The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 3,418 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
he would not be thoroughly pleased and satisfied if that God, to whom he was going to address himself, should promise to make him the Sovereign of the whole Earth? Alcibiades answers, That he should doubtless look upon such a Promise as the greatest Favour that he could bestow upon him. Socrates then asks him, If after [receiving [1]] this great Favour he would be content[ed] to lose his Life? or if he would receive it though he was sure he should make an ill Use of it?  To both which Questions Alcibiades answers in the Negative.  Socrates then shews him, from the Examples of others, how these might very probably be the Effects of such a Blessing.  He then adds, That other reputed Pieces of Good-fortune, as that of having a Son, or procuring the highest Post in a Government, are subject to the like fatal Consequences; which nevertheless, says he, Men ardently desire, and would not fail to pray for, if they thought their Prayers might be effectual for the obtaining of them.  Having established this great Point, That all the most apparent Blessings in this Life are obnoxious to such dreadful Consequences, and that no Man knows what in its Events would prove to him a Blessing or a Curse, he teaches Alcibiades after what manner he ought to pray.

In the first Place, he recommends to him, as the Model of his Devotions, a short Prayer, which a Greek Poet composed for the Use of his Friends, in the following Words; O Jupiter, give us those Things which are good for us, whether they are such Things as we pray for, or such Things as we do not pray for:  and remove from us those Things which are hurtful, though they are such Things as we pray for.

In the second Place, that his Disciple may ask such Things as are expedient for him, he shews him, that it is absolutely necessary to apply himself to the Study of true Wisdom, and to the Knowledge of that which is his chief Good, and the most suitable to the Excellency of his Nature.

In the third and last Place he informs him, that the best Method he could make use of to draw down Blessings upon himself, and to render his Prayers acceptable, would be to live in a constant Practice of his Duty towards the Gods, and towards Men.  Under this Head he very much recommends a Form of Prayer the Lacedemonians made use of, in which they petition the Gods, to give them all good Things so long as they were virtuous.  Under this Head likewise he gives a very remarkable Account of an Oracle to the following Purpose.

When the Athenians in the War with the Lacedemonians received many Defeats both by Sea and Land, they sent a Message to the Oracle of Jupiter Ammon, to ask the Reason why they who erected so many Temples to the Gods, and adorned them with such costly Offerings; why they who had instituted so many Festivals, and accompanied them with such Pomps and Ceremonies; in short, why they who had slain so many Hecatombs at

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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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