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Socrates, who takes care of you ; but as Homer tells us, that Minerva removed the mist from Diomedes his eyes, that he might plainly difcover boch Gods and men ; To the darkness that hangs upon your mind must be removed, before you are able to discern what is good and what is evil. Let him remove from my mind, fxys Alcibiades, the darkness, and what effe he pleafes ; I am determined to refufe noching he shall order me, whoever he is, fo that I may become the better man by it. The remaining part of this dialogue is very obscure: There is something in it that would make us think Socrates hinted at himfelf, when he spoke of this Divine Teacher who was to come into the world, did he not own that he himself was in this respecto as much at a lofs, and in as great distress as the rest of mankind. Some learned men look
look upon this conclusion as a prediction of our Saviour, or at least that Socrates, like the High-priest, prophefied unknowingly, and pointed at that Divine Teacher who was to come into the world, fome ages after him. However that may be, we .find that this great Philosopher faw, by the light of reason, that it was suitable to the goodness of the Divine Nature, to fend a person into the world who should instruct mankind in the duties of religion, and, in particular, teach them how to pray
Whoever reads this abstract of Plato's discourse on Prayer, will, I believe, naturally make this reflection, That the great Founder of our religion, as well by his own example, as in the form of prayer which he taught his disciples, did not only keep up to those rules which the light of nature had fuggested to this great Philosopher, but instructed his difciples in the whole extent of this duty, as well as of all others. He directed them to the proper object of adoration, and taught them according to the third rule above-mentioned, to apply themselves to him in their closets, without show. or oftentation, and to worship him in spirit and in truth. As the Lacedemonians in their form of Prayer implored the Gods in general to give them all good things fo long as they were virtuous, we ask in particular that our offences may be forgiven as we forgive those of others. If we look into the second Rule which Socrates has prescribed, namely, That we should apply ourselves to the knowledge of such chings as are best for us, this too is explained at large in the doctrines of the Gospel, where we are taught in several instances to regard those things as curses, which appear as blessings in the eye of the world, and on the contrary, to esteem those things as blessings, which to the generality of mankind
appear as curfes. Thus in the form which is prefcribed to us we only pray for that happiness which is our chief good, and the great end of our existence, when we petition the Supreme Being for the coming of his kingdum, being solicitous for no other temporal blessing but our daily fuftenance. On the other fide, we pray against nothing but Sin, and against Evil in general, leaving it with Omniscience to determine what is really fuck. If we look into the first of Socrates his rules of prayer, in which he recommends the above-mentioned form of the ancient Poet, we find that form not only comprehended, but very much improved in the petition, wherein we pray to the Supreme Being that bis Will may be done : which is of the same force with that
form which our Saviour used, when he prayed against the most painful and most ignominious of deaths, Nevertheless not my Will, but thine be done. This comprehensive petition is the most humble, as well as the most prúdent, that can be offered up from the creature to his Creator, as it supposes the Supreme Being wills nothing but what is for our good, and that he knows better than ourselves what is so.
SE C SECTION V.
Advantages of REVELATION above
-quicquid dignum sapiente bonoque ot.
Eligion may be considered under two general heads. The first com
prehends what we are to believe, the other what we are to practife. By those things which we are to believe, I mean whatever is revealed to us in the Holy writings, and which we could not have obtained the knowledge of by the light of nature ; by the things which we are to practife, I mean all those duties to which we are directed by reason or natural religion. The first of thefe I shall distinguish by the name of Faith, the sea cond by that of Morality.
If we look into the more ferious part of mankind, we find many who lay so