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Introduction:ThepurposeofthebookavindicationofChristiandoctrine,andespeciallyofthe

Cross,againstthescoffingobjectionofGentiles.Theeffectsofthisdoctrineitsmainvindication.

Part1
1.Theknowledgeofourreligionandofthetruthofthingsisindependentlymanifestratherthanin
needofhumanteachers,foralmostdaybydayitassertsitselfbyfacts,andmanifestsitself
brighterthanthesunbythedoctrineofChrist.2.Still,asyouneverthelessdesiretohearaboutit,
Macarius,comeletusaswemaybeablesetforthafewpointsofthefaithofChrist:ablethough
youaretofinditoutfromthedivineoracles,butyetgenerouslydesiringtohearfromothersas
well.3.ForalthoughthesacredandinspiredScripturesaresufficienttodeclarethetruthwhile
thereareotherworksofourblessedteacherscompiledforthispurpose,ifhemeetwithwhicha
manwillgainsomeknowledgeoftheinterpretationoftheScriptures,andbeabletolearnwhathe
wishestoknowstill,aswehavenotatpresentinourhandsthecompositionsofourteachers,we
mustcommunicateinwritingtoyouwhatwelearnedfromthemthefaith,namely,ofChristthe
Saviourlestanyshouldholdcheapthedoctrinetaughtamongus,orthinkfaith.inChrist
unreasonable.ForthisiswhattheGentilestraduceandscoffat,andlaughloudlyatus,insistingon
theonefactoftheCrossofChristanditisjustherethatonemustpitytheirwantofsense,
becausewhentheytraducetheCrossofChristtheydonotseethatitspowerhasfilledallthe
world,andthatbyittheeffectsoftheknowledgeofGodaremademanifesttoall.4.Forthey
wouldnothavescoffedatsuchafact,hadthey,too,beenmenwhogenuinelygaveheedtoHis
divineNature.Onthecontrary,theyintheirturnwouldhaverecognisedthismanasSaviourofthe
world,andthattheCrosshasbeennotadisaster,butahealingofCreation.5.ForifaftertheCross
allidolatrywasoverthrown,whileeverymanifestationofdemonsisdrivenawaybythisSign,and
ChristaloneisworshippedandtheFatherknownthroughHim,and,whilegainsayersareputto
shame,Hedailyinvisiblywinsoverthesoulsofthesegainsayershow,onemightfairlyaskthem,
isitstillopentoustoregardthematterashuman,insteadofconfessingthatHeWhoascendedthe
CrossisWordofGodandSaviouroftheWorld?Butthesemenseemtomequiteasbadasone
whoshouldtraducethesunwhencoveredbyclouds,whileyetwonderingathislight,seeinghow
thewholeofcreationisilluminedbyhim.6.Forasthelightisnoble,andthesun,thechiefcauseof
light,isnoblerstill,so,asitisadivinethingforthewholeworldtobefilledwithhisknowledge,it
followsthattheordererandchiefcauseofsuchanachievementisGodandtheWordofGod.7.
Wespeakthenaslieswithinourpower,firstrefutingtheignoranceoftheunbelievingsothatwhat
isfalsebeingrefuted,thetruthmaythenshineforthofitself,andthatyouyourself,friend,maybe
reassuredthatyouhavebelievedwhatistrue,andincomingtoknowChristhavenotbeen
deceived.Moreover,Ithinkitbecomingtodiscoursetoyou,asaloverofChrist,aboutChrist,since
IamsurethatyouratefaithinandknowledgeofHimaboveanythingelsewhatsoever.

2.Evilnopartoftheessentialnatureofthings.Theoriginalcreationandconstitutionofmanin
graceandintheknowledgeofGod.
Inthebeginningwickednessdidnotexist.Norindeeddoesitexistevennowinthosewhoareholy,
nordoesitinanywaybelongtotheirnature.Butmenlateronbegantocontriveitandtoelaborate
ittotheirownhurt.Whencealsotheydevisedtheinventionofidols,treatingwhatwasnotas
thoughitwere.2.ForGodMakerofallandKingofall,thathasHisBeingbeyondallsubstance

andhumandiscovery,inasmuchasHeisgoodandexceedingnoble,made,throughHisownWord
ourSaviourJesusChrist,thehumanraceafterHisownimage,andconstitutedmanabletoseeand
knowrealitiesbymeansofthisassimilationtoHimself,givinghimalsoaconceptionandknowledge
evenofHisowneternity,inorderthat,preservinghisnatureintact,hemightnotevereitherdepart
fromhisideaofGod,norrecoilfromthecommunionoftheholyonesbuthavingthegraceofHim
thatgaveit,havingalsoGod'sownpowerfromtheWordoftheFather,hemightrejoiceandhave
fellowshipwiththeDeity,livingthelifeofimmortalityunharmedandtrulyblessed.Forhaving
nothingtohinderhisknowledgeoftheDeity,heeverbeholds,byhispurity,theImageoftheFather,
GodtheWord,afterWhoseimagehehimselfismade.Heisawestruckashecontemplatesthat
ProvidencewhichthroughtheWordextendstotheuniverse,beingraisedabovethethingsofsense
andeverybodilyappearance,butcleavingtothedivineandthoughtperceivedthingsintheheavens
bythepowerofhismind.3.Forwhenthemindofmendoesnotholdconversewithbodies,norhas
mingledwithitfromwithoutanythingoftheirlust,butiswhollyabovethem,dwellingwithitselfas
itwasmadetobeginwith,then,transcendingthethingsofsenseandallthingshuman,itisraised
uponhighandseeingtheWord,itseesinHimalsotheFatheroftheWord,takingpleasurein
contemplatingHim,andgainingrenewalbyitsdesiretowardHim4.exactlyasthefirstofmen
created,theonewhowasnamedAdaminHebrew,isdescribedintheHolyScripturesashavingat
thebeginninghadhismindtoGodwardinafreedomunembarrassedbyshame,andasassociating
withtheholyonesinthatcontemplationofthingsperceivedbythemindwhichheenjoyedinthe
placewherehewastheplacewhichtheholyMosescalledinfigureaGarden.Sopurityofsoul
issufficientofitselftoreflectGod,astheLordalsosays,Blessedarethepureinheart,forthey
shallseeGod.

3.Thedeclineofmanfromtheabovecondition,owingtohisabsorptioninmaterialthings.
Thusthen,aswehavesaid,theCreatorfashionedtheraceofmen,andthusmeantittoremain.
Butmen,makinglightofbetterthings,andholdingbackfromapprehendingthem,begantoseekin
preferencethingsnearertothemselves.2.Butnearertothemselveswerethebodyanditssenses
sothatwhileremovingtheirmindfromthethingsperceivedbythought,theybegantoregard
themselvesandsodoing,andholdingtothebodyandtheotherthingsofsense,anddeceivedasit
wereintheirownsurroundings,theyfellintolustofthemselves,preferringwhatwastheirownto
thecontemplationofwhatbelongedtoGod.Havingthenmadethemselvesathomeinthesethings,
andnotbeingwillingtoleavewhatwassoneartothem,theyentangledtheirsoulwithbodily
pleasures,vexedandturbidwithallkindoflusts,whiletheywhollyforgotthepowertheyoriginally
hadfromGod.3.Butthetruthofthisonemayseefromthemanwhowasfirstmade,accordingto
whattheholyScripturestellusofhim.Forhealso,aslongashekepthismindtoGod,andthe
contemplationofGod,turnedawayfromthecontemplationofthebody.Butwhen,bycounselof
theserpent,hedepartedfromtheconsiderationofGod,andbegantoregardhimself,thentheynot
onlyfelltobodilylust,butknewthattheywerenaked,andknowing,wereashamed.Buttheyknew
thattheywerenaked,notsomuchofclothingasthattheyhadbecomestrippedofthe
contemplationofdivinethings,andhadtransferredtheirunderstandingtothecontraries.Forhaving
departedfromtheconsiderationoftheoneandthetrue,namely,God,andfromdesireofHim,they
hadthenceforwardembarkedinvariouslustsandinthoseoftheseveralbodilysenses.4.Next,as
isapttohappen,havingformedadesireforeachandsundry,theybegantobehabituatedtothese

desires,sothattheywereevenafraidtoleavethem:whencethesoulbecamesubjecttocowardice
andalarms,andpleasuresandthoughtsofmortality.Fornotbeingwillingtoleaveherlusts,she
fearsdeathandherseparationfromthebody.Butagain,fromlusting,andnotmeetingwith
gratification,shelearnedtocommitmurderandwrong.Wearethenlednaturallytoshow,asbest
wecan,howshedoesthis.

4.ThegradualabasementoftheSoulfromTruthtoFalsehoodbytheabuseofherfreedomof
Choice.
Havingdepartedfromthecontemplationofthethingsofthought,andusingtothefulltheseveral
activitiesofthebody,andbeingpleasedwiththecontemplationofthebody,andseeingthat
pleasureisgoodforher,shewasmisledandabusedthenameofgood,andthoughtthatpleasure
wastheveryessenceofgood:justasthoughamanoutofhismindandaskingforaswordtouse
againstallhemet,weretothinkthatsoundnessofmind.2.Buthavingfalleninlovewithpleasure,
shebegantoworkitoutinvariousways.Forbeingbynaturemobile,eventhoughshehaveturned
awayfromwhatisgood,yetshedoesnotlosehermobility.Shemovesthen,nolongeraccordingto
virtueorsoastoseeGod,butimaginingfalsethings,shemakesanoveluseofherpower,abusing
itasameanstothepleasuresshehasdevised,sincesheisafterallmadewithpoweroverherself.
3.Forsheisable,asontheonehandtoinclinetowhatisgood,soontheothertorejectitbutin
rejectingthegoodsheofcourseentertainsthethoughtofwhatisopposedtoit,forshecannotatall
ceasefrommovement,being,asIsaidbefore,mobilebynature.Andknowingherownpowerover
herself,sheseesthatsheisabletousethemembersofherbodyineitherdirection,bothtoward
whatis,ortowardwhatisnot.4.Butgoodis,whileevilisnotbywhatis,then,Imeanwhatis
good,inasmuchasithasitspatterninGodWhois.ButbywhatisnotImeanwhatisevil,insofar
asitconsistsinafalseimaginationinthethoughtsofmen.Forthoughthebodyhaseyessoasto
seeCreation,andbyitsentirelyharmoniousconstructiontorecognisetheCreatorandearsto
listentothedivineoraclesandthelawsofGodandhandsbothtoperformworksofnecessityand
toraisetoGodinprayeryetthesoul,departingfromthecontemplationofwhatisgoodandfrom
movinginitssphere,wandersawayandmovestowarditscontraries.5.Thenseeing,asIsaid
before,andabusingherpower,shehasperceivedthatshecanmovethemembersofthebodyalso
inanoppositeway:andso,insteadofbeholdingtheCreation,sheturnstheeyetolusts,showing
thatshehasthispowertooandthinkingthatbythemerefactofmovingsheismaintainingher
owndignity,andisdoingnosinindoingasshepleasesnotknowingthatsheismadenotmerelyto
move,buttomoveintherightdirection.ForthisiswhyanapostolicutteranceassuresusAllthings
arelawful,butnotallthingsareexpedient1Corinthians10:23.

5.Evil,thenconsistsessentiallyinthechoiceofwhatislowerinpreferencetowhatishigher.
Buttheaudacityofmen,havingregardnottowhatisexpedientandbecoming,buttowhatis
possibleforit,begantodothecontrarywhence,movingtheirhandstothecontrary,itmadethem
commitmurder,andledawaytheirhearingtodisobedience,andtheirothermemberstoadultery
insteadoftolawfulprocreationandthetongue,insteadofrightspeaking,toslanderandinsultand
perjurythehandsagain,tostealingandstrikingfellowmenandthesenseofsmelltomanysorts
oflasciviousodoursthefeet,tobeswifttoshedblood,andthebellytodrunkennessandinsatiable
gluttony.2.Allofwhichthingsareaviceandsinofthesoul:neitheristhereanycauseofthemat

all,butonlytherejectionofbetterthings.Forjustasifacharioteer,havingmountedhischarioton
theracecourse,weretopaynoattentiontothegoal,towardwhichheshouldbedriving,but,
ignoringthis,simplyweretodrivethehorseashecould,orinotherwordsashewould,andoften
driveagainstthosehemet,andoftendownsteepplaces,rushingwhereverheimpelledhimselfby
thespeedoftheteam,thinkingthatthusrunninghehasnotmissedthegoalforheregardsthe
runningonly,anddoesnotseethathehaspassedwideofthegoalsothesoultoo,turningfrom
thewaytowardGod,anddrivingthemembersofthebodybeyondwhatisproper,orrather,driven
herselfalongwiththembyherowndoing,sinsandmakesmischiefforherself,notseeingthatshe
hasstrayedfromtheway,andhasswervedfromthegoaloftruth,towhichtheChristbearingman,
theblessedPaul,waslookingwhenhesaid,Ipressontowardthegoaluntotheprizeofthehigh
callingofChristJesusPhilippians3:14:sothattheholyman,makingthegoodhismark,neverdid
whatwasevil.

6.Falseviewsofthenatureofevil:viz.,thatevilissomethinginthenatureofthings,andhas
substantiveexistence.(a)Heathenthinkers:(evilresidesinmatter).Theirrefutation.(b)Heretical
teachers:(Dualism).RefutationfromScripture.
NowcertainoftheGreeks,havingerredfromtherightway,andnothavingknownChrist,have
ascribedtoevilasubstantiveandindependentexistence.Inthistheymakeadoublemistake:either
indenyingtheCreatortobemakerofallthings,ifevilhadanindependentsubsistenceandbeingof
itsownoragain,iftheymeanthatHeismakerofallthings,theywillofnecessityadmitHimtobe
makerofevilalso.Forevil,accordingtothem,isincludedamongexistingthings.2.Butthismust
appearparadoxicalandimpossible.Forevildoesnotcomefromgood,norisitin,ortheresultof,
good,sinceinthatcaseitwouldnotbegood,beingmixedinitsnatureoracauseofevil.3.Butthe
sectaries,whohavefallenawayfromtheteachingoftheChurch,andmadeshipwreckconcerning
theFaith1Timothy1:19,theyalsowronglythinkthatevilhasasubstantiveexistence.Butthey
arbitrarilyimagineanothergodbesidesthetrueOne,theFatherofourLordJesusChrist,andthat
heistheunmadeproducerofevilandtheheadofwickedness,whoisalsoartificerofCreation.
Butthesemenonecaneasilyrefute,notonlyfromthedivineScriptures,butalsofromthehuman
understandingitself,theverysourceofthesetheirinsaneimaginations.4.Tobeginwith,ourLord
andSaviourJesusChristsaysinHisowngospelsconfirmingthewordsofMoses:TheLordGodis
oneandIthankyou,Father,LordofheavenandearthMark12:29Matthew11:25.ButifGodis
one,andatthesametimeLordofheavenandearth,howcouldtherebeanotherGodbesideHim?
OrwhatroomwilltherebefortheGodwhomtheysuppose,iftheonetrueGodfillsallthingsin
thecompassofheavenandearth?Orhowcouldtherebeanothercreatorofthat,whereof,
accordingtotheSaviour'sutterance,theGodandFatherofChristisHimselfLord.5.Unless
indeedtheywouldsaythatitwere,sotospeak,inanequipoise,andtheevilgodcapableofgetting
thebetterofthegoodGod.Butiftheysaythis,seetowhatapitchofimpietytheydescend.For
whenpowersareequal,thesuperiorandbettercannotbediscovered.Foriftheoneexistevenif
theotherwillitnot,bothareequallystrongandequallyweakequally,becausetheveryexistence
ofeitherisadefeatoftheother'swill:weak,becausewhathappensiscountertotheirwills:for
whilethegoodGodexistsinspiteoftheevilone,theevilgodexistsequallyinspiteofthegood.

