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29. And would that it were allowed me to deliver this argument with the whole world formed, as it were, into one assembly, and to be placed in the hearing of all the human race! Are we therefore charged before you with an impious religion? and because we approach the Head and Pillar32903290    Columen is here regarded by some as equal to culmen; but the term “pillar” makes a good sense likewise. of the universe with worshipful service, are we to be considered—to use the terms employed by you in reproaching us—as persons to be shunned, and as godless ones? And who would more properly bear the odium of these names than he who either knows, or inquires after, or believes any other god rather than this of ours? To Him do we not owe this first, that we exist, that we are said to be men, that, being either sent forth from Him, or having fallen from Him, we are confined in the darkness of this body?32913291    This is according to the doctrine of Pythagoras, Plato, Origen, and others, who taught that the souls of men first existed in heavenly beings, and that on account of sins of long standing they were transferred to earthly bodies to suffer punishment. Cf. Clem. Alex. Strom. iii. p. 433. Does it not come from Him that we walk, that we breathe and live? and by the very power of living, does He not cause us to exist and to move with the activity of animated being? From this do not causes emanate, through which our health is sustained by the bountiful supply of various pleasures? Whose is that world in which you live? or who hath authorized you to retain its produce and its possession? Who hath given that common light, enabling us to see distinctly all things lying beneath it, to handle them, and to examine them? Who has ordained that the fires of the sun should exist for the growth of things, lest elements pregnant with life should be numbed by settling down in the torpor of inactivity? When you believe that the sun is a deity, do you not ask who is his founder, who has fashioned him? Since the moon is a goddess in your estimation, do you in like manner care to know who is her author and framer?


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