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men

Stone.

Philopæ- you shall reap the benefit of my friendship without ex gold, should change the gold into a substance of the

Philosopence.” Such was the disinterestedness of this noble sane nature and virtue with itself, so as thus to be sus. pher's a Achæan!

ceptible of perpetual multiplication, and which, by conPhiloso

About two years after this, the city of Messene with tinued coction, should have its power more and more

drew itself from the Achæan league. Philopæmen atStone.

exalted, so as to be able to transmute greater and greattacked them ; but was wounded, taken prisoner, and er quantities of the inferior metals, according to its difpoisoned by the magistrates. Thus died one of the ferent degrees of perfection. greatest heroes that Greece or any other country ever Alchemists have attempted to arrive at the making produced. He was no way inferior in valour, military of gold by three methods : the first by separation ; for knowledge, and virtue, to any of the boasted heroes of every metal yet known, it is affirmed, contains some Rome. Had Achaia been nearer to an equality with quantity of gold; only, in most, the quantity is so little Rome, he would have preserved his country from the as not to defray the expence of getting it out. yoke which the Roman republic forced it to bear. Both The second is by maturation ; for the alchemists the Greek and Roman writers put him upon the level think mercury is the basis and matter of all metals ; with Hannibal and Scipio, who were his contemporaries, that quicksilver purged from all heterogeneous bodies and happened to die the same year. They allow him would be much heavier, denser, and simpler, than the to bave been not only one of the greatest commanders, native quicksilver; and that by subtilizing, purifying, but also one of the greatest statesmen of his age.

To and digesting it with much labour, and long operations, his valour and prudence Achaia owed her glory, which it is possible to convert it into pure gold. upon his death began to decline, there being none after This method is only for mercury. With respect to him in that republic able to oppose her enemies with the the other metals, it is ineflectual, i. Because their matlike steadiness and prudence : whence Pbilopæmen was ter is not pure mercury, but has other heterogeneous called the last of the Greeks, as Brutus was afterwards bodies adhering to it; and, 2. Because the digestion, styled the last of the Romans.

whereby mercury is turned into gold, would not succeed PHILOSOPHER, a person versed in philosophy; in other metals, because they had not been long enough or one who makes profession of, or applies himself to, in the mines, the study of nature.

Weight is the inimitable character of gold, &c. Now PHILOSOPHER's Stone, the greatest object of alchemy, mercury, they say, has always some impurities in it, and is a long sought for preparation, which, when found, is these are lighter than mercury. Could they be purged to convert all the true mercurial part of metal into pure away, which they think is not impossible, mercury gold, better than any that is dug out of mines or per would be as heavy as gold, and what is as heavy as gold fected by the refiner's art.

is gold, or at least might very easily be made gold. Some Greek writers in the fourth and fifth centuries The third method is by transmutation, or by turning speak of this art as being then known; and towards the all metals readily into pure gold, by melting them in end of the 13th century, when the learning of the East the fire, and casting a little quantity of a certain prehad been brought hither by the Arabians, the same pre- paration into the fused matter ; upon which the fæces tensions began to spread through Europe. It is sup retire, are volatilized and burnt, and carried off, ard posed that this art, called Alchemy, was of Egyptian the rest of the mass is turned mto pure gold. That origin ; and that when the ancient Greek philosophers which works this change in the metals is called the travelled into Egypt, they brought back some of the al- philosopher's stone. legoric language of this Egyptian art, ill understood, Whether this third method be possible or not, it is which afterwards passed into their mythology. Alche difficult to say. We have so many testimonies of it my was the earliest branch of chemistry, considered as from persons who on all other occasions speak truth, a philosophical science : in the other parts of chemical that it is hard to say they are guilty of direct falseknowledge, facts preceded reasoning or speculation ; but hood, even when they say that they bave been masters alchemy was originally speculative.

