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will to the Divine will, of acting not for private interest but for the good of all. And just as deeper thoughts about the nature of knowledge forced on men the conviction of their own ignorance, so deeper thoughts about virtue made men conscious of their own deficiency in virtue, and produced in them the new conviction of sin. The one conviction taught them their need of a revelation, the other conviction taught them their need of a purifying and sanctifying power'. And one step more philosophy could take : it chose out for its ideal of humanity, the Zeus-sprung son of Alcmena, whose life was spent in labours for the good of others, and who, after a death of agony on the burning pyre, was received up into heaven, thenceforth to be worshipped with divine honours by the gratitude of mankind.

1 See above, p. 160 foll. The prevalence of this feeling of guilt and need of atonement is shown by the rapid growth of Jewish proselytism about the time of Augustus, by the new forms of ablution and sacrifice introduced in connexion with the worship of strange deities such as Isis, Serapis, Cybele, Bellona, especially the bloodbath, taurobolium, which came into vogue in the 2nd century A. D. Virgil in his Messianic eclogue makes the power of cleansing from sin one of the attributes of the new-born King.

? Cicero and the Stoics continually appeal to the example of Hercules, see Off. III. 25 'It is more in accordance with nature to undergo the greatest labours and pains in order to save or help mankind, as Hercules did, whom the gratitude of men has placed among the company of the immortals, than to live alone in the highest enjoyment,'also Fin. II. 118, 111. 66, Tusc. I, 32 “That man is of the noblest character who believes himself born for the assistance, the preservation, the salvation, of his fellows. Hercules would never have ranked among the Gods, if he had not paved his own way to heaven, while still on earth,' Hor. Od. 111. 3, 9, IV. 5, 35, 8, 29, Epist. II. 1, 10.

Thus far the light of nature had carried men. Here, when it had reached its climax, in the fulness of time, as we believe, the light of revelation was vouchsafed, to confirm its hesitating utterances, to answer its questions, to supply its deficiencies, to manifest before the eyes of men the power of a new life in the Word made flesh. In Christianity we reach the true goal of the ethical and religious philosophy of the Ancients. Christ fulfilled the hopes and longings of the Stoic and the Platonist, as He fulfilled the law of Moses and the prophecies of Isaiah.

Here therefore, it seems to me, is the natural place to pause in our sketch of the development of ancient thought and see what was the highest attainment of the human mind, uninfluenced by Christianity. It is true there is one phase of that development, the mysticism of the Neo-Pythagorean and the Neo-Platonist schools, which we shall have to exclude, as it lies still in the future which we forbid ourselves to enter. But NeoPlatonism can, no more than Christianity, be regarded as a simple development of Hellenic or Western thought; it is a hybrid between East and West. Among its chief precursors we find the Alexandrian Jew Philo, born shortly after the death of Cicero, the object of whose teaching was to harmonize Judaism and Platonism, and Plutarch of Chaeronea, born about 50 A. D., who believed that a divine revelation was contained in the mysterious rites of Egypt no less than in the oracles of Delphi. The mixture of Orientalism is even more marked in the marvellous history of the Neo-Pythagorean Apollonius of Tyana, born about the time of the Christian era, which was afterwards utilized by the opponents of Christianity as a rival to the Gospel history. If then we are to admit these into a history of Western philosophy, on what principle are we to exclude genuine Greeks and Romans who added to a training in the old systems of philosophy, ideas borrowed, not from Judaism or Zoroastrianism or the religion of Egypt, but from Christianity ? For instance, on what grounds are we to exclude Justin Martyr, himself a philosopher by profession, who tells us that he had tried every sect, and at last found in Christianity what he had been vainly seeking in them? or Pantaenus the Stoic, or his pupil Clement of Alexandria, who saw in Christianity the perfect wisdom which united all the broken lights which had been divided in the several schools of the earlier philosophy? Why admit Apuleius, and exclude his fellow-countrymen Tertullian and Augustine, men not only of far greater natural ability, but of keener philosophical interest, and probably even better acquainted with the past history of philosophy? Why admit Plotinus and exclude his fellow-disciple Origen? The difficulty is increased when we remember the mutual influence of the Pagan and Christian philosophy. While some of the Pagan philosophers, such as Julian and Porphyry, owe their significance mainly to the fact that they endeavoured to remodel the old paganism into something which might hold its own against the rising religion; on the other hand many of the heresies were attempts to perpetuate some special doctrine of pagan philosophy within the pale of the Christian Church.

Or we may state the question in another way, as follows: up to the date of the Christian era the history of philosophy has been the history of thought in its most general sense, whether materialistic or idealistic, whether sceptical or religious. It includes the allegorical mythology of the Stoics and the mysticism of Pythagoras, no less than the logic of Aristotle and the physics of Epicurus. Why then, after this era, are 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, Stron. I. 5 p. 122.


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