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of invisible Powers; or else in so many Nations both the Kings and People would never have sacrific'd their own Chiidren to their false Gods, to avert the Evils which they were threatned withal. But what Sins could the Death of these Innocents be design’d to expiate, when the very Acts of their Religion consisted in the Commission of Wickedness? Or what Reward in another World, for a Life lost in this, could be expected from a Religion, which placed all Happiness in the Enjoyment of the Pleasures and Vices of this World? Muft the Sins against Venus or Flora, against Bacchus or Mercury, be expiated by the Death of innocent Children? Or could any Reward in another Life be expected from such Deities, when Innocence and Vertue are the things, which give them the most Offence, and nothing can delight them so much, as the Sin and Misery of Mankind? Julian used all imaginable Arts to restore the Heathen Worship, and to recommend it to the World, by reducing it to such a System, as that it might neither be exposed to the Contempt, nor raise the Horror of Mankind. But a discoveries were, after his Death, made by the Remains of Bodies found both at Carrhæ where he had kept his Court, in his Persian Expedition, and in his Palace at Antioch, that he had offered Humane Sacrifices. So inseparable were such Sacrifices from the Religion of the Heathen.
The Persons that introduced the Heathen Religions, were either Men of Design, who establish'd themselves in their Power and Authority by it, as Numa ; or Men of Fancy and Fiction, as the Poets, whom Plato would have banish'd out of his Commonwealth. And the Gods of the Heathen, who must be fupposed to reveal thefe Mysteries and Ways of
a Greg. Nazianz. Inrect. I. p. 54. Invect. 2. Schol. p. 91• Edit, Eton. Theodoret. Hift, lib. ii. ç. 26, 27.
Worship, Worship, were always more wicked than their Votaries, whose greatest immoralities consisted in the Worship of them; the gross Enormities not only of Venus and Bacchus, but of Saturn and Jupiter, are too well known to need any particular Relation.
When the b Athenians consulted Apollo Pythius, what Religious Worship they should establish, the Oracle answer'd; That, to which their Ancestors had been accu ftomed; and when, since their Ancestors had often changed their ways of Worship, they came again to enquire, which of their Customs was to be follow'd; he answer'd; The best. Which was in effeâ to give no Answer at all; for their Desire was to know, which was to be settled as the best. But what could be best, when all was so bad? There was no Body of Laws, or Rules of good Life, proposed by their Oracles; but on the contrary, they were in commendation of lascivious Poets, or they flatter'd Tyrants, or they appointed Divine Worship to be paid to such as won the Mastery at the Olympick Games, or to Inanimate things; or they promoted some other ill, or vain and unprofitable Design, as Oenomaüs the Phia. losopher observd, and proved by particular Instances recited out of him by : Eusebius. The Laws of e Lycurgus were approv'd of, and confirmod by the Del phick Oracle, and yet Theft, and a Community of Wives, and the Murther of Infants, was allow'd by these Laws. And the same f Oracle not only orderd -Divine Honours to be paid to Hercules and 8 Alexander
b Cic. de Legib. 1. 2. §. 40.
Consecratus est vivus sentiénfque Oraculi ejufdem (Delphici) juu, o Jovis Deorum fummi aftipulatu, Euthymus Pyeta, femper Olympie victor e semel victus, quod o vivo factitatum es mortuo facrificia oblata ) nihilque adeo mirum aliud, quàm hog placuisse Diis. Plin. Hist. 1. 7. c. 47.
d Euseb. Præpar. lib. v. c. 34, 35.
but appointed h Cleomedes a Madman and a Murtherer, to be worshipp'd with Sacrifice. Porphyry prov'd, from Oracles, that Magick was the Gift of the Gods. And I have already observ'd, that they commanded Humane Sacrifices.