of the secret. We are told, that it is only doing that The alchemists supposed the general principles of by art which nature does in many years and ages. metals to be chiefly two substances, which they called for as lead and gold disler but little in weight, there. mercury and sulphur ; they apprehended also, ihat the fore there is not much in lead beside

mercury

and pure mercurial, sulphureous, or other principles of gold. Now, if we had any body which would só agiwhich they imagined gold to be composed, were con tate all the parts of lead as to burn all that is not res. tained separately in other bodies; and these principles, cury therein, and had also some sulphur to fix the therefore, they endeavoured to collect, and to concoct mercury, would not the mass remaining be converted and incorporate by long digestions; and by thus con into gold? There is nothing in nature so heavy as joining the principles of gold, if they could be so pro- lead except gold, mercury, and platina, which was duced and conjoined, it might be expected that gold not known to these reasoners ; it is evident, therefore, would be produced. But the alchemists pretend to a there is something in lead that comes very near to gold. product of a higher order, called the elixir, ihe medicine But in lead there is likewise some beterogeneous matfor metals, the tincture, the philosopher's stone; which ter different both from mercury and gold. If therefore by being projected on a large quantity of any of the in 19 ounces of lead he dissolved by the fire, and 8 ounces ferior metals in fusion, should change them into fine be destroyed by these means, it is argued that we shall gold; which being laid on a plate of silver, copper, or have the rest good gold; the ratio of lead to gold beiron, and moderately heated, should sink into the me ing as 11 to 19. If then the philosopher's stone can tal, and change into gold all the parts to which it was purify the mercurial matter in lead, so as that nothing applied; which, on being properly heated with pure shall remain but the pure mercurial body, and you can

Stone

Philoso. fis and coagulate this by means of sulphur, out of 19 duced in certain substances by the force of heat carried Philosopher's ounces of lead you will have 11 of gold : or,

if
you

their imaginations beyond what sound judgment might pher's Stone.

reduce the lead from 18 to 14, you will then have warrant. The first instance of wbichon record is
converted it into mercury; and if you farther purify in vol. xi. p. 68. of the Foedera ; wherein Henry VI.

Philosopbi.
this mercury to the proper standard, you will have grants a licence to Jolo Cobbe, freely to work in me zing.
gold; provided you have but a sulphur with which to tals; he having, by philosophical art, found out a me-
fix and coagulate it. Such is the foundation of the thod of transferring imperfect metals into perfect gold
opinion of the philosopher's stone; which the alche and silver.
mists contend to be a most subtile, fixed, concentrated “ This pretended secret, known afterwards by the
fire, which, as soon as it melts with any metal, does, name of the Philosopher's stone or powder, was encou.,
by a magnetic virtue, immediately unite itself to the raged by four licences, granted to different projectors
mercurial body of the metal, volatilize and cleanse off during this reign, and at sundry times after, during this
all that is impure therein, and leave nothing but a century particularly, and in succeeding times, all over
mass of pure gold. Many frauds and artifices have Europe. The frenzy has not entirely ceased even to
unquestionably been practised in this operation, and this day, although it meets with neither public encou-
there might be political reasons why princes and others ragement nor countenance from men of sober reason ;
should encourage those who pretended to a power of the projectors baving yet found nothing from their airy
furnishing this inexhaustible source of wealth ; but it schemes in this mode of search but certain ruin to their
would be wrong to censure as impostors all those who property.” See CHEMISTRY.
have declared themselves convinced, from their own The same author, when speaking of the commerce
experiments, of the transmutability of base metals in of the kingdom, and the wonderful increase and riches
to gold. There are strong reasons, however, to be of commercial cities, speaks thus : “ This is the true
lieve that the authors have been deceived themselves by philosopher's stone, so much sought after in former
fallacious appearances. Mr Boyle gives an account of ages, the discovery of which has been reserved to ge.
a process by which he imagines part of the substance nius, when studying to improve the mechanic arts.
of gold to have been transmuted into silver. He also Hence a pound of raw materials is converted into stuffs
relates a very extraordinary experiment, under the title of fifty times its original value. And the metals too
of the degradation of gold by an anti-elixir, which was are not, indeed, transmuted into gold--they are more :
published in his own life-time, and since reprinted in for the labour of man has been able to work the baser
1739. Hence many have been led to conclude in metals, by the ingenuity of art, so as to become worth,
favour of the alchemical doctrine of the transmutability more than many times its weight in gold.”
of metals. See an account of this experiment, with PHILOSOPHIC, or PhilosoPHICAL, something
remarks upon it by Dr Lewis, in his Commerce of Arts, belonging to PhiLOSOPHY.
sect. 1 2. p. 297, &c.

