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means of supporting it. We cannot profess to know how far any one will think such moral absurdity is atoned for, by the following sort of compliments to Christianity.
• A most generous, and heavenly system! which will always have the love, and the zeal of every sensible head; which is actuated by an honest, and feeling heart ; of every independent, and ingenuous mind; whether he is smiled, or frowned on, by the hierarchy; who, by their luxury, and pride, and pomp of life, are the representatives of any thing rather than of the christian religion. So remote, indeed, is the time in which our Saviour lived ; so extraordinary, and astonishing, are his mission, and character; and so far from the constant course of nature are all the other objects which ushered, and accompanied his revelation, that an honest, and virtuous man may, to some degree, be a sceptick; but he will be a sceptick with that modesty, and moderation, which the subject of his scepticism deserves : while he doubts, he will reverc; while he fears that a system which provides more effectually than all others, for the wellbeing ; for the comfortable existence of mankind, may be human; he will most ardently wish that it may be divine ! Such was the scepticism of the unprejudiced, and illustrious Rousseau. He states the main topicks, and arguments, in favour of christianity, and against it, when it is considered as a divine revelation, perspicuously, and completely; and he gives them all their force. I must honestly acknowledge, that the result of this fair, and dispassionate reasoning, is, a reluctant diffidence ; with ,a preponderance of belief.'
• Such was the scepticism of the elegant, and sublime Rousseau ; whose reasoning faculties were as acute, and vigorous, as his imagination was warm, and luxuriant. And I must think it an unquestionable truth; that deliberate, and vindictive hostilities against christianity; the best guide of our lives'; the best soother of our woes; the best friend to all true pleasure ; were never maintained by any man who was, at once, good, and great. To rail at it, or to ridicule it, are infallible proofs of a bad taste, and of a bad heart. To persecute this divine institution, from the press, with a malignity of the deepest dye; to attack it with a savage ferocity; to attempt to undermine it, with a miserable, and illiterate sophistry; to make it the subject of low, clownish gambols of the mind; which pass with the writer, and with his gang, for wit ; this gothick warfare was reserved for our intellectual ruffians, and assassins; it was reserved for the literary profligacy of the present times.' pp. 139–142.
We lament that a man, who has had so many years granted him for the investigation of the evidences of Christianity, should be approaching near the period of his quitting the world, with so slender a hold on its consolations, and so dark an eclipse of its hopes. And how melancholy it is to hear him avow, that a very different kind of hope animates his ambition in the evening of his life.
• To liberal, benevolent, and generous minds, whose good wishes I hope to deserve, I here honestly and openly declare that I am not a little ambitious of a literary immortality; and it would gratify me extremely to feel the rays of its orient lustre warm, and animate my languid frame before it descends to the tomb.'
On this we have only two short and simple remarks ; first, this immortality does not await him, and secondly, it would be of no use to him if it did. Art. V. Dr. Gillies's History of the World, from the Reign of Alexander
to that of Augustus.
(Concluded from p. 118.) AFTER the premature and sudden death of Alexander at
Babylon, in consequence of a fever excited by intemperance, the question concerning the succession to his mighty empire naturally came to be agitated by his ambitious generals. He left no legitimate offspring ; but he had a half-brother named Philip Arrhidæus*, a youth of weak understanding; and Roxana, whom he had publicly espoused, was pregnant at the time when she became a widow. It is said by Aristobulus, a contemporary biographer, that when Alexander was asked, immediately before his dissolution, to whom he bequeathed the empire, he replied, “To the strongest ; for my obsequies, I know, will be celebrated by strenuous funeral games among my generals.” This anecdote is scarcely consistent with Diodorus's story of the will deposited at Rhodes, but never produced; we would willingly reject an anecdote so disgraceful to the memory of the dying conqueror, who might, by a judicious appropriation of his dominions, or delegation of authority to his generals, according to their talents and popularity, have precluded the sanguinary contentions which overthrew all his plans of improvement, exterminated his gallaut veterans, and covered the civilized earth with crime and devastation. The general history of this dreary period is sufficiently known; and the details will be found in the present work, as well selected and arranged, perhaps, as their gloomy and untractable nature would admit. The most respectable character of the period was Eumenes, whose talents and virtues are familiar to the reader of Cornelius Nepos. We shall exhibit Dr. G.'s portrait of a contemporary general, Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, as far. beneath the Thracian in real dignity, as superior in the splendid attractions which captivate the populace.
