Christianity and Greek Philosophy
by Benjamin Franklin Cocker
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To satisfy the demands of divine justice, to show its hatred of sin, and to deter others from transgression, sin is punished. Punishment is the penalty due to sin; in the language of Homer, it is the payment of a debt incurred by sin. When the transgressor is punished he is said to "pay off," or "pay back" his crimes; in other words, to expatiate or atone for them.

"If not at once, Yet soon or late will Jove assert their claim, And heavy penalty the perjured pay With their own blood, their children's, and their wives'."[936]

At the same time the belief is expressed that the gods may be, and often are, propitiated by prayers and sacrifices, and thus the penalty is remitted.

"The Gods themselves, in virtue, honor, strength, Excelling thee, may yet be mollified; For they when mortals have transgressed, or fail'd To do aright, by sacrifice and pray'r, Libations and burnt-off'rings, may be sooth'd."[937]

[Footnote 934: "Iliad," bk. xix. l. 91-101 (Lord Derby's translation).]

[Footnote 935: Ibid., bk. ix. l. 132-136.]

[Footnote 936: Ibid., bk. iv. l. 185-188.]

[Footnote 937: Ibid., bk. ix. l. 581-585.]

Polytheism, then, as Dr. Schaff has remarked, had the voice of conscience, and a sense, however obscure, of sin. It felt the need of reconciliation with deity, and sought that reconciliation by prayer, penance, and sacrifice.[938]

The sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the absolute need of expiation, is determined with increasing clearness and definiteness in the tragic poets.

The first great law which the Tragedians recognize, as a law written on the heart, is "that the sinner must suffer for his sins." The connection between sin and suffering is constantly recognized as a natural and necessary connection, like that between sowing and reaping.

A haughty spirit, blossoming, bears a crop Of woe, and reaps a harvest of despair.[939]

"Lust and violence beget lust and violence, and vengeance too, at the appointed time."[940] "Impiety multiplies and perpetuates itself."[941] "The sinner pays the debt he contracted, ends the career that he begins,"[942] "and drinks to the dregs the cup of cursing which he himself had filled."[943] Conscience is the instrument in the hands of Justice and Vengeance by which the Most High inflicts punishment. The retributions of sin are "wrought out by God."

The consequences of great crimes, especially in high places, extend to every person and every thing connected with them. "The country and the country's gods are polluted."[944] "The army and the people share in the curse."[945] "The earth itself is polluted with the shedding of blood,"[946] "and even the innocent and the virtuous who share the enterprises of the wicked may be involved in their ruin, as the pious man must sink with the ungodly when he embarks in the same ship."[947]

[Footnote 938: Tyler, "Theology of the Greek Poets," p. 258.]

[Footnote 938: AEschylus, "Persae," l. 821.]

[Footnote 940: "Agamemnon," l. 763.]

[Footnote 941: Ibid., l. 788.]

[Footnote 942: Ibid., l. 1529.]

[Footnote 943: Ibid., l. 1397.]

[Footnote 944: Ibid., l. 1645.]

[Footnote 945: "Persae," passim.]

[Footnote 946: "Sup.," 265.]

[Footnote 947: "Theb.," p. 602.]

The pollution and curse of sin, when once contracted by an individual, or entailed upon a family, will rest upon them and pursue them till the polluted individual or the hated and accursed race is extinct, unless in some way the sin can be expiated, or some god interpose to arrest the penalty. The criminal must die by the hand of justice, and even in Hades vengeance will still pursue him.[948] Others may in time be washed away by ablutions, worn away by exile and pilgrimage, and expiated by offerings of blood.[949] But great crimes can not be washed away; "For what expiation is there for blood when once it has fallen on the ground."[950] Thus the law ([Greek: nomos])—for so it is expressly called—as from an Attic Sinai, rolls its reverberating thunders, and pronounces its curses upon sin, from act to act and from chorus to chorus of that grand trilogy—the "Agamemnon," the "Choephoroe," and the "Eumenides."

[Footnote 948: "Sup.," l. 227.]

[Footnote 949: "Eum.," l. 445 seq.]

[Footnote 950: "Choeph.," l. 47.]

But after the law comes the gospel. First the controversy, then the reconciliation. A dim consciousness of sin and retribution as a fact, and of reconciliation as a want, seems to have revealed itself even in the darkest periods of history. This consciousness underlies not a few of the Greek tragedies. "The 'Prometheus Bound' was followed by the 'Prometheus Unbound,' reconciled and restored through the intervention of Jove's son. The 'oedipus Tyrannus' of Sophocles was completed by the 'oedipus Colonus,' where he dies in peace amid tokens of divine favor. And so the 'Agamemnon' and 'Choephoroe' reach their consummation only in the 'Eumenides,' where the Erinyes themselves are appeased, and the Furies become the gracious ones. This is not, however, without a special divine interposition, and then only after a severe struggle between the powers that cry for justice and those that plead for mercy."

