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that the King had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the King communed with them, and among them all was found none like Dan. iel, Hananiah. Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the King. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the King enquired of them he found them ten times better than all the magici. ans and astrologers that were in the realm.”—Daniel, chap. i.
It appears, hence, that vegetable food not only was more nutritive, but contributed exceedingly to strengthen the intellectual powers.
By what a miserable quibble were the lives of io. nocent animals explained away among the jews. 66 The flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”—Gen. ix, 4. How did the jews elude this positive command of a merciful God? Why, they murdered the animal, and pour. ing out the blood upon the earth like water, devoured the flesh without scruple; and they said, “We have not violated the law, we have not eaten the flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, for the blood we have poured upon the earth like water !! " Thou shalt not eat the blood, for the blood is the life; thou shalt pour it upon the earth like water." Deut. xii, 23, 24, In the same manner the American indians, through a strong principle of religion, abstain from eating the blood of any animal, as it contains the life and spirit of the heart, and was the wery essence of the sacrifices which were offered up for sinners.”-Adair's Hist. of American Indians, p. 134. By wicked evasions, and perfidious quibbles like these, the Hindoos have also, in some instances, learnt to elude the pious and salutary precepts of their law. " Whenever a Hindoo has occasion to cross the Carramnassa, or the accursed river, which in the dry season is fordable, he gives a Mahomedan a piece of money to carry bim over upon his back, that his feet may not be wet with the accursed river, which is a thing forbidden by their religion. In this, and many other instances, the letter of the commandment is observed, while the spirit of it is lost; for I think, one cannot doubt but that the intention of this law was to keep them within their own provinces.”—Let. ters from the East Indies.
The practice of murder has been persevered in from the influence of superstition and credulity. In evi. dence, take the following quotation. “I will, as the Almighty hath commanded, kill a young lamb. Haste, my love! and chuse the finest flowers to strew the sacrifice. I took the best of my flock ; but, my children, it is impossible to give you a description of what I felt, when I went to deprive the innocent creature of life. It tremblingly seized my hand; I was scarcely able to hold the struggling victim, and never could I have brought myself to give it death, had not my resolution been animated by the express command of the author of life. The very remembrance of it's endeavours to escape, gives me pain. When I beheld it's quivering limbs in the last moment of it's exis. tence, an universal tremor shook my own; and when it lay before me without sense or motion, dreadful forebodings invaded my troubled soul.”_Death of Abel, b. ii. Could any thing besides the express command of a God of terror steel the human heart to an execution so cruel ?
The first slaughter of a bullock among the A. thenians is related in the following manner by Porphyrius, on the testimony of tradition, and more an.
cient writers: his account is also confirmed by Pausanius in his description of Greece, lib. i. c. 24. In the reign of Erechtheus, a priest named Diomus having placed upon the altar of Jupiter Palieus an offering, consisting of barley and honey, a bullock happened to approach the altar and put his mouth to the offering. Enraged at the ball for tasting and trampling upon the consecrated cake, the zealous priest seized a hatchet and killed the animal by a single blow. No sooner had he perpetrated than he began to repent of the impious action. He bur. ied the bullock, and, impelled by an evil conscience, fled of his own accord to the island of Crete. Soon after, the Athenian territories were afflicted by a great famine. The Athenians sent to consult the Oracle at Delphos, with respect to the means of relieving themselves from this calamity; the Pythian priestess returned them this response, “that there was at Crete an exile who would expiate their afflic. tions, and that if they would inflict punishment on the slayer, and erect in the place where he fell a statue to the slain, that this would greatly benefit those who tasted, as also those who had not touched, the dead." Having made search for the exile mentioned by the oracle, the Athenians at length found this Diomus, who thinking to take away the stigma and odium of his crime by communicating it to all, told them the city ought to slay a bullock. As they stood hesi. tating at this proposal, and unable to decide who should perpetrate the deed, Diemus offered to strike the blow on these conditions, that they would grant him the freedom of their city, and also participate with him in the murder of the animal. Having agreed on these conditions they returaed to the city, where they regulated the order of the execution in the manner in which it is still performed by them at this day. They chose a number of virgins to bring water, in order to whet the hatchet and the knife. When these weapons were sharpened, one man delivered the axe, another struck the bullock, and a third cut bis throat. They then skinned the animal, and all those who were present tasted of his flesh. Having done this they sewed up the skin, stuffing it with straw, and setting it up as if it were alive, put a plow to his tail, and placed him, as it were, in act to till the ground. They then called before the tribunal of justice those who had been guilty of the fact, in order that they might justify themselves. The Virgins who brought the water threw the blame on those who had whetted the steel; they who had whetted the steal blamed the person who delivered the hatchet, he threw the blame on the man who cut the bullock's throat, and the latter accused the weapon, which, as it could not defend itself, was found guilty of the murder, and thrown into the sea.”—Porphyr. de Abstin. lib. ii. par. 29 and 30.
The first introduction of animal food among the Phænicians, arose from the following incident, as related by Neanthes Cyzicenus and Asclepiades Cy. prius. In the beginning no animal was sacrificed to the gods, nor was there any positive law to prea prevent this, for it was forbidden by the law of pa. ture. In the time of Pygmalion (a Phænician who reigned in Cyprus), however, an occasion occurred, in which it was thought necessary to redeem life by life, and an animal was sacrificed and totally consumed by fire. Some time after the introduc. tion of this practice, a part of the burnt offering happening to fall upon the ground, the priest picked it up, and burning his hand in the action, in order to
mitigate the pain, applied his fingers to his mouth. Inticed by the flavour of the flesh, and unable to restrain his eager desire, he eat himself, and gave part of the sacrifice to his wife. When Pygmalion was made acquainted with this atrocity, he caused them both to be thrown down a rock, and gave the priesthood to another: the new priest soon fell into the temptation of his predecessor, and was punished in the same manner. His fate, however, did not deter imitation, and that which was committed by many was soon practised with impunity by all." -Porphyr. de Abstin.
Let the following instances of sympathy, be here recorded, since they prove that the whole human race is not insensible to reason and justice.
At Southampton some humane person has be. queathed a stipend for preaching a sermon, annually, on the Sin and Folly of Cruelty to inferior Animals.
The Rev. Henry Brindley, of Lacock, Wilts, has instituted an Annual Lecture, in the Abbey Church of Bath, the beginning of February, on Humanity to Animals.
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF A VEGETABLE
DIET, DEDUCED FROM REASON, COMPASSION, SYMPATHY AND FEELING.
66 From the texture of the human heart arises a strong argument in behalf of persecuted animals. Mercy is an amiable quality, admired by those who do not practise it. There exists within us a rooted repugnance to the spilling of blood; a repugnance which yields only to custom, and which even the most inveterate custom can never entirely overcome. Hence the horrid task of shedding the tide of life, for the gluttony of the table, has, in every country,