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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter XCIV. But if the soul of birds is to be esteemed divine because future events areà

Origen Against Celsus by Origen

Chapter XCIV. But if the soul of birds is to be esteemed divine because future events areà

But if the soul of birds is to be esteemed divine because future events are predicted by them, why should we not rather maintain, that when omens are accepted by men, the souls of those are divine through which the omens are heard? Accordingly, among such would be ranked the female slave mentioned in Homer, who ground the corn, when she said regarding the suitors: --

|For the very last time, now, will they sup here.|

This slave, then, was divine, while the great Ulysses, the friend of Homer's Pallas Athene, was not divine, but understanding the words spoken by this |divine| grinder of corn as an omen, rejoiced, as the poet says: --

|The divine Ulysses rejoiced at the omen.|

Observe, now, as the birds are possessed of a divine soul, and are capable of perceiving God, or, as Celsus says, the gods, it is clear that when we men also sneeze, we do so in consequence of a kind of divinity that is within us, and which imparts a prophetic power to our soul. For this belief is testified by many witnesses, and therefore the poet also says: --

|And while he prayed, he sneezed.|

And Penelope, too, said: --

|Perceiv'st thou not that at every word my son did sneeze?|

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