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Nor would this be any great harm either, would they save us these Gods in common, and not make them to be peculiar to the Egyptians, nor confine these names to the river Nile, and only to that one piece of ground which the river Nile waters; nor affirm their fens and their lotuses to be the subject of this mythology, and so deprive the rest of mankind of great and mighty Gods, who have neither a Nile nor a Buto nor a Memphis. As for Isis, all mankind have her, and are well acquainted with her and the other Gods about her; and although they had not anciently learned to call some of them by their Egyptian names, yet they from the very first both knew and honored the power which belongs to every one of them. In the [p. 124] second place, what is yet of greater consequence is, that they take a mighty care and fear lest, before they are aware, they change and dissolve the divine beings into blasts of winds, streams of water, sowings of corn, earings of land, accidents of the earth, and changes of seasons; as those who make Bacchus to be wine and Vulcan to be flame. Cleanthes also somewhere saith that Proserpine (or Persephone) is the breath of air which is carried (φερόμενον) through the corn and then dies (φονεύομενον); and again, a certain poet saith of reapers,
Then when the youth the legs of Ceres cut.

For these men seem to me to be nothing wiser than such as would take the sails, the cables, and the anchor of a ship for the pilot; the yarn and the web for the weaver; and the bowl or the mead or the ptisan for the doctor. And they over and above produce in men most dangerous and atheistical opinions, while they give the names of Gods to those natures and things that have in them neither soul nor sense, and that are necessarily destroyed by men who need them and use them.

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