Chapter XIII.—Arguments in Favour of Idolatry Answered.
“But others say, We shall act impiously if we forsake the objects of worship handed down to us by our fathers; for it is like the guarding of a deposit. But on this principle the son of a robber or a debauchee ought not to be sober and to choose the better part, lest he should act impiously, and sin by doing differently from his parents! How foolish, then, are they who say, We worship these things that we may not be troublesome to Him; as if God were troubled by those who bless Him, and not troubled by those who ungratefully blaspheme Him. Why is it, then, that when there is a withholding of rain, you look only to heaven and pour out prayers and supplications; and when you obtain it, you quickly forget? For when you have reaped your harvest or gathered your vintage, you distribute your first-fruits among those idols which are nothing, quickly forgetting God your benefactor; and thus you go into groves and temples, and offer sacrifices and feasts. Wherefore some of you say, These things have been excellently devised for the sake of good cheer and feasting.