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It was the intention of Zeno to substitute for the visionary speculations of Platonism a system directed to the daily practices of life, and hence dealing Intention of chiefly with morals. To make men virtuous was Stoicism. his aim. But this is essentially connected with knowledge, for Zeno was persuaded that if we only know what is good we shall be certain to practise it. He therefore rejected Plato's fancies of Ideas and Reminiscences, leaning to the common-sense doctrines of Aristotle, to whom he approached in many details. With him Sense furnishes the data of knowledge, and Reason combines them : the soul being modified by external things, and modifying them in return, he believed that the mind is at first, as it were, a blank tablet, on which sensation writes marks, and that the distinctness of sensuous impressions is the criterion of their truth. The changes thus produced in the soul constitute ideas ; but, with a prophetic inspiration, he complained that man will never know the true essence of things.
In his Physics Zeno adopted the doctrine of Strato, that the world is a living being. He believed that The Physics nothing incorporeal can produce an effect, and of Zeno. hence that the soul is corporeal. Matter and its properties he considered to be absolutely inseparable, a property being actually a body. In the world there are two things, matter and God, who is the Reason of the world. Essentially, however, God and matter are the same thing, which assumes the aspect of matter from the passive point of view, and God from the active; he is, moreover, the prime moving force, Destiny, Necessity, a life-giving Soul, evolving things as the vital force evolves a plant out of a seed; the visible world is thus to be regarded as the material manifestation of God. The transitory objects which it on all sides presents will be reabsorbed after a season of time, and reunited in him. The Stoics pretended to indicate, even in a more definite manner, the process by which the world has arisen, and also its future destiny ; for, regarding the Supreme as a vital heat, they supposed that a portion of that fire, declining in energy, became transmuted into matter, and hence the origin of the world ; but that that fire, hereafter resuming its activity, would cause a universal conflagration, the end of things. During
the present state everything is in a condition of uncertain mutation, decays being followed by reproductions, and reproductions by decays; and, as a cataract shows from year to year an invariable form, though the water composing it is perpetually changing, so the objects around us are nothing more than a flux of matter offering a permanent form. Thus the visible world is only a moment in the life of God, and after it has vanished away like a scroll that is burned, a new period shall be ushered in, and a new heaven and a new earth, exactly like the ancient onos, shall arise. Since nothing can exist without its contrary, no injustice unless there was justice, no cowardice unless there was courage, no lie unless there was truth, no shadow unless there was light, so the existence of good necessitates that of evil. The Stoics believed that the development of the world is under the dominion of paramount law, supreme law, Destiny, to which God himself is subject, and that hence he can only develop the world in a predestined way, as the vital warmth evolves a seed into the predestined form of a plant.
The Stoics held it indecorous to offend needlessly the Esoteric phi. religious ideas of the times, and, indeed, they losophy of the admitted that there might be created gods like
those of Plato; but they disapproved of the adoration of images and the use of temples, making amends for their offences in these particulars by offering a semiphilosophical interpretation of the legends, and demonstrating that the existence, and even phenomenal display of the gods was in accordance with their principles. Perhaps to this exoteric philosophy we must ascribe the manner in which they expressed themselves as to final causes-expressions sometimes of amusing quaintnessthus, that the peacock was formed for the sake of his tail, and that a soul was given to the hog instead of salt, to prevent his body from rotting; that the final cause of plants is to be food for brutes, of brutes to be food for men, though they discreetly checked their irony in its ascending career, and abstained from saying that men are food for the gods, and the gods for all.
The Stoics concluded that the soul is mere warm breath, and that it and the body mutually interpervade one another.
They thought that it might subsist after death until the general conflagration, particularly if its energy Their opinions were great, as in the strong spirits of the virtuous of the nature and wise. Its unity of action implies that it of the soul. has a principle of identity, the I, of which the physiological seat is the heart. Every appetite, lust, or desire is an imperfect knowledge. Our nature and properties are forced upon us by Fate, but it is our duty to despise all our propensities and passions, and to live so that we may be free, intelligent, and virtuous.
