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that afterwards, in an allegorical sense, the name of Lucifer was given to the prince of the angels, who made war in heaven; and that, at last, this word, signifying Phosphorus and Aurora, has become the name of the devil.
The Christian religion is founded on the Fall of the Angels. Those who revolted were precipitated from the spheres which they inhabited into hell, in the centre of the earth, and became devils. A devil, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve, and damned mankind. Jesus came to redeem mankind, and to triumph over the devil, who tempts us still. Yet this fundamental tradition is to be found nowhere but in the apocryphal book of Enoch; and there it is in a form quite different from that of the received tradition.
St. Augustin, in his 109th letter, does not hesitate to give slender and agile bodies to the good and bad angels. Pope Gregory I. has reduced to nine choirsto nine hierarchies or orders, the ten choirs of angels acknowledged by the Jews.
The Jews had in their temple two cherubs, each with two heads-the one that of an ox, the other that of an eagle, and six wings. We paint them now in the form of a flying head, with two small wings below the ears. We paint the angels and archangels in the form of young men, with two wings at the back. As for the thrones and dominations, no one has yet thought of painting them.
St. Thomas, at question cviii. article 2, says, that the Thrones are as near to God as the Cherubim and Seraphim, because it is upon them that God sits. Scot has counted a thousand millions of angels. The ancient mythology of the good and bad genii, having passed from the East to Greece and Rome, we consecrated this opinion, by admitting for each individual a good and an evil angel, of whom one assists him and the other torments him, from his birth to his death; but it is not yet known whether these good and bad angels are continually passing from one post to another, or are relieved by others. On this point, consult St. Thomas's Dream.
It is not known precisely where the angels dwellwhether in the air, in the void, or in the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.
How many nations have long existed, and still exist, without annals. There were none in all America, that is, in one half of our globe, excepting those of Mexico and Peru, which are not very ancient. Besides, knotted cords are a sort of books which cannot enter into very, minute details. Three-fourths of Africa never had annals; and, at the present day, in the most learned na tions-in those even which have used and abused the art of writing the most, ninety-nine out of a hundred individuals may be regarded as not knowing anything that happened there farther back than four generations, and as almost ignorant of the names of their great-grandfathers. Such is the case with nearly all the inhabitants of towns and villages, very few families holding titles of their possessions. When a litigation arises respecting the limits of a field or a meadow, the judges decide according to the testimony of the old men; and pos session constitutes the title. Some great events are transmitted from father to son, and are entirely altered in passing from mouth to mouth. They have no other
Look at all the villages of our Europe, so polished, so enlightened, so full of immense libraries, and which now seems to groan under the enormous mass of books. In each village, two men at most, on an average, can read and write.* Society loses nothing in consequence. All works are performed-building, planting, sowing, reaping, as they were in the remotest times. The labourer has not even leisure to regret that he has not been taught to consume some hours of the day in reading. This proves that mankind had no need of histo
Happily this will not much longer be the case in Great Britain; nor, it is to be hoped, in France, notwithstanding the miserable exertions of restored bigotry to retain the ignorance on which it preys.-T.
rical monuments, to cultivate the arts really necessary to life.
It is astonishing, not that so many tribes of people are without annals, but that three or four nations have preserved them for five thousand years or thereabouts, through so many violent revolutions which the earth has undergone. Not a line remains of the ancient Egyptian, Chaldean, or Persian annals, nor of those of the Latins and Etruscans. The only annals that can boast of a little antiquity, are the Indian, the Chinese, and the Hebrew.*
We cannot give the name of annals to vague and rude fragments of history, without date, order, or connection. They are riddles proposed by antiquity to posterity, who understand nothing at all of them.
We venture to affirm that Sanchoniathon, who is said to have lived before the time of Moses,† composed annals. He probably limited his researches to cosmogony, as Hesiod afterwards did in Greece. We advance this latter opinion only as a doubt; for we write only to be informed, and not to teach.
