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Florilegiutn Philoms. 481 



FLORILEGIUM PHILONIS.' 
My object this evening is to say something about Philo to those who 
know a little about him already. I am not going to tell you the 
ordinary things about his life and environment which you will find in 
every text book, nor shall I attempt the slightest account of his 
philosophical system as a whole. If anybody has casually read 
Principal Drummond's book on Philo, he will follow my lecture the 
better, but he will not necessarily find it superfluous or wearisome 
unless he has read that admirable work four or five times through. 
Let me say at once about Dr. Drummond's book how much I owe to 
it. I have only one fault to find, and that is on the score of brevity. 
It is much too short. All we have is well worth having, but we want 
a good deal more which we have not got. I hope a considerably 
enlarged edition may appear before long. 

Do not then expect even an outline of Philo's system. But, on the 
other hand, I will not confine myself to vague generalities. Philo is 
so strange and curious a writer that he lends himself 
to this method of treatment very readily. You can Object and 
moralise about that fusion of Greek and Hebrew * aSay,** 
ideas of which, on a large and philosophic scale, he 
is the greatest and most important illustration ; you can make sage 
deductions upon his failure to influence the development of Judaism, 
or wise reflections upon his influence on Christian theology ; you can 
laugh at his extraordinary methods of exegesis, and contrast his alle- 
gorical explanations and Scriptural difficulties with other and perhaps 
better solutions in modern times ; you can show how he attempted a union 
of irreconcilable opposites, and in accordance with your own opinions 
you can point the moral and adorn your tale. 

My object is far simpler. It is merely to pick out and arrange 
from the great mass of the Philonic writings certain salient thoughts 
and sentences which seem worthy of notice and recollection. If I had 
dared, I would have called my lecture, " Tit-Bits from Philo." In 
another generation I should have said, "Elegant Extracts." Though 
letting Philo speak mainly for himself, I shall string my extracts together 
upon a thread of my own ; but the thread will not be systematic or 
philosophical. 

Before I begin, however, I should like, after all, to have just two or 
three minutes for moralising and general remarks. 

I dare say I shall often quote admiringly some statements of Philo 

1 A Lecture delivered before the Jews' College Literary Society on 
February 10th, 1895. 



482 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

which are not Philo's at all. I do not mean that he did not write them, 

but that he borrowed them, perhaps consciously, 
1° al j; from some other philosopher. It is not merely that 

his doctrine of the Logos is based upon Heracleitean 
and Stoic teaching. In almost every part of his religious and ethical 
writings he is under obligations to the Greeks. Philo, moreover, had 
read and used the works of many philosophers which have since been 
lost, and scholars are beginning to investigate his writings as a possible 
source for the knowledge of these half -forgotten treatises. When Cohn 
and Wendland have given us a critical edition of Philo's text, their 
successors in the same field may use that text for an annotated edition 
in which the extent of Philo's philosophic indebtedness will be fully 
revealed. 

It was to the purpose to say that here because most of what we admire 
in Philo to-day is fundamentally Greek rather than fundamentally 
Hebrew. It is Greek philosophy, coloured, modified, transfigured by 
Hebraism. 

Different readers will naturally be arrested by different passages, and 
one man's Florilegium Philonis would differ from another's. On the 
whole, it is just to say that Philo improves on nearer acquaintance. 
Large tracts will always remain dull, arid and of no present-day value. 
But certainly the oases in his desert are better and more numerous than 
would appear at first sight. In the middle of a rhetorical and unattrac- 
tive passage we often come across some striking idea or phrase, and if 
anyone desires to make a collection of these, it is dangerous for him to 
read too carelessly even the most uninviting sections. On the other 
hand, these striking phrases and ideas have sometimes a peculiar disap- 
pointment of their own. We feel now and then as if Philo let them 
escape him unawares, as if he were unconscious of his own merits. 
When he seems just on the point of developing something of lasting 
value, as often as not the fine idea is not worked out, and the telling 
phrase is succeeded by a mass of platitudes or aridities. Still, that is no 
reason why these isolated gems should not be rescued from their un- 
attractive surroundings. 

If Philo is often striking, it does not follow that he is helpful. Nor 
is that which is striking, even in the ethical and religious sphere, of 
necessity available for homiletical ends. But it may be striking all the 
same. It is, moreover, in grand generalities that Philo excels ; his 
ethical details are few and disappointing. 

His readers must remember two things more. Professor Jowett has 
said that " no one can duly appreciate the Dialogues of Plato who has 

not a sympathy with mysticism." Now the same 
Philo and warning applies to Philo. In spite of his lack 

of poetic sensibility and proportion, Philo is deeply 



Morilegium Philonis. 483 

imbued with the characteristic yearnings and qualities of the mys- 
tic. It was partly through him and his school that mysticism of 
a very pronounced type became a prevailing force in the last great 
manifestation of Greek philosophy. Not a few, then, of the passages 
which I shall quote, just because they are mystic, will appeal to some, 
and seem vague or foolish to others. 

A second point is this. Rhetorical and long-winded as Philo is, 
far-fetched and turgid as his language, he was, nevertheless, tremen- 
dously in earnest. And that about which he is in 
earnest will seem a little strange and remote to many Philo s 

excellent persons. It is, to put it briefly, the know- 
ledge of God. That is his quest. Most people are perhaps too sure 
about God's existence to trouble themselves very much about knowing 
him. Such a quest lies outside their lives and is unfamiliar to them. 
But Philo is desperately anxious to know all that he can about the nature 
of God. It is a religious passion with him, and yet he seeks this know- 
ledge by philosophic means. Even if he ends in ecstasy, his road thither 
lies through metaphysics. But the truly religious 
man realises now that the knowledge or vision of . , .. "f s .. 
God is rarely to be attained on these lines. " The 
upright shall behold God's face. The pure in heart shall see God. He 
judged the .cause of the poor and the needy — was not this to know me, 
saith the Lord ? " It is curious that both in the Rabbinic and Alexan- 
drian developments of Judaism, there should be a note of false intel- 
lectualism. " An empty-headed man cannot be a sin-fearing man, nor 
can an ignorant person be pious." So said Hillel ; but the man of true 
religion knows better. Philo, too, speaks scornfully of the " common 
herd," to not one of whom has been granted a share in true life. 1 But, 
though he does not understand that the only — or would it be humbler to 
say, the surest — pathway to God leads through the gates of goodness, 
and though he does not appreciate the fact that for goodness wisdom is 
not essential, these defects do not make his own yearning for the know- 
ledge of God less earnest and real. 

Unfortunately for him, while he failed to realise the efficacy of good- 
ness in the knowledge of God, he was also sceptical about the power of 
wisdom as a method by which to reach the goal. 
He wants to know God, to have an intellectual vision g ^ j s j,j 8 au ^ s t 
of his veritable nature, to draw near to his sovereign but God is 

reality. But he is also convinced that God in the unknowable. 
fulness and essence of his being cannot be known by man. The creature 
cannot grasp the Creator. If he could be fully known, God would not 
be God, and man would not be man. We know in part, but in part only. 

1 I. 611. The references are to the pages of Mangey. 



484 The Jemsh Quarterly Review, 

Why God is not fully knowable, and what aspects of him may never- 
theless be known, can be read in the books about Philo, and I am not 
going into these matters here. On the one hand, there is the theory of 
the Logos and the divine Powers ; on the other, the God-like reason of 
man. All I want to point out is that both elements of Philo's philosophy, 
the constant yearning to know God and the abiding conviction that God 
is unknowable, are alike absent from the mind of average humanity. 
At least they are not perpetually present in our consciousness. Apart, 
therefore, from the difficulty of his subject, we cannot properly 
appreciate Philo without an effort. 

One word more. God is unknowable. But since, to Philo, the Pen- 
tateuch contains all truth, this truth is in the Pentateuch. Yet the 
Pentateuch contains all sorts of very specific statements about God. 
You know how Philo deals with these statements. They are allegories 
or accommodations. But not all of them. The ethical statements are 
true as they stand. Hence the ethical perfection of God has to be fitted 
in with Philo's philosophic agnosticism. How this is done is luminously 
explained by Dr. Drummond. 

And as I have come to speak of Philo's conception of God, let me 
start my Florilegium at this point. That conception as a connected 
whole can be learnt from the text-books. I give only detached frag- 
ments of it which contain some striking phrase, expression, or idea. I 
may add that where I am able to make use of Dr. Drummond's trans- 
lations I have freely done so. This has been more frequently the case 
in the earlier than in the later portions of my essay, for my first excerpts 
about Philo's conception of the Divine nature are almost all quoted by 
Dr. Drummond. 

One of Philo's ideas about God which appeals to us most strongly, 
though we can hardly get any very clear realisation of it into our minds, 
is that of the Divine ubiquity. Philo is very 
v ?l me emphatic on this point. Those who take the Paradise 
1 " J " story literally are guilty of impiety. Such a mytho- 

logical tale (/jivSoTroda) should not even enter our minds. Why should God 
plant a paradise ? " For not even the entire universe would be an adequate 
home for him, for he is a place to himself, and full of himself and 
sufficient to himself, filling and containing all other things, which are de- 
ficient and desert and empty, but himself being contained by nothing else, 
as being himself one and the whole." l And again, " He has reached 
everywhere, he looks to the ends, he has filled the universe, and of him 
not even the smallest thing is desert." * 

Like many of us to-day, Philo is desperately anxious to maintain, and 



I. 52 (Dr. II. 29). 2 I. 220 (Dr. II. 42). 



Florikgium Phihnis. 485 

if possible, to explain at once the transcendence and the immanence of 
God. Thus, for example, he can be regarded either 
as everywhere or as nowhere ; " nowhere, because The Transcend- 
he generated place along with the bodies which Immanence of 
occupy it, and we may not assert that that which God. 

has made is contained in any of the things pro- 
duced ; everywhere, because having stretched his powers through earth 
and water, air and heaven, he has left no part of the universe desert, 
but, having collected all things together, made them fast with invisible 
bonds, that they might never be dissolved." 1 " God," he tells us else- 
where, " is not in time or place, but above them both, for having all 
created things under himself, he is contained by nothing, but is outside 
of all. And yet, though above and outside creation, he has, none the 
less, filled creation (top Koapov) with himself." 2 The analogy of the 
human mind to the human body does not properly apply to the 
relation of God to the world, for we have not created our bodies, but 
God has created the world. " He does not only penetrate through and 
pass beyond the universe by his mind, but also by his essence." 3 
There is only one sense in which he who is " not only here but there 
and elsewhere and everywhere," may be said to be more in one place 
than in another. It is not that, like a body, he occupies one place 
by leaving another, but that he uses an " intensive motion." 4 Philo, 
as Dr. Drummond says, seems to mean that "though God remains 
immovable in his omnipresence, yet his power may be manifested with 
varying intensity in different places, just as he is said to dwell in the 
purified soul as in a house, because his watchful providence is most 
conspicuous there." s 

Philo's views respecting the transcendence and immanence of God 
may be profitably compared with the theology of the Stoics and of 
Aristotle. Whereas most workers come to Philo from the Greeks, 
Jewish students may perhaps come to the Greeks through Philo. 
Though this would be to reverse the order of time and logical sequence, 
it would be very interesting to know the impression which Philo 
made upon an open-eyed and open-minded student who knew his 
Old Testament and his Talmud, but was unacquainted with Greek 
philosophy. 

Philo considers the Deity to be as much above the limitations of 
time as he is above the limitations of space. This conception is not 
profitable for any except professed students of philosophy, and I will 



1 I. 425 (Dr. II. 41). » I. 229. 

3 owk inivoitf n&vov i.ni%i\ii\v9ivai &ovtp avBpiairov a\\a xai r£ ovaiii>$u. 
I. 466. 

" I. 176. 5 Dr. II. 43. 



486 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

only quote a part of one passage, which has been also specially dwelt 

upon by Dr. Drummond. " God is the creator of time nothing 

is f uture to him, to whom the limits of time are subjected,, for his life 
is not time, but eternity, the archetype and pattern of time. And in 
eternity nothing is either past or future, but only present." ' Very 
similar is a passage in Plutarch : " We must not say of God that he 

was or will be but only that he is. And he is not in regard to 

time, but to changeless and timeless eternity, in which there is no after 
or before, sooner or later. For God being one, by one now has filled 
the ' Ever.' ..... In him is no ' has been ' or ' will be,' he is without 
beginning and without end." a 

The Omnipresent Deity is naturally conceived as supremely perfect. 
Here the philosopher agrees with the humblest believer. But Philo 
expands and interprets this idea of perfection in 
P H> ?« more than one interesting way. Using a well- 

known term in Greek philosophy, he declares that 
God is all sufficing to himself (avrapKeoraros eavr$). " He is full of 
himself and sufficient for himself, both before creation and after it. 
For he is changeless, and needs no other thing at all, for all things are his, 
but he does not belong to anything." 3 The reasons because of which 
finite beings need other finite beings such as themselves do not apply 
to God, for he possesses all things in himself by the infinite resources 
of his manifold nature. " He is all the most precious things to himself, 
kindred, relation, friend, virtue, blessedness, happiness, knowledge, 
understanding, beginning, end, whole, all, judge, opinion, counsel, law, 
action, sovereignty." * This rather incongruous list of the Divine 
perfections is characteristic of the wilder or more unrestrained 
moments of Philo's style. Ehetorical, but yet more reasonable is the 
following : " God is the first good, all beautiful, blessed and happy, or, 
if one is to speak the truth, he is better than the good, happier than 
happiness, more beautiful than beauty, more blessed than blessedness, 
and whatever is more perfect than these." 6 

As all things are God's and the apparent possessions of the 
creature are but temporary gifts and loans, Philo insists that "God 
is the only true citizen (/roXiTjjr), while all created beings are 
sojourners and strangers." 6 Whatever is most desired and excellent 

1 I. 277 (Dr. II. 45). 

s Be M apud Delphos, XX. The passage is also quoted by Hatch, 
Hibbert Lectures, p. 242 j of. Zeller Philosophie der Griechen, III. 2 (3rd 
Ed.), p. 168, n. 4, for the relation between Philo and Plutarch. 

3 I. 582 (Dr. II. 48) ; II. 194. 
4 1. 128 (Dr. II. 49). 

4 II. 546 (Dr. II. 31). 6 I. 161. 



Florilegium Philmis. 487 

in humanity, Philo essays to prove is only fully realised in God. 
Thus, for instance, " God alone is the most absolute and real peace, 
but begotten and corruptible matter is all continual war." 1 Again, 
" God alone truly feasts. For he alone rejoices and alone is glad and 
alone has good cheer, and to him alone does it belong to keep peace 
unmixed with war. He is without pain and without fear and un- 
participant of evils, unyielding, unharmed, unwearied, full of pure 
blessedness. His nature is most perfect, or rather God is himself 
the summit and end and boundary of blessedness, sharing in nothing 
else with a view to his own improvement, but communicating what 
is peculiarly his own to all individual beings from the fountain of 
the beautiful, himself." 3 These descriptions of the Divine nature 
might profitably be compared and contrasted with the striking con- 
ception of God's character and life in the twelfth book of Aristotle's 
Metaphysics. Aristotle is more guarded and restrained in his language : 
his notion of the Divine blessedness restricts itself to the intellectual 
ideal of pure thought, feeding, as it were, upon itself ; but he, too, 
as Schwegler points out, is roused out of his customary and severe 
serenity by the conception of the infinite bliss of him from whom 
" heaven and nature depend." 

Aristotle, on the other hand, removes God farther from the world 
than Philo. The Aristotelian God, whose own eternal activity is a 
ydijo-is vorjo-eas, pure thought returning upon itself, 
may be the Prime Motor of the world, but lives God '£ r SJl a,ti 1 °, n to 
his independent life. But Philo's God is not only 
a God of thought but also a God of goodness ; and, therefore, though 
Philo may theoretically describe his life as the same both before 
creation and after it, we can hardly conceive the God of Philo as ever 
existing without a universe on which to manifest the creative and 
moral aspects of his many-sided Being. Indeed, Philo asserts God to 
be always creating. " God never ceases to create, but as it is the 
property of fire to burn, and of snow to cause cold, so also it is the 
property of God to create." 3 But this ceaseless activity is consonant 
with the idea of absolute rest. Rest merely means the absence of 
fatigue, and if you can imagine a perpetual work combined with 
absolute freedom from effort and weariness, you would have combined 
in a single conception the idea of activity and the idea of repose. This 
is precisely the case with God. " God alone truly rests, but his rest is 
not inactivity — since the cause of all is by nature active, and never 
ceases from creating the most beautiful things — but the most unlaborious 
energy, without distress, and with amplest ease." 4 

1 I. 692 (Dr. II. 53). J I. 154 (Dr. II. 49). 

3 I. 44. « I. 154 (Dr. II. 53). 



4gg The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

The real cause of creation could be conceived as inherent in the 

necessities of the Divine nature. God being as naturally creative as 

fire is " naturally hot," he must always have objects 

The cause of on w i 1 i c j 1 ^ exercise his providence and his good- 
creation. _, ., f ° 

ness. Philo, however, does not venture to go 

as far as this, which would be an infringement upon the Divine 
abrapuxia — upon God's all-sufficiency to himself. " Why, then, did he 
create that which was not before 1 Because he was good and boun- 
teous." ' For " God creates nothing for himself, for he needs nothing ; 
but he creates everything for the creature who is in need of receiving 
it." 3 Mtiller has pointed out that, though Philo himself quotes a 
famous passage in Plato's Tim<eus, to the effect that God made the 
world because he was good, and desired that " all things 'should be as 
like himself as they could be," yet God's goodness probably meant to 
Plato something different from what it meant to Philo. 3 To Philo God's 
goodness is essentially ethical. It is equivalent to God's grace, which 
he also repeatedly declares to be the cause of creation. Thus he says, 
" For the just man seeking the nature of all things makes this one most 
excellent discovery, that all things are due to the grace of God. 
Creation can give nothing, for it owns nothing. To God alone grace is 
native. To those who ask the origin of creation, one could most rightly 
reply that it is the goodness and grace of God which he bestowed on 
the race which is after his image. For all that is in the universe and 
the universe itself are the gift and bounty and grace of God." 4 The 
inherent necessity of the Divine nature to display creative beneficence 
is clearly indicated in another passage, where Philo says : " All is due to 
God's grace, though nought is worthy of it ; but God looked to his own 
eternal goodness, and considered that to do good befitted his own 
blessed and happy nature." 5 

So far as to creation in general. As to the gloomier side of it, 
Philo has nothing to say worth repeating. His championship of the 
Divine providence, and his explanations of evil in the De Providentia, 
assuming that this treatise has been proved genuine by Wendland, are 
little more than excerpts from the Stoics, and show no trace of having 
been transfigured in the process of adoption. 6 They are, therefore, 
valuable as throwing light on Stoical doctrine, but give us little 
or nothing specifically characteristic of Philo. In one passage else- 

1 I. 585. 2 I. 147. 

3 Timtzus, 29 E, 30 A, quoted in Philo, I. 5. Miiller's edition of the 
De Mundi Opificio, p. 156 seq. 

4 I. 102 fin. 

* I. 288 fin. Cf. a curious passage in Plutarch's De Defectu Oraculontm, 
XXIV. 
6 Cf. Dr. II. 58. 



Florilegium Philonis. 489 

where he just touches upon the question why the perfect God 
produced an imperfect world. Is the inanimate world — is even the 
body, the source of so much evil, if not evil itself — created by the 
goodness of God ? Philo does not venture to say that God created 
what seems to us evil ; but he does say that inanimate nature, as 
well as all living things, were made by God's goodness, and not merely 
by the sheer exercise of irresponsible authority : " For the manifestation 
of the better there was necessary the creation and existence of the 
worse ; but both are due alike to the power of the same goodness, 
namely, to God." • 

As regards the ethical perfections of God, Philo does not, or cannot, 
go beyond the utterances of the Prophets and the Psalter. A few 
passages are perhaps worthy of notice. God, as 
Euler and Lord of the Universe, and as endowed God's goodness. 
with free will, has the power of doing good and the 
power of doing harm ; but his will is only to do good. When he is 
called Everlasting God, this implies that he gives his gifts, not on some 
occasions only, or intermittently, but always and unceasingly, that he 
adds grace to grace and blessing to blessing, in an inexhaustible and 
continuous supply. 8 Elsewhere he says, "God is not a salesman 
(jtoXj/t^p), lowering the price (iirevnvifav) of his own possessions, but the 
bestower of all things, pouring forth the ever-flowing fountains of 
favours, not desiring a recompense ; for neither is he in need himself, 
nor is any created thing competent to bestow a gift in return." 3 He 
has a fine conceit about God's mercy : " In order that mankind may 
continue to exist, he mingles mercy with judgment, and he not only 
pities after he has judged, but he judges after he has pitied, for with 
him pity is older than judgment, seeing that he knows those who are 
worthy of punishment, not after judgment but before it." 4 

As God is the cause of good, and of good only, Philo is rather 
uneasy in his mind on the subject of Divine punishment and retribution. 
He vacillates. Punishment — even if regarded as a 
corrective, and therefore as a good — has yet in it Theory of 

some resemblance or imitation of evil (to iu,iajk&[o» .-J Dnn i s h m ^ n t a 
uyadov Kcucm, t) Ti/impla). Hence its execution is 
entrusted to certain subordinate ministers and agents, even as man 
himself, because a creature who can choose evil as well as good, was 
not fashioned by God alone. 5 Thus, when the calamitous and evil 
aspect of " punishment " is considered, Philo tends to dissociate it from 

' I. 101. * I. 342. 

