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when mortals, with what came to be ascribed to them when gods, would naturally occasion it. And of this sort we naturally find the Mythoi told of them. I will go no further at this time into this topic ; although I might much enlarge upon it, by considering how mythology spread from Egypt into Phoenicia, was indeed a little checked by the enquiries of Sanchoniatho; but soon obtained again to be grafted upon his philosophy," infected even the Israelites, when, in their defection from their worship of the true God, they took up the tabernacle of Molech, and the star of the god Remphan ;'

• The Egyptians having called their heroes by the names of their sidereal and elementary deities, added to the history of the life and actions of such heroes a mythological account of their philosophical opinions concerning the gods, whose names had also been given to such heroes, &c. See Connect. vol. ii. b. viii.

P έως παλιν οι επιγενόμενοι ιερείς χρονους υπερον ηθέλησαν αυτην [i. e. προθεσιν beforegoing] αποκρυψαι, και εις το μυθώδες αποxatasnoa. Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. 1. c. 9.

9 The Israelites' worship of the calf at Horeb was an imitation of the sacra of the Egyptians; for the Egyptians had consecrated animals to their sidereal and ele.

how it travelled into Greece; where new fables were invented, and added to the more ancient ones; and these varied in different ages,' until they grew too gross for philoso

mentary divinities before the Israelites left them. But St. Steven, Acts vii. 43, does not say that they worshipped Molech and Remphan in the wilderness; but after the forty years in the wilderness were over, at the expiration of which they came into Canaan, they were again given up to worship these gods, who were hero-gods of some of the countries round about them.

The 1600 of Taautus, the blind mechanical principle, so called by the Egyptian naturalists, became the "Epe of the mythologists; not meaning, by that word, Cupid, the blind god of love; for this god of love is not named, or is, if mentioned, called "Ipepe in Homer, never *Epe or *Epws; and Hesiod also names him "Ipaper, and describes him as belonging to Venus, and not as *. For of Venus or Cytherea he says, Τη δ' ΕρG- αμάρτησε και "Ιμερο- έσπετο καλός.

Hesiod. Theog. v. 201. Eros himself was not the blind and inconstant boy, unto whom later fables ascribed a precedency Res solliciti plena timoris amor-

Ovid. over the fickle passion, which admits, as Terence tells us, neque consilium neque modum, &c.; but Eros was ią

phy to bear them, and occasioned those who speculated upon them, to think many of them were only tales of poets to please

the beginning from Chaos and Tellus, like 16 in Sanchoniatho; and is described,

-"Ερ®, δς κάλλις έν αθανάτοισι θεοισε Λυισιμελής, σανlων τε θεων πάνων τ' ανθρώπων Δαμναται εν τήθεσσι νόον και επιφρονα βελην'.

Hesiod. Theog. v. 120. Eros, in the natural system called róbos, was the principle that brought things into the harmony of order out of chaos or confusion; and the person feigned by the fabulists to be this deity, was some eminent personage, who had excelled in ability to temper and moderate the minds of men : who had governed himself, and greatly taught others to have peace in themselves, and to live in peace and harmony with other persons. And that love should follow after, wherever such a person is aoquainted with Venus, the goddess of all elegance and beauty, is no unreasonable supposition; but whether this Mythos was more antique than Ilesiod, I am not certain. I think we find nothing like it in Homer; who supposes Venus to be the goddess, who subjected unto love both mortals and immortals. Iuspos, whom Hesiod makes a person, is like pirbons, in Homer, not a proper name, but generally, I think always, a common noun. Homer's Iļiad, &. ver. 197, &c.

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and captivate the minds of the vulgar; although they saw in some a deeper and hidden meaning, which they endeavoured to explore and interpret, as their traditions furnished tenets for the solution of them. But having hinted that, in fact, the writings of Egypt, in the age of Moses, were only plain narrations; as they conceived things to have been caused by opérations of nature, exerting themselves without any intelligent being creating and directing them; and that Moses, contrary hereto, set forth as plainly that there was a God, who created all things; that, in opposition hereto, the heathen nations, not acknowledging the one God, and yet compelled to think, that agencies without intelligence could not be the powers that ruled the world, set up many gods; and those such gods, that fable and mythology naturally arose from the institution of them ; and consequently had not their rise until the system of Moses was thus opposed, nor until after his days. Although I cannot herein pretend to any certainty of demonstration ; yet, I think, I may venture to say, that nothing so probable as what I have offered, can be collected from any remains of antiquity, to contradict it.

SECTION II.

Drs. Burnet and Middleton's Objections

against the Literal Interpretation of the Mosaic Account of the Creation, considered.How the History of Creation might be easily handed down from Adam to Moses.

THE objections, to which I have replied in the ensuing treatise, are taken chiefly from Dr. Burnet, sometime master of the Charter-house; who appears to have given us the substance of what can be offered against the literal interpretation. Other writers only copy after him; and Dr. Middleton, I think, does not improve any point he took from him. One, indeed, he states

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