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That the ancient Persians were addicted to this barbarous practice, there can be no questioni. When Crelus was brought to Cyrus, the latter. commanded him to be fetter'd and placed on a great pile of wood allready prepared, accompany'd by fourteen young Lydians, for a facrifice to some god, as the first-fruits of his victory.*
Xerxes, in his march toward Greece, haveing come to a place, where bridgeës were prepare'd for his passage over the Strymon, call’d The nine ways, the magi took nine of the sons and daughters of the inhabitants, and bury'd them alive, as the manner of the Persians was : on their arrival, they offer'd a sacrifice of white horseës tơ the river. Amestris, wife of Xerxes, haveing aitain'd to a considerable age, cause'd fourteeri children of the best familys in Persia to be in. ter'd alive, for a sacrifice to that god who, they say’d, was beneath the earth.†
than rational, methods, invoke'd the god with one voice, and; leading the captives to the altar, infifted upon their being offerd up, as the foothsayer had directed.” (Plutarchs Life of Themistocles.) Philarchus, according to Porphyry, reported that all the Greeks in common, before they, march'd against their enemys, sacrifice'd men : and, even, at this day, says he; who knows not that, toward Megalopolis, in the feast of Jupiter Latiurius, there is a man immolateed?
* Herodotus, Clie. + Herodotus, Polymnia.
The Scythians thought no victim worthy of the goddess Diana, but a human one.* They facrifice'd to Mars every hundredth man of their prisoners. At the funeral of their king a certain number of his most beautiful horseës, and favourite domesticks, were inter'd in, or facri. fice'd upon, his grave. I
Nor were the Romans, even, free from this barbarity, as we are expressly told, by Lactantius, that they in his time worship'd Latialis Jupiter with human blood.lt
The citizens, according to Livy, after the battle of Cannae, facrifice'd a Gaulish man and woman; a Grecian man and woman were, likewise, let down alive in the beast-market into a vault under the ground, stone'd all about, a place aforetime embrue'd and polluteëd with the blood of mankind sacrifice'd; but not, he ads, according to the ceremonys and religion of the Romans. $
* Lucian, of sacrifices. See also, Euripides. Lactan. De falsa religione, c. 21. Eufebius, P. E. I, 4, C. 7.
4 Herodotus, Melpomene. | Idem, ibi.
# Divinae infti. L.I; De fal, reli. c. 21. “Even in Rome, says Tertullian, “ there resides a god that delights to be regaled with human sacrificeës.”
§ B.22. Pliny asserts that in the 657th year after the foundation of Rome, in the confulship of Cn. Cornelius Lepidus and P. Licinius Crassus, there pass’d a decree of the senate forbiding expressly the kiling of mankind for sacrifice. (B.30, c. 1.)
The altar of Diana Orthia, at Lacedaemon, was, by the express command of the oracle, to be sprinkle'd with human blood. The custom, at first, was to sacrifice a man by lot, which Lycurgus change’d to the scourgeing of young men with whips.*
The Arcadians, allso, use'd to shed man's blood in their divine service; and a story is preserve'd by Pliny, of one who, haveing tasieëd of the inwards of a child which had been kil'd in a sacrifice to Jupiter Lycæus, was turn’d into a wolf.t
When Alexander drew nigh the city Pellion, which Clytus, the son of Bardyles, had seize'd, the enemy, encamp'd upon the adjacent moun. tains, offer'd three boys, three maids, and as many black rams, for sacrifice. I
The high priest of Albania, a country near the Caspian sea, pamper'd a man dureing a whole year ; and, having anointed him with precious
* Pausanias, B. 3, c. 16. The oracle, upon another oocafion, order'd the inhabitants of Potniae to sacrifice to Bacchus a boy in the flower of his youth. (Idem, B. 9, c. 8.) + B. 8, c. 22.
Arrian, B. I, c. 6.
oil, he sacrifice'd him, with other victims, to the moon, who, it seems, was their favourite goddess.
Strabo, B. 2, p. 768. The grand national facrificeës of the Gauls, and Britons, at which the druids, or priests, prefideëd, were frequent and folemn.* A number of miserable wretches, frequently the most virtuous and innocent, pamper'd for the purpose, were inclosed in a wicker idol, which, while it was consumeing by fire, seem'd to utter the most dreadful crys, horrid assemblage of the shrieks and groans of the unhapy sufferers ! to the extravagant joy of the surrounding multitude. They practise'd other inethods equally ingenious. Such were the Britons !
* It is reported, that, in the time of building Icolm kil, St. Columba receive'd divine intimation to bury one of his companions alive, as a sacrifice necessary to the success of his undertakeing. It seems the lots doom'd Oran to so dreadful a des. tiny. Three days after, Columba opend the grave to see what might be the fate of his friend.
* Galli Elum, atque Teutatem humano cruore placebant ! Lactan. Divinae infti. L. I. De falsa religione, c. 21. “Celtae verò ad haec usque tempora & occidentaliores ferè omnes homicidio facrificabant.” Eusebius, De praepa. evan. L. IV,
Oran raise’d his swiming eyes, and say'd, " There is no wonder in death, and hel is not as it is reported.' The faint was so shock'd by such fentiments, that he call'd out in a great hurry,
Earth, earth, on the mouth of Oran! that he may not blab more!' (Gaelic proverbs, Edin. 1785, p. 66.)
Even the mild and benevolent Hindoos were, at a now hapyly distant period, wont to offer human sacrificeës to the destructive quality of the godess Bhavanee, or Nature : They stil offer kids and buffalos. *
* See Wilkinses Notes to the Heetepades, pp. 314, 322, 326. The wife of a Hindoo, unless she prefer a life of infamy, stil burns herself upon the pile of her decease'd husband, and, according to Bernier, is, in fome parts, bury'd alive. There can be no doubt that she is, upon this occafion, a propitiatory sacrifice. Roger relates that, dureing his residence at Paliaccata, on the coast of Coromandel, a gentleman, of the chetree or military cast, dye'd, leaveing no less than fixty wives, all of whom were burn'd alive with his body. (Porte ouverte, 1670, p. 122.) See allso Struyses Voiages, 1684, pp. 230, 256. This abominable superstition seems to prove that there is not in the whole world a single body of priests, which has not contributed to the sheding of human blood. (Langlès, Fables et contes Indiens, xix.) Upon thefe facrificees the Engleith governours, (without whose consent they cannot, possiblely, take place) officeërs, and other natives, and, most probablely, allfo Engleish priests, are calm and earnest spectators!