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164. Image Worship.

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The worship of images is mysteriously defended by Thomas Taylor, in a note to Julian’s Oration to the Mother of the Gods. “The construction of the statues of the Gods, he says, was the result of the most consummate theological science, and from their apt resemblance to divine natures they became participants of divine illumination. For as Sallust well observes in his treatise On the Gods and the World; (chap. 15.) As the providence of the Gods is every where extended, a certain habitude or fitness is all that is requisite in order to receive their beneficent communications. But all 331habitude is produced through imitation and similitude; and hence temples imitate the heavens, but altars the earth; statues resemble life, and on this account they are similar to animals. Statues therefore, through their habitude or fitness, conjoin the souls of those who pray to them with the Gods themselves.

“Let not the reader, however, (says the Pagan Philosopher of the nineteenth century,) confound this scientific worship of the ancients, with the filthy piety of the Catholics, as Proclus in his hymn to the muses justly calls it”