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BOOK XII - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 
The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, trans. Francis Hutcheson and James Moor, edited and with an Introduction by James Moore and Michael Silverthorne (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
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1. All you desire to obtain by so many windings, you may have at once, if you don’t envy yourself [so great an happiness.] That is to say, if you quit the thoughts of what is past, and commit what is future to providence; and set yourself to regulate well your present conduct, according to the rules of holiness and justice. Of holiness, that you may embrace heartily what is appointed for you, since * nature hath produced it for you, and you for it. Of justice, that, with freedom, and without artifice or craft, you may speak the truth, and act according to † the law, and the merit of the matter. And, be not stopped in this course, by the wickedness of another, or his opinion or talk, or by any sensation of this poor carcase, which has grown up around you. Let that which suffers in such cases see to it. If, therefore, now that you are near your exit, you quit thought about other things, and honour only that governing and divine part within you, and dread not the ceasing to live, but the not commencing to live according to nature; you will become a man, worthy of that orderly universe which produced you, and will cease to be as a stranger in your own country; both astonished, with what happens every day, as if unexpected; and in anxious suspence about this and t’other thing.
2. God beholds all souls bare, and stripped of these corporeal vessels, bark, and filth. For, by his pure intellectual nature, he touches only what flowed out, and was derived from himself. If you would enure yourself to do the like, you would be free from much distraction and solicitude. For, can he, who looks not to the surrounding carcase, be much hurried about dress, houses, glory, or any such external furniture or accomodation?
3. You consist of three things, this poor flesh, the animal breath of life, and the intellectual part. To the two former, * some care is due, to a certain degree, as they are your’s. But the † third alone is properly your’s. Separate, therefore, from yourself, that is, from the intellectual part, all which others do and say; or what yourself have formerly done or said; and all those future events, about which you are disturbed; and all that may affect this encompassing carcase, or this animal life, which depends not on your power; and all these external events, which the eddy of fortune whirling around you, carries along; so that your intellectual power, kept disentangled from fate, pure and free, may live with itself; acting what is just; satisfied with what happens; and speaking truth: If, I say, you separate from the governing principle within you those things which are, as it were, appended to it by its vehement passions, and the times past and future, you make yourself like the firm World of Empedocles,
A sphere rejoicing ’midst the circling eddy.1
Be solicitous only to live well for the present; and you may go on till death, to spend what remains of life, with tranquillity, with true dignity, and complacence with the divinity within you.
4. I have often wondered how each man should love himself more than any other; and yet make less account of his own opinion concerning himself, than of the opinions of others. For, should God appear, or even any wise teacher, and enjoin one to entertain no thought or design, but what, as soon as formed, he would publish to others, no man could endure to do so, even for one day: Thus, we stand in greater awe of what those around shall think of us, than of what we think of our selves.
5. How is it, that ‡ the Gods, who have disposed all other things in such comely order, and with such goodness toward men; yet, have neglected this one point, to wit, the preventing that some of the very best of men, who have, as it were, lived with the Gods the great-est part of life, and, by a course of holy and religious services, been, as it were, familiar with the Divinity, should have no further existence after they die; but be intirely extinguished. If this be truly the case, be well assured, had it been proper that the case should have been otherwise, they would have made it so. Had it been just, it would have been practicable. Had it been according to nature, nature would have effected it. From its not being so, if really it is not so, you may be assured it ought not to have been. You see, that, in debating this point, you are pleading a point of justice with God. Now, we would not thus plead a matter of justice with the Gods, were they not perfectly good and just. And, if they are so, they have left nothing unjustly and unreasonably neglected in their administration.
6. Enure yourself to attempt, even, what you despair of executing. For, the left hand, which, for its inability, through want of exercise, remains idle in many sorts of work; yet, can hold the bridle more firmly than the other, by being enured to it.
7. Consider, in what state shall death find you, both as to body and soul? Observe the shortness of life; the vast immensity of the preceding, and ensuing duration; and the infirmity of all these materials.
8. To behold the active principle stripped of its bark; the references and intentions of actions; what pain is; what, pleasure; what, death; what, glory; who is to each one the cause of all his disturbance and trouble; how no man can be hindered by another; how all is opinion.