But what deserves the greatest attention is, that Sanchoniathon quotes the books of the Egyptian Thoth, who, he tells us, lived eight hundred years before him. Now Sanchoniathon probably wrote in the age in which we place Joseph's adventure in Egypt.
We commonly place the epoch of the promotion
* See HISTORY.
It has been said, that if Sanchoniathon had lived in the time of Moses, or after him, Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, who quotes several of his fragments, would undoubtedly have quoted those in which mention had been made of Moses, and of the terrible prodigies which had interrupted the order of nature. Sanchoniathon would not have failed to speak of them. Eusebius would have availed himself of his testimony; he would have proved the existence of Moses by the authentic acknowledgment of a learned contemporary-of a man who wrote in a country where the Jews were every day signalising themselves by miracles. Eusebius never quotes Sanchoniathon concerning the actions of Moses. Sanchoniathon, then, wrote earlier. This is presumed; but with the diffidence which every man should feel in his own opinion, except when he ventures to assert that two and two are four.
of the Jew Joseph to the prime-ministry of Egypt, at the year of the creation 2300.
If, then, the books of Thoth were written eight hundred years before, they were written in the year 1500 of the creation. Therefore, their date was a hundred and fifty-six years before the Deluge. They must, then, have been engraven on stone, and preserved in the universal inundation.
Another difficulty is, that Sanchoniathon does not speak of the Deluge, and that no Egyptian writer has ever been quoted who does speak of it. But these difficulties vanish before the Book of Genesis, inspired by the Holy Ghost.
We have no intention here to plunge into the chaos which eighty writers have sought to clear up, by inventing different chronologies: we always keep to the Old Testament.
We only ask, whether in the time of Thoth, they wrote in hieroglyphics, or in alphabetical characters?
Whether stone and brick had yet been laid aside for vellum or any other material?
Whether Thoth wrote annals, or only a cosmogony?Whether there were some pyramids already built in the time of Thoth ?
Whether Lower Egypt was already inhabited?
Whether canals had been constructed to receive the waters of the Nile?
Whether the Chaldeans had already taught the arts to the Egyptians, and whether the Chaldeans had received them from the Brahmins?—
There are persons who have resolved all these questions; which once occasioned a man of sense and wit
to say of a grave doctor, "That man must be very ignorant, for he answers every question that is asked him,"
*The Rev. personages who answer so glibly, possibly adopt the policy of certain tutors, who assert that children should imagine their instructors acquainted with all things. We know in whose hands mankind at large have been children.-T,
The epoch of the establishment of annats is uncertain; which is a proof that the exaction of them is an usurpation-an extortionary custom. Whatever is not founded on an authentic law, is an abuse. Every abuse ought to be reformed, unless the reform is more dangerous than the abuse itself. Usurpation begins by small and successive encroachments; equity and the public interest at length exclaim and protest: then comes policy, which does its best to reconcile usurpation with equity, and the abuse remains.*
In several dioceses, the bishops, chapters, and archdeacons, after the example of the popes, imposed annats upon the cures. In Normandy, this exaction is called droit de déport.. Policy having no interest in maintaining this pillage, it was abolished in several places; it still exists in others; so true is it that money is the first object of worship!
In 1409, at the council of Pisa, pope Alexander V. expressly renounced annats; Charles VII. condemned them by an edict of April, 1418; the council of Basle declared that they came under the denomination of simony; and the Pragmatic Sanction abolished them again.
Francis I. by a private treaty which he made with Leo X. and which was not inserted in the concordat, allowed the pope to raise this tribute, which produced him annually, during that prince's reign, a hundred thousand crowns of that day, according to the calculation then made by Jacques Capelle, advocate-general to the parliament of Paris.
The parliament, the universities, the clergy, the whole nation, protested against this exaction; and Henry II. yielding at length to the cries of his people, renewed the law of Charles VII. by an edict of the 3d of September, 1551.
The paying of annats was again forbidden by Charles
In a few words, the history of Easter offerings, and possibly of some other clerical demands.-T.