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to their Diania Taurica or Scythica, fo renowned of old ; and the Sarmatians worshiping in strange Rites one Deity called Pogwisd; another Feffa, a third called Latlon; and Nia, Marzana, and Zievonia, Goddesses; besides two famous Deities named Zelus and Poletus, which were jointly worshiped like the Dioscuri. I need not make any Remarks upon the ceremonious Worships of the Ægyptians, Greeks, and Romans ; for among them I am sure natural Religion was buried under Loads of Ceremonies: There we shall hear of nothing but Temples, and Priests, and Altars ; Expiations, Lustrations, Pomps and Processions ; Images, Hieroglyphicks, Auguries, Plays, and a thousand other Rites, which learned Men have wrote large Volumes to explain. And if we go farther Eastward into Persia, and Syria; we shall see the former employed about strange Ceremonies in the worship of the Sun, keeping in the sacred Fires, facrificing Horses to Mithras, with many other Rites which the Magi had invented ; and shall find the Syrians running after à Troop of different Gods, with as different Worships, Molech, Ashtaroth, Baal, Dagon, Beelzebub, Nisroch, Rimmon, Neboy &c. Vid. Selden de Diis Syris.
And if you please to look upon the Books of Travels into the East and West-Indies, you will find altogether
as much Ceremony in the Heathen's Worship there : So that I beseech you, Philologus, to shew in what Part of the World this natural Religion of yours lay sculking, in this universal Reign of Rites and Ceremonies. And if you cannot, I must conclude that this Story of the ancient Universality of pure natural Religion is all philofophical Romance, and never had any Being, but in the Brains of the Gentlemen of your Persuasion, and those of fome System-makers and Preachers of late, drawn from the scatter'd Sayings and Books of Philosophers, which some have fansied a compleat System of Religion, which alone was owned and practised for some Ages in the World. But I think it is clear from the foregoing, Observations, that your Notion of such a simple natural Religion was never practised in the World, as far as proplane
History goes ; and as for those that allow the sacred, i the Sacrifices of Cain and Abel will evince ritual Worship to be as old as Mankind it self. Which will be
when it appears.
109, #ras at first Re
Hlat is 3. That the common Rules of Morality, or a good called na. Life, which we generally call natural Religion, were at sural Reli: first revealed by God. This may seem a little strange
to those who are preposseffed by other Opinions ; but it Dended. seems rather more strange to consider, that those moral
Notions fhould come into the Soul by the usual Ways that are generally fuppofed. It was formerly the current Opinion of the Schools, that thefe moral Notices were Ideas connate with the Soul, and in a certain Manner inscribed upon it. But it is very odd to think, how such Propositions as these, Parents are to be honoured, Friends are to be assisted, the Marriage-bed to be undefled, Whoredom and Drunkenness avoided; 'tis odd to think, I say, how these Propositions which are the Complication of so many distinct and simple Ideas, which we are sure are generally attained by Experience and Reason, should yet be asserted to come into the Mind by such an unaccountable Way, as this of Inscription. But seeing no more is meant by this Inscription, than a Kind of natural and universal Inspiration of the Soul or Imbution of it with these moral Principles; this is altogether unagreeable to the Souls of Children, Ideots, and some very barbarous People, who we are certain do want most of these moral Notions. So that of late this Opinion of innate Ideas has been generally exploded by learned Men, and another taken up, it may be fubject to as many Difficulties, which attributes the Origin of these moral Notions to the Deductions of right Reason ; asserting, that the Generality of Men having the Use of Reason, and few of them beirig fo brutish, but in their Life-time they apply their Minds to the Consideration of these moral Duties, and so by the Agrecableness of them to the social Life of Mankind, do calily infer the Obligation of them. And so the Lov na vralis by this Explication nothing else, but a Scheme of Virtues and Vices, which cvery Man, by his own Reason and Experience, has found out to be fuch from their Agreeableness and Disagrecableness to Society, and to the Ends Man is designed for. Thus I am supposed to come to know, that to rob my Neighbour is unlawful, because this is contrary to those * Pacis of Fidelity we have entred into together, or because this is inconfístent with that mutual ť Love and Kindness we ought to bear to our Fellow-creatures; or because this violates the natural Right which accrues to another by Occupation, il and which cannot be alienated but by Gift, or Sale, or Dereli&tion. Now there is many a poor honest Indian who knows it is his Duty not to steal
, as well as e'er a Hobbs or Puffendorff of them all ; and yet he never in his Life so much as dreamt of Palts, or Fides Data, or Occupation. Suppose I bargain with an honest Virginian for a Pipe of Tobacco, and a Bottle of Sack, to watch my Tent, whilst I sleep, from wild Beasts or Banditti's: now when he might cut my Throat, and run away with all that I have ; what is the Reason that the poor Fellow stays walking about as trustfully with his Bow and Arrow, as if he were fet Centinel by a Captain that would hang him for running away? Why, say most of our Natural-religion Men, by frequent Exercife of his Reason and Thinking, he has come to the Knowledge of the Horridness of the Sin of Murther, and the Baseness of Unfaithfulness. But then who can ever think, that this poor ignorant Wretch should ever have given himself to such grave and philosophick Dirquisitions ? that he should ever have considered, that to kill a rational Creature, was to deface the Image of the All-wise Deity, to ufurp a barbarous Power over one naturally equal with himself
, and to take away that Life which mutual Friendship obliged him to protect; that to violate a given Faith was a Baseness beneath the Dignity of a rational Man, and which, if universally pra&tised, would destroy all Society out of the World. "No certainly, the
Vid. Hobb's Leviathan, + Parker's Law of Nature. || Puffendorff de Jur. Nat, & Gentium.
poor Indian never troubled his Head with these Matters his Thoughts in his younger Days ran all upon Hunting, and Swimming, and Loving, and afterwards to get good Store of Prog for his Wives and Children ; L'it he never thought a Word of these Rationales of Morality; which were invented by Men of a learned Education and busy Thoughts. How came then this poor Fellow to the Knowledge of these moral Duties? Why truly, I can conceive no other way than by Tradition; his Father taught them him, and his Grand-father his Father, and fo up to Adam, the common Parent of us all; who had them first from God Almighty, as the universal Laws, that all his Posterity should be governed by. Nor is it any Objection against this Opinion, that Tradition does not seem to some so proper a Means to convey Morality by to Mankind, because of its Liableness to Corruption; and that it would have been more sensibly vitiated than we find it is, had it descended by this Method : For tho' Relations of Matters of fact, ancient Customs, and dif. ficult Articles of Faith, may suffer much by being conveyed this Way ; because the Understandings of Men cannot be supposed to have a clear Understanding of these Things upon the first Proposal, and so may be liable to mistake them, which must occasion very great Alterations in such a Number of Deliveries; but these plain Rules of Morality, such as worship God, honour thy Parents
, thou fhalt do, no Murther, thou shalt not steal, &c. are so natural to the Understanding, so easy to be embraced by it, and appear upon Proposal to be fo extremely useful to Mankind, that they must be assented to, and can never be mistakon or forgot. The fame is the Cafe of these Ircral Rules, as of very carly and useful Inventions, such as Spinning, Weaving, Arching, &c. which are convoyed to all the World, not by being written in Books, or in Nien's Hearts, but by the handing down from one to another for several thousand Ycars together. Now una Jess it was the general Opinion of Mankind, that this was the ordinary Way of conveying the Rules of Morality to their Posterity; to what Purpose should they take fo
much Pains in instructing their Children, as we find Men
4. But in the fourth place, Philolagus, you are fome- Riddles not