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every one's taste and humour. The genius of it disposing its followers to be inconstant, capricious, and fond of novelties; weary of long-worn Ceremonies, and immoderately fond of new.

And in effect we see, amongst the same people, notwithstanding the universal notion of tutelary Deities, that, in this age, one God or mode of worship, in that, another mode had the vogue. And every new God, or new ceremony, rekindled the languid fire of Superstition: just as in modern Rome, every last Saint draws the Multitude to his shrine.

For, here it is to be observed, that in the Pagan world, a tolerated Religion did not imply dissention from the established, according to our modern ideas of toleration. Nor indeed could it, according to the general nature and genius of ancient Idolatry. Tolerated Religions there are rather subservient to the established, or supernumeraries of it, than in opposition to it. But then they were far from being on a footing with the established, or partakers of its privileges.

But men going into Antiquity under the impression of modern ideas, must needs form very inaccurate judgements of what they find. So, in this case, because few tolerated Religions are to be met with in Paganism, according to our sense of toleration, which is the allowance of a Religion OPPOSED to the national; and consequently, because no one is watched with that vigilance which ours demand, but all used with more indulgence than a Religion, reprobating the established, can pretend to; on this account, I say, a false opinion hath prevailed, that, in the Pagan world, all kinds of Religion were upon an equal footing, with regard to the State. Hence, we hear a noble Writer


perpetually applauding * wise Antiquity, for the full and free liberty it granted in matters of Religion, so agreeable to the principles of truth and public utility; and perpetually arraigning the UNSOCIABLE HUMOUR OF CHRISTIANITY for the contrary practice; which, therefore, he would insinuate, was built on contrary principles.

On this account, it will not be improper to consider a little, the genius of Paganism, as it is opposed to, what we call, true Religion: Which will shew us how easily the civil Magistrate brought about that Toleration, which he had such great reasons of State to promote; and at the same time, teach these objectors to know, that the good effect of this general tolerance, as far as the genius of Religion was concerned in its pronration, was owing to the egregious falsehood and absurdity of Paganism: and that, on the other hand, the evil effects of intolerance under the Christian religion, proceeded from its truth and perfection; not the natural consequence, as these men would insinuate, of a false Principle, but the abuse of a true one.

Ancient Paganism was an aggregate of several distinct Religions, derived from so many pretended revelations. Why it abounded in these, proceeded, in párt, from the great number of Gods of human invention. As these Religions were not laid on the foundation, so neither were they raised on the destruction of one another. They were not laid on the foundation of one another; because, having given to their Gods, as local tutelary Deities t, contrary natures and dispositions, and distinct and separate interests, each God set up, on his own bottom, and held

• See the Characteristics, passim.
See note (GG) at the end of this Book.

little in common with the rest *. They were not raised on the destruction of one another; because, as hath been observed, the several Religions of Paganism did not consist in matters of belief, and dogmatic theology, in which, where there is a contrariety, Religions destroy one another ; but in matters of

practice, in Rites and Ceremonies; and in these, a contrariety did no harm: For having given their Gods different natures and interests, where was the wonder if they clashed in their commanded Rites; or if their worshippers should think this no mark of their false pretensions ?

These were horrible defects in the very essence of Pagan theology: and yet from these would necessarily arise an universal toleration : for each Religion admitting the other's pretensions, there must needs be a perfect harmony and INTERCOMMUNITY amongst them. Julian makes this the distinguishing character of the pagan Religion. For the imperial Sophist, writing to the people of Alexandria, and upbraiding them for having forsaken the religion of their country, in order to aggravate the charge, insinuates them to be guilty of ingratitude, as having forgotten those happy times when all Egypt worshipped the Gods in COMMON,- και εκ εισέρχείαι μνήμη της παλαιάς υμάς εκείνης ευδαιμονίας, ηνίκα ήν ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ μεν προς Θεές Αιγύπτω τη στάση, πολλών δε απελαύομεν αγαθών. And, in his book against the Christian Religion, he says, there were but two commands in the Decalogue, that were peculiar to the Jews, and which the Pagans would not own to be reasonable, namely, the observation of the Sabbath, and the having no other Gods but the

See note (HH) at the end of this Book..


Creator of all thing's. Ilocou šovc ési (says he) zapos των Θεών έξω τε, Ου προσκυνήσεις Θεοίς ετέροις, και τ8, Μνήσθη των σαββάτων, και μη τας άλλας οίείαι χρηναι quaárlev vords * The first Cause of all things, we see, was acknowledged by the Gentile Sages : what stuck with them was the not worshipping other Gods IN COMMON.---For according to the genius of Paganism, as here explained, no room was left for any other disputes, but whose God was most powerful; except where, by accident, it became a question, between two nations inhabiting the same country, who was truly the TUTELAR Deity of the place. As once we are told happened in Egypt, and broke out into a religious war:

Inde furor vulgo, quod numina vicinorum
Odit uterque locus, cum solos CREDIT HABENDOS

Esse deos, quos ipse colit t. Here the question was not, which of the two worshipped a Phantom, and which a God, but whose God was the tutelar God of the place. Yet to insult the tutelar Gods of the place was a thing so rare, and deemed so prodigious, that Herodotus thinks it a clear proof of Cambyses's incurable madness that he outraged the Religion of Egypt, by stabbing their God Apis and turning their monkey Deities into ridicule f. Notwithstanding a late noble writer, from this account of Juvenal, would persuade us , that intolerance was of the very nature and genius of the Egyptian theo

* Ap. S. Cyril. cont. Julian. 1. v. of Juvenal, Sat. xv.

* Καμβύσης δε, ως λέγεσι Αιγύπτιοι, διά τέτο το αδίκημα αυτίκα ējárn, two šolo zopótegov Opevnens. Thalia, c. 30. in initio. 5 Characteristics, vol. iii. Miscel. 2.


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logy, from whence all Paganism arose.

The common heathen religion (says he) was supported

chiefly from that sort of enthusiasm, which is raised " from the external objects of grandeur, majesty, and “ what we call august. On the other hand, the Egyp" tian or Syrian religions, which lay most in mystery “ and concealed rights, having less dependance on the

Magistrate, and less of that decorum of art, po“ liteness, and magnificence, ran into a more pusilla

nimous, frivolous, and mean kind of superstition ; " the observance of days, the forbearance of meats, “ and the contention about traditions, seniority, of “ laws, and priority of godships.

“ Summus utrimque « Inde furor vulgo *,” &c. Well might he say, he suspected “that it would be “ urged against him, that he talked at random and “ without book t." For the very contrary of every thing he here says, is the truth. And his supposing the Egyptian and Syrian religions had less dependence on the Magistrate than the Roman; and that the Egyptian, and Syrian (as he is pleased to call the Jewish) were the same, or of a like genius, is such an instance of his knowledge or ingenuity, as is not easily to be equalled. However, since the noble writer hath made such use of the Satirist's relation, as to insinuate that the Ombites and Tentyrites acted in the common spirit and genius of the Egyptian theology, and became the model of intolerance to the Jewish and Christian world, it may not be amiss to explain the true original of these religious squabbles, as Antiquity itself hath

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