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Chapter XXIII.—“Whither Shall I Go from Thy Presence?”

When I had thus spoken, Appion broke in upon my discourse.  “What!” said he; “do not the laws of the Greeks also forbid wickedness, and punish adulterers?”  Then said I:  “Then the gods of the Greeks, who acted contrary to the laws, deserve punishment.  But how shall I be able to restrain myself, if I suppose that the gods themselves first practised all wickednesses as well as adultery, and did not suffer punishment; whereas they ought the rather to have suffered, as not being slaves to lust?  But if they were subject to it, how were they gods?”  256Then Appion said:  “Let us have in our eye not the gods, but the judges; and looking to them, we shall be afraid to sin.”  Then I said:  “This is not fitting, O Appion:  for he who has his eye upon men will dare to sin, in hope of escaping detection; but he who sets before his soul the all-seeing God, knowing that he cannot escape His notice, will refrain from sinning even in secret.”

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