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3. And as in the kingdoms of earth we are in no wise constrained expressly to do reverence to those who form the royal family as well as to the sovereigns, but whatever honour belongs to them is found to be tacitly39253925    Lit., “whatever belongs to them feels itself to be comprehended with a tacit rendering also of honour in,” etc., tacita et se sentit honorificentia, read by later edd. for the ms. ut se sentit—“but as whatever,” retained by Hild. and Oehler; while the first four edd. read vi—“feels itself with a silent force comprehended in the honour in,” etc. implied in the homage offered to the kings themselves; in just the same way, these gods, whoever they be, for whose existence you vouch, if they are a royal race, and spring from the Supreme Ruler, even though we do not expressly do them reverence, yet feel that they are honoured in common with their Lord, and share in the reverence shown to Him. Now it must be remembered that we have made this statement, on the hypothesis only that it is clear and undeniable, that besides the Ruler and Lord Himself, there are still other beings,39263926    So LB. and Orelli, reading alia etiamnum capita for the ms. alienum capita, read in the first five edd., alia non capita—“are others not chiefs;” Hild., followed by Oehler, proposes alia deûm capita—“other gods.” who, when arranged and disposed in order, form, as it were, a kind of plebeian mass. But do not seek to point out to us pictures instead of gods in your temples, and the images which you set up, for you too know, but are unwilling and refuse to admit, that these are formed of most worthless clay, and are childish figures made by mechanics. And when we converse with you on religion, we ask you to prove this, that there are other gods than the one Supreme Deity in nature, power, name, not as we see them manifested in images, but in such a substance as it might fittingly be supposed that perfection of so great dignity should reside.


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