Excerpt from Lives of the Primitive Fathers: Being a Faithful History of the Acts and Sufferings of Those Eminent Men Who Lived in the Early Ages of the Christian Church; With Copious Lists of Their Writings; To Which Are Prefixed, an Account of Various Systems of Heathenism
Spirits or demons, and of the highly demoralizing nature of this species of religious devotion. The reverence paid to evil spirits was in a great measure, however, confined to the grosser and more ignorant portion of the Pagan race; for, amongst the more intellectual and Speculative portion of them, the somewhat more natural adoration of departed hu man greatness was prevalent. We find a pointed allusion to this in one of the works of an ancient author, Hesiod, who remarks, in his book called Weeks and Days, that, When the mortal remains of those who ﬂourished during the golden age were hidden beneath the earth, their souls became benefi cent demons, still hovering over the world they had once inhabited, and watching as guardians the affairs of man. These, clothed in thin air, and rapidly ﬂitting through every region of the earth, possess the royal privilege of conferring wealth, and of pro teeting the administration of justice.
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