9. In the practising of the maxims, we should resemble the adventurers in the exercises; and not the gladiators. The gladiator, sometimes, lays by his sword, and takes it up again; but, the champion in the exercises carries always his arms and hands along with him. He needs nothing else for his work but to weild these skillfully.
10. Consider well the natures of things, dividing them into the material and active principles; and their references.
11. What a glorious power is granted to man! never to do any action, but such as God is to commend; and to embrace kindly, whatever God appoints for him.
12. As to what happens in the course of nature, the Gods are not to be blamed; They never do wrong, willingly or unwillingly. Nor are men; for they * don’t willingly. There are none, therefore, to be quarrelled with.
13. How ridiculous, and like a stranger is he, who is surprised at any thing which happens in life!
14. There is either a fatal necessity, and an unalterably fixed order; or a kind and benign providence; or a blind confusion, without a governour. If there be an unalterable necessity, why strive against it? If there is a kind providence, which can be appeased; make yourself worthy of the divine aids. If there is an ungoverned confusion; yet compose yourself with this, that, amidst these tempestuous waves, you have a presiding intelligence within yourself. If the wave surrounds you, it can carry along the carcase, and the animal life; but, the intellectual part it cannot bear along with it.
15. When a lamp continues to shine, and loses not its splendor, till it be extinguished; shall your veracity, justice, and temperance, be extinguished before you are?
16. When † you are struck with the apprehension, that one has done wrong; [say thus to yourself:] How are you sure this is wrong? Grant it to be wrong: You know not but he is deeply condemning himself: this is as pityable, as if he were tearing his own face. And then, one, who expects vicious men should not do wrong, is as absurd as one expecting a fig-tree should not produce the natural juice in the figs; or that infants should not cry; or a horse should not neigh; or such other necessary things. What can the man do, who has such dispositions? If you are a man of high abilities, cure them.
17. If not becoming, don’t do it. If not true, don’t say it. Let these be your fixed principles.
18. Consider always what it is, which strikes your imagination; and unfold it, by distinguishing the cause, the matter, the reference, and the time within which it must necessarily cease.
19. Won’t you, at last, perceive, that you have something more excellent and divine within you, than that which raises the several passions, and moves you, as the wires do a puppet,3 without your own approbation? What now is my intellectual part? * Is it fear? Is it suspicion? Is it lust? Is it any such thing?
20. First, let nothing be done at random, without a reference. Secondly, refer your actions to nothing else than some social kind purpose.
21. Yet a little, and you shall be no more; nor shall any of those things remain, which you now behold; nor any of those who are now living. ’Tis the nature of all things to change, to turn, and to corrupt; that others may, in their course, spring out of them.
22. All depends on your opinions: These are in your power. Remove, therefore, when you incline, your opinion; and then, as when one has turned the promontory, and got into a bay, all is calm; so, all shall become stable to you, and a still harbour.4
23.† Any one natural operation, ending at its proper time, suffers no ill by ceasing; nor does the agent suffer any ill, by its thus ceasing. In like manner, as to the whole series of actions, which is life; if it ends in its season, it suffers no ill by ceasing; nor is the person, who thus finishes his series, in any bad state. The season and the term is limited by nature; sometimes even by your own, as in old age; but, always by the nature of the whole. ’Tis by the changes of its several parts, that the universe still remains new, and in its bloom. Now, that is always good and seasonable, which is advantageous to the whole. The ceasing of life cannot be evil to individuals; for, it has no turpitude in it; since it is not in our power; nor is there any thing unsociable in it. Nay, ’tis good; since ’tis seasonable to the whole, and advantageous, and concurring with the order of the whole. Thus, too, is he led by God, who goes the same way with God, and that by his own inclination.
24. Have these three thoughts always at hand: first, that you do nothing inconsiderately; nor otherwise than justice herself would have acted. As for external events, they either happen by chance, or by providence: now, no man should quarrel with chance, nor censure providence. The second, to examine what each thing is, from its seed, to its being quickened; and, from its quickening, till its death; of what materials composed, and into what it must be resolved. The third, that, could you be raised on high, so as from thence to behold all human affairs, and discern their great variety; conscious, at the same time, of the crouds of aerial and etherial inhabitants who surround us: Were you thus raised on high, never so often, you would see only the same things, or things exactly uniform; all of short duration. Can we be proud of such matters?
