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of the Jew Joseph to the prime-ministry of Egypt, at the year
of the creation 2300. If, then, the books of Thoth were written eight hundred years before, they were written in the year 1500 of the creation. Therefore, their date was a hundred and fifty-six years before the Deluge. They must, then, have been engraven on stone, and preserved in the universal inundation.
Another difficulty is, that Sanchoniathon does not speak of the Deluge, and that no Egyptian writer has ever been quoted who does speak of it. But these difficulties vanish before the Book of Genesis, inspired by the Holy Ghost.
We have no intention here to plunge into the chaos which eighty writers have sought to clear up, by inventing different chronologies: we always keep to the Old Testament.
We only ask, whether in the time of Thoth, they wrote in hieroglyphics, or in alphabetical characters?
Whether stone and brick had yet been laid aside for vellum or any other material ?
Whether Thoth wrote annals, or only a cosmogony?
Whether there were some pyramids already built in the time of Thoth ?
Whether Lower Egypt was already inhabited ?
Whether canals had been constructed to receive the waters of the Nile?
Whether the Chaldeans had already taught the arts to the Egyptians, and whether the Chaldeans had received them from the Brahmins ?
There are persons who have resolved all these questions; which once occasioned a man of sense and wit to say of a grave doctor, “ That man must be very ignorant, for he answers every question that is asked him.
* The Rev. personages wbo answer so glibly, possibly adopt the policy of certain tutors, who assert that children should imagive their instructors acquainted with all thiogs. We know in whose hands mankind at large have been children.-T.
ANNATS. The epoch of the establishment of annats is uncertain; which is a proof that the exaction of them is an usurpation—an extortionary custom. Whatever is not founded on an authentic law, is an abuse. Every abuse ought to be reformed, unless the reform is more dangerous than the abuse itself. Usurpation begins by small and successive encroachments; equity and the public interest at length exclaim and protest: then comes policy, which does its best to reconcile usurpation with equity, and the abuse remains.*
In several dioceses, the bishops, chapters, and archdeacons, after the example of the popes, imposed annats upon the cures. In Normandy, this exaction is called droit de déport.. Policy having no interest in maintaining this pillage, it was abolished in several places; it still exists in others; so true is it that money is the first object of worship!
In 1409, at the council of Pisa, pope Alexander V. expressly renounced annats; Charles VII. condemned them by an edict of April, 1418; the council of Basle declared that they came under the denomination of simony; and the Pragmatic Sanction abolished them again.
Francis I. by a private treaty which he made with Leo X, and which was not inserted in the concordat, allowed the pope to raise this tribute, which produced him annually, during that prince's reign, a hundred thousand crowns of that day, according to the calculation then made by Jacques Capelle, advocate-general to the parliament of Paris.
The parliament, the universities, the clergy, the whole nation, protested against this exaction; and Henry II. yielding at length to the cries of his people, renewed the law of Charles VII. by an edict of the 3d of September, 1551.
The paying of annats was again forbidden by Charles
* In a few words, the history of Easter offerings, and possibly of some other clerical demands.--T.
IX. at the States of Orleans, in 1560 :—“By the advice of our council, and in pursuance of the decrees of the Holy Councils, the ancient ordinances of the kings our predecessors, and the decisions of our courts of parliament, we order that all conveying of gold and silver out of our kingdom, and paying of money under the name of annats, vacant or otherwise, shall cease, on pain of a four-fold penalty on the offenders."
This law, promulgated in the general assembly of the nation, must have seemed irrevocable: but, two years afterwards, the same prince, subdued by the court of Rome, at that time powerful, re-established what the whole nation and himself had abrogated.
Henry IV. who feared no danger, but feared Rome, confirmed the annats by an edict of the 22d of January, 1596.
Three celebrated jurisconsults, Dumoulin, Lannoy, and Duaren, have written strongly against annats, which they call a real simony. If, in default of their payment, the pope refuses his bulls, Duaren advises the Gallican church to imitate that of Spain, which, in the twelfth council of Toledo, charged the archbishop of that city, on the pope's refusal, to provide for the prelates appointed by the king.
