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prodigy, which however is possibly no such thing in some of the countries of Africa. The two sexes are not perfect in this instance; who can assure us, that other negroes, mulatto or copper-coloured individuals, are not absolutely male and female? It would be as reason: able to assert, that a perfect statue cannot exist, because we have witnessed none without defects. There are insects which possess both sexes; why may there not be human beings similarly endowed? I affirm nothing; God keep me from doing so. I only doubt.
How many things belong to the animal man, in respect to which he must doubt, from his pineal gland to his spleen, the use of which is unknown; and from the principle of his thoughts and sensations to his animal spirits, of which everybody speaks, and which nobody ever saw or ever will see!
Theism is a religion diffused through all religions ; it is a metal which mixes itself with all the others, the veins of which extend under ground to the four corners of the world. This mine is more openly worked in China; everywhere else it is hidden, and the secret is only in the hands of the adepts.
There is no country where there are more of these adepts than in England. In the last century there were many
atheists in that country as well as in France and Italy. What the chancellor Bacon had said proved true to the letter, that a little philosophy makes a man an atheist, and that much philosophy leads to the knowledge of a God. When it was believed with Epicurus, that chance made everything, or with Epicurus and even with many other theologians, that nothing was created but through corruption, and that by matter and motion alone the world goes on, then it was impossible to believe in a Providence. But since nature has been looked into, which the ancients did not perceive at all; since it is observed, that all is organised, that everything has its germ; since it is well known, that a mushroom is the work of Infinite Wisdom, as well as all the worlds,- then
those who thought, adored in the countries where their ancestors had blasphemed. The physicians are become the heralds of Providence; a catechist announces God to children, and a Newton demonstrates him to the learned.
Many persons ask whether theism, considered abstractedly, and without any religious ceremony, is in fact a religion? The answer is easy: he who recognises only a creating God, he who views in God only a being infinitely powerful, and who sees in his creatures only wonderful machines, is not religious towards him any more than an European, admiring the king of China, would thereby profess allegiance to that prince. But he who thinks that God has deigned to place a relation between himself and mankind; that he has made them free, capable of good and evil; that he has given all of them that good sense which is the instinct of man, and on which the law of nature is founded,-such a one undoubtedly has a religion, and a much better religion than all those sects who are beyond the pale of our church; for all these sects are false, and the law of nature is true. Thus, theism is good sense not yet instructed by revelation; and other religions are good sense perverted by superstition.
All sects differ, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.
It is asked why, out of five or six hundred sects, there ave scarcely been any who have not spilled blood; and why the theists, who are everywhere so numerous, have never caused the least disturbance? It is because they are philosophers. Now philosophers may reason badly, but they never intrigue. Those who persecute a philosopher, under the pretext that his opinions may be dangerous to the public, are as absurd as those who should be afraid that the study of algebra would raise the price of bread in the market: one must pity a thinking being who errs; the persecutor is frantic and horrible. We are all brethren: if one of my brothers, full of respect and filial love, inspired by the most-fraternal charity, does not salute our common father with the same ceremonies as I do, ought I to cut his throat and tear out his heart?
What is a true theist? It is he who says to God “ I adore and I serve you;” it is he who says to the Turk, the Chinese, the Indian, and the Russian--“ I love you."
He doubts, perhaps, that Mahomet made a journey to the moon and put half of it in his pocket; he does not wish that after his death his wife should burn herself from devotion; he is sometimes tempted not to believe the story of the eleven thousand virgins, and that of St. Amable, whose hat and gloves were carried by a ray of the sun from Auvergne as far as Rome. But, saving that he is a just man, Noah would have placed him in his ark, Numa Pompilius in his councils; he would have ascended the car of Zoroaster; he would have talked philosophy with the Platos, the Aristippuses, the Ciceros, the Atticuses ;-but would he not have drank hemlock with Socrates ?
The theist is a man firmly persuaded of the existence of a Supreme Being equally good and powerful, who has formed all extended, vegetating, sentient, and reflecting existences; who perpetuates their species, who punishes crimes without cruelty, and rewards virtuous actions with kindness.
The theist does not know how God punishes, how he rewards, how he pardons; for he is not presumptuous enough to flatter himself that he understands how God acts; but he knows that God does act and that he is just. The difficulties opposed to a Providence do not stagger him in his faith, because they are only great difficulties, not proofs : he submits himself to that Providence, although he only perceives some of its effects and some appearances; and judging of the things he does not see from those he does see, he thinks that this Providence pervades all places and
United in this principle with the rest of the universe,
he does not join any of the sects, who all contradict themselves; his religion is the most ancient and the most extended: for the simple adoration of a God has preceded all the systems in the world. He speaks a language which all nations understand, while they are unable to understand each other's. He has brethren from Pekin to Cayenne, and he reckons all the wise his brothers. He believes that religion consists neither in the opinions of incomprehensible metaphysics, nor in vain decorations, but in adoration and justice. To do good—that is his worship: to submit oneself to God—that is his doctrine. The Mahometan cries out to him—“Take care of yourself, if you do not make the pilgrimage to Mecca.” “ Woe be to thee,” says a Franciscan, '“ if thou dost not make a journey to our Lady of Loretto." He laughs at Loretto and Mecca; but he succours the indigent and defends the oppressed.
Government of God or Gods. I DECEIVE myself every day; but I suspect that all the nations who have cultivated the arts have lived under a theocracy. I always except the Chinese, who appear learned as soon as they became a nation. They were free from superstition directly China was a kingdom. It is a great pity, that having been raised so high at first, they should remain stationary at the degree they have so long occupied in the sciences. It would seem that they have received from nature an ample allowance of good sense, and a very small one of industry. Yet in other things their industry is displayed more than ours.
The Japannese, their neighbours, of whose origin I know nothing whatever (for whose origin do we know?) were incontestably governed by a theocracy. Their earliest well-ascertained sovereigns were the dairos,' the high-priests of their gods; this theocracy is well established. These priests reigned despotically about
eight hundred years. In the middle of our twelfth century it came to pass that a captain, an 'imperator, a ‘seogon,' shared their authority; and iu our sixteenth century the captains seized the whole power, and have kept it. The • dairos ' have remained the heads of religion : they were kings—they are now only saints ; they regulate festivals, they bestow sacred titles, but they cannot give a company of infantry.
The brachmans in India possessed for a long time the theocratical power; that is to say, they held the sovereign authority in the name of Brama, the son of God; and even in their present humble condition they still believe their character indelible. These are the two principal among the certain theocracies.
The priests of Chaldea, Persia, Syria, Phenicia, and Egypt, were so powerful, had so great a share in the government, and carried the censer so loftily above the sceptre, that empire may be said, among those nations, to have been divided between theocracy and royalty.
The government of Numa Pompilius was evidently theocratical. When a man says, ,—" I give you laws on the part of the gods-it is not I, it is a god who speaks to you;"—then it is God who is king, and he who talks thus is his lieutenant-general.
Among all the Celtic nations, who had only elective chiefs, and not kings, the druids and their sorceries governed everything. But I cannot venture to give the name of theocracy to the anarchy of these savages.
The little Jewish nation does not deserve to be considered politically, except on account of the prodigious revolution that has occurred in the world, of which it was the
obscure and unconscious cause. Do but consider the history of this strange people. They have a conductor who undertakes to guide them in the name of his God into Phenicia, which he calls Canaan.
The way was direct and plain, from the country of Goshen as far as Tyre, from south to north; and there was no danger for six hundred and thirty