatural power at the court of 
rekin, by raising the dead to life; they had hum* 
bly limited themselves to tfre teaching, of agro- 
nomy, the casting of cannon, and. being maiv. 
darins. Their unhappy disputes with some Do^ 
minicans and others gave such offence to the 
great emperor Yontchin, that.tbis prince* thqaglf 
all equity and goodness, was so blind «s ta put? à 
Stop to the teaching of our holy religion, beca^so 
our missionaries did not agree among themselves; 
He ordered them to -depart the empâte^ but itéras 
with all the tenderness of a father, * supplying 
them with carriages and every conveniently as 
far as* the confines of his dominions» * * • < - 

All Asia, all Africa, half of Europe, the Dutfch 
and English possessions in America, witk these*: 
vera! unconquered parts of that , vast coati Aftm* 
all the austral countries, which made at fifth 'pari 
of the globe, are left as a prey- to the -devil, -ia 
verification of that holy sayings ^ Many are WltetJ 
11 but few are chosen." If, as some learftdd 
persons say, the number, of all the inhabitants of 
the several parts of the globe is< about sixteen 



handrçd millions, the holy catholic universal 
Roman church has within its pale near fixty 
millions, which amounts to more than the twen. 
ty^fixth- part of the inhabitants of the known 


JtIeRGUGTUS, in relating what he had 
heard from the Barbarians, among whom he tra- 
velled, mentions some fooleries, and most of our 
modern travellers do the like : he, indeed, does 
not require his readers to believe him, when he 
is giving an account of Gyges and Candaule ; 
of Arion's being saved by a dolphin ; of the 
consultation of the oracle, to know what Croesus 
Was doing, with its answer that he was then boil- 
ing a tortoise in a covered pot ; of Darius's horse 
neighing first, which gave his master the empire ; 
ana of a hundred other fables, which children 
are highly delighted with, and rhetoricians insert 
in their collections : but when he speaks of what 
be has seen, of customs which he has inquired 
into, of antiquities which he has examined, he 
then speaks to men. 

"The inhabitants of Colchis," says he, in the 
book Euterpe, " appear to come originally from 
Egypt. This opinion I hold more from my 
own observation than from any hear-say ; for 
"I found that in Colchis the ancient Egyptians 
" were remembered much more than the ancient 
customs of Colchis in Egypt. 
" Those people who dwell along the Pontus 
Euxinus said they, were a colony settled there 
•** by Sescfctris ; this I conjectured ofnlysaf, not 

I 2 ■ . *« only 




• c only from their swarthy complexion and friz- 
" zled hair, but because the people of Colchis, 
" Egypt* anc * ^hiopia are the only people on 
" earth who have practised circumcision from 
"time immemorial: for the Phoenicians and 
" the inhabitants of Palestine own that they 
" adopted circumcision from the Egyptians. 
•* The Syrians, now seated on the banks of the 
•* Thermodon and Pathenia, together with the 
" Macrons their neighbours, acknowledge, that 
"it is not long since they conformed to this 
" Egyptian custom. It is chiefly by this that 
•• they are perceived to be of Egyptian ori- 

" As to Ethiopia and Egypt, this ceremony 
" being of a very ancient date among both na- 
" tions, I cannot say which was the original ; 
" however, it is probable that the Ethiopians 
'* took it from the Egyptians ; as, on the other 
" hand, the Phoenicians, by their traffic and 
" intercourse with the Greeks, have abolished 
" the custom of circumcising new-born chil- 

. It is clear from this passage of Herodotus ('), 


(*) Whether the ceremony of circumcision was. 
firft introduced into the world by the Jews or by the 
Egyptians, has been much contested, and is not very 
material to the cause of religion. It is sufficient for 
us to know that God instituted circumcision as a co- 
venant to Abraham and his seed, without giving our- 
selves the trouble of enquiring whether it had been 
ever adopted by other nations. It seems, however, 
to be certain, that no nation except the Hebrews 
practised it universally. The priests, indeed, were 



that several nations had taken circumcision from 
Egypt ; but no nation has ever said that they de- 
rived it from the Jews. To which then must 
the origin of this custom be attributed, to that 
-nation from whom five or six others acknowledge 
they hold it, or to another nation much inferior 
in power, less commercial, less military, hidden 
in a nook of Arabia Petrea, and which has never 
been able to introduce the least of its customs in 
any nation? 


obliged to be circumcised, but the rest of the people 
were left to their liberty, M. Voltaire has adopted 
the opinion of Le Clerc upon this subject, which 
makes the Hebrews to have derived this ceremony 
from the Egyptians; and he has alfo made use of the 
very argument of that learned writer, viz. The impro- 
bability that the Egyptians should borrow such' a' ce- 
remony from so contemptible a nation as the Hebrews. 
But were the Hebrews so contemptible in the time of 
Joseph ? Or how could they be so contemptible after 
their departure from Egypt, when the inhabitants of 
that country beheld the Deity operating miracles in 
their favour ? Besides, our author is mistaken, when 
he says that the Jews were not circumcised the whole 
time they resided in Egypt, viz. two hundred and five 
years. The scripture tells us, that those " who came 
44 out of Egypt had been circumcised," but were 
tlead ; and M those who had been born in the Desert, 
u were not circumcised," because they were separated 
from other «ations/and had no necessity for any 
mark to distinguish them, till they entered the land 
•of Canaan. Then Joshua circumcised all the people, 
and the Lord said unto him, u This day have I rolled 
**. away the reproach of Egypt from you," ** oppro- 
* brium Egypti ;" the plain sense of which is not, 
as our author says, I ha¥e delivered you from what 
was a reproach to you among the Egyptians; but I 

I 4 have 


The Jews say that they were first received into 
Egypt by way of compassion and charity ; now 
is it not very probable, that the little people 
adopted a,, practice of the great people^ and that 
the Jews joined in some of their masters cu*r 
toms? ., ^ (T , j ; ■ ,.,r 

Clement of Alexandria relates that Pythagoras, 
when travelling in. Egypt, could not, gain admit- 
tance to the t mysteries till he was circumcised, j 
consequently there was no being arç Egyptian 
priest without circumcision. This priestly order 
subsisted when Joseph came into Egypt; the 
government was of great antiquity, and the old 
ceremonies of Egypt were observed with" the 
most scrupulous préciseness. 

The Jews acknowledge that they continued in 
Egypt two .hundred and five years; they say 
thpt in all that time they were not circumcised ; 
this shews that, during those two hundred and 
.five years; the Egyptians did not borrow <ciN 
cumeision ïtxmi the Jews : is it then to be sup» 
posed tharthfey- borrowed this custom, after the 
Jewsi according \o their own testimony, run away 
f with all the vessels which they had so, kindly 
/' ' ' lei^t 

! ' • * 

have deUvered^you jfrom what rendered yqu like the 
.Egyptians* and redounded to your shame and confa^ 
sion, by cutting off a little of the foreskin, which was 
not obsec^ed by that unclean and unçirçi^çncised n»« 
tion., Is not this a more natural conduction than 
that of out author? 'Besides, what occasion was, there 
for delivering them from what had been a reproach to 
itbera amorçg the Egyptians* when they had quitted 
.Egyp^, -and were gone to reside in another, country ? 
They had no^ee^to mind the reproach of the Egyp- 
tians in the Jand of Canaan. ' 

> il u ;.*'!. 


lent them ? Will a roaster adopt the. principal 
mark of his slave's reKgion, after robbing him, 
and running away? Human nature is not of 
such a make* 

. : . The- book of Joshua says, that the Jews were 
circumcised in the Desert: " I have delivered 
" you from what was a reproach to you among 
" the Egyptians •(')"." Now what else could this 
reproach be to people hemmed in between the 
Phoenicians, Arabians, and Egyptians, but that 
for which those three nations despised them? 
How is. this reproach removed ? by taking away 
from them a little of. the foreskin* 1$ not this 
the natural import of that passage ? 

..The book of Genesis says that Abraham had. 
been, circumcised before; but Abraham having 
travelled into Egypt, which had, for a long time* 
been a flourishing monarchy, governed by a 

Îowerihï king, circumcision may not improbably 
e supposed to have obtained in a kingdom of 
such antiquity,, before the Jewish nation was 
formed. ' Farther, the circumcision of Abraham 
terminated in himself; it was not till Joshua's 
time bis posterity underwent that ceremony. 

Now. .before Joshua, the Israelites, by their 
own confession*, cairfe into many of. the Egyp- 
tian customs ; theyimitated that nation in several 
sacrifices and ceremonies, as in fasting on the 
eve of Isis's .feasts, in ablutions, in shaving the 
priests heads, likewise the burning of incense, 
the branched chandelier, the sacrifice of the red 
heifer, the purifying with hysop, the abstaining 
-'.*.** - from 

• r 

(*) Our translation has it: 4C . L have roHed^way 
4i the rtproach of Egypt from off you." Josh. v. 9. 


u Un dccroteur à la royale, 
Du talon gauche estropié, 
Obtint pour grace spéciale 
D'être boiteui dé 1 autre pied.*' 

The substance of which h : that " a tip-top 
shoe japanner» lame in his left foot, obtained» 
as a special favour» that his right should be- 
«• come as bad." 

The miraculous., fits are known to have cpnti* 
nue'd tiU a guard was placed at the church-yard; 

" De par le roi défense à Dieu 
~ De plus frequentur en ce lieu.'' 

**' God is hereby forbidden, in the King's 
** name, evermore to cutoe within this place," 

The Jesuits» as is likewise known, being un- 
able to perform any such miracles* since their 
Xavier had exhausted all the society's gifts by 
raising nine persons from the dead» by way of 
counterpoise to the credit of the Jansenists en- 
graved a print of Christ in a Jesuit's habit ; and 
it is farther known that a wag of the Jansenist 
party put . under the print, 

u Admirez l'artifice extrême 

De ces moines ingénieux ; 

Ils vous ont habille comme eux, 

Mon Dieu, de peur qu'on ne vous aime." 

•• The contrivance of these cunning monks ! 
" That thou may est not be loved, O God» they 
" have dressed thee up in their garb." 

The Jaiuenkts, the better to prove that Jesus 

Christ could jicfrerthavfe pufcon the habit of a Je- 


suit» filled Paris with convulsions, and drew 
every body to their party. Carré de Montgeron, 
a Counsellor of Parliament, went and delivered 
to the King a collection in quarto of all their 
miracles, attested by a thousand Witnesses ; for* 
which, withvery good reason, he was put under" 
confinement, arid obliged to go through a regi- 
men to bring him to his senses: but truth'is a]-' 
-ways too strong for persecuciorr; the miracles 
went on for thirty years successively, without 
any intermission*, Sister Rose, Sister Illumi- 
nated,: sister* Promised; sister Devout, were per- 
peteaHy sent for td people's houses : J they used; 
to have themselves whipped, and no marks of it 
were to be seen the ne*t day. 1 They trotrfd bear, 
without v any vSheW of pain, tb be beâten : oti thé 
breasts -with sticks' (no wonder; since it-had beeii 
well -fenced for the exhibition of such à : farce) ; ; 
they were laid before a -great fire', with their facesr 
copiously piai&efed over with pomatum, *anddid' ; 
not burn* At length, as time improves all arts, 
the scenery ended in sticking swôrds into their 
fleshy parts* and crucifying them; even a cele- 
brated' divine had likewise the honour of being 
extended on the "cross, and all this tb convince 
the world that a certain bull was absurd and 
ridiculous, which might have been done* at a 
much cheaper rate. Yef ' have' b'odi JansemSBf 
and Jesuits, one and all, leagued together against 
the: Spirit of Law^, and against'* . . ; ., and 
against •"• '. . ., arid against .'...., and against 
• V. . . { and,- after sfuch doings;, we "have the* 
face to laugh at the Laplanders, the' Sa mo- 
yedes^aliS tlifeiNegroes<l > 





Country is composed of several families ; ; 
and as self-love generally leads us to stand up for» 
and support our particular families, when a con-*, 
trary interest does not intervene; so, from the 
like self-love, a man stands up for his «own or 
village, which he calls his native home. 

The more extended this .native home is, the» 
less we love it, for division weakens love;, it is. 
impossible in nature to have a tender love for a 
family so numerous as scarce to be known» 

The candidate, amidst his ambitious intrigues 
to be chosen aedile, tribune, praetor, consul, dic- 
tator, makes a noise about his love for his coun- 
try, whereas it is only himself that he loves ; 
every one is for securing to himself the freedom 
of lying at his own home, and that it shall be jn no 
man's power to turn him out ; every one is.for be^ 
ing sure of his life and fortune. , Thus the whole 
society coinciding in the like wishes, private 
interest becomes that of the public ; and an indi- 
vidual, in praying only for himself, prays in 
effect for the whole community. 

Every state on the whole earth indisputably: 
has originally been a republic ; it is the natural 
progress of human nature ; a number of families, 
at first entered into an alliance to secure one ano- 
ther against bears and wolves ; and. that which; 
had plenty of grain, bartered witl? another .which 
had nothing but wood. 

On our discovery of America, all the several 
tribes throughout that vast part of the world were 
found divided into republics; but there were' 



only two kingdoms. Of a thousand nations, 
only two were subdued. 

It was anciently so on our side of the globe : 
before the petty Kings of Etruria and Rome 
started up, Europe was full of republics. Africa- 
has still its republics; Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, 
which lie so far north, as, in some measure, to 
confine on Europe, are commonwealths of rob- 
bers. The Hottentots, a people on the south of 
Africa, still live, as men are said to have lived in 
the primitive ages of the world, free, all equal, 
no masters, no subjects, no money, and few or 
no wants; their sheep supply them both with food 
and raiment, and their mansions are huts of wood 
and earth : they are the very filthiest of men, 
and with a most rank smell ; but this they are 
not sensible of, and they both live and die more 
quietly than we. 

Europe has eight republics without monarchs ; 
Venice, • Holland, Switzerland, Genoa, Lucca, 
Ragusa, Geneva, St. Marino. Poland, Swe- 
den, and England, may be looked on as republics 
under a King, but Poland alone calls itseit such* 

Now, which would you have your country to 
be? a monarchy or a republic? This is a 
question which has been bandied to and fro 
these four thousand years. Ask the rich which is 
best, and they will unanimously vote for an aris- 
tocracy ; enquire of the people and they will one 
and all cry up a democracy : as for royalty, it is 
only kings who will prefer it. How then comes 
it to pass that almost the whole earth is governed 
by monarchs ? Ask the rats who proposed to 
hang a bell about the cat's neck. But the true 
reason is, that, men very rarely deserve to be 
their own governors. 

128 CMTICfSlll 

It is a sad case, that often there » no being * 
good patriot without being an enemy to other 
men. The elder Cato, that worthy patriot, in 

giving his vote in the senate, used always te say,' 
uch is my opinion; and down with Carthage. 
A great part of patriotism is thought to consist 
in wishing one's native . country a flourishing 
trade and distinguished successes in war. Now 4 
it is manifest, that for (Hie country *6 gain, ano- 
ther must lose, and its successes in war must of 
course spread calamity in other parts; Such/ 
then, is the state of human affairs, that to- wish 
an increase of grandeur to one's native country 
is wishing harm to its neighbours. * Her who U a 
citizen of the universe would have his country 
neither greater nor smaller, richer nor poorer* 


I. . , .. r- ' . 

Bo not here intend to speak of the j criticism 
of scholiasts, who pretend to restore à word of 
an ancient author, very well understood before? 
neither shall I meddle with those real critics, 
who, as far as is possible, have cleared up an- 
cient history and philosophy. The satirical cri- 
tics are the men I am now to deal with. * 

A man of letters one day reading Tasso with 
me, fell on this stanza : 

"'** Chiama gli habitatôr dell* ombre çtçrne 
■ Il rauco suon della Tartarea tromba, 
Treman lé spaziose atre caverne, 
£ l*aer ciecô a quel rumor rimbombd; ' 

Né si stridcndô mai dalle superne 
Regioni del cielo il fulgor piotnba* 
Né si scossa giammai trema la terra. * 
Quando i vapori in sen gravida serra." 



He afterwards read, as they fell under his eye, 
several stanzas of the like force and harmony : 
how, cried he, is this what your. Boileau is 
pleased to call tinsel ! Is it thus he strives to de- 
preciate a great man who lived a hundred years 
before him, the better to exalt another great man 
who lived sixteen hundred years before him, and 
who would not have failed to have done justice 
to Tasso ? 

Be easy, said I to him, let us look into Qui- 
naut's operas : what we met with at the opening 
of the book, could not but incense us against 
the petulancy of criticism ; it was the following 
passage in the admirable opera of Armida. 


" La haine est affreuse et barbare, 
L'amour contraint les coeurs dont il s'empare» 
A souffrir des maux rigoureux. 
Si votre sort est en vôtre puissance! 
Faites choix de l'indifférence, 
Elle assure un sort plus heureux. 


Non, non, il ne m'est pas possible 

De passer de mon trouble en un état paisible; 

Mon coeur ne se peut plus calmer ; 
Renaud m'offense trop, il n'est que trop aimable, 
C'est pour moi désormais un choix indispensable 

De le hair ou de l'aimer.-' 

We went through the whole piece, and it must 
be owned that the beauty of Tasso's genius is 
enhanced by Quinaut : Well, said I to my 
friend, after this could you think that Boileau 
should continually make it his business to expose 
Quinaut as a wretched poetaster? He even 
brought Lewis XIV. to believe, that this beau- 

. K tiful. 

13* CRITICISM*. } f, 

tiful, soft, pathetic, elegant writef'pwed alf litf 
merit to Lully's music. That 1- c&rf very easily 
account for, answered toy frietfd-; it was not 
the musician Boileau- Was 'jealoua of, but the 
poet; however, what signifies the saying of a 
man who, to tag a rhime to a line ending in aut, 
sometimes fell foul of BouFSaut, sometimes of 
Hepauj;, sometime» of Quihaut, ; according tQ the 
terms on which he stood witn*\Uf>se gentlemen ? 
But, that your warmth against- injustice may 
not cool, only go to the window, and view that 
grand front oi the Louvre, by which Perraut ha» 
gained immortal reputation : this ingenious artist 
happened to be brother to a very learned mem- 
ber of the academy, between whom and Boileau 
there had been some literary wrangling, and for 
this, truly, Mr, Boileau transmits this man to 
posterity with the character of a paltry architect. 

My friend, after a pause, replied with a sigh, 
this is the temper of man*. The Duk^de Sully, 
in his Memoirs,, speaks, of the Cardinal d'Ossat 
and Secretary Villeroy as ba4 ministers. Louvois 
strove to suppress in himself any esteem for the 
great Colbert: they, said I, did hot print .any- 
thing against each other whilst living, , that is » 
folly scarce seen in any but divines* scholars, 
and lawyers. 

We had a man of merit, Lamotte, who* ha» 
written very fine stanza^ 

u Quelquefois au feu qui la charme, 
Résiste une jeune beauté, 
Et contre elle même elle s'arme, 
D^ine pénible fermeté. 
Hejas cette contrainte extrême- 
La prive du vice qu'elle aimc K » 


CIHTICIStt. 131 

Pour fuir la hotïtc qu elle Mit i 
Sa sévérité n'est que- faste, 
Et l'honneur de passet pour chaste 
La résout à l*étre en effet." 


A blooming beauty sometimes withstands a 
pleasing passion, and to prompting nature op- 
" poses a painful firmness. This violent coq- 
" straint, to avoid' dreaded shame, preserves her 
** from the vice to Which her heart is- attached ; 
" her purity was pride and show ; and the repu. 
*' tation of chastity determined her againft the 
" violation of it.*' 

" En vain ce severe stoique 
Sous mille défauts abattu, 
Se vante d'une ame héroïque, 
Toute vouée a la vertu ; 
Ce n'est point 1a vertu- qu'il aime; - 
Mais son coeur y vre de îui même 
Voudrait usurper les autels: 
Et par sa sagesse frivole 
Il ne veut que paver l'idole 
Qu'il offre au culte des mortels." 

•* This austere Stoic, the slave of a multitude 
" of vices, boasts of heroism, of a soul absolutely 
•* consecrated to virtue. Absurd conceit ! Virtue 
" has none of his love; but his inflated heart 
" claims altars; and the* ole scope of his varnish- 
" ed wisdom is to deck the idol for universal 
" worship.'? 

u Les champs de Pharsale & d'Arbelle 
Ont vu triompher deux vainqueurs, 
L'un et l'autre digne modèle 
Que se proposent les grands coeurs. 

K a Mais 


Mais le succès a fait leur gloire;. 
Et si le sceau de la victoire 
N'eût consacré ces demi-dieux, 
Alexandre aux yeux du vulgaire 
N'aurait été qu'un Téméraire, 
Et Cesar qu'un séditieux," 




Pharsalia and Arbella's plains beheld the 
triumph of two victors, the model and admi- 
ration of all martial spirits ; but to success 
they owe their whole glory ; for had not vic- 
tory consecrated these demi-gods, Alexander 
*• would have been accounted a Hotspur, and 
" Caesar an incendiary,'* 

This amiable author, says he, more than once 
arrayed philosophy in the graceful attire of poesy» 
Had he always written such stanzas, he would 
have been the chief lyric poet among us ; yet 
whilst such beautiful pieces came from him, a 
cotemporary of his could call him a Green 
Goose, ana in another place say, " the tiresome 
beauty of his propositions ;" and in another, 
they have but one fault, they should have been 
" written in prose ; one sees with half an eye 
" they came from Quinaut." 

He pursues him every where, every where 
charges him with dryness and want of harmony. 
Perhaps you would be glad to see the odes 
written some years after by this same censor, 
who tried La Motte in so arbitrary a manner, and 
decried him with such contempt. Here are 
some specimens. 

" Cette influence souveraine 
N'est pour lui qu'une illustre chaîne, 
Qui l'attache au bonheur d 'autrui ; 
Tous les brillans qui l'embellissent, 






Tous les talents qui l'annobtissent, ■ 
Sont en lui, mais non pas à lui.'* 

" This sovereign power is but a flittering 
chain, binding him to the happiness of others ; 
all the brilliant qualities which adorn him, all 
the talents which enoble him, though in him, 

! « . !_•- »» 


** are not his. 1 

u II n'est rien que le temps n'absorbe ne dévore, 

Et les faits qu'on ignore. 
Sont bien peu différents des faits non avenus." 

" Nothing escapes the devouring jaws of time; 
" and what is unknown differs very little from 
44 what never happened*'* 

" La bonté qui brille en elle 
De ses charmes les plus doux, 
Est une image de celle, 
Qu'elle voit briller en vous. 
Et par vous seule enrichie. 
Sa politesse affranchie 
Des moindres obscurités, 
Est la lueur réfléchie, 
Des vos sublimes clartés." 

That goodness which in her displays its most 
engaging charms, is the image of that which, 
admiring, she beholds in you ; and by you 
" alone enriched : her politeness, freed from the 
" least darkening spot, is a light reflected from 
*•• your resplendency." 

4i Ils ont vu par ta bonne foi 
De leurs peuples troublés d'effroi 
La crainte heureusement déçue. 
Et déracinée à jamais 
La haine fi fouvent reçue, 
£n furvivance de la paix." 

K 3 " Through 


104 ǻTWi3M. 

•• Through thy probity they have seen the 
" terrors of their appakd people happily mis- 
" taken; and hatred, often received in reversion 
M for peace, for ever extirpated." 

u Dévoile à ma vue. empressée 
4 Ces deité^d'adoption, 
Synonimes de la pensée, 
Symboles de l'abstraction." 

*• Unveil to my eager sight those adopted dei* 
" ties, synonimous with cogitation, emblems of 
•* .abstractedness." 

u N'est ce pas une fortune, 
Quand d'une charge commune, 
Deux moitiés portent le fcix? 
Que le moindre le réclame, 
Et que du bonheur de.l'ame 
Le corps seul fasse les fraix." 

" Is it not a rare happiness, where, in a 
" burthen common to two, the least insists on 
" bearing the whole load ? Thus the body lays 
" itself out for the gratifications of the soul." 

To be .sure, said my judicious, philologist» 
this is wretched trash to be .published as models, 
after. criticising a writer with so.rauch scurrility. 
The. author, had done much better to Jiave left 
his adversary in the quiet enjoyment of his merit» 
and have retained his own share of it ; but alas ! 
the " genus ijjitabile vatum," is still as sick as 
ever with the overflowings of an acrid bile. The 
public, its views extending no farther than 
amusement, overlooks .these trifles in ,men of 
talents. It sees, in .an allegory called Pluto, 


ȣLUCE. 135 

some judges condemned to behead, and sitting 
in hell, on a seat covered with their skins, in- 
stead of the lillies ('): the reader never troubles 
himself whether the judges deserved it or not, or 
whether the plaintiff who had summoned them 
before Pluto be in the right or wrong; he reads 
those verses purely for his pleasure, and if they 
give him pleasure that is all he desires: if the 
allegory disgusts him, he shuts the book, and 
.would not stir a foot to have the sentence con- 
firmed or annul led. 

Racine's inimitable tragedies have been all 
criticised, and very badly, because the critics 
were rivals. The competent judges of an art 
are the artists; true, but when is it the artists are 
.not corrupted? 

An artist very skilful, and, withal, a man of 
taste, without either prejudice or envy, wopld 
make an excellent critic ; but a hard matter it is 
to- find such a man. 


A HAT ever the whole globe was at one time 
totally overflowed with water, is physically im- 
possible. The sea may have covered all parts 
successively, one after the other; and this could 
be only in a gradation so very slow, as to take 
up a prodigious number of ages. The sea, in 
the space of five hundred years, has withdrawn 
from Aiguesmortes, from Frejus, and from 
Raverma, once large ports, leaving about two 




(*) The arms of France embroidered on the co- 
vering of the benches in courts of justice. 

K 4 

l%6 DELUGE. 

leagues of land quite dry. This progression 
shews, that, to make the circuit of the globe 
it would require two millions two hundred and 
fifty thousand years. A very remarkable cir- 
cumstance is, that this period comes very near 
to that which the earth's axis would take up in 
raising itself again, and coinciding with the 
equator ; a motion so far from improbable, that, 
for these fifty years past, some apprehension has 
been entertained of it, but it cannot be accom- 
plished under two millions three hundred thou- 
sand years. * 

The strata, or beds of shells, every where 
found, sixty, eighty, and even a hundred leagues 
from the sea, prove, beyond all dispute, that it 
has insensibly deposited those maritime pro- 
ducts on grounds which were once its shores : 
but that the water, at one and the same time, 
covered the whole earth, is a physical absurdity, 
which the laws of gravitation, as well as those 
of fluids, and the deficiency of the quantity of 
water, demonstrate to be impossible. Not that 
any thing here is meant in the least to affect the 

Seat truth of the universal deluge as related in 
e Pentateuch; on the contrary, this is a mit 
racle, and therefore to be believed ; it is a mi* 
racle, therefore could not be effected by physi. 
cal causes. 

The whole history of the deluge is miraculous. 
It is a miracle that forty days rain should have 
submerged the four parts of the world ; that the 
waters rose fifteen cubits above all the highest 
mountains : it is a miracle that there should have 
been cataracts, doors, and apertures in heaven ; 
it is a miracle that all animals should have re- 
paired to the ark, from the several parts of the 

world j 


world; it is a miracle that Noah should have 
found fodder for them during ten months ; it is 
a miracle that all the creatures, with their pro- 
visions, could be contained in the ark ; it is a 
miracle that most of them did not die there ; it 
is a miracle that, at going out of the ark, suste- 
nance could be found for roan and beast ; it is 
likewise a miracle, that one Pelletier should have 
conceited that he had explained how all the 
several kinds of creatures might very naturally 
be contained and fed in the ark. 

Now, the history of the deluge being the most 
miraculous thing ever heard of, it is idle (') to 


( f ) Our author is mistaken, when he says it is idle 
to go about elucidating the history of the deluge, and 
that the whole must be resolved into a miracle. That 
the divine assistance must be called in on this occa- 
sion may be allowed ; but that every part of the his- 
tory is miraculous we cannot assent to. The diffi- 
culty of finding out such a prodigious quantity of 
water as was requisite for covering all the globe to 
fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, has made 
some modern writers imagine, that this deluge over- 
whelmed only one part of the earth. But all antiquity 
believed that the deluge was universal, and the Scrip- 
ture expresses it in the strongest terms. Had not all 
the earth been covered with the waters of the deluge, 
the building of the ark would have been needless. 
It would have been sufficient for God to have warned 
Noah to go to some other country, which was not 
to have been overwhelmed with water. Besides, it 
would have required no less a miracle to keep up the 
waters in one part of the earth, than to drown the 
whole. As to* the difficulty of finding out waters 
sufficient to overflow the world, without having re- 

138 ÊM.UGB. 

go about elucidating it; • there are mysteries 
which we believe through faith ; and faith con- 
sists in believing what reason does not believe : 
which again' is another miracle. 

Thus the story of the universal deluge is 
Jike that of the tower of Babel, of Balaam's ass, 
of the fall of Jericho at the blowing of the trump- 
ets, of the waters turned into blood, the passage 
of the Red Sea, and all the miracles which God 
was pleased to perforin in behalf of his chosen 
people. These are depths unfathomable by the 
line of human reason. 


course to a miracle, is it- not very rational to make 
answer, that as, in the beginning, the whole mass of 
the earth was covered with waters, which retired into 
cavities of the earth, or were drawn, up in clouds; 
so those cavities having thrown out those waters by 
the motion of the earth, and the clouds being dis* 
solved into water, the same quantity of water meet- 
ing, might again cover the globe of the earth. This 
is what Moses meant, when he said, " That the foun- 
44 tains of the deep and the cataracts of heaven were 
" opened." It must be owned, indeed, that to draw 
this quantity of water out of the abyss on the surface 
of the earth required the exertion of the Divine Power. 
The other difficulties about Noah's ark may be easily 
solved. That the space in such a -vessel was abun- 
dantly sufficient to contain both Noah and his fami- 
ly, as well as the animals, and all necessary provi- 
sions for them, appears. most evidently, whatever our 
author may pretend, ftom the geometrical calcula- 
tions of learned men, as Bishop Wilkin s and others. 
See the Univ. Hist. vol. L p. 220. as also Wilkins's 
Essay towards a real character, and Peletier Dissert, 
sur l'Arche de Noè. 


KJF all die books which have reached our 
times, the most ancient is (') Homer : here we 
become acquainted with the manners of pro- 
fane antiquity, with heroes and gods, as rude 
and unpolished as if made in the likeness of 
man; but- there, on the other band, we meet; 
with the elements of philosophy , and especially 
the notion of Destiny, no less lord of the gods, 
than the gpds are lords of the world. 

Jupiter would fain save Hector ; he consults 
the destinies ; he weighs the fates of Hector 
and Achilles in scales; and finding that the 
Trojan must absolutely be slain by the Greek, 
he is -sensible all opposition to it would be fruit- 
less: and from that moment Apollo, Hector's 
guardian genius, is obliged to forsake him 
(Iliad, lib. xxii.) and* though Homer, according 
to the privilege of antiquity, often interlards 
his poem with quite opposite ideas, yet is he 
the first in whom the notion of destiny occurs; 
«o that it must be supposed to have been cur- 
rent in his time. 

This notion of destiny, was not received by 

J the 


(*) This is a mistake, the history of Moses is. die 
most ancient book in the world : for* whether Moses 
was cotemporary with Inachus, the first : kin| of Ar- 
gos, who lived 600 >years before the Trojan war ; «or 
•whether he did not live till the ckystof.C «crops, king 
trf.Athcns, who reigned 390 years before, that 'war, 
it is certain he is muchnjore anient, than Homer or 


the Jewish Pharisees till several ages after; for 
the Pharisees themselves, who, among that in- 
significant people, were the principal literati» 
were but of a modern date. At Alexandria 
they adulterated the ancient Jewish opinions 
with many Stoic tenets. St. Jerom even says» 
that their sect is but little prior . to our vulgar 

Philosophers never stood in need of Homer, 
or the Pharisees, to be convinced that every- 
thing is done by immutable laws, that every 
thing is settled, and that every thing is a neces- 
sary effect. 

Either the world subsits by its own nature, 
by its physical laws, or a Supreme Being has 
formed it by his primitive laws; in either 
case, these laws are immutable ; in either case 
every thing is necessary : heavy bodies gravitate 
towards the center of the earth, and cannot 
tend to remain in the air; pear-trees can never 
bear pine-apples; the instinct of a spaniel can 
never be the instinct of an ostrich ; every thing 
is arranged, set in motion, and limited. 

Man can have but a certain number of teeth, 
hairs, and ideas ; and a time comes when he ne- 
cessarily loses them : it is a contradiction that 
what was' yesterday has not been, and what is 
to-day should not be; no less a contradiction 
is it that a thing which is to be should not come 
to pass. 

If thou couldest give a turn to the destiny of 
a fly, I see no reason why thou mightest not 
as well determine the destiny of all other flies, 
of all other animals, of all men, and of all na- 
ture ; so that, at last, thou wouldest be more 
powerful than God himself. 



It is common for weak people to say, such a 
physician has cured my aunt of a most danger- 
©us illness; he has made her live ten 'years 
longer than she would. Others as weak, but, 
in their own opinion, very wise, say, the prudent 
man owes his fortune to himself. 

44 Nullum numen abest, si sit prudentia, sed nos 
" Te facimus fortuna Deam cœloque locamus." 

But the prudent man oftentimes is crushed 
by his destiny, instead of making it ; it is their 
destiny that renders men prudent. 

Some profound politicians affirm, that, had 
Cromwell, Ludlow, Ireton, and about a dozen 
more parliamentarians, been made away with a 
week before the cutting off Charles the First's 
head, that king might have lived longer, and 
have died in his bed. They are in the right, 
and may farther add, that, had all England been 
swallowed up by the sea, that monarch would 
not have ended his days on a scaffold at White- 
hall, near the Banqueting- house ; but by the 
arrangement of occurrences Charles was to 
have his head cut off. 

Cardinal d'Ossat was unquestionably a man 
of more prudence than yon lunatic in Bedlam; 
but is it not manifest that the wise d'Ossat's 
organs were of another texture than that mad- 
man's ?> So a fox's organs differ from those of a 
crane or a lark. 

The physician has saved thy aunt. Allowed ; 
but herein he certainly did not reverse the order 
of nature ; he conformed to it. It is evident 
that thy aunt could not hinder her being born 
in such a town, and having a certain illness at 


Cj&) ÛEST1NY* 

such a time; that the physician could be tto 
where but in the town where he was ; that thine 
aunt was to send for him; and that he was to 
prescribe for her those medicaments which have 
effected her cure. 

A peasant imagines that the hail which has 
fallen in his ground is purely matter of chance ; 
but the philosopher knows that there- is no such 
thing as chance; and that by the constitution of 
the world, it must necessarily have hailed that 
day, in that very place. 

Some, alarmed at this truth, are for having it» 
as straitened debtors offer half to their creditors, 
desiring some forbearance for the remainder- 
There are, say they; necessary events (*), and 
others which are not so : but it would be odd» 
indeed, that one part of this world were fixed 
and not the other; that some things which hap* 
pen were to happen, and that others which hap- 
pen were not necessarily to happen. On a close 
examination, the doctrine which opposes that of 
destiny, -must appear loaded with absurdities, and 
Contrary to the idea of an eternal providence: 
but many are destined to reason wrongly, others 


(*) The physical world is subject to invariable 
laws; man, therefore, as a physical being, is, like 
other bodies, governed by those invariable laws: but 
as an intelligent being, his nature requires him to be 
a free agent. Our author- has taken his* notions on 
this article, and on that of Liberty, from Mr. Locke» 
who denies that there is such a power in man as a 
Liberty of Will; which you may see refuted by the 
ingenious Dr. Clarke, on the Being and Attti* 
butes, p. 86. 





not to reason, at all, ami others to persecute those 
who do reason. 

You ask. me what, «then, becomes of liberty? 
I understand you not. I know nothing of that 
liberty you speak of, nor yourself, indeed; 
else < you would not be- so long controverting 
about its nature. If you will, or, rather, if yoa 
can, calmly examine with me* what it is. torn 
to the letter L. 


** Somnia quae ludunt antmos rotSttnttbus urn* 

Non delubca deum, nee ab aethero numina mife 

Sed sua qu&que fecit.'' 

jOUT how so, when all the. sense* are deadened 
in sleep, , is there one within still alive and 
active (*)? WhaU when your eyes, have» lost 


(*) M. Voltaire does not seem to be sufficiently 
acquainted with the cause of dreams, or to have lightly 
examined that; part of natural philosophy. In order to 
clear up. this matter,, we should previously inquirci 
into the nature .of waking and . sleeping. Waking, 
consists in this, that the animal . spirits being at that, 
time in great plenty in the brain, and .capable of being 
easily determined to run from thence through all the 
nerves, they fill them in such a manner as to keep all 
the capillaments of them «stretched and distinct from 
each other. Sleeping^ on. the contrary, is caused by 
a scarcity, or failure, of spirits; so that the* pores of 
the brain, tbrpugh which, the spirits usually run into 
the nerves, .ript being kept opç the: continual 



144 DREAMS. 

their sight, and your ears their hearing, do you still 
•see and hear in your dreams ? The dog hunts in 
his dreams, barks, chases his prey, and feasts 
on his reward. That the poet versifies in his 
sleep, the mathematician views figures, the me- 
taphysician reasons right or wrong, we have 
many striking instances. 

Is this the action only of the body's organs, or 
is it merely the soul, which, now freed from the 
power of the senses, acts in the full enjoyment 
of its properties. 

If the organs alone produce our dreams by 
night, why not our ideas by day ? If it be merely 
the soul, acting of itself, and quiet by the sus- 
pension of the senses, which is the only cause 
and subject of all your sleeping ideas, whence is 
it, that they are almost ever irrational, irregular, 
and incoherent ? Can it be, that, in the time of 
the soul's most abstract quietude, its imagination 
should be the most confused ? Is it fantastical 
when free? Were it born with metaphysical 
ideas, as some writers, who were troubled with 


flowing of the spirits, shut up of themselves. The 
spirits being dissipated, and no new ones flowing in, 
the capillaments of the nerves will become soft, and 
cleave to each other; and if, at that time, any object 
makes an impression on any part of the body, those 
nerves cannot transmit it to the brain. And hence it 
follows, that there can be no sensation. But, it may 
happen that, while we are asleep, some of the animal 
spints which are in the brain may shake some of the 
pits of the brain, in the same manner as they would 
be shaken by an external object affecting the corporeal 
senses; then there will be a sensation raised in the. 
soul, and such a sort of perception is called a dream. 


waking dreams, have affirmed, its pure and lu- 
minous ideas of being, of infinitude, and of all 
primary principles, naturally should awake in 
her with the greatest «energy when the body is 
sleeping, and men should philosophise best in 
their dreams. 

Whatever system you espouse, however you 
may labour to prove that memory stirs the brain, 
and your brain your soul, you must allow that, 
in all your ideas in sleep, you are intirely pas* 
sive; your will has no share in those images. 
Thus it is clear, that you can think seven or 
eight hours on a. stretch, without having the least 
inclination to think, and even without being 
certain that you do think. Consider this, and 
tell me what is man's compound ? 

Superstition has always dealt much in dreams; 
nothing, indeed, was more natural. A man 
deeply concerned about his mistress who lies 
ill, dreams that he sees her dying; and the next 
day she actually dies : then, to be sure, God had 
given him previous knowledge of his beloved's 

A commander of an army dreams of gaining 
a battle; gains it;, then the gods had intimated 
to him that he should be conqueror. 

It is only such dreams as meet with some ac- 
complishment that are taken notice of, the others 
we think not worth remembrance. Dreams 
make full as great a part of ancient history as 
oracles. . .. "v „ . . 

- The end o£ ver. 26. cap. xix* of Leviticus, 
the Vulgate, raiders , thus:- ." Thou shah noj 
••observe dreams I 1 )." But the word dream 

'../.. 11..' : v - i$ 

" ■ 1 > X 

T 1 ) Most translations have Times. 



ia6) end, final causes. 

is not in the Hebrew ; and it would be some- 
thing odd, that the observance of dreams should 
be forbidden in the same book, which tells us 
that Joseph saved Egypt, and brought his family 
to great prosperity by interpreting three dreams. 
The interpretation of dreams and visions was- 
so common, that something beyond this know- 
ledge was required; the magician was some- 
times even to guess what another had dreamed* 
Nebuchadnezzar forgetting a dream * ordered 
the magicians, on pain of death, to find it out ; 
Daniel the Jew, who was of the same school as 
the magicians, saved their lives, both finding 
out and interpreting the king's dream. This 
and many other accounts prove, that oneirornancy, 
or the intrepretation ot dreams, was not pro- 
hibited by the Jewish institutes. 



MAN, it seems, must be stark mad to deny 
that the stomach is made for digestion, the eye to 
see, and the ear to hear. 

On the other hand, he must be strangely at* 
tached to final causes, to affirm, that stone was. 
made to build houses, and that China breeds 
silk worms to furnish Europe with sattin.* 

But it is said, if God has manifestly made one 
thing with design, he had a design in every 
thing. To allow a Providence in one case, and 
deny it in another, is ridiculous. Whatever is made 
was foreseen and arranged ; now every arrange- 
ment has its object, every effect its cause ; there- 
fore every thing is equally the result, or the pro- 
duct of a final cause ; therefore it is equally true 
to say that noses were made to wear spectacles, 



and fingers to be decorated with diamonds, as it 
is true to say* that the ears have been made to 
hear sounds, and the eyes to receive light. 

This difficulty, I apprehend, may be easily 
cleared up, when the effects are invariably the 
same in all times and places ; when such uniform 
effects are independent of the beings they apper- 
tain to, there is then evidently a final cause. 

AH animals have eyes and they see ; all have 
'ears and.they hear ; all a mouth with which they 
eat ; a stomach, or something similar, by which they 
digest ; all an orifice which voids the excrements; 
all an instrument of generation, and these natu- 
ral gifts operate in them without the intervention 
of any art. Here are clear demonstrations' of 
final causes, and to gainsay so universal a truth, 
would be to pervert our faculty of thinking. 

But it is not in all places, nor at all times, that 
stones form edifices ; all noses d* not wear spec- 
tacles ; all fingers have not a ring, nor are all 
legs covered with silk stockings : therefore a silk 
worm is not made to cover my legs, as your 
mouth is made to eat, and your backside for eva- 
cuation. Thus there are effects produced by 
final causes, but withal many which cannot come 
•within that appellation. 

But both the one and the other are, equally 
agreeable to the plan of general Providence ; for 
certainly nothing comes to pass in opposition to 
it, or so much as without it. Every particular 
within the compass of nature is uniform, immu- 
table, and the immediate work of their Author. 
From him are derived the laws by which the 
inoon is three- fourths of the cause of tides, and 
the sun the other fourth ; it is he who has given 
a rotary motion to the sun, by which in five mi- 

L 2 nutes 



nutes and a half it emits rays of ligbt into tbe 
eyes of men, crocodiles, and cats,. 

But if, after many centuries, we have hit on 
the invention of shears and spits, with the for- 
mer sheering the sheep of their wool, and with 
the latter roasting them for food, what can be in. 
ferred from thence,- but that God has so made us, 
that, one day we should necessarily grow ingeni- 
ous and carnivorous? 

Sheep, doubtless, were not absolutely made 
to be dressed and eaten ; since several nations 
abstain from that sanguinary practice. Men 
were not essentially created to butcher one ano- 
ther, for the Bramins and Quakers never kill 
any body i but the composition we are made of 
is frequently productive of massacres, as it pro- 
duces calumnies, vanities-, persecutions; and im^ 
pertinencies i not that the formation of man is 

{>recisely the final cause of our follies and brutal- 
ities, a final cause being universal and invariable 
in all places and at all times. The crimes and 
absurdities of the human mind are, nevertheless, 
in the eternal, order of things» In threshing corn, 
the flail is the final cause of the grain's sepanp» 
tion | but if the flail, in threshing, the corn,' de* 
firoys a thousand insects,, this is not < from -any 
determinate will of mine, neither is it mere 
chance : these insects were at that time under 
my flail, and it was determined they were to b* 

♦ It is consequential to the nature of things; mat a 
man is ambitious, forms other men into military 
bodies, that he is beaten or gains a victory ; but 
never can it be said that man was created by God 
to be knocked on the head in battle. . 

. The 


. The instrument* given to us by nature cannot 
always be final causes, ever in motion, and in- 
fallible in their effect. The eyes, given us for 
sight» ate not always open ; every sense has its inter, 
vais of rest i there are even some senses we make 
no use of; for instance, in the case of a poor 
girl of fourteen» immured in, a convent, that 
door», from which was to proceed a new genera, 
tion, is for. ever shut up; stj ll the final cause 
subsists, and as soon as it is tree wilt ar^ ^" , 


W HAT does one dog owe to another, and 
one horse to another horse ? Nothing. No ani- 
m*l depends: on its fellow ; but man, partaking 
of that .spark of divinity called reason, what ad* 
vantage accrues to him from this ? To be a slave 
almost every where throughout the earth. 

Were this earth what it apparently should be, 
that is, did man every, where meet with an easy, 
certain» and safe subsistence, and a climate suit- 
able to his nature» it is manifestly impossible that 
one man could have enslaved another. When 
this earth shall every where produce salubrious 
fruits ; when the air, which should contribute to 
our life, shall not bring us sicknesses and death,; 
when man shall stand in need of no other lodg- 
ing and bed than that of the deer and roebuck ; 
then the Gengjs Khans and the Tamerlanes will 
have, no other domestics than their children» and 
these will have so much natural affection as to as* 
ml them in their old age. 

In this so natural state, which, all quadrupeds» 
birds, and reptiles enjoy, man would be as happy 
as they ^ dominion would then be a chimera, an 

L 3 " absurdity» 


absurdity, which no one would think of; for who 
would make a bustle to get servants without any 
want ot their service ? 

Should any individual, of a tyrannical dispo- 
sition, and extraordinary strength, take it into 
his head to make a slave of his weaker neigh- 
bour, the thing would be impracticable ; the 
party oppressed would be an hundred leagues out 
of the oppressor's reach before he had taken his 

Thus a freedom from wants would necessarily 
make all men equal. It is the distress annexed 
to our species which subjects one man to ano- 
ther: not that inequality is a real misfortune; 
the grievance lies in dépendance. What signi-> 
fies one man being stiled his highness, another 
his holiness ? but to serve either is disagreeable. 