3 I. 161 (Dr. II. 50) ; cp. Milton, " God does not need either man's 
work or his own gifts." 

4 I. 284. 

s I. 555-557 ; cp. I. 16, and I. 432, and Dr. II. 139-155. 



490 The Jeioish Quarterly Review. 

God (as if the problem of evil were made one whit easier by any hypo- 
thesis of ministering angels or opposing devils) ; when he looks upon 
it as a good, he tends to take it up into the sum of the Divine forces, 
which are themselves aspects or manifestations of God's nature and 
being. In such moods he does not hesitate to speak of the punishing 
powers of God, because they merge with the Divine beneficence. 
" Perhaps," he says, " we should include the punitive among the bene- 
ficent powers, not merely because they are parts of laws — and law is 
made up of two parts, the honour of the good, and the punishment of the 
wicked — but because punishment often admonishes and makes temperate 
the sinners themselves, and if not them, at least their associates. For 
the punishments of others make the ordinary race of men better, for 
they fear to suffer the like." ' But no one can say that this is very original 
or suggestive. 

He is more interesting on the theory that both God's grace and his 
punishments are proportionate to the nature which has to enjoy the one 
or to suffer the other. Thus he says, " The Creator, knowing the 
natural weakness of created things, does not desire to benefit or chastise 
them to the limits of his own power, but only according to- the power 
which he sees in those who are to partake of either punishment or bene- 
faction." * In the creation of man, God did not look to " the greatness 
of his own graces — for these are boundless and not to be circumscribed 
— but to the capacities of the recipient. For the creature cannot receive 
in the same proportion that God can give ; for his powers exceed 
measure. But the creature being too weak to receive of his gifts, would 
have sunk under the burden, if God had not meted out his benefits in 
due proportion and measure suitable to each." 3 Another ingenious idea 
of his is that even a constant series of benefits would cause surfeit and 
irritation. The same thought, on a higher plane, is hinted at by Tenny- 
son : " God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should 
corrupt the world." " Therefore God restrains a first kind of benefits 
lest the recipients should be satiated with them and grow wanton, and 
dispenses a second sort instead of the first, and then a third instead of 
the second, and in general, new kindnesses in the place of old. some- 
times different and sometimes the same. For the creature is never 
wholly without a share in God's graces, for otherwise he would utterly 
be destroyed, but it cannot endure them in one plentiful and abundant 
rush." 4 

There is also found a further application of the idea to man's 
knowledge of God. Here the student will at once notice a parallel to 
a favourite notion of some modern theologians, that God's revelation 
of himself is gradual and proportionate. Thus, in answer to the 

1 II. 546. 2 I. 285 itiit. 3 I. 5. * I. 254. 



Florilegium Philonis. 491 

urgent request of Moses, " Show me thyself," God replies, " I can but 

reveal what it is possible for you to receive. Human nature cannot 

attain to a full knowledge of the Divine being." l And elsewhere 

Philo remarks, "God does not pronounce his oracles (xprja-fioi) in 

proportion to the greatness of his own eloquence (Xoyidr^y), but to 

the power of those who are to be helped by them." 2 

Though these sayings of Philo need adaptation to the expanded 

thought of our own time, they are undeniably suggestive. Not 

less so are some of his notions about the Biblical 

anthropomorphisms. These too, according to Philo, Biblical Anthro- 

are an accommodation to human weakness and «,„ 5 _ 5P*!! n !!lj 

their cause and 

human needs. He frequently observes that there purpose. 

are two apparently contradictory statements in the 
Scripture about God : " He is as man," " He is not as man," of which 
the second is truer than the first. Yet the first is the basis of many 
Biblical sayings. The general reason for this is the familiar one, 
that man, if he wishes to allege anything about God beyond the 
mere fact of his existence, cannot avoid human analogies. " We 
cannot," says Philo, " get out of ourselves, and so we get our conceptions 
of the uncreated God from our own attributes." 3 At the same time 
this human incapacity is made to subserve a purpose of instruction. 
" We cannot constantly store up in our soul the verse, so worthy of the 
Cause, ' God is not as man,' so as to escape all anthropomorphic 
expressions ; but generally participating in the mortal, and unable to 
think of anything apart from ourselves, or to escape from our own 
destinies, sunk in the mortal like snails, and wrapt in a ball like 
hedgehogs round ourselves, we form our thoughts both about the 
Blessed and Incorruptible and about ourselves, shrinking from the 
absurdity of statement, that the Divine is in the human shape, but 
setting up again the; impiety in fact, that he is subject to human passions 
Therefore we attribute to him hands, feet, ingress, egress, enmities, 
alienations, wrath, — parts and passions inappropriate to the Cause." 4 
Among these " parts and passions," Philo reckons the oath. The Bible 
makes God swear in order that it may both " confute and console our 
weakness." That is to say, we shall believe an oath among ourselves 
the better, if God himself is supposed to employ it. But more 
specifically Philo limits the notion of anthropomorphisms to those terms 
which speak of God as angry and jealous, or to those which seem 
designed to threaten and terrify. Expressions which rouse our fear he 
regards as entirely educational, and his observations about them are 
curious and suggestive. 

' II. 218. * I. 253. 

' I. 419. * I. 181 fin., 182 (Dr. II. 12). 



492 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

There are some men, he says, so dull in nature (d/i/SXets) that they 

cannot form any conception of God without a body. We must be 

content if such persons can be restrained from sin 

•n^mlence with by the fear P roduced throu g h anthropomorphic 
low morality. descriptions of God. l Philo thus characteristically 
associates a low intellectual conception of the Divine 
nature with an imperfect morality and an imperfect service of God. In 
another elaborate passage he insists that passions such as anger or regret 
are wholly inapplicable and foreign to the Divine nature. That they are 
found in the Pentateuch is for the object of " admonishing those who 
could not otherwise be brought to a sober frame of mind 
(o-a><f>popifc<rd(u)." Philo can no more sever truth from goodness than 
error from moral eviL They who, by defect of nature or education, 
cannot " see acutely " into the " true mysteries " of God are " intractable 
and foolish servants" in practical life. They cannot be helped by 
truth, for they are unable to appreciate it. Let them learn, unwillingly, 
through false terrors, by fear. The " passions and diseases " of the soul 
are at once intellectual and moral. To Philo, no less than to the author 
of the Fourth Gospel, the two are inextricably blended together. He 
cannot distinguish the one from the other, so that two things which to 
ourselves seem wholly alien are identical to him. These mental and 
moral diseases (for they are both in one) could best be healed if Moses 
represented God " as using threats and indignation and inexorable wrath 
and weapons for attack upon evil-doers, for thus only is the fool 
admonished." And then, just as he has connected anthropomorphic 
beliefs with the fear of God, so he proceeds to connect the love of God 
with the truer, more spiritual conception of the Divine nature. " With 
the two fundamental assertions, God is as man, and God is not as man, 
two other fundamental principles seem closely interwoven and akin : 
fear and love. For all the exhortations to piety by means of the laws 
depend either on the fear or on the love of God. To those, then, who 
do not in thought ascribe to God either part or passion of man, but 
worthily honour him on account of himself alone, love is most 
appropriate, but to all others, fear." 3 

In spite of these divisions Philo makes no absolute chasm and gulf 

between man and man. He had the philosopher's customary contempt 

for the vulgar herd, he bewails the infinite number 

But no £ jj a( j men an( j t ne paucity or even absence of the 

or difference & ood 0-- ^4, 585, 611), but he does not anywhere 

of kind imply that there is any natural or predetermined 

between barrier by which those who, in his own language, 

are the servants of the body may not become 

servants of the soul. " Every man," he says, " as regards his mind, is 

1 I. 283. (Dr. II. 14). * I. 656. 



Florikgium Philonis. 493 

related to the Divine reason, for he is an impress or fragment or 
radiance of that blessed nature." 1 If it be asked why this privi- 
lege was conferred upon man, whose mixed and earthy composition 
was apparently unworthy of so high a distinction, and who often 
uses it to such ignoble ends, Philo replies that "God being boun- 
tiful loves to bestow good on all men, even on those who are not 
perfect, urging them to the desire and attainment of virtue. So 
he displays his exceeding wealth of riches, which suffice even for 
those who will gain no great benefit from them. Hence he has made 
no soul barren (aywos) of good, even if the use of good be impossible 
to some." ! Elsewhere he says : " The powers of God are ubiquitous 
not merely for the benefit of pre-eminent men, but also of those who 
seem to be insignificant. To them, too, God gives what harmonises 
with the capacity and measure of their souls, for he measures out 
with equal rule what is proportionate to each." 3 None are of necessity 
quite shut out from a glimpse of the Highest. " Who is there so 
without reason and soul, as never, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to 
conceive a notion of God ? For a sudden apparition ((pavraaia) of the 
good frequently flits past even the wickedest, but they cannot retain or 
keep a hold on it. For it quickly passes away from those who have come 
to dwell with it when they have lived beyond the bounds of law and 
justice, as indeed it would never have visited them at all if it were not 
to convict those who choose evil instead of good." * However rhetor- 
ically Philo may talk of the endless number of the bad, there is no 
necessity, according to his psychology, for assuming any wide and fixed 
cleavage among humanity, between children of God on one side and 
children of the devil upon the other. " In every man," he says in 
another passage, " even in quite ordinary persons, there is an instinctive 
hatred of vice (puroirovtipov irdffoi) and this innate passion when roused 
makes its owner a champion and defender of anyone who seems to be 
wronged." 5 He is tolerant enough to admit that lack of opportunity 
may often account for lack of visible excellence. To 
him, as to the Greeks, opportunity (/«u/>oY), if not The power of 
Divine, is at least the companion of Deity. " Virtue 
has been, is, and will always be, but it is, perchance, obscured by un- 
favourable circumstances (aitaipiai), and again revealed by opportunity 
the servant of God." 6 Many a sinner and many a hero is unable to 
display either his wickedness or his virtue. Many men are born with 
capacities for wisdom, self-restraint, or justice, but " the beauty of the 
images in their minds they are unable to reveal through their poverty or 
obscurity, or through bodily disease or some other of the many misf or- 

1 I. 35. 2 1.50. s 1.614. « 1.265. 

3 II. 312. 6 I. 455. 

KK 



494 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

tunes which attend upon the life of man. The good they have is, as it 
were, cabined and confined. But if the temperate man, for example, be 
possessed of wealth, he can show that riches, which are usually blind 
and provocative of luxury, may be " seeing " by his use of them .... 
Without these opportunities, virtues may exist, but they are immoveable, 

ike silver and gold, treasured up in unknown recesses of the earth, and 
of no use to mankind." > Philo, therefore, adopts the Platonic paradox 
that the good fortune of the wicked is their deepest calamity. " For 
weakness and impotence are profitable to the bad, just as abundance and 
strength are most advantageous to the good." 2 

In one passage even, just after he has refused to the " common 
herd " any share in true life, he well points out how all kinds of lives, 
and not only the philosopher's, may be consecrated 
Every kind of life to God. The thought comes to him.it must be 
to God. owned, indirectly. It is a corollary of his favourite 

theory, on which he delights to insist, that all our 
faculties and powers, as well as all our surroundings and possessions, 
are the gift of God, and in no wise our own. " Moses has shown 
that we should all confess our gratitude for the powers we possess : 
The wise man should dedicate his sagacity, the eloquent man should 
devote his excellence of speech by the praise of God in prose and 
verse ; and, in general, the natural philosopher should offer his physics, 
the moralist his ethics, the artist and the man of science the arts and 
sciences they know. So, too, the sailor and the pilot will dedicate 
their favourable voyage, the husbandman his fruitful harvest, the 
herdsman the increase of his cattle, the doctor the recovery of his 
patients, the general his victory in fight, and the statesman or the 
monarch his legal chieftaincy or kingly rule. In a word, he who is 
no lover of self (<5 fir) <f>i\avros) will regard God as the true cause of 
all the powers of body and soul and of all external goods. Let no 
one, therefore, however humble and insignificant he be, despairing of 
a better fortune, scruple to become a suppliant of God. Even if he 
can expect nothing more, let him give thanks to the best of his power 
for what he has already received. Infinite are the gifts he has : birth, 
life, nurture, soul, sensation, imagination, desire, reason. Reason is a 
small word, but a most perfect thing, a fragment of the world-soul, 

1 I. 398. Cp. Seneca De Vita Beata, xxii. ; " Quis autem dubii est, quin 
haec major materia sapienti viro sit animum explicandi suum in divitiis 
quam in paupertate, quum in hac unum genus virtutis sit non inclinari 
nee deprimi, in divitiis et temperantia et liberalitas et diligentia et 
dispositio et magnificentia campum habet patentem." Hence the wise 
man : — non amat divitias, sed mavult ! non in animum illas, sed in domum 
recipit ! 

2 I. 430. 



Florilegium Philonis. 495 

or, as for the disciples of the Mosaic philosophy it is more pious to say, 
a true impression of the Divine image." ' 

This more human touch is not frequent in Philo. It may perhaps 
be noted again in his appreciation of honest failure in the quest of 
highest good. He marks its value, and offers a true 
consolation : " Labour in the pursuit of that which is The Yalue of 
perfectly good, even if it fail to reach the goal, is auest'^rf'flod 
sufficient of itself to benefit the labourer." 2 And 
elsewhere he says : " We sympathise with those who, loving God, seek 
after him, even if they find him not ; for the search for the good, 
even if it miss its end, is able of itself to cause great joy." 3 So, once 
more : "If in your quest for God you will find him is uncertain, for 
to many persons he has not made himself known, and their toil has 
found no consummation ; but the mere search for him has given them 
a share in what is good ; for impulses towards excellence, though 
they fail to attain their end, give joy to those who have them." * 

The search for God: that, according to Philo, is the life-work of 
man. All else is environment and accessory. That search is also 
service, and the method of both is philosophy. To 
reach the goal, or even to advance along the road, ^1°, * an &*~ 
there arc two fundamental requirements. Of these ments in the" 
the first is common to Philo with the Platonists and search for God. 
the Stoics, though he carries it a point further than 
it yet had reached. It may be summed up as the Repression of 
depreciation of the body and the exaltation of the the Body, of 
mind or soul. (To Philo there is no such separation Pleasure, 

of the moral and intellectual life as is habitual to * 

ourselves.) To yiveais, that is, to what comes and goes, is born and dies, 
imperfection — on one side manifesting itself as error, on the other side 
as wickedness — is inevitably attached. Because we are material — and 
therefore transitory — we are of necessity sinful. But because we also 
bear within us an immaterial and divine image, we are capable 
of goodness and knowledge and the vision of God. Hence the body 
is, if not the cause, at all events the accessory, of all sin. Desire and 
pleasure are the sources of evil. "The body is wicked by nature, 
a plotter against the soul." It is a dead thing, and we have ever to 
carry a corpse about with us. So, too, said Epictetus, and the great 
Emperor quotes him approvingly. We get from Philo the customary 
tirades against the fleeting pleasures of sense, against glory and 
ambition and riches and outward show and worldly pomp. For the 
soul to live the body must die. To love the unbegotten, one must 
despise everything which partakes of ytpeatv, which comes and passes 

1 I. 612. * I. 186. » I. 230. * I. 96. 

K K 2 



496 The Jetvish Quarterly Review. 

away, "The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain 
glory of life." It is a thought which is common to all higher 
religions and to a hundred philosophies : it is a truth — or at least it 
contains a truth — expressed in endless tongues and endless fashions. 
Its rhetorical form and longwinded exaggerations may irritate us in 
Philo ; but in the last resort we are bound to acknowledge that 
between a noble utterance such as, " If any man love the world, the 
love of the Father is not in him," and the most turgid fulminations 
against " the body " in Philo, the difference is one of form : the 
thought remains substantially the same. 

In Philo, as in many other of the later philosophers, as to some extent 

even in Plato, there lurks a measure of asceticism. " Plain living " has 

always been associated with " high thinking." The 

Philo's asceti- exact amount of this asceticism is disputed. The 
cism. true answer only partly depends upon the authenticity 

of the treatise Quod omnia prohus liber ; it depends 
rather upon which set of certain inconsistent passages one should lay 
the greater stress, and regard as more truly Philonic. On the one hand 
Philo maintains that the ideal is not merely moderation of passion, but 
its absolute excision and death ; l he bids men fly from the polluted 
prison-house, the body, and from its keepers, pleasure and desire, to 
die to the life of sense that they may partake of incorporeal and incor- 
ruptible life with God. 2 He inveighs against the luxury of elegant 
Alexandrian life, of which he gives a somewhat vivid picture. He 
describes the costly extravagance in food and drink and apparel, the 
golden goblets and the golden crowns, and even the golden beds. 
" The legs of the beds are of ivory, or, at a great expense of money 
and labour and time, they are adorned with rich mother-of-pearl or 
inlaid with variegated tortoiseshell. And some are all of silver or 
all of gold, set with precious stones, brocaded with flowers and golden 
embroideries, as if for display and not for use." 3 No persons who 
indulge in senseless luxury such as this can be " pupils of the sacred 
word." They only are "true men, lovers of temperance and order 
and reverence, who have laid the foundations of their lives in self- 
restraint and endurance and contentment, as the safe harbourage of 
their souls where they can lie at anchor without risk or harm. They 
are superior to money and pleasure and glory ; they despise food and 
drink except in so far as to ward off the violence of hunger. They are 
most ready to endure hunger and thirst, heat and cold, and all other 

1 I. 713. MuivnriQ ... oil utrpioirdOtictv a\\d ovvo\(i>q cnraduav ayairSv. 
Prom another point of view, however, we find Philo marvelling at those 
philosophers who say that virtue is ivdOeta. I. 603 Jin. 

2 I. 437, 264. I. 666. 



Florilegium Philonis. 497 

trials in the pursuit and acquisition of virtue. They like best what is 
most easily provided, so that they are not ashamed of cheap apparel, but 
on the contrary, think extravagance in dress a great reproach and hind- 
rance. To them the soft ground is a costly bed, their mattresses are 
bushes, grass and leaves ; a stone, or a mound of earth is their pillow." ' 

As God needs nothing and has all so the bad man is ever insatiate, 
always thirsting for what he has not got. The good man, on the 
other hand, bordering both on mortal and immortal nature, has some 
needs because he owns a body ; but they are few and simple because 
" his soul desires immortality." a " One should practise oneself, 
therefore, to need little. For this is to be very near to God." 3 Am- 
bition is the " last infirmity." " Some say that the last thing the 
wise man puts off is the cloak of vainglory. For even if he has con- 
quered all other passions, he is liable to be worsted by ambition and 
the praise of the multitude." 4 The lovers of self and sense are made 
to describe the righteous as " usually inglorious and despicable, lowly 
persons in want of life's necessaries, less honoured than dependents or 
even slaves, sordid, pale and cadaverous, hungry-looking and ill-fed, 
very sickly, practising how to die." 5 

But many passages could be cited which serve apparently to preach 
an opposite doctrine. The truth is that the highest life to Philo, 
as to Aristotle, was contemplative rather than 
practical. The lonely thinker, rather than the There is a false 
active philanthropist or busy statesman, is their Asceticism UC 
ideal, and asceticism consorts with isolation ; but to 
both philosophers alike the life of action is the indispensable prelude 
and preparation to the life of thought. Philo was too acute a psycho- 
logist not to realise the place of pleasure among the springs of 
action. " The bad man," he says, " treats pleasure as the mmmum 
honum ; the good man, as a necessity. For without pleasure nothing 
happens among mortals." 6 Several times he urges that there is a 
false as well as a true temperance ; perhaps it might be more correct 
to say, a false as well as a true asceticism. This he calls " niggardly 
and illiberal," by means of which you will no more reach true temper- 
ance than you can gain piety by superstition, or become wise through 
craft. " If you see anyone refusing to eat or drink at the customary 

1 I. 639. Not without dignity is his description of the " higher life," 
avUTtipbv Kai iiriOTtifiovticbv liiuv, yeXiaroc Kai TraiSiag apiroxov, avvvoiag 
Kai Qpovridutv Kai iroviav piarov, <pi\6v tov dztapiiv, -afiadia^ i%9pav, \pi)itii- 
riav piiv xai WSijf Kai t)Sov£>v (cpsirriu, ¥Jtt<i> Si otiMJipoovvriQ Kai ivxKziag Kai 
fiXiirovToq oil tvijAov ttXovtov. I. 479/?ra.. 480 ; cp. II. 163. 

