Imatges de pÓgina
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must be allo Priest or Pontifex : And from thence at this Day we stile the Emperors Pontifices. And so likewise in his Notes on the roth of the Æneids, he fays Æneas was likewise facrorum Rex, or Pontifex. And before him Priamus the Trojan King offers the Sacrifice which is described by Homer. Iliad. 3. And so not only Iulus, Aneas's Son, succeeded his Father in the Priesthood, but the Priesthood continued for many Ages afterwards at Rome in the Gens Julia, which defcended from him. Numa instituted those Sacra, called Regia, which were to be performed by the Kings only; ordaining likewise fome lubordinate Priests, who should supply their Places, when they were engaged in the Wars. So Julius Cafar, in Right of his Family, was High-Priest, and after him Angustus; and at last the Emperors were Pontifices Maximi of Course. So that you see the Priesthood, Philologus, is not such a modern Incroachment as you Deists would pres tend.

Phil. Let the Invention be early or late, it matters not much, for 'tis so very useless an one that Mankind would not be a Farthing the worse for, if it was quite laid aside ; for it costs us, I am sure, a great Deal of Money, and no Body, that I know, is the better for it. For People may live honestly, and say their Prayers as often as they think fit, without the Help of Parsons : or if they must have Guides, such an honest old Author as Tully or Seneca, or the good Advice of some fober wise Gentlemen, will conduct them in the Rules of Morality, without taking Tithes

for it. The Al- Cred. The World is very bad as it is, but I believe it vantage of would be ten Times worse, if there was not an Order of Ministry. Men that did continually put People in Mind of their

Duty; and tho’ they be very negligent of Instruction, yet by hearing their Duty fo continually inculcated, fomething sticks at last, even in the worst Minds, and keeps them from being so profligately wicked as they would otherways be. 'Tis true indeed, 'tis pollible some Men may live good Lives without a Priesthood, or Clergy to instruct them; and so 'tis poflible to blunder out a strange

Way

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Way in the dark; but all Men must allow 'tis more easily
gone with an experienced Guide. But besides, I have
one Argument to prove the Usefulness of a: Priesthood,
or Ministry, that will reach you Gentlemen that allow no
Revelation. All you Theists grant, that to pray to God
is a Part of natural Religion, and that in publick too
upon special Occasions, as to deprecate God's Vengeance
in publick Calamities, and to thank him for publick

Mer-
cies, and the like : Now you would not have all the
People at Church to be charming and gabbling together
every one his own Prayer, but for Decency and Order
fake one ought to speak for the rest ; to whom, if the
Publick allow any Thing for his Pains, then you have
what we call a Priesthood or Clergy. . So that even upon
the pure Principles of Deism, this Order is requisite;
and

you must destroy your own Hypothesis by making them useless and insignificant. A good and conscientious Clergy-man that makes it his Business to encourage Piety and Virtue, will do more good than an hundred Tilly's and Seneca's; and the World would be well hope up, if they had no other Guides in Morality, than some of those wise sober Gentlemen, as you call them; many of which continue lewd as long as they can, and in their old Age turn Moral-mongers when they can be vitious no longer. But to go on.

2. Neither is your other Supposition true, that there Pure nuthwas ever any Age or Nation in the World, when or ral Religion where such a pure natural Religion as you imagine, with

no-where

practifedt. out any Manner of rituous Worship, was ever practised. I know not what secret Histories your Gentlemen may have of the Golden Age; but as for us dull Believers, we can't see one Word in all the ancient Books we meet withal, that gives us the least Hint of fuch a naked natural Religion as you speak of. If we have Recourse to the Poets, to whom we are beholden for all that is known of these Golden Ages, when these brave Men lived; they make Religion as Ritual as it is now, and altogether as full of Sacrifices and Revelations. Nay, the Account we have of the Goddess Atrea, which is a principal Part

of

of the poetical History of the golden Age, is that the
was a Numen fent from Heaven to converfe with Mens
on Earth, to inspire them with Justice and Sobriety, and
to teach them Virtue and a good Life:

Ουδέποτ' αρχείων ανήναιο φύλα γυναικών,
'Αλλ' αναμίξ οκάθητο, και αθάνατη πυς
"Ην δίκίω καλέεσκον· άγειεομβρη και ένας
He wi i apasini si lugugéea i aiguin,
Δημοτέρας ήταν επισπερχεσα μας. Αrat. Plica
Although she did immortal Glories share;
She freely did converse with Mortals here :
She taught them Virtue as flue walkt the Streets;
She taught them Counsel in their close Debates:
From her their Oracle ihej did derive,

Laus and the Virtues of a Social Life:
Which Fable, by the Way, is but an ancient Tradis
Lion of the Frequency of God's conversing with helj
hlen, in ile fint Ages of the World. Neither did thotë
golden Ages want their Sacrifices more than their Reves
lations. Nay, if we will believe the Poet Hefiod, he tells
us the Golden Age was particularly remarkable for their
Sacrificing to the Gods ; and that Jupiter was angry with
those of the Silver Aze, and took that Race of Men out
of the World for negle&ting it.

si c'927 árvis Scopellery
'Ήθελον, εδ' έρθειν μακαρων ιερsίς ό% βωμοίς.

