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it the more strange, that the + Romans should afterwards ere&t Temples and Altars to the most unlikely things, to a Fever, and to ill Fortune, as the Athenians did to Contumely and Impudence : But it is still more amazing, that they should, by the Decrees of the Senate, deifie the worst of Men, the very Monsters and Reproaches of Mankind : And whilst the Christians suffer'd for refusing Adoration to their Emperors, they had divine Honours paid them by the gravest Heathens, such as Quinctilian, not only through Fear of Death, but out of Compliment and base Flattery

2 All manner of Debauchery and Lewdness made up fo

grcat a part of the Heathen Religion, that it is too shameful and too notorious to relate. The Romans w sometimes rejected foreign Deities; and when they received the Gods of other Nations, they did not worship them after their manner; and yet the Rites of the Romans themselves, in the Worship of Cybile, Flora, Bacchus, &c. were very scandalous and wicked. And all their Sports and Spectacles (which had nothing surely in Worship) were invented and performed in honour of their Gods, * and had the presence of the Pontifex

Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. iii. De Legib. lib. 2. Valer. Max. 1.2. C. I.

Plin. Hift. lib. 2. c.7. v Quint: {nititur. lib. 4. Proæm. Tertnll. Apol. c. 6. Liv. Decad. 4. I.

Liv. Decad. 4. 1. 9. Eufeb. Præpar. lib. ii. c. ult, ex Dionyf. Halicarnal. lib. ii.

x Ludi verò quos facitis quibus Floralibus & Megalenfibus nomen elt, caterique omnes alij, quos ejfe facros vabijtis, Religionum inter officia deputari; quam rationem habent, quam caufam, ut institui condique debuerint, eu ex Numinum appellatione signari ? Arnob. lib. 7. p. 281. Sedent « in spectaculis publicis sacerdotum omnium, magiftratuumque collegia, Pontifices Maximi, e Maximi Curiones: Sedent XV. viri laureati, o Diales cum apicibus Flamines : «Sedent Argures interpretes divine mentis er voluntatis : Necnon a casta virgines, perpetui nutrices et conservatrices ignis : fedet cunctus · Populus e Senatus, &c. Id. lib 4. fub fin.



Maximus, and of the other Priests and chief Magistrates to celebrate them; whence Quintilian y says, the Theatre might be stiled a kind of Temple. It was a custom to z perform Funeral Rites to the Dead, by killing Men at their Sepulchres ; and for this reason, Captives were wont to be slain at the Funeral of a General, 'till at last the Gladiators, callid Brostuarij, were appointed instead of them.

a Another account of the original of Gladiators, is from an ancient custom, for Men to devote themselves to Death, to appease the Wrath of some Deity towards their Country. But this was a sort of Devotion, which was more-especially paid to Saturn, whose Image was placed in a Cavity contrived under-ground to receive the Blood of the Slain. And as c some of their Gods delighted in Punishments and Blood, so others were supposed to be pleased with Sports.

3. But besides their bloody Spectacles, where Men were exposed to be killed by Beasts, or by one another, their Altars themselves were not free from humane Blood. For the barbarous Cruelty of the Religions amongst the Heathen was such, that they were obliged to offer up innocent Men and Children in Sacrifice to their Deities. Some of the Rabbins have been of opinion that Jeptha facrificed his Daughter,


y Quintil. Inflitut. lib. 3. c. 8.
2 Serv. ad Virg. Æn. 10.
a Capitolin. Vit. Max. & Albin.

6 "Εν αρμάϊς άσης έτι - Ελληνικής δεισιδαιμονίας, άμιλλαι μινομαχιας επε, ελεν7ο Ρωμαίοις εσ καιρούς κέκρυπο στο γήν Κρόνο, λιθοις τερημίοις υποκεχηνώς, ίνα τα του πεcovia nateuszávorlo' núdzw. Cyril. Alexand. contra Julian. lib. 4.. P. 128. Edit. Lips.

c Labeo numina mala viitimis cruentis atque hujusmodi supplicationibus placari exiftimat : bona verò ludis er talibuss, qitasi ad Latitiam pertinentibus rebus. Aug. Civ. Dei, lib. 8. c. 13.


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but others deny it, d and all are agreed, that if he did sacrifice her, he sinned in doing it: and we know, that Abraham was hindred by a Miracle and a Voice from Heaven, when he was about to slay Isaac. But the chief Oracles among the Heathen, appointed humane Sacrifices, that of e Delphi, that of Dodona, and of 8 Jupiter Saotes. * The Romans were enduced to offer these Sacrifices, by consulting the Sibylline Books. It was a custom among the h Phænicians and Canaanites for their Kings, in Times of ty, to sacrifice one of their Sons, whom they loved best; and it was common both with them, and the Moabites, and Ammonites, to facrifice their Children. The Ægyptians, the Athenians, and Lacedæmonians, and generally all the Græcians; the Romans and Carthaginians, the Germans, and Gauls, and Britains, and in brief, all the Heathen Nations throughout the World offered Humane Sacrifices upon their Altars; and this not on certain Emergencies, and in imminent Dangers only, but constantly, and in some places every day; but upon extraordinary Accidents, multitudes were facrificed at once to their bloody Deities; as i Diodorus Siculus and others relate, that in Africk Two hundred Children of the principal Nobility were sacrifi

& Utcunque autem se res ea habuerit id certum puto esse, non reperiri apud Magistros, qui ex jure aliquo immolandam eam effe affirmaverit. Selden. de jure Nat. e Gent. lib. iv. c. 2. The Daughters of Israel went yearly to lament, or to talk with her, as it is in the Margin , Judg. xi. 40. The word is translated rehearse, or speak, Judg. v. II.

e Pausan. Meilen. & Bæot. Eufeb. Præpar. Evang. 1. 5.c. 19: ;f Id. Achaic. g Id. Bæot.

