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mean authority, whether considered as a poet and philosopher, or as a professed student of the
Aeneid corroborating the sentiment of another
great authority, Mr. Gibbon ; and engaging us to reject the abstruse hypothesis of Warburton, whose attempt to reduce the sixth book of the Aeneid into an allegorical representation of the Eleusinian mysteries, tends to traduce much of what is sublimest in ancient literature , and to transform one of the grandest combinations of theology and poetry into a mystic representation of a quaint mummery (0.
Eternal\s here synonimous with immortal; otherwise it were, not unorthodox as Mr. Biagioli apprehends (.»), but a gross blunder to talk of created, things being eternal. The Angels are not eternal, for they had a beginning; and it is to them Dante alludes, as having been created before hell or even the earth, in which hell is situated. It is an opinion on a theological question once much
debated Origen (3) having been of the sentiment
here subscribed to by Dante, and S. Austin holding
(i) Gibbon. Miscellaneous works, vol. 4. p. 467.
(2) Secondo i Peripatetici furono ab eterno.... ma noi roi teologi Cristiani. ..
Comento. vol- i. p. So.
(3) Ilfpf Apxuv. Lib. i. Cap vm.