Chapter VI.—Why God Suffers Objects of Idolatry to Subsist.
“But some say, Unless He wished these things to be, they should not be, but He would take them away. But I say this shall assuredly be the case, when all shall show their preference for Him, and thus there shall be a change of the present world. However, if you wished Him to act thus, so that none of the things that are worshipped should subsist, tell me what of existing things you have not worshipped. Do not some of you worship the sun, and some the moon, and some water, and some the earth, and some the mountains, and some plants, and some seeds, and some also man, as in Egypt? Therefore God must have suffered nothing, not even you, so that there should have been neither worshipped nor worshipper. Truly this is what the terrible serpent which lurks in you would have, and spares you not. But so it shall not be. For it is not the thing that is worshipped that sins; for it suffers violence at the hands of him who will worship it. For though unjust judgment is passed by all men, yet not by God. For it is not just that the sufferer and the disposer receive the same punishment, unless he willingly receive the honour which belongs only to the Most Honourable.