Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius
Section 46. Discredit, from the date of the Incarnation, of idol-cultus, oracles, mythologies, demoniacal energy, magic, and Gentile philosophy. And whereas the old cults were strictly local and independent, the worship of Christ is catholic and uniform.
When did men begin to desert the worshipping of idols, save since God, the true Word of God, has come among men? Or when have the oracles among the Greeks, and everywhere, ceased and become empty, save when the Saviour has manifested Himself upon earth? 2. Or when did those who are called gods and heroes in the poets begin to be convicted of being merely mortal men , save since the Lord erected His conquest of death, and preserved incorruptible the body he had taken, raising it from the dead? 3. Or when did the deceitfulness and madness of demons fall into contempt, save when the power of God, the Word, the Master of all these as well, condescending because of man's weakness, appeared on earth? Or when did the art and the schools of magic begin to be trodden down, save when the divine manifestation of the Word took place among men? 4. And, in a word, at what time has the wisdom of the Greeks become foolish, save when the true Wisdom of God manifested itself on earth? For formerly the whole world and every place was led astray by the worshipping of idols, and men regarded nothing else but the idols as gods. But now, all the world over, men are deserting the superstition of the idols, and taking refuge with Christ; and, worshipping Him as God, are by His means coming to know that Father also Whom they knew not.5. And, marvellous fact, whereas the objects of worship were various and of vast number, and each place had its own idol, and he who was accounted a god among them had no power to pass over to the neighbouring place, so as to persuade those of neighbouring peoples to worship him, but was barely served even among his own people; for no one else worshipped his neighbour's god -- on the contrary, each man kept to his own idol , thinking it to be lord of all; -- Christ alone is worshipped as one and the same among all peoples; and what the weakness of the idols could not do -- to persuade, namely, even those dwelling close at hand, -- this Christ has done, persuading not only those close at hand, but simply the entire world, to worship one and the same Lord, and through Him God, even His Father.