2 II. 377. 3 II. 666. « II. 668. 
5 I. 198. « I. 70. 



498 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

times, or to wash and anoint bis body, or neglecting his clothes, or 
sleeping on the ground in the open air, and in these ways simulating 
self-control, you should pity his delusion, and show him the path by 
which self-control may really be attained. All that he has done is 
ineffectual and wearisome labour, ruining both soul and body by 
hunger and other evils." * This seems written in a different tone from 
that other passage quoted before, in which they who make the ground 
their bed and a stone their pillow are extolled as true pupils of the 
Sacred Word. 

Philo admits that evildoers are mainly men of wealth and repute ; 
but he gives curious reasons, partly prudential and partly moral, why 

wealth and honour and social enjoyments should 
The right use of not j, e avo jded by the good, or by those who are 

seeking for the highest life. Because you see the 
wicked thinking much of riches, pleasure and renown, and praising 
injustice as the source of all these things, do not he says, " turn in the 
very contrary direction, and pursue a life of poverty and lowliness, or 
one of severity and isolation. You will thereby only irritate your 
adversary, and arm a bitterer foe against you. Apply yourself not to 
the same actions as he, but to their sources, to honour, office, wealth, 
possessions, and the various beauties of colour and form." 2 The object 
in each case is to show up the wicked man — to " convict" him, in Philo's 
own language (SieX«'y|ai), by making the right use of the material through 
which he displays his villainy, licentiousness, or intemperance. The 
money he either hoards or wastes you will use in gifts to the poor, in 
dowries to the daughters of impoverished parents, and in services and 
donations to the State. At a banquet the glutton will make himself 
ridiculous to all, but you will put him to shame by your moderation, 
while, even if you are pressed to indulgence, you will never turn 
pleasure into disgust, but "if one may say so, you will be drunk 
with sobriety " 3 (vt]<baikia fu 6v<r6rjVTi). But at this point Philo 
gives, as it were, a higher turn and a nobler basis to his argument. 
He must have been acquainted with false Stoics and hypocritical 

1 I. 195. Cp. from a slightly different point of view, Seneca, Ep. I. 5 : 
" Illud autem te admoneo, ne eorum more, qui non proflcere sed conspici 
cupiunt, facias aliqua quae in habitu tuo aut genere vitae notabilia suit. 
Asperum cultum et intonsum caput et neglegentiorem barbam et indictum 
argento odium et cubile humi positum...evita." 

* I. 549 fin., 550. 

s I. 550. This would not have sounded so absurd to Philo's contem- 
poraries, or to our own great-grandfathers, as it sounds to ourselves. It 
was solemnly debated among the Stoics whether the wise man may get 
drunk ; and the same discussion is taken up by Philo, I. 350 geq. Cf. 
Arnim, Quellenstudien x% Philo von Alexandria (1888). 



Florilegium Philonis. 499 

ascetics, such as Lucian laughed to scorn in a later age, for his 
denunciation of them seems more pointed than usual, and was pro- 
bably drawn from life. " Truth would rightly blame those, who, 
without due examination, abandon the pursuits and avocations of 
ordinary life, and say they have learnt to despise reputation and 
pleasure. It is an empty boast. They do not really despise them, 
but they put forward their sordid and solemn looks, and their seem- 
ingly austere and hard life as baits, so as to seem true lovers of 
moderation, temperance and self-denial. But they cannot deceive 
those who are not led away by outside show, but look more closely 

within Let us say to such people, ' You profess to love a life 

of solitude. What social virtues did you show 
before ? You disdain money. When you were '■" e serYI °8 °* 
engaged in business, did you ever seek to act precede the 
justly? You pretend to neglect the pleasures of uninterrupted 
the senses. Did you show moderation when you service of Goo. 
had the opportunity ? You despise honour. When you were in office 
did you show humility ? You laugh at the State, not perceiving how 
useful the thing is. Did you first practise and inure yourselves in the 
private and public affairs of life, and having become good citizens and 
householders by your excellence in the twin virtues of politics and 
economics, did you then only emigrate to a better and higher life ? ' 
For we must work our way through the ' practical ' life before we come 
to the life of contemplation ; the contest of the one must precede the 
higher contest of the other. It is thus we can escape the charge of 
laziness and indifference. So the Levites were commanded to discharge 
their offices till they were fifty, and only when released from their 
practical service might they consider and investigate the nature of 
things, receiving this other kind of life, which finds its only satisfac- 
tion in knowledge and contemplation, as a reward for the adequate fulfil- 
ment of their practical duties. In fine, it is necessary that they who 
would concern themselves with things Divine should first of all have 
discharged the duties of man. It is great folly to think we can reach 
a comprehension of the greater when we are unable to overcome the 
less. Be first known by your excellence in things human, in order that 
you may apply yourselves to excellence in things Divine." l In modern 
words : although mysticism, as a mode of life or psychical condition, is 
higher in the scale than philanthropy, you must become a first-rate 
philanthropist before you can become a first-rate mystic. 

No one will fail to compare this passage of Philo with the BepubJi. 
of Plato. A few lines lower down in the same treatise (the De 
Profugis), he asserts that " the noblest contest for man is the service 

1 I. 551. 



500 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

of God." The service of God is not identical with the service of man, 
but has a special sphere of its own. It is a /3t'os by itself. But if 
noblest, it is also hardest. We have a tendency to suppose that a life 
such as that of a busy statesman is infinitely harder than the life of 
the philosopher or the religious recluse. Philo would hold the contrary. 
" Hence," he says, " if, with inadequate purification, thinking we have 
washed off the defilements of life, we advance to the outer court of 
this Divine service, we spring back from it more quickly than we came, 
unable to endure its austerity, the sleepless devotion, the constant and 
unwearying toil. For the present, then, we should avoid equally the 
worst life and the best." ' 

" Human virtue," as he elsewhere says, " must walk upon the earth 
and yet must aim at heaven." 2 In his treatise on the Ten Command- 
ments, he points out that the first four " words " relate to God, and the 
last five to man, while the fifth is the bridge between the two, because 
" the nature of parents seems to lie on the borders of the human and 
the Divine. It is human by reason of its kinship to men and the other 
animals, and through the perishableness of the body ; it is Divine 
because the . function of generation resembles God, the generator of 
all." He then goes on to make the following shrewd remark : " Some 
people, attaching themselves to one portion of the Decalogue, seem to 
neglect the other. For filled with the unmixed draught of religious 
yearning, they have bid farewell to all other occupations, and have 
dedicated their whole life to the service of God. But those who 
suppose that there is no good beyond well-doing 

The perfectly towards man, care only for human intercourse, and 

elusive loyers Dv t ne i r social zeal share their possessions with their 

of neither man fellows, and seek to alleviate distress to the utmost 

nor God. f their power. Now both the exclusive lovers of 

man, and the exclusive lovers of God, we may rightly call half -perfect 

in virtue. The perfectly virtuous are they who excel in both." * 

In his more sober moments, Philo fully recognises the social nature 
of man. In one place he even goes so far as to speak of the few who 
have been inspired with a divine madness, as made semi-savage by their 
ecstasy (o$toi fiev 8iy ttjv tvQeav fiavlav fiapevres i^riypia>6r](rav). With 

1 I. 552. 2 I. 478. 

* II. 199. Cp. the very striking passage in Antoninus, III. 13 (A man 
should do all things, even the smallest, remembering the bond (oivSioig) 
between the human and the divine : o&re y&p avOptovnvov n avtv rfjs lirl 
to. 6tla ovvavcujiopac tl irpaZng, ovtc f/iirakiv), with which Gataker aptly 
compares 1 Cor. x. 31, 32, and Pirke Aboth, II. 17 (Philo, I. 530 ftn.~) is 
partly in point also. All forms of self-control are ends in themselves, yet 
they are nobler (at/ivorepa SI Qaivoiro), if they are practised for the 
honour of God (« Oiov Tt/iijg ical aptoKiiaq 'iviica i7tiri)fovoiTo). 



Florilegium Philonis. 501 

them he contrasts those who are disciples of "a gentle and tamer 
wisdom, by whom religion is earnestly cultivated, and yet human duties 
are not neglected." Such men find favour in the eyes both of man 
and God. 1 It is safest to follow their guidance, fervently to honour 
God, but not to neglect our own nature. 2 Man is not born for him- 
self alone. " Selfishness produces unsociability and impiety. Man is a 
social animal by nature. Therefore he must live not only for himself, 
but for parents, brothers, wife, children, relatives, and friends, for 
the members of his deme, and of his tribe, for his country, for 
his race, for all mankind. Nay he must live for the parts of the 
whole, and also for the entire world, and much more for the Father 
and Creator. If he is indeed possessed of reason, he must be sociable, 
he must love the world and God, that of God he may be beloved." 
" He must not deem all the world an appendage to himself, but 
himself an appendage to the world." 3 

Yet on the subject of solitude and social intercourse Philo is 
inconsistent. We may gather that his own philanthropy was rather 
in word than deed. He has seldom a good 
word to say for the professional statesman ; . "hilo s 
like Plato, he regards him as an inharmonious 
person, in conflict with himself. 4 The bad man is a busybody. He 
haunts the market-place, the theatre, the law courts, the council 
chamber, the assembly, and every meeting and concourse of men. 
He is a chatterer, confuses and muddles together truth with false- 
hood, things sacred with things profane, the serious with the comic, 
what is private with what is public. He is a lounger and a lazybones, 
always anxious to know other people's concerns, so as to rejoice over 
their calamities and to envy their success. The good man, on the other 
hand, is said to love solitude, not that he is a misanthrope, but 
" because he has guarded himself against vice, which the common 
crowd welcome, rejoicing whereat they should grieve, and grieving 
whereat they should rejoice. Wherefore the good man, for the most 
part, shuts himself up at home, and hardly ever crosses his threshold." 
If he goes out, he walks in the country, and the companions he loves 
are the best of all mankind — the famous ones of old, " whose bodies 
have been dissolved by time, but whose virtues are kindled into life 

1 I. 584. Cp. Antoninus, VI. 30, " Reverence the gods and help men : 
short is life : there is only one fruit of this earthly life, a holy disposition 
and social acts." VII. 31, <pi\ri<sov to av9p(!nrivov yivog. 'AxoXovBtjaov 0ey. 
As a matter of fact, according to Philo, piety and philanthropy commonly 
go together. II. 30. 

2 I. 585. OavftdZovTig piv rbv alriov vtttp^vlai, rij£ Si Ka9' aurotif tyvotMQ 
fit] inripopuiVTi£. 

3 II. 662 ; I. 275. * II. 47, etc. 



502 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

by the books that tell of them in prose and verse." : Socrates and 
Milton would have something to say to a philanthropy so barren, 
to a goodness so untested and untried. 

Philo cannot get over an abiding contempt for the multitude 

and their vices. His constant feeling is that the solitary wisdom 

of the rapt theosophist is higher than the 

Society and « gregarious wisdom " of human action. " Divine 
wisdom is a friend of solitude, for God possesses 
her, and God is alone, and therefore she loves aloneness. But 
human wisdom is tame and domestic and gregarious, she haunts 
the cities of mortals, and her delight is with the sons of men." 8 
In one passage he says that if a man really and truly wants to despise 
all desires, and to subdue all passions, " he must fly from home and 
country, and kinsmen and friends, without turning back." Many 
persons, he adds, have been cured of wild desires by such " migra- 
tions," which must, however, be migrations into solitude, for " there are 
snares (Sutrva) in a foreign country, just like the snares at home." 3 
A regular justification of eremites ! But elsewhere he incidentally 
tells us that in his own case he has not always found solitude effi- 
cacious to thought. " I have often left my kinsmen, friends and 
country, and betaken myself to the desert, that I might perceive some 
higher vision, but it has profited me nothing. My thought, scattered 
or stung by passion, has not reached its goal. Sometimes, on the 
other hand, in a crowded assembly, I make of my mind a solitude, 
when God has scattered the turmoil in my soul, and taught me that 
it is not the difference of places that works the good or ill, but 
God who moves and guides the chariot of the soul wherever he 
prefers." * 

On another point in the ascetic ideal, which comes home much 

more to every one of us to-day, Philo is very wanting. For any 

explanation of sorrow, for any comfort in misfor- 

fh a tune an< * m ' ser y> we mav search almost in vain 

of suffering. m all his writings. Here the Psalter on the one 

side, Epictetus and Seneca on the other, are far 

more effective and original. It is this unreality, this want of 

relation to the actual lives of men, which makes so much that 

» II. 4. 2 I. 491 init. Cp. I. 506. 

* II. 411. Cp. Friedlander's admirable monograph, Zur Entstehungs- 
geschioMe des Christenthums, p. 83, for the bearing of this and other 
similar passages upon the question of the Therapeutse and the authenticity 
and date of the " Be Vita Contemplativa." 

* I. 81 Jin., 82 init. The same thought occurs in Antoninus (The true 
"retreat" is "within"), IV. 3, and Seneca, Ej>. 82, 104. 



Florilegium, Philonis. 503 

he has written artificial, useless and out of date. Two or three 
passages only seem worthy of notice. Quoting the verse in 
Deuteronomy, " God humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger 
and fed thee with manna," he remarks that this humbling was 
in truth propitiation. " "When we are spoiled of our pleasant things 
and seem to be ill-treated, then in truth is God propitious." l But 
elsewhere the simple and sufficient sense of the Biblical narrative is 
allegorised away. 2 Very curious and characteristic is one other passage 
in which he attempts to show for what reason, and in what spirit 
suffering should be borne. " It is proper," he says, " for God to create 
and for man to suffer (irao-xetv). God gives, man receives. If we 
once realise that ' suffering ' is proper and necessary to man, we shall 
easily endure whatever befalls, however grievous and burdensome it 
may be." Once recognise that it is ours, as it were, by right and 
necessity, to suffer, and we shall endure as we ought, "resisting and 
setting ourselves in battle against calamity, by fortifying and barri- 
cading our mind with patience and endurance, most potent of virtues." 
He then attempts to explain his meaning more clearly by two curious 
metaphors. The first is taken from shaving. A creature can be 
shaved in two ways, either purely passively like a sheep, or like a man 
where the " sufferer " reacts against the agent (this he calls tA dvri- 
ireirovObs Kara avTipeuriv), and positively helps the shaver to perform his 
work, putting himself in the right attitude, and so on. Such a one 
combines " suffering " with " doing." So too in the case of beating ; a 
slave or a freeman stretched on the wheel as a punishment of crime is 
purely passive, but a boxer parries the blow. We are then not to endure 
our calamities like the shorn sheep, or the beaten slave, but to react on 
destiny, since suffering is necessary for us all. " So shall we not, like 
effeminate persons, be broken and weakened utterly by the faintness 
and relaxation of our souls, but braced and strengthened in mind, we 
shall be able to mitigate and lighten the onset of impending ills." 3 

The life, then, which depreciates the body and exalts the soul is true 
life. " Death in life " is the lot of him who lives the slave of passion 
and of vice. For there are two kinds of death, one 
the separation of soul from body, but the other the The two deaths. 
peculiar death of the soul itself, " the ruin of virtue, 
the reception of vice." 4 The true philosopher is ever practising how to 
die to the life of the body, that he may partake of a bodiless and incor- 
ruptible life with God." 5 He " dies that he may live," and when he is 
dead in the ordinary sense, he " lives the happy life in God." 6 " For 
this is the best definition of immortal life, to be filled with a spiritual 

1 I. 121. 2 I. 544. » I. 153, 154 init. ; cp. I. 127. 

4 I. 65; cp. I. 200. 5 I. 264. « I. 200. 



504 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

love of God. So the priests, Nadab and Abihu, died that they might 
live, exchanging mortality for life incorruptible, and departing from the 
creature to the unbegotten Creator." 1 It may be noted that Philo uses 
the word " immortal " to denote indifferently the highest life on earth 
and the eternal life after death : the two ideas fade and pass into each 
other. There is the same half-conscious confusion in his use of the 
word " everlasting " (alavioi), as where he exclaims : " Is not the taking 
flight to God everlasting life, and is not the running away from him 
death?" 3 

So much for the one fundamental condition for the achievement of 

the summum bonum : let me now mention the other. We not only need a 

kind of life, but also a mental attitude ; more precisely 

The second a particular kind of humility. It is primarily an in- 

requirement : tellectual humility which is required, but, quite charac- 

a particular teristically, this merges into and includes a moral 
Kind ot humility as well. Its contrary vice is the attribution 

of our own mental, moral, psychical and physical 
powers to ourselves, regarding man as the measure of all things, and as 
the independent author of whatever he feels, does and knows. Whereas, 
in fact, the true agent is God : God is the cause, man the instrument. 3 
This aberration is moral as well as intellectual : it involves not only pride 
and arrogance, but also selfishness. He who regards himself as the 
cause of his own wisdom and happiness lives for himself and not for 
God. Self-conceit in the mental sphere corresponds in the moral sphere 
to selfishness. They are merely two sides of the same shield. What 
appears here as oirja-it, appears there as (pikavria.* 

The emphasis both on word and thing — so far at least as regards 

oiqais — seems peculiar to Philo. It is not enough for him that you 

should regard your own mind as a " fragment " or 

The doctrine « image » f tne Divine. The Stoics did the same. 
But what he objects to is the independence of the 
created mind. The Stoics — in their earlier days — regarded man as a 
kind of separate or little deity, which once started could and did pro- 
ceed wholly by itself. He could come into line with, or he could go off 
at an erring tangent from the world-deity, of which he was the offshoot 
or emanation. To Philo this Stoic position seemed to set up a false and 
spurious liberty. Not that he denies the freedom of the will. He 
asserts it strongly. Man has been given " a volitional and self-deter- 

1 I. 554 Jin. ; 8pof aBavhrov fiiov KaXKiaros ovrog ipiari sal ft\i<j Otov 
SurapKip Kai aautjianp KaTeaxrjoBcu. 

2 I. 557. 

3 G-od is the airiov, rd v<j>' of: man the opyavov, to Si 1 uv. I. 162. 
* Cp. Dr. II. 288-292. 



Florilegium Philonis. 505 

mining judgment," and is endowed with " voluntary and preferential 
energies." ' But this very freedom is a purely arbitrary gift of God. 
And not only so, but all the faculties of man — physical and psychical 
alike — the " first movements," as he calls them, of the soul (to. mpiira 
Kivtjfic'iTa.), in each individual as they occur, are the separate and volun- 
tary gifts of the Creator. 

The word otijo-is already occurs in Euripides ; 2 and Philo quotes with 
approval the " proverb of the ancients," that " self-conceit is the hindrance 
of progress." * It is found two or three times in Anto- 
ninus and in Epictetus, and (with oli/fia ) some six times °"f"8 in Stoic 
in Plutarch. 4 In all these writers it is a synonym of y * 

rv<pos, and is equivalent to arrogance or conceit. But it is mainly applied 
to the intellect, and means the false belief in one's own knowledge when 
one is really ignorant. Philo, who apparently uses the word much more 
frequently than any other writer, gives it a specially religious meaning. 
It is the error and the vice of thinking that our knowledge and goodness 
are really our own, that we are the true owners of our own powers, and 
the true authors of all which by their help we see and do and know, 
oijjtrts is that form of arrogance which has been attributed to the Stoics, 
and Philo, in a measure, anticipates Pascal and many another Christian 
theologian in its denunciation. 5 

The difference of opinion between Philo and even such later-day 
Stoics as Seneca and Epictetus on this subject is, I imagine, to be 
largely accounted for by their different conceptions 
of God. The Stoic pantheism was always getting A digression upon 
the better of a humbler and more Theistic view of arrogance of the 
the relations between God and man. And Bonhoffer Stoics, and the 
has shown how those passages in Epictetus which, as meaning of it. 
it would seem, speak most plainly of the need of divine help in the 
fight with sin or in the achievement of knowledge, must be taken with 
many a grain of pantheistic salt. So, too, with Seneca, who, in this as 

1 I. 280 (Dr. I. 347-350). 

2 Eur. Frag. 644. /3apA to (papyri' oltjmg avBp&trev icaicov. 

3 II. 652 : otjjfftt, <!>G o t&v iipxai'wv Xoyoj, iariv Ikkottt) wpoicoirfjs. 6 yap 
Karoiopcvoc lit\riu>aiv oix &vsxirai. This proverb is attributed by Stobseus 
to Bion, by others to Heracleitus. Cp. Ed. Bywater, p. 51, under " Spuria." 

