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Chapter LXV.

In regard to the Persians, we have already said that though they do not build temples, yet they worship the sun and the other works of God.  This is forbidden to us, for we have been taught not to worship the creature instead of the Creator, but to know that “the creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God;” and “the earnest expectation of the creation is waiting for the revelation of the sons of God;” and “the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who made it subject, in hope.”48344834    Rom. viii. 19–21.  We believe, therefore, that things “under the bondage of corruption,” and “subject to vanity,” which remain in this condition “in hope” of a better state, ought not in our worship to hold the place of God, the all-sufficient, and of His Son, the First-born of all creation.  Let this suffice, in addition to what we have already said of the Persians, who abhor altars and images, but who serve the creature instead of the Creator.  As to the passage quoted by Celsus from Heraclitus, the purport of which he represents as being, “that it is childish folly for one to offer prayers to images, whilst he knows not who the gods and heroes are,” we may reply that it is easy to know that God and the Only-begotten Son of God, and those whom God has honoured with the title of God, and who partake of His divine nature, are very different from all the gods of the nations which are demons; but it is not possible at the same time to know God and to address prayers to images.48354835    [Let this be noted; and see book viii. 20, infra.]


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