7.Refutationofdualismfromreason.ImpossibilityoftwoGods.Thetruthastoevilisthatwhich
theChurchteaches:thatitoriginates,andresides,inthepervertedchoiceofthedarkenedsoul.
Moreespecially,theyareexposedtothefollowingreply.Ifvisiblethingsaretheworkoftheevil
god,whatistheworkofthegoodGod?FornothingistobeseenexcepttheworkoftheArtificer.
OrwhatevidenceistherethatthegoodGodexistsatall,iftherearenoworksofHisbywhichHe
maybeknown?Forbyhisworkstheartificerisknown.2.Orhowcouldtwoprinciplesexist,
contraryonetoanother:orwhatisitthatdividesthem,forthemtoexistapart?Foritisimpossible
forthemtoexisttogether,becausetheyaremutuallydestructive.Butneithercantheonebe
includedintheother,theirnaturebeingunmixedandunlike.Accordinglythatwhichdividesthem
willevidentlybeofathirdnature,anditselfGod.Butofwhatnaturecouldthisthirdsomethingbe?
goodorevil?Itwillbeimpossibletodetermine,foritcannotbeofthenatureofboth.3.This
conceitoftheirs,then,beingevidentlyrotten,thetruthoftheChurch'stheologymustbemanifest:
thatevilhasnotfromthebeginningbeenwithGodorinGod,norhasanysubstantiveexistencebut
thatmen,indefaultofthevisionofgood,begantodeviseandimagineforthemselveswhatwas
not,aftertheirownpleasure.4.Forasifaman,whenthesunisshining,andthewholeearth
illuminedbyhislight,weretoshutfasthiseyesandimaginedarknesswherenodarknessexists,
andthenwalkwanderingasifindarkness,oftenfallingandgoingdownsteepplaces,thinkingit
wasdarkandnotlightfor,imaginingthathesees,hedoesnotseeatallso,too,thesoulofman,
shuttingfasthereyes,bywhichsheisabletoseeGod,hasimaginedevilforherself,andmoving
therein,knowsnotthat,thinkingsheisdoingsomething,sheisdoingnothing.Forsheisimagining
whatisnot,norissheabidinginheroriginalnaturebutwhatsheisisevidentlytheproductofher
owndisorder.5.ForsheismadetoseeGod,andtobeenlightenedbyHimbutofherownaccord
inGod'ssteadshehassoughtcorruptiblethingsanddarkness,astheSpiritsayssomewherein
writing,Godmademanupright,buttheyhavesoughtoutmanyinventionsEcclesiastes7:29.Thus
ithasbeenthenthatmenfromthefirstdiscoveredandcontrivedandimaginedevilforthemselves.
Butitisnowtimetosayhowtheycamedowntothemadnessofidolatry,thatyoumayknowthat
theinventionofidolsiswhollydue,nottogoodbuttoevil.Butwhathasitsorigininevilcannever
bepronouncedgoodinanypointbeingevilaltogether.

8.Theoriginofidolatryissimilar.Thesoul,materialisedbyforgettingGod,andengrossedin
earthlythings,makesthemintogods.Theraceofmendescendsintoahopelessdepthofdelusion
andsuperstition.
Nowthesoulofmankind,notsatisfiedwiththedevisingofevil,beganbydegreestoventureupon
whatisworsestill.Forhavingexperienceofdiversitiesofpleasures,andgirtaboutwithoblivionof
thingsdivinebeingpleasedmoreoverandhavinginviewthepassionsofthebody,andnothingbut
thingspresentandopinionsaboutthem,ceasedtothinkthatanythingexistedbeyondwhatisseen,
orthatanythingwasgoodsavethingstemporalandbodilysoturningawayandforgettingthatshe
wasintheimageofthegoodGod,shenolonger,bythepowerwhichisinher,seesGodtheWord
afterwhoselikenesssheismadebuthavingdepartedfromherself,imaginesandfeignswhatis
not.2.Forhiding,bythecomplicationsofbodilylusts,themirrorwhich,asitwere,isinher,by
whichaloneshehadthepowerofseeingtheImageoftheFather,shenolongerseeswhata
souloughttobehold,butiscarriedaboutbyeverything,andonlyseesthethingswhichcomeunder
thesenses.Hence,weightedwithallfleshlydesire,anddistractedamongtheimpressionsofthese

things,sheimaginesthattheGodWhomherunderstandinghasforgottenistobefoundinbodily
andsensiblethings,givingtothingsseenthenameofGod,andglorifyingonlythosethingswhich
shedesiresandwhicharepleasanttohereyes.3.Accordingly,evilisthecausewhichbrings
idolatryinitstrainformen,havinglearnedtocontriveevil,whichisnorealityinitself,inlike
mannerfeignedforthemselvesasgodsbeingsthathadnorealexistence.Just,then,asthougha
manhadplungedintothedeep,andnolongersawthelight,norwhatappearsbylight,becausehis
eyesareturneddownwards,andthewaterisallabovehimand,perceivingonlythethingsinthe
deep,thinksthatnothingexistsbesidethem,butthatthethingsheseesaretheonlytruerealitiesso
themenofformertime,havinglosttheirreason,andplungedintothelustsandimaginationsof
carnalthings,andforgottentheknowledgeandgloryofGod,theirreasoningbeingdull,orrather
followingunreason,madegodsforthemselvesofthingsseen,glorifyingthecreatureratherthanthe
CreatorRomans1:25,anddeifyingtheworksratherthantheMaster,God,theirCauseand
Artificer.4.Butjustas,accordingtotheabovesimile,menwhoplungeintothedeep,thedeeper
theygodown,advanceintodarkeranddeeperplaces,soitiswithmankind.Fortheydidnotkeep
toidolatryinasimpleform,nordidtheyabideinthatwithwhichtheybeganbutthelongerthey
wentonintheirfirstcondition,themorenewsuperstitionstheyinvented:and,notsatiatedwiththe
firstevils,theyagainfilledthemselves.withothers,advancingfurtherinuttershamefulness,and
surpassingthemselvesinimpiety.ButtothisthedivineScripturetestifieswhenitsays,Whenthe
wickedcomesuntothedepthofevils,hedespisesProverbs18:3.

9.Thevariousdevelopmentsofidolatry:worshipoftheheavenlybodies,theelements,natural
objects,fabulouscreatures,personifiedlusts,menlivinganddead.ThecaseofAntinous,andofthe
deifiedEmperors.
FornowtheunderstandingofmankindleapedasunderfromGodandgoinglowerintheirideas
andimaginations,theygavethehonourduetoGodfirsttotheheavenandthesunandmoonandthe
stars,thinkingthemtobenotonlygods,butalsothecausesoftheothergodslowerthan
themselves.Then,goingyetlowerintheirdarkimaginations,theygavethenameofgodstothe
uppertherandtheairandthethingsintheair.Next,advancingfurtherinevil,theycameto
celebrateasgodstheelementsandtheprinciplesofwhichbodiesarecomposed,heatandcoldand
drynessandwetness.2.Butjustastheywhohavefallenflatcreepintheslimelikelandsnails,so
themostimpiousofmankind,havingfallenlowerandlowerfromtheideaofGod,thensetupas
godsmen,andtheformsofmen,somestillliving,othersevenaftertheirdeath.Moreover,
counsellingandimaginingworsethingsstill,theytransferredthedivineandsupernaturalnameof
Godatlasteventostonesandstocks,andcreepingthingsbothoflandandwater,andirrational
wildbeasts,awardingtothemeverydivinehonour,andturningfromthetrueandonlyrealGod,the
FatherofChrist.3.Butwouldthateventheretheaudacityofthesefoolishmenhadstoppedshort,
andthattheyhadnotgonefurtheryetinimpiousselfconfusion.Fortosuchadepthhavesome
fallenintheirunderstanding,tosuchdarknessofmind,thattheyhaveevendevisedforthemselves,
andmadegodsofthingsthathavenoexistenceatall,noranyplaceamongthingscreated.For
mixinguptherationalwiththeirrational,andcombiningthingsunlikeinnature,theyworshipthe
resultasgods,suchasthedogheadedandsnakeheadedandassheadedgodsamongthe
Egyptians,andtheramheadedAmmonamongtheLibyans.Whileothers,dividingapartthe
portionsofmen'sbodies,head,shoulder,hand,andfoot,havesetupeachasgodsanddeifiedthem,

asthoughtheirreligionwerenotsatisfiedwiththewholebodyinitsintegrity.4.Butothers,
strainingimpietytotheutmost,havedeifiedthemotiveoftheinventionofthesethingsandoftheir
ownwickedness,namely,pleasureandlust,andworshipthem,suchastheirEros,andthe
AphroditeatPaphos.Whilesomeofthem,asifvyingwiththemindepravation,haveventuredto
erectintogodstheirrulersoreventheirsons,eitheroutofhonourfortheirprinces,orfromfearof
theirtyranny,suchastheCretanZeus,ofsuchrenownamongthem,andtheArcadianHermes
andamongtheIndiansDionysus,amongtheEgyptiansIsisandOsirisandHorus,andinourown
timeAntinous,favouriteofHadrian,EmperoroftheRomans,whom,althoughmenknowhewasa
mereman,andnotarespectableman,butonthecontrary,fulloflicentiousness,yettheyworship
forfearofhimthatenjoinedit.ForHadrianhavingcometosojourninthelandofEgypt,when
Antinoustheministerofhispleasuredied,orderedhimtobeworshippedbeingindeedhimselfin
lovewiththeyouthevenafterhisdeath,butforallthatofferingaconvincingexposureofhimself,
andaproofagainstallidolatry,thatitwasdiscoveredamongmenfornootherreasonthanby
reasonofthelustofthemthatimaginedit.AccordingasthewisdomofGodtestifiesbeforehand
whenitsays,ThedevisingofidolswasthebeginningoffornicationWisdom14:12.5.Anddonot
wonder,northinkwhatwearesayinghardtobelieve,inasmuchasitisnotlongsince,evenifitbe
notstillthecasethattheRomanSenatevotetothoseemperorswhohaveeverruledthemfromthe
beginning,eitherallofthem,orsuchastheywishanddecide,aplaceamongthegods,anddecree
themtobeworshipped.Forthosetowhomtheyarehostile,theytreatasenemiesandcallmen,
admittingtheirrealnature,whilethosewhoarepopularwiththemtheyordertobeworshippedon
accountoftheirvirtue,asthoughtheyhaditintheirownpowertomakegods,thoughtheyare
themselvesmen,anddonotprofesstobeotherthanmortal.6.Whereasiftheyaretomakegods,
theyoughttobethemselvesgodsforthatwhichmakesmustneedsbebetterthanthatwhichit
makes,andhethatjudgesisofnecessityinauthorityoverhimthatisjudged,whilehethatgives,at
anyratethatwhichhehas,confersalayout,justas,ofcourse,everyking,ingivingasafavour
whathehastogive,isgreaterandinahigherpositionthanthosewhoreceive.Ifthentheydecree
whomsoevertheypleasetobegods,theyoughtfirsttobegodsthemselves.Butthestrangethingis
this,thattheythemselvesbydyingasmen,exposethefalsehoodoftheirownvoteconcerningthose
deifiedbythem.

10.SimilarhumanoriginoftheGreekgods,bydecreeofTheseus.Theprocessbywhichmortals
becamedeified.
Butthiscustomisnotanewone,nordiditbeginfromtheRomanSenate:onthecontrary,ithad
existedpreviouslyfromofold,andwasformerlypractisedforthedevisingofidols.Forthegods
renownedfromofoldamongtheGreeks,Zeus,Poseidon,Apollo,Hephstus,Hermes,and,among
females,HeraandDemeterandAthenaandArtemis,weredecreedthetitleofgodsbytheorderof
Theseus,ofwhomGreekhistorytellsusandsothemenwhopasssuchdecreesdielikemenand
aremournedfor,whilethoseinwhosefavourtheyarepassedareworshippedasgods.Whata
heightofinconsistencyandmadness!knowingwhopassedthedecree,theypaygreaterhonourto
thosewhoarethesubjectsofit.2.Andwouldthattheiridolatrousmadnesshadstoppedshortat
males,andthattheyhadnotbroughtdownthetitleofdeitytofemales.Forevenwomen,whomit
isnotsafetoadmittodeliberationaboutpublicaffairs,theyworshipandservewiththehonourdue
toGod,suchasthoseenjoinedbyTheseusasabovestated,andamongtheEgyptiansIsisandthe

MaidandtheYoungerone,andamongothersAphrodite.ForthenamesoftheothersIdonot
consideritmodesteventomention,fullastheyareofallkindofgrotesqueness.3.Formany,not
onlyinancienttimesbutinourownalso,havinglosttheirbelovedones,brothersandkinsfolkand
wivesandmanywomenwhohadlosttheirhusbands,allofwhomnatureprovedtobemortalmen,
maderepresentationsofthemanddevisedsacrifices,andconsecratedthemwhilelaterages,
movedbythefigureandthebrilliancyoftheartist,worshippedthemasgods,thusfallinginto
inconsistencywithnature.Forwhereastheirparentshadmournedforthem,notregardingthemas
gods(forhadtheyknownthemtobegodstheywouldnothavelamentedthemasiftheyhad
perishedforthiswaswhytheyrepresentedtheminanimage,namely,becausetheynotonlydid
notthinkthemgods,butdidnotbelievethemtoexistatall,andinorderthatthesightoftheirform
intheimagemightconsolethemfortheirbeingnomore),yetthefoolishpeoplepraytothemas
godsandinvestthemwiththehonourofthetrueGod.4.Forexample,inEgypt,eventothisday,
thedeathdirgeiscelebratedforOsirisandHorusandTyphoandtheothers.Andthecaldronsat
Dodona,andtheCorybantesinCrete,provethatZeusisnogodbutaman,andamanbornofa
cannibalfather.And,strangetosay,evenPlato,thesageadmiredamongtheGreeks,withallhis
vauntedunderstandingaboutGod,goesdownwithSocratestoPeirustoworshipArtemis,a
figmentofman'sart.

11.Thedeedsofheathendeities,andparticularlyofZeus.
Butoftheseandsuchlikeinventionsofidolatrousmadness,Scripturetaughtusbeforehandlong
ago,whenitsaid,Thedevisingofidolswasthebeginningoffornication,andtheinventionofthem,
thecorruptionoflife.Forneitherweretheyfromthebeginning,neithershalltheybeforever.For
thevaingloryofmentheyenteredintotheworld,andthereforeshalltheycomeshortlytoanend.
Forafatherafflictedwithuntimelymourningwhenhehasmadeanimageofhischildsoontaken
away,nowhonouredhimasagodwhichwasthenadeadman,anddeliveredtothosethatwere
underhimceremoniesandsacrifices.Thusinprocessoftimeanungodlycustomgrownstrongwas
keptasalaw.Andgravenimageswereworshippedbythecommandsofkings.Whommencould
nothonourinpresencebecausetheydweltafaroff,theytookthecounterfeitofhisvisagefrom
afar,andmadeanexpressimageofthekingwhomtheyhonoured,totheendthatbythistheir
forwardnesstheymightflatterhimthatwasabsentasifhewerepresent.Alsothesingular
diligenceoftheartificerdidhelptosetforwardtheignoranttomoresuperstition:forhe,perhaps,
willingtopleaseoneinauthority,forcedallhisskilltomaketheresemblanceofthebestfashion:
andsothemultitude,alluredbythegraceofthework,tookhimnowforagod,whichalittlebefore
wasbuthonouredasaman:andthiswasanoccasiontodeceivetheworld,formenservingeither
calamityortyranny,didascribeuntostonesandstockstheincommunicableName.2.The
beginninganddevisingoftheinventionofidolshavingbeen,asScripturewitnesses,ofsuchsort,it
isnowtimetoshowyoutherefutationofitbyproofsderivednotsomuchfromwithoutasfrom
thesemen'sownopinionsabouttheidols.Fortobeginatthelowestpoint,ifoneweretotakethe
actionsofthemtheycallgods,onewouldfindthattheywerenotonlynogods,buthadbeeneven
ofmenthemostcontemptible.ForwhatathingitistoseethelovesandlicentiousactionsofZeus
inthepoets!Whatathingtohearofhim,ontheonehandcarryingoffGanymedeandcommitting
stealthyadulteries,ontheotherinpanicandalarmlestthewallsoftheTrojansshouldbedestroyed
againsthisintentions!WhatathingtoseehimingriefatthedeathofhissonSarpedon,andwishing

tosuccourhimwithoutbeingabletodoso,and,whenplottedagainstbytheothersocalledgods,
namely,AthenaandHeraandPoseidon,succouredbyThetis,awoman,andbygaeonofthe
hundredhands,andovercomebypleasures,aslavetowomen,andfortheirsakesrunning
adventuresindisguisesconsistingofbrutebeastsandcreepingthingsandbirdsandagain,inhiding
onaccountofhisfather'sdesignsuponhim,orCronosboundbyhim,orhimagainmutilatinghis
father!Why,isitfittingtoregardasagodonewhohasperpetratedsuchdeeds,andwhostands
accusedofthingswhichnoteventhepubliclawsoftheRomansallowthosetodowhoaremerely
men?

