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sity for slavery is an evil peculiar to the infancy of nations. Wherever the state of population and of civil society is such that slavery is no longer necessary, or of important expediency, it must be the interest, not less than the moral and religious duty, of the governing among inankind to abolish it.
Policy, however, though to be controled by religion and morality, should not be confounded with them. That slavery, authorised by the Old Testament, is forbidden by the New, cannot be shown; and, if trial is the purpose for which man has his existence in this world, the allowance of slavery, far from being adverse, is an additional mode for both slave and master.
The succeeding observations on the Gospels are not sufficiently connected to animadvert on : they are valuable principally to the learned, and, we think, should not incautiously be entrusted to others. The chapter on Demoniacs exemplifies a saying of Lord Halifax, that nothing is so apt to crack in stretching, as an inference.
The portion which treats of Heathenism, as far as it goes, is a manual of mythology. Here we think the historian appears to most advantage, as be has certainly acquitted himself with most success. Candidly acknowleging bis ignorance of Hebrew and Theology, he seems to exult in having reached that part of his work which does not require an acquaintance with either, although the subject is extensive and perplexed. In treating of the mysteries he is clear, but not copious, and as this topic is fully discussed elsewhere, we basten to the conclusion:
Trial, we are assured in the gospel, was not to be ended by its delivery, but rather the contrary, and, in all accounts of the early persecutions, this appears to have been fully understood by the converts of the early ages, whence came their fortitude in bearing the severest trials. Nevertheless contests among themselves, mostly on matters of faith, foretold in the gospels, and reproved by the apostles John and Paul, were, among such strange doctrine, maintained with violence through centuries, and thus was afforded the opportunity, which the able impostor Mahomet used, for claiming in his outset to be divinely warranted (as the able author of the History of the Middle Ages has well observed) not to be the opponent but the successor of Christ; not to abolish but to correct corrupted and degraded Christianity.
With regard to the sections on Creeds and Prayer, they must be read with caution, for to the sciolist they contain dangerous matter. Such, perhaps, is the character of the whole work : with candor and research, anxious that what is received for truth should be so established, he has stated doubts and proposed alterations, which may stagger the uninformed, while Those, who have seriously considered the subject, will possibly be informed and certainly pleased. He appears to have given up
his solitary orthography, retaining his peculiarities of style in many expressions and sentences, of which the last is an excellent test for clear heads :
Excess in abuse of these extravagant advantages, by the chiefs and, in natural consequence, by their armies of monks, their ingeniously provided instruments, at length provoked the reformation; begun, in the early dawn of literature, by our Wickliffe, prosecuted, in a more advantageous age, with larger success, by Luther, and, though in its progress disturbed by political contests, unfailingly attending the ecclesiastical, brought to the best perfection yet attained among national establishments (I venture to declare my opinion) however, as a human work, still imperfect, in the established church of England.
The typographical faults of this volume are numerous, and only partially noticed in the tables of Errata.
Introduction to the second edition of the translation of
the MYSTICAL HYMNS of ORPHEUS, by THOMAS TAYLOR. 12mo. 1824.
In this Introduction, the translator professes to have demonstrated that the Orphic Hymns were the Invocations employed in the Eleusinian Mysteries ; that they are perfectly conformable to all that is transmitted to us by the ancients concerning the Orphic dogmas; that these dogmas are perfectly conformable to those of Pythagoras and Plato; and that the Hymns were not, as was the opinion of Tyrwhitt, written during the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
· The Grecian theology, which originated from Orpheus, was not only promulgated by him, but also by Pythagoras and Plato; who, for their transcendent genius, will always be ranked by the intelligent among the prodigies of the human race. By the first of these illustrious men, however, it was promulgated mystically and symbolically; by the second, enigmatically, and through images; and scientifically by the third. That this theology, indeed, was derived from Orpheus is clearly testified by those two great philosophic luminaries lamblichus and Proclús For by them we are informed, " that what Orpheus delivered mystically through arcane narrations, this Pythagoras learned when he celebrated orgies in the Thracian Libethra, being initiated by Aglaophemus in the mystic wisdom which Orpheus derived from his mother Calliope, in the mountain Pangæus."
This sublime theology, though it was scientifically disseminated by Platö, yet conformably to the custom of the most ancient philosophers, was delivered by him synoptically, and in such a way as to be inaccessible to the vulgar; but when, in consequence of the commencement of a degraded and barren period, this theology became corrupted through the negligence and confusion of its votaries ; then such of his disciples as happened to live when it was thus degraded and deformed, found it necessary to unfold it more fully, in order to prevent its becoming utterly extinct. The men by whom this arduous task was accomplished were the last of the disciples of Platò; men who, though they lived in a base age, possessed a divine genius, and who having happily fathomed the depth of their great master's works, luminously and copiously developed their recondite meaning, and benevolently communicated it in their writings for the general good.
From this golden chain of philosophers, as they have been justly called, my elucidations of the present mystic hymns are principally derived : for I know of no other genuine sources, if it be admitted (and it must by every intelligent reader) that the theology of Orpheus is the same as that of Pythagoras and Plató. Hence I shall not take any notice of the theories of Bryant and Faber and other modern mythological writers.
