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morals and religion. "In his work upon duties,* he passes with short mention over the duties of man towards the Godhead, though he does indeed assign them the first rank before all others: in what they consist we do not learn. Nowhere is theology brought into an inward connection with morality, nor are moral commands and duties rested on the authority, the will, the model of the Godhead. His motives are always drawn merely from the beauty and excellence of the honestum, from the evil and shamefulness of crime, f If, when a witness is to give testimony on oath, he reminds him to reflect that the presence of God has been invoked, this god changes at once into his own soul, as the most godlike thing which the Godhead has given to man. The idea of a retribution after death was not merely strange to him as to so many of his contemporaries, but he openly declared it in one of his speeches to be an absurd fable, which every man, as he adds, takes it for. J 'Dost thou hold me for so crazed as to believe such things?' he makes a listener exclaim, at the mention of judgment under the earth after death: and as to the condition after death, Cicero knows but one alternative, either cessation of existence, or a state of happiness. In taking an oath, it should not be the fear of the wrath of the gods which keeps back
c Dollinger, Held, und Jud. p. 571. t De Officiis, iii. 10. % Pro Clmntio, c. 61.
from perjury, but only respect to justice and good faith."
Thus nowhere is heard the voice of nature calling upon Him who created nature; nowhere the child in sorrow, disappointment, or bereavement yearning after the Parent, and pleading with Him, "We are Thy creatures and the work of Thy hands. Thou hast made us, and not we ourselves." If any one rose above the multitude of gods to the notion of One, it was of a material pantheistic God, beside whom, equal in eternity, there loomed in the halfvisible obscurity the world-soul, and the primal matter which it was the highest function of this god, itself a fine etherial fluid, to combine, arrange, transfuse into numberless putward forms for ever passing into a cycle of generation, death, and reproduction. That God created the visible world and the souls of men out of nothing, was an idea never reached by Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, or any Greek or Poman mind before Christ. Virgil has arrayed in the most gorgeous poetry the exact Pythagorean and Platonic theory as to the origin of souls and their relation to the Godhead.
"Principio coelum ac terras camposque liquentes
Seminibus, quantum non noxia corpora tardant,
And again, no less clearly;
"His quidam signis, atque hsec exempla secuti,
There is no distinction here between the souls of birds, beasts, fishes, insects, and men; none in their origin; none in their destination; each at its birth catches for itself a tiny spark of the ■worldsoul, passes through its little life, and is resolved into the great world-soul again. Possessed with this idea the ancient authors of the Gentile world, when they seem to say the noblest things are really depriving man of his sole value, his personality. Thus Cicero in the beautiful dream of Scipio makes Africanus say to his great descendant: "Be assured that it is not you, but this outward body which is mortal; for that outward shape does not exhibit your real being; but the mind is the man, not that figure which the finger can point out. Know therefore that you are god, if indeed he is god who has vigour, sense, memory, providence, who as much rules, directs, and moves that body over which he is set, as the supreme God this universe: and as God, himself eternal, moves a partially mortal universe, so the everlasting mind moves a frail body." And a little further on: "Since then what is moved by itself is clearly eternal, who can deny that such a nature has been given to souls? For every thing is soul-less which is moved by external impulse; but that which has soul is moved by internal motion, its own motion, for this is the proper nature and force of soul. And if soul be the one only thing which moves itself, then was it never born and is eternal."*
0 j£n. vi. 724. f Geor. iv. 219.
And so the ignorance which divested God of His creative power, by the same stroke divested man of his personality. In Greek and Roman philosophy man had not only ceased to be a creature, being conceived either as an emanation of the world-soul eternally transfused through material forms from generation to generation, or as a product of the earth's slime warmed into life by the sun's heat; but likewise, emanation or production as he was accounted, like all other living things, he could hardly in his short transit through the world be held to have a personal subsistence: or if this be allowed him, it must be allowed to all other living things, and at the same time was deprived of all moral value, being utterly extinguished at death by resumption into the worldsoul.
• Somn. Scip. 8, 9.
It is but a part of the same error as to the divine nature, that the notion of a divine providence observing and directing the course of the world, rewarding or punishing the actions of men, had likewise been lost. The wisest and the best of the heathen used with regard to such a providence the language of doubt. Perplexed with the frequent triumph of the evil, and suffering of the good, and without faith in a future state of retribution, doubt on this point was their best, and despair their ordinary state of mind. Thus Tacitus, describing the persecution and death of the virtuous Soranus, contrasts the conduct of a friend and client, a Stoic philosopher, at Rome, who was bribed to betray his patron, and amply rewarded for his hypocrisy and treachery, with that of a friend in the provinces, who remained faithful to him, and defended him, and for this was stripped of all his goods and banished; and he ends with the bitter sarcasm, "Such is the equity of the gods towards good and evil actions."* And what Tacitus here says, the historians and philosophers of Greece and Rome all thought.
It is in vain to seek for any certain hope of immortal life beyond the grave in Greek or Roman literature. Cicero, pleading, mocks such a belief as absurd; but. the pleader addresses himself to the general standard of human feeling and opinion. Cicero philosophising, wherein he addresses an
0 Tacitus, Annal. xvi. 33.