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Chapter III.—His Object.

“When I heard this, how was I not disheartened!  Wherefore I wished you also, my brethren, who associate with me, to know that I am beyond measure grieved in my soul, seeing the wicked one awake for the temptation of men, and men wholly indifferent about their own salvation.  For to those from amongst the Gentiles who were about being persuaded respecting the earthly images that they are no gods, he has contrived to bring in opinions of many other gods, in order that, if they cease from the polytheo-mania, they may be deceived to speak otherwise, and even worse than they now do, against the sole government of God, so that they may not yet value the truths connected with that monarchy, and may never be able to obtain mercy.  And for the sake of this attempt Simon comes to do battle with us, armed with the false chapters of the Scriptures.  And what is more dreadful, he is not afraid to dogmatize thus against the true God from the prophets whom he does not in fact believe.

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