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temple." At that rate, there fhould be but one worshipper. And why should that one temple be at Jerufalem rather than at Rome, or at Pekin? The Syrians and Greeks did not for a long time eat fish. Two reasons are affigned: one is, that fish is not facrificed to the gods; the other, that being immerfed in the fea, they look not up to heaven (a). The firft would afford a more plaufible argument for eating fish. And if the other have any weight, it would be an argument for facrificing men, and neither fish nor cattle. In juftification of the Salic law, which prohibits female fucceffion, it was long held a conclufive argument, That in the fcripture the lilies are faid neither to work nor to fpin. Vieira, termed by his countrymen the Lufitanian Cicero, publifhed fermons, one of which begins thus, Were "the Supreme Being to fhow himself vifibly, he would chufe the circle rather "than the triangle, the fquare, the pentagon, the duodecagon, or any other figure." But why appear in any of thefe figures? And if he were obliged to appear in fo mean a fhape, a globe is undoubtedly
(a) Sir John Marfham, p. 221.
doubtedly more beautiful than a circle. Peter Hantz of Horn, who lived in the laft century, imagined that Noah's ark is the true construction of a fhip; " which," faid he, "is the workmanship of God, " and therefore perfect;" as if a vessel made merely for floating on the water, were the best alfo for failing. Sixty or feventy years ago, the fashion prevailed, in imitation of birds, to fwallow fmall ftones for the fake of digeftion; as if what is proper for birds, were equally' proper for men. The Spaniards, who laid waste a great part of the West Indies, endeavoured to excufe their cruelties, by maintaining, that the natives were not men, but a species of the Ouran Outang; for no better reason, than that they were of a copper colour, fpoke an unknown language, and had no beard. The Pope iffued a bull, declaring, that it pleafed him and the Holy Ghoft to acknowledge the Americans to be of the human race. This bull was not received cordially; for in the council of Lima, ann. 1583, it was violently difputed, whether the Americans. had fo much understanding as to be admitted to the facraments of the church.
In the 1440, the Portuguese folicited the Pope's permiffion to double the Cape of Good Hope, and to reduce to perpetual fervitude the negroes, because they had the colour of the damned, and never went to church, In the Frederician Code, a propofition is laid down, That by the law of nature no man can make a teftament. And in fupport of that propofition the following argument is urged, which is faid to be a demonstration: "No deed
can be a teftament while a 'man is alive, "because it is not neceffarily his ultima
voluntas; and no man can make a testament after his death." Both premises are true, but the negative conclufion does not follow it is true a man's deed is not his ultima voluntas, while he is alive but does it not become his ultima voluntas, when he dies without altering the deed?
Many reafonings have paffed current in the world as good coin, where the premifes are not true; nor, fuppofing them true, would they infer the conclufion. Plato in his Phodon relies on the following argument for the immortality of the foul. "Is not death the oppofite of life? Certainly.
Certainly. And do they not give birth to each other? Certainly. What then "is produced from life? Death. And "what from death? Life. It is then "from the dead that all things living
proceed; and confequently fouls exist "after death." God, fays Plato, made but five worlds, because according to his definition there are but five regular bodies in geometry. Is that a reafon for confining the Almighty to five worlds, not one lefs or more. Aristotle, who wrote a book upon mechanics, was much puzzled about the equilibrium of a balance, when unequal weights are hung upon it at different distances from the centre. Having obferved, that the arms of the balance defcribe portions of a circle, he accounted for the equilibrium by a notable argument: "All the properties of the circle are "wonderful: the equilibrium of the two
weights that describe portions of a circle "is wonderful. Ergo, the equilibrium "must be one of the properties of the "circle." What are we to think of Ariftotle's logic, when we find him capable of fuch childish reafoning? And yet that work has been the admiration of all the VOL. III. world
world for centuries upon centuries. Nay,' that foolish argument has been espoused and commented upon by his disciples, for the fame length of time. To proceed to another inftance: Marriage within the fourth degree of confanguinity, as well as of affinity, is prohibited by the Lateran council; and the reafon given is, That the body being made up of the four elements, has four different humours in it *. The Roman Catholics began with beheading heretics, hanging them, or ftoning them to death. But fuch punishments were discovered to be too flight, in matters of faith. It was demonftrated, that heretics ought to be burnt in a flow fire: it being taken for granted, that God punishes them in the other world with a flow fire; it was inferred, "That as every prince
* The original is curious: "Quaternarius enim numerus bene congruit prohibitioni conjugii cor"poralis; de quo dicit Apoftolus, Quod vir non
habet poteftatem fui corporis, fed mulier; neque "mulier habet poteftatem fui corporis, fed vir ; "quia quatuor funt humores in corpore, quod "conftat ex quatuor elementis." Were men who could be guilty of fuch nonfenfe, qualified to be our leaders in the most important of all concerns, that of eternal falvation? " and