It is one of the most certain maxims of French law, consecrated by article fourteen of our liberties,* that the bishop of Rome has no right over the temporalities of benefices, but enjoys the revenue of annats only by the king's permission. But ought there not to be a term to this permission? What avails our enlightenment, if we are always to retain our abuses?
The amount of the sums which have been and still are paid to the pope, is truly frightful. The attorneygeneral Jean de St. Romain has remarked that, in the time of Pius II, twenty-two bishoprics having become vacant in France in the space of three years, it was necessary to carry to Rome a hundred and twenty thousand crowns; that sixty-one abbeys having also
* See Liberties-a very improper word to express natural and imprescriptible rights.
become vacant, the like sum had been paid to the court of Rome; that, about the same time, there had been paid to this court for provisions for the priorships, deaneries, and other inferior dignities, a thousand crowns; that for each curate there was at least a grâce expectative, which was sold for twenty-five crowns; besides an infinite number of dispensations, amounting to two millions of crowns. St. Romain lived in the time of Louis XI. Judge, then, what these sums would now amount to. Judge how much other states have given. Judge whether the Roman commonwealth, in the time of Lucullus, drew more gold and silver from the nations conquered by its sword, than the popes, the fathers of those same nations, have drawn from them by their pens.
Supposing that St. Romain's calculation is too high by half, which is very unlikely, does there not still remain a sum sufficiently considerable to entitle us to call the apostolical chamber to an account, and demand restitution,--seeing that there is nothing at all apostolical in such an amount of money? *
ANTHROPOMORPHITES. They are said to have been a small sect of the fourth century; but they were rather the sect of every people that had painters and sculptors. As soon as they could draw a little or shape a figure, they made an image of the Divinity.
If the Egyptians consecrated cats and gnats, they also sculptured Isis and Osiris. Bel was carved at Babylon, Hercules at Tyre, Brahma in India.
The Mussulmans did not paint God as a man. The Guebres had no image of the Great Being. The Sabean Arabs did not give the human figure to the stars. The Jews did not give it to God, in their temple. None of these nations cultivated the art of design; and if Solomon placed figures of animals in his temple, it is likely that he had them carved at Tyre; but all the Jews have spoken of God as of a man.
* We leave this article, although the abuse no longer exists in France, to show the nature of the labours of Voltaire, and of the pactices which he did so much to overthrow. An Irish Voltaire would be an amazingly useful personage; Swift was something of the kind, but alas, he was a Dean!-T.
Although they had no images, they seem to have made God a man on all occasions. He comes down into the garden; he walks there every day at noon; he talks to his creatures; he talks to the serpent; he makes himself heard by Moses, in the bush; he shows him only his back parts on the mountain; he nevertheless talks to him, face to face, like one friend to another. - In the Koran, too, God is always looked upon as a king. In the twelfth chapter, a throne is given him above the waters. He had this Koran written by à secretary, as kings have their orders. He sent this same Koran to Mahomet, by the angel Gabriel, as kings communicate their orders through the great officers of the crown. In short, although God is declared in the Koran to be neither begetting nor begotten, there is ne-' vertheless a morsel of anthropomorphism.
In the Greek and Latin churches, God has always been painted with a great beard.*
ANTI-LUCRETIUS. The reading of the whole poem of the late Cardinal Polignac has confirmed me in the idea which I formed of it when he read to me the first book. moreover astonished that, amidst the dissipations of the world and the troubles of public life, he should have been able to write a long work in verse, in a foreign language;-he, who could hardly have made four good lines in his own tongue. It seems to me that he often united the strength of Lucretius and the elegance of Virgil. I admire him, above all, for that facility with which he expresses such difficult things.
Perhaps, indeed, his Anti-Lucretius is too diffuse, and too little diversified; but he is here to be examined as a philosopher, not as a poet. It appears to me that so fine a mind as his should have done more justice to the morals of Epicurus, who, though he was really a very bad natural philosopher, was nevertheless a very worthy man, and always taught mildness, temperance,
See, in the article EMBLEM, the verses of Orpheus and Xenophanes.