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cording to his free will : in respect of which

Men are of heavenly race,

Taught by Diviner Nature what to embrace.

The Pythagoreans had this distich, among
those commonly called the Golden Verses :

Rid of this body, if the heavens free

You reach, henceforth immortal you shall be.

Or thus :
Who after death, arrive at the heavenly plain,
Are straight like Gods, and never die again.

49. Solon, esteemed one of the seven
sages of Greece, a noble philosopher, and a
law-giver to the Athenians, was so humble,
that he refused to be prince of that people,
and voluntarily banished himself, when Pisis-
tratus usurped the government there ; resolving
never to outlive the laws and freedom of his
country.* He would say. That to make a
government last, the magistrates must obey
the laws, and the people the magistrates. It
was his judgment, that riches brought luxury,
and luxury brought tyranny. Being asked by
Croesus, king of Lydia, when seated in hi's
throne, richly clothed, and magnificently at-
tended, if he had ever seen anything more
glorious? He answered, cocks, peacocks, and
pheasants; by how much their beauty is natu-
ral. These undervaluing expressions of wise
Solon, meeting so pat upon the pride and
luxury of Crcesus, they parted : the one desi-
rous of toys and vanities; the other an exam-
ple and instructor of true nobility and virtue,
that contemned the king's effeminacy. Another
time Croesus asking him, who was the hap-
piest man in the world ? expecting he should
have said, Croesus, because he was the most
famous for wealth in those parts; he answered,
Tellus ; who though poor, yet was an honest
and good man, and contented with Avhat he
had : after he had served the commonwealth
faithfully, and seen his children and grand
children virtuously educated, he died for his
country in a good old age, and was carried
by his children to his grave.f This much
displeased Crossus, but he dissembled it.
Whilst Solon thus recommended the happi-
ness of Tellus, Croesus demanded to whom he
assigned the next place, (making no question
but himself should be named) Cleobis saith
he, and Bito ; brethren that loved well, had a

* Plutarch. Herod.

i Plutarch. Laert.



competency, were of great health and strength,
most tender and obedient to their mother, reU-
gious of life ; who, after sacrificing in the
temple, fell asleep, and waked no more.
Hereat, Croesus growing angry. Strange !
saith he ; doth our happiness seem so despica-
ble, that thou wilt not rank us equal with pri-
vate persons ? Solon answered, Dost thou
inquire of us about human affairs ? knowest
thou not, that Divine Providence is severe,
and often full of alteration ? Do not we, in
process of time, see many things we would
not? Aye, and suffer many things we would
not? Count man's life at seventy years, which
makes* twenty-six thousand two hundred and
fifty and odd days, there is scarcely one day
like another ; so that every one, O Croesus, is
attended with crosses. Thou appearest to me
very rich, and king over many people ; but
the question thou askest, I cannot resolve, till
I hear thou hast ended thy days happily ; for
he that hath much wealth is not happier than
he that gets his bread from day to day ; unless
Providence continue those good things, and
he dieth well. In everything, O king, we
must have regard to the end ; for man, to
whom God dispenseth worldly good things, he
at last utterly deserts. Solon, after his dis-
course, not flattering Croesus, was dismissed,
and accounted unwise, that he neglected the
present good, out of regard to the future,
^sop, who wrote the Fables, being then at
Sardis, sent for thither by Croesus, and much
in favour with him, was grieved to see Solon
so unthankfuUy dismissed ; and said to him,
Solon, we must either tell kings nothing at
all, or what may please them : No, saith
Solon, either nothing at all, or what is best
for them. However, it was not long ere
Croesus was of another mind ; for, being taken
prisoner by Cyrus, the founder of the Persian
monarchy, and by his command fettered and
put on a pile of wood to be burned, Croesus
sighed deeply, and cried, O Solon, Solon !
Cyrus bid the interpreter ask, on whom he
called ? He was silent ; but at last, pressing
him answered. Upon him, whom I desire,
above all wealth, to have spoken with all
tyrants. This not understood, upon farther
importunity he told them, Solon, an Athenian;
who long since, says he, came to me, and
seeing my wealth, despised it ; besides, what
he told me is come to pass : nor did his coun-
sel belong to me alone, but to all mankind,
especially those that think themselves happy.
Whilst Croesus said thus, the fire began to
kindle, and the out-parts to be seized by the
flame : Cyrus informed by the interpreters
what Croesus said, began to be troubled ; and

* According to the Athenian account.

knowing himself to be a man, and that to use
another, not inferior to himself in wealth, so
severely, might one day be retaliated, instantly
commanded the fire to be quenched, and Croe-
sus and his friends to be brought off; whom,
ever after, as long as he lived, Cyrus had in
great esteem.")" Thus Solon gained the praise
of two kings ; his advice saved one, and in-
structed the other.