PHILOSOPHICAL EGG, among chemists, a thin Characters “ The opinion (says Holt) that one metallic or glass body or bubble, of the shape of an egg, with a long of the Kings other foreign substance might be changed into another, neck or stem, used in digestions. and Queens

was,

it seems, at this time (reign of He VI. of PHILOSOPHIZING, rules of. See Newtonian of England.

England) propagated by certain chemists, whose ob Philosophy, No 16. and the following article.
servations on the surprising effects and alterations pro-

PHILOSOPHY

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Definitions IS

S a word derived from the Greek, and literally cise, and at the same time sufficiently comprehensive, History of

signifies the love of wisdom (a). In its usual ac may be questioned ; but if philosophy in its utmost 'hilosophy. phy.

ceptation, however, it denotes a science, or collec extent be capable of being adequately detined, it is.
tion of sciences, of wbich the universe is the object; not here that the definition should be given.

" Ex-
and of the term thus employed many definitions have planation (says an acute writer *), is the first of- * Tatham's
been given, differing from one another according to fice of a teacher; definition, if it be good, is the Chart and
the different views of their several authors. By Py- last of the inquirer after truth ; but explanation is one Scale of
thagoras, philosophy is defined stoompen The Orwy, thing, and definition quite another.” It may be

pro

Truth, v. i. knowledge of things existing ;" by Cicero, after Plato, per, however, to observe, that the definition given by scientia rerum divinarum et humanarum cum CAUSIS ; Cicero is better than that of Pythagoras, because the and by the illustrious Bacon, interpretatio naturæ. chief object of the philosopher is to ascertain the causes Whether any of these definitions be sufficiently pre of things; and in this consists the difference between

his

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P. 8.

(A) The origin usually attributed to the term philosophy has been already assigned in the article PHILOLOGY.
M. Chauvin gives it a turn somewhat different. According to him, the term is derived from price, desire or study,
and copou wisdom; and therefore he understands the word to mean the desire or study of wisdom : for (says he).
Pythagoras, conceiving that the application of the human mind ought rather to be called study than science, set
aside the appellation of wise as too assuming, and took that of philosopher.
VOL. XVI. Part I.

+

3 A

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2

Math.

lib. 100.

History of his studies and those of the natural historian, who mere speaks of the Chaldean magi as prior to the Egyptian History of Philosophy, ly enumerates phenomena, and arranges them into sepa- priests, who were certainly men of learning before the Philosophy. rate classes.

time of Moses. For any other science than that of the Its objects.

The principal objects of philosophy are, God, nature, stars, we do not read that the Chaldeans were famous ; and man. That part of it which treats of God is called and this seems to have been cultivated by them merely theology; that which treats of nature, physics and meta as the foundation of judicial astrology. Persuading the physics ; and that which treats of man, logic and ethics. multitude that all human affairs are influenced by the That these are not separate and independent sciences, stars, and professing to be acquainted with the nature but, as Bacon expresses it (B), branches from the same and laws of this influence, their wise men pretended to trunk, we shall endeavour to show, after we have given, calculate nativities, and to predict good and bad for. agreeably to our usual plan, a short history of philosophy tune *. This was the source of idolatry and various so- * Sert. from the earliest ages to the present day.

perstitions ; and whilst the Chaldeans were given up to

Emp. ad To attempt to assign an origin to philosophy, would such dotages, true science could not be much indebted lib. 4. ja. be ridiculous ; for every man endeavours to ascertain the to their labours. If any credit be due to Plutarch and Strabo