25. Cast out your opinions; you are safe. Who, then, hinders you to cast them out?
26. When you fret at any thing, you have forgot that all happens according to the nature of the whole; and that the fault subsists not in you, but in another. And this, too, you forget, that, whatever now happens, has happened, and will happen; and the like now happens every where. And this, also; how great the bond of kindred is, between any man, and all the human race; not by common seed or blood, but a common intellectual part. You forget, too, that the * soul of each man is divine, an efflux from God; and this, also, that no man is proprietor of any thing: His dear children, his very body, and his life, proceeded from the same God. And this, too, that opinion is all. And this, that † it is the present moment only, which one lives, or can lose.
27. Recollect frequently those, who, formerly, were transported with indignation; those, who, once, proceeded to the highest pitch in glory, or in calamities, or in enmities, or any other circumstance of fortune. Then stop, and ask, where are they all now? Smoke, and ashes, and an old tale; or, perhaps, not even a tale. Let every such instance occur. ‡ Fabius Catullinus in the country; Lucius Lupus, and Stertinius at Baiae: Tiberius at Capreae; and Velius Rufus;5 and, in general, all eminence attended with the high opinions of men. And, how mean are all the objects of our keen pursuits! How much more becomes it a philosopher, to shew himself, in the matters subjected to his management, a man of justice and temperance, following the Gods, and that with * simplicity. For, the most intolerable pride is that displayed in an ostentation of humility, and contempt of pride.
28. To those who ask, “Where have you seen these Gods? or, whence are you assured they exist, that you thus worship them?” First, † they are visible, even to the eye: Again, my own soul I cannot see; and, yet, I reverence it; and thus, too, as I experience continually the power of the Gods, I both know surely that they are, and worship them.
29. The safety of life depends on this; to discern each object, what it is in whole, of what materials, what its form or cause; to do justice with all our heart; and, to speak truth. And, what further remains, but to enjoy life, adding one virtuous office to another; so as not to leave any vacant interval?
30. There is but one light of the sun, tho’ divided by walls, mountains, and other objects. There is but one common substance, tho’ divided among ten thousand bodies, with peculiar qualities. There is but one animal soul, tho’ divided by ten thousand natures, with their peculiar limitations; and ‡ one intellectual spirit, altho’ it appears to be divided. The other parts of these mentioned wholes, such as the forms and matter, being void of sense, are void of affection to each other: And, yet, ’tis an intellectual being that preserves them, and a force of gravity, which makes them tend to the same place. But, what is intellectual has a peculiar tendency to its kind, and is naturally recommended to it. And the social affection cannot be entirely repressed.
31. What do you desire? merely to be? or also to have sensation, and appetite? To grow, and to decay again; to speak, to think: Are any of these wor-thy of your desire? If all these are despicable; go on to the last that remains, to follow reason and God. Now, it is opposite to the reverence due to them, if we repine that we must be deprived of all the former enjoyments by death.
32. How small a part is appointed to each one of the infinite immense duration? For, presently, it must vanish into eternity: How small a part of the universal matter? And, how small, of the universal spirit? On how narrow a clod of this earth do you creep? When all these things are considered, nothing will appear great, except acting as your nature leads; and bearing contentedly whatever the common nature brings along with it.
33. What use does the governing part make of itself? On this, all depends. Other things, whether dependent on your choice, or not, are but dead carcases, and smoke.
34. This must rouse you most powerfully to despise death, that, even * those who deemed pleasure the sole good, and pain the sole evil, yet despised it.
35. To the person who reputes that alone to be good, which is † seasonable, and reckons it indifferent, whether he has opportunity of exerting a greater number of actions, according to right reason, or a smaller: whether he beholds this universe for a longer or a shorter space, death cannot appear terrible.
