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Chapter XXVI.—Abel’s Name and Nature.

“But he who amongst the sons of men had prophecy innate to his soul as belonging to it, expressly, as being a male, indicating the hopes of the world to come, called his own son Abel, which without any ambiguity is translated Grief.  For he assigns to his sons to grieve over their deceived brethren.  He does not deceive them when he promises them comfort in the world to come.  When he says that we must pray to one only God, he neither himself speaks of gods, nor does he believe another who speaks of them.  He keeps the good which he has, and increases more and more.  He hates sacrifices, bloodshed, and libations; he loves the chaste, the pure, the holy.  He quenches the fire of altars, represses wars, teaches pious preachers wisdom, purges sins, sanctions marriage, approves temperance, leads all to chastity, makes men liberal, prescribes justice, seals those of them who are perfect, publishes the word of peace, prophesies explicitly, speaks decidedly, frequently makes mention of the eternal fire of punishment, constantly announces the kingdom of God, indicates heavenly riches, promises unfading glory, shows the remission of sins by works.

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