As it was in Solon's time that tragical plays
were first invented, so was he most severe
against them ; foreseeing the inconveniences
that followed, upon the people's being affected
with that novelty of pleasure. It is reported
of him, that he went himself to the play, and
after it was ended, he went to Thespis, the
great actor, and asked him. If he were not
ashamed to tell so many lies in the face of so
great an auditory? Thespis answered, as it is
now usual, There is no harm nor shame to
act such things in jest. Solon, striking his
staff hard upon the ground, replied, But in a
short time, we who approve of this kind of
jest shall use it in earnest in our common
affairs and contracts. In fine, he absolutely
forbade him to teach or act plays; conceiving
them deceitful and unprofitable ; diverting
youth and tradesmen from more necessary
and virtuous employment. He defined those
happy, who are competently furnished with
their outward callings, live temperately and
honestly. He would say. That cities are the
common-sewer of wickedness. He affirmed
that to be the best family, which got not un-
justly, kept not unfaithfully, spent not with
repentance. " Observe, saith he, honesty in
thy conversation, moi'e strictly than an oath."
Seal words with silence; silence with opportu-
nity. Never lie, but speak the truth. Fly
pleasure, for it brings sorrow. Advise not the
people what is most pleasant, but what is best.
Make not friends in haste, nor hastily part
with them. Learn to obey, and thou wilt
know how to command. Be arrogant to
none ; be mild to those that are about thee.
Converse not with wicked persons. Meditate
on serious things. Revei'ence thy parents.
Cherish thy friend. Conform to reason ; and
in all things take counsel of God. In fine,
his two short sentences were these. Of nothing,
Too much ; and Know thyself:}:

50. Chilon, another of the wise men of
Greece, would say. That it was the perfection
of a man to foresee and prevent mischiefs.
That herein good people differ from bad ones,
their hopes were firm and assured. That God
was the great touch-stone, or rule of mankind.
That men's tongues ought not to outrun their

t Herodot. Halicar.

I Stob. Sent. 3. Clem. Alex. Strom. 1.



judgment. That we ought not to flatter great
men, lest we exalt them above their merit and
station ; nor to speak hardly of the helpless.
They that would govern a state well, must
govern their families. He would say. That a
man ought so to behave himself, that he fall
neither into hatred nor disgrace. That com-
monwealth is happiest, where the people mind
the law more than the lawyers. Men should
not forget the favours they receive, nor re-
member those they do. Three things he said
were difficult, yet necessary to be observed,
to keep secrets, forgive injuries, and use time
well. Speak not ill, says he, of thy neighbour.
Go slowly to the feasts of thy friends, but
swiftly to their troubles. Speak well of the
dead. Shun busy-bodies. Prefer loss before
covetous gain. Despise not the miserable.
If powerful, behave thyself mildly, that thou
mayest be loved, rather than feared. Order
thy house well : bridle thy anger : grasp not
at much : make not haste, neither dote upon
anything below. A prince must not take up
his time about transitory and mortal things ;
eternal and immortal are fittest for him. To
conclude : he was so just in all his actions,
that Laertius tells us, he professed in his old
age, that he had never done anything contrary
to the conscience of an upright man ; only,
that of one thing he was doubtful, having
given sentence against his friend according to
law, he advised his friend to appeal from him ;
so to preserve both his friend and the law.
Thus true and tender was conscience in
heathen Chilon.

51. Periawder, a prince and philosopher
too, would say. That pleasures are mortal, but
virtues immortal. In success, be moderate ;
in disappointments, patient and prudent. Be
alike to thy friends, in prosperity and in
adversity. Peace is good ; rashness danger-
ous ; gain sordid. Betraj^ not secrets. Pun-
ish the guilty. Restrain men from sin.
They who would rule safely must be guarded
by love, not arms. To conclude, saith he,
live worthy of praise, so wilt thou die

52. Bias, one of the Seven Wise Men,
being in a storm with wicked men, who cried
mightily to God; Hold your tongues, saith he,
it were better he knew not you were here ;f
a saying that hath great doctrine in it : the
devotion of the wicked doth them no good :
it answers to that passage in Scripture, " The
prayers of the wicked are an abomination to
the Lord.":j: An ungodly man asking him.
What godliness was ? he was silent ; but the
other murmuring, saith he, What is that to

