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given to the President of the Mysteries, was, doubtless, in memory of the first Founder: to whom were joined four officers, chosen by the people, called EDIMEAHTAI or Curators *; the priests were only under-officers to these, and had no share in the direction : for this being the Legislator's favourite institution, he took all possible care for its support; which could not be done more effectually, than by his watching over it himself. On the other hand, his interfering too openly in religious matters would have defeated his end; and the people would soon have come to regard this high solemnity as a mere engine of State ; on which account he carefully kept behind the curtain. For though it be now apparent that the Mysteries were the invention of the Civil Magistrate, yet even some Ancients, who have mentioned the Mysteries, seemed not to be apprized of it ; and their ignorance hath occasioned great embroilment in all they say on this subject. The reader may see by the second chapter of Meursius's Eleusinia, how much the Ancients were at a loss for the true founder of those Mysteries; some giving the institution to Ceres; some to Triptolemus; others to Eumolpus; others to Musæus; and soine again to Erectheus. How then shall we disengage ourselves from this labyrinth, into which Meursius hath led us, and in which, his guard of Ancients keep us inclosed? This clue will casily conduct us through it. It appears, from what has been said, that Erectheus, KING of Athens, established the Mysteries t; but that the people unluckily confounded the Institutor, with the PRIESTS, Eumolpus and Musæus, who first officiated in the rites; and with Ceres and

• See Meursius's Fleusinia, cap. XV...
† And so says Diodorus Siculus, lib. i. Bibl.

Triptolemus, Triptolemus, the DEITIES, in whose honour they were celebrated. And these mistakes were natural enough * : the poets would be apt, in the licence of their figurative style, to call the Gods, in whose name the Mysteries were performed, the Founders of those Mysteries; and the people, seeing only the ministry of the officiated priests (the Legislator keeping out of sight) in good earnest believed those Mystagogues to be the founders. And yet, if it were reasonable to expect from Poets or People, attention to their own fancies and opinions, one would think they might have distinguished better, by the help of that mark, which Erectheus left behind him, to ascertain his title; naisely, the erection of the officer called Barineus, or King.

4. But this original is still further seen from the qualities required in the aspirants to the Mysteries. According to their original institution, neither slaves nor foreigners were to be admitted into them f. Now if the Mysteries were instituted, primarily for the sake of teaching religious truths, there can be no reason given why every man, with the proper moral qualifications, should not be admitted; but supposing them instituted by

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They were committed where no Mystery was affected, in what concerned the open worship of their Gods. Tacitus, speak, ing of the Temple of the Paphian Venus, says, “ Conditorem * Templi Regem Aërian vetus memoria, quidam ipsius Deæ no" men id perhibent." Hist. lib. ii.

+ - ήλθε [Ηρακλής] προς Εύμολπον εις 'Ελευσίνα, βελόμενο pivonuar me dox tgdr ZENOIE sótt uutiolat-Schol. Hom. 11. e. It was the same in the Cabiric Mysteries, as we learn from Dio. dorus Siculus, lib.v. who speaks of the like innovation made there. --dersi Ngitos apūTQ EENOTE uvñcas. As to slaves, hear Aristophanes in his Θεσμοφόριαζ

συ δ' άπειθ' ω Θρώτη εκποδών ΔΟΥΛΟΙΣ γως εκ έξες' ακέειν των λόγων.

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the State for civil purposes, a very good one may be assigned; for slaves and foreigners have there, neither property nor country. When afterwards the Greeks, by frequent contederations against the Persian, the common enemy of their liberties, began to consider themselves as one people and Community, the Mysteries were extended to all who spoke the GREEK LAN

Yet the Antients, not reflecting on the original and end of their institution, were much perplexed for the reasons of an exclusion so apparently capricious. Lucian tells us, in The life of his friend Denonax, that this great philosopher had the courage one day, to ask the Athenians, why they excluded barbarians from their Mysteries, when Eumolpus, a barbarous Thracian, had established them *. But he does not tell us their answer. One of the most judicious of our modern critics was as much at a loss; and therefore thinks the restraint ridiculous, as implying, that the Institutors supposed that speaking the Greek tongue contributed to the advancement of piety f.

