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SECT. X. The heathen religion rejected, because it failed of its own accord, as soon as human assistance was wanting.

BESIDES those things already alleged, the heathen religion affords us a very strong argument against itself, in that wheresoever human force was wanting, it immediately fell, as if its only support were then taken away. For, if you turn your eyes towards all the Christian or Mahometan empires, you will find heathenism no where mentioned but in books: nay, history informs us, that in those times when the emperors made use of force and punishment, as the first emperors did, or of learning and cunning, as Julian did, to support the heathen religion; even then it continually decreased; no force being made use of against it, no greatness of family, (for it was commonly believed that Jesus was the son of a carpenter), no flourish of words, no bribes, (for they were poor), no flattery, for they on the contrary despised all advantages, and said there was no adversity but they ought to undergo, upon account of their law. And now, how weak must the heathen religion be, to be overthrown by such weak forces? Nor did the vain credulity of the heathens only vanish at this doctrine, but spirits themselves came out of men, at the name of Christ;516516   Acts v. 16. viii. 7. xvi. 18. were silenced; and being asked the reason of their silence, were forced to own, that they could do nothing when Christ was invoked.517517   Tertullian, in his apology. See also Lucan against false diviners. Apollo in Daphne: “This place, Daphne, is filled with dead bodies, which hinder the oracles.” Babylas and other Christian martyrs died there. See Chrysostom against the gentiles.


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