12.Othershamefulactionsascribedtoheathendeities.Allprovethattheyarebutmenofformer
times,andnotevengoodmen.
For,tomentionafewinstancesoutofmanytoavoidprolixity,whothatsawhislawlessand
corruptconducttowardSemele,Leda,Alcmene,Artemis,Leto,Maia,Europe,Danae,and
Antiope,orthatsawwhatheventuredtotakeinhandwithregardtohisownsister,inhavingthe
samewomanaswifeandsister,wouldnotscornhimandpronouncehimworthyofdeath?Fornot
onlydidhecommitadultery,buthedeifiedandraisedtoheaventhosebornofhisadulteries,
contrivingthedeificationasaveilforhislawlessness:suchasDionysus,Heracles,theDioscuri,
Hermes,Perseus,andSoteira.2.Who,thatseesthesocalledgodsatirreconcileablestrifeamong
themselvesatTroyonaccountoftheGreeksandTrojans,willfailtorecognisetheirfeebleness,in
thatbecauseoftheirmutualjealousiestheyeggedonevenmortalstostrife?Who,thatseesAres
andAphroditewoundedbyDiomed,orHeraandAdoneusfrombelowtheearth,whomtheycalla
god,woundedbyHeracles,DionysusbyPerseus,AthenabyArcas,andHephstushurleddown
andgoinglame,willnotrecognisetheirrealnature,and,whilerefusingtocallthemgods,be
assured(whenhehearsthattheyarecorruptibleandpassible)thattheyarenothingbutmen,and
feeblementoo,andadmirethosethatinflictedthewoundsratherthanthewounded?3.Orwho
thatseestheadulteryofAreswithAphrodite,andHephstuscontrivingasnareforthetwo,and
theothersocalledgodscalledbyHephstustoviewtheadultery,andcomingandseeingtheir
licentiousness,wouldnotlaughandrecognisetheirworthlesscharacter?Orwhowouldnotlaughat
beholdingthedrunkenfollyandmisconductofHeraclestowardOmphale?Fortheirdeedsof
pleasure,andtheirunconscionableloves,andtheirdivineimagesingold,silver,bronze,iron,stone,
andwood,weneednotseriouslyexposebyargument,sincethefactsareabominablein
themselves,andareenoughtakenalonetofurnishproofofthedeceptionsothatone'sprincipal
feelingispityforthosedeceivedaboutthem.4.For,hatingtheadultererwhotamperswithawife
oftheirown,theyarenotashamedtodeifytheteachersofadulteryandrefrainingfromincest
themselvestheyworshipthosewhopractiseitandadmittingthatthecorruptingofchildrenisan
evil,theyservethosewhostandaccusedofitanddonotblushtoascribetothosetheycallgods
thingswhichthelawsforbidtoexistevenamongmen.

13.Thefollyofimageworshipanditsdishonourtoart.
Again,inworshippingthingsofwoodandstone,theydonotseethat,whiletheytreadunderfoot
andburnwhatisinnowaydifferent,theycallportionsofthesematerialsgods.Andwhatthey
madeuseofalittlewhileago,theycarveandworshipintheirfolly,notseeing,noratall
consideringthattheyareworshipping,notgods,butthecarver'sart.2.Forsolongasthestoneis

uncutandthewoodunworked,theywalkupontheoneandmakefrequentuseoftheotherfortheir
ownpurposes,evenforthosewhicharelesshonourable.Butwhentheartisthasinvestedthem
withtheproportionsofhisownskill,andimpresseduponthematerialtheformofmanorwoman,
then,thankingtheartist,theyproceedtoworshipthemasgods,havingboughtthemfromthe
carverataprice.Often,moreover,theimagemaker,asthoughforgettingtheworkhehasdone
himself,praystohisownproductions,andcallsgodswhatjustbeforehewasparingandchipping.
3.Butitwerebetter,ifneedtoadmirethesethings,toascribeittotheartoftheskilledworkman,
andnottohonourproductionsinpreferencetotheirproducer.Foritisnotthematerialthathas
adornedtheart,buttheartthathasadornedanddeifiedthematerial.Muchjusterwereit,then,for
themtoworshiptheartistthanhisproductions,bothbecausehisexistencewaspriortothatofthe
godsproducedbyart,andbecausetheyhavecomeintobeingintheformhepleasedtogivethem.
Butasitis,settingjusticeaside,anddishonouringskillandart,theyworshiptheproductsofskill
andart,andwhenthemanisdeadthatmadethem,theyhonourhisworksasimmortal,whereasif
theydidnotreceivedailyattentiontheywouldcertainlyintimecometoanaturalend.4.Orhow
couldonefailtopitytheminthisalso,inthatseeing,theyworshipthemthatcannotsee,and
hearing,praytothemthatcannothear,andbornwithlifeandreason,menastheyare,callgods
thingswhichdonotmoveatall,buthavenotevenlife,and,strangestofall,inthattheyserveas
theirmastersbeingswhomtheythemselveskeepundertheirownpower?Norimaginethatthisisa
merestatementofmine,northatIammaligningthemfortheverificationofallthismeetstheeyes,
andwhoeverwishestodosomayseethelike.

14.ImageworshipcondemnedbyScripture.
ButbettertestimonyaboutallthisisfurnishedbyHolyScripture,whichtellsusbeforehandwhenit
says,Theiridolsaresilverandgold,theworkofmen'shands.Eyeshavetheyandwillnotseea
mouthhavetheyandwillnotspeakearshavetheyandwillnothearnoseshavetheyandwillnot
smellhandshavetheyandwillnothandlefeethavetheyandwillnotwalktheywillnotspeak
throughtheirthroat.Likeuntothembetheythatmakethem.Norhavetheyescapedprophetic
censurefortherealsoistheirrefutation,wheretheSpiritsays,theyshallbeashamedthathave
formedagod,andcarvedallofthemthatwhichisvain:andallbywhomtheyweremadearedried
up:andletthedeafonesamongmenallassembleandstanduptogether,andletthembe
confoundedandputtoshametogetherforthecarpentersharpenediron,andworkeditwithan
adze,andfashioneditwithanauger,andsetitupwiththearmofhisstrength:andheshallhunger
andbefaint,anddrinknowater.Forthecarpenterchoseoutwood,andsetitbyarule,and
fashioneditwithglue,andmadeitastheformofamanandasthebeautyofman,andsetitupin
hishouse,woodwhichhehadcutfromthegroveandwhichtheLordplanted,andtheraingaveit
growththatitmightbeformentoburn,andthathemighttakethereofandwarmhimself,and
kindle,andbakebreaduponit,buttheresiduetheymadeintogods,andworshippedthem,thehalf
whereoftheyhadburnedinthefire.Anduponthehalfthereofheroastedfleshandateandwas
filled,andwaswarmedandsaid:'Itispleasanttome,becauseIamwarmedandhaveseenthe
fire.'Buttheresiduethereofheworshipped,saying,'Delivermeforyouaremygod.'Theyknew
notnorunderstood,becausetheireyesweredimmedthattheycouldnotsee,norperceivewith
theirheartnordidheconsiderinhisheartnorknowinhisunderstandingthathehadburnedhalf
thereofinthefire,andbakedbreaduponthecoalsthereof,androastedfleshandeatenit,and

madetheresiduethereofanabomination,andtheyworshipit.Knowthattheirheartisdustand
theyaredeceived,andnonecandeliverhissoul.Beholdandwillyounotsay,'Thereisalieinmy
righthand?'2.Howthencantheyfailtobejudgedgodlessbyall,whoevenbythedivineScripture
areaccusedofimpiety?Orhowcantheybeanythingbutmiserable,whoarethusopenlyconvicted
ofworshippingdeadthingsinsteadofthetruth?Orwhatkindofhopehavethey?Orwhatkindof
excusecouldbemadeforthem,trustinginthingswithoutsenseormovement,whichthey
reverenceinplaceofthetrueGod?

15.Thedetailsaboutthegodsconveyedintherepresentationsofthembypoetsandartistsshow
thattheyarewithoutlife,andthattheyarenotgods,norevendecentmenandwomen.
Forwouldthattheartistwouldfashionthegodsevenwithoutshape,sothattheymightnotbeopen
tosomanifestanexposureoftheirlackofsense.Fortheymighthavecajoledtheperceptionof
simplefolktothinktheidolshadsenses,wereitnotthattheypossessthesymbolsofthesenses,
eyesforexampleandnosesandearsandhandsandmouth,withoutanygestureofactual
perceptionandgraspoftheobjectsofsense.Butasamatteroffacttheyhavethesethingsand
havethemnot,standandstandnot,sitandsitnot.Fortheyhavenottherealactionofthesethings,
butastheirfashionerpleased,sotheyremainstationary,givingnosignofagod,butevidentlymere
inanimateobjects,settherebyman'sart.2.Orwouldthattheheraldsandprophetsofthesefalse
gods,poetsImeanandwriters,hadsimplywrittenthattheyweregods,andnotalsorecounted
theiractionsasanexposureoftheirgodlessnessandscandalouslife.Forbythemerenameof
godheadtheymighthavefilchedawaythetruth,orratherhavecausedthemassofmentoerr
fromthetruth.Butasitis,bynarratingthelovesandimmoralitiesofZeus,andthecorruptionsof
youthsbytheothergods,andthevoluptuousjealousiesofthefemales,andthefearsandactsof
cowardiceandotherwickednesses,theymerelyconvictthemselvesofnarratingnotmerelyabout
nogods,butnotevenaboutrespectablemen,butonthecontrary,oftellingtalesaboutshameful
personsfarremovedfromwhatishonourable.

16.Heathenargumentsinpalliationoftheabove:and(1)'thepoetsareresponsibleforthese
unedifyingtales.'Butarethenamesandexistenceofthegodsanybetterauthenticated?Both
standorfalltogether.Eithertheactionsmustbedefendedorthedeityofthegodsgivenup.And
theheroesarenotcreditedwithactsinconsistentwiththeirnature,as,onthisplea,thegodsare.
Butperhaps,astoallthis,theimpiouswillappealtothepeculiarstyleofpoets,sayingthatitisthe
peculiarityofpoetstofeignwhatisnot,and,forthepleasureoftheirhearers,totellfictitioustales
andthatforthisreasontheyhavecomposedthestoriesaboutgods.Butthispretextoftheirs,even
morethananyother,willappeartobesuperficialfromwhattheythemselvesthinkandprofess
aboutthesematters.2.Forifwhatissaidinthepoetsisfictitiousandfalse,eventhenomenclature
ofZeus,Cronos,Hera,Aresandtherestmustbefalse.Forperhaps,astheysay,eventhenames
arefictitious,and,whilenosuchbeingexistsasZeus,Cronos,orAres,thepoetsfeigntheir
existencetodeceivetheirhearers.Butifthepoetsfeigntheexistenceofunrealbeings,howisit
thattheyworshipthemasthoughtheyexisted?3.Orperhaps,onceagain,theywillsaythatwhile
thenamesarenotfictitious,theyascribetothemfictitiousactions.Buteventhisisequally
precariousasadefence.Foriftheymadeuptheactions,doubtlessalsotheymadeupthenames,
towhichtheyattributedtheactions.Oriftheytellthetruthaboutthenames,itfollowsthattheytell

thetruthabouttheactionstoo.Inparticular,theywhohavesaidintheirtalesthatthesearegods
certainlyknowhowgodsoughttoact,andwouldneverascribetogodstheideasofmen,anymore
thanonewouldascribetowaterthepropertiesoffireforfireburns,whereasthenatureofwater
onthecontraryiscold.4.Ifthentheactionsareworthyofgods,theythatdothemmustbegods
butiftheyareactionsofmen,andofdisreputablemen,suchasadulteryandtheactsmentioned
above,theythatactinsuchwaysmustbemenandnotgods.Fortheirdeedsmustcorrespondto
theirnatures,sothatatoncetheactormaybemadeknownbyhisact,andtheactionmaybe
ascertainablefromhisnature.Sothatjustasamandiscussingaboutwaterandfire,anddeclaring
theiraction,wouldnotsaythatwaterburnedandfirecooled,nor,ifamanwerediscoursingabout
thesunandtheearth,wouldhesaytheearthgavelight,whilethesunwassownwithherbsand
fruits,butifheweretosaysowouldexceedtheutmostheightofmadness,soneitherwouldtheir
writers,andespeciallythemosteminentpoetofall,iftheyreallyknewthatZeusandtheothers
weregods,investthemwithsuchactionsasshowthemtobenotgods,butrathermen,andnot
sobermen.5.Orif,aspoets,theytoldfalsehoods,andyouaremaligningthem,whydidtheynot
alsotellfalsehoodsaboutthecourageoftheheroes,andfeignfeeblenessintheplaceofcourage,
andcourageinthatoffeebleness?Fortheyoughtinthatcase,aswithZeusandHera,soalsoto
slanderouslyaccuseAchillesofwantofcourage,andtocelebratethemightofThersites,and,
whilechargingOdysseuswithdulness,tomakeoutNestorarecklessperson,andtonarrate
effeminateactionsofDiomedandHector,andmanlydeedsofHecuba.Forthefictionand
falsehoodtheyascribetothepoetsoughttoextendtoallcases.Butinfact,theykeptthetruthfor
theirmen,whilenotashamedtotellfalsehoodsabouttheirsocalledgods.6.Andassomeofthem
mightargue,thattheyaretellingfalsehoodsabouttheirlicentiousactions,butthatintheirpraises,
whentheyspeakofZeusasfatherofgods,andasthehighest,andtheOlympian,andasreigning
inheaven,theyarenotinventingbutspeakingtruthfullythisisapleawhichnotonlymyself,but
anybodycanrefute.Forthetruthwillbeclear,inoppositiontothem,ifwerecallourprevious
proofs.Forwhiletheiractionsprovethemtobemen,thepanegyricsuponthemgobeyondthe
natureofmen.Thetwothingsthenaremutuallyinconsistentforneitherisitthenatureof
heavenlybeingstoactinsuchways,norcananyonesupposethatpersonssoactingaregods.

17.Thetruthprobablyis,thatthescandaloustalesaretrue,whilethedivineattributesascribedto
themareduetotheflatteryofthepoets.
Whatinferencethenislefttous,savethatwhilethepanegyricsarefalseandflattering,theactions
toldofthemaretrue?Andthetruthofthisonecanascertainbycommonpractice.Fornobody
whopronouncesapanegyricuponanyoneaccuseshisconductatthesametime,butrather,if
men'sactionsaredisgraceful,theypraisethemupwithpanegyrics,onaccountofthescandalthey
cause,sothatbyextravagantpraisetheymayimposeupontheirhearers,andhidethemisconduct
oftheothers.2.Justasifamanwhohastopronounceapanegyricuponsomeonecannotfind
materialforitintheirconductorinanypersonalqualities,onaccountofthescandalattachingto
these,hepraisesthemupinanothermanner,flatteringthemwithwhatdoesnotbelongtothem,so
havetheirmarvellouspoets,putoutofcountenancebythescandalousactionsoftheirsocalled
gods,attachedtothemthesuperhumantitle,notknowingthattheycannotbytheirsuperhuman
fanciesveiltheirhumanactions,butthattheywillrathersucceedinshowing,bytheirhuman
shortcomings,thattheattributesofGoddonotfitthem.3.AndIamdisposedtothinkthatthey

haverecountedthepassionsandtheactionsofthegodseveninspiteofthemselves.Forsincethey
wereendeavouringtoinvestwithwhatScripturecallstheincommunicablenameandhonourof
Godthemthatarenogodsbutmortalmen,andsincethisventureoftheirswasgreatandimpious,
forthisreasonevenagainsttheirwilltheywereforcedbytruthtosetforththepassionsofthese
persons,sothattheirpassionsrecordedinthewritingsconcerningthemmightbeinevidenceforall
posterityasaproofthattheywerenogods.

