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"Οθεν τε λαμπρός αστέρας σπέρχει μύδρος,
A most masterly refutation of this atheistic dogma, espe. cially as it was, in more modern times, advanced by Hobbes, may be found in Cudworth's Intellectual System of the Universe, in which there is a most thorough and conclusive examination of the general doctrine, that morality and reli. gion are not by nature, or from the Divine mind, but are strictly conventional, that is, by human law. Plato also touches upon this subject in the Theætetus, 172, B., where he sets forth the unavoidable conclusions of that flowing philosophy, which, rejecting ideas, and making man, or, in other words, sensations the measure of all things (uétpow πάντων), utterly Sweeps away all morality, all religion, all law, in short, all foundations whether of a civil or religious kind: Ούκούν και περί πολιτικών (φασι), καλά μεν και αισχρά, δίκαια και άδικα, και όσια και μή, οία αν έκάστη πόλις οιηθείσα (ξυμφέροντα είναι) θήται νόμιμα εαυτή, ταύτα και είναι τη αληθεία εκάστη και εν τούτοις μεν ουδέν σοφώτερον ούτε ιδιώτην ιδιώτου, ούτε πόλιν πόλεως είναι. και εν τούς δικαίοις και αδίκους, και οσίοις και ανοσίοις, εθέλουσιν ισχυρίζεσθαι, ώς ουκ έστι φύσει αυτών ουδέν ΟΥΣΙΑΝ εαυτού έχον, αλλά το κοινή δόξαν, γίνεται αληθές τότε, όταν δόξη. Τheatetus, 172, B., C.
They assigned a rather higher rank to the idea of the beautiful (το καλόν) than to that of the right. Και δη και τα καλά, φύσει μεν άλλα είναι, νόμω δε έτερα τα δε δη δίκαια ουδ' είναι τοπαράπαν φύσει. Page 14, line “ The beautiful, they said, was partly by nature and party by law (that is, conventional agreement or Just (or Right) had no foundation at all in nature," or, in other words, was the creation alone of arbitrary enactment.
custom), but the
The doctrines of an immutable standard of morals and of an immutable standard of taste must go together. Both are necessarily and consistently rejected by the atheist, and both should be strenuously maintained by all consistent theists. Physical, moral, intellectual, and religious beauty, although not the same, can all be traced to one common foundation. All are harmonies; all spring from one root, and all are alike unmeaning notions, unless connected with that idea of God in which the Beautiful, the Righteous, and the Good (το καλόν, το αγαθόν, το δίκαιον) are all embraced and regarded, not only as older than human art (IvNTT TÉXvn), but also than púols, or Nature itself. Compare the argument of the atheist Callicles, in the Gorgias, 485 : & φύσει μεν ουκ έστι καλά νόμω δέ, κ. τ. λ.
The Figure Aposiopesis. PAGE 15, LINE 8. Ei un proovoiv. The apodosis here is wanting, or, rather, interrupted in a manner, which, although frequent in Greek, would not be admissible in the English. This silent omission has sometimes a much more powerful effect than any expression of the apodosis, especially in the case of threatening and admonitions. The answer, in such examples, seems to be left entirely to con. science, as though it could not possibly mistake the proper response. There are very powerful and numerous instances of this in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, and from thence in the Hebraistic Greek of the New. One of the most striking may be found, Luke, xiii., 9: kậv pev TroLÍOn kaptóv—el dè unye. Compare, also, Luke, xix., 42; xxii., 42; Acts, xxiii., 9; Romans, ix., 22; John, vi., 62. There is a very fine example, Iliad, i., 135:
013 I dag
If , E
αλλ' ει μεν δώσουσι γέρας μεγάθυμοι Αχαιοί
ει δέ κε μη δώωσιν .. See, also, the ninth book of the Laws, 854, C., kai łąu μέν σοι δρώντι ταύτα λωφά τι το νόσημα -ει δε μή, &c. We have also an example very similar to the present in the Protagoras, 325, D., και εάν μεν έχων πείθηται-ει δε un, &c., where, in the same manner, the answer is left to the inward voice, and the writer hurries on to the second condition as the principal clause. See, also, the Republic
, ix., 575, D., ουκούν εάν μεν εκόντες υπείκωσιν-εάν δε μή, &c.; Thucydides, iii., 3, και ήν μεν ξυμβη, η πείρα dè un, &c.; Plato, Symposion, 220, D., el de Boúheole, 7... This has been most appropriately and beautifuly styled by grammarians aposiopesis, or an omission arising from an excitement of the feelings, in which a gesture or a look is supposed to supply the place of the voice. Although these and similar cases may by some be regarded as defects or irregularities in the Greek language, every scholar who has any claim to taste or philosophy must regard them as its highest beauties. It is a great pity that our own tongue had not more of this flexibility, and did not admit more licenses of a similar kind, instead of being so stiffly confined in that strait jacket which has been put upon it in the rules imposed, for the most part, by pedantie
, unphilosophical, and unclassical writers on English Gram. mar; for such, with some few exceptions, have been the great mass of those who have taken upon themselves to lay down the laws of this science, and to sit in judgment on Lowth and Murray. To return, however, to the sentence before us : if it is desired to avoid the aposiopesis, this may be done by taking all from και περί το γράφων inclusivo, as a parenthesis, and then bringing in what follows as a repetition with an apodosis to ει μη φήσουσιν. The only thing in the way of this is the particle dé, the insertion of which, however, may be regarded as occasioned by the prodosis having been, in a measure, lost sight of in consequence of the length of the intervening parenthesis.
