Imágenes de páginas


end of the world, the Son of man shall send forth so taking him for their king, whom they are rehis angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom solved to obey to the utmost of their power, what all scandals, and them which do iniquity, and cas shall become of all mankind who lived before our them into a furnace of fire ; there shall

be wailing Saviour's time, who never heard of his name, and and gnashing of teeth.” And again : "The angels consequently could not believe in him? To this shall sever the wicked from among the just, and the answer is so obvious and natural, that one shall cast them into the furnace of fire.” Matt. xvi. would wonder how any reasonable man should 24: “ For the Son of man shall come in the glory think it worth the urging. Nobody was, or can be, of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall required to believe what was never proposed to reward every man according to his works.” Luke him to believe. Before the fulness of tiine, which xiii. 26 : “ Then shall ye begin to say, We have God from the council of his own wisdom had apeaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast pointed to send his Son in, he had, at several times taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, and in different manners, promised to the people I know you not : Depart from me, ye workers of of Israel an extraordinary person to come, who, iniquity.” Matt. xxv. 24–26: “When the Son of raised from amongst themselves, should be their man shall come in his glory, and before him shall ruler and deliverer. The time, and other circumbe gathered all nations, he shall set the sheep on stances of his birth, life, and person, he had, in his right hand, and the goats on his left: then sundry prophecies, so particularly described, and shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come so plainly foretold, that he was well known and ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom pre-expected by the Jews, under the name of the Mespared for you from the foundation of the world ; siah, or Anointed, given him in some of these profor I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; 1 phecies. All then that was required before his was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a appearing in the world was, to believe what God stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed had revealed, and to rely with a full assurance on me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in pri- God for the performance of his promise ; and to son, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righte believe, that in due time he would send them the ous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee Messiah, this anointed king, this promised Saviour an hungered, and fed thee ?" &c. " And the King and deliverer, according to his word. This faith in shall answer, and say unto them, Verily I say unto the promises of God, this relying and acquiescing you, inasınuch as ye have done it unto one of the in his word and faithfulness, the Almighty takes least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto well at our hands, as a great mark of homage, paid

Then shall he say unto them on the left by us frail creatures, to his goodness and truth, as hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting well as to his power and wisdom; and accepts it fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I as an acknowledgment of his peculiar providence was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I and benignity to us. And therefore our Saviour was thirsty, and ye gave no drink; I was a tells us, John xii. 44: “ He that believes on me, stranger, and ye took me not in ; naked, and ye believes not on me, but on him that sent me.” clothed me not ; sick and in prison, and ye visited The works of nature show his wisdom and power: me not. Insomuch that ye did it not to one of but it is his peculiar care of mankind, most emithese, ye did it not to me. And these shall go into nently discovered in his promises to them, that everlasting punishment; but the righteous into shows his bounty and goodness; and consequently life eternal."

engages their hearts in love and affection to him. 159. These, I think, are all the places where This oblation of a heart fixed with dependence on, our Saviour mentions the last judgment, or de- and affection to him, is the most acceptable tribute scribes his way of proceeding in that great day; we can pay him; the foundation of true devotion, wherein, as we have observed, it is remarkable, and life of all religion. What a value he puts on that every where the sentence follows doing or this depending on his word, and resting satisfied not doing, without any mention of believing, or not in his promises, we have an example in Abraham, believing. Not that any to whom the gospel hath whose faith “was counted to him for righteousbeen preached shall be saved without believing ness," as we have before remarked out of Rom. iv. Jesus to be the Messiah ; for all being sinners, And his relying firmly on the promises of God, and transgressors of the law, and so unjust, are without any doubt of its performance, gave him all liable to condemnation, unless they believe, the name of the father of the faithful, and gained and so through grace are justified by God for this him so much favor with the Almighty, that he was faith, which shall be accounted to them for righteo called the “friend of God;" the highest and most ousness : but the rest, wanting this cover, this glorious title that can be bestowed on a creature. allowance for their transgressions, must answer The thing promised was no more but a son by his for all their actions; and being found transgressors wife Sarah, and a numerous posterity by him, which of the law, shal, by the letter and sanction of that should possess the land of Canaan. These were law, be condemned, for not having paid a full obe- but temporal blessings, and (except the birth of a dience to that law, and not for want of faith; that son) very remote, such as he should never live to is not the guilt on which the punishment is laid, see, nor in his own person have the benefit of; but though it be the want of faith which lays open because he questioned not the performance of it, their guilt uncovered, and exposes them to the sen- but rested fully satisfied in the goodness, truth, tence of the law against all that are unrighteous. and faithfulness of God who had promised, it was

