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62. And be not deceived or deluded with vain hopes by that which is said by some ignorant and most presumptuous pretenders,38273827 So most edd., reading sciolis, from the emendation of Gelenius; but the ms., first five edd., Hild., and Oehler read scholis—“by some schools, and (these) arrogating very much to themselves.” that they are born of God, and are not subject to the decrees of fate; that His palace lies open to them if they lead a life of temperance, and that after death as men, they are restored without hindrance, as if to their father’s abode; nor by that which the Magi38283828 Cf. ch. 13, p. 439; Plato, Rep., ii. st. p. 364, where Glaucon speaks of certain fortune-telling vagrant seers, who persuade the rich that they have power with the gods, by means of charms and sacrifices, to cleanse from guilt; and also Origen, contra Cels., i. 69, where the Magi are spoken of as being on familiar terms with evil powers, and thus able to accomplish whatever is within these spirits’ power. assert, that they have intercessory prayers, won over by which some powers make the way easy to those who are striving to mount to heaven; nor by that which Etruria holds out in the Acherontic books,38293829 Mentioned by Servius (on Æn., viii. 399) as composed by Tages, cap. 69 [p. 460, supra], and seemingly containing directions as to expiatory sacrifices. that souls become divine, and are freed from the law38303830 Pl. of death, if the blood of certain animals is offered to certain deities. These are empty delusions, and excite vain desires. None but the Almighty God can preserve souls; nor is there any one besides who can give them length of days, and grant to them also a spirit which shall never die,38313831 Lit., “a spirit of perpetuity.” except He who alone is immortal and ever458lasting, and restricted by no limit of time. For since all the gods, whether those who are real, or those who are merely said to be from hearsay and conjecture, are immortal and everlasting by His good-will and free gift, how can it be that others38323832 i.e., than the Supreme God. are able to give that which they themselves have,38333833 Lit., “are.” while they have it as the gift of another, bestowed by a greater power? Let Etruria sacrifice what victims it may, let the wise deny themselves all the pleasures of life,38343834 Lit., “all human things.” let the Magi soften and soothe all lesser powers, yet, unless souls have received from the Lord of all things that which reason demands, and does so by His command, it38353835 i.e., reason. will hereafter deeply repent having made itself a laughing-stock,38363836 The ms. reads fuisse me risui, which has no meaning; corrected, fuisse irrisui in most edd., and derisui by Meursius, Hild., and Oehler,—the sense being in either case as above. when it begins to feel the approach38373837 Lit., “when it begins to approach to the feeling,” cum ad sensum; so read by Gelenius for the unintelligible ms. cum absens cum. of death.
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