36. You have lived, O man, as a denizen of ‡ this great state: Of what consequence to you, whether it be only for five years? What is according to the laws, is equal and just to all. What is there terrible in this, that you are sent out, not by a tyrant, or an unjust judge, but by that nature, which at first introduced you? As if * the praetor who employed the player, should dismiss him again from the scene. But, say you, I have not finished the five acts, but only three. You say true; but, in life, † three acts make a complete play. For, ’tis he who appoints the end to it, who, as he was the cause of the composition, is now the cause of the dissolution. Neither of them are chargeable on you: Depart, therefore, contented, and in good humour; for, he is propitious and kind, who dismisses you.
MAXIMS OF THE STOICS
As Gataker, in the prefatory discourse to his excellent edition and commentary onAntoninus, has given a very justSummary of the chief maxims of the Stoic philosophy, taken mostly from these Meditations; we thought it proper to translate it here; and give the references to the places he quotes; and the passages from some others, with a few additions.
Of GOD, Providence, and* the Love of GOD.
“The Divine Providencea. takes care of human affairs; and not of the universe only, in general; but, of each single man, and each single matter: Is present in all the affairs of men; andb. aids mankind, not only in those things which are their true good and happiness, but in the external conveniencies and supports of life.
“God is, therefore,c above all to be worshipped;d in all undertakings to be invoked;e at all times to be remembered, and present to our thoughts; f in all things to be acknowledged, andg his conduct approved;h. for all things to be praised, and celebrated.i To Him alone, we ought, in single-ness of heart, to yield a willing obedience in all we do.k. From Him whatever comes to us, we ought to receive, and embrace, with a ready and hearty accord: and thinkl nothing better,m nothing more convenient,n more advantageous,o more fortunate, or more seasonable, than that, whatever it be, which He has willed.p Wherever He thinks fit to lead us, there we ought to follow;q without turning our back, or murmuring.r Whatever place, or station, He has assigned us; that we ought strenuously to keep, and with all our might maintain; were we, even, by that, to meet a thousand deaths.”
Of Man; and the social duties and affection to men, as, by nature, our kinsmen.
“Mankind we oughta. from the heart to love,b. have a tender care of,c. and bear with their weakness;d. abstain from all kind of injury,e. that being even impiety:f. do them all the good we can;g. and not believe, we are born, and to live, for ourselves alone;h. but let all behold us dedicate ourselves, to the utmost of our strength and abilities, for the public good;i. and kindly beneficent to all men.
k “We ought to live satisfied with acting our part well, and with the inward consciousness of having done so:l without concern for the reputation of it;m. without witnesses;n. without hope of reward;o. without any view at all of our own advantage.p But go on from one good deed to another;q. and never be weary of doing good;r. esteeming it the true fruit of living, to make life one uninterrupted series of good actions, so closely linked to one another,s. that, thro’ the whole, there be not found thet. least break or interval:u. deeming it our own good that we have done good to others;x. and, that we have served ourselves, if we have been useful to any man:y. and all, without catching at, or wishing for any external praise, or glory, among mankind.
z “The culture of our own heart deserves, of all other, the greatest and most reverential care.”
a “To love the moral charm, to act the fair, the lovely, the honourable part, are, of all pursuits, the most excellent, the most precious.
b “From that which we are conscious is our duty, c. no desires, neither of life, nor of any thing whatever, shou’d we allow to draw us away; no fears of death, or torture, much less of loss or harm, to deterr us.”
These (says Gataker,) are themaximsandpreceptsof theStoics;perfectly agreeable to their principles: allholy, righteous, strict, andmanly:all breathingpiety, affection, humanity, andgreatness of soul.
To this we shall subjoin the following extract from the same preface: Being Gatakers apology for employing, tho’ a Christian minister, so many years’ time and labour on these Meditations of a Heathen Emperor, under whose reign the Christians suffered persecution.