4 Cp. Antoninus, xii. 27, ix. 34, with G-ataker's notes ; Plutarch Moralia, 
39 D, with. Wyttenbach'a notes ; Epictetus, Diss. II. 17, 1. The first thing 
a student of philosophy has to do is awoPakiiv oli)<siv. Cp. II. 11, 1, 6-8 ; 
III. 14, 8. Bonhoffer, Epictet und die Stoa, I. 4. 

s Cp. Select Discourses, by John Smith. Ed. Williams, Cambridge 
1869. Pp. 400, 401, " This is more or less the genius of wicked men ; they 
will be something in themselves, they wrap up themselves in their own 
being, move up and down in a sphere of self-love, live a professed 



506 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

in so many other things, combines the most pronounced differences in 
his own writings, and has given sharpest expression to the opposing 
extremes of Stoic philosophy. We find him, for example, expatiating on 
the benefits which man owes to God, and insisting that none are or can 
be good without God's help ; but, on the other hand, Seneca, far more 
than Epictetus, is wont to descant, with offensive arrogance, on the 
equality of the wise man to God, nay even upon his absolute superiority. 
The power to be good or wise God has given to all, the attainment of 
goodness is man's own. Quid haberes, quod in philosophia suspiceres si 
beneficiaria res esset ? l Philo would close his ears in holy horror. 

To the Stoics the human " I " which acts is also divine, but it is a real 

and separate and responsible being. If it is blameable for its sins, it is 

commendable for its virtues. What we achieve, alike 

Stoic mdepen- j n kn 0W l e dare as in goodness, may be rightly regarded 
dence : man the 6 , -^ . , , 

son of God but as our own i because it has been won by our own 

emancipated. powers. That I am good or that I know may be 
due to the divine which is in me. But it is none the 
less my own work, the work of the semi-divine being which is called 
man. If I act rationally, I ipso facto follow the will of God. The 
struggle and the triumph involved in " not my will but thine," the peace 
of the Everlasting Arms beneath us and around, were unknown to the 
Stoic, because he had an inadequate sense of the personality of God and 
of the frailty of man. God was too similar in kind to himself. The 
sense of distance in wisdom, knowledge and goodness was very in- 
sufficient. " Nearness " meant, not capacity to hearken and to save, not 
sympathy and care, but equality or co-essentiality of nature. Man is 
the son of God, but only because he is part of an omnipresent and un- 
divided reason, which in him has been lit up with a separate conscious- 
ness. To the Jew man is not the son, but the child of God, and the 
metaphor depends less on the idea of kinship through participation in a 
common nature than on the moral relations subsisting between father 
and child ; on the son's conviction of the father's infinite superiority in 
power, wisdom and goodness, on his absolute trust and confidence in the 
father's loving kindness, compassion and care. 

independency of God, and maintain a metm et timm between God and 
themselves. It is the character only of a good man to be able to deny 
and disown himself, and to make a full surrender of himself unto God, 
forgetting himself and minding nothing but the will of his Creator ; 
triumphing in nothing more than in his own nothingness, and in the allness 
of the Divinity. But, indeed, this, his being nothing, is the only way to 
be all things ; this, his having nothing, the truest way of possessing all 
things." An admirer of St. Paul could say, a fine and truly Pauline 
passage ; an admirer of Philo could say, bow noble and Philonic ! 

1 Cp. Bp. XC. init., LXXIII. Jin., LIU. fin. ; De Bene/., iv. 6 ; Zeller, 
iii. 1, p. 727, n. 4 ; Bonhoffer, I. 85, II. 83-8(5. 



Florilegium Philonis. 507 

For the Stoics knew little (Bonhoffer says Epictetus knows nothing) 

of the conflict between duty and desire, between the higher and the 

lower self. If you know the good, you must needs 

desire it. Hence they felt the less need for divine T , ne ? toic ^°** 

not acknowledge, 
aid to quicken the infirm will and help it to victory, because he does 

The intense consciousness of frailty and of sin leads not feel the need 

on to the conviction that the unassisted will is ofdirect aid from 

God to man. 
insufficient to overmaster that frailty, or overcome 

the power of that sin. Then with the realisation of the need of God's 
assistance, there comes the prayer for it, and with the prayer the assurance 
of response. But the Stoic can scarcely require or admit a further 
divine element in human goodness, over and above the fact that human 
reason is itself divine. Which is right, Stoic or Jew, this is not the 
place to discuss. But Dr. Drummond is on Philo's side. He at least 
holds that high spiritual experience is the direct gift of God. " Spiritual 
things," he says, " are spiritually discerned, and no striving of the senses 
and the intellect, no enforcement of duty by the determined will, can 
ever discover that which is revealed only in visitations of the Spirit. 
The filial mind, the communion with God, the sense of Divine love and 
peace flooding our inward being, which are the essence of Christianity, 
cannot be created by strenuous endeavour any more than our own 
volition has created our physical frame ; they must come as a birth from 
on high, opening our eyes to a new world of heavenly beauty, and 
ravishing our ears with the sound of angelic songs, and giving to the 
conscious soul a rapture which, at its entrance on the visible scene, it 
could not know." 1 This passage might have been written by Philo 
almost as well as by Dr. Drummond ; only Philo would have expanded 
the statement to include all moral and intellectual excellence. If the 
mind or soul (he would say) were not divine, it could not be divinely 
fertilized, but if it were not divinely fertilized from on high, it would 
not, by its own unaided power, give birth to noble issue in thought and 
word and deed. " It is not, I think, inaccurate to say that every addi- 
tion to knowledge, whether in the individual or the community, whether 
scientific, ethical or theological, is due to a co-operation between the 
human soul which assimilates, and the Divine power which inspires." 2 

The religious attitude of mind could in some ways be hardly more 
emphatically and even devotionally expressed than by Epictetus. 
Resignation to the divine will is a fundamental 
principle of his teaching, though we who read him T *{® contrast 
with a deeper sense of the separate self-conscious- Epictetus and 
ness of man and God, and of the dependence of the Philo. 

one upon the other, put an added meaning into his words. A man, he 

1 Drummond, llibbert Lectures, 1894, p. 220. 
s A. J. Balfour, The Foundations of Belief, p. 329. 



508 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

says, must " attach himself to God." What does this mean ? " Whatever 
God wills, he wills ; what God does not will he does not will also." 
" What God chooses is better than what I choose." And so on. Never- 
theless man is independent. You can will to be good, and good you 
can become. But this willing, " this use of appearances," is itself God's 
gift. God has entrusted you to yourself, you are your own God-given 
"deposit"; therefore, though you must condemn your weakness and 
errors and get to realise them as soon as possible, there must be no 
despair, no mistrust in your own capacity of achievement. For God is 
in you. Mistrust in yourself were mistrust of God. Epictetus com- 
bines together, as fundamental pre-requisites of philosophy, the abandon- 
ment both of conceit (oiijo-ts) and mistrust (diuoria). With him, as 
with the Stoics generally, God as an active and potent force in human 
life and labour is mainly conceived of as immanent within the human 
soul. It is true that he is within because he is also without, but there 
is no further inter-action between the two aspects. To Philo, God is 
rather without than within ; so far as he is within, it is of grace rather 
than of nature, and the coalescence of human and divine is less organic 
than occasional. To the Stoics, man's independence, though in the last 
resort a gift, is yet strongly marked. Man must recognise his own 
divinity, and so find his salvation and his strength. To Philo, the sense 
of man's dependence is never wanting. God gives to the individual as 
well as to the kind, and what he gives he can withhold. Man must 
recognise God's divinity and all which it implies ; he must look above 
far more than he must look within. It is in the realisation of the divinity 
of God and not of his own that he must find his salvation and his 
strength. 1 This we shall see proved and exemplified by Philo's doctrine 
of ovqvis. A selection of passages will bring his conception of it more 
clearly before us. 

" Self-conceit is an unclean thing by nature." 2 It supposes that mind 

is creative, whereas in reality " the mind is not the cause of anything, 

but only God, who is before the mind." 3 Through 

I? s f the eyes the mind obtains a conception of colour, 

otrio-is. through the ears of sound, through the nostrils of 

smell, through the tongue of taste, and so it 

generates " the greatest evil of the soul, self-conceit. For it con- 

1 Yet Philo also teaches the Stoic doctrine that every man is not only 
created in the divine image, but is a " fragment " of Divinity through his 
mind. He is no more consistent than Seneca ; but of him, as of Seneca, 
we may say with Bonhofrer (I., p. 85), " Wir konnen ihm dies nicht 
verabeln, da ein die Vernunft befriedigender Ausgleich zwischen 
gottlicher G-nade und menschlicher Freiheit such heute noch nicht 
gefunden ist." 

2 I. 53. 3 I. 75. 



Florilegiurn Philonis. 509 

ceives that all which it has seen, heard, tasted and smelt, is its 
own possession, and that it is the discoverer and contriver of them 
all." l " But so long as the mind thinks itself the cause of anything, 
it is far from yielding and confessing to God. And this very act 
of confession and gratitude is itself God's gift."' "To God alone 
it befits to say ' mine, for all things are his " (Cp. 1. Chron xxix. 14). 
" He who says, ' mine is my mind, mine my senses, mine their products, 
for thought and perception are in my own power,' is a slave to his mind 
and senses, bad and pitiless masters." 3 As slave to the mind you are 
condemned to perpetual ignorance ; as slave to the senses, to the 
domination of desire. He seems to suppose that if you think your 
senses are your own, you will use them lawlessly ; instead of controlling 
them, they will control you. Mixed up with that doubtless is the further 
feeling that you cannot triumph over desire without the aid of God, nor 
can you receive this aid unless you realise its need by realising the utter 
dependence of every faculty, whether low or high, upon the Divine 
Bestower. Hence, he says that it is impossible to "master pleasure 
unless the soul confesses that its actions and its progress are of God. and 
ascribes nothing to itself." 4 

Again, he says " there are two minds : the mind of the universe, 
which is God, and the mind of the individual. He who flees from his 
own mind takes refuge in the universal mind, and 
he confesses that the creations of the human mind Self-renunciation 
are nought, and ascribes everything to trod. He meaning, 

who flees from God, deems him the cause of nothing 
and himself the cause of all... . . Such a person is a thief, he steals 
the property of another (for all things are God's), and he receives a 
heavy wound which is hard to heal, self-conceit, akin to ignorance and 
boorishness." s 

Here, too, the intellectual and the moral are closely mingled ; self- 
conceit is the parent of " f orgetf ulness, ingratitude, and self-love," 
and only when you know yourself do you realise God. " For remem- 
bering your own nothingness in everything, you will remember the 
greatness of God in all." 6 No religion without humility. No service 
of God without a sense of the nothingness of man. A vivid sense of 

1 I. 149 ; God is always the cause, the human mind is but the instru- 
ment. 

2 I. 60. 3 1. 126. 

4 I. 83. Philo sees a danger in obtaining any excellence, whether moral 
or intellectual, by means of labour, lest the soul should think it has 
acquired such excellence by its own power, and not through God who 
implanted the desire for it (6 t'ov tpiura x«p»<"»M" , °c)- Labour must not 
produce oitjeric. I. 114. 

5 I. 93. 6 I. 173, 172 ; ep. I. 538. 
VOL. VI. L L 



510 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

human finiteness must precede the realisation of the Divine infinitude. 
" When Abraham knew most, he most completely renounced himself : 
for he who renounces himself, understands God." 1 But this humility- 
does not involve fear. For precisely when man has recognised his own 
nothingness to the full, he may take confidence to supplicate God." ' 
"He will then abandon treacherous self-conceit (9 iirifiovkos oitjcns), 
and find in self-knowledge the most useful purification." 3 "For the de- 
scent of the soul is its ascent by self-conceit, but its true ascent is a 
return from pride." 4 

Since then nothing is truly our own, not even life itself, but all good 

things of soul and body are gifts of God, Philo draws the important 

ethical consequence that we should use these gifts to 

T1 ff e t thi °f 1 good purpose. " Having the use of them, we shall 

humility ta ^ e care °f them as God's property, remembering 

and of that the Master, when he pleases, may recall his 

o t)o-is. own. ^ nc j gQ our gj.j e £ a (. fljgjj. remova j w jii be 

much lightened. The 'many,' thinking all they possess their own, 
straightway at the loss of anything are plunged in grief. To realise 
that the world and all that it contains is the work and property of God 
is not only a truth, but tends powerfully to consolation." 5 The gifts of 
God, he says elsewhere, must be received, not for oneself, but as loans 
or deposits, to be returned at their due season, and therefore treated 
with all care. Self-conceit makes men regard these gifts as property, 
and self-love following on self-conceit makes men use and misuse this 
supposed property for themselves instead of for society and for God. 
Philo notes three main deposits which God has placed in our custody, 

1 I. 629 fin. The play in Greek is untranslateable : ore /idXtara iyvot, 
t6t$ fidKiara air'tyvia lavrov . . . 6 S 1 airoyvo&Q iavrbv, yivuaxn rbv ovra. 
Cp. I. 653. 

2 I. 477 ; cp. I. 151 fin. : "Those who come down from boasting (oli/inc) 
are raised up by the reasoning of virtue (6 apiTrji; \6yoe) to true renown." 

» II. 252. 4 II. 667. 

* I. 160 ; cp. Bpictetus Encheiridion, xi : " Never say about anything, 
I have lost it, but say, I have restored it. Is your child dead ? It has 
been restored. Is your wife dead ? She has been restored. Has your 
estate been taken from you 1 Has not, then, this also been restored ? But 
he who has taken it from me is a bad man. But what is it to you, by whose 
hands the G-iver demanded it back ? So long as he may allow you, take 
care of it as a thing which belongs to another, as travellers do with their 
inn." Cp. Plutarch Ad Apolloniitm Consolatio, chap, xxviii. 116 A, with 
Wyttenbach's notes. Euripides Phwnissw, 555-557 (perhaps spurious) 
ovtoi t& xpVl taT ' W ,n KiKTtiVTai (ipoToi, t& T&v Otiov & IxoVTtg inifiiXovittOa' 
'6rav Sk xPvZ ua '' a '' r ' tytupovvrai wd\tv. Antoninus XII. 26 ; Seneca Ad 
Maroiam, x. 



Florilegium Philonis. 511 

soul, speech, and sense. Those who attribute these things to themselves 
misspend them all. Their soul is treacherous, their speech insolent, 
their " senses " insatiate. But those who attribute them to God, use 
their minds to contemplate the things of God and his goodness, their 
speech to honour and praise him, and their senses to understand his 
world. " And if any man were able with every part of him to live to God 
rather than to himself, by his senses investigating the visible world to 
discover truth, by his soul contemplating with true philosophy the 
world of mind, and by his speech glorifying the Creator and his 
works, such a one would indeed live a happy and a blessed life." ' 

Philo is wont to use very violent language in these oppositions of 
the good and the bad. The "selfish" man has a whole catalogue of 
vices appended to his special fault ; the man who 
"attributes all things to God" has all the virtues. Repentance and 
Yet, as I have indicated before, he does not abso- 
lutely preclude the notion of a passage from the category of evil to the 
category of good. And so we may notice that repentance is occasionally 
alluded to. " Never to sin," he acknowledges, " is the peculiar quality 
of God, perhaps also of a divine man ; to repent is the quality of a 
wise man." 2 But, " while iniquity is swift and continuous and frequent, 
repentance is slow and deliberate and in the future." * Philo will not 
admit the famous Kabbinic paradox that repentance is superior to 
perfection (t«X«(>tijs). 4 It is the principal blessing of the second class, 
whereas the highest, though possibly unattainable blessing is a never- 
failing recollection of the best. 5 Such a recollection, if ever present to 
and realised by the mind, would, I suppose, according both to Socratic 
and Philonic psychology, prevent the possibility of error or of sin. 
" Even in the souls of those who repent, the scars and impressions of 
their old wickedness remain." 6 Still he calls repentance, like conscience, 
a "councillor who does not flatter, and is incorruptible," r and he also 
implies that one can never know that it is too late to mend. " God, the 
pitying Saviour, can easily bring back the mind from long wandering 
and in evil plight through pleasure and desire — hard taskmasters that 

1 I. 487, 488. Cp. Bpictetus Discourses, I. xvi., " On Providence," ending 
with the noble words, " If I were a nightingale, I would do the part of 
a nightingale ; if I were a swan, I would do like a swan. But now I am 
a rational creature, and I ought to praise G-od ; this is my work. I do 
it, nor will I desert this post so long as I am allowed to keep it ; and I 
exhort you to join in this same song." 

= I. 569 ; II. 405. 3 I. 569. * II. 5. * II. 405. 

s II. 228. The Stoics taught the same as regards the incomplete healing 
of the passions of the soul. Cp. Seneca Be Ira, I. 16, quoting Zeno ; Frag* 
merits of Zeno and Cleanthes, Ed. Pearson, No. 158, p. 195, and Epictetus 
Discourses, II. 18. 7 I. 697. 

L L 2 



512 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

they are — into the right way, if only it has once determined to pursue 
the good flight without turning round." 1 " Eepentance can soothe 
conscience, that stern and unbribable judge." ' 

As I have been led to speak of conscience, I will here quote some 
passages about it and use them as a bridge by which we may pass 
on to consider Philo's views as to the exact relation of the human to 
the divine. 

The history and growth of conscience is a fascinating subject. 
Not without interest too is the history of the term. From Euripides 
onwards it begins to appear in Greek literature and 
The conscience, philosophy. Euripides employs the word avvto-ts, 
which is also found in Polybius, with the full 
meaning of conscience. But this word did not meet with general 
acceptance, and was exchanged for <rvv(t8i)(ris or to <rvveib6s. The 
former word occurs once in the Wisdom of Solomon, and several times 
in the Epistles of St. Paul. The Stoics elaborated the theory of con- 
science, and often used the word. The Latin translation, conscientia, is 
frequent in Seneca, and is already employed by Cicero. Epictetus uses 
(though not frequently) both avveidtfcrts and rd avveidos, and both 
terms are found in Plutarch. 3 Philo, with scarcely more than two 
exceptions, confines himself to rb avvettios. I should imagine that there 
are few earlier writers who speak more fully and frequently of conscience 
than he. 

Conscience is primarily the " convicter " (ekeyxps) and the judge 
seated in the soul, unabashed in threat and in reproof. 4 Against men's 
will it stings them into confession of their evil deeds. 5 It is the 
" true man " dwelling in the soul, now ruler and king, now judge and 
umpire, now witness and accuser, convicting and restraining. 6 Philo 
sometimes drops the term r& awetSas altogether, and speaks only of 6 
<Vl TpvxV* *^ f yx os > * ne convicter in the soul. 7 It is unerring, truth- 
telling, incorruptible. 8 It gives the consciousness of rectitude as well 
as the consciousness of sin. 9 It is born with the birth of the soul, 
unsusceptible of wrong, by nature ever hating the evil and loving the 
good ; it not only accuses and convicts, but teaches, persuades, exhorts, 

1 II. 427. But on the other hand some souls which wish to repent Q-od 
does not allow to do so (I. 129 Jin.). 

2 I. 634. 

* More accurately (rvvtiSqaig occurs once only in a doubtful fragment 
(XCVIL), rd trvvfiSbg once also {Diss. III. 22, 94), and the phrase avvtiSkvat 
iavrif twice (III. 23, 15, and Mich. 34). But Philo's conception of con- 
science should really be compared with the Stoic theory of the Aai/tuv, 
Cp. Bonhoffer, JSpictet. und die Sioa (1890), pp. 81-86. 

4 I. 30. • I. 423. « I. 196 init. 

' I. 565 ; I. 291. » I. 236 ; II. 649. • I. 474. 



Florilegium Philonis. 513 

and if its owner yields, it rejoices and is reconciled, but if he resents it 
wages an endless war with him, both day and night, itill his miserable 
and accursed life is ended. 1 Hence, " the wicked man bears ruin within 
him, for there dwells within him a designing foe. For the conscience of 
the evil doer is his sufficient punishment ; it makes the soul cowardly, 
as if it had received a blow."* 

In speaking of the law of Leviticus v. 20 (E. V., vi. 1), Philo 
assumes that the sinner is his own accuser, being convicted by his 
own conscience. When he has restored the deposit 
and goes to the temple to seek remission, the con- Conscience and 
victing conscience is the " blameless Paraclete "or 
advocate, whom he takes with him. For it has saved him from incur- 
able misfortune, the deadly disease of sin, and restored him to perfect 
health. 3 Just as we speak of conscience as the voice of God, so Philo 
identifies it with the Divine Logos. In one sense it is, as it were, the 
cause of sin, as well as the cause of well-doing, for without its presence 
in the soul no erroneous action could be deserving of blame, and sin 
would therefore be impossible. Hence Philo can say : " As long as the 
Divine Logos has not entered our souls all our actions are blameless." 
Faults of ignorance and inexperience deserve pardon. But when the 
true priest, conviction (i.e. the Logos, or conscience) enters within us, 
like a purest ray of light, we see the guilt of actions done previously in 
ignorance.* The Logos comes to us as an angel-guide, removing the 
stumblingblock before our feet. 5 Conscience is the "undefiled high 
priest " (another synonym for the Divine Logos), for whose perpetual 
life within the soul we shall do well to pray. 6 " Let us supplicate God, 
convicted, as we are, by the consciousness (a-vvcihi}<rei) of our own 
misdeeds, to chastise rather than let us go. For if he let us go, we 
shall no more be servants of a gracious Lord, but of pitiless matter 
(yeveVeoos rijt avrjKfovs) ; but if in his goodness he chastise us gently 
and equitably, he will correct our faults by sending conviction, the 
Chastener, his own Logos, into our mind, through whom, putting it to 
shame and reproaching it for its offences, he will bring us healing." 7 

Let us pass on now to consider more specifically in what ways, 

according to Philo, God may be said to be within man, both habitually 

in the race and more particularly in the good. 

