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some Christian churches (wherein is presumed an irreprovable truth) if all be true that is suspected, or half what is related, there have not wanted many strange deceptions, and some thereof are still confessed by the name of pious frauds.8

divinities, it seems difficult to determine. It would, indeed, appear probable, that the animals which were at first worshipped in Egypt, as representative symbols only of the deities to whom they were respectively sacred, were in the progress of idolatry adored as manifestations upon earth of those divinities themselves. The Cat, many embalmed bodies of which animal have been found in the Egyptian sepulchres, appears to have been sacred either to Isis or to her half-sister Nephthys. In mentioning the worship of LIZARDS, the author doubtless alludes to that of the crocodile, the affinity of which to the lizard was observed and recorded by the Greek writers, who, when travelling in Egypt, bestowed on that animal called temsah by the natives, the name of Kpokodellos, previously applied to a lizard, common in Greece. Strabo, relating his own observations, states, that " in the city of Arsinoë, which was formerly called Crocodilopolis, (in Upper Egypt, now called Medinet-el-Fay-yúm,) the crocodile is worshipped, and a sacred crocodile is kept in a pond, who is perfectly tame, and familiar with the priests. He is called Suchus ; they feed him with corn, and meat, and wine, which are continually brought him by strangers.” One of the Egyptian divinities, apparently that to whom the crocodile was consecrated, was pictured as having a crocodile’s head ; and is denoted, in the hieroglyphic inscriptions, by a representation of that animal with the tail turned under it. The BEETLE was regarded by the Egyptians as the symbol of a particular personification of Phthah, the father of the gods ; that insect is used in hieroglyphics for the name of this deity, whose head in the pictural representations of him, either bears a beetle, or is itself in the form of a beetle ; and in other instances the beetle, in hieroglyphics, has clearly a reference to generation or reproduction, which is a sense attributed to this symbol by all antiquity, and from which Dr. Young, in hieroglyphical researches, inferred its relation to Phthah ; an inference since confirmed by the inquiries of Champollion. The Egyptians embalmed and preserved all the animals they adored ; and in the Royal Egyptian Museum at Berlin are some mummies of the sacred beetle. In these instances of the worship of animals, however, it may be questioned whether the priests who conducted it were not themselves the subjects of delusion, in a degree equal to, or perhaps greater than, that of their followers. Possibly, therefore, they were not wholly deserving of the censure cast upon them by our author.-Br.

8 And thus also, &c.] It would be easy to justify the charge which is only insinuated in this sentence, by a host of examples of the monkish trickery of pretended miracles and relicks. But the task would be endless ; and surely it is becoming daily less necessary to contradict what is daily less believed. It happened to the editor, some years since, to visit the cathedral of Aachen (Gallicè, Aix-la-Chapelle), where,

Thus Theudas,' an impostor, was able to lead away four thousand into the wilderness; and the delusions of Mahomet almost the fourth part of mankind. Thus all heresies, how gross soever, have found a welcome with the people. For thus many of the Jews were wrought into the belief that Herod was the Messias :1 and David George, of Leyden,and Arden, were not without a party amongst the people, who maintained the same opinion of themselves almost in our days.

Physicians (many at least that make profession thereof) besides divers less discoverable ways of fraud, have made them believe there is the book of fate, or the power of Aaron's breast-plate, in urines. And, therefore, hereunto among a profusion of relicks, was exhibited a fragment of one of the nails used in the crucifixion : and we were gravely assured by the priest in attendance, that the other part of that nail was in the cathedral of Nostre Dame, at Paris. There, accordingly, we made a point of inquiring for it, but in vain ; our guide averred that there was no such bit of nail among the relicks of the place, nor ever had been !

9 Theudas.] Theudas or Theodas was a Jewish impostor and magician, in the first century of the Christian church, who so well deluded the people as to collect together above four hundred (not thousand) men, whom he persuaded to quit the town ; assuring them that he could dry up the waters of the Jordan by speaking a single word. His followers, however, were exterminated, and Theudas himself was killed, and his head brought to Jerusalem. Acts v. ; Eusebius, lib. ii. cap. x. ; Dict. de Moréri, edit, par Drouet, sub nom.-Br.

many of the Jews, &c.] Taceo de Judaismi hereticis quod Herodiani Herodem regem suscepere pro Christo.” Hieoronymus, adv. Luciferianos, cap. 8–J. K.

? David George, of Leyden.] Or, as some say, of Ghent, was a glazier or a painter on glass, who began to preach, about the year 1525, that he was the true Messiah, the third David, and like the well-known enthusiast of our own times, Richard Brothers) the nephew of God, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. He appears to have been an enthusiast of the worst order, uniting with this profession of being the Messiah, the teaching of many sentiments inimical alike to Christianity and to morals. However, he gained followers, and sustained the delusion even to his last hour. He died at Basle in 1556, having declared to his disciples, a short time previous to his death, that he should rise again on the third day after his decease. In order to expose the delusion, and confound the believers in his mad professions, the Senate of Basle, had his body disinterred on the third day, and caused it to be burnt, together with his writings. Dict. de Moréri, edit. par Drouet, sub nom. and other authorities. Br.

power of Aaron's breastplate.] Josephus and others maintain that







they have recourse, as unto the oracle of life, the great determinator of virginity, conception, fertility, and the inscrutable infirmities of the whole body. For, as though there were a seminality in urine, or that, like the seed, it carried with it the idea of every part, they foolishly conceive, we visibly behold therein the anatomy of every particle, and can thereby indigitate their diseases: and, running into any demands, expect from us a sudden resolution in things, whereon the Devil of Delphoss would demur: and we know hath taken respite of some days to answer easier questions.

