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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VII:
Lactantius: Chap. VI.—Since God is eternal and immortal, he does not stand in need of sex and succession

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chap. VI.—Since God is Eternal and Immortal, He Does Not Stand in Need of Sex and Succession.

These testimonies, therefore, so many and so great, clearly teach that there is but one government in the world, and one power, the origin of which cannot be imagined, or its force described. They are foolish, therefore, who imagine that the gods were born of marriage, since the sexes themselves, and the intercourse between them, were given to mortals by God for this reason, that every race might be preserved by a succession of offspring. But what need have the immortals either of sex or succession since neither pleasure nor death affects them? Those, therefore, who are reckoned as gods, since it is evident that they were born as men, and that they begat others, were plainly mortals: but they were believed to be gods, because, when they were great and powerful kings, on account of the benefits which they had conferred upon men, they deserved to obtain divine honours after death; and temples and statues being erected to them, their memory was retained and celebrated as that of immortals.  


Next: Chap. VII.—Of the wicked life and death of Hercules

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