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Chapter LIII.—Everything Has Its Corresponding Contrary.

“Therefore this division holds in all the things of the world; and as there are pious men, so there are also impious; as there are prophets, so also there are false prophets; and amongst the Gentiles there are philosophers and false philosophers.  Also the Arabian nations, and many others, have imitated the circumcision of the Jews for the service of their impiety.  So also the worship of demons is contrary to the divine worship, baptism to baptism, laws to the law, false apostles to apostles, and false teachers to teachers.  And hence it is that among the philosophers some assert providence, others deny it; some maintain that there is one God, others that there are more than one:  in short, the matter has come to this, that whereas demons are expelled by the word of God, by which it is declared that there is a providence, the magical art, for the confirmation of infidelity, has found out ways of imitating this by contraries.  Thus has been discovered the method of counteracting the poison of serpents by incantations, and the effecting of cures contrary to the word and power of God.  The magic art has also found out ministries contrary to the angels of God, placing the calling up of souls and the figments of demons in opposition to these.  And, not to prolong the discourse by a further enumeration, there is nothing whatever that makes for the belief of providence, which has not something, on the other hand, prepared for unbelief; and therefore they who do not know that division of things, think that there is no providence, by reason of those things in the world which are discordant from themselves.  But do you, my father, as a wise man, choose from that division the part which preserves order and makes for the belief of providence, and do not only follow that part which runs against order and neutralizes the belief of providence.”

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