In fine, says he, that I may return to what I at first advertised you of from St. Jerom; I think it may be boldly asserted, there are no remaining monuments of the ancient* strangers, which come nearer to the doctrine of Christ, than the writings and admonitions of these two; Epictetus, and Antoninus. ’Tis certain, whatever precepts ourLordhimself has given, in those sermons and conversations of his, inserted and interwoven into the history of the gospel; “a. of abstaining from evil, even in thought:b. of suppressing vicious affections:c. of leaving off all idle conversation:d. of cultivating the heart with all diligence;e. and fashioning it after the image of God:f. of doing good to men from the most single disinterested view:g. of bearing injuries with contentment:h. of using moderation, and strict caution, in our admonitions and reproofs:i. of counting all things whatever, and even life itself, as nothing, when reason and the case demand them: and of undertaking and performing almost all the other duties ofk.piety,l.affection,m.equity,n.humanity,o. with the greatest diligence and ardour”: All these same precepts are to be found in Antoninus, just as if he had habitually read them; they are every where interspersed through this collection of his thoughts and meditations; and continually inculcated with a surprising strength and life, which pierces to the bottom of the heart, and leaves the dart deep fixed in the soul. This every attentive reader will perceive; every honest one confess.
But some may, perhaps, say: “to what purpose take those precepts from a stranger, and even an adversary to the Christian faith? When they can be had more readily from the sacred page, where they stand published to all. And as they come from the mouth of our master himself, are inforced with the higher authority of his command, and attended to with a stricter necessity of obedience.”
To this I answer, that a careful perusal and serious reflection on these meditations of Antoninus, are several ways useful.
For, in the first place, the sacred writers have given us only the chief heads of ourLord’s discourses, concisely digested as a taste or specimen: and those maxims and precepts only summarily proposed, are in Antoninus more extensively applied, more fully explained; and, by a great variety of striking arguments, established, illustrated, inforced and inculcated upon us, and accommodated to practice in civil life. In all this, our Emperor particularly excells.
And, then, another thing of no small moment is this. We discover the equity of the Christian doctrine, and its perfect agreement with reason, while we show it is approved and praised even by strangers and adversaries. a. “A testimony from enemies is of great weight.” And, says b.Dion Prusaeus, “the encomium of those who admire tho’ they don’t receive, must be the finest of all praises.” The Apostle understood this very well, when he called in testimonies from c. the inscriptions, and d. writings of the strangers, for proof of the doctrine he brought and was publishing among them. Surely it must conduce not a little, to vindicate and implant in the breasts of any whatever, the precepts and lessons of ourLord, as perfectly agreeable to equity and e. reason; that, a man, who was a stranger, and unfavourable to the Christian name, (for he neither knew our mysteries, nor understood the reasons of our faith), shou’d yet recommend and establish them with such vehemence and ardour, and by so very forcible arguments. “Who is not sensible,” says f. an author of high character, “that those have had a good cause who gain’d it before judges who were indifferent?” What shall one say then of that cause which is gained even before the averse and prejudiced against it; nay, g. when its very enemies sit judges.
Further, in these following books, the good providence and kindness of God shines forth; as he did not suffer his own image to be quite worn out and lost in man who had fallen off from him. But preserved some sparks alive, which he both excited by various methods, and improved even to a miracle. Partly, that the safety and good order of human society might be provided for: h. lest men, turning quite savage, should like wild beasts, rush universally on each other’s destruction. Since i. “man, without education is the most savage of all the creatures which the earth nourishes.” And, partly, that they might apply themselves to k. know and l. seek God, by the assistance of these helps; being plainly m. without excuse if they either despised or neglected them. For that saying of St. Bernard, is undoubtedly true, n. “The image of God in our hearts may be burnt, but not burnt out.” Surely, to wear quite out that o. image, originally stamped on the rational soul, to extinguish intirely p. that torch, kindled from heaven in the human heart; has been beyond the power either of the vices of men or the malice of Devils: nay, according to him, “beyond the power of hell-flames.” It was the will of the divine goodness that this image should, for the advantage of the human race, and the particular benefit of his people, be preserved and cherished amid the ruins and ashes, which followed the primitive defection.
Editors’ Notes to Hutcheson and Moor’s Life of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus
Editors’ Notes to Marcus’s Text and to Hutcheson and Moor’s Notes
Editors’ Notes to Maxims of the Stoics
Editors’ Notes to Gataker’s Apology
Editions of The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Translated by Francis Hutcheson and James Moor and Published in Glasgow by Robert and Andrew Foulis and in Dublin for Robert Main
Other Editions of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Referred to in the Notes to This Edition
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Ann Arbor, MichiganQuae vobis, quae digna, viri, pro talibus ausis,Praemia posse rear solvi? pulcherrima primumDi, moresque dabunt vestri.Aeneid. IX. 253.15Di tibi, &c.Et mens sibi conscia recti,Praemia digna ferent.Aeneid. I. 607.16 —— in seipse totus teres atque rotundus,Externi ne quid valeat per leve morari.Hor. sat. II. 7.16
[* ] That is the providence of the author of nature.