• To great military and great naval talents, he added the merit of finding out new means of exerting the one and the other, by inventing machines of superior efficacy in sieges, and gallies of unexampled size
* This name, as Dr. G. observes, is spelt Aridæus, by Curtius and Justin, contrary to the uniform practice of Plutarch, Arrian, and Dio. dorus. Some of the most eminent writers, among whom we may number Count Caylus, have committed a gross error by confounding this weak prince with the active officer who conducted the expedition and ceremonies of Alexander's funeral,
and inimitable swiftness. His mind refined by art, sharpened by science, and enlarged by an experience far beyond his years, was however fatally enslaved by the love of fame, and of pleasure : passions inflamed to the most vicious excess through the indulgence of his father, and the bound. nless servility of the Athenians. The extravagant honours heaped o him by the multitude, who treated him as their god, their saviour, the oracle, whom on all occasions they were bound to consult and obey, and whose decisions alone constituted right and wrong: these absurdi. ties which appear to the modern reader equallv ridiculous and unaccountable, originated chiefly in the external qualifications of Demetrius, opek rating on the fantastic and degenerate superstition of the times. His person, to use the language of antiquity, was arrayed in that dignity of beauty which beamed from the statues of the gods, and particularly from Bacchus, not the jelly divinity of modern ports, but the awful benignity of a conqueror, uniting the loftiest majesty with ineffable grace. Bacchus therefore was the model which the son of Antigonus aspired to rival both in his indefatigable exertions in time of war, and in the splendid festivities with which he improved and embellished the fruits of victory; when glory summoned to arrs, the most enterprizing, the most vigilant of men ; but when the conflict terminated in triumph, relaxing into the softest effeminacy, and the most unbridled voluptuousness. Among all the surviving generals of Alexander, since Ptolemy was still contented to be thought the son of Lagus, Antigonus alone deduced his origin from Temenus, a descendant of Hercules, and the revered founder of the Macedonian dynasty. The pride of blood thus conspired with other peculiarities in Demetrius's situation to exalt his hopes, and inflame his ambition; his romantic enthusiasm received with complacence such distinctions as might be conferred on him consistently with the genius of paganism ; and the lightness of his ill-balanced mind was assailed, and completely overset, by Aatteries in direct contradiction to the received maxims of the Athenians, in matters not only of religion, but of government and morals. He was honoured with the title of king, a title for many preceding centuries held in the utmost abhorrence by those zealous republicans. The "establishment of annual archons was abolished; and the Athenian year was thenceforward to be named after the priest of the new god Demetrius, the saviour ; his shrine was to be consulted instead of the Delphian oracle ; his name was to be substituted for Dionysius, in the festival of the Bacchanalia; and by a law surpassing every extravagance of adulation, that despotism ever extorted from oriental slavery, all the words and actions of Demetrius were declared to be essentially characterized by piety towards God, and justice towards men. It is not to be imagined, however, that the Athepians were unanimous in this abominable prostitution of their ancient dignity. The disgraceful decrees proposed by demagogues and buffoons, were lashed with sharp ridicule in the comedies of Philippides and Menander, and rejected with scornful disdain by the indignant schools of Theophrastus and Stilpon. But the majority of a degenerate populace was not to be corrected by reason or ridicule; and their resentment, long impotent in the field of battle, became again formidable in the courts of justice. Demetrius Phalereus, whose equitable and mild administration Saad greatly benefited his country, was tried in his absence, and condemned capitally. His statues were insultingly mutilated, and his friend Menander narrowly escaped denth, having incautiously remained in person within the cruel grasp of an enraged popular tribunal.' Vol I. pp. 110412.
