“But, you say, we do better when we are thankful at once to Him and to all others. Now, when you say this, you do not know the plot that is formed against you. For as, when many physicians of no power promise to cure one patient, one who is really able to cure him does not apply his remedy, considering that, if he should cure him, the others would get the credit; so also God does not do you good, when He is asked along with many who can do nothing. What! it will be said, is God enraged at this, if, when He cures, another gets the credit? I answer: Although He be not indignant, at all events He will not be an accomplice in deceit; for when He has conferred a benefit, the idol, which has done nothing, is credited with the power. But also I say to you, if he who crouches in adoration before senseless idols had not been injured naturally, perhaps He (God) would have endured even this. Wherefore watch ye that you may attain to a reasonable understanding on the matter of salvation. 1129 For God being without want, neither Himself needs anything, nor receives hurt; for it belongs to us to be profited or injured. For in like manner as Cæsar is neither hurt when he is evil spoken of, nor profited when he is thanked, but safety accrues to the renderer of thanks, and ruin to the evil-speaker, so they who speak well of God indeed profit Him nothing, but save themselves; and in like manner, those who blaspheme Him do not indeed injure Him, but themselves perish.
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