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as also perhaps the peculiar discipline which he established among his pupils. He was distinguished in his day for the honor he rendered to woman. His wife is said to have been as devoted as himself in the search for truth; and many of the noblest women of Greece were among his scholars, - in connection with which fact it should be remarked, however, that he required each one of his pupils, upon entering the school, to take a vow of silence for five years. There was a school of philosophers in ancient
Hylozoists Greece, known as Hylozoists, in distinction and others. from the Atomists, whose speculations have a decidedly pantheistic flavor. Strato Lampsacenus was a master in this school, and is represented by Cudworth as the teacher of a certain crude pantheism. “Strato's deity," says he,
was a certain living and active, but senseless nature. He did not fetch the original of all things, as the Democritic and Epicurean atheists, from a mere fortuitous motion of atoms, by means whereof he bore some slight resemblance of a theist; but yet he was a downright atheist for all that, his god being no other than such a life of nature or matter as was both devoid of sense and consciousness, and also multiplied together with the several parts of it.” 1 Coleridge was no doubt right in saying that “pantheism was taught in the mysteries of Greece." Yet it is hardly fair to study those ancient systems, as too many critics seem to have done, with the foregone conclusion, that so far as they were not polytheistic they were pantheistic. The presupposition of pure monotheism would explain certain portions of them just as well. Men who think, and who find their data in consciousness, are exposed to pantheism when
1 Intellectual System, Vol. I., pp. 149, 150.
they forsake the true God; and this is enough to establish the fact that many of the Greek philosophers, though we dare not say precisely which ones, were forerunners of Spinoza.
Of the contemplative Orientals it is far more
true than of the Greeks, that, in their ignorance of the true God, they inclined to .pantheism. We find in the East a philosophy of the senses, quite as earnest as that of Democritus or Epicurus, and resulting in a vast system of Positivism ; but the main current of thought there seems always to have set more naturally towards Spinozism. The ancient Hindoos, if we may trust Sir William Jones, “ believed that the whole creation is an energy rather than a work, by which the infinite mind is present at all times and in all places, and exhibits to his creatures a set of perceptions, like a wonderful picture or piece of music always varied but always uniform.”. Here we have laid open the secret of the Brahmanical emanations, the source of the pleroma and eons of the Gnostics, the origin of nearly all that is most profound in Oriental religion and philosophy. There are many things also, in
the writings of the ancient Egyptians, which Egyptian speculation.
seem to anticipate the teachings of modern pantheism. The inscription on the veiled image at Sais, “I am all that was, is, and shall be, and my veil no mortal could ever uplift,” may have been the utterance of a pantheistic creed, as also the following words, taken by Cudworth from the Trismegistic or Hermaic books : " He (God) is both incorporeal and omnicorporeal; for there is nothing of any body which he is not; he is all things that are, and therefore he hath all names; because all things are from one father; and therefore he hath no name, because he is the father of all things.” 1
Such passages abound in the sacred books of the Egyptians; but to search them out, and discriminate between those which teach pantheism and those which teach a primitive monotheism, would be a wearisome, if it were a possible, task.
Recent researches have shown, however, that not all of those old speculations were mere fore- monotheism. shadowings of Spinozism; that some of them, at least, are worthy to be put in a nobler category; that they may have been, and probably were, instances of a more or less pure monotheism. The study of language and mythology, pursued with such eagerness by certain German and French scholars, has nearly demonstrated that there was, far away beyond the ages of polytheism, a general belief in the God of Balaam and Melchisedek. Thus the testimony of science is confirming the scriptural record. And who knows but it may yet be found that many dwelling in the shadow of paganism, and now called pantheists, were worshippers of the true God? “We see in the history of the religions of China," says Professor Martin, of the Imperial College at Pekin, "a process directly the reverse of that which certain atheistic writers of modern Europe assert to be the natural progress of the human mind. According to them, men set out with the belief of many gods, which they at length reduce to unity, and finally supersede by recognizing the laws of nature as independent of a personal Administrator. The history of China is fatal to this theory. The worship of one God is the oldest form of Chinese religion, and idolatry is an innovation.” 2
1 Cudworth, Vol. I., p. 589.
2 New Englander, April, 1869.
There is evidence also in the Orphic poetry of
Greece, that the most ancient thinkers of that land believed in one God, - one supreme, unmade Deity, the original of all things.” Was there nothing of this nature in the mind of the Greek poet when he wrote, “Nothing is accomplished on the earth without thee, O God, save the deeds which the wicked perpetrate in their folly”? And what shall we say to the words of Sophocles in the Edipus? "May destiny aid me to preserve unsullied the purity of my words and of all my actions, according to those sublime laws which, brought forth in the celestial heights, have Heaven alone for their father, to which the race of mortal men did not give birth, and which oblivion shall never entomb. In them is a supreme God, and one who waxes not old.” Or listen to this, found on a roll of papyrus in the coffin of an Egyptian mummy: “I am the Most Holy, the Creator of all that replenishes the earth, and of the earth itself, habitation of
mortals. I am the Prince of the infinite ages. Testimony. I am the great and mighty God, the Most High,
shining in the midst of the careering stars, and of the armies which praise me over thy head. It is I who chastise and who judge the evil doers and the persecutors of godly men. I discover and confound the liars. I am the all-seeing Judge and Avenger; the guardian of my laws.is the land of righteousness.” Here, now, is a voice, coming to us out of the ancient wonder-land, from a time far beyond its degrading idolatries, which seems to catch up and sound forward the words spoken to Adam and Noah.
Ernest Naville, late Professor of Philosophy in the
University of Geneva, has taken pains to gather
i Published by W. V. Spencer, Boston, 1867.