How is his presence manifested? In one sense J^ what senses is 
_. r . , God within man ? 

God may be said to be within every man, because 

God " breathed into him from above something of his own Godhead " 
(■ri)s ISiov dtionjros). 9 By virtue of his mind, every man contains " an 
impression, or fragment, or ray of the divine nature." 9 As Dr. 

* I. 292. 



1 II. 195. 


2 II. 659. 


3 II. 247. 


* I. 299. 


« I. 563. 


' I. 219. 


8 I. 208. 


• I. 35, 332. 





514 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Drummond says, Philo was " deeply moved by the wonderful powers 
of reason, which extended itself to embrace the universe, and he 
could explain them only on the supposition that the Creator had 
breathed into the soul from on high a portion of His own divinity." ' 
The marvellous operations of the human mind, which flies through 
space and outstrips time, would be impossible if God did not " seal 
the invisible soul with his own impressions, that not even earth 
might be without an image of God." 3 For how could the human 
mind, within the narrow space of a membrane or of the heart, be able 
to embrace the vastness of heaven and of the universe, unless it were 
" an Undivided fragment of that Divine and blessed soul ? For nothing 
in the Divine is cut so as to be separated, but is only extended. 
Wherefore the mind, sharing the perfection in the universe, whenever 
it contemplates the cosmos, widens with the limits of the universe, 
receiving no rupture, for its power is ductile." 3 This interesting 
passage seems to imply that Divine reason being omnipresent, it may 
be said that we are in God, as well as that God is in us. 

" Nothing earth-born," consequently, is " more like God than man." * 

To his earthly material there has been superadded " divine spirit." 5 

Hence he is " mortal as to his body, but immortal as 

?f DrYin^origim to his mind -" ' Hia body is " the sacred temple of a 
rational soul." 7 He is a " relative and kinsman of 

God because of his participation in reason." 8 On the moral side, 

reason, the divine image, "made real and stamped (piaruodet(ra ko\ 

Timu>6ti<ra) by the seal of God, the impression of which is the eternal 

Logos," is the source of both good and evil. 9 For " mind and reason 

are, as it were, the home of virtue and vice ; in them they seem to 

dwell." Some rational beings partake only of virtue, such as the stars. 

(Philo shares the Aristotelian belief that the stars are rational and 

animated beings.) Man has a mixed nature, capable both of wisdom 

and folly, evil and good. 10 It is noticeable that Philo does not 

complete the series by the hypothesis of a rational being that is wholly 

evil. He may be credited with the negative excellence of dispensing 

with a devil. 

In this general sense, then, God is within every member of the 

human race. I said before that Philo cuts no clear division between 

man and man, and does not refuse to the vilest all trace of the 

Divine. 11 The grave difficulties which undoubtedly ensue on making 

1 Drummond, I. 329, 330. * I. 208. 

» I. 508>"»., 509 init. (Drummond, I. 329). " I. 15. 

• I. 32. « I. 32. ' I. 33. 

8 II. 338. dyx'^Topoc Q 10 " Kat *yyf»")c *ar& rrfv irpbg \6yov Koivuviav, 
ftf airbv xairoi Ovririv ovra airaOavariZft. 

» I. 332. 10 I. 17. " I. 265. 



Florilegium Phihnis. 515 

reason the distinctively divine element in man are wholly unobserved 
by him, or, if observed, neglected. If human reason is the parent of 
sin, the immanent divinity is the cause of evil. If it is the same 
reason which helps the scoundrel to the carrying out of a cunning 
crime, and prompts the soldier to a deed of heroism, or the philosopher 
to the contemplation of truth, why is not the " God within " the 
prerogative of the sinner as well as of the saint ? For the solution of 
these high questions we must seek no guidance in the works of Philo. 
Unreconciled with the theory that every man, in virtue of his reason, 
bears the image of God within him, he lays down the more specialised 
doctrine that God " dwells " only in the souls of the good — in those who 
are worthy to receive so high and marvellous a guest. 

How far, it may well be asked, is the doctrine purely metaphorical ? 
From one passage at the end of the De Sobrietate, it might seem to be 
so. Philo interprets the blessing of Noah to mean 
that he prays that God may dwell in the house of ^ et Got f onl Y 
Shem, and he then proceeds to say, " What more Bou i s f t n " d ^,j 
fitting house in all creation could be found for God 
than a completely purified soul ? " " But God is said to dwell in a 
house, not in a local sense, for he contains all things, and is contained 
by none, but as showing special forethought and care for that 

particular spot Let everyone, then, on whom the Divine favour 

has showered good, pray to God that he may receive the Kuler of all as 
a dweller in his house, for he will raise this petty dwelling, the mind, 
to a great height above the earth, and fasten it to the boundaries of 
heaven." J This would seem to mean no more than that God, as it were 
from without, exercises a special providence towards the good. But 
other passages show that something more is intended. For example : 
" Since God thus invisibly enters the place of the soul, let us prepare it, 
as well as we can, to be a worthy dwelling for him. For if we do not, 
he will unawares remove to another house, which seems to him wrought 
better. For if, when we are going to receive a king, we beautify our 
houses, sparing no means of adornment, that his rooms may be as 
luxurious as possible, as befits his rank, what sort of a house should we 
prepare for God, the King of kings and Ruler of all, who, in his 
condescension and love, has deigned to visit his creatures, and comes 
down from the limits of heaven to the ends of earth for the benefit of 
our race ? A house of wood or stone ? The idea is impious. For not 
even if the whole earth were suddenly turned into gold or something 
more precious still, and were all used up in the construction of 
colonnades, and gateways, and halls, and vestibules and temples, would 
it become a step for his feet. A fitting soul alone is a worthy house." * 

1 I. 402. 2 I. 157 ; cp. II. 672 (Drummond, II. 281). 



516 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Removing the metaphorical dress, Philo's meaning apparently is that 
there is a real Divine reaction upon those who deserve it. Such a 
reaction or influence is not necessarily a violation of law, and it is 
conditioned by the likeness, at however great an interval, of the human 
mind to the Divine. 1 " Do not," Philo says elsewhere, " seek for the 
City of God on earth, for it is not built of wood or stone, but seek it in 
the soul of the man who is at peace with himself, and a lover of true 

philosophy." 2 In this sense, then, of the real 
A scale of Divine Di vme influence, which by the law of God's relation 

to his human kinsman, is granted to those who 
are fitted to receive it, there can be and there is, a scale of 
increasing Divine immanence which culminates in inspiration. The 
lower stages of the scale are symbolised by the advent of the Logoi, 
the " Divine thoughts " (or by angels, their personifications) ; the 
highest stage is reached in the advent of God himself. Hence Philo 
says, " In the understandings of those who are perfectly purified, the 
God and sovereign of the universe walks about noiselessly, alone and 
invisibly — for there is also an oracle delivered to the wise man. in which 
it is said, ' I will walk about in you, and will be your God'; but in the 
understandings of those that are still undergoing cleansing, and have 
not yet entirely washed out the life, foul and sordid with heavy bodies, 
angels, Divine Logoi, walk, making them bright with the cleansing 
materials of excellence." s 

Combined or parallel with this doctrine of God's immanence, and 
partly, perhaps, only another form of it, there can be traced in Philo's 

writings the doctrine of the help rendered by God 

God's help in the to man, both in moral effort and in the acquisition 

*' YfrtuSfor ° f of knowled S e i culminating in the knowledge of God 

knowledge. himself. These two are not really separated in 

Philo's mind ; both are dperai. The notion of an 
unlettered saint, as ignorant of philosophy as a babe, so true to fact and 
so familiar to ourselves, was an unrevealed truth for the Jewish sage 
of Alexandria. But just as there are degrees of God's immanence, so 
there are degrees of God's help. It may come through his Powers, or 
through the Logos, or through himself. Then, too, pari passu with 
this scale of help, goes the result of it, the degree of knowledge and of 
virtue attained by its means. 

The doctrine of the proverb "God helps those who help them- 
selves," on which from various reasons preachers now are wont to lay 
much stress, was not unknown to Philo. He too speaks of the divine 
help as given only to those who are fitted to receive it, and in response 

' Cp. II. 428. 2 I. 692. 

3 I. 643 ; cp. I. 638 ; Drummond, II. 262. 



Florikgium Philonis. 517 

to their own exertions. Nevertheless, not (infrequently he tends in a 
marked manner to depreciate the function or share of human labour and 
effort in the attainment of moral virtue and intellectual knowledge. 1 
He inclines to do this from a twofold reason. First of all, man is made 
thereby more dependent upon the grace of God. " Without divine 
grace it is impossible to abandon things mortal, or to abide amid the 
incorruptible." 2 The more feeble and uncertain the issue of human 
effort, the less chance for vanity and self-conceit (otija-it). Secondly, 
in the higher stages of the knowledge of God, Philo could hardly 
explain, in consistency with his own theory of the divine nature, how 
such deeper vision could be won by mortal man, unless it were due to 
special inspiration, over and above the general immanence of God in 
all men, though doubtless based upon it and conditioned by it. 

Aristotle had allotted to nature (<j>v<rts), to habituation (tdos), and 
to teaching (8i8axv), their own proper shares in the acquisition of 
virtue. In Diogenes Laertius's chapter on Aristotle 
&a-Kt](Tts is substituted for Was. The division in Philo's strange 
this form is adopted by Philo, but is applied by him this connection, 
in a peculiar way and interpreted for his own ends. 
For (pvvis is regarded as including not only the natural endowment with 
which one starts at birth, but the inspiration bestowed by God. Hence 
the results of <f>v<nr are usually higher than those of ao-icqiris and 
StSaxv. But it must be remembered that even to Philo the division 
between these factors in the moral and intellectual life is not a hard 
and fast one (II. 9). The man who starts on his race by the help 
of Sa-Ktja-ts or DiSaxn can only reach the goal by the grace or inspiration 
of God. 3 

Philo's full doctrine on this point cannot be expounded here. It is 
well known that he has made each of the three great Patriarchs a type 
of the perfected result of "teaching," "training," 
and " nature." Abraham represents the first, Jacob Teaching, 

the second, Isaac the third. But all three and^ature. 
reached the goal at last, and obtained the vision 
of God. 4 As a corollary to his theory he has to assume that men start 
with different endowments, and that these differences are predetermined 
by God. "There are some persons whom God, even before their 

1 At the same time he acknowledges that God has made labour the 
condition of every good and virtue. And a few lines further on he says : 
tvoefieia St xal oindrije AyaOa, AW ouk avtv Oipcurtiac Otov rvxilv avrwv 
Bvvd/it9cf Bipairtia Be reus iv wovoiq (piKoTi/iimc ovviZivicrcu. I. 168. 

2 I. 379. 

3 And Philo acknowledges that the end reached by all these is the 
same. I. 646. 

* I. 524, 591. 



518 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

birth, fashions pre-eminently, and foreordains to them a peculiar lot." ' 
From the deep problems here raised, Philo, as Dr. Drummond truly 
says, " glides off " in the most unsatisfactory way. The thought is 
dissipated and lost sight of "in a cloud of allegory." 2 The ideal 
representative of the virtue which comes from <f>vms is described as 
complete and perfect from the outset. He is " self taught," but this 
" self taught " means taught of God. " He is not improved by in- 
vestigation or effort, but from his birth he finds wisdom made ready for 
him ; it is rained down on him from heaven, and he drinks of it pure 
draughts and is ever drunk therefrom with a rational intoxication." 3 
Inflated language of this kind is very frequent. The " self taught " 
start at the point which Stfia^^ and a^Kr/o-ts may bring others to in 
the end by constant effort and laborious toil. " They have already at 
hand the gifts of God in all perfection : they need no improvement, 
having reached, through the excellence of their nature and the fair en- 
dowment of their souls, a spontaneous and effortless wisdom." 4 Philo, 
however, acknowledges that each of the three types of life is the result 
of all three factors working together, though each is made to represent 
that factor which predominates in it. " For teaching cannot be perfected 
without nature and practice, nor practice unless founded on nature and 
teaching, nor can nature reach the goal without teaching and practice." * 
At the same time Aaron, who gains " virtue " by labour, is less perfect 
than Moses, who receives it without labour from God. 6 This gift of 
God may come at any moment, and be, as it were, engrafted upon the 
previous results of " practice " and " teaching." But it is still spoken of 
as " self-taught " wisdom. " It is useful, if not for the acquisition of 
perfect virtue, at least with a view to civic life, to be trained in old and 
primeval opinions, and to pursue the ancient reports of noble deeds which 
historians and poets have repeated for their own age and for their suc- 
cessors. But when, without our foresight or expectation, a sudden 
light of ' self-taught ' wisdom flashes upon us, which'opening the closed 
eye of the soul, makes us seers instead of hearers of knowledge, putting 
in the understanding the swiftest of the senses, vision, instead of the 
slower, hearing, it is vain to exercise the ears with words." 7 Philo, as 
we shall see, is a firm believer in sudden intuition, which, from his point 
of view, is the same thing as sudden inspiration. It is very curious that 
in one and the same paragraph he speaks of God " bestowing the prin- 
ciples (OtcoprittaTo) of his own wisdom without our toil or trouble, so that 
suddenly we find a treasure of perfect bliss," 8 and then of those who 

1 I. 104. 2 Drummond, II. 311. 3 I. 571. 

« I. 524, cp. I. 646. s II. 9. 

6 I. 114, cp. I. 617. ' I. 178 (Drummond, II. 8). 

8 I. 286 (Drummond, II. 310) ; op. I. 441. 



Florikgkim Philonis, 519 

" through the excellence of their endowment (<£vo-«»s «fyi° l /n'?) make a 
hundred discoveries without any investigation, by the help of happy and 
well directed conjectures." And he does not appear to see any difference 
between the one class and the other. The conjecture is a divine chance ; 
but on the other hand it needs the natural endowment, which is also the 
gift of God. The old dtia tvx^ of Herodotus receives, as it were, a sort 
of philosophical justification. 

Omitting inspiration in its higher aspects for the present, let us now 
see in what other ways Philo teaches that help is rendered to man by 
God or by his Logos. When the help is ascribed to the Logos, rather 
than to God himself, this is because our realisation of the Divine is the 
subjective counterpart of the objective Divine aid. And this realisation 
may not, and usually will not, extend further than to the Logos, if, in- 
deed, it extends so far. 1 

Philo is wont to talk of the Divine Logoi as helping man. What does 
he mean by this ? A sudden thought which deterred from evil or spurred 
to good, a noble passage in an inspired book, the 
stirring utterance of a great preacher— these might The help given 
all be regarded as so many separate fragments of J! m !j !!,j5L 

Divine reason, which are born in, or enter the soul, Logoi. 

but in the last resort, owe their origin to God. Philo 
refers much to direct Divine agency, which we should only indirectly 
ascribe to it. 2 Thus he says, " God, not disdaining to come into sensible 
perception, sends his own Logoi to assist the lovers of virtue ; and they 
treat and completely heal the sicknesses of the soul, giving sacred ad- 
monitions as immovable laws, and calling to the exercise of these, and 
like trainers of gymnasts, implanting strength and power." 3 

Of the human soul, the bodily, or as it were, earthly part, is the basis, 
while the mind, or heavenly part, is the head. " Up and down, through 
the whole soul, the Logoi of God move incessantly ; when they ascend, 
drawing it up with them, and disjoining it from the mortal part, and 
showing only the vision of things which are worth seeing ; but when 
they descend, not casting it down (for neither God nor a divine Logos is 
the cause of injury), but descending with it out of humanity and com- 
passion towards our race, for the sake of giving assistance and alliance, 
in order that, breathing forth what is salutary, they may revive the soul 
also, which is still borne along, as it were, in a river, the body." 4 Then 
follow the lines quoted already, how God walks in the minds of the 

1 I. 122. 

2 In all this, and what follows, I have been greatly helped by Dr. 
Drummond's book. 

3 I. 631 (Drummond, II. 257 ; cp. 120, 218, 256, 307, 308-310). 
♦ I. 642 Jin. 643 (Drummond, II. 261). 



520 The Jewish Quarterly Renew. 

perfectly purified, while his Logoi walk in those who are still not wholly 
cleansed of error or of sin. " It seems quite clear," says Dr. Drummond, 
" that Philo is referring in this passage to Divine thoughts that visit and 
purify the mind, those ' broken lights ' of God, which beam softly upon 
us when we cannot bear the full-orbed splendour." * As he elsewhere 
says, " If even a thought (tvvoia) of God enters the mind, it immediately 
blesses it, and heals it of all its diseases." * The Logos is said to help those 

who are akin, or inclined to virtue, and when it calls 

The help given the soul to itself, to freeze together its earthly and 

Logos. appetitive elements." 3 " On some the sacred Logos 

enjoins commands like a king ; others it instructs, 
as a teacher his pupils ; others, not knowing what is the best of them- 
selves, it helps like a counsellor, who makes wise suggestions ; while 
to others again, like a gracious friend, it reveals persuasively many 
mysteries that the uninitiated may never hear." * It is difficult to say 
how far in this and similar passages the metaphors extend. But that 
Philo holds that the compelling or advising or restraining thought, 
which springs up within, must have a corresponding vera causa without 
— a Divine without that answers to the Divine within — seems to follow 
from a passage in which the saving impulse or thought is distinctly 
stated to reach the soul " from the outside." " So long as the mind 
thinks it firmly understands the objects of mind, and the sense the 
objects of sense, the Divine Logos stands afar off. But when each 
confesses its weakness, such a soul the Logos comes to meet and wel- 
comes ; it has renounced itself, and awaits the Divine aid that comes to 
it invisibly, and from without." 6 

In virtue, as in knowledge, God meets the sincere suppliant half 
way. 6 " How great is the grace of God, who anticipates our delay, 

and comes to meet us, to the perfect benefit of our 
God the fertilizer, souls!" 7 It is God who fertilises virtue by sending 

down the seed from heaven. 8 "It is God alone 
who can open the womb of the soul, and sow virtues in it, and make it 

1 Drummond, II. 262. s 1. 130. 

8 I. 633, 121. Cp. I. 640, where we hear of a Divine Logos that wrestles 
with Jacob, and gives him strength, and Dr. Drummond interprets the 
allegory to refer to "Divine thoughts which discipline and strengthen 
the mind," II. 260. 

4 I. 649. * I. 638 Jin. • II. 407. ' I. 130. 

* I. 103, 147 ; cp. Seneca, Ep. LXXIII. ad Jin. : Nulla sine deo mens 
bona est. Semina in corporibus humanis divina dispersa sunt, quae si 
bonus cultor excipit, similia origin! prodeunt et paria his, ex quibus orta 
sunt, surgunt : si malus, non aliter quam humus sterilis ac palustris 
necat ac deinde creat purgamenta pro frugibus. 



Florilegium Philonis. 521 

pregnant and bring forth the good." J The same office is elsewhere 
assigned to the Logos. " The divine Logos flows forth like a river 
from wisdom as its fountain head, that it may water and fertilise the 
heavenly shoots and growths of the souls that love virtue." * " The 
Divine command (pvviagts, another form of the Logos) illuminates and 
sweetens the soul that itself can see." [The Divine influence must 
meet with a properly receptive nature.] " It shines upon it with the 
light of truth, and it seasons with sweet persuasion those who thirst 
and hunger after virtue." s In fine : " How could the soul have per- 
ceived God if he had not breathed into and touched it so far as man's 
capacity allows ? The human mind would not have ventured on such a 
flight, to grasp the nature of God, if God had not drawn it up to 
himself, so far as it could be drawn, and had not moulded it according 
to the powers which are within man's capacity to perceive." 4 

Let us now note a few interesting points in Philo's conception of the 
different stages in the knowledge of God, which can be fairly under- 
stood, even when taken out of their proper place in his philosophical 
system as a whole. 

Through the sense of sight philosophy arose. The soul was entranced 

by the spectacle of the sun and moon and planets and stars, and from 

an investigation into the causes of their movements 

philosophy began. 5 Some thinkers were wise The knowledge of 

enough to adopt the opinion that the heavenly bodies ** 0(1 : "? on S u V 
6 ... ,/. ,,j, . ,. , J . , approaches and 

were not " self -impelled by irrational movements of limitations. 

their own, but impelled by the intelligence of God, 

whom it was, therefore, fitting to call Father and Creator." 6 Philo is 

of opinion that men have won a belief in God through what we now 

call the argument from design. The very existence of the world 

demands a belief in the world's Creator, as we infer an architect from 

the existence of a house. " They who reason in this manner conceive 

God through his shadow, realising the craftsman through his work." 7 

This is not the more excellent way, and does not lead to the most 

perfect apprehension of the Divine ; but, as the result of the unaided 

effort of the human mind, Philo thinks it deserves great praise. Such 

philosophers have " advanced upwards from below, and climbing, as it 

were, the rungs of a heavenly ladder, they have reached the Creator by 

logical reasoning through the contemplation of his works." 8 

1 I. 123 vn.it. Cf. I. 158, of the Divine Powers (Drnmmond, II. 312). 
The theological, and perhaps historical importance of this and many other 
similar, but stronger and more bizarre passages, has been recently empha- 
sised by Mr. Conybeare in the Academy, December 22nd, 1894. 

