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those who believe that the Lord will save them in some mysterious way, just where these nine were ? Nine, as before stated, signifies a state of preparation or readiness to do what is good or right, but not yet doing it. These nine lifted up their eyes and voices to One who they believed had some mysterious power to do them good. Are not thousands of professing Christians to-day looking up to a Being who they believe has some mysterious power to do them good? Are they not in Samaria, but being drawn by the Lord's providence towards and into Galilee, where the external must be made into which spiritual and celestial good can come ?
Leprosy originated in the blood, but made its appearance on the skin. Spiritual leprosy originates in the spiritual degree of the mind, but shows itself in men's natural lives
- in their social and business relations; and if this outside covering is diseased, it can contain but little of spiritual and celestial life. Our Lord had been able to help the Nine, because there was in them the beginning of the conjunction of good and truth; and his inquiry, "Where are the Nine ?" means, how has this conjunction gone on; where and what are these men now.
The Dialogues of Plato. Translated into English by B. Jowett,
Master of Baliol College, and Professor of Greek. 4 vols. 8vo. Oxford. 1871.
PROFESSOR JOWETT is one of the best Greek scholars of England, and a diligent student of Plato. He has now endeavored to make a translation, at once trustworthy and readable. If, as he hopes, he has produced a work which will lead to a wider study of Plato, he has done a good thing.
Plato died at the age of 80, three hundred and forty years before the Christian Era. Aristotle was for some years his cotemporary, having died at the age of 63, three hundred and twenty years before that
These two men have probably exerted a stronger and more enduring influence upon human thought than any other men who ever lived. The two greatest men of Greece in its most flourishing period, both possessed of vast intellectual power, they differed in intellectual character perfectly; they were indeed the opposites of each other.
Aristotle was devoted to knowledge — to knowledge of every kind - and he acquired an enormous amount. His writings were voluminous, and covered almost all the topics of inquiry, excepting those which partook of a spiritual character. He was essentially natural, and was a splendid example of what the natural faculties of man can accomplish ; and, at the same time, a proof that all they can do is confined to earth, and what belongs to earthly life. The best illustration of this may be found in the fact, that in his work on Ethics, or the laws of duty and conduct, there is no reference whatever to a future life, and not the slightest intimation that it is in any way connected with duty. In none of his works does he say much of God or immortality.
But his vast learning, and the great ability which he brought to bear on all subjects, the general precision of his statements, and the clearness of his style, gave him, for many ages, an almost unresisted authority. Through the middle ages, to know Aristotle well was, in the common opinion, to know everything well, and to differ from him was to be mistaken.
Plato was as devoted to wisdom, as Aristotle was to knowledge. His works are dialogues, with a few epistles. Socrates is one of the conversers; but we have no means of knowing whether the thoughts ascribed to Socrates were really his, or were only Plato's, who made this dramatic use of Socrates, as the best way to express his own views. He was thoroughly religious, and profoundly convinced that without religion there could be no wisdom. One of the best of his critics has said that it seemed impossible for him to carry forward any train of thought which did not begin and end with the idea of God. Pursuing his inquiries with the keenest logic into the profoundest subjects, he was, almost necessarily, hard to understand ; and on some subjects, those who have studied him most, and perhaps understand him best, differ greatly as to his meaning.
Some things however seem to be certain. He had no doubt of man's immortality, and placed the value of life in the means it offered of education for eternity. But we must stop, for much more space than we can spare for this subject would be necessary to give the most general idea of his philosophy.
He has rendered immense service to mankind, by keeping alive in philosophy through all ages a spiritual element, something better than materialism or naturalism.
The following extract, one of many of like kind, will give some idea of views he was fond of stating :
“And when they consider all this, must not true philosophers make a reflection of which they will speak to one another in such words as these : We have found, they will say, a path of speculation, which seems to bring us and the argument to the conclusion, that while we are in the body, and while the soul is mingled with this mass of evil, our desire will not be satisfied, and our desire is of the truth. For the body is a source of endless trouble to us by reason of the mere requirement of food, and also is liable to diseases which overtake and impede us in the search of truth, and by filling us full of lusts, and fears, and fancies, and idols, and every sort of folly, prevents our ever having, as people say, so much as a thought. For whence come wars, and fightings, and factions — whence, but from the lusts of the body? For wars are occasioned by the love of money, has to be acquired for the sake, and in the service of the body. And in consequence of all these things, the time which ought to be given to philosophy is lost. Moreover if there is time, and an inclination towards philosophy, yet the body introduces a turmoil, and confusion, and fears into the course of speculation, and hinders us from seeing the truth; and all experience shows that if we would have pure knowledge of anything, we must be quit of the body, and the soul in herself must behold all things in themselves; then, I suppose, we shall attain that which we desire, and of which we say that we are lovers — and that is wisdom — not while we live, but after death, as the argument shows; for if, while in company with the body, the soul cannot have pure knowledge, one of two things seems to follow : either knowledge is not to be attained at all, or, if at all, after death; for then, and not till then, the soul will be in herself alone, and without the body."