The office and work which, in this trilogy, is assigned to Jove's son, Apollo, must strike every reader as at least a remarkable resemblance, if not a foreshadowing of the Christian doctrine of reconciliation. "This becomes yet more striking when we bring into view the relation in which this reconciling work stands to [Greek: Zeus Soter], Jupiter Saviour—[Greek: Zeus tritos], Jupiter the third, who, in connection with Apollo and Athena, consummates the reconciliation. Not only is Apollo a [Greek: Soter], a Saviour, who, having himself been exiled from heaven among men, will pity the poor and needy;[951] not only does Athena sympathize with the defendant at her tribunal, and, uniting the office of advocate and judge, persuade the avenging deities to be appeased;[952] but Zeus is the beginning and end of the whole process. Apollo appears as the advocate of Orestes only at her bidding;[953] Athena inclines to the side of the accused, as the offspring of the brain of Zeus, and of like mind with him."[954] Orestes, after his acquittal, says that he obtained it

"By means of Pallas and of Loxias And the third Saviour who doth all things sway."[955]

Platonism reveals a still closer affinity with Christianity in its doctrine of sin, and its sense of the need of salvation. Plato is sacredly jealous for the honor and purity of the divine character, and rejects with indignation every hypothesis which would make God the author of sin. "God, inasmuch as he is good, can not be the cause of all things, as the common doctrine represents him to be. On the contrary, he is the author of only a small part of human affairs; of the larger part he is not the author; for our evil things far outnumber our good things. The good things we must ascribe to God, whilst we must seek elsewhere, and not in him, the causes of evil."[956] The doctrine of the poets, which would in some way charge on the gods the errors of men, he sternly resists. We must express our disapprobation of Homer, or any other poet, if guilty of such foolish blunders about the gods as to tell us[957]

'Fast by the threshold of Jove's court are placed Two casks, one stored with evil, one with good,'

And that he for whom the Thunderer mingles both

'He leads a life checker'd with good and ill.'

[Footnote 951: "Sup.," l. 214.]

[Footnote 952: "Eum.," l. 970.]

[Footnote 953: Ibid., l. 616.]

[Footnote 954: Ibid., l. 664, 737.]

[Footnote 955: Tyler's "Theology of the Greek Poets," especially ch. v., from which the above materials are drawn.]

[Footnote 956: "Republic," bk. ii. ch. xviii.]

[Footnote 957: "Iliad," xxiv., l. 660.]

Nor can we let our young people know that, in the words of AEschylus—

"'When to destruction God will plague a house He plants among the members guilt and sin.'"[958]

Whatever in the writings of Homer and the tragic poets give countenance to the notion that God is, in the remotest sense the author of sin, must be expunged. Here is clearly a great advance in ethical conceptions.

The great defect in the ethical system of Plato was the identification of evil with the inferior or corporeal nature of man—"the irascible and concupiscible elements," fashioned by the junior divinities. The rational and immortal part of man's nature, which is derived immediately from God—the Supreme Good, naturally chooses the good as its supreme end and destination. Hence he adopted the Socratic maxim "that no man is willingly evil," that is, no man deliberately chooses evil as evil, but only as a seeming good—he does not choose evil as an end, though he may choose it voluntarily as a means. Plato manifests great solicitude to guard this maxim from misconception and abuse. Man has, in his judgment, the power to act in harmony with his higher reason, or contrary to reason; to obey the voice of conscience or the clamors of passion, and consequently he is the object of praise or blame, reward or punishment. "When a man does not consider himself, but others, as the cause of his own sins,.... and even seeks to excuse himself from blame, he dishonors and injures his own soul; so, also, when contrary to reason.... he indulges in pleasure, he dishonors it by filling it with vice and remorse."[959] The work and effort of life, the end of this probationary economy, is to make reason triumphant over passion, and discipline ourselves to a purer and nobler life.

[Footnote 958: "Republic," bk. ii. ch, xviii., xix.]

[Footnote 959: "Laws," bk. v. ch. i.]

The obstacles to a virtuous life are, however, confessedly numberless, and, humanly speaking, insurmountable. To raise one's self above the clamor of passion, the power of evil, the bondage of the flesh, is acknowledged, in mournful language, to be a hopeless task. A cloud of sadness shades the brow of Plato as he contemplates the fallen state of man. In the "Phaedrus" he describes, in gorgeous imagery, the purity, and beauty, and felicity of the soul in its anterior and primeval state, when, charioteering through the highest arch of heaven in company with the Deity, it contemplated the divine justice and beauty; but "this happy life," says he, "we forfeited by our transgression." Allured by strange affections, our souls forgot the sacred things that we were made to contemplate and love—we fell. And now, in our fallen state, the soul has lost its pristine beauty and excellence. It has become more disfigured than was Glaucus, the seaman "whose primitive form was not recognizable, so disfigured had he become by his long dwelling in the sea."[960] To restore this lost image of the good,—to regain "this primitive form," is not the work of man, but God. Man can not save himself. "Virtue is not natural to man, neither is it to be learned, but it comes by a divine influence. Virtue, is the gift of God."[961] He needs a discipline, "an education which is divine." If he is saved from the common wreck, it must be "by the special favor of Heaven."[962] He must be delivered from sin, if ever delivered, by the interposition of God.

[Footnote 960: "Republic," bk. x. ch. xi.]

[Footnote 961: "Meno."]

[Footnote 962: "Republic," bk. vi. ch. vi., vii.]

Plato was, in some way, able to discover the need of a Saviour, to desire a Saviour, but he could not predict his appearing. Hints are obscurely given of a Conqueror of sin, an Assuager of pain, an Averter of evil in this life, and of the impending retributions of the future life; but they are exceedingly indefinite and shadowy. In all instances they are rather the language of desire, than of hope. Platonism awakened in the heart of humanity a consciousness of sin and a profound feeling of want—the want of a Redeemer from sin, a spiritual, a divine Remedy for its moral malady—and it strove after some remedial power. But it was equally conscious of failure and defeat. It could enlighten the reason, but it could only act imperfectly on the will. Platonic was a striking counterpart to Pauline experience prior to the apostle's deliverance by the power and grace of Christ. It discovered that "the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good." It recognized that "it is spiritual, but man is carnal, the slave of sin." It could say, "What I do I approve not; for I do not what I would, but what I hate. But if my will [my better judgment] is against what I do, I consent unto the Law that it is good. And now it is no more I that do it, but sin, that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, good abideth not, for to will is present with me, but the power to do the right is absent: the good that I would, I do not; but the evil that I would not, that I do. I consent gladly to the law of God in my inner man ['the rational and immortal nature'[963]]; but I behold a law in my members ['the irascible and concupiscible nature'[964]] warring against the law of my mind (or reason), and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"[965] Paul was able to say, "I thank God (that he hath now delivered me), through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Platonism could only desire, and hope, and wait for the coming of a Deliverer.