A numerous family has successfully culti- 
vated a good soil, whilst two small neighbouring 
families cannot bring their stubborn grounds to 
produce any thing; the two poor families must 
either become servants to the opulent family, or 
extirpate it ; this is self-evident: one of the two 
indigent families, for a subsistence, goes and of- 
fers its labour to the rich ; the other goes to dis- 
possess it by force of arms, and is beaten. The 
former is the origin of domestics and labourers, 
and from the latter slavery is derived. 

In our calamitous globe, it is impossible that 
men living together in society, should not be di- 
vided into two classes, one the rich who com- 
mand, the other the poor who serve or obey : 
these two are subdivided into a thousand, and 
these thousands have their farther subdivisions 
and gradations. 

All the oppressed are not absolutely unhappy. 



Most of them being born in a servile state» con* 
tinual labour preserves them from too sensible a 
feeling of their situation ; but whenever they 
feel it, wars are the consequence, as at Rome 
between the plebeian and patrician parties; like- 
wise those of the peasants in Germany, England, 
and France. All these wars terminate, soon or 
late, in the subjection of the people, because 
the great have money, and money does every 
thing within a state ; I say within a state ; for be- 
tween nation and nation it is otherwise. A nation 
which handles iron best, will ever be too strong 
for that which, with its abundance of gold, is 
deficient in skill and courage. 

Every man is born with no small propensity to 
-power, riches, and pleasure, and has naturally 
a delight in indolence ; consequently every man 
is for having the money, wives, or daughters of 
others ; would subject them to all his humours, 
and do no work, or at least what only pleased 
himself. You see, that for men with such fine 
dispositions to be equal, is as impossible as. that 
two preachers, or two professors of divinity, 
should not be jealous of one another. 

Mankind, in the present state, cannot subsist, 
unless an infinity of useful men have the misfor- 
tune of being without any possession whatever : 
for, to be sure, no man in easy circumstances 
will plough your grounds ; and, if you are in 
want of a pair of shoes, you must find some 
other hand than a Serjeant at law to make them 
for you. Thus, inequality is, at the same time, 
both the most natural and the most chimerical 
thing in the world. 

Men being excessive in everything where they 
can be so, this inequality has been carried too 

L 4 far; 

15» «QUALITY. 

far; in several governments it is a standing 
maxim» that a citizen is not allowed to quit the 
country where he happened to be born; the im- 
port of this law is visibly this : " The country 
44 is so bad and ill governed, that we forbid any 
.*• person whatever to go out, Jest every body 
•• should leave it." Now act more wisely, 
create in your subjects a delight to stay in your 
country, and in foreigners a desire of coming 

Every man has a right to believe himself natu- 
rally equal to other men : but it does not from 
hence follow that a cardinal's cook may order 
his eminence to dress his- dinner; the cook in» 
deed may say, I am as much a man as my master ; 
like him I cried at my birth, and he will die in 
the same agonies, and amidst the same ceremo- 
nies as I ; the animal functions are alike in both; 
if the Turks make themselves masters of Rome, 
and I should then come to be a cardinal, and my 
master reduced to turn cook, I will take him 
into my service. There is nothing in this solilo- 
quy but what is rational and just; yet till the 
grand seignior makes himself master of Home, 
the cook is to do his duty, else there^ an end of 
human society. 

As to him who is neither cook to a cardinal 
nor holds any state employment, and. who has 
no connection or dependence, bnt who is cha- 
grined at being every where received either with 
an air of protection or contempt ; who plainly 
sees, that many Monsignors have neither more 
learning, more genius, nor more virtue than 
himself, and to whom it is a torment to be some- 
times in their anti-chamber-— What would you 
have him do ? Take himself away. 


4 * 

£ZEKIEL. 15g 



IT is at present very well known, that we are 
not to judge of ancient customs by modern times. 
lie who would go about to reform the court of 
Alcinous in the Odyssey, by that of the grand 
6eignor or of Lewis XIV, would be little ap- 
plauded by the learned; and to find fault with 
Virgil for having represented king Evander re- 
ceiving ambassadors with a bear skin for his 
«nantie, and a dog on each side of him, would 
be very bad criticism. 

The manners of the ancient Egyptians and 
Jews vary from otirs still more than those of king 
Alcinous, of Nausicae his daughter, and the 
good man Evander. — Ezekiel, when à slave 
among the Chaldeans, had a vision near the 
little river of Chebar, which runs into the 

It is not to be thought strange that he should 
have seen animals with four faces» and four 
wings, and their feet like those of calves; nor 
that he saw wheels self-moving, and having m 
them the spirit of life. These symbols are 
pleasing to the very imagination; but several 
critics cannot be reconciled ('] to the order 

' ' given 

(•) Our author acknowledges that the descriptions 
which he has extracted from this prophet, how shock- 
in g soever they .may appear at first sight, only 
denote the iniquities of Jerusalem and Samaria; yet as 


154 £ZEKIEL. 

given him by the Lord that,Mluring three hun- 
dred and ninety days he should eat barley, wheat* 


weak minds may be offended at his picking out these 
passages, without explaining them, we shall make a 
few remarks on that head. 

The prophet Ezekicl is very obscure, particularly 
towards the beginning and end, for which reason the 
Jews would not permit their people to read him tin 
the age of thirty. He foretels the captivity and 
destruction of Jerusalem, the restoration of the Jewish 
people, and the rebuilding of the temple. 

In the fourth chapter, under the type of a siege, he 
shews the time from Jeroboam's defection to the cap» 
tivity. Here he enumerates the hardships of the 
besieged, for want of provisions. Tjieir bread, he 
says, is to be given them by weight, because of the 
scarcity of grain. They shall also drink their water 
by measure ; and there will be so great a scarcity of 
fuel, that they will be obliged to bake their bread with 
dung that cometh out of man; that is, they will be v 
obliged to make fire of man's dung instead of cow*- 
dung, because of the scarcity of cattle. This is very 
different from ordering the -prophet to besmear the 
bread with man's dung, as M. Voltaire understands 
it, according to the vulgar acceptation. The prophet 
is still uneasy, and tells the Lord, he hath hitherto 
abstained from every thing that the law deems pol- 
luted, and therefore begs he may not be obliged to 
make use of what is naturally polluted; viz. man's 
dung for the purpose of baking. The Lord is moved 
with his prayer, mitigates his sentence, and says he 
shall have cow's dung for man's dung, to prepare his 
bread therewith; that is, to bake it, not, according to 
our author's comment, to knead it. The conclusion is, 
that, a scow'sdung was also unclean, the Israelites should, 
in punishment for their iniquities, be certainly polluted. 




and millet bread, besmeared with man's dung, 
(Then said the prophet, " Ah, Lord God, be- 


With regard to the contradiction mentioned by our 

author, between the passage in this prophet, chap. 

xviii. viz. That the son shall not bear the iniquity of 

the father, and that in Numbers chap, xxviiL we are 

to observe in the first place, that our author mistakes 

the book of Numbers for that of Èxodus, where, 

chap. xx. ver. 5. the passage referred to is to be 

found. Secondly, the contradiction is removed by a 

light consideration of the whole passage in Ezekiel: 

the Jews complained that they underwent great hard- 

-ships in punishment for the sins of Manasseh, " The 

" fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's 

** teeth are set on edge." This has been the case in 

all times, for people labouring under calamities to 

exculpate themselves, and to blame their forefathers; 

hence Horace, ." Delicta majorum immçritus lues, 

*' Romane." The prophet makes answer, that they 

are punished for their own guilt, and not for that of 

their ancestors. See other explications in Pool's 


The objection against the 25th verse of the aofh 
chapter of Ezekiel is easily answered ; " God gave the 
** Jews statutes that were not good," that is, unplea- 
sant on account of the multiplicity of ceremonial laws, 
which were troublesome in practice, yet necessary to 
that stiff-necked people, because of their proneness to 

With respect to the other passages from chap. xvi. 
and xxiii. they are certainly allegorical, and denote the 
wickedness and corruption of Jerusalem, which was 
-grown worse than Sodom. And as the communication 
with the Deity is represented frequently in the Scrip- 
tures under the emjbJem or figure of nuptials, so the 
.estrangement or wandering from the Deity is described 


hold, my soul hath not hitherto been polluted* 
And the Lord answered, Well, instead of man?A 
excrements, I allow thee cow dung, and thou 
shalt prepare thy bread therewith." 

As it is not customary with us to eat brejtfl 
with such marmalade, these orders,- to the gene- 
rality of men, appear unworthy of the Divine 
Majesty, It must, however,, be owned, that 
cow dung and all the diamonds of the mogul, 
are entirely alike, not only in the eyes of a 
Divine Being, but in those of a genuine philo- 
sopher; and as to the reasons Cod might have 
for ordering such repasts to his prophet, it is 
not for us to be examiners. 

It is sufficient to shew, that these orders» how- 
ever odd and disgustful tous, did not seem, so 
to the Jews. True it is, that in St. Jerom's 
time, the synagogue did not allow the reading of 
Ezekiel under thirty years of age; but this was 
because, in chap, xviii. it is said that " the son 
*' shall no longer bear the iniquity of the fa- 
• 4 ther," and it shall be no more said " the 
" fathers have eaten sour grapes and the chil- 
** dren's teeth have been set on edge." 

This was expressly contradicting Moses, who, 
in the x xviii. chapter of Numbers, declares that 
the children shall bear the iniquity of their fathers 
to the third and fourth generation. 

Farther, Ezekiel in chap. xx. makes the Lord 



«as a spiritual prostitution, or whoredom. JBut we> refer t 
the reader to the different commentators for an appti- . 
cation of the allegory, and agree with our author, 
that the-expressions which to us may appear indelicate, 
were not so in regard to the Jews. 


EZEK1EL. t$f 

\9 say, that he gave to the Jews " precepts 
*• which were not good." This was the princi- 
pal reason of the synagogue's prohibiting young 
perçons from reading Ezekiel, as it might bring 
them, to doiibt of the inrefragability of the Mosaic 

The cavillers of our times are still more 
astonished at the manner of the prophet's de- 
scribing the wickedness of Jerusalem, in chapter 
Kyi. where be introduces the Lord speaking to 
a girl; and, the Lord said to the girl, " In thé 
çlay thou wast born» thy navel-string was not 
cut, thou wast neither salted nor swaddled; I 

?>it Jed thee; thou art grown up, thy breasts are 
asjbioned, and thine hair is grown ; I passed by 

thçe, and looked upon thee, behold thy time was 
(he time of love. I spread my skirt over thee, 
and covered thy nakedness: thou becamest 
ipine* I washed thee with . water, and anointed 
thee with oil; I cloathedthee and shod thee; I 
girded thee about with fine linen, and covered 
thee with silks; I decked thee also wkh orna- 
mentSj* and put bracelets on thy hands, and a 
chain on thy neck; 1 put a jewel on thy fore- 
head, and ear-rings in thy ears, and a crown on 
thy head,' &<;. But thou didst trust in thy 

* beauty, and plàyedst the harlot because of thy 
renown, and ponredst out thy fornications on 
every one that passed hy: thou hast built- an 
eminent place, thou hast prostituted thyself in 
public places, thou hast spread thy legs to every 
one" that passed By . . . . and thou hast lain with 
Egyptians « . . ♦ and, .lastly, thou hast paid thy 
•lovers, and hast made presents tô them to lie with 
thee, • . . . and in paying instead of being, paid, 
thou hast done the reverse of other girls • . '♦ . 




there is a proverb, Like mother like daughter^ 
and the like is said of thee." 

Still greater clamour is raised against chap, 
xxiii. A mother had two daughters, who 
parted with their virginity very early in life ; the 
name of the elder was Aholah, and of the 
younger Aholibah : •••<.• " Aholah doated on 
" young lords, and captains, and rulers; she 
*' committed whoredom with the Egyptians in 
" her youth .... Aholibah her sister was more 
*' corrupt in her whoredoms than she, with cap. 
" tains and rulers cloathed most gorgeously,. 
" horsemen riding upon horses, all of them de- 
" sirable young men; she has discovered her 
" nakedness, she has increased her whoredoms, 
" she has eagerly sought the embraces of those 
" (') whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and 
** whose issue is like the issue of horses." 

These descriptions, which scandalize so many 
weak minds, signify no more than the sins of Je- 
rusalem and Samaria. Expressions to us indeli- 
cate and obscure, were not so at that time. The 
like plainness openly shews itself in other pas- 
sages of Scripture. It often speaks of " opening 
" the womb." The terms in which are expressed 
the junction of Boaz with Ruth, and of Judah 
with his daughter-in-law, in Hebrew, having 
nothing unseemly in them; but would be very 
much so in our language. 


(*) M. Voltaire translates the above passage thus* 
<( Whose member is like that of an ass, and who 
u cast their seed like horses." Whether that be more 
agreeable to the originaj^fttpurs, is not of great con* 
sequence; the idea is ' 




. He who is not ashamed of being naked does 
not cover himself: where was the shame of 
naming the genitals in those times, when it was 
customary» on any important promise, to touch 
the genitals of him to whom the promise was 
made ? It was a mark of respect, a symbol of 
fidelity ; as formerly among us» the feudal te- 
nants put their hands between those of their pa- 

We have thought fit to render the genitals by 

thigh ; Eliezer puts his hand under Abraham * 

thigh ; the like Joseph does to Jacob. This had 

been a custom of very great antiquity in Egypt? 

and so far were that people from annexing shame 

and turpitude to what we dare neither expose 

nor name, that they carried in procession a large 

figure of the virile member called Phallum, 

in thanksgiving to the gods for their goodness 

in making that member the instrument of human 


All this sufficiently proves,* that our ideas of 
decency and purity do not correspond with those 
of other nations. At what period of time did 
politeness prevail among the Romans more than 
in the Augustan age? Yet Horace, the orna- 
ment of that age, and in a moral piece, roundly 

u Nee metiro, ne dum futuo vir rare recurrat. ,, 

Augusts* makes use of the same expression in 
an epigram against Eulvia. 

He who, among us, should openly pronounce 
the word answering to futuo, would be looked 
on with as much contempt as a drunken porter :, 
this word, and several others made; use of by* 
Horace and other elegM^uthors, to us appear 

^^ still 


l6o FABLES* ' 

still more indecent than EzekiePs expressions. 
Whether we read ancient authors, or travel in 
distant countries, let us lay aside all our preju- 
dices. Nature is every where the same, and cus- 
toms every where different. 


xjLRE not the most ancient fables manifestly 
a Uegorical ? The first we know of, according to 
our chronology* it it not that related in the 9th 
chapter of the book of Judges P The trees were 
about chusing a king ; the olive would not quit 
the care of its oil, nor the fig-tree of its figs, nor, 
the vine-tree of its rich juice; and all the other 
trees had their fruit no less at heart ; so that the 
thistle being good for nothing, and having 
prickles winch : could do hurt, made itself 

The Pagan fable of Venus, as we have it in 
Hesiod, is it not an allegory of all nature ? Thé 
generative paru fell from the sky on the sea- 
shore ; Venus receives her being from this pre* 
cious spume : her first name signifies "Lover of 
generation :" can there be a more sensible image ? 
This Venus is the goddess of beauty ; beauty is 
no longer amiable than when accompanied by 
the graces ; beauty gives rise to love, love has 
shafts which every heart has felt; he is hood- 
winked, to conceal the faults of the object be- 
loved. * 

Wisdom is conceived in the brain of the so- 
vereign of the gods, under the name of Minerva^ 
the soul of man is a divine fire, which Minerva 



p 't 


shews to Prometheus, and he made use of this 
divine fire to animate man. 

Every body must perceive in these fables a 
lively portraiture of nature. Most of the other 
fables are either corruptions of ancient histories, 
or the chimeras of imagination. It is with an- 
cient fables as with modern tales ; some are of 
the moral kind and quite charming, and there 
are others as insipid. 


WHEN the Duke de Rochefoucault had 
published his Thoughts on Self-love, one M. 
Esprit .of the Oratory wrote a captious book, in- 
titled, The Falsity ot Human Virtues. This ge- 
nius says there is no such thing as virtue ; but, 
at the close of every chapter, kindly refers his 
readers to Christian charity : so that, according 
to M. Esprit, neither Cato, nor Aristides, nor 
Marcus Aurelius, nor Epictetus, were. good men; 
and a good reason why, these are only to be 
found among Christians. Again, among Chris- 
tians the catholics are the only virtuous ; and 
among the catholics the Jesuits, enemies to 
the Oratorians, should have been excepted ; 
therefore there is scarce any virtue on earth but 
among the enemies of the Jesuits. 

This Sieur Esprit sets out with saying that 
prudence is not a virtue ; and his reason is, be- 
cause it is often mistaken : which is as much as 
to say, Caesar was nothing of a soldier because 
he had the worst of it at Dyrachiurh. 

Had this reverend gentleman been a philoso- 

M pher, 



ï6» pAHA7ICiSH< 

pber, he would not have treated of prudence a* 
a virtue, but as a talent, a happy and useful quar 
Uty ; for a villain may be very prudent, and I 
have known such. - The madness of pretend* 
ing that virtue is the portion only of us and our 
partisans I 

What is virtue, my friend ? It is doing good* 

Do me some, and that is enough ; as for your 

motive, that you may keep to yourself, Hpw 1 

According to you, there is no difference between 

the president de Thou and Ra vail lac ; between 

\ ' Cicero and that wretch Fopiiius, who$e life he 

i had saved, and who yet hired himself to cut off 

; ' his head? You will pronounce Epictetus fnjj 

Porphyry to be rascals, because they did not 

hold with our doctrines? Such insolence if 

quite shocking; but I have done, lest I grow 




Fanaticism i* to su pft mk*oo what a *&« 

rium is to a fever, and fury tq ange* ; be watt 
has exta&ies and visional» who takes dr^anas for 
realities, and his imaginations for propbuiet* it 
an enthusiast ; and he who sticks not at tuppgfU 
ing his folly by murder, is a fanatic. Baj*he« 
lpmew Diaz, a fugitive at Nuremberg, who waft 
firwly convinced thai the pops is the Ami Ghrifit 
in the Revelations, and that he has the mark q£ 
the' beast, was only an enthusiast; whereas his 
broth**, who set out frqm Rome with tbç godly 
intention of murdering him, and who actually 
did murder him for God's sake, waft one q( the 
most .execrable fanatics that superstition could; 






Polieuctes, who on a Pagan festival, wemttfo 
the temple, pulling down and breaking the images 
and other ornaments, shewed himself a fanatic, 
less horrible, indeed, than * Diaz, but equally 
tash and imprudent. -The murderers of Francis 
Duke of Guise, of William Prince of Orange, 
of the Kings Henry III. and Henry IV. and of 
so many others, were demoniacs, agitated by the 
same evil spirit as Diaz. 

The most detestable instance of fanaticism is 
that of the citizens of Paris, who, on the feast of 
St. Bartholomew, could massacre their fellow 
citizens for not going to mass. 

Some are fanatics in cool blood : these are the 
judges who can sentence people to death with- 
out any other guilt than for not being in their 
way of thinking: these judges are the more 
gmlty, and the more deserving of universal ex* 
ecration, as not being under a fit of rage like the 
Clements, the Chatels, the Ravaillacs, the Ge- 
rards, the Damiens, one would think they might 
listen to reason. 

When once fanaticism has touched the brain, 
the distemper is desperate. I have seen convul- 
sionists, who, in speaking of the miracles of St* 
Pkris, grew hot involuntarily ; their eyes glared, 
they trembled in all their limbs, their counte- 
nance was quite disfigured with rancour, and 
they unquestionably would have killed My one 
who had contradicted them. 

The only remedy to this infectious disease wl 
a philosophical temper, which spreading through ] 
society, at length" softens manners, and obviates / 
the accessed of the distemper ; for Whenever itj 
gets ground, the best way is to fly from it, ana 
«ury till the air be purified. The laws and teVi- 

Mi gion 


gion are no preservative against this mental pes- 
tilence. Religion, so far from being a salutary 
aliment in these cases, in infected brains becomes 
poison. These unhappy creatures dwell conti- 
nually on the example of Ehud, who assassinated 
King Eglpn ; of Judith, who cut off Holopher- 
nes's head when lying with him ; and of Samuel 
hewing . King Agag in pieces. They are not 
aware t^at these instances, however respectable 
in antiquity, are abominable in our times : they 
foment their phrenzy with religion, which abso- 
lutely, condemns it. 

The laws, likewise. ha y^r ç^ÇjJLmy ineffec» 
tuaTjjga^ îndee SET 

HEêT reading an ordero t council to a lunatic, 
Tbese crcatures are firmly persuaded that the 
jytruTïy whictT Tney are actuated is above all 
Kws^aad that their ^)hûsîâlmJsjthe~on^Tw 

\ Vhat cano ejnswered to a perso n who tells 
you th at he hadTrather obey God than men, and 
who, in consequence cT^thàT cHôTce, incertain 
of gaining heaven by cutting your throat ? 

The leaders of fanatics, and who put the dag- 
ger into their hands, are usually designing knaves ; 
they are like the old man of the mountain, who, 
according to history, gave weak persons a fore* 
taste of the joys of paradise, promising them an 
eternity of such enjoyments, provided they 
would go and murder all those whom he should 
name to them. In the whole world, there has 
been but one religion clear of fanaticism, which 
is that of the Chinese literati. As to the sects 
of philosophers, instead of being infected with 
this pestilence, they were a remedy and preser- 
vative against it : for the effect of philosophy is 
,•:•'• . " "* \, ■: l * to 

fRAUD. 165 

to compose the soul, and fanaticism is incompati- 
ble with tranquility. As to our holy religion 
having been so often corrupted by these in- 
fernal impulses, it is the folly of men that is to 
be blamed. 



JDAMBABEF, the Fakir, one day met a dis- 
ciple of Confutsee, whom we call Coqfucius ; 
and this disciple's name .was Ouang : Bambabef 
maintained that it is proper sometimes to deceive 
the people, and Ouang insisted that we are never 
to deceive any one. The substance of their dis- 
pute was as follows : 

Bam. We are to imitate the Supreme Being, 
who does not shew us things as they are; he shews 
us the sun in a diameter of only two or three 
feet, though that body be a million of times 
larger than the earth ; he shews us the moon and 
the stars as fixed on one and the same blue 
ground, though they are at different and immense 
distances ; he would have a square tower appear 
round to us afar off; he would have the fire 
seem hot to us, though it be neither hot nor 
cold ; in a word, he encompasses us with errors 
suitable to our nature. 

Ou. What you call error is no such thing. 
That sun, which is placed millions of millions of 
lis (') from our globe, is not that sun we see, 

M 3 we 

( x ) A lis signifies 124 paces. 

l66 FRAUD* 

we cannot bave any real sight but of the sun 
which reflects itself on our retina in a determi- 
nate angle. Our eyes were not given us for the 
knowledge of dimensions and distances ; this re* 
quires other instruments and operations. 

Bambabef stared at such language ; but Ouang, 
being endued with an uncommon patience, ex- 

Elained to him the theory of optics ; and Bam- 
abef, having a clear head, acquiesced in the de- 
xnenstrations produced by Confutsee's disciple, 
and then returned to the dispute in these terms. 

Bam. If God does not deceive us by the me- 
dium of our senses, as I thought ; you must own, 
however» that physicians always cheat children 
for their good ; they will tell them they are 
giving them sugar, when, at the same time, it 
is rhubarb, so that I, as a Fakir, may deceive 
the people, they having no more knowledge or 
understanding than children. 

Ou. I have two sons» and never have Ï de- 
ceived them. When they are sick, I say to 
them this physic is very bitter, but you must 
pluck up a good heart and take it, the more bit- 
ter the more good will it do you ; were it sweet 
it would hurt you : I never allowed their gover- 
nesses or preceptors to frighten them with ghosts 
and apparitions, with hobgoblins and wizards: 
and thus they are grown up to be brave and sen- 
sible young men, 

Bam. The common people are not born with 
the like happy talents and dispositions as your 

Otr. All men are alike» they are born with 
the same propensities; it is the Fakirs who vi- 
tiate human nature. 

Bam* Vre do teach them errors, I own, but 


rkkvû.' 167 

it h for* (heir gtfôd ; We tttake them believe that, 
if they Au not buy ôf ôtfr corfsectatèd riaiils, of 
opiate their sins by givirtg its money, they will, 
in the next World, be p6st-horse$, dogs, or Ite- 
**rds. This terrifiés therri Itttù gôodnes*. 

Ou. Arc you riot aware that tms is perverting 
the poor people ? Reas'Ortirtg is riot so scarce 
among them as is imagined; there are great 
riumbers who refleft; who faugh at yotrf nails, 
jrôtff mifâclesf, your superstitions* and! who 4 
know better than their being changed into Hzj 
zaYds or post-horses. What is the consequence 7 
They haVC sense to see that you preach up a? 
Sophisticated religion, but not enough to raise 
themselves tô a pure religion, free from super- 
stîfiôri arid folly iuth a* ours. Their passions 
Itii them* to believe fheré is nothing in rèli- 

Îfion; the billy religion taught them being malri- 
estly ridiculous; and thus you share m all the 
guilt hrtc* Whicli they pîunge themselves. 

BAM. Not in the leafct ; for wé only teach 1 
them a good morarfity. 

Otj. You would get yourself stoned to death- 
were you' Ho preach a false morality; men are of 
such a make that ariiidst! ail their iniquity they 
triH not bear the preathirtg of it to therir: but! 
absurd fables should not be intermixed with 
good morality; for tftus, by your" impostures, 
which might as well' be* suppressed, you weaken 
that morality, which, for self- preservation; ybu 
are obliged to teach. 

Bant. Howl db you itnagîtietheYè"is any such 
thing as teaching truth to die people without cal- 
ling in fables ? 

Oo. To be Aim I db. Ouï fitetati are of 
the same texture as our taylors, weavers and 

M 4 farmers* 

l68 FRAUD. 

farmers. They worship one God, the creator 
of all things, who rewards and punishes ; their 
religion is not darkened with absurd systems, 
nor disfigured with fantastical ceremonies ; and 
much less wickedness is there among the lite- 
rati than among the common people. Where- 
fore then do you not condescend to instruct our 
artificers as we instruct our literati ? 

Bam. That would be idle indeed, as if they 
were to have all the good breeding and know- 
ledge of a counsellor ; that is neither possible 
nor proper. White bread for masters; and 
brown bread will go down with servants. 

Ou. AU men, I own, should not have an 
equal stock of knowledge ; but some points there 
are necessary to all : it is necessary that all men 
should be just; and the surest method to make 
men so, is to teach them pure religion, without 
any superstitions. 

Bam. A specious scheme, only impracti- 
cable. Think you that for men to believe a 
rewarding and punishing God, will do the bu- 
siness ? You say that the sensible part of the 
people are offended at my fables ; and as little 
will they digest your bare truths; they will say, 
how am I certain that God punishes and re- 
wards ? Your proofs ? Where is your mission ? 
What miracles have you done for me to helieve 
you? It is you they will flout at, and not me. 

Ou. There lies your mistake. Because they 
reject dangerous absurdities, and fictions shock- 
ing to common sense, you fancy they will not 
admit a doctrine highly probable, conducive to 
virtue, productive of the greatest benefit to all 
mankind, and perfectly consonant with human 
reason ? 


FRAUD. 169 

. The people are thoroughly, inclined to refer 
to their magistrates: when the belief recom- 
mended by these is rational, they readily close 
with it* Miracles are not necessary to in force 
a belief of a just God, to whom all hearts are 
open; the idea is too natural to be long opposed* 
Ta tell precisely how, and in what manner, God 
will punish and reward is out of the question. 
Believe him just, and that's enough ; I assure 
* you I have seen whole cities with scarce any 
other tenet, and no where have I observed so 
much virtue. 

Bam. Fair and softly ; those same cities swarm 
with philosophers, who deny both rewards and 

Ou. You must withal own that those philo- 
sophers will much more peremptorily deny your 
inventions, so that makes but little on your side. 
As for philosophers differing from my prin- 
ciples, they may still be good men, still as sedu- 
lous in the cultivation of virtue, which is to be 
embraced from love, and not out of fear. -But I 
aver that no philosopher can ever be assured 
that Providence has not in store punishments for 
the wicked, and recompences for the good : for 
should they ask me, who told me that God 
punishes ? my answer is, who told them that 
God does not punish? In short, the philoso- 
pher, I dare say, instead of opposing me would 
second me. Are you inclined to be a philo- 
sopher ? 

Bam. Very much so; but not a word of it to 
the Faquirs. 




X* RIENDSHIP is a tacit contract between two 
sensible and virtuous persons, I say sensible ; 
for a monk, a hermit, may not be wicked, yet 
Kve a stranger to friendship. I add virtu- 
ous, for the wicked have only accomplices, 
the voluptuous have companions, the designing 
have associates, the men of business have part- 
ners, the politicians form a factious band ? the 
bulk of idle men have connections ; princes 
have courtiers : but virtuous mtn atone have 
friends. Cethegus was Cataline's accomplice, 
and Mecenas was Octavius's courtier; but Cicero 
was Atticus's friend. 

What is implied in this contract between two 
tender and ingenuous souls? Its obligations are 
stronger and weaker, according to 1 their degree 
of sensibility, and the number of good offices 
performed, &c. 

The enthusiasm of friendship was stronger 
among the Greeks and' Arabs than among us. 
The tale» on friendship composed by those peo- 
ple are admirable : we have nothing like them ; 
m every thing wè are somewhat dry and jejune. 

Among the Greeks friendship was a point of 
refigion, and an object of the legislation. The 
Thebans had a regiment called the regiment of 
lovers, and a fine regiment I dare say it was ; 
some have mistaken it for a regiment of So- 
domites, but this is a .gross error, taking an 
accessory for the principal. Among the Greeks 
friendship was recommended both by the law and 
religion. .Unhappily their manners allowed of 

pederasty ; 


pederasty ; bot the law is not to be charged with 
any shameful abuse». 

GLORY. (') 

I>EN-AL-BETIF that worthy superior of the 
I>ervises, one day sold to them : Brethren, it is 
very fit, that you should often use that sacred ferai 
in our Koran» " in the name of the most merci- 
" ful God," for God sheweth mercy» and yotr 
learn to practise it by the frequent repetition oî 
words, recommending a virtue» without which 
there would be few people remaining on earth : 
but» brethren, far be k from you to imitate the 
presumption of those, who are continually 
boasting» that what they do is for the glory of 
God* When a raw scholar maintains a thesis on 
the Categories before some furred ignoramus of 
a president» he is sure to write in large characters 
at the head of bis thesis : " Ek allha abron doxa, 
M Àd majorant Dei gloriarn." So a devout 
aussohnan, having caused his saloon to be white- 
washed» must have the like folly engraved over 
his door ; a Saka likewise carries water to pro* 



(*) There U a good deal of quibble in this article. 
If by g lor y our author means addition of real power 
or greatness, it is certain, that the creature can make 
no such addition to the Creator. But this should not 
hinder us from expressing our gratitude for the favours 
received of the Supreme. This we are taught to do 
in sundry parts of scripture : thus the multitude of the 
heavenly nost praised God» saying, Glory to God in 
the highest. To deny the propriety of giving glory 
to God in this sense betrays an ingratitude in man» 
and strikes at all external worship» 

17* GLORY. 

mote God's glory. This is a devout practice of 
aprophane custom. What would you say of a 
pitiful Chiaoux, who, when emptying our Sul- 
tan's close-stool should bawl out, To the greater 
glory of our invincible monarch.? Now certainly 
the difference is greater between the Sultan and 
God, than between the pitiful Chiaoux and the 
sublime Sultan. 

Ye poor earth-worms, called men, what have 
you in common with thé glory of the infinite es- 
sence ? Can he desire glory, can he receive any 
from you ? Can he enjoy it ? How long, ye two- 
legged featherless animals, will you make God in 
your likeness ! being yourselves vain and fond 
of glory, God must needs be so too! Were 
there several Gods, each of them would be de- 
sirous of the applause of his equals, and in that 
would consist the glory of a God. If infinite 
grandeur might be brought into a comparison 
with the extremity of meanness, such a God 
would be like King Alexander or Scander, who 
would enter the lift against kings only : but you, 

Ïoor creatures, what glory can you give to God ? 
orbear . any longer to prophane his sacred 
name. An emperor, named Octavius Augustus, 
ordered no panegerics to be made on him in the 
schools of Rome, that his name might not be de- 
based. But you can neither debase, nor exalt 
the Supreme feeing. Prostrate yourselves, and 
worship in silence. 

Thus spoke Ben-al-betif, and the Dervises 
shouted, Glory to God ! well has Ben-al-bétif 



COD, I73 

IN the reign of Arcadius, Logomacos, a theo- 
logueof Constantinople, went into Scythiâ, and 
stopped at the foot of mount Caucasus in the fer- 
tile plains of Zephirim, bordering on Colchis. 
The good old man Dondindac was, after a light 
repast, kneeling in his large hall between his vast 
sheepfold and his ample barn, with his wife, his 
five sons and five daughters, some of his kindred 
and his domestics, all chanting the praises of the 
bounteous giver of all good things, Ho! what 
art thou about, idolater, said Logomacos to 
him? I am no idolater said Dondindac. An 
idolater thou must be, said Logomacos, as being 
a Scythian, or at least no Greek. Well, and 
what wast thou gabbling in thy Scythian jargon ? 
All languages are alike in God's ear, answered 
the Scythian ; we were singing his praises. Very 
extraordinary indeed, replied the theologue, a 
Scythian family worshipping God without any- 
previous instruction from us ! He soon entered 
into a conversation with Dondindac, for the the. 
ologue had a smattering of the Scythian, and the 
other understood a little Greek. This conver- 
sation is lately come to light in a manuscript kept 
in the Imperial library at Constantinople. 

Log. I will see whether thou knowest thy 
catechism ; why , prayest thou to God ? 

Don. Because it is just and proper to worship 
the Supreme Being, as of him we hold all we 

Log. Pretty well for a barbarian : and what 
afkest thou of him ? 

Don* I thank God for the good things- he 


•74 cod. 

gives me, and even for the crosses with which 
he tries me. But as for askings him any thing, 
that's what I never presume to do ; he knows 
what we stand in need of better than ourselves ; 
besides, I. should be afraid to ask for sun-shine, 
when rain would better suit my neighbour. 

Log. Ah ! I apprehended we should soon have 
eome nonsense or other from him*. Let us take 
a retrospect of things: who told thee there is a 
God ? * 

Don. All nature. 

Log. That's nothing; what idea hast thou of 

Don. That he is my creator, my master, 
who will reward me if I do well, and punish me 
if I do amiss. 

., Log. That is but trivial and low ; let us come 
to the essential. Is God infinite " secundum 
quid," or in his essence? 

Don* I don't understand you. 
. Log. Stupid dolt! is God in a place, or out 
of all place, or is he every where ? 
: Qon» I know nothing of that; it nay be 
jq*f as; yau please» 

- Lqs.„ Ignorant wretch! Well ; can he make 
what has v been not to have been, or that a stick 
fhall pot have two ends ? Is futurity to him as fa* 
ture or as present ? How does he do m bring no- 
thing into existence, and to annihilate existence ? 

Don. I sever bestow a thought on those 

Log. What an oaf i< this ! well, I trtast let 
myself down, I must suit myself to the meamfess 
pi his intellects. Tell me, friend, bcHcvest 
thou that matter can be eternal ? 

Ekm. What kit to me whether it exist» from 


eternity or not ? I did not exist from eternity. 
God is always my master and instructor*. He 
has given me the knowledge of justice, and it is 
my duty to act accordingly. I do not desire to 
\>e a philosopher, let me be a man* 

Log. What a plague it is to have to do with 
such thick-headed creatures* I must proceed gra« 
dually with him ? What is God? 

Don. My sovereign, my judge, my father. 

Log. That's not what I ask you ; what is hi» 
nature ? 

Don* To be powerful and good. 

Log. But whether is he corporeal or spi- 
ritual ? 

Don* How should I know. 

Log. What ! not know what a spirit is! 

Don/ Not I in tbe least, and what should I 
be tjb* better for si|ch .knowledge ? Will it roeni 
my qiwals» make me a better husband. 4 better 
father, better tracer, or better member of 99* 

tiety? . i 

Log. A man mutt be absolutely taught wkat 

a spirit 1$, «roce it is, it 19» n x$. -r— ~ we 
wjlj let that alone till another time* . 

Don. I fancy, instead of being abtetft.tell 
me what it $, you will rather rteH, me what it; it 
pot, But after to much questioning*, may I t*fc* 
the freedom to Mk you a queatlofc ? I jwa$ fa|> 
merly in one of your tempted and why dfe jrot* 
paint God with a iong beard. \ . —? 

Ldg- , That it a very abattu*» queètioi* and 
th* solfie* irf which rwouldbs above your coom 
pre&ewùo*,. without ton^e preUijwafcry instruct 
tion^., " '«. 

. Dqnu . Bdore you «iter on ymn instru/ctiop^ 
I must tell you a Ctfcumsttjace* wkicb X. hope 

i V " never 


iy6 god. 

never to forget* I had just built a summer- 
house at the end of my garden; and one 
day sitting in it, heard a mole and a chafer des- 
canting on it : A superb edifice it certainly is, 
said the mole, and ot very great parts must that 
mole*have been who built it. A mole forsooth ! 
I say a mole too 1 quoth the chafer ; the archi- 
tect of that pretty building, could be no other 
than some chafer of an extraordinary genius. 
This colloquy put me on a resolution never to 



X Never yet knew any man who had not go- 
verned some state or other. I do not speak of 
their High Mightinesses the ministers, who go- 
vern in reality, some two or three years, others 
six months, and others as many weeks ; I mean 
all other men, who over a bottle, or in their 
closet, display their system of government, and 
reform navy, army, law, finances, and church. 
Abbé Bourzeis took upon himself to govern 
France about the year 1645 under the name ot 
Cardinal Richelieu, and composed that Political 
Will, in which he is for having the nobility en- 
rolled in the cavalry for three' years ; the land 
tax to be paid to the chambers of accounts and 
the parliament, and taking away from the king 
the produce of the salt-tax : in order to take the 
field with 56,000 men, he makes it a point of 
œconomy to raise 100,000. He affirms, that 
" Provence alone has many more fine sea-ports 
" than Spain and Italy put together." 



This ecclesiastical schemer had not travelled. 
Besides, his work swarms with anachronisms and 
errors. As he makes Cardinal Richelieu speak 
what he never did speak, so his signature is no 
less different from that of the cardinal. Farther, 
he fills a whole chapter with say ing, that " reason 
" is to be the rule of a state;" and in labouring 
to prove such a notable discovery. This work of 
darkness, this bantling of the abbé Bourzeis 
passed a long time for Cardinal Richelieu's legiti- 
mate offspring, and all the academicians in their 
inauguration speeches never failed to pour forth 
the most excessive eulogiums on this master- 
piece of policy. 

One St. Gratien de Courtils, seeing the great 
success of Cardinal Richelieu's Political Legacy, 
fell to writing Colbert's Legacy, with a fine let- 
ter to the king: whereas had that minister drawn 
up such will, he ought to have been declared 
non compos; yet have some authors thought 
fit to quote this composition. Another starve- 
ling, too mean to be known, published Lou- 
vois's Will, which, if such a thing could be, 
was still worse than Colbert's ; and by the fertile 
brain of one Abbé de Chevremont, Duke Charles 
of Lorrain likewise had his Will. We have also 
had the political testaments of Cardinal Alberoni, 
Marshal Belleisle, and lastly, that of Mandrin. 

M*, de Boisguilebert, author of It Detail de 
la France, printed in 1695, troubled the pub- 
lic with the impracticable project of the regal 
tenths, under the name of Marshal Vauban. 

One Jonchere, a crazy fellow, who had not 
bread to eat, met with a bookseller who pub- 
lished a scheme of his on the finances in four 
volumes; and some blockheads have quoted 

N this 


this production -as a- work ' of the ir easnter-gtfh e- 
ral, on a notion* that a book of finances^ writ- 
ten by a treasurer* must be a choice -piece* . --> 
It must, however, be owned that' very? wise 
men, and -men perhaps everyway tpjalified'fot 
government, have in Franco» in Spain, and i* 
England, written on political administration 
And great good have their boofci'done^rmpt 
that they have amended the minister* who wo^e 
in place when those hookas came • ont ;'tfbf at mi- 
nister never amende there>is «o «hanging himç 
he has taken his bertt j *nd for infafmatronsjand 
counsels, the - stream *f Cosine» / carries* hirn 
away so as not to leave leisure to listen to . themr: 
but young persons designed for ëtnfiibymétats, 
and princes themselves «* instructed by : these 
good books; and thus- the aecondigencr&tioh 
reaps the benefit- of there* •> -'■ ■* 

The advantages and disadvantages* *>faH go» 
vernments have of late b&ft~ closely* canvassed. 
Now you who have travelled,' atidîi>ead,Mand 
seen a great deal, pray in which state; and uadetr 
what form of government would f y on chusoe*o 
be born? I fancy a French nobleman with** 
large landed estate wduld not be sorry to-havfe 
been born in Germany, as there, instead fof 
being a subject, he would be a sovereign ^ A 

£eer of France doubtless would «be very ghtd.tb 
ave the privileges of the English ^peerage, as 
raising him to a share in the legislatures '^ 

For the lawyer and thé financier, 'France tis 
the country which of «11 others -brings the most 
grist to. their mill. 

But what country would a wise -man, of k 
free turn of mind, unprejudiced, and of à mid- 
dling fortune, make choice of* 

.; ; n 


A mem- 


; A mender <rf the council .of Porvlicberry, .* 

fentleman of some Jearning, was. returning into 
Europe over land» in company With aBramm, 
who knew mpre than most, of his, bregma; 
How do you like the Grapd Mogul's govern- 
ment, said tbe counsellor? Nothing more abo- 
minable* answered tbe. Bramin ; but, how can. a 
çute be well governed by Tartars?, If our Hay as* 
our Omrahs, our Nabobs, are entirely satisfied 
and easy; it is otherwise with. the people, and 
millions of people are something» . - 

The counsellor and the Bramin traversed all 

Upper Asia, amidst, political conversations». An 

çbseryatiofi occurs to me* said the Bramin, tha| 

al} .this vast part of .the. world does, not .afford 

onç republic. Hère was, anciently; that of Tyre* 

said the counsellor, but it^ did not continue longs 

thf n, there was, another towards Arabia Petrea, 

in aaraalj rjook called Palestine, if the honour^ 

î^bk, appellation of republic may be tgiven to a 

trjbe of robbers and usurers, sometimes governed 

by judges, sometimes by a sort of kings, some* 

times by highiprie$ts, subdued and .enslaved 

seven pr eight times, ftnd, at last, driven out of 

the couptrywhichit had usurped;, :. . ' •• "i 

I apprehend, said* the Bramin, that republics 

are very scarce in all parts; it is. but seldom 

that men deserye to govera themselves* This 

happiness must belong only to small nations, 

çpnceaijrtg themselves ,in t isIaaqV . or- amidst 

mountains,. Uke rabbits: shuàmng* carnivorous 

beasts, bn* at length. disco vèi^anid ode voured.;- 

The ?wp , travellers being come into iAii* Mil 

nor, the counsellor said to ther Bramin,- Could 

you think there had ever been a republic in a 

corner of Italy, which subsisted above five hun- 

N % dred 


drcd years» and made itself mistress of this* 
Asia Minor, Asia, Africa, Greece, the Gauls*, 
Spain, and all Italy ? I dare say it soon became 
changed to a monarchy, said the Bramin. Very- 
right, said the other ; but that monarchy is long* 
since come to nothing, and every day fine dis- 
sertations are composed to find out the causes of 
its declension and catastrophe. You give your- 
selves a deal of needless trouble, said the Indian % 
that empire fell because it existed : every thing 
will fall; I hope in God the empire of the Great 
Mogul will one day have its fall. 

Now we are upon this head, said the Euro- 
pean, do you think honour is most necessary in- 
a monarchy, and virtue in a republic ? The In- 
dian, after the meaning of the word honour had, 
at his desire, been explained to him, answered 
that honour was of greater necessity in a re- 
public and virtue in a monarchy : For, says he, 
a man who sets up to be chosen by the people 
will not be chosen, if he be reputed a man of 
no honour ; whereas at court he may easily in- 
sinuate himself into a post, according to the 
maxim of a great prince, that a courtier to make 
his fortune should be without honour or pride. 
As to virtue, an immense deal of it is requisite 
to dare speak truth at court ; a virtuous man is 
much more at ease in a republic ; there's nobody 
to flatter. 

It is your opinion, said the native of Europe, 
that the laws and religions are made for the 
climates, as furs suit Moscow, and gauze stuffs 
Delly ? To be sure, said the Bramin, all laws 
relative to the human constitution are calculated 
for the climate where one lives ; one wife will 


GRACE* l8l 

*do for a German, a Persian must have three or 

It is the same with religious rites. Were I 
a Christian, how could I say mass in my pro- 
vince, which affords neither bread nor wine? 
As to articles of faith, that's another case ; in 
ihese the climate is out of the question. Did 
not your religion commence in Asia, from whence 
4t has been expelled ? and again, is it not esta- 
blished about the Baltic Sea, where it was once 
unknown ? 

* In what state, under what government should 
you like best to live ? said the counsellor. Any 
where but in my own country, said his compa- 
nion ; and many Siamese, Tonquinese, Persians, 
*nd Turks have 1 met with, who said the very 
same thing. But tell me, in what particular 
state you would preferably like to spend your 
•days. The Bramin answered, In that where 
.obedience is paid only to the laws. That's an 
old answer, «aid the counsellor. And never 
the worse for that, said the Bramin. But where 
is that country, *aid the Pondkherrian ? It must 
4>e sought for, said the Bramin. 


Y E sacred counsellors of modern Rome, ye 
illustrious and infallible theologists, no person 
has more respect for your decisions than my- 
jelf ; but were Paulus Emilius, Scipio, Cato, 
Cicero, Caesar, Titus, Trajan, and Marcus Au- 
relius to revisit that Rome which they formerly 
raised to some consideration, you must own 
they would be a little staggered .at your determi- 
nations concerning grace. What would they 

N 3 say 


*€» GRACE. 

say to your debates on St» Thomas's grace of 
health, on Cajetan's medicinal grace, on exter- 
nal and internal gracç, on gratuitous, sanctifying, 
actual, habitual, co-operating grace, or effectual 

Eice which is sometimes ineffectual, on suf- 
ient grace often insufficient, on versatile and 
congruous grace.; sincerely, would they under- 
stand it more than yourselves or I ? 

