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Chapter XII.—Astrologers.

“Therefore the astrologers,841841    [On the error of astrology compare book x. 7–12.  In Homily XIV. 5 and elsewhere “genesis” and the science of astrology are identified.]—R. being ignorant of such mysteries, think that these things happen by the courses of the heavenly bodies:  hence also, in their answers to those who go to them to consult them as to future things, they are deceived in very many instances.  Nor is it to be wondered at, for they are not prophets; but, by long practice, the authors of errors find a sort of refuge in those things by which they were deceived, and introduce certain Climacteric Periods, that they may pretend a knowledge of uncertain things.  For they represent these Climacterics as times of danger, in which one sometimes is destroyed, sometimes is not destroyed, not knowing that it is not the course of the stars, but the operation of demons, that regulates these things; and those demons, being anxious to confirm the error of astrology, de186ceive men to sin by mathematical calculations, so that when they suffer the punishment of sin, either by the permission of God or by legal sentence, the astrologer may seem to have spoken truth.  And yet they are deceived even in this; for if men be quickly turned to repentance, and remember and fear the future judgment, the punishment of death is remitted to those who are converted to God by the grace of baptism.


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