, causes of those changes which he observes in nature ; Vitruvius, who quote Berosus, (see Berosus), it was and even children themselves are inquisitive after that the opinion of the Chaldean wise men that an eclipse of Cis de Disa which produces the sound of their drums and their rat the moon happens when that part of its body which is lib. loft. tles. Children, therefore, and the most illiterate vul- destitute of fire is turned towards the earth. " Their gar, have in all ages been philosophers. But the first cosmogony, as given by Berosus, and preserved by Synpeople among whom philosophy was cultivated as a pro- celos, seems to be this, that all things in the beginfession, was probably the Chaldeans. We certainly read ning consisted of darkness and water; that a divine of none earlier; for though we have more anthentic ac power dividing this humid mass, formed the world ; and counts of the Hebrews than of any other nation of re that the human mind is an emanation from the Divine mote antiquity, and have reason to believe that no peo naturet.

Enfield's

Hist. Phila ple was civilized before them, yet the peculiar circun The large tract of country which comprehended the vol.i. stances in which they were placed, rendered all philoso. empires of Assyria and Chaldea, was the first peopled phical investigation to them useless, and even tended to region on earth. From that country, therefore, the rusuppress the very spirit of inquiry. The Egyptians in- diments of science must have been propagated in every deed pretended to be the first of nations, and to have direction through the rest of the world; but wbat parti. spread the blessings of religion and the light of science cular people made the earliest figure, after the Chaldeamong every other people ; but, from the earliest re ans, in the history of philosophy, cannot be certainly cords now extant, there is reason to believe that the known. The claim of the Egyptians is probably best

Chaldeans were a civilized and powerful nation before founded; but as their science was the immediate source 3 the Egyptian monarchy was founded.

of that of the Greeks, we shall defer what we have to Philosophy Of the Chaldean philosophy much has been said, but say of it on account of the connection between the paof the Chal.

little is known. Astronomy seems to have been

very deans.

rent and the offspring, and turn our attention from their favourite study; and at the era of Alexander's con Chaldean to Indian philosoplıy, as it has been cultivated quest of their country, they boasted that their ancestors from a very early period by the Brachmaps and Gymhad continued their astronomical observations through a nosophists. We pass over Persia, because we know not period of 470,000 years. Extravagant claims to anti- of any science peculiar to that kingdom, except the quity have been common in all nations (c). Calisthenes, doctrines of the magi, which were religious rather than who attended the Macedonian conqueror, was requested philosophical ; and of them the reader will find some by Aristotle to inform himself concerning the origin of account under the words Magi, POLYTHEISM, and Zoscience in Chaldea; and upon examining into the grounds of this report, he found that their observations From whatever quarter India received its wisdom, we Indian phireached no farther backwards than 1903 years, or 2234

are certain that its philosophers were held in high repute losopby. years before the Christian era. Even this is a remoter at a period of very remote antiquity, since they were viantiquity than Ptolemy allows to their science ; for he sited by Pythagoras and other sages of ancient Greece, mentions no Chaldean observations prior to the era of who travelled in pursuit of knowledge. Yet they seem Nabopassar, or 747 years before Christ. That they cul to have been in that early age, as well as at present, tivated something which they called philosophy at a more distinguished for the severity of their manners than

much earlier period than this, cannot be questioned ; for for the acquisition of science; and, as Dr Enfield obtl Apud

Aristotle +, on the credit of the most ancient records, serves, to have more resembled modern monks than anLaert. lib. 1. § 8.

cient

ROASTER.

(B) Convenit igitur partiri philosophiam in doctrinas tres; doctrinam de numine, doctrinam de naturd, doctrinam de homine. Quoniam autem partitiones scientiarum non sunt lineis diversis similes, quæ coeunt ad unum angulum ; sed potius ramis arborum, qui conjunguntur in uno trunco, qui etiam truncus ad spatium nonnullum integer est et continuus, antequam se partiatur in ramos. De aug. Scient. lib. iii. cap. 1.