18.Heathendefencecontinued.(2)'ThegodsareworshippedforhavinginventedtheArtsof
Life.'Butthisisahumanandnatural,notadivine,achievement.Andwhy,onthisprinciple,arenot
allinventorsdeified?
Whatdefence,then,whatproofthatthesearerealgods,cantheyofferwhoholdthissuperstition?
For,bywhathasbeensaidjustabove,ourargumenthasdemonstratedthemtobemen,andnot
respectablemen.Butperhapstheywillturntoanotherargument,andproudlyappealtothethings
usefultolifediscoveredbythem,sayingthatthereasonwhytheyregardthemasgodsistheir
havingbeenofusetomankind.ForZeusissaidtohavepossessedtheplasticart,Poseidonthatof
thepilot,Hephstusthesmith's,Athenathatofweaving,Apollothatofmusic,Artemisthatof
hunting,Heradressmaking,Demeteragriculture,andothersotherarts,asthosewhoinformus
aboutthemhaverelated.2.Butmenoughttoascribethemandsuchlikeartsnottothegodsalone
buttothecommonnatureofmankind,forbyobservingnaturemendiscoverthearts.Foreven
commonparlancecallsartanimitationofnature.Ifthentheyhavebeenskilledintheartsthey
pursued,thatisnoreasonforthinkingthemgods,butratherforthinkingthemmenforthearts
werenottheircreation,butinthemthey,likeothers,imitatednature.3.Formenhavinganatural
capacityforknowledgeaccordingtothedefinitionlaiddownconcerningthem,thereisnothingto
surpriseusifbyhumanintelligence,andbylookingofthemselvesattheirownnatureandcoming
toknowit,theyhavehituponthearts.Oriftheysaythatthediscoveryoftheartsentitlesthemto
beproclaimedasgods,itishightimetoproclaimasgodsthediscoverersoftheotherartsonthe
samegroundsastheformerwerethoughtworthyofsuchatitle.ForthePhniciansinvented
letters,Homerepicpoetry,ZenoofEleadialectic,CoraxofSyracuserhetoric,Aristus
beekeeping,Triptolemusthesowingofgrain,LycurgusofSpartaandSolonofAthenslawswhile
Palamedesdiscoveredthearrangementofletters,andnumbers,andmeasuresandweights.And
othersimpartedvariousotherthingsusefulforthelifeofmankind,accordingtothetestimonyof
ourhistorians.4.Ifthentheartsmakegods,andbecauseofthemcarvedgodsexist,itfollows,on
theirshowing,thatthosewhoatalaterdatediscoveredtheotherartsmustbegods.Oriftheydo
notdeemtheseworthyofdivinehonour,butrecognisethattheyaremen,itwerebutconsistentnot
togiveeventhenameofgodstoZeus,Hera,andtheothers,buttobelievethattheytoohavebeen
humanbeings,andallthemoreso,inasmuchastheywerenotevenrespectableintheirdayjustas
bytheveryfactofsculpturingtheirforminstatuestheyshowthattheyarenothingelsebutmen.

19.Theinconsistencyofimageworship.Argumentsinpalliation.(1)Thedivinenaturemustbe
expressedinavisiblesign.(2)Theimageameansofsupernaturalcommunicationstomenthrough
angels.
Forwhatotherformdotheygivethembysculpturebutthatofmenandwomenandofcreatures
loweryetandofirrationalnature,allmannerofbirds,beastsbothtameandwild,andcreeping

things,whatsoeverlandandseaandthewholerealmofthewatersproduce?Formenhavingfallen
intotheunreasonablenessoftheirpassionsandpleasures,andunabletoseeanythingbeyond
pleasuresandlustsoftheflesh,inasmuchastheykeeptheirmindinthemidstoftheseirrational
things,theyimaginedthedivineprincipletobeinirrationalthings,andcarvedanumberofgodsto
matchthevarietyoftheirpassions.2.Fortherearewiththemimagesofbeastsandcreeping
thingsandbirds,astheinterpreterofthedivineandtruereligionsays,Theybecamevainintheir
reasonings,andtheirsenselessheartwasdarkened.Professingthemselvestobewise,they
becamefools,andchangedthegloryoftheincorruptibleGodforthelikenessofanimageof
corruptibleman,andofbirdsandfourfootedbeastsandcreepingthings,whereforeGodgavethem
upuntovilepassions.Forhavingpreviouslyinfectedtheirsoul,asIsaidabove,withthe
irrationalitiesofpleasures,theythencamedowntothismakingofgodsand,oncefallen,
thenceforwardasthoughabandonedintheirrejectionofGod,thustheywallowinthem,andportray
God,theFatheroftheWord,inirrationalshapes.3.Astowhichthosewhopassforphilosophers
andmenofknowledgeamongtheGreeks,whiledriventoadmitthattheirvisiblegodsaretheforms
andfiguresofmenandofirrationalobjects,sayindefencethattheyhavesuchthingstotheend
thatbytheirmeansthedeitymayanswerthemandbemademanifestbecauseotherwisethey
couldnotknowtheinvisibleGod,savebysuchstatuesandrites.4.Whilethosewhoprofessto
givestilldeeperandmorephilosophicalreasonsthanthesesay,thatthereasonofidolsbeing
preparedandfashionedisfortheinvocationandmanifestationofdivineangelsandpowers,that
appearingbythesemeanstheymayteachmenconcerningtheknowledgeofGodandthatthey
serveaslettersformen,byreferringtowhichtheymaylearntoapprehendGod,fromthe
manifestationofthedivineangelseffectedbytheirmeans.Suchthenistheirmythology,forfar
beitfromustocallitatheology.Butifoneexaminetheargumentwithcare,hewillfindthatthe
opinionofthesepersonsalso,notlessthanthatofthosepreviouslyspokenof,isfalse.

20.Butwheredoesthissupposedvirtueoftheimagereside?Inthematerial,orintheform,orin
themaker'sskill?Untenabilityofalltheseviews.
Foronemightreplytothem,bringingthecasebeforethetribunaloftruth,HowdoesGodmake
answerorbecomeknownbysuchobjects?Isitduetothematterofwhichtheyconsist,ortothe
formwhichtheypossess?Forifitbeduetothematter,whatneedisthereoftheform,insteadof
GodmanifestingHimselfthroughallmatterwithoutexceptionbeforethesethingswerefashioned?
Andinvainhavetheybuilttheirtemplestoshutinasinglestone,orstock,orpieceofgold,when
alltheworldisfullofthesesubstances.2.Butifthesuperaddedformbethecauseofthedivine
manifestation,whatistheneedofthematerial,goldandtherest,insteadofGodmanifesting
Himselfbytheactualnaturalanimalsofwhichtheimagesarethefigures?Fortheopinionheld
aboutGodwouldonthesameprinciplehavebeenanoblerone,wereHetomanifestHimselfby
meansoflivinganimals,whetherrationalorirrational,insteadofbeinglookedforinthingswithout
lifeormotion.3.Whereintheycommitthemostsignalimpietyagainstthemselves.Forwhilethey
abominateandturnfromtherealanimals,beasts,birds,andcreepingthings,eitherbecauseoftheir
ferocityorbecauseoftheirdirtiness,yettheycarvetheirformsinstone,wood,orgold,andmake
themgods.Butitwouldbebetterforthemtoworshipthelivingthingsthemselves,ratherthanto
worshiptheirfiguresinstone.4.Butperhapsneitheristhecase,noriseitherthematerialorthe
formthecauseofthedivinepresence,butitisonlyskilfulartthatsummonsthedeity,inasmuchas

itisanimitationofnature.Butifthedeitycommunicateswiththeinmatesonaccountoftheart,
whatneed,oncemore,ofthematerial,sincetheartresidesinthemen?ForifGodmanifests
Himselfsolelybecauseoftheart,andifforthisreasontheimagesareworshippedasgods,it
wouldberighttoworshipandservethemenwhoaremastersoftheart,inasmuchastheyare
rationalalso,andhavetheskillinthemselves.

21.Theideaofcommunicationsthroughangelsinvolvesyetwilderinconsistency,nordoesit,even
iftrue,justifytheworshipoftheimage.
Butastotheirsecondandastheysayprofounderdefence,onemightreasonablyaddasfollows.If
thesethingsaremadebyyou,youGreeks,notforthesakeofaselfmanifestationofGodHimself,
butforthesakeofapresencethereofangels,whydoyouranktheimagesbywhichyouinvoke
thepowersassuperiorandabovethepowersinvoked?Foryoucarvethefiguresforthesakeof
theapprehensionofGod,asyousay,butinvesttheactualimageswiththehonourandtitleofGod,
thusplacingyourselvesinaprofaneposition.2.ForwhileconfessingthatthepowerofGod
transcendsthelittlenessoftheimages,andforthatreasonnotventuringtoinvokeGodthrough
them,butonlythelesserpowers,youyourselvesleapovertheselatter,andhavebestowedon
stocksandstonesthetitleofHim,whosepresenceyoufeared,andcallthemgodsinsteadof
stonesandmen'sworkmanship,andworshipthem.Forevensupposingthemtoserveyou,asyou
falselysay,aslettersforthecontemplationofGod,itisnotrighttogivethesignsgreaterhonour
thanthatwhichtheysignify.Forneitherifamanweretowritetheemperor'snamewoulditbe
withoutrisktogivetothewritingmorehonourthantotheemperoronthecontrary,suchaman
incursthepenaltyofdeathwhilethewritingisfashionedbytheskillofthewriter.3.Soalso
yourselves,hadyouyourreasoningpowerinfullstrength,wouldnotreducetomattersogreata
revelationoftheGodhead:butneitherwouldyouhavegiventotheimagegreaterhonourthanto
themanthatcarvedit.Foriftherebeanytruthinthepleathat,asletters,theyindicatethe
manifestationofGod,andaretherefore,asindicationsofGod,worthytobedeified,yetfarmore
woulditberighttodeifytheartistwhocarvedandengravedthem,asbeingfarmorepowerfuland
divinethanthey,inasmuchastheywerecutandfashionedaccordingtohiswill.Ifthentheletters
areworthyofadmiration,muchmoredoesthewriterexceedtheminwonder,byreasonofhisart
andtheskillofhismind.Ifthenitbenotfittingtothinkthattheyaregodsforthisreason,onemust
againinterrogatethemaboutthemadnessconcerningtheidols,demandingfromthemthe
justificationfortheirbeinginsuchaform.

22.TheimagecannotrepresentthetrueformofGod,elseGodwouldbecorruptible.
Forifthereasonoftheirbeingthusfashionedis,thattheDeityisofhumanform,whydothey
investitalsowiththeformsofirrationalcreatures?Oriftheformofitisthatofthelatter,whydo
theyembodyitalsointheimagesofrationalcreatures?Orifitbebothatonce,andtheyconceive
Godtobeofthetwocombined,namely,thatHehastheformsbothofrationalandofirrational,
whydotheyseparatewhatisjoinedtogether,andseparatetheimagesofbrutesandofmen,
insteadofalwayscarvingitofbothkinds,suchasarethefictionsinthemyths,Scylla,Charybdis,
theHippocentaur,andthedogheadedAnubisoftheEgyptians?Fortheyoughteithertorepresent
themsolelyoftwonaturesinthisway,or,iftheyhaveasingleform,nottofalselyrepresentthem
intheotheraswell.2.Andagain,iftheirformsaremale,whydotheyalsoinvestthemwith

femaleshapes?Oriftheyareofthelatter,whydotheyalsofalsifytheirformsasthoughtheywere
males?Orifagaintheyareamixtureofboth,theyoughtnottobedivided,butbothoughttobe
combined,andfollowthetypeofthesocalledhermaphrodites,sothattheirsuperstitionshould
furnishbeholderswithaspectaclenotonlyofimpietyandcalumny,butofridiculeaswell.2.And
generally,iftheyconceivetheDeitytobecorporeal,sothattheycontriveforitandrepresentbelly
andhandsandfeet,andneckalso,andbreastsandtheotherorgansthatgotomakeman,seeto
whatimpietyandgodlessnesstheirmindhascomedown,tohavesuchideasoftheDeity.Forit
followsthatitmustbecapableofallotherbodilycasualtiesaswell,ofbeingcutanddivided,and
evenofperishingaltogether.ButtheseandlikethingsarenotpropertiesofGod,butratherof
earthlybodies.3.ForwhileGodisincorporealandincorruptible,andimmortal,needingnothingfor
anypurpose,thesearebothcorruptible,andareshapesofbodies,andneedbodilyministrations,as
wesaidbefore.Foroftenweseeimageswhichhavegrownoldrenewed,andthosewhichtime,or
rain,orsomeorotheroftheanimalsoftheearthhavespoiled,restored.Inwhichconnectionone
mustcondemntheirfolly,inthattheyproclaimasgodsthingsofwhichtheythemselvesarethe
makers,andthemselvesasksalvationofobjectswhichtheythemselvesadornwiththeirartsto
preservethemfromcorruption,andbegthattheirownwantsmaybesuppliedbybeingswhichthey
wellknowneedattentionfromthemselves,andarenotashamedtocalllordsofheavenandallthe
earthcreatureswhomtheyshutupinsmallchambers.

23.Thevarietyofidolatrouscultsprovesthattheyarefalse.
Butnotonlyfromtheseconsiderationsmayoneappreciatetheirgodlessness,butalsofromtheir
discordantopinionsabouttheidolsthemselves.Foriftheybegodsaccordingtotheirassertionand
theirspeculations,towhichofthemisonetogiveallegiance,andwhichofthemisonetojudgeto
bethehigher,soaseithertoworshipGodwithconfidence,orastheysaytorecognisetheDeityby
themwithoutambiguity?Fornotthesamebeingsarecalledgodsamongallonthecontrary,for
everynationalmostthereisaseparategodimagined.Andtherearecasesofasingledistrictanda
singletownbeingatinternaldiscordaboutthesuperstitionoftheiridols.2.ThePhnicians,for
example,donotknowthosewhoarecalledgodsamongtheEgyptians,nordotheEgyptians
worshipthesameidolsasthePhnicianshave.AndwhiletheScythiansrejectthegodsofthe
Persians,thePersiansrejectthoseoftheSyrians.ButthePelasgiansalsorepudiatethegodsin
Thrace,whiletheThraciansknownotthoseofThebes.TheIndiansmoreoverdifferfromthe
Arabs,theArabsfromtheEthiopians,andtheEthiopiansfromtheArabsintheiridols.Andthe
SyriansworshipnottheidolsoftheCilicians,whiletheCappadociannationcallgodsbeings
differentfromthese.AndwhiletheBithynianshaveadoptedothers,theArmenianshaveimagined
othersagain.Andwhatneedisthereformetomultiplyexamples?Themenonthecontinent
worshipothergodsthantheislanders,whiletheselatterserveothergodsthanthoseofthemain
lands.3.And,ingeneral,everycityandvillage,notknowingthegodsofitsneighbours,prefersits
own,anddeemsthatthesealonearegods.ForconcerningtheabominationsinEgyptthereisno
needeventospeak,astheyarebeforetheeyesofall:howthecitieshavereligionswhichare
oppositeandincompatible,andneighboursalwaysmakeapointofworshippingtheoppositeof
thosenexttothem:somuchsothatthecrocodile,prayedtobysome,isheldinabominationby
theirneighbours,whilethelion,worshippedasagodbyothers,theirneighbours,sofarfrom
worshipping,slay,iftheyfindit,asawildbeastandthefish,consecratedbysomepeople,isused

asfoodinanotherplace.Andthusarisefightsandriotsandfrequentoccasionsofbloodshed,and
everyindulgenceofthepassionsamongthem.4.Andstrangetosay,accordingtothestatementof
historians,theveryPelasgians,wholearnedfromtheEgyptiansthenamesofthegods,donot
knowthegodsofEgypt,butworshipothersinstead.And,speakinggenerally,allthenationsthat
areinfatuatedwithidolshavedifferentopinionsandreligions,andconsistencyisnottobemetwith
inanyonecase.Noristhissurprising.5.ForhavingfallenfromthecontemplationoftheoneGod,
theyhavecomedowntomanyanddiverseobjectsandhavingturnedfromtheWordofthe
Father,ChristtheSaviourofall,theynaturallyhavetheirunderstandingwanderinginmany
directions.Andjustasmenwhohaveturnedfromthesunandhavecomeintodarkplacesgo
roundbymanypathlessways,andseenotthosewhoarepresent,whiletheyimaginethosetobe
therewhoarenot,andseeingseenotsotheythathaveturnedfromGodandwhosesoulis
darkened,havetheirmindinarovingstate,andlikemenwhoaredrunkandcannotsee,imagine
whatisnottrue.

24.Thesocalledgodsofoneplaceareusedasvictimsinanother.
This,then,isnoslightproofoftheirrealgodlessness.For,thegodsforeverycityandcountrybeing
manyandvarious,andtheonedestroyingthegodoftheother,thewholeofthemaredestroyedby
all.Forthosewhoareconsideredgodsbysomeareofferedassacrificesanddrinkofferingstothe
socalledgodsofothers,andthevictimsofsomeareconverselythegodsofothers.Sothe
Egyptiansservetheox,andApis,acalf,andotherssacrificetheseanimalstoZeus.Forevenif
theydonotsacrificetheveryanimalstheothershaveconsecrated,yetbysacrificingtheirfellows
theyseemtoofferthesame.TheLibyanshaveforgodasheepwhichtheycallAmmon,andin
othernationsthisanimalisslainasavictimtomanygods.2.TheIndiansworshipDionysus,using
thenameasasymbolforwine,andotherspouroutwineasanofferingtotheothergods.Others
honourriversandsprings,andabovealltheEgyptianspayspecialhonourtowater,callingthem
gods.Andyetothers,andeventheEgyptianswhoworshipthewaters,usethemtowashoffthe
dirtfromothersandfromthemselves,andignominiouslythrowawaywhatisused.Whilenearly
thewholeoftheEgyptiansystemofidolsconsistsofwhatarevictimstothegodsofothernations,
sothattheyarescornedevenbythoseothersfordeifyingwhatarenotgods,but,bothwithothers
andevenamongthemselves,propitiatoryofferingsandvictims.