160. The common objection here is, if all sin- counted to him for righteousness. Let us see how ners shall be condemned, but such as have gra- St. Paul expresses it : “Who against hope believcious allowance made them, and so are justified ed in hope, that he might become the father of by God for believing Jesus to be the Messiah, and many nations, according to that which was spoken,

So shall thy seed be: and being not weak in his he should not see death ; for before his translation faith, he considered not his own body now dead, he had this testimony, that he pleased God.when he was about an hundred years old; neither Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: he staggered yet,” being wary, " by faith prepared an ark, to not at the promise of God through unbelief, but the saving of his house; by the which he conwas strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being demned the world, and became heir of the righte. fully persuaded, that what he had promised he ousness which is by faith.” And what it was that was able to perform: and therefore it was imputed God so graciously accepted and rewarded we are to him for righteousness. St. Paul having here told, verse 11: " Through faith also Sarah herself emphatically described the strength and firmness received strength to conceive seed, and was deof Abraham's faith, informs us, that he thereby livered of a child, when she was past age." How gave glory to God; and therefore it was accounted she came to obtain this grace from God the aposto him for righteousness. This is the way that tle tells us : " Because she judged him faithful God deals with poor frail mortals. He is gra- who had promised.” Those therefore who pleased ciously pleased to take it well of them, and give it God, and were accepted by him before the coming the place of righteousness, and a kind of merit in of Christ, did it only by believing the promises, his sight, if they believe his promises, and have a and relying on the goodness of God, as far as he steadfast relying on his veracity and goodness. St. had revealed it to them. For the apostle, in the Paul tells us, “Without faitlı it is impossible to following words, tells us, verse 13: “ These all please God:"t but at the same time tells us what died in faith, not having received (the accomplish, faith that is. “For,” says he, “ he that cometh to ment of) the promises ; but having seen them afar God, must believe that he is ; and that he is a off: and were persuaded of them, and embraced rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” He them.” This was all that was required of them, must be persuaded of God's mercy and good will to be persuaded of, and embrace the promises to those who seek to obey him, and rest assured of which they had. They could be persuaded of no his rewarding those who rely on him, for what more than was proposed to them; embrace no ever, either by the light of nature or particular more than was revealed, according to the promises promises, he has revealed to them of his tender they had received, and the dispensations they were mercies, and taught them to expect from his boun- under. And if the faith of things “seen afar off;" ty: This description of faith (that we might not if their trusting in God for the promises he then mistake what he means by that faith without gave them; if a belief of the Messiah to come, which we cannot please God, and which recom were sufficient to render those who lived in the mended the saints of old) St. Paul places in the ages before Christ, acceptable to God and righteous middle of the list of those who were eminent for before him, I desire those who tell us that God will their faith, and whom he sets as patterns to the not (nay, some go so far as to say cannot) accept converted Hebrews under persecution, to encour- any who do not believe every article of their parage them to persist in their confidence of deliver- ticular creeds and systems, to consider, why God, ance by the coming of Jesus Christ, and in their out of his infinite mercy, cannot as well justify man belief of the promises they now had under the now for believing Jesus of Nazareth to be the progospel: by those examples he exhorts them not mised Messiah, the king and deliverer, as those to draw back from the hope that was set before heretofore, who believed only that God would, acthem, nor apostatize from the profession of the cording to his promise, in due time, send the Mes. Christian religion. This is plain from verses 35 siah to be a king and deliverer? -38, of the precedent chapter : “Cast not away 162. There is another difficulty often to be met therefore your confidence, which hath great re- with, which seems to have something of more compense of reward. For ye have great need of weight in it; and that is, that though the faith of persisting,” or perseverance, (for so the Greek those before Christ (believing that God would send word signifies here, which our translation renders the Messiah, to be a prince, and a Saviour to his patience,) " that after ye have done the will of people, as he had promised) and the faith of those God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a since his time (believing Jesus to be that Messiah, little while, and he that shall come, will come, and promised and sent by God) shall be accounted to will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith. them for righteousness; yet what shall become of But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no all the rest of mankind, who having never heard of pleasure in him.”