This sentiment leads us to the great maxim of Stoical Ethics, “Live according to Reason;" or, since the world is composed of matter and God, who is the Reason of the world, “ Live in harmony with Nature.” As Reason is supreme 'n Nature, it ought to be so in man. Our existence should be intellectual, and all bodily pains Their ethical and pleasures should be despised. A harmony rules of between the human will and universal Reason wisdom. constitutes virtue. The free-will of the sage should guide his actions in the same irresistible manner in which universal Reason controls nature. Hence the necessity of a cultivation of physics, without which we cannot distinguish good from evil. The sage is directed to remember that Nature, in her operations, aims at the universal, and never spares individuals, but uses them as means for accomplishing her ends. It is for him, therefore, to submit to his destiny, endeavouring continually to establish the supremacy of Reason, and cultivating, as the things necessary to virtue, knowledge, temperance, fortitude, justice. He is at liberty to put patriotism at the value it is worth when he remembers that he is a citizen of the world ; he must train himself to receive in tranquillity the shocks of Destiny, and to be above all passion and all pain. He inust never relent and never forgive. He must remember that there are only two classes of men, the wise and the fools, as "sticks can only either be straight or crooked, and very few sticks in this world are absolutely straight.”
From the account I have given of Aristotle's philosophy, it
may be seen that he occupied a middle ground between the speculation of the old philosophy and the strict science
of the Alexandrian school. He is the true connecting Rise of Greek link, in the history of European intellectual
progress, between philosophy and science. Under his teaching, and the material tendencies of the Macedonian campaigns, there arose a class of men in Egypt who gave to the practical a development it had never before attained; for that country, upon the breaking up of Alexander's dominion, B.c. 323, falling into the possession of Ptolemy,
that general found himself at once the deposiposition of the tary of spiritual and temporal power. Of the
former, it is to be remembered that, though the conquest by Cambyses had given it a severe shock, it still not only survived, but displayed no inconsiderable tokens of strength. Indeed, it is well known that the surrender of Egypt to Alexander was greatly accelerated by hatred to the Persians, the Egyptians welcoming the Macedonians as their deliverers. In this movement we perceive at once the authority of the old priesthood. It is hard to tear up by the roots an ancient religion, the ramifications of which have solidly insinuated themselves among a populace. That of Egypt had already been the growth of more than three thousand years. The question for the intrusive Greek sovereigns to solve was how to co-ordinate They co-ordi- this hoary system with the philosophical sceptinate Egyptian cism that had issued as the result of Greek Greek scepti- thought. With singular sagacity, they saw
that this might be accomplished by availing themselves of Orientalism, the common point of contact of the two systems; and that, by its formal introduction and development, it would be possible not only to enable the philosophical king, to whom all the pagan gods were alike equally fictitious and equally useful, to manifest respect even to the ultra-heathenish practices of the Egyptian populace, but, what was of far more moment, to establish an apparent concord between the old sacerdotal Egyptian party-strong in its unparalleled antiquity; strong in its reminiscences; strong in its recent persecutions; strong in its Pharaonic relics, regarded by all men with a superstitious or reverent awe-and the free-thinking and versatile Greeks. The occasion was like some others in history, some even in our own times; a small but energetic
body of invaders was holding in subjection an ancient and populous country.
To give practical force to this project, a grand stato institution was founded at Alexandria. It became celebrated as the Museum. To it, as to a of Alexcentre, philosophers from all parts of the world converged. It is said that at one time not less than fourteen thousand students were assembled there. Alexandria, in confirmation of the prophetic foresight of the great soldier who founded it, quickly became an immense metropolis, abounding in mercantile and manufacturing activity. As is ever the case with such cities, its higher classes were prodigal and dissipated, its lower only to be held in restraint by armed force. Its public amusements were such as might be expected—theatrical shows, music, horseracing. In the solitude of such a d, or in the noise of such dissipation, anyone could find a retreat-atheists who had been banished from Athens, devotees from the Ganges, monotheistic Jews, blasphemers from Asia Minor. Indeed, it has been said that in this heterogeneous community blasphemy was hardly looked upon as a crime; at the worst, it was no more than an unfortunate, and, it might be, an innocent mistake. But, since uneducated men need some solid support on which their thoughts may rest, mere abstract doctrines not meeting their wants, it became necessary to provide a corporeal representation for this eclectic philosophical Pantheism, and hence the Ptolemies were obliged to restore, or, as some
Establishment say, to import the worship of the god Serapis. of the worship Those who affirm that he was imported say that of Serapis. he was brought from Sinope; modern Egyptian scholars, however, give a different account. As setting forth the Pantheistic doctrine of which he was the emblem, his image, subsequently to attain world-wide fame, was made of all kinds of metals and stones. “ All is God.” But still the people, with that instinct which other nations and ages have displayed, hankered after a female divinity, and this led to the partial restoration of the worship of Isis. It is interesting to remark how the humble classes never shake off the reminiscences of early life, leaning rather to the maternal than to the paternal attachment. Perhaps.