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cula que

Fin. to

innocent in Expression, but criminal in Thought: Summum It had a beautiful Outside, but was all Corruption bonum within: It was honest in Word, and impudent in negat EpiFact. These loose Philosophers took up a seem- voluptatiing Austerity, to disguize their secret Indul- bus fengence to themselves ; and all their Scheme of fum moMorality, was but a Veil for their immoral Beha. ventibus

fufpicari. viour. For they lived ill, tho' they spake well : Cic. Qua And to secure the Freedom of their own Con- Acad. duct, they were so discreet as never to cenfure Voluptuathat of others. So nice an Art as this could not

rii divertibut represent them under very different colours

runt; vir to the View of Antiquity; so as to gain them tutem bethe opposite Characters, sometimes of honest bent in ore Men, and sometimes of extravagant Libertines, totos dies. But those who have undertaken to vindicate

Cic, de Epicurus are out-voted by so vasta Majority, as Origen. Thould make them asham'd of their Cause. For contra to say nothing of the ancient Stoicks, who in-Cell. veigh'd so plentifully against him, there is no


Hieron Doctrine so universally condemn’d by the first Christian Writers as his. We may allow, that Eunom. Epicurus had great Virtues, and that his Follow- Theod. ers were rational, faithful, commodious and Sc. friendly; as also that he himself was particularly

Epicurei fober. Yet this Sobriety was at the Bottom, mi; nul but a Regimen of Health, in which the Weak-lum genus ness of his Constitution oblig'd him to be so eft minus exact, that the best Hours of his Life were spent malitioin attending his Digestion. Besides, he had a Cic. de very artificial Modesty, and that he might seem Fin. 2. to have divested himself, of all the philosophical Arrogance and Presumption; he would often Epicurus maintain the Cause of Ignorance against Know-comis in ledge. But in the most rigorous of his moral tuendis sPrecepts, there appear'd fome Strokes of Huma-Cic. de nity and Indulgence, which did not fail to lay N. Deor. open the Bottom of his Heart. After all, what- 1.


viri opti

ever plausible Colours may be laid on this DoErine, from the Consideration of that Pleasure, which Reason and Vertue will allow in the most

abstracted Spirits; yet no Man who has any Epicurum 'Spark of common Honesty can bear its Insolence, Deos vero in Presuming to oppose Religion. And without revera Fus. going far into this Charge, what Ariftodemus in tuliffe. Plutarch discourses of Epicurus’s Injustice in atCic.de N, tempting to banish Providence out of the World; Deor. 3. the Speech of Theon in the fame Piece, asserting

the Preference of corporeal to intellectual Delights; together with what Diogenes Laertius reports of Epicurus's Gallantries, his Mistresses, the Refinement of his Pleasures, and the Lewd. ness of his Opinions, are sufficient to render this Hypothesis suspected by any true Philosopher. Plutarch had Reason to affirm that Epicurus, in taking away Religion, deprived Men of a greater Pleasure than all those which he left them to possess. And therefore we cannot be guilty of Uncharitableness in supposing this wise Master to have been none of the best Livers.

VII. The Noise that was made at Athens, by the Morals of Zeno and Epicurus, then: chiefly in Vogue, gave Men an Emulation of cultivating this part of Philosophy, in Preference to ali others: And this Study grew to be so much the Mode, that the Enquiries of Nature were given over, and the World was so hotly engag'd in the Search of the supreme Good, as to neglect

all other Pursuits. But here, as every one reaHerilus fon'd by his own Principles, so every one estab. fenfit nibil lish'd an Happiness agreeable to his own Hu

mour. Herillus, who was of a studious Dispoli. num præ. tion, plac'd the chief Felicity in Science. Calo ter scien. liphon and Dinornachus, would have it confift in siem,

honest Cic. de Fin. s.

effe fummim bo

honest and lawful Pleasure. Theophrastus, who voluptas lov'd an easie and commodious Life, believ'd that adjuneta

boneftati Virtue could not make a Man happy, without

Caliphoni the Concurrence of Fortune. Some added & DinoHealth as a necessary Ingredient; others Beau- macho ty, Indolence, and a good Constitution. Some placuit, affirm this sovereign Happiness to be compos'd doloris of Honour, Credit, Authority and those other Diodoro. Advantages, that any way contribute to the Satis- Ibid. fa&tion of Body or Mind. By this Eagerness and Theopbra.

fti liber de Application that Men express’d in drawing out

vitâbeata, a Plan of Felicity, in which each establish'd his in quo favourite Interest, superior to all others; No- multum tions fo multiplied upon the Point, according fortuna

datur. to the Variety of Spirits and Inclinations, that

Ibid. Varro reckon’d up no less than two hundred eigh- Menedety eight different Opinions, concerning the mus putat Summum Bonum, as St. Austin assures us in his omne boBook de Civitate Dei : Every one running after his num in

mente poa own Fancy, and setting up that for the Object of his Happiness, which was most attractive of cernitur his Desire. But the Understanding of Man is veritas. so weak in all its Reasonings about the supreme Cic. Qu.