the promise or news of a Saviour, not a word of a 161. The examples of faith which St. Paul enu- Messiah to be sent, or that was come, have had merates and proposes in the following words, no thought or belief concerning him ? plainly show, that the faith whereby those be 163. To this I answer, that God will require of lievers of old pleased God, was nothing but a every man according to what he hath, and not acsteadfast reliance on the goodness and faithfulness cording to what he hath not. He will not expect of God, for those good things which either the ten talents where he gave but one; nor require light of nature or particular promises had given any one should believe a promise of which he has them grounds to hope for. Of what avail this never heard. The apostle's reasoning, Rom. x. 14, faith was with God we may see : " By faith Abel is very just : "How shall they believe in him of offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than whom they have not heard?" But though there Cain ; by which he obtained witness that he was be many who, being strangers to the commonrighteous. By faith Enoch was translated that wealth of Israel, were also strangers to the oracles

of God committed to that people; many, to whom * Rom. iv. 18-22. + Heb, xi. 6. the promise of the Messiah never came, and so See Luke vili. 15.

were never in a capacity to believe or reject that

revelation; yet God had, by the light of reason, re- condemn for needless, all that our weak and, pervealed to all mankind, who would make use of that haps, biassed understandings cannot account for. light, that he was good and merciful. The same 166. Though this general answer be reply spark of the divine nature and knowledge in man, enough to the forementioned demand, and such as which, making him a man, showed him the law he a rational man, or fair searcher after truth, will was under as a man, showed him also the way of acquiesce in; yet in this particular case, the wisatoning the merciful, kind, compassionate Author dom and goodness of God has shown itself so viand Father of him and his being, when he had sibly to common apprehensions, that it hath furtransgressed that law. He that made use of this nished us abundantly wherewithal to satisfy the candle of the Lord, so far as to find what was his curious and inquisitive; who will not take a blessduty, could not miss to find also the way to recon- ing, unless they be instructed what need they had ciliation and forgiveness, when he had failed of of it, and why it was bestowed upon them. The his duty; though, if he used not his reason this great and many advantages we receive by the way, if he put out, or neglected this light, he coming of Jesus the Messiah, will show that it might, perhaps, see neither.

was not without need that he was sent into the 164. The law is the eternal, immutable standard world. The evidence of our Saviour's mission of right.

And a part of that law is, that a man from heaven is so great, in the multitude of mirashould forgive, not only his children, but his ene- cles he did before all sorts of people, that what he mies, upon their repentance, asking pardon and delivered cannot but be received as the oracles of amendment; and therefore he could not doubt that God, and unquestionable verity; for the miracles the author of this law, and God of patience and he did were so ordered by the divine Providence consolation, who is rich in mercy, would forgive and wisdom, that they never were, nor could be his frail offspring, if they acknowledged their faults, denied by any of the enemies or opposers of disapproved the iniquity of their transgressions, Christianity. begged his pardon, and resolved in earnest for the 167. Though the works of nature, in every part future to confirm their actions to this rule, which of them, sufficiently evidence a Deity, yet the world they owned to be just and right. This way of re- made so little use of their reason, that they saw conciliation, this hope of atonement, the light of him not, where even by the impressions of himself nature revealed to them. And the revelation of he was easy to be found. Sense and lust blinded the gospel having said nothing to the contrary, their minds in some, and a careless inadvertency in leaves them to stand and fall to their own Father, others, and fearful apprehensions in most, (who and Master, whose goodness and mercy is over all either believed there were, or could not but sushis works. I know some are forward to use that pect there might be superior unknown beings) place of the Acts, chap. iv., as contrary to this. gave them up into the hands of their priests, to fill The words, verses 10 and 12, stand thus : “ Be it their heads with false notions of the Deity, and known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, their worship with foolish rites, as they pleased; that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and what dread or craft once began, devotion soon whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the made sacred, and religion immutable. In this state dead, even by him doth this man (that is, the lame of darkness and ignorance of the true God, vice man restored by Peter] stand here before you and superstition held the world; nor could any whole. This is the stone which was set at nought help be had or hoped for from reason, which could by you builders, which is become the head of the not be heard, and was judged to have nothing to do

