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we should endeavor to act ever on general principles, to be guided by general laws, and to render to them as uniform and complete obedience as if they were self-executing.
Though we have no right to do evil, that good may come, we may strive to resemble God, and rejoice that we live in a world, where we can resemble him, and cooperate with him, in bringing good out of evil, order out of confusion, and light out of darkness.
So long as we do our duty, we should not allow our faith to be shaken or our feelings to be greatly disturbed by the slow process of human amelioration on the one hand, or the sudden and violent revolutions that may occur on the other, but should be “steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” following the leadings of Providence, promoting in God's wise manner, God's holy and benevolent end, the progress
of ourselves and others in knowledge and virtue, the highest happiness of the creature and the greatest glory of the Creator.
To return from these particular illustrations to the general principle of this head. The laws of nature, providence and grace, are all laws of God, all alike obligatory, and all clothed with the same sacred authority. “He that offendeth in one point is guilty of all.” He that wittingly
He that wittingly violated one of the codes, arrays them all against him. But he who obeys them all, will find that they conspire most happily to aid each other, and to bestow a great reward. It is not enough to obey only the natural, or the providential, or the moral laws. Duty is fulfilled, happiness is secured, by universal and perfect obedience. He only is an educated man, who has been trained to the utmost of his ability to “ discover, apply and obey all the laws, by which God governs the universe.” He, who has been thus trained in the school of nature, the school of providence, and the school of grace, he is an educated man, educated for time and for eternity, educated for earth and educated for heaven. Whether he is engaged in temporal or spiritual concerns, whether he undertakes to reform men in this world, or prepare them for the next, he will not go against wind, tide and current, but he will do it in the way of divine appointment, in accordance with all the divine laws and with the harmonious coöperation of all the divine attributes.
The THEOLOGY OF SOCRATES, FROM XENOPHON's
Translated from Schweighauser's Opuscula Academica, by F. M. Hubbard, Teacher of a
Classical School, Boston.
Θαυμάζω, όπως ποτέ επείσθησαν 'Αθηναίοι, Σωκράτης περί τους θεούς μη σωφρονείν, τον ασεβές μεν ουδέν ποτε περί τους θεούς ούτ ειπόντα, ούτε πράξαντα, τοιαύτα δε και λέγοντα και πράττοντα περί θεών, δία αν και λέγων και πράττων είη τε και νομίζοιτο ευσεβέστατος. Xenophon Mem. I. 20.
Preface. AMONG the most precious relics of ancient writers, which have escaped the tooth of time, that wears away all things, most justly deserve to be ranked Xenophon's Memorabilia of Socrates ; because they are the production of one who was well called the Attic Bee, and yet more because from them alone, as from a pure fountain, we may learn the principles of the life and philosophy of the Prince of ancient wise men. For whatever, in this book, Xenophon has delivered to us of the morals and doctrines of his master, bears every mark of truth, and thoroughly answers to the idea of that dignity, which by all ages has been ascribed to Socrates. Every where are conspicuous an earnest desire of searching out and communicating truth, a strong purpose of deriving from all knowledge some advantages for the life of men, of turning others from error and leading them to piety, to pure morals and to true wisdom, by instructions and by example ; in fine, an excellent method and simplicity in discussion, which found their way to the persuasion of every man, and by which, most of all, the Socratic philosophy commended itself to all antiquity; so that we cannot hesitate to render full confidence to Xenophon. But in consulting Plato, another of the sources for the Socratic doctrine, much caution is needed. For he usually ascribes his own opinion to Socrates, and very frequently differs from Xenophon, of whose faithful record there can be no doubt, or introduces Socrates disputing about subtile and knotty questions, from which, we know he carefully abstained, or indulges too far his own poetic genius, and forsakes the peculiar simplicity of his teacher. Since therefore we cannot employ the testimony of Plato without danger of error, and our purpose to set forth the teachings of Socrates concerning the Deity, forbids us to engage in a critical discussion on the discrepancies of authors, we shall take Xenophon only for our guide, and collect and arrange what this defender of his master has stated in different places, and attempt by brief reasonings to make clear some points which he has touched but lightly. But that we may better show what advances Socrates made in the knowledge of the divine mind, we will present à rapid-sketch of the state of theology in Greece before his time.
