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all nations. I boldly call it as to have, at different periods of universal, notwithstanding what is the world, misled all mankind. reported of some gross savages; All savage tribes are at present for reports that contradict what i polytheists and idolaters: bui is acknowledged to be general among savages every instinct apamong men, require more able || pears in greater purity and vigour vouchers than a few illiterate than among people polished by voyagers. Among many savage arts and sciences; and instinct tribes there are no words but for never mistakes its objects. The objects of external sense: is it instinct or primary impression of surprising that such people are nature which gives rise to selfincapable of expressing their reli- love, affection between the sexes, gious perceptions, or any per- &c., has, in all nations and in ception of internal sense? The every period of time, a precise conviction that men have of su- and determinate object which it perior powers, in every country inflexibly pursues. How, then, where there are words to express comes it to pass that this particuit, is so well vouched, that, in fair lar instinct, which, if real, is surely reasoning, it ought to be taken for of as much importance as any granted among the few tribes other, should have uniformly led where language is deficient." The those who had no other guide to same ingenious author shews, with pursue improper objects to fall great strength of reasoning, that into the grossest errors, and the the operations of nature and the go- most pernicious practices? vernment of this world, which to For these and other reasons, us loudly proclaim the existence which might easily be assigned, of a Deity, are not sufficient to they suppose that the first religious account for the universal beliei principles must have been derived of superior beings among savage from a source different as well tribes. He is therefore of opinion | from internal sense as from the that this universality of convic- || deductions of reason"; from a tion can spring only from the source which the majority of image of Deity stamped upon the mankind had early forgotten; and mind of every human being, the which, when it was banished from ignorant equal with the learned their minds, left nothing behind it This, he thinks, may be termed the to prevent the very first principle sense of Deity.
of religion from being perverted This sense of Deity, however, is by various accidents or causes; objected to by others, who thus or, in some extraordinary concurreason: All nations, except the rence of circumstances, from beJews, were once polytheists anding perhaps, entirely obliterated. idolaters. If, therefore, his lord- This source of religion every conship’s hypothesis be admitted,sistent theist must believe to be either the doctrine of polytheism | revelation. Reason could not have must be true theology, or this in- introduced savages to the knowstinct or sense is of such a nature ledge of God, and we have just
seen that a sense of Deity is clogged | the records of antiquity, the priwith insuperable difficulties. Yet meval inhabitants of this globe it is undeniable that all mankind lived to so great an age, that they have believed in superior invisible must have increased to a very powers; and, if reason and instinct large number long before the be set aside, there remains no other death of the common parent, who origin of this universal belief than would, of course, be the bond of primeval revelation corrupted; union to the whole society; and indeed, as it passed from father to whose dictates, especially in what son in the course of many gene- related to the origin of his Being rations. It is no slight support to and the existence of his Creator, this doctrine, that, if there really would be listened to with the utbe a Deity, it is highly presumable most respect by every individual that he would reveal himself to of his numerous progeny. Many the first men; creatures whom he causes, however, would conspire had formed with faculties to adore to dissolve this family, after the and to worship him. To other death of its ancestor, into separate animals the knowledge of the De- and independent tribes, of which ity is of no importance ; to man it some would be driven by violence, is of the first importance. Were or would voluntarily wander to a we totally ignorant of a Deity, this distance from the rest. From this world would appear to us a mere dispersion great changes would chaos. Under the government of a take place in the opinions of some wise and benevolent Deity, chance of the tribes respecting the object is excluded, and every event ap- of their religious worship. A sinpears to be the result of establish- ||gle family, or a small tribe, baed laws. Good men subinit to | nished into a desert wilderness whatever happens without repin (such as the whole earth must ing, knowing that every event is then have been), would find emordered by Divine Providence: ployment for all their time in prothey submit with entire e..igna- viding the means of subsistence tion; and such resignation is aand in defending themselves from sovereign balsam for every mis-beasts of prey. In such circumfortune or evil in life.
