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no object will intervene to hinder its seeing how and what everything is.
XXI. We might here mention at length, if the occasion demanded, how many, how various, how splendid are the sights, which are about to open upon the soul in the celestial regions ; which when I reflect upon, I often wonder at the arrogance of some philosophers, who are amazed at the knowledge of nature, and exultingly give thanks to its discoverer and master, and worship him as a god, because they say that by him they are freed from the severest tyrants, continual terror, daily and nightly fear. What terror? what fear? What old wife is so silly as to fear, what forsooth you would fear, if you had not learned natural philosophy -" The lofty Acherusian temples of the Infernal Regions, the pale realms of Death, the places thick with black clouds.” Is it not a disgrace to a philosopher to boast, that he does not fear these things, and that he has discovered them to be false? From which you may gather how acute they are by nature, who without learning would have been ready to believe these things. They gained I know not what great advantage, in that they learned, that when the time of death should have come, they were utterly to perish. Which, if it be true, — and I will not oppose it now,— what matter of joy or boasting is there? I have seen nothing which proves to me, that the opinion of Pythagoras and Plato is not true. But if Plato had assigned no reason for his opinion, — behold how I venerate the man, — the authority of his name alone would persuade me. But he has adduced so many arguments, that he seems to wish to convince others; certainly he had persuaded himself of this truth.
XXII. But many contend against this opinion, and punish souls with death, as if they were condemned of a capital crime; and no reason is given why the immortality of souls appears incredible, except that, they say, they cannot understand and embrace in their mind the idea of a soul without a body. As if they could understand how it exists in the body, its shape, size, and situation; so that if all those parts now concealed in a living man could be perceived, the soul would fall under their observation, or by its extreme fineness escape notice. Let them think over these points, who deny they can understand how the soul can exist without a body. They will then see how they can know its existence in the body. It is much more difficult and puzzling for me, reflecting upon the nature of
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the soul, to decide how it exists in the body in a separate state, than to believe that, when freed from matter, it will rise to the clear heaven as to its own home. And if it be said, that we are unable to comprehend how that exists which we have never seen, we answer that we do embrace in our thoughts the idea of God himself, the divine soul, as unincumbered by body. Dicæarchus and Aristoxenus, because of the difficulty of understanding what the soul is, and the manner of its existence, said that there is no soul at all. It is indeed the greatest mystery of all, that soul can be perceived by soul. And truly the precept of Apollo refers to this power, when he admonishes each one to know himself. He does not command us to know our limbs, our stature, or figure, as I believe. Nor are we all body. I, now speaking to you, speak not to your body. When therefore he says, know thyself, he means know thy soul; for thy body is, as it were, the vessel or receptacle of the soul. Whatever is done by your soul is done by yourself. Therefore to know this soul, unless it were divine, could not be the command of any mind so acute, as to be attributed to a god.
But if the soul is ignorant of its own nature, tell me, I pray you, shall it be ignorant even that it exists ? that it moves? It was from this, that that argument of Plato originated, which is explained by Socrates in the Phædrus, and by me is placed in my sixth book concerning the republic.
XXIII. That which always moves is eternal; but that which moves another thing, or itself derives its motion from without, when the motion ceases, necessarily ceases to be. But that alone which is self-moved, as it never is deserted by itself, can never cease its motion. And this is the source or principle of motion to all things which are moved; but the principle itself has no beginning, for all things arise from it, and the principle itself cannot be produced from anything. For it would not be a principle, if it were produced from another thing. So that which has no beginning cannot have an end. For if the principle should be extinguished, it could not be reproduced by anything else, nor could it create anything else, as all things necessarily have their origin from this principle. So it results that the principle of motion is from that which is itself moved by itself. But that can neither begin nor end; otherwise all heaven would fall and all nature stop, nor could acquire any force by which, having received its first impulse, it may be moved.
Since then it is clear that that which moves itself is eternal, who is there who will deny that this nature belongs to souls ? Everything is the inanimate which has its motion from an external force. But that which is moved by an inner power of its own is animate. For this is the peculiar nature and power of soul ; which, if it is the only one of all things that moves itself, it is not certainly born, and is eternal. Although all philosophers of the lower sort should concur, (for it seems proper to call those by this name, who differ from Plato, and Socrates, and others of their class,) they will not only not explain any of their views so elegantly, but they will not even understand with what refinement of reasoning this conclusion has been drawn. Therefore the soul perceives itself to be moved, which motion it perceives to originate in its own power, and not from abroad ; nor can it happen that it can desert itself. By which immortality is made out, unless you have some objection to offer.