[Footnote 963: Plato.]

[Footnote 964: Ibid.]

[Footnote 965: Romans, vii.]

This consciousness of the need of supernatural light and help, and this aspiration after a light supernatural and divine, which Plato inherited from Socrates, constrained him to regard with toleration, and even reverence, every apparent approach, every pretension, even, to a divine inspiration and guidance in the age in which he lived. "'The greatest blessings which men receive come through the operation of phrensy ([Greek: mania]—inspired exaltation), when phrensy is the gift of God. The prophetess of Delphi, and the priestess of Dodona, many are the benefits which in their phrensies (moments of inspiration) they have bestowed upon Greece; but in their hours of self-possession, few or none. And too long were it to speak of the Sibyl, and others, who, inspired and prophetic, have delivered utterances beneficial to the hearers. Indeed, this word phrenetic or maniac is no reproach; it is identical with mantic—prophetic.[966] And often when diseases and plagues have fallen upon men for the sins of their forefathers, some phrensy too has broken forth, and in prophetic strain has pointed out a remedy, showing how the sin might be expiated, and the gods appeased (by prayers, and purifications, and atoning rites).... So many and yet more great effects could I tell you of the phrensy which comes from the gods."[967] Some have discerned in all this merely the food for a feeble ridicule. They regard these sentiments as simply an evidence of the power and prevalence of superstition clouding the loftiest intellects in ancient times. By the more thoughtful and philosophic mind, however, they will be accepted as an indication of the imperishable and universal faith of humanity in a supernatural and supersensuous world, and in the possibility of some communication between heaven and earth.[968] And above all, it is a conclusive proof that Plato believed that the knowledge of salvation—of a remedy for sin, a method of expiation for sin, a means of deliverance from the power and punishment of sin, must be revealed from Heaven.

[Footnote 966: [Greek: Mania], phrensy; [Greek: pantis], a prophet—one who utters oracles in a state of divine phrensy; [Greek: pantike], the prophetic art.]

[Footnote 967: "Phaedrus," Sec. 47-50 (Whewell's translation).]

[Footnote 968: "Vetus opinio est, jam usque ab heroicis ducta temporibus, eaque et populi Romani et omnium gentium firmata consensu, versari quandem inter homines divinationem."—Cicero, "De Divin.," i. I.]

Paul, then, found, even in that focus of Paganism, the city of Athens, religious aspirations tending towards Jesus Christ. A true philosophic method, notwithstanding its shortcomings and imperfections, concluded by desiring and seeking "the Unknown God," by demanding him from all forms of worship, from all schools of philosophy. The great work of preparation in the heathen world consisted in the developing of the desire for salvation. It proved that God is the great want of every human soul; that there is a profound affinity between conscience and the living God; and that Tertullian was right when he wrote the "Testimonium Animae naturaliter Christianae."[969] And when it was sufficiently demonstrated that "the world by philosophy knew not God (as a Redeeming God and Saviour), then it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." This was all a dispensation of divine providence, which was determined by, or "in, the wisdom of God."[970]

The history of the religions and philosophies of human origin thus becomes to us a striking confirmation of the truth of Christianity. It shows there is a wondrous harmony between the instinctive wants and yearnings of the human heart, as well as the necessary ideas and laws of the reason, and the fundamental principles of revealed religion. There is "a law written on the heart"—written by the finger of God, which corresponds to the laws written by the same finger on "tables of stone." There are certain necessary and immutable principles and ideas infolded in the reason of man, which harmonize with the revelations of the Eternal Logos in the written word.[971] There are instinctive longings, mysterious yearnings of the human heart, to which that unveiling of the heart of God which is made in the teaching and life of the incarnate God most satisfyingly answers. Within the depths of the human spirit there is an "oracle" which responds to the voice of "the living oracles of God."

[Footnote 969: Pressense, "Religions before Christ" (Introduction); Neander, "Church History," vol. i. (Introduction).]

[Footnote 970: I Corinthians, i. 21.]

[Footnote 971: "The surmise of Plato, that the world of appearance subsists in and by a higher world of Divine Thought, is confirmed by Christianity when it tells us of a Divine subsistence—that Eternal Word by whom and in whom all things consist."—Vaughan, "Hours with the Mystics," vol. i. p. 213.]