Those illustrious personages would be quite at 
« loss without yqur sublime instructions : I . 
think I hear them say, 

; Reverend, fathers, you are stupendous geni- 
-uses ; .we foolishly 'conceived the eternal Being 
never to be guided by particular laws- like ifteaft 
piortals^ but by his -own general laws, eternal 
like himself* It pever came into any of our 
heads that God was like a brain-sick master, 
•giving a comfortable farm to one slave, and de- 
nying necessary food to another? ordering one 
.slave without a hand to knead dough, a dumb 
flaveto read, to him, and a cripple to be his 

: : Every, thing from God is grace": by his grace 
the globe which we dwell in was formed i by 
his grace the trees grow, and animals are nou- 
rished : but if a won finds a lamb in his way to 
make a good meal of, and another wolf is fa» 
'joishing, will any one cay that God has shewn 
particular grace to the former wolf? has he by a 
preventing grace been busied ifc causing one oak 
tp grow preferably to another Dak; which 'tuft 
.withered for want oÇ sa£ ? If' all beings through. 
xm% all nature are subject to gtneiai laws* how 
can any «ingle species of creatures be exempt 
AorojthoserUwa? :. K, < ? * 

-' s* -\. *, Why 



r Why < should* the absolute -master of all have 
fyeea more intent ^ Jigpofing the inside of one 
wan alene {'}, ; t^ai> ^ conduaipg all the other 
parts of nature? From what humour or fickle- 
ness should he», malfe ,aay altération ia the heart 

' o£ 

:, (?/)\Q«f fMhoftgaaf, b$ right in ridiculing the opi- 
nions of scnoolmeaxx»^ they abound 
ui, fantastical niceties altogether unintellirible» But 
whatpvjsr Marcus 'Àurélius may say, a Christian is 
bound to believe that without the grace of God by 
Christ, we have no power to do good works, plea- 
sant and* acceptable to the Deity. As to the above 
question, Why should the absolute master of all have 
èeen more intent 6n disposing the Inside of one man 
aiôrie, than ia «onductiagall toe other parts of nature ? 
U;8hcwaionriauthprJtQ .be fgno&mVof the doctrine of 
Continual, providence, «as hei indeed is. of many, athée 
sound, doctrines.v The infinitely wise Being cannot 
tut. know eyery. thing, that is done in every part of 
the, universe, .and witty equal ease take notice of the 
minutest things as of the greatest : but it is a mistake 
to believe him more intent upon one thing than upon 
another ; fend it is only according to our weak concep- 
tions that we Say,' Gpd takes more particular notice 
of the moral actions of his rational creatures. M. Vol* 
taire febopts reiy hard on all occasions to represent 
manas gfyi&srtrm unworthy, of «he care of the Deity, 
3fMrdtatfir^th^sM£i| acare is attended with no dif- 
ficulty iii the. supreme creator of^ail things* Besides, 
^pw.4acQnsiderablc^$œv£r man may he r yet he is the 
çhie/, and indeed* the only inhabitant, for whose sake 
our earthly globe was formed into a habitable world; 
ând'thjs'eafth of onrs,*as Dr. Clarke observes, for 
dught We know, is as considerable, and worthy of the 
«vine çàre* ap ahjrother part of the system, and this 
tysterr* a^cénsîdcrable as any ether system in the 
at ivers». * N 4 


184 GRACE. 

of a Courlander or a Biscayari, when he is seen 
not to make the least alteration in the laws, 
which he has impressed on all the heavenly 
bodies ? * 

How weak is it to suppose that he is conti- 
nually making, unmaking, and remaking senti- 
ments in us! and what presumption is it to think 
ourselves privileged above all other beings! far- 
ther, it is only for those who observe confession 
that all these mutations are invented. A Savoyard 
or native of Bergamo shall, on Monday, have 
the grace to bestow twelve sous to have a mass 
said; on Tuesday grace will fail him, and he 
will go to the tavern; on Wednesday he shall 
have co-operating grace, which will send him 
away to confession, but without the efficacious 
grace of perfect contrition ; Thursday it will be 
a sufficient grace, which will prove insufficient* 
God shall be continually at work in the head 
of this Savoyard, sometimes forcibly, other 
times weakly, without minding any other thing 
upon earth, without caring what becomes of the 
inside of the Indians and Chinese. Really, my 
reverend fathers, if you have a spark of reason 
left, does not this system appear to you prodi- 
giously ridiculous ? 

Wretches, behold the oak towering to the 
clouds, look down on that rush bending at its 
feet ; you will not say that efficacious grace ha» 
been given to the oak, and denied to the rush. 
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, see the eternal 
Demiurgus creating millions of worlds, all gra- 
vitating towards each other by general and eter- 
nal laws. Behold the same light reflected from 
the sun to Saturn, and from Saturn. to us ; and 
amidst this harmony of so many luminous bodies 




in a course amazingly rapid, amidst this general 
obedience of all nature, I defy you to believe 
that God minds giving a versatile grace to sister 
Theresa, and a concomitant grace to sister 

Thou atom, to whom a stupid atom has said 
that the Eternal has particular laws for some 
atoms in thy neighbourhood ; that he gives hit 
grace to this, and refuses it to that ; and that 
which has not grace to day shall have it to- 
morrow; never let such impious folly come 
from thy lips. God has created the universe, 
and does not concern himself about making new 
winds to shake some bits of straw in a corner of 
that universe. Theologists are like Homer's war- 
xiors, who thought that the gods sometimes fought 
on their side, and sometimes against them* 
Homer is to be considered as a poet, otherwise 
we make him a blasphemer: 

These are Marcus Aurelius's words, not 
mine ; for God, who inspires you, has given me 
grace to believe all you say, all you have said» 
and all you shall say. 



A. Silk worm might as well give the name of 
heaven to the little down which surrounds its 


' ■ ■ 1 1 — — 1 i n —————— ■» 

( z ) In this. article our author displays some erudi- 
tion, but he is very reprehensible, when he says, 
" There is properly no heaven*'' By heaven we 



«beU t •< the ancients gave that appellation té 
the atmosphere, which, as M. Fontenelk in his 
Plurality of Worlds, prettily «ays, is the down 
of our shell; ' 

The vapours which exhale from our seas and 
land, and- form clouds, aneteort, : and thunder, 
Were at first -taken for the residence of the. gods* 
Hoitter always brings down the deities in. golden 
-cloudsj add thence ft is that oar, painters 6till 
represent them tested an a: cloud: but it being 
very proper that the mbfeter of the gods should 
Jive in greater «state than the* others', he was pro*, 
ykted with an eagle to carry him,, the eagle Sky» 
ingiiighcF than any other bird; 
- * The ancient Greeks seeing that princes lived 
in citadels built on the top of some mountain, 
•conceived that -the gods might likewise have 
their citadel, and placed it m Thessaliaenjnount 
Olympus, the summit ©f- «which: is sometimes 
Tiia in the clouds, -so that their palace was even 
with their heavert. -' ' M : t% t 

t»" Afterwards, the st^rs andjplaaets which: seemed 
fixed to the azure arch of» our ariaosphere, be- 

mean not the, air* nor the, star? nor pjanets^ nor the 

vast expanse m which' those great' orbs perform their 

^ motions, but the seat or mansion of the blessed. 

'Where that is wp cannot pretjend to determine, but 

ewe are bound to befcene there is such' a^ place, In 

v thië sense we say, ** Our father, who art in heaven/ 9 

To say absolutely there is no heaven, subverts the 

notion of a future state, and the consolation of the 

just from the expectation of eternal tapptaess. • This 

t 'xmt author tanac* intend, a* in roorç , places than, one 

: he acknowledge* a^fatà <dij^m^f^^mii P u " 



came die mansion of deities} seven of whom had 
thesr respective planets, the others taking up 
with what quarter they: could find; the general 
cocmcii of die gods' was held in a large saloon, to 
whichihey wéfnr by the milky way; for men 
having council-chambers on earth, the gods, to 
be wire* should have on# in the heavens. 

When the fkans, a kind of creatures between 
thé gods- and ttien, declared war, and not with- 
o tit some grounds against those'deities, to recover 
part of their inheritance, (being on the father's, 
side the sons of Ccdum and Tfcrta,) they only 
heaped two or three ffibtttttalnfc one on the other* 
concluding, that would be full enough for them 
to reduce the citadel of Olympus, together with 
the heavens, • ) . 

Neve Foret terris securior arduus. aether, 
, -_; Affectasse feront regnum corleste gigantes, 
* ,•; Attaque çoQge$t$s$tr#xisse ad sidéra montes* 

This absurd system of physics was of prodw 
gious; antiquity; yet certain it is» that the 
Chaldeaps fiad as just ideas of what is called the 
heavens as we ourselves. They placed the sun, 
jn the centre of our planetary world, and nearly 
at. the same distance we have found it to T)e; and 
they held the revolution of the earth, and of all 
ihe planets round that body : this we are in* 
formed of by Aristarchus of oamos; and it is the 
true system of ,the world, since revived by Co- 
gejnicus. j But. the philosophers, to Be the more 
respected fcy sovereigns' and people, or rather to 
avoid ^eing persecuted, kept the secret to them» 

: s. The language of error is so familiar to men, 
4* ****** -«at 


that we still give the name of heavens to our 
vapours, and to the space between the earth and 
moon: we say to go up to heaven, as we say the 
sun turns round, though we know it does not; 
probably we are the heaven to the moon, and 
every planet makes the neighbouring planet its 
heaven. Had Homer been asked to which hea- 
ven the soul of Sarpedo went, and where that of 
Hercules was, the poet would have been a little 
puzzled, and eluded the question by some har- 
monious verses. 

• What certainty was there that the aerial soul 
of Hercules would have had a better time of it 
in Venus, or Saturn, than on our globe ? it is 
not to be supposed that its residence was ap- 
pointed in the sun; the place would have been 
too hot. After all, what did the ancients mean 
by the heavens? They knew nothing of the 
matter; they were perpetually bawling heaven 
and earth, which is just as much as to cry 
infinitude and an atom. Properly speaking, 
there is no such thing as the heavens ; there is 
a prodigious number of vast globes rolling in the 
void expanse, and our globe rolls like the 

The ancients thought that the way to the hea- 
vens was by ascent : no such thing ; the celes- 
tial globes are sometimes above our horizon, 
and sometimes below: thus, supposing Venus 
was returning from Paphos to her planet after its 
setting, the goddess, relatively to our horizon, 
instead of going up went down ; and in such a 
case we ought to say to go down to heaven* 
But the ancients were not so nice; their notions 
in every thing relating to natural philosophy were 
vague, uncertain, and contradictory. Immense 



volumes have been written to know what their 
opinion was on many such questions; whereas 
five words would have done» " they never thought 


of it* 

Here, however, we must except a few wise 
men; but they came late: few opened their 
minds freely, and those who did, the empyrics 
on earth took care to dispatch them to heaven 
the shortest way. 

A writer, I think his name is Pluche, has 
pretended to make Moses a great natural philo- 
sopher; another before him, in a place called 
Cartesius Mozaizans had reconciled Moses with 
Descartes. According to him, Moses first 
found out the vortices and the subtile matter; 
but it is well known that God meant Moses for 
a great legislator and a great prophet, and not for 
a professor of physics ; he instructed the Jews in 
their duty, and not a word in philosophy. 
Calmet, who has compiled a vast deal, and never 
once reflected, talks of the system of the Hebrews ; 
but so far was that rude people from having a 
system, that they had not so much as a geometry, 
school ; the bare name was unknown to them, 
all they understood was brokerage ahd usury. . 

In their books we meet with some vague inco- 
herent ideas on the structure of the heavens» 
and such as shew them to have been a dull illi- 
terate people. Their first heaven was the air, 
the second the firmament, to which the stars 
were fastened. This firmament was solid and of 
ice, and supported the upper waters, which, at 
the time of the deluge, made their way out of 
this reservoir, thro' gates, sluices, and cata- 

Over this firmament, or these upper waters, 


. ». _ .». 

' â 

,*$> THE .«BAr?*** 

waft the .third heaven x» the EitPYREUic, ' to 
which St. Paul was taught up; The firmament 
was a kind of demi-arch round the earth. -They 
little thought of the sun moving round a globe*, 
whose form they were ignorant of. •♦ : 'When it got 
to thé west» it .had some unknown path 1 for res- 
turning to* the east; and as to its not being* seen, 
Baron Feneste accounts for that, by; saying k 
came back in the night* vj 

Farther, these whimsical ideas?. tboHcbrews 
had borrowed from other nations, of:Wfaàm,î*xw 
cept the Chaldean school, the greater part looked 
on the heavens as solid; the earth' Was fixed audi 
immoveable, and by a third longer from east to 
west than from south to north; when ce are de- 
rived our ^geographical terms" longitude: and 
latitude* This opinion, it is «evident, admitted 
no antipodes; accordingly, St; Justin call» the 
notion of 'antipodes an absurdity;. and Lactatotrtfe 
flatly says, •• Are there any so foolish* a* to b'oc 
V lieve there are men whose head, is lower than 
*• their feet?" > ■•? » * 

St. Chrysoslom, in hil fourteenth homily, 
calls out, " Where are they who siy the beaver* 
•• are moveable, and their fcttmrolih*?'*. ■• ? * • 

JLactaatius agaifj says* b. 4ir; of hisr Infcitu- 
lions» -H I could prove to you by a mt*}fitE<te*& 
" argtrmentv that ft is imposable the heavens 
? should encompasfctheeartk" -\~; - 1 - ; 

The author of Spectacle de ltf&atwr* îsr wèfc 
come to teli the ehevatfer' over arkl ôVer, thsft 
Lactantius and Chryspstofli were emliféit philôL 
«ophers{ still it will be answered thai they were 
great saints^ which they may be without any 
acqpintarice with astronomy. We believe them 


HELLW tgt \ 

to be in Beaten/ bat own "that în what -past-elf 
the heaven? they are we know not* - 

* * 


< ' i' 

H EN men came: to lire td society, they 
could* hot but perceive;* that many évil doers 
escaped »the severity of the Jaw« these could 
affect only; epetf* crimes; so that a curb was 
wanting agai«sr clandestine guilt; arid TeKgioa 
alone could be surchacurb.- The Persians; the 
Ghal«teans> the .Egyptians,* andUlie ,■ Greeks; 
introduced abelief dr jfuriisamenteafter this, life} 
and of all anciem nations.we are acquainted with} 
the -Jew» alone admitted only temporal purtish* 
ments. It is ridiculoustobetieve, • or tor pretend 
to believe 6^ms,ome -very -olseure. 1 passages, 
that- the ancient Jewish law*, *heiri këvitican 
and their Decalogue» correspond vk)i the doc* 
trine of future punishments ;' whea the author 
of those tews says nota single' word' which bears 
any relation to that doctrine» :Ohe might justly 
say to thecombèrerof the.ïPentateutehr you are 
inconsislem ^with yourself ij you harve nombre 
judgment than probity* yon a legislator,, as yoa 
«tile youfsôlf! Haw J youcoçlcious oï a tenef: 
so coercive, so pewettaly *to neeèssajy topeepfcç 
as that dtkeM* and yet xtot àiakeitf known tipiu. 
citly, nor urge it ? and though received among 
all the fca&ions* TOaAdvatotft you» you leave so 
momentous a doca-iae^o be guessed at by some 
commentator^ who are not tor come, into- e». 
istence fill four thbtçsand years after your tim% 
and witt wrest and xiis^ortsbéae of yoon words to 
find 'fit them what fyo* 4iev*f?aafd ?* Either you 
are afttigaotaftiuK,- who don V know that this wa* 


• * 




ig» HELL. 

the universal belief in Egypt, in Chaldea, and 
Persia; or a very weak man, if being acquainted 
if ith this doctrine you did not make it the basis 

of your religion. 

The very best answer the authors of the Jewish 
laws could make, is this : we own ourselves ex- 
tremely ignorant; it was very late before we 
learned to write; our people, a savage and bar- 
barous tribe» which, by our own accounts, 
wandered for near half a century amidst deserts, 
at length by the most heinous violences, and the 
most detestable cruelties ever mentioned in his- 
tory, seized on a small territory : we had no in- 
tercourse with policed nations ; then how could 
we (the most earthly minded of all men) invent 
a system entirely spiritual ? 

We used the word answering to soul only 
to signify life; we thought God and his angels 
to be corporeal beings: the distinction of soul 
and body, the idea of a life after death, can be 
only the result of long meditation, and refined 
philosophy. Ask the Hottentots and Negroes, 
whose country is a hundred times Jarger than ours, 
whether they know any thing of a future life ? We 
thought we had done wonders in persuading our 
people that God punished evil-doers to the fourth 
generation, either by the leprosy, a sudden death, 
or the loss of what little substance a person might 
have possessed. 

. To this apology it may be replied ; you have 
invented a system palpably ridiculous ; for the 
evil-doer, who was m health, and whose family 
prospered, must necessarily laugh at you. 

The apologist of the Jewish law would then 
rejoin : that is your mistake ; for among us where 
one delinquent reasoned rightly, a hundred did 




not reason at all. He who on the commission of 
a crime, found no punishment declaring itself 
against him nor his son, still feared for his grand- 
son. Farther, though to-day he had no putrid 
ulcer on him, to which by the bye we were very 
subject, it was odds within some years it hap- 
pened not to be his case ; no family is without 
misfortunes and afflictions, and we brought the 
people to believe that these misfortunes were sent 
by a divine hand, punishing secret transgressions: 

This answer admits of an easy reply : your ex- 
cuse will not hold water ; for every day we see 
very good people seized with sickness, and by 
One misfortune or other deprived of their sub- 
stance ; now if there be no family totally free 
from all misfortunes, and if these misfortunes 
are divine chastisements, all the individuals of 
your families were then knaves and profligates. 

The Jewish priest might farther reply, that 
there are misfortunes annexed to human nature, 
and others sent expressly by God. But this rea- 
soned mouth might soon be stopped, by shew- 
ing the extreme absurdity of thinking, that sick- 
ness .and hail are sometimes a divine punishment, 
and sometimes a natural effect. 

At Jength the Pharisees and the Essenes among 
the Jews admitted the . belief of a heH in their* 
way : This dogma the Greeks had already disse- 
minated among the Romans, and the Christians* 
made it a capital article of faith. 

Several fathers of the church did not hold the 
eternity of hell torments ; they thought it very 
hard that a poor man should be burning for ever 
and ever only for stealing a goat. ' Virgil might 

O as 

' , 


> «i 

.» !J 

194 .MU». 

as well have held his tongueas to say in bi« sixth 
canto in the Eneid ( ! ), 

Sedet setemurnque sedebjt infelis Theseus» 

His ipse dixit, that Theseus is» seated in a 
chair, where, he must sit world* without end, and' 
that this posture is his punishment,, is. protested? 
against by many ; who farther think the poet tor 
have wronged him greatly, as rather deserving* 
a place* in the Elyaian fields, than in Tartarus, 

Not long since an honest well meaning hugue? 
not minister advanced in his sermons, and e#en 
in print, that there would be a day of grace ta 
the damned; that there must he a proportion be* 
tween the trespass and the: penalty ; and that 9 
momentary fault could not deserve an everlasting 
punishment. This clement judge was deposed 
by a body of ministers,, of whom one said' to 
him: Brother, I as little believe, the. eternity, a£ 
hell torments as yourself ; but let me tell, you 
it is very proper that your servant-maid, your 
taylor,.and even your attorney should believe so. 


.) . 

( x ) The "wisest of the heathen philosophers, wati* 
out the help of revelation, did beheve k agreeable:** 
right reason, that the punishment of theincorrigibW 
should be ùùmiot, without ;any< determinate, or known 
end. See Plato in Phaed. This however, we may be 
certain of, says the learned Dr. Clarke, that the degree 
or ffjtenseness of the punishment which shall be in- 
flicted on' the impenitent, will be exactly proportionate 
to their sins, as a recompence of their demerit, so that 
ne man shall surfer more than he has deserved. 


HISTO&W 19; 



•rlLL (') nations have written their history» as 1 
soon as they ever knew what writing was*; the 
Jews have also written theirs; Before they had) 
lings they lived under a theocracy, and were re- 
puted to be governed by God himself. 

When the Jews clamoured to have a king, 
like the other neighbouring nations, the prophet 


(') Under thisarttele our author advances a very 
bold assertion, 'though with gpeat appearance of diffi- 
dence, viz. that 1 the- book» of Kings and the Chroni- 
cles, are not a part of Holy Writ. He is- certainly 
mistaken ; they were always reckoned both by Jew» 
and Christians among the canonical books, ana there- 
fore arc of the same weight as' the other parts of Scrip- 
ture, of whose divine authority the church never en- 
tertained any doubt. As for any contradictions be- 
tween the books of Kings and Chronicles, it i* a bârtf 
assertion, unsupported* by proof. There may be difc 
ficultiet in regard to chronology, thé solution of whkH 
the reader will find in. the writing* «f our learned Vx- 
positbrsi His. arguments are- sa weak-as to-deservè no 
serions refutation; for surely the divine authority ofa 
history does not suppose it to be a relation of divine 
actions,, otherwise no historical part of scripture what* 
ever would be divine; the actions of bad- as well' as 
good princes are recorded in Holy Writ, to the end 
that we make the former'aii object of oqrabhorré'hce*, 
the latter of our iniitation. Jt-is; therefore, a most 
insolent cond\wiod^to say, that if the holy Spirit d\c+ 
teted this history, hed^d not chose a very edifying 

196 „ HISTORY.- 

Samuel, whose interest it was to exclude a regaP 

fovernment, declared to then), in the name of 
rod» that it was God himself whom they were 
rejecting. Thus the beginning of monarchy*" 
among the Jews was the period of their theo- 

It may be therefore said without blasphemy» 
that the history of the Jewish kings was written 
like that of other nations ; and that God did not 
trouble himself to dictate the history of a- people 
whom he no longer governed. 

This opinion, however, is advanced with all. 
possible mistrust and deference. What may be 
thought a confirmation of it is, that the Paralipo- 
mena or Chronicles, very often contradict, the 
book of Kings both in the chronology and the 
events, as profane histories are known to dis- 
agree. Farther, if God continued to write the 
history of the Jews, we are of course to believe, 
that he still writes it ; the Jews being still his 
favourite people. They are one day to be con- 
verted, and, apparently they may as justly look 
upon the history of their dispersion to be of di- 
vine composition, as to say that God wrote the 
history of their kings. 

Another remark likewise offers itself : if God, 
after having been their sole king for a very long 
time, condescended to be their historian, it be- 
comes us to entertain the most profound respect 
for all Jews universally ; the very meanest 
Jewish pedlar is infinitely above Caesar and Alexî 
ander. Shall we not prostrate ourselves before 
on old cloath's man, who proves to you that his 
history was written by the deity himself, whilst 
all the Greek, and Roman histories are but the 
productions of profane pagans ? 

A * 


If The style of the history of the book of Kings 
and Chronicles be divine, it does not necessarily 
follow' that the actions related in those histories 
-are also divine. David murders Uriah ; Isbo- 
sheth andMephiboshethare murdered; Absalom 
murders Ammon ; Joab murders Absalom ; So- 
lomon murders Adonijah, his brother ; Baza 
murders Nabab ; Zimrï murders Ela; Hamfi 
murders Zimri; Ahab murders Naboth; Jehu 
murders Ahab and Joram; the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem murder Amaziah, Joash'sson; Selom 

.the son of Jabes murders Zachariah the son of . 

. Jeroboam ; Manahaim murders Selom the son 
of Jabes ; Phaceus the son of Romeli murders 
Phaceia the son of Manahaim ; Hoshea the son 
of Ela murders Phaceus the «on of Romeli ; 

. with a multitude of other murders of less note. 

< Thus it must be owned, if the holy spirit di£ 

.write this history, he has not chosen a very 
edifying subject. 



IDOL comes from the Greek elSor, a figure, 
EiDOLOS, the representation of a figure, La- 
treueijn, to serve, to revere, to adore. The 


( f ) This article of idols is a strong attack against 
the Roman Catholic worship of images ; and tne au- 
thor seems to justify Dr. Middleton ? s treatise upon the 
Romish ceremonies. He displays his erudition in 
treating this subject; but surely he is fond of paradojr, 
•when he maintains that neither the Greek» no? R6- 

O 3 ' mans, 


word adore is originally Latin, and ha* various 
.meanings, as, 4P put -the hand to the mouth in 
.token of respect, to bend the body, io kneel, to 
salute, and more commonly to pay a supreme 

It is proper to observe here,, that the Trévoux 
dictionary begins .thi^ article with saying /that all 
.the Pagans .were idolaters, and itbdt the- Indians 
ve still «0. First, nobody ^às called Pagan 
before the 4,imé qf Theodosius the .younger, 
when that appellation was given to «the inhabi- 
tants of the country ntowns of Italy, ♦< Pagorum 
<" inçplae Pagani, wha retained their ancient 
religion. Secondly, Indostan is entirely Maho- 
. roetan, . and the Mahometans are implacable ene- 
mies to images and idolatry. Thirdly» many 
.people of India, who are of thé ancient religion 
:of the Parsis, a certain 1 tribe which admit of no 
idols, cannot, with any propriety, be termed 


It appears that there never was any people on 
the earth, who took to themselves the name of 



mans, nor indeed no other nation, were idolaters , 
The point is not to know what might be the private 
. opinion of a few philosophers, but what was the prac- 
tice of those nations in their external forms of religious 
worship. Now it must be running counter to all an- 
.iicjuity,. to affirm that the honours pa^d by those peo- 
/ the statues and images of tqeir god, w$re pot 
jrank idolatry. To sav that t^he Ron^an Catholics do 
Jhe same is not answering the question :• he may re- ' 
present those ,of ^is own religion (tf he ca,n belaid to 
Jbave any) 'as grçtfty .of idolatry ; ; ^ut tiis daps jtyt 
move that the others were npj also idolaters* 


idolaters. It is rather an abusive word, a terra 
of detestation % as. .the .Spaniards formerly used 
±0 call the .French Gav<achos, which the French 
returned by calling the Spaniards Maranas. 
Had the senate of Rome, the Areopagus of 
Athens, the court of the kings of JPer&a, been 
asked, ".Are you idolaters ?" They would hardly 
have known what the question meant; at least 
not one of them would have, answered* " We 
" worship (idols or images*" The word idolater 
or idolatry do not occur either in Homer, 
Hesiod, Herodotus, or any gentile author. Ne- 
ver was there any edict or law, ordering idols to 
be worshipped, to Jbe accounted as deities, or to 
be considered as such. 

. The Jloman and Carthaginian generals, at the 
making of a treaty, called all their gods to wit- 
ness ç at is in their presence, say .they, that we 
swear to this peace. Now the statues of all these 
gods, their number being none of the smallest, 
werejQot.iflthe general's tent; but they held the 
gods. to be, as it were, présentât the aftions of 
men as witnesses sod as judges ; and certainly it 
was. not the image which made the deity. 

In what light did they then look. on the statues 
of 'their false deities, which stood in the temples ? 
In the same light, if 1 may be allowed the ex- 
pmdbn, as we view the images of the objects 
of our veneration. Their eçror * was not the 
«(whipping a piece of wood ormarble^ but the 
wdeshipping a false deity, represented by ,the 
wood and marble. . The difference between 
them .mod us is not that they had image? and we 
have, none; but that their images represented 
imaginary beings, and in a false religion a where- 
to ours «présent Teal beings, and in a true reli- 

O4 gio°- 



gion. The Greeks had the statue of Hercules ; 
and we that of St. Christopher ; they had Escu- 
lapius and his goat, and we St. Roch and his 
dog ; they had Jupiter with his thunder-bolts, 
and we St. Anthony of Padua, and St. James 
of Compostella. 

When the consul Pliny, in the exordium ôf 
his Panegyric on Trajan, addresses his petitions 
to the immortal gods, he cannot be thought 
to mean the images, which were far from being 

Neither in the later nor the most remote 
times of paganism, one single fact occurs to 
conclude that they worshipped idols. Homer 
mentions only gods dwelling in lofty Olympus; 
The palladium, though it fell from heaven, was 
no more than a sacred pledge of Pallas's protec- 
tion ; it was the goddess herself who was reve- 
renced in the palladium. 

But the Romans and Greeks kneeled down 
before statues, put crowns on them, decked 
them with flowers, burnt incense to them, and 
carried them in solemn state through public 
places. These usages we have consecrated in 
our religion, and yet we are not idolaters. 

In times of drought the women, after keeping 
a fast, carried forth the statues of the gods in 
public, walking barefooted, with their hair loose ; 
and immediately, according to Petronius, the 
rain would pour down by pales full, " statim 
" urceatim pluebat." Have we not adopted 
this rite which, though an abomination among 
the Gentiles* is doubtless genuine devotion with 
Catholics ? How common is it among us to carry 
barefooted the shrines of saints, in order to ob- 
tain a blessing from heaven by their intercession? 

A Turk, 


A Turk, a lettered Chinese* at seeing those ce* 
remonies, might, from his ignorance, accuse us 
of placing our confidence in the images which we 
thus carry about in procession ; but a word or 
two would undeceive him. 
. We are surprized at the prodigious number of 
declamations thundered out in all ages against the 
idolatry of the Romans and Greeks; and after- 
wards, our surprize is still greater, at finding 
that they were not idolaters. 

Some temples were more privileged than 
others. The great Diana of Ephesus stood in 
higher fame than a village Diana ; more miracles 
.were performed in the temple of Esculapius at 
Epidaurus than in any other of his temples. 
More offerings were made to the statue of Ju- 
piter, the Olympian, than to that of the Paphla» 
gonian Jupiter : but since it is proper always to 
contrast the usages of a true religion to those of 
a false worship ; have not some of our altars, 
for ages past, been more frequented than others ? 
what are the offerings to our lady .des Neiges in 
comparison of those made to our lady of Loretto ? 
It is our business to examine whether this affords 
a just pretence for charging us with idolatry* 
: The original invention was only one Diana, 
one Apollo, and one Esculapius, not as many 
Dianas, Apollos, and Esculapiuss, as they had 
■temples and statues. Thus it is evidenced, as 
far as a point of history can be, that the ancients 
did not hold a statue to be a deity ; that the wor- 
«hip could not relate to the statue or idol ; and 
consequently that the ancients were not idolaters* 

A rude superstitious populace incapable of re- 
flection, either to doubt, to deny, or believe, 
who flocked to the temples, as having nothing 
i else 

S02 JPOL, 1POLATER, *I>0£AT*y* 

else to do, and became the little are there on a 
level wkh the great* who carried their offerings 
merely out of custom, who were contbtmliy 
talking of miracles without having ever examined 
any one, and who were very little above the vic- 
tims they brought, such a populace, I say, might, 
at the sight of the great Diana, and the thunder* 
ing Jupiter, be struck with a religious horror, 
and, without knowing it, .worship the statué it- 
self. This is no more than what has been the 
case of our ignorant peasants* and care iaaccord- 
ingly taken to give them to understand, that it is 
the blessed in heaven ibey are to invoke for their 
intercession, and sot figures of wood and stone, 
and that their worship is due to God only. 

The Greeks and the Romans increased the 
number of their deities by apotheoses ; the 
Greeks deified ill ustriaus conquerors, as Bacchus, 
Hercules, and Perseus ; Rome raised altars to its 
emperors. Of a very different kind are our apo- 
theoses; if we bave saints answerable to their 
«temûgods and secondary gods, it is without any 
regard to rank or conquests. We have erected 
temples to men, merely for their exemplary vir- 
tues,, and most of whom would not have been 
Jtnown on earth, had they not been placed in 
heaven. The apotheoses of the aneknts were 
acts of adulation, ours of respect to virtue* But 
Cheseaacient apotheoses are another convincing 
<proof that the Greeks and: Romans cannot' pro- 
perly be called idolaters. • It is manifest that they 
no more held a divine virtue residing in the fia- 
iues of Augustus and Claudius than in their 

Cicênv in his philosophical . works* does not 
leave so much as the: least suspicion^ that any 



^mistake could te committed with regard to the 
.statues of the gods, so as to confound them with 
the deities themselves. His speakers inveigh 
•with great acrimony against the established reli- 
gion, but not one of them dreams of charging 
the Romans with .mistaking marble and brass for 
deities. Lucretius, who never gives any quarter 
to the superstitious, reproaches no body with 
this t fotiy; I must, therefore, again say it, this 
opinion never existed, never was thought of; 
and never was there any such thing as idolaters. 
Horace introduces a statue of Priapus, saying : 

Olim truncus eram ficulnus, inutile lignum, 
Cum faber incertus scamnum, faceretne Priapum, 

Maluit esse Deum. 


What is to be inferred from this passage ? Pria, 
pus was one of those petty deities Which were * 
given up to the sarcasms pf the jocular ; and 
this very joke is as strong a proof as can be, that 
4he figure of Priapus was not greatly revered, 
«being made a scarecrow. 

Dacier, commentator like, has taken care to 
iohserve that Baruch had foretold this .business; 
saying, they shall be whatever the artist pleases* 
But >he might withal have remarked, that the like 
might be said of all the statues that .ever existed. 

A tub may be made out of a! block of marble, 
as well as the statue of Alexander or Jupiter, or 
something still more respectable. The matter 
of which were formed the cherubims of the holy 
pf holies, might have equally served «for the 
«meanest purposes. A throne, or an altar, lose 
nothing of t$e reverence due to them, because 
the artist might baye formed them into a kitchen 



gisk*n among the Tartan cannot be charged with 
idolatry, never having had any such. thing as an 
image. The Mussultnen of Greece, Asia-mmor^ 
Syria, Persia, India, and Africa, call the Chris- 
tians idolaters, Giaours, imagining that the» 
Christians worshipimages. Several images which 
they found at Constantinople in St. Sophia, and 
in the church of the holy apostles, and others, 
they broke to pieces; converting the churches- 
into mosques. Appearance, as usual, deceived 
them, and' led them to believe that the dedicating 
of temples to saints, who had formerly- j>eea 
men, the worshipping of their images with genu- 
flection, and the performing of miracles in those 
temples, were undeniable proofs of the most ar- 
rant idolatry: yet, the farthest from it in the 
world. The Christians, in reality, worship only 
one God, and in the blessed themselves revere 
only the virtue of God acting in bis- saints. The 
Iconoclasts and the protestants have brought the 
same charge of idolatry against the church of 
Rome, and the same answer has been given 
them. • - 

Men having very seldom precise ideas; 2nd 
still more seldom expressing their ideas ia pie- , 
cise words, clear of all ambiguity, thename-of 
idolaters was given to the Gentiles* and espe- 
cially the Politheists. Immense volumes have 
been written, according to the multitude of va* 
tying sentiments», on the origin of . worshipping 
God, or several gods, and under sensible reprei 
sentations : now this multitude of books and opi* 
nibns only proves the ignorance of the authors., 

We know not who invented any part of our 
clothing, and yet we would fain know who was 
the first inventor of idols. What signifies a 



passage of Sanchonialhon, who lived before the 

Trajan war ? What information' does he give 

us, in saying» that the chaos, the mind,, that »j 

the breath* being enamoured with its principle**. 

extracted the mud from them ; that, he made the 

air Uubuiqus;. that the wind Corp arid his; wife 

Haii, begat Eon* and he begat Genos; that 

Cronos, their descendant, had two eyes- behind 

as before; that he came to be god, and gave 

Egypt to his son. Jaut ? This is one of the most 

respectable monuments. of antiquity. 

Orpheus* who- was prior to Sanchonia&hon, 
gives us just as? fetich light in ids Theogonia} 
which £)amasciu* has preserved. He repré- 
sentons, mundaner principle in the form of sf 
dragon» with tmo heads, one of a bull, and the 
other of: a lion, with a face in the middle, which 
be- terms oor> eace, and gilded wings to; the 
shoulders,. .. 

; Yet these ideas, fantastical as; they are> give 
u&sfti insight into two important truths, one> that 
sensible images *nd hieroglyphics are * derived 
trorn the most remote antiquity/; the other thai 
all aftcieatphttasophers acknowledged a primor- 
dial, principle. • 

: As to>pôlïtheisoù common sense will tell you, 
tbava&t&e commencement of mankind» that is; 
of. weak creatures susceptible of, reason jand 
folly*; subject to every accident» to sickness and 
death» ïhëy soon came to a sense of their weak* 
ness< and dependence-: they easily conceived thai 
there* was something superior to themselves; 
they felt, a power in the earth, which produced 
their food, another in the air which often* de- 
stroyed them, and another, in the consuming fire 
and the submerging water. What could be 




more natural in men absolutely ignorant, than 
to fancy that there were beings which presided 
pver these elements ? What could be more 
natural than to revere the invisible power which 
made the sun and the stars to shine? And 
on proceeding to form an idea of these superior 
powers, what was again more natural than to 
represent them in a sensitive way ? Or I may 
even say, how could they go about it other- 
wise? Judaism, anterior to our religion; and 
prescribed by God himself, was full of those 
images, under which the deity is represented. 
He condescends to speak the language of men 
in a bush ; he makes his appearance on a moun- 
tain ; the heavenly spirits sent by him all come 
in a human shape ; in a word, the sanctuary it- 
self is filled with cherubims, human bodies, and 
the wings and heads of beasts. This led Plu- 
tarch, Tacitus, Appian, and so many others, into 
the ridiculous mistake of upbraiding the Jews 
with worshipping an ass's head. Thus God, 
who had forbidden the painting and carving of 
any figure, has been pleased nevertheless to ac- 
commodate himseif to human weakness, which 
require the senses to be spoken to by images. 

Isaiah, chap. vi. sees the Lord seated on a 
throne, and his train fill the temple: in chap. i. 
of Jeremiah/ the Lord stretches out his hand, 
and touches the prophet's mouth. Ezekiel, 
chap. iii. sees a. throne of saphire, and God ap- 
pears to him like a man seated on that throne. 
This imagery does not in the least defile the 
purity of the Jewish religion, which never made 
use of pictures, statues, and idols as public re- 
presentations of the deity. 



The lettered Chinese, the Parsis, the ancient 
Egyptians, had no idols; but Isis and Osiris 
were soon represented in figures; Bel at Babylon 
was as soon exhibited in a huge colossus ; Brama 
was in the Indian peninsula an hideous kind of 
monster. The Greeks above all multiplied the 
names of the deities, and of course the statues 
and temples ; but ever attributing the supreme 
power to their Zeus, by the Latins named Ju- 

Ïiter, the sovereign of gods and men. The. 
Lomans imitated the Greeks ; both always 
placed their gods in heaven, without knowing 
what they meant by heaven and their Olympus : 
these superior beings could not be supposed to 
reside in the clouds, which are only, water. At 
first seven of them .were placed in the seven 
planets, among which was reckoned the sun; 
but afterwards the residence of all the gods was 
extended to the whole heavenly expanse. 

The Romans bad twelve great deities, six 
male and six female, whom they distinguished 
by the appellation of " Dii majorum gentium," 
Jupiter, Neptune, Apollo, Vulcan, Mars, Mer- 
cury; Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres,*. Venus, 
Diana. Pluto was then omitted, and Vesta took 
his place. *» > 

Next were the gods- " minorum gentium," the 
indigetes, or heroes, as Bacchus, Hercules, Es* 
culapius; the infernal deities, Pluto, Proserpine; 
the sea gods, as Thetis, Amphitrite, the Nereides 
and Glaucus; afterwards the Dryades, the Na'ia? 
des ; the gods of gardens ; the jJastoral deities ; 
every profession, every action of life, children, 
maidens, wives, women in childbed, all had 
their deity: there was even the god Fart; 
lastly, emperors were deified : not that these 

•P emperors, 


emperors, nor the- god Fart, nor the goddess 
Pertonda, nor Prfepus, nor Rumtlia the goddess 
of bubbies, nor Stercutsus the god of privies, 
were accounted the lords of heaven and «artb. 
Sortie ef the emperors, indeed had < temple sj; *he 

Ety houshotd jgods went without them, but ail 
I tbeir image, or their idol. 

These were little grotesque figuresy set up 
in a closet by way of ornament ; old women 
and children were highly delighted with them ; 
but «ever were these «figures authorized by any 
public worship; everyone was left to follow his 
own private superstition. These little idok are 
still found in the ruins of ancient cities. 

Though we cannot fix the precise time when 
men began to make idols, they are, however, 
known to belong to the most remote. antiquity, 
Thera, Abraham's father, used to make; them? at 
Ur in Chaldea. • Rachael purloined and carried 
off Laban's idols^ There is no going higher. 

But what did the ancient nations think, qf all 
these images ? what virtue, what, power, did they 
attribute to them ? Was it thought that the gods 
quitted heaven to come dawn* and hide them- 
selves in these statues ? or that xhey imparted Jo 
them m portion of the divine spirit, or did' not 
impart any thing at all to them ? a great deal of 
useless erudition has been thrown, away .on this 
point, it being evident that every one's .notion» 
of them were proportioned to his reason, his 
credulity, or his fanaticism» . The priests, .we 
may be sure, would not be wanting to annex, to 
their statues all the divinity they possibly could, 
in order to draw the more offerings* The phi* 
losophers; it is well Jttiown, censured these-au* 
perstitkms : the military people made ji jest of 



them? and the commonalty, ever ignorant and 
silly» knew not what it was doing. This is, in 
a few words, the history of all the nations to 
which God has not made himself known. 

The premises are applicable to the worship 
universally paid in Egypt to an ox, and In seve- 
ral cities to a dog, a monkey, a cat, and onions, 
la all appearance they were at first only em- 
blems. Afterwards a certain ox called Aprs, a 
certain dog named Anubis, were worshipped; 
still the people went on eating beef and onions ; 
but 'what the Egyptian old women thought of 
sacred onions and oxen, is not cleared up. 

It was not uncommon for idols to speak. On 
the anniversary of Gybele^s festival, the city of 
Rome commemorated the beautiful distich ut- 
tered by the statue on it's removal from king 
Attalus s palace: - 

" Ipsa pati volui, ne sit mora, mitte voleritem, " 
Dignus Romaldcus, qu6 *Deus omnh» eat;" 

" I allowed myself to be carried off;' away 
11 with me quickly; Rome is worthy to be the 
" residence of every deity." 

The statve of Fortune had spoke; thé Scipios; 
theCiceros, the Caesars, indeed believed nothing 
of the 'matter; but the bid women, to whom 
Encolpus gave a crown to buy geese and gods, 
might very Veil believe it. 

The idols likewise pronounced oracles, the 
priests concealed -within the statues speaking in 
thenathe of the deity. 

Amidst so many gods, so many different theoi 
gonitis and 'separate' worships, -whence is h f that 
no ttudtf thing as a religious war was ever known 

r 2 among 


among the people called idolaters ? This tranqui- 
lity was a good springing from an evil, from 
error itself; for every nation owning several in* 
ferior gods, peaceably allowed its neighbours to 
have theirs likewise. Except Cambyses's killing 
the ox Apis, not one instance is to be found, in 
all prophane history, of a conqueror offering any 
insult to the gods of a vanquished nation. The 
Gentiles had no exclusive religion; and all the 
priests minded was to multiply offerings and 
sacrifices, ï 

The first offerings were the fruits of the earth. 
But the priests soon came to want animal food 
for their table : with their own hands they , slew 
the victims; and as they made themselves 
butchers, they became sanguinary. At length 
they introduced the horrible practice of offering 
human victims, and especially comely boys and 
girls, abominations never known among the 
Chinese, the Partis, or the Indians; but at 
Hieropolis in Egypt, Porphyry tells us* it was 
nothing extraordinary to sacrifice' men. 

In Tauris strangers were sacrificed ; but this 
savage custom being known, the priests of 
Tauris, it is to be supposed, did not much bu- 
siness. This execrable superstition prevailed 
among the most ancient Greeks, the Cypriots, 
the Phenicians, the Tynans and the Cartha- 
ginians. The Romans themselves gave into this 
religious guilt; and, according to Plutarch, sa- 
crificed two Greeks and two Gauls, to expiate 
the incontinency of three vestals. Procopius, 
who was cotemporary with Theodobert, king of 
the Francs, says, that the Francs sacrificed men 
on their entrance into Italy under that prince. 
These horrid sacrifices were common among the 



Gauls and Germans. There is no reading 
history, without being very much displeased 
with one's own species. 

What if, among the Jews, Jephthah sacrificed 
his daughter, and Saul was going to slay his son ; 
what if they, who were devoted to the lord by 
anathema, could not be redeemed, as beasts 
were redeemed, but were indispensably put to 
death; what though Samuel, a Jewish priest, 
cut to pieces with a consecrated cleaver king 
Agag, prisoner of war, whom Saul had spared» 
and sharply reproved Saul for having treated that 
king according to the laws of nations; what of 
all this ? God is the sovereign of mankind, and 
may take away their lives when he will, as he 
will, and by whom he will ; but men are not to 
put themselves on a footing with the lord of life 
and death, and usurp the prerogatives of the Su- 
preme Being. 

Amidst such detestable proceedings, it is some 
relief to the feeling heart, to know that in almost 
all those nations called idolatrous, there was the 
sacred theology and popular error, private wor- 
ship and public ceremonies, the religion of the 
wise and that of the vulgar. To those who 
were initiated in the mysteries, the existence of 
one only God was preached. Of this a suffi- 
cient testimony is the hymn attributed to the 
elder Orpheus, which was sung in the celebrated 
mysteries of Ceres Eleusina: " Contemplate the 
divine nature, illume thy mind, govern thy 
heart, walk in thes path of justice, take care 
that the God of heaven be before thine eyes ; 
there is none but him, he alone is self-exist- 
ent; all beings derive their existence from 
" him; he upholds them all; never has he 

P 3 " been 




'•'.been seen by mortals, - and he sees- all 
'«. things." 

The following passage .of . the. philosopher 
Maximus of Madaura, in his. letter to. St. Au- 
gustine» is likewise, worth, attention, " What 
" man is so dull, so stupid,. as to question the 
M existence, of an eternal, a supreme, infinite 
deity, who has. created nothing like himself, 
and is. the common father of aU things?" 
A thousand monuments might be produced, 
that wise men in all times, abhorred both idolatry 
and polytheism. 

