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schools, and without theatres.

But a city

without a temple, or that useth no worship, or no prayers, no one ever saw. And he believes a city may more easily be built without a foundation, or ground to set it on, than a community of men have or keep a consistency without religion."

Of those nations which were reputed wild and ignorant in antient times, the Scythians may be brought, next to the Greeks and Romans, as an instance to elucidate the opinions of the Quakers still further on this subject. The speech of the Scythian ambassadors to Alexander the Great, as handed down to us by Quintus Curtius, has been often cited by writers, not only on account of its beauty and simplicity, but to show us the moral sentiments of the Scythians in those times. I shall make a few extracts from it on this occasion.

"Had the Gods given thee," says one of the ambassadors to Alexander, "a body proportionable to thy ambition, the whole universe would have been too little for thee. With one hand thou wouldest touch the East, and with the other the West; and,


not satisfied with this, thou wouldest follow the sun, and know where he hides himself.

"But what have we to do with thee? We never set foot in thy country. May not those who inhabit woods be allowed to live without knowing who thou art and whence thou comest? We will neither command over, nor submit to, any man.

"But thou, who boastest thy coming to extirpate robbers, thou thyself art the greatest robber upon earth.

"Thou hast possessed thyself of Lydia, invaded Syria, Persia, and Bactriana. Thou art forming a design to march as far as India; and thou now comest hither, to seize upon our herds of cattle. The great possessions thou hast, only make thee covet more eagerly what thou hast not.

"We are informed that the Greeks speak jestingly of our Scythian deserts, and that they are even become a proverb; but we are fonder of our solitudes than of thy great cities.

"If thou art a God, thou oughtest to do good to mortals, and not to deprive them of their possessions. If thou art a mere man, reflect on what thou art.

" Do

"Do not fancy that the Scythians will take an oath in their concluding of an alliance with thee. The only oath among them is to keep their word, without swearing. Such cautions as these do indeed become Greeks, who sign their treaties, and call upon the Gods to witness them. But, with regard to us, our religion consists in being sincere, and in keeping the promises we have made. That man who is not ashamed to break his word with men is not ashamed of deceiving the Gods."

To the account contained in these extracts, it may be added, that the Scythians are described by Herodotus, Justin, Horace, and others, as a moral people. They had the character of maintaining justice. Theft or robbery was severely punished among them. They believed infidelity, after the marriage-engagement, to be deserving of death. They coveted neither silver nor gold. They refused to give the name of goods or riches to any but estimable things, such as health, courage, liberty, sincerity, innocence, and the like. They received friends as relations, or considered friendship as so sacred

sacred an alliance, that it differed but little from alliance by blood.

These principles of the Scythians, as far as they are well founded, the Quakers believe to have originated in their more than ordinary attention to 'that Divine Principle, which was given to them, equally with the rest of mankind, for their instruction in moral good; to that same Principle, which Socrates describes as having suggested to his mind that which was good and virtuous, or which Seneca describes to reside in men, as an observer of good and evil. For the Scythians, living in solitary and desert places, had but little communication for many ages with the rest of mankind, and did not obtain their system of morality from other quarters. From the Greeks and Romans, who were the most enlightened, they derived no moral benefit. For Strabo informs us, that their morals had been wholly corrupted in his time, and that this wretched change had taken place in consequence of their intercourse with these nations. That they had no Scripture or written Law of God, is equally evident. Neither


did they collect their morality from the perusal or observance of any particular laws that had been left them by their ancestors; for the same author, who gives them the high character just mentioned, says that they were found in the practice of justice,

not on account of any laws, but on account of their own natural genius or disposition*." Neither were they found in this practice because they had exerted their reason in discovering that virtue was so much more desirable than vice; for the same author declares that Nature, and not Reason, had made them a moral people: for “it seems surprising," says he, "that Nature should have given to them what the Greeks have never been able to attain, either in consequence of the long succession of doctrines of their wise men, or of the precepts of their philosophers, and that the manners of a barbarous should be preferable to those of a refined people t.”

* Justitia gentis ingeniis culta, non legibus.

↑ Prorsus ut admirabile videatur, hoc illis Naturam dare, quod Græci longâ sapientium doctrinâ præceptisque philosophorum consequi nequeunt, cultosque mores incultæ barbariæ collatione superari.

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