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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 Phænician 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,
"When air was void of light, and earth unstable,
All were confused, and each disturbed the rest.' OviD. 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 sented her husband with a box, which being opened, there flew from it innumerable evils, such as sickness and death, which have eve since plagued the world, one blessing, hope, only remaining. Now Plato iells 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 the 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 adıninistered 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,
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:
' And is there care in heaven, and is there love
The blessed angels he sends to and fro,
How oft do they their silver bowers leave,
* Prom au unpublished poem.
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;
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.
THE 'STONE CHURCH.'
A DEEP, CAVERNOUS RAVINE, IN A MOUNTAIN-SIDE, IN DOVER, DUTCHESS CO., NEW-YORK.
"The groves were God's first temples' - so bas sung
Of power divine, of human nothingness!
T. A. G.
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 bis 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
seemed gratified with my determination, and I felt pleased, because
fixed plan of life, after having exhausted all the pleasures of the world, (meaning dissipations,) guided by a kind Providence, who never ceases to care for his children, to a haven of rest, in the bosom of the pleasantest Quaker family in the country.
William Garrets was a Hicksite, a follower of Elias Hicks, a celebrated preacher of liberal opinions claiming them as the tenets of Penn, and Barclay, and other leaders of their class. Hicks is too well known tu need comment here. He opened the eyes of many during his natural life, and has now gone to test the truth of his sentiments in eternity. With the highest tone of honorable feeling, the most charitable temper and disposition, the most open-handed hospitality, and the nicest refinement of plain manners, he has lived and died in the eyes of this people to the best purposes.
Probably no man among their order ever did so much good. At the time he began to preach, there were many scattered through their ranks, who were dissatisfied at the leaning of the society toward rank Hopkinsianism. Many had become tinged with the doctrines of this school, and the work of set revivals, a kind of proceeding so foreign to the whole tenor of their creed, began to be aimed at. Dissatisfaction crept in among them, and they were losing their individuality as a people.
Hicks wrote, and talked, and preached up a party to stay this backsliding; and the quiet meeting-houses of the Friends, time out of mind the abodes of peace, the sanctuaries of holy thought, became the theatres of violent polemical discussion. The humble receivers of a creed and manner of worship-in which all was plain and easily understood — from their fathers, they began first to reason, and then to doubt. Confusion and disorder troubled the breasts of the old, and the young ran astray, because their guides had become lost from the path of their religion; and the strange sight was seen of Quakers openly hating each other.
Elias Hicks went abroad and explained to the bewildered multitude what were the tenets of their founders. He collected the scattered bands, and they organized into a party; which once done, with cool and deliberate determination, they ceased from their wranglings — ceased from contention on his side, and the meetings once more sat in silence, and offered up pure and secret prayers in the temples of their souls to the one only and true God.
I lived with Willian Garrets more than a year, without any object as to the future. I seemed to have im bibed a love of quiet and solitude, and the long, hot summer noons, when not a sound broke the stillness, were seasons of enjoyment to me.
The turmoil of my life, the restlessness of dissipation, and the pursuit of novelty, bad wearied out my capacity for enjoyments, which depended upon great animal spirits, and bodily force, and I craved stillness and soberness, as the body craves rest from fatigue.
Himself something of a philosopher, I joined him in his scientific researches. We studied entomology and astronomy together. We rambled over the country in pursuit of curious bugs and plants, car