Epictetus, that pattern of resignation and 
patience, so great in so mean a condition, never 
speaks but of one only God* .'One of his max- 
ims is this, " God has created me, God is 
" within me, I carry him about every where. 
" Shall I defile him with, obscene thoughts, 
unjust actions, or infamous desires ? My duty 
is to thank God for every thing, to praise him 
for every- thing; and to thank, praise, and 
serve him .continually, whilst I have life/' 
All Epictetus'* ideas turn on this principle. 

Marcus Aurelius, who perhaps was on the 
throne of the Roman empire not less great than 
Epictetus in servitude, does indeed often mention 
gods, in conformity to the current phraseology, 
or to express intermediate beings, between «the 
Supreme Essence and men; butin how many 

1>assages does he shew, that in reality he acknowl- 
edges only one. eternal infinite God ? •«' Out 
" souls, says he* are an emanation of the Deity'; 
*• my body, my spirits, proceed from God." 

The Stoics, the Platonics, held one divine 
and universal nature; the Epicureans denied* it. 






The priests in their mysteries spoke only of one 
Oodr where-then were the idolaters? 

Besides, it is one of the great mistakes in 
Morery's. Dictionary to say, that in the timeiof 
Theodosius the Younger, no idolaters remain* 
cd but in the remote parts of Asia and Africa* 
There was still, and even down to the seventh 
century, many Gentile nations in Italy. All 
Germany north of the Weser were strangers to 
Christianity in Charlemaign's time; and, long 
after him, Poland and the whole .North continued 
iw^what is called idolatry» Half Africa, all the 
realms beyond the Ganges, Japan, the innumer. 
stble commonalty of China, a hundred Tartarian 
hords, retain their ancient worship ; whereas in 
Europe, this religion is to be found only among 
come Laplanders; Samoiedes, and Tartars. To 
conclude, in the time which we distinguish by 
the appellation of the middle age, the Mahome- 
tans were called Pagans;, a people who execrate 
images were branded as idolaters and image- wor- 
shippers; and it must be frankly owned, that the 
Turks,* seeing our churches crowded with images 
and statues, are more excusable in calling us 



XT is clear from the book of Judges, that Jeph- 
thah did promise to sacrifice the first oerson who 
came out of his house, in order to congratulate 
him on his victory against the Ammonites: and 
Who should this prove to be but his only daughter ? 
Hereupon he rent his garments for grief ; and 

P 4 after 





after t>ermtftingher to go and lament among the 
hills her misfortune in dying a maid, he actually 
sacrificed her. The Jewish maidens for a long 
time 'commemorated this event, lamenting Jeph- 
thah's xhyghter four days v , \n a year. (See 
Judge's» .cfa. xi.) 

In w&tever time this, history was written» 
whether it be an imitation or the original of the 
Grecian story of Agamemnon and Iphigenia, be 
it prior or posterior to some similar Assyrian 
tale, is what I do not examine; J> abide by the 
text : Jephthah yowed his daughter for a burnt- 
offering, andperfprraed hisivow. 

It was expressly enjoined in the Jewish law to 
sacrifice all who had been devoted to the Lord. 
No man shall be redeemed, but shall be put to 
death, without remission : (') the Vulgate has it, 
" Non redimetur, sed morte morietur." Lev» 
chap, xxvii. ver 29. 

In consequence of this law it was, that Samuel 
hewed king Agag in pieces, though Saul had 
spared him; and for his improper clemency, 
Saul was reproved by the Lord, and forfeited his 

Here is an evident proof of human sacrifices ; 

no point of history can be more authentically 

verified; certainly a nation cannot be better 

« known than by records, and what it relates of its 



(*).Our translation is, u None devoted, which 
shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed, but shall 
surely be put to death.' 9 



X H E history of Joseph, considered only as 
an object of curiosity and literature, is one of 
the most valuable monuments of antiquity which 
have reached our times. It appears to have 
been the model of all the oriental writers; it is 
more pathetic than Homer's Odyssey, as a for* 
giving hero is more moving than he that gluts 
his vengeance. 

We account the Arabs to have been the first 
authors of those ingenious fictions, which have 
been adopted in all other languages ; but for my 
part, I meet with no tale among them comparable 
to that of Joseph : in almost every part it is of 
admirable beauty; and the conclusion draws 
forth tears of tenderness. It exhibits a youth in 
his sixteenth year, of whom his brothers are 
jealous. He is sold by them to a caravan of 
Ishmaelite merchants, carried into Egypt, and 
bought by one of the king's eunuchs. This 
eunuch had a wife, at which we are not to be 
startled, for the Kislar-aga of Constantinople, 
who is an arch-eunuch, the whole of his genital 
parts being abscinded, has a seraglio ; his eyes 
and hands are left, and nature is still nature in 
him. The other eunuchs, having been deprived 
only of the two appendages of the' generative * 
organ, often make use of it; and Potiphar, to 
whom Joseph was sold, might very well be of 
the latter class of eunuchs. 

Potiphar 's wife becomes enamoured with young 
Joseph, who, faithful to his master as a most 

fracious benefactor, rejects her solicitations, 
uch behaviour turns her love into rancour, and 
she charges Joseph with an attempt to seduce 



her. This is the history of Hippolitus and 
Phaedra, of Bellerophon and Stenobxa, of 
Hebrus and Damasippe, of Tanis and Peribea, 
of Marsillur and Hipodaraia, of Peleus and 

Which is the* original of all these histories is 
not easily known; but the ancient Arabian 
authors have a passage relating to the transaction 
between Joseph and Potiphar's wife, which is 
very ingenious. The author supposes that 
Potiphar, hesitating between his -wire and Jo- 
seph, did not look upon his wife's having torn a 
piece of Joseph's robe, as any weighty proof of 
the young man's crime. There was at that time, in 
the wife's chamber, a child in a cradle. Joseph 
said that she had forcibly taken hold of his robe, 
and torn it in the child's presence; -* Potiphar 
asked the child, who it seems was of a very preg- 
nant wit for his age. ' The child said to Potiphar, 
see whether the robe be torn before or behind ; 
if before, it shews that Joseph was for laying 
hands on your wife, and that she stood on her 
defence; if behind, it is plain your wife run 
after him.' Thus did this child's genius clear up 
Joseph's innocence. ' This is the account given 
m the Alcoran from an ancient Arabian author, 
without informing us to whom this witty child 
belonged. If it was a son of dame Potiphar's, 
Joseph was not thé first With whom this woman 
had desired an intimacy. 

' However it be, Joseph, according to the book 
of Genesis, is clapt up in prison, and' happens 
to be with thé king's cup-bearer and butler: 
both these state prisoners had a dream the same 
night, Which Joseph explained to them ; he 
foretold that within three days the cup-bearer 

■ should 


should ; be restored to favour, and the. bufcler 
hanged, which, fell out accordingly. 

Two years after the king of Egypt had a very 
perplexing dream,, on which his cup-bearer ac- 
quaints > him, . that i. there. is in prison a Jewish 
young man who had not his equal for explaining 
dreams ; he. is. sent for, and predicts the seven 
years of plenty and the seven barren years. 
-'■ Here we must make a small interruption in the 
thread o£ the story,, to. observe the prodigious 
antiquity of theànterpretation of d teams. Jacob 
had seen in a dream the, mysterious ladder, at the 
top of which, was Cod himself : ,in a dream he 
learned the method of multiplying, his. flocks, a 
jnethoa. which has never succeeded but . with 
-him. Joseph himself had been informed by a 
dream, that he should one day be superior to his 
-brothers. > Abimelech, long .before, had notice 
given him in a dream, that Sarah was Abraham's 
^wife.^ See the article Dream. We shall now 
return to Joseph. 

•On his having explained Pharaoh's dream, he 
yas immediately created prime minister. It. is a 
.question whether now a-days any king, even in 
Asia, would bestow a post*oi that importance for 
having explained a dream ; Pharaoh made up a 
match between Joseph and a daughter of Poti- 
phar's. This Potiphar is said to have been high 
priest of Heliopolis, so that it could not be the 
eunuch .his first master ; or if it was* he: must 
certainly have had another title, than £hat df* 
high priest ; and his. wife ..had) been, a. mother 
more than, once* 

In. the mean time the famine came- o^n*: ac- 
cording to . Joseph's predictipn ; and his minister, 
,to . riy et bimselt i intQ ihe royal ^faypur* so. ma- 

220 LAWS. 

naged matters, that all the people were under \ 
necessity of selling their lands to Pharaoh ; and 
the whole nation, to procure corn, became slaves 
to the crown. This may probably be the origin 
of despotism. It must be owned that never king 
made a better bargain ; but, on the other hand, 
the people owed little gratitude and applause to 
the prime minister. 

At length Joseph's father and brothers like- 
wise came to want corn, for the famine was sore 
in all the land : as for Joseph's reception of his 
brethren, his forgiving them, and loading them 
with kindness, we shall take the liberty to omit 
those particulars, observing only, that this his- 
tory has every interesting part of an epic'poem ; 
the sublime, the marvellous, the exposition, con- 
nection, discovery, and reverse of fortune* I 
know nothing more strongly marked with orien- 
tal genius. 

The answer of good Jacob, Joseph's hoary fa- 
ther, to Pharaoh, ought deeply to impress every 
one who can read. What may your age be, 
said the king to him ? A hundred and thirty 
years, answered the old man ; and in this short 
pilgrimage, I have not seen one happy day. 


AN the time of Vespasian and Titus, when the 
Romans used to rip up and draw the Jews, a 
very wealthy Israelite, to avoid that disagreeable 
treatment, moved off with all the fruits of his 
usury, carrying with him to Eziongaber all his 
family, which consisted of his aged wife, a son» 
and a daughter; for retinue, he had two eunuchs, 



one a cook, the other a kind of gardener and 
vine-dresser: an honest Essene, who knew the 
Pentateuch by heart, officiated ai his chaplain. 
All these going aboard a vessel at Eziongaber, 
crossed the Red Sea, as it is called, though it 
has nothing of that colour, and entered the 

gulph of Persia, in quest of the country oF 
Ophir, without knowing where it lay : a dread- 
ful storm drove this Hebrew family towards 

India, where the vessel was stranded on one of 
the Maldivia islands, then desert, but now called 

The old hunks and his joan were drowned; 
but the son and daughter, with the two eunuchs 
and chaplain, got safe to land. They made shift 
to save some of the provisions; and, having 
built huts in the island, began to be sou: 
reconciled to their disaster. The island of Pa- 
drabranca, you know, is five degrees from the 
line, and produces the largest cocoa-nut: and the 
best pine-apples in the whole world : it was not 
uncomfortable living there at a time when every 
where else the favoured people were slaughtered 
as fast as they could be found ; but the good 
Essene frequently wept at thinking, that they 
might be the only Jews on earth, and that tlie 
seed of Abraham was drawing to an end. 

What signify your tears, said the young Jew : 
it is in your power to prevent its ending ; marry 
my sister. Very willingly, answered the chap- 
lain ; but it is against the law. I am an Essene, 
and have made a vow against marriage ; and, by 
the laws, vows are to be observed : come of the 
Jewish race what will, never will I matry your 
sister, though she were ten times handsomer than 
she is. 


É2t CAW* 

My tweunuchs, answered thé Jew,cannot> 
raiseseed froth her ; &o 9 with yourleave, I will 
do the business; and you shall marry us. 

Let me be ripped up and drawn over and over, 
said the chaplain, rather than have any band in 
making you commit incest -.were she your sister 
only by the father's side* 1 would not hesitate so 
much about it, as not being directly against law £ 
but she is your sister by the mother's side, so 
that it would be quite abominable. 

I am very well aware that it would be a crime 
at Jerusalem, where I might have other young 
women ; but on the island of Padrabanca, where 
I see on! y -cocoa nuts, ananas, and oysters, I hold 
it very allowable. Thus the Jew married his 
sister, and, notwithstanding all the Essene's pro- 
testations, had by her a daughter, who was thé 
sole fruit of a marriage, by one held legal,* and 
by the other abominable. 

Fourteen years after the mother departed this 
life : Well* said the father to the chaplain, have 
yotrgot over your former prejudices ? Will you 
marry my daughter ? God forbid t said the Es* 
sene^ If ybu will not,' I will, said the father"; 
the seed of Abraham -shall not come 16 an end, if 
I can help it. The'Essene, quite frightened 
at such horrible words*, Would not live any longer 
with orie who made so light of the law, and fled. 
The bridegroom called after him, Stop, honest 
Anarreel, I observe the law of nature, I am pre- 
serving the chosen race, do not leave your 
friends ; but the Essene, full of the Mosaic law, 
without so much as looking back, swam over té 
the nearest island. 

This was Attola, a large island, both populous 
and thoroughly civilized ; at his landing he was 


made; a slave. * When- ho had got a liait of thé 
Attotatongne, he complained very bitterly of his 
being used so inhospitably ; but he was given to 
understand,, that such was their law, and that 
since the island had narrowly escaped being sur* 
prized by the inhabitants of Shot Ada** tt had 
been wisely provided, that all strangers coming 
to Attola ^should be made slaves.- A Jaw it can* 
not be, said 'the Essene, for no such thing-, is in 
the JPantateuchi. to which he ha^{pr. answeiy 
that it was in the country-code*, arid a slave he 
remained ; but with the good .fortune of having 
an, excellent master, who.. was : very rich, sod 
ruled him -in a manne* which. njuch endeared 
himvto the Essene*.' 

Some ruffians came:one day to rob and kill the 
master : they 'asked the slaves whether he was at 
home and had a great deal of money by him? 
By all the gods, said the slaves, rhe has tittle, or 
no* money at all, neither is he at home* But the 
Essenhm said, (the lawdoe&^not allow, of lying.; 
and Isweai to.youlhat heiis at home, and hfis a 
great deal-.of money ; . so the master was robbed 
and murdered?' on this; the slaves had the Essen* 
be fore the judges for betraying his master. The 
Esseoevowned- his words, saying, that he would 
not tell aJye on any account; and be was hanged» 
This story, and many .such» were told' me ia 
my last journey, ftom the Indies to prance. . On 
my arrival some business, calling me to Ver- 
sailles, here J saw a very fine. woman followed 
by several other fine women : Who is that fine 
woman»' said I. to my lawyer, who was come with 
me v for having a process., in the. parliament of 
Paris, on account of cloaths made for me in the 
Indies,! bad my counsellor always with me.: It 


2t4 LAWS. 

is the king's daughter, said he ; and, besides 
her beauty, she is of a most excellent temper ; 
it is a pity that she can never be queen of 
France. How, said I. if, which God forbid, 
all her royal relations and the princes of the 
blood were to die, could not she inherit her fa- 
ther's kingdom? No, said the counsellor, the 
Salic law is expressly against it. And who made 
that Salic law, said I. That I know nothing of» 
answered he ; but the tradition is, that an ancient 
people called the Saltans, who could neither read 
nor write, had a law, by which in the Salic 
country no female was to inherit an hereditary 
fief; and this law has been admitted in a country 
which is not Salic. Has it so, said I, and I an* 
nul it : You assure me that, besides this prin- 
cess's beauty, she is of an excellent temper ; she 
has therefore an indisputable right to the crown, 
if unfortunately she should survive all the rest of 
the royal family : my mother was heiress to her 
father, and this princess shall be heiress to hers. 
The next day my cause came on in one of the 
courts of parliament, and they all gave it against 
me : my counsellor told me, that in another 
court • I should have gained it unanimously. 
Very odd, indeed, said I ; then so many courts 
so many laws. Yes, said he, there are no less 
than twenty-five commentaries on the common 
law at Paris ; that is, the Paris common law has 
been twenty, five times proved to be ambiguous ; 
and were there twenty-five courts, there would be 
twenty -five different bodies of laws. We have, 
continued he, a province called Normandy, about 
fifteen leagues from Paris ; and there your cause 
would have been decided quite otherwise than 
here. This made me desirous of seeing Nor- 

LAWS «25 

taattdy, and I went thither with one of my bro- 
thers. At the first inn we came to. was a young 
man storming most furiously. I asked him what 
was the matter ? Matter enough answered be ; I 
have an elder brother. Where is the mighty 
misfortune of having a brother, said- 1 to him ? 
my brother, is my elder, and yet we live very 
easy together. But here, Sir, said he, the 
damned law gives every thing to the elder, and 
the younger may shift for themselves., If that 
be the case, said I, well may you be angry; 
with us, things are equally divided, yet some- 
times brothers do not love one another the bet- 
ter for it. 

These little adventures led me to some very 
profound reflections on the laws, and I found 
them to be like our garments; at Constantinople 
it is proper to wear a doliman, and at Paris a 
coat. If all human laws are by compact, said I, 
the only point is to make good bargains. The 
citizens of Deli, and Agra say, that they made a 
very bad agreement with Tamerlane : the citi- 
zens of London again value themselves for the 
food bargain they made with King William III. 
. )ne of that opulent body was saying to me, it 
is necessity which makes laws, and force causes 
them to be observed. I asked him whether force 
did not likewise make laws, and whether William 
the conqueror had not prescribed to England 
laws, without any previous convention ? Yes, 
said he, we were then oxen, and William put a 
yoke upon us, and goaded us along, since 
those times we are become men ; but with our 
horns still remaining, we are sure to gore any 
one that will make us plough for him, and not 
for ourselves. 

Q Full 

trô* LAWS. 

Full of these reflections, I was pleased to fiw§ 
that there is a natural law indépendant of all* 
human convention»; that the fruit of my labour 
should be my property 1 ; that it is my duty »tcf 
honour my parents ; - that I have no right to my 
neighbours life, nor my neighbour to mirifc, &c; 
But when it came into my mind that, from C$r- 
dolaomer down to Mentzel, colonel of hussars; 
it has been customary to shew fcne'rloyahyijf 
efftfcion of human blood, and to pillage wane's? 
neighbour by patent, I was touched to the heart. - 

I am told that robbers hid their laws, and thai 
war had also its laws. ' On my asking whatf 
were those laws of war, I was answered: It is 
to bang up a brave officer fck» maintaining^ against 
a royal army, a bad post and without cannorrj 
it is to hang up a pri&iher if' one of your meii 
has been -hanged; it is to burn find destroy f|httsfc 
village» which have not brought in their whole 
subsistence at the thy appointed' by the gr&tidu& 
sovereign of the neighbourhood. ♦ So that isthe 
spirit or laws, said i. 

By farther irtformatioh 1 ! heard of some^ Wty 
wise laws; condemning a shephetd to the gata 
leys for nine years, for giving â 'lhtte forerait 
salt to sheep. A neighbour of mine hâS" bee» 
ruined by an indictment -for cutting oWh:&Wd 
oaks in his own Wood,* not ôbsèrvitiga fonriaHty 
which he had not bééit able to 'know any thing 
of r his wife died of grief' in extreme àistfesfci 
and his son lived, if it may be so called 1 ,: very 
wretchedly. I own that these tltfws'afe just; 
though the execution of them is a littfe'haftrd | 
but I cannot. bear with- those laws-^ich authw 
rize a hundred thousand rften to go, tinder the 
pretence of loyalty, and massacre as many peate^ 


LAWS, 227 ] 

able neighbours. The generality- of mankind 
appear to be naturally endued whn sense enough 
to make laws ; but then it is not every one who 
has virtue sufficient to enact good laws. 

Call together from 'all the ends of the earth, 
the husbandmen, a simple quiet class, they will, 
at once, ' agree that the surplus of one's corn 
should be allowed to be sold to pur neighbours ; 
and that a law to the contrary is both absurd and. 
inhuman; that coin, as representing provisions, 
should be no more adulterated than the products, 
of the earth; that a father of a family should be 
master within his own walls; that religion should 

{promote friendship and benevolence among men 
iying in society, and not make them fanatics 
and persecutors ; that the labouring .«.and busy 
part of the world should not deprive themselves 
of the fruits of their industry, to bestow tnem on 
superstition and sloth : this plain assembly would 
in ari hour make thirty such laws» all beneficial 
to mankind* *.....". , , . ., 

But should Tamerlane come and subdue 'In- 
dia; then you will see nothing but arbitrary laws. 
One shall squeeze a province tô enrich a pub- 
lican of Tamerlane's ; another shall make it 
high-treason only for having dropped a freç 
word 4 concerning the mistress of the raja's first 
valet de chambre ; a third shall take away frorn 
the farmer half bis harvest, and dispute the re- 
mainder with hiin; and, what is worse than all 
this, there will be laws, by tvhich a Tartar ipçs- 
senger shall come -and take away your children 
in the cradle,: leaking thejft." soldiers or 'eunuchs 
according 'tor; their constitutions, and leave, the 
father ana mother to 1 wipe aWay each other's 

Q 2 Now, 



Now, whether is it best to be Tamerlane's dog: 
or his subject ? Doubtless, his dog has by much» 
the best of it. 


X HE following minutes were found among 
the papers of an eminent lawyer, and perhaps 
deserve a little consideration. 

No ecclesiastical law should ever be in force 
till it has formally received the express sanction 
of the government ; by this it was that Athens 
and Rome never had any religious quarrels* 

Those quarrels appertain only to barbarous 

To permit or prohibit working on holidays,, 
should only be in the magistrates power ; it is 
not the fit concern of priests to hinder men from 
cultivating their grounds. 

Every thing relating to marriages should de- 
pend solely on the magistrate; and let the priests 
be limited to the august function of the solem- 

Lending at interest to be intirely within the 
cognizance of the civil law, as by it commercial 
affairs are regulated. 

All ecclesiastics whatever should, as the state's 
subjects in all cases, be under the control and 
animadversion of the government. 

Away with that disgraceful absurdity of paying 
to a foreign priest the .first year's produce of an 
estate, given to a priest of our own country. 

No priest should have it in his power to de- 
prive a member of society of the least privilege,. 
on pretence of his sins ; for a priest being him*. 

. self 

LIBERTY; ft*9 

self a sinner, is to pray for sinners : he baa no 
business to try and condemn them. 

Magistrates, farmers, and priests, are alike to 
contribute to the expences of the state, as alike 
belonging to the state. 

One weight, one measure, one custom. 
The punishments of criminals should be of 
use ; when a man is hanged he is good for no- 
thing, whereas a man condemned to the public 
works still benefits his country, and is a living 

Every law should be clear, uniform, and pre- 
cise; explanations are for the most part corrup- 

The only infamy should be vice. 
Taxes to be proportionate. 
A law should never clash with custom, for if 
the custom be good, the law must be faulty. 


A. -^JL Battery of cannon is playing close by 
your ears; are you at liberty to hear or not to 
hear it ? 
B. Unquestionably I cannot but hear it, 

A. Would Vou have those cannon carry off 
your head, ana your wife's and daughter's, who 
are walking with you ? 

B. What a question is that? in my sober 
senses it is impossible, that I should will any 
such thing. It cannot be. 

A, Well, you necessarily hear the explosion 
of those cannon, and vou necessarily are against 
you and your family being cut off by a cannon 
shot as you are taking the air ; you have not the 

Q 3 power 

&3° I4RERTY. 

power not to hear, nor the powef ot- willing to 
remain here. 

B. Nothing more, evident. 

A. Accordingly yon have come thirty, paces 
to be out of the cannons .way : thus y pu J^ave 
had the power of walking that little sp^ce with 

B. That again is .clear. 

A. And if you had. been paralytic you could 
not have avoided being-exposed to this battery ; 
you would not have had the power of being 
where you are:, you would,, Dçc£s,sarjly, not 
only have fyeard the. explosion, J>uL ^received a 
cannon shot; and thus you would necessarily 
have been killed. 

B. Very true. 

A. In what then consist* your Jibuti y ? if not 
in the power which your. body has- JpayS, M$e of 
to do, what your volition, by an absolute ne- 
cessity, required. 

B. You put me to a stand. Liberty then is 
nothing but the power of doing what I will. 

A. Think of it, and see whether liberty can 
have any other meaning. 

B. At this rate my greyhound is as free as I 
am : he has necessarily a willio rim at the sight 
of a hare, and likewise the power of running, if 
not lame ; sp that in nothing am I superior to 
my dog ; this is levelling me with! the, beasts. 

A. Such are the Wretched , sophisms of the 
wretched • sophists who have tutored you. 
Wretched thing indeed t to be in the same state 
of liberty as your dog! -And are not you like 
your dog in a thousand things? in .hunger, 
thirst, waking,' steeping; and your £ve senses, 
are they not common to him? . are 7 yaik for 


4meUing«itbeFWÎse than through, the- nose ? why 
then are you for having* liberty jn a manner dif- 
ferent from him. 

B.. But I hay e a soul continually reasoning, 
which my dog. knows little of; simple ideas are 
very nearly all his portion, whereas I have a 
thousand metaphysical ideas. 

A. Wei), you are a thousand times more free 
than he; that is, you have a thousand times 
more power of thinking than he : still you are 
not free in a manner different from him. 

B. How ! am I not at liberty to will what I 
will ? 

A. Your meaning? 

B. I mean what all the world means ; is it not 
a common saying, Will is free ? 

A< A proverb is no reason: please to explain 
yourself more clearly. 

B. I mean that I have the Jiberty of willing as 
I please. 

A. By .your leave,, there is no sense in that; 
.don't you perceive, that it. is ridiculous to say, I 
will will ; you will necessarily, in consequence 
of the ideas occurring to you ; Would you marry, 
ycs 9 or no ? 

B. But were I to say, I neither will the one 
nor the other ? 

A. .That would i>e answering like him who 
said, some think Cardinal Mazarine dead, others 
believe him still living, and I believe neither one 
•nor the other. 

B. Well, Jihare* mind to marry. 

A. Good ! That is something of an answer; 
and whyJweypu a mind, to marry ? 

B. Because I. am in Jove with a young gen- 
tlewoman, who is handsome, of a sweet temper, 

Q 4 well 


well bred, with a tolerable fortune, sings charm- 
ingly, and her parents are perhaps of good credit : 
besides, I flatter myself, that my addresses are 
very acceptable both to her family and herself. 

A. Why, there is a reason: you see you 
cannot will without a reason, and I declare you 
have the liberty of marrying ; that is, you have 
the power of signing the contract. 

B. How! not will without a reason ! What 
then becomes of another proverb ? " Sit pro ra- 
" tione voluntas;" my will is my reason. I 
will because I will. 

A. My dear friend, under favour, that is an 
absurdity ; there would then be in you an effect 
'without a cause. 

B. What I when I am playing at even or odd; 
is there a reason for my choosing even rather 
than odd ? 

A. Yes, to be sure. 

B. And pray let us hear that reason ? 

A. Because the idea of odd presented itself to 
your mind before the contrary notion. It would 
be strange, indeed, that in some cases you will 
because there is a cause of volition ; and that in 
some cases you will without any cause. In your 
willing to be married, you evidently perceive the 
determining reason ; and in playing at even or 
odd, you do not perceive it ; and yet one there 
must me. 

B. But again, am I not then free ? 

A. Your will is not free, but your actions 
are; you are free to act when you have the 
power of acting. 

B. But all the books I have read on the 
liberty of indifference ^ 

A. Are 


A. Are nonsense: there is no such thing as 
liberty of indifference ; (') it is a word void of 
sense, and coined by those who were not over* 
loaded with it. 


Jt O O R doctor, thçse limits are every where. 
Art thou for knowing how it comes to pass, that 
thy arm and thy leg obey thy will, and thy liver 
does not ? Wouldestthou in vestigate how thought 
is formed in thy minute understanding, and the 
child in that woman's womb ? I give thee what 
time thou wilt. Tell me also what is matter? 
Thy equals have written ten thousand-volumes 
on this article : some qualities of this substance 
they have found, and children know them as 
well as thyself; but what is that substance essen- 
tially ? and what is that to which thou hast given 
the appellation of spirit, from a Latin word sig- 
nifying breath, in the want of a better, because 
thou hast no idea of it ? 

See this grain of corn which I throw into the 
ground, and tell me how it rises again to shoot 


» (*) Here our author has followed Mr. Locke, who 
says, " that liberty belongs not to the will; and that 

* it is as insignificant to ask, whether a man's will be 

* free, as to ask, whether his sleep be swift, or his 
*' virtue square. For liberty being but a power belongs 
*' only to agents, and cannot be an attribute of the 
u will, which is also but a power." See this notion 
refuted by Dr. Clarke in his Demonstration of the 
Being and Attributes of a God, 

t34 *ov£. 

fprth. a stern with an ear? Worrn^me how tbe 
same ground produces an srople on this tree» and 
a chçsnut in .«that . next to it ; I. could , fill a folio 
with such questions, to which thy answer .ought 
to be, I know not. 

And yet thpu bast, taken thy degrees, and 
wearest a furred .gown and cap, and art called 
master; and there is another fool, who, priding 
himself upon a. petty employment in.some paltry 
town, conceits that he has likewise purchased 
the privilege of judging, and condemning what 
he does not understand. 

Montaigne's motto was, " What do I know? 1 * 
(Que sai-ie?) and thine is, •* What do I not 
*' . know ? (Que ne sai-je pas ?) 


XTlMOR omnibus idem, Here wc must call in 
the constitution ; the ground is natural, and em- 
broidered by imagination. Shall I give you an 
idea of love ? View the sparrpws in thy garden ; 
view thy pidgeons ; behold the bull led to thy 
beifer ; look on that spirited horse, which two of 
thy servants are bringing to thy mare, who quietly 
waits his coming, and turns aside her tail to ad- 
mit him'; how his «yes glare, how he neighs; 
observe how he prances ; his erect ears, his con- 
vulsed mouth, his snorting, his turgid. nostrils, 
his fiery breath issuing, from them ; the flutter- 
ings of his mane ; the impetupsity with which he 
rushes on the object that nature has appointed for 
him: but forbçar all jealousy, and consider the 
advantages of the buman species ; in matters of 
love they., mate up fpjr^hose which, ualure has 


given<toieasts r strength; beauty, activity, and 

There are even creatures strangers to fruition. 
It is a delight of which shell -fish are deprived ; 
the female ejects millions of eggs on the slime 
and mud ; ♦ the male, in passing by fecundates 
them by his sperm, without troubling . himself 
what female they belong to. 
< Most creatures in copulation receive pleasure 
only from one sense, and that appetite satisfied, 
sink into insensibility. Thou alone of all ani- 
mals art acquainted with the warm .endearments 
of embraces ; thy whole body glows with ecstatic 
sensations ; thy lips especial lyeajoy a most sweet 
delight, without satiety or. weariness, and this 
delight is peculiar to thy species. Lastly, thou 
canst at all. times give thyself to love ; .whereas 
.other creatures have only a stated season. Re- 
flect on these pre-eminences, and thou wilt say 
with the earl of Rochester, " Love, would cause 
" the deity to be worshipped in a land of 
*' atheists." 

As it has been imparted to mankind <to,improve 
the several gifts of nature, they have made im- 
provements in love. Cleanliness, or the, care of 
one's person, rendering the skin softer, increases 
thé pleasure of touch ; and attention to health 
adds a more exquisite sensibility to the organs of 

All other sentiments combine with that of love, 
as metals amalgamate with gold : friendship and 
esteem join to support it ; and the talents, both of 
the body and mind, are additional ties. 

" Nam fecit ipsa suis interdum faemina factis, 
Morigerisque modis et mundo corpori cultu, 
Ut facile insuescat secum vir degere vitam." 


23<> LOVE* 

Self-love especially adds force to the several 
ties. We are enraptured with our choice, and a 
crowd of illusions decorate that work, of which 
the foundation is laid in nature. 

Such is thy pre-eminence above other animals ; 
but if thou enjoyest so many pleasures withheld 
from them ; how many vexations are thy portion 
of which beasts have no idea ! One dreadful cir- 
cumstance to thee is, that, in three-fourths of the 
earth, nature has infected the delights of love and 
the source of life with a horrible distemper, to 
which man alone is subject, and, in him affect- 
ing only the organs of generation. 

This contagion is not like many other distem- 
pers, the consequence of excesses ; neither was 
it debauchery which brought it into the world. 
Fhryne, Lais, Flora, and Messalina, knew no- 
thing of it. It received its birth in islands, 
where mankind lived in innocence ; and thence 
it has spread itself into the old world. 

If ever nature could be arraigned of neglect- 
ing its work, of thwarting its own plan, and 
counteracting its own views, it is here. Is this 
the best of the possible worlds ? What ! has 
Caesar, Anthony, Octavius never had this dis- 
temper; and was it not possible that it should - 
riot prove the death of Francis I. ? No, it is said» 
things were so ordered for the best ; I will be- 
lieve so, but that's very melancholy for those to 
whom Rabelais dedicated his book* 





JTJ.OW could it be, that a vice» which if ge- 
neral, would extinguish the human species, an 


(*) The very ingenious and learned critics, known 
by the vulgar name of Monthly Reviewers, have 
passed a most severe censure upon this whole article* 
44 We conceive, say they, it could only come from 
44 the pen of one or the most inconsiderate, dissolute, 
44 and abandoned of mankind. Nothing can be 
4i more infamous than what is there advanced, 
44 in palliation of the most detestable of all crimes.* 
Eut nothing can be more false, than that our author 
attempts to palliate this crime. Does not he set out 
with affirming it to be destructive of the human race, 
a debasement and violation of nature, and the highest 
degree of corruption? Is this a palliation? or is it not 
rather a representation of that infamous vice in the light 
it deserves. Whether he be mistaken in tracing its 
source, we cannot pretend to affirm, not being so 
well acquainted as those learned critics with the prac- 
• tices of the courts of justice, nor with the arts of those 
hypocritical rrionsters, hackneyed in the ways of 
iniquity. But after all, this is a mere point of specu- 
lation, not at all tending to immorality. He may be 
mistaken again, when he says, that the Greeks never 
authorized this vice, and that the Socratic Love was 
not infamous. But these are historical matters, con- 
cerning which men of very great learning have differed 
in opinion. Our author, however, thinks the crime 
so horrid and unnatural, that it could never be autho- 
rized by any government; so that, instead of looking 
on this article of Socratic Love with the same horror 
as* the scrupulous Reviewers, we rather apprehend it 



infamous crime against nature, should become 
so natural ? It appears to be the last degree of 
reflective corruption ; and' yet ' it is usually 
found in those who have not had time to be cor- 
rupted. It makes' its way into novice" "hearts^ 
who are strangers to ambition, fraud ànd a thirst 
after wealth ; it is blind youth, which at the end 
of childhood, by an unaccountable "instinct* 
plunges itself into this enormity» 

The inclination of the two «exes for. each 
other declares itself very early ; but after all that 
has been said of the African' woman, and those 1 
of the southern part of Asia, this propensity is' 
much stronger in man than in' Woman. Agree- 
ably to the universal law of nature "in all crea- 
tures, it is ever the male who makes the first 
advances* The young males of our species 
brought up together, coming to feel that play 
which nature begins to unfold to them, in the 
want of the natural object of their instinct, 
betake themsferves to a resemblance^ of such 

It is nothirig uncommon' for a bdy ; by the? 
beauty of his complexion", and the mild sparkle 
of his eyes for two or three years, to : have tnÇ 
look of a pretty girl : now the love of such a 
boy arises from a mistake in nature; the female 
sex is honoured in our fondness for what par- 
takes of her beauties, and when such resem- 

to be one of the least exceptionable parts of the whole 
work. But -as Mr. Dryden well observes, much of 
ill nature and a very little judgment, go far in finding 
the mistakes of writers. 

SOCRÀÏIC Lôtf È.* 139 

blaricé is' withered t>y age, the faittake" 'it* at ah 

citnCqiïê juvèhtem " 
Mtstâs*bt±*e ver et pritnds carpeté flores. 

This mistake in nature* is known to be much 
more common' in mild climates than amidst the 
nortberrtfrosts, the blood being there m6re< fervid 
and 'the occasion ' more-frequent: accordingly, 
what seems only a weakness in young Akibiades, 
is in a Duteh&anor or a Russian sutler, a loath* 
some abomination. 

I cannot bear that the Greeks should be charged 
with ' having authorized this licentiousness» 
The legislator* Solon -is brought in 'because he has 

" Thou slmit caressa *beauteeus boy,' 

" Whilst no beard his smooth chin deforms/ 9 


But who will say that Solon was a legislator at 
the time of his making those two ridiculous 
lines? He was then young, and when thé rake 
was grown* virtuous, it cannot be thought that 
he inserted such an infamy among the laws of 
his republic:- it is like accusing Theodore de 
Beza of having preached up pederasty in his 
church» because, in his youth, he had made verses 
on young Candidus, and saysf 

" Âmptector hune et Miami** ' 

Plutarch '"likewise is' misunderstood; who, 
amoiighis ïants în'the 'dialogue on l'ovè, makers 
orieTW the* "speakers "séy; that tfonteri 'are not 



worthy of a genuine love; but another speaker 
keenly take*. the women's part. 

It is as certain, as the knowledge of antiquity* 
can be, that Socratic love was not an infamous 
passion* It is the word love has occasioned the 
mistake. The lovers of a youth were exactly 
what among us are the minions of our princes, 
or, formerly the pages- of honour; young gen- 
tlemen who had partaken of the education of a 
child of rank, and accompanied him in his 
studies or in the field: this was a. martial and 
holy institution, but it was soon abused; as were 
the nocturnal-feasts and orgies. 

The troop of lovers instituted by Laïus, was 
an invincible corps of young warriors engaged 
by oath, mutually to lay down their lives for 
one another; and, perhaps, never had ancient 
discipline any thing more grand and useful. 

Sextus Empiricus and others may talk as long 
as they please of pederasty being recommended 
by the laws of Persia. Let them quote the text 
of the law, and even shew the Persian code, yet 
will I not believe it ; I will say it is not true, by 
reason of its being impossible. I do aver that 
it is not in human nature to make a law contra, 
dictory and injurious to nature ; a law which, if 
literally kept to, would put an end to the human 
species. The thing is, scandalous customs be- 
ing connived at, are often mistaken for the laws 
ota country. Sextus Empiricus, doubting of 
every thing, might as well doubt of this juris- 
prudence. If living in our days he had seen two 
or three young Jesuits fondling some scholars, 
could he from thence say that this sport was 

£ermitted them by the constitutions of Ignatius 



TThe love of boys was so common at Rome, 
that no punishment was thought of for a foolery 
into which every body run headlong. Octavius 
Augustus, that sensualist, that cowardly mur- 
derer, dared to banish Ovid, at the same time 
that he was very well pleased with Virgil's sing- 
ing the beauty and .flights of Alexis, and Ho- 
races' s making little odes for Ligurinus. Still 
trie old Scantinian law against pederasty was in 
force : the Emperor Philip revived it, and caused 
tlie boys- who followed that trade to be driven 
out of Rome. In a word, I cannot think that 
ever there was a policed nation, where the laws 
were contrary to morality. 


A BEGGAR, about the skirts of Madrid, 
used to ask alms with great dignity : one passing 
by said to him, Are not you ashamed to follow 
this scandalous trade, you who are able to work ? 
Sir, answered the beggar, I ask you for money 
and not for advice ; then turned his back upon 
him with all the stateliness of a Castilian. Don 
was a lofty beggar indeed, his vanity soon took 
pet. He could ask alms out of self-love ; and 
from another kind of self-love, would not bear 

A missionary in India met a facquier loaded 
with chains, as bare as an ape, lying on his belly, 
while his countryman, at his request, was whip- 
ping him for his sins, and at the same time drop- 
ping him some farthings. What self-denial is 
this, what abasement, said one of the spectators. 

R Self- 

24* LUXURY, 

Self-denial, abasement ! answered the facqujer ; 
I would have you to know, that I consent to 
be flogged in this world, only to give it you 
home in the other, when you shall be horses and 
I the rider. 

Thus they who have affirmed self-love to be 
the basis of all our sentiments and all our actions, 
are much in the right, in India, Spain, and ail 
the habitable parts of the earth ; and as there, i* 
no occasion to demonstrate .that men have a face, 
as little need there is of proving to the*» that 
they are actuated by. self-love. This 
is tne means of pur preservation ; and. like the 
instrument of the perpetuation of the species, k 
is necessary, it is clear to us, it gives us plea- 
sure, but still is to be concealed. 


Jl OR these two thousand years past luxury has 
been declaimed against, both in verse and prose } 
and still mankind has always delighted in it. 

What encomiums have been bestowed on the 
primitive Romans, when those banditti ravaged 
their neighbours fields ! when, to increase their 
poor village, they destroyed the poor villages of 
the Volsci and Samnites. They were, to be 
sure, teen of a glorious disinterestedness, and 
elevated virtue ! gold, silver, and jewels they 
never had stolen, because there were no such 
things in the towns which they pillaged ; their 
woods and fens afforded no partridges nor phea- 
sants ; and their temperance is cried up. 

When having gradually plundered people 
after people, from the Adriatic to the Euphrates, 

, they 

LUXURY. 143 

they had sense enough to sit down in the quiet 
enjoyment of their rapine for «evert or eight 
hundred years ; when they cultivated every art 
and lived in every pleasure, and even introduced 
them among those whom they had conquered ; 
then they are said to have lost both their prudence 
and virtue. 

The substance of alt these declamation* is to 
prove, that a robber ought never to eat the din- 
ner he has taken away, nor wear the çloaths or 
ring which he has stolen. Those things, say 
the declaimers, to keep themselves honest, they 
should have thrown into the river. Rather 
say» gentlemen that they ought not tp have rob- 
bed ; execrate rebbers as much as you please, 
but do not call them madmen, for quietly enjoy* 
ing what they have got. Are those English to 
be Warned, who, after filling their purses at the 
taking of Pondicherry and the Havanna* made 
them something lighter amidst the diversions of 
London, in amends for the hardships they had 
undergqne in Asia and America ? 

Would those declaimers have a man bury the 
riches which. he may have acquired by war ot 
agriculture, bytrade and ingenuity ? They quotg 
Lacedemorj, and \yhy do they not al^o quote the 
republic of St. Marino ? What good did Sparfa 
ever do to Greece ? Did it ever produce a De- 
mo*thene^'VSophûc!es, w ah A pelles, or à 'Phi- 
dias ? 'whereas tné luxury of Athens gave rise to 
great men of every kind. Sparta had some good 
commanders., .and yet not so many as the other 
citie>;* "But We wilt allow so petty a republic 
as Lacedèmon to retain its poverty.'. Whether 
wè live in scarcity', or. in the affluent fruition of 
Whatever make* life pleasant, we shall one day 
' ' K a come 

944 LUXURY. 

cone to our journey's end. The Canadian lives,* 
and lives to old age, as well as the Englishman; 
who has fifty thousand pounds a year ; but who- 
will compare the country of the Iroquois ta 
England ? 

That the republic of Ragusa and the Canton 
of Zug, make sumptuary laws, is right ; the poor 
man is not to spend beyond his ability ; and I 
have read somewhere, 

* Luxury enriches the ample state, 

Whilst the less prosperous sinks beneath its weight. ty 

If by luxury you mean excess, excess in every 
thing is certainly pernicious : in abstinence as 
in gluttony, in parsimony as in liberality. I do 
not know how it comes to pass that, in my vil- 
lages, where the soil is very indifferent, the taxes 
heavy, the prohibition against the exportation of 
grain intolerably rigid ; yet is there scarce a 
farmer, who is not well cloathed and fed. But 
should this farmer follow his rural occupations- 
in his best cloaths, clean linen, and his hair 
curled and powdered; a greater piece of luxury 
there could not be, besides the ridiculousness of 
it : but for a citizen of Paris or London, to go 
to the play apparelled like this farmer, is a most 
clownish and indecent piece of stinginess. 

" Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines, 
Quos ultra citraque nequit consistera rectum." 

On the invention of Scissors, which certainly 
does riot belong to the most remote antiquity,, 
doubtless severe were the declamations against 
the first who pared their nails, and cropped off 
part of their hair; which hung down to their 




Hose. To be 'sure they were called fops and 
spendthrifts, laying out their money for an in- 
strument of vanity,' to mar the creator's work. 
What an enormity, to cut off the horn which 
God has caused to grow at our fingers ends ! it 
is an insuh to the Deity. But much worse was 
it on the first appearance of shirts and socks': it 
is still well known, with what heat the old coun- 
sellors, who had never worn any, exclaimed 
against the younger, who came into this destruc- 
tive piece of luxury. 



1 AM not going about to revive Erasmus's 
treatise, which in our times would be but a com- 
mon place-book, and that none of the most en- 

By madness is meant that distemper of the or- 
gans of the brain, which necessarily hinders a 
roan from thinking and acting like others ; if 
unable to manage his substance, a commission 
is issued out against him ; if incapable of ideas 
suitable to society., he is excluded; if he be 
dangerous, he is shut up ; and, if frantic, he is 

An important observation here is, that this 
man is not without ideas; he has them, whilst 
waking, like all other men, and often in his 
sleep. It may be asked how his soul, being 
spiritual and immortal, and residing in his brain, 
to which all the ideas are conveyed by the 
senses very plain and distinct, yet never forms 

R 3 a right 



*f«bt; judgment of them. .Jt see* objects equally 
as t the souls of Aristotle, Plato, Locke, .and 
Newton; it hears the sanje sounds, ii; has the 
same, sense of the touch ; Jbow happens it then, 
that with the same perceptions a* the wisest men* 
it makes a wild incoherent jumble, without, being 
able to help itself? If this , simple and .eternal 
substance has the same, instruments, for acting as 
the .spuls of the wisest brains, it should reason 
like, them; what can binder it? If thi* madman 
sees red and the sensible man blue ; if whfco ibis 
hears music, the madman hears the braying of 
an ass ; if when they are at church, the madman 
thinks himself at the play; if when they hear 
yes, he hears no, I must of necessity conclude 
that his soul must think differently from the 
others. But this madman has the like percep* 
lions as they; and there is no apparent 'reason 
Why his soul, having through the" senses received 
all its tools, cannot make use of them* It is 
said to be pure, to be, of kself, subject to no 
infirmity, to be provided with all necessary 
, helps; and whatever happens m the body, its 
essence remains unalterable ;■ yet it is carried in 
its case to Bedlam* - * 

This reflection may give rise to an apprehen- 
sion, that the faculty of thinking/ with wbieh 
man is endued, is liable to be disordered like the 
other senses. A madman is à patient, whose 
brain suffers; as a gouty man is a patient whose 
feet and hands suffer ; he thought by mçans of 
the brain, as be walked with his feet,' without 
knowing 1 any thing of his incomprehensible 
power to walk^nor of his no less incomprehensible 
power to think. The brain may have the gout 



«a Well as the feet : after all, let us argue ever 
sa long» perhaps it it is faith, alone, which can 
convince us, that a simple and immaterial sub* 
stance can besick(') 

Some doctors will say to the madman, Friend, 
though thou hast no longer common sense, thy 
souiisno less pure, spiritual, and immortal than 
ours ; but our soul is in good quarters, and thine 
otherwise» The windows of its apartment are 
stopped up; and it is stifled Cor want of air. The 
madman, in his calm intervals, would give them 
this answer : This is always your way, you are 
begging the question ; my windows are as much 
open as yours, I see the same objects and hear 
the same words : so that my soul must necessa- 
rily either make a bad use of its senses, or it* 
self be but a vitiated sense, a depraved quality. 
In a word, either my soul is naturally mad, or I 

have no soul. " 

. One of the doctors will answer, Brother, God 
may perhaps have created mad as well as wise 
souls. . The madman will reply, To believe 


( z ) Our author is all of a sudden a great stickler for 
fefch; but we are afraid it proceeds from his ignorance 
in philosophy. The soul has its perceptions, it is true, 
by means of the senses. But these perceptions may 
be impeded by bodily indisposition, or by an irregular 
construction of the internal or external organs. In 
that case it does not see the objects in the same man* 
ner as the soul of Plato and Aristotle; that is, it does 
not receive the same perceptions; and therefore it may 
be said to be sick and disordered as to the exercise of 
ks -faculties. See the article Soul, where the reader 
\vill find the proofs di its being an immaterial sub- 

R 4 


248 MATTER. 

what you say, I must be madder than I am. For 
God's sake, you who are so very knowing, tell 
roe wherefore is it that I am mad ? . 