stances they would have little leiAs to the circumstances which sure for meditation; and, being led to polytheism, it has been ob- constantly conversant with observed that, taking it for granted jects of sense, they would graduthat our original progenitors were ally lose the power of ineditating instructed by their Creator in the upon the spiritual nature of that truths of genuine theism, there is Being by whom their ancestors no room to doubt but that those had taught them that all things truths would be conveyed pure were created. The first wanderfrom father to son as long as the ers would, no doubt, retain in torace lived in one family, and were lerable purity their original nonot spread over a large extent of tions of Deity, and they would country. If any credit be due to certainly endeavour to impress
those notions upon their children; || of their God, they would soon but in circumstances infinitely i proceed to consider it as his body. more favourable to speculation Experiencing the effects of power than theirs could have been, the in the Sun, they would naturally human mind dwells not long up-conceive that luninary to be anion notions purely intellectual. Well mated as their boilies were ani. are so accustomed to sensible ob- | mated; they would feel his inium jects, and to the ideas of space, ence when above the horizon; extension, and figure, which they they would see him moving from are perpetually impressing upon East to West; they would consithe imagination, that we find it der him, when set, as gone to extremely difficult to conceive take his repose; and those exerany being without assigning to tions and intermissions of power him a form and a place. Hence being analogous to what they er. bishop Law supposes that the ear-perienced in themselves, they liest generations of men (even would look upon the Sun as a real those to whom he contends that animal. Thus would the Divinity frequent revelations were vouch- appear to their untutored minds safed) may have been no better to be a compound being like a than Anthropomorphites in their man, partly corporeal and partly conceptions of the Divine Be-spiritial; and as soon as they ing. Be this as it may, it is easy imbibed such notions, though perto conceive that the membershaps not before, they may be proof the first colonies would quickly nounced to have been absolute lose many of the arts and much idolaters. When men had once of the science which perhaps pre- got into this train, their gods would vailed in the parent state ; and multiple upon them with wonderthat, fatigued with the contem- ful rapidity. The moon, the planplation of intellectual objects, ets, the fixed stars, &c., would bethey would relieve their over- come objects of veneration. Hence strained faculties by attributing || we fi a lloses cautioning the peoto the Deity a place of abode, ii ple of Israel against worshipping not a human form. To men to the hosts of beaven, Deut. iv, 19. tally illiterate, the place fitest for Oiher objecis, however, from the habitation of the Deity would which benefits were received or undoubtedly appear to be the dangers feared, would likewise Sun, the most beautiful and glo- be cleificd; such as demons, de rious object of which they could parted heroes, &c. See IDOLATRY. form any idi a; an object from From the accounts given us by which they could not but be sen the best writers of antiquity, it sible that iher received the bene- seems that, though the Polytheists fits of light and heat, and which believed heaven, earth, and hell, experience inust soon have taught were all filled with divinitiis, vet them to be in a great measure the there was one who was considersource of vegetation. From look- ed as supreme over all the rest, or, ing upon the Sun as the habitation at most, that there were but two
self-existent gods, from whom they | ever," Rom. i, 20, 21, 22, 25. conceived all the other divinities See list of books under article to have descended in a manner|| IDOLATRY; Pridranx's Con., v. i, analogous to human generation. p. 177, 179; kome's Sketches of It appears, however, that the the History of inan; Bishop Lurt's vulgar Pagans considered each Theory of Religion, p. 58, 65 10 divinity as supreme, and unac 68, 94, 95; aricle Pulztheism in countable within his own pro-Inc. Brit.; Farmer, on the l'orvince, and therefore entithi toship of Hunan Spirits. worship, which rested ukimately PONTIFF, or High PRIEST. in himself. The philosophers, on a person who has the superinthe other hand, secm to have tendance and direction of divine viewed the inferior goils as ac- l worship, as the oifering of sacricountable for every part of their fices and other religious solemniconduct to him who was their tics. The Romais nad a colleg