(c) This claim of the Babylonians is thus rejected with contempt by Cicero; “ Contemnamus Babylonios, et eds, qui è Caucaso cæli signa servantes, numeris, et motibus, stellarum cursus persequuntur ; Condemnemus, inquam, hos aut stultitiæ, aut vanitatis, aut imprudentiæ, qui 470 millia annorum, ut ipsi dicunt, monumentis como prehensa continent, et mentiri judicemus, nec seculorum reliquorum judicium, quod de ipsis futurum sit, pertimescere. De Divinatione, lib. i. § 19.

the sepa

rate exist

Flistory of cient philosophers. The brachmans or bramins, it is visible objects ; if it emanates from the heart by the Histựry of
Phi osophy. well known, are all of one tribe ; and the most learned channel of the tongue, it causes the perception of Philosophy,

of them are in their own language called Pundits or taste ; if it emanates from the heart by the channel of
Pandits. The Greek writers, however, mention a so the nose, it causes the perception of smell. This also
ciety called Sumanæans, who, voluntarily devoting invigorating the five members of action, and invigo-
themselves to the study of divine wisdom, gave up all rating the five menibers of perception, and invigora-
private property, committed their children to the care ting the five elements, and invigorating the five senses,
of the state, and their wives to the protection of their and invigorating the three dispositions of the mind,
relations. This society was supported at the public ex &c. causes the creation or the annihilation of the uni-
pence ; and its members spent their time in contempla verse, while itself beholds every thing as an indifferent
tion, in conversation on divine snbjects, or in acts of re-

Spectator *."

* Prelimi. 5 ligion.

From this passage it is plain that all the motions nary Disc: Ingrafted The philosophy of the Indians has indeed from the in the universe, and all the perceptions of man, are, Gent 20

to Halhed's or religion, begioning been engrafted on their religious dogmas, according to the Bramins, caused by the immediate Laws.

and seems to be a compound of fanatic metaphysics agency of the Spirit of God, which seems to be here
and extravagant superstition, without the smallest sea considered as the soul of the world. But it appears Admits not
soning of rational physics. Very unlike the philoso- from some papers in the Asiatic Researches, tbat the
phers of modern Europe, of whom a great part labour most profound of these oriental philosophers, and even

ence of
to exclude the agency of mind from the universe, the the authors of their sacred books, believe not in the matter, and
Pandits of Hindostan allow no powers whatever to mat existence of matter as a separate substance, but hold an
ter, but introduce the Supreme Being as the immedi- opinion respecting it very similar to that of the celebra-
ate cause of every effect, however trivial. “ Brebmted Berkeley. The Vedantis (says Sir William Jones),
the Spirit of God, (says one of their most revered Bra unable to form a distinct idea of brute matter indepen-
mins), is absorbed in self-contemplation. The same dent of mind, or to conceive that the work of Supreme
is the mighty lord, who is present in every part of Goodness was left a moment to itself, imagine that the
space, whose omnipresence, as expressed in the Reig Beid Deity is ever present to his work, and constantly sup-
or Rigveda, I shall now explain. Brehm is one, and to ports a series of perceptions, which in one sense they
bim there is no second ; such is truly Brehm. His om call illusory, though they cannot but admit the reality
niscience is self-inspired or self-intelligent, and its con of all created forms, as far as the happiness of creatures
prebension includes every possible species. To illustrate can be affected by them.
this as far as I am able; the most comprehensive of all This is the very immaterialism of Berkeley; and in
comprehensive faculties is omniscience; and being self- proof that it is the genuine doctrine of the Bramins,
inspired, it is subject to none of the accidents of mortali- the learned president quotes the Bhagavat, which is
ty, conception, birth, growth, decay, or death; neither is believed to have been pronounced by the Supreme Be-
it subject to passion or vice. To it the three distinctions ing, and in which is the following sentence.
of time, past, present, and future, are not. To it the “ Except the first cause, whatever may appear, and
three modes of being (D) are not. It is separated from may not appear, in the mind, know that to be the
the universe, and independent of all. Tbis omniscience mind's Máyá, or delusion,' as light, as darkness.”
is named Brehm. By this omniscient Spirit the ope We have shown elsewhere (see METAPHYSICS, No Teaches
rations of God are enlivened. By this Spirit also tbe 269.) that the metaphysical doctrines of the Bramins,
24 powers (E) of nature are animated ? How is this? respecting the human soul, differ not from those of Py? tempsycho-
As the eye by the sun, as the pot by the fire, as iron thagoras and Plato; and that they believe it to be an
by the magnet (F), as variety of imitations by the mi- emanation from the great soul of the world, which, af-
mic, as fire by the fuel, as the shadow by the man, as ter many transmigrations, will be finally absorbed in
dast by the wind, as the arrow by the spring of the its parent substance. In proof of their believing in the
bow, and as the shade by the tree; so by this Spirit metempsychosis, Mr Halhed gives us the following tran-
the world is endued with the powers of intellect, the slation of what (he says) is a beautiful stanza in the
powers of the will, and the powers of action ; so that Geeta : “ As throwing aside his old clothes, a man puts
if it emanates from the heart by the channel of the on otbers that are new; so our lives, quitting the old,
ear, it causes the perception of sounds; if it emanates go to other newer animals."
from the heart by the channel of the skin, it causes From the Bramins believing in the soul of the world Physics of
the perception of touch ; if it emanates from the heart not only as the sole agent, but as the immediate cause of the Bra-
by the channel of the eye, it causes the perception of every motion in nature, we can hardly suppose them mins.