If the doctors have any sense remaining, their 
answer will be: We know not. Why a brain 
has incoherent ideas is above their comprehend < 
sion ; and they as little comprehend why, in ano- 
ther brain, the ideas are regular and connected* 
They will fancy themselves wise, and they are 
no less mad than he. 



SE men on being asked what the soul is, 
answer, they are entirely ignorant of it; and if 
asked what matter is, they give the like answer. 


(*) M. Voltaire pretends to give under this article 
the opinions of the ancient philosophers in regard to 
matter, which he does not however attempt to refute. 
It is sufficient for him to know by faith that God drew 
matter out of nothing. He therefore supposes that 
the non-eternity of matter, or the creation of the 
world in time, is not to be demonstrated strictly by 
bare reasoning ; but the proof of it can be taken only 
from revelation. And herein perhaps he is right» 
But he is grossly mistaken in several other points, as 
that, according to the light of reason only, motion 
must be essential to matter, and matter itself neces- 
sarily existing. Were motion essential to matter,, it 
would imply a contradiction in terms to suppose mat- 
ter at rest, which is highly absurd. Then that mat- 
ter is not necessarily self-existing, evidently appears 
from the doctrine of a vacuum. It has been demon- 
strated that all space was not filled with matter ; con- 
sequently there must be a vacuum. If so, it is 


MATTER. 849 

Professors indeed, and especially schoolmen, ate 
perfectly versed in those things ; and when they 
say as they have been taught, that matter is ex- 
tended and divisible, they fancy that is all ; but 
when desired to tell what this extended thing is, 
then they are hard put to it. It is composed of 
parts, say they. And these parts, of what are 
they composed ? are the elements of those parts 
divisible ? Then they are struck dumb or talk 
without end, which is equally suspicious. This 
almost unknown being called matter, is it eternal ? 
So all antiquity believed. Has it, of itself, an 
active force ? This is the opinion of several phi- 
losophers. Have they who deny it, any supe- 
rior reason for their opinion ? You do not con- 
ceive that matter can, intrinsically, have any pro- 
perty ; but how can you affirm that it has not 
intrinsically such properties as are necessary 
to it ? You know nothing of its nature, and yet 
deny it to have modes, which reside in its na- 
ture: for, after all, as matter exists, it must 
have a form and figure ; and being necessarily 
figured, is it impossible that there are other modes 
annexed to its configuration ? Matter exists, this 


evidently more than possible for matter not to be ; there- 
fore it is not a necessary being. And some may an- 
swer, that matter may be necessary, though not neces- 
sary to be every where : but this is infinitely aburd ; 
for if it be no impossibility for matter to be absent 
from one place, it is no absolute impossibility, in the 
nature of the thing, that matter should be absent from 
any other place, or from every place. See Dr. Clarke 
on the Being and Attributes of God, and Wolla? 
ston's Religion of Nature Delineated. 


you know j but you know it no fether than by 
your sensations» Alas! what avail all sdbiilties 
and sophisms, since reasoning has been in vogue ? 
Geometry has taught us many truths» . and meta-* 
physics very few. We weigh, we measure, we 
analyse, we decompound matter ; but on offering 
logo a step beyond these rude operations, we 
find ourselves oewildered, and an , abyss opens 
before us. 

Forgive, I entreat you, the mistake of the 
whple universe, in believing matter self-existent. 
How could they do otherwise ? how could: they 
conceive that, what is without succession has not 
always been ? were the existence of matter, not 
necessary, why exists it ? and if it was to exist, 
why should it not always . have «existed? » never 
was axiom more universally received than this : 
nothing produces nothing. The contrary indeed 
is incomprehensible : all nations have held their 
chaos anterior to the divine disposition of the 
world. The eternity of matter never was known 
to do any hurt to the worship o£ the Deity. 
Religion never took offence at an eternal God's 
being owned as the master of an eternal matter.; 
it is the happiness of our times to know by faith, 
that God drew matter from nothing ; an article, 
which no nation had been informed of : the very 
Jews know nothing of it» .The> first, verse of 
Genesis says, that the gods Eloïm, and not£loi ft 
made heaven and earth ; it does not say that hea* 
ven and earth were created out of nothing. - 
• Philo, who came at the only time when the 
Jews had any erudition, says, in his chapter of 
the creation, " God being naturally good, did 
• c not envy substance or matter, which of itself 
" had nothing good, which naturally is nothing 

«• but 

MATTER, a$t 

•«but inertness, confusion, and disorder f but 
•« fropi bad as. it was, he condescended ta make 
• 4 it good." 

The opinion of the chaps being arranged fay 
a deity is to be met with in all the ancient théo- 
gonies. Hesiod, in saying, "the c{iaos was 
" first in existence," delivered the thoughts of 
the whole east ; and Ovid declared thç sentiments 
of the Roman empire in the, following verse : 

a Sic ubi dispositam quisquis fuit Ule deqrum 

Congeriem secuit." 
* * 

Matter therefore was looked on in the hands of 

God as clay under the potter's wheel ; if such 
faint images may be used to express the divine 
power. Matter being eternal should have eternal 
properties, as configuration, the inert power, 
motion, and divisibility. But this divisibility 
^s no more than the consequence of motion, as 
without, motion there can be no division, separa- 
tion, nor arrangement; therefore motion was 
looked on as essential to matter» The chaos had 
been a confused motion ; and the arrangement 
of the universe was a regular motion, impressed 
on aU bodies by the Sovereign of the world* 
But how should matter of itself have motion; 
as, according to all the ancients, it has extension 
and impenetrability ? 

It cannot, however, be conceived without ex- 
tension, and it may without motion. To this 
the answer was, It is impossible but matter must 
be permeable ; and if permeable, something must 
be continally passing into its pores; where is the 
Use of passages, if nothing passes through them ? 

There would be no end of replying : the sys- 
tem of the pternity of matter has, like all other 


ftjp MATTER. 

systems, very great difficulties. That of matter 
formed out of nothing is not less incomprehen- 
sible. It must be admitted, without flattering' 
ourselves to account f >r it ; philosophy does not 
account for every thing. How many incompre- 
hensible things are admitted, even in geometry 
itself! can you conceive two lines ever ap- 
proaching to each other, and never meeting ? 

Geometricians, indeed, will tell us, the pro- 
perties of the asymptotes are demonstrated to 
you, so that you cannot but admit them ; the 
creation is not, wherefore then do you admit it ? 
what difficulty do you find to believe, with all 
antiquity, the eternity of matter? On the other 
hand, the divine pushes you, and says, that in 
believing thé eternity of matter, you make two 
principles, God and matter, and fall into the 
error of Zoroaster and Manes. 

The Geometricians shall go without an answer, 
for they pay no regard to any thing but their 
lines, their surfaces, and their solids ; but to the 
divine' it may be said, how am I a manichee ? 
There is an heap of stones which no architect has 
made, but with them he has built à vast edifice. 
Here I do not admit of two architects; only 
the rough stones have submitted to the operations 
©f power and genius. 

Happily, whichever system be espoused, mo- 
rality is hurt by neither; for what signifies it, 
whether matter be made or only arranged.? God 
is equally our absolute master. Whether the chaos 
was only put in order, or whether it was created 
of nothing» still it behoves us to be virtuous : 
scarce any of these metaphysical questions have 
a relation to the conduct of life ; disputes are 
like table-talk, every one forgets after dinner 



what he has said, and goes away where his inte- 
rest and inclination lead him. 


MESSIAH or Meshiah in Hebrew, Christos 
or Celomenos in Greek, Unctus in Latin, sig- 
nifies anointed. , 

We see in the Old Testament that the name 
of Messiah was often given to idolatrous, or in- 
fidel princes. Cod is said to have sent a pro- 
phet to anoint Jehu king of Israel ; he signified 
the sacred unction to Hazael king of Damascus 
and Syria, those two princes being the Messiahs 
of the most high to punish the house of Ahab. 

In the 45th of Isaiah, the name of Messiah is 
expressly given to Cyrus. " Thus hath the 
" Lord said to his anointed (his Messiah) whose 
" right hand I have hoi den to subdue nations 
•• before him." 

Ezekiel, iji the twenty-eighth chapter of his 
Revelations, gives the appellation of Messiah to 
the king of Tyrus, whom he also calls Chéru- 
bin. Son of man, says the eternal to the pro- 
phet, lift up thy voice and utter a lamentation 
concerning the king of Tyrus; and say unto 
him, thus saith the Lord, the eternal, thou Wast 
the seal of the likeness of God, full of tyisdom, 
and perfect in beauty: thou wast the Lord's 
garden of Eden ; or, according to other versions, 
Thpu wast the Lord's whole delight. Thy gar- 
ments were of sardonix, topaz, jasper, chryso- 
lite, onyx, beryl, sapphire, carbuncle, emerald, 
and gold. What thy tabrets and thy flutes 
could do was within thee ; they were all ready 



on the day thou wast created; thou hast a che- 
rubim, a Messiah. 

This title of Messiah» or Christ, was given 
to the kings, prophets, and high-priests among 
the Hebrews. The Lord and his Messiah are 
witness, 1 Kings, chap. xii. ver. 3. that is, the 
Lord and the king whom he hath set up; and 
elsewhere, touch not mine anointed, and do my 
prophets no harm. David, who was divinely 
inspired, in more than one place gives the title 
of Messiah to Saul his rejected tather-in-law, 
who persecuted him. God forbid, says he fre- 
quently, that I should lay my hand on the Lord's 
anointed, the Messiah of God. 

As the name of Messiah, or anointed of the 
Eternal; has been given to idolatrous" kings and 
reprobate persons, very often has it been used 
to indicate the true anointed of the Lord ; the 
Messiah, by way of excellence, the Christ, the 
Soli of God ; lastly, God himself. 

If all the oracles usually applied to the Mes- 
siah; were to be compared, it may give rise to 
some, seeming difficulties, and which the Jews 
have made use of to justify their hardness of 
helief and obstinacy, did it admit of an apology ? 
Several eminent divines allow, that the Jews, 
groaning undçr an oppressive slavery,* and hav-* 
mg so many repeated promises from the Eternal» 
might well long for the coming' of a Messiah, 
who was to deliver them and subdue their ene- 
mies; and that they are in some measure ex. 
cusable'for having not immediately perceived 
Jesus to be this deliverer and conqueror. 

It was agreeable to the plan of eternal wisdom, 
that thé spiritual ideas of the real Messiah should 
be unknown to the blind multitude; and $0 far 



were *bey unknown, that the Jewish doctors 
have denied that those passages which we pro* 
duce, are to be understood of the Messiah; 
Many affirm that the Messiah is .already come 
in the person of Hezekiah; and this was the 
famous Hillel's opinion. Others, and these are 
many, say, that the belief of the coming of a 
Messiah, so far from being a fundamental article 
of faith, was only a comfortable hope, no such 
thing being mentioned in the Decalogue, or in 

Several Rabbins tell you, that they <fc> not in 
Che least question the Messiah's being come at 
the time decreed ; that he is not however grow* 
ing old, but remains in the world concealed, and 
waits till Israel shall have duly celebrated the 
Sabbath, to reveal himself; 

The famous Rabbi» Solomon Jarchy or Ras- 
chy; who lived in the beginning of the twelfth 
century, says, in his Talmudics, that the ancient 
Hebrews believed the Messiah to have been born 
on the very day of the final' destruction of Jenu 
Salem by the Romans; This answers to the 
common saying, of sending for the doctor when 
a man is dead. -' 

The Rabbi Kimehy, who also lived, in thé 
twelfth tèntury, preached that the Messiah, 
whose coming «he imagined to be at -hand, would 
drive the Christians out of; Judea* which was 
then in their possession. The Christian*, indeed, 
werfe dispossessed of the Holy Land; but this 
was done by Saladin ; and had that conqueror 
taken the Jews under his protection/ if is very 
probable that, in their enthusiasm, they would 
have made him their Messiah. 
■;-' -. : The 


The sacred authors, and our Lord Jesus him- 
self, often compare the Messiah's reign, and the 
eternal beatitude, to a wedding .and banquet; 
but these parables have been strangely wrested 
by the Talmudists. According to them, the 
Messiah will gather together all his people in 
the land of Canaan, and give them an entertain- 
ment, where the wine will be that which Adam 
himself made in the earthly Paradise, and which 
he keeps in vast cellars, dug by angels in the 
center of the earth. 

The first course will be the famous fish called 
the great Leviathan, which at once swallows 
a fish, less than itself; yet it is three hundred 
leagues in length ; and the whole mass of waters 
is supported on this Leviathan. God at first 
created a male and a female ; but, lest they might 
overturn the earth, or crowd the universe with 
their offspring, he killed the female and salted it 
down for the Messiah's banquet. 

The Rabbins add, that there will likewise be 
killed the bull called Behemoth, of such a mon- 
strous size, that every day it eats the herbage of a 
thousand mountains. This biuTs female was 
slain at the beginning of the world, to prevent 
the multiplication of such prodigious species, 
which must have been extremely detrimental 
to other creatures ; but they say, that the Eter- 
nal did not salt it, cow's flesh not being so good 
salted as that of the female Leviathan. So 
firmly do the Jews believe all these rabbinical 
chimeras, that it is common among them to 
swear by their share of the Behemoth. 

With such coarse ideas concerning the com* 
ing of the Messiah and his reign, is it to be won- 
dered at, that the Jews, both ancient and mo- 


dern, and several even of the first Christians, 
unhappily prepossessed with all these reveries, 
could not raise their conceptions to the idea of 
the divine nature of the Lord's anointed, or per* 
«eive God in the Messiah? See the sentiments 
of the Jews concerning this, in a work, intitled, 
Judsi Lusitani questiones ad Christianos, Quest. 
*» 2 » 4» 2 3- " To acknowledge a man God, 
M say they, is imposing on one's self, it is form- 
M inga monster, a centaur, the strange com* 
41 pound of two natures incompatible with each 
" other." Adding, that the prophets never 
taught the Messiah's being Man-God ; that they 
expressly distinguish between God and David ; 
that they plainly declare the former to be mas- 
ter, and the latter servant, &c. 

It is sufficiently known that the Jews ser- 
vilely adhered to the letter of the scriptures, 
never like us, penetrating into the spirit. 

When the Saviour appeared, the prejudiced 
Jews declared against him. And Jesus Christ 
himself, that their blindness might not be tod 
much irritated, seems extremely reserved in the 
article of his divinity, meaning, says St Chry* 
fostom, insensibly to accustom his hearers to 
believe a mystery so very much above bare rea- 
son: his assuming the divine prerogative of par- 
doning sins, shocked all the bye-standers; his 
most manifest miracles convinced not even those 
for whose relief they were operated, that he was 
God. When with a modest circumlocution, he 
owned himself the Son of God before the high 
priest's judgment seat; the high priest, filled 
with indignation, rent his cloaths, and cried 
out Blasphemy 1 Before the mission of the Holy 
Ghost, the apostles themselves had not the least 

S apprehension 


apprehension of their master's divinity ; he asks 
them what the people think of him ? and their 
answer is, that some took him for Elias, others 
for Jeremiah» or some other prophet; and it 
was by a particular revelation that St* Peter knew 
Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. 

The Jewa being irreconcileably scandalized 
at the divinity of Jesus» have left no stone un* 
turned to explode it; perverting the sense of 
their own oracles, or not applying them to the 
Messiah. They affirm that the name of God; 
EJoi, is not peculiar to the Deity; and that it 
is by sacred authors given to judges, to ma-» 
gtstrates, and in gênerai to all persons in autho- 
rity; they do indeed quote a great number of 
passages, which countenance this observation; 
but without in the least invalidating those strong 
and clear terms of the ancient oracles, which 
manifestly relate to the Messiah. 

Lastly, say tbey, if the Saviour, and after 
him, Jw evangelists, the apostles, and primitive 
Christians, did call Jesus Son of God; this 
august term in the gospel-times imported no 
more than the contrary to the sons of Belial, 
i. e. a-good man, a servant of God, in opposi- 
tion to awkked man, or to one. who does not 
fear God. 

The Jews, besides denying Christ his quality 
of Messiah, and his divinity, have omitted no* 
thing to render him contemptible, exposing his 
birth, life, and death, with all the ridicule, vi- 
rulence, and contumely, which their guilty 
rancour could suggest. 

Of all the works which Jewish blindness has 
produced, none in extravagance and impiety ex- 
ceed the- ancient: book, intitled, Sepher Toldos 



Jeschut, which has been rescued from the 
worms by M. Vagenseil, in vol. ii. of his 
work, called, Tela Ignea. 

This Sepher Toldos Jeschut has a most shock- 
ing history of the life of our Saviour, forged 
with the utmost falsity and malice': for instance, 
they have dared to write, that one Panther or 
Pandera, who dwelt at Bethlehem, seduced a 
young woman married to Jochaman ; and the 
fruit of this foul commerce was a child, whom 
they named Jesus or Jesu. The father being 
obliged to fly the place; withdrew to Babylon. 
As for young Jesus, he was sent to school ; but, 
adds the author, hé had the insolence to raise 
his head and uncover himself before, the priests, 
contrary to the usage, which was to appear in 
their presence with the head hanging down abd 
the face coVered ; a petulance for which he re- 
ceived a smart check : this occasioning an en* 
quiry into his birth, it was consequently found 
to be impure, and he became exposed to public 

That detestable book, Sepher Toldos Jeschut, 
was known so early as the second century; Cel- 
sus cites it with exultation, and Origen in his 
ninth chapter confutes it. 

There is another book which likewise bears 
the title of Toledos Jesu, published in 1705 by 
M. Huldric, which is more consonant with the 
evangelical history of our Saviour's birth, but 
swarms with the grossest anachronisms and 
other errors. It makes Christ to have been 
born and have died under Herod the Great; 
and affirms, that the complaint of Panther's 
adultery with Mary thé mother of Jesus-, wsfs 
brought before that prince. 

Sa Tht 


The author» who calls himself Jonathan, smd 
if his word may be taken, was cotemporary with 
Christ, and lived at Jerusalem, affirms that 
Herod, relatively to Jesus Christ, consulted the 
senators of a city in the land of Cesarea; but 
such an absurd author, with all his contradic- 
tions, we shall leave to himself. 

These calumnies, however, serve to foment 
the implacable hatred of the Jews against the 
Christians and the gospel; so that they have 
stuck at nothing to falsify the chronology of the 
Old Testament, and to spread doubts and diffi- 
culties about the time of our Saviour's coming. 

Ahmed-ben Cassum-al Anacousy, a Moor 
of Grenada, who lived towards the close of the 
sixteenth century, quotes an ancient Arabic 
manuscript, found in a cave near Grenada, to- 
gether with sixteen sheets of lead, on which 
some tales in Arabic characters were engraved. 
Don Pedro yQuinones, archbishop of Grenada, 
has certified this fact. These famous Grena- 
dian sheets have been since carried to Rome, 
where, after an examination of several years, 
they were at last condemned as apocryphal under 
the Pontificate of Alexander VIL Their con- 
tents are only some fabulous tales concerning 
Mar)' and her son. 

The name of Messiah, joined to the epithet 
of false, is likewise given to those impostors, 
who, at several times, have made it their busi- 
ness%to deceive the Jewish nation. Some of 
these false Messiahs set up even before the com- 
ing of the true anointed of God. The wise 
Gamaliel, Acts chap. v. ver. 34, &c. mentions 
one named Theudas, whose history is to be 
found in Josephus's Antiquities, b. 20. chap. 2. 




He boasted that he could pass the Jordan dry 

footed, apd was joined by considerable numbers ; 

T>ut the Romans, coming to an action with his 

raw men, soon dispersed them ; and taking the 

chief prisoner, set up his head in Jerusalem. 

Gamaliel further speaks of Judas the Galilean, 
doubtless the same whom Josephus mentions in 
the twelfth chapter of the second book of his 
Jewish wars. He says that this false prophet had 
got together near 30,000 men ; but the Jewish 
historian is noted for hyperboles. 

So early as the apostolic times, Simon, sur- 
named the Magician, made his appearance; and 
to such a degree had he seduced the people of 
Samaria, that they accounted him the power of 
God ; Acts chap. viii. ver. 9. 

In the year 178 and 779 of the Christian sera, 
Adrian being then emperor, the false Messiah, 
Barchochebas, asserted his pretensions at the 
head of an army. Julius Severus, being sent 
against him, hemmed in the insurgents at the 
city of Bither, which after an obstinate siege he 
carried; and Barchochebas being taken, was put 
to death. Adrian, as the best expedient for pre* 
venting the continual revolts of the Jews, issued 
an edict against their going to Jerusalem ; and 
even guards were posted at the city gates to keep 
them out. 

Socrates, an ecclesiastic historian, book 2. 
ch. 38. relates, that in the year 434, * false 
Messiah started up in the island of Candia, under 
the name of Moses, and as the ancient deliverer 
of the Hebrews raised from the dead to effect a 
second deliverance for them. 

The next century, in 530, saw in Palestine 3 
false Messiah, named Julian; he recommended 

S g himself 


himself to the people as a great conqueror, who 
at the head of his nation should destroy all Chris- 
tians whatever; and the Jews were so far se- 
duced by his promises, that they ran to arms, 
and massacred great numbers ' of Christians. 
The emperor Justinian's forces engaging him, 
the false Christ was taken and executed. 

In the beginning of the eighth century, 
Serenus, a Spanish Jew, stood for the Messiah- 
ship, preached and gained followers; but the 
upshot was, that both followers and leader came 
to a miserable end. 

The twelfth century produced several false 
Messiahs, particularly one in France under 
Lewis the Younger ; but both he and his adher- 
ents were hanged, without so much as the names 
of master or disciples being known. 

The thirteenth century was still more fertile in 
false fyfessiahs; of these the more remarkable 
were seven or eight who appeared in Arabia* in 
Persia,, in Spain, and Moravia: one of them whp 
stiled himself David el Re, is reckoned to have 
been a very great magician ; his artifices so far 
succeeded with the Jews, that he saw himself at 
the head of a considerable party ; but this fair 
prospect terminated in his being murdered. 

James Zieglerne, a Moravian, who lived in 
the middle of the 16th century, promulgate the 
approach of the Messiah's manifestation, assuring 
the people that this Messiah had been born four- 
teen years before, and that he himself had seen 
him at Strasburgh ; and carefully kept a sworjj. 
and a scepter, to put into his hands \yhen he 
should be of age to teach. 

In the year 1624 another Zieglerne confirrned 
the former prediction. 



In the year 1666 Zabathei Sevi, a native of 
Aleppo, gave himself out to be the Messiah/ 
foretold by the Zieglernes. He began by 
preaching in the highways and fields, and while 
his disciples admired him, the Turks laughed at 
him* It appears that at first his preaching had 
no very extraordinary success, for the chiefs of 
the Smyrna synagogue went so far as to pro- 
nounce sentence of death against him ; but his 
punishment was mitigated to exile. 

He contracted three marriages without con* 
summating any, saying it was beneath him. He 
took a partner named Nathan-Levi, who was to 
act thé part of Elias, as the Messiah's harbinger. 
They repaired to Jerusalem, and Nathan there 
preached up Zabathei-Sevi as the deliverer of 
the nations. The Jewish populace declared for 
him, whilst they who had any thing to lose ana- 
thematized him. 

Sevi, to shun the storm, withdrew to Con- 
stantinople, and from thence to Smyrna : Nathan 
Levi deputed to him four ambassadors, who, 
besides acknowledging his dignity, did him hom- 
age publicly as Messiah; this embassy dazzled 
the commonalty and even some doctors, who 
declared Zabathei-Sevi, Messiah, and king of the 
Hebrews ; but the Smyrna synagogue condemned 
their king to be impaled. 

Zabathei put himself under the cadi of Smyr- 
na's protection, and soon had on his side the 
whole Jewish people; he even had two thrones 
set up, one for himself and the other for his 
favourite spouse, assuming the title of king of 
kings : his brother Sevi he created king of Judah ; 
tod to the Jews themselves he gave the most 
positive assurances, that the Ottoman empire 

S 4 should 


should soon be their own ; Jn the height of his 
insolence, he had the emperor's name struck out 
of (he Jewish Litftrgy, and his own substituted 
in its stead. 

He was confined in the castle of the Darda* 
nelles, and tne Jews gave out that his life was 
spared, only because the Turks very well knew 
him to be immortal . The governor of the Darda,, 
nelles made a great fortune* by the presents 
which the Jews poured on him for leave to visit 
their king, their Messiah, who in his fetters 
maintained his dignity, and even the ceremony 
of kissing his feet. 

The Sultan, however, who then kept his 
court at Adrianople, was for putting an end to 
this farce; and sending for Sevi told him, that 
if he was the Messiah, he roust be invulnerable. 
This Sevi allowed ; but on the grand seignior's 
ordering him to be placed as a mark for his icog- 
lans or pages to discharge their arrows, at, the 
Messiah owned that he was not invulnerable, 
and protested that God sent him only to bear 
testimony to the holy Mahometan religion. 
After undergoing a severe flagellation by the 
ministers of the law, he turned Mahometan, 
and lived and died despised both by Jews and 
Mussulmen. This adventure has Drought the 
profession of a false Messiah into such disrepute, 
that since Sevi nohody has taken it up. 



JLS it not very natural that all the various meta* 
fnorphoses with which the earth may be said ta 



be covered, should have led the orientals, whose 
imagination is so luxuriant, to imagine that our 
souls passed from one body 9 to another? An 
almost imperceptible point grows to be a worm, 
and this worm becomes a butterfly ; an acorn 
changes to an oak, an egg to a bird ; water be- 
comes clouds and thunder ; wood is turned into 
fire and ashes: in a word, all nature is more or 
less a metamorphosis. Souls being accounted 
tenuous forms, were soon concluded to partake 
of that property, which was sensibly seen in 
more dense and heavy bodies* The metempsy- 
chosis is perhaps the most ancient doctrine in 
the known world, and still prevails in a great 
part of India and China. 

It is likewise very natural that those ancient 
fables, collected and embellished by Ovid in his 
admirable work, took rise from the several meta- 
morphoses with which our eyes are conversant. 
The very Jews have not been without their me- 
tamorphoses. If Niobe was changed into marble, 
Hedith, Lot's wife, was turned into salt. As 
Euridice was detained in hell for looking back, 
a like indiscretion cost Lot's wife her human 
nature. The country town in Phrygia where 
lived the hospitable Baucis and Philemon, is 
changed into a lake; the same submersion has 
befallen Sodom. Arius's daughters turned water 
into oil ; the Scripture mentions a change some- 
thing similar, but more sacred and real. Cadmus 
was turned into a serpent, and the like was seen 
in Aaron's rod. 

The pagan deities very often assumed a human 
disguise; and when angels appeared to the Jews, 
it was always as men ; with Abraham they partook 
of a repast* St. Paul» in his epistle to the Co* 


266 *U*A£jU£. 

rinthians, wyi , that the messenger of SatM 


J\ Miracle, in the energetic sense of the word, 
means something wonderful; and thus every 
thing is a miracle. The order of nature, the 
rotation of a hundred millions of globes round a 


( f ) As our author does not absolutely deny the 
possibility of miracles, but acknowledges those which 
nave been operated in favour of our holy religion by 
Christ and his apostles, he cannot be charged on that 
account with infidelity. But viewing the matter in a 
philosophic light, and abstracted from faith, he starts 
several doubts, which had he dealt with candour, he 
ought to have solved. He seems to have borrowed 
great part of this article from the Essay on Miracles, 
written by the learned historian Mr. Hume, whom he 
imitates in his cant language of resting our holy reli- 
gion on faith, and not on reason ; a test which he 
says it 'is by no means fitted to endure. 
« \ft 'iia* been the practice of modern deists to deny 
the possibility of miracles in general: observing that 
the frame and order of the world is preserved ac- 
cording to fixed laws or rules in an uniform manner, 
they weakly conclude, that there are in matter cer- 
tain necessary laws or powers» the result of which 
they call the course of nature; this they think impos- 
sible to be changed, and consequently that there can 
be no miracle. But if they would consider things 
duly, they would find that lifeless matter is utterly 
incapable of obeying any laws, or of being 'endued 
with any powers; and therefore what they call the 
course of nature can be nothing more than the ar- 
bitrary will and pleasure of God, acting continually 
upon matter, according to certain rules of uniformity 


MIRACW. 26j 

million of suns, the activity of light, the ljfe of 
animals, are perpetual miracles. 

According to the received notion, however, a 
miracle is a violation of the divine and eternal 


and proportion. Hence it follows, that it is altoge- 
ther as easy to alter the course of nature, as to pre»* 
serve it. Those effects which are produced in the 
World regularly and constantly, and which we call 
the works of nature, prove the constant providence of 
the Deity: those which upon any extraordinary occa- 
sion are produced in such a manner, as it is manifest 
they could neither have been done by any power or 
art of man, nor by. what we call chance; these unde- 
niably prove to us' the immediate interposition of the 
£>eity, in order to signify his pleasure on that parti* 
cular occasion. The true definition therefore of a 
miracle, as the learned Dr. Clarke observes, is " a 
u work effected in a manner different from the com- 
** mon method of Providence, by the interposition of 
u the Deity, for the proof of some particular doc- 
*' trine, or in attestation to the authority of some par- 
** ticular person." In this sense the miracles which 
fhe disciples of Christ saw him perform, were a com- 
plete demonstration to them, that he had truly a divine 
» commission, as it was certain that God would not 
Jiimsel/ interpose in the usual order of nature, tQ lead 
men into 3 necessary and invincihle error. Th e ?e 
piracies were, worked to attest a doctrine, tfyaf tends 
In the highest degree to promote the honour of God, 
and the general reformation of mankind. This is an. 
answer to all the queries of the philosophers in the 
following article, and is a sufficient reason for the 
Spiracles recorded in the Scriptures^ in support of the 
true religion. With regard' to such as are said to have 
been performed since the establishment of Christiani- 
ty, fh^t is another question, which we leave to the 
afltagoRJstsqfthe late Dr. A$id<Ueton to, settle. 



laws. An eclipse of the sun and moon, a dead 
man walking two leagues with his head in his 
bands, are what we call a miracle* 

Several naturalists affirm that, in this sense, there 
are no miracles ; and their arguments are these : 

A miracle is a breach of the mathematical, di- 
vine, immutable, eternal laws ; now this défini, 
tion alone makes a miracle a contradiction in 
terms. A law cannot be both immutable and 
broken ; but it is answered, Cannot a law of 
God's making be suspended by its author? They 
boldly answer no ; and it cannot be that the in- 
finitely wise Being should have made laws, and 
afterwards break them. If, say they, he made 
any alteration in his machine, it would be to make 
it go the better: now it is clear,thatGod has framed 
this immense machine as good as it possibly 
could be; if he saw that any imperfection 
would hereafter be occasioned by the nature of 
the materials, he at first provided against any 
such future defect, so that there would be no 
cause for any after-change. 

Besides, God can do nothing without reason ; 
now what reason should induce him to disfigure 
his own work for any time ? 

It is for man's sake, say their opponents. It is 
to be hoped then, answer they, that it is for the 
sake of all men, it being impossible to conceive 
that the divine nature should work for some par- 
ticular men, and not for all mankind : and even 
all mankind is but a very little thing; less than 
an ant's nest in comparison of all the beings 
which fill the immensity of space. Now what 
can be more low and absurd, than to imagine 
that the infinite Being will, for the sake of three 
or four hundred ants on that little clod of mudv 



suspend or alter the eternal play of those im- 
mense springs on which depends the motion of 
the universe. 

But supposing that God had been pleased to 
distinguish a small number of men by particular 
favours, must he therefore alter what he has set- 
tled for all times and all places ? He certainly 
can favour his creatures without any such incon- 
stancy and change; his favours are comprised 
in his very laws ; every thing has been wisely 
contrived and arranged for their good ; and they 
all irrevocably obey the force which he has ori» 
ginally implanted in nature, 

Wheretore is God to work a miracle ? to ac- 
complish a design he has for some living being* 1 
that is making God to say, I have not been able, 
by the fabric of the universe, by my divine de- 
crees, by my eternal laws, to compass such a 
design : I see I must make an alteration in my 
eternal ideas, my immutable laws, as what I in- 
tended cannot be executed by those means. 
This would be an acknowledgment of weakness, 
not a declaration of power ; it would be the most 
inconceivable contradiction. So that to suppose 
God works any miracles is, if men can insult 
God, a downright insult to bim ; it is no less than 
saying to him, Y ou are a weak and inconsistent Be- 
ing. Therefore to believe miracles is an absurdity; 
, it is, in some measure, scandalizing the Deity. 

A farther reply to these philosophers is, Your 
crying up the immutability of the Supreme Be- 
ing, the eternity of his laws, with the regularity 
of his infinite worlds, signifies nothing ; our 
small heap of dirt has been covered with mi- 
racles; in history prodigies are as frequent as 
natural events. The daughters of the high- 



pritsf Ânius changed whatever they wonld into 
wine or oil ; Athalida, daughter to Mercury, 
rose from the dead several times; Esculapius 
restored Hypolitus ; Hercules delivered Alcestes 
from death ; Therds returned upon earth after 
staying a fortnight in the infernal regions ; 'Ro- 
fnulus and Remus were the issue of a god and 
a vestal ; the Palladium dropped from Heaven 
hito the city of Troy; Berenice's tresses be- 
came a constellation; Baucis and Philemon's 
hut was changed to a stately temple ; Orpheus's 
head uttered oracles after his death ; the walls 
of Thebes were formed before numb'ers of 
Greeks, by stones moving of themselves to the 
sound of a flute ; innumerable cures were per* 
formed in Esculapius's temple; and we have 
still monuments with the names of ocular wit- 
nesses to his miracles. 

Narhe me one nation where incredible prodigies 
have not been performed, especially in times 
When reading and writing were little known. 

All the answer unbelieving philosophers give 
to these objections is a sneer and a shrug ; but 
those who profess Christianity szy f We make 
no doubt of the miracles wrought within our 
holy religion ; yet it is by faith we believe them, 
ana not: by reason ; as for the latter we turn a 
deaf ear to it ; for we know, that when faith 
speaks, reason is to be mute : the miracles of 
Jesus Christ and his apostles we are fully and 
firmly persuaded of ; but allow us to doubt a 
little of several others ; indulge us, for instance, 
in suspending our judgment concerning what is 
related by a weak man ( I ), who yet has been 



(*) Gregory the Great, 


snrnamed the Great. He affirms that a little 
monk got such a custom of working miracles', 
that, at length, the prior forbad him to exercise 
his supernatural talent. The monk conformed 
to the order, but one day seeing a bricklayer 
falling from the roof of a house, he hesitated 
between monastical obedience * arid charity in 
saving a poor man's life, and only ordering him 
to remain in the air till he got orders* he ran té 
acquaint the prior with the case. The prior 
gave him absolution for the sin of beginning a 
miracle without leave, and allowed him to M 
through with it, but never to do the like again. 
It is granted to philosophers that this story may 
be a little mistrusted. 

But it is again said to them, How wiH you 
dare to deny that St, Gervase and St. Protais 
appeared in a dream to St. Ambrose, and inform- 
ed him of the place where their reliques lay ; 
that St. Ambrose had them taken up ; and that 
a blind? man was cured by them ? St. Austin was 
then at Milan, and it is he who relates this mi- 
racle in Book xxii. of his City of God» and that 
it was performed " immenso populo teste." 
Here is a miracle with every circumstance of 
proof* Philosophers, however, say, that they 
believe nothing at all of GerVase and Prêtais 
appearing * r that to know where the remains of 
their carcases lie, is a thing of no concern to 
mankind ; and that they give no more credit 
to that blind man thari to Vespasian; that it ii 
an useless miracle; that God does nothing use* 
less ; and in a word, they abide immoveable by 
their - principles; My regard for Sr. Gervaœ 
and St. Prôtais will not allow me to side wkfl 
those philosophers ; I only give an account of 




their incredulity. They are vastly fond of a 
passage of Lucian in the death of Peregrinus, 

a dexterous juggler turning Christian is sure of 

making his fortune ;" bnt Lucian is a profane 
author» and» of course» should be of no weight 
among us. 

These philosophers cannot bring themselves 
to believe the miracles of the second century» 
though eye-witnesses have in writing declared, 
that the bishop of Smyrna» St. Policarpe, hav-* 
ing» pursuant to the sentence passed on him» 
been thrown into a blazing fire, they heard a 
voice from heaven calling out» " Chear up» Po- 
44 licarpe» be strong in the Lord» and shew 
" thyself a man;" at which the flames of the 
pile drawing back from his body» formed a fiery 
canopy over his head» and out of the pile flew 
a dove : at last" they were obliged to cut off the 
good bishop's head. To what purpose was thi» 
miracle ? say unbelievers ; how came it that the 
flames deviated from their nature» and the ex- 
ecutioner's ax had the natural effect ? how is it 
that so many martyrs» after coming safe and 
sound out of boiling oil» have fallen under the 
edge of the sword ? 

The usual answer is» that such was God's 
will ; but the philosophers will believe no such 
thing, unless they had seen it with their own eyes. 

They who improve their reasonings by study, 
will tell you that the fathers of the church have 
themselves often owned that miracles were ceased 
in their time. St. Chrysostom says expressly, 
"The extraordinary gifts of the Spirit were 
" given even to the unworthy» because the 
" church then stood in need of miracles ; but at 

" present 


*' present they are not so much as given to the 
V worthy, the church no longer standing in need 
" of them." Afterwards he acknowledges that 
there was nobody then, who raised the dead, or 
so much as cured the sick. 

St. Austin himself, as if he had forgot the mi- 
racle of Gervase and Protais, says in his City of 
God, " Why are those miracles, which were 
" performed some time ago, at present ceased ?" 
and he gives the same reason, " Cur, inquiunt, 
" nunc ilia miracula quae praedicatis facta esse, 
" non fiunt ? Possem quidem dicere, necessaria 
" priùs fuisse, quam crederet mundus, ad hoc ut 
•* crederet mundus." 

It is objected to the philosophers, that St. Au- 
stin, notwithstanding this avowal, speaks of an 
old cobler at Hippo, who having lost his cloak» 
went to pray for relief at the chapel of the Twenty 
Martyrs, and in his return home found a fish, in 
the body of which was discovered a gold ring ; 
the cook who dressed it giving it to the cobler, 
said, There is a present for you from the Twenty 
1 Martyrs. 

To this the philosophers answer, that in that 
story there is nothing contrary to the laws of na- 
| . ture ; that a fish may very naturally have swal- 

lowed a gold ring ; and that there is no miracle 
1 in the cook's giving that ring to the cobler. 

If the philosophers are put in mind that, ac- 
| cording to St. Jerom, in his Life of the hermit 

Paul, this devout person had several conver- 
sations with satyrs and fauns ; that a raven for 
thirty years together daily brought him half a 
loaf for his dinner ; and a whole loaf the day 
St. Anthony paid him a visit ; they may still 
reply that nothing of all this is absolutely con- 

T trary 

*74 WfRACtË. 

traiy to nature; tbarsatyrs and faans' may haw 
existed) and that, after all, if this story be a 
puerility» that does 'not in the least affect the 
iear miracles of' oar Saviour and his apostles. 
Several good Christiansliaverejected the story of 
St j Simin Sfifitcs, written* b)r Tneodoretrnrany 
miracles accounted atrthentic in theGreek churcif 
have been questioned by Uatnr writers ; so in 
return; Latin miracles** have* been • suspected : by 
the Greeks; in process of time came the Protest 
fants, who have made very free with' the nrinrdes 
of 'both churches. 

A learned Jesuit^' J who preached a longtime 
in the Indies, complains, that neitfrertiis brethrW 
nor he could everperfornr one' single' miracle. 
Xavier, in several letters; laments his not having 
the gift of tongues': he says that iie is but as a 
dumb' image amotrg the Japanese ; yet; accord* 
ing to the narrative of the Jesuits, he restored 
eight dead persons tor life; and that is a great 
many; but it must withal be considered, that 
the scene of those restorations was six thou- 
sand leagues off. Some persons of later* times 
make the "suppression of the Jesuits in France a 
much greater miracle than all those of Xavier 
ami 7 Ignatius prut together» Bfe thsrt as it may; 
all Christians hold the* miracles t>f*J^sus Christ 
and his apostles to be 'indisputably true and Ttzï, 
but allow that some miracles of our modem 
times; and which are without any certain authen- 
ticity, may very well be doubted of. 

It were to be wished, that for the légal verû 
fication of a miracle, it should be^eiibrmed be- 

( x ) Ospinian, p. 230. 

Mess* $7j 

fop* the Academy of Science* at Paris, or the 
Rtjwal Society* and the Galley of Physician* 
ats £ondon f with a detachment of the guards to 
keep off the people, whose tumultuous indis- 
cretion might hinder the performance of the 

A philosopher was oife day; asked what, haï 
would say if the sun should stand still* that is*, 
if themotion of the earth rotmdthat body ceased 1 ; 
if > all the dead arose; and if all the mountains 
went and threw themselves into the sea ; and all 
this to prove some important truth, we willsup r 
pose versatile grace. What 1 should, say, an* 
swered the philosopher, I would^tum Maoi- 
chee* and say, that there is a. principles which 
undoes what, the- other ha* done* 


AT (') has been the groundless opinion of many, 
learned men that the Pentateuch cannot, have 


(' ) So food is our author ofrpaiadaxj tint intthe<4bk 
lowing article he suppaso» &fbse*;noti£a*haire;betzttht 
author of the Pentateuch^or^he five books commonly 
attributed to that legislator, vizw Genesis, Eawxkw , L e vi*, 
tiçus,. Numbers, and Deuteronomy» It is troej a*: he, 
acko^wledçes those book&to, have been written by *a 
umpired writer» it is not- essential loreëfp^vwhèt her 
M(WwA6 theanthor of them or not. Bat forth* 
sake of "historical truth, we sbaU<gir^few.remarks<5i* 
tins-, subject, The Pentateuch was. called the hwbf 
way of excellttice, because the principal part aflit *btt^ 
tamed theJftw which «Moses had received from Gw^oa 
Mount Sinai* Nowut c*n hardly. be,(^e*Uo*edbtfttfte 

T a legislator 


%j6 MOSES» 

been written by Moses. They say that, acrJor dU 
ing to the scripture itself» the first known copy 


gislator was the author of the Pentateuch, if we at- 
tentively consider the 24th chapter of Exodus and the 
31st of Deuteronomy. . In the former, it is expressly 
said, " And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord;' 9 
in the latter, " And Moses wrote this law, and deliver- 
•* ed it unto the priests the sons of Levi:" Again, "And 
" it came to pass when Moses had made an end of 
" writing the words of this law in a book until they 
44 were finished.' 1 Besides, all antiquity, both sacred 
and profane, acknowledges Moses to have been the 
legislator of the Jews. That whole nation has always 
carefully preserved his books, and looked upon them 
as containing their law. When the tribes were di- 
vided into two kingdoms, both of them preserved the 
same respect for those books as being written by 
Moses. Prophane authors have spoken of those books, 
as penned by the same legislator. In short, it is as cer- 
tain that the books which go by the name of Moses 
are his own, as that those ascribed to Thucydides and 
Livy, &c. appertain to those whose names they bear. 
It is possible there may have been some additions and 
alterations made in them; but the body of the history 
and the laws could not be altered. Thus the death 
of Moses is clearly mentioned in the last chapter of 
Deuteronomy: whence it is probable, that either 
Joshua or Esdras. added the eight last verses of that 
book ; though Josephus pretends that Moses, finding 
his dissolution approaching, wrote those lines himself 
in order to certify his death at the end of hb books, 
lest the Jews, from too great a regard to his memory; 
should deny his death, and give out that he had been 
translated into Heaven. Notwithstanding this evi- 
dence of Moses's being the author of the Pentateuch, 
some late writers, as Fere Simon and Le Clerc, have 


MOSES. 277 

was found in the time of king Josias, and that 
this only copy was brought to the king by Sa- 
phan the scribe. Now the interval from Moses 
to this circumstance of Saphan the scribe, accord- 
ing to the Hebrew computation, makes a space 
of 1167 years; for God appeared to Moses in 
the burning bush in the year of the world 2213, 
and Saphan the scribe made public the book of 
the law in the year of the world 3380* This 
book, which had been found under Josias, was 
unknown till the return from the captivity of 
Babylon; and Esdras is said, by divine inspi- 
ration, to have brought to light all the sacred 

But whether Esdras or any other was the com- 
piler of this book, is absolutely a matter of in- 
differepce, admitting its being inspired. The 
Pentateuch does not say that Moses was the au- 
thor of it ; so that it might, without profaneness, 
be attributed to any other sacred penman, if the 
church had not positively decided, that this book 
was written by Moses. 