Yet the same Athenians, when Demetrius Aed for 'refuge to their city, after having sustained a severe defeat under the banners of his faiher Artigonus at Ipsus, sent a messenger to inform him, that a decree had passed by which his entrance within their walls was probibited. A favourable' change in his affairs enabled Demetrius to inflict a inagnanimous vengeance ou the fickle Athenians. Having taken their city after an obstinate resistance, le suinoned the citizens to the market-place. The whole body of the people had reason to apprehend that they were to pay dearly for their past offences, when they found themselves surrounded on all sides by the soldiers of Demetrius. But this terror
was the ovly punishment he inflicted. Having gently chid them for their former ingratitude, he relieved their wants by a present of a hundred thousand measures of wheat; placed all offices of magistracy in the hands of persons most acceptable to the people at large, and left the Athenians in astonislıment at his lenity and bounty, although be secured by firm garrisons the future fidelity of their commonwealth.
The decisive battle of Ipsus had not entirely ruined the fortunes and resources of Demetrius. He was master of several naval stations, and possessed a strong and well equipped feet. So great was his power, that the victorious Seleucus desired an alliance in his family, and, though far advanced in life, demanded in marriage his youthful daughter, the beautiful and accomplished Stratonice. This second marriage brought Seleucus'a son, but had nearly proved fatal, in a very extraordinary manner, to liis blooming heir Antiochus. It is remarkabie with how much sympathy, unmingled with any disgust, the ancient historians mention this romantic and well known incident*. The criminal indulgence of an incestuous passion, on the part of the song is but an amiable symptom of a warm temperament; and the transfer of a favourite wife, on the part of Seleucus, to his love-sick heir, is an illustrious triumph of paternal affection! This affair is not so much a proof of turpitude in the personal character of the parties, as of the corruption of moral principle, the baseness of the sexual attachments, and the degradation of half the community, which in almost every period have been observable in the eastern world, when left, without superior
* A similar story is told of Perdiccas, king of Macedon, his father'e mistress Philas, and the celebrated physician Hippocratea, who was born at the isle of Coos, 460 years before Christ. Rev.
aid, to the strength of human reason and the domination of the passions. We can readily estimate and account for the depravity of an age, in which the being who should have sustained all the refined and tender relations of sister, wife, and mother, and contributed by innumerable means dependent on these relations to the welfare of society, was considered not as an object of esteem, but as a means of enjoyment, not as an equal friend, but as a property and a convenience, a subject of purchase and transfer.
The events arising in the subsequent periods of the history of Alexander's successors,
are little better than a chaotic scene of robbery and assassination, of violence and vice. Revolutions of states, and sudden reverses of fortune, are indeed frequent; but the characters engaged in them are in general too despicable and flagitious to excite interest, and the frequency of change deprives it of the charm of surprise. The powers which act a conspicuous part in this complicated drama, are the kings of Egypt, Syria, and Macedonia, together with the commonwealths of Greece that still retained their independence. The kingdom of Thrace was soon united to that of Syria : but in this turbulent period several view principalities arose in Asia ; such were the kingdoms of Pergamus, Pontus, Bithynia, and Cappadocia. The most interesting scene of this period is exhibited in the reigns of the first Ptolemys in Egypt. This kingdom in a great measure escaped the commotions which agitated the rest of the Macedonian empire ; and while other kings were busied only in struggling for power, its wiser monarchs diligently cultivated the arts of peace, and successfully patronised the commerce, agriculture, arts, and science of their rich possession. The first Ptolemy, surnamed Soter, greatly improved the internal prosperity of his kingdom, and founded a school of science at Alexandria, which continued to be celebrated down to the ages of barbarism. This new seminary of learning, beside cultivating the knowledge of the already received Grecian sects, produced four new schools, altogether distinct from the established philosophy. These were the school of critics and commentators, in which Aristarchus and Didymus afterwards flourished; the school of geometry, rendered illustrious by Euclid, Menechmus, and Nicomedes; the school of astronomy, adorned by Eudoxus, Hipparchus, and Ptolemy; and the school of medicine, which produced Erasistratus, Herophilus, and Serapion.
During the succeeding reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the interial prosperity of Egypt reached its summit, and the school of Alexandria arrived at its greatest celebrity. It was at this period, that the Septuagint translation of the scriptures