Here, then, are two distinct and independent revelations—the unwritten revelation which God has made to all men in the constitution of the human mind, and the external written revelation which he has made in the person and teaching of his Son. And these two are perfectly harmonious. We have here two great volumes—the volume of conscience, and the volume of the New Testament. We open them, and find they announce the same truths—one in dim outline, the other in a full portraiture. There are the same fundamental principles underlying both revelations. They both bear the impress of divinity. The history of philosophy may have been marked by many errors of interpretation; so, also, has the history of dogmatic theology. Men may have often misunderstood and misinterpreted the dictates of conscience; so have theologians misunderstood and misinterpreted the dictates of revelation. The perversions of conscience and reason have been plead in defense of error and sin; and so, for ages, have the perversions of Scripture been urged in defense of slavery, oppression, falsehood, and wrong. Sometimes the misunderstood utterances of conscience, of philosophy, and of science have been arrayed against the incorrect interpretations of the Word of God. But when both are better understood, and more justly conceived, they are found in wondrous harmony. When the New Testament speaks to man of God, of duty, of immortality, and of retribution, man feels that its teachings "commend themselves to his conscience" and reason. When it speaks to him of redemption, of salvation, of eternal life and blessedness, he feels that it meets and answers all the wants and longings of his heart. Thus does Christianity throw light upon the original revelations of God in the human conscience, and answers all the yearnings of the human soul. So it is found in individual experiences, so it has been found in the history of humanity. As Leverrier and Adams were enabled to affirm, from purely mathematical reasoning, that another planet must exist beyond Uranus which had never yet been seen by human eyes, and then, afterwards, that affirmation was gloriously verified in the discovery of Neptune by the telescope of Galle; so the reasonings of ancient philosophy, based on certain necessary laws of mind, enabled man to affirm the existence of a God, of the soul, of a future retribution, and an eternal life beyond the grave; and, then, subsequently, these were brought fully into light, and verified by the Gospel.

We conclude in the words of Pressense: "To isolate it from the past, would be to refuse to comprehend the nature of Christianity itself, and the extent of its triumphs. Although the Gospel is not, as has been affirmed, the product of anterior civilizations—a mere compound of Greek and Oriental elements—it is not the less certain that it brings to the human mind the satisfaction vainly sought by it in the East as in the West. Omnia subito is not its device, but that of the Gnostic heresy. Better to say, with Clement of Alexandria and Origen, that the night of paganism had its stars to light it, but that they called to the Morning-star which stood over Bethlehem."

"If we regard philosophy as a preparation for Christianity, instead of seeking in it a substitute for the Gospel, we shall not need to overstate its grandeur in order to estimate its real value."



Abstraction, comparative and immediate, 187-189; 362-364.

AEschylus, his conception of the Supreme Divinity, 146; his recognition of human guilt, and need of expiation, 515-517.

AEtiological proof of the existence of God, 487-489.

Anaxagoras, an Eclectic, 311; in his physical theory an Atomist, 312; taught that the Order of the universe can only be explained by Intelligence, 312; his psychology, 313; the teacher of Socrates, 313.

Anaximander, his first principle the infinite, 290; his infinite a chaos of primary elements, 290.

Anaximenes, a vitalist, 286; his first principle air, 287.

Aristotle, his opinion of the popular polytheism of Greece, 157; his classification of causes, 280, 404, 405; his misrepresentations of Pythagoras, 299; his classification of the sciences, 389; his Organon, 389-394; his Logic, 394-403; his Theology, 404-417; his Ethics, 417-421; his Categories, 395; his logical treatises, 396; on induction and deduction, 396-398; his psychology, 398, 401; on how the knowledge of first principles is attained, 394, 402, 403; on Matter and Form, 405-408; on Potentiality and Actuality, 408-412; his proof of the Divine existence, 412-415; on the chief good of man, 419, 420; his doctrine of the Mean, 420, 421; defect of his ethical system, 505.

[Archai], or first principles, the grand object of investigation in Greek Philosophy, 271, 274, 279, 280.

Athenians, criticism on Plutarch's sketch of their character, 45; their vivacity, 45; love of freedom, 46—and of country, 46; private life of, 47; intellectual character of, 48; inquisitive and analytic, 48; rare combinations of imagination and reasoning powers, 49; religion of, 98; the Athenians a religious people, 102; their faith in the being and providence of God, 107; their consciousness of dependence on God, 110, 116; their religious emotions, 117; their deep consciousness of sin and guilt, 122-124; their sense of the need of expiation, 124, 125; their religion exerted some wholesome moral influence, 162, 163.

Athens, topography of 27; the Agora, 28; its porticoes, 29; the Acropolis, 30; its temples, 31; the Areopagus, 33; sacred objects in, 98, 99; images of the gods, 99; localities of schools of philosophy in, 266-268.

Attica, geographical boundaries of, 26; a classic land, 34; its geographical and cosmical conditions providentially ordained for great moral ends, 34, 35; soil of, not favorable to agriculture, 40—necessitated industry and frugality, 41; the climate of, 41—its influence on the mental character of the people, 42.


Bacon, his assertion that the search after final causes had misled scientific inquirers, 222.


Categories of Aristotle, 395.

Causality, principle of, 189; assailed by the Materialists, 194—especially by Comte, 203-209; the intuition of power a fact of immediate consciousness, 204; consciousness of effort the type of all force, 211; Aristotle on Causality, 413; aetiological proof of existence of God, 487-489.

Cause, origin of the idea of, 204, 205.

Causes, Aristotle's classification of, 280, 404, 405.

Chief good of man, Aristotle on, 419, 420.

Cleanthes, his hymn to Jupiter, 452, 453.

Comte, his theory of the origin of religion, 57-65; his doctrine that all knowledge is confined to material phenomena, 203; denies all causation, both efficient and final, 203-214.

Conditioned, law of the, 227, 228; is contradictory, 250; as a ground of faith, meaningless and void, 251.

Cosmological proof of the existence of God, 489, 490.

Cousin, his theory that religion had its outbirth in the spontaneous apperceptions of reason, 78-84; criticism thereon, 84-86.

Criterion of truth, Plato's search after, 333, 334.

Cudworth, his interpretation of Grecian mythology, 139, 143.