2 I. 690." 3 I. 566. * I. 51. 5 I. 12, 18. 6 II. 331. 
' I. 107. 8 II. 415. 



522 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Philo's aim is to approach as near as he can to God as he is in himself, 
apart from what he may be inferred to be from his works. He 
frequently admits that this aim cannot possibly be realised. " One must 
first become God — which is impossible — in order to be able to 
comprehend God." J He goes so far as to say that " it is sufficient for 
human reason to attain to the knowledge that there is, and exists, 
something as the Cause of the universe ; but to pass beyond this, and 
inquire into essence or quality, is superlative folly." 2 " God is not even 
apprehensible by the mind, except only as to existence. Existence is 
what we realise of him ; beyond existence, nothing." 3 Dr. Drummond 
has shown in what ways Philo passes out of and beyond this 
philosophical agnosticism, and how far he is justified in doing so. 

In his relation to the world, God is Ruler and Creator, and these 

facts or inferences stamp him straightway as all-powerful and good. 

His two main names, Lord (icvpios) and God, typify 

God as Kuler his ruling and his goodness. It is a law of nature that 
and as Creator. 

a creator should care for that which he has made. 4 

Realising God then as Ruler, we fear him ; realising him as Creator, and 
therefore as a benefactor, we love him. 5 But neither aspect of him is 
the highest to which we can attain. The ruling faculty and the creative 
faculty are the two great powers of the Godhead. As Ruler, God is a 
legislator, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong ; as Crea- 
tive and good, God is propitious ; he has pity and eompassion upon his 
work. 6 To each of these powers or aspects of God as realised by man, 
a phase of human character belongs. Of these, more anon. There is a 
further and higher aspect of God, or in other words, a further and higher 
stage in the knowledge of him, which represents the combination of the 
two fundamental powers of rule and creation, authority and goodness. 
This aspect is that of the Logos, the reason of God 
The DiYine m eve ry phase and form of it that is discoverable or 
realisable by man. " By the Logos God is both 
ruler and good." ' The apprehension of the Logos is the highest stage 
in the knowledge of God which is obtainable by ordinary man. It 
practically implies and includes every aspect of him which can be won 
independently of absolute inspiration. Most of us have to be content 
with considerably less ; we are able to catch a glimpse of God, now in 
one aspect, now in another ; we rarely can realise him in that combina- 
tion of many aspects, which in their rational unity and completeness 

1 II. 654 (Drummond, II. 17). 

* I. 258 (Drummond, II. 18). ' I. 282. 

4 vopoe yap (pvattoQ l-KipihiloBai to jrtjrotijicoc ytyovoroe. II. 415. 

5 Cp. e.g., I. 63, 144, 342, 343, 581, 582, 645. 

6 Cp. I. 560. Drummond. II. 83, and II. 18-20. Drummond, II. 91. 
1 I 144. 



Florilegium Phihnis. 523 

are symbolised by the Logos. 1 It is only before the mysterious, im- 
penetrable Being, who manifests himself in all these functions of 
reason, that the worshippers of the Logos fall short. But the wisdom 
and happiness which are bestowed by the Logos, or which, as we may 
say, attend its realisation, are painted by Philo in the most glowing 
colours, just as the Logos itself, though, or rather as, inseparable from 
God, possesses all nameable qualities of the Divine. Commenting on 
the verse in the Psalms, " The river of God is filled with water," Philo 
declares that " it is absurd to give this name to any earthly river." But 
the Psalmist clearly signifies the divine Logos, "that is full of the 
fountain of wisdom, and is in no part of itself bare or empty. Or 
rather, as some one has said, it is diffused throughout the universe, and 
is raised up on high, through the continuous and unbroken flow of that 
everlasting source. In another verse of the Psalm, it is said: 'The 
course of the river gladdens the city of God.' What city ? For the 
present sacred city, in which the holy temple is, lies far from the sea 
and from any rivers ; so that it is clear that the Psalmist wishes to 
suggest something different from the obvious meaning, by way of 
metaphor. And in truth the continuous rush of the divine Logos is 
borne along with eager but regular onset, and overflows and gladdens 
all things that are. In one sense he calls the world the city of God, for 
it has received the full cup of the divine draught, and has exultingly 
received thereby a perpetual and imperishable joy. But in another 
sense he gives this name to the soul of the wise, wherein God is said to 
walk as in a city. And who can pour out the sacred cup of true joy to 
the blissful soul which holds out the most sacred cup, which is its own 
reason, except the Logos, the cupbearer of God, the master of his feast? 
And the Logos is not cupbearer only, but is itself the pure draught, 
itself the joy and exultation, itself the pouring forth and the delight, 
itself the ambrosial philtre and potion of happiness and joy." 2 

Nevertheless God is above the Logos, and there is a possible realisa- 
tion of him, which transcends all that even the Logos can suggest to us. 
For though God be the mind or reason of the uni- 
verse, we have not, in so naming him, " discovered ^ od aboYe *he 
1 • , . Logos. 

his essence or given an exhaustive description " of 

his nature. " Pure Being is a more comprehensive conception than 
reason, and includes other predicates. Being, for instance, is eternal 
and omnipotent, and may have other attributes unknown to us, none of 
which is necessarily involved in the rational. Reason, therefore, is a 
mode of the Divine essence, but not that essence itself ; and as in the 

1 I. 122. 

* I. 691. Rightly, I think, does Professor Rendel Harris speak of this 
chapter from the Be Sumviit as "magnificent" {Fragments of Philo, 
1886, p. 2). 



524 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

case of all the powers, God exhausts and transcends it. He may accord- 
ingly be spoken of as the fountain from which it flows, as the Being 
who is before it." ' Even the Logos is but the shadow of God. 8 " God 
is before the Logos, and superior to every rational nature." 3 Though 
" when you have been brought by wisdom as far as the Divine Logos, 
you have found the head and consummation of your devotion, you have 
still not reached God in his essence, but see him afar off. Or rather you 
only see that God is far from all creation, and the understanding of him 
most widely distant from all human understanding." * 

Yet the inspired mind, which does not start in the quest for God from 
his works, can get beyond the Logos. " There is a more perfect and more 

purified mind, initiated in the great mysteries, which 

A Yery chosen knows the Cause, not from the effects, as it would 

bevond th^ 106 *^ e P ermanen t substance from a shadow, but, having 

Logos. looked beyond the begotten, receives a clear 

appearance of the unbegotten, so as to apprehend 
from himself him and his shadow, the latter meaning the Logos and this 
Cosmos." 5 " Such a mind was Moses, who said, ' Show me thyself, that 
I may see thee with knowledge ; do not reveal thyself to me through 
heaven, or earth, or water, or air, or anything in creation ; and let me not 
see thy essence reflected in any other thing, as in a looking-glass, but 
only in thee, who art God." 6 But such highest knowledge of God can 
only be reached by the inspiration or revelation of God himself. 7 From 
the knowledge of the perceptible world man may pass to the knowledge 
of the invisible Logos, but the knowledge of primal Divine Being is 
above both, and obtained in a different way. 8 But it is always true to 
say that the special revelation is only vouchsafed to those who are 
worthy of it in mind (which to Philo implies in character) before it 
comes. Only the rarest few can bear more than the sight of the Logos : 
it is to the " perfect " alone that " the first God " can be revealed. 9 

The upward journey of the mind to the supreme vision of God is 
finely depicted in the following passage : — " As is God in the universe 

so is the mind in man : it is unseen, but sees all 
_ The upward things : its essence is obscure, but it comprehends the 
journey or t e essenoe f everything. And by arts and sciences it 

cuts for itself many roads and pathways, and passes 

1 Drummond, II. 183. 

1 I. 106 (Drummond, II. 190-194). 3 II. 625. 

* I. 630 (Drummond, II. 20, 184, 195). Cp. I. 229 Jin., showing how 
G-od can be at one and the same time very near and very far. 

4 I. 107 (Drummond, II. 194). • Ibid. cp. I. 289. 

' (StoS) Tr/v idiav wjrap&v avatpijvai OiXfitavTOt; \xiry . . . dXqOtiav Ik 
liiriaoiv ol t'ov 9ibv 9iif <j>avTa<Tiu>9ivTt£, $u»rt <J>wc II. 415 ; cp. II. 18. 

8 Cp. I. 419. 9 I. 128 ; I. 655. 656, 



Florilegium Philonis. 525 

through sea and land, searching out all things within both. And it soars 
aloft on wings, and having investigated the air and its changes, it is 
borne upwards towards the asther and the revolutions of the heavens. 
It accompanies the stars and the planets in their circling motions, fol- 
lowing love, the guide of wisdom, and passing beyond the sensible, 
it yearns for the intelligible world. Perceiving there the patterns and 
forms of what it had seen before in the world of sense, it is seized by 
their exceeding beauty with a sober intoxication, and, like the celebrators 
of Corybantic rites, it is overcome by enthusiasm, and filled with high 
desire. So it is carried forward to the very summit of the intelligible 
world, and seems to draw near to the great king himself. Then, as it 
longs to behold him, the pure and unmixed rays of Divine light are 
poured upon it like a torrent, so that its eye is dazzled by the bril- 
liancy." l 

Inspiration, if given by God, must be prepared for by man. It needs 
the complete abandonment of bodily desires, the absolute consecration 
of mind and soul to God. Without a wish or 
a thought that is not concentrated on truth and Inspiration. 
virtue and God, a man must " pour forth his soul's 
blood as a libation, and sacrifice his whole mind to God the Saviour." * 
He must break the bonds which the cares of mortal life entwine around 
him, and, with the utmost strain of his soul, press forward to the glorious 
visions of the uncreated. 3 

Kef erring to Genesis xii. 1 (" The Lord said unto Abraham, Get thee 
out of thy country, and from thy kindred and from thy father's 
house "), Philo exclaims : " If any desire come over thee, soul, to 
inherit Divine bliss, then abandon not only thy ' land,' the body, and 
thy ' kinsmen,' the senses, and thy ' father's house,' the understanding 
(tov \6yov), but flee from thyself, and depart out of thyself, like men 
possessed in a rapt frenzy of prophetic inspiration. For when the mind 
is in a state of ecstasy, and no longer under its own control, but mad- 
dened and agitated by heavenly love, it is drawn up towards God, and 
truth is its leader and clears a path before its feet, so that it may go 
forth upon the highway to become the heir of things Divine." 4 Philo 
even maintains that this ecstatic condition of the mind affects the con- 
dition of the body. " When men are inspired, not only does their soul 
become excited and raving, but their body too becomes ruddy and fiery 
in colour, the inward heat of joy showing itself even externally, so that 
many foolish persons are deceived thereby, and confound enthusiasm with 
intoxication." 6 

1 I. 16. The relation to the Phsedrus is obvious. 

* I. 76. * I. 380. 

* I. 482. s I. 380. 

M M 



526 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Philo doubtless approaches near to the theory to which mystics of all 

ages have inclined, that the highest condition of the mind is pure 

passivity : the human is blotted out to receive the 

The highest Divine. What is human is individual and mortal : 

aetmty or tne mind is often connected with sense and desire, 

mind becomes ,,,,,,,, , ,. 

pure passivity. an d the separate selfhood that holds asunder from 

God. To become one with the Divine the self must 
be merged in God, and to be merged in him, its own functions and 
activities must be extinguished. Thus the highest faculty of the mind 
topples over into an abyss on the other side : having reached the 
summit of activity, it is ready to become the mere passive phono- 
graph, on which to receive the impress of the divine. Allu- 
ding to Gen. xv. 12 ("And when the sun was going down, 
a deep sleep fell upon Abraham"), Philo says : — " As long 
as our mind still shines and is active, and pours a noonday 
light over all our soul, we are under our own control, and are not 
possessed ; but when the mind draws near its setting, then divine 
ecstasy and madness may fall upon us. For when the divine light 
shines, the human light sets, but when the divine sets the human 
light reappears. This is wont to be the case with prophets. For at 
the coming of the Divine Spirit our mind retires, but when the Spirit 
departs it comes back again. For the immortal may not dwell with 
the mortal." 1 In another place he goes so far as to say that "a 
prophet utters nothing of his own, but is a mere interpreter. It is 
another who suggests all his words, and while he is inspired he is 
unaware that his own reason has vanished and has left the citadel of 
his soul : the Divine Spirit having entered in, plays upon his voice as 
on an instrument, and sounds within him to make clearly manifest that 
which he prophesies." 3 Whether in spite of his remark that the 
Scriptures testify of " every good man (whom they mention) that 
he is a prophet," he would have ventured to apply the name to himself 

may well be doubted. But he is not afraid to 
Philo s own confess that he has been visited at certain high and 

select moments, and even unawares, by divine in- 
spiration. He says that his soul " was often accustomed to be possessed 
by God and to prophesy about things which it knew not." 3 He speaks 
of the "invisible spirit which was wont to commune with him." 4 

1 I. 511. 

* II. 343. But Reville is perhaps scarcely right in calling- this the 
only passage, " ou se trouve la conception materialiste d'un homme- 
machine, mu par l'esprit de Dieu." Le Logos d'apres Philon d' ' Alex- 
andras, p. 50. Cp. Drummond, I. 12, 14, and the passages there quoted. 

3 I. 143 fin, (Drummond, I. 21). * I. 692. 



Florilegium Philonis. 527 

And elsewhere he dwells on the manner of his inspiration in detail. 
" I am not ashamed to relate the way in which I am myself affected) 
which I know I have experienced countless times. Intending some- 
times to come to my usual occupation of writing the doctrines of 
philosophy, and having seen exactly what I ought to compose, I have 
found my mind fruitless and barren, and left off without accomplishing 
anything, reproaching my mind with its self-conceit (oii/o-ty), and 
amazed at the power of Him who is, by whom it has turned out that the 
womb of the soul is opened and closed. But sometimes, having come 
empty, I suddenly became full, ideas being invisibly showered upon me 
and planted from above, so that by a divine possession I was filled with 
enthusiasm, and was absolutely ignorant of the place, of those present, 
of myself, of what was said, of what was written ; for I had a stream of 
interpretation, an enjoyment of light, a most keen-sighted vision, a most 
distinct view of the subjects treated, such as would be given through the 
eyes from the clearest exhibition of an object." x 

Philo's theory that every power or faculty is due to the grace of 
God would probably have prevented him from becoming insufferably 
conceited by the consciousness of these supernatural visitations. For 
otherwise, in accordance with his own doctrine, the fact of inspiration 
must, I imagine, imply the possession of every kind of excellence. 
The good man is on the borders of the human and divine, connected 
with the former as touching his mortality, with the latter as touch- 
ing his virtue. He is half man, half God. 2 Yet filled as his mind 
is with "divine love," he forgets himself and all things in his 
rapture towards God. 3 He is of that race select, " who live not far 
from God, with the images of immortal beauty before their mind's 
eye, and guided always by heavenly love." * 

In all the stages of development, on all the rungs of the ladder on 
which man mounts higher and higher towards a better or more 
adequate knowledge of the infinite God, there are 
two main attitudes of the mind with which God is Man's attitude 
regarded. These two main attitudes are those with F *° *^| ^ove 
which we are familiar to-day. They are fear and 
love. The passages in Philo's writings which speak of them are 
interesting in themselves, and still more when we silently compare 
them with the notions about the fear and love of God current among 
ourselves both in the Jewish and in the Christian world. We may 
begin by quoting a general statement which sums up a considerable 
portion of his entire doctrine. "God," he says, "demands from us 
nothing hard or complicated, but something very easy and simple. 

1 I. 441 (Drummond, I. 14). » I. 689 ; cf. I. 484 ; II. 452. 

3 I. <S89. * II. 421. 

M M 2 



528 The Jewish Quarterly Revietv. 

It is to love him as a benefactor, or, if that be too much, at least 
to fear him as our Ruler and Lord." 1 It will be remembered that 
Philo conceives the Deity to be called Lord (tcipiot) as Ruler, and God 
as Creator. As a Ruler, with the power that belongs to kings of doing 
both good and harm, he is justly feared ; as Creator he desires and 
wills only the good, both because the cause of creation was the Divine 
goodness, and also because, as we have seen, it is a " law of nature " 
for a maker to care for that which he has made. 

Love is therefore superior to fear. "A life according to God is 
defined by Moses as a life that loves God." 2 It will also be remem- 
bered that Philo connects the principles of Love and Fear with the 
two Biblical statements, " God is like man," and " God is not like 
man " ; for all the exhortations to observe the laws that lead to piety 
are based either upon the fear or the love of God. " To those who do 
not suppose that God possesses either part or passion of man, but honour 
him worthily for himself alone, love is most appropriate, while to all 
others fear." 3 

Fear and love correspond to the Deity's two fundamental powers. 

The many aspects of God are of great value from a human and a 

religious point of view. Not all of us can realise 

The Six Divine ^rm m ^ e same wzy^ so that his manifold nature, or 
rather the manifold forms of its manifestation, give 
something for each of us to ilay hold of and appreciate ; for, as Philo 
observes, with a rare access of gentleness and sympathy, " we have 
neither the same weakness nor the same strength." He identifies the 
six main " powers " of God (of which the Logos is the first) with the 
six cities of refuge. " Very beautiful and well-fenced cities they are," 
he says, " most admirable refuges for souls that are worthy to be saved 
for evermore. Good and gracious is the ordering of them to prepare 
and strengthen men for good hope." Now, of the five powers that 
succeed to the Logos, two are primary and three are secondary. The 
two primary are our old friends the Creative and the Regal or Ruling 
Power, and these are combined into a harmonious unity in the Logos. 
The creative power is elsewhere called Goodness, the regal power, 
Authority. " By goodness God created the universe, by authority he 
rules it, and the Logos unites the two, for by Reason (or thought) God 
is both ruler and good."' 4 Of the three secondary powers, one is a 

1 II. 257. It is strange that Philo does not quote Micah vi. 8. He 
very rarely indeed quotes the Prophets, preferring 1 the most strained and 
ludicrous interpretation of a Pentateuchal passage to the most superb and 
direct passage elsewhere. 

1 rit itiv oip tcard Oebv XJf\v iv Tip dyitirav avrbv opiZtrai Muvaijs. I. 238. 
Cp. I. 228. 

3 I. 283. 4 I. 144. 



Florilegium Philonts. 529 

subdivision of the Creative, namely, the Propitious, through which " the 
Artificer pities and compassionates his own work," while the other two 
are subdivisions of the Eegal, in its more restricted aspect as the 
Legislative Power. They are the Preceptive and the Prohibitive 
Powers, obviously corresponding to and suggested by the positive and 
negative commands of the Pentateuchal law. Omitting the Logos, 
Philo conceives that the five powers represent five aspects in which men 
think of God. The first aspect is the Creative, " for he who realises 
that everything has been created has already ac- 
quired a great good, namely, the knowledge of the With the Second 
Creator, which immediately persuades the creature to ^^YeMid Pear* 
love his Maker." The second aspect follows the correspond. 
Eegal power : " By the control of necessity the 
subject is admonished through fear of the Euler, when he does not, like 
a child, obey his father through love." The third aspect rather 
erratically takes us back to the first power. It is the aspect which 
appeals to the sinner : " For he who is convinced that God is not 
inexorable, but is gracious through the essential kindness of his nature, 
repents of his sin through hope of forgiveness." It is noteworthy 
that the two lowest aspects of God are those which regard him as a 
Lawgiver. The one is the aspect realised by him who finds happiness 
in doing all that God has commanded ; the other by him who, at all 
events, avoids evil by not doing what God has forbidden. 1 

As the Logos is superior even to the creative power, it might be 
thought that there should exist a corresponding aspect superior to 
Love, and this is indicated by Philo himself in 

certain passages, where he states that to the perfect ™* combination 
,. n 6 ,'. , ,, „ , , n , . of Love and Fear. 

worshipper God is both Euler and Creator in one. 

