Page images
PDF
EPUB

XXVIII.

Distinction between Aóyos and 'Ovoja

XXIX.

Infinite Distance between Self-motion and Motion by Impulse.

-Impassable Chasm between Spirit and Matter.—Ideas of

Change, Cause, and Spirit inseparable. The Word llon-

hoorn.—Principle of Euphonic Attraction

201

XXX.

Argument of Ancient Atheists that Apparent Evidences of

Design were only Evidences of subsequent Accommodation.

- Things (they said) older than Knowledge of Things, and

therefore older than Soul

204

XXXI.

Platonic Doctrine of the Evil Principle. Of 'Aváykn, or Ne-

cessity.

207

XXXII.

Platonic Analogy between the Motion of Noũs and Yuxí, and

that of a Sphere, or of the Heavens

219

XXXIII.

The Motions of the Evil Soul Irregular and Disorderly. - The

nearer an Approach to the Pure Reason, the more of Fixed-

ness and Uniformity.--Heaven a State of Eternal Rest.-

Atheistic Objection from the unvarying Regularity of the

Heavens, from whence was inferred the Absence of Will and

Reason

224

XXXIV.

Platonic Doctrine of the Animation of the Heavenly Bodies.

-Ancient Belief that each Nation had its own peculiar

Guardian Dæmon or Genius

229

XXXV.

Three Hypotheses in respect to the Animation of the Heav-

enly Bodies.

233

XXXVI.

Iñs 'Oxnua, or Vehiculum Mundi.—Examination of a Remark

able Passage from Euripides

235

XXXVII.

Second Grand Division of the Argument. Doctrine of a

Special Providence.--Mistake of Cudworth .

. 237

XXXVIII.

The Greek Words for Blessedness, Happiness, Fortune, &c. . 239

XXXIX.

Atheistic Argument against Providence drawn from the Pros-

perity of the Wicked.. · Plato's Language compared with

that of the Scriptures

243

[ocr errors]

LI.

Page

Doctrine that the Parts are made for the Whole as set forth

by Plato, and as viewed by Modern Rationalists and Semi-

Infidels.—The Converse Doctrine, that the Whole is also for

the Parts, examined with Reference to the Mutual Harmony

of both

286

LII.

Atheistic Objection drawn from the Extent of the Universe 292

LIII.

Explanation of a Difficult Passage.-Remarks on those Views

that resolve Morality into an Obedience to Physical Laws,

and regard all Punishment as Consequential instead of Penal 294

LIV.

The Word 'Ανωλεθρος as distinguished from Aιώνιος.-Remark-

able Passage in the Timæus

300

LV.

The Greek Words for Eternity, Aiúv and Alúvios

302

LVI.

Plato's Doctrine of the Freedom of the Will, viewea in Con-

nexion with the Law of Cause and Effect in Nature

307

LVII.

Explanation of a Difficult Passage

312

LVIII.

The Greek Word 'Aions and the Hebrew

316

LIX.

Similar Views of a Future State, and Similar Fears of Hell

in all Ages

318

LX.

The Word "Aylos.- Exceeding Spirituality of some of Plato's

Views.—Many of his Thoughts capable of being fairly ac-

commodated to a Spiritual Sense higher than the Author him-

self had ever intended to convey. Difference in this Re-

spect between his Writings and those of all other Philoso-

phers, Ancient and Modern ..

322

LXI.

Mythical Sense of the Word Oávatos

331

LXII.

Omnipresence of the Divine Justice. — Remarkable Resem-

blance of Plato's Language to some Passages from the Bible 333

LXIII.

Doctrine of a Final Judgment.-Use of the Word EvvTÉNELA 334

[ocr errors]

STATEMENT OF THE ARGUMENT.

As a dramatic work, The Laws is far inferior to the Republic, The speakers are three : namely, Clinias, a Cretan, Megillus, a Lacedæmonian, and a stranger, who passes by no other name than the Athenian. The latter is the Socrates of the dialogue. The first two are either mere listeners, or only brought in as suggestive helps in the various transitions of the discourse. After nine books occupied with varied and extended schemes of legislation, and where laws are mingled with reasonings and introductory preambles, which need not here be specified, the author comes, in the tenth book, to treat of offences against the public worship and religion, which it is supposed, of course, the State must possess, if it would be a state indeed, and not a mére herding together of men and women in a political congregation, having no other bond of union than the temporary consent of individual wills. Previously, however, to the enactment of laws for the punishment of sacrilege and other offences against religion, the chief speaker proposes that there should be laid down, by way of foundation, a preamble or hortatory statement, containing the reasons of the laws; which preamble, although concisely expressed at first (page 3), is subsequently expanded into an argument which occupies nearly the whole book, the few last pages only being taken up with the laws and the penalties annexed.

The argument is divided into three parts; 1. Against those who denied the Divine existence ; 2. Against those who, while they admitted the existence of a God, denied a providence; and, 3. Against those who, while they admitted both a God and a providence, maintained that the Deity was easily propitiated, or would not punish sin severely. The first part is introduced by a declaration of Clinias, that it must be easy to prove the existence of the Deity. He appeals at once to the most obvious phenomena of nature, the sun, the earth, and stars, &c., as conclusive evidence, especially if taken in connexion with the universal sentiments of mankind. This gives occasion to the chief speaker to suggest that the subject is involved in greater difficulties than the other, in his simplicity, had imagined; difficulties, however, not intrinsic, but arising from the perverseness of those who imposed upon themselves by the words chance, nature, art, &c., referring to the old Atheists of the Ionic or Materializing school (page 4 to page 15). After a short digression, in which it is

« PreviousContinue »