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44939. But perhaps, some one will urge, the Ruler of the world sent hither souls sprung from Himself for this purpose—a very rash thing for a man to say36693669    So the later edd., from the margin of Ursinus, reading quod temeritatis est maximæ for the ms. quem—“whom it shows the greatest rashness to speak of.”—that they which had been divine36703670    Lit., “goddesses.” with Him, not coming into contact with the body and earthly limits,36713671    So Gelenius (acc. to Orelli), reading as in the margin of Ursinus, terrenæ circumscriptionis, for the unintelligible reading of the ms., temerariæ, retained in both Roman edd., Canterus, and (acc. to Oehler) Gelenius. LB. reads metariæ—“a limiting by boundaries.” should be buried in the germs of men, spring from the womb, burst into and keep up the silliest wailings, draw the breasts in sucking, besmear and bedaub themselves with their own filth, then be hushed by the swaying36723672    Lit., “motions.” of the frightened nurse and by the sound of rattles.36733673    Cf. Lucr., v. 229 sq. The same idea comes up again in iv. 21. Did He send souls hither for this reason, that they which had been but now sincere and of blameless virtue should learn as36743674    Lit., “in.” men to feign, to dissemble, to lie, to cheat,36753675    According to Hildebrand, the ms. reads dissimular-ent circumscribere, so that, by merely dropping nt, he reads, “to dissemble and cheat;” but according to Crusius, iri is found in the ms. between these two words, so that by prefixing m Sabæus in the first ed. read m-ent-iri as above, followed by all other edd. to deceive, to entrap with a flatterer’s abjectness; to conceal one thing in the heart,36763676    Lit., “to roll…in the mind.” express another in the countenance; to ensnare, to beguile36773677    Rigaltius and Hildebrand regard decipere as a gloss. the ignorant with crafty devices, to seek out poisons by means of numberless arts suggested by bad feelings, and to be fashioned36783678    So the ms., reading formari, followed by Hildebrand and Oehler; but all the other edd. give the active form, -are. with deceitful changeableness to suit circumstances? Was it for this He sent souls, that, living till then in calm and undisturbed tranquillity, they might find in36793679    Lit., “from.” their bodies causes by which to become fierce and savage, cherish hatred and enmity, make war upon each other, subdue and overthrow states; load themselves with, and give themselves up to the yoke of slavery; and finally, be put the one in the other’s power, having changed the condition36803680    The condition, i.e., of freedom. in which they were born? Was it for this He sent souls, that, being made unmindful of the truth, and forgetful of what God was, they should make supplication to images which cannot move; address as superhuman deities pieces of wood, brass, and stones; ask aid of them36813681    LB., seemingly received by Orelli, though not inserted into his text, reads poscerent eos for the ms. -entur, which Hildebrand modifies -ent ea as above. with the blood of slain animals; make no mention of Himself: nay more, that some of them should doubt their own existence, or deny altogether that anything exists? Was it for this He sent souls, that they which in their own abodes had been of one mind, equals in intellect and knowledge, after that they put on mortal forms, should be divided by differences of opinion; should have different views as to what is just, useful, and right; should contend about the objects of desire and aversion; should define the highest good and greatest evil differently; that, in seeking to know the truth of things, they should be hindered by their obscurity; and, as if bereft of eyesight, should see nothing clearly,36823682    Lit., “certain.” and, wandering from the truth,36833683    Lit., “by error.” should be led through uncertain bypaths of fancy?

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