It is said, then, by those who have written the History of the Sacred War in Phocis that as there was a law established that any one who was guilty of sacrilege should be either thrown down a precipice, or drowned in the sea, or burnt alive, that those men who had pillaged the temple at Delphi, by name Philomelus, and Onomarchus, and Phayllus, divided these punishments among them, for that the first fell down a rugged and precipitous rock and was dashed to pieces on the stones, and that the second, when the horse which he was riding grew restive and plunged down towards the sea, was overwhelmed by the waves, and so fell alive into a devouring gulf; and Phayllus was wasted away by a consumptive disease (for the way in which the story is told about him is twofold), or else perished in the temple at Abae, being burnt in it when it was destroyed by fire. (34) For it must be the mere spirit of obstinacy and arguing to say that all these events took place by mere chance, for if indeed one or two of them had been punished at different periods or by some other mode of punishment, then it would have been reasonable to impute their fate to the uncertainty of fortune, but when they all died together and at one time, and by no other punishment but by that precise end which is appointed in the laws for the punishment of such crimes as those of which they had been guilty, it is surely fair to say that they perished by the direct condemnation of God.

(35) But if any of the violent men who are unmentioned, and who have at different times risen up against the people in their several states, and have enslaved not only other nations, but their own countries too, have still died without meeting with punishment, it is not to be wondered at, for in the first place man does not judge as God judges, because we investigate what is visible to ourselves, but he descends into the secret recesses of the soul without making any noise, and there contemplates the mind in the clear light, as if in the sun; for stripping off from it all the ornaments in which it is enveloped, and seeing its devices and intentions naked, he immediately distinguishes between the bad and the good.

(36) Let not us then, preferring our own judgment to that of God, assert that it is more unerring or more full of wisdom than his, for that is not consistent with holiness; for in the one there are many things which deceive it, such as the treacherous outward senses, the insidious character of the passions, the most terrible attacks of vice, but in the other there is nothing which can at all conduce to deceit or error, but justice and truth, by which each separate action is determined on, and in this way is naturally rectified in the most praiseworthy manner.