Cuvier, on final causes, 216, 222.


Darwin, his inability to explain the facts of nature without recognizing design, 221, 222.

Democritus, taught that atoms and the vacuum are the beginning of all things, 292; an absolute materialist, 293.

Dependence, consciousness of, the foundation of primary religious emotions, 110-113.

Development, law of mental, 478; three successive stages clearly marked, in the individual, 478—in the universal mind of humanity, 479, 480; (1) in the field of Theistic conceptions, 481-494; (2) in the department of morals, 495-509; (3) in the department of religious sentiment, 509-522.

Dialectic of Plato, 353-369.

Dogmatic Theologians, assert that all our knowledge of God is derived from the teaching of the Scriptures, 86,167; cast doubt upon the principle of causality, 253-255—upon the principle of the unconditioned, 255-257—upon the principle of unity, 258-261—and upon the immutable principles of morality, 261-263.

Dynamical or Vital school of ancient philosophers, 282-289.


Eclecticism of Anaxagoras, 311.

Emotions, the religious, 117-122; sentiment of the Divine exists in all minds, 119-121; also instinctive yearning after the Invisible, 121, 122.

Empedocles, a believer in one Supreme God, 153.

Epicurus, his theory of the origin of religion, 56, 57; his Ethics, 427-432; his Physics, 433-438; taught that pleasure is the chief end of life, 428—that ignorance of nature is the sole cause of unhappiness, 432—that Physics and Psychology are the only studies conducive to happiness, 432—that the universe is eternal and infinite, 433—that concrete bodies are combinations of atoms, 434—that atoms have spontaneity, 436, and some degree of freedom, 436, 437; the parts of the world self-formed, 437, 438; plants, animals, and man are spontaneously generated, 438; a state of savagism the primitive condition of man, 439; his Atheism, 441; his Psychology, 442-444; the soul material and mortal, 445, 446.

Eternity, Platonic notion of, 349 (note), 372, 373.

Eternity of Matter, how taught by Plato, 371-373; distinctly affirmed by Epicurus, 433.

Eternity of the Soul, Plato's doctrine of, 373-375.

Ethical ideas and principles, gradual development of, 495, 496; (1) the age of popular and unconscious morals, 497, 498; (2) the transitional or sophistical age, 498-500; (3) the philosophic or conscious age, 500-506.

Ethics of Plato, 383-387, 502-505; of Aristotle, 417-42l; of Epicurus, 427-432; of the Stoics, 454, 456.

Expiation for sin, the need of, 124; universally acknowledged, 124—especially in Grecian mythology, 125—and in the language of Greece and Rome, 125.


Facts of the universe, classification of, 175-177.

Fathers, the early, recognized the propaedeutic office of Greek philosophy, 473-475.

Feeling, theories which ground all religion on, 70-74; its inadequacy, 74-78.

Final Causes, impossibility of interpreting nature without recognizing, 221, 222; the assumption of final causes a means of discovery, 222, 223; Cuvier on, 216, 222; argument of Socrates from, 320-324; Plato on, 380-382; Aristotle on, 405, 413, 414; teleological proof of the existence of God, 490, 491.

Force, the idea of, rejected by Comte, 207.

Forces, all of one type, and that type mind, 211.

Freedom, human, 19; exists under limitations, 20; both admitted and denied by Comte, 208, 209; of Will, as taught by Plato, 386, 387; admitted by Epicurus, 486.


Geoffrey St. Hilaire, his pretense of not ascribing any intentions to nature, 216, 217.

Geography and History, relations between, 14; opposite theories concerning, 15; theory of Buckle, 16—of Ritter, Guyot, and Coubin, 16; the relation one of adjustment and harmony, 16.

God, universality of idea of, 89; Athenians believed in one God, 107, 147, 148; idea of God a common phenomenon of human intelligence, 168, 169; the development of this idea dependent on experience conditions, 169-172; the phenomena of the universe demand a God for their explanation, 172-175: there are principles revealed in consciousness which necessitate the idea of God, 184-189; proofs of the existence of God employed by Aristotle, 412-416—by Socrates, 320-324; views of God entertained by the Stoics, 452, 453; logical proofs of the existence of God developed by Greek philosophy, 487-494; gradual development of Theistic conception, 481-487.

Gods of Grecian Mythology, how regarded by the philosophers, 151-157; views of Plato regarding them, 383.

Great men, represent the spirit of their age, 20; the creation of a providence interposing in history, 21.

Greece, its geographical relations favorable to free intercourse with the great historic nations, 35—to commerce, 36—to the diffusion of knowledge, 36—and to a high degree of civilization, 36; peculiar configuration of Greece conducive to activity and freedom, 36-38—and independence, 38; natural scenery, 43—its influence on imagination and taste, 44.

Greek Civilization, a preparation for Christianity, 465-468.

Greek Language, a providentially prepared vehicle for the perfect revelation of Christianity, 468-470.

Greek Philosophy, first a philosophy of Nature, 271, 281, 282; next a philosophy of Mind, 271, 316-318; lastly a philosophy of Life, 271, 422; prepared the way for Christianity, 457-522.

Greeks, the masses of the people believed in one Supreme God, 147, 148.

Guilt, consciousness of, a universal fact, 122, 123; recognized in Grecian mythology, 123, 124; awakened and deepened by philosophy, 513-518.


