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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

12 But let them be true, as you maintain, yet will you have us also believeà

But let them be true, as you maintain, yet will you have us also believe that Mellonia, for example, introduces herself into the entrails, or Limentinus, and that they set themselves to make known what you seek to learn? Did you ever see their face, their deportment, their countenance? or can even these be seen in lungs or livers? May it not happen, may it not come to pass, although you craftily conceal it, that the one should take the other's place, deluding, mocking, deceiving, and presenting the appearance of the deity invoked? If the magi, who are so much akin to soothsayers, relate that, in their incantations, pretended gods steal in frequently instead of those invoked; that some of these, moreover, are spirits of grosser substance, who pretend that they are gods, and delude the ignorant by their lies and deceit, -- why should we not similarly believe that here, too, others substitute themselves for those who are not, that they may both strengthen your superstitious beliefs, and rejoice that victims are slain in sacrifice to them under names not their own?
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