AN OUTLINE OF THE STATE OF THEOLOGY AMONG THE GREEKS
$1. The older Poets and Priests. The religion, which the oldest priests and poets had taught, was yet in its vigor in the age of Socrates, and none are ignorant of what absurd fables it was composed, and how utterly unworthy of the Divine majesty. Having fashioned their system after the measure of human weakness, imputing to the gods, wars, seditions, adulteries, and every crime, and sanctioning évery error of man by the example of a god and sometimes also wrapping up in impious fables their theories of the material world, and constructing cosmogonies not less monstrous than ingenious, they. aided to degrade religion by the very sweetness of their poetry; and while they did much to refine and soften rude and fierce spirits, they also filled the life of men with superstition.* For what can more engender contempt for a God, and enkindle every lust, than to hold, that God himself is
* Cicero de Natura Deorum, I. 16. II. 24 seqq. III. 24 seq. The disputants whom Cicero introduces in these places, inveigh too severely against the poets; who yet were not wholly free from blame
e ; for though they had no intention of making men superstitious, and desired rather to please than to instruct, they really taught error, and a false opinjon of the Deity, to uncultivated men, and who could not well distinguish the false and the feigned from the true.
the author of depraved desires ? which surely gives free license to all lust, and all wickedness. Nor was the influence of the priests confined within the walls of temples, or restrained to the affairs of private life. It reached to public business and the administration of the State, and often by lying oracles, mysteries, and other rites which wrought upon the imagination of superstitious men, became of more effect than the best counsels of the wisest statesmen.
2. The older Grecian Philosophers. Neither did the ancient philosophers of Greece bring a clearer light to theology,—the Ionic, the Pythagorean,* the Eleatic, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Leucippus, etc. For they, while they bestowed great labor in investigating the nature of all things, were accustomed chiefly to dispute concerning the principles from which all things arise, and into which they may be resolved ; also concerning efficient causes, which they placed in abstract notions, or sometimes even in mere words which hardly implied a notion, as friendship and hatred, numbers, accident, necessity, etc. From these principles and notions, with mere hypotheses founded on no observations, they vainly attempted to explain and demonstrate, by subtile disputation, how all things were formed. But the true cause of all things, God, the creator and governor of the universe, they knew not, or kept their knowledge of him far away from their researches in philosophy.t
$ 3. Anaxagoras. Already, had Anaxagoras, who a little before the age of Socrates, stood forth the glory of Greece, begun to dispel the thick darkness, which hitherto enveloped and buried the knowledge of the Deity; and first uttered the opinion that the form and measure (descriptio et modus) of all things had been devised by the wisdom and wrought out by the power of an infi
* The error of those who have given the Pythagoreans credit for a clear knowledge of the unity of God, has been refuted, with many arguments by Meiners, in his treatise de vero Deo, p. 296 seq.
† Meiners, in the work just referred 10, p. 248, seqq. has fully and accurately explained the various opinions and systems of these philosophers, respecting the cause of things. VOL. XII. No. 31.
nite mind.* But his doctrine was still too much encumbered with the dreams and barren questions of the natural philosophers of that age, nor was it made conducive to the regulation of human life, by a devout worship of the true source and governor of all things; nor did it reach the common people,t to whom the form of his speculations was but ill adapted.
$ 4. The Sophists. We now come nearer the times of Socrates himself, when flourished a class of teachers, for many purposes useful, but pernicious for those most important, who were called Sophists. I These men following the steps of the philosophers, who had gone before then, devoted themselves to the investigations of natural science. They were the first, after the States of Greece had grown rich, who became professed teachers of various arts, and systems cf learning. They bestowed their labors, not without great personal advantage, on the promotion and improvement of eloquence. Sometimes, even, they were rewarded with public gifts and honors conferred by States. Young men were committed to their care, that they might prepare them for both public and private life, by imparting an extensive and various knowledge of affairs. With the people, who purchased at the highest prices the teachings which they sold with an undisguised ostentation, they had immense power, not only by their eloquence but by their personal authority. But this confidence and admiration of Greece they most basely abused. They burned with an incredible love of glory and of gain. $ They endeavored, with impudent and iron front, to persuade
* Cicero, de Natura Deorun, I, II. Plato in Phaedone, Tom. I. p. 221. seqq. Ed. Bipont.
† Plato, l. c.
| The passages, which pertain to the history of the Sophists, a history mainly to be gathered from Plato, have been collected by Meiners, in Geschichte der Wissenschaften, etc. Vol. II., where he has explained at large their philosophy, arts, and manner of lise ; topics on which the plan of our inquiry will allow us only to touch.
These two faults gradually made the name of the Sophists, exceedingly odious in Greece. Plato in Protag. Tom. III. p. 93. Ed. Bip. in Sophista. Tom. II. p. 213
seqq. So Cicero, Acad. Quaest. IV. 23. “They are called Sophists," says he, "who philosophise for the sake of ostentation or of gain.”