* Baart. Suid. Protag. Stob. 28.
t Laert. Stob. \ Prov. xv. 8.

thee 1 that is not thy concern. He was so
tender in his nature, that he seldom judged
any criminal to death, but he wept ; adding,
One part goeth to God, and the other part I
must give the law. That man is unhappy,
saith he, who cannot bear affliction. It is a
disease of the mind, to desire that which can-
not, or is not fit to be had. It is an ill thing
not to be mindful of other men's miseries. To
one who asked, What is hard 1 he answered,
To bear cheerfully a change for the worse.
Those, says he, who busy themselves in vain
knowledge, resemble owls that see by night
and are blind by day ; for they are sharp-
sighted in vanity, but dark at the approach of
true light and knowledge. He adds, Under-
take deliberately; but then go through. Speak
not hastily, lest thou sin. Be neither silly nor
subtle. Hear much; speak little, and season-
ably. Make profession of God everywhere ;
and impute the good thou dost, not to thyself,
but to the power of God. His country being
invaded, and the people flying with the best of
their goods, asked. Why he carried none of
his? I, saith he, carry my goods within me.
Valerius Maximus adds. In his breast ; not to
be seen by the eye, but to be prized by the
soul ; not to be demolished by mortal hands ;
present with them that stay, and not forsaking
those that fly.

53. Cleobulus, a prince and philosopher
of Lyndus, said. That it was man's duty to
be always employed upon something that was
good. Again, Be never vain nor ungrateful.
Bestow your daughters virgins in years, but
matrons in discretion. Do good to thy friend,
to keep him, to thy enemy, to gain him.
When any man goeth forth, let him consider
what he hath to do ; when he returneth, ex-
amine Avhat he hath done. Know, that to
reverence thy father is thy duty. Hear will-
ingly, but trust not hastily. Obtain by per-
suasion, not by violence. Being rich, be not
exalted ; poor, be not dejected. Forego en-
mity : instruct thy children : pray to God, and
persevere in godliness.*

54. PiTTACus being asked, What was best?
he answered. To do the present thing well.
He would say, What thou dost take ill in thy
neighbour, do not thyself. Reproach not the
unhappy ; for the hand of God is upon them.
Be true to thy trust. Bear with thy neigh-
bour ; love thy neighbour. Reproach not thy
friend, though he recede from thee a little.
That commonwealth is best ordered, where
the wicked have no command, and that family,
which hath neither ornament nor necessity.
He advised to acquire honestly ; love disci-
pline ; observe temperance ; gain prudence ;

Laert. Plut. Sympos. Sap. Sep. Stob. Ser.



mind diligence ; and keep truth, faith, and
piety. He had a bi'other, who dying without
issue left him his estate; so that when Crcesus
offered him wealth, he answered, I have more
by half than I desire. He also affirmed That
family the best, who got not unjustly, kept
not unfaithfully, spent not with repentance :
and, that happiness consists in a virtuous and
honest life, in being content with a compe-
tency of outward things, and in using them
temperately. He earnestly enjoined all to
flee corporal pleasure ; for, says he, it cer-
tainly brings sorrow: but to observe an honest
life more strictly than an oath ; and meditate
on serious things.*

55. HippiAS, a philosopher : it is recorded
of him, that he would have every one provide
his own necessaries ; and, that he might do
what he taught, he was his own tradesman.
He was singular in all such arts and employ-
ments, insomuch that he made the very bus-
kins he wore.f A better life than an Alex-

56. The Gymnosophistse were a sect of
philosophers in Egypt, that so despised gaudy
apparel, and the rest of the world's intempe-
rance, that they went almost naked ; living
poorly, and with great meanness : by which
they were enabled against all cold, and over-
came that lust by innocence, which people
who are called Christians, though covered, are
overcome withal. ij:

57. The Bambycatti were a people that in-
habited about the river Tygris, in Asia ; who
observing the great influence gold, silver and
precious jewels had upon their minds, agreed
to bury all in the earth, to prevent the corrup-
tion of their manners. They used inferior
metals, and lived with very ordinary accom-
modation ; wearing mostly but one grave and
plain robe to cover nakedness. It were well,
if Christians would mortify their unsatiable
appetites after wealth and vanity any way,
for heathens judge their excess. §

58. The Athenians had two distinct num-
bers of men, called the Gynrecosmi and Gynee-
conomi. These were appointed by the magis-
trates to overlook the actions of the people :
the first was to see that they apparelled and
behaved themselves gravely ; especially that
women were of modest behaviour : and the
other was to be present at their treats and
festivals, to see that there was no excess, nor
disorderly carriage : and in case any were
found criminal, they had full power to punish
them. II When, alas ! when shall this care
and wisdom be seen among the Christians of

* Plutarch. Stob. 28. f Cic. lib. de Orat.

