The City of God, Volume I

funeral games, considering this the very highest proof of divinity, because games are only wont to be celebrated in honour of divinities. Hermes himself, of whom we are now treating, in that same book in which, as if foretelling future things, he says with sorrow, "Then shall that land, the most holy place of shrines and temples, be full of sepulchres and dead men," testifies that the gods of Egypt were dead men. For, having said that their forefathers, erring very far with respect to the knowledge of the gods, incredulous and inattentive to the divine worship and service, invented the art of making gods, with which art, when invented, they associated the appropriate virtue which is inherent in universal nature, and by mixing up that virtue with this art, they called forth the souls of demons or of angels (for they could not make souls), and caused them to take possession of, or associate themselves with holy images and divine mysteries, in order that through these

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