25.Humansacrifice.Itsabsurdity.Itsprevalence.Itscalamitousresults.
Butsomehavebeenledbythistimetosuchapitchofirreligionandfollyastoslayandtoofferin
sacrificetotheirfalsegodsevenactualmen,whosefiguresandformsthegodsare.Nordothey
see,wretchedmen,thatthevictimstheyareslayingarethepatternsofthegodstheymakeand
worship,andtowhomtheyareofferingthemen.Fortheyareoffering,onemaysay,equalsto
equals,orrather,thehighertothelowerfortheyareofferinglivingcreaturestodead,andrational
beingstothingswithoutmotion.2.FortheScythianswhoarecalledTauriansofferinsacrificeto
theirVirgin,astheycallher,survivorsfromwrecks,andsuchGreeksastheycatch,goingthusfar
inimpietyagainstmenoftheirownrace,andthusexposingthesavageryoftheirgods,inthatthose
whomProvidencehasrescuedfromdangerandfromthesea,theyslay,almostfightingagainst
ProvidencebecausetheyfrustratethekindnessofProvidencebytheirownbrutalcharacter.But
others,whentheyarereturnedvictoriousfromwar,thereupondividingtheirprisonersinto

hundreds,andtakingamanfromeach,sacrificetoAresthemantheyhavepickedoutfromeach
hundred.3.NorisitonlyScythianswhocommittheseabominationsonaccountoftheferocity
naturaltothemasbarbarians:onthecontrary,thisdeedisaspecialresultofthewickedness
connectedwithidolsandfalsegods.FortheEgyptiansusedformerlytooffervictimsofthiskindto
Hera,andthePhniciansandCretansusedtopropitiateCronosintheirsacrificesofchildren.And
eventheancientRomansusedtoworshipJupiterLatiarius,ashewascalled,withhuman
sacrifices,andsomeinoneway,someinanother,butallwithoutexceptioncommittedandincurred
thepollution:theyincurreditbythemereperpetrationofthemurderousdeeds,whiletheypolluted
theirowntemplesbyfillingthemwiththesmokeofsuchsacrifices.4.Thisthenwastheready
sourceofnumerousevilstomankind.Forseeingthattheirfalsegodswerepleasedwiththese
things,theyimmediatelyimitatedtheirgodswithlikemisdoings,thinkingthattheimitationof
superiorbeings,astheyconsideredthem,wasacredittothemselves.Hencemankindwasthinned
bymurdersofgrownmenandchildren,andbylicenceofallkinds.Fornearlyeverycityisfullof
licentiousnessofallkinds,theresultofthesavagecharacterofitsgodsnoristhereoneofsober
lifeintheidols'templessaveonlyhewhoselicentiousnessiswitnessedtobythemall.

26.ThemoralcorruptionsofPaganismalladmittedlyoriginatedwiththegods.
Women,forexample,usedtositoutinolddaysinthetemplesofPhnicia,consecratingtothe
godstherethehireoftheirbodies,thinkingtheypropitiatedtheirgoddessbyfornication,andthat
theywouldprocureherfavourbythis.Whilemen,denyingtheirnature,andnolongerwishingtobe
males,putontheguiseofwomen,undertheideathattheyarethusgratifyingandhonouringthe
Motheroftheirsocalledgods.Butalllivealongwiththebasest,andviewiththeworstamong
themselves,andasPaulsaid,theholyministerofChristRomans1:26:Fortheirwomenchanged
thenaturaluseintothatwhichisagainstnature:andlikewisealsothemen,leavingthenaturaluse
ofthewoman,burnedintheirlustonetowardanother,menwithmenworkingunseemliness.2.But
actinginthisandinlikeways,theyadmitandprovethatthelifeoftheirsocalledgodswasofthe
samekind.ForfromZeustheyhavelearnedcorruptionofyouthandadultery,fromAphrodite
fornication,fromRhealicentiousness,fromAresmurders,andfromothergodsotherlikethings,
whichthelawspunishandfromwhicheverysobermanturnsaway.Doesitthenremainfitto
considerthemgodswhodosuchthings,insteadofreckoningthem,forthelicentiousnessoftheir
ways,moreirrationalthanthebrutes?Isitfittoconsidertheirworshippershumanbeings,instead
ofpityingthemasmoreirrationalthanthebrutes,andmoresoullessthaninanimatethings?For
hadtheyconsideredtheintellectualpartoftheirsoultheywouldnothaveplungedheadlonginto
thesethings,norhavedeniedthetrueGod,theFatherofChrist.

27.TherefutationofpopularPaganismbeingtakenasconclusive,wecometothehigherformof
natureworship.HowNaturewitnessestoGodbythemutualdependenceofallherparts,which
forbidustothinkofanyoneofthemasthesupremeGod.Thisshownatlength.
Butperhapsthosewhohaveadvancedbeyondthesethings,andwhostandinaweofCreation,
beingputtoshamebytheseexposuresofabominations,willjoininrepudiatingwhatisreadily
condemnedandrefutedonallhands,butwillthinkthattheyhaveawellgroundedand
unanswerableopinion,namely,theworshipoftheuniverseandofthepartsoftheuniverse.2.For
theywillboastthattheyworshipandserve,notmerestocksandstonesandformsofmenand

irrationalbirdsandcreepingthingsandbeasts,butthesunandmoonandalltheheavenlyuniverse,
andtheearthagain,andtheentirerealmofwater:andtheywillsaythatnonecanshowthatthese
atanyratearenotofdivinenature,sinceitisevidenttoall,thattheylackneitherlifenorreason,
buttranscendeventhenatureofmankind,inasmuchastheoneinhabittheheavens,theotherthe
earth.3.Itisworthwhilethentolookintoandexaminethesepointsalsoforhere,too,our
argumentwillfindthatitsproofagainstthemholdstrue.Butbeforewelook,orbeginour
demonstration,itsufficesthatCreationalmostraisesitsvoiceagainstthem,andpointstoGodasits
MakerandArtificer,WhoreignsoverCreationandoverallthings,eventheFatherofourLord
JesusChristWhomthewouldbephilosophersturnfromtoworshipanddeifytheCreationwhich
proceededfromHim,whichyetitselfworshipsandconfessestheLordWhomtheydenyonits
account.4.ForifmenarethusawestruckatthepartsofCreationandthinkthattheyaregods,
theymightwellberebukedbythemutualdependenceofthosepartswhichmoreovermakes
known,andwitnessesto,theFatheroftheWord,WhoistheLordandMakerofthesepartsalso,
bytheunbrokenlawoftheirobediencetoHim,asthedivinelawalsosays:Theheavensdeclare
thegloryofGod,andthefirmamentshowsHishandiwork.5.Buttheproofofallthisisnot
obscure,butisclearenoughinallconsciencetothosetheeyesofwhoseunderstandingarenot
whollydisabled.ForifamantakethepartsofCreationseparately,andconsidereachbyitselfas
forexamplethesunbyitselfalone,andthemoonapart,andagainearthandair,andheatandcold,
andtheessenceofwetandofdry,separatingthemfromtheirmutualconjunctionhewill
certainlyfindthatnotoneissufficientforitselfbutallareinneedofoneanother'sassistance,and
subsistbytheirmutualhelp.FortheSuniscarriedroundalongwith,andiscontainedin,thewhole
heaven,andcannevergobeyondhisownorbit,whilethemoonandotherstarstestifytothe
assistancegiventhembytheSun:whiletheearthagainevidentlydoesnotyieldhercropswithout
rains,whichintheirturnwouldnotdescendtoearthwithouttheassistanceofthecloudsbutnot
evenwouldthecloudseverappearofthemselvesandsubsist,withouttheair.Andtheairis
warmedbytheupperair,butilluminatedandmadebrightbythesun,notbyitself.6.Andwells,
again,andriverswillneverexistwithouttheearthbuttheearthisnotsupporteduponitself,butis
setupontherealmofthewaters,whilethisagainiskeptinitsplace,beingboundfastatthecentre
oftheuniverse.Andthesea,andthegreatoceanthatflowsoutsideroundthewholeearth,is
movedandbornebywindswherevertheforceofthewindsdashesit.Andthewindsintheirturn
originate,notinthemselves,butaccordingtothosewhohavewrittenonthesubject,intheair,from
theburningheatandhightemperatureoftheupperascomparedwiththelowerair,andblow
everywherethroughthelatter.7.Forastothefourelementsofwhichthenatureofbodiesis
composed,heat,thatis,andcold,wetanddry,whoissopervertedinhisunderstandingasnotto
knowthatthesethingsexistindeedincombination,butifseparatedandtakenalonetheytendto
destroyevenoneanotheraccordingtotheprevailingpowerofthemoreabundantelement?For
heatisdestroyedbycoldifitbepresentingreaterquantity,andcoldagainisputawaybythe
powerofheat,andwhatisdry,again,ismoistenedbywet,andthelatterdriedbytheformer.

28.ButneithercanthecosmicorganismbeGod.ForthatwouldmakeGodconsistofdissimilar
parts,andsubjectHimtopossibledissolution.
Howthencanthesethingsbegods,seeingthattheyneedoneanother'sassistance?Orhowisit
propertoaskanythingofthemwhentheytooaskhelpforthemselvesonefromanother?Forifitis

anadmittedtruthaboutGodthatHestandsinneedofnothing,butisselfsufficientand
selfcontained,andthatinHimallthingshavetheirbeing,andthatHeministerstoallratherthan
theytoHim,howisitrighttoproclaimasgodsthesunandmoonandotherpartsofcreation,which
areofnosuchkind,butwhichevenstandinneedofoneanother'shelp?2.But,perhaps,ifdivided
andtakenbythemselves,ouropponentsthemselveswilladmitthattheyaredependent,the
demonstrationbeinganocularone.Buttheywillcombinealltogether,asconstitutingasinglebody,
andwillsaythatthewholeisGod.Forthewholeonceputtogether,theywillnolongerneed
externalhelp,butthewholewillbesufficientforitselfandindependentinallrespectssoatleast
thewouldbephilosopherswilltellus,onlytoberefutedhereoncemore.3.Nowthisargument,not
onewhitlessthanthosepreviouslydealtwith,willdemonstratetheirimpietycoupledwithgreat
ignorance.Forifthecombinationofthepartsmakesupthewhole,andthewholeiscombinedout
oftheparts,thenthewholeconsistsoftheparts,andeachofthemisaportionofthewhole.But
thisisveryfarremovedfromtheconceptionofGod.ForGodisawholeandnotanumberofparts,
anddoesnotconsistofdiverseelements,butisHimselftheMakerofthesystemoftheuniverse.
ForseewhatimpietytheyutteragainsttheDeitywhentheysaythis.ForifHeconsistsof
parts,certainlyitwillfollowthatHeisunlikeHimself,andmadeupofunlikeparts.ForifHeissun,
Heisnotmoon,andifHeismoon,Heisnotearth,andifHeisearth,Hecannotbesea:andsoon,
takingthepartsonebyone,onemaydiscovertheabsurdityofthistheoryoftheirs.4.Butthe
followingpoint,drawnfromtheobservationofourhumanbody,isenoughtorefutethem.Forjust
astheeyeisnotthesenseofhearing,noristhelatterahand:noristhebellythebreast,noragain
istheneckafoot,buteachofthesehasitsownfunction,andasinglebodyiscomposedofthese
distinctpartshavingitspartscombinedforuse,butdestinedtobedividedincourseoftimewhen
nature,thatbroughtthemtogether,shalldividethematthewillofGod,Whosoordereditthus
(butmayHethatisabovepardontheargument),iftheycombinethepartsofcreationintoone
bodyandproclaimitGod,itfollows,firstly,thatHeisunlikeHimself,asshownabovesecondly,
thatHeisdestinedtobedividedagain,inaccordancewiththenaturaltendencyofthepartsto
separation.

29.ThebalanceofpowersinNatureshowsthatitisnotGod,eithercollectively,orinparts.
Andinyetanotherwayonemayrefutetheirgodlessnessbythelightoftruth.ForifGodis
incorporealandinvisibleandintangiblebynature,howdotheyimagineGodtobeabody,and
worshipwithdivinehonourthingswhichwebothseewithoureyesandtouchwithourhands?2.
Andagain,ifwhatissaidofGodholdtrue,namely,thatHeisalmighty,andthatwhilenothinghas
poweroverHim,Hehaspowerandruleoverall,howcantheywhodeifycreationfailtoseethatit
doesnotsatisfythisdefinitionofGod?Forwhenthesunisundertheearth,theearth'sshadow
makeshislightinvisible,whilebydaythesunhidesthemoonbythebrilliancyofhislight.Andhail
ofttimesinjuresthefruitsoftheearth,whilefireisputoutifanoverflowofwatertakeplace.And
springmakeswintergiveplace,whilesummerwillnotsufferspringtooutstayitsproperlimits,and
itinitsturnisforbiddenbyautumntooutstepitsownseason.3.Ifthentheyweregods,theyought
nottobedefeatedandobscuredbyoneanother,butalwaystocoexist,andtodischargetheir
respectivefunctionssimultaneously.Bothbynightandbydaythesunandthemoonandtherestof
thebandofstarsoughttoshineequallytogether,andgivetheirlighttoall,sothatallthingsmightbe
illuminedbythem.Springandsummerandautumnandwinteroughttogoonwithoutalteration,and

together.Theseaoughttominglewiththesprings,andfurnishtheirdrinktomanincommon.
Calmsandwindyblastsoughttotakeplaceatthesametime.Fireandwatertogetheroughtto
furnishthesameservicetoman.Fornoonewouldtakeanyhurtfromthem,iftheyaregods,as
ouropponentssay,anddonothingforhurt,butratherallthingsforgood.4.Butifnoneofthese
thingsarepossible,becauseoftheirmutualincompatibility,howdoesitremainpossibletogiveto
thesethings,mutuallyincompatibleandatstrife,andunabletocombine,thenameofgods,orto
worshipthemwiththehonoursduetoGod?Howcouldthingsnaturallydiscordantgivepeaceto
othersfortheirprayers,andbecometothemauthorsofconcord?Itisnotthenlikelythatthesunor
themoon,oranyotherpartofcreation,stilllessstatuesinstone,gold,orothermaterial,orthe
Zeus,Apollo,andtherest,whoarethesubjectofthepoet'sfables,aretruegods:thisourargument
hasshown.Butsomeofthesearepartsofcreation,othershavenolife,othershavebeenmere
mortalmen.Thereforetheirworshipanddeificationisnopartofreligion,butthebringinginof
godlessnessandofallimpiety,andasignofawidedeparturefromtheknowledgeoftheonetrue
God,namelytheFatherofChrist.5.Sincethenthisisthusproved,andtheidolatryoftheGreeksis
showntobefullofallungodliness,andthatitsintroductionhasbeennotforthegood,butforthe
ruin,ofhumanlifecomenow,asourargumentpromisedattheoutset,letus,afterhaving
confutederror,travelthewayoftruth,andbeholdtheLeaderandArtificeroftheUniverse,the
WordoftheFather,inorderthatthroughHimwemayapprehendtheFather,andthattheGreeks
mayknowhowfartheyhaveseparatedthemselvesfromthetruth.

Part2
30.Thesoulofman,beingintellectual,canknowGodofitself,ifitbetruetoitsownnature.
Thetenetswehavebeenspeakingofhavebeenprovedtobenothingmorethanafalseguidefor
lifebutthewayoftruthwillaimatreachingtherealandtrueGod.Butforitsknowledgeand
accuratecomprehension,thereisneedofnoneothersaveofourselves.NeitherasGodHimselfis
aboveall,istheroadtoHimafarofforoutsideourselves,butitisinusanditispossibletofindit
fromourselves,inthefirstinstance,asMosesalsotaught,whenhesaidDeuteronomy30:14:The
wordoffaithiswithinyourheart.WhichverythingtheSaviourdeclaredandconfirmed,whenHe
said:ThekingdomofGodiswithinyou.2.Forhavinginourselvesfaith,andthekingdomofGod,
weshallbeablequicklytoseeandperceivetheKingoftheUniverse,thesavingWordofthe
Father.AndletnottheGreeks,whoworshipidols,makeexcuses,norletanyoneelsesimply
deceivehimself,professingtohavenosuchroadandthereforefindingapretextforhis
godlessness.3.Forweallhavesetfootuponit,andhaveit,evenifnotallarewillingtotravelbyit,
butrathertoswervefromitandgowrong,becauseofthepleasuresoflifewhichattractthem
fromwithout.Andifoneweretoask,whatroadisthis?Isaythatitisthesoulofeachoneofus,
andtheintelligencewhichresidesthere.ForbyitalonecanGodbecontemplatedandperceived.4.
Unless,astheyhavedeniedGod,theimpiousmenwillrepudiatehavingasoulwhichindeedis
moreplausiblethantherestofwhattheysay,foritisunlikemenpossessedofanintellecttodeny
God,itsMakerandArtificer.Itisnecessarythen,forthesakeofthesimple,toshowbrieflythat
eachoneofmankindhasasoul,andthatsoulrationalespeciallyascertainofthesectariesdeny
thisalso,thinkingthatmanisnothingmorethanthevisibleformofthebody.Thispointonce
proved,theywillbefurnishedintheirownpersonswithaclearerproofagainsttheidols.

