Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

why should not we grant from Analogy, that the World itself has undergone the like? that the same Time, and Chance has happen'd to all Things concerning it, and its Inhabitants? But that there actually have been such Vicissitudes in Nature, or so much as one valuable Art, or Branch of Science, wholly lost since the Creation, I know no Ground sufficient to believe aa.

aa For Proof of this, see the pretended Instances of loft Arts in Pancirollus, which upon Examination will appear all to be either manifeftly false or frivolous, or of such Trifles as have been dropt by Disuse: to which may be added Wote ton's Pref. to ReA. on A. and M. L. 'I will agree that fe• veral Arts in the World have been loft, and others after a

Time again reviv'd ; but then there have been such Arts as have been more curious than useful, and have rather been ornamental than beneficial to Mankind : and there has been some good reason to be given for their Disuse ; • either by their growing out of Fashion, or by some more

easy and commodious Invention. Thus the Art of Glasspainting was loft about the Time of the Reformation when the Images of Saints were not so highly esteem'd, ' and Churches began to be more gravely adorned. Thus ' the Use of Archers in an Army, has been laid aside since the Invention of Pikes and Guns. But who can imagine

that the Art of the Smith and the Carpenter should ever 'be forgot after the first Invention ; unless we could suppose

that Houses and all sorts of Utensils and Conveniences should grow out of Fashion, and it would be the Mode for

Men to live like Colts and Wild Affes ? Unless Men could 'be supposed to forget the Use of eating and drinking, I am confident they could never forget the Art of Ploughing and

Sowing, and pressing the Grape.' Nicholls's Conf. Part. I. p. 86. ist Ed. And the fame may be said of Navigation, notwithstanding all that Ld. Bolingbroke advances to the contrary: Ef. 3. p. 236. See more of this in Wotton's Pref. p.14,&c. 2d Ed.

* 'This seems to be a vulgar Error. See Glass.painting in Chambers's Cyclopedia, or Spectacle de la Nature, V. 3. p. 219.

Of Cement. ib. p. 228. add Alotte's Abr. Phil. Trans. V. 2. Part. 4. p. 62, 63.

[ocr errors]

In a History of the World, which has been prov'd by a late unexceptionable Writer , to be of all others by far the most ancient and authentic, and which carries its Accounts as high as either could be wilh’d, or hoped for, from History; even to the forming and first peopling of the World itself, and the original Division of the Nations; in this, we have the Birth and Genealogy, the Names and Characters, of the Founders of States and Kingdoms, as well as the Inventors even of manual Arts, deliver'd downa; and from the very

b Sir J. Newt. Chron.

a Cain builded a City, or the first City. Gen. 4. 17. add Gen. 10.8,9, &c. Jabal was the Father of such as dwell in Tents, and of such as have Cattle: and his Brother's Name was Jubal; he was the Father of all such as handle the Harp and the Organ: and Tubal Cain was an Instructor of every Artificer in Brass and Iron ; or a Forger of Arms. Gen.4.20, &c. After the Flood, we are told that Noah began to be a Husbandman, and he planted a Vineyard; Gen. 9. 20. which by his being surprised in such a manner with the Effects of its Fruit, seems to have been the first of the kind. So late as Abraham's time, we find there was enough of the best Land unoccupied for both him and Lot to chule out of, Gen.13.9. which (as the Author of Bibliotheca Biblica observes, p. 335.) is a molt illustrious Testimony for the late peopling of the World, and hy consequence for the Truth of the Mosaic History of the Creation and Deluge ; in as much as it appears by this, that the most pleasant and most fruitful Country of the whole Earth, and which in a few hundreds of Years afterward was so exceeding populous, was yet in the Days of Abraham so very thinly peopled, that even large Tracts of Ground were left in a manner uncultivated and without Proprietor. So little ground is there for that Assertion of Ld. Bolingbroke's, on which he builds very largely, • Nations were civilised, wise constitutions of Government

were framed, Arts and Sciences were invented and improved, long before the remotest time to which any History, or « Tradition extends.' V.4. p.231.

N 3

air

ait of Truth, and that Simplicity which runs through the whole relation, have much more reason to depend upon it, than on the fabulous Antiquities of Greece and Egypt; to obviate which was probably one great Design of the relator a From whom we learn, that neither the planting of the World, nor the Introduction of Arts and Sciences, were of so early a Date, as they have usually been represented b. Most Nations, like private Families, have at all times been unaccountably fond of carrying up their Pedigree as high as possible; and where no marks remain’d of the successive Alterations in their State, were apt to imagine that it had always been the same. Hence the many foolish Pretences among the Ancients, to their being Aborigines of the Countries they had inhabited Time out of Mind: hence were they bant. Ezek. 29. 3. Diod. Sic. L. 1. Bibl. p.9. Juftin. L. 2. c. I. Id. in Num. 13.22. Comp. id. in El. 18. 2.