\ Plin. 7. 2. Cic. Tusc. Quest. 5.
§Plin. llVid. Suid.

these times, that so intemperance might be
prevented ? But it is too evident they love the
power and the profits, but despise the virtue
of government, making it an end, instead of
a means to that happy end, viz. The well-
ordering the manners and conversation of the
people, and equally distributing rewards and

59. Anacharsis, a Scythian, was a great
philosopher ; Crcesus offered him large sums
of money, but he refused them. Hanno did
the like ; to whom he answered. My apparel
is a Scythian rug ; my shoes, the hardness of
my feet; my bed, the earth; my sauce, hun-
ger : you may come to me as one who is con-
tented ; but those gifts which you so much
esteem bestow either on your citizens, or in
sacrifice to the immortal Gods.**

60. Anaxagoras, a nobleman, but true
philosopher, left his great patrimony to seek
out wisdom : and being reproved by his friends
for the little care he had of his estate, an-
swered, It is enough that you care for it. One
asked him. Why he had no more love for his
country than to leave it? Wrong me not, saith
he, my greatest care is my country, pointing
his finger towards heaven. Returning home,
and taking a view of his great possessions. If
I had not disregarded them, saith he, I had
perished. He asserted the doctrine of one
eternal God, denying divinity to sun, moon
and stars ; saying, God was infinite, not con-
fined to place , the eternal wisdom and effi-
cient cause of all things; the divine mind
and understanding ; who, when matter was
confused, came and reduced it to order, which
is the world we see.ff He suffered much
from some magistrates for his opinion ; yet
dying, was admired by them : his epitaph in
English thus :

Here lies, who through the truest paths did pass
To the world celestial, Anaxagoras.

61. Heraclitus was invited by king
Darius, for his great virtue and learning, to
this effect ; Come, as soon as thou canst, to
my presence and royal palace. The Greeks,
for the most part, are not obsequious to wise
men, but despise the good things which they
deliver. With me thou shalt have the first
place, and daily honours and titles : thy way
of living shall be as noble as thy instructions.
But Heraclitus refusing his offer, returned this
answer :

Heraclitus to Darius the king, health. Most
men refrain from justice and truth, and pursue
insatiableness and vain glory, by reason of

** Cic. Tus. Quest. 5. Clem. Alex. Strob.
ft Plutarch contra Usur. Lysand. Cic. Tus.
Quest. 5.



their folly ; but I, having forgot all evil, and
shunning the society of inbred envy and pride,
will never come to the kingdom of Persia,
being contented with a little according to my
own mind.

He also slighted the Athenians. He had
clear apprehensions of the nature and power
of God, maintaining his divinity against the
idolatry in fashion. This definition he gives
of God ; He is not made with hands. The
whole world, adorned with his creatures, is
his mansion. Where is God ? Shut up in
temples 1 Impious men ! who place their God
in the dark. It is a reproach to a man, to tell
him he is a stone ; yet the God you profess is
born of a rock. You ignorant people ! you
know not God : his works bear witness of him.

Of himself he saith, O ye men, will ye not
learn why I never laugh 1 it is not that I hate
men, but their wickedness. If you would not
have me weep, live in peace : you carry
swords in your tongues ; you plunder wealth,
ravish women, poison friends, betray the trust
the people repose in you : shall I laugh, when
I see men do these things ? their garments,
beards and heads, adorned with unnecessary
care ; a mother deserted by a wicked son ,* or
young men consuming their patrimony? a citi-
zen's wife taken from him; a virgin ravished;
a concubine kept as a wife; others filling their
bellies at feasts, more with poison than with
dainties ? Virtue would strike me blind, if I
should laugh at your wars. By music, pipes,
and stripes, you are excited to things contrary
to all harmony. Iron, a metal more proper
for ploughs and tillages, is fitted for slaughter
and death : men raising armies of men, covet
to kill one another; and punish them that quit
the field for not staying to murder men. They
honour, as valiants, such as are drunk with
blood. But lions, horses, eagles, and other
creatures, use not swords, bucklers, and in-
struments of war: their limbs are their weap-
ons, some their horns, some their bills, some
their wings. To one is given swiftness ; to
another bigness ; to a third, swimming. No
irrational creature useth a sword, but keeps
itself within the laws of its creation ; except
man, that doth not so ; which brings the
heavier blame, because he hath the greatest
understanding. You must leave your wars
and your wickedness, which you ratify by
law, if you would have me leave my severity.
I have overcome pleasure, I have overcome
riches, I have overcome ambition, I have
mastered flattery : fear hath nothing to ob-
ject against me, drunkenness hath nothing to
charge upon me, anger is afraid of me : I
have won the garland, in fighting against
these enemies.