Some adversaries add, that no prophet has 
quoted any of the books of the Pentateuch ; that 
not the least mention is made of it in the Psalms ; 
in the books attributed to Solomon ; nor in Je- 
remiah, nor in Isaiah; nor, in a word, in 
any canonical book of the Jews. Then the 


espoused the contrary opinion of Hobbes and Spinosa, 
which seems also to be adopted by M. Voltaire. The 
difficulties started by those writers may appear plau- 
sible at first sight, but are fully refuted by M. du Pin, 
in his prclkninaiy dissertation to the Bible, to which 
we refer the reader. 

T 3 

«78 UMMk . 

words answ*ring>to those of* Genfttis, j&gDftn»» 
Jbfambecs, Leviticus -Deuteronomy, are not to 

> i>e . found in any other- book received a* authemic 
J>y that nation. 

Others more sanguine-have put «the following 
gtiestkms : 

i». Iff what language «euld Motes have writ- 
ten in a wilderness? It could be only in the 
•Egyptian, for, from this very book it is -clear, 
*hat Moses and his whole people w4re botn m 
ifigypt, and very .probably acquainted with no 

, other l^iguage. The JEgyptians were yet strangers 
£othe use of thepapyrus ; they bad their hierogly- 
phics cut in marble and wood ; the very tables 
.of .the comma n d me n t are said to have been en- 
^rayedon stone; so. that here were five volumes 
to be engraved on «polished stones; a -work of 
.prodigious time and labour ! 
j ». Js it probable that in a- wilderness, where 
-the Jewish people had neither stoem«lker nor 
.taytor, and where the God of the -universe was 
obliged to work a continual miracle -to preserve 
«their old doatfas «and shoes, they should have 
ttnong them persons of «uch ski 11 as to engrave 
the )bvt books of the Fentateueh on ^marble ©r 
wood? It will belaid that workmen were -found 
«mojug-them who could make a golden calf in 
«©toe night, and afterwards reduee the .gold i» 
rdust; (an operation beyond the skill of common 
xhemutry, an art .not yet invented) whoxould 
huild the tabernacle, adorn it with thirty-four 
Jtfass -pillars, with «silver obapksrs; who -wove 
«and embroidered linen veils* with :byacmth,:pur- 
*ple, «nd scarlet : butkhis very tbii^g strewgtheiM 
4he adversaries opinion, w*they rejoin 4hat it 4s 

* not in nature that such curious wd&4 4héùtd%4ve 


fceç&made. in a. desert,: and .under the want of 
evjpy thing ; .that shoes and, co^ts, would, have 
beea the things to have begun, with; that people 
wanting necessaries^scarxe think of Jiwury ; jand 
that to say they had founders, engravers,.c*rvc£f, 
dyrcs, embroiderers, when they; bad. not so much 
as cloaths, sandals, nor bread, is, g^oss^nd pal. 
pable contradiction. 

,3. If Moses had written .the. first, cbapferoof 
Genesis, would the reading of that chafer bvtt 
been forbidden to. all yoqpg: people ? wottld.tibe 
legislator «be treated .with such ^disregard hbââ 
it.been Moses who. said that «God. punishe&the 
iniquities of .the fathers to the Jpurth genera- 
tion, ,w*mld.Ezekieiihavç presumed?. to ifiay^the 

,4. Had t Moses written Levities, .could 'he 
have contradicted .him&elf ,in DeiMtecommy.? 
Levitkusforbids the marrying;* brother'* Wife, 
De«teroaomy enjoin* it. 
;v £. WotUdtWbseshayiejpQkenrof towns nrhich 
weaFcnotknownjinhis* ti»e? Would hei bare 
said that, town* which, relatively to him ky fast 
of Joxdap, > were, west ot that river ? 

6.; Would he Jiave assigned to t the . J^evites 
forty-eight towns; in a country which «everriwd 
ten ;, Andiin a wftktness where be hadLmvcfeso 
uwichas a, house, during all his wanderings ? 

7. Would ihe* >kave Uid . .down jcules .for .the 
Jewish kiftgs, whilst ttha* people not; oaly had 
ao.Jàrçs, .Iwt ahhorrMi thej» ^,%nd itéreras jio 

Bohability that they would ever have any ?' 
ow! would Moses have given precepts for 
the conduct ôf kings, who did not come till 
about five Juindred years after, hip, and>aay no- 
<i^.iiOMce.x*iiig.ihe judges^d, h^gtvpçiesis, Jws 

T4 .amnediate 

»8o MOSES. 

immediate successors ? Does not this reflection 
incline one to believe, that the Pentateuch wa* 
written in the time of the Kings ; and that the 
ceremonies instituted by Moses were only tra- 

8. Is it possible that he should say to the Jews, 
ye were six hundred thousand men when I 
Drought you out of the land of Egypt undef the 

Îrotection of your God ? Would not the ^cws 
ave answered? Then you must have èeen a 
faint-hearted creature not to have led us against 
Pharoah ; he had not an army of two hundred 
thousand men to oppose us. Egypt never 
had so many men on foot ; we should easily have 
defeated him, and made ourselves master of his 
country. How ! the God, who speaks to you, 
has, to please us, killed all the first-horn in 
Egypt ; and if that country contained three hun- 
dred thousand families, there's three hundred 
thousand men carried off in one night to revenge 
us ; and you have not seconded your God. You 
have not given us that fruitful country which 
was likewise defenceless. You made us come 
out of Egypt like thieves and poltroons, that we 
might perish in wildernesses among rocks and 
precipices: you might at least have led us by 
the direct way into that land of Canaan, to 
which we have no right ('), and which you pro* 
mised us, but have not yet brought us thither. 

It was natural that from the land of Goshen, 
we should have taken the way towards Tyre and 


(*) Mr. Bachiene, geographer to the prince of 
Orange, has, in his Sacred Geography, proved the 
Israelites right to the land of Canaan. 

MOSES.' 281 

Sidon along the Mediterranean; but you have 
made us traverse almost the isthmus of Suez, 
have brought us again into Egypt as far as be* 
yond Memphis, and behold we are now at Bel. 
Sephon on the Red Sea, with the land of Ca- 
naan behind us, after a march of fourscore 
leagues in that very country which we were for. 
shunning; and, after all, in imminent danger of 
perishing either by the sea or Pharoah's army. 

Had your intention been to deliver us up to 
our enemies, what other measures could you 
have taken ? God, you say, has saved us by a 
miracle, the sea opened to let us £ass through ;, 
but, after such kindness, should you have 
brought us to die with hunger and weariness, 
in the horrible deserts of Ethan, Kadesh-Barnea, 
Mara, Elim, Oreb, and Sinai ? All our fathers 

Îterished in those dreadful wildernesses, and after, 
orty such calamitous years, you come and tell 
us, that God took particular care of our fathers. 

This is what those murmuring Jews, those per- 
verse children of vagabond fathers, who died in 
the deserts, might have said to Moses, had he 
read Exodus and Genesis to them : and what 
ought they not to have said, and even to have 
done, on account of the golden calf? Howl 
you d^rc tell us that your brother made a golden 
calf for our fathers, whilst you was with God 
on the mount ; you who sometimes say, that 
you spoke to God face to face, and sometimes 
that you could only see his hinder parts. Well, 
but you was with God, and your brother cast a 
golden calf in one day, and set it up for us to 
worship ; but instead of punishing your worth- 
less brother, you make him our high-priest, and 
order your Lévites to slay three-and twenty thou- 



*8* P&TSR. 

«and of your people. Would xmr lathers, ha** 
tamely suffered this ? Would they, have let them- 
selves been knocked down by sanguinary .priests, 
like so many victims. .. You farther» tell us, as if 
this butchery was. not * sufficient» that another 
time you ordered twenty-four thousand? of your 
poor followers to be massacred, because one .of 
them had lain with a Midianite, and you your- 
self, married^. Midianite ; and alter this you add; 
that you are the meekest of all men. A «few- 
more isuch meek procedures, would have made 
an end of mankind. 

. Nq, . had : you been, capable of . such cruelty, 
had you been able to carry itinto execution, you 
would, have been, the most barbarous of men,; 
it would have been so enormous, a guilt* that no 
punishment could . have been equal to it. 
. These are, pretty nearly the objections .made 
by the. learned to those who hold Moses to have 
been the author of the Pentateuch. But these 
rejoin, .that the ways of .God *are .not. like those 
of men ; tbauGod, by a .wisdom unknown ,.to 
us, bas tried and alternately, protected and. forsa- 
ken his. people ; that «the jsws., themselves, .for 
above two thousand years, .have universally be- 
lieved Moses to. be the author .of those books,; 
that the cburchr which .has succeeded to the sy. 
nagogue, .and is endued with the like, infallibi- 
lity, has. decided this point of controversy ;. and 
that the .learned should keep silence, .when .the 
church speaks. 


In Italian JPiero,. or Pietro,; in , Spanish 
Pedro, ,in Latin, Petrus, .in Grsjek .Pctros, An 


How tomes fcithat Peter's successors have liad 
so much power irethewest and none inrthe east ? 
This is -asking why the -bishop of Wurtzhorg 
and Sahabnrg have iirtroublesome times assumed 
troyal prerogatives, whilst the iGreek bishops 
have remained subjects. Time, 'opportunity, 
and the ambition of some, and the weakness of 
others, do 'every thing in this world» and ever 

To -these troubles was added opinion, and opi- 
nion rules men ; not that they in reality have a 
very determinate opinion, buttheyare as tenaci- 
ous of words. 

It is related in the Gospel, that Jesus said to 
Peter, ••• I <will give thee the keys of the king- 
" àùm of heaven." The sticklers for the bishop 
«f Rome' maintained, about the eleventh century, 
that he<who gives the greater gives the less ; that 
the heavens encompassed the earth ; and that Pe- 
ter, ^having the keys of the containing, had. also 
the toys of the contents. If by the heavens we 
«ftdan all s the stars and all the planets, then the 
Jteys given to^Simon Bar-jona, surnamed Peter» 
«Were **pafsc+par~t0ut. If by «the heavens are 
meant the clouds, the atmosphere, the ether, *he 
fcpatee in which 'the planets roll, there are few 
4&Gk-f*ttiths,;says Meursius, who can makealey 
to-so^h doors. 

tfn3&testine,4teys were a wooden peg fastened 
4rtfb a leathern ^ttionç. Jesus says toBanjona, 
'" What thou «halt bind oaearth shall i>e bound 
^•kr heaven." From thisi the Pope's theologians 
Aave inferred, that*the Popes are invested with a 
power of bmding and teoseningsubjeotsifpQfmithe 
*>ath4>f~ allegiance to their dungs, -* and «f dispos* 
4ii{f of all kingdoms at their pleasure : a notable 



«84 PETER» 

inference Indeed ! The commons at a general as- 
sembly of the states of France in 1302, in their 
petition to the king, say, " that Boniface VIII. 
" was a scoundrel» 1 ' believing that God bound 
and imprisoned in heaven all whom Boniface 
•bound on earth. A famous German Lutheran (I 
think it was Mdancthon)could hardly believe that 
Jesus should have said to Simon Barjona, Cepha 
or Cephas, " Thou art Peter, and on this rock 
*' will I build my church." He could not con- 
ceive that God had made use of such a play of 
words, so very extraordinary a pun, and that the 
Pope's power was founded on a quibble. 

Peter has been thought the first bishop of 
Rome; but it is sufficiently known that then» 
and for a long time after, there was no particu- 
lar see. It was not till towards the end of the 
second century, that the Christians were 
moulded into a regular body. 

It is possible that St. Peter went to Rome ; k 
is even possible that he was crucified with his 
head downwards, though that was not customary ; 
but ot all this we have no proof. A letter, 
bearing his name, is still extant, in which he says 
that he is at Babylon, Judicious canonists will 
have this Babylon to mean Rome ; so that had he 
dated his letter from Rome, it might have been 
inferred that the letter had been written from Ba^ 
bylon : such inferences are of à long standing ; 
and thus it is that the world has been governed. 

A very pious man, who had been exorbitantly 
imposed on at Rome in relation to the purchase 
of a benefice, a practice which is called simony» 
being asked whether he thought Simon Peter had 
ever been in that country, answered, Ï see no 


PETER. 285 

marks of Peter's having been there, bat I am 
very certain Simon was. 

As to Peter's person, Paul is not the only one 
who has taken offence at his behaviour : both he 
and his successors have often been withstood to 
their face* St. Paul keenly reproached him for 
eating prohibited meats, as pork, puddings, hare, 
eels, &c. Peter, in justification of himself, al- 
ledged, that about the sixth hour, he had seen the 
heavens opened, and a large table-cloth full of 
eels, beasts, and birds descending from the four 
quarters of the heavens ; and that the voice of an 
angel called out, " Kill and eat." Probably, 
says Wolaston, it was the same voice, which has 
called out to so many Popes, •' Kill every body, 
" and eat up the people's substance. 11 

Casaubon could not approve of Peter's beha- 
viour to Ananias and his wife ( f ), who were a 
Îoodsort of people : What right, says he, had a 
ew, a slave under the Romans, to order or al- 
low all who believed" in Jesus to sell their sub- 
stance, and lay the produce at his feet. Were 
an Anabaptist preacher at London to order his 
brethren to bring him all their money, would he 


(* ) The punishment of Ananias and Sapphira might 
appear very severe for a fault, which does not seem 
at first sight to be considerable ; but the offence was 

frievous, since they made so slight of lying to the 
oly Ghost. For it is thought by some eminent writ- 
ers, that they had taken an oath not to reserve any 
thing to themselves ; but to devote their estates to 
the common use of the faithful. Their crime there- 
fore was a kind of perjury and sacrilege; and it was 
severely punished, because it was requisite in the 
beginning to give sanction to the laws of Christianity. 

•86 P$T2fb 

not be taken up « a mover of sedition» a rob* 
ber, and as such sent to Tyburn-? Was it. not, a 
honrid thing to strike Ananias dead» only because 
out ot the money for which he had soldhis*es* 
tate» he secretly reserved a few pounds; against a 
rainy day» bringing the far greater part to Peter, 
Scarce was. the breath; out of Ananias's body* 
when in comes hir wife. Peter» instead o£ kindly 
informing her thafthe had just killed ben husband 
for. keepinga few* pence» and. telling her totake 
cam of what she had» allures her into the snam» 
He asks her whether her husband had brought an 
all his money for theaaints ; the poor woman?»* 
swers, yes», and instantly dropsu down dead» 
Something-hard this ! 

Corringius asks why Peters who thus demo* 
lishes those who brought him- alms» didi notera- 
thergo and kill all the doctors who- hadahand 
in .putting- Jesus to death, and had'oaused himself 
to; be scouijged several times. Fie» Peter» toktjl 
two Christians who had brought you a good «purse 
of money;- and they who 'Crucified your God* 
you allow to live I 

It i* to be supposed .that Corringius^ whemhe 
pit forth these bold questions» was not in a coun- 
try subject to the inquisition. Erasmus has con* 
cerning Peter a pretty singular remark» that the 
head of the- Christian religion began his- apostle- 
ship by denying Jesus Christ ; and the high 
priest of Judaism began his ministry by making 
a golden calf, and worshipping it: 

However it be, Peter is transmitted, torus as 

f>oor, and humbly instructing the poor ; he is 
ike those founders of orders who lived in indi~ 
gepce» but. whose* successors, are become greaf. 


peter; *%f 

The Pdpey Sh Peter*s successorfhas tooth Vron 
and 1 lost: however; he has still remaining, in 
thé several parts -of flieworKl; besides his imrae* 
diate- subjects* aboot fifty miNions'-of people; 
yrho in 'many 'articles -acknowledge his- laws. 

To have a master three or four hundred leagues 
from one's home ; to forbear thinking till that 
man shall have seemed to think ; not to dare, to 
try definitively a process between our fellow-citi- 
zens, but by commissioners of this foreigner 9 * 
nomination; to transgress the laws of one's 
country, by which a person is restrained from 
marrying his niece, and yet to render this a legj,« 
timatejnarriage, by giving a still .more conside- 
rable sum to that foreign master ; 4 not' to darç 
take possession of any fields or vineyards con- 
ferred b*y one's own sovereign, without paying 
a large, sum to this foreign master; not» to dare 
plough one's grounds on a day appointed by a 
foreigner for commemorating an unknown per- 
son, whom he has placed in heaven by. his own 
private authority ; these are the advantages of 
acknowledging «a Pope; these are the liberties 
of the Gallican church* 

Other nations there are who carry submission 
still farther. Wè have in our times seen a sove- 
reign ask the Pope leave to bring to a trial, in hi* 
roy*l court of justice, some monks accused of 
regicide, . fail in .his solicitations for leave, and 
not dare to try those wretches. 

Is is well known that, formerly* the Pope's 
power was still of greater extent. They were 
much superior to the gods of antiquity ; for those 
deities were only imagined to dispose of empires» 
but the-pc$es «disposed of them in reality. 


St8 PETER*. 

Sturbinus says, that they who doubt of the 
Pope's divinity and infallibiliy are excusable, 
when it is considered that St. Peter's see has 
been prophaned by forty schisms, and twenty* 
seven of them have been attended with murders, 
massacres, and wars. 

That Stephen VII. a priest's son had his pre- 
decessor, Formosus, dug up, and the corpse's 
head cut off. 

That Sergius HI. was convicted of assassina* 
tions, and had a son by Marozia, who inherited 
the papacy. 

That John X. Theodoras's gallant, was Strang* 
led in his bed. 

That John XL son of Sergius III. was known 
only for his scandalous intemperance. 

That John XII. was murdered at his strumpet '4 

That Benedict IX. bought the pontificate, and 
sold it again. 

That Gregory VII. was the author of civil 
wars, which were continually prosecuted by his 
successors for the space of five hundred years. 

That lastly, among so many debauched, am- 
bitious, and sanguinary Popes, there has been 
an Alexander VI. whose name always excites 
no less horror and detestation than those of Nero 
and Caligula. 

This, it is said, proves the divinity of their 
character, that it should have subsisted amidst so 
many crimes ; but had the behaviour of the ca- 
lifs been ftill more flagitious and execrable, they 
would then have been still more divine. This 
is Dermius's argument; but the Jesuits have an* 
swered him. 




A Rejudice is an opinion void of judgment : 
thus every where many opinions are instilled into 
children before they are able to judge. 

There are universal and necessary prejudices, 
and such are essential to virtue. In every coun- 
try, children are taught to believe in a God, who 
punishes and rewards ; to respect and to love 
their father and mother ; to hold theft a crime ; 
a selfish lye a vice, before they can so much as 
guess what vice or virtue is. 

Thus there are very good prejudices, and 
these are such as on being brought to the test, 
judgment ratifies. 

Sentiment is not mere prejudice; it is much 
stronger. It is not because the mother has been 
told that she must love her son, that she loves 
him ; she, happily, cannot help her fondness for 
him. It is not from prejudice that a man runs to 
assist an unknown child, whom a beast is near 
devouring, or who is in any other danger. 

But it is from mere prejudice that you respect 
a man dressed in a particular manner, and grave 
in his carriage and discourse. Your parents have 
told you to bow to such a man ; thus you come 
to respect him, before you know whether he de- 
serves your respect. Being grown up, and your 
knowledge enlarged, you begin to see that this 
man is a hypocrite, eaten up with pride, selfish- 
ness, and craft ; hereupon you despise what you 
venerated, and prejudice is superseded by judg* 
ment. You have, from prejudice, believed the 
fables with which you was amused in your child- 
hood; you were told that the Titans waged- war 

U against 

ago prejudices. 

against the Gods ; and that Venus was in love 
with Adonis. These fables at twelve years of 
age go down with you as realities ; but, at twenty, 
you perceive thenar to be only ingenious aile- 

Let us briefly, for order sake, examine the 
different sorts of prejudices; we may perhaps 
find ourselves like those who perceived that at the 
time of tfye Mississippi, they had beerr calculat- 
ing imaginary riches* 


Is it not very odd that our eyes always deceive 
us, even when we see very well : whereas we 
are never deceived by our ears ? If a sound ear 
hears these words, You are handsome,. I lpve 
you ; it is very certain that the person speaking 
did not say, 1 hate you, you are ugly : but the 
apparent smoothness of a looking-glass is a de* 
ception ; a microscope shews the surface to bç 
in reality very rugged. The sun seems to be^ 
about two feet in diameter; whereas it is de- 
monstrated to be a million of times larger than 
the earth. » 

God apparently has put truth in your ears, 
and error in your eyes : but study optics, and 
you will find that God has not imposed on you ; 
and that it is impossible, in the present state of 
things, objects should appear otherwise than you 
See tnem. 


' That the sun rises and sets, and the earth fs 
immoveable, are prejudices naturally imbibed ï 
but that lobsters are good for the blood, becausp 
in boiling Ihcy turn red ; that eels curé thé 




palsy, because of their. frisking; that the moon 
has an influence on diseases* because a stronger 
«ymptom of a! fever was observed in a patient in 
the wane of the moon : these notions, witfi a 
thousand others, were entertained by the empyt 
rids of old, who judged without reasoning, and 
led others into their mistakes. 


Most stories have been credited without ex* 
amination, and such belief is a prejudice. Fa» 
bius Pictor relates, that several ages before him, 
a vestal virgin of the city of Alba, going with 
her pitcher to draw water, was ravished and 
brought into the world Romulus and Remus $ 
and that these twins were suckled by a she- wolf, 
&c. This fable the Roman people greedily 
swallowed without examining whether, at that 
time, vestal virgins were known in Latium \ 
whether it was likely that a king's daughter 
should go out of her convent with a pitcher iri 
her hand; and whether it was agreeable ttf 
nature, that a fhe-wolf, so far from eating two 
infants, should suckle them. The prejudice 
took root. : ' 

A monk wrote that Clovis, being in great 
danger at the battle of Tolbiac, made a vow, if 
he escaped safe, to turn Christian ; but is it na- 
tural in such an exigency to apply to a foreign 
deity ? Is it not in extremities, that our native 
religion act* with the greatest force;? ; What 
Christian in a battle against the Turks would not 
call on the Blessed Virgin, rather than on Maho- 
met ? It is added, that a dove brought a phial in its 
bill for anointing Clovis ; and that an angel brought 
the oriflamme or banner to be carried before 

U 2 him. 


"him. AH such little tales, prejudice readily 
credited ; but they who are acquainted with hu- 
man nature very well know, that both the usur- 
per Clovis and the usurper Rollo, or Rolf, 
turned Christians, that they might more safely 
rule over Christians, as the Turks, on their be- 
coming masters of the empire of Constantino* 
pie, turned Mussulmen, to ingratiate themselves 
with the Mussulmen. 


If your nurse has told you that Ceres presides 
over grain; or that Visnou and Xaca have seve- 
ral times become men ; or that Sanmoncodora 
came upon earth, and cut down a forest; or 
that Odin expects you in his hall towards Jut- 
land; or that Mahomet, or some other, has 
made a journey into heaven; lastly, if your go- 
vernor afterwards inculcates into your brain the 
traces made in it by your nurse, you will never 
get rid of them during your life. Should your 
judgment attempt to efface these prejudices, your 
acquaintance, and especially your, female ac- 
quaintance, will charge you with impiety, and 
terrify you ; then your dervïse, lest his income 
may suffer some curtailment, will accuse you to 
the cadi; the cadi will do his best to have you 
irnpaled, for he would have all under him block- 
heads, thinking that blockheads make tamer sub- 
jects, than others ; and thus things will go on till 
your acquaintance, the dervise, and the cadi 
shall begin to perceive 1 that folly does no good, 
and that persecution is abominable» 







JL/R. Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester, author 
of one of the most learned pieces that ever 
appeared, in vol. i. p. 8. expresses himself to 
this purpose: " A religion, or society, not 
founded on the belief of a future state, ought 
to be supported by an extraordinary provi- 
dence : the Jewish religion was not founded 
" on the belief of a future state ; therefore it 
must have been supported by an extraordinary 
Several divines have declared against him, and, 
disputant like, have retorted his argument on 

" A religion not founded on the doctrine of 
" the soûles immortality, and eternal rewards, 
" must be false. Now Judaism had no such te- 
" nets ; therefore Judaism, so far from being 
%% supported by providence, was, according to 
your principles, a false and savage religion, 
which denied any such thing as providence.*' 
Others of the bishop's adversaries maintained 
that the immortality of the soul was known among 
the Jews, even in Moses's time ; but he very evi- 
dently proved against them, that neither in the 
Decalogue, nor Leviticus, nor Deuteronomy, is 
one single word said of this belief ; and that it is 
ridiculous to go about wresting and corrupting a 
few passages of the other books, in support of a 
truth about which their book of laws is silent. 
- The bishop, though he composed four volumes 
10 demonstrate that the Jewish law proposed nei- 

U 3 ther 


394 REL1GI0N* 

ther punishments nor rewards after death» has 
not been able to give his adversaries any very 
satisfactory answer. They urged, " either Moses 
" was acquainted with this doctrine, and then he 
" deceived the Jews in not making it public : or 
" he was ignorant of it ; and if so, he was incà- 
" pable of founding a good religion. Indeed, 
" had the religion been good r why was it abo* 
" lisbed? A true religion should suit all times 
u and places; it should be like the light of the 
<* sun, which shines in all lands and throughout 
•> all generations." 

This prelate, with all his erudition and saga-* 
city, has been hard put to it in making his way 
through all these difficulties; but what system is 
without diffic ulties ? 


4 Another learned person, a much greater philo* 
sopher, and one of the most profound metaphy- 
sicians of the times, produces strong reasons to 
proye, that thç first religion was Polytheism ? 
?nd that, before improved reason came to see 
there could be only one .Supreme Seing, men 
began with believing several gods. 
; I, on the contrary, presume to believç that 
they began with worshipping only one Qod 9 and 
that, afterWards, human weakness adopted se- 
veral others; and I conceive the thing to be thus. 
<. It is not to be doubted but villages and country 
towns were prior to large, cities; and that meb 
were divided into small republics before tfeey 
were united in large empires. It is, very natu« 
ral, that a town, terrified at the thunder; dis. 

., tistsed 


trussed by the ruin of its. hardest ; insulted by a 
neighbouring town ; daily feeling its weakness, 
and every where perceiving an invisible power, 
soon, came to say, There is some being above us» 
which does us good and hurt. 

It seems to me impossible that they should have 
said : there are two powers; for wherefore seve- 
ral ? In every thing we begin with the simple, 
then proceed to the compound, and often an îm- 
- provement of knowledge brings us back again to 
the simple: this is the process of the human 

Which being was first worshipped ? was it the 
sun, was it the moon ? I can hardly believe it. 
Only let us take a view of children, they are 

Çretty nearly on a footing with ignorant men. 
, 'he beauty and benefit of that luminous body 
which animates nature, make no impression on 
them ; as insensible are they of the conveniences 
wç derive from the moon, or of the regular va* 
nations of its course ; they do not so much as 
think of these things; they are accustomed to 
them. What men do not fear, they never wor» 
ship. .Children look up to the sky with as much 
indifférence as on the ground ; but, at a tempest, 
the poor creatures tremble and run and hide 
themselves. I am inclined to think it was so 
with primitive men. They who first observed 
the course of the heavenly bodies, and brought 
them to be pbjects of admiration and worship, 
must necessarily have had a tincture of philoso- 
phy; the error was too, exalted for rude illiterate 

Thus the cry of a village would have been no 
rnore, than this : There is a power which thun- 

1 - j U 4 dèrs, 


ders, which sends down hail on us, which causes 
our children to die, let us, by all means; ap- 
pease it; but which way? Why, we see, that 
little presents will sooth angry people, let us try 
what little presents will do with this power. He 
must also to be sure have a name or title; and 
that, which naturally presents itself first, is chief, 
master, lord : thus is this power called my Lord. 
Hence it probably was, that the first ^Egyptians 
called their god Knef; the Syrians, Adoni; the 
neighbouring nations Baal or Bel, or Melch or 
Moloc ; the Scythians Pape; all words signify- 
ing Lord, Master. 

In like manner almost all America was found 
to be divided into multitudes of little colonies, 
all with their patron deity. The Mexicans and 
Peruvians themselves, who were large nations, 
had but one only God; the former worshipping 
Mango Kapack, the other the God of war» 
whom they called Vilipusti, as the Hebrews had 
stiled their lord, Sabaoth. 

It is not from any superiority or exercise of 
reason, that all nations began with worshipping 
only one Deity; for had they been philosophers, 
they would have the universal God of nature and 
not the. god of a village; they would have exa- 
mined thè infinité testimonies acknowledged of 
a creating and preserving being; but they exa- 
mined nothing; they only perceived, and such 
is the progress of our weak understanding. Every 
town perceived its weakness and want of a power- 
fui protector. This tutelary and terrible being 
they fancied to reside in a neighbouring forest» 
or mountain, or in a cloud. They fancied only 
one such power, because in war the town had 
but one chief; this being they imagined to be 




corporeal; it being impossible they could have 
any other idea. They could not but believe 
that the neighbouring town had also its god. 
Accordingly Jephthah says to the inhabitants of 
Moab: " You lawfully possess what your god 
" Chamos has made you conquer; and you 
•' ought to let us quietly enjoy what our god has 

" s? vcn us ky ^ s v ' ct °" es (')•" 

This speech from one foreigner to another is 
very remarkable. The Jews and Moabites had 
ousted the natives, with no other right than force ; 
and one says to the other, Thy sod has sup- 
ported thee in thy usurpation, aflow my god 
likewise to support me in mine. 
Jeremiah and Amos both ask, " Wherefore 
has the god Moloch seized on the country of 
Gad (*) ?" These passages shew that anti- 
quity attributed a guardian god to every country, 
and traces of this theology are likewise to be met 
with in Homer. ' 

It is very natural that, from the heat of fancy 
and a vague increase of knowledge, men soon 
multiplied their gods, and assigned guardians to 
the elements, seas, forests, springs, and fields* 
The more they surveyed the heavenly bodies, 
the greater roust their astonishment have been. 
.Well might they who worshipped the deity of a 
brook, pay their adorations to the sun.: and, 
the first step being taken, the earth was soon co- 

. . vered 

( f ) The sense in our version is very different. 
Judges xi. 24. 

( 2 ) Here the difference is still greater. Jer. xi. 1. 
Amos says nothing like it. 


vered whh deities; so that at length cat* and 
onions came to be worshipped. 

However» time must necessarily improve rea* 
son : accordingly it produced some philosophers, 
who saw that neither onions nor cats, nor even 
the heavenly bodies, had any share in the disposi- 
tion of nature* All those philosophers, Baby- 
lonians, Persians, Egyptians, Scythians, Greeks, 
And Romans, acknowledged only one Supreme 
God, rewarding and punishing. 

This they did not immediately make known to 

Î copie, for a word againstonions and cats spoken 
etore old women and priests, would have cost 
a man his life ; those good people would have 
itoned him. He who should have ridiculed some 
Egyptians for eating their gods, would have been 
eaten himself, since Juvenal relates as fact, that 
in a controversial dispute, an Egyptian was killed 
and eaten quite raw. 

Well! what was to be done? Orpheus. and 
others institute mysteries, which the initiated 
swear by execrable oaths never to reveal ; and 
of these mysteries the principal is, the worship, ot 
one only God. This great truth spreads over 
half the earth ; the number of the initiated swells 
immensely ; the ancient religion indeed still sub- 
sists, but not being contrary to the tenet of God's 
unity, it is connived at. The Romans had their 
Deus Optimus Maximus: the Greeks their 
Zeus, their Supreme God. All the other deities 
are only intermediate beings ; heroes and empe- 
rors were classed among the gods, which meant 
no more than the blessed, for it is not to be sup- 
posed, that Claudius, Octavius, Tiberius, and 
Caligula, were accounted the creators of heaven 
and earth* 



x In* word, it seems demonstrated that, in Au- 
gustus's time» all who had any religion acknow- 
ledged one supreme eternal God, with several 
classes of secondary deities ; the worshipping of 
whom, has since been called idolatry. 

The Jewish laws never countenanced idolatry; 
for thoughthey admitted Malachim, Angels, and 
inferior orders of cœlestial beings ; their law ap- 
pointed no manner of worship for these secon- 
dary deities. Indeed they adored angels, that is, 
-when they saw any, they prostrated themselves 
before them ; but as this was a very uncommon 
case, no ceremonial, or legal worship, had been 
instituted for them ; neither was any homage 
paid even to the cherubim of the ark. It is ma- 
nifest that the Jews worshippedopenly one single 
God, even as the innumerable crowds of the 
initiated worshipped him privately in their mys- 


At this time, when the worship of one Supreme 
God universally prevailed in Asia, in Europe, 
and Africa, among all who made a due use of 
their reason, it was that the Christian religion re- 
ceived its birth. 

Platonism greatly promoted the understanding 
of its dogmas. The Logos, which in Plato sig- 
nifies the wisdom, the reason of the Supreme Be- 
ing, with us was made the word, and the second 
person of the_ Deity. Thus religion was wrapped 
up in metaphysics, to human reason unfathom- 

How Mary was afterwards declared mother of 
God ; how the consubstantiality of the Father and 
the .word were established, together with the pro- 


cession of the Pneuma, the divine organ of the 
divine Logos ; two natures and two wills result- 
ing from the Hypostasis ; and lastly, the superior 
manducation, in which both soul and body are 
fed with the members of the incarnate God. wor- 

9 9 

shipped and eaten in the form of bread, present 
to the sight, felt by the taste, and yet annihilated : 
these things we shall not repeat here. All mys- 
teries have ever been sublime. 

So early as the second century, the expulsion 
of devils was performed, by pronouncing the name 
of Jesus ; whereas before, the name of Jehovah, 
or Yhaho, was made use of in such miracles: 
for St. Matthew relates that Jesus's enemies hav- 
ing spread abroad, that it was by the name of the 
prince of the devils that he cast out the devils, he 
made them this answer : " If I cast out devils 
" by Beelzebub, by whom do your children 
•• cast them out?" 

At what time the Jews acknowledged Beelze- 
bub, a foreign deity, to be prince of the devils 
is not known ; but we know, and learn it from 
Jvisephus, that at Jerusalem there were exorcists, 
whose immediate province it was to dislodge the 
devils from the 'bodies of the possessed, that is 
men labouring under uncommon distempers, 
which, in those times, a great part of the world 
attributed to malignant genii. 

Thus the demoniacs were relieved by the true 
pronunciation of the word Jehovah ; how lost, 
together with other ceremonies at present buried 
in oblivion. 

Exorcisms by Jehovah, or other of God's 
names, continued to be practised even in the 
early ages of the church. Origen against Celsus, 
N°. 262, says, " If when invoking God or 

" swearing 





" swearing by him, be is termed the God of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, certain things 
will be done by those names, such being their 
nature and force, that devils are subject to 
those who utter them; whereas if called by 
any other appellation, as god of the tumultu- 
ous sea, or the destroyer, no effect follows. 
•• The word Israel translated into Greek will do 
•• nothing ; but on pronouncing it in Hebrew, 
" along with the other requisite words, the ma- 
•• gical operation will take place." 

The same Origen, N*. 19, has these remark- 
able words : " There are names of a natural 
•• virtue, as those used by the wise men in Egypt, 
" the Magi in Persia, and the Brachmans in 
" India. Magic, as it is called, is no vain and chi- 
" merical art, as the Stoics and Epicureans pre» 
*• tend ; neither were the names of Sabaoth or 
" Adonat made for created beings, but appertain 
•' to a mysterious theology concerning the Créa* 
•' tor; hence comes the virtue of these names, 
when placed in order, and pronounced accord- 
ing to the rules, &c." 
Origen, in speaking thus, only relates what 
was universally held, and does- not deliver his 
own private opinion. All the religions then 
known admitted a kind of magic, and with two 
distinctions, the celestial and infernal magic, ne- 
cromancy and theurgy ; every nation had its pro* 
digies, divinations, and oracles. The Persians 
did not deny the Egyptian miracles, nor the 
Egyptians offer to discredit the Persian. God 
was pleased to wink at the first Christians es- 
pousing the Sybilline oracles, and some other 
unconsequential errors, as not corrupting the es- 
sentials of religion. 




Another very remarkable circumstance is, that 
the christians of the two first centuries abhorred 
temples, altars, and images. This Origen owns, 
N°. 374, but on the church's being modelled 
into a settled form, its discipline and every thing 
else became altered. 


When once a religion comes to be established 
by law, the magistrates are very vigilant in sup* 
pressing most of the things which used to be 
done by the professors of that religion before it 
was publicly received. The founders held their 
private meetings, though forbidden under penal- 
ties ; now none but public assemblies held under 
the eye of the law are permitted, and all clandes- 
tine associations made punishable. The old 
inaxim wa$, It is better to obey God than man ; 
Dow the opposite maxim comes into vogue, To 
obey God is to conform to the laws of the land. 
Alt places rung with obsessions and possessions, 
the* devil was let loose upon earth ; now the devil 
does not stir out of his den. Prodigies and pre- 
dictions were necessary then ; now a stop is put 
to them, and they are exploded: he who should 
openly take upon him to foretel any public cala- 
mity, would, soon be shewn the way to Bedlam. 
The founders took money underhand from the 
believers ; whereas a man collecting money to 
dispose of it as he pleases, without any legal 
warrant, would be taken to task. Thus the whole 
pf the scaffolding used in the construction of the 
building, is taken away. 

question V. 

" Next to our holy religion, to be sure the only 
good religion, which would be the least bad ? ' 



Would it not be the most simple ? Would it 
not be that which taught a great deal of morality 
and few doctrines ? that which tended to make 
men virtuous without making them fools ? that 
which did not impose the belief of things impos* 
sible, contradictory, injurious to the Deity, and 
pernicious to mankind ; and which did not take 
on itself to threaten with eternal punishments all 
who had common sense ? Would it not be that 
which did not support its articles by executioners, 
and deluge the earth with blood for unintelligible 
sophisms ? that in which a quibble, a pun, and two 
or three supposititious maps, would not suffice 
to make a priest a sovereign and a God, though 
noted for the most profligate morals and exécra* 
ble practices.? that which did not make kings 
subject to this, priest ? Would k not be that 
which taught only the adoration of one God* 
justice, forbearance, and humanity ? 


The religion of the Gentiles is said to be ab* 
surd in several points,' contradictory, and perni- 
cious* But have not its evils and follies been 
greatly exaggerated ? Jupiter's- carrying on his 
amours in the shape of a swan, a bull, with other 
such doings of the Pagan deities, is certainly the 
height of ridicule; but let anyone, throughout 
at! antiquity, shew me a temple dedicated to 
Leda lying with a swan or a bull. Did Athens 
or Rome ever hear a sertnon to encourage girls 
to copulate* with the swans in their courtyards ? 
Did the collection of fables so beautifully embel- 
lished by Ovid, constitute their religion ? are 
they not like our Golden Legend, or Flower of 
the Saints? Should some'Brtmmor. Dervise ob- 


ject to us the story of St. Mary the Egyptian, who 
not having wherewith to pay the sailors who had 
brought her into Egypt, voluntarily granted to 
each of them, in lieu of money, what is called 
favours, we should immediately say to the Bra- 
min, You are mistaken, father, the Golden Le- 
gend is not our religion. 

We taunt the ancients with their prodigies 
and oracles ; but could they return on earth, and 
were the miracles of our lady of Loretto, and 
those of our lady of Ephesus, to be numbered, in 
whose favour would the balance of the account 

Human sacrifices have been introduced almost 
among all nations, but very rarely were they prac- 
tised. Jephtha's daughter and king Agag are the 
only two we meet with among the Jews, for 
Isaac and Jonathan were not sacrificed. The 
Grecian story of Iphigenia is not thoroughly ve- 
rified : human sacrifices are very rarely heard of 
among the ancient Romans; in a word, very 
little blood has the Pagan religion shed, and OUrs 
has made the earth an aceldama. Ours, to be 
sure, is the only good, the only true religion ; 
but by our abuse of it, we have done so much 
mischief, that when we speak of other religious, 
it should be with temper and modesty. 


If a man would recommend his religion to 
strangers or his countrymen, should he not go 
about it with the most winning composure, the 
most insinuating mildness? If he sets out with 
saying that what he declares is demonstrably true, 
he will meet with strong opposition ; and if be 
takes upon him to tell them that they reject his 
doctrine, only because it condemn* their passions ; 

1 that 


that their heart has corrupted their mind ; that 
they have only a false and presumptuous reason, 
he excites their contempt and resentment, and 
overthrows what he was for building up. 

If the religion which he preaches be true, will 
passion and insolence add to its truth? Do you 
storm and rage when you say that men should be 
mild, patient, benevolent, just, exact in the dis- 
charge of all the duties of society ? No ; here 
every body is of your mind; why then such 
virulent language to your brother when you are 
preaching to him metaphysical mysteries ? It is 
because his good sense irritates your self-love. 
You proudly require that your brother should 
submit his understanding to yours; and pride 
disappointed blazes into rage ; from hence, and 
hence only, arises your passion. A man who 
receives ever so many musket-shot in a battle, 
is never seen to express any anger; but a doc- 
tor, at the denial of assent, Kindles into im- 
placable fury. 


X HE Egyptians are said to have built their 

superb pyramids only for tombs, where their 


(' } The doctrine of the resurrection is one of the 
fundamental points of our holy religion. M. Voltaire 
does not attempt to weaken our belief of it, but to 
shew his learning by enumerating the opinions of the 
Heathens, as well as of the primitive Christians rela- 
tive to that article. We shall only observe that his ex- 
plication of the famous passage of Job, ch. xix. ver. 
25, is taken from the very learned bishop of Glouces- 
X ter, 


bodies being embalmed outwardly and inwardly, 
lay till, at the expiration of a thousand years, 
their souls returned into them. But if their 
bodies were to come to life again, as it was their 
first operation, why did the embalmers pierce 
the scull with a hook, and draw the brain out ? 
To think of a man's coming to life again without 
brains, inclines one to apprehend that the Egyp- 
tians had little or none when living ; but it must 
be considered, that most of the ancients believed 
the soul to reside in the breast. And why in 
the breast sooner than any other part ? because 
it is well known that under all our sensations» 
if any thing violent, we feel a dilatation or con- 
traction about the region of the heart ; and this 
produced the opinion, that there was the soul's 
residence. This soul was something aerial, a 
light figure roving about where it could, till it 
bad joined its body again. 

The belief of the resurrection is much more 
ancient than the historical times. Athaladas* 
Mercury's son, could die and come to life again 
at pleasure ; . Esculapius restored Hyppolitus to 
life; Hercules conferred the like kindness on 
Alcestes ; and Pelops, who had been cut into 

Îieces by his father, the gods made whole again : 
Jato relates that Heres returned to life only for 
a fortnight. -- 



ter, who in his Divine Legation, book vi. sect, 2. 
p. 543, has given us a beautiful account of this whole 
book, and cleared up ail the difficulties in it; but par* 
ticularly makes it appear, that the words in question 
can relate only to a temporal deliverance. 


It was not till a very long time after Plato, that 
the Pharisees among the Jews adopted the tenet 
ef the resurrection. 

The Acts of the Apostles mention a very sin- 

fular transaction, and well worthy of notice, 
t. James and several of his companions advised 
St. Paul, though so thorough a Christian, to go 
into the temple of Jerusalem, and observe all the 
ceremonies of the ancient law, to the end all 
may know, say they, that every thing which is; 
said of you is false, and that you still continue 
to observe Moses's law. 

St. Paul accordingly went into the temple for 
seven days ; but being known on the seventh, he 
was accused of having brought strangers into it, 
with a view of prophaning it» 

Now Paul perceiving that some of the crowd 
were Sadducees and others Pharisees, he cried 
out in the council, " Brethren I am a Pharisee, 
" the son of a Pharisee; it is for the hope of ano- 
" ther life, and the resurrection of the dead, 
" that I am in danger of being condemned," 
Acts xxiii. ver. 6. In all this affair not a word 
had been said about the resurrection of the dead ; 
but Paul's drift in mentioning it was to raise a 
quarrel between the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

Ver. 7. " And Paul having said, there arose 
" a dissention between the Pharisees and Sad- 
" ducees, and the multitude was divided/' 

Ver. 8. " For the Sadducees say, there is no 
M resurrection, neither angel nor spirit ; but the 
•* Pharisees confess both, &c." 

It has been affirmed that Job, who doubtless* 
is of great antiquity, was acquainted with the 
doctrine of the resurrection ; and, ia proof of 
it, the following words are quoted : " I know 

X 2 «that 


•• thai my redeemer livcth, and that one day hi* 
" redemption will rise on me, or that I shall 
" rise again from the dust ; that my skin will 
" return ; and that I shall again see God in my 
•• flesh." 

But several commentators understand no more 
by these words, than that Job hopes he shall soon 
get over his distemper, and shall not always be' 
lying in the ground as he then was : the sequel 
sufficiently proves the truth of this explanation ; 
for the moment he cries out to his false and 
harsh friends. " Why then say you, Let us 
" persecute him, or because you shall say, Be- 
" cause we have persecuted him" ('). Does not 
this evidently mean, you will repent of hav- 
ing insulted me, when you shall see me again 
in my former state of health and opulence ? A 
sick person says, I shall recover, not I shall 
rise from the dead : to give forced meanings to 
clear passages, is the sure way never to under* 
stand one another. 

According to St. Jerome, the sect of the Pha- 
risees began but a very little time before Jesus 
Christ. Kabbi Hillel is accounted its founder, 
and he was cotemporary with Gamaliel, St. Paul's 

Many of these Pharisees believed that it was 
only the Jews who were to rise again ; and that 
as to the rest of mankind, they were not worth 
while. Others affirmed that the resurrection 
would be only in Palestine, and that bodies bu- 
ried in other parts would be secretly conveyed 
to the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, there to be 


( x ) See our translation, chap. xix. ver. 2 c and 28. 




united to their soul. St. Paul tells the inhabi- 
tants of Thessalonica, H That the second com- 
ing of Jesus Christ is for them and for him ; 
and that they shall be witnesses of it." 
Ver. 16. " For on the signal being given by 
the archangel and the trumpet of God, the 
" Lord himself shall descend from heaven, and 
" they who shall have died in Jesus Christ shall 
" rise first." 

Ver. 17. " Then we who are alive, and who 
shall have remained till then, shall be caught 
up with them in the clouds, to go and meet 
" the Lord in the air ; and thus we shall live 
** for ever with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians, 
chap. iv. 

Does not this important passage evidently 
prove, that the first Christians made themselves 
sure that they should see the end of the world ; 
and St. Luke actually foretels it, as what should 
happen in his life-time ? 

