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idealistic, whether sceptical or religious. It includes the allegcirical mythology of the Stoics and the mysticism of Pythagoras, no less than the logic of Aristotle ar id the physics of Epicurus. Why then, after this era, a tre we to confine our attention to a portion, and that the less important portion, of the mental activity of the time? Why are we to turn our eyes exclusively to the philosophy of the Decline, and refuse to see the new life which is springing up by its side? By so doing,
, we lose, as it seems to me, one of the most interesting and instructive of spectacles; we spoil our view of history, and do injustice to both sides, while we insist on keeping them separate from each other. It is a partial but, so far as it goes, a true account of Christianity that it is the meeting-point of Judaism and Hellenism. We get a very wrong impression of the early Christian writers, if we disregard the Hellenic element in them. We should be able to judge more fairly of many of the Fathers, if we regarded them as successors of the philosophers, especially of practical teachers such as Epictetus and Dio Chrysostom, instead of treating them as channels of a sort of supernatural tradition. Superstitious reverence for their supposed authority makes it impossible to appreciate their real greatness as men. I think therefore that, after the rise of Christianity, Christian and Pagan philosophy should be treated of together, until the time when the West was again separated from the East, and Western thought was crushed under the invasion of the barbarians.
To give an accurate picture of the religious thought of the first four centuries after Christ, (and all thought was then more or less religious), to exhibit it in its relation
not only to the earlier philosophical ideas, but to the contemporary religious systems of Egypt and the East, is a work which still remains to be done, and one which would require a variety of the highest qualities for its adequate performance. I have been merely occupied here with the preliminary inquiry as to the manner in which the philosophy of Greece prepared the way for that great central epoch of all human history; to show how, in the words of Clement of Alexandria, 'philosophy was to the Greek, what the Law was to the Jew, the schoolmaster to bring him to Christ'.' It has therefore been my endeavour, while tracing the general development of philosophy in accordance with the lines laid down by Zeller, to note particularly the interaction of religion and philosophy, and show how the early hostility gave place to sympathy, as out of the old corrupt religion the form of a purer religion gradually disclosed itself to the mind of the philosopher, and philosophy itself learnt from fuller experience to distrust its own power whether of attaining to absolute truth or of moulding the character to virtue.
i Clem, Al, Strom. I. 5 p. 122.
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