Supremest Jove, and mighty Counsellor,1seems to me to denote his imperial power by supremest, and his well-advisedness and discretion by Counsellor. They also oftentimes describe this God by a hawk, because he exceeds in quickness of sight and velocity in flying, and sustains himself with very little food. He is also said to fly over the bodies of dead men that lie unburied, and to drop down earth upon their eyes. Likewise, when he alights down upon the bank of any river to assuage his thirst, he sets his feathers up on end, and after he hath done drinking, he lets them fall again. Which he plainly doth because he is now safe and escaped from the danger of the crocodile; but if he chances to be catched, his feathers then continue stiff as before. They also show us everywhere Osiris's statue in the shape of a man, with his private part erect, to betoken unto us his faculty of generation and nutrition; and they dress up his images in a flame-colored robe, esteeming the sun as the body of the power of good, and as the visible image of intelligible substance. Wherefore we have good reason to reject those that ascribe the sun's globe unto Typhon, to whom appertaineth nothing of a lucid or salutary nature, nor order, nor generation, nor motion attended with measure [p. 112] and proportion, but the clean contrary to them. Neither is that parching drought, which destroys many animals and plants, to be accounted as an effect of the sun, but of those winds and waters which in the earth and air are not tempered according to the season, at which time the principle of the unordered and interminate nature acts at random, and so stifles and suppresses those exhalations that should ascend.
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1 Il. VIII. 22.
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