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Chapter XL.

But observe whether the principles of our faith, harmonizing with the general ideas implanted in our minds at birth, do not produce a change upon those who listen candidly to its statements; for although a perverted view of things, with the aid of much instruction to the same effect, has been able to implant in the minds of the multitude the belief that images are gods, and that things made of gold, and silver, and ivory, and stone are deserving of worship, yet common sense35613561    ἡ κοινὴ ἔννοια. forbids the supposition that God is at all a piece of corruptible matter, or is honoured when made to assume by men a form embodied in dead matter, fashioned according to some image or symbol of His appearance.  And therefore we say at once of images that they are not gods, and of such creations (of art) that they are not to be compared with the Creator, but are small in contrast with the God who is over all, and who created, and upholds, and governs the universe.  And the rational soul recognising, as it were, its relationship (to the divine), at once rejects what it for a time supposed to be gods, and resumes its natural love35623562    φίλτρον φυσικόν. for its Creator; and because of its affection towards Him, receives Him also who first presented these truths to all nations through the disciples whom He had appointed, and whom He sent forth, furnished with divine power and authority, to proclaim the doctrine regarding God and His kingdom.


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