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ANF04. Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second
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Chapter V.

Treating of the regulations respecting idolatry as being peculiar to Christianity, Celsus establishes their correctness, saying that the Christians do not consider those to be gods that are made with hands, on the ground that it is not in conformity with right reason (to suppose) that images, fashioned by the most worthless and depraved of workmen, and in many instances also provided by wicked men, can be (regarded as) gods.  In what follows, however, wishing to show that this is a common opinion, and one not first discovered by Christianity, he quotes a saying of Heraclitus to this effect:  “That those who draw near to lifeless images, as if they were gods, act in a similar manner to those who would enter into conversation with houses.”  Respecting this, then, we have to say, that ideas were implanted in the minds of men like the principles of morality, from which not only Heraclitus, but any other Greek or barbarian, might by reflection have deduced the same conclusion; for he states that the Persians also were of the same opinion, quoting Herodotus as his authority.  We also can add to these Zeno of Citium, who in his Polity, says:  “And there will be no need to build temples, for nothing ought to be regarded as sacred, or of much value, or holy, which is the work of builders and of mean men.”  It is evident, then, with respect to this opinion (as well as others), that there has been engraven upon the hearts of men by the finger of God a sense of the duty that is required.

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