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had died for his country, before Socrates had made love of country a duty. Sparta was sober, before Socrates had praised sobriety. Before he had defined virtue, Greece abounded with virtuous men. But where did Jesus, among his countrymen, take the pattern of that elevated and pure morality, of which he alone hath given both the precept and example? From the bosom of the most furious fanaticism, the highest Wisdom made herself heard, and the simplicity of the most heroic virtue honored the vilest people upon earth. The death of Jesus, expiring in torments, blasphemed, reviled, execrated by a whole people, is the most fearful death one could dread. Socrates taking the cup of poison, blessed the weeping man who presented it. Jesus, in the midst of a frightful punishment, prayed for his blood-thirsty executioners. Yes! if the life and death of Socrates be that of a philosopher, the life and death of Jesus is that of a God!'

A little examination will also convince us, that the great doctrines of Socrates were by no means original discoveries of his own. It is commonly, but erroneously, supposed, that idolatry is the early commencement of religion among a people, upon which they improve, as they advance in knowledge and civilization, until they attain a better and more rational faith. The fact, however, is, that all false religions are corruptions of a true faith, which was common to mankind, in the first ages. This was the opinion of St. Paul, who was well acquainted with classic history. For, speaking of the heathen, he says: 'When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.'* In this he is sustained by history, and the opinions of the ancients themselves. So far from purifying their religion, as they increased in knowledge and refinement, the Greeks and Romans added to the number of their gods every year, until they became countless. Their best philosophers, in later ages, had a high reverence for the opinions of antiquity; and the higher up we follow the stream of moral sentiment, the purer does it become, which is a strong indication that it flowed originally from a pure fountain. Their poets sang, too, of a happy period, which the world at first enjoyed, and which they called the golden age, 'before,' as Virgil says, 'impious men learned to feed upon the slaughtered herds,' and when, according to Ovid,

'Man, yet new,
No rule but uncorrupted reason knew,
And with a native bent did good pursue;
And teeming earth, yet guiltless of the plough,
All unprovoked did fruitful stores allow.'

Thus we find, before the time of Socrates, records, not faint nor few, of the same doctrines which he systematized. Anaxagoras, his great master, undoubtedly taught that 'pure, intelligent, active MIND

Romans i. 21, 22, 23.


was the first cause of all things,' for of this Aristotle and Plato both assure us; and indeed it is thought by many, that we should name a school of philosophy after Homer, who lived at least four hundred years before our sage, and among whose poetical fictions much remarkable truth is apparent. In one of the fragments called Orphia, because by some supposed to have been written by Orpheus, but more correctly attributed to Cecrops, a philosophic founder of a colony in Attica, 1556 years before Christ, or more than a thousand years before Socrates, we find this sentence: There is one Power, one Deity, one Great Governor of all things.' The reader is aware, also, that the learned Greeks, (as Pythagoras and Herodotus,) before and about the Socratic period, were accustomed to travel in Egypt, as the then treasure-house of ancient wisdom, and there, through the common people were so degraded as to worship not only beasts and birds, but vegetables, (the onion being one of their gods,) the priests preserved in their secret and guarded mysteries certain great truths, with which the stranger student was permitted to become acquainted. What some of these doctrines were, we may learn from a verse sung in the mysteries of Eleusis, which were copied from those of Egypt: 'Pursue thy path rightly, and contemplate the King of the World. He is One, and of himself alone; and to that One, all things have owed their being. He encompasses all things. No mortal hath beheld him, but he sees all things.' Over the statue of Isis, the chief deity of Egypt, was this wonderful inscription: 'I am all that has been, and all that shall be, and no man hath ever yet lifted my veil.' I need not ask the reader to mark the parallelism between this and the words of God to Moses, 'I AM THAT I AM.' This view of the subject is made still more clear from chronology, which fixes the date of the Phoenician colonies under Ivachus, who settled Greece in 1856, or about fifty years after Abraham, who lived in the days of Shem, the son of Noah, and one of the survivors of the old world, according to Moses. The same historian gives us reason to believe that the worship of the true God was then prevalent in Egypt, (for he declares that the reigning Pharaoh worshipped him,) and probably universal; for Melchisedek, (whom many suppose, with much reason, to have been Shem,) was the royal priest of Jehovah. And, though there is much absurd contradiction in the Chinese chronology, they also, like the Brahmins of India, fix the origin of their religious opinions in a very remote antiquity; while their god Fo or Fohi seems to have been no other than Noah. Our own Indians, too, who hold to the unity and spirituality of God, are declared by the late venerable Boudinot, whose work, entitled 'The Star in the West,' proves his laborious researches among them, to have very distinct traditions of the deluge. Thus, then, we find the opinions of all mankind converging upward to one period- a period when truth prevailed. The moral philosophy of Socrates may thus be supposed to be the gathered fragments of a better and revealed religion, which were too mighty not to have survived the concussions of the iron ages which preceded him.

