Imágenes de páginas

Weights and Motions constructs the several Parts of the World, discharging human Nature from the Awe of Divine Judgments, asserting, Quod beatum, aternumquefit, id nee habere negotii quicquam, nee exhibere alteri f. That what is Blessed and Eternal, has neither any Business itself, nor gives any to another. Nature wills, thar, in like Things, there should be a like Relation: The infinite Number of Mortals, therefore, concludes a like Number of Immortals; the infinite Things that kill and destroy, presuppose as many that preserve and profit. As the Souls of the Gods, without Tongue, Eyes, or Ears, do, every one of them, feel, amongst themselves, what the other feel, and judge our Thoughts; so the Souls of Men, when at Liberty, and loosed from the Body, either by Sleep, or some Extasy, divine, foretel, and see Things, which, whilst joined to the Body, they could not fee. Men, fays St. Paul, profejsmg them to be (Vise, they became Fools, and changed the Glory of the incorruptible God into an Image made like to corruptible Man s. Do but take Notice of the juggling in the ancient Deifications. After the great and stately Pomp of the Funeral h, so soon as the Fire began to mount to the Top of the Pyramid, and to catch hold of the Bier whereon the Body lay, they, at the fame Time, let fly an Eagle, which, mounting upward, signified, that the Soul ascended into Paradise. We have a thousand Medals, and particularly of that virtuous Faustina, where this Eagle is represented carrying these deified Souls, with their Heels upwards, towards Heaven. JTis Pity that we should fool ourselves with our own Monkey Trick* and Inventions,

Quod finxere timent '.

f. e. They are afraid of their own Inventions.

Like Children, who are frightened with the fame Face of their Play-fellow, that they themselves have smeared and smutted. Quasi quicquam infelicius fit homine, cuisuafig

s Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. i. c. 17. t Rom. i. 22, 23. b Herodian, lib. iv, * Lucan. lib. i. v. 486.


menta dominantur. As if any Thing could be more Unhappy than Man, who is insulted by his own Fictions: 'Tis very far from honouring him who made us, to honour him that we have made. Augustus had more Temples than Jupiter-, served with as much Religion, and Faith in Miracles. The Tbajians, in Return of the Benefits they had received from Agejilaus, coming to bring him Word, that they had canonised him: 'Has your Nationk, 'said he to them, that Power to make Gods of whom they

* please? Pray, first, deify some one amongst yourselves, 'and, when I shall fee what Advantage he has by it, I will '• thank you for your Offer.5 Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a Flea, and yet Gods by Dozens. Hear what Trismegistus fays, in Praise of our Sufficiency: 'Of

* all the wonderful Things, it surmounts all Wonder, that

* Man could find out the Divine Nature, and make it.' And take here the Arguments of the School of Philosophy itself.

Nojse cut tiivos., et cœli numina, soli,
Aut soli nescire datum '.

i. e.
To whom to know the Deities of Heav'n,
Or know he knows them not, alone 'tis giv'n.

* m If there is a God, he is a living Creature; if he be a

* living Creature, he has Sense; and, if he has Sense, he

* is subject to Corruption: If he be without a Body, he 'is without a Soul, and consequently without Action; «' and, if he has a Body, it is perishable.' Is not here a Triumph? We are incapable of having made the World, there must then be some more excellent Nature, that has put a Hand to the Work. It were a foolish Arrogance to esteem ourselves the most perfect Thing of this Universe. There must then be something that is better, and this is God \ When you fee a stately and stupendous Edifice, tho' you do not know who is the Owner of it,

k Plutarch, in the Notable Sayings of the Lacedamonians.

'Luqin. lib. i.'v. 452, l£c. « Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. iii. v. 13, 14.

i Idem, lib. ii. c. 6.

Vol. II. T you

you would yet conclude, it was not built for Rats and Heaven God's teasels And tn's divine Structure, that Pdau. °' we behold of the Celestial Palace, have we not Reason to believe, that it is the Residence of some Proprietor, who is much greater than we? Is not the Highest always the most worthy? And we are the Lowermost. Nothing without a Soul, and without Reason, can produce a living Creature capable of Reason p. The World produces us, the World then has Soul and Reason q. Every Part of us is less than we. We are Part of the World, the World therefore is endued with Wisdom and Reason, and that more abundantly than wer. 5Tis a fine Thing to have a great Government. The Government of the World then appertains to The Govern* some happy Nature. The Stars do us no IvorlL* harm, they are then bountiful. We have Need of Nourishment, so have the Gods also, and feed upon the "Vapours of the Earth '.. Worldly Goods are not Goods to God, therefore they are not Goods to us; offending, and being offended, are equally Testimonies of Imbecillity: *Tis therefore Folly to fear God. God is good by his Nature, Man by his Industry, which is more. The Divine and Human Wisdom have no other Distinction, but that the first is eternal. But Duration is no Accession to Wisdom, therefore we are Companions. We have Life, Reason, and Liberty; we esteem Bounty, Charity, and Justice; these Qualities are in him. In Conclusion, the Building and Destroying, and the Conditions of the Divinity, are forged by Man, according as they relate to himself. What a Pattern, and what a Model! Let us stretch, let us raise and swell human Qualities as much as we please: Puff up thyself, vain Man, yet more and more, and more.