785 refus é maila
Ζευς Κρονίδης έκρυψε χρέμμή, ενέκα τιμες
Oux épisov piardissour Stors.---. Hesiod. Op. & Dics.

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Neither do we see any of the ancient poetical Heroes, your Hercules's; and Pollux's, your brave natural RligionMen, but they are as much at Sacrifices as other People. As we lee by the Examples of Priam, Ulysses, and Achilles, and Æneas in Homer and Virgil, of Cadmus in

Ovid, of Perseus, Thesens, and all the Argonauts in Apollonius and other Poets.

And as there was never any Age of the World, in which this fuperfine natural Religion was uriiversálly practised, so neither was there, nor is there, any Part or Nation of it, where it can be found. All the anciently known World, from India to Britain, from Africa to Scythia, was all full of Rites and Ceremonies. To begin with our old Britains at home : They were so far from professing such a pure natural Religion as you contend for, that they were full of Idolatry, and cruel as well as silly Cerea monies. Their Rites were almost wholly magical, and they were so much wedded to that Art; as Pliny says, Hift. Lib. 30. Cap. I. ut dedifse Persis videri possint, that they seemed to set a Copy to the Persians in it. They adored a Multitude of Idols, Portenta Diabolica pené numero Ægyptiaca vincentia, as * Gildas calls them, a Coma pany of devilish Monsters, almost exceeding the Number of shose in Ægypt ; for besides the Saxon Idols of Tuisco, Thor, Woden, Seater, &c. they had the Celtick Teutates and Hefuis; and likewise Belénns or Bellatucadrus, as appears by an ancient Inscription lately found in Westmoreland, dedicated Sanéto Deo Bellatucadro ; as also another old God mentioned by + Sedulius, (who was a ScotchBritain) called Geada, or Geta. And when we farther consider the fond Ceremonies used by their Priests the Druids, in gathering || Oak-branches, and seeking Milletoe for their Sacrifices, their Cruelty in human Sacrifices, their killing the Victim upori the Altar with Arrows; or binding him round with Straw, and so burning him alive; with other barbarous and devilish Ceremonies; I fay, when we consider all this, we may very well exclude the Britains from the Purity of natural Religion. And if we proceed to our old Neighbours the Guils, we shall find them as deep in ritual Worship as the Britains: They

* Gildas de Excid. Brit.
+ Sedu!. in Op. Pascal.
| Plin. Lib. 3o. Cap. 1. Plin. Lib. 16. Cap.43.
VidStrab. Lib. 4.
M

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had the same Foppery of the Druids with them, which
Cafar * says they borrowed from the Britains, and those
who would be exact in that Discipline travelled thither.
They had the fame human Sacrifices, and well nigh the
fame Gods, as Lucan informs us, Lib. I.

Et quibus immittis placatur fanguine diro
Teutates, horrenfque feris altaribus Hesus;

Et Taranis Scythic& non mitior ara Diana.
! The Spaniards, as † Macrobius tells us, 'worshiped S-
mulachrum Martis radiis ornatum cum maximâ religione,
Neton vocantes. They adored an Image of Mars, adorned
with Rays, with very great Veneration, calling him Ne-
tos. They had a Temple with the Rites of || Apollo Del-
phinius; and Parro, as Pliny # relates, derives Lusitania from
Lufits

, the Companion of Bacchus, whose Rites were celebrated there. If we look upon the ancient Face of Germany, there is as little of pure natural Religion to be found, as any where else, but all is full of idolatrous Ceremony. And Cafar says t they sacrificed to the Sun, Vulcan or the Fire, and the Moon; which were the only Gods they saw; but as for others, ne famâ quidem acceperunt, they never fo much as heard of. But Tacitus * and + Fornandes make likewise Mars their principal God. Tacitus mentions their singing Hymns to Hercules when they went to War, De moribus Germ. and Panlus Diaconus speaks of their Woden, whom he interprets Mercury. To say nothing of the Rites of Tuisco, Friga, &c. which the Saxons afterwards transplanted into Britain : If we look Southward into Africa, we shall find them there busy with the Rites and Oracles of Jupiter Hammon, and with the Worship of an Abundance of their dead Kings || ; and if we look Northward into Scythia and Sarmatia, we shall find the Scythians bloody with the human Sacrifices

* Cæs. Bell. Gall. Lib.6. + Macrob. Sat. Cap.19. Strab. Lik.4. * Plin. Lib. 3. Cap. v. + Bell. Gall. Lib. 6. *" Ann, Lib. 4.

+ De rcbus Geticis. # Tertull. Apo. Cap. 24. Lactant. Lib. i. Cup. 15

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