the me

sis.

8

to

(D) To be awake, to sleep, and to be absorbed in a state of unconsciousness a kind of trance.

(E) The 24 powers of nature, according to the Bramins, are the five elements, fire, air, earth, water, and
akash (a kind of subtile æther); the five members of action, the hand, foot, tongue, anus, and male organ of gene-
ration, the five organs of perception, the ear, eye, nose, mouth, and skin; the five senses, which they distinguish
from the organs of sensation ; the three dispositions of the mind, desire, passion, and tranquillity; and the power.
of consciousness.

(F) If the work from which this extract is quoted be of as great antiquity as Mr Halhed supposes, the Bra-
mins must have been acquainted with the phenomena of magnetisn at a much earlier period than any other philo-
sophers of whom history makes mention.

3 A 2

9

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vol. ii.

History of to have made any great progress in that science which cient Hindoos chose that point of time counted back, History of 1 luilosophy. in Europe is cultivated under the name of physics. when, according to tbeir motions as they had determin- Philosophy

. They have no inducement to investigate the laws of ed them, they must have been in conjunction in the benature; because, according to the first principles of ginning of Mésba or Aries, and coeval with which cirtheir philosophy, which, together with their religion, cumstance they supposed the creation. This, as it conth believe to have been revealed from heaven, every cerned the planets only, would have produced a modephenomenon, however regular, or however anomalous, rate term of years compared with the enormous antiquiis produced by the voluntary act of an intelligent ty that will be hereafter stated : but having discovered mind. Yet if they were acquainted with the use of a slow motion of the nodes and apsides also, and taken fire-arms 4000 years ago, as Mr Halhed seems to be it into computation, they found it would require a lieve, be who made that discovery must have bad a length of time corresponding with 1955884890 years very considerable knowledge of the powers of nature ; now expired, when they were so situated, and 2364115110 for though gunpowder may have been discovered by years more before they would return to the same situation accident in the Fast, as it certainly was in the West again, forming together the grand anomalistick period many ages afterwards, it is difficult to conceive how denominated a Calpa, and fancifully assigned as the day

mere accident could have led any man to the inven of Brahma."
Their astro-tion of a gun. In astronomy, geometry, and cbrono. But though the mathematical part of the astronomy
nomy.