31.Proofoftheexistenceoftherationalsoul.(1)Differenceofmanfromthebrutes.(2)Man's
powerofobjectivethought.Thoughtistosenseasthemusiciantohisinstrument.Thephenomena
ofdreamsbearthisout.
Firstly,then,therationalnatureofthesoulisstronglyconfirmedbyitsdifferencefromirrational
creatures.Forthisiswhycommonusegivesthemthatname,because,namely,theraceof
mankindisrational.2.Secondly,itisnoordinaryproof,thatmanalonethinksofthingsexternalto
himself,andreasonsaboutthingsnotactuallypresent,andexercisesreflection,andchoosesby
judgmentthebetterofalternativereasonings.Fortheirrationalanimalsseeonlywhatispresent,
andareimpelledsolelybywhatmeetstheireye,eveniftheconsequencestothemareinjurious,
whilemanisnotimpelledtowardwhatheseesmerely,butjudgesbythoughtwhatheseeswithhis
eyes.Oftenforexamplehisimpulsesaremasteredbyreasoningandhisreasoningissubjectto
afterreflection.Andeveryone,ifhebeafriendoftruth,perceivesthattheintelligenceofmankind
isdistinctfromthebodilysenses.3.Hence,becauseitisdistinct,itactsasjudgeofthesenses,and
whiletheyapprehendtheirobjects,theintelligencedistinguishes,recollects,andshowsthemwhat
isbest.Forthesolefunctionoftheeyeistosee,oftheearstohear,ofthemouthtotaste,ofthe
nostrilstoapprehendsmells,andofthehandstotouch.Butwhatoneoughttoseeandhear,what
oneoughttotouch,tasteandsmell,isaquestionbeyondthesenses,andbelongingtothesouland
totheintelligencewhichresidesinit.Why,thehandisabletotakeholdofaswordblade,andthe
mouthtotastepoison,butneitherknowsthattheseareinjurious,unlesstheintellectdecide.4.And
thecase,tolookatitbyaidofasimile,islikethatofawellfashionedlyreinthehandsofaskilled
musician.Forasthestringsofthelyrehaveeachitspropernote,high,low,orintermediate,sharp
orotherwise,yettheirscaleisindistinguishableandtheirtimenottoberecognized,withoutthe
artist.Forthenonlyisthescalemanifestandthetimeright,whenhethatisholdingthelyrestrikes
thestringsandtoucheseachintune.Inlikemanner,thesensesbeingdisposedinthebodylikea
lyre,whentheskilledintelligencepresidesoverthem,thentoothesouldistinguishesandknows
whatitisdoingandhowitisacting.5.Butthisaloneispeculiartomankind,andthisiswhatis
rationalinthesoulofmankind,bymeansofwhichitdiffersfromthebrutes,andshowsthatitis
trulydistinctfromwhatistobeseeninthebody.Often,forexample,whenthebodyislyingonthe
earth,manimaginesandcontemplateswhatisintheheavens.Oftenwhenthebodyisquiet,andat
restandasleep,manmovesinwardly,andbeholdswhatisoutsidehimself,travellingtoother
countries,walkingabout,meetinghisacquaintances,andoftenbythesemeansdiviningand
forecastingtheactionsoftheday.Buttowhatcanthisbeduesavetotherationalsoul,inwhich
manthinksofandperceivesthingsbeyondhimself?

32.(3)Thebodycannotoriginatesuchphenomenaandinfacttheactionoftherationalsoulis
seeninitsoverrulingtheinstinctsofthebodilyorgans.
Weaddafurtherpointtocompleteourdemonstrationforthebenefitofthosewhoshamelessly
takerefugeindenialofreason.Howisit,thatwhereasthebodyismortalbynature,manreasons
onthethingsofimmortality,andoften,wherevirtuedemandsit,courtsdeath?Orhow,sincethe
bodylastsbutforatime,doesmanimagineofthingseternal,soastodespisewhatliesbeforehim,
anddesirewhatisbeyond?Thebodycouldnothavespontaneouslysuchthoughtsaboutitself,nor
coulditthinkuponwhatisexternaltoitself.Foritismortalandlastsbutforatime.Anditfollows
thatthatwhichthinkswhatisopposedtothebodyandagainstitsnaturemustbedistinctinkind.

Whatthencanthisbe,savearationalandimmortalsoul?Foritintroducestheechoofhigher
things,notoutside,butwithinthebody,asthemusiciandoesinhislyre.2.Orhowagain,theeye
beingnaturallyconstitutedtoseeandtheeartohear,dotheyturnfromsomeobjectsandchoose
others?Forwhoisitthatturnsawaytheeyefromseeing?Orwhoshutsofftheearfromhearing,
itsnaturalfunction?Orwhooftenhindersthepalate,towhichitisnaturaltotastethings,fromits
naturalimpulse?Orwhowithholdsthehandfromitsnaturalactivityoftouchingsomething,orturns
asidethesenseofsmellfromitsnormalexercise?Whoisitthatthusactsagainstthenatural
instinctsofthebody?Orhowdoesthebody,turnedfromitsnaturalcourse,turntothecounselsof
anotherandsufferitselftobeguidedatthebeckofthatother?Why,thesethingsprovesimplythis,
thattherationalsoulpresidesoverthebody.3.Forthebodyisnotevenconstitutedtodriveitself,
butitiscarriedatthewillofanother,justasahorsedoesnotyokehimself,butisdrivenbyhis
master.Hencelawsforhumanbeingstopractisewhatisgoodandtoabstainfromevildoing,while
tothebrutesevilremainsunthoughtofandundiscerned,becausetheylieoutsiderationalityandthe
processofunderstanding.Ithinkthenthattheexistenceofarationalsoulinmanisprovedbywhat
wehavesaid.

33.Thesoulimmortal.Provedby(1)itsbeingdistinctfromthebody,(2)itsbeingthesourceof
motion,(3)itspowertogobeyondthebodyinimaginationandthought.
ButthatthesoulismadeimmortalisafurtherpointintheChurch'steachingwhichyoumustknow,
toshowhowtheidolsaretobeoverthrown.Butweshallmoredirectlyarriveataknowledgeof
thisfromwhatweknowofthebody,andfromthedifferencebetweenthebodyandthesoul.Forif
ourargumenthasprovedittobedistinctfromthebody,whilethebodyisbynaturemortal,it
followsthatthesoulisimmortal,becauseitisnotlikethebody.2.Andagain,ifaswehaveshown,
thesoulmovesthebodyandisnotmovedbyotherthings,itfollowsthatthemovementofthesoul
isspontaneous,andthatthisspontaneousmovementgoesonafterthebodyislaidasideinthe
earth.Ifthenthesoulweremovedbythebody,itwouldfollowthattheseveranceofitsmotor
wouldinvolveitsdeath.Butifthesoulmovesthebodyalso,itfollowsallthemorethatitmoves
itself.Butifmovedbyitself,itfollowsthatitoutlivesthebody.3.Forthemovementofthesoulis
thesamethingasitslife,justas,ofcourse,wecallthebodyalivewhenitmoves,andsaythatits
deathtakesplacewhenitceasesmoving.Butthiscanbemadecleareronceforallfromtheaction
ofthesoulinthebody.Forifevenwhenunitedandcoupledwiththebodyitisnotshutinor
commensuratewiththesmalldimensionsofthebody,butoften,whenthebodyliesinbed,not
moving,butindeathlikesleep,thesoulkeepsawakebyvirtueofitsownpower,andtranscends
thenaturalpowerofthebody,andasthoughtravellingawayfromthebodywhileremaininginit,
imaginesandbeholdsthingsabovetheearth,andoftenevenholdsconversewiththesaintsand
angelswhoareaboveearthlyandbodilyexistence,andapproachesthemintheconfidenceofthe
purityofitsintelligenceshallitnotallthemore,whenseparatedfromthebodyatthetime
appointedbyGodWhocoupledthemtogether,haveitsknowledgeofimmortalitymoreclear?For
ifevenwhencoupledwiththebodyitlivedalifeoutsidethebody,muchmoreshallitslifecontinue
afterthedeathofthebody,andlivewithoutceasingbyreasonofGodWhomadeitthusbyHis
ownWord,ourLordJesusChrist.4.Forthisisthereasonwhythesoulthinksofandbearsinmind
thingsimmortalandeternal,namely,becauseitisitselfimmortal.Andjustas,thebodybeing
mortal,itssensesalsohavemortalthingsastheirobjects,so,sincethesoulcontemplatesand

beholdsimmortalthings,itfollowsthatitisimmortalandlivesforever.Forideasandthoughts
aboutimmortalityneverdesertthesoul,butabideinit,andareasitwerethefuelinitwhich
ensuresitsimmortality.ThistheniswhythesoulhasthecapacityforbeholdingGod,andisitsown
waythereto,receivingnotfromwithoutbutfromherselftheknowledgeandapprehensionofthe
WordofGod.

34.Thesoul,then,ifonlyitgetridofthestainsofsinisabletoknowGoddirectly,itsownrational
natureimagingbacktheWordofGod,afterwhoseimageitwascreated.Butevenifitcannot
piercethecloudwhichsindrawsoveritsvision,itisconfrontedbythewitnessofcreationtoGod.
Werepeatthenwhatwesaidbefore,thatjustasmendeniedGod,andworshipthingswithoutsoul,
soalsointhinkingtheyhavenotarationalsoul,theyreceiveatoncethepunishmentoftheirfolly,
namely,tobereckonedamongirrationalcreatures:andso,sinceasthoughfromlackofasoulof
theirowntheysuperstitiouslyworshipsoullessgods,theyareworthyofpityandguidance.2.Butif
theyclaimtohaveasoul,andpridethemselvesontherationalprinciple,andthatrightly,whydo
they,asthoughtheyhadnosoul,venturetogoagainstreason,andthinknotastheyought,but
makethemselvesouthighereventhantheDeity?Forhavingasoulthatisimmortalandinvisibleto
them,theymakealikenessofGodinthingsvisibleandmortal.Orwhy,inlikemannerastheyhave
departedfromGod,dotheynotbetakethemselvestoHimagain?Fortheyareable,astheyturned
awaytheirunderstandingfromGod,andfeignedasgodsthingsthatwerenot,inlikemannerto
ascendwiththeintelligenceoftheirsoul,andturnbacktoGodagain.3.Butturnbacktheycan,if
theylayasidethefilthofalllustwhichtheyhaveputon,andwashitawaypersistently,untilthey
havegotridofalltheforeignmatterthathasaffectedtheirsoul,andcanshowitinitssimplicityas
itwasmade,thatsotheymaybeablebyittobeholdtheWordoftheFatherafterWhoselikeness
theywereoriginallymade.ForthesoulismadeaftertheimageandlikenessofGod,asdivine
Scripturealsoshows,whenitsaysinthepersonofGodGenesis1:26:Letusmakemanafterour
Imageandlikeness.Whencealsowhenitgetsridofallthefilthofsinwhichcoversitandretains
onlythelikenessoftheImageinitspurity,thensurelythislatterbeingthoroughlybrightened,the
soulbeholdsasinamirrortheImageoftheFather,eventheWord,andbyHismeansreachesthe
ideaoftheFather,WhoseImagetheSaviouris.4.Or,ifthesoul'sownteachingisinsufficient,by
reasonoftheexternalthingswhichclouditsintelligence,andpreventitsseeingwhatishigher,yet
itisfurtherpossibletoattaintotheknowledgeofGodfromthethingswhichareseen,since
Creation,asthoughinwrittencharacters,declaresinaloudvoice,byitsorderandharmony,its
ownLordandCreator.

Part3
35.CreationarevelationofGodespeciallyintheorderandharmonypervadingthewhole.
ForGod,beinggoodandlovingtomankind,andcaringforthesoulsmadebyHimsinceHeisby
natureinvisibleandincomprehensible,havingHisbeingbeyondallcreatedexistence,forwhich
reasontheraceofmankindwaslikelytomissthewaytotheknowledgeofHim,sincetheyare
madeoutofnothingwhileHeisunmade,forthiscauseGodbyHisownWordgavethe
UniversetheOrderithas,inorderthatsinceHeisbynatureinvisible,menmightbeenabledto
knowHimatanyratebyHisworks.Foroftentheartistevenwhennotseenisknownbyhis
works.2.AndastheytellofPhidiastheSculptorthathisworksofartbytheirsymmetryandby

theproportionoftheirpartsbetrayPhidiastothosewhoseethemalthoughheisnotthere,soby
theorderoftheUniverseoneoughttoperceiveGoditsmakerandartificer,eventhoughHebenot
seenwiththebodilyeyes.ForGoddidnottakeHisstanduponHisinvisiblenature(letnoneplead
thatasanexcuse)andleaveHimselfutterlyunknowntomenbutasIsaidabove,Hesoordered
CreationthatalthoughHeisbynatureinvisibleHemayyetbeknownbyHisworks.3.AndIsay
thisnotonmyownauthority,butonthestrengthofwhatIlearnedfrommenwhohavespokenof
God,amongthemPaul,whothuswritestotheRomansRomans1:20:fortheinvisiblethingsofHim
sincethecreationoftheworldareclearlyseen,beingunderstoodbythethingsthataremade
whiletotheLycaonianshespeaksoutandsaysActs14:15:Wealsoaremenoflikepassionswith
you,andbringyougoodtidings,toturnfromthesevainthingsuntoaLivingGod,Whomadethe
heavenandtheearthandthesea,andallthatinthemis,Whointhegenerationsgonebysuffered
allnationstowalkintheirownways.AndyetHeleftnotHimselfwithoutwitness,inthatHedid
good,andgaveyoufromheavenrainsandfruitfulseasons,fillingyourheartswithfoodand
gladness.4.Forwhothatseesthecircleofheavenandthecourseofthesunandthemoon,andthe
positionsandmovementsoftheotherstars,astheytakeplaceinoppositeanddifferentdirections,
whileyetintheirdifferenceallwithoneaccordobserveaconsistentorder,canresistthe
conclusionthatthesearenotorderedbythemselves,buthaveamakerdistinctfromthemselves
whoordersthem?Orwhothatseesthesunrisingbydayandthemoonshiningbynight,and
waningandwaxingwithoutvariationexactlyaccordingtothesamenumberofdays,andsomeof
thestarsrunningtheircoursesandwithorbitsvariousandmanifold,whileothersmovewithout
wandering,canfailtoperceivethattheycertainlyhaveacreatortoguidethem?

36.Thisthemorestriking,ifweconsidertheopposingforcesoutofwhichthisorderisproduced.
Whothatseesthingsofoppositenaturecombined,andinconcordantharmony,asforexamplefire
mingledwithcold,anddrywithwet,andthatnotinmutualconflict,butmakingupasinglebody,as
itwerehomogeneous,canresisttheinferencethatthereisOneexternaltothesethingsthathas
unitedthem?Whothatseeswintergivingplacetospringandspringtosummerandsummerto
autumn,andthatthesethingscontrarybynature(fortheonechills,theotherburns,theone
nourishes,theotherdestroys),yetallmakeupabalancedresultbeneficialtomankindcanfailto
perceivethatthereisOnehigherthanthey,Whobalancesandguidesthemall,evenifheseeHim
not?2.Whothatseesthecloudssupportedinair,andtheweightofthewatersboundupinthe
clouds,canbutperceiveHimthatbindsthemupandhasorderedthesethingsso?Orwhothatsees
theearth,heaviestofallthingsbynature,fixeduponthewaters,andremainingunmovedupon
whatisbynaturemobile,willfailtounderstandthatthereisOnethathasmadeandorderedit,
evenGod?Whothatseestheearthbringingforthfruitsindueseason,andtherainsfromheaven,
andtheflowofrivers,andspringingupofwells,andthebirthofanimalsfromunlikeparents,and
thatthesethingstakeplacenotatalltimesbutatdeterminateseasonsandingeneral,among
thingsmutuallyunlikeandcontrary,thebalancedanduniformordertowhichtheyconformcan
resisttheinferencethatthereisonePowerwhichordersandadministersthem,ordainingthings
wellasitthinksfit?4.Forlefttothemselvestheycouldnotsubsistoreverbeabletoappear,on
accountoftheirmutualcontrarietyofnature.Forwaterisbynatureheavy,andtendstoflow
downwards,whilethecloudsarelightandbelongtotheclassofthingswhichtendtosoarand
mountupwards.Andyetweseewater,heavyasitis,bornealoftintheclouds.Andagain,earthis

veryheavy,whilewaterontheotherhandisrelativelylightandyettheheavierissupportedupon
thelighter,andtheearthdoesnotsink,butremainsimmoveable.Andmaleandfemalearenotthe
same,whileyettheyuniteinone,andtheresultisthegenerationfrombothofananimallikethem.
Andtocutthemattershort,coldisoppositetoheat,andwetfightswithdry,andyettheycome
togetherandarenotatvariance,buttheyagree,andproduceastheirresultasinglebody,andthe
birthofeverything.

