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Chapter XVI.—God Alone a Fit Object of Worship.

“Oh! into what wretched plight the understanding of men has fallen!  For if it is reckoned the greatest folly to fear the dead, what shall we judge of those who fear something that is worse than the dead are?  For those images are not even to be reckoned among the number of the dead, because they were never alive.  Even the sepulchres of the dead are preferable to them, since, although they are now dead, yet they once had life; but those whom you worship never possessed even such base life as is in all, the life of frogs and owls.  But why say more about them, since it is enough to say to him who adores them:  Do you not see that he whom you adore sees not, hear that he whom you adore hears not, and understand that he understands not?—for he is the work of man’s hand, and necessarily is void of understanding.  You therefore worship a god without sense, whereas every one who has sense believes that not even those things are to be worshipped which have been made by God and have sense, 763 such as the sun, moon, and p. 147 stars, and all things that are in heaven and upon earth.  For they think it reasonable, that not those things which have been made for the service of the world, but the Creator of those things themselves, and of the whole world, should be worshipped.  For even these things rejoice when He is adored and worshipped, and do not take it well that the honour of the Creator should be bestowed on the creature.  For the worship of God alone is acceptable to them, who alone is uncreated, and all things also are His creatures.  For as it belongs to him who alone is uncreated to be God, so everything that has been created is not truly God.



It was a very prevalent opinion among the ancient philosophers, that the heavenly bodies have some kind of life and intelligence.

Next: Chapter XVII