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yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury; but
*For age and want save while you may,
No morning sun lasts a whole day. “ Gain may be temporary and uncertain : but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain ; and “It is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel,' as Poor Richard says : so, · Rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.'
Get what you can, and what you get hold,
'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.' And, when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.
“IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and, therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them. Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.
“And now to conclude, · Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other,' as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for it is true, We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct.' However, remember this, • They that will not be counselled, cannot be helped;' and farther, that, “If you will not hear reason, she will surely rap your knuckles,' as Poor Richard says."
Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanack, and digested all I had dropt on these topics during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, reVOL. I.
solved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.--I am, as ever, thine to serve thee,
57.—Saint Paul at Athens.
MILMAN. THE Reverend Henry Hart Milman is the present incumbent of Saint Margaret's, Westminster. He is the son of an eminent physician, Sir Francis Milman, and passed through his university education at Brazenose College, Oxford, with distinguished honours. Mr. Milman's poetical works are full of grace : his tragedy of 'Fazio' is perhaps the most finished dramatic production of our times, though others may have surpassed it in force of character and stage effect. His · Fall of Jerusalem' is a truly beautiful conception, and some of its lyrical pieces remarkable for tenderness and sublimity. As a prose writer, Mr. Milman may justly take rank amongst “ the best Authors.” The following extract is from his learned, and unaffectedly pious, 'History of Christianity.']
At Athens, the centre at once and capital of the Greek philosophy and Heathen superstition, takes place the first public and direct conflict between Christianity and Paganism. Up to this time there is no account of any one of the apostles taking his station in the public street or market-place, and addressing the general multitude. Their place of teaching had invariably been the synagogue of their nation, or, as at Philippi, the neighbourhood of their customary place of worship. Here, however, Paul does not confine himself to the synagogue, or to the society of his countrymen and their proselytes. He takes his stand in the public market-place (probably not the Ceramicus, but the Eretriac Forum), which, in the reign of Augustus, had begun to be more frequented, and at the top of which was the famous portico from which the Stoics assumed their name. In Athens, the appearance of a new public teacher, instead of offending the popular feelings, was too familiar to excite astonishment, and was rather welcomed as promising some fresh intellectual excitement. In Athens, hospitable to all religions and all opinions, the foreign and Asiatic appearance, and possibly the less polished tone and dialect of Paul, would only awaken the
stronger curiosity. Though they affect at first (probably the philosophic part of his hearers) to treat him as an idle “ babbler,” and others (the vulgar, alarmed for the honour of their deities) supposed that he was about to introduce some new religious worship which might endanger the supremacy of their own tutelar divinities, he is conveyed, not without respect, to a still more public and commodious place, from whence he may explain his doctrines to a numerous assembly without disturbance. On the Areopagus the Christian leader takes his stand, surrounded on every side with whatever was noble, beautiful, and intellectual in the older world,-temples, of which the materials were only surpassed by the architectural grace and majesty ; statues, in which the ideal anthropomorphism of the Greeks had almost elevated the popular notions of the Deity, by embodying it in human forms of such exquisite perfection ; public edifices, where the civil interests of man had been discussed with the acuteness and versatility of the highest Grecian intellect, in all the purity of the inimitable Attic dialect, when oratory had obtained its highest triumphs by “ wielding at will the fierce democracy;" the walks of the philosophers, who unquestionably, by elevating the human mind to an appetite for new and nobler knowledge, had prepared the way for a loftier and purer religion. It was in the midst of these elevating associations, to which the student of Grecian literature in Tarsus, the reader of Menander and of the Greek philosophical poets, could scarcely be entirely dead or ignorant, that Paul stands forth to proclaim the lowly yet authoritative religion of Jesus of Nazareth. His audience was chiefly formed from the two prevailing sects, the Stoics and Epicureans, with the populace, the worshippers of the established religion. In his discourse, the heads of which are related by St. Luke, Paul, with singular felicity, touches on the peculiar opinions of each class among his hearers ; he expands the popular religion into a higher philosophy, he imbues philosophy with a profound sentiment of religion.