St. Austin thinks that children, and even still- 
born infants, shall rise at the age of maturity, 
Origen, Jerome, Athanasius, Basil, did not be- 
lieve that women were to rise again with the 
distinctions of sex, 

In a word, there have ever been disputes 
about what we were, what we are» and what 
we shall be. 





URELY Solomon could not be so rich as 
be is said ? 

The book of Chronicles tells us that Melk 
David his father left him one hundred thousand 
talents of gold (*) and one thousand talents of 

silver ; 

( 1 ) This whole article is liable to. great exceptions, 
'and betrays a spirit of licentiousness in the author. 
He takes upon himself to strike what books he pleases 
out of the canon of the scriptures, because they do 
not suit his fancy, or because he meets with a few 
difficulties, which are easily solved. We are sorry to 
own that he shews himself in this article to have join- 
ed that class of Deists, whom. Dr. Clarke mentions as 
not capable of being argued with. These are they 
who endeavour to turn the most sacred things into ri- 
dicule; and shew as great a disregard to common de- 
cency as to religion. They pretend to expose their 
abuses and corruption of religion : but the profane 
and lewd images with which they affect to drjess up 
their discourse, demonstrate that they do not intend 
to deride any vice or folly, but rather to foment the 
vicious inclinations of others. By turning every thidjg 
alike into ridicule, they plainly declare that they have 
no regard for virtue or religion. Such, men are not 
to be argued with, till they learn to use arguments in- 
stead of drollery. For banter is not capable of being 
answered by reason, not because it has any strength 
in it ; but because it runs out of all the bounds of 
reason and good sense, by extravagantly joining toge- 
ther such images as have not in themselves any man- 

(*) A talent of gold is generally estimated aboul 
5075L sterling. 


silver ; so enormous a sum, that it is quite in* 
credible. There is not so much cash in all the 


ner of similitude or connection ; thus all things are 
alike easy to be rendered ridiculous, by being repre- 
sented only in an absurd dress. 

This is what our author has unhappily done in regard 
to the Song of Solomon. Whether this book, as well 
as those of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, were written by 
that prince, is not at all material to our religion ; but 
it is certain that they belong to the canonical books, 
and their authority is the same as that of the other 
parts of the scripture, of which there never was any 
doubt in the church. 

The Song of Songs is generally believed to have 
been written by king Solomon. It contains an epi- 
thalamiunvm' which the lover and his spouse are repre- 
sented spdâkirlg ^Iheir parts. King Solomon is named 
several times i<{ ffie bod/ of the work ; so that there 
can be no doubt of its being written in his time. In 
fegafd to the impropriety which some imagine of in- 
terring a book of this kind among those of holy writ, 
. k must be observed, that there is a double meaning 
rabé understood; the historical and the mystical. In the 
historical sense, it is a song for the nuptials of Solomon, 
and the daughter of the king of Egypt, who is called 
Shulamite. According to the mystical sense, of which 
the historical is only the foundation, it denotes the 
union between Christ and his church, which in the 
scripture is compared to that between man and wife. 
Such is the mystery represented by the nuptials of 
Solomon. But we are afraid our author is too car* 
nalty minded, to attend to the mystical sense of this or 
any other part of scripture. 

Our author's objections against the books of Pro- 
verbs and Ecclesiastes are puerile, and scarce deserv- 
ing of notice. But it is very droll to see him display- 

X 4 ing 


nations of the whole world ; and it is not easy 
to conceive that David amassed such treasures 
in so small a country as Palestine (')• 

ing his erudition on the French translation of the 3 1st 
verse in the 23d chapter of Proverbs : " Ne regardez 
u point le vin quand il paroit clair, et que sa couleur 
u Drille dans le verre: 91 because verre signifies glass, 
which is a recent invention. But it is highly proba- 
ble the French translators meant no more than a cup, 
as the original implies, and as it is rendered in the 
English version ; M when it giveth his colour in the 
*' cup." The book of Ecclesiastes was certainly 
written by Solomon, since it is mentioned to be the 
work of the son of David, king of Jerusalem, who 
excelled in wisdom and magnificence. It is a dis- 
course made to a congregation, upon the vanity and 
emptiness of all worldly things. That the passages 
which our author finds fault with, are to be consider- 
ed as objections which Solomon makes to himself, 
appears from the whole tenour of the book, and can- 
not bear any other construction. But does not Solo- 
mon clearly explain his meaning in other passages ? as 
in this, " Rejoice, oh ! young man, in thy youth, and 
" let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, 
" and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight 
" of thine eyes ; but know, that for all these things 
" God will bring thee into judgment." Does this 
breathe the air of libertinism? We sincerely wish our 
author had never been more licentious than Solomon 
shews himself in this book ; the public then would 
never have had so much reason to complain of some of 
his writings. 

In regard to the objections our author starts at the 
entrance of this article against the opulence of Solo* 
mon, they only discover his ignorance of the Jewish 
history. The scripture says, (1 Chron. xxix. 4.) 
" That David left behind him for the building of the 

" temple, 

(*) See Gentleman's Magazine for November or 
December, 1764. 


Solomon, according to the first book of Chro- 
nicles, had forty thousand stables for his chariot. 


u temple, three thousand talents of gold, of the gold 
" of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined 
*' silver." Now Dean Prideaux observes (Connect, 
book I.) two things concerning this immense quan- 
tity of gold : first, that it was the gold of Ophir ; from 
whence he concludes that David must have establish* 
ed a navigation to that place in his time, by the as- 
sistance of Hiram's expert sailors, without which it 
cannot be conceived how he could have amassed so 
vast a treasure. Thus Solomon did but improve what 
his father had begun in regard to the encouragement 
of commerce. Secondly, this sum, as he says, is so 
prodigious, as gives reason to think that the talents 
were another sort of talents, of a far less value than 
the Mosaic talents. For what is said to be given by 
David, and contributed by his princes, towards the 
building of the temple at Jerusalem, if valued by the 
Mosaic talents, exceeded the value of eight hundred 
millions of our money, which was enough to have 
built all that temple ot solid silver. * 

Solomon was a far more powerful prince than many 
people imagine : his dominions were not confined to 
the little country of Palestine, as M. Voltaire is pleas- 
ed to call it; they reached from the river Euphrates, or 
even beyond it, to the Nile, or borders of Egypt; and 
all the kings of those countries were tributaries to him. 
(1 Kings iv. 24.) What standing army he kept, the 
scripture does not mention ; yet, besides his fourteen 
hundred chariots and horses, the text says he had 
twelve thousand horsemen, which some take to have 
been rather saddle horses ; and others, his life-guards-. 
In regard to the forty thousand stalls of horses for his cha- 
riots, mentioned in the first book of Kings, chap. iv. this 
passage we must own has created some difficulty, es- 



horses. Each stable containing ten horses, 
makes four hundred thousand, which, with his 


pecially as in the second book of Chron. chap, ix. it is 
said, he had only, four thousand stalls. But we must 
observe that M. Voltaire very unfairly magnifies the 
number of horses in the first passage, by making use 
of the word écurie, stable ; whereas in the original it 
signifies only prascpt, a crib, that is a division of thé 
stable,so many cribs to each stable. Hence Buxtorff sup- 
poses that the book of Kings means the horses, that of 
Chronicles the stables, viz. that there were forty thou- 
sand horses in four thousand stables. Recourse must 
be therefore had to an hyspallage ; he had forty thousand 
stables, viz. forty thousand horses in lus stalls ; and the 
latter were four thousand, according to the book of 
Chronicles. Some interpreters think that the number 
in the book of Chronicles has been corrupted ; but 
this is said without any authority ; therefore the plain 
and easiest way of solving the whole difficulty is, that 
in the book of Kings the word Jirasejiium, or stable, 
is taken in its proper sense for a crib, or division of 
the stable ; in the book of Chronicle's, it is a synec- 
doche, and signifies a stable containing ten divisions, 
Wtfribs for ten horses : that is, there were four thou- 
sand equilia majora, qua? forty thousand minora conficie* 
banu And this difference of signification is pointed 
out by the very, words in the original, as may be seen 
in Pool's Sy no As is Criticorum. 

Be that as it may, Solomon was the first who intro- 
duced the use of chariots and horses in Israel, at least 
to any degree of magnificence. For it is certain that 
the multiplying of chariots and horses was expressly 
forbidden by the Mosaic law. These he sent for out 
of Egypt, not only for his own use, but for that of se- 
veral neighbouring kings, whom he obliged to pay him 
six hundred shekels for every chariot and four horses, 



twelve thousand saddle horses, amount to four 
hundred and twelve thousand good war horses ; 


and one hundred and . fifty for every single horse. 
He had likewise abundance of yarn, linen, and other 
commodities brought to him out of Egypt, which he 
sold to his subjects and merchants at a certain price. 
(1 Kings x.); all this produced an immense revenue. 
He did not keep all his horses and chariots at Jerusa- 
lem, but disposed them in several of his strong cities, 
reserving only a convenient number about his person, 
either for guards or grandeur (ibid.) but not quite se 
many as four hundred and twelve thousand, as our 
facetious author pretends, to escort his concubines in 
taking the fresh air along the lake of Genesareth, or 
that of Sodom. 

In order to supply his vast expences, Solomon built 
a navy at Ezion-geber, a sea-port near Eloth, in the 
land of Edom upon the Red Sea, and put it under the 
care of some Syrian mariners, to whom many of his 
own people were joined. The fleet sailed to Ophir, 
and in about three years brought him back an im- 
mense weight of gold and stiver,' besides several kinds 
of precious stones, spices, ebony, and other curious 
woods, ivory, peacocks, monkeys, and other rarities 
(1 Kings ix.) The gold itself amounted to four hun- 
dred and' fifty talents yearly, besides the profit he made 
of all the other commodities. Ophir not only afforded 
the greatest quantity of gold, but exceeded all other gold 
in fineness and value (1 Kings x.) Various are the opi- 
nions of the learned in regard to the situation of Ophir ; 
but the most probable conjecture places it in some of 
those remote rich countries of India beyond the Gan- 
ges, and perhaps as far as China or Japan. The latter 
still abounds with the finest gold, and with several other 
commodities imported t>y Solomon's fleet ; and by its 
distance best answers to the length of the voyage. 





a great many for a Jewish melk who never was 
engaged in a war. Never was the like magni- 
ficence seen in a country breeding only asses, 
and at present without any other beast for the 
saddle. But probably times are altered ; indeed 
so wise a prince having a thousand concubines, 
might very well have four hundred and twelve 
thousand horses, were it only to give his seraglio 
an airing along Genesareth lake, or that of So- 
dom, or toward Cedron brook, one of the most 
delicious spots on earth, except that this brook 
is dry nine months, of the year, and the ground 
a little stoney. 

But is this same wise Solomon really author 
of the works fathered on him ? is it likely, for 
instance, that the Jewish eclogue called the 
Song of Songs is of his writing ? 

A monarch who had a thousand mistresses, 
may have said to one of these charmers, Kiss me 
with the kisses of thy mouth, for thy breasts are 
better than wine. A king and a shepherd amidst 
such amorous indearments may very naturally 
talk alike: but it is something odd, that it is the 
girl who is made to talk thus wantonly about 
kisses and her sweetheart's breasts. 

I likewise will not deny but a courtly prince 
may make his mistress say, My husband is like 
a cluster of myrrh, he shall lye all night betwixt 
my breasts. A cluster of myrrh is to me some- 
thing obscure ; but I very well understand the 
charmer's meaning, when she bids her beloved 


Thus by encouraging navigation and commerce, Solo* 
mon became the richest prince of his time, and hi» 
kingdom the most flourishing in the world. 


fais left hand over her neck, and embrace her 
with his right* 

There are some expressions in which the au- 
thor's elucidation is wanted, as when he says, 
Your navel is like a goblet in which there is 
always something to drink; your belly is like a 
bushel of wheat ; your breasts are like two young 
roes; your nose is as the tower of Lebanon. 

This I own is not the stile of Virgil's Ec- 
logues ; but all have not a like stile, and a Jew 
is not obliged to write like Virgil. 

I suppose it may likewise be another beautiful 
strain of -eastern eloquence to say, Our sister is 
yet little; she has no breasts; what shall we do 
for our sister? If she be a wall, let us build on 
her ; if a door, let us shut her. 

We will allow that such words might have es- 
caped Solomon, though the wisest of men, in a 
merry mood. This composition is said to be an 
epithalamium on his marriage with Pharaoh's 
daughter : but is it natural that Pharaoh's son-in- 
law should leave his beloved in the night, to go 
an& saunter in his walnut-yard; and that the 
queen should run after him bare- footed ? that the 
city watch should beat her, and take her gown 
from her ? 

Could a king's daughter have said, lam brown, 
yet am I b^utiful like Solomon's furs ('). Such 
expressions might be overlooked in a home-spun 
swain; though, after all, there can be little affi- 

( x ) The Geneva and Dutch translations say, Cur- 
tains : Beza has it, Similis sum inhabitantibus autae* 
Schelomonis. The author seems disingenuous in 
most of his quotations. 


nity between furs and a girl's beauty. Well/ 
but Solomon's furs might be exceedingly ad- 
mired in their time; and for a low-lived Jew in 
a lay to his sweetheart, to tell her in his Jewish 

£*bbcrish, that never any Jewish king had such 
îe furred gowns as her dear self, was not at all 
out of character; but Solomon must have been 
strangely infatuated with his furs (o compare 
them to his mistress. Were a king in our times 
to write such an epithalamiuffl on his marriage 
with a neighbouring monarch's daughter, he 
would forfeit all title to the laurel. 

Several Rabbis have advanced that this lus- 
cious eclogue not only is not Solomon's, but is 
not so much as authentic. Theodore de Mop. 
sueste was of the same opinion ; and the cele- 
brated Grotius calls the Song of Songs a libidinous 
work, Jlagitiosus ; yet is it received as canoni- 
cal, and reputed to be Throughout an allegory of 
Christ's and his church's espousals. The alle- 
gory must be owned a little forced; and what 
the church could mean by its little sister having 
no bubbies, and that if a wall, she must be built 
on, is impenetrably obscure (*). 

EccJesiastes is of a more serious turn, but no 
more Solomon's than the Song of Songs. The 
author is commonly thought to be Jesus the son 
of Sirach, whilst others attribute it to Philo of 
Biblos; but whoever he was, the Pentateuch 
seems not to have been known in his time, else 


(*) The Rabbis I think compare the book of Pro- 
verbs to the outward court of the temple, Ecclesi* 
astes to the inward court, and the Song of Songs to 
the sanctuary. 


be would not have said that, at the time of the 
deluge Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac, or 
have spoken of Joseph the patriarch -as a king of 

The Proverbs have been attributed to Isaiah, 
Elziah, Sobna, Eliakim, Joake, and many 
others; but to whomsoever we owe this collec- 
tion of eastern sentences, we may be sure it does 
not come from a royal hand. Would a king 
have said, The wrath of a king is as the roaring 
of a lion ? This is the language of a subject or 
slave, who trembles at a frown front his master* 
Would Solomon have harped so much on a 
whorish woman ? would he have said, Look not 
on wine when it appears bright in the glass, and 
its colour shines ? 

I very much question whether drinking* 
glasses were made in Solomon's time; the in- 
vention is but modern : the ancients drank out 
of wooden or metal cups ; and this single passage 
betrays that book to be the work of some Alex- 
andrine Jew, and written long since Alexander. 
We now come to Ecclesiastes, which Grotius 
affirms to have been written in the time of Zoro- 
babel. This author's freedom is knpwn to every 
body ; he says, u That men are infnothing Set- 
*• ter than beasts;; that it is better npver to have 
" been born than to exist; that the$e is no other 
** life; that the only good is to eal and drink* 
•* and he merry with the woman one loves." 

Solomon perhaps might have talked in. this 
manner to some of his women, and some con- 
strue these sayings as objections which he makes 
to himself; but besides the libertinism of which 
they strongly savour, they have nothing of the 
appearance of objections ; and to mfke an author 

I mean 


mean the contrary of what he says, is àû insult 
on the world. 

However, several of the fathers tell us, that 
Solomon repented, and imposed on himself a 
severe penance: now this should silence all 
animadversions on his conduct. 

But though these books were written by a 
Jew, what is that to us ? The Christian religion 
is indeed founded on Judaism, but not on all the 
Jewish books. Why should the Song of Songs 
be held more sacred among us than the fables of 
the Talmud ? The answer is, because we have 
included it in the Hebrew canon. And what is 
this same canon ? It is a collection of authentic 
works. Well, and must a work of course be 
divine, for being authentic? For instance, a 
history of the kings of Juda and of Sichem, what 
is it but a history ? A strange prepossession*, 
indeed ! We despise and abhor the Jews ; and 
yet we insist, that all such of their writings 
which we have collected, bear the sacred stamp 
of divinity. Never was such a contradiction 
heard of! 


UYSTERS, we are told, have two senses, 
moles four, and other animals, like men, have 
-five. Some are for admitting a sixth, but it is 
evident that the voluptuous sensation, which is 
what they mean, comes within the touch ; and 
that five senses make up our whole portion* 
We cannot conceive or desire any thing beyond. 
The inhabitants of other globes 'may have sen- 
ses which we know nothing of: the number of 



the senses may gradually increase from globe* to 
globe; and the being endued with innumerable 
senses and all perfect, nay be the apex or period 
of alt beings* 

But w» with, our five organs, what power 
have we over them? It is always involuntarily 
that we feel; and never from our own inclinai 
tion; in the presence of the object it is impossi- 
ble not so have the sensation appointed by our 
nature; The sensation, though m us, does not 
at all depend on us; we receive it, and in what 
manner r Is there any affinity between the vi* 
brationsof the air, the words of a song, and the 
impression which these words make on my 

Thought seems to us something strange; but 
sensation is no less wonderful ; a divine power 
equally shews itself in the sensation of the 
meanest insect, as in a Newton's brain. Yet at 
seeing thousands of little animals destroyed, you 
are not in the least concerned wh^t becomes of 
their sensitive faculty, though this faculty l?e the 
work of the Being of beings. You look on them 
as machines in nature, born to perish and rnake 
room for others» 

Wherefore and how should their sensations 
subsist, when they no longer exist? What need 
is there for the author of every thing that has 
being, to preserve properties of which the sub-* 
ject is extinct? It may as well be said, that the 
power of the Sensitive Plant, to draw in its leaves 
towards its twigs, subsists when the plant is 
withered. Here undoubtedly it will be asked, 
how it is that the sensation oT animals perishing 
with them, man t faculty survives him ? That is 
a question beyond the verge of jmy knowledge ; 

Y aU 


all I can say to it is, the eternal Author both of 
sensation and thought, alone knows how he im- 
parts it, and how he preserves it. 

It was the current opinion of all antiquity, 
that nothing is in our understanding, which was 
not before m our senses. Descartes, in his Phi- 
losophical Romances, advanced that we had 
metaphysical ideas before we so much as knew 
our nurse's breasts. A college of divines con- 
demned this dogma, not because it was an error, 
but a novelty: afterwards it adopted this very 
error, because it had been overthrown by Locke, 
an English philosopher; and an Englishman, to 
be sure, must be in the wrong. After such 
shifts ôf opinion, it has again proscribed that 
ancient truth, that the senses are the inlets to 
the understanding. It seems to have acted like 
governments loaded with debts, sometimes 
giving a currency to certain notes, and after- 
wards suppressing them. But this college's 
notes have quite lost their currency for some 
time past. 

In spight of all the colleges of the world, phi- 
losophers will still see that, our first knowledge 
we receive from our sensations; and that our 
memory is no more than a continued sensation : 
a man born without any of bis five senses would, 
could he live, be totally void of any ideas. It is 
owing to the senses that we even have our me- 
taphysical notions : for how should a circle or a 
triangle be measured, without having seen or 
felt a triangle ? How can we form an idea, im- 
perfect as it is, .of infinitude, but by enlarging 
boundaries ? and h9w can we throw down boun- 
daries, without having seen or felt them ? 

An eminent philosopher (Traité des Sensa- 


tions, torn. ii. p. 128) says, Sensation includes 
all our faculties. 

• What roust be inferred from all this? That 
I leave to reflective readers f ' )• 


(* ) Mr. Voltaire does not tell us what inferences 
we are to draw from the foregoing doctrine of sensa- 
tions; but wè must confess, the whole article contains 
thé' substance of the Lucretian arguments against the 
immateriality of human souls, which is mis; that, 
since the five senses are the only means we have of 
perception, and these depend upon the corporeal 
organs, the soul without the body is incapable of per- 
ception, and therefore is nothing. In answer to 
which we must observe, first, that though the senses 
or perceptions depend on the corporeal organs, as to 
their present exercise, yet in their nature they are 
really distinct powers, and cannot arise from any of 
the Known properties or qualities of matter, as the 
learned Dr. Clarke hath fully demonstrated. Se- 
condly, our five senses cannot be said to be the only 
possible ways of perception, by an absolute necessity 
in the nature of the thing: these are purely arbitrary; 
and the same power that gave us these, may have 
given others to other beings : if they be purely arbi- 
trary, the want of them does not imply a total want of 
perception ; but the same soul which in the present 
state has the powers of reflection, reason, and judg- 
ment, which are faculties intirely different from sense, 
may as easily in another state have different ways of 
perception. Jo say that the senses are necessarily 
the only ways of perception, is a mere prejudice 
arising from custom; for supposing men had never 
known the use of sight, worfld not they have the 
•ame reason to conclude, there were but four possible 
ways of perception, and that sight is an impossible, 
imaginary power, as they now presume the faculties 

Y 2 of 

324 SOU t. 

SOUL (*) 

IT would be a fine thing to see one's soul. 
Know thyself, is an excellent precept, which 
God alone can practise. Who but he can know 
his essence ? 


of immaterial beings to be so? Men from their own 
mere negative ignorance, should never dispute against 
the possibility of things. See Dr. Clarke on the Be- 
ing and Attributes orGod. 

(*) This article abounds with metaphysical quésf 
tions concerning the immortality of the soul, which 
our author says can be only made known to us by 
faith. We apprehend he is much mistaken, and 
shall therefore give the reader the proofs of the imf- 
mortality of the soul, or of a future state of rewards 
and punishments. This we have attempted the rai 
ther, as throughout his whole work he seems inclined 
to discredit this doctrine, thé basis of all natural ai 
well as of revealed religion. With regard to the no* 
tions of schoolmen, mentioned by M. Voltaire, they 
are a matter of no consequence, as they do not affect 
'the doctrine itself, but are only designed to amuse 
an idle curiosity. > ' 

I. In this present world the natural order of things 
is so perverted, that vice' often flourishes in ff&t 
prosperity, and virtue falls under the heaviest câarnU 
ties ; whence we conclude, there rnust be a future 
state of rewards and punishments. For if there be a 
God, he is infinitely just and good; and it- rnust need* 
be his will, that all rational creatures shall 'imitate his; 
moral perfections ; he cannot therefore but be pleased 
with such as obey his* will, and displeased with those 
who disobey it; thence it follows, that in vindication 
ôf the honour of his government, he-must signify hk 
approbation or displeasure some time or other, by 


SOUL. 325 

\Ve call soul, that which animates ; and so 
contracted,!* our understanding, that we know 


making finally a suitable difference between those who 
obey him, and those who act otherwise ; consequent* 
ly there must be a state of rewards and punishments 
after this life, wherein all the present difficulties of 
providence (hall be cleared up by ,an exact admini- 
stration of justice. To say, that virtue is sufficient to 
its own happiness, . is talking idly with the Stoics ; 
since in the present state of things, virtue is not itself 
the chief good, but only the means to obtain it ; and 
he who dies for the sake of virtue, is not really more 
happy, abstracted from a regard to futurity, than he 
who dieafor. any fond opinion or humour. 

IL; Considering the nature and operations of the 
soul itself, none, of the known qualities of matter can 
in any possible variation, division, or 1 composition, 
produce sense and thought. The powers of the soul 
axe the most remote womthe known properties of 
matter. It is absurd to suppose the soul made up of 
innumerable consciousnesses, as matter of innumera- 
ble parts; therefore the seat of thought a 
simple. jubsfance, such as cannot be divided into 

{icces like .matter; consequently, trie soul is not Ha- 
te to be dissolved along with the bod/; therefore it immortal. 

, - UL -A third argument in favour of a future state, 
is. drawn from men's natural desire of immortality. 
For it is not at all probable, that God should have giv- 
en men. appetites, which were never to* be satisfied ; 
desires,, that had no objects' to answer them ; and 
unavoidable apprehensions of what was never to hap- 

TV. A fourth argument is -drawn from men's con- 
science, or judgment of their own conduct. Virtu- 
ous actions are attended with ^df-applause" and expec- 

Y 3 tation 

gî6 SOUL. 

little more of it. Three-fourths of our species 
do not go that length, and little concern them- 
selves about the thinking being; the other fourth 
is seeking, but nobody has found, nor ever will 

Thou poor pedant seeft a vegetating plant» 
and thou sayeft Vegetation, or even Vegetative 
soul. Thou observest bodies have and give 
motion, and this with thee is strength. Thy 
hound's aptness in learning to hunt under thy 
inftruction, thou callest instinct, sensitive soul ; 
and as thou hast combined ideas, that thou 
termest spirit. But 

tation of rewards; crimes, on the other hand, *are 
followed by remorse, and dread of punishment. 
Hence it is not therefore at all likely, that the Deity 
should have so framed the mind of man, as necessa- 
rily to pass upon itself a judgment, which shall never 
be verified; and stand perpetually convicted by a sen- 
tence, which shall never be confirmed. 

V. A fifth and last argument is drawn from man's 
being by nature an accountable creature, and capable 
of being judged. Every moral action a person per- 
forms proceeds either from some good, or bad mo- 
tive ; is either conformable or contrary to right reason, 
and worthy of praise, or dispraise. Therefore it is 
highly reasonable to suppose, that since all the moral 
difference of our actions consists in the right use or 
abuse of those faculties, which we have received from 
a superior being, there will at some time or other be 
an inquiry made into the grounds of our several ac- 
tions, whether they have been agreeable or disagreea- 
ble to the rule that was given us, and a suitable judg- 
ment be passed upon them. See further concerning 
this subject, Dr. Clarke on the Being and Attributes 
of God, and Woolaston's Religion of Nature deline- 

SOUL. 327 

. But pray what do you mean by these words, 
This flower vegetates r But is there a real being 
named Vegetation ? One -body impels another, 
but is there in it a. distinct being called Strength ? 
This hound brings thee a partridge ; but is there 
a being called Instinct ? Wouldest thou not laugh 
at a philosopher, had he even been Alexander's 

}>receptor, who Ihould tell thee, All animals 
ive ; therefore there is in them a being, a sub- 
stantial form, which is life ? 

Could a tulip speak, and mould it say to thee, 
We are evidently two beings united, wouldest 
thou not contemptuoufly turn thy back on the 
tulip ? 

Let us firft see what thou knowest, and of 
what thou art certain : that thou walkest with 
thy feet ; that thou digestest by thy stomach ; 
that thou feelest all over thy body ; and that 
thou thinkest by thy head. Let us see if thy 
reason alone could give thee so much insight, 
as to conclude, without any- supernatural help» 
that thou hast a soul ? r 

The first philosophe^,, v both Chaldeans and 
Egyptians, said, There must be something in us 
that produces our thoughts. This something 
must be very subtile ; it is a breath ; it is fire ; 
it is aether ; it is a quintefience ; it is a light form ; 
it is an entelechia ; it is a number; it is a har- 
mony. According to the divine Plato, it is a 
compound of the same and of the other ; and 
Epicurus from Democritus has said, that it is 
thinking atoms in us: but, friend, how does an 
atom think ? Own your ignorance here. 

The opinion which, unquestionably we should 
embrace, is that the soul is an immaterial be* 
ing ; but as certainly you do not conceive what 

Y 4 this 

jfift SOITL. 

thisitofflaierial being is. No, answer thelearn- 
ed: but we know that its nature is to think. 
And how come you to know that ? We know 
k, "because it àeferthink. O docton ! O school, 
men ! I am very much afrtûd that you are as ig- 
norant as Epicurus. The nature of a stone is 
to -fall, because it 'falls ; but I ask you what 
inake6 it fall ? 

- « We know, continue they, that a stone has no 
soul. Granted, I believe it as well as you. 
We know that a negative and an affirmative are 
not divisible, are not parts of matter: I am of 
your opinion. But matter, otherwise unknown 
to us, has qualities that are not divisible, as gra- 
vitation towards a center given it by God. Mow 
this gravitation has no parts, is not divisible. 
The itootory force of bodies is not a being com- 
posed of parts; neither can it be said that the 
vegetation of all organized bodies, their life, 
their instinct, are diftmct, or divisible beings. 
You can- no «lore cut in two the vegetation of a 
rose, the life of a horse, the instinct of a dog, 
than you can cut in two a sensation, m negation, 
or an affirmattoh. Thus your fine argument, tak- 
en from the indivisibility of thought, proves 
nothing at all. 

What' then do you call your aoul ? what idea 
have you of it? All you can of yourself, with- 
out a revelation, allow to be in yourself* is a 
power unknown to you of feeling and thinking. 

Now, honestly tell me, is this power of feel* 
itig and thinking, the same as that by which you 
digest and walk ? You tell itfe it^jjot : for jt 
Would be in Vain for your understanding to say 
to your ftomach, digest; it would do no such 
thing if it be out of order; and to as little effect 


soul. 8*9 

would your immaterial being command your feet 
to walk; they will not budge, .if the gout be in 

The Greeks were well aware that thought of- 
ten had no concern with the play of our organs ; 
instead of those organs, they, substituted a sen- 
skive soul, and for the thoughts, a more fine and 
more subtile soul, a nous. 
. But let us come to this soul of thought, which 
on a thousand occasions has the superintendency 
over the sensitive soul. The thinking.soul or- 
ders its hands to take, and they take ; but it ne- 
ver tells its heart to beat, its blood to flow, or 
its chyle to form itself; all this is done without 
it. Thus are two souls full o£ business, and ve- 
ry little mistresses in their own home. 

Now certainly that first sensitive soul does not 
exist; it is nothing but the motion < of your or- 
gans. Observe this, O man! that thy weak 
reason affords thee no more proof that the other 
soul exists. It is only by faith that thou canst 
know it. Thou art 1 born; thou livest; thou 
actest; thou thinkest; them steepest and wak- 
est without knowing how. God has giver» 
thee the faculty of thinking, '» as he has give» 
thee • all thy other appurtenances '; ,and had ■ he 
not come at the time appointed by bis provi- 
dence to inform thee, that thou hast an immate- 
rial and immortal soul, thou wouldest havebeexi 
without any proof of it. 

Let us now take a view of; the fine systems 
which philosophy has struck out concerning the 

One says that the soul of man is part of the 
substance of God himself ; another, that it is 
part of the great all ; a third, that it has been 
>i created 

33^ % soul- 

created from all eternity; a fourth, that it is 
made and not created : others affirm, that God 
makes them as they are wanted ; and that. they 
come at the instant of copulation : one* cries 
they are lodged in the seminal animalcules : not 
at all, says another, they take up their residence 
in the Falopian tubes. One coming in at the 
heat of the dispute, bawls, You are all out, the 
soul stays six weeks till the fœtus be formed, 
and then possesses itself of the pineal gland ; but 
if germ prove addle, it goes away to whence it 
came, till a better opportunity. The last opini- 
on makes its abode to be in the callous body. 
This is the situation assigned to it by La Peironie. 
Indeed none under the king of France's first sur- 
geon could provide such an apartment for the 
soul. However, the surgeon has got into bet- 
ter vogue than his callous body. , ■ > 

St. Thomas, in his 75th question, &c. says, 
that the soul is a form Subsistons per se ; that 
it is all in all ; that it's e Hence differs from it's 
power ; that there are three vegetative souls, the 
nutritive, the augmentative, and the generative; 
that the memory of spiritual things is spiritual, 
and the memory of corporeal things is corporeal ; 
that the rational soul is an immaterial form as to 
the operations ; and material in eflence. St. 
Thomas has written two thousand pages all of 
this force and perspicuity. No wonder that 
schools style him the angelic doctor ! 

As many systems have been invented on the 
manner of this soul's perceptions, when it shall 
have quitted this body by which it perceived, 
how it will hear without ear's, smell without a 
nose, and feel without hands; what body it 
will afterwards re-assume, whether that . which 


soul. 33 1 | 

it had at the age of two years, or of fourscore? 
how the Me, the identity of the* same person, 
will subsist ? how the soul of a man, who was 
seized with ideotism at the age of fifteen, and 
died in that state at seventy, will recover the 
train of ideas which it had at its age of puberty ? 
by what dexterity, a soul, one of whose legs 
was cut off in Europe, and which lost an arm 
in America, will find this leg and arm again, 
after their several mutations into esculent herbs, 
and the blood of some other animal ? There 
would be no end of enumerating all the extra- 
vagancies which this poor human soul has 
broached concerning it's self. 

We live upon this earth in the same manner 
as the man with the iron mask spent his days in 
prison, without knowing his original, or - the 
reason of his being confined, which excited a 
general curiosity. 

If any man has discovered a ray of light in 
this .region of darkness, perhaps it is Malle* 
branche, notwithstanding the general prejudices 
against his system. It does not. differ greatly 
from that of the Stoics ; and who knows but 
these two opinions, properly rectified, come 
-nearest the truth ? There is, I think, something 
very sublime in that ancient notion: ".We exist 
44 in God; our thought, our sentiments, are de- 
44 rived from the Supreme Being." 

A most remarkable circumstance is, that in 
the laws of God's people, not a word is said 
of the soul's spirituality and immortality, nothing 
in the Decalogue, nothing in Leviticus, nor in 

It is very certain, .it is manifest, that Moses 
.no where proposes to the Jews rewards and 


33» soul. 

punishments in apotber state; that lie never 
mentions to them the immortality of their souls ; 
that he never encourages them with the hopes of 
heaven, nor does he threaten them .with hell ; 
his promises and menaces are all temporal* 

Before his death, he tells them in .Deuterono- 

44 If, after having children and grand chil- 
*.* dren, you deal falsely» you shall be cut off 
" from the land, and be made little among the 
" nations. 

44 I am a jealous God, punishing the iniquity 
•• of the lathers to the third and fourth gene- 
•* ration. 

Honour thy father and mother, that thy life 
may be long. 
44 You shall never want food. 

If you follow after strange gods, you shall 
•* be destroyed— 

44 If you obey the Lord, you shall have .rain 
• 4 in spring and autumn ; corn, oil, wine, and 
** fodder for your beasts, . that you may. eat and 
44 be satisfied. 

Put these words, into your, hearts,, about 
434 your bands, between your eyes; write them 
on your doors, that your days, may be mul- 

Do as I order you, . without adding or taking 
away any thing. 
44 If a prophet arise, among you, foretelling 
44 strange things, and his prophecy is true, and 
44 what he says comes to pass; should he say to 
you, Come, let us follow strange gods, ye 
shall immediately kill him ; and all the peo- 
ple smite, him after you» 

44 .When 








soul. 333 

" When the Lord shall have delivered the 
•• nations into your hands, put them all to the 
*' sword» without sparing one single man ; thou 
«• shalt not pity any one. 

" Eat no unclean birds, as the eagle, and the 
** ossifrage, and the ospray, &c. 

" Eat no creatures which chew the cud and 
44 are not cloven footed, as the camel, the. hare, 
• 4 and the cony. 

" Whilst you observe all those ordinances 
" you shall be blessed in your houses and in 

Îrour fields ; the fruits of your body, of youf 
and, of your cattle shall be blessed. 

If you fail to observe all these ordinance^ 
and ceremonies, cursed shall ye be in youf 

houses and. m your fields. 

Famine and poverty shall come oft you} 
you shall die, distressed by cold, want, and 
sickness ; you shalt have the itch, the scab * 
you shall have ulcers in your knees, and in 
your legs. 

The strangers shall lend to you on usury— 
because ye have not served the Lord. 

And ye shall eat the fruit of your bodies; 
and the flesh of your sons and of your daugh- 

Do not all these promises and threatnings re- 
late intirely to things of time and this world ? 
is there a single word in them concerning the 
soul's immortality, and a future life ? 

Several celebrated commentators have thought, 
that those two capital doctrines were very well 
known to Moses, and in proof of it produce Ja- 
cob's words, who apprehending that his son had 
been devoured by wild beasts, says in his grief, 
I shall go down with my son to the grave, in i«- 





• C 


334 « OUL - 

ftrnum % into hell ; that is to say, as my sort is 
dead, let me die. 

They farther prove it by passages from Isaiahr 
and Ezekiel ; but the Hebrews, to whom Moses 
was speaking, knew nothing of those two pro- 
phets, as not living till some ages after. 

To dispute about Moses's private sentiments is 
wasting words to no purpose. The certain fact 
is, that in his public laws he had never so much 
as once made mention of a life to come, limiting 
all punishments and all rewards to the present 
state. If he was acquainted with a future life, 
why did he not expresly set forth such an im- 
portant tenet? and it he was a stranger to it, what 
was the scope of his mission ? 

This is a question advanced by several great 
. men : and in answer to it they say, that Moses's 
Lord, who is the lord of all men, reserved to 
himself the prerogative of explaining to the 
Jews in his own time, a doctrine which they 
were not in a condition to understand, when in 
the wilderness. 

Had Moses taught the doctrine of the immor- 
tality of the soul, a great school among the Jews 
would not always have opposed it. Nay, that 
great school, the Sudducees, would not have 
been allowed of in the state, much less would 
they have held the chief employments ; and still 
much less would high-priests have been taken 
from such a body. 

It appears that the Jews were not divided into 
three sects, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the 
Essenes, till after the foundation of Alexandria. 
Josephus the historian, who was a Pharisee, say» 
in book XIII. of his antiquities, that the Phari- 
sees believed the metempsichosis. The Saddu- 

soul. 335 

cees held that the soul perished with the body. 
The opinion of the Essenes was, that souls were 
immortal and came down into bodies from the 
upper regions of the air in an aerial form ; that 
their return thither is by a rapid attraction ; and, 
after death, those which belonged to good per- 
sons have mansions assigned them beyond the 
ocean, in a country where there is neither heat 
nor cold, wind nor rain, whilst the souls of the 
wicked go to a quite contrary climate ; such was 
the theology of the Jews. 

He who alone was to set mankind right came 
and overthrew these three sects, but without 
hïm we never should have been able to know 
anything of the soul: for philosophe] s never 
had any determinate idea of it; and Moses, the 
only true legislator of the world before our di- 
vine teacher; Moses, who spoke to God face 
to face, and who saw only his hinder parts, has 
left mankind in their natural ignorance of this 
momentous article : so that it is but seventeen 
hundred years since there has been any cer- 
tainty of the existence and immortality of the 

Cicero had only surmises ; his grand-son and 
grand-daughter might have learned farther from 
the first Galileans who came to Rome. 

But before, and since that time, in all the 
parts of the earth, where the apostles had not 
preached the gospel, every one might say to his 
soul, Who art thou? whence comest thou? 
what art thou doing ? whither art thou going ? 
Thou art, I know not what ; thou thinkest and 
perceivest; and weit thou to perceive and think 
a hundred thousand millions of years, never 
wouldest thou, by thine own faculties, without 



the assistance of God, know a jot more than 
thou know est now. 

Know man, that God has given thee under- 
standing to guide thy behaviour, and not to pe- 
netrate into the essence of the things which he 
has created. 



[atever goes beyond the adoration of one 
Supreme Being, and a submission of the heart to 
his eternal orders, is generally superstition ; and 
a most dangerous superstition is the annexing 
of the pardon of crimes to certain ceremonies. ' 

" Et nigras mactant pecudes et manibus divis 
" Infenas mittunt. 

" O faciles nimium qui tristia crimina caedis 
" Flaminea tolli posse putatis aqua" 

You imagine that God will forget your having 
killed a man, only for your washing yourself in 
a river, sacrificing a black sheep, and some words 


(') The doctrine contained in this article may 
come very well from the mouth of Cicero, Seneca, 
or Plutarch ; but if it intends to suppress aU external 
ceremonies of religion, it is not suitable to a believer 
of Christianity. We are taught that every particular 
or national church hath authority to decree and appoint 
ceremonies or religious rites, without being charged 
with superstition. And we believe that baptism and 
the Lord's-Prayer, which constitute a part of our ex- 
ternal worship, were ordained by Christ, and conse- 
quently a divine institution. Superstition properly 
consists in the practice of such ceremonies as are re» 
pugnant to reason, or the word of God» 



being said over you. Of course then a second 
murder will be forgiven you at the same easy 
rate, and so a third; and a hundred murders 
will only cost you a hundred black sheep, and a 
hundred ablutions! Poor mortals! away with 
such conceits; the best way is, commit no mur- 
der, and so save your black sheep. 

How scandalous is it to imagine that a priest of 
Isis and Cybele can reconcile you to the deity, 
by playing on cymbals and castanets ! And what 
is this priest of Cybele, this vagrant gelding, 
who lives by your weakness, that he shall set up 
to be as a mediator between heaven and you ? Has 
he any commission from God ? He takes money 
from you only for muttering some strange words ; 
and you can think that the Being of $eings rati- 
fies what this hypocrite says. 

Some superstitions are innocent; you dance 
on Diana or Pomona's festivals, or those of any 
of the secondary gods in your calendar: be it so ; 
dancing is pleasant, healthy, and exhilarating; 
it hurts no body ; but do not take it into your 
head that Pomona and Vertumnus are mightily 
pleased at your having frolicked in honour of 
them ; and that should you fail to do so, they 
would make you smart tor it. The gardener s 
spade and hoe are the only Pomona and Vertum- 
nus. Don't be so weak as to think that your 
garden, will be destroyed by a tempest, if you 
omit dancing the pyrrhic or the cordax. 

There is another superstition which perhaps is 
excusable, and even an incentive to virtue ; I 
mean deifying great men who have been signal 
bene factors, to their own species. To be sure it 
would be better only to look on them as venerable 
personages, and especially to endeavour to imi- 

Z tate 


tate them : therefore revere, without worshipping» 
a Solon, a Thaïes, a Pythagoras; but by no 
means do not pay thy adorations to Hercules for 
having cleansed Augeas's stables, and lying with 
fifty girls in one night. 

Especially forbear setting up a worship for 
wretches without any other merit than ignorance, 
enthusiasm, and nastiness; who made a vow of 
idleness and beggary, and gloried in such infamy : 
fit subjects indeed for deification after their death ; 
who were never known to do the least good when 

Observe that the most superstitious times have 
ever been noted for the greatest enormities. 


W HAT is toleration ? It is a privilege to 
which human nature is entitled : we are all made 
uj>of weakness and errors, it therefore behoves 
us mutually to forgive another's follies. This k 
the very first law of nature.. 
. Though the Gueber, the Banian, the Jew, the 
Mahometan, the lettered Chinese, the Greek, the 
Roman Catholic» the Quaker, traffic together on 
the 'Change of Amsterdam, London, aurat, or 
Bassora ; they will never offer to lift up a po- 
niardagainst each other, to gain proselytes : where* 
fore then, since the first council of Nice, have 
we been almost continually cutting each other's 

Constantine began with issuing an edict, allow* 
ing the exercise of? all religions ; and some time 
after turned persecutor. Before him, all the se» 
vere treatment* of the Christians proceeded purely 
from their beginning to make a party in the state. 



ÎQLI1AT1QN. 309 

The Romani permitted every kind of worship, 
even of the jews and Egyptians, both which 
they so very much despised. How then came 
Rome to tolerate these forms T It was because 
neither the Egyptians nor the Jews themselves 
went about to exterminate the ancient religion of 
the empire ; they did not cross seas and lands tq 
make proselytes ; the getting of money was all 
they minded ; whereas it is indisputable, that the 
Christians could not be easy, unless their religion 
bore the sway. The Jews were disgusted at the 
statue of Jupiter being set up in Jerusalem ; 
but the Christians would not so much as allow it 
to be in the capitol of Rome. St. Thomas cap* 
didly owns, that it was only for want of po#er 
that the Christians did not dethrone the emperors: 
they held that all the world ought to embrace their 
religion ; this of course made them enemies to 
all the world, till its happy conversion» 

Their controversial points likewise set them at 
enmity one against another concerning the divi- 
nity of Christ: they who denied it were anatbe» 
ruatized as Ebionites; and these anathematized 
the worshippers of Jesus. 

If some would have all goods to be in com- 
mon, as they alledged was the custom in the 
Apostles time ; their adversaries call them Nico- 
taitans» and accuse them of the most horrid 
crimes. If others let up for a mystical devotion, 
they are branded with the appellation of Qnostics, 
and opposed with extreme vehemence and seve- 
rity. Marcion, for disputing on the Trinity, got 
the name of an idolater. 

TertuHian, Praxeas, Origen, Novatus, Nova- 
tianus, Sabelhis, and Donatus, were all perse* 
cured by their brethren before Constantine's time : 

Z 2 and 


atad no sooner had Constantinc established the 
Christian religion, than the Athanasians and Eu* 
sebians fell foul of one another ; and ever since, 
down to our own times, the Christian church has 
been deluged with blood. 

