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preserved by him, for that purpose, in the ark: a report apparently inconsistent with the unchangeable nature of the supreme being. However this may be, we shal find, from sufficient authority, that many nations, as wel in the most ancient, if not, the earlyest times, to even down to our own, have adhere'd to the divine primitive ordinance, whether real or imaginary. The most eminent historians, physicians, philosophers, and poets of antiquity, agree, that the first
generations of men did not eat flesh.”* This golden age (first mention'd by Hesiod)t is more beautifully describe'd by Ovid :
“ The teeming earth, yet guiltless of the plough,
* Dr. Mackenzies History of bealtb, p. 50; where he cites Pythagoras, Empedocles, Plato, Porphyry, Plutarch, Diogenes Laertius, and Pliny. It was the opinion of Hippocrates, he says, that, in the begining, man made use of the same food with the beasis; and to this effect, likewise, quotes Lucretius :
“ Volgivago vitam tractabant more ferarum"
Gathering the easey food that Nature gave."
And fil a fumptuous and unenvy'd board.”
« On the crude Alesh of beasts they feed alone,
Content with food, which Nature freely bred,
or, as the inimitable Thomson expresses it :
" The food of
The Chaldæan magi live'd entirely upon herbs ;I upon which, and cold water, some of the Cynicks alltogether fubfifted. S Zeno, the philosopher, fed heartyly upon figs ; though, in his diet, he was very spareing; and a short pittance of bread and honey, and a small draught of sweet wine, satisfy'd his hunger. * The inhabitants of Mount-Atlas, in the age of Herodotus, neither ate the flesh of any animal, nor were ever interrupted in their sleep by dreams. Pelasgus, in the most ancient times, is fay'd to have persuadeëd the inhabitants of Arcadia, who fed on nothing but grafs, herbs and roots, some of which were pernicious, to prefer the produce of the beech-tree. I
* B. 1, v. 101. Dicearchus, according to faint Jerome, relateëd, in his books of Grecian antiquitys, that, dureing the reign of Saturn, when the earth, as yet, was fertile of itsself, no man ate flesh, but all live'd upon the fruits and pulse which were naturally produced. (B. 2, To Jovian.)' + Spring. The Lotopbi of Homer were
.“ A hospitable race;
Diogenes Laertius, in his proem. § Iden, Life of Menedemus, B. 6.
There were Indians, mention’d by Herodotus, the ancestors, no doubt, of the present Hindoos, who neither kild any animal, nor sow'd seed, nor builded houses, but contented themselves with what the earth freely afforded. Ş The ancient brachmans, or priests of these Indians, as we are told by Porphyry, ate nothing but fruit and rice, and would have thought themselves guilty of the greatest impiety, if they had touch'd any thing that had had life.* The Ægyptians, a most ancient nation, seem to have abftain d entirely from animal food; which was, probablely, one reason why they abominateëd the Jews, who had continually their fingers in the Aeth-pots; the onely subject of their lamentation when banish'd out of the country.t Talk to an Ægyptian, says Origen, til your heart ake, and your breath fail you, yet he wil be so far from renounceing his religion, that he wil perlift in it, if it be possible, with greater obftinacy than before, and rather dye than be guilty of fo horrid a profanation, as he accounts it, as to eat and pollute the facred Aesh of animals. I Diodorus says it was reported that the Ægyptians, in ancient times, fed upon nothing but roots and herbs, and colewort leaves, which grew in the fens and bogs; but above all, and most commonly, upon the herb
* Idem, Life of Zeno, B. 7.
+ Melpomene. The laws of Draco and Triptolemus, the most ancient legislators of the Athenians, enjoin'd them to “ Honour their parents and kil neither man nor beast. (Diogenes Laertius, in his proem.)
| Pausanias, B. 8, C. 1. According to his accurate En-' gleish translator, he persuaded them “ to feed on acorns, though not indiscriminately, but onely those which 'grow on the beecb-tree' :" as if one were to say of a man that he ate no apples but fuch as grow on a pear-tree. Acorns are peculiar to the oak; the fruit of the beecb is maft.
Of abstinence. op “ The children of Israel allso wept again, and say'd, Who Thall give us feth to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Ægypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick." (Num. XI, 5.) The vegetables they ate freely, the flesh by fteaithe
† Against Celfies, B. 1, C. 42.
called agrostis, because it was sweeter than any other, and very nourishing to mens bodys; and it is very certain, he ads, that the cattle much covet it; and grow very fat with it.*
“ The Hylophages wood-eaters), together with their wives and children,” as is relateëd by the fame ancient historian, “ go into the fields and climb the trees, and feed upon the buds and tender branches; and, by constant usage and practice, are so nimble in geting up to the top of the highest branch that it seems allmost incredible. They skip from tree to tree, like fo many birds, and mount up upon the Nenderest branches without the least hazard: for, being very sender and light-body'd people, if their feet fail, they catch hold with their hands; nay, if they fall down from the very top of the trec, they are so light, they get no harm. They easeyly chew every juicey twig of the tree, and as eafeyly concoct them. They allways go naked, and make use of their wives promiscuously, and, therefor, all their children they look upon to bę common amongst them. They sometimes quarrel one with another for placeës of habitations. Their arms are clubs, with which they both
* B. 1, C. 4.