Chapter XXII.—Confutation of Idol-Worship.
“In the first place, indeed, if you worship them as being animated, why do you also worship the sepulchres of memorable men of old, who confessedly had no divine spirit? Thus you do not at all speak truth respecting this. But if your objects of worship were really animated, they would move of themselves; they would have a voice; they would shake off the spiders that are on them; they would thrust forth those that wish to surprise and to steal them; they would easily capture those who pilfer the offerings. But now they do none of these things, but are guarded, like culprits, and especially the more costly of them, as we have already said. But what? Is it not so, that the rulers demand of you imposts and taxes on their account, as if you were greatly benefited by them? But what? Have they not often been taken as plunder by enemies, and been broken and scattered? And p. 284 do not the priests, more than the outside worshippers, carry off many of the offerings, thus acknowledging the uselessness of their worship?