Chapter XII.—Prayer Inconsistent with Genesis.
“Therefore that first proposition, which declares that God made all things in the beginning, and having imposed a course and order upon things, takes no further account of them, affirms that all things are done according to genesis. To this, therefore, we shall first reply; and especially to those who worship the gods and defend genesis. Assuredly, these men, when they sacrifice to the gods and pray to them, hope that they shall obtain something in opposition to genesis, and so they annul genesis. But when they laugh at those who incite to virtue and exhort to p. 169 continence, and say that nobody can do or suffer anything unless what is decreed to him by fate, they assuredly cut up by the roots all worship of the Divinity. For why should you worship those from whom you can obtain nothing which the method of what is decreed does not allow? Let this suffice in the meantime, in opposition to these men. But I say that the world is made by God, and that it is at some time to be destroyed by Him, that that world may appear which is eternal, and which is made for this end, that it may be always, and that it may receive those who, in the judgment of God, are worthy of it. But that there is another and invisible world, which contains this visible world within itself,—after we have finished our discussion concerning the visible world, we shall come to it also.