aa Hiftoriâ fuâ Mofes Ifraelitarum animos a vicinorum Fabulis, adeoque Religionibus, quæ sæpe iis nitebantur, alienare adgressus est. — Non modo mundum creatum docet, quod videntur etiam credidifle; vel potius ex veteribủs monumentis scivisse vicini ; sed etiam quot fuissent ætates ab initio Mundi ad fua tempora ostendit, singulasque personas generatas enumeravit, ut ingenti illi numero atatum, qui ab Ægyptiis jactabatur, et in fua quidem regione fuifle dicebatur, verum opponeret.—Vide Jactationes Ægyptiorum de gentis suæ antiquitate apud Ezek. 29. 3. et quæ habemus ád Num. 13.23. At oftendit Mofes Gen. c. 1o. 6. poft Diluvium demum à Chami posteris e Babylone illuc profectis fuisse cultam Ægyptum. Plurima etiam de generatione hominum in sua regione deque Diluvio mentiebantur Ægyptii quæ habet Diodor. L. 1. Multa jactabant de rerum omnium apud se inventione, quæ apud eundem leguntur. Quorum pleraque obiter confutat Mofes, aliâ plane narratione, aliisque rerum inventoribus indicatis. V. quæ diximus ad Gen, 4.21, 22. Ofiridi etiam fuo agricultura et vini e racemis exprimendi inventionem tribuebant Ægyptii, quæ Noachi fuit, ut docet Mofes c.9. 20. Cleric. Proleg. ad Comm. Diff. 3. de fcriptore Pentateuchi p. 37. Id. in Indice ad Vineam. Originem etiam Muficæ, quanquam initio rudis, omittere nolluiffe videtur Mofes, ut oftenderet mentiri Ægyptios qui ejus inventionem Thouthi Ægyptio, amico Ofiridis, qui poft Diluvium vixit acceptam ferebant. Diod. Sic. L. I. p. 15. Ed. Rhod. Plato de Leg. 2. p. 577. Tubal-Cainem quoque omne æris et ferri opificium expolientem, contra Ægyptios a Mofe memoratum credibile eft: illi in Ægypto, regnante Ofiride, dictitabant in Thebaide æris et auri cudendi inventis artibus, arma esse fačta, quibus occidendo feras, et terram colendo, i'am ftudiofe cultiorem redderent, et q. feq. ap. Diod. L. 1. p.14. Id. in Gen. 4. 21, 22. Num. 13.23. Chebron quidem feptem annis ànte Ægyptiacam Tanin condita fuerat:- -Obiter retundit Moses Ægyptiorum fuperbiam, qui se primos mortalium, suasque proinde Urbes omnium antiquissimas jacta

bant.

b. Though Noah and his Sons had doubtless fome Knowledge of the Inventions of the Antediluvians, and probably • acquainted their Descendants with such of them as were

most obvious and useful in common Life, yet it is not to be imagined that any of the more curious Arts, or speculative Sciences, were improved in any degree, supposing

them to have been known or invented, till some consider* able time after the Dispersion. — For on their settling in any Country, they found it imployment sufficient to cultivate the Land (which yet for want of separate Property, and Security in their Polleffions, in those early Times, • they improved no farther than barely to supply their Ne' ceffities) and to provide themselves Habitations and Necellaries, for their mutual comfort and subsistence*. Besides

this, they were often obliged to remove from one place to • another, where they could more conveniently reside; and

it was a great while before they came to embody them.

selves together in Towns and Cities, and from thence to 'spread into Provinces, and to settle the Bounds and Extent

of their Territories f. Two or three Ages at least must have been spent in this manner; and it is not very likely they should amuse themselves with celeftial Observations

in particular, when they had so many more pressing affairs 6 to mind.' Univers. Hift. B. 1. c. 2. p. 173.

* Vid. Thucyd. L.1. fub. in.
+ Stilling fleet, Or. S. B. 1. c.1. S.16.

6

led to make their several Gods the Founders of their Government. They knew but

very

little of the World; and the Tradition which they had of that little, was so far blended with Fiction and Romance, that it serv'd only to confound them, Upon the Removal of this Cloud, by the more faithful, diligent, and accurate Enquiry of the Moderns, we see History beginning to clear up, even at this distance; the World puts on a very different Face; and all parts

conformable to each other, and to the late well known Course of Things. We find the Marvellous in all their Annals, and more especially in the great Point of their Antiquity, exceedingly reduced dd; and our

of it
appear

c Datur hæc venia Antiquitati, ut miscendo humana Di. vinis, Primordia Urbium auguftiora faciat; fays Liv. Pref. Hift. L.J. very honestly.

d The Grounds of the Uncertainty of Ancient History, may be seen in Stilling fleet, Or. Sac. B.I. c. 1. S. 16, 18, &c. Of the Egyptian in particular, see Shaw's Travels p. 417, 442. comp. Baker on Hist, and Chron. Reflect. c. 10, and II, Shuckford, V.2. B.8. Winder, V. 2. C.10. S.4, &c. The Bp. of Clogher's Remarks on the Origin of Hieroglyphics, p. 58, &c. That the Babyloniso Empire was not so old as has been pretended, see Le Clerc, on Gen.10.10.

dd •Till Men come to a Scrutiny, they are very apt to imagine that a Number is vastly greater than it is. I have often asked People to guess how many Men there have been in a direct Line between the present King of England and Adam, meaning only one Man in a Generation ; the King's Father, Grandfather, &c. The Answer made upon a sudden Conjecture, has always been, fome Thousands; . whereas it is evident from a Calculation, there have not ' been two hundred. For the space of Time between Adam and Chrif, let us take the Genealogy of our Saviour preserved by St. Luke, in which the Names between Adam and Chrift, exclusive of both, are but seventy four. From the Birth of Christ to the Birth of the King were fixteen • hundred and eighty Years. Let it be supposed, that in the

« AnteriorContinuar »