logy too, they appear to have made some proficiency of the Pandits is undoubtedly respectable, their physical
at a very early period. (See AsTRONOMY, N° 4.). notions of the universe are in the highest degree ridicu.
Their chronology and astronomy are indeed full of lous and extravagant. In the Vedas and Puranas, wri-
those extravagant fictions which seem to be essential to tings of which no devout Hindoo can dispute the divine
all their systems; but their calculation of eclipses, and authority, eclipses are said to be occasioned by the in-
their computations of time, are conducted upon scienti tervention of the monster Rahu; and the earth to be
fic principles.

supported by a series of animals. “ They suppose (says Stranger * Asiatic " It is sufficiently known (says Mr Davis *) that Mr Halhed) that there are 14 spheres, seven below and

universe. Researches, the Hindoo division of the ecliptic into signs, degrees,

and six above the earth. The seven inferior worlds are &c. is the same as ours; that their astronomical year is said to be altogether inbabited by an infinite variety of sidereal, or containing that space of time in which the ser pents, described in every monstrous figure that the sun, departing from a star, returns to the same; tbat imagination can suggest. The first sphere above the it commences on the instant of his entering the sign earth is the immediate vault of the visible heavens, in Aries, or rather the Hindoo constellation Mesha ; tbat which the sun, moon, and stars, are placed. The secach astronomieal month contains as many even days cond is the first paradise, and general receptacle of those and fractional parts as he stays in each sign; and who merit a removal from the lower earth. The third that the civil differs from the astronomical account of and fourth are inhabited by the souls of those men who. time only in rejecting those fractions, and beginning by the practice of virtue and dint of prayer, have acthe year and month at sunrise, instead of the interme quired an extraordinary degree of sanctity. The fifth diate instant of the artificial day or night. Hence is the reward of those who have all their lives performed arises the unequal portion of time assigned to each some wonderful act of penance and mortification, or month dependent on the situation of the sun's apsis, who bave died martyrs for tbeir religion. The highest and the distance of the vernal equinoctial colure from sphere is the residence of Brahma and his particular the beginning of Mésha in the Hindoo sphere ; and favourites, such as these men who have never uttered a by these means they avoid those errors which Euro- falsehood during their whole lives, and those women who peans, from a different method of adjusting their ka have voluntarily burned themselves with their husbands. lendar by intercalary days, have been subject to.” All these are absorbed in the divine essence."

Mr Davis observes, that an explanation of these mat On ethics, the Hindoos have nothing that can be Ethics of ters would bave led him beyond his purpose, which was called pbilosophy. Their duties, moral, civil, and re- the Hinonly to give a general account of the method by which ligious, are all laid down in their Vedas and Shasters; doos. the Hindoos compute eclipses, and to show that the sci and enjoined by what they believe to be divine authoence of astronomy is as well known among them now as rity, which supersedes all reasoning concerning their ever it was among their ancestors. This he does very fitness or utility. The business of their Pandits is to completely; but in the present short historical sketch, interpret those books, which are extremely ancient, and we can neither copy nor abridge his memoir. Suffice it written in a language that has long been unintelligible to say, that he has shown the practical part of the Hin to every other order of men ; but no Pandit will alter doo astronomy to be founded on mathematical principles; the text, however impossible to be reconciled to princiand that the learned Pandits appear to have truer no ples established in his own practice of astronomy. On tions of the form of the earth, and the economy of the such occasions, the usual apology for their sacred books universe, than those which are ascribed to their country- is, that “ such things may have been so formerly, and men in general.

may be so still ; but that for astronomical purposes, as- . Dari's - The same writer shows likewise, that the prodigious tronomical rules must be followed *.” The great duties. Memcer, duration which the Hindoos attribute to the world, is of morality have been prescribed in every religious code;

searches, the result of a scientific calculation, founded indeed on and they are not overlooked in that of the Hindoos, vol

. ü. very whimsical principles. “ It has been common with though the highest merit that a Bramin can have conastronomers to fix on some epoch, from which, as from a sists in voluntary acts of abstinence and mortification, radix, to compute the planetary motions; and the an and in contempt of death.

Of

Asiatic Re

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