XI. (41) For, when desiring to make a display of his piety, he says, “Now I know that God is a great Lord in comparison of all Gods,”{10}{#ex 18:11.} he accuses himself of impiety in the eyes of all men who are competent to form a judgment; for they will say to him, (42) “Dost thou now know, O impious man, the power of the Ruler of the universe? but before this thou didst not know it. For was there anything which thou hast ever fallen in with of more antiquity or power than God? And are not the virtues of their parents known to the children before anything else in the world? And was not the Ruler of the universe the creator and the father of it? So that if you now say that you know it, you do not know it now, because you did not know it from the beginning of the creation.” (43) And you are not the less convicted of false pretences, when you profess to compare things that cannot be compared, and say that you now recognise the greatness and pre-eminence of God in comparison of all other gods. For if thou hadst in real truth known the living God, you would never have supposed that there was any other god endued with independent authority; (44) for as the sun, when he has arisen, hides the stars, pouring forth his own light altogether over our sight, so also when the beams of the light-giving God, unmingled as they are, and entirely pure, and visible at the greatest distance, shone upon the eye of the soul, being comprehensible only by the intellect, then the eye of the soul can see nothing else; for the knowledge of the living God having beamed upon it, out-dazzles everything else, so that even those things which are most brilliant by their own intrinsic light appear to be dark in comparison. (45) Therefore he would never have ventured to compare the true and faithful God to those falsely named gods, if he had really known him; but ignorance of the one God has caused him to entertain a belief of many as gods, who have in reality no existence at all.