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ærumna.

all along supports and aids her in her difficulties. In which the Author hints at the promises made to the aspirants on these occasions : - Nec Providentiæ bonæ graves oculos innocentis anima latuit

In her greatest distress, in the repetition of her first capital fault, she is relieved by Cupid himself; intimating, that nothing but the divine aid can overcome human weakness; as appears from these words of Cupid to his spouse-Et ecce, inquit, rursum perieras misella simili curiositate. Sed interim quidem tu provinciam, quæ tibi matris meæ precepto mandata est, exequere gnaviter : cetera egomet videro*, When in these trials the aspirant had done his best, the Gods would help out the rest.

With this assistance, she performs her penance, is pardoned, and restored to fávour: put again into possession of DIVINE LOVE, and rewarded with inMORTALITY, the declared end of all the MYSTERIES.

There are many other circumstances in this fine Allegory equally serving to support the system here explained : as there are outiers which allude to divers beautiful Platonic notions, foreign to the present discourse. It is enough that we have pointed to its chief, and peculiar purpose; which it was impossible to see while the nature and design of the whole Fable lay undiscovered.

But now perhaps it may be said, “That all this is very well. An Allegory is here found for the GOLDEN Ass, which, it must be owned, fits the Fable. But still it may be asked, Was it indeed 'made for it? Did the Author write the tale for the moral; or did the Critic find the moral for the tale? For an Allegory

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may be drawn from almost any story: and they have been often made for Authors who never thought of them. Nay, when a rage of allegorizing happens to prevail, as it did a century or two ago, the Author himself will be either tempted or obliged, without the Commentator, to encourage this delusion. Ariosto and Tasso, writers of the highest reputation, one of whom wrote after the Gothic Romances, as the other, after the Classic Fables, without ever concerning themselves about any other moral than what the natural circumstances of the story conveyed; yet, to secure the success of their poerns, they submitted, in compliance to fashion and false taste, to the ridiculous drudgery of inventing a kind of posthumous Allegory, and sometimes more than one; that the reader himself might season their Fables to his own taste.” As this has been the case, To shew that I neither impose upon myself nor others, I have reserved the Author's own declaration of his having an Allegoric meaning, for the last confirmation of my system. It is in these words,

At ego tibi sermone isto Milesio
Varias Fabulas conseram, auresque tuas
Benevolas lepido susurro permulceam;
Modo si PAPYRUM ÆGYPTIAM ARGUTÍA
NILOTICI CALAMI INSCRIPTAM, non spreveris

Inspicere A direct insinuation of its being replete with the profound Ægyptian wisdom; of which, that Nation, by the invention of the MYSTERIES, had conveyed so considerable a part to the Greeks.

. In init. Fab.

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Before

Before I totally dismiss this matter it may not be improper to observe, that both VIRGIL and APULEIUS have represented the genuine MYSTERIES, as Rites of perfect sanctity and purity; and recommended only such to their Countrymen ; while they expose impure and impious Rites to the public execration; for it was their purpose to stigmatize the reigning corruptions, and to recommend the ancient sanctity. On the other hand, a man attached by his office to the recommendation of the Mysteries, as then practised, was to do the best he could, when deprived of the benefit of this distinction; and was to endeavour to give fair colours to the foulest things. This was the case of JAMBLICHUS. His friend Porphyry had some scruples on this head. He doubts whether those Rites could come from the Gods, which admitted such a mixture of lewdness and impurity. Such a mixture Jamblichus confesses; but, at the same time, endeavours to account for their divine original, by shewing, that they are only the emblems of natural Truths; or a kind of moral purgation of the inordinate passions * You will say, he might have given a better answer; That they were modern abuses and corruptions. He asks your pardon for that. Such a confession would have been condemning his own Platonic fanaticism; that very fanaticism which had brought in these abominations. He was reduced therefore to the necessity of admitting that they were no after-corruptions, but coeval with the Rites themselves, And this admission of so learned a Hierophant, is, as far as I'am able to collect, the only support which any one can now have for saying, that the Mysteries were impure and abominable, even from their first Institution. • De Mysteriis, Sect. i. cap. xi.

Hitherto

Hitherto we have considered the Legislator's care in perpetuating the doctrine of a FUTURE STATE. And if I have been longer than ordinary on this head, my excuse is, that the topic was new *, and the doctrine itself, which is the main subject of the present inquiry, much interested in it.

A very remarkable circumstance (for which we are indebted to the observation of modern travellers) may convince us, that Rulers and Governors cultivated the belief of this doctrine with a more than common assiduity. Many barbarous nations have been discovered in these later times, on the coasts of Africa, which, in the distractions of Government, and transmigrations of People, have, it is probable, fallen from a civilized to a savage state of life. These are found to have little or no knowledge of a God, or observance of Religion. And yet, which is a surprising paradox, they still retain the settled belief and expectation of a FUTURE STATE.

A wonder to be accounted for no other way than by what hath been said above of the Legislator's principal concern for the support of this

* A well-known writer, Mr. Jackson (not to speak at present of Others of a later date) who had long and scurrilously railed at the author of the D. L. in a number of miserable pamphlets, hath at length thought fit in a Thing, called Chronological Antiquities, to borrow from this book, without any acknowledgment, all he had to give the public concerning the pagan MYSTERIES; and much, concerning the HIEROGLYPHICS and origin of idolatry. But this is the common practice of such sort of writers: and is only mentioned here to sbew the reader to what class they beiong. The treatment these volumes have met with from some of the most worthless of my Countrymen, made me think it expedient to contrast their behaviour with that of the most learned and respectable foreign Divines and Critics of France, Germany, and Holland, in their animadversions on this work, occasionally inserted in the notes. VOL. II.

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Doctrine;

Doctrine; and of the deep root, which by its agreeable nature, it takes in the Mind wherever it has been once received. So that though, as it hath been observed, no Religion ever existed without the doctrine of a Future State, yet the doctrine of a Future State hath, it seems, sometimes existed without a Religion.

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