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a partnership in the creation of universal nature ! surely heaven iskind thatlaunches no thunder at those guilty heads : but it is kind, and regards their follies with pity, nor will destroy creatures, that it loved into being.
But whatever success this practice of making demi-gods might have been attended with in barbarous nations,
I do not know that any man became a god in a country where the inhabitants were refined. Such countries generally have too close an inspection into human weakness, to think it invested with celestial power. They sometimes indeed admit the gods of strangers, or of their ancestors, who had their existence in times of obscurity; their weakness being forgotten, while nothing but their power and their
miracles were remembered. The Chinese, for instance, never had a god of their own country, the idols, which the vulgar worship at this day, were brought from the barbarous nations around them. The Roman Emperors, who pretended to divinity, were generally taught by a poignard that they were mortal ; and Alexander, though he passed among barbarous countries for a real god, could never persuade his polite countrymen into a similitude of thinking. The Lacedæmonians shrewdly complied with his commands by the following sarcastic edict. Ει Αλεξανδρος Κελεται ειναι Θιος, Θεος εστω.
K. Bryer, Printer, Bridge-street, Blackfriars, London.