Imatges de pÓgina
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He was almost broken-hearted at the idea of not being able to go and convert the infidels.

The devil, for this once, took pity on him. He appeared to him, and swore to him, on the faith of a christian, that, if he would deliver himself over to him, he would make him the most learned and able man in the church of God. Ignatius, however, was not to be cajoled to place himself under the discipline of such a master; he went back to his class; he occasionally experienced the rod, but his learning made no progress.

Expelled from the college of Barcelona, persecuted by the devil, who punished him for refusing to submit to his instructions, and abandoned by the Virgin Mary, who took no pains about assisting her devoted knight, he, nevertheless, does not give way to despair. He joins the pilgrims of St. James in their wanderings over the country. He preaches in the streets and public places, from city to city, and is shut up in the dungeons of the inquisition. Delivered from the inquisition, he is put in prison at Alcala. He escapes thence to Salamanca, and is there again imprisoned. At length, perceiving that he is no prophet in his own country, he forms a resolution to go to Paris. He travels thither on foot, driving before him an ass which carried his baggage, money, and manuscripts. Don Quixote had a horse and an esquire, but Ignatius was not provided with either.

He experiences at Paris the same insults and in- , juries as he had endured in Spain. He is absolutely flogged, in all the regular form and ceremony of scholastic discipline, at the college of St. Barbe. His vocation, at length, calls him to Rome.

How could it possibly come to pass, that a man of such extravagant character and manners, should at length obtain consideration at the court of Rome, gain over a number of disciples, and become the founder of a powerful order, among whom are to be found men of unquestionable worth and learning ? The reason is, that he was opinionated, obstinate, and enthusiastic; and found enthusiasts like himself, with

whom he associated. These, having rather a greater share of reason than himself, were instrumental in somewhat restoring and re-establishing his own; he became more prudent and regular towards the close of his life, and occasionally even displayed in his conduct proofs of ability.

Perhaps Mahomet, in his first conversations with the angel Gabriel, began his career with being as much deranged as Ignatius; and perhaps Ignatius, in Mahomet's circumstances, would have performed as great achievements as the prophet; for he was equally ignorant and quite as visionary and intrepid.

It is a common observation, that such cases occur only once: however, it is not long since an English rustic, more ignorant than the Spaniard Ignatius, formed the society of people called “ Quakers;" a society far superior to that of Ignatius. Count Zinzendorf has, in our own time, formed the sect of Moravians; and the convulsionaries of Paris, were very nearly upon the point of effecting a revolution. They were quite mad enough, but they were not sufficiently persevering and abstinate.*

IGNORANCE.

SECTION I.

There are many kinds of ignorance; but the worst of all is that of critics, who, it is well known, are doubly bound to possess information and judgment, as persons who undertake to affirm and to censure. When they pronounce erroneously, therefore, they are doubly culpable. A man, for example, composes two large volumes

pages

of a valuable book which he has not understood,* and in the first place examines the following words:

upon a few

The French are the last people in Europe to effect great mental revolutions, as the whole course of their history proves. They may stand forward in the ranks of a general progression, but nothing more.-T.

“ The sea has covered immense tracts

The deep beds of shells which are found in Touraine and elsewhere, could have been deposited there only by the sea.”

True, if those beds of shells exist in fact; but the critic ought to be aware that the author himself discovered, or thought he had discovered, that those regular beds of shells have no existence.

He ought not to have said,

“ The universal deluge is related by Moses with the agreement of all nations.”

1. Because the Pentateuch was long unknown, not only to the other nations of the world, but to the Jews themselves.

2. Because only a single copy of the law was found at the bottom of an old chest in the time of king Josiah.

3. Because that book was lost during the captivity. 4. Because it was restored by Esdras.

5. Because it was always unknown to every other nation till the time of its being translated by the Seventy.

6. Because, even after the translation ascribed to the Seventy, we have not a single author among the gentiles who quotes a single passage from this book, down to the time of Longinus, who lived under the emperor Aurelian.

7. Because no other nation ever admitted a universal deluge before Ovid's Metamorphoses; and even Ovid himself does not make his deluge extend beyond the Mediterranean.

8. Because St. Augustin expressly acknowledges that the universal deluge was unknown to all antiquity.

9. Because the first deluge of which any notice is

• The abbé François, the author of a book absolutely unknown, against those who, at vestry-meetings, are called atheists, deists, materialists, &c.

This work is entitled “Thoughts on the Religion of our Lord Jesus Christ."

taken by the gentiles, is that mentioned by Berosus, and which he fixes at about four thousand four hundred years before our vulgar era; which deluge did not extend beyond the Euxine sea.

10. Finally, because no monument of a universal deluge remains in any nation of the world.

In addition to all these reasons, it must be observed, that the critic did not even understand the simple state' of the question. The only inquiry is, whether we have any natural proofs that the sea has successively abandoned many tracts of territory? and upon this plain and mere matter of fact subject, M. abbé François has taken occasion to abuse men whom he certainly neither knows nor understands. It is far better to be silent, than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.

The same critic, in order to prop up old ideas now almost universally despised and derided, and which have not the slightest relation to Moses, thinks proper

to say,

“ That Berosus perfectly agrees with Moses in the number of generations before the deluge."*

Be it known to you, my dear reader, that this same Berosus is the writer who informs us that the fish Oannes came out of the river Euphrates every day, to go and preach to the Chaldeans; and that the same fish wrote with one of its bones a capital book about the origin of things. Such is the writer whom the ingenious abbé brings forward as a voucher for Moses.

“ Is it not evident,” he says," that a great number of European families, transplanted to the coasts of Africa, have become, without any mixture of African blood, as black as any of the natives of the country?”

It is just the contrary of this, M. l'abbé, that is evident. You are ignorant that the “reticulum mucosum" of the negroes is black, although I have mentioned the fact times innumerable. Were you to have ever so large a number of children born to you in Guinea, of a European wife, they would not one of them have that black unctuous skin, those dark and thick lips, those round eyes, or that woolly hair, which form the specific differences of the negro race.

* Page 6.

of Page 5.

In the same manner, were your family established in America, they would have beards, while a native American will have none. Now extricate yourself from the difficulty, with Adam and Eve only, if you can.

“ Who was this Melchom,' you ask, who had taken possession of the country of God? A pleasant sort of god, certainly, whom the God of Jeremiah would carry off to be dragged into captivity."*

Ah, ah! M. l'abbé, you are quite smart and lively. You ask, who is this Melchom? I will immediately inform you.

Melek or Melkom signified the Lord, as did Adoni or Adonai, Baal or Bel, Adad or Shadai, Eloi or Eloa. Almost all the nations of Syria gave such names to their gods; each had its lord, its protector, its god. Even the name of Jehovah was a Phenician and proper name; this we learn from Sanchoniathon, who was certainly anterior to Moses; and also from Diodorus:

We well know that God is equally the God, the absolute master, of Egyptians and Jews, of all men and all worlds ; but it is not in this light that he is represented when Moses appears before Pharaoh. He never speaks to that monarch but in the name of the God of the Hebrews, as an ambassador delivers the orders of the king his master. He speaks so little in the name of the Master of all Nature, that Pharaoh replies to him, “ I do not know him." Moses performs prodigies in the name of this God; but the magicians of Pharaoh perform precisely the same prodigies in the name of their own. Hitherto both sides are equal ; the contest is, who shall be deemed most powerful, not who shall be deemed alone powerful. At length the God of the Hebrews decidedly carries the day; he manifests a power by far the greater ; but not the only

* Page 20.

VOL. IV.

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