XIV. (64) Let us, therefore, reject all such impious dishonesty, and not worship those who are our brothers by nature, even though they may have received a purer and more immortal essence than ourselves (for all created things are brothers to one another, inasmuch as they are created; since the Father of them all is one, the Creator of the universe); but let us rather, with our mind and reason, and with all our strength, gird ourselves up vigorously and energetically to the service of that Being who is uncreated and everlasting, and the maker of the universe, never shrinking or turning aside from it, nor yielding to a desire of pleasing the multitude, by which even those who might be saved are often destroyed. (65) Let us, therefore, fix deeply in ourselves this first commandment as the most sacred of all commandments, to think that there is but one God, the most highest, and to honour him alone; and let not the polytheistical doctrine ever even touch the ears of any man who is accustomed to seek for the truth, with purity and sincerity of heart; (66) for those who are ministers and servants of the sun, and of the moon, and of all the host of heaven, or of it in all its integrity or of its principal parts, are in grievous error; (how can they fail to be, when they honour the subjects instead of the prince?) but still they sin less grievously than the others, who have fashioned stocks, and stones, and silver, and gold, and similar materials according to their own pleasure, making images, and statues, and all kinds of other things wrought by the hand; the workmanship in which, whether by statuary, or painter, or artisan, has done great injury to the life of man, having filled the whole habitable world. (67) For they have cut away the most beautiful support of the soul, namely the proper conception of the ever-living God; and therefore, like ships without ballast, they are tossed about in every direction for ever, being borne in every direction, so as never once to reach the haven, and never to be able to anchor firmly in truth, being blind respecting that which is worth seeing, and the only object as to which it is absolutely necessary to be sharp-sighted; (68) and such men appear to me to have a more miserable life than those who are deprived of their bodily sight; for these latter have either been injured without their own consent, or else have endured some terrible disease of the eyes, or else have been plotted against by their enemies; but those others by their own deliberate intention, have not only dimmed the eye of their soul, but have even chosen utterly to discard it; (69) on which account pity is bestowed on the one class as unfortunate, but the other class are justly punished as being wicked, who in conjunction with others have not chosen to recognize that fact which even an infant child would understand, namely, that the Creator is better than the creature; for he is both more ancient in point of time, and is also in a manner the father of that which he has made. He is also superior in power, for the agent is more glorious than the patient. (70) And though it would be proper, if they had not committed sins, to deify the painters and statuaries themselves with exceeding honours, they have left them in obscurity, giving them no advantage, but have looked upon the figures which have been made, or the pictures which have been painted by them, as gods; (71) and these artists have often grown old in poverty and obscurity, dying, worn out by incessant misfortunes, while the things which they have fabricated, are made splendid with purple, and gold, and all sorts of costly splendour which wealth can furnish, and are worshipped not only by freemen but even by men of noble birth, and of the greatest personal strength and beauty. For the race of priests is scrutinised with the greatest rigour and minuteness, to see whether they are without blemish, and to see whether the whole combination of the parts of their bodies is entire and perfect; (72) and these are not the worst points of all, bad as they are: but this is entirely intolerable, for I have known before now, some of the very men who have made the things, praying and sacrificing to the very things which have been made by them, when it would have been more to their purpose to worship either of their own hands, or, if they feared the reproach of self-conceit, and therefore did not choose to do that, at all events to worship their anvils, and hammers, and graving tools, and compasses, and other instruments, by means of which the materials have been fashioned into shape.