Love and Fear are united together in a nameless combination which 
includes and transcends them. One could make an Hegelian or homi- 
letic application of this idea, and suggest how the contraries of Fear 
and Love are dissolved and reconciled in a higher unity above them. 
" Of bad men the Deity claims to be called Euler and Monarch ; of the 
improving, God ; of the best and most perfect, Lord and God together 
and at once." 2 " He thinks it right that the bad man should bo 
governed as by a Master ; the improving benefited as from ' God,' in 
order that by benefits he may reach perfection ; but that the perfect 
should be ruled as by a Master, and benefited as by God." 3 It is, there- 
fore, necessary to attempt to realise both the "goodness" and the 
" authority " of God ; for then we shall also learn " the union and 
combination of these undefiled powers, the majesty of God's rule 

1 I. 560, 561. 2 I. 581. 

3 I. 582 ; cp. I. 476. The " improving " is o irpoKoitTtav — a term borrowed 
from the philosophy of the Stoics. 



530 The Jewish Quarterly Revietv. 

appearing in the manifestations of his goodness, and his goodness 
appearing in the manifestations of his rule. So shall we acquire the 
virtues born of these conceptions, a love (cpiXocppoo-vw]) and reverence 
(tvXd^eia) of God. Then in prosperity we shall not talk big, remem- 
bering the greatness of God's mighty rule, and in adversity we shall 
not despair, remembering God's gentleness " (Jip,tp6rr)s)} 

But Philo is not always consistent, and sometimes prefers to this 

combination a Love which has cast out or is independent of Fear. 

Jacob's prayer, "Then shall the Lord be my God" 

Loire alone. (Gen. xxviii. 21), Philo interprets to mean : "May 
he no longer display to me the despotism of his 
absolute authority, but the beneficence of his saving power, that 
is gracious to all ; removing from the soul the fear felt towards 
him as to a Master, and implanting the friendship and aifection 
that may be felt to a Benefactor." 3 Again, of Abraham, the lower 
type of character, the Deity is called God and Lord ; of Isaac, the 
highest type, he is only God. " For the one disposition needs the 
care of two powers, rule and beneficence, that through the might of 
the Ruler it may obey his orders, and through his goodness be greatly 
aided. The other disposition needs beneficence only. It cannot be 
bettered by the Power of admonishing Rule (for it possesses the 
good by nature), but through the gifts showered from above, it is good 

and perfect at the start What can be a greater good than to 

obtain pure and unmixed beneficence ? And what can be more wonder- 
ful than the mixture of gift and rule ? Perceiving which, Jacob prayed 
that ' the Lord might become his God,' fqr he desired no longer to fear 
(tv\afiei<T6ai) him as a ruler, but to honour him lovingly as a bene- 
factor " (<ii>j evepyerqv ayamjriK&s Tipav)? 

Thus Philo can be quoted in support of either view : for fear and 
love combined, or for that perfect love which knows honour, but is 
ignorant of fear. 4 

1 I. 144. With Philo's idea that the most perfect attitude of man to- 
wards God is a combination of Love and Fear, may be compared a 
striking sermon of the late Dr. P. F. Frankl on the same subject. Frankl 
contends that it is Judaism alone which maintains this harmonious com- 
bination as contrasted with the one-sided emphasis on Love and on Fear in 
Christianity and in Mohammedanism respectively. (Fest und Gelegenheits- 
Predigten. Berlin, 1888, pp. 191-199.) 

2 I. 342 fin., 343 init. 3 I. 645. 

4 Seneca says (De Benef. IV. 9) : " Deos nemo sanus timet. Furor est 
enim metueri salutaria nee quisquam amat quos timet." I doubt whether 
the second half of this sentence is true. It should, perhaps, be remembered 
that, in the passage quoted above, Philo speaks of the reverence (tli\dj3ua)> 
not of the fear (0o/3oe) of G-od. Now tuAa/3eia in Stoic terminology is the 
opposite of 0o/3of, as x a P« i s the opposite of »)<W?. Diog. L. VII. 11(5. 



Florilegium Phihnis. 531 

It will be noted that Philo associates the love of God with the con- 
ception of him as a Creator. But, as we know, such a conception is 
not the highest. God as the Good creator is still only God as seen in 
his works, or as manifested by his power. The Creative is his greatest 
power — if we put the Logos as a combination of two powers on one side — 
but still a power only, not the pure Being to which the power belongs. 
If love belongs to the realisation of the power, what is the " principle " 
which belongs to the realisation, so far as the human mind can go, 
of the Being who includes the power and transcends it ? Is there any 
attitude towards God which transcends love ? 

We can extract no distinct answer from Philo to this question. But 
in spite of the quotations which I have just given, I hardly think that 
Philo gave as deep and as unselfish a connotation 
to the word love as we do to-day, or as, I believe, Is there any 
was given to it by the mystical Jewish writers of Jjid^wve 

the Middle Ages. Love, to Philo, seems tinged loye? 

with a taint of selfishness. It is exclusively 
suggested by God in his relation to man. Because he has created us 
and taken care of us, because he acts beneficently, mercifully, and 
tenderly towards us, therefore we love him. Our love is dependent on 
what he has done for us, is doing, and will do. But higher than the 
knowledge (and through knowledge the adoration) of God for what he 
has done are the knowledge and adoration of him for what he is. " In 
our holiest moods, when we can detach ourselves from the plurality of 
what he does, and adore him simply for what he is, we contemplate 
him as the one reality." ' The philosopher seeks to know and to realise 
God as he is in himself, over and above and transcending all his aspects 
and manifestations. The mystic knowledge of him, which may in- 
differently be regarded as the supreme result of human thought at its 
highest pitch and moment of development, or as the flowing over of 
the Divine into the human, so that the latter, as a separate, conscious, 
finite mind, is temporarily suspended in its exercise and individuality — 
this mystic knowledge of God does not realise him as Buler or Creator, 
but as Being. It looks away from his works and away from man, and 
seeks communion and rest in the endless and infinite depths of the 
Divine personality, wherein all that is separate and finite is now 
unified, included and summed up. The rapture or ecstasy which attends 
this knowledge may appear to the mystic as a phase of adoration which 
rises even superior to love. Its worship is, at any rate, wholly pure, for 
it has nothing to do with the relation of God to man. 

That something of this sort was in Philo's mind may be gathered 

1 Drummond, II. 93. 



532 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

from the long and interesting passage in which he allegorises the story 
of the three divine " messengers " who appeared to 

repreaenSn of Abraham before his tent : " The s P oken words >" h * 
God. explains, " are symbols of things apprehended in 

intelligence alone. Whenever, then, a soul, as 
it were in midday, has been illumined on all sides by God, and, being 
entirely filled with intelligible light, becomes shadowless with the beams 
that are shed around it, it apprehends a triple representation of one 
subject ; of one [of the three] as actually existing, but of the other two 
as though they were shadows cast from this. Something of a similar 
kind happens, too, in the case of those who live in perceptible light ; 
for there often occur two shadows of bodies at rest or in motion. Let 
no one suppose, however, that the word shadow is used strictly in 
relation to God ; it is merely a misapplication of the term for the clearer 
exhibition of the subject we are explaining, for the reality is not so. 
But, as one standing nearest to the truth would say, the middle one is 
the Father of the universe, who in the sacred Scriptures is called by a 
proper name the Self -existent, and those on each side are the oldest and 
nearest powers of the Self -existent, of which one is called Creative and 
the other Regal. And the Creative is Deity (6e6s, or God), for by this 
he deposited and arranged everything into a cosmos, and the Regal is 
Lord (icvptos), for it is right for that which has made to rule and hold 
sway over that which has been produced. The middle one, then, being 
attended by each of the two powers as by a body-guard, presents to the 
seeing intelligence a mental image or representation (favraaid) now of 
one, and now of three ; of one, whenever the soul, being perfectly 
purified, and having transcended not only the multitudes of numbers, but 
even the duad which adjoins unity, presses on to the idea which is un- 
mingled and uncomplicated, and in itself wanting nothing whatever in 
addition ; but of three, whenever, not yet initiated into the great 
mysteries, it still celebrates its rites in the lesser, and is unable to 
apprehend the Self-existent Being from itself alone without any- 
thing different [from pure being], but apprehends it through its effects 
as either creating or ruling. This, then, is as the proverb runs, ' a 
second voyage,' but none the less partakes of opinion dear to God. But 
the former method does not partake of, but is itself the opinion dear to 
God, or rather it is truth, which is older than opinion and more honour- 
able than all opining." 1 

Philo proceeds to " explain " his statement by saying : " There 
are three classes (rdgeie) of human character, to each of which one of 
the three conceptions of God has been assigned. The best class goes 
with the first, the conception of the Self -existent Being ; the next 

1 All this is the translation of Dr. Drummond, IJ. p. 91. 



Florilegium Philonis. 533 

goes with the conception of him as a Benefactor, in virtue of which 
he is called God ; the third with the conception of him as a Ruler, 
in virtue of which he is called Lord. The noblest 
character serves Him Who Is in all the purity of his The three classes 
absolute Being ; it is attracted by no other thing or of human char- 
aspect, but is solely and intently devoted to the attitude towards 
honour of the one and only Being ; the second is God. 

brought to the knowledge of the Father through his 
Beneficent power ; the third through his Begal power. What I mean is 
this : Among men, when they perceive that people approach them with 
the pretext of friendship for the hope of gain, they look askance and 
avoid them. They fear a feigned flattering and fawning as something 
hurtful and offensive. But God, who cannot be harmed, gladly 
welcomes all who choose to honour him, on whatever ground it be ; 
he thinks it right to dismiss none with contumely, but almost in plain 
words tells those whose souls have ears to hear : ' My highest rewards 
are reserved for those who honour me for myself alone ; the next best 
for those who hope to receive some good, or expect to find an escape 
from punishment ; for even if their service is hireling or selfish, 
nevertheless it moves within the Divine circumference, and does not 
wander without. The reward reserved for those who honour me 
because of myself is to be my friend ; the reward for those who 
honour me for their own needs is less than friendship, but yet con- 
sists in not being regarded as strangers. For I receive him who for 
his own advantage desires to share in my beneficent Power, and him 
too who, to avoid chastisement, supplicates in fear my Power of Lord- 
ship and Rule. For I am well aware that such men will not only not 
become worse, but will actually become better ; by their continuous 
service they attain at last to a pure and simple piety. Even if the 
motives from which men perform their service differ with their 
characters, there is no need to find fault with them, for one end and 
aim is common to them all, the worship of God." ' 

This long quotation implies that the highest attitude towards God, 
which corresponds with the highest conception of him, could perhaps be 
more rightly called Adoration than Love. But it also shows that in the 
wildest onset of his allegorical fervour Philo retained a shrewd power of 
penetration into human motive and character. For a mystic not to 
reject utterly an impure worship of God, but to value it at its proper 
worth, and to realise its possible effects for good, indicates a worldly 
wisdom, in the best sense of the word, of which we might hardly have 
thought that Philo was capable. 

At the same time, he is quite sound and prophetic on the relation 

1 II. 18-20. 



534 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

of outward form to true religion. Not that he wishes to break from 

"forms." On the contrary. He is a strong con- 

Philo on religious servative, in spite of his finding the true meaning of 

snirlt and the ©very ritual command in some wonderful spiritual 

letter. interpretation. The grounds of his conservatism 

are peculiar and interesting. They are introduced 

in the following way : He is enumerating the Divine blessings to 

Abraham, the fourth of which, he says, is good repute (to \uyaki>w\iav, 

Gen. xii. 2). He explains it thus : " If to be good is noble, to seem 

good is profitable. Truth is better than reputation, but happiness 

consists in their union. For there are many thousands [a true 

Philonic exaggeration, which he would be the first to repudiate in 

the next page] who are purely and unselfishly devoted to virtue, and 

admire its native beauty, but who, having no care for their reputation 

among the multitude are much attacked ; though truly good, they 

are thought wicked To whom, then, God has granted both to 

be and to seem good, he is truly happy and truly renowned 
(jxtydkiawiios). And we must have a great care for reputation, as a 
matter of great importance and of much value, for our social and 
bodily life (6 jtera o-a>ftaror (iioi). And almost all can secure it, who 
are well content not to disturb established customs, but diligently 
preserve the constitution of their own country. 1 For there are some who, 
looking upon the written laws as symbols of intellectual things, lay 
great stress on these, but neglect the former. Such men I would blame 
for their levity (efyepeja). For they ought to give good heed to both — 
to the accurate investigation of the unseen meaning, but also to the 
blameless observance of the visible letter. But now as if they were 
living by themselves in a desert, and were souls without bodies, and 
knew nothing of city or village or house or intercourse with men, they 
despise all that seems valuable to the many, and search for bare and 
naked truth as it is in itself. Such people the sacred Scripture teaches 
to give good heed to a good reputation, and to abolish none of those 
customs which greater and more inspired men than we instituted in the 

1 The Conservative and the Reformer may each cite Philo to their own 
advantage. For the former, besides the passage in the text, we have 
I. 393, where it is said that Moses often calls a man young, not referring to 
his age, but to show his disposition, that he loves innovation (vttortpo- 
iroiia). When the Israelites want to "innovate" (ytiortpiZtiv), they are 
given the name of foolish and childish youth (I. 394 ; cp. 395). On the 
other hand, we find him saying, " G-od teaches those who are lovers of old 
and fabulous times, and who do not realise his rapid and timeless power ; 
he urges them to take to heart what is young and growing and flourish- 
ing, that they may not, by being nurtured on old fictions, which the ages 
have handed down to man's deception, hold false opinions, but that, 



Florilegium Phihnis. 635 

past. For because the seventh day teaches us symbolically concerning 
the power of the uncreated God, and the inactivity of the creature, we 
must not therefore abolish its ordinances, so as to light a fire, or till the 
ground, or bear a burden, or prosecute a lawsuit, or demand the restora- 
tion of a deposit, or exact the repayment of a loan, or do any other thing, 
which on week-days is allowed. Because the festivals are symbols of 
spiritual joy and of our gratitude to God, we must not therefore give up 
the fixed assemblies at the proper seasons of the year. Nor because 
circumcision symbolises the excision of all lusts and passions, and the 
destruction of the impious opinion, according to which the mind 
imagines that it is itself capable of production [our old friend, ofycm] 
must we therefore abolish the law of fleshly circumcision. We should 
have to neglect the service of the Temple, and a thousand other things, 
if we were to restrict ourselves only to the allegorical or symbolic sense. 
That sense resembles the soul, the other sense the body ; just as we 
must be careful of the body, as the house of the soul, so must we give 
heed to the letter of the written laws. For only when these are faith- 
fully observed will the inner meaning, of which they are the symbols, 
become more clearly realised, and, at the same time, the blame and 
accusation of the multitude will be avoided." l 

Nevertheless, on the proper relation of ritual to religion Philo is not 
afraid of speaking out. " If a man practises ablutions and purifications, 
but defiles his mind while he cleanses his body ; or 

if, through his wealth, he founds a temple at a large £ he 1 r f lati ?. r '. of 
' 6 , ' ._ , _ , ' , h , ritual to religion. 

outlay and expense ; or if he offers hecatombs and 

sacrifices oxen without number, or adorns the shrine with rich ornaments, 
or gives endless timber and cunningly wrought work, more precious than 
silver or gold — let him none the more be called religious (ev<rel$f)s). 
For he has wandered far from the path of religion, mistaking ritual 
(Bprjo-Ktia) for holiness (n<rtoTr/s), and attempting to bribe the In- 
receiving 1 from G-od, who is ever young and fresh, new and good things 
in all abundance, they may be taught to think nothing old that is with 
him and nothing wholly past, but all begotten and subsisting out of time" 
(1. 178). Again, he makes Lot's wife symbolise custom (awt}9eia), the 
enemy of truth, which, when anyone attempts to lead it forward, lags 
behind, and looks around at its old and familiar ways, and like a lifeless 
pillar of stone, remains behind in their midst " (I. 382). Elsewhere he 
says, " They who have received their notions of G-od's existence rather by 
habit (iOti) than reason, from those who brought them up, are pious by a 
kind of good guess, and their religion is mingled with fear (Seiotdai/ioviy 
ri)j> tvtrifitiav !yx a paS"i'»'H') " (II- 414). 

1 I. 450, 451 ; cp. Friedlander's most able and suggestive brochure, 
Zw EntstelmngsgesehicMe des Christenthums (p. 151), for the religious 
importance of this passage. 



536 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

corruptible, and to flatter him whom none can flatter. God welcomes 
genuine service, and that is the service of a soul that offers the bare and 
simple sacrifice of truth, but from false service, the mere display of 
material wealth, he turns away." ' Elsewhere, he says, " Let those 
who seek to show honour and gratitude to God, cleanse themselves of 
sin, washing away all that defiles life in word and thought and deed. 
For it is folly that while a man is forbidden to enter the Temple unless 
he has washed and cleansed his body, he should pray and sacrifice 
with a soiled and sullied mind. Shall the lifeless body not touch a 
building of lifeless wood and stone, unless it be piously washed and 
purified, and will any man with impure soul, and with no intention to 
repent, dare to approach the most pure God ? 3 Philo is at the most 
laborious, and obviously at the most unsuccessful pains to point out that 
the entire sacrificial system of the Pentateuch is a very network of 
spiritual meanings. " The only true sacrifice is the piety of a God- 
loving soul." 3 " The grateful soul of the wise is the true altar of 
God." 4 "God regards as the true sacrifice, not the animal, but the 
mind and willingness of the worshipper." 5 "God takes no delight, 
even if hecatombs are offered to him. For though all things are his, he 
needs nothing. He takes delight in minds that love him, and in holy 
men, from whom he gladly receives barley cakes and cheapest offerings 
as if they were most precious, and indeed prefers them. And even if 
they bring nothing visible at all, yet, bringing themselves in all the 
fulness of perfected virtue, they offer the fairest sacrifice to God. They 
honour God their Saviour and Benefactor by gratitude and hymns, the 
latter through their vocal organs, the former (without tongue and 
mouth) through the bare soul going forth and pouring out its spiritual 
invocations that the Divine ear alone can hear." 6 

You can only speak of the service of God " with a difference." For 

God, unlike a human master, has no needs. To that Lord you can only 

render the service of a mind that loves him. 7 " It 

The praise j g not poss ible to show true gratitude to God, as ' the 
of God. , F , ° . „ . , 

many suppose, by means of offerings and sacri- 
fices; for the whole world would not be a sufficient temple for his 

' I. 195. 2 I. 273 Jin., 274 init. 

3 II. 151, 241, 666, 680 ; I. 668, 683. 4 II. 255. 

5 Ibid. The teaching of the Hebrew prophets and of the Stoics on this 
subject is identical, and Philo could draw from either. E.g. op. Seneca 
De Bene/. I. 6 ; " Non est benefloium ipsum quod numeratur aut traditur. 
siout ne in viotimis quidem, lioet opimae sint auroque prasfulgeant, deo- 
rum est honor, sed pia ac recta voluntate venerantium. Itaque boni etiam 
farre ac fitilla religiosi sunt, mali rursus non effugiunt impietatem, quam- 
vis aras sanguine multo oruentaverint." 

6 II. 254 (aiiToiiQ Qepovrtc irXripwfia KaXoxdyaOiac TiXiioraTov'). ' I. 202. 



Florilegmm PMlonis. 537 

honour. We must employ praises and hymns, and not even those which 
the created voice can chant, hut those with which the invisible and most 
pure mind may resound in song. There is an old story, invented by the 

sages, and handed down by memory from age to age 

They say that, when God had finished the world, he asked one of the 
angels if aught were wanting on land or in sea, in air or in heaven. 
The angel answered that all was perfect and complete. One thing only 
he desired — speech, to praise God's works, or to recount, rather than to 
praise, the exceeding wonderfulness of all things made, even of the 
smallest and the least. For the due recital of God's works would be 
their most adequate praise, seeing that they needed no addition of orna- 
ment, but possessed in the sincerity of truth the most perfect laud. And 
the Father approved the angel's words, and not long afterwards ap- 
peared the race gifted with the muses and with song. This is the 
ancient story ; and, in accord with it, I say that it is God's peculiar work 
to benefit, and the creatures' work to give him thanks. They can offer 
him no other return ; for anything that they might desire to give him 
in requital for what they have received is the property, not of him who 
would give, but of the Creator of all. Realising, then, that we can 
make but one contribution to the honour of God, gratitude in thanks- 
giving, let us offer this always and everywhere, by speech and by 
writing, and let us never make an end of his praise, both in poems and 
in prose. So shall the Creator and his world be honoured with song and 
without it, and in every form of music and of speech ; for God, as 
some one said, is the noblest of causes, the world the most perfect of 
all created things." ' 

One more passage on this subject is, perhaps, worthy of quotation. 
It is a parallel to a famous saying of Kant : " Of the works of creation 
two things are holy — heaven, which immortal and 
blessed natures pervade, and the mind of man, Heaven and 
which is a fragment of the Divine. . . . Not un- 
reasonably, methinks, have both of them been called praiseworthy ; for it 
is these two, heaven and mind, which are able to show forth (enrpaycpbe iv) 
praises and hymns which bless and honour the Father and Creator. 
Man has received this glorious distinction above all other animals to 
worship God, and heaven is ever making melody with the perfect 
harmony and music of the movements of the spheres. If the sound 
thereof could reach our ears, ungovernable love would overcome us, wild 
desires and insatiable yearnings. We should refrain from all life's 
necessaries, and be nourished no longer as mortals by food and drink 
through our throats, but, like those about to become immortal, through 
our ears by inspired strains of perfect music." 2 

1 I. 348. 5 I. 625, 626 wit. 



538 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

With this high conception of God's worship, there runs in Philo's 

philosophy an equally high conception of faith. It has been carefully 

analysed by Schlatter in his long-winded book Der 

Philo i s Glaube im neuen Testament (Leiden, 1885). 1 He 

conception » 

of Faith. points out well that, to Philo, faith is not the condi- 

tion or beginning of virtue, but its goal. In its 
fulness it is one of the characteristics of the perfect man. 2 A believing 
sinner is to Philo a contradiction in terms. Secondly, faith is not op- 
posed to knowledge : the more you know an object the more you can 
trust it. 3 And faith involves trust. Thirdly, faith in the Creator implies, 
as its correlative, unfaith in the creation (yeVeo-is) ; faith in God implies 
unfaith in self, mans is the opposite of ofy<r«s, a conception to which all 
other things in Philo's ethical and religious philosophy seem to return. 
A few quotations will explain Philo's doctrine more clearly. 

