Longsuffering, and in mercy ordering all things.
But we shall not sin, knowing that we are accounted thine:
Yea, to know thy dominion is the root of immortality.
Nor yet the painters’ fruitless labour,
A form stained with varied colours;
Who desire the form of a dead image that hath no breath;
Are both they that make them, and they that desire, and they that worship them.
Another example of the manufacture of idols.
Laboriously mouldeth each vessel for our service:
Nay, out of the same clay doth he fashion
Both the vessels that minister to clean uses, and those of a contrary sort,
All in like manner;
But what shall be the use of either sort,
The craftsman himself is the judge.
He Who, but a little before was made of the earth,
And will soon go his way to the earth out of which he was taken,
When the soul which was lent him shall again be demanded.
Not that his powers must fail,
Nor that his span of life is short;
But he rivals the workers in silver and gold,
And copieth moulders in brass,
And esteemeth it glory that he mouldeth counterfeit things.
And his hope of less value than earth,
And his life of less honour than clay:
And of him that inspired into him an active soul,
And breathed into him a vital spirit.
And our way of life a gainful fair;
For one must, saith he, get gain whence one can, though it be by evil means.
When out of the same earthy matter he maketh both brittle vessels and graven images.
The foes of thy people, who crushed them;
Which have neither the use of eyes for seeing,
Nor nostrils for drawing breath,
Nor ears to hear,
Nor fingers for handling,
And their feet are helpless for walking.
And one whose own spirit is borrowed moulded them;
For no one hath power, being a man, to mould a god like unto himself,
For he is better than the things he worshippeth;
Of the two, he indeed had life, but they never.
For, being compared as to want of sense, these are worse than all others;
But are outcasts from the praise of God and his blessing.