His political and economical pamphlets are almost unmatched as clear presentations of the views of their writer.
It is vain, therefore, to look for clearly defined and systematic presentations of the idea among ancient writers.
For a given degree of opposition this burden will be shared between the conflicting presentations in the inverse ratio of their strength.
It should be noticed that this (very common) psychological interpretation of "conception" differs from the metaphysical or general philosophical definition given above, in so far as it includes mental presentations in which the universal is not specifically distinguished from the particulars.
But, generally speaking, there was no heart in preaching, sermons were unimpassioned, stilted and formal presentations of ethics and apologetics, seldom delivered extempore.