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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

2 For -- that you may learn what are our sentiments and opinions about that raceà

For -- that you may learn what are our sentiments and opinions about that race -- we think that they -- if only they are true gods, that the same things may be said again till you are wearied hearing them -- should have all the virtues in perfection, should be wise, upright, venerable, -- if only our heaping upon them human honours is not a crime, -- strong in excellences within themselves, and should not give themselves up to external props, because the completeness of their unbroken bliss is made perfect; should be free from all agitating and disturbing passions; should not burn with anger, should not be excited by any desires; should send misfortune to none, should not find a cruel pleasure in the ills of men; should not terrify by portents, should not show prodigies to cause fear; should not hold men responsible and liable to be punished for the vows which they owe, nor demand expiatory sacrifices by threatening omens; should not bring on pestilences and diseases by corrupting the air, should not burn up the fruits with droughts; should take no part in the slaughter of war and devastation of cities; should not wish ill to one party, and be favourable to the success of another; but, as becomes great minds, should weigh all in a just balance, and show kindness impartially to all. For it belongs to a mortal race and human weakness to act otherwise; and the maxims and declarations of wise men state distinctly, that those who are touched by passion live a life of suffering, and are weakened by grief, and that it cannot be but that those who have been given over to disquieting feelings, have been bound by the laws of mortality. Now, since this is the case, how can we be supposed to hold the gods in contempt, who we say are not gods, and cannot be connected with the powers of heaven, unless they are just and worthy of the admiration which great minds excite?
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