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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 128



B.C. 4. VARIOUS OPINIONS OF PHILOSOPHERS. And after the days of the Purification of Mary were accomplished, his parents brought Jesus to Jerusalem, and offered victims for him, a pair of turtle-doves and two young pigeons, and moreover they redeemed him with five pieces of silver. And there was at Jerusalem an old man, named Simeon, who had received an answer from the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death till he had first seen the Lord's Christ ; and he came with the Spirit into the temple, and took Jesus in his arms. And in the same hour, Anna, the prophetess, coming in, spoke of him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Israel. Let, therefore, those philosophers of the Gentiles be confounded, who, by their sagacious investigations, have been able to conjecture that the world and all the courses of things are composed of four elements; and who, seeking for the author of the world in the elements, have never been able to find him. For Thaïes, the Milesian, having comprehended the calculations of astronomy, began to predict the eclipses of the sun and moon ; for he thought himself that water was the origin of all things. Anaximander, his pupil, asserted that all things were denved not from moisture, but from their own several beginnings, and he taught that first principles were infinite in number. And as Thaïes had asserted that the origin of all things was to be found in water, Anaximenes in air, the Stoics in fire, and Epicurus in atoms, Plato is praised, who was the first person who divided Philosophy into three divisions, namely, Moral Philosophy, which is conversant about actions, Natural Philosophy, which is devoted to contemplation, and Logical Philosophy, by which the truth is distinguished from falsehood. But the philosopher Pythagoras, when he was asked what he professed, replied, '"mat he was a philosopher, that is to say, a lover of wisdom/1 For to profess himself a wise man, appeared to him to be a most arrogant proceeding. Bat all these men, because they sought for wisdom without faith, perished on account of their folly. Were not these men, the Holy Fathers of the Old and New Testament, wiser than they? for they, being clear-sighted with lynxes' eyes, found God as he is ; while those who sought him in the elements, could never find him at all. Also Abel the Just, by giving tithes and first-fruits, made God


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