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quet, which usually followed, one those hot countries for the fake of of them, clothed in white, gets up coolness and thade; and were in the tree, and with a fickle of gold great, esteem by his descendants, cuts off the mileltoe, which is re- not only on account of their useceived in a white sack; which done, fulness and long duration, but out they pray God to give a blefling to of regard to him who,planted them. his own gift, and those who are This regard by degrees grew into favoured with it."
positive fuperftition, not only among With respect to this fuperftitious the Jews, but also the Chriftians, veneration for the oak, it does not Mahometans, and other nations ; feem difficult to account for it, if for we are informed that the oaks we consider that sometimes the most under which Abraham dwelt were insignificant and trivial things have ftill fewn in the time of Constanbeen chosen for particular purposes, tine, and resorted to with great to which in reality they bore not devotion by Christians, Turks, and the least relation, but merely from even Pagans : fo that it may easily a patural fitness they pofleffed 10 be suppoted, that among the antient facilitate thofe purposes, from Gauls, who were less enligtened, whence a constant and common ideas in a ftill higher degree fue practice in the use of them on those perstitious and absurd would soon occasions foon obtained ; to which be added to those more natural if we add the confideration of their ones, of respect and veneration, having been more convenient for for the firli establishment of their religious functions, under certain religion, and the memory of the circumstances, and of their having Patriarchs. therefore been appropriated to that it was necessary to be more par. end by the ministers of religion, ticular in this enquiry into the rethough without afcribing any thing ligion of the Gauls, as it was the holy to them in their own nature, fource and foundation of the reli. we may easily conceive how, in gions of most other countries; and, length of time, a superstitious vene. when taken together, with the mode ration for the things themselves, in which the origin of nations and which were only the instruments, the spreading of the first people may soon arise, and in the course has been accounted for in the beof ages, the occaion, which was ginning of this work, will be very the connecting idea, being lost fight serviceable to the reader as an inof, but those means being still allo- troduction, in his hiftorical studies, ciated with religious ideas, the one to those of all other nations. becomes as facred as the other, or The Gauls were formed into difrather becomes part; and the fha- ferent fiates, each of which had its dow is taken for the substance. Thus particular form of government; it seems this high efteem for the oak fome monarchical, others aristocra. was common to the Gauls, the old tical, or partly democratical. Ta. patriarchs, and the Jews, though citus reckons no less than fixty-four not in the same fuperftitious degree of these states, who were bound to Abrabam is recorded to have pitched form every year a general council his tents in the plains of Mamre; of the whole Gaulith people, by yet, in the original, an oaky grove fending each a delegate to aflift at is plainly signified, in the opinion it. These little republics were fo of the best Hebrew scholars : he extremely jealous of each other's planted groves of them, and where- power, that they were obliged to ever he pitched his tent, he built enter into combinations against an altar io the Lord. These large each other, and the imaller states trees were undoubtedly chofen in put themselves under the prutection