Another extract discloses some part of his belief as to the other world :
“When the dead arrive at the place to which the genius of each severally conveys them, first of all they have sentence passed upon them, as they have lived well, and piously, or not; and those who appear to have lived neither well nor ill go to the River Acheron, and mount such conveyances as they can get, and are carried in them to the lake, and there they dwell, and are purified of their evil deeds, and suffer the penalty of the wrongs which they have done to others, and are absolved, and receive the rewards of their good deeds according to their deserts. Bnt those who appear to be incurable by reason of the greatness of their crimes — who have committed many and terrible deeds of sacrilege, murder, foul and violent, or
the like — such are hurled into Tartarus, which is their suitable destiny, and they never come out."
In another dialogue, Socrates expresses his views concerning this world and its relation to the next. The whole passage is too long for quotation. It may be briefly stated thus : Suppose a man looking into a vast cavern, of which the back is a broad and lofty plane of polished marble ; behind him is a Sun; between him and the sun is an innumerable multitude of beings of all kinds, and movements and actions. The shadows of all these things are cast upon the plane of marble. These shadows constitute this world. When a man dies he turns round, sees the shadows no longer, but he sees the realities which cast the shadows, and the sun.
Pink and White Tyranny. A Society Novel By Mrs. HARRIET
BEECHER STOWE, etc. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1871.
“ PINK AND WHITE TYRANNY” is another of Mrs. H. B. Stowe's interesting stories, and will repay for the time spent in reading it.
No one who regards in a sensible way the errors into which the fashionable life of any of our large cities leads its followers, can fail to see the true picture of such follies, and their result portrayed in the characters of Lillie Ellis and her friend Mrs. Follingsbee ; and the selfishness fostered by such a life is made more clearly evident by its immediate contrast with other characters more truly developed in the right way.
The aim of the book is to show that a mistake in marriage should not be considered a failure in life, but rather an incentive to learn its lessons with patience, trusting in our Father's love for strength suffcient for the need.
A sincere and noble man, earnest in all good deeds, whose heart is tender for the sufferings of humanity, and his hand ever ready to help, marries a silly, selfish young girl, because her pretty face and winning ways seem to him the very personification of his long-cherished ideal. He has such faith in better and redeeming qualities within, which he hopes to help her develop, that he tries long and patiently to awaken in her an interest more worthy than her own personal gratification. Her whole education has been for her selfish pleasure. She has always had everything she wanted. Her desires have been law, and she sees no reason why they should not continue to be so. He loves her, but the waking from his dream is terrible. Disappointment and conflicting emotions shake his faith, when the test comes which proves to him that she will not and cannot sympathize with him, or help him in the best efforts of his life, that she will be nothing but a burden which he must carry about with him, and make the best of.
At this point in the story, Mrs. Stowe says: “It has been very surprising to us to see in these our times that some people who really at heart have the interest of women upon their minds, have been so short-sighted and reckless as to clamor for an easy dissolution of the marriage contract as a means of righting their wrongs. Is it possible they do not see that this is a liberty which, once granted, would always tell against the weaker sex? If the woman who finds that she has made a mistake, and married a man unkind or uncongenial, may, on the discovery of it, leave him, and seek her fortune with another, so also may a man. And what will become of women like Lillie, when the first gilding begins to wear off, if the man who has taken one of them shall be at liberty to cast her off and seek another? Have we not enough now of miserable broken-winged butterflies that sink down, down, down into the mud of the streets ? But are women reformers going to clamor for having every woman turned out helpless when the man who has married her and made her a mother discovers that she has not the power to interest him, and to help his higher spiritual development? It was because a woman is helpless and weak, and because Christ was her great protector, that he made the law of marriage irrevocable : Whosoever putteth away his wife causeth her to commit adultery. If the sacredness of the marriage contract did not hold, if the Church and all good men and all good women did not uphold it with their might and main, it is easy to see where the career of many women like Lillie would end. Men have the power to reflect before the choice is made, and that is the only proper time for reflection. But when once marriage is made and consummated, it should be as fixed a fact as the laws of nature. And they who suffer under its stringency should suffer as those who endure for the public good. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not, he shall enter into the tabernacle of the Lord.'” (Page 319.)
“So life went on with John Seymour. From that time no one could have judged by any word, look, or action of his, that his wife was not what she had always been to him.”
Lillie becomes a confirmed invalid ; and through suffering and pain the soul of love is born into her life, and just before her death she tells her husband that she loves him.