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honours are prohibited. They who talk thus shew that they understand not, or will not understand either the strong and figurative style of the scriptures, or the rational methods of interpreting them, or the true nature of virtues and vices.

If this author proposed to himself to acquire the applause of free-thinkers, he had his reward: but when Phocion had made a speech which was applauded by the populace, he asked, Have I not said some foolish thing?

To return to divination, it appears from the Scriptures that some good and great men, when they were taking leave of the world, and blessing their children, or their nation, were enlightened with a prophetic spirit. Homer makes his heroes, as Patroclus and Hector, prophesy at the time of their death; and Cicero introduces his brother thus arguing in behalf of divination : Epicurum ergo antepones Platoni & Socrati? qui ut rationem non redderent, auctoritate tamen hos minutos philosophos vincerent. Jubet igitur Plato, sic ad somnum proficisci corporibus affectis, ut nihil sit, quod errorem animis perturbationemque afferat.—Quum ergo est somno sevocatus animus a societate, et a contagione corporis, tum meminit præteritorum, præsentia cernit, futura previdet: jacet enim corpus-viget animus: quod multo magis fa ciet post mortem-itaque appropinquante morte multo est divinior.-Divinare autem morientes, etiam illo exemplo confirmat Posidonius-Idque facilius eveniet appropinquante morte, ut animi futura augurentur. Ex quo et illud est Calani, de quo ante dixi, et Homerici Hectoris, qui moriens propinquam Achilli mortem denuntiat. De Divin. i. 30.

The Pagans had also an opinion that the good wish, es and the imprecations of parents were often fulfilled,


and had in them a kind of divination. Read the story of Phoenix in Homer, I. I. 445, &c. And Plato says that every wise person revered and esteemed the prayers of his parents, knowing that they were very frequently accomplished., Πᾶς δή νῦν ἔχων φοβεῖται καὶ τιμᾶ γονέων εὐχὰς, εἰδὼς πολλοῖς καὶ πολλάκις ἐπιτελεῖς γενομένας. De Leg. xi. p. 931. Consult the place, and compare it with the case of Esau, in Gen. xxvii.

Eusebius has treated the subject of Oracles in his Præparatio Evangelica, L. iv. v. vi. He produces such arguments as tend to shew that it was all human fraud, and, amongst other things, he informs us, that many Pagan priests and prophets, who (under Constantine, I suppose) had been taken up, and tried, and tortured, had confessed that the oracles were impostures, and had laid open the whole contrivance, and that their confessions stood upon record, and that these were not obscure wretches, but philosophers and magistrates, who had enriched themselves by persecuting and plundering the Christians. So Theodoret tells us, that in demolishing the temples at Alexandria, the Christians found hollow statues fixed to the walls, into which the priests used to enter, and thence deliver oracles, v. 22. Eusebius adds, that the Peripatetics, Cynics, and Epicureans were of opinion that such dictions were all artifice and knavery. He then produces the arguments of Diogenianus against Divination. But Eusebius, as also all the ancient Christians, was of opinion, that with these human frauds there might have been sometimes a mixture of dæmoniacal tricks. Pr. Ev. vii. 16. He then argues against the oracles from the concessions and the writings of Pagans. He shews from Porphyry, that, according to that philosopher's own principles, and according to the


the reasonings of other Pagans, the gods who delivered oracles must have been evil dæmons. He proves the same thing from human sacrifices, and produces Porphyry's testimony and opinion that the Pagans worshipped evil dæmons, the chief of whom were Serapis and Hecate. He proves the same from Plutarch, and he gives a collection made by Oenomaus of wicked, false, trifling, ambiguous oracles.

The old Oracles often begin with 'Axx' örav, But when, which is an odd setting out. Thus in Herodotus, ̓Αλλ ὅταν ἡμίονος—1. 55. ̓Αλλ ̓ ὅταν ἐν Σίφνῳ——iii. 57. ̓Αλλ ̓ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια-vi. 77. ̓Αλλ ̓ ὅταν ̓Αρλέμιδος— viii. 77.

In the Oracula Vetera,

̓Αλλ ̓ οἱ μὲν καθύπερθε
̓Αλλὰ τέλει ξόανον
̓Αλλ ̓ ὁπόταν σκήπτροισι
̓Αλλ ̓ ὅτε δὴ νύμφαι
̓Αλλ ̓ ὁπόταν Τιθορεὺς
̓Αλκ ̓ ὅταν οἰκήσωσι

In imitation of which style, we find in the Sibylline oracles, and in the beginning of a sentence, ̓Αλλ ̓ ὁπόταν μεγάλοιο Θε

And so in many places of that collection, which I shall not transcribe.

