The Origin And Principle Of

preparation. It is this apparent paradox that the most individual is the most universal, which the Stoics brought to light, and by means of which they, as I have said, changed the whole tone and temper of earlier individualism. While, therefore, the strengthening power of the Cynic doctrine, the ' Socratic vigour,' was not lost, while the Stoics were able to show on many occasions that they found in their philosophy a spring of energy which could lift them above fear and desire, and which could be corrupted or intimidated neither by public opinion nor by the earthly omnipotence of the Koijian Imperial power; yet they were not, in the first instance, occupied with resistance or revolt against outward authority or influence, but with the effort to rule their own spirits, to live a life of moral freedom, and to die without doing dishonour to humanity in their own persons. And, in spite of their condemnation of the general tendencies of the society around them, and their resolution to live in independence of it as of everything merely external, their attitude to the world was not primarily antagonistic. On the contrary, they held that the very principle which gives the individual an absolute claim against other men, also obliges him to recognise the same claims in them; and that the same reason which mates him an individual, self-determining being, unites him to all beings like himself—or, at least, would unite him to them, if he and they were to become what, as rational, they potentially are. Hence it is to the philosophy of the Stoics that we owe the watchword of humanity: Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum jputo; and, indeed, it is also to them we owe it that the word humanity has the double sense of the adjectives 'human' and 'humane.' Thus the Cynic's self-assertion against society is turned into a consciousness of membership in the great civitas communis deorum et hominum. And if this universal community remain with the Stoics only an. aspiration and does not become a reality, if it be at best a dream of the distant future rather than a consciousness of any actual or possible object of present endeavour, yet even the idea of it did much to break down the barriers between mankind. In short, in passing from Cynicism to Stoicism, we are passing from a self-sufficiency which is all-exclusive to one that, in idea at least, is all-inclusive; and the Stoic philanthropy, if it had not the invasive energy of Christian charity, yet carried with it a comprehensive sympathy, which softened the bitterness of national and personal prejudice and prepared the way for the religion of humanity.

And this leads me to speak of another point which is of special interest to anyone who seeks to trace the evolution of theology. The Cynic philosophy, as it broke off the community of man with man and of man with the world, was, at least in its most prominent aspect, the very negation of religion. In arming man against his fellows, it also armed him against heaven. Its self-sufficiency was the contradictory of all obedience or loyalty to any power above the individual. But for the Stoic it is quite otherwise. Freedom from the law without is at once recognised as binding the individual to obedience to the law within; and as the Stoic thinks of this inner law as absolute, he cannot but believe that the whole world is subjected to it. Hence in obeying his own nature, he is conscious that he is in harmony with the law of the ^universe, —a law which all things obey, but which it is the privilege only of rational beings to know, and to make into the conscious rule of their own. lives. They alone can see that the world is the manifestation of the same reason that speaks within them, and they are therefore able to identify their own freedom with submission to a divine law and service to a divine purpose. Deo parere libertas est

From the first, Stoicism was a religious philosophy, as is shown by the great hymn of Cleanthes, the successor of Zeno as head of the school—a hymn which is inspired by the consciousness that it is one spiritual power which penetrates and controls the universe and is the source of every work done under the sun, " except what evil men endeavour in their folly." Man alone is of pure divine race,1 and he alone is able to accept or to resist the divine will—though, after all, his resistance is naught, being in contradiction with his own nature, as well as with the nature of the universe and of God. " Lead me, 0 Zeus, and thou, 0 Destiny, in the work to which I am divinely chosen, and I shall follow, not unwilling; but even if I refuse and become evil, no less must I follow thee." Thus the moral independence of the Stoic converts itself into a consciousness of unity with God, in which all caprice and wilfulness are lost; and the individual becomes strong in himself simply as he becomes conscious that he is the organ of the divine will. Stoicism may not be successful in dealing with all the difficulties of the question of man's freedom, or in solving the antinomy which arises when we consider his position as, on the one hand, a self-conscious, self-determining ego, and on the other, a finite individual who is only a part of an infinite whole, and whose self-determination cannot be conceived as breaking up its unity. But it is fair to say that Stoicism first brought the two terms of the problem face to face with each other and indicated the line in which

1rou ykp ml yivos tefih—the words quoted by St. Paul in his address to the Athenians (Acts xvii. 28).

alone a solution can be sought. How can morality and religion, free self-determination and absolute self-surrender to God be united with each other ? This henceforward becomes one of the fundamental questions of the philosophy of religion. And the answer to it can only be found, if it be found at all, in the conception of the fundamental unity of man's nature with the divine. Thus the Stoics both set the problem of freedom, and showed in what direction the solution of it was to be sought.

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