[† ] X. 11. 25.
[* ] X. 2.
[† ] See B. II. 13. B. V. 19.
[‡ ] This is plainly the objection of some others, not the author’s own settled opinion against a future state. It was customary among the best philosophers, in imitation of Socrates, to speak upon this subject with such alternatives, even when they were persuaded that there would be a future existence. They thought this highly probable; and yet, as they had not full certainty, they suggested proper supports and consolations even upon the contrary supposition, and endeavoured to give strong motives to virtue independent upon future rewards. But we wrong them exceedingly, if we imagine that they were doubtful of such points as they often propose in such alternatives. See B. II. 11. and IV. 27. and B. XII. 14.2 Where even the doctrine of a Deity and providence is proposed with such alternatives, tho’ all know how firmly the Stoics were persuaded of both. Instances of this kind occur in every book of our author.
[* ] B. II. 1.
[† ] See IX. 38. and XI. 18, at the 5th precept.
[* ] IX. 39, at the end.
[† ] IX. 21.
[* ] See B. II. 1, and 13.
[† ] See B. II. 14.
[‡ ] Some of the persons here named as eminent, or singular in their fortunes, are not well known.
[* ] ’Tis plain from the reason subjoined, what this simplicity is, viz. A single view to act well the part apointed us by God, without aiming at glory, or any selfish advantage, or pleasure; but from love to God and moral goodness. This simplicity is opposite to the more subtile and refined sorts of selfishness.6
[† ] This may relate to the heavenly bodies whom the Stoics deemed inferior deities.
[‡ ] It is manifest he does not here intend proper numerical unity, but only specifical, or similitude: And this further, perhaps, that all individual natures are parts taken from some great mass, or whole of that kind. Nor can we conclude from their speaking of the re-union after death, that individuals cease to be distinct persons from the Deity and from each other; since it was the known tenet of the Stoics, that heroic souls were raised to the dignity of Gods, or immortal angels; and they mean no more than an entire moral union by resignation and complete conformity of will. Some degree of this union is attainable in this life, and strongly recommended by the Stoics: See B. VIII. 34. Such expressions are frequent in the New Testament.
[* ] Epicurus.
[‡ ] The universe.
[* ] The great magistrates at their own charge exhibited shows to the people, and among others gave plays, and for this purpose employed the actors.
[† ] See above, B. XI. 1.
[* ] These errata to the 1742 edition have been incorporated into the Liberty Fund text— Eds.
[* ] Tho’ the Stoics have not used the term Love, for expressing our pious affections to God; yet, ’tis plain, they meant all that can be implied in that word, as used since with regard to the Deity. They seem to have abstained from this term, out of reverence: Φιλειν, and Φιλια, with them, carry a notion of equality.
[a. ] II. 3, 11. and VI. 44. See also the Dissert: of Epictet. I. 12. 14. 16.
[b. ] I. 14. and IX. 27.
[c ] V. 33.
[d ] VI. 23. III. 13. See also IX. 40. and the note.
[e ] VI. 7.
[f ] III. 13.
[g ] VI. 18. “In all these things will I vindicate Thee before men.” Epictetus cited at VII. 45.
[h. ] “If I was subject formerly to the same weakness, and am not now, ’tis to God I give the praise.” Epictetus cited at X. 30.
“In every event which happens in the universe, it is an easy thing to praise providence, if one has these two things within him: a power to comprehend and understand what happens to every one; and, a grateful heart.” Epictetus I. 6.
