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The Sibylline verses hold the same language, but these I have taken notice of in a former volume.

1 reserve myself for one more extract, which I shall recommend to the reader as the finest, which can be instanced from any heathen writer, exhibiting the most elevated conceptions of the being and superintendance of one, supreme, all-seeing, ineffable God, and of the existence of a future state of rewards and punishments, by the just distribution of which to the good and evil, all the seeming irregularities of moral justice in this life shall hereafter be set ftrait; and this, if I mistake not, is the summary of all that natural religion can attain to. The following is a close translation of this famous fragment

“ Thinkest thou, O Niceratus, that those “ departed spirits, who are fatiated with the “ luxuries of life, shall escape as if from an “ oblivious God? The eye of justice is “ wakeful and all-feeing; and we may truly

pronounce that there are two several roads

conducting us to the grave ; one proper to “the just, the other to the unjust ; for “ if just and unjust fare alike, and the grave shall cover both to all eternity-

“ Hence !

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“ Hence! get thee hence at once! destroy,

lay waste, defraud, confound at pleasure ! “ But deceive not thyself; there is a judg“ ment after death, which God, the lord of all things, will exact, whose tremen“ dous nanie is not to be uttered by my

lips, and He it is, who limits the appointed date of the transgressor.”

It is curious to discover sentiments of this venerable fort in the fragment of a Greek comedy, yet certain it is that it has either Philemon or Diphilus for it's author, both writers of the New Comedy and contemporaries. Justin, Clemens, and Eufebius have all quoted it, the former from Philemon, both the latter from Diphilus : Grotius and Le Clerc follow the authority of Justin, and insert it in their collection of Philemon's fragments; Hertelius upon the joint authorities of Clemens and Eufebius gives it to Diphilus, and publishes it as such in his valuable and rare remains of the Greek comic writers. I conceive there are now no data, upon which criticism can decide for either of these two claim, ants, and the honour must accordingly remain suspended between them. 3

Sentences

Sentences of this sort are certainly very precious reliques, and their preservation is owing to a happy custom, which the Greeks had of marking the margins of their books opposite to any passage which particularly struck them, and this mark was generally the letter X, the initial of xensòv, [useful] and the collection afterwards made of these distinguished passages they called xensouda θειαν. .

It would be a curious and amusing collation of moral and religious sentences, extracted from heathen writers, with corresponding texts, selected from the holy scriptures : Grotius hath done something towards it in his preface to the Collectanea of Stobæus ; but the quotations already given will suffice to shew in a general point of view what had been the advances of human reason before God enlightened the world by his special Revelation.

No. LXIII.

IF f the deist, who contends for the all-fuf

ficiency of natural religion, shall think that in these pa flages, which I have quoted in the preceding number, he has discovered fresh resources on the part of human reason as opposed to divine revelation, he will find himself involved in a very false conclusion. Though it were in my power to have collected every moral and religious sentence, which has fallen from the pens of the heathen writers antecedent to Christianity, and although it should thereby appear that the morality of the gospel had been the morality of right reason in all ages of the world, he would still remain as much unfurnished as ever for establishing his favorite position, that the scriptures reveal nothing more than man's understanding had discovered without their aid. We

We may therefore console ourselves without scruple in discovering that the heathen world was not immersed in total darkness, and the candid mind, however interested for Christianity, may be gratified with the reflection that the liuman under

standing standing was not so wholly enslaved, but that in certain instances it could surmount the prejudices of system, and, casting off the shackles of idolatry, argue up to that supreme of all things, which the historian Tacitus emphatically defines, fummum illud et æternum neque mutabile neque interiturum.

Now when the mind is settled in the proof of One Supreme Being, there are two several modes of reasoning, by which natural religión may deduce the probability of a future ftate : one of these results from an examination of the human soul, the other from reflecting on the unequal distribution of happiness in the present life.

Every man, who is capable of examining his own faculties, must discern a certain power within him, which is neither coæval with, nor dependant upon his body and it's members ; I mean that power of reflection, which we universally agree to seat in the soul : It is not coæval with the body, because'we were not in the use and exercise of it, when we were infants ; it is not dependant on it, because it is not subject to the changes, which the body undergoes in it's passage from the womb to the

grave;

for instance,

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