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brought up the rear, while twenty-five or thirty outriders

source:qsjtime:2023-11-30 02:13:39

"They that think that the Moon is a goddess are in error. We behold her moving and turning by law, and passing from Sign to Sign, setting and rising for the use of men, lesser than the sun, waxing and waning, suffering eclipse. Wherefore we do not consider that the Moon is a goddess, but only the work of God.

brought up the rear, while twenty-five or thirty outriders

"They that think that Man is a god are in error. We see man moving by law, growing up, and waxing old, even against his will. Now he rejoiceth, now he grieveth, requiring meat and drink and raiment. Besides he is passionate, envious, lustful, fickle, and full of failings: and he perisheth in many a way, by the elements, by wild beasts, and by the death that ever awaiteth him. So Man cannot be a god, but only the work of God. Great then is the error that the Chaldeans have erred in following their own lusts; for they worship corruptible elements and dead images, neither do they perceive that they are making gods of these.

brought up the rear, while twenty-five or thirty outriders

"Now come we to the Greeks that we may see whether they have any understanding concerning God. The Greeks, then, professing themselves to be wise, fell into greater folly than the Chaldeans, alleging the existence of many gods, some male, others female, creators of all passions and sins of every kind. Wherefore the Greeks, O king, introduced an absurd, foolish and ungodly fashion of talk, calling them gods that were not, according to their own evil passions; that, having these gods for advocates of their wickedness, they might commit adultery, theft, murder and all manner of iniquity. For if their gods did so, how should they not themselves do the like? Therefore from these practices of error it came to pass that men suffered frequent wars and slaughters and cruel captivities. But if now we choose to pass in review each one of these gods, what a strange sight shalt thou see!

brought up the rear, while twenty-five or thirty outriders

"First and foremost they introduce the god whom they call Kronos, and to him they sacrifice their own children, to him who had many sons by Rhea, and in a fit of madness ate his own children. And they say that Zeus cut off his privy parts, and cast them into the sea, whence, as fable telleth, was born Aphrodite. So Zeus bound his own father, and cast him into Tartarus. Dost thou mark the delusion and lasciviousness that they allege against their gods? Is it possible then that one who was prisoner and mutilated should be a god? What folly? What man in his senses could admit it?

"Next they introduce Zeus, who, they say, became king of the gods, and would take the shape of animals, that he might defile mortal women. They show him transformed into a bull, for Europa; into gold, for Danae; into a swan, for Leda; into a satyr, for Antiope; and into a thunder-bolt, for Semele. Then of these were born many children, Dionysus, Zethus, Amphion, Herakles, Apollo, Artemis, Perseus, Castor, Helen, Polydeukes, Minos, Rhadamanthos, Sarpedon, and the nine daughters whom they call the Muses.

"In like manner they introduce the story of Ganymede. And so befel it, O king, that men imitated all these things, and became adulterers, and defilers of themselves with mankind, and doers of other monstrous deeds, in imitation of their god. How then can an adulterer, one that defileth himself by unnatural lust, a slayer of his father be a god?

"With Zeus also they represent one Hephaestus as a god, and him lame, holding hammer and fire-tongs, and working as a copper- smith for hire. So it appeareth that he is needy. But it is impossible for one who is lame and wanteth men's aid to be a God.

"After him, they represent as a god Hermes, a lusty fellow, a thief, and a covetous, a sorcerer, bowlegged, and an interpreter of speech. It is impossible for such an one to be a God.