The very fables of the classic poets show whence their prevalent opinions came corrupted by the muddy stream of tradition. Homer

makes water to have been the principle of all things, and they all refer to an original chaos,

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The story of Pandora is very striking. She was, according to Hesiod, the first woman made from clay, and animated. She was given as a wife to Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven, and presented her husband with a box, which being opened, there flew from it innumerable evils, such as sickness and death, which have ever since plagued the world, one blessing, hope, only remaining. Now Plato tells us, that the meaning of this fable is, that the desire of forbidden luxuries was the cause of all mortal evil. We see at once this story came from the tradition of the fall, and he promise of redemption, which immediately succeeded it. So, when he describes Jupiter as sending his commands to Neptune, that he should allay the storms which threatened the destruction of the Grecian fleet, he makes Iris, the rainbow, the messenger who carried the divine will. I will give one more instance of such agreement. Socrates and Plato, and others of the ancients, believed that Divine Providence was administered by inferior agents of the Great Deity. This was the origin of their multiplicity of deities, so that we may say,

'The Naiad bathing in her crystal spring,
The guardian nymph of ev'ry leafy tree,
The rushing olus on viewless wing,

The flower-crowned queen of ev'ry cultured lea,
And He who walked with monarch tread the sea,
The awful Thunderer, threatening them aloud,

God! were their dim imaginings of Thee,

Who saw thee only through the misty cloud,
Which sin had thrown around their spirits like a shroud ?'*

This belief in inferior yet good demons, I have already said, appears to have been a corruption of the Scripture doctrine of ministering angels. To show the probability of this opinion, the reader is requested to compare two extracts; the first from our Christian poet, Spenser, the other from Hesiod, who lived before Homer:

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But thus Hesiod, after speaking of the golden age:

'When in the grave this guiltless race were laid,
Soon was a world of holy demons made;
Aerial spirits, by great Jove designed
To be on earth the guardians of mankind;
Invisible to mortal eyes, they go,

And mark our actions, good or bad, below;
The immortal spies with watchful care preside,

And thrice ten thousand round their charges glide;
They can reward with glory or with gold,
A power they by divine permission hold.'

Instances of these interesting resemblances of classic fable to sacred story might be greatly multiplied.

Thus it is, that in studying the character and opinions of him for whom unassisted reason did the most, we are the most convinced of the necessity of revelation. All that he knew, which was valuable, was derived from it; and he was himself most fully persuaded, that what he desired yet to know, he could only learn from a heavenly instructor. Alas! that many who profess such a veneration for the sage of Athens, should neglect to learn from him this most important lesson which he taught! It is not necessary to take from Socrates the due credit for virtue and wisdom which the candid scholar must award him, to prove that we need a better wisdom than man can teach. Socrates in the height of his fame is one of the best witnesses that the apologist for Christianity can summon to his cause.


Millvale, (N. Y.,) 1836.


'THE groves were God's first temples' so has sung
The noblest of our poets; one who holds
Communion oft with nature, in her forms
Grand and majestic, but delights to dwell
Amid her scenes of quiet beauty more.
And hallowed be the sentiment, as one
Which purity alone could prompt; but yet,
Were the groves God's first temples? Who can doubt,
Whether of Science or Religion's self

We ask to know, that this primeval fane
Bears earlier date? its deep foundations laid
By the great architect; its arches hewn,

Its massive walls reared upward, pile on pile;
Its altars pillared in the living rock,

Long ere the groves were planted? Ay, and though
Ages have since rolled by, and man is born,
The crowning work of his Creator's hand,
Yet, even at this late day, we seek in vain
Among the various altars man has reared,
From St. Sophia's or St. Peter's dome,
From Britain's gothic ivy-cinctured towers,
Through many a pile of less pretension, down
To yon rude roof that tops the neighboring ridge,
For fitter place to bow and worship God,
Than here, mid these unfaltering witnesses
Of power divine, of human nothingness!

T. A. G.

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W. C.

SLIGHT events sometimes make important eras in our life. My meeting with WILLIAM GARRETS, and his subsequent hospitality, his pains to explain to me the principles of his belief, my admiration of those principles, and my impression that they would assist me to recover my self-control, and calm down my excitable character, all followed on in course, and decided me upon what I was to do.

At the earnest solicitation of William, I remained a few days in his house. We spent the time in walking in the fields, and sitting down in the shade, enlightening one another upon the doctrines in which we had been educated. He had never before seen an Unitarian; and when I came to explain to him our doctrine, he wondered why he had never heard of it before; and could never cease from introducing it as a topic of discourse.

He got hold, too, of my own history, without any feeling of idle curiosity showing itself, and invited me to remain in his house as long as I could make it agreeable and useful to myself. It was agreed that I should set about making such arrangements as pleased me, and that I was to become an inmate of his house.

He asked not for any letters; it was enough for him to know that I needed quiet and seclusion- that he could be of assistance to me. So I wrote to my friends, and made my intentions known. They

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