That the philosophic reader therefore may be convinced of the truth of this observation, the following epitome of this theology, derived from the abovementioned sources, is súbjoined. In the first place, this theology celebrates the immense principle of things, as something superior even to being itself; as exempt from the whole of things, of which it is nevertheless ineffably the source; and does not therefore think fit to connumerate it with any triad, or order of beings. Indeed, it even apologises for attempting to give an appropriate pame to this principle, which is in reality ineffable, and ascribes the attempt to the imbecility of human nature, which striving intently to behold it, gives the appellation of the most simple of its conceptions to that which is beyond all knowlege and all conception. Hence Plato denominates it the one and the good ; by the former of these names indicating its transcendent simplicity, and by the latter its subsistence as the object of desire to all beings. For all things desire good. But Orpheus, as Proclus well observes,' “ availing himself of the license of fables, manifests every thing prior to Heaven (or the intelligible and at the same time intellectual order) by names, as far as to the first cause. He also denominates the ineffable, who transcends the intelligible unities, Time." And this according to a wonderful analogy, indicating the generation, i. e. the ineffable evolution into light of all things, from the immense principle of all. For, as Proclus elsewhere observes, “ where there is generation there also time has a subsistence.” And in this way, the celebrated Theogony of Orpheus and other Grecian theologists is to be understood.
περι θεων Πυθαγορας ο τω Μνησαρχω τουτο ιξιμαθον, οργιασθεις ν Λιβηθροις τοις Θρακιoις Αγλαοφαμω τελετας μεταδοντος ως αρα Ορφους ο Καλλιοπας κατα το Παγγαιον ορος υπό τας ματρος πινυσθεις εφα των αριθμω ουσιαν αίδιον είναι. Iamblichus de Vit. Pythag. p. 135.
2 Πυθαγορειος ο Τιμαιος επεται ταις Πυθαγορειων αρχαις, αυται δι εισιν αι Ορφικαι παραδοσεις: α γαρ Ορφεύς δι' απορρητων λογων μυστικως παραδεδωκε, ταυτα Πυθαγορας εξεμαθαν οργιασθεις εν Λιβηθροις τοις Θρακιοις, Αγλιοφαμου τελετας μεταδιδοντος, ην περι θεων σοφιας παρα Καλλιοπης της μητρος επινυσθη. Ρroclus in Τim. lib. ν. p. 201.
As the first cause then is the one, and this is the same with the good, the universality of things must form a whole, the best and the most profoundly united in all its parts which can possibly bę conceived: for the first good must be the cause of the greatest good, that is, the whole of things; and as goodness is union, the best production must be that which is most united. But as there is a difference in things, and some are more excellent than others, and this in proportion to their proximity to the first cause, a profound union can no otherwise take place than by the extremity of a superior order coalescing through intimate alliance with the summit of one proximately inferior. Hence the first of bodies, though they are essentially corporeal, yet kara oxeoty, through habitude or alliance, are most vital, or lives. The highest of souls are after this manner intellects, and the first of beings are Gods, For as being is the highest of things after the first cause, its first subsistence must be according to a superessential characteristic.
Now that which is superessential, considered as participated by the highest or true being, constitutes that which is called intelligible. So that every true being depending on the Gods is a divine intelligible. It is divine indeed, as that which is deified; but it is intelligible, as the object of desire to intellect, as perfective and connective of its nature, and as the plenitude of being itself. But in the first being life and intellect subsist according to cause : for every thing subsists either according to cause, or according to hyparxis, or according to participation. That is,
! In Plat. Cratyl. p. 23.
cvery thing may be considered either as subsisting occultly in its cause, or openly in its own order (or according to what it is), or as participated by something else. The first of these is analogous to light when viewed subsisting in its fountain the sun; the second to the light immediately proceeding from the sun; and the third to the splendor communicated to other natures by this light.
The first procession therefore from the first cause will be the intelligible triad, consisting of being, life, and intellect, which are the three highest things after the first God, and of which being is prior to life, and life to intellect. For whatever partakes of life partakes also of being : but the contrary is not true, and therefore being is above life ; since it is the characteristic of higher natures to extend their communications beyond such as are subordinate. But life is prior to intellect, because all intellectual natures are vital, but all vital natures are not intellectual. But in this intelligible triad, on account of its superessential characteristic, all things may be considered as subsisting according to cause : and consequently number here has not a proper subsistence, but is involved in unproceeding union, and absorbed in superessential light. Hence, when it is called a triad, we must not suppose that any essential distinction takes place, but must consider this appellation as expressive of its ineffable perfection. For as it is the nearest of all things to the one, its union must be transcendently profound and ineffably occult.
All the Gods indeed, considered according to their unities, are all in all, and are at the same time united with the first God, like rays to light, or the radii of a circle to the centre.
And hence they are all established in their ineffable principle (as Proclus in Parmenid. beautifully observes), like the roots of trees in the earth ; so that they are all as much as possible superessential, just as trees are eminently of an earthly nature, without at the same time being earth itself. For the nature of the earth, as being a whole, and therefore having a perpetual subsistence, is superior to the partial natures which it produces. The intelligible triad therefore, from existing wholly according to the superessential, possesses an inconceivable profundity of union both with itself and its cause; and hence it appears to the eye of intellect as one simple indivisible splendor, beaming from an unknown and inaccessible fire.
The Orphic theology, however, concerning the intelligible Gods, or the highest order of divinities, is, as we are informed by Damascius,' as follows: “ Time (as we have already observed) is symbolically said to be the one principle of the upiverse; but
: Vid. Wolfii Anocdot. Græc. tom, iii. p. 252.