Hence Aristophanes, in banter, I suppose, of the predictions in Herodotus, makes a pompous and ridiculous oracle, and uses the same foolish introduction, to persuade a sausage-monger to set up for a demagogue and a ruler. The oracle is in heroic verse, and runs thus: Equit. 197.

̓Αλλ ̓ ὁπόταν μάρψῃ βυρσαίελος ἀγκυλοχείλης
Γαμφηλῃσι δράκοντα κοάλεμον, αἱμαλοπώτην,

Νὴ τότε Παφλαγόνων μὲν ἀπόλλυται ἡ σκοροδάλμη. Κοιλιοπώλησιν δὲ Θεὸς μέγα κῦδος ὀπάζει, Αἴκεν μὴ πωλεῖν ἀλλᾶνας μᾶλλον ἕλωνται. But when the Tanner-Eagle with a crooked beak shall seize the stupid blood-drinking dragon, then the Paphlagonian pickle shall perish; and the Deity shall advance the sausage-mongers to the highest honours, if they will but leave off their trade, and sell no more puddings.

Lucian also, De Morte Peregrini, gives us two oracles made upon the death of that knave, who burnt himself publicly, the one by a seeming friend, the other by a foe.

The first was ascribed to the Sibyl, who was the Mother Shipton of the Ancients :

̓Αλλ ̓ ὁπόταν Πρωτεὺς Κυνικῶν ὄχ ̓ ἄριςος ἁπάντων
Ζηνὸς ἐριγδέπο τέμενος καλὰ πῦρ ἀνακαύσας
Ες φλόγα πηδήσας ἔλθῃ εἰς μακρὸν Ολυμπον,
Δὴ τότε πανίας ὁμῶς οἱ ἀράρης καρπὸν ἔδουσι,
Νυκλιπόλον τιμᾶν κέλομαι Ηρωα μέγιςον,
Σύνθρονον Ηφαίςῳ καὶ Ἡρικλῆϊ ἄνακ[ι.

But when Proteus, the chief of the Cynics, leaping into the flames, near the temple of Jupiter, shall ascend up to Olympus, then let all mortals with one consent adore the nocturnal hero, and rank him with Vulcan and Hercules. The second was fathered upon Bacis, the Nostroda mus of his times:

̓Αλλ ̓ ὁπόταν Κυνικὸς πολυώνυμος ἐς φλόγα πολλὴν
Πηδήσῃ δόξης ὑπ' ἐριννυϊ θυμὸν ὀρινθείς,
Δὴ τότε τὰς ἄλλους κυναλώπεκας, οἵ οἱ ἔπονται
Μιμεῖσθαι χρὴ πότμον ἀποιχομένοιο λύκειο.
Ος δέ κε δειλὸς ἐὼν, φεύγει μένος Ηφαίςοιο,
Λάεσσιν βαλέειν τᾶτον τάχα πάντας ̓Αχαιός,
Ως μὴ ψυχρὸς ἐων, θερμηγορέειν ἐπιχειρῇ;


Χρυσῷ σαξάμενος πήρην, μάλα πολλὰ δανείζων, Εν καλαῖς Πάτραισιν ἔχων τρὶς πέντε τάλαντα. But when the Cynic, who has more names than one, incited by the Furies, and by the mad love of vain-glory, shall jump into the flames, then let all the dog-foxes, his trusty disciples, follow the example of the departed wolf. And if any one of them shrink, and be afraid of the fire, let all the Greeks pelt him with stones, that he may no more shew his courage only by prating, and put gold into his satchel, and lend it out to interest, and add to the fifteen talents which he has hoarded up at Patræ.

It is probable that Lucian made both these oracles, to divert himself and his readers, not forgetting the essential Axx rav. But Lucian's raillery could not put a stop to the superstition of the world; for this Peregrinus, or Proteus, was deified, and had, at Parium, a statue erected, to which religious honours were paid, and which delivered oracles. See Athenagoras Legat.

The comedy of Aristophanes, cited above, abounds with ridicule upon the oracles, and shews the liberty which the wits in his days took to deride them, and to bring them into contempt.

If the writer de Dea Syria be in earnest, and sincere in his narration, as he seems to be, there were few Pagan temples and oracles more remarkable than that of Hierapolis in Syria, and from his account it may be inferred, that the priests of that temple had carried the arts of imposture to great perfection, and surpassed their ancient instructors the Egyptians, like the thief who stole a statue of Mercury, and told the god, Πολλοὶ μαθηταὶ κρείσσονες διδασκάλων.

The Egyptians, says this author, were the first who had knowledge of the gods, and built them temples, &c. and from them the Assyrians learned these things. Herodotus

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