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DISSERTATION II.

THE

THEOLOGY

HIN DOS TAN:

- COMPREHENDING THE HISTORY OF THE RISE, PROGRESS, AND DIFFUSION, OF SUPERSTITION, DURING THE MOST EARLY

PERIODS, IN ASIA,

· vestigation of such a multitude of obscure and ab:

stracted topics could be adhered to, he solicits the attention of the reader to the subjoined EPITOME of its contents. In the first section, retrospective on the antient religion of Scythia, and pointing out its analogy to that of India, the following points seemed to demand particular notice: Divine rites were first celebrated, and the sublime precepts of philosophy first taught, in the sacred solitude of GROVES and CAVERNS --- the caverns of Salsette and Elephanta, undoubtedly stupendous subterraneous temples of the Deity - the particular rites of religion practised, and sciences taught, in those caverns, reserved for consideration under the second general head -- the cave- of Zoroaster, of Epictetus, of Pythagoras, and of Mohammed. — The astonishing extent in antient times of the consecrated groves of Scythia and of India - the idolatrous devotion practised in consecrated groves se-, verely anathemised in holy writ--the sanguinary rites performed in those of Scythia — the very an-, tient, but not the original, religion of India prove to be of a sanguinary cast - the NERAMEDHA JUG, or human sacrifice the ASWAMMEDHA JUG, or, horse sacrifice-GOMEDHA Jug, or sacrifice of the bull--the benevolent Hindoo and the blood, less law of BRAHMA attempted to be exculpated from the original guilt of these sanguinary rites, by supposing an interpolation of the VEDAS, and a possible mixture of the barbarous customs of Scythia with those of India, during the carly inter-,

course

O

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