Welcome to the TFC Commodity Trading Forum.
Please feel welcome to join in on these informative ongoing discussions about trading futures and commodities.

The Trading Forum is intended for the open discussion of commodities trading. The management of this Forum does not agree or disagree with the ideas exchanged, and does not exert editorial control over the message posted herein. Read and post at your own risk. The risk of loss in trading or commodities can be substantial. We discourage the use of this Forum to promote trading that is acknowledged to be risky. Please note: many links from the Forum lead to pages on other web sites. We cannot take responsibility for nor endorse the information presented on those sites.

TFC Commodity Trading Forum

Folly of Astrology, Test of Astrology

That Astrology, Soothsaying, and Similar Arts are the Invention of Demons.

These were the inventors of astrology, and soothsaying, and divination, and those productions which are called oracles, and necromancy, and the art of magic, and whatever evil practices besides these men exercise, either openly or in secret. Now all these things are false of themselves, as the Erythræan Sibyl testifies:—

"Since all these things are erroneous,

Which foolish men search after day by day."

But these same authorities by their countenance [334] cause it to be believed that they are true. Thus they delude the credulity of men by lying divination, because it is not expedient for them to lay open the truth. These are they who taught men to make images and statues; who, in order that they might turn away the minds of men from the worship of the true God, cause the countenances of dead kings, fashioned and adorned with exquisite beauty, to be erected and consecrated, and assumed to themselves their names, as though they were assuming some characters. But the magicians, and those whom the people truly call enchanters, [335] when they practice their detestable arts, call upon them by their true names, those heavenly names which are read in the sacred writings. Moreover, these impure and wandering spirits, that they may throw all things into confusion, and overspread the minds of men with errors, interweave and mingle false things with true. For they themselves feigned that there are many heavenly beings, and one king of all, Jupiter; because there are many spirits of angels in heaven, and one Parent and Lord of all, God. But they have concealed the truth under false names, and withdrawn it from sight.

For God, as I have shown in the beginning, [336] does not need a name, since He is alone; nor do the angels, inasmuch as they are immortal, either suffer or wish themselves to be called gods: for their one and only duty is to submit to the will of God, and not to do anything at all except at His command. For we say that the world is so governed by God, as a province is by its ruler; and no one would say that his attendants [337] are his sharers in the administration of the province, although business is carried on by their service. And yet these can effect something contrary to the commands of the ruler, through his ignorance; which is the result of man's condition. But that guardian of the world and ruler of the universe, who knows all things, from whose divine eyes nothing is concealed, [338] has alone with His Son the power over all things; nor is there anything in the angels except the necessity of obedience. Therefore they wish no honour to be paid to them, since all their honour is in God. But they who have revolted from the service of God, because they are enemies of the truth, and betrayers [339] of God attempt to claim for themselves the name and worship of gods; not that they desire any honour (for what honour is there to the lost?), nor that they may injure God, who cannot be injured, but that they may injure men, whom they strive to turn away from the worship and knowledge of the true Majesty, that they may not be able to obtain immortality, which they themselves have lost through their wickedness. Therefore they draw on darkness, and overspread the truth with obscurity, that men may not know their Lord and Father. And that they may easily entice them, they conceal themselves in the temples, and are close at hand at all sacrifices; and they often give prodigies, that men, astonished by them, may attach to images a belief in their divine power and influence. Hence it is that the stone was cut by the augur with a razor; that Juno of Veii answered that she wished to remove to Rome; that Fortuna Muliebris [340] announced the threatening danger; that the ship followed the hand of Claudia; that Juno when plundered, and the Locrian Proserpine, and the Milesian Ceres, punished the sacrilegious; that Hercules exacted vengeance from Appius, and Jupiter from Atinius, and Minerva from Cæsar. Hence it was that the serpent sent for from Epidaurus freed the city of Rome from pestilence. For the chief of the demons was himself carried thither in his own form, without any dissembling; if indeed the ambassadors who were sent for that purpose brought with them a serpent of immense size.