Saltimbancoes, quacksalvers, and charlatans, deceive them in lower degrees. Were Æsop alive, the Piazza and Pont-Neuf* could not but speak their fallacies. Meanwhile there are too many whose cries cannot conceal their mischiefs : for their impostures are full of cruelty, and worse than any other; deluding not only unto pecuniary defraudations, but the irreparable deceit of death.

Astrologers, which pretend to be of Cabala with the stars (such I mean as abuse that worthy enquiry) have not been wanting in their deceptions: who, having won their belief unto principles, whereof they make great doubt themselves, have made them believe, that arbitrary events below, have necessary causes above. Whereupon their credulities assent unto any prognosticks, and daily swallow the predictions of men; which, considering the independency of their causes,

* Places in Venice and Paris, where mountebanks play their pranks. the precious stones of Aaron's breastplate were the Urim and Thummim, and that they discovered the will of God by their extraordinary lustre, thereby predicting the issue of events to those who consulted them.

* For as though there were a seminality in urine.] See Primrose's Vulgar Errors, translated by Wittie, p. 64.–J. Cr.

the Devil of Delphos.] Meaning the oracle of Apollo, at Delphos. 6 Saltimbancoes.] Mountebanks : saltare in banco.

? quacksalvers.] Originally those who made, sold, or applied ointments or oils ; salve-quacks. Applied to travelling quacks or charlatans.

8 Were Æsop alive, the Piazza and Pont Neuf, &c.] Alluding probably to Æsop's fable of the “ Astrologer and Traveller,” and meaning to intimate that the Piazza and Pont Neuf would have suggested to the fabulist abundant materials for fresh apologues.

9 of Cabala with the stars.] “Possessed of the key to their secrets." Cabbala, a Hebrew word signifying tradition ; applied originally to the secret science of the rabbinical doctors, and thence used to designate any secret science.

1 2

and contingency in their events, are only in the prescience of God.

Fortune-tellers, jugglers, geomancers, and the like incantatory impostors, though commonly men of inferior rank, and from whom, without illumination, they can expect no more than from themselves, do daily and professedly delude them. Unto whom (what is deplorable in men and Christians) too many applying themselves, betwixt jest and earnest, betray the cause of truth, and insensibly make up the legionary body of error.

Statists and politicians, unto whom ragione di stato is the first considerable, as though it were their business to deceive the people, as a maxim do hold, that truth is to be concealed from them ; unto whom although they reveal the visible design, yet do they commonly conceal the capital intention. And therefore have they ever been the instruments of great designs, yet seldom understood the true intention of any; accomplishing the drifts of wiser heads, as inanimate and ignorant agents the general design of the world, who, though in some latitude of sense, and in a natural cognition [they] perform their proper actions, yet do they unknowingly concur unto higher ends, and blindly advance the great intention of nature. Now how far they may be kept in ignorance, a great example there is in the people of Rome, who never knew the true and proper name of their own city. For, beside that common appellation received by the citizens, it had a proper and secret name concealed from them; cujus alterum nomen4 dicere secretis ceremoniarum nefas habetur, saith Pliny. Lest the name thereof being discovered unto their enemies, their penates and patronal god might be called forth by charms and incantations. For, according unto the tradition of magicians, the tutelary spirits will not

remove at common appellations, but at the proper names of things whereunto they are protectors.

geomancers.) A geomancer is a caster of figures : a cheat, who pretends to foreteli futurity by other means than the astrologer.Johnsona

2 unto whom ragione di stato, &c.] To whom reasons of state are of the first consideration.

3 have they.] The vulgar have.—Wr.

4 secret name concealed from them, &c.—This name was Valentias, for revealing which Soranus was put to deathe.--Wr.


Thus, having been deceived by themselves, and continually deluded by others, they must needs be stuffed with errors, and even overrun with these inferior falsities. Whereunto whosoever shall resign their reasons, either from the root of deceit in themselves, or inability to resist such trivial deceptions from others, although their condition and fortunes may place them many spheres above the multitude, yet are they still within the line of vulgarity, and democratical enemies of truth,


CHAPTER IV. Of the more immediate causes of Common Errors, both in the wiser and

common sort ; and first, of Misapprehension and Fallacy, or false Deduction, THE first is a mistake, or a misconception of things, either in their first apprehension, or secondary relations. So Eve mistook the commandment, either from the immediate injunction of God, or from the secondary narration of her husband. So might the disciples mistake our Saviour, in his answer unto Peter concerning the death of John, as is delivered John xxi. “ Peter seeing John, saith unto Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that unto thee? Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die.” Thus began the conceit and opinion of the Centaurs; that is, in the mistake of the first beholders, as is declared by Servius. When some young,

5 deceptions.] The first five editions read ingannations.

6 In the mistake, &c.] A mistake similar to that which is recorded by Herrera, the Spanish historian of America, to have been committed by the people of New Spain, when they first beheld the Spanish cavalry. They imagined the horse and his rider to be some monstrous animal of a terrible form, and supposing that their food was the same as that of men, brought flesh and bread to nourish them. No representation, however, of horsemen occurs, which might indicate that the artist regarded the horse and his rider as one animal, among the various speci. mens of Mexican picture-writing, which have been published by Purchas, Thevenot, Robertson, Humboldt; and others.-- Br.

Ross says, “there is no doubt then but Centaurs, as well as other monsters, are produced, partly by the influence of the stars, and partly by other causes,” &c.

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