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Chapter LXVII.

And to regard these myths in a figurative sense, and consider Minerva as representing prudence, let any one show what were the actual facts of her history, upon which this allegory is based.  For, supposing honour was given to Minerva as having been a woman of ancient times, by those who instituted mysteries and ceremonies for their followers, and who wished her name to be celebrated as that of a goddess, much more are we forbidden to pay divine honours to Minerva, if we are not permitted to worship so glorious an object as the sun, although we may celebrate its glory.  Celsus, indeed, says that “we seem to do the greater honour to the great God when we sing hymns in honour of the sun and Minerva;” but we know it to be the opposite of that.  For we sing hymns to the Most High alone, and His Only-begotten, who is the Word and God; and we praise God and His Only-begotten, as do also the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the host of heaven.49624962    [“Origen pointed out that hymns were addressed only to God and to His Only-begotten Word, who is also God.…The hymnody of the primitive Church protected and proclaimed the truths which she taught and cherished.”—Liddon’s Bampton Lectures, On the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, pp. 385, 386.  S.]  For these all form a divine chorus, and unite with the just among men in celebrating the praises of the Most High God and His Only-begotten.  We have already said that we must not swear by a human king, or by what is called “the fortune of the king.”  It is therefore unnecessary for us again to refute these statements:  “If you are commanded to swear by a human king, there is nothing wrong in that.  For to him has been given whatever there is upon earth; and whatever you receive in this life, you receive from him.”  We deny, however, that all things which are on the earth have been given to the king, or that whatever we receive in this life we receive from him.  For whatever we receive rightly and honourably we receive from God, and by His providence, as ripe fruits, and “corn which strengtheneth man’s heart, and the pleasant vine, and wine which rejoiceth the heart of man.”49634963    Ps. civ. 15.  And moreover, the fruit of the olive-tree, to make his face to shine, we have from the providence of God.


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