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Chapter XIII.—Origin of Idolatry.

“But when all these things were done, men turned again to impiety;734734    [There is a similar chapter in Homily IX. 7, but in a discourse on the following day.—R.] and on this account a law was given by God to instruct them in the manner of living.  But in process of time, the worship of God and righteousness were corrupted by the unbelieving and the wicked, as we shall show more fully by and by.  Moreover, perverse and erratic religions were introduced, to which the greater part of men gave themselves up, by occasion of holidays and solemnities, instituting drinkings and banquets, following pipes, and flutes, and harps, and diverse kinds of musical instruments, and indulging themselves in all kinds of drunkenness and luxury.  Hence every kind of error took rise; hence they invented groves and altars, fillets and victims, and after drunkenness they were agitated as if with mad emotions.  By this means power was given to the demons to enter into minds of this sort, so that they seemed to lead insane dances and to rave like Bacchanalians; hence were invented the gnashing of teeth, and bellowing from the depth of their bowels; hence a terrible countenance and a fierce aspect in men, so that he whom drunkenness had subverted and a demon had instigated, was believed by the deceived and the erring to be filled with the Deity.


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