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Chapter LXII.

Let us now see what follows.  “Let us pass on,” says he, “to another point.  They cannot 637tolerate temples, altars, or images.48284828    [The temples here meant are such as enshrined images.]  In this they are like the Scythians, the nomadic tribes of Libya, the Seres who worship no god, and some other of the most barbarous and impious nations in the world.  That the Persians hold the same notions is shown by Herodotus in these words:  ‘I know that among the Persians it is considered unlawful to erect images, altars, or temples; but they charge those with folly who do so, because, as I conjecture, they do not, like the Greeks, suppose the gods to be of the nature of men.’48294829    Herod., i. 131.  Heraclitus also says in one place:  ‘Persons who address prayers to these images act like those who speak to the walls, without knowing who the gods or the heroes are.’  And what wiser lesson have they to teach us than Heraclitus?  He certainly plainly enough implies that it is a foolish thing for a man to offer prayers to images, whilst he knows not who the gods and heroes are.  This is the opinion of Heraclitus; but as for them, they go further, and despise without exception all images.  If they merely mean that the stone, wood, brass, or gold which has been wrought by this or that workman cannot be a god, they are ridiculous with their wisdom.  For who, unless he be utterly childish in his simplicity, can take these for gods, and not for offerings consecrated to the service of the gods, or images representing them?  But if we are not to regard these as representing the Divine Being, seeing that God has a different form, as the Persians concur with them in saying, then let them take care that they do not contradict themselves; for they say that God made man His own image, and that He gave him a form like to Himself.  However, they will admit that these images, whether they are like or not, are made and dedicated to the honour of certain beings.  But they will hold that the beings to whom they are dedicated are not gods, but demons, and that a worshipper of God ought not to worship demons.”

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