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That they might send a present to Jerusalem for the sins of the dead, in order to bring down the blessing of God on the survivors. That the idea of a resurrection was not entertained among the Jews at this time, it being ascertained that this doctrine was not discussed among them until the time of Gamaliel, a little before the ministry of Jesus Christ. Heretics and infidels make the greatest efforts Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] to demonstrate in their manner, that the books of the Maccabees are evidently apocryphal.

The following are their pretended proofs:. The Jews have never acknowledged the books of the Maccabees to be canonical, why then should we acknowledge them? Origen declares formally that the books of the Maccabees are to be rejected, and St. Jerome regards them as unworthy of credit. The Council of Laodicea, held in , admits them not among the canonical books. The Athanasiuses, the Cyrils, and the Hilarys, have also rejected them.

The reasons for treating the foregoing books as romances, and as very bad romances, are as follows:. The ignorant author commences by a falsehood, known to be such by all the world. This passage is very Jewish; but it is not permitted to an inspired writer to contradict himself so flagrantly. This is not all: behold another contradiction, and another oversight.

The author makes Antiochus die in a third manner, so that there is quite a choice. He remarks that this prince was stoned in the temple of Nanneus; and those who would excuse the stupidity pretend that he here speaks of Antiochus Eupator; but neither Epiphanes nor Eupator was stoned. Moreover, this author says, that another Antiochus the Great was taken by the Romans, and that they gave to Eumenes the Indies and Media.

This is about equal to saying that Francis I. It is insulting the Holy Ghost to imagine it capable of dictating so many disgusting absurdities. The same author says, that the Romans conquered Edition: current; Page: [ 36 ] the Galatians; but they did not conquer Galatia for more than a hundred years after. Thus the unhappy story-teller did not write for more than a hundred years after the time in which it was supposed that he wrote: and it is thus, according to the infidels, with almost all the Jewish books.

The same author observes, that the Romans every year nominated a chief of the senate. Behold a well-informed man, who did not even know that Rome had two consuls! What reliance, say infidels, can be placed in these rhapsodies and puerile tales, strung together without choice or order by the most imbecile of men?

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How shameful to believe in them! Our answer is, that some mistakes which probably arose from the copyists may not affect the fundamental truths of the remainder; that the Holy Ghost inspired the author only, and not the copyists; that if the Council of Laodicea rejected the Maccabees, they have been admitted by the Council of Trent; that they are admitted by the Roman Church; and consequently that we ought to receive them with due submission. It is certain that those who admitted of purgatory in the primitive church were treated as heretics. Edition: current; Page: [ 37 ] The Simonians were condemned who admitted the purgation of souls— Psuken Kadaron.

Augustine has since condemned the followers of Origen who maintained this doctrine. What is still more singular, Virgil describes souls suspended in air, others burned, and others drowned:. And what is more singular still, Pope Gregory, surnamed the great, not only adopts this doctrine from Virgil, but in his theology introduces many souls who arrive from purgatory after having been hanged or drowned. All this is very recent, and of yesterday, in comparison with the ancient Brahmins.

The latter, it must be confessed, invented purgatory in the same Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] manner as they invented the revolt and fall of the genii or celestial intelligences. It is in their Shasta, or Shastabad, written three thousand years before the vulgar era, that you, my dear reader, will discover the doctrine of purgatory. The rebel angels, of whom the history was copied among the Jews in the time of the rabbin Gamaliel, were condemned by the Eternal and His Son, to a thousand years of purgatory, after which God pardoned and made them men.

This we have already said, dear reader, as also that the Brahmins found eternal punishment too severe, as eternity never concludes. The abode of physicians is in large towns; there are scarcely any in country places. Great towns contain rich patients; debauchery, excess at the tables, and the passions, cause their maladies.

Dumoulin, the physician, who was in as much practice Edition: current; Page: [ 39 ] as any of his profession, said when dying that he left two great physicians behind him—simple diet and soft water. In , in the time of Law, the most famous of quacks of the first class, another named Villars, confided to some friends, that his uncle, who had lived to the age of nearly a hundred, and who was then killed by an accident, had left him the secret of a water which could easily prolong life to the age of one hundred and fifty, provided sobriety was attended to.

He then sold it for six francs the bottle, and the sale was prodigious. It was the water of the Seine, impregnated with a small quantity of nitre, and those who took it and confined themselves a little to the regimen, but above all those who were born with a good constitution, in a short time recovered perfect health.

You have been intemperate and incontinent, correct yourself of these two vices, and you will live a hundred and fifty years at least. It being at last discovered that the water of Villars was only river water, people took no more of it, and resorted to other quacks in lieu of him. It is certain that he did much good, and he can only be accused of selling the Seine water too dear.