“What words are sufficient to praise or declare these works of God as they deserve? Had we understanding, what else ought we to do, both in public and private, but sing hymns to God, and bless him, and pour out our thanks before him? Ought we not, while either digging, ploughing, or feeding, to sing this hymn to God: great is God! that he has given us hands, and organs for swallowing and digesting: That he makes us grow up insensibly; and breathe even while asleep. For each of these things we ought thus to bless him. But, of all to sing the greatest and most divine hymn, for his giving us the power of attaining the knowledge of these things, and the method of using them. What, then? Since you, the multitude, are blind, ought there not to be some one to perform this duty in your place; and pay this hymn to God for you all? For, what else can I do, a lame old man, but sing a hymn to God? Were I a nightingale, I would do the business of a nightingale. Were I a swan, I would do that of a swan. Now, that I am a rational creature, I ought to hymn the Deity. This is my business: this I perform. This is my post: while I am allowed I will never leave it. And you I will exhort to join with me in this my song.” Epictetus I. 16.
These sentiments, says Gataker, and others of the same kind in Epictetus, are not unworthy of the best Christian: had he but, only, to the subject of his hymn, added God’s gift of Christ to mankind.
[i ] “—I know to whom I owe subjection and obedience: it is to God.” Epictetus IV. 34.
[k. ] IV. 34. 25. III. 4.
“In fine, will nothing but that which God wills.” Epictetus II. 17.
“To God I have subjected all my desires. What he wills, I will also. What he wills not, neither do I will.” Epictetus III. 26. IV. 27.
[l ] “For I deem that better which God wills than that which I will.” Epictetus, ibid.
[m ] VII. 57.
[n ] X. 20.
[o ] X. 20.
[p ] XII. 27.
“I adhere to him, as a servant, and attendant. His purpose, his desire, and, in a word, his will, is mine also.” Epictetus as cited at X. 21.O Jove! and thou, O destiny! [by himEstablish’d thorough nature,] lead me onWhere e’er you have appointed me; and IWill follow unreluctant.—The prayer of Cleanthes frequently quoted by Epictetus.1
[a. ] VIII. 13. IX. 27.
[b. ] IX. 3.
[c. ] V. 33.
[d. ] V. 33.
[e. ] IX. 1.
[f. ] V. 33.
[h. ] VIII. 7.
[i. ] III. 4.
[k. ] IX. 6. & VII. 28.
[o. ] IX. at the end.
[p. ] VI. 7. V. 6.
[q. ] VII. 74.
[r. ] XII. 29.
[s. ] XII. 29.
[t. ] IX. 23.
[u. ] IX. at the end.
[x. ] VII. 74.
[y. ] VII. 73.
[z. ] V. 21. II. 13.
[a. ] III. 6. VI. 16.
[b. ] VI. 22. VII. 15. VIII. 5.
[c. ] VII. 44.
[* ] So he calls the heathens after St. Paul.
[a. ] Matth. XV. 19.
[b. ] — V. 22, 28.
[c. ] — XII. 36.
[d. ] — V. 20. VI. 33.
[e. ] — V. 45, 48.
[f. ] — VI. 1, 3.
[g. ] — V. 39.
[h. ] — XVIII. 15, 16.
[i. ] Luke XIV. 26, 33.
[k. ] Matth. XXII. 37.
[l. ] — XXII. 39.
[m. ] — VII. 12.
[n. ] — V. 44. and Luke X. 37.
[o. ] — V. 19, 20.
[c. ] Acts XVII. 23.
[d. ] — 28.
[e. ] Our reasonable service. Rom. XII. 1. To follow God and reason: Antoninus, XII. 31.
[g. ]Deut. XXXII. 31.
[k. ]Romans I. 19. That which may be known of God. And, verse 21. When they knew God.
[l. ] That they should see the Lord, if haply they might feel after him and find him. Acts XVII. 27.
[m. ] Rom. I. 20.
[o. ]Genesis I. 27. & IX. 6.
[p. ]Prov. XX. 27. Rom. II. 15.
[15.] Virgil, Aeneid IX.252–54 (Loeb ed., vol. I, pp. 132–33): “What reward, men, shall I deem worthy to be paid you for deeds so glorious? The first and fairest the gods and your own hearts shall give.”
[16.] Virgil, Aeneid I.603–5 (Loeb ed., vol. I, pp. 304–5): “The gods … and the consciousness of right will bring you worthy rewards!”