37.Thesamesubjectcontinued.
Thingsthenofconflictingandoppositenaturewouldnothavereconciledthemselves,werethere
notOnehigherandLordoverthemtounitethem,toWhomtheelementsthemselvesyield
obedienceasslavesthatobeyamaster.Andinsteadofeachhavingregardtoitsownnatureand
fightingwithitsneighbour,theyrecognisetheLordWhohasunitedthem,andareatconcordone
withanother,beingbynatureopposed,butatamitybythewillofHimthatguidesthem.2.Forif
theirminglingintoonewerenotduetoahigherauthority,howcouldtheheavymingleandcombine
withthelight,thewetwiththedry,theroundwiththestraight,firewithcold,orseawithearth,or
thesunwiththemoon,orthestarswiththeheaven,andtheairwiththeclouds,thenatureofeach
beingdissimilartothatoftheother?Fortherewouldbegreatstrifeamongthem,theoneburning,
theothergivingcoldtheheavydraggingdownwards,thelightinthecontrarydirectionand
upwardsthesungivinglightwhiletheairdiffuseddarkness:yes,eventhestarswouldhavebeen
atdiscordwithoneanother,sincesomehavetheirpositionabove,othersbeneath,andnightwould
haverefusedtomakewayforday,butwouldhavepersistedinremainingtofightandstriveagainst
it.3.Butifthiswereso,weshouldconsequentlyseenotanordereduniverse,butdisorder,not
arrangementbutanarchy,notasystem,buteverythingoutofsystem,notproportionbut
disproportion.Forinthegeneralstrifeandconflicteitherallthingswouldbedestroyed,orthe
prevailingprinciplealonewouldappear.Andeventhelatterwouldshowthedisorderofthewhole,
forleftalone,anddeprivedofthehelpoftheothers,itwouldthrowthewholeoutofgear,justas,if
asinglehandandfootwereleftalone,thatwouldnotpreservethebodyinitsintegrity.4.Forwhat
sortofanuniversewoulditbe,ifonlythesunappeared,oronlythemoonwenthercourse,orthere
wereonlynight,oralwaysday?Orwhatsortofharmonywoulditbe,again,iftheheavenexisted
alonewithoutthestars,orthestarswithouttheheaven?Orwhatbenefitwouldtherebeifthere
wereonlysea,oriftheearthweretherealonewithoutwatersandwithouttheotherpartsof
creation?Orhowcouldman,oranyanimal,haveappeareduponearth,iftheelementswere
mutuallyatstrife,oriftherewereonethatprevailed,andthatoneinsufficientforthecomposition
ofbodies.Fornothingintheworldcouldhavebeencomposedofheat,orcold,orwet,ordry,
alone,butallwouldhavebeenwithoutarrangementorcombination.Butnoteventheoneelement
whichappearedtoprevailwouldhavebeenabletosubsistwithouttheassistanceoftherest:for
thatishoweachsubsistsnow.

38.TheUnityofGodshownbytheHarmonyoftheorderofNature.
Sincethen,thereiseverywherenotdisorderbutorder,proportionandnotdisproportion,not
disarraybutarrangement,andthatinanorderperfectlyharmonious,weneedsmustinferandbe
ledtoperceivetheMasterthatputtogetherandcompactedallthings,andproducedharmonyin
them.ForthoughHebenotseenwiththeeyes,yetfromtheorderandharmonyofthingscontrary

itispossibletoperceivetheirRuler,Arranger,andKing.2.Forinlikemannerasifwesawacity,
consistingofmanyanddiversepeople,greatandsmall,richandpoor,oldandyoung,maleand
female,inanorderlycondition,anditsinhabitants,whiledifferentfromoneanother,yetatunity
amongthemselves,andnottherichsetagainstthepoor,thegreatagainstthesmall,northeyoung
againsttheold,butallatpeaceintheenjoymentofequalrights,ifwesawthis,theinference
surelyfollowsthatthepresenceofarulerenforcesconcord,evenifwedonotseehim(for
disorderisasignofabsenceofrule,whileordershowsthegoverningauthority:forwhenwesee
themutualharmonyofthemembersinthebody,thattheeyedoesnotstrivewiththehearing,nor
isthehandatvariancewiththefoot,butthateachaccomplishesitsservicewithoutvariance,we
perceivefromthisthatcertainlythereisasoulinthebodythatgovernsthesemembers,thoughwe
seeitnot)sointheorderandharmonyoftheUniverse,weneedsmustperceiveGodthegovernor
ofitall,andthatHeisoneandnotmany.3.Sothenthisorderofitsarrangement,andthe
concordantharmonyofallthings,showsthattheWord,itsRulerandGovernor,isnotmany,but
One.ForifthereweremorethanoneRulerofCreation,suchanuniversalorderwouldnotbe
maintained,butallthingswouldfallintoconfusionbecauseoftheirplurality,eachonebiasingthe
wholetohisownwill,andstrivingwiththeother.Forjustaswesaidthatpolytheismwasatheism,
soitfollowsthattheruleofmorethanoneistheruleofnone.Foreachonewouldcanceltherule
oftheother,andnonewouldappearruler,buttherewouldbeanarchyeverywhere.Butwhereno
ruleris,theredisorderfollowsofcourse.4.Andconversely,thesingleorderandconcordofthe
manyanddiverseshowsthattherulertooisone.Forjustasthoughoneweretohearfroma
distancealyre,composedofmanydiversestrings,andmarvelattheconcordofitssymphony,in
thatitssoundiscomposedneitheroflownotesexclusively,norhighnorintermediateonly,butall
combinetheirsoundsinequalbalanceandwouldnotfailtoperceivefromthisthatthelyrewas
notplayingitself,norevenbeingstruckbymorepersonsthanone,butthattherewasonemusician,
evenifhedidnotseehim,whobyhisskillcombinedthesoundofeachstringintothetuneful
symphonyso,theorderofthewholeuniversebeingperfectlyharmonious,andtherebeingnostrife
ofthehigheragainstthelowerortheloweragainstthehigher,andallthingsmakinguponeorder,it
isconsistenttothinkthattheRulerandKingofallCreationisoneandnotmany,WhobyHisown
lightilluminesandgivesmovementtoall.

39.ImpossibilityofapluralityofGods.
ForwemustnotthinkthereismorethanonerulerandmakerofCreation:butitbelongstocorrect
andtruereligiontobelievethatitsArtificerisone,whileCreationherselfclearlypointstothis.For
thefactthatthereisoneUniverseonlyandnotmoreisaconclusiveproofthatitsMakerisone.
Foriftherewereapluralityofgods,therewouldnecessarilybealsomoreuniversesthanone.For
neitherwereitreasonableformorethanoneGodtomakeasingleuniverse,norfortheone
universetobemadebymorethanone,becauseoftheabsurditieswhichwouldresultfromthis.2.
Firstly,iftheoneuniverseweremadebyapluralityofgods,thatwouldmeanweaknessonthepart
ofthosewhomadeit,becausemanycontributedtoasingleresultwhichwouldbeastrongproof
oftheimperfectcreativeskillofeach.Forifoneweresufficient,themanywouldnotsupplement
eachother'sdeficiency.ButtosaythatthereisanydeficiencyinGodisnotonlyimpious,buteven
beyondallsacrilege.Forevenamongmenonewouldnotcallaworkmanperfectifhewereunable
tofinishhiswork,asinglepiece,byhimselfandwithouttheaidofseveralothers.3.Butif,

althougheachonewasabletoaccomplishthewhole,yetallworkedatitinordertoclaimashare
intheresult,wehavethelaughableconclusionthateachworkedforreputation,lestheshouldbe
suspectedofinability.But,oncemore,itismostgrotesquetoascribevainglorytogods.4.Again,if
eachoneweresufficientforthecreationofthewhole,whatneedofmorethanone,onebeing
selfsufficientfortheuniverse?Moreoveritwouldbeevidentlyimpiousandgrotesque,tomakethe
thingcreatedone,whilethecreatorsweremanyanddifferent,itbeingamaximofsciencethat
whatisoneandcompleteishigherthanthingsthatarediverse.5.Andthisyoumustknow,thatif
theuniversehadbeenmadebyapluralityofgods,itsmovementswouldbediverseand
inconsistent.Forhavingregardtoeachoneofitsmakers,itsmovementswouldbecorrespondingly
different.Butsuchdifferenceagain,aswassaidbefore,wouldinvolvedisarrayandgeneral
disorderfornotevenashipwillsailarightifshebesteeredbymany,unlessonepilotholdthetiller
,norwillalyrestruckbymanyproduceatunefulsound,unlesstherebeoneartistwhostrikesit.6.
Creation,then,beingone,andtheUniverseone,anditsorderone,wemustperceivethatitsKing
andArtificeralsoisone.ForthisiswhytheArtificerHimselfmadethewholeuniverseone,lestby
thecoexistenceofmorethanoneapluralityofmakersshouldbesupposedbutthatastheworkis
one,itsMakeralsomaybebelievedtobeOne.NordoesitfollowfromtheunityoftheMakerthat
theUniversemustbeone,forGodmighthavemadeothersaswell.ButbecausetheUniversethat
hasbeenmadeisone,itisnecessarytobelievethatitsMakeralsoisone.

40.TherationalityandorderoftheUniverseprovesthatitistheworkoftheReasonorWordof
God.
WhothenmightthisMakerbe?Forthisisapointmostnecessarytomakeplain,lest,from
ignorancewithregardtohim,amanshouldsupposethewrongmaker,andfalloncemoreintothe
sameoldgodlesserror,butIthinknooneisreallyindoubtaboutit.Forifourargumenthasproved
thatthegodsofthepoetsarenogods,andhasconvictedoferrorthosethatdeifycreation,andin
generalhasshownthattheidolatryoftheheathenisgodlessnessandimpiety,itstrictlyfollowsfrom
theeliminationofthesethatthetruereligioniswithus,andthattheGodweworshipandpreachis
theonlytrueOne,WhoisLordofCreationandMakerofallexistence.2.Whothenisthis,save
theFatherofChrist,mostholyandaboveallcreatedexistence,Wholikeanexcellentpilot,byHis
ownWisdomandHisownWord,ourLordandSaviourChrist,steersandpreservesandordersall
things,anddoesasseemstoHimbest?Butthatisbestwhichhasbeendone,andwhichwesee
takingplace,sincethatiswhatHewillsandthisamancanhardlyrefusetobelieve.3.Forifthe
movementofcreationwereirrational,andtheuniversewerebornealongwithoutplan,amanmight
fairlydisbelievewhatwesay.Butifitsubsistinreasonandwisdomandskill,andisperfectly
orderedthroughout,itfollowsthatHethatisoveritandhasordereditisnoneotherthanthe
[reasonor]WordofGod.4.ButbyWordImean,notthatwhichisinvolvedandinherentinall
thingscreated,whichsomearewonttocalltheseminalprinciple,whichiswithoutsoulandhasno
powerofreasonorthought,butonlyworksbyexternalart,accordingtotheskillofhimthatapplies
itnorsuchawordasbelongstorationalbeingsandwhichconsistsofsyllables,andhastheairas
itsvehicleofexpressionbutImeanthelivingandpowerfulWordofthegoodGod,theGodofthe
Universe,theveryWordwhichisGodJohn1:1,Whowhiledifferentfromthingsthataremade,
andfromallCreation,istheOneownWordofthegoodFather,WhobyHisownprovidence
orderedandilluminesthisUniverse.5.ForbeingthegoodWordoftheGoodFatherHeproduced

theorderofallthings,combiningonewithanotherthingscontrary,andreducingthemtoone
harmoniousorder.HebeingthePowerofGodandWisdomofGodcausestheheaventorevolve,
andhassuspendedtheearth,andmadeitfast,thoughrestinguponnothing,byHisownnod.
IlluminedbyHim,thesungiveslighttotheworld,andthemoonhashermeasuredperiodof
shining.ByreasonofHimthewaterissuspendedinthecloudstherainsshowerupontheearth,
andtheseaiskeptwithinbounds,whiletheearthbearsgrassesandisclothedwithallmannerof
plants.6.Andifamanwereincredulouslytoask,asregardswhatwearesaying,iftherebea
WordofGodatall,suchanonewouldindeedbemadtodoubtconcerningtheWordofGod,but
yetdemonstrationispossiblefromwhatisseen,becauseallthingssubsistbytheWordand
WisdomofGod,norwouldanycreatedthinghavehadafixedexistencehaditnotbeenmadeby
reason,andthatreasontheWordofGod,aswehavesaid.

41.ThePresenceoftheWordinnaturenecessary,notonlyforitsoriginalCreation,butalsoforits
permanence.
ButthoughHeisWord,Heisnot,aswesaid,afterthelikenessofhumanwords,composedof
syllablesbutHeistheunchangingImageofHisownFather.Formen,composedofpartsand
madeoutofnothing,havetheirdiscoursecompositeanddivisible.ButGodpossessestrue
existenceandisnotcomposite,whereforeHisWordalsohastrueExistenceandisnotcomposite,
butistheoneandonlybegottenGod,WhoproceedsinHisgoodnessfromtheFatherasfroma
goodFountain,andordersallthingsandholdsthemtogether.2.ButthereasonwhytheWord,the
WordofGod,hasunitedHimselfwithcreatedthingsistrulywonderful,andteachesusthatthe
presentorderofthingsisnoneotherwisethanisfitting.Forthenatureofcreatedthings,inasmuch
asitisbroughtintobeingoutofnothing,isofafleetingsort,andweakandmortal,ifcomposedof
itselfonly.ButtheGodofallisgoodandexceedingnoblebynature,andthereforeiskind.For
onethatisgoodcangrudgenothing:forwhichreasonhedoesnotgrudgeevenexistence,but
desiresalltoexist,asobjectsforHislovingkindness.3.Seeingthenallcreatednature,asfarasits
ownlawswereconcerned,tobefleetingandsubjecttodissolution,lestitshouldcometothisand
lesttheUniverseshouldbebrokenupagainintonothingness,forthiscauseHemadeallthingsby
HisowneternalWord,andgavesubstantiveexistencetoCreation,andmoreoverdidnotleaveitto
betossedinatempestinthecourseofitsownnature,lestitshouldruntheriskofoncemore
droppingoutofexistencebut,becauseHeisgoodHeguidesandsettlesthewholeCreationby
HisownWord,WhoisHimselfalsoGod,thatbythegovernanceandprovidenceandordering
actionoftheWord,Creationmayhavelight,andbeenabledtoabidealwayssecurely.Forit
partakesoftheWordWhoderivestrueexistencefromtheFather,andishelpedbyHimsoasto
exist,lestthatshouldcometoitwhichwouldhavecomebutforthemaintenanceofitbythe
Word,namely,dissolutionforHeistheImageoftheinvisibleGod,thefirstbornofallCreation,
forthroughHimandinHimallthingsconsist,thingsvisibleandthingsinvisible,andHeistheHead
oftheChurch,astheministersoftruthteachintheirholywritings.

