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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

4 But, says my opponent, it is not for this reason that we assign temples toà

But, says my opponent, it is not for this reason that we assign temples to the gods as though we wished to ward off from them drenching storms of rain, winds, showers, or the rays of the sun; but in order that we may be able to see them in person and close at hand, to come near and address them, and impart to them, when in a measure present, the expressions of our reverent feelings. For if they are invoked under the open heaven, and the canopy of ether, they hear nothing, I suppose; and unless prayers are addressed to them near at hand, they will stand deaf and immoveable as if nothing were said. And yet we think that every god whatever -- if only he has the power of this name -- should hear what every one said from every part of the world, just as if he were present; nay, more, should foresee, without waiting to be told what every one conceived in his secret and silent thoughts. And as the stars, the sun, the moon, while they wander above the earth, are steadily and everywhere in sight of all those who gaze at them without any exception; so, too, it is fitting that the ears of the gods should be closed against no tongue, and should be ever within reach, although voices should flow together to them from widely separated regions. For this it is that belongs specially to the gods, -- to fill all things with their power, to be not partly at any place, but all everywhere, not to go to dine with the Æthiopians, and return after twelve days to their own dwellings.
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