[16.] Horace, Satires II.7.86–87 (from Horace’s description of the wise man): “who in himself is a whole, smoothed and rounded, so that nothing from outside can rest on the polished surface.” Satires, Epistles, and Ars Poetica (Loeb ed., pp. 231–33).
[1.] See Empedocles, fragments B27–28. Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, vol. I, pp. 323–24.
[2.] See also the endnotes, bk. VI, p. 178n7.
[3.] This article was cited by Henry More, in An Account of Virtue (1690), p. 120, in corroboration of his theory that “there is so much of Divinity interwoven in a virtuous Mind; …”
[4.] This article was cited by Shaftesbury in Miscellany IV, chap. 1, in Characteristics, ed. Klein, p. 423, in the context of a Stoical reflection, supported by sayings of Marcus, Epictetus, and Horace, to the effect that we should withdraw our admiration and desire from the merely pleasurable and direct them to “objects, whatever they are, of inward worth and beauty (such as honesty, faith, integrity, friendship, honor).”
[5.] Little is known of these persons, except that Tiberius is the emperor of that name (ad 14–37), whose final years, spent in retirement on the island of Capri, were supposed to have reached unexampled depths of depravity.
[6.] See also bk. IV, art. 37, p. 54, the asterisked note; and the endnotes, bk. IV, p. 175n12, and other references cited there.
[7.] In Cicero’s On the Ends of Good and Evil, bk. III, xiv, 45–48 (Loeb ed., pp. 216–19), Cato defended the Stoic theory that actions inspired by goodness and virtue are not enhanced by prolongation or duration; such actions are seasonable or opportune or they are not. Hutcheson’s term “seasonableness” is a translation of eukairia, which Cicero translated opportunitas. In A System of Moral Philosophy, bk. I, chap. 4, sec. 6, vol. I, p. 61, Hutcheson quoted “the Stoick in Cicero de fin. l. iii c. 10” to reinforce his claim that moral good cannot be estimated by degrees: “nor can such matters of immediate feeling be otherways proved but by appeals to our hearts.”
[1.] Cleanthes (331–232 bc) was the second head of the Stoic school. A translation of his Hymn to Zeus may be found in The Hellenistic Philosophers, ed. Long and Sedley, vol. 1, pp. 53–54.
[2.] Seneca, Epistulae morales, letter 107, sec. 9 (Loeb ed., vol. III, pp. 226–29).
[3.] Plato, Apology, 28d–e (Loeb ed., pp. 74–77).
[4.] “to believe that he was born to serve the whole world and not himself” (of Cato). Lucan, bk. II, line 383, in Lucan, The Civil War (Loeb ed., pp. 84– 85).
[5.] This does not appear to be a correct reference.
[6.] Cf. Cicero, De finibus, bk. II, chap. 15, secs. 49–50 in Loeb ed., pp. 136– 39.
[7.] Plutarch, “On Affection for Offspring,” in Plutarch’s Moralia, trans. Humbold (Loeb ed., vol. VI, pp. 342–43).
[1.] The Epistles of Isidore of Pelusium can be found in Migne, Patrologiae Graecae, vol. 78, pp. 178–1646.
[2.] Dio of Prusa (Dio Chrysostom), Oration 51 “Against Diodorus,” chap. 9.
[3.] Augustine, Epistle 170. S. Aureli Augustini Hipponensis episcopi Epistulae, ed. Goldbacher, in Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, vol. 44, pt. 3, pp. 622–31.
[4.] Gataker seems to be referring to Polybius, Histories, I.81.5–11 (Loeb ed., vol. I, pp. 218–21): “No beast becomes at the end more wicked or cruel than man”; and Histories, XXXII.3.7 (Loeb ed., vol. VI, pp. 236–37): “There is nothing more terrible in body and soul than a man once he has become absolutely like a beast.” The latter passage is preserved in the Excerpta de legationibus, which consists of passages about Embassies culled from Polybius on the orders of Constantine Porphyrogenitus and which was printed as a separate text in the early modern period.
[5.] Plato, Laws, bk. VI, 766a, in Plato, Laws, trans. Bury (Loeb ed., vol. I, pp. 438–39).
[6.] Bernard of Clairvaux, “Sermones per annum,” in vol. 4 of Sancti Bernardi Opera, p. 161ff.