Neither is there salvation in any other; in the case; the priests every where, to secure their for there is none other name under heaven given empire, having excluded reason* from having any among men, in which we must be saved.". Which, thing to do in religion. And in the crowd of wrong in short, is, that Jesus is the only true Messiah ; notions, and invented rites, the world had almost neither is there any other person but he given to lost the sight of the one only true God. The rabe a mediator between God and man, in whose tional and thinking part of mankind, it is true, name we may ask and hope for salvation.

when they sought after him, found the one, su165. It will here possibly be asked, Quorsum preme, invisible God; but if they acknowledged perditin hæc? What need was there of a Saviour? and worshipped him, it was only in their own What advantage have we by Jesus Christ ? It is minds. They kept this truth locked up in their enough to justify the fitness of any thing to be own breasts as a secret, nor ever durst venture it done, by resolving it into the wisdom of God, who amongst the people, much less the priests, those has done it, though our short views and narrow understandings may utterly incapacitate us to see that wisdom, and to judge rightly of it. We know in a great measure proscribed. "The sketch that

• But by false pretenders to religion reason is still little of this visible, and nothing at all.of the state follows of paganism is scarcely correct: in many of that intellectual world, wherein are infinite num- countries of antiquity the priests gained very little bers and degrees of spirits

, out of the reach of our by their false religion which they might not have ken or guess; and therefore know not what trans- gained by the true one. Priests, moreover, were far actions there were between God and our Saviour, less numerous in antiquity than in modern times, in reference to his kingdom. We know not what and their gains were infinitely smaller. The relineed there was to set up a head and a chieftain, in gion they taught, also, was better than none; and,

though it is customary to abuse priests, perhaps, if opposition to “the prince of this world, the prince

we would be just, we should acknowledge that, even of the power of the air,” &c. whereof there are in pagan times, there was considerable utility in more than obscure intimations in Scripture : and their establishments, which kept alive, in many we shall take too much upon us, if we shall call places, the flame of piety, and was always more or God's wisdom or providence to account, and pertly less favorable to virtue. -Ed.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


wary guardians of their own creeds and profitable , vered, and the light of the gospel hath