Acad. 4. Good, by its own unaslisted Powers, as never

L.19.0.1, to reach but a short and imperfe&t Idea: It is not able to come up with Truth, and therefore idly follows its Shadow. Indeed that Phantom of Decency and Glory, which was the fole Aim of Pagan Morals, as vain and frivolous as it was, yet serv'd to excite some Men to Virtue; as the most solid Foundation that the Excitan. Reason of Mankind discover'd by mere natural tur gloria

adumbrata Light. It was upon this Principle, that Pana- opinione tius in his moral Instructions, so well display'd the quee for most substantial Duties of human Conduct. For mam bao after Zenoand Epicurus we have no Remains of any bet konenew Draught of Morality. The Characters Ataris

fimilitudi. of Theophrastus, the Comedies of Menander, Plau

fitum qua

tus de Fines,

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tus and Terence, are very good Lessons of Manners, but without any Principles. But of all the Heathen Systems, the most accurate is that of Tully's Offices, the Rules of which are founded upon the severest Virtue. Seneca's Morals are not so pure, and so exact : For tho' he advances some of the finest Maxims in the World, yet he does not always support them with an equal Spirit. Plutarch is more real, and more in Earnest: He teaches Virtue with the greatest Simplicity imaginable, by the just Recital, and Commendation of virtuous Actions. Pliny, tho' a profess’d Libertine, yet in his Prefaces to his Book of natural History, has fome very bright and forcible Strokes of Morality. He always speaks like a masterly Genius, and with a Nobleness of Expresion, that is familiar to

him. He really aims at the Reformation of vni ani. Manners, when he inveighs with so much Heat mantium bomini

against the Luxury, Debauchery, and other

Corruptions of the Times. He is always well ria, uni designing, and shews an equal Sincerity in his ambitio, . Censure and his Praise. Epi&tetus is the most uni avari- rational of all the Stoicks, as being the least vita fra- transported, and shewing the greatest Integri. gilior, nul- ty of Heart. The other Philosophers that comli rerum pos'd Treatises of Morals, either built them upomnium

on the Principles of Aristotle, as Panatius, Cicero

and Plutarch; or writ them to no Purpose. jor, nulli

nulli rabies acrior. Plin. Proem. l. 7.


libido ma



But nothing so obscur'd the Glory, and bus viris broke the Measures of Heathen Morals, as the

Scio qui

bus opus

fit, ut persuadeatur superbis quanta virtus fit bumilitatis. Aug.de Civ. Dei 1. 1. c, I.

Lives of the first Christians. The Doctrine preach'd by the Apostles, and their Successors, which alone could teach Men to be humble under Greatness, and modest under good Success, together with all that strictness of Probity, profelš’d and practis'd in the Church, appear'd so admirable in the Eyes of the Pagan Instructors, that by striving to imitate and rival the Christian Vertue, they fell into the utmost Extravagance; going so far out of their Character, and beyond the Limits of that secular Wisdom, whose Maxims they had avow'd. All their Vertue degenerated into Oftentation ; all their Wifdom spent it self in empty Boasts and ungrounded Pretensions : And as Cowardice fometimes makes a Man bold, fo Vanity sometimes made an Heathen vertuous. The Life of Apollonius, so fraught with Prodigies, was written by Philoftratus, with no other Intention, bụt to oppose it to the Life and Miracles of our Saviour: As the Lives of the Sophifts by Eunapius, who flourish'd under Theodosius the Great, were design'd to vie with those of the first Believers, and by that Means to overthrow the Doctrines of the Gospel. Vopiscus attempted somewhat of the like kind, in imitation of Eunapius. And long before them, Epictetus, who by his Converse with the Christians, had abated very much of the Pride of Zeno's School, began that Spirit of Emulation, which reviv'd the moral Doctrine of the Stoicks, under the Reigns of the Antonini; for then most of the Philosophers joyn'd themselves to this plures fria Tribe, as Sextus Empiricus informs us : And the isse tum Reason of their Choice was, that they might qui Sicicounterfeit the Christian Severity, by the unna

corum Sed tural and Itrain'd Gravity of the Porch, fit only Harentur,

am sequàm qui aliam quamcunque.

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