CHAPTER XXXIV.—THE PROPHETS ENJOINED HOLINESS OF LIFE.
And, for the rest, would that in a kindly spirit you would investigate divine things—I mean the things that are spoken by the prophets—in order that, by comparing what is said by us with the utterances of the others, you may be able to discover the truth. We have shown from their own histories, which they have compiled, that the names of those who are called gods, are found to be the names of men who lived among them, as we have shown above. And to this day their images are daily fashioned, idols, “the works of men’s hands.” And these the mass of foolish men serve, whilst they reject the maker and fashioner of all things and the nourisher of all breath of life, giving credit to vain doctrines through the deceitfulness of the senseless tradition received from their fathers. But God at least, the Father and Creator of the universe, did not abandon mankind, but gave a law, and sent holy prophets to declare and teach the race of men, that each one of us might awake and understand that there is one God. And they also taught us to refrain from unlawful idolatry, and adultery, and murder, fornication, theft, avarice, false swearing, wrath, and every incontinence and uncleanness; and that whatever a man would not wish to be done to himself, he should not do to another; and thus he who acts righteously shall escape the eternal punishments, and be thought worthy of the eternal life from God.