come, those inventions. Hence we see that reason, speaking mists have been dispelled; and, in effect, we see never so clearly to the wise and virtuous, had never that, since our Saviour's time, the belief of one authority enough to prevail on the multitude, and God has prevailed and spread itself over the face to persuade the societies of men that there was of the earth. For even to the light that the Mesbut one God, that alone was to be owned and wor- siah brought into the world with him, we must shipped. The belief and worship of one God was ascribe the owning and profession of one God, the national religion of the Israelites alone; and, which the Mahometan religion hath derived and if we will consider it, it was introduced and sup- borrowed from it. So that, in this sense, it is cerported amongst that people by revelation. They tainly and manifestly true of our Saviour, what were in Goshen, and had light, whilst the rest of St. John says of him, 1 John iï. 8: "For this purthe world were in almost Egyptian darkness, with- pose the Son of God was manifested, that he out God in the world. There was no part of man- might destroy the works of the devil.” This light kind who had quicker parts, or improved them the world needed, and this light it received from more; that had a greater light of reason, or fol- him—that there is but one God, and he eternal, lowed it further in all sorts of speculations, than invisible ; not like to any visible objects, nor to be the Athenians; and yet we find but one Socrates represented by them. amongst them, that opposed and laughed at their 169. If it be asked, whether the revelation to polytheisms and wrong opinions of the Deity; and the patriarchs by Moses did not teach this, and we see how they rewarded him for it.* Whatsoever why that was not enough? the answer is obvious ; Plato and the soberest of the philosophers thought that however clearly the knowledge of one invisiof the nature and being of the one God, they were ble God, maker of heaven and earth, was revealed fain, in their outward worship, to go with the herd, to them, yet that revelation was shut up in a little and to keep to the religion established by law; corner of the world, amongst a people, by that very which what it was, and how it had disposed the law which they received with it, excluded from a mind of these knowing and quick-sighted Grecians, commerce and communication with the rest of St. Paul tells us, Acts xviii.: “Ye men of Athens." mankind. The Gentile world, in our Saviour's says he, “ I perceive that in all things ye are too time, and several ages before, could have no attes. superstitious : for as I passed by, and beheld your tation of the miracles on which the Hebrews built devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To their faith, but from the Jews themselves ; a peothe unknown God. Whom, therefore, ye igno- ple not known to the greatest part of mankind, conrantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that temned and thought vilely of by those nations that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that did know them; and therefore very unfit and unable he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in to propagate the doctrine of one God in the world, temples made with hands ; neither is worshipped and diffuse it through the nations of the earth, by with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, the strength and force of that ancient revelation, seeing he giveth unto all life, and breath, and all upon which they had received it. But our Sathings; and hath made of one blood all the nations viour, when he came, threw down this wall of parof men, for to dwell on the face of the earth; and tition, and did not confine his miracles or message hath determined the times before appointed, and to the land of Canaan, or the worshippers at Jeruthe bounds of their habitations; that they should salem; but he himself preached at Samaria, and seek the Lord, if haply they might feel him out, did miracles in the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and and find him, though he be not far from every one before multitudes of people gathered from all quarof us." Here he tells the Athenians, that they and ters. And after his resurrection sent his apostles the rest of the world (given up to superstition) amongst the nations, accompanied with miracles, whatever light there was, in the works of creation which were done in all parts so frequently, and beand providence, to lead them to the true God, yet fore so many witnesses of all sorts, in broad daythey few of them found him. He was every where light, that, as I have before observed, the enemies near them; yet they were but like people groping of Christianity have never dared to deny them; and feeling for something in the dark, and did not no, not Julian himself, who neither wanted skill see him with a full clear daylight; “ but thought por power to inquire into the truth, nor would the godhead like to gold, and silver, and stone, have failed to have proclaimed and exposed it, if graven by art and man's device.”

he could have detected any falsehood in the history 168. In this state of darkness and error in re- of the gospel, or found the least ground to question ference to the true God, our Saviour found the the matter of fact published of Christ and his aposworld. But the clear revelation he brought with tles. The number and evidence of the miracles him, dissipated this darkness; made the one invi- done by our Saviour and his followers, by the sible true God known to the world; and that with power and force of truth, bore down this mighty such evidence and energy, that polytheism and and accomplished emperor, and all his parts, in his idolatry hath no where been able to withstand it. own dominions. He durst not deny so plain matBut wherever the preaching of the truth be deli- ter of fact; which being granted, the truth of our

Saviour's doctrine and mission unavoidably follows, * Nevertheless, among the Greek philosophers, wit could invent, or malice should offer to the con

notwithstanding whatsoever artful suggestions his the unity of God was clearly enough expressed in their writings; and it is supposed, with considera

trary. ble probability, that this was the true secret revealed

170. 2. Next to the knowledge of one God, in the mysteries, the knowledge of which was sup- maker of all things, a clear knowledge of their posed to secure happiness in a future state. Aristo- duty was wanting to mankind. This part of phan. Etpnun, 375. Burpax, 454. et Brunck, ad loc. knowledge, though cultivated with some care, by

