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Vol. II. the Reflections upon Philosophy. 347 Iribe, and then subjoyns his own Remarks upon them. I have bere attempted the same Method, the better to conform my self to the Genius of an Age, which seems more affected with good Sense, than profound Learning. And, as these Reflections contain in them a Censure of false Philosophy, and a just Encomium of the True; I am secure, by this means, of pleasing the most considerable Class of Philosophers, which is that of honest Men. It was indeed, with regard to them, that I entertain'd the first Thoughts of this Design, to rectifie their Notions of a Subject which is so very liable to Misapprehension. I have concluded this Piece with the Use of Philosophy in Religion ; those who make the highest Pretensions to the Former, being commonly less folicitous about the latter. The great Benefit that Christians ought to derive from Phlosophical Enquiries; is to support and confirm their Faith: But there's always a Decay of the true Christian, where there's ani Over-balance of the vain Philosopher:

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REFLECTIONS

U PON

PHILOSOPHY

in General.

T

Vid.

HE Name of a Philosopher, in it felf Diog. Laert.

compos'd of Modefty and Simplicity, I. VIII.

appear'd so fine, and so glorious to the Cic. de Learned in antient Times, that they prefer'd it Off. 2.

to the proudest Titles, and the most illustrious Quintil. 1. Xil.c. 1: Characters of Honour. That Love of Wisdom, Plutarch and that Study of Nature which they professid, in Symp. gave them such an Authority over the Spirits of Jamblich. Men, that their Example serv'd for a publick in vit. Instruction, and their Maxims were receiv'd as pythag: Oracles in the World. Great Men and GoverPlato Dionem Syra- nours, applied to them for Advice, in Affairs of cufum e- the last Importance: Cities and Provinces subrudivit.

mitted to their Conduct ; and Princes themselves Cic. Off.1 Diog

esteem'd it a Glory, to have been there DifLaert. in ciples. It was Philosophy which taught PyrhaPyth in goras that Integrity of Morals, and that severe Einped. Course of Life, which drew after him fo nume

rous a Train of Followers. It was this that gave Empedocles the Honour of refusing a Crown, and of preferring a private and peaceable Life to all the Pomp of Greatness. By this,

Democritus quàm mi.

Democritus rais’d himself to the Contemplation Democriof natural Things, and renounced the pleasures tus dicitur of the Body, to enjoy those of the Mind with privásé, ut greater Freedom and Tranquillity. It was this that enabled Socrates to die without Arrogance nimè ani. on the one Hand, or Weakness on the other. If mus d.Cothere appear less Temper and less Modesty in bus abdu. the Death of Cato, who seems to have over-ceretur. acted the Philosopher, yet we may observe, in Cic.de fin. that, fome Strokes of gallantry and greatness of A Gell. 1.

10. C. 17 Soul, which could inspire him with such an ut

Diog. ter Contempt of Life. And since there is scarce Laerr. in one Adion of Bravery and Resolution recorded Socrat. in Pagan Story, but what was owing to the Spirit Socrates, of Philosophy, we may affirm this to have been, rentiis

Jesin some fort, the Motive and Principle of the damnatus, brightest Virtue that ever shone among the dixit eCorruptions of Heathens.

quislimo

animo se mori. Cic. de fin. Plut. in Cat. Cato Socraticæ vanitatis imitator, videtur causam quasiilse moriendi, ut foicorum decretis obtemperaret

, nomen fuum grandi aliquo fucinore clarificares. La&t. 1. 3.

II. The Egyptians, who were the first Philosophers of the World, gave their Doctrine an Air of so mysterious Obscurity, as to make it pass with the People for a considerable Part of their Religion. By this means, it seem'd to be invested with publick Authority, and obtained Honour and Credit among the Learned. It was the Design of their Priests, in veiling their Observations under Figures and Hieroglyphicks, to surpass the vulgar Capacity, and distinguish themselves from the Multitude. Having no other Method of Teaching but by Tradition, and being very uncommunicative to Strangers, SUOLLST &as Strabo assures us, they will afford us but Ben-Sóros.

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der Remains of their avow'd Tenets. Indeed, whatever is said of Philosophy, before it's Reception in Greece, is built upon fo little Foundation ; and all the Discourses that we meet with upon the Subje&t, in the Fragments of Sotion, Hermippus and Hermodorus, mentioned by Diogenes Laertius, as well as in Lucian's Dialogue of the Fugitives, are so very fabulous, that, in relation to its first Originals, I chose to confine my self to plain Fact and History, as the only

certain Informations. Besides, this mysterious Plut. in Philosophy of the Egyptians is so nearly Allied II. &0to that of Pythagoras, that the Method and Prin. sir.

ciples of the one and the other are in a good Selden de Diis syris:

Measure the same: As is observ’d by Plutarch in Kircher several Places of his Works, by Famblichus in in Egypt. his Life of Pythagoras, by Selden de Diis Syris, and other Authors.

III. Incredibile The Greeks, who shew'd the greatest Pallion est quanto for the Search of Truth, applied themselves ftudio in- with so much Zeal to the Contemplation of quirende Nature, that there were more real Discoveries Græcia

made in Physicks, from the Time of Thales, to

that of Plato, than in many Ages that follow'd, Arferit, And it must be confess'd, that Philofophy in its Lactant, infant State, produced so many extraordinary

Genius's, and display'd so much Reafon in its very Lifpings of Speech, that its first Beginnings afforded a happy Ground - Work and Model to After-times. It was by the Force of long and severe Study, that Men attain'd to appre,

hend in some Degree the most considerable MoAnaxi

tions of the Heavenly Bodies, to distinguish

their periods and Revolutions, and to form the traditur

first Draught of an universal System; to discern primus fig: the Obliquity of the Zodiack, to lay open the niferi ob liquitatem intellexifle, hoc eft rerum fores aperuisse. Plin. N. H.

Secrets

omnis ex

mander

Secrets of natural Things, and to take a way that Veil which was drawn over most of the Works of Providence, so as to render them the Subject of human Meditation and Enquiry. Among those who engaged in this Attempt, Thales, Anaximander, Anaxagoras, Heraclitus, Hippocrates, Democritus, Empedocles, Archelaus, especially signaliz’d themselves. Plutarch, who has given the History of their Opinions, has indeed, teftify'd the Contradictions and Absurdities, into which the greatest Part of them were betray’d. Yet it is their just Commendation, to have made the first Steps in fo difficult a Path, and to have clear'd and trac'd out, the unknown Ways for Mundum those that come after them ; and by thus giving tradidit Birth to Arts and Sciences, they have made them- disputati. selves venerable to all Pofterity. Justin the Histo- Eccl. III. rian observes, that while Learning and Appli- Prorfus ut cation made Philosophers in Greece, bare unaf- admirabile fifted Nature made others in Scythia, among the videatur, Barbarians ; as appears from the Example of bac illis Abaris and Anacharsis, mentioned by Apuleius, turam, who, without the Help of Rules or Discipline, quod Græobtain'd the Character of Wisdom.

ci longa Sapientiâ

præceptif que Philosophorum consequi nequibant. Juft. 1. 2.

dare nao

IV.

runt ?

Thales and Pythagoras were, properly speaking, the two great Founders of Philosophy among Quando the Ancients; the one in Greece, the other in bilosopbi

elle ceepeItaly. In the School of Pythagoras, we find somewhat more regular aud folid, than in that Thales, oof Thales, and his Successors. Pythagoras's whole pinor, priDo&trine being conceiv'd as a Mystery, the mus Cic. chief Character of his Scholars was Submifer Mor

tens.apud fion; and that religious Silence, to which he Lactans.

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