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thority to these injunctions, by expressing them partly in terms borrowed from the sacred scriptures, of which we find a vast number of citations, also, in the writings of his disciples. To this austere discipline, he added the pretended art of to purging and refining that faculty of the mind, which receives the images of things, as to render it capable of perceiving the demons, and of performing many marvelous things by their aslistance. This art, which the disciples of Ammonius called theurgy, was not, however, communicated to all the schools of this fanatical phi. losopher, but only to those of the first rank. .me

“The extravagant attempts of Ammonius did not cease here. To reconcile the popular religions of different countries, and particularly the Christian, with this new system, he fell upon the following inventions: ist, He turned into a mere allegory the whole history of the gods, and maintained that those beings, whom the priests and people dignified with this title, were no more than celestial ministers, to whom a certain kind of worship was due ; but a worship inferior to that which was to be reserved for the supreme deity. 2dly, He acknowledged Christ to be a most excellent man, the friend of God, the admirable theurge; he denied, however, that Jesus designed to abolish entirely the worship of demons, and of the other ministers of di-, vine providence, and affirmed, on the contrary, that his only intention was to purify the ancient religion, and that his followers had manifestly corrupted the doctrine of their divine maftcr.

« This new species of philosophy, imprudently adopted by Origen and many other Christians, was extremely prejudicial to the cause of the gospel, and to the beautiful fimplicity of its celestial doctrines. For hence it was, that the Christian doctors began to introduce their subtile and obscure erudition into the rcligion of Jesus, to involve in the darkness of a vain philo-; sophy, Tome of the principal truths of Christianity that had been revealed with the utmost plainness, and were indeed obvious to the meanest capacity, and to add, to the divine precepts of our Lord, many of their own, which had no sort of foundation in any part of the sacred writings. From the same source arqse that inclancholy set of men, who have been distinguished by the name of Mystics, whose system, when separated from the Platonic doctrine concerning the nature and origin of the soul, is but a lifeless mass, without any vigour, form, or consistence, Nor did the evils, which sprung from this Ammonian philosophy, end here. For under the specious pretext of the neceflity of contemplarion, it gave accasion to that sothful and indolent course of life, which continues to be led by myriads of monks retired in cells, and, fequeftred from society, to which they are neither useful by their instructions, nor by their examples. Ta.

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this philosophy. we may trace as to their source, a multitude of vain and foolish ceremonies, proper only to cast a veil over truth, and to nourish superstition, and which ar?, for the most part, religiously observed by many, even in the times in which we live. It would be endless to enumerate all the pernicious consequences that may be justly attributed to this new philofophy, or rather to this monstrous attempt to reconcile faldhood with truth, and light with darkness. Some of its most fatal effects were its alienating the minds of many, in the following ages, from the Christian religion, and its substituting in the place of the pure and sublime simplicity of the gospel an unteemly mixture of Platonism and Christianity.

The number of learned men among the Christians, which was very small in the preceding century, grew considerably in this. Among these there were few rhetoricians, fophifts, or orators. The most part were philosophers attached to the Eclectic system, though they were not all of the same sentiments concerning the utility of letters and philosophy. Those, who were themselves initiated into the depths of philofophy, were defirous that others, particularly such as aspired to the offices of bishops or doctors, should apply themselves to the study of human wisdom, in order to their being the better qualified for defending the truth with vigour, and instructing the ignorant with success. Others were of a quite different way of thinking upon this subject, and were for banishing all argumentation and philosophy from the limits of the church, from a notion that eru. dition might prove detrimental to the true spirit of religion. Hence the early beginnings of that unhappy contest between faith and reason, religion and philof phy, piety and genius, which increased in the succeeding ages, and is prolonged even to our times with a violence, that renders it extremely difficult to be brought to a conclusion. Those, who maintained that learning and philofophy were rather advantageous, than detrimental to the cause of religion, gained, by degrees, the ascendant, and, in consequence thereof, laws were enacted, which excluded the ignorant and illiterate from the office of public teachers. The opposite side of the question was not, however, without defenders ; and the defects and vices of learned men and philosophers contributed much to increase their number, as will appear' in the progress of this history.'

In treating of the Ascetics, our learned Auihor observes,' there is a particular consideration, which will enable us to render a natural account of the origin of that auftere discipline they imposed upon themselves, and which is drawn from the genius and temper of the people by whom it was first practised. It was in Egypt, he says, that this morose discipline had its rise; and it is observable, that Egypt has in all times, as it were by an im

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lofophy might pig beginn and philo!

With regard to the present colleciion, the industrious Author has himself given a very fair and impartial account of it in his preface.

Some of the articles, says he, are of a serious, and others of a jocose torn; but certainly none of a loose or immodest caft: for as they are intended principally for our youth, of both sexes, the compiler would have thought himlelf highiy criminal, had he introduced even a single thought which might contribute to deprave their morals. The variety is very great; and the compiler himself perceives a wide difference in the materials of which this book is composed; some articles having infinitely more merit than others. However, he hopes that the whole will not be rejected on that account; but that such as are of real value, will compensate for those which may be judged otherwise. In a repository of jewels, every stone is not a diamond. Some of the articles introduced here are found in other books of the fame fort ; but a greater number, he believes, never appeared in English before. The original here is the French, all the English being translation. This the compiler has sometimes attempted in a free manner, and so as, if possible, to give his version the air of an original ; except on such occasions as he judged it of more atility to the pupil, to keep close to the French idiom.--Altho' this fmall performance is calculated more immediately for youth, yet it may be judged noways unfit for the perusal of persons of riper years ; as containing reflections and observations on men and things, worthy the notice of the graveft and most intelligent perfons. -Some will perhaps think that many of these maxims may be useful to schools, for making of Lacin exercises.' Thus far our honest Compiler; to whose account we have only to add our opinion, that his book seems very well calculated to answer, in general, the useful purposes above-mentioned.

