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but others deny it1, and all are agreed, that if he did sacrifice her, he sinned in doing it: and we know, that Abraham was hindred by a Miracle and a Voice from Heaven, when he was about to slay Isaac. But the chief Oracles among the Heathen, appointed humane Sacrifices, that of b Delphi, that ofc Dodona, and ofd Jupiter Saotes. And it was a custom among the e Phœnicians and Canaanites for their Kings, in Times of great Calamity, to sacrifice one of their Sons, whom they loved best; and it was common both with them, aud the Moabites, and Ammonites, to sacrifice their Children- The Egyptians, the Athenians, and Lacedemonians, and generally all the Grecians , the Romans and Carthaginians, the Germans, and Gauls, and Britains, and in brief, all the Heathen Nations throughout the World offered Humane Sacrifices upon their Altars; and this not on certain Emergencies', and in imminent Dangers only, but constantly, and in1 some places every day -, but upon extraordinary Accidents, multitudes were sacrificed at once to their bloody Deities, as f Diodorns Sicultts and others relate, that in Africk Two hundred Children of the principal Nobility were sacrificed to Saturn at one time. And 1 Aristomenes sacrificed Three hundred Men together to Jupiter Ithometes, one of whom was Theopompus-, King of the Lacedemonians. And the fame custom is found practised amongst the Idolatrous Indians, of offering whole Hecatombs of hu

, * Uccunque autem fe res ea habuerit id certum puto esse, non reperiri apud Magislros, qui ex jure aliquo immolandam earn else affirmaverit. Selden. de jure Nat. & Gent. lib. iv. c. 2. The Daughters of Israel went yearly to lament, or to talk with her, as it is in the Margin, Judg. xi. 40. The word is translated rehearse, orspeal^, Judg. v. 11.

b Pausan. Mesten. & Bæot. Euseb. Præpar. Evang. I. $. c. 19. c Id. Achaic. - d Id. Bæot. "Grot, ad Deut. xviii. to. s Diod. Sic.'l. 20. Laftant. lib.i. c. ar. ex Piseennio Festo. E Euseb. Præpar. lib. iv. c. 16. Macrtb. Saturn, lib. i. c. 7. A /ex. ab Alexaod. lib. vi. c. ult. <


mane Sacrifices to their false jGods. '' In Peru, when their new Incha was crown'd, they sacrificed two hundred Children from four to ten Years of Age c And the Son was wont to be sacrisic'd for the Life of the Father, when he was in danger of Death. Sometimes the Mexicans have sacrisic'd above five thousand of their Captives in a day, and in divers places above twenty thousand, asAcosta writes out of the Informations he had from the Indians. 'Livy makes mention of humane Sacrifices at Rome. _ k Dion Cajfitu relates, that Two Men were sacrisic'd in the Cams us Martius, under Julius Cafar. He ' says, it was a Custom begun under Augustus, for Men to be devoted to Death for the Safety of the Emperor. And from m ancient times, it had been customary among the People of Italy, in case of great Danger, to make a solemn Vow, that whatever should be brought forth in the following Spring, should be sacrificed. This is the Meaning of Ver Sacrum, which is mention'd in Livy. And nothing less than Banishment would be accepted by the Gods, instead of the Death of such Children, ,as wye* then born- n Suetonius mentions, that some Writers affirm'd, that Augustus ofFer'd a great number of Enemies, who had surrenders themselves, to be slain on the Ides of March, in Devotion to the Manes of Julius Cœfar. We are inform'd by ° Pliny, that, A. V. C. Dclvii. a Decree of the Senate passed, that no Man should be sacrificed, and that till then such Sacrifices were publick. This Prohibition seems to concern only the common and frequent use of them: for besides what has been already obscrv'd, r Plutarch fays, they continued in his time, and it was not till about the time of Constantineh Reign, that a final Stop was put to so strange and abominable a Practice; for tho'

"Jos.Acost. Hist. l.v. c. 19, 21. 'Liv. I.xxii.C.57. k Dion. Caff. I.43. 'Lib. 53. m Festus in Mamertin. & in Ver Sacr. n In Aug. c. 15. • Hist. 1. 39. c. 1. §. 3. t Plutarch, in Marcello, initio.

it was forbidden by Adrian, and very much abated jn his Reign j yetq Antinous was made a Sacrifice by Adrian himself. r Tatian declares, that the humane Sacrifices offer'd to.Jupiter at Rome, and to Diana not far from thence, were one chief Cause of his leaving the Heathen Religion, and becoming a Christian.