5. Another proof of this original may be deduced from what was taught promiscuously to all the Ini

'Ετόλμησε δε ποτε και 'Αθηναίες ερωτήσαι δημοσία, της προρρήσεως ακέσας, διά τίνα αιτίαν αποκλείοσι τές βαρβάρες και ταύτα τά την τελείην αυτοίς καλαςησαμένα Εύμολπε, βαρβάρα και Θρακός όνο. But the fact, that they were not a grecian but a foreign, that is, barbarous invention, is proved by their very name, uushgia, from the eastern dialect, mistor, or mistur, res aut locus abscondiuus.

+ Auctor est Libanius in Corinthiorum actione, mystagogos summa diligentia initiandos ante omnia monuisse, ut manus puras animumque sibi seryarent purum: sey Tiny Owriv "Enaguas eiros; f ut in voce sive sermone Græcos se præstarent : hoc quidem profecto ridiculum, quasi faceret ad veram pietatem, Græca potius quam alia lingua loqui. Is. Casauboni Exercit. xvi. ad Annales Eccl. Baron,

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tiated; which was, the necessity of a virtuous and holy life, ta obtain a happy immortality. Now this, we know, could not come from the sacerdotal warehouse: the priests could afford a better pennyworth of their Elysium, at the easy expence of oblations and sacrifices : for, as our great Philosopher well observes (who, however, was not aware of this extraordinary institution for the support of virtue, and therefore concludes too generally) “The Priests made it not their business " to teach the people virtue: if they were diligent in

their observations and ceremonies, punctual in their “ feasts and solemnities, and the tricks of religion, the “ holy tribe assured them that the Gods were pleased, t and they looked no further : few went to the schools t of Philosophers, to be instructed in their duty, and « to know what was good and evil in their actions: & the Priests sold the better pennyworths, and therete fore had all the custom : for lustrations and sacrifices * were much easier than a clean conscience and a “ steddy course of virtue; and an expiatory sacrifice, * that atoned for the want of it, much more conve“ nient than a strict and holy life be assured, that an Institution, which taught the necessity of a strict and holy life, could not but be the invention of Lawgivers, to whose schemes moral virtue was so necessary.

6. Another strong presumption of this original is the great use of the Alysteries to the State: so amply confessed by the wisest writers of antiquity, and so clearly seen from the nature of the thing itself.

7. But, lastly, we have the testimony of the know, ing Plutarch for this original; who, in his treatise Of Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity.

* "

Now we may

Isis and Osiris, expressly tells us, that it was." a most * ancient opinion, delivered down, from LEGISLATORS " and Divines, to Poets and Philosophers, the author " of it entirely unknown, but the belief of it indelikdy

established, not only in tradition, and the talk of the vulgar, but in the MYSTERIES and in the sacred " offices of religion, both amongst Greeks and Bar,

barians, spread all over the face of the globe, That the Universe was not upheld fortuitously, without

Mind, Reason, or a Governor to preside over its " revolutions *.”

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It is now submitted to the candid reader, Whether it be not fairly proved, that the MYSTERIES were invented by the LEGISLATOR, to affirm and establish the general doctrine of a Providence, by inculcating the belief of a future state of rewards and pumshinents. Indeed, if we may believe a certain Ancient, who appears to have been well versed in these matters, they gained their end, by clearing up all doubts concerning the righteous government of the Gods f.

We have seen in general, how fond and tenacious ancient Paganism was of this extraordinary Rite, as of an Institution supremely useful both to sociETY, and RELIGION. But this will be seen more fully in

* Διό και παμπάλαια αύτη κάτεισιν εκ θεολόγων και ΝΟΜΟΘΕΤΩΝ είς τε αρισίας και φιλοσόφες δοξα, την αρχήν αδέσποτων έχασα, την δε αίσιν ισχυρών και δυσεξάλειπτον, εκ εν λόγοις μόνον, έδε εν φήμαις, αλλά έν τι ΤΕΛΕΤΑΙΣ, έν τι θυσίαις, και βαρβάροις και “Ελλησι πολλαχε σεριφερομένην, ώς έτάνων και άλλον και ακυβέρνηθον αιωρείται το αυτομάτα το dür. Edit. Francof. fol. T. II. p. 369. B.

1 ο δε τούς μυςικούς εγκαρίερήσαι σαραβγέλμασιν υπομείνας, και προς και πολλές αυτές ευσεβής καθο δεισιδαίμων γενόμενα στερί έδενός έτι την es gods by benczsíær áudicerer. Sopater in Divis. Quæst.


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