6 E R M O N S. . 1. The listom and Righteousness of the Divine Providence, illustrated from the Character of Yob.-Ai Honiton, Aug. 25, 1765; being the tirit Sunday after the late dreadful fire. By Richard Harrison. BuckJard, &c.

The profits arising from the sale of this discourse, are to be apa plied touard the relief of the fufferers.

1. Baptism a Divine Coinmandinent to be observed.--At the baptím of the hev. Ms. Robert Carmichael, Minister of the Gospel at Edin. hurgh; Ca. 9, 16ş. By john Gill. D. D. Keith.

. CORRESPONDENCE. * The Remarks on Voltaire, signed PHILALETHIS, are more proper for a Magazine than the Revice. We are far from thinking Thein impertinent, or unworthy of a place in any miscellaneous publication ; but we should deviaie too much from the immediate business of a literary journal, were we to admit every original ejay that may be sent us.

The second letter from Tanwortb, signed allo Philalethes, is acknowledged. The Reviewers are obliged to the Writer for his kind hins; to which they will pay all due regard; but beg leave to decline the continuance of the little controverfy they have had with him : the farther pursuit of which would lead them too far beyond the boundaa ries of their plan.

THE

MONTHLY REVIEW,

For N OVEMBER, 1765.

నందం

Continuation of the Account of Mr. Maclaine's Translation of Dri

Mosheim's Ecclefiaftical History. TTAVING, in our Review for August last, given a gene11 ral account of the plan of this valuable work, together tvith some extracts from the learned Author's history of the first century of the Christian church; we now proceed, without pretending to perform the laborious task of giving a regular abItract of so elaborate a compilation, to lay before our Readers some farther extracts from such parts of the work as we think are both entertaining and instructive, in order to enable them to form a just idea of the abilities and judgment of the Author.

In treating of the state of letters and philosophy during the Tecond century, our Author observes that, under the reign of Trajan, they came forth from the retreat where they had languished during the savage tyranny of his predecessors, and, by the auspicious protc&tion of this excellent prince, were, in fome measure, restored to their former luftre. This happy revolution in the republic of letters, was, indeed, but of a short duration, as it was not supported by the succeeding emperors, who were, for the most part, averse to literary pursuits. Even Marcus Antoninus, who surpassed them all in learning, gave protection and encouragement to the stoics alone, and, after the example of that fupercilious sect, treated the arts and sciences with contempt. And here we see the true reason, the Historian fays, why the writers of this century are, in general, so much inferior to those of the former, in point of elegance and purity, eloquence and taste.

This degeneracy of erudition and taste, however, did not amount, we are farther told, to an utter extinction of them ; for, even in this century, Aourished men of genius and abilities, who set off, in the most advantageous manner, the learning of the times in which they lived. Among the learned Grecians, Vol. XXXIII,

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the first place is due to PLUTARCH, a man of vast erudition, whose knowlege was various but indigested, and whose philosophical taste was corrupted by the sceptical tenets of the academics. There were, likewise, in all the more considerable cities of the Roman empire, rhetoricians, sophists, and grammarians, who, by a variety of learned exercises, seemed zealous in forming the youth to the arts of eloquence and declamation, and in rendering them fit, by their talents and their acquisitions, to be useful to their country. But the instruction acquired in these schools was more specious than folid ; and the youth who received their education in them, distinguished themselves at their entrance upon the active stage of life, rather by empty declamation, than by true eloquence; more by pompous erudition, than by wisdom and dexterity in the management of public affairs.

The stoical feet, the Author observes, was not in the highest esteem, during this century; the rigour and austerity of its doctrines being by no means suited to the dissolute manners of the times. The Platonic schools were more frequented for several reasons; and particularly for thefe two, that their moral precepts were less rigorous and severe, than those of the Stoics, and their doctrines more conformable to, or, rather, less incompatible with, the common opinions concerning the gods. But of all the philosophers, the Epicureans enjoyed the highest reputation, and had the greatest number of followers; because their opinions tended to encourage the indolent security of a voluptuous and effeminate life, and to banish the remorse and terrors that haunt vice, and naturally incommode the wicked in their sensual pursuits. ..

- Towards the conclusion of this century, says our Author, a new feet of philosophers arose of a sudden, spread with amazing rapidity through the greatest. part of the Roman empire, swallowed up almost all the other sects, and was extremely detrimental to the cause of Christianity. Alexandria in Egypt, which had been, for a long time, the seat of learning, and, as it were, the center of all the liberal arts and sciences, gave birth to this new philosophy. Ics votaries chose to be called Platonics, though, far from adhering to all the tenets of Plato, they collected, from the different sects, such doctrines as they thought conformable to truth, and formed thereof one general fyftem. The reason then, why they distinguished themselves by the title of Platonics, was, that they thought the sentiments of Plato, concerning that most noble part of philosophy, which has the deity and things invisible for its objects, much more rational and sublime, than those of the other philosophers.

What gave to this new philosophy a fuperior air of reason and dignity, was, the unprejudiced spirit of candour and impar

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