42.ThisfunctionoftheWorddescribedatlength.
TheholyWordoftheFather,then,almightyandallperfect,unitingwiththeuniverseandhaving
everywhereunfoldedHisownpowers,andhavingilluminedall,boththingsseenandthings
invisible,holdsthemtogetherandbindsthemtoHimself,havingleftnothingvoidofHisownpower,

butonthecontraryquickeningandsustainingallthingseverywhere,eachseverallyandall
collectivelywhileHeminglesinonetheprinciplesofallsensibleexistence,heatnamelyandcold
andwetanddry,andcausesthemnottoconflict,buttomakeuponeconcordantharmony.2.By
reasonofHimandHispower,firedoesnotfightwithcoldnorwetwithdry,butprinciplesmutually
opposed,asiffriendlyandbrotherlycombinetogether,andgivelifetothethingswesee,andform
theprinciplesbywhichbodiesexist.ObeyingHim,evenGodtheWord,thingsonearthhavelife
andthingsintheheavenhavetheirorder.ByreasonofHimallthesea,andthegreatocean,move
withintheirproperbounds,while,aswesaidabove,thedrylandgrowsgrassesandisclothedwith
allmannerofdiverseplants.And,nottospendtimeintheenumerationofparticulars,wherethe
truthisobvious,thereisnothingthatisandtakesplacebuthasbeenmadeandstandsbyHimand
throughHim,asalsotheDivineJohn1:1says,InthebeginningwastheWord,andtheWordwas
withGod,andtheWordwasGodallthingsweremadebyHim,andwithoutHimwasnotanything
made.3.Forjustasthoughsomemusician,havingtunedalyre,andbyhisartadjustedthehigh
notestothelow,andtheintermediatenotestotherest,weretoproduceasingletuneastheresult,
soalsotheWisdomofGod,handlingtheUniverseasalyre,andadjustingthingsintheairtothings
ontheearth,andthingsintheheaventothingsintheair,andcombiningpartsintowholesand
movingthemallbyHisbeckandwill,produceswellandfittingly,astheresult,theunityofthe
universeandofitsorder,HimselfremainingunmovedwiththeFatherwhileHemovesallthingsby
Hisorganisingaction,asseemsgoodforeachtoHisownFather.4.ForwhatissurprisinginHis
godheadisthis,thatbyoneandthesameactofwillHemovesallthingssimultaneously,andnotat
intervals,butallcollectively,bothstraightandcurved,thingsaboveandbeneathandintermediate,
wet,cold,warm,seenandinvisible,andordersthemaccordingtotheirseveralnature.For
simultaneouslyatHissinglenodwhatisstraightmovesasstraight,whatiscurvedalso,andwhatis
intermediate,followsitsownmovementwhatiswarmreceiveswarmth,whatisdrydryness,and
allthingsaccordingtotheirseveralnaturearequickenedandorganisedbyHim,andHeproduces
astheresultamarvellousandtrulydivineharmony.

43.ThreesimilestoillustratetheWord'srelationtotheUniverse.
Andforsogreatamattertobeunderstoodbyanexample,letwhatwearedescribingbe
comparedtoagreatchorus.Asthenthechorusiscomposedofdifferentpeople,children,women
again,andoldmen,andthosewhoarestillyoung,and,whenone,namelytheconductor,givesthe
sign,eachutterssoundaccordingtohisnatureandpower,themanasaman,thechildasachild,
theoldmanasanoldman,andtheyoungmanasayoungman,whileallmakeupasingle
harmony2.orasoursoulatonetimemovesourseveralsensesaccordingtotheproperfunction
ofeach,sothatwhensomeoneobjectispresentallalikeareputinmotion,andtheeyesees,the
earhears,thehandtouches,thesmelltakesinodour,andthepalatetastesandoftentheother
partsofthebodyacttoo,asforinstanceifthefeetwalk3.or,tomakeourmeaningplainbyyeta
thirdexample,itisasthoughaverygreatcitywerebuilt,andadministeredunderthepresenceof
therulerandkingwhohasbuiltitforwhenheispresentandgivesorders,andhashiseyeupon
everything,allobeysomebusythemselveswithagriculture,othershastenforwatertothe
aqueducts,anothergoesforthtoprocureprovisionsonegoestosenate,anotherentersthe
assembly,thejudgegoestothebench,andthemagistratetohiscourt.Theworkmanlikewise
settlestohiscraft,thesailorgoesdowntothesea,thecarpentertohisworkshop,thephysicianto

histreatment,thearchitecttohisbuildingandwhileoneisgoingtothecountry,anotherisreturning
fromthecountry,andwhilesomewalkaboutthetownothersaregoingoutofthetownand
returningtoitagain:butallthisisgoingonandisorganisedbythepresenceoftheoneRuler,and
byhismanagement:4.inlikemannerthenwemustconceiveofthewholeofCreation,eventhough
theexamplebeinadequate,yetwithanenlargedidea.Forwiththesingleimpulseofanodasit
wereoftheWordofGod,allthingssimultaneouslyfallintoorder,andeachdischargetheirproper
functions,andasingleorderismadeupbythemalltogether.

44.ThesimilesappliedtothewholeUniverse,seenandunseen.
ForbyanodandbythepoweroftheDivineWordoftheFatherthatgovernsandpresidesoverall,
theheavenrevolves,thestarsmove,thesunshines,themoongoeshercircuit,andtheairreceives
thesun'slightandthetherhisheat,andthewindsblow:themountainsarerearedonhigh,thesea
isroughwithwaves,andthelivingthingsinitgrow,theearthabidesfixed,andbearsfruit,andman
isformedandlivesanddiesagain,andallthingswhateverhavetheirlifeandmovementfireburns,
watercools,fountainsspringforth,riversflow,seasonsandhourscomeround,rainsdescend,
cloudsarefilled,hailisformed,snowandicecongeal,birdsfly,creepingthingsgoalong,
wateranimalsswim,theseaisnavigated,theearthissownandgrowscropsindueseason,plants
grow,andsomeareyoung,someripening,othersintheirgrowthbecomeoldanddecay,andwhile
somethingsarevanishingothersarebeingengenderedandarecomingtolight.2.Butallthese
things,andmore,whichfortheirnumberwecannotmention,theworkerofwondersandmarvels,
theWordofGod,givinglightandlife,movesandordersbyHisownnod,makingtheuniverseone.
NordoesHeleaveoutofHimselfeventheinvisiblepowersforincludingthesealsointheuniverse
inasmuchasheistheirmakeralso,HeholdsthemtogetherandquickensthembyHisnodandby
Hisprovidence.Andtherecanbenoexcusefordisbelievingthis.3.ForasbyHisownprovidence
bodiesgrowandtherationalsoulmoves,andpossesseslifeandthought,andthisrequireslittle
proof,forweseewhattakesplacesoagainthesameWordofGodwithonesimplenodbyHis
ownpowermovesandholdstogetherboththevisibleuniverseandtheinvisiblepowers,allottingto
eachitsproperfunction,sothatthedivinepowersmoveinadivinerway,whilevisiblethingsmove
astheyareseentodo.ButHimselfbeingoverall,bothGovernorandKingandorganisingpower,
HedoesallforthegloryandknowledgeofHisownFather,sothatalmostbytheveryworksthat
HebringstopassHeteachesusandsays,Bythegreatnessandbeautyofthecreatures
proportionablythemakerofthemisseenWisdom13:5.

45.Conclusion.DoctrineofScriptureonthesubjectofPartI.
Forjustasbylookinguptotheheavenandseeingitsorderandthelightofthestars,itispossibleto
infertheWordWhoorderedthesethings,sobybeholdingtheWordofGod,oneneedsmustbehold
alsoGodHisFather,proceedingfromWhomHeisrightlycalledHisFather'sInterpreterand
Messenger.2.Andthisonemayseefromourownexperienceforifwhenawordproceedsfrom
menweinferthatthemindisitssource,and,bythinkingabouttheword,seewithourreasonthe
mindwhichitreveals,byfargreaterevidenceandincomparablymore,seeingthepowerofthe
Word,wereceiveaknowledgealsoofHisgoodFather,astheSaviourHimselfsays,Hethathas
seenMehasseentheFatherJohn14:9.ButthisallinspiredScripturealsoteachesmoreplainly
andwithmoreauthority,sothatweinourturnwriteboldlytoyouaswedo,andyou,ifyoureferto

them,willbeabletoverifywhatwesay.3.Foranargumentwhenconfirmedbyhigherauthorityis
irresistiblyproved.FromthefirstthenthedivineWordfirmlytaughttheJewishpeopleaboutthe
abolitionofidolswhenitsaidExodus20:4:Youshallnotmaketoyourselfagravenimage,northe
likenessofanythingthatisintheheavenaboveorintheearthbeneath.Butthecauseoftheir
abolitionanotherwriterdeclares,saying:Theidolsoftheheathenaresilverandgold,theworksof
men'shands:amouthhavetheyandwillnotspeak,eyeshavetheyandwillnotsee,earshavethey
andwillnothear,noseshavetheyandwillnotsmell,handshavetheyandwillnothandle,feethave
theyandwillnotwalk.Norhasitpassedoverinsilencethedoctrineofcreationbut,knowingwell
itsbeauty,lestanyattendingsolelytothisbeautyshouldworshipthingsasiftheyweregods,
insteadofGod'sworks,itteachesmenfirmlybeforehandwhenitsaysDeuteronomy4:19:Anddo
notwhenyoulookupwithyoureyesandseethesunandmoonandallthehostofheaven,go
astrayandworshipthem,whichtheLordyourGodhasgiventoallnationsunderheaven.ButHe
gavethem,nottobetheirgods,butthatbytheiragencytheGentilesshouldknow,aswehavesaid,
GodtheMakerofthemall.4.ForthepeopleoftheJewsofoldhadabundantteaching,inthatthey
hadtheknowledgeofGodnotonlyfromtheworksofCreation,butalsofromthedivineScriptures.
Andingeneraltodrawmenawayfromtheerrorandirrationalimaginationofidols,Hesays
Exodus20:3:YoushallhavenoneothergodsbutMe.NotasiftherewereothergodsdoesHe
forbidthemtohavethem,butlestany,turningfromthetrueGod,shouldbegintomakehimself
godsofwhatwerenot,suchasthosewhointhepoetsandwritersarecalledgods,thoughtheyare
none.AndthelanguageitselfshowsthattheyarenoGods,whenitsays,Youshallhavenone
othergods,whichrefersonlytothefuture.Butwhatisreferredtothefuturedoesnotexistatthe
timeofspeaking.

46.DoctrineofScriptureonthesubjectofPart3.
Hasthenthedivineteaching,whichabolishedthegodlessnessoftheheathenortheidols,passed
overinsilence,andlefttheraceofmankindtogoentirelyunprovidedwiththeknowledgeofGod?
Notso:ratheritanticipatestheirunderstandingwhenitsays:Hear,OIsrael,theLordyourGodis
oneGodandagain,YoushalllovetheLordyourGodwithallyourheartandwithallyourstrength
andagain,YoushallworshiptheLordyourGod,andHimonlyshallyouserve,andshallcleaveto
Him.2.ButthattheprovidenceandorderingpoweroftheWordalso,overallandtowardall,is
attestedbyallinspiredScripture,thispassagesufficestoconfirmourargument,wheremenwho
speakofGodsay:Youhavelaidthefoundationoftheearthanditabides.Thedaycontinues
accordingtoYourordinance.Andagain:SingtoourGodupontheharp,thatcoverstheheaven
withclouds,thatpreparesrainfortheearth,thatbringsforthgrassuponthemountains,andgreen
herbfortheserviceofman,andgivesfoodtothecattle.3.ButbywhomdoesHegiveit,saveby
HimthroughWhomallthingsweremade?Fortheprovidenceoverallthingsbelongsnaturallyto
HimbyWhomtheyweremadeandwhoisthissavetheWordofGod,concerningWhomin
anotherpsalmhesays:BytheWordoftheLordweretheheavensmade,andallthehostofthem
bytheBreathofHismouth.ForHetellsusthatallthingsweremadeinHimandthroughHim.4.
WhereforeHealsopersuadesusandsays,Hespokeandtheyweremade,Hecommandedand
theywerecreatedastheillustriousMosesalsoatthebeginningofhisaccountofCreationconfirms
whatwesaybyhisnarrativeGenesis1:20,saying:andGodsaid,letusmakemaninourimageand
afterourlikeness:foralsowhenHewascarryingoutthecreationoftheheavenandearthandall

things,theFathersaidtoHimGenesis1:611,Lettheheavenbemade,andletthewatersbe
gatheredtogetherandletthedrylandappear,andlettheearthbringforthherbandeverygreen
thing:sothatonemustconvictJewsalsoofnotgenuinelyattendingtotheScriptures.5.Forone
mightaskthemtowhomwasGodspeaking,tousetheimperativemood?IfHewerecommanding
andaddressingthethingsHewascreating,theutterancewouldberedundant,fortheywerenot
yetinbeing,butwereabouttobemadebutnoonespeakstowhatdoesnotexist,noraddressesto
whatisnotyetmadeacommandtobemade.ForifGodweregivingacommandtothethingsthat
weretobe,Hemusthavesaid,Bemade,heaven,andbemade,earth,andcomeforth,greenherb,
andbecreated,Oman.ButinfactHedidnotdosobutHegivesthecommandthus:Letusmake
man,andletthegreenherbcomeforth.BywhichGodisprovedtobespeakingaboutthemto
someoneathand:itfollowsthenthatsomeonewaswithHimtoWhomHespokewhenHemade
allthings.6.Whothencoulditbe,saveHisWord?FortowhomcouldGodbesaidtospeak,
exceptHisWord?OrwhowaswithHimwhenHemadeallcreatedExistence,exceptHis
Wisdom,whichsaysProverbs8:27:WhenHewasmakingtheheavenandtheearthIwaspresent
withHim?Butinthementionofheavenandearth,allcreatedthingsinheavenandearthare
includedaswell.7.ButbeingpresentwithHimasHisWisdomandHisWord,lookingatthe
FatherHefashionedtheUniverse,andorganiseditandgaveitorderand,asHeisthepowerof
theFather,Hegaveallthingsstrengthtobe,astheSavioursays:WhatthingssoeverIseethe
Fatherdoing,Ialsodoinlikemanner.AndHisholydisciplesteachthatallthingsweremade
throughHimanduntoHim8.and,beingthegoodOffspringofHimthatisgood,andtrueSon,He
istheFather'sPowerandWisdomandWord,notbeingsobyparticipation,norasifthesequalifies
wereimpartedtoHimfromwithout,astheyaretothosewhopartakeofHimandaremadewise
byHim,andreceivepowerandreasoninHimbutHeistheveryWisdom,veryWord,andvery
ownPoweroftheFather,veryLight,veryTruth,veryRighteousness,veryVirtue,andintruthHis
expressImage,andBrightness,andResemblance.Andtosumallup,HeisthewhollyperfectFruit
oftheFather,andisalonetheSon,andunchangingImageoftheFather.

47.NecessityofareturntotheWordifourcorruptnatureistoberestored.
Whothen,whocandeclaretheFatherbynumber,soastodiscoverthepowersofHisWord?For
likeasHeistheFather'sWordandWisdom,sotoocondescendingtocreatedthings,Hebecomes,
toimparttheknowledgeandapprehensionofHimthatbegotHim,HisveryBrightnessandvery
Life,andtheDoor,andtheShepherd,andtheWay,andKingandGovernor,andSaviouroverall,
andLight,andGiverofLife,andProvidenceoverall.HavingthensuchaSonbegottenofHimself,
good,andCreator,theFatherdidnothideHimoutofthesightofHiscreatures,butevendayby
dayrevealsHimtoallbymeansoftheorganisationandlifeofallthings,whichisHiswork.2.But
inandthroughHimHerevealsHimselfalso,astheSavioursaysJohn14:10:IintheFatherandthe
FatherinMe:sothatitfollowsthattheWordisinHimthatbegotHim,andthatHethatisbegotten
liveseternallywiththeFather.Butthisbeingso,andnothingbeingoutsideHim,butbothheaven
andearthandallthatinthemisbeingdependentonHim,yetmenintheirfollyhavesetasidethe
knowledgeandserviceofHim,andhonouredthingsthatarenotinsteadofthingsthatare:and
insteadoftherealandtrueGoddeifiedthingsthatwerenot,servingthecreatureratherthanthe
CreatorRomans1:25,thusinvolvingthemselvesinfoolishnessandimpiety.3.Foritisjustasifone
weretoadmiretheworksmorethantheworkman,andbeingawestruckatthepublicworksinthe

city,weretomakelightoftheirbuilder,orasifoneweretopraiseamusicalinstrumentbutto
despisethemanwhomadeandtunedit.Foolishandsadlydisabledineyesight!Forhowelsehad
theyknownthebuilding,orship,orlyre,hadnottheshipbuildermadeit,thearchitectbuiltit,orthe
musicianfashionedit?4.Asthenhethatreasonsinsuchawayismad,andbeyondallmadness,
evensoaffectedinmind,Ithink,arethosewhodonotrecogniseGodorworshipHisWord,our
LordJesusChristtheSaviourofall,throughWhomtheFatherorders,andholdstogetherallthings,
andexercisesprovidenceovertheUniversehavingfaithandpietytowardsWhom,my
Christlovingfriend,beofgoodcheerandofgoodhope,becauseimmortalityandthekingdomof
heavenisthefruitoffaithanddevotiontowardsHim,ifonlythesoulbeadornedaccordingtoHis
laws.ForjustasforthemwhowalkafterHisexample,theprizeislifeeverlasting,soforthose
whowalktheoppositeway,andnotthatofvirtue,thereisgreatshame,andperilwithoutpardonin
thedayofjudgment,becausealthoughtheyknewthewayoftruththeiractswerecontrarytotheir
knowledge.

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