Hamilton, Sir W., teaches that philosophic knowledge is the knowledge of effects as dependent on causes, 224, 225; and of qualities as inherent in substances, 225, 226; and yet asserts all human knowledge is necessarily confined to phenomena, 227; his doctrine of the relativity of all knowledge, 227, 229-236; his philosophy of the conditioned, 228; conditional limitation the law of all thought, 236-242; the Infinite a mere negation of thought, 242-246; asserts we must believe in the infinity of God, 246; takes refuge in faith, 247; faith grounded on the law of the conditioned, 243, 249—that is, on contradiction, 249, 250.

Hegel, his philosophy of religion, 65-70.

Heraclitus, his first principle ether, 288; change, the universal law of all existence, 288; a Materialistic Pantheist, 289.

Hesiod, on the generation of the gods, 142.

Homer, his conception of Zeus, 144, 145.

Homeric doctrine of sin, 513,514.

Homeric theology, 143-145, 509, 510.

Humanity, fundamental ideas and laws of, 18; developed and modified by exterior conditions, 19; the most favorable conditions existed in Athens.


Idealism, furnishes no adequate explanation of the common belief in an external world, 193,199—and of a personal self, 200-202; Cosmothetic Idealism, 305; absolute Idealism, 305.

Ideas, Platonic doctrine of, 334-337; Platonic scheme of, 364-367.

Images of the gods, how regarded by Cicero, 129—by Plutarch, 129; the heathens apologized for the use of images, 159.

Immortality of the soul, taught by Socrates, 324—and by Plato, 375, 376; denied by Epicurus, 444-446.

Incarnation, the idea of, not unfamiliar to heathen thought, 512.

Induction, the psychological method of Plato, 356, 357.

Induction and Deduction, Aristotle on, 397, 398.

Infinite, the, not a mere negation of thought, 242-244; known as the necessary correlative of the finite, 245; as comprehensible in itself, as the finite is comprehensible in itself, 246; in what sense known, 252.

Infinite Series, the phrase, when literally construed, a contradiction, 181,182.

Infinity, qualitative and quantitative, 239; qualitative infinity possessed by God alone, 184, 239.

Intentionality, principle of, 190; denied by Materialists, 194; a first law of thought, 221-223; recognized by Socrates, 320-324.

Ionian School of Philosophy, a physical and sensational school, 281; subdivided into Mechanical and Dynamical, 282, 283.

Italian School of Philosophy, an Idealist school, 281; subdivided into the Mathematical and Metaphysical, 282, 296.


Jacobi, his faith-philosophy, 71.


Knowledge, Hamilton's doctrine of relativity of, 229-236; opposite theories of knowledge among ancient philosophers, 330, 331; the tendency of these theories, 332; Plato's theory of, 333, 334; Plato's science of real knowledge, 337, 338.


Language, inadequate to convey the idea of God, 92-94; Greek language the best medium for the Christian revelation, 468-470.

Leucippus, his first principles atoms and space, 291; a pure Materialist, 292.

Logic of Aristotle, 394-403.

Logical Treatises of Aristotle, 395, 396.

Lucretius, the expounder of the doctrines of Epicurus, 426,427; his account of the origin of worlds, 437, 438; of plants, animals, and man, 438.


Mansel, bases religion on feeling of dependence, 72—and sense of obligation, 73.

Materialists deny the principle of causality, 194, 203—and of intentionality or final cause, 211-225; Anaximander, Leucippus, and Democritus belong to the materialistic school, 286-293: Epicurus a materialist, 442-446.

Mathematical Infinite, not absolute, 179, 180; capable of exact measurement, therefore limited, 180; infinite sphere, radius, line, etc., self-contradictory, 180, 181.

Matter, did Plato teach the eternity of? 371-373; the doctrine of the Stoics concerning matter, 449 (note).

Matter and Form, Aristotle on, 405-408.

Mean, Aristotle's doctrine of the, 420.

Mediator, consciousness of the need of a, awakened by Greek philosophy, 509-513.

Metaphysical thought, law of its development, 478-480; three different stages in the individual mind, 478, 479; and in the universal consciousness of our race, 479.

Metempsychosis regarded by Plato as a mere hypothesis, 376 (note).

Mill, J. S., his doctrine that all knowledge is confined to mental phenomena, 193; his definition of matter, 196; his views of personal identity, 196, 197; his theological opinions, 197.

Miracles, not designed to prove the existence of God, 95.

Moral principles, universal and immutable, which lead to the recognition of a God, 190; the Dogmatic Theologians seek to invalidate the argument therefrom, 261-263.

Mystics, base all religious knowledge on internal feeling, 70.

Mythology, philosophy of Greek, 134-139; Cudworth's interpretation of, 139-143; recognized the consciousness of guilt and need of expiation, 123-125.


National Character, a complex result, 17; conjoint effect of moral and physical influences, 17; human freedom not to be disregarded in the study of, 20; influence of geographical surroundings, 23—of climate and natural scenery, on the pursuits and mental character of nations, 23—on creative art, 24—and literature of nations, 25.

Nations, individuality of, 22; determined mainly from without, 22.

Natural Realism, 305; Anaxagoras a natural realist, 311-313.

Nature, interpreted by man according to fundamental laws of his reason, 133.


Obligation, the sense of, lies at the foundation of religion, 115.

Ontological proof of the existence of God, 491-493.

Ontology, of Plato, 369-379; the subject-matter of the world of sense, 370-373; the permanent substratum of mental phenomena, 373-376; the first Principle of all principles—God, 377-379, 491-493.

Optimism of Plato, 382.

Order of the Universe, had it a beginning, or is it eternal? 178-184.

Order, principle of, pervades the universe, 220, 221; recognized by Pythagoras, 301; Cosmological proof of the existence of God, 489, 490.


