Chapter XXX.—Religion of Fathers to Be Abandoned.
“Others say, It is wicked if we do not worship those idols which have come down to us from our fathers, and prove false to the religion bequeathed to us by our ancestors. On this principle, if any ones father was a robber or a base fellow, he ought not to change the manner of life handed down to him by his fathers, nor to be recalled from his fathers errors to a better way; and it is reckoned impious if one do not sin with his parents, or does not persist in impiety with them. Others say, We ought not to be troublesome to God, and to be always burdening Him with complaints of our miseries, or with the exigencies of our petitions. How foolish and witless an answer! Do you think it is troublesome to God if you thank Him for His benefits, while you do not think it troublesome to Him if, for His gifts, you render thanks to stocks and stones? And how comes it, that when rain is withheld in a long drought, we all turn our eyes to heaven, and entreat the gift of rain from God Almighty, and all p. 151 of us with our little ones pour out prayers on God and entreat His compassion? But truly ungrateful souls, when they obtain the blessing, quickly forget: for as soon as they have gathered in their harvest or their vintage, straightway they offer the first-fruits to deaf and dumb images, and pay vows in temples or groves for those things which God has bestowed upon them, and then offer sacrifices to demons; and having received a favour, deny the bestower of the favour. 769
Literally, “change the bestower of it for another.”