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powerfully to inind the following lively and eloquent " character of the superstitious,” drawn by our author's pious and learned friend, Bishop Hall.
“Superstition is godless religion, devout impiety. The superstitious is fond in observation, servile in fear : he worships God, but as he lists: he gives God what he asks not, more than he asks, and all but what he should give; and makes more sins than the ten commandments. This man dares not stir forth, till his breast be crossed, and his face sprinkled. If but a hare cross him the way, he returns ; or, if his journey began, unawares, on the dismal day, or if he stumbled at the threshold. If he see a snake unkilled, he fears a mischief: if the salt fall towards him, he looks pale and red ; and is not quiet, till one of the waiters has poured wine on his lap: and when he sneezeth, thinks them not his friends that uncover not. In the morning he listens whether the crow crieth even or odd; and, by that token, presages of the weather. If he hear but a raven croak from the next roof, he makes his will ; or if a bittour fly over his head by night: but if his troubled fancy shall second his thoughts with the dream of a fair garden, or green rushes, or the salutation of a dead friend, he takes leave of the world, and says he cannot live. He will never set to sea but on a Sunday ; neither ever goes without an erra pater in his pocket. St. Paul's day, and St. Swithin's, with the twelve, are his oracles; which be dares believe against the almanack. When he lies sick on his death-bed, no sin troubles him so much, as that he did once eat flesh on a Friday: no repentance can expiate that; the rest need none. There is no dream of his, without an interpretation, without a prediction ; and, if the event answer not his exposition, he expounds it according to the event. Every dark grove and pictured wall strikes him with an awful but carnal devotion. Old wives and stars are his counsellors : his nightspell is his guard, and charms, his physicians. He wears Paracelsian characters for the tooth-ache : and a little hallowed wax is his antidote for all evils. This man is strangely credulous ; and calls impossible things, miraculous : if he hear that some sacred block speaks, moves, weeps, smiles, his bare feet carry him thither with an offering ; and, if a danger miss him in the way, his saint hath the thanks. Some ways he will not go, and some he dares not; either there are bugs, or he feigneth them : every lantern is a ghost, and every noise is of chains. He knows not why, but his custom is to go a little about, and to leave the cross still on the right hand. One event is enough to make a rule : out of these rules he concludes fashions proper to himself; and nothing can turn him out of his own course. If he have done his task, he is safe : it matters not with what affection. Finally, if God would let him be the carver of his own obedience, he could not have a better subject : as he is, he cannot have a worse.”—Bishop Hall's Characters of Vices; Works by Pratt, vol. vii. 102.
THE SIXTH BOOK:
THE PARTICULAR PART CONTINUED.
OF POPULAR AND RECEIVED TENETS, COSMOGRAPHICAL,
GEOGRAPHICAL, AND HISTORICAL.
Concerning the beginning of the World, that the time thereof is not
precisely known, as commonly it is presumed. CONCERNING the world and its temporal circumscriptions, whoever shall strictly examine both extremes, will easily perceive, there is not only obscurity in its end, but its beginning; that as its period is inscrutable, so is its nativity indeterminable; that as it is presumption to enquire after the one, so is there no rest or satisfactory decision in the other. And hereunto we shall more readily assent, if we examine the information, and take a view of the several difficulties in this point; which we shall more easily do, if we consider the different conceits of men, and duly perpend the imperfections of their discoveries.
And first, the histories of the Gentiles afford us slender satisfaction, nor can they relate any story, or affix a probable point to its beginning. For some thereof (and those of the wisest amongst them) are so far from determining its beginning, that they opinion and maintain it never had any at all; as the doctrine of Epicurus implieth, and more positively Aristotle, in his books De Cælo, declareth. Endeavouring to confirm it with arguments of reason, and those appearingly demonstrative; wherein his labours are
its beginning.] The beginning of the world.
rational, and uncontrollable upon the grounds assumed, that is, of physical generation, and a primary or first matter, beyond which no other hand was apprehended. But herein we remain sufficiently satisfied froin Moses, and the doctrine delivered of the creation; that is, a production of all things out of nothing, a formation not only of matter, but of form, and a materiation even of matter itself.