XVI. Argument for the Existence of a God from Motion. PAGE 18, LINE 22. 'Andegtépuv Móywv. “Unusual, or out of the common track.” Reference is had to those subtle disquisitions respecting motion which are soon to follow. They are so called, because differing from the common and more obvious arguments generally made use of, such as those arising from evidence of design, and the more striking phenomena of the visible world, to which Clinias had so readily alluded in the commencement of the discussion. Plato thinks it best to begin at the beginning, or, as he elsewhere styles it, the fountain-head of the error : TTV πηγήν ανοήτου δόξης. If the least power or property of motion is conceded to matter, or to the least particle of matter per se, all is given up to the atheist, at least as far as the physical world is concerned. The whole cause is surrendered to the enemy. If this is granted, or not denied, then it would not be hard to admit that matter may also have an adaptive as well as a moving property, a tendency to an accommodation of itself to the circumstances in which it is placed, or, according to the doctrine just taught, a disposition to fit itself to those conditions in the universe into which it may be thrown by its own selfmoving power, acting only under the direction of túxn, or chance: ή ξυμπέπτωκεν πάντα αρμόττοντα οικείως πως, μαλακά προς σκληρά, κ. τ. λ. Here we are in the dark region of occult qualities, and we can as well conceive of the one property as of the other. In fact, it is easier for the mind to admit this doctrine of an adaptive power, after conceding that of motion, than to receive the latter first as
an independent starting-point. In this view, then, all arguments from fitness fall to the ground, unless the first mo. tion is shown to be the offspring of τέχνη, and not of τύχη, or even of púols. If we only give the atheist time enough —and eternity is very long—he may fancy that, on his theory, everything will at last fall into its proper place (ξυμπίπτει οικείως πως), and commence the natural discharge of its only and long-sought appropriate office
Plato, therefore, takes his stand on the first position, namely, that the mere motion of matter implies the existence of Spirit as an older and higher essence, or, in other words, that Spirit alone is self-moving, because it alone possesses that duality which resolves itself at the same time into subject and object. The term avtokívnots is not to be confined to local motion, but may refer to any change in the state or condition of a thing. It may, therefore, be predicated of mind, or pure spirit, independent of space. this sense volition is avtokívnous, or self-motion, even al. though it may never be exhibited outwardly. That matter cannot possess this, in either acceptation of the term, is an affirmation rendered necessary by the very laws of mind. It is involved in the term itself, or rather in the idea of which the term is the real, and not merely arbitrary representative, and may therefore be called a logical necessity. Although the argument may have something of the a posteriori form, it is nevertheless strictly a priori. It is a conclusion not derived from experience ; for in truth, aside from the essential idea which the laws of our minds compel us to create, all our mere experience of matter is directly opposed to it. As presented to our senses, it seems to be ever in motion, and this phenomenon exhibits itself more constantly the more closely and minutely it is examined; so that if experience alone were to be consulted, or, to use the language of some of our Baconians, if nature alone were to be interrogated, inotion would appear to be the law, and rest