- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 454MB
We now pass to a form of supernaturalism more characteristic than any other of the direction which mens thoughts were taking under the Roman empire, and more or less profoundly connected with all the other religious manifestations which have hitherto engaged our attention. This is the doctrine of immortality, a doctrine far more generally accepted in the first centuries of the Christian era, but quite apart from Christian influence, than is supposed by most persons. Here our most trustworthy information is derived from the epigraphic monuments. But for them, we might have continued to believe that public opinion on this subject was faithfully reflected by a few sceptical writers, who were, in truth, speaking only for themselves and for the numerically insignificant class to which they belonged. Not that the inscriptions all point one way and the books another way. On the contrary, there are epitaphs most distinctly repudiating the notion of a life beyond the grave, just as there are expressions let fall by men of learning which show that they accepted it as true. As much might be expected from the divisions then prevailing in the speculative world. Of all philosophical systems, Epicureanism was, at this time, the most widely diffused: its adherents rejected the belief in another world as a mischievous delusion; and many of them seem to have carefully provided that their convictions should be recorded on their tombs. The monument of one such philosopher, dedicated to eternal sleep, is still extant; others are dedicated to safe repose; others, again, speak of the opposite belief as a vain imagination. A favourite epitaph with persons of this school runs as follows:I was nothing and became, I was and am no more, so much is true. To speak otherwise is to lie, for I shall be no more.358 Sometimes,234 from the depths of their unconsciousness, the dead are made to express indifference to the loss of existence. Sometimes, in what was popularly believed to be the spirit of Epicureanism, but was, in reality, most alien to it, they exhort the passer-by to indulge his appetites freely, since death is the end of all.
Bruno himself acted as a mediator between the two philo384sophies. His sympathies with Platonism were strongly pronounced, he looked with admiration on its mediaeval supporters, especially David of Dinan; and regretted the time when Oxford was a focus of realistic teaching, instead of being what he found her, devoted to the pedantic humanism of the Renaissance.547 He fully accepted the pantheistic conclusions towards which Platonism always tended; but in proclaiming an absolute principle whence all specific differences are evolved, he is careful to show that, while it is neither Form nor Matter in the ordinary sense, it may be called Matter in the more refined signification attached to that term by Plotinus and, indeed, by Aristotle himself. There is a common substance underlying all abstract essences, just as there is a common substance left behind when the sensible qualities of different bodies are stripped off; and both are, at bottom, the same. Thus monism became the banner round which the older forms of Greek speculation rallied in their assault on Aristotles philosophy, though what monism implied was as yet very imperfectly understood.
Then there werent any stitches to be discovered! exclaimed Dick.
"If I couldn't shoot no better'n you kin on a sneak," answered the rebel, his rammer ringing in his gun-barrel, "I wouldn't handle firearms. Your bullet went a mile over my head. Must've bin shootin' at an angel. But you Yanks can't shoot nary bityou're too skeered."