Ex fatalibus libris sacrificia aliquot extraordinaria facta, inter qua Gallus & Galla, Grecus e. Graca in foro Boario sub terra vivi demiffi funt in locum faxo conseptum, ibi ante hoftijs humanis minimè Romano sacro imbutum. Liv. lib. 22. C. 57. Plut. Quæst. Rom. Δια τί τες καλεμένες Βλετονησίας, &c. h Grot. ad Deut. xviii. Io. Diod. Sic. I. 20. Lactant, lib. i. c. 21. ex Piscennio Fefto.


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m Livy

ced to Saturn at one time. And * Aristomenes facrificed Three hundred

Men together to Jupiter Ithometes, one of whom was Theopompus, King of the Lacedæmonians. And the same custom is found practised amongst the Idolatrous Indians, of offering

whole Hecatombs of humane Sacrifices to their false Gods. In Peru, when their new Incha was crown'd, they facrific'd two hundred Children from four to ten Years of Age: And the Son was wont to be sacrific'd for the Life of the Father, when he was in danger of Death. Sometimes the Mexicans have facrifică above five thousand of their Captives in a day, and in divers places above twenty thousand, as Acosta writes ont of the Informations he had from the Indians. makes mention of humane Sacrifices at Rome.

n Dion Cassius relates, that Two Men were facrific'd in the Campus Martius, under Julius Cæsar. He • fays, it was a Custom begun under Augustus, for Men to be devoted to Death for the Safety of the Emperor. From P ancient times, it had been customary among the People of Italy, in case of great Danger, to make a solemn Vow, that whatever should be brought forth in the following Spring, should be facrificed ; and Apollo being consulted, what was to be done in order to be freed from the Pestilence, answer'd, That the Vow had not been performed in Sacrificing Children, but it should suffice, if those who fhould have been killed, were now banish'd. This is the Meaning of Ver Sacrum, which is mention'd in Livy. And nothing less than Banishment would be accepted by the Gods, instead of the Death of such Children, as were then

k Euseb. Præpar, lib. iv. c. 16. Macrob. Saturn. lib. i. c. 7. Alex. ab Alexand. lib. vi. c. ult. Jos. Acost. Hift. I. v. 4. 19,21.

m Liv. I. xxii. C. 57. a Dion. Caff. l. 43.

o Lib. 53.

p Feftus in Mainertin. & in Ver. Sacr.


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born. 9 Suetonius mentions, that fome Writers affirm'd, that Auguftus offer'd a great number of Enemies, who had surrender'd themselves, to be slain on the Ides of March, in Devotion to the Manes of Julius Gæfar. We are inform’d by: 1. Pliny, that, A. U. C. DCLVII. a Decree of the Senate pafíed, that no Man should be sacrificed, and that till then such Sacrifices were publick. This Prohibition seems to concern only the common and frequent use of them: for besides what has been already observ'd, s. Plutarh says, they continued in his time, and it was not till about the time of Constantine's Reign, that a final Stop was put to so strange and abominable a Practice ; for tho it was forbidden by Adrian, and very much abated in his Reign; yet i Antinous was made a Sacrifice by Adrian himfelf. u Tatian declares, that the humane Sacrifices offer'd to Jupiter at Rome, and to Diana not far from thence, were one chief Cause of his leaving the Heathen Religion, and becoming a Christian. * Pliny acquaints us, that they were practis'd in the Age in which he liv’d; and Minutius Felix, that they were used, when he wrote. y Porphyry mentions them as notoriously pra&is'd at Rome in his time; and 2 LaEtantius speaks of them as not laid aside in his. Notwithstanding this Usage is so much against humane Nature, as well as contrary to the Divine Mercy and Goodness, yet it made fo

great a part of the Heathen Religion, and was become so customary, that it was hard to bring Men off from it; which at the same time demonstrates both how false such Religions were, and that Men had a most undoubted Experience


4 In Aug. C. 15.

r Hift. 1. 30. c. I. $. 3, s Plutarch. in Marcello, initio. ! "Eti vj ieqxorosis, as i dA:107:& é xe, Dion: Caff. 1. 69. a Orat. adv. Gentes. x Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 28. C. 2.

3 'Αλλ' έτι κ νώ τις ανοξ και τ' με Γάλίω πόλιν τη τα Λαμαρία Apos jogin opaso

por civo jw #ov ; Porph, de Abftin, 1. 2. c. 56. Lact. l. 1. c. 21,


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