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15. Does any man at all possessed of judgment, believe that hairs and down grow on the bodies of the gods? that among them age is distinguished? and that they go about clad in dresses and garments of various shapes, and shield themselves from heat and cold? But if any one believes that, he must receive this also as true, that some gods are fullers, some barbers; the former to cleanse the sacred garments, the latter to thin their locks when matted with a thick growth of hair. Is not this really degrading, most impious, and insulting, to attribute to the gods the features of a frail and perishing animal? to furnish them with those members which no modest person would dare to recount, and describe, or represent in his own imagination, without shuddering at the excessive indecency? Is this the contempt you entertain,—this the proud wisdom with which you spurn us as ignorant, and think that all knowledge of religion is yours? You mock the mysteries of the Egyptians, because they ingrafted the forms of dumb animals upon their divine causes, and because they worship these very images with much incense, and whatever else is used in such rites: you yourselves adore images of men, as though they were powerful gods, and are not ashamed to give to these the countenance of an earthly creature, to blame others for their mistaken folly, and to be detected in a similarly vicious error.

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