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for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: how
they will be punished for their errors in the day of judgment. In
the meantime he patiently bears with them, because he sees, that if
they are in error, they err from pure motives of piety." HERMES.
Hermes or Ermes, Mercury Trismegislus, or Thaut, Taut, or That. We
neglect reading the ancient book of Mercury Trismegistus, and we
are not wrong in so doing. To philosophers it has appeared a
sublime piece of jargon, and it is perhaps for this reason that
they believed it the work of a great Platonist. Nevertheless, in
this theological chaos, how many things there are to astonish and
subdue the human mind! God, whose triple essence is wisdom, power,
and bounty; God, forming the world by his thought, his word; God
creating subaltern gods; God commanding these gods to direct the
celestial orbs, and to preside over the world; the sun; the son of
God; man his image in thought; light, his principal work a divine
essence;?all these grand and lively images dazzle a subdued
imagination. It remains to be known whether this work, as much
celebrated as little read, was the work of a Greek or of an
Egyptian. St. Augustin hesitates not in believing that it is the
work of an Egyptian, who pretended to be descended from the ancient
Mercury, from the ancient Thaut, the first legislator of Egypt. It
is true that St. Augustin knew no more of the Egyptian than of the
Greek; but in his time it was necessary that we should not doubt
that Hermes, from whom we received theology, was an Egyptian sage,
probably anterior to the time of Alexander, and one of the priests
whom Plato consulted. It has always appeared to me, that the
theology of Plato in nothing resembled that of other Greeks, with
the exception of Timeus, who had travelled in Egypt, as well as
Pythagoras. The Hermes Tri...
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