Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter IV.—God desires not sacrifices, but righteousness.

And that God is not appeased by the libations and incense of evil-doers, but awards vengeance in righteousness to each one, Philemon 2604 again shall bear testimony to me:—

“If any one should dream, O Pamphilus,
By sacrifice of bulls or goats—nay, then,
By Jupiter—of any such like things;
Or by presenting gold or purple robes,
Or images of ivory and gems;
If thus he thinks he may propitiate God,
He errs, and shows himself a silly one.
But let him rather useful be, and good,
Committing neither theft nor lustful deeds,
Nor murder foul, for earthly riches’ sake.
Let him of no man covet wife or child,
His splendid house, his wide-spread property,
His maiden, or his slave born ill his house,
His horses, or his cattle, or his beeves,
Nay, covet not a pin, O Pamphilus,
For God, close by you, sees whate’er you do.
He ever with the wicked man is wroth,
But in the righteous takes a pleasure still,
Permitting him to reap fruit of his toil,
And to enjoy the bread his sweat has won.
But being righteous, see thou pay thy vows,
And unto God the giver offer gifts.
Place thy adorning not in outward shows,
But in an inward purity of heart;
Hearing the thunder then, thou shall not fear,
Nor shall thou flee, O master, at its voice,
For thou art conscious of no evil deed,
And God, close by you, sees whate’er you do.”

Again, Plato, in Timæus2605 says: “But if any one on consideration should actually institute p. 292 a rigid inquiry, he would be ignorant of the distinction between the human and the divine nature; because God mingles many 2606 things up into one, [and again is able to dissolve one into many things,] seeing that He is endued with knowledge and power; but no man either is, or ever shall be, able to perform any of these.”



Some attribute these lines to Menander, others regard them as spurious.


P. 68, D, [cap. 30.]


The mss. are corrupt here. They seem to read, and one actually does read, “all” for “many.” “Many” is in Plato, and the clause in brackets is taken from Plato to fill up the sense.

Next: Chapter V.—The vain pretensions of...