Chapter IX.—“Eyes Have They, But They See Not.”
“Oh the minds of wretched men, who fear things deader than dead men! For I cannot call them even dead, which have never lived, unless they are the tombs of ancient men. For sometimes a person, visiting unknown places, does not know whether the temples which he sees are monuments of dead men, or whether they belong to the so-called gods; but on inquiring and hearing that they belong to the gods, he worships, without being ashamed that if he had not learned on inquiring, he would have passed them by as the monuments of a dead man, on account of the strictness of the resemblance. However, it is not necessary that I should adduce much proof in regard to such superstition. For it is easy for any one who pleases to understand that it, an idol, is nothing, unless there be any one who does not see. However, now at least hear that it does not hear, and understand that it does not understand. For the hands of a man who is dead made it. If, then, the maker is dead, how can it be that which was made by him shall not be dissolved? Why, then, do you worship the work of a mortal which is altogether senseless? whereas those who have reason do not worship animals, nor do they seek to propitiate the elements which have been made by God,—I mean the heaven, the sun, the moon, lightning, the sea, and all things in them,—rightly judging not to worship the things that He has made, but to reverence the Maker and Sustainer of them. For in this they themselves also rejoice, that no one ascribes to them the honour that belongs to their Maker.