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alive, but having no thought, procreated other beings that had both life and intelligence. These latter productions must be surely conceived, like the spirit of our mo, dern writer above cited, to have kindled into cogitation, by having bodies unaccountably formed to strike out this flame, and without which they could have made no collisions of a finer nature, than what might cause the voice of thunder and the flashes of lightning to be heard and seen from them. Such were the ancient dogmata of Egypt, and it is not so great a wonder they were so, conșidering the low state of their rudiments of knowledge; but that any writer should think of offering sentiments of this sort in an age of philosophy, so clear and intelligible, as all, who know philosophy, are now versed in, is, I confess, to me most amazing.
But this, as I have said, was, before the
« ήν δε τινα ζώα έκ έχοντα αισθησιν εξ ων εγενετο ζώα νοερα, Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. 1. c. 10. • ταύθ' ευρέθη εν
εν τη κοσμογονία γεγραμμένα τααύτε. . Id. ibid.
age of Moses, the wisdom of Egypt. Atheistic, sine Deo,' supposing that the world had been made and governed without a God, by blind and unintelligent principles of nature; their worship and religion was according to it. But Moses, though learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, was also better instructed, and taught in opposition to the Egyptian literature, that, in the begin. ning, God created the heavens and the earth, and that without him was not any thing made that was made :" And the God, whom Moses had thus declared, had most amazingly exalted his power against all the gods and religion of Egypt, by bringing his people, a
See Connect. vol. ii. b. ix. It may be thought sur. prising that it should ; but philosophy seems to have begun upon these blind principles in all countries. It appears to have been the old way of the first world, which perished in the flood; see Job xxii. 15, 16, 17. And in later ages, after the deluge, the Greeks, copying after the first rudiments of Egypt, long philosophized, without supposing that any intelligence had made or governed the world. Anaxagoras is said to have introduced this principle, apāto tū ünn Név stisnouv. Laert. in Anaxag. & Acts vii. 22.
Gen. i. 1. See hereafter.
nation out of the midst of and from under their subjection to the Egyptians, by such signs and wonders, by such a mighty hand and stretched out arm; by such amazing miracles, and entire overthrow of all the strength of Egypt, that if it were asked of the days that were past, since the day that God created man upon the earth, no such thing as this great thing had ever been, nor any thing heard like it.' Egypt was destroyed, greatly diminished and brought low; its king and armies overwhelmed and lost in the Red Sea ;" six hundred thousand slaves, besides women and children, had left this country, the Egyptians not being able in the least to oppose it; where now, and what, were the gods of Egypt? their elementary powers, or siderçal influences? Was it not too plain to be contradicted, that there was a Power who ruled in the heavens far mightier than they ; who disposed of them as he pleased, and was able to do by himself whatsoever he pleased to have done in the
Deat. iv. 32....34.
k Exod. x. 7. xii. 29, 30.
earth? Should not the Egyptians who remained turn and enquire, and seek after to serve this God? Would not state-policy, which always has, and always will try to work its way, notwithstanding religion, have herein prevented them, and offered it to their consideration, whether, if they took this course, the Israelites might not come and take away their place and nation? It seems to have satisfied them better, to correct their year, and reform their own system: and what more likely reform of their religion might they fall into, than now to consider, that unquestionably they had been wrong in supposing that elements governed the course of nature, without a personal agent ruling in them. But, conceiving that the Israelites had their God, they reputed that every nation had its own ;' and looking back to their most early progenitors, who had been the glory of their times, and under whom had been laid all the foundation of their publick and private happiness; they supposed them,
See Micah iv. 5. 2 Kings xxiii. 33, 34, 35.
after leaving the earth, to have taken their orbs, to govern and influence the things below, in some element, star, or sphere above. The Greeks thus reputed that Astræa, after long labouring on earth to do good to mortals, had at last left the world, to give her light from the constellation called Virgo." And we find it an ancient apophthegm of the Egyptians, that their most ancient kings, who lad prosperously governed them, were divine;" and accordingly they now canonized these, and endeavoured to devote and consign themselves to their protection.
That.mythology came in upon this alleration of their theology, is obviously evident: for mingling the history of these men
τη. Επίαθ' υπερανίη, ταύτην δ' άρα νασσετο χώρης. 'Hχι στις έννυχιη έτι φαινεται ανθρωποισι.
Aratus Phen. ver. 134. Thus the Egyptian heroes departed : τάς δε ψυχάς λάμπουν ärpa. Vide Plut. de Iside et Osirid..
» Λίγιται δε και ψάμμονος ν 'Αιγυπ7ω φιλοσόφ» διακεσας μποδίξασθαι μάλισα των λιχθένων, οτι πανlες άνθρωποι βασιλεύονται υπο θια, το γαρ αρχον τον εκάσω και κρατέν θείον εστιν. Ρlutarch. in Alexandr.