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Chapter XV.—Test of Idols.

“For as dire serpents draw sparrows to them by their breath, so also these draw to their own will those who partake of their table, being mixed up with their understanding by means of food and drink, changing themselves in dreams according to the forms of the images, that they may increase error.  For the image is neither a living creature, nor has it a divine spirit, but the demon that appeared abused the form. 1116   How many, in like manner, have been seen by others in dreams; and when they have met one another when awake, and compared them with what they saw in their dream, they have not accorded:  so that the dream is not a manifestation, but is either the production of a demon or of the soul, giving forms to present fears and desire.  For the soul, being struck with fear, conceives forms in dreams.  But if you think that images, as being alive, can accomplish such things, place them on a beam accurately balanced, and place an equipoise in the other scale, then ask them to become either heavier or lighter:  and if this be done, then they are alive.  But it does not so happen.  But if it were so, this would not prove them to be gods.  For this might be accomplished by the finger of the demon.  Even maggots move, yet they are not called gods.



The meaning is:  “the idols or images of the heathen deities are not living, but the demons adopt the forms of these images when they appear to men in dreams.”

Next: Chapter XVI