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47. But, you say, if God is not the parent and father of souls, by what sire have they been begotten, and how have they been produced? If you wish to hear unvarnished statements not spun out with vain ostentation of words, we, too,37333733    So the ms. and all edd.; but Orelli would change item into iterum, not seeing that the reference is to the indicated preference of his opponents for the simple truth. admit that we are ignorant of this, do not 452know it;37343734    Nescire Hildebrand, with good reason, considers a gloss. and we hold that, to know so great a matter, is not only beyond the reach of our weakness and frailty, but beyond that also of all the powers which are in the world, and which have usurped the place of deities in men’s belief. But are we bound to show whose they are, because we deny that they are God’s? That by no means37353735    Nihilfor the ms. mihi which makes nonsense of the sentence. follows necessarily; for if we were to deny that flies, beetles, and bugs, dormice, weevils, and moths,37363736    This somewhat wide-spread opinion found an amusing counterpart in the doctrines of Rorarius (mentioned by Bayle, Dict. Phil.), who affirmed that the lower animals are gifted with reason and speech, as we are. are made by the Almighty King, we should not be required in consequence to say who made and formed them; for without incurring any censure, we may not know who, indeed, gave them being, and yet assert that not by the Supreme37373737    Lit., “superior.” Deity were creatures produced so useless, so needless, so purposeless,37383738    Lit., “tending to no reasons.” nay more, at times even hurtful, and causing unavoidable injuries.

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