Seekers after God eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about Seekers after God.
to adopt the brutal expedient of enforcing confession by the exercise of torture.  If Seneca defended the murder of Agrippina, Bacon blackened the character of Essex.  “What I would I do not; but the thing that I would not, that I do,” might be the motto for many a confession of the sins of genius; and Seneca need not blush if we compare him with men who were his equals in intellectual power, but whose “means of grace,” whose privileges, whose knowledge of the truth, were infinitely higher than his own.  Let the noble constancy of his death shed a light over his memory which may dissipate something of those dark shades which rest on portions of his history.  We think of Abelard, humble, silent, patient, God-fearing, tended by the kindly-hearted Peter in the peaceful gardens of Clugny; we think of Bacon, neglected, broken, and despised, dying of the chill caught in a philosophical experiment and leaving his memory to the judgment of posterity; let us think of Seneca, quietly yielding to his destiny without a murmur, cheering the constancy of the mourners round him during the long agonies of his enforced suicide and dictating some of the purest utterances of Pagan wisdom almost with his latest breath.  The language of his great contemporary, the Apostle St. Paul, will best help us to understand his position.  He was one of those who was seeking the Lord, if haply he might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us:  for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.



In the spring of the year 61, not long after the time when the murder of Agrippina, and Seneca’s justifications of it, had been absorbing the attention of the Roman world, there disembarked at Puteoli a troop of prisoners, whom the Procurator of Judaea had sent to Rome under the charge of a centurion.  Walking among them, chained and weary, but affectionately tended by two younger companions,[38] and treated with profound respect by little deputations of friends who met him at Appii Forum and the Three Taverns, was a man of mean presence and weather-beaten aspect, who was handed over like the rest to the charge of Burrus, the Praefect of the Praetorian Guards.  Learning from the letters of the Jewish Procurator that the prisoner had been guilty of no serious offence,[39] but had used his privilege of Roman citizenship to appeal to Caesar for protection against the infuriated malice of his co-religionists—­possibly also having heard from the centurion Julius some remarkable facts about his behaviour and history—­Burrus allowed him, pending the hearing of his appeal, to live in his own hired apartments.[40] This lodging was in all probability in that quarter of the city opposite the island in the Tiber, which corresponds to the modern Trastevere.  It was the resort of the very lowest and meanest of the populace—­that promiscuous jumble of all nations which makes Tacitus

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Seekers after God from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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