Parmenides, his theory of knowledge, 307-308; a spiritualistic Pantheist, 308, 309.

Paul, St., at Athens, 14; his emotion when he saw the city full of idols, 100; the subject of his discourse, 101; brought into contact with all the phases of philosophic thought, 268, 269; his arrival at Athens an epoch in the moral history of the world, 472; he recognized the preparatory office of Greek philosophy, 473.

Philosophers of Athens, 101; believed in one supreme, uncreated, eternal God, 151-157; their views of the mythological deities, 158, 159; their apologies for images and image-worship, 159, 160.

Philosophic Schools, classification of, 271-273; Pre-Socratic 280-314; Socratic, 314-421; Post-Socratic, 422-456.

Philosophy, the world-enduring monument of the glory of Athens, 265, 260; defined, 270, 271; an inquiry after first causes and principles, 271, 457; not in any proper sense a theological inquiry, 273-277, 279; the love of wisdom, 384, 385.

Philosophy in its relation to Christianity, 268-270; sympathy of Platonism, 268; antagonism of Epicureanism and Stoicism, 269; the Propaedeutic office of philosophy, 457-524—recognized by St. Paul, 473—and many of the early Fathers, 473-475; philosophy undermined Polytheism, and purified the Theistic idea, 481-487; developed the Theistic argument in a logical form, 487-494; it awakened Conscience and purified the Ethical idea, 495-506; demonstrated the insufficiency of reason to elaborate a perfect ideal of moral excellence, 506-509; awakened in man the sense of distance from God, and the need of a Mediator, 509-513; deepened the consciousness of sin, and the desire for a Redeemer, 513-522; the history of philosophy a confirmation of the truth of Christianity, 522-524.

Philosophy of Religion, 53; based on the correlation between Divine and human reason, 458-462.

Plato, condemns the poets for their unworthy representations of the gods, 130-132; his views of the gods of Grecian mythology, 154-157: the sympathy of his philosophy with Christianity, 268: followed the philosophic method of Socrates, 328; his moral qualifications for the study of philosophy, 328, 329; his literary qualifications, 329, 330; his search after a criterion of truth, 333, 334; his doctrine of Ideas, 334-337; his science of real knowledge, 337, 338; his answer to the question, What is Science? 338, 339; his Psychology 339-352; his scheme of the intellectual powers, 345; on the nature of the soul, 350; his dialectic, 353-369; his grand scheme of ideas, 364-367; his Ontology, 369-379; on the creation of time, 372; did he teach that matter is eternal? 371, 372; on the eternity of the rational element of the soul, 373-375; on the immortality of the soul, 375, 376; on God as the First Principle of all principles, 377-379; his Physics, 380-383; his Ethics, 383-387, 502-505; defects of his ethical system, 518; his philosophy not derived from Jewish sources, 476; felt the need of a superhuman deliverer from sin and guilt, 519-521.

Plutarch, his sketches of Athenian character, 44; criticism on, 45; on the universality of prayer and sacrifice, 115.

Poets, the Greek, believed in the existence of one uncreated Mind, 141; their theogony was a cosmogony, 142; the theologians of Greece, 274, 275.

Polytheism, Greek, a poetico-historical religion of myth and symbol, 134; its immoralities, 160, 161; undermined by Philosophy, 484-487.

Post-Socratic Schools, classification of, 425; a philosophy of life, 422-424.

Potentiality and Actuality, Aristotle on, 408-412.

Prayer, natural to man, 115.

Preparation for Christianity, not confined to Judaism alone, 464, 465; Greek civilization also prepared the way for Christ, 465-468; Greek language a providential development as the vehicle of a more perfect revelation, 468-470; Greek philosophy fulfilled a propaedeutic office, 470-472.

Pre-Socratic Schools, classification of, 280-282; 295, 296.

Principles, universal and necessary, how attained by the method of Plato, 361-364, 390; how, by the method of Aristotle, 390-394, 402, 403.

Psychological analysis, logical demonstration of the existence of God begins with, 170; reveals principles which in their logical development attain to the knowledge of God, 184-189.

Psychology of Heraclitus, 289; of Pythagoras, 304; of Parmenides, 307, 308; of Anaxagoras, 313; of Protagoras, 315; of Socrates, 317, 318; of Plato, 339-352; of Aristotle, 392, 398-401; of Epicurus, 442-444; of the Stoics, 453, 454.

Pythagoras, his doctrine that numbers are the first principles of things, 297; how to be interpreted, 297-304; misrepresented by Aristotle, 298-300; psychology of, 304.


Reason, insufficiency of, to elaborate a perfect ideal of moral excellence, 505-509.

Redemption, desire of, awakened and defined by Greek philosophy, 513-521.

Relativity of all knowledge, Hamilton's doctrine of, 229-236.

Religion, the philosophy of, 53; defined 53, 106; universality of religious phenomena, 54; hypothesis offered in explanation of, 55; hypothesis of Epicurus and Comte, 56-65—of Hegel, 65-70—of Jacobi and Schleiermacher, 70-78—of Cousin, 78-86—of Dogmatic Theologians, 86-96—author's theory, 96, 97; religion of the Athenians, 98—its mythological and symbolic aspects, 128—exerted some wholesome influences, 161-163.

Reminiscence, Plato on, 354, 355.

Revelation, progressive, 462-464; harmony of the two revelations in the volume of conscience and the volume of the New Testament, 522-524.


Sacrifice, universal prevalence of, 115, 124; prompted by the universal consciousness of guilt, 126: expiatory sacrifices grounded on a primitive revelation, 127.

Schleiermacher, his theory that all religion is grounded on the feeling of absolute dependence, 71, 72.