Ncc ft te ruperis, inquit

i, e.

Swell even till thou burst, said be,
Thou shalt not match the Deity.


° Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. ii. c. 6. P Idem, ibicf. c. 8s. 1 Idem, ibid. c. 12. r Idem, ibid. en. • Idem, ibid, c 16. * Hor. lib. H. Sat. 3. v. 319.

Prosetlb non Deum, quern cog:tare non possunt, fed semet ipsos pro Mo cogitantes \ non ilium, fed seipsos, non Mi, fed fibi comparant u. 'Certainly they do not imagine God, of

* whom they can have no Idea, but, imagining themselves '. in his stead, they do not compare him, but themselves,

* not to him, but to themselves.' In natural Things the Effects do but half relate to their Causes: How is this? His Condition is above the Order of Nature, too sublime, too remote, and too mighty to permit himself to be bound and fettered by our Conclusions. 'Tis not thro' ourselves that we arrive at that Place; our Ways lie too low: We are no nearer Heaven on the Top of Mount Senis, than in the Bottom of the Sea; take the Distance with your Astrolabe: They debase God even to the carnal Knowledge of Women, even to how many Times, and how many Generations. Paulina, the Wife of Saturninus, a Matron of great Reputation at Rome, thinking she lay with the God Serapis w, found herself in the Arms of an Amoroso of hers, through the Pandarism of the Priests of his Temple. Varro, the most subtle and most learned of all the Latin Authors % in his Book of Theology, writes,

* That the Sexton of Hercules's Temple, throwing Dice,

* with one Hand, for himself, and with the other for Her

* cules, played, with him, for a Supper and a Whore: If c he won, at the Expence of the Offerings; if he lost, at

* his own: The Sexton lost, and paid the Supper and the

* Whore: Her Name was Laurentina, who saw, by Night,

* this God in her Arms; by whom she was told, more'over, that the first Man she met, the next Day, should

* give her a glorious Reward: This was Tarunicus y, a

* rich young Man, who took her home to his House, and

* in Time, left her his Heiress. She, on the other Hand,

* thinking to do a Thing that would be pleasing to this

* God, left the People of Rome her Heirs, and therefore

T 2 'had * had Divine Honours attributed to her.' As if it had not been sufficient that Plato was originally descended from the Gods, both by the Father and Mother, and that he had Neptune for the common Father of his Race*. 'Twas certainly believed at Athens, that lAristo, having a

« St. Austin de Civit. Dei, lib. xii. c. i j.

w Or Anubis, according to Jofefbm's Jewjh Antiquities, lib. xviii. c. 4. where this Story is related at Length.

x St. Austin de Civit. Dei, lib. vi. c. 7.

y Or Tarutius, according to St. Austin: But, according to Plutarch, who relates the fame Story in the Life of Romulus, the first Man who met Larent ia (as he calls her) was one Tarutius, a veiy eld Man, c. 3. ofAptpot's Translation.

* mind to enjoy the fair Perictione, could not, and was

* warned by the God Apollo, in • a Dream, to leave her

* unpolluted and untouched till she was brought to Bed \* These were the Father and Mother of Plato. How many ridiculous Stories are there of like Cuekoldings of poor Mortals by the Gods? And of Husbands injuriously disgraced in favour of their Children? In the Mahometan Religion there are enow Merlins found by the Belief of the People, that is to fay, Children without Fathers, spiritual, divinely conceived in the Wombs of Virgins; and they carry Names that signify so much in their Language. Nothing that We .are .to observe, that, to every Thing, hothMan and nothing is more dear and estimable than its Beast is fonder Being, (the Lion, the Eagle, and the Dol£than its Sp*. phinj pri.ze. nothing aboVe their own Kind)'

and that each assimilates the Qualities of alt other Things to its own proper Qualities, which we may, indeed, extend or contract, but that's all •, for, beyond that Relation and Principle, our Imagination cannot go,, can guess at nothing else, nor possibly go out thence, or stretch beyond it. From hence spring these ancient Conclusions: 'Of all Figures, the most beautiful is that of

* Man i therefore God must be of that Form: No one

* can be happy without Virtue, nor can Virtue be with'out Reason, and Reason cannot inhabit any where but *■' in a human Shape •, God is therefore cloathed in the

* human Figure b.' Ita est informatum, anticipatumque mentibus nostris, ut homini, quum de Deo cogitet, forma occurrat humana "'. .» It is so imprinted in our Minds, and the c Fancy is so preposiessed with it, that when a Man thinks ■ of God, a human Figure ever presents itself to the Ima


2 Diogenes Laeitins in the Life of Plato, sect. 2. lib. iii.

3 'Tis affirmed, for certain, that Apollo appeared, in a Villon by Night, to Ariston, and forbad him to touch his Wife for ten Months. Plutarch in. fcis '[able-Talk, lib. viii. Qu. 1.

, b Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. i. c, 18. « Idem, ibid. c. 27

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