This is enough to fhew, that the Heathen Religions could not be from God, since they taught the Worship of Idols and of Devils; and the Mysteries and Rites of them were utterly inconsistent with the Goodness and Purity of Almighty God. And whoever doth but look into the Religions at this day amongst the Idolatrous Indians, by their ridiculous and cruel Penances, and other Superstitions, (besides the sacrificing of Men, and sometimes of themselves, as the Women, who offer themselves to be burnt with the Bodies of their dead Husbands, and the like) will foon be convinced that they cannot be of God's Institution. The Chineses themselves, who have so great a Reputation for Wisdom, are like the rest, both in their Idolatries, and in many of their Opinions and Practices.
It is evident therefore, that none of the Heathen Religions can make any probable Chaim to Divine Re velation, having none of the Requisites to such a Revelation, but being but of a late Original, not far divulg'd, supported neither by Prophecies nor Miracles from God, and containing Doctrines that are idolatrous, impure, cruel, and every way wicked and abfurd.
h Pausan. Eliac.
C H A P.
CH A P. V.
Of the Philosophy of the Heathen.
UT besides the Religions of the Heathens, divers
of the Philosophers pretended to something supernatural, as Pythagoras, Socrates, and some others, and therefore it will be proper here to examine likewise the Justice of their Pretensions. And indeed, whatever the Original of the Heathen Philofophy were, whether from their Gods, or from themselves, if the Precepts of Philosophy amongst the Heathens were a fufficient Rule of good Life, there may seem to have been little or no necessity for a Divine Revelation. But I shall prove, 1. That the Heathen Philosophy was very defective and erroncous.
2. That whatever was excellent in it, was owing to the Revelations contain'd in the Scriptures. 3. That if it had been as excellent, and as certain, as it can be pretended to be, yet there had been great need of a Divine Revelation.
1. The Heathen Philosophy was very defe&tive and erroneous. It was defective in point of Authority. Socrates, though he would be thought to be inspird, or supernaturally assisted, gave Men only his own word for it. Pythagoras indeed pretended both to Prophecies and Miracles, but he was a great Magician, in the opinion of a Xenophon, b Pliny, and Plutarch, and therefore whatever he did or foretold, must be afcribed to that Power, which, as it has been before declared, the Devils may have, to do strange things, and to know things done at a distance, or some time after; and his Predictions and Miracles, (even as they are related by Porphyry and Jamblicus) were such, as
a Xenoph. Epift. ad Æfchinem. Plutarch in Numà. b Plin. Hist. 1. 30. C. I. $. 2.
that a bare Recital of them were enough to confute any Authority, which could be claim’d by them. His Impostures may be seen in Diogenes Laërtius. Pliny writes, that not only Pythagoras, but Empedocles, Democritus, and Plato himself, made long Voyages to learn Magick. Aristotle says, Epimenides foretold nothing, whatever others relate of him. And as the Philosophers had no Divine Authority for what they deliver'd, so their own was but of small account; they were generally rather Men of Wit and Humour, than of sound Doctrine or good Morals. . And whoever reads the Lives of the Philosophers written by Diogen nes Laërtius, and the Lives of the Casars by Suetonius, would believe the World might have been as soon reform’d by the one fort of Men as by the other. As to the Philosophers, who, after the Christian Religion appear'd in the World, pretended to Miracles, it is a hard matter to think the Writers of their Lives in earnest, when they relate them: For a Man may as well believe the Fables of Æsop or Lucian to be true, History, as the Stories in the Life of Apollonius Tyaneus written by Philostratus, or those in the Life of Ilidorus written by Damascius, an Abstract whereof we have left preserv'd ein Photius.
The Heathen Philosophy was defe&tive likewise in point of Antiquity and Promulgation. Philosophy, as far as we have any Account of it, was but a late thing; so it is styled in Tully, f neque ante philofophiam patefa&tam, quæ nuper inventa eft. 8 Seneca computes the Rise of it to be less than a thousand
before his own time: about that distance of time h Pliny places Homer, whom he styles the first Parent of all Learning and Antiquity. But the moral and useful part of
c Plin. ib. d Arist. Rhet. I. ii. c. 17.