ege sire and sovereign, and to have os pontiffs, and over these a sovepaid to them only that interior reign pontill, instituted by Numa, kind of devotion which the church whose function it was to prescribe of Rome pays to departed saints. the ceremonies each god was to The vulgar Pagans were sink in be worshipped wihal, compose the grossest ignorance, from which the rituals, direct the vestais, und statesmen, priests, and pouis, ex- for a good while to perform the erted their utmost influence to business of augury, till, on some keep them from emerging; for it superstitious ocasion, he was prowas a maxim, which, however hibited intermeduling there with. absurd, was universally received, The Jews, too, had their pontitis; " that there were many things and among the Fomunists the true in religion which it was noi pope is styled the sovereign ponconvenient for the vulgar to know; tlf: and some things which, though PONTIFICATE is used for false, it was expedient that they ll the state or dignity of a pontilf, or should believe." It was no won- | bigh priest; but mo. e particularly, der, therefore, that the vulgar in modern writers, 1or the reign should be idolaiers and pol- of a pope. theists. The philosophers, huw POPE, a name which comes ever, were still worse; they were from the Greek word 1474, and wholly “without excuse, because siguifies Faiher. In the East, this that, when they knew God, they appellation is given to ail Christian glorified him not as God; neither priests; and in the West, bishops were thankful, but became vain were called by it in ancient times; in their imaginations, and their but now for man centuries it foolish heart was darkened. Pro- has been appropriated to the fessing themselves wise, they be-bishop of kome, whom the Rocame tools, and worshipped and man Caiholics iook upon as the served the creature more than the coinmon father of all Chrisiians. Creator, who is God, blessed for All in communion with the sce
of Rome unanimously hold that these cardinals are commonly our Saviour Jesus Christ consti- promoted from among such clertuted Si. Peter the apostle chief gymen as have borne offices in the pastor, under himself, to watch | Roman court; some are assumed over his whole flock here on from religious orders; eminent earth, and to preserve the unity ecclesiastics of other countries are of it, giving him the power requi- likewise often honoured with this site for these ends. They also dignity. Sons of sovereign princes believe that our Saviour ordained have frequently been members of that St. Peter should have suc- the sacred college. Their distinccessors, with the like charge and tive dress is scarlet, to signify that power to the end of time. Now, they ought to be ready to shed as St. Peter resided at Rome for their blood for the faith and many years, and suffered martyr-church, when the defence and dom there, they consider the honour of either require it. They bishops of Rome as his successors wear a scarlet cap and hat: the in the dignity and office of the cap is given to them by the pope universal pastor of the whole Ca- if they are at Rome, and is sent tholic church.
to them if they are absent; but The cardinals have for several the hat is never given but by the ages been the sole electors of the pope's own hand. These cardipope. These are seventy in num-nals form the pope's standing ber, when the sacred college, as it, council, or consistory, for the mais called, is complete. Of these, nagement of the public affairs of six are cardinal bishops of the six church and state. They are di. suburbicarian churches; fifty are vided into different congregations cardinal priests, who have all titles for the more easy dispatch of bufrom parish churches in Rome; siness; and some of them have and fourteen are cardinal deacons, the principal offices in the ponwho have their titles from churchestifical court; as that of cardinal, in Rome of loss note, called dia- vicar, penitentiary, chancellor, conias or deaconries. These car-chamberlain, prefect of the signadinals are created by the pope ture of justice, prefect of memowhen there happen to be vacan-rials, and secretary of state. They cies, snd sometimes he names one have the title given them of emior two only at a time; but com- nence and most eminent. monly he defers the promotion On the demise of a pope, his until there be ten or twelve va- il pontifical seal is immediately cancies, or more ; and then at broken by the chamberlain, and every second such promotion the all public business is interrupted emperor, the kings of Spain and that can be delaved; messengers France, and of Britain, when Ca- are dispatched to all the Catholic tholic, are allowed to present one sovereigns to acquaint them of each, to be made cardinal, whom the event, that they may take the pope always admits if there be what measures they think proper; not some very great objection. Hand that the cardinals in their