Science, Plato's answer to the question, What is Science? 338, 339.

Self-determination, limited by idea of duty, 113; implies accountability, 114; recognizes a Lawgiver and Judge, 115.

Socrates, his desire for truth, 316; his daemon, 317 (note); his philosophic method, 318, 319; a believer in one Supreme God, 320; his argument for the existence of God from final causes, 320-324; his belief in immortality and a future retribution, 324, 325; his Ethics, 325; the great prophet of the human conscience, 500-502.

Socratic School, 314.

Sophists, 315, 316; their skeptical tendency, 315; their defective ethics, 498, 499.

Sophocles, believed in one Supreme God, 147.

Soul, Plato on the nature of the, 350, 373; eternity of the rational element, 373-375.

Spencer, H., carries the law of the Conditioned forward to its logical consequences, Atheism, 241, 242.

Stoical School, 446; its philosophy a moral philosophy, 447.

Stoics, their Physiology, 448-453; their Psychology, 453, 454; their Ethics, 454-456; their Theology, 452,453.

Substance, principle of, 189; Idealism seeks to undermine it, 193; Reason affirms a permanent substance as the ground of all mental phenomena, 201—and of the phenomena of the sensible world, 202, 203.

Sufficient Reason, law of, recognized by Plato, 359.

Superstition, meaning of the term as used by Paul, 103.


Teleological proof of the existence of God, 490, 491.

Thales, a believer in one uncreated God, 152; his first principles, 283; he regards water as the material cause, 284; and God as the efficient cause, 285.

Theistic argument, in its logical form, 487-494.

Theistic conception, gradual development of, 481-484,

Theological opinions of the early periods of Greek civilization, 150, 151; 276-278.

Theology of Aristotle, 404-417; identical with Metaphysics, 404, 416.

Theology of the Greek poets, 143-151; proposed reform of Poetry by Plato, 131, 132.

Thinking, conditionality of, 228; in what sense to be understood, 237; thought imposes no limits upon the object of thought, 237, 238.

Thought, negative and positive, 242, 243; negative thought an impossibility, 243; all thought must be positive, 243.

Time, Platonic notion of, 371, 372.

Tragedians, the Greek, were the public religious teachers of the Athenians, 145; their theology, 146, 147; influence of the religious dramas on the Athenian mind, 161-163; guiltiness of man, and need of reconciliation confessed by, 515-517.


Unconditioned, principle of, 189; assailed by Hamilton, 194.

Unity of God, 259; an affirmation of reason, 259-261; Xenophanes taught the unity of God, 307—also Parmenides, 309—and Plato, 377—and Aristotle, 415.

Unity, principle of, 189; attempt of Dogmatic Theologians to prove its insufficiency, 194, 258-261; recognized by Pythagoras, 296; his effort to reduce all the phenomena of nature to a Unity, 303, 304.

Universal and necessary Principles, classification of, 189, 190; these the foundation of our cognition of a God, 191; how attained according to Plato, 360-364; how by the method of Aristotle, 390-394, 402, 403.

Universe, the, is it finite or infinite? 178-184; Epicurus teaches that it is infinite, 433.

Unknown God, the true God, 104; God not absolutely unknown, 107-110; classification of opponents to the doctrine that God can be cognized by reason, 166-168; Idealist School of Mill, 194-203; Materialistic School of Comte, 203-223; Hamiltonian School, 224-252; School of Dogmatic Theologians, 252-263.


Watson, Richard, represents the views of Dogmatic Theologians 86; asserts that all our religious knowledge is derived from oral revelation, 86-88, 167; incompleteness and inadequacy of this theory, 88-96; in vindicating for the Scriptures the honor of revealing all our knowledge of God, he casts doubt upon the principle of Causality, 253-255—on the principle of the Unconditioned, 255-257—on the principle of Unity, 258-261—and on the immutable principles of Morality, 261-263.

Wordsworth, on the Sentiment of the Divine, 118.


Xenophanes, his attack on Polytheism, 130; his faith in one God, 153, 306, 307.


Zeno of Citium, the founder of the Stoical School, 446; a Spiritualistic Pantheist, 450, 451.

Zeno of Elea, maintained the doctrine of Absolute Identity, 309.

Zeus, originally the Supreme and only God of the Greeks, 143; the Homeric Zeus, the Supreme God, 144, 145.



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JOHNSON'S COMPLETE WORKS. The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. With an Essay on his Life and Genius, by Arthur Murphy, Esq. Portrait of Johnson 2 vols., 8vo, Cloth, $4 00.

KINGLAKE'S CRIMEAN WAR. The Invasion of the Crimea, and an Account of its Progress down to the Death of Lord Raglan. By Alexander William Kinglake. With Maps and Plans. Two Vols. ready. 12mo, Cloth, $2 00 per vol.

KRUMMACHER'S DAVID, KING OF ISRAEL. David, the King of Israel: a Portrait drawn from Bible History and the Book of Psalms. By Frederick William Krummacher, D.D., Author of "Elijah the Tishbite," &c. Translated under the express Sanction of the Author by the Rev. M.G. Easton, M.A. With a Letter from Dr. Krummacher to his American Readers, and a Portrait. 12mo, Cloth, $1 75.

LAMB'S COMPLETE WORKS. The Works of Charles Lamb. Comprising his Letters, Poems, Essays of Elia. Essays upon Shakspeare, Hogarth, &c., and a Sketch of his Life, with the Final Memorials, by T. Noon Talfourd. Portrait. 2 vols. 12mo, Cloth, $3 00.


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