It is ignorance which leads to profanation. Men ridicule what they do not properly understand. Alcibiades was drunk when he ventured to touch what his countrymen deemed sacred. The undercurrent of this world is set toward one goal; and inside of human credulity—call it human weakness, if you please—is a power almost infinite, a holy faith capable of apprehending the supremest truths of all Existence. The veriest dreams of life, pertaining as they do to “the minor mystery of death,” have in them more than external fact can reach or explain; and Myth, however much she is proved to be a child of Earth, is also received among men as the child of Heaven. The Cinder-Wench of the ashes will become the Cinderella of the Palace, and be wedded to the King’s Son.
During Iamblichus' life, the depth and sublimity of his writing and discourse attracted a multitude of associates and disciples from all parts of the world. The Emperor Julian wrote of him, "that he was posterior indeed in time, but not in genius, to Plato," and all the Platonists who succeeded him honored him with the epithet of "divine."
Iamblichus' account of the life of Pythagoras begins with the great philosopher's birth on the island of Samos, his youth, and his wide renown in Greece. It briefly covers his early travels and his studies with the philosophers Anaximander and Thales, his twenty-two years of instruction in the temples of Egypt, and his initiation into the Egyptian and Babylonian mysteries. The later life and work of Pythagoras are richly elaborated, with humorous and profound anecdotes illustrating his philosophy and providing a unique view of community life under his tutelage in Crotona.
Included are excerpts from his teachings on harmonic science, dietetic medicine, friendship, temperance, politics, parenthood, the soul's former lives and many other topics. The book also contains substantial sections on the Fragments of the Ethical Writings (the work of very early Pythagoreans) and the Pythagoric Sentences.
The following articles appear in this spring/summer 2014-2015 edition:
1. Profiting from the Puritans for Devotional Reading – Joel Beeke
2. Dead Preaching is Often the Cause of a People’s Deadness – William Fenner
3. A Discourse on Thankfulness – Thomas Goodwin
4. Perilous Times in the Last Days – Thomas Boston
5. A Wedding Sermon – Thomas Taylor.