Epictetus. (c.A.D. 50c.A.D. 138). The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.
The Harvard Classics. 190914.
Friend, lay hold with a desperate grasp, ere it is too late, on Freedom, on Tranquillity, on Greatness of soul! Lift up thy head, as one escaped from slavery; dare to look up to God, and say:Deal with me henceforth as Thou wilt; Thou and I are of one mind. I am Thine: I refuse nothing that seemeth good to Thee; lead on whither Thou wilt; clothe me in what garb Thou pleasest; wilt Thou have me a ruler or a subjectat home or in exilepoor or rich? All these things will I justify unto men for Thee. I will show the true nature of each .
Who would Hercules have been had he loitered at home? no Hercules, but Eurystheus. And in his wanderings through the world how many friends and comrades did he find? but nothing dearer to him than God. Wherefore he was believed to be Gods son, as indeed he was. So then in obedience to Him, he went about delivering the earth from injustice and lawlessness.
But thou art not Hercules, thou sayest, and canst not deliver others from their iniquitynot even Theseus, to deliver the soil of Attica from its monsters? Purge away thine own, cast forth thencefrom thine own mind, not robbers and monsters, but Fear, Desire, Envy, Malignity, Avarice, Effeminacy, Intemperance. And these may not be cast out, except by looking to God alone, by fixing thy affections on Him only, and by consecrating thyself to His commands. If thou choosest aught else, with sighs and groans thou wilt be forced to follow a Might greater than thine own, ever seeking Tranquillity without, and never able to attain unto her. For thou seekest her where she is not to be found; and where she is, there thou seekest her not!