He advised men to temperance, and so far was superior to the apothecary Arnault, who amused Europe with the farce of his specific against apoplexy, without recommending any virtue. I knew a physician of London named Brown, who had practised at Barbadoes. He had a sugarhouse and negroes, and the latter stole from him a considerable sum.

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This quackery is scarcely condemnable, but then it is applicable only to negroes. The first Scipio Africanus, a very different person from the physician Brown, made his soldiers believe that he was inspired by the gods. This grand charlatanism was in use for a long time. Was Edition: current; Page: [ 41 ] Scipio to be blamed for assisting himself by the means of this pretension?

He was possibly the man who did most honor to the Roman republic; but why the gods should inspire him has never been explained. Numa did better: he civilized robbers, and swayed a senate composed of a portion of them which was the most difficult to govern. If he had proposed his laws to the assembled tribes, the assassins of his predecessor would have started a thousand difficulties.

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He addressed himself to the goddess Egeria, who favored him with pandects from Jupiter; he was obeyed without a murmur, and reigned happily. It is probable that Numa took his measures ably, and that he deceived the Romans for their own benefit, by a policy adapted to the time, the place, and the early manners of the people. Mahomet was twenty times on the point of failure, but at length succeeded with the Arabs of Medina, who believed him the intimate friend of the angel Gabriel. If any one at present was to announce in Constantinople that he was favored by the angel Raphael, who is superior to Gabriel in dignity, Edition: current; Page: [ 42 ] and that he alone was to be believed, he would be publicly empaled.

Quacks should know their time. How can Rollin in his history reason from this oracle? Why not inform youth that it was a pure imposition? Socrates chose his time ill: about a hundred years before he might have governed Athens.

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Every chief of a sect in philosophy has been a little of a quack; but the greatest of all have been those who have aspired to govern. Cromwell was the most terrible of all quacks, and appeared precisely at a time in which he could succeed. Under Elizabeth he would have been hanged; under Charles II.

Fortunately for himself he came at a time when people were disgusted with kings: his son followed, when they were weary of protectors. The followers of science have never been able to dispense with quackery. Each would have his opinions prevail; the subtle doctor would eclipse the angelic doctor, and the profound doctor would reign alone. Everyone erects his own system of physics, metaphysics, and scholastic theology; and the question is, who will value his merchandise? You have dependants who cry it up, fools who believe you, Edition: current; Page: [ 43 ] and protectors on whom to lean.

Can there be greater quackery than the substitution of words for things, or than a wish to make others believe what we do not believe ourselves? One establishes vortices of subtile matter, branched, globular, and tubular; another, elements of matter which are not matter, and a pre-established harmony which makes the clock of the body sound the hour, when the needle of the clock of the soul is duly pointed. These chimeras found partisans for many years, and when these ideas went out of fashion, new pretenders to inspiration mounted upon the ambulatory stage.

They banished the germs of the world, asserted that the sea produced mountains, and that men were formerly fishes. How much quackery has always pervaded history: either by astonishing the reader with prodigies, tickling the malignity of human nature with satire, or by flattering the families of tyrants with infamous eulogies!

The unhappy class who write in order to live, are quacks of another kind. A poor man who has no trade, and has had the misfortune to have been at college, thinks that he knows how to write, and repairing to a neighboring bookseller, demands employment. The bookseller knows that most persons keeping houses are desirous of small libraries, and require abridgments and new tables, orders an abridgment of the history of Rapin Thoyras, or of the church; a collection of bon mots from the Menagiana, Edition: current; Page: [ 44 ] or a dictionary of great men, in which some obscure pedant is placed by the side of Cicero, and a sonneteer of Italy as near as possible to Virgil.

Another bookseller will order romances or the translation of romances. Of this sort of books there are about fifty thousand in Europe, and the labor still goes on like the secret for whitening the skin, blackening the hair, and mixing up the universal remedy. This canon had preserved many curious manuscripts of the apostolic times, although they did little honor to Edition: current; Page: [ 45 ] his party. The following is one of them, which he bequeathed to my uncle:. I heard his confession; he repented of his sin, and determined no more to fall into it.

He wished to receive the holy sacrament, but it is not the custom here as at Rome; his penitence will serve in lieu of it, and it is certain that he is in paradise. Learn that what I say to you partakes of faith. He possessed attrition, and attrition, joined to the sacrament of confession, infallibly works out the salvation which conducts straightway to paradise, where he is now praying to God for you. Let him go to the devil with his prayers and his attrition.

In all his interrogatories, he replied that he assassinated the king only because he was about to make war on the pope, and that he did so to serve God. His sentiments were very Christian-like. He is saved, I tell you; he was bound, and I have unbound him. You excite horror in me. I have always said that you were not far from the kingdom of heaven; but your time is not yet come.

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Permit me to instruct without enraging you. Listen to the wicked wretch! A cane! Is it not true that the great Henry died without confession? You will absolutely find no good Catholic who will not say the same as I do.