It is impossible not to examine with the utmost interest the whole course of this (if we consider its remote consequences, and suppose it the first full and public argument of Christianity against the heathen religion and philosophy) perhaps the most extensively and permanently effective oration ever uttered by man. We may contemplate Paul as the representative of Christianity, in the presence, as it were, of the concentrated religion of Greece, and of the spirits, if we may so speak, of Socrates, and Plato, and Zeno. The opening of the apostle's speech is according to those most perfect rules of art which are but the expressions of the general sentiments of nature. It is calm, temperate, conciliatory. It is no fierce denunciation of idolatry, no contemptuous disdain of the prevalent philosophic opinions; it has nothing of the sternness of the ancient Jewish prophet, nor the taunting defiance of the later Christian polemic. “ Already the religious people of Athens had, unknowingly indeed, worshipped the universal deity, for they had an altar to the unknown God. The nature, the attributes of this sublimer being, hitherto adored in ignorant and unintelligent homage, he came to unfold. This God rose far above the popular notion; he could not be confined in altar or temple, or represented by any visible image. He was the universal father of mankind, even of the earthborn Athenians, who boasted that they were of an older race than the other families of man, and coeval with the world itself. He was the fountain of life, which pervaded and sustained the universe; he had assigned their separate dwellings to the separate families of man." Up to a certain point in this higher view of the Supreme Being, the philosopher of the Garden as well as of the Porch might listen with wonder and admiration. It soared, indeed, high above the vulgar religion : but in the lofty and serene Deity, who disdained to dwell in the earthly temple, and needed nothing from the hand of man, the Epicurean might almost suppose that he heard the language of his own teacher. But the next sentence, which asserted the providence of God as the active creative energy, -as the conservative, the ruling, the ordaining principle,-annihilated at once the atomic theory and the government of blind chance, to which Epicurus ascribed the origin and preservation of the universe. “This high and impressive Deity, who dwelt aloof in serene and majestic superiority to all want, was perceptible in some mysterious manner by man: his all-pervading providence comprehended the whole human race; man was in constant union with the Deity, as an offspring with its parent.” And still the Stoic might applaud with complacent satisfaction the ardent words of the apostle ; he might approve the lofty condemnation of idolatry. - We, thus of divine descent, ought to think more nobly of our Universal Father, than to suppose that the godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art or man's device." But this divine providence was far different from the stern and all-controlling necessity,
the inexorable fatalism of the Stoic system. While the moral value of human action was recognized by the solemn retributive judgment to to be passed on all mankind, the dignity of Stoic virtue was lowered by the general demand of repentance. The perfect man, the moral king, was deposed, as it were, and abased to the general level ; he had to learn new lessons in the school of Christ, lessons of humility and conscious deficiency, the most directly opposed to the principles and the sentiments of his philosophy.
The great Christian doctrine of the resurrection closed the speech of Paul; a doctrine received with mockery perhaps by his Epicurean hearers, with suspension of judgment probably by the Stoic, with whose theory of the final destruction of the world by fire, and his tenet of future retribution, it might appear in some degree to harmonize. Some, however, became declared converts ; among whom are particularly named Dionysius, a man of sufficient distinction to be a member of the famous court of the Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, probably of considerable rank and influence.
At Athens, all this free discussion on topics relating to the religious and moral nature of man, and involving the authority of the existing religion, passed away without disturbance. The jealous reverence for the established faith, which, conspiring with its perpetual ally political faction, had in former times caused the death of Socrates, the exile of Stilpa, and the proscription of Diagoras the Melian, had long died away. With the loss of independence, political animosities had subsided, and the toleration of philosophical and religious indifference allowed the utmost latitude to speculative inquiry, however ultimately dangerous to the whole fabric of the national religion. Yet Polytheism still reigned in Athens in its utmost splendour; the temples were maintained with the highest pomp; the Eleusinian mysteries, in which religion and philosophy had in some degree coalesced, attracted the noblest and the wisest of the Romans, who boasted of their initiation in these sublime secrets. Athens was thus, at once, the head-quarters of Paganism, and at the same time the place where Paganism most clearly betrayed its approaching dissolution.