Others are so far from defining the original of the world or of mankind, that they have held opinions not only repugnant unto chronology, but philosophy; that is, that they had their beginning in the soil where they inhabited; assuming or receiving appellations conformable unto such conceits. So did the Athenians term themselves avróxdoves or Aborigines, and in testimony thereof did wear a golden insect on their heads: the same name is also given unto the Inlanders, or Midland inhabitants of this island, by Cæsar. But this is a conceit answerable unto the generation of the giants; not admittable in philosophy, much less in divinity, which distinctly informeth we are all the seed of Adam, that the whole world perished, unto eight persons before the flood, and was after peopled by the colonies of the sons of Noah. There was therefore never any autochthon, or man arising from the earth, but Adam ; for the woman being formed out of the rib, was once removed from earth, and framed from that element under incarnation. although her production were not by copulation, yet was it in a manner seminal: for if in every part from whence the seed doth flow, there be contained the idea of the whole; there was a seminality and contracted Adam in the rib, which, by the information of a soul, was individuated unto Eve. And therefore this conceit applied unto the original of man, and the beginning of the world, is more justly appropriable unto its end; for then indeed men shall rise out of the earth : the graves shall shoot up their concealed seeds, and in that great autumn, men shall spring up, and awake from their chaos again,
? autochthon.] Autochthon (rising himselfe from the earthe), which was not to bee granted of the first; who did not spring [as plants now doe) of himselfe. For Adam was created out of the dust by God. The second Adam might bee trulyer called Autochthon, in a mystical sense, not only in respect of his birthe, but of his resurrection alsoe.— Wr.
Others have been so blind in deducing the original of things, or delivering their own beginnings, that when it hath fallen into controversy, they have not recurred unto chronology or the records of time; but betaken themselves unto probabilities, and the conjecturalities of philosophy.* Thus when the two ancient nations, Egyptians and Scythians, contended for antiquity, the Egyptians pleaded their antiquity from the fertility of their soil, inferring that men there first inhabited, where they were with most facility sustained ; and such a land did they conceive was Egypt.
The Scythians, although a cold and heavier nation, urged more acutely, deducing their arguments from the two active elements and principles of all things, fire and water. For if of all things there was first an union, and that fire over-ruled the rest, surely that part of earth which was coldest would first get free, and afford a place of habitation: but if all the earth were first involved in water, those parts would surely first appear, which were most high, and of most elevated situation, and such was theirs. These reasons carried indeed the antiquity from the Egyptians, but confirmed it not in the Scythians : for, as Herodotus relateth, from Pargitaus their first king unto Darius, they accounted but two thousand years.
As for the Egyptians, they invented another way of trial;
for as the same author relateth, Psammitichus their king attempted this decision by a new and unknown experiment; bringing up two infants with goats, and where they never heard the voice of man; concluding that to be the ancientest nation, whose language they should first deliver.3 But herein he forgot, that speech was by instruction not instinct; by imitation, not by nature ; that men do speak in some kind but like parrots, and as they are instructed, that is, in simple terms and words, expressing the open notions of things; which the second act of reason compoundeth into propositions, and the last into syllogisms and forms of ratiocination. And howsoever the account of Manethon the Egyptian priest run very high, and it be evident that Mizraim peopled that country (whose name with the Hebrews it beareth unto this day), and there be many things of great antiquity related in Holy Scripture, yet was their exact account not very ancient; for Ptolemy their countryman beginneth his astronomical compute no higher than Nabonasser, who is conceived by some the same with Salmanasser. As for the argument deduced from the fertility of the soil, duly enquired it rather overthroweth than promoteth their antiquity; if that country whose fertility they so advance, was in ancient times no firm or open land, but some vast lake or part of the sea, and became a gained ground by the mud and limous matter brought down by the river Nilus, which settled by degrees into a firm land, -according as is expressed by Strabo, and more at large by Herodotus, both from the Egyptian tradition and probable inducements from reason ; called therefore fluvii donum, an accession of earth, or tract of land acquired by the river.
* Diodor. Justin. 3 A8 for the Egyptians, &c.]." It is said that after they were two years old, one of the boys cried becchus, which in the Phrygian language signifyeth bread,' whence it was conjectured that the Phrygians were the first people.”—Jeff
Lastly, some indeed there are, who have kept records of time, and a considerable duration, yet do the exactest thereof afford no satisfaction concerning the beginning of the world, or any way point out the time of its creation. The most authentick records and best approved antiquity are those of the Chaldeans; yet in the time of Alexander the Great they attained not so high as the flood. Simplicius relateth, Aristotle required of Calisthenes, who accompanied that worthy in his expedition, that at his arrival at Babylon, he would enquire of the antiquity of their records; and those upon compute he found to amount unto 1903 years, which account notwithstanding ariseth no higher than ninety-five years after the flood. The Arcadians, I confess, were esteemed of great antiquity, and it was usually said they were before the moon; according unto that of Seneca; sidus post veteres Arcades editum, and that of Ovid, lunâ gens prior illa fuit. But this, as Censorinus observeth, must not be taken grossly, as though they were existent before that luminary ; but were so esteemed, because they observed a set course of year, before the Greeks conformed their year unto the course and motion of the moon.