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practice of the Catholic church for many ages past; and that the demand cannot be granted, without impiety to 66 God and difobedience to the church." Here it is taken for granted, that the practice of the church is always right; which is building an argument on a very rotten foundation. The Caribbeans abftain from fwines flesh; taking it erroneously for granted, that fuch food would make them have small eyes, held by them a great deformity. They alfo abftain from eating turtle; which they think would infect them with the laziness and stupidity of that animal. Upon the fame erroneous notion, the Brafilians abftain from the flesh of ducks, and of every creature that moves flowly. It is obferved of northern nations, that they do not open the mouth fufficiently for diftinct articulation; and the reafon given is, that the coldness of the air makes them keep the mouth as close as poffible. This reafon is indolently copied by writers one from another: peo'ple enured to a cold climate feel little cold in the mouth; befide that a caufe fo weak could never operate equally among fo many different nations. The real caufe is,
that northern tongues abound with confonants, which admit but a small aperture of the mouth. (See Elements of Criticism, chap. Beauty of language). A list of German names to be found in every catalogue of books, will make this evident, Rutgerfus, for example, Faefch. To account for a fact that is certain, any reafon commonly fuffices.
A talent for writing feems in Germany to be estimated by weight, as beauty is faid to be in Holland. Cocceius for writing three weighty folio volumes on law, has obtained among his countrymen the epithet, of Great. This author, handling the rules of fucceffion in land-eftates, has with most profound erudition founded all of them upon the following very fimple propofition: In a competition, that defcendent is entitled to be preferred who has the greatest quantity of the predeceffor's blood in his veins. Quæritur, has a man any of his predeceffor's blood in his veins, otherwife than metaphorically? Simple indeed! to build an argument in law upon a pure metaphor.
Next of reafonings where the conclufion follows not from the premifes, or fundamental
mental propofition. Plato endeavours to prove, that the world is endowed with wisdom, by the following argument. "The world is greater than any of its “ parts: therefore it is endowed with wif"dom; for otherwife a man who is en
dowed with wifdom would be greater "than the world (a)." The conclufion here does not follow; for tho' man is cndowed with wifdom, it follows not, that he is greater than the world in point of fize. Zeno endeavours to prove, that the world has the ufe of reafon, by an argument of the fame kind. To convince the world of the truth of the four gofpels, Ireneus (b) urges the following arguments, which he calls demonftration. "There are four quarters of the world and four "cardinal winds, confequently there are "four gofpels in the church, as there are "four pillars that fupport it, and four "breaths of life that render it immortal," Again, "The four animals in Ezekiel's "vifion mark the four ftates of the Son "of God. The lion is his royal dignity 2
(a) Cicero, De ratura Deorum, lib 2. § 12.
"the calf, his priesthood: the beast with "the face of man, his human nature; "the eagle, his fpirit which defcends on
the church. To thefe four animals cor"refpond the four gofpels, on which our "Lord is feated. John, who teaches his "celeftial origin, is the lion, his gospel being full of confidence: Luke, who
begins with the priesthood of Zachariah, "is the calf Matthew, who defcribes "the genealogy of Chrift according to the flefh, is the animal refembling a man: "Mark, who begins with the prophetic fpirit coming from above, is the eagle, "This gofpel is the shortest of all, because brevity is the character of prophecy." Take a third demonftration of the truth of the four gofpels. "There have been four cove66 nants; the first under Adam, the fecond
under Noah, the third under Mofes, the "fourth under Jefus Chrift." Whence Ireneus concludes, that they are vain, rafh, and ignorant, who admit more or lefs than four gofpels. St Cyprian in his exhortation to martyrdom, after having applied the myfterious number feven, to the feven days of the creation, to the feven thousand years of the world's duration, ta
the seven spirits that stand before God, to the feven lamps of the tabernacle, to the feven candlesticks of the Apocalypfe, to the feven pillars of wifdom, to the feven children of the barren woman, to the feven women who took one man for their hufband, to the feven brothers of the Maccabees; obferves, that St Paul mentions that number as a privileged number; which, fays he, is the reason why he did not write but to feven churches. Pope Gregory, writing in favour of the four councils, viz. Nice, Conftantinople, Ephefus, and Calcedon, reafons thus: "That as there
are four evangelifts, there ought alfo to "be four councils." What would he have faid, if he had lived 100 years later, when there were many more than four? In adminiftering the facrament of the Lord's fupper, it was ordered, that the hoft fhould be covered with a clean linen cloth; becaufe, fays the Canon law, the body of our Lord Jefus Chrift was buried in a clean linen cloth. Jofephus, in his anfwer to Appion, urges the following argument for the temple of Jerufalem: "As there "is but one God, and one world, it holds
in analogy, that there should be but one