The Jewish people were, I own, extremely 
barbarous and merciless ; massacring all the inha- 
bitants of a little wretched country, to which it 
had no more right (') than their vile descendants 
have to Paris or London. However, when Naa- 
man is cured of his leprosy by dipping seven 
times in the river Jordan, and by way of expres- 
sing his gratitude to Elijah, from whom he had 
the secret of that easy cure, he tells him that he 
will worship the God of the Jews ; he yet re- 
serves to himself the liberty to worship his sove- 
reign's God likewise ; and asks Elisha's leave, 
which the prophet readily grants (*). The Jews 
worshipped their God, but never were offended 
at, or so much as thought it strange, that every 
nation had its own Deity* They acquiesced in 
Chamoth's giving a tract of land to the Moabites, 


(*) This is a mistake of M.Voltaire. The Is- 
raelites treated the Cananites with great severity by the 
express command of God, who would have these na- 
tions extirpated because of their horrid impiety, which 
soon made them unworthy of the lands they possessed 
and was the cause of their being given away to the 

( *) This story of Naatnan is not fairly represented. 
Naaman does not ask Elisha's permission to worship 
his master's God, but to bow himself down along with 
his master, who leaned upon his hand ; so that it was 
not a religious, but a civil ceremony, in the discharge 
of his office. Thus Abraham, Gen. xxiii. 7. bowed 
himself to the people of the land. 


provided they would let them quietly enjoy what 
they held from their god. Jacob made no diffi- 
culty of marrying an idolater's daughter; for 
Laban had another kind of god than he whom 
Jacob worshipped. These are instances of tole- 
ration among the most haughty, most obstinate, 
and most cruel people of all antiquity ; and we, 
overlooking what little indulgence was among 
them, have imitated only their sanguinary ran* 

Every individual persecuting another for not 
being of his opinion, is a monster ; this is evi- 
dent beyond all dispute : but the government ! 
men in power, princes ! how are they to deal 
with those of a different worship from theirs? If 
foreigners and powerful, it is certain a prince 
will not disdain entering into an alliance with 
them. Francis I. though his most Christian ma- 
jesty, unites with the Musselmen against Charles 
V . likewise a most Christian monarch. Francis 
supplies the German Lutherans with money to 
support their revolt against the emperor; but, 
according to custom, burns them in his own 
country: thus, from policy, he pays them in 
Saxony; and, from policy, makes bonfires of 
them at Paris. But what was the consequence ? 
Persecution ever makes proselytes. France came 
to swarm with new Protestants, who at first 
quietly submitted to be hanged, and afterwards 
hung others ; civil wars came on ; and St. Bar* 
tholomew's day, or the massacre oft Paris, crowned 
ail. Thus this corner of the world became 
worse than all that ever the ancients or moderns 
have said of hell. 

Ye fools, never to pay a proper worship to 
the God who made you ! wretches, on whom the 

Z 3 example 


example of the Noachidas, the lettered Chinese, 
the Persees, and all wise men have had no infliu 
ence ! monsters, to whom superstitions are ne- 
cessary as carrion to crows ! You have been al- 
ready told it, and I have nothing else to tell you ; 
whilst you have but two religions among you, 
they will be ever at daggers drawing ; if you 
have thirty they will live quietly. Turn your 
eyes to the grand signior, he has among his sub- 
jects Guebers, Banians, Greeks, Latins, Chris- 
tians, and Nestorians. Whoever goes about to 
raise any disturbance is surely impaled; and 
thus all live in peace and quietness. 


DY a tyrant is meant a sovereign who makes 
his humour the law, who seizes on his subjects 
substance, and afterward* inlists them to go and 
give his neighbours the like treatment. These 
tyrants are not known in Europe. 

Tyranny is distinguished into that of one per* 
•on and of many j a body invading the rights of 
other bodies, and corrupting the laws that it may 
exercise a despotism apparently legal, is the lat* 
ter tyranny; but Europe likewise has none of 
these tyrants. 

Under which tyranny would you cause to live ? 
Under none ; tçn had I the option, the? tyranny 
of one person appears to me less odious and 
dreadful than that of many. A despot has aU 
ways some intervals of good humour ; which is 
never known in an assembly of despots* If a 
tyrant has done me an injury, there is his mis* 
trfess, his confessor, or his page, by means of 
whom I may appease him, and obtain redress* but 

a set 


VIRTUE. 94| 

a set ot supercilious tyrants it inaccessible to all 
applications. If they are not unjust, still they 
are austere and harsh ; and no favours are «ter 
known to come from them. 

Under one despot, I need only Hand up against 
a wall when I see him coming by, or prostrate my* 
self, or knock my forehead against the ground, 
according to the custom of the country ; but un* 
der a body of perhaps a hundred despots, I may 
be obliged to repeat this ceremony a hundred timet 
a day, which is not a little troublesome to those 
who are not very nimble* Another disagreeable 
circumstance is, if my farm happens to be in the 
neighbourhood of one of our great lords, it is 
unknown what damages I am obliged to put up 
with ; and if I have a law.suit with a relation to 
a relation of one of their high, mightinesses, k 
will infallibly go against me, I am very muck 
afraid that in this world things will come to suck 
a pass, as to have no other option than being 
either hammer or anvil. Happy hel who gets 
clear of this alternative. 

VIRTUE ('). 

WHAT is virtue? Doing good to others. 

How can I give the name of virtue to any one 


( z ) Our author may give some offence to minute 
critics in the following article, but upon consideration 
die reader will find the whole to be a logemaChia. By 
virtue he means charity and beneficence. The card*- 
nal and theological virtues he calls excellent qualities, 
but does not auow them to be virtues in regard to our 
neighbour. No body pretends they are; but they are 

Z4 virtue* 

544 VIRTUE. 

but to him who does roe good ? I am in want, 
you relieve me ; I am in danger, you come to 
my assistance; I have been deceived, you tell 
me the truth. 1 am ill used, you comfort me ; 
I am ignorant, you instruct me : I must say then 
you are virtuous. But what will become of the 
cardinal and theological virtues ? Let some even 
remain in the schools. 

What is your temperance to me? It is no 
more than observance of a rule of health ; you 
will be the better for it ; and much good may 
it do you. If you have faith and hope, better 
still ; they will procure you eternal lite. Your 
theological virtues are heavenly gifts, and those 
you call cardinal are excellent qualities for your 
guidance in life; but, relatively to your neigh- 
bour, they are no virtues. The prudent man 
does good to himself ; the virtuous to men in ge- 
neral. Very well was it said by St. Paul, that 
charity is better than faith and hope. 

But how ! are no virtues to be admitted but 
those by which others are benefited ? No indeed. 
We live in a society ; consequently there is no- 
thing truly good to us, but what is for the good 
of such society. If a hermit is sober and de- 

virtues in regard to ourselves, and to the Deity ; or 
they are excellent qualities, for we shall not dispute 
about the word. We do not perceive, nevertheless, 
how M. Voltaire can be said to give indirect encou- 
ragement in this article to private vices, for he ac- 
knowledges that gluttony, drunkenness, &c. are 
blemishes or defects in a hermit, though not perni- 
cious to society, because he does not live in a social 

VIRTUE. 345 

vout, and among other mortifications wears a 
sackcloth shirt; such a one I set down as a 
saint ; but before I shall style him virtuous, let 
him do some act of virtue which will promote 
the well being of his fellow creatures. Whilst 
he lives by himself, to us he is neither good 
nor bad; he is nothing. If St. Bruno recon- 
ciled families, and relieved the indigent, he 
was virtuous ; if he prayed and fasted in the de- 
sart, he was a saint. Among men virtue is à 
mutual exchange of kindnesses, and whoever 
declines such exchanges, ought not to be reck- 
oned a member of society. Were that saint to 
live in the world, probably he would do good 
in it; but whilst he keeps out of it, the world 
will only do his saintship justice, in not allowing 
him to be virtuous. He may be good to him- 
self, but not to us. 

But, say you, if a hermit be given to drunk- 
enness, sensuality, and private debauchery, he 
is a vicious man ; consequently with the oppo- 
site qualities, he is virtuous. That is what I 
cannot come into : if he has those faults he is a 
very filthy man ; but, with regard to society, as 
it is not hurt by his infamies, he is not vicious, 
wicked, or deserving of punishment. It is to 
be presumed, that were he to return into society, 
he would do much harm, and prove a very bad 
man. Of this there is a greater probability, 
than that the temperate and chaste hermit will 
be a good man ; for in public life, faults in- 
crease, and good qualities diminish. 

A much stronger objection is, that Nero, Pope 
Alexander VI. and other such monsters did some 
good things. I take upon me to answer, that 
when they did, they were virtuous. 


J$6 WAK. f 

Some divines, so far from allowing that excel- 
lent Emperor Antoninus to have been a good 
man, represent him as a conceited Suae, who, 
besides ruling over men, coveted iheW 'esteem , 
that in all the good he did to mankind* his own 
reputation was the cad; that his justice, appli- 
cation, .and benevolence) proceeded purely trora 
vanity; and that his virtues were a downright 
imposition on the world. At this, I cannot for- 
bear crying out, O! my God, be pleased in thy 
goodness, often to give us such hypocrites. 


r A M I N E, the plague, and war, are the three 
most famous ingrédients in this lower world. 
Under famine may be classed all the noxious 
foods, which want obliges us to have recourse 
to ; thus shortening our life, whilst we hope to 
support it. 

In the plague are included all contagious dis- 
tempers ; and these arc not less than two or 
three thousand. These two gifts we hold from 
providence; but war, in which all those' gifts 
are concentered, we owe to the fancy of threw' 
of four hundred persons scattered over the sur- 
face of this globe, under the name of princes 
and ministers; and on this account it may be, 
that in several dedications, they are called the 
living images of the Deity. 

The most hardened flatterer will allow, that 
war is ever attended with plague and famine, 
especially if he has seen the military hospitals in 
Germany, or passed through any villages where 
tome notable feat of arms has been performed. 

war. 347 

It is unquestionably a ver)' nobie art to ra- 
vage countries, destroy dwellings, and communis 
bus annis, out of a hundred thousand men to 
cut off forty thousand. This invention was 
originally cultivated by nations, assembled for 
their common good; for instance, the diet of, 
the Greeks sent word to the diet of Phfygia and 
its neighbours, that they were putting to sea in 
a thousand fishing-boats, in order to do their best 
to cut them off root and branch. 

The Roman people, in a general assembly, re- 
solved that it was their interest to go and fight 
the Vejentes or the Volscians before harvest ; 
and some years after, all the Romans being an- 
gry with all the Carthaginians, fought a long 
time both by sea and land» It is otherwise in 
our time. 

A genealogist sets forth to a prince that he is 
descended in a direct line from a count, whose 
kindred, three or four hundred years ago, had 
made a family compact with a house, the very 
memory of which is extinguished. That house 
had some distant claim to a province, the last 
proprietor of which died of an apoplexy. The 
prince and his council instantly resolve, that this 
province belongs to him by divine right* The 

Province, which is some hundred leagues from 
im, protests that it does not so much as know 
him ; that it is not disposed to be governed by 
him ; that before prescribing laws to them; their 
consent, at least, was necessary: these allega- 
tions do not so much as reach the prince's ears ; 
it is insisted on that his right is incontestable. 
He instantly picks up a multitude of men, who 
have nothing to do, nor nothing to lose ; cloaths 
then with coarse blue cloth, one sou to the ell ; 



348 WAR. 

puts them on hats bound with coarse white 
worsted ; makes them turn to the right and left ; 
and thus marches away with them to glory. 

Other princes, on this armament, take part in 
it to the best of their ability, and soon cover a 
small extent of country, with more hireling mur- 
derers than Gengis.Kan, Tamerlane and Bajazet 
bad at their heels. 

People, at no small distance, on hearing that 
fighting is going forward,* and that if they would 
make one, there are five or six sous a day for 
them, immediately divide into two bands, like 
reapers, and go and sell their services to the first 

These multitudes furiously butcher one an* 
other, not only without having any concern in 
the quarrel, but without so much as knowing 
what it is about. 

Sometimes five or six powers are engaged, 
three against three, two against four, sometimes 
even one against five, all equally detesting one 
another; and friends and foes, by turns, agree- 
ing only in one thing, to do all the mischief pos- 

An odd circumstance in this infernal enter- 
prize is, that every chief of these ruffians has his 
colours consecrated ; and solemnly prays to God 
before he goes to destroy his neighbour. If the 
slain in a battle do not exceed two or three thou- 
sand, the fortunate commander does not think it 
worth thanking God for ; but if, besides killing 
tenor twelve thousand men, he has been so far 
favoured by heaven, as totally to destroy some 
remarkable place, then a verbose hymn is sung 
in four parts, composed in a language unknown 
to all the combatants, and besides stuffed with 


war, 349 

barbarisms. The same song does for marriages 
and births» as for massacres; which is scarce 
pardonable, especially in a nation of all others 
the most noted for new songs. 

All countries pay a certain number of orators 
to celebrate these sanguinary actions ; some in a 
long black coat, and over it a short docked 
cloak ; others in a gown, with a kind of shirt 
over it ; some again over their shirts have two 
pieces of a motley-coloured stuff hanging down. 
They are all very long-winded in their ha?> 
rangues, and to illustrate a battle fought in We- 
teravia, bring up what passed thousands of years 
ago in Palestine. 

At other times these gentry declaim against 
vice; they prove by syllogisms and antitheses, 
that ladies, for slightly heightening the hue of 
their cheeks with a little carmine, will assuredly 
be the eternal objects of eternal vengeance ; that 
Polyeucte and Athalia (') are the devil's works ; 
that he, whose table on a day of abstinence, is 
loaded with fish to the amount of two hundred 
crowns, is infallibly saved; and that a poor man, 
for eating two penny-worth of mutton, goes to 
the devil for ever and ever. 

Among five or six thousand such declama- 
tions, there may be, and that is the most, three 
or four, written by a Gaul named Massillon, 
which a gentleman may bear to read ; but in not 
one of all those discourses has the orator the 
spirit to animadvert on war, that scourge and 
crime which includes all others. These grove- 
ling speakers are continually prating against 


( f ) Two French Tragedies. 


gjd WAR. 

love, mankind's only solace, and the only way 
of repairing it: not a word do they say of the 
detestable endeavours of the mighty for its de- 

Bourdaloue, a very bad sermon have you made 
against impurity, but not one either bad or gapd 
on those various kinds of murders, on those rob- 
beries, on those violences, that universal rage, 
by which the world is laid waste ! Put together 
all the vices of all ages and places, and never 
will they come up to the mischiefs and enor- 
mities of only one campaign. 

Ye bungling soul-physicians, to bellow for an 
hour and more against a few flea-bites, and not 
say a word about that horrid distemper, which 
tears us to pieces. Burn your books, ye mo- 
ralizing philosophers! Whilst the humour of a 
few shall make it an act of loyalty to butcher 
thousands of our fellow-creatures, the part of 
mankind dedicated to heroism will be the most 
execrable and destructive monsters in all nature. 
Of what avail is humanity, benevolence, modes- 
ty, temperance, mildness, discretion, and piety ; 
when half a pound of lead discharged at the dis- 
tance of six hundred paces shatters my body ; 
when I expire at the age of twenty under pains 
unspeakable, and amidst thousands in the same 
miserable condition ; when my eye's at their last 
opening see my native town all in a blaze ; and 
the last sounds I hear are the shrieks and groans 
of women and children expiring among the ruins, 
and all for the pretended interest of a man who 
is a stranger to us ! 

- The worst is, that war appears to be an un- 
avoidable scourge ; for if we observe it, the god 
Mars was worshipped in all nations; and among 



the Jews, Sabaoth signifies the god of armies : 
but in Homer, Minerva calls Mars a furious 
hare-brained infernal deity. 


WHAT a clamour was raised in the schools, 
and even among sober thinkers, when Leibniu, 
paraphrasing on Plato* built his structure of the 
best of possible worlds, affirming that all things 
went in the- best manner, and that God could 
make but one world. Now, Plato had allowed 
that God could make five, there being five regu- 
lar solid bodies; the tetraedron or three-faced 
pysamid, with the base equal, the cube, the 
exaedron, the dodecaedron, and licoaedron. 
But our world is not of the form of any of 
Plato's bodies, so that he should have allowed 
God a sixth manner. 

So much for the divine Plato. Leibnitz, 
who certainly was his superior both in metaphy- 
sics and geometry, in the tenderness of philan- 
thropy shewed mankind, that we ought to be 
very well -satisfied, and that God had done all 
he could for us ; that lie had necessarily, among 
all possibilities, made choice of what was indis- 
putably the best. 

What becomes of original sin? was the cry 
of many. Let what will come of it, said Leib- 
nitz and bis friends; but in his public writings 
he makes original sin necessarily a part of the 
best world. * 

How ! our first parents to be driven out of a 
delightful abode» where they were to have lived 
for ever, had they not eaten* an apple ! How ! 
in wretchedness to beget children loaded with a 


. a j 


variety of wretchedness, and making others a* 
wretched as themselves ! How ! to undergo such 
diseases; to feel such vexations; to expire in 
pain ; and by way of refreshment to be burned 
through all the ages of eternity ; was this the best 
portion? That is not over good for us; and ia 
what can it be good for God ? . . 

Leibnitz was sensible this admitted of no an* 
swer; accordingly be falls to making of large 
books unintelligible to his very self. 

To deny that there is any evil, may be said as 
a banter by a Lucullus full of health, and feast- 
ing in his saloon with his mistress and jocund 
cronies ; but only let him look out at the win* 
dow, and he will see some unhappy pçopie; and 
a fever will make the great man himself so. 

I am not fond of quoting; it is usually a cri- 
tical task ; it is neglecting both what preceeds 
and follows the passage quoted, and bringing on 
one's self complaints and quarrels: yet I must 
quote Lactantius, a father of the church, who, 
in his thirteenth chapter on the Divine Anger, 
puts the following words into Epicurus's mouth; 
44 Either God would remove evil out of this 
" world, and cannot ; or he can or will not ; or 
«.* he has neither the power nor will; or lastly, 
" he has both the power and will. If he has 
" the will and not the power, this shews weak- 
" ness, which is contrary to the nature of God; 
" if he has the power, and not the will, it is ma- 
V lignity ; and this is no less contrary to his na* 
" ture. If he is neither able nor willing, it is 
" both weakness and malignity; and this is 
no less contrary to his nature. If he be both 
willing and able (which alone is consonant 

" to 



" to the nature of God) how came it that there 
" is evil in the world ?" 

This is a home argument; and accordingly 
Lactantius gives but a sorry answer to it» in 
saying that God wills evil, but that he has given 
us wisdom for acquiring good. This answer 
must be allowed to fall very short of the objec- 
tion ; as supposing that God, without producing 
evil, could not have given us wisdom; if so, 
our wisdom is a dear bargain. 

The origin of evil (') has ever been an abyss, 
the bottom of which lies beyond the- rfeach of htu 


(*) How difficult soever this great question of the 
cause and original of evil may appear to our author, 
it has been admirably well solved by the learned Dr. 
Clarke, in the inference he draws from the proofs of 
the possibility and real existence of liberty. For li- 
berty implying a natural power of doing evil as well 
as good, and the imperfect nature of finite beings 
making it possible for them to abuse their fiberty to an 
actual commission of evil, and it being necessary to 
the order and beauty of the whole, there should be 
different degrees of creatures; some less perfect than 
others; hence there necessarily ariseth a possibility of 
evil, though the Creator is infinitely good. Evil is 
either natural or moral. Moral evil arises wholly from 
the abuse of liberty, which God gave to his creatures 
for other purposes, and which it was reasonable and 
fit to give them for the perfection and order of the 
whole creadon: but they, contrary to the divine inten- 
tion and command, have abused what was necessary 
far the perfection of the whole, to the corruption and 
depravation of themselves. Natural evil is either 
counterpoised in the whole, with as great or greater 
good; such are the afflictions and sufferings or good 

A a men, 

_ -AÈ&1 


man eye ; and many philosophers and legislators*, 
in their perplexity, had recourse to two princi- 
ples, one good and the other evil ; Tiphon was 
the evil principle among the Egyptians, and 
Arimane among the Persians. This divinity is 
well known to have been espoused by the Mani- 
chees; but these wise folks, having never con- 
versed with either the good or the evil principle, 
I think they are not to be believed on their bare 

Amidst the absurdities which swarm in the 
world, and may be classed among its evils, it is 
no slight error to have supposed two Almighty 
Beings struggling which should bear the greater 
sway in the world, and making an agreement to- 
gether, like Moliere's two physicians, Allow me 
the puke, and I will allow you the bleeding. 

* Basilides, from the Platonics» affirmed, so 
early as the first century of the church; that 
God gave our world to be made by his lowest 
angels; and that by their aukwardness and ig- 
norance things are as they are. This theological 
fable falls to pieces before the terrible objection, 
that it is not in the nature of an infinitely wise 
and powerful God to cause a world to be con- 

men, and then it is not properly an evil : or it is a 
punishment, and then it is a necessary consequence 
of moral evil. As for death, it is not a natural evil, 
though generally counted such; since it is only the 
want of immortality, a perfection which does not 
belong to our nature, and such a want is not properly 
an evil. See Dr. Clark on the Being and Attributes 
of God. 


structed by ignorant architects, who know not 
how to conduct such a task. 

Simon, aware of this objection» obviates it by 
sayfngr-that the angel who acted as surveyor 11 
damned for his bungling; but this bungling of 
the angel does not mend our case. 

Neither does the Grecian story of Pandora 
solve the objection any better. The box with all 
evils in it» and hope remaining at the bottom, is 
indeed a charming allegory; but this Pandora 
Vulcan made purely to be revenged of Prome- 
theus, who had formed a man of mud. 

The Indians are not a whit nearer the mark : 
God on creating man gave him a drug, by which 
he was to enjoy perpetual health; the man put 
his drug on his ass ; the ass being thirsty, the 
serpent shewed it the way to a spring, and whilst 
the ass was drinking, the serpent made off with 
the drug. 

The Syrians had a coftceit, that the man and 
the woman having been created in the fourth 
heaven, they took a fancy to eat a bit of cake 
instead of ambrosia, their natural regale. Am- 
brosia perspired through the pores; but after 
eating the cake they had a motion to go to stool, 
and asked an angel the way to the privy. Do 
you see, said the angel, yon little planet, scarce 
visible, about sixty millions of leagues off? that 
is the privy of the universe; make the best of 
your way thither. They marched, and there 
they were left to continue; and ever since this 
our world has been what it is. 

But the Syrians are gravelled when asked, why 
God permitted man to eat of the cake, and why 
it should be productive of such dreadful evils to 

Aa2 Te 



To shorten my journey, I shoot away from 
the fourth heaven to Lord Bolingbroke. This 
personage, who it must be allowed had a great 
genius, gave the famous Pope his plan of 
WHATEVER is IS RIGHT, which accordingly 
occurs word for word in Lord BoliAgbroke's 
posthumuous. works; and the same sentiment 
occurs before in Lord Shaftesbury's Characterise 
tics. In his treatise entitled the Moralist, are 
these words : 

Much is alledged in answer, to shew why 
nature errs, and how. she came thus impotent 
and erring from an .unerring hand* But I 
deny she erra— ^Ti s , on the contrary* fro A 
" this order of inferior and superior things, that 
" we admire the world's beauty, founded thus 
" on contrarieties ^ whilst from such; varieras 
" and disagreeing principles, an universal con» 
** cord is established. 

" Thus in the several orders of terrestrial 
" forms, a resignation is required,. a sacrifice 
" and yielding of natures one to another* * Thé 
" vegetables by their death sustain the animals; 
" and animal bodies dissolved, enrich the- earth, 
" and raise again, the. vegetable world. Nu~ 
" merous insects are reduced again hty the. supe» 
rior kinds of birds and beasts 1 and these again 
are checked by man, who fn his turn submits 
to other natures, and resigns his form a sacri» 
fice in common to the rest of things.. And if 
'* in natures so little exalted} and pre-eminent 
" above each other, the sacrifice of interest can 
appear so just;, how much more reasonably 
may all inferior natures be subjected to the 
superior nature >of the world! — The central 
powers, which hold the lasting orbs in their 

*« just 







«• just poise and movement, must not be con- 
trouled to savea fleeting form, and rescue 
*V from the precipice a. puny animal, whose brittle 
41 frame, howe'er protected, must of itself so soon 
dissolve. The ambient air, the inward vapours, 
the impending meteots, w whatever else ts nu- 
«' trimental oar preservative of this* earth, must 
" operate in a natural course; and other constitu- 
tions must submit to the good habit and consti- 
tution of the all-sustaining globe." 
; Boiingbroke, Shaftesbury, and Pope their ar- 
tist, are not more satisfactory than the others ; 
their whatever is is right» imports no more, 
than that all is directed by immutable laws ; and 
who knows not that ? You tell us nothing in ob- 
serving with every little child, that flies are born 
to be devoured by. spiders ;< spiders by swallows ; 
swallows by. magpies; magpies by eagles; and 
eagles to be shot at by men, and men to kill one 
another* and eaten by worms; and after- 
wards, by «devils, at least a thousand to one. 

Thus we see a clear and stated order through- 
out every species of creatures: in- short, there 
lYorder in all things. The formation of a stone 
in' my. bladder is a wonderful mechanism: stony 
particles insensibly get into. my blood; are fil- 
trated in- ray < kitbiies; pass through the urethra ; 
settle in my bladder j and there, by an admirable 
Newtonian attraction, concrete. The stone forms 
and grows: bigger, ami fyy the finest dispositions 
in the world, I undergo tortures worse than 
death : a surgeon, having improved Tubal Cain's 
invention, comes and stabs- a sharp and 1 edged 

steel instrument into my 4 lays hold of' my 

stone with his. forceps ; but by a necessary me- 
chanism; it breaks as he is trying to extract it, and 

A a 3 by 


by the same mechanism I expire as on the rack. 
As whatever is is right, all this must be likewise 
right ; it is evidently a consequence of the unal- 
terable physical principles granted ; and I know it 
as well as yourself. 

Had we no feeling, no objection would lye 
against such a system : but that is not the point ; 
what we ask is, whether there are no sensible 
evils, and whence they are originated ? Pope, in 
his fourth epistle on whatever is is right» 
says, " There is no evil, or all partial evil is 
" universal good." 

An odd general good, truly; composed of the 
gout, the stone, pains, afflictions, cnmes, suffer- 
ings, death, and damnation ! 

The fall of man is the plaister we lay on all 
these partial diseases of soul and body, which you 
term general health ; but with Shaftesbury and 
Bolingbroke, original sin is a mere jest, and 
Pope is silent about it ; their system manifestly 
undermines Christianity, and explains nothing 
at all. 

This system, however, has lately been coun- 
tenanced by several divines, who make no diffi- 
culty of contrarieties : well, let no body be 
grudged the comfort of reasoning in his way on 
the deluge of evil, with which the world is over- 
whelmed; incurable patients should be allowed to 
gratify their appetites in eating what they like ; 
some have even cried up this system as consola- 

A strange comfort I own ! And do not you 
find great relief in Shaftesbury's prescription, 
who says, that God will not change his eternal 
laws for so paltry a creature as man ? It must 
however be owned, that this paltry animal has a 



right humbly to lament, and, amidst his lamen- 
tations, to endeavour at comprehending why 
those eternal laws are not adapted to the well-be- 
ing of every individual. 

This system of whatever is is right, re- 
presents the Author of nature merely as a power- 
ful cruel king, who, if he does but compass his 
designs, is very easy about the death, distresses, 
and afflictions of his subjects. 

So very far, then, is the opinion of the best 
world possible from being consolatory, that it 
puzzles those philosophers who embrace it. The 
question of good and evil remains an inexplicable 
chaos to candid enquirers ; cavillers may trifle 
with it; they are galley-slaves playing with their 
chains. As to the thoughtless commonalty, they 
are not unlike fishes taken out of a river and put 
into a reservoir, little thinking they are to undergo 
a second removal in Lent; so we of ourselves 
are totally ignorant of the causes of our destiny. 

At the end of almost every chapter of meta- 
physics, we should put the two letters used by 
the Roman judges when a cause was obscure, 
N. L, non liquet, I don't understand it. 



E are perpetually told that human nature is 
essentially perverse, that man is born a child of 


(*) Our author talks very favourably of humanity 
under this article, which is inconsistent with the hor- 
rid picture he gives of it in his Universal History. AvS 
he would insinuate, however, that human nature is 
exempt from original sin, he is guilty of a very great 

A a 4 


the devil. Now nothing can be more imprudent ; 
for, my friend, in preaching to me that all the 
world 1$ born in wickedness» thou informest me 
that thou art born so, and that behove* me to be- 
ware of thee, as I would of a fox or crocodile. 
1 not at all, gayest thou, I am regenerated, I 
am no unbeliever or heretic, I may be trusted : so 
then, the remainder of mankind being either here- 
tics, or what thou called infidels, will be a mere 
herd of monsters; and whenever thou art speak- 
ing to a Lutheran or a Turk, thou shpuldest con* 
elude that they are for robbing and murdering 
thee, for they are the devil's spawn; one is not 
' regenerated, and the other is degenerated» Much 
more rational and much more handsome would 
it be to say to men, " You are all, born good; 
" consider how dreadful it would be to .defile the 
" purity of your being." Mankind should be 
dealt with as individuals. If a prebendary leads 
a scandalous life, a friend says to him, Is it pos- 
sible that you can thus .disgrace tlje dignity of a 
prebendary ? A counsellor or judge is reminded 
that he has the honour of being, counsellor to the 
king ; and that it is his duty to be an example of 
virtue. The encouragement to a soldier is, Re- 
member you belong to the regiment of Cham- 
pagne; and every individual should be told, 
Kemember your dignity as a man. 


error ; for it is an essential dogma of Christianity, 
evidently laid down in scripture, that we have all 
sinned in Adam, " as by one man. sin entered into the 
" world* and death by sin; so death passed upon all 
ct men,, for. that all have sinned." From this, and in 
conséquence of original sin, it may he said, .that man 
is of his own nature inclined to evil. , 


r.. Say or do what you will, this must at length 
be the case: for what can mean this saying, so 
«onunon among all nations, Reflect within thy- 
self» Now, were you bom a child of the devil ; 
were your origin criminal ; were your blood 
formed of an infernal liquor ; to bid you re- 
flect within yourself would import, Consult your 
diabolical nature, and follow its suggestions; 
cheat, rob, murder, it is your father's Jaw. 

. Man is not born wicked ; he becomes so, as 
he falls sick* • Should some physicians come and 
tell him you are born sick, it is certain that these 
physicians, whatever they might say or do, will 
not cure him if his disease be inherent in his na- 
lure.; and these reasoners are. themselves very 

Bring together allthe children of the universe, 
you will see nothing in them but innocence, gen- 
tleness, and fear; were they born wicked, spight- 
ful* and cruel, some signs of it would come 
from them, as little . snakes strive to bite, and 
little iygers to tear. But nature having been as 
-sparing of offensive weapons to man as to pigeons 
and rabbits, it cannot have given them an instinct 
to mischief and destruction. 

Soman is not born wicked : how comes it then 
that sa many are infected with the pestilence of 
wickedness? It is because they who bear rule 
over, them, having caught the distemper, com- 
municate it to others; as a woman, having the 
distemper which Christopher Columbus brought 
.from. America, has spread the venom all over 
Europe.; By the first ambitious man was the 
world corrupted. 

» You will say that this first monster only fecun- 
dated that germ of pride, rapine, fraud, and 



crue hy, which is in all men. I own, that in 
general, the greater part of our brethren easily 
contract these qualities : but has every body the 

Crid fever, the stone, and gravel, because every 
y is liable to those distempers ? 
There are whole nations which are not wicked ; 
the Phi lade) phians, the Banyans have never shed 
human blood. The Chinese, the people of Ton- 
quin, Lao, Siam, and even of Japan, have lived 
in the most profound tranquility for these hun- 
dred years past. In the space of ten years 
scarce any of those enormities at which human 
nature stands astonished, is heard of in the cities 
of Rome, Venice, Paris, London, and Amster- 
dam ; cities, where yet cupidity, the mother of 
all crimes, is flagrant. 

If men were essentially wicked, and all born 
under the sway of a being as malignant as 
wretched, who, in revenge for his punishment, 
inspired them with all his rage, we should every 
morning hear of husbands being murdered by 
their wives, and fathers by their children, just 
as fowls are found killed by a polecat, who came 
in the night and sucked their blood. 

If we suppose there are ten hundred millions 
of men upon the earth, it is a great many ; and 
this makes about five hundred millions of women, 
who sew and spin, feed their little ones, keep 
the house or hut clean, and backbite their neigh- 
bours a little. I do not see any great harm these 
poor simpletons do oh earth. Of this number of 
inhabitants on the globe, there are at least two 
hundred millions of children, who certainly nei- 
ther kill nor plunder, and about as many who, 
through age and sickness, are not capable of those 
crimes. Thus there remains, at most, butahun- 



dred millions whom youth and vigour qualify 
for the commission of crimes. Of these hun- 
dred millions we may say, that ninety are conti- 
nually taken up with prodigious labour, in forc- 
ing the earth to furnish them with food and rai- 
ment : now these have scarce time to perpetrate 

In the remaining ten millions will be included 
idlers and jocund companions, who love peace 
and festivity ; the men of talents, who are taken 
up with their several professions ; magistrates and 
priests, whom it manifestly behoves to lead an 
irreproachable life, at least in appearance. So 
that the real wicked men are reduced to some 
few politicians, either secular or regular, who will 
always be for disturbing the world ; and some 
thousands of vagrants, who hire their services 
to those politicians. Now never is a million of 
these wild beasts employed at once, and among 
these I reckon highwaymen ; so that at most, and 
in the most tempestuous times, there is but one 
man of a thousand who may be called wicked, 
and he is not to always. 

Thus is wickedness on earth infinitely less than 
is talked of and believed. To be sure, there is 
still too much misfortune, distress, and horrible 
crimes ; but the pleasure of complaining and 
magnifying is such, that at the least scratch you 
cry out : the earth is deluged with blood. If you 
have been cheated, then the world is full of per- 
jury» An atrabilarious mind, on having been 
wronged, sees the universe covered with damned 
souls ; as a young rake, seated at supper with his 
doxy after the opera, does not dream that there 
are any distressed objects. 


[ 3«4 ] 

A P P E N «D IX*. 







X OU sell your fruit, friend' Karpos» very- 
dear; however, it is pretty good.— Pray what 
religion do you profess now ? 

Kar. Why, faith, my Lord Bashaw, I can't 
irery well tell you. When our little islandt be- 
longed to the Greeks, I remember I was ordered 
to say that Ky$v vmupa. proceeded only from 
Tttvoclps. I was told to pray to God standing bole 
upright, with 'my arms across, and was prohibited 
eating milk in Lent. When the Venetians came, 
our new Italian curate ordered me to say that 
Aytov 7rviv[AO, proceeded both from tb fjutlps and 
t« viou permitting me to eat milk, and making 
xnc pray on my knees. On the return of the 



* The three following articles are not in the first 
I-ondon edition. 
* \ Samos. 


Greeks, and their expelling the Venetians, I was 
obliged again to renounce- r* viov and milk, por- 
ridge* Yon have at length expelled the Greeks» 
and I hear you cry out, as Loud a» you can al~ 
lah illa allah ! For my part, I no longer 
know what I am ; but I love God with all my 
heart, and sell my fruit very reasonably. 

Tuc. You have some fine figs there. 

Kar. At your service, my lord. 

Tuc. They say you have a fine daughter^ 

Kar. Yes, my Lord Bashaw, but she is notât 
your, service. 

Tuc. Why so? Wretch! 

Kar. Because I am an honest man ; I may 
sell my figs if I please; but I must not sell my 
daughter. . 

Tuc. And pray by what law are you far* 
bidden not to sell one kind of fruit as well as 
another ? è 

Kar. By the law of all honest gardeners» 
The honour of ray daughter is not my property» 
but her' s. It is not with us a marketable com* 

Tuc. You are then disloyal to your BashaWw 

Kar. Not at all ; I am his faithful servant 
in every thing that is just, so long as he con- 
tinues my master. 

Tuc. And so, if your Greek patriarch should * 
form a plot against me, and should order you, in 
the name of th Koâpa ancfc **. woy, to enter into 
it, you would not have, devotion, enough to turn 
traitor? Ha! 

Kar. Noih 

Tuc* And,, pray, why -should, you refuse fen 
obey your .patriarch on such; an occasion ? 


366 the gardener's catechism. 

Kar. Because I have taken an oath of alle- 
giance to you as my Bashaw ; and I know that 
r* waflpH does not command any one to engage 
in plots and conspiracies. 

Tuc. I am glad of that, at least. But what 
if the Greeks should retake the isle, and expel 
your Bashaw; would you be faithful to me 
still ? 

Kar. What! when you are no longer my 
Bashaw ? 

Tuc. What then would become of your oath 
of allegiance ? 

Kak. Something like my figs ; you will not 
be any more the better for it. Craving your 
honour's pardon, it is certain, that if you were 
now dead I should owe you no allegiance. 

Tuc. The supposition is a little impolite; 
but however your conclusion is true, 

Kar. And would it not be the same, my 
lord, if you were expelled ? for you would have 
a successor to whom I must take a fresh oath 
of allegiance. Why should you require fidelity 
of me when it would be no longer of use to you ? 
That would be just as if you could not eat my 
figs yourself, and yet you would prevent my 
selling them to any body else. 

Tue. You are a reasoner, I see, and have 
your principles of action. 

Kar. Ay, such as they are. They are but 
few ; but they serve me ; and perhaps if I had 
more they would only puzzle me. 

Tuc. I should be curious to know your 

Kar. They are, to be a good husband, a 
good father, a good neighbour, and a good gar- 
dener. I go no farther, and hope, for the rest, 



that God will take every thing in good part, and 
have mercy on me* 

Tuc. And do you think that he will show the 
same mercy to me who am governor of this is- 
land of Samos ? 

Kar. And, pray, how do you think I should 
know that ? Is it for me to conjecture how 
God Almighty behaves to Bafhaws ? That is an 
affair between you and him which I do not in- 
termeddle with in any shape. All that I believe 
of the matter is, that if you are as honest a Ba- 
shaw as I am a gardener, God will be very good 
to you. 

Tuc. By Mahomet, I like this idolater very 
well I Farewell, friend ; Allah be your pro- 

Kar. Thank ye, my Lord Bashaw ! God have 
mercy upon you. 


AN the year 1707, about the time at which the 
English gained the battle of Saragossa, pro- 
tected Portugal, and gave to Spain a king, 
my Lord Valiant, a general officer, who 
had been wounded in fight, had retired to Bare- 

fes for the benefit of the waters. The Count 
Aedroso, who had fallen from his horse behind 
the baggage- waggons, a league and a half from 
the field of battle, had . repaired also to the same 
place. The latter had been well acquainted with 
the Inquisition, on which account his Lordship 
entered one day, after dinner, irtfo the following 
conversation with him. 

L. Val. And so, Count, you have been an 
officer in the Inquisition. You must have been 
engaged in a most villainous employment. 



Med* Very true» my lord : but as I had ra- 
ther be their officer than their victim, I preferred 
the misfortune of burning my neighbour to that 
of being roasted myself* 

L. Val. What a horrible alternative ! Your 
countrymen were a hundred times happier under 
the yoke of the Moors, who permitted you to in- 
dulge yourselves freely in superstition, and im- 
perious as they were as conquerors, never dreamed 
of exercising that strange prerogative of enslav- 
ing souls. 

Med. We are not permitted now either to 
write, speak, or even to think. If we speak, 
it is easy to misinterpret our words, and still 
much more so if we write. And though we 
cannot be condemned at an Auto da ft for our 
secret thoughts; we are threatened to lye burn- 
ing for ever, by the command of God himself, 
if we dare to think otherwise than the Domi- 
nicans» They have persuaded the government 
also, that if we had common sense, the state 
would soon be in a combustion, and the nation 
become the most unhappy people upon earth. 

L. Val. And do you believe that the. English 
are so unhappy, who cover the ocean with their 
ships, and ç^me from the other. end of Europe 
to fight youkj battles for you ? Do you find that 
the Dutch, who have stripped you of almost all 
your discoveries in India, and who now are 
among your protectors, are really so abandoned by 
heaven, for having given free liberty to the 
press, and converted the thoughts of mankind 
into a profitable species of commerce ? Was the 
Roman empire the less powerful for permitting 
Cicero to write his sentiments freely ? • ' 



Med. Cicero! Who is be? I never 'heard of 
iis name before* 4 We hear «©thing ctf your 
Cicero's, but of our holy father the rope, and 
St. Anthony of Padua. . Nay, I have hitherto 
been told that the Romish religion is demolished, 
if men once begin to think 'for themselves. 

L. Val. How are you to believe 4hts, who 
are asssured that your church is of divine insti- 
tution, and that the gates of hell-shall not prevail 
against it? If this be true, nothing can-ever de- 
stroy it. 

Med. That is true, but it may be reduced to 
almost nothing. Thus it is owingto this think- 
ing that Sweden, Denmark, England, and the 
greater part of Germany, labour under the terri. 
ble misfortune of being no longer subject to the 
Pope. It is even said, that if men thus continue 
to follow the light of their own mistaken under* 
standings, they will be contented soon with the 
simple adoration of God, and the mere practice , 
of moral virtue. If the gates of 'hell should pre* 
vail so far as this, what woiild become -of *tbe 
holy office? 

L. Val. Had the primitive Christians «been 
thus prohibited to think, Christianity would cer- 
tainly never have l?een established. 

MED. I do not rightly understand what you 

'L.'Val. 1-mean to say, that -if Tiberius and 
the rest of the emperora had encouraged -Domi- 
nicans to prevent the primitive Christians from 
the use ok pen and ink : nay, had -not the privi- 
lege of thinking freely been long enjoyed in 
Rome, >it had been impossible £or the luhristiana 
to have established their tenets. *l!f, then,-*he 
first establishment of Christianity >wa£ owingto 

B b this 


this liberty of thinking, how contradictory and 
absurd is it to endeavour to destroy that basis oh 
which your church itself was first founded ? If 
any proposal regarding your worldly interest be 
made to you, do not you consider sometime be- 
fore you adopt it ? And what can be more inte- 
resting to a man in this world, than that of his 
eternal happiness or misery in the next ? There 
are above an hundred different religions upon 
earth that condemn you and your tenets as absurd, 
impious, and damnable. Enter into an examina* 
tion, therefore, of those tenets. 

Med. How should I be able to examine 
them ? I am no Dominican. 

L. Val. But you are a man, and that is 

Med. Alas ! you are much more a man than 

L. Val. You have nothing to do but to learn 
to think ; you were born with a capacity for it : 
and though, when a bird in the cage of the In- 
quisition, the holy office dipt your wings, they 
may grow again. A man who does not under* 
stand geometry may learn it. There is nobody 
that cannot be in some degree instructed. It ia 
a shame to trust our souls in the hands of those 
we should be afraid to trust with our money» 
Come, Come, venture to think for yourself. 

Med. But, they say, that if all the world 
thus thought for themselves, it would be produc- 
tive of strange confusion. 
♦ , L. Val* Quite the contrary, I assure you. 
Does not every one speak his mind freely of the 
entertainment at a theatre, and is the représenta* 
tion interrupted by it ? But if any insolent pro- 
tector of a bad poet should start up, and insist 



upon the audience approving what they might dis- 
like, what would be the consequence ? They 
would naturally go to loggerheads» as they some- 
times do at the playhouses in London. The 
exercise of such tyranny» over the minds of men, 
hath been productive, in a great degree, of the 
miseries that have fallen upon mankind. We 
have been happy in England since every man bath 
been at liberty to speak his own mind. 

Med. And we are very quiet at Lisbon, where 
no body is permitted to say anything. 

LVal. You are quiet, but you are not 
happy. Your tranquillity is that ot galley-slaves, 
who tug the oar, and keep time in silence. 

Med. Do you think, then, that my soul is 
is the sallies ? 

L. Val. Yes, and I would deliver you from 
your bondage. 

Med. Sut what if I find myself quite at ease 
in the sallies? 

. L. Val. Nay, in that case, you deserve to 
continue there. 


A HERE is sometimes to be found in idioma- 
tical and vulgar expressions, an image of what 
passes in the hearts of all mankind. Sens us com* 
munis signified, among the ancient Romans, not 
only Common Sense, but also humanity and sen» 
sibility. As we are much inferior to the Romans, 
it signifies with us only the half its import with 
them. It means only common understanding, a sim- % 
pie capacity to reason, the mere comprehension of 
ordinary things, a kind of mean between stupidity 
and genius. To say that a man wants common 

B b a sense 


sense is a gross aflront* To say that he does not 
Want common sense is an affront also ; as it is as 
much as to say, that although he is not altogether 
stupid, he has neither genius nor wit. But 
whence Cdmes this expression common sense, iff 
not from the senses ? In the invention and use 
of this term, mankind plainly confess that no* 
thing r enters into' the mind but through the senses ; 
would they, else* have used the word Sense; to 
signify common understanding* 

We sometimes say that common-sense is very 
rare. What is the meaning of that phrase? 
Certainly no more than that the j>rogress or exer- 
cise of reason is interrupted in some men by their 
prejudices or prepossessions. Hence we see a 
man capable of reasoning very justly on one 
Subject, err most grossly in arguing upon ano- 
ther. An Arabian, who may be an exact calcu- 
lator, an ingenious chymist, and a good astro* 
nomer, believes, nevertheless, that Mahomet 
could put one half of the ifeoon in his sleeve. 
Wherefore is it that he is superior to mere com- 
mon-sense in judging of these three sciences, 
and inferior to it in his conceptions of the half- 
moon in Mahomet's sleeve? In the first case he 
Mtts with his own eyes, and judges with his own 
understanding; in the second, he sees with the 
e~ye$ of others, shutting his own, and perverting 
that understanding which Nature gave him. 

In what manner can this strange perversion 
of mind be effected? How can those ideas, 
which succeed each other so regularly and con* 
&ant1y in our contemplations on numerous other 
objects, be so miserably confused in our reflect* 
ing upon another, a thousand times more ob* 
VioW and palpable? the capacity of the man, 
fc tiat 


that is, his principles of intelligence being still 
the same, some of his organs, therefore must be 
depraved: as we sometimes see in the nicest 
Epicure a vitiated taste with regard to some 
species of viands. But how came the organ of 
the Arab, who sees an half moon in Mahomet's 
sleeve, to be thus depraved! By Fear? He hath 
been told, that, if he does not. believe in this 
story of the half-moon and sjeeve, his soul, in 

Eassing over the narrow bridge immediately after 
is death, will be tumbled into the gulph beneath, 
there to perish eternally. Again he is farther 
told, that if he should doubt the truth of the 
sleeve, one Dervise will accuse him of impiety ; 
a second will prove him to be destitute of com- 
mon-sense, in that having all possible motives 
of credibility laid before him, he yet refuses to 
submit his proud reason to the force of evidence ; 
a third will have him brought before the petty 
divan of a petty province, and get him legally 

All this strikes a panic in our good Arabian, 
his wife, sister, and all his little family. They 
do not want for sense in judging of other mat- 
ters ; but their conceptions are hurt in regard 
to this particular, just like that of Pascal, who 
saw continually a precipice by the side of his 
easy chair. But does our Arab really believe 
this story of Mahomet's sleeve ? No. He en- 
deavours to believe it; he says to himself it is 
impossible^ but it is true; I believe what I do 
not believe. Thus a confused heap of ideas are 
formed in his brain, which he is afraid to un* 
ravel; and this causes him to want common* 
sense in reasoning upon this subject. 

THE END. *" 

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