A. Truly I willingly suffer the conclusion ; nor does any objection occur to me, I am so much in favor of that opinion.
XXIV. What shall we say to other opinions ? Do you think them of less consequence ? Those which declare that certain divine powers are inherent in the soul of man; which if I could see how they could originate, I might be able to see how they might perish. Suppose I were able to declare of the blood, bile, pblegm, bones, nerves, and arteries, finally the whole shape of the members and of the whole body, how they are united and in what manner created, if the soul is not of a different nature from that of mere existence, then I might judge that by nature the life of man is sustained, as a vine or tree is. sustained. For we say of these things that they live. Also if the soul of inan should possess no power, but to seek pleasure and avoid pain, this would be common to it with the brutes.
First, it has memory, the power of remembering an infinity of facts; which Plato will have to be the remembrance of a previous life. For in that book entitled Menon, Socrates puts certain geometrical questions to a little boy, respecting the dimensions of a square. To these he answers as a boy would be likely to; nevertheless the questions are so easy, that by his answers he arrives at the same result as he would, had he learned geometry. From which Socrates wishes to prove that to learn is only to remember. Which position he much more accurately explained, in that conversation he held on the last day of his life ; for he teaches that any one, though he may seem entirely uncultivated, replying to another fairly questioning him, will declare that he learns not at the time the answers he gives, but calls them to mind by the power of memory. Nor can it be otherwise, since from boyhood we have so many impressions, upon such a variety of subjects, ingrafted and stamped in the soul, which they call evvolas, conceptions, than that the soul before it entered the body had been practised in a knowledge of facts. And since by the other supposition it would not exist, as in all places is taught by Plato, (for be considers that as nothing, which begins and dies, and that only truly to exist, which always remains such as he calls by the term ideæv, form, and we by the word speciem, form,) the soul inclosed in the body could not gain a knowledge of these facts, and so it has brought them forward as what was already known. By which view our wonder at the memory of so many events is removed. Neither does the soul evidently see these things, when it first enters into its new and unquiet abode, but when it has collected its energies and refreshed itself, it calls them up by recollection. So that to learn is only to remember. But I, in a manner, feel still greater wonder at the power of memory. What is that power by which we remember? Whence has the soul this faculty, and where does it originate? I will not inquire now how great the memory of Simonides was, nor of Theodectes, nor concerning him, I mean Cyneas, who was sent as ambassador to the Senate by Pyrrhus; neither will I refer to the great memory of Charmadas, and of him who has just left us, Scepsius Metrodorus, nor of the remarkable powers of our Hortensius in this respect, — but I speak of the memory common to man, and especially of those who are employed in the higher studies and arts, who remember so many things, that it would be difficult to estimate the extent of their mental power.
We propose in the present Article to discuss the influence of the Bible upon science, art, and poetry. In grouping these three great departments of human culture together, we are aware that each might demand volumes for its full elucidation in this connexion. We are aware also, that we cover this broad field at the expense of strict logical unity ; but have thought that there might be peculiar advantages in thus presenting a comprehensive view of the agency of the Bible in man's intellectual progress and refinement.
I. We would first show what science owes to the Scriptures. And, in order to determine this, we must refer to the state of science in the Pagan world before the Christian era. The human mind had been left to itself for four thousand years, and had been constantly employed in the search after truth. The most patient investigations, the boldest speculations, were essayed, lives were worn away, ease sacrificed, death incurred, in the pursuit of knowledge; and with what results ? With scarce any of permanent value. The wisdom of the old world was foolishness. Thick darkness brooded over the whole expanse of nature. The laws of animal economy and of vegetable physiology were unknown, and natural history was but a tissue of fabulous conjecture. The geographical features and astronomical relations of the earth were in part but dimly seen, and for the most part undiscovered. The system of the universe, as conceived of by the first philosophers of Greece and Rome, would provoke the laughter of a modern schoolboy. The science of mind was a senseless jargon; that of morals imperfect, sophistical, and corrupt ; that of government chimerical and impracticable. Even history, which seems at first sight but an earth-born science, was enveloped in superstition and absurdity ; nor could any of the renowned nations of antiquity furnish a rational account of their own origin and progress, or an authentic biography of their illustrious men.
And why was all this the case? It was for want of those general principles, which lie at the basis of all knowledge, and which modern philosophy has drawn from the Bible. The unity of God was unknown, the heavens and the earth were