Faith is the queen of the virtues. It is the special quality and merit 
of the patriarch Abraham, and the famous verse in Genesis, " And he 
believed in God, and God counted it to him for righteousness," is as 
great a favourite with Philo as with Paul. That it was counted as 
righteousness is no marvel to Philo, for it is no easy thing and implies 
the very virtues which constitute in themselves, to our philosopher, the 
essence of righteousness. " The only true and firm good is faith in God. 
Faith is the comfort of life, the fulfilment of good hope, the dearth of 
evil, the fulness of good, the abandonment of misfortune, the know- 
ledge of piety, the portion of happiness, the improvement of the soul 
that is stayed upon the Cause of all, who can do everything, but wills to 
do the best." All " external and sensible things " are slippery and un- 
trustworthy. " It is most true to say that he who believes in them dis- 
believes in God, while he who disbelieves in them believes in him." * 
Confidence and faith are closely identified. He asks, " How can any- 
one believe in God ? " The answer is : If he learns that all other things 
are unstable, and that God alone is stable (aTperrros). 5 Faith in God 
implies mistrust in the created and untrustworthy world. 6 For the only 
absolutely trustworthy (moras) Being is God. Next to him would come 
? friend of God, like Moses, who was found faithful (m<rr6s) in all God's 
house. 7 Abraham, who first abandoned a false pride (rvfyos) in the 
power and validity of man's unassisted senses and mind, and " passed 
over " to " truth," received faith as the prize of virtue. " He who 

1 Pp. 83-105. Schlatter is, of course, anxious to prove that Philo's con- 
ception of faith is much lower than Paul's, and he falls into, at least, 
one serious error. 

2 Schlatter, p. 91. 3 Ibid., p. 92. 
4 II. 39. * I. 82 fin. 

" i) irpbQ tov Oibv ir'wriQ, t) irpbi; rb yevvrfriv <*jr«rr/a. L 609, 
* I. 128 in.it 



Florikgium Phibnis. 539 

truly believes and trusts in God, mistrusts all things that are created 
and corruptible, beginning with those powers within which are wont 
to be puffed up, his reason and his sense." l As faith is the prize, so 
too, it may be, as it were, given back to God its giver, as a most fair 
and blameless offering. 3 It is expressed in gratitude, not for what is 
passed, but for all that lies hidden in the future. Faith is shown in 
trust. 3 The fullest faith, the most entire confidence, nitms creates 
irapprjo-la. 4 But the confidence is tempered with respect (evkafiela). 6 
Faith brings men near to God ; they cleave to him through piety and 
faith. 6 Faith, then, is the " most perfect virtue." Nor was it unwisely 
added that Abraham's faith was reckoned to him as righteousness, for 
true faith is no easy thing. "It is not easy to believe in God alone 
without the addition of aught beside, because of our affinity to those 
mortal things to which we are bound fast. They persuade us to trust 
in money and reputation and power and friends, and in health and 
strength of body, and in many other things ; to cleanse our minds of 
these ; to distrust the created world, which is wholly untrustworthy ; to 
trust in God alone, who is solely and truly to be trusted — this is the work 
of a great and heavenly intelligence, which is no longer ensnared and 
enticed by any mortal thing." 7 But this faith, which leads men to love 
God and obey him and cleave to him abidingly, is not, as I said before, 
opposed to knowledge. On the contrary, it involves, as Schlatter points 
out, a distinctly intellectual element. The better you know God — and 
this is the object of all philosophy — the better you can believe in 
him. When Moses asked God to reveal to him the fulness of his nature, 
the granting of his request was impossible. But the request itself, so far 
from implying any want of faith in the asker, was prompted by a desire 
to establish it beyond the possibility of doubt. 8 The difficulty which we 
see here was not perceived by Philo. Because we do not fully under- 
stand God, therefore we believe in him. But, according to Philo, we 
only so far believe in him. as we understand him. That which we 
realise, we trust. Abraham who, first of men, possessed a stable and 
secure conception (vrroKrf^ns) of God was also the first man who 
believed in him. 9 

If the service of God brings with it a perfect faith, it also includes 
a perfect freedom. The famous phrase of the great Collect, " In whose 
service is perfect freedom," would be spoken from 
the heart of Philo. And it is curious to find in him The service of 
a fusion of the Stoic conception of freedom as the SLlp? 

prerogative of the wise man with the religious idea 

1 II. 412. 2 I. 154. 3 I. 442 ; op. 409. 

4 I. 475, 339 ; Schlatter, p. 77. s I. 477. 

6 I. 456. 7 I. 485. 8 I. 228. » II. 442. 



540 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

of freedom as rooted in complete dependence upon God. ' It is also 
interesting to see how he works in the conception with his orthodox 
Judaism, according to which virtue so largely consists in the fulfilment 
of a series of commands. 

The canon is laid down quite briefly in the following question and 
answer : " What is the surest freedom ? The service of the only and 
wise God." 2 Such a service brings with it a peculiar joy and 
confidence. 3 " Nothing so completely liberates the mind as to become 
a servant and suppliant of God." " For God is at once gracious, even 
without supplication, to those who humble and abase themselves, and 
are not puffed up by pride and self-conceit (otrja-ts). This is deliverance ; 
this entire freedom of the soul." 4 True freedom is the opposite of 
ofycrty, to which by a side-wind we once more return. 

The perfect man needs no command from without to do the good. 
But as the laws of the Pentateuch are the expression of absolute wisdom, 
the perfect man fulfils them by the inner law of his own being. In 
this way the antinomy is solved. " The perfect man is impelled by 
himself to virtuous deeds ; the man under training (doTorrqr) is impelled 
to them by reason, which suggests to him what he ought to do." 5 
Alluding to the verse in Genesis, where it says that Abraham kept 
" God's commandments, statutes, and laws," Philo observes that he was 
not taught to do so by books, but moved thereto by the unwritten law 
of his own nature. And he ends his treatise on the life of Abraham 
thus : " Such was the life of the founder and captain of the nation — a 
life, as some will say, according to law, but, as my argument has proved, 
itself a law and unwritten ordinance." 6 

Again, the service of God is sought for itself, and its rewards are 

spiritual. It will be remembered that the reward of friendship is 

reserved for those who worship God for his own 

God is7ts°ow n sake - 7 " The good man seeks the da y f or the da y' s 

reward. sake > % nt for light's sake, and the good for the 

sake of the good and for no other thing. For this 

is the Divine Law, to honour virtue for itself." 8 The name of Issachar 

is a symbol of the reward which is given for noble deeds ; but perhaps, 

Philo adds, " The deed itself is its own complete reward." 9 The three 

1 Seneca also says : " In regno nati sumus : deo parere libertas est." 
Be Vita, Beata XV. fin. 

2 I. 419. * I. 474. * I. 534 fin. 

5 I. 115 fin. ; cp. I. 62 : "The perfect man has no need of command, 
prohibition, or exhortation." • II. 40. 

' II. 20. 8 I. 120. 

9 I. 663. Cp. Epictetus Biss. III. 24-51. eira9\ov ovv oWev ; ai Si 
Z>)thq iiraBXov dvSpt aya9<fi fitXZoy tov xa\d irpdrTuv ; cp. Seneca, Be 
Benef. iv. 12, 



Florilegium Thilonis. 541 

great spiritual " prizes " are faith, pure joy, and the vision of God. 1 
In one of his essays upon the Ten Commandments he pauses at the end 
of his exposition of the fifth "word" to say: "The punishments 
which attend the transgression of the first five commandments have 
been clearly stated. But the rewards which attend their observance, 
though the law has not mentioned them in definite enactment, have 
been indicated metaphorically. Not to think there are ' other Gods,' 
not to make idols, not to swear falsely, need no external reward. The 
mere practice of these commands is itself a complete and most per- 
fect guerdon. For what could delight a lover of truth more than to 
cleave to the one God and to be devoted to his service purely and 

without guile ? For wisdom is the prize of wisdom, and 

justice and all the other virtues are their own rewards. And truth, the 
leader and the fairest of the virtues (o<r«dn;res), is still more its own 
object and its own reward, for it gives bliss to those who have it, and to 
their children and descendants after them a well-being that cannot be 

taken away Similarly let him who honours his parents not seek 

any further reward. For if he reflect he will find in the honouring the 
reward." But suddenly, as it were, remembering the letter of the 
Decalogue in this particular command, Philo makes this curious qualifi- 
cation to his own doctrine. " Nevertheless, since the fifth commandment 
is less great than the first four, for they are concerned with what is 
Divine, but this commandment with what is mortal," God has added 
to it a prize. The more glorious the subject-matter of a command, the 
less need for external reward. 2 

With two or three more characteristics of Philo's conception of the 
highest life, this Florilegium, already over long and I fear tediously 
diffuse, may be brought to a close. 

It is at once Hebraic and Hellenic that the good life should be hopeful. 
To Philo hope is the seed of which faith is the fruit. It, therefore, 
occupies a lower stage. Hope is the most charac- 
teristic quality of the human soul. Man is the only Hope. 
creature who is efleXjrtj. The definition of our com- 
posite nature is a mortal and rational animal, but Moses' definition of 
man is " that disposition (Sid&tris) of a living soul which hopes in the 
true God. For the true birth of man was from the moment when this 
hope began. For he who has no hope in God, has no share in rational 
nature." 3 " Hope has been set by nature as a doorkeeper at the gates 
of the queenly virtues within ; no man may approach them who has not 
done homage to hope." 4 In another long panegyric on hope it is called 
" the fountain of all lives " (n irrjyr) t&v /3/cov), the stimulus to merchant 

1 II. 412. * De Parentibus Colendis, chap. xi. 

3 I. 218. * II. 3. 

VOL. VII. N N 



542 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

and sailor and statesman and athlete alike ; and, as its highest praise, it 
is said to induce the lovers of virtue to study philosophy, " rightly 
deeming that they will thereby perceive the true nature of all that is, 
and will accomplish whatever may tend to the consummate union of both 
the ' practical ' and the ' contemplative' life, whereto if a man attains he is 
straightway blessed." 1 Holy and praiseworthy is the man of good 
hopes : ayios 8e ral eiralveTos 6 eiieknis? 

A second characteristic of the perfect nature on which Philo lays 
great and frequent stress, is typified and symbolised in Isaac. It is joy. 
Laughter is the meaning of Isaac's name, and joy is 
Joy. his peculiar grace. Isaac represents that highest 

virtue, which is given by nature without a struggle, 
and its " prize " is joy. His name is the emblem of his mind. For 
" laughter " is the bodily emblem of the invisible joy of the mind. 
Laughter is the ideal (Ju8id6eTos) son of God. Joy is the best and fairest 
of the happy states by which the soul is wholly filled with cheerfulness, 
and rejoices in God the Father and Creator of all. 3 Joy differs toto 
ccelo from pleasure. 4 " True and genuine joy (xapa) i g only found in the 
virtues of the soul. The wise man rejoices only in himself, not in his 
environment. But what is ' in himself ' are the virtues of the mind, of 
which it is proper to be proud ; his environment is his bodily health or 
his riches, to boast of which is not permissible." s Joy, he elsewhere 
says, " has this peculiar quality. Other good things have their own 
activity, but joy is a good both common to others and peculiar to itself, 
for joy is superadded to all other good things." 6 

Philo makes a most characteristic use of a verse in Genesis where, at 
the promise of Isaac's birth, Abraham is said " to fall upon his face and 
laugh." " He fell not from God, but from himself. He stood near to 
the changeless God : he fell from his self-conceit." 7 " It was indeed 
natural that his mind should have been swollen and raised up by such a 
promise. But Abraham, convicting us who are wont to boast at trifles, 
' fell on his face and laughed in his soul.' His face was solemn, but he 
smiled in his mind, where great and unmixed joy had come to dwell. 
And every wise man who receives a good greater than he had anticipated 

1 II. 410. 2 II. 3. 3 II. 413 ; I. 598, 215. 

4 It would, perhaps, be better to translate rjSovtj by " lust." Cp. Seneca 
Ep. LX. ad fin. : Craudium hoc (i.e., of the wise man) non nascitur nisi 
ex virtutum conscientia. Kon potest gaudere nisi fortis, nisi Justus, nisi 
temperans. 

5 I. 217. Cp. I. 130. A momentary slip. To boast of the virtues of 
one's mind is surely rank oir/ais. Philo probably followed a Stoic model 
too closely. 

' I. 104. One is reminded of Aristotle's description of pleasure as 
kwiyivoftivov ri riXog. ' I. 605. 



Florikgium Philonis. 543 

will, like Abraham, fall down and laugh together. That he falls down is 
a proof of his humility, in that he despairs of his own mortal nothingness ; 
that he laughs is a confirmation of his piety, in that he regards 
God as the cause of every good and gracious thing. Let the 
creature then fall down and be sad of face in accordance with his 
nature ; for of himself he is unstable and insecure. But let him be 
raised up again by God and laugh. For God alone is his support and 
his joy." > 

A third — and for us the last — characteristic of the noble life is peace. 
For true peace is the prerogative of God and of the worshipper of God. 
"No man can be at peace who does not truly 
serve the only Being that is wholly exempt from Peace. 

war and abides for ever in eternal peace. " J 
" Peace is the leader of the divine powers, so that the sight of peace 
and the sight of God are one and the same, for God alone is true and 
veritable peace, but all creation is constant war." 3 True peace is, there- 
fore, internal, the archetype of outward peace as between State and 
State. 4 No man can bestow it, for it is a divine work. 5 Rest in God 
and so secure it. 6 

It is on these high generalities of the ideal life, that Philo is wont 
to dwell, and in these he most excels ; in ethics neither student nor 
preacher will gather much from his pages. Some 
of his few good things in this department are to be Forgiveness, 
found in the Fragments, but the genuineness of all 
of them is not above suspicion. 7 I quote two or three, on Forgiveness. 
" If you ask pardon for your sins, do you also forgive those who have 
trespassed against you. For remission is granted for remission, and 
reconcilement with your slave secures deliveranoe from the divine 
anger." 8 " Pardon is wont to beget repentance." 9 " Behave to your 
servants as you pray that God may behave to you. For as we hear 
them, so shall we be heard, and as we regard them so shall we be 
regarded. Let us then show pity for pity, so that we may receive back 
like for like." 10 

*' I. 602. 2 I. 368. s I. 692. * I. 678. 

5 II. 129, 671. Epictetus, too, speaks of the higher peace : o&x' «kij- 
pvyn'tvrtv vtco Kaioapos, d\\' virb row 6eov KiKtiQvyptvqv did rov \6yov. 
Diss. III. 13, 12. 6 I. 572. 

7 As Dr. Drummond kindly pointed out to me, the very "Johan- 
nine" fragment, II. 649 Jin,., is doubtful, because where St. John says 
Koafiog, Philo says ykvt<ri£. It runs : dprixavov ovvvirdpxtiv tijv rrfjOQ 
Koaiiov dyi-iriyv ry irpoc tov 8eov dydiry, <!>£ dfitjxavov avwirdi>x><v 
o'XX^Xoit <j>u>g ttal okotoq. But, on the other hand, compare Rendel 
Harris's Fragments, p. 7. 8 II. 670. 

9 II. 672, avyyvii/iij utrdvoiav iriipVKt yivvav. ,0 II. 672 Wit. 

N N 2 



544 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

A careful and thorough student of Philo could probably put together 
a long list of striking sayings — happy oases in wastes of rhetoric. 1 
will only, however, mention two or three of them in haphazard order 
It would be interesting to find out how many are original. 

He speaks of the mind as " the soul of the soul " ; of love as " the 
guide of wisdom" ; of folly as " an immortal evil, which is always 

dying, but is never dead." l " Into the mouth there 
Happy phrases, enter food and drink, the perishable food of a 

perishable body ; out of it issue words, immortal 
laws of an immortal soul, by which rational life is guided." 3 He bids 
us lead the mind as up a " flight of stairs " to the Cause of all, 3 and 
reminds us* that we may be aided by a threefold light " the memory of 
the past, the active sense of the present, and the hope of the future." 4 
" It is not the possessions of the wicked, but all that he lacks, which are 
the glory and abundance of the good." 5 "This is the definition of 
greatness, to be near to God, or near to that to which God is near." 6 

It is not the purpose of this Florilegium to say anything of Philo 
from a distinctively Jewish point of view, or to quote any passages 
from his works dealing specifically with the Jewish religion and race. 
On this subject he has his views and his value ; but his real importance 
lies elsewhere. Some noteworthy conceptions and facts may, however, 
be gained from him even here. For example : the notion of the 
Jewish race as the priesthood for humanity (IL 15, 104) ; the wide 
diffusion of their laws (IL 127, 141) ; the worship in the Temple and in 
the synagogues (II. 223, 168) ; the observance of the Sabbath 
(II. 282, 630). One of the most interesting passages is that in which 
he speaks of the relation of the Jews to the countries in which they 
dwell. It is highly coloured for the occasion, but even in Philo's age 
it was probably not without many grains of truth. " One country cannot 
contain all the Jews because of their large number ; for which reason 
they are spread over most parts of Asia and Europe, both on the mainland 
and on islands. They regard Jerusalem, in which lies the Holy Temple 
of the Most High God, as their mother city ; but the various countries 
in which their fathers, grandfathers and ancestors have dwelt they 
regard as their fatherlands, for in them they were born and bred." r 

Most suggestive and valuable of all is his treatment 
The highest f proselytism. At the close of my article on the 

comSon faith- Fourth Gos P el ( J - Q- R -> October . 1894 ) I q«°ted his 
fine saying on the higher kinship which transcends 

1 vovv, ^/vxrJQ riva if/vxtiv, I. 15 ; iptori ao<piaQ woStiytTovvn, I. 16 ; xaicbv 
dOdvarov i<mv d<j>oavvq, rr\v jx\v Kara to riOvdvai TtXtvrrjv ov\ viro/ievovaa, 
rt)v Si kcitA to dwo9vr)o-Kuv Trdvra hvStxofisvi) tov aiiiva, I. 225 init. 

a I. 29, based on Plato, Timceus, 75 E, which Philo refers to. 

3 I. 247 init. * II. 460. 5 I. 548. 6 I. 445 init. ' II. 524. 



Florilegium Philoms. 545 

the kinship of blood. No less fine is the following :— "Eora) yap fjplv pla 
oltmorrjs <a\ (fiiKlas tv o-vpfio\ov, f/ irpos 6eav apecrxeia koi to navra \eyeiv 
re Kal irpdrreiv virep evo-efielas- 1 " Let there be one bond of affection 
and one password of friendship, devotion to God, making piety the 
motive of every word and deed." 2 And this : ^'iKrpov yap Avvo-ipanaTov 
Kal deo-pos SXvtos evvoias evwTiKtjs, y tov evAr deov riprj. " For the most 
potent love charm and the indissoluble bond of good-will that makes 
for unity, is the worship of the one Grod." 3 

* * * « * «s « 

There shall be no moral to wind up my Florilegium. Kal pot Sokovviv 
ot paSovres Xeyctu pepadrjKevai na\ rjovxatJEiv, Trjs avTtjs dvvdpeas irtpi- 



iroiav(Tt]S iKarepov. 1 



C. G. MONTEFIOEB. 



1 Cp. II. 219, 258, 259, 325, 362, 365, 392, 405, 406, 433, 438 fin., 677. 
The treatise, De Nobilitate, according to Massebieau, should follow imme- 
diately on the De Pmnitentia. "Dans ce traite, si etonnant de la part 
d'un Juif, Philon s'eleve (avec une energie qui rappelle le mot de Jean 
Baptiste a ceux qui se glorifiaient d'avoir Abraham pour pere), contre 
ceux de ses concitoyens qui pretendaient que la naissance des prose- 
lytes les empechait, quelle que f ut d'ailleurs leur virtu d'avoir part aux 
privileges du peuple du Dieu." — Le Classement des (Euvres de Philon, 
p. 53. « II. 259. 

3 II. 219 (reading, with Mangey, ivuriKrjg for MS. ipiaTixijs). 

4 I. 211. 

[I desire to mention my great indebtedness to my friend Mr. P. E. 
Matheson, Fellow of New College, Oxford, for revising the whole of 
this essay both in the MS. and in proof.]