some of the heathen philosophers, yet gọt little | told what they wonder how they could miss footing among the people. All men indeed, under thinking of which yet their own contemplations pain of displeasing the gods, were to frequent the did not, and possibịy never would have helped temples ; every one went to their sacrifices and them to. Experience shows that the knowledge services; but the priests made it not their business of morality, by mere natural light (how agreeable to teach them virtue. If they were diligent in soever it be to it) makes but a slow progress, and their observations and ceremonies-- punctual in little advance in the world: and the reason of it their feasts and solemnities, and the tricks of reli- is not hard to be found in men's necessities, pasgion, the holy tribe assured them, the gods were sions, vices, and mistaken interests, which turn pleased ; and they looked no further. Few went their thoughts another way: and the designing to the schools of the philosophers, to be instructed leaders, as well as the following herd, find it not in their duties, and to know what was good and to their purpose to employ much of their meditaevil in their actions. The priests sold the better tions this way: or whatever else was the cause, pennyworths, and therefore had all their custom. it is plain, in fact, that human reason unassisted, Lustrations and processions were much easier failed men in its great and proper business of than a clean conscience, and a steady course of morality. It never, from unquestionable princivirtue ; and an expiatory sacrifice, that atoned for ples, by clear deductions made out an entire body the want of it, was much more convenient than a of the law of nature. And he that shall collect strict and holy life. No wonder, then, that reli- all the moral rules of the philosophers, and comgion was every where distinguished from, and pare them with those contained in the New Tespreferred to virtue, and that it was dangerous tament, will find them to come short of the moheresy and profaneness to think the contrary. So rality delivered by our Saviour, and taught by his much virtue as was necessary to hold societies apostles: a college made up, for the most part, of together, and to contribute to the quiet of govern- ignorant but inspired fishermen. ments, the civil laws of commonwealths taught, 171. Though yet, if any one should think that, and forced upon men that lived under magistrates out of the sayings of the wise heathens, before -but these laws, being for the most part made our Saviour's time, there might be a collection by such who had no other aims but their own made of all those rules of morality, which are to power, reached no further than those things that be found in the Christian religion ; yet this would would serve to tie men together in subjection; or, not at all hinder, but that the world nevertheless at most, were directly to conduce to the pros- stood as much in need of our Saviour, and the perity and temporal happiness of any people. But morality delivered by him. Let it be granted natural religion, in its full extent, was no where, (though not true) that all the moral precepts of that I know, taken care of by the force of natural the gospel were known by somebody or other, reason. It should seem, by the little that has amongst mankind, before. But where, or how, or hitherto been done in it, that it is too hard a task of what use, is not considered. Suppose they for unassisted reason, to establish morality, in all may be picked up here and there; some from Soits parts, upon its true foundations, with a clear lon ard' Bias in Greece; others from Tully in and convincing light. And it is at least a surer Italy; and, to complete the work, let Confucius, and shorter way, to the apprehensions of the vul- as far as China, be consulted ; and Anacharsis gar, and mass of mankind, that one manifestly the Scythian contribute his share. What will all sent from God, and coming with visible authority this do to give the world a complete morality, that from him, should, as a king and law-maker, tell may be to mankind the unquestionable rule of life them their duties, and require their obedience, and manners? I will not here urge the impossithan leave it to the long, and sometimes intricate bility of collecting from men so far distant from deductions of reason, to be made out to them,- one another, in time and place, and languages. I such strains of reasonings the greatest part of will suppose there was a Stobæus in those times, mankind have neither leisure to weigh, nor, for who had gathered the moral sayings from all the want of education and use, skill to judge of. We sages of the world. What would this amount to, see how unsuccessful in this, the attempts of towards being a steady rule, a certain transcript philosophers were, before our Saviour's time.-of a law that we are under ? Did the saying of How short their several systems came of the per- Aristippus or Confucius give it an authority fection of a true and complete morality, is very Was Zeno a lawgiver to mankind ? If not, what visible. And if, since that, the Christian philoso- he or any other philosopher delivered was but a phers have much outdone them, yet we may ob- saying of his : mankind might hearken to it or serve, that the first knowledge of the truths they reject it, as they pleased, or as it suited their inhave added, are owing to revelation ; though, as terest, passions, principles, or humors: they were soon as they are heard and considered, they are under no obligation ; the opinion of his or that found to be agreeable to reason, and such as can philosopher was of no authority; and if it were, by no means be contradicted. Every one may you must take all he said under the same characobserve a great many truths which he receives at ter. All his dictates must go for law, certain and first from others, and readily assents to as conso- true, or none of them. And then, if you will nant to reason, which he would have found it take any of the moral sayings of Epicurus (many hard, and perhaps, beyond his strength to have whereof Seneca quotes, with esteem and approdiscovered himself. Native and original truth is bation) for precepts of the law of nature, you not so easily wrought out of the mine, as we, who must take all the rest of his doctrine for such too, have it delivered ready dug and fashioned into our or else his authority ceases; and so no more is to hands, are apt to imagine. And how often at be received from him, or any of the sages of old, fifty or threescore years old, are thinking men for parts of the law of nature, as carrying with it 79


« AnteriorContinuar »