These evil tendencies in the popular presentation of Christianity undoubtedly begot in Shaftesbury's mind a certain amount of repugnance and contempt to some of the doctrines of Christianity itself; and, cultivating, almost of set purpose, his sense of the ridiculous, he was too apt to assume towards such doctrines and their teachers a tone of raillery.
Yet the influence of Neoplatonism on the history of our ethical culture is immeasurable, above all because it begot the consciousness that the only blessedness which can satisfy the heart must be sought higher even than the sphere of reason.
The God of light, with his syzygy, " the spirit of his right hand," now begot the primal man, and sent him, equipped with the five pure elements, to fight against Satan.
"The moral virtues are the political offspring which flattery begot upon pride."
If he doubts of this let him go to Egypt, and there he will find the fields swarming with mice, begot of the mud of Nylus, to the great calamity of the inhabitants."