Vol. I.— No. 8.

This, and much more, did he write in his
epistles to Harmodorus, of his complaints
against the great degeneracy of the Ephe-
sians. And in an epistle to Aphidamus, he
writes, I am fallen sick, Aphidamus, of a
dropsy. Whatsoever is of us, if it get the
dominion, it becomes a disease. Excess of
heat is a fever ; excess of cold, a palsy ; ex-
cess of wind, the cholic ; my disease cometh
from excess of moisture. The soul is some-
thing divine, which keeps all these in a due
proportion. I know the nature of the world ;
I know that of man ; I know diseases ; I know
health : I will cure myself, I will imitate
God, who makes equal the inequalities of
the world. But if my body be overpressed,
it must descend to the place ordained ; how-
ever, my soul shall not descend ; but being a
thing immortal, shall ascend on high, where
an heavenly mansion shall receive me.

A most weighty and pathetical discourse :
they that know anything of God, may savour
something divine in it. Oh ! that the degene-
rate Christians of these times would but take
a view of the virtue, temperance, zeal, piety,
and faith of this heathen, who, notwithstand-
ing he lived five hundred years before the
coming of Christ in the flesh, had these ex-
cellent sentences ! Yet again ; he taught that
God punisheth not by taking away riches, he
rather alloweth them to the wicked, to dis-
cover them ; for poverty may be a veil. Speak-
ing of God, he says. How can that light
which never sets be hidden or obscured 1 Jus-
tice shall seize one day upon defrauders and
witnesses of false things. Unless a man hopes
to the end, for that which is to be hoped for,
he shall not find that which is unsearchable ;
which Clemens, an ancient father, applied to
Isa. vi. " Unless you believe, you shall not
understand." Heraclitus derided the sacrifice
of creatures : Do you think, saith he, to
pacify God and cleanse yourselves, by pollu-
ting yourselves with blood ? as if a man
should go into the dirt to cleanse himself.
Which showed a sight of a more spiritual
worship, than that of the sacrifices of beasts.
He lived solitary in the mountains ; had a
sight of his end : and as he was prepared for
it, so he rejoiced in it. These certainly were
the men, " who having not a law Avithout
them, became a law unto themselves, showino-
forth the work of the law written in their
hearts ;" and who, for that reason, shall judo-e
the circumcision, and receive the reward of
" Well done," by him who is Judge of quick
and dead.

62. Democritus would say, That he had
lived to an extraordinary age, by keepino-
himself from luxury and excess. That a little



estate went a great way with men who were
neither covetous nor prodigal. That luxury
furnished great tables with variety : and tem-
perance furnished little ones. That riches do
not consist in the possession, but right use, of
wealth. He was a man of great retirement,
avoiding public honours and employments ;
bewailed by the people of Abdera as mad,
whilst indeed he only smiled at the madness
of the world.

63. Socrates was the most religious and
learned philosopher of his time, of whom it is
reported Apollo gave this character. That he
was the wisest man on earth, was a man of
severe life, and instructed people gratis in just,
grave and virtuous manners. Being envied
by Aristophanes, the vain, comical wit of that
age, as one spoiling the trade of plays, and
exercising the generality of the people with
more noble and virtuous things ; he was re-
presented by him in a play, in which he ren-
dered Socrates so ridiculous, that the vulgar
would rather part with Socrates in earnest,
than Socrates in jest; which made way for
\ their impeaching him, as an enemy to their
I gods ; for which they put him to death. But
in a short space, his eighty judges, and the
whole people, so deeply resented the loss, that
they slew many of his accusers : some hanged
themselves; none would trade with them, nor
answer them a question. They erected several

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