Age in which he liv'd ; and Minutius Felix., that they were used, when he wrote. 'Porphyry mentions them as notoriously practis'd at Rome in his time; andaLaSlantius mentions them as not laid aside in his time. Notwithstanding this Usage is so much against humane Nature, as well is contrary to the Divine Mercy and Goodness, yet it made up so great a part of the Heathen Religion, and was become so customary, that it was hard to bring Men off'from it; which at the fame (ime demonstrates both how false such Religions were, and that Men Ii3d a most undoubted Experience of invisible Powers •■, or else in so many Nations both the Rings and People would never have sacrifie'd their * own Children to their false Gods, to avert the Evils jyhich they were threatned withal. But. what Sins could the Death qf these Innocents be design'd to expiate, when the very Acts of their Religion consisted in the Commission of Wickedness? Or what Reward jn another World, for a Life lost in this, could be expected from a Religion, vyhich placed all Happiness in the Enjoyment of the Pleasures and Vices of this World? Must the Sins against Venus or Flora, against Bacchus or Mercury, be expiated by the Death of injiocent Children? Or could any Reward in another Life be expected from such Deities,: when Innocence and Venue are the things, which give them the most

""et/ X} hftffMt, us 'a *A!)9«* %x$-> Dion. Caff. 1.6"?. 'Orac. adv. Qentes. f Plin. Nat. Hift. I. 28. c. 2.

* 'aav %ti 10 i>u» Tl{ «f»o« JvJ1 T fJLtfixlw ToKtv THTO Actjictel*

A'of hflti SQaft/jSiiet 4v&faizov, Porph. de Abftin. 1.2. c. f6. » tact. 1.i.e.2i.


that they were practis'd in the


Offence, and nothing can delight them so much, as the Sin and Misery of Mankind?

The Persons that introduced the Heathen Religions, were either Men of Design, who established themselves in their Power and Authority by it, as JSsuma; or Men of Fancy and Fiction, as the Poets , whom Plato would have banifh'd out of his Commonwealth. And the Gods of the Heathens , who must be supposed to reveal these Mysteries and Ways of Worship, were always more wicked than their Votaries , whose greatest Immoralities consisted in the Worship of them; the gross Enormities not only of Venus and Bacchus, but of Saturn and Jupiter, are too well known to need any particular Relation.

When the *'Athenians consulted Apollo Pythius, what Religious Worship they should establish, the Oracle answer'd, That, to which the'ir Ancestors had been accustomed; and when, since their Ancestors had often changed their ways of Worship, they came again to enquire, which of their Customs was to be follow'd, he answer'd, The best. Which was in effect to give no Answer at all, for their Desire was to know, which was to be settled as the best. But what could be best, when all was so bad? There was no Body of Laws, or Rules of good Life, proposed by their Oracles; but on the contrary, they were in commendation of lascivious Poets, or they flatter'd Tyrants, or they appointed y Divine Worship to be paid to such as won the Mastery at the Olymfcl Games, or to Inanimate things \ or they promoted some other ill, or vain and unprofitable Design, asŒnomaus the Philosopher obscrv'd, and proved by particular Instances

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recited out of him by * Eufebius. The Laws of • Lycurgus were approv'd of, and confirm'd by the Del' fhick Oracle, and yet Theft, and a Community of Wives, and the Murther of Infants-, was allow'd by these Laws. And the fameb Oracle not only order'd Divine Honors to be paid to Hercules andc Alexander, but appointed ACleomedes a Madman and a Murtherer, to be worfhipp'd with Sacrifice. e Porphyry prov'd from Oracles, that Magick was the Gift of the Gods. And I have already obferv'd , that they commanded humane Sacrifices.

This is enough to shew , that the Heathen Religions could not be from God, since they taught the Worship of Idols and of Devils, and the Mysteries and Rites of them were utterly inconsistent with the Goodness and Purity of Almighty God. And whoever doth but look into the Religions at this day amongst the Idolatrous Indians, by their ridiculous and cruel Penances, and other Superstitions, ( besides the sacrificing of Men , and sometimes of themselves , as the Women , who offer themselves to be burnt with the Bodies of their dead Husbands, and the like ) will soon be convinced that they cannot be of God's Institution. The Chinefes themselves, who have so great a Reputation for Wisdom, are like the rest , both in their Idolatries, and in many of their Opinions and Practices.

It is evident therefore, that none of the Heathen Religions can make any probable Claim to Divine Revelation, having none of the Requisites to such a Revelation, but being but of a late Original, not far divulg'd, supported neither by Prophecies nor Miracles

1 Euseb. Prapar. lib. v. c. 34, 35.

* Plutarch, in Lycurg.

b Arr. de Expedic. Alex. 1.4.
'Socrat.Hist. I. 3. c. 23.
d Pausan. Eliac.

• Apud Euseb. Pracp. Evang. J. $. c. 4.


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