But they especially deceive in the case of oracles, the juggleries of which the profane [341] cannot distinguish from the truth; and therefore they imagine that commands, [342] and victories, and wealth, and prosperous issues of affairs, are bestowed by them,—in short, that the state has often been freed from imminent dangers by their interposition; [343] which dangers they have both announced, and when appeased with sacrifices, have averted. But all these things are deceits. For since they have a presentiment [344] of the arrangements of God, inasmuch as they have been His ministers, they interpose themselves in these matters, that whatever things have been accomplished or are in the course of accomplishment by God, they themselves may especially appear to be doing or to have done; and as often as any advantage is hanging over any people or city, according to the purpose of God, either by prodigies, or dreams, or oracles, they promise that they will bring it to pass, if temples, honours, and sacrifices are given to them. And on the offering of these, when the necessary [345] result comes to pass, they acquire for themselves the greatest veneration. Hence temples are vowed, and new images consecrated; herds of victims are slain; and when all these things are done, yet the life and safety of those who have performed them are not the less sacrificed. But as often as dangers threaten, they profess that they are angry on account of some light and trifling cause; as Juno was with Varro, because he had placed a beautiful boy on the carriage [346] of Jupiter to guard the dress, and on this account the Roman name was almost destroyed at Cannæ. But if Juno feared a second Ganymede, why did the Roman youth suffer punishment? Or if the gods regard the leaders only, and neglect the rest of the multitude, why did Varro alone escape who acted thus, and why was Paulus, who was innocent, [347] slain? Assuredly nothing then happened to the Romans by "the fates of the hostile Juno," [348] when Hannibal by craft and valour despatched two armies of the Roman people. For Juno did not venture either to defend Carthage, where were her arms and chariot, or to injure the Romans; for

"She had heard that sons of Troy

Were born her Carthage to destroy." [349]

But these are the delusions of those who, concealing themselves under the names of the dead, lay snares for the living. Therefore, whether the impending danger can be avoided, they wish it to appear that they averted it, having been appeased; or if it cannot be avoided, they contrive that it may appear to have happened through disregard [350] of them. Thus they acquire to themselves authority and fear from men, who are ignorant of them. By this subtilty and by these arts they have caused the knowledge of the true and only God to fail [351] among all nations. For, being destroyed by their own vices, they rage and use violence that they may destroy others. Therefore these enemies of the human race even devised human victims, to devour as many lives as possible.

Folly of Astrology.

Employing these accounts, (the heretics) think to deceive as many of these as devote themselves over-sedulously to the astrologers, from thence striving to construct a system of religion that is widely divergent from the thoughts of these (speculators). Wherefore, beloved, let us avoid the habit of admiring trifles, secured by which the bird (styled) the owl (is captured). For these and other such speculations are, (as it were), dancing, and not Truth. For neither do the stars yield these points of information; but men of their own accord, for the designation of certain stars, thus called them by names, in order that they might become to them easily distinguishable. For what similarity with a bear or lion, or kid, or waterman, or Cepheus, or Andromeda, or the spectres that have names given them in Hades, have the stars that are scattered over the firmament—for we must remember that these men, and the titles themselves, came into existence long after the origin of man,—(what, I say, is in common between the two), that the heretics, astonished at the marvel, should thus strive by means of such discourses to strengthen their own opinions?

Test of Astrology.

Then I:answered: "I shall therefore tell you, my father, what is the nature of mathematics, and do you act according to what I tell you. Go to a mathematician, [860] and tell him first that such and such evils have befallen you at such a time, and that you wish to learn of him whence, or how, or through what stars they have befallen you. He will no doubt answer you that a malignant Mars or Saturn has ruled your times, or that some one of them has been periodic; or that some one has regarded you diametrically, or in conjunction, or centrally; or some such answer will he give, adding that in all these some one was not in harmony with the malignant one, or was invisible, or was in the figure, or was beyond the division, or was eclipsed, or was not in contact, or was among the dark stars; and many other like things will he answer, according to his own reasons, and will condescend upon particulars. After him go to another mathematician, and tell him the opposite, that such and such good happened to you at that time, mentioning to him the same time, and ask him from what parts of your Genesis this good has come to you, and take care, as I said, that the times are the same with those about which you asked concerning evils. And when you have deceived him concerning the times, see what figures he will invent for you, by which to show that good things ought to have befallen you at those very times. For it is impossible for those treating of the Genesis of men not to find in every quarter, as they call it, of the heavenly bodies, some stars favourably placed, and some unfavourably; for the circle is equally complete in every part, according to mathematics, admitting of diverse and various causes, from which they can take occasion of saying whatever they please.

Messages In This Thread

Folly of Astrology, Test of Astrology