that man is nought but a feeble form and a rolling ball and the sport of pain and trouble.

(7) Aristarchus of Tegea flourished about 450 B.C., and was thus a little before Plato. He is reported to have said that philosophers knew no more about divine things than the common herd, and that any one who pretended to know more about them than others was thereby known to be puffed up with pride.

If we now turn to a few of the philosophers who lived after the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ but who were not Christians, we find some of them also speaking of man's wickedness and of his need of a divine revelation of some kind to enable him to know the truth and the will of God. We select for reference only two of these men. Plutarch and Porphyry.

(1) Plutarch was born A.D. 50 and died about A.D. 119 or 120. He wrote many Greek books and taught philosophy at Rome. He held that evil longings are found in man from his birth, and that they did not enter into him only after being born. He thought that, if a man were not warned and corrected, he would probably be more savage than the wild beasts.

(2) Porphyry, the Tyrian, was born A.D. 233 and died about A.D. 304. The Christian faith was in his time preached in many lands and accepted by large numbers of people, but Porphyry opposed it with all his might and wrote books against it. It


is the more remarkable, therefore, that he asserted that the ancient searchers for the truth longed greatly that one of their gods should reveal himself to them, that in this way they might be guided to the truth, and, escaping from doubt, might be comforted. As Porphyry and the philosophical sect to which he belonged refused to believe in the true incarnation and to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the manifestation (مظهر) of God, they in vain sought to attain to the knowledge of God by magic and necromancy and perished in their ignorance.

Be it noted that, although these philosophers and others of ancient times were very wise and learned, yet their knowledge of God was so defective that none of those who lived before the time of the Lord Jesus Christ attained to full belief in the unity and personality of God, though some of the wisest of them seem at times to have approximated to this great truth, which, as we learn from both the Taurat 1 and the Injil,2 lies at the very foundation of all true religion. But many of them believed in more gods than one, and thought that there was no sin in worshipping the idols of their people. This is clear from their books, and may be perceived in some of the passages which we have quoted. These passages also show that the wisest of these ancient philosophers were aware of man's sinfulness and his need of a divine revelation to

1 Deut. vi, 4. 2 Mark xii. 29.