Serle - BT590 N2 S47 1776

56 J leaft Ebriety. * They were willing, that their God í1r uld be lober, if they indulged in the Rites of Bac- chus themfelves. t The curious Pliny likewife, whom we jut} mentioned, adopted the popular Notion about the Sun; but fays fuch (hocking things, concerning the Mortality and Materiality of the Soul, and againit the Opinion of fome fober Philofophers relative to a fu- ture State, as might convince us, that Idolatry naturally defcends to Atheifm both of Principle and Praaice. Thefe, and other Examples, taken together, afford a fad Specimen of the. Vanity of thofe Imaginations, which can pofrefs a fallen and ä darkened Heart; and exhibit a difmal Proof, that no Abfurdity is too profs, no Superftition too deteftable, for the Mind of Man, when left to the Ignorance and Error, which Sin hath brought upon him. And the Reafon, why the fame Notions do not prevail now as formerly, is by no means to be imputed to a prefent fuperior Meafure of natural Wifdom, in which perhaps few of the Moderns would pretend to vie with fome antient Sages; but to the Light of the Gofpel, which has induced another Mode and Habit of Thinking, even in the World at large, and ruined (what Philofophy never could) the Pageantry and Veneration of Idols. Though the ingenious Greeks were forced to fubrnit to the Arms of the more powerful Romans; they, in their turn, fiabdiled their Conquerors, in thofe Matters which relate to Mind, and impofed upon them their 4hilofophy and Religion together. The great Dr, Le, ! ATHEN. Deign. 1. xv. p, 693. Edit. Galaub. t " It was a Cullom among the Grecians (lays the learned and 1' ingenious Mr. Bryant), at the Celebration of their religious Fedi " vals, to crown the whole with Hymns ofPraife and the molljoy- "' ful Exclamations. But the Egyptians were of a gloomy Turn of ,' Mind,-which infeaed the whole of their Worfhip. Their Hymns were always compofed in melancholy affeaing Airs, and confined of Lamentations for the Lofs of Ofsris, the myliic Flight of Bac- chus, the Wanderings of Ifis, and the Sufferings of the Gods." Anal. At. Myth. Vol. 1. p. 371. Nat. Hitt. Tom. i, 1, vii. c, 55, and