The Perfect Sermon, or

The Asclepius


1. And yet the species of all genera are interblended with all genera; some which have previously been made, some which are made from these.

The latter, then, which are being made,—either by Gods, or daimons, or by men,—are species all most closely like to their own several genera.

For that it is impossible that bodies should be formed without the will of God; or species be configured without the help of daimons; or animals be taught and trained without the help of men.

2. Whoever of the daimons, then, transcending their own genus, are, by chance, united with a species, by reason of the neighbourhood of any species of the Godlike class,—these are considered like to Gods.

Whereas those species of the daimons which continue in the quality of their own class,—these love men’s rational nature [and occupy themselves with men], and are called daimons proper.

Likewise is it the case with men, or more so even. Diverse and multiform, the species of mankind. And coming in itself from the association spoken of above, it of necessity doth bring about a multitude of combinations of all other species and almost of all things.

3. Wherefore doth man draw nigh unto the Gods, if he have joined himself unto the Gods with Godlike piety by reason of his mind, whereby he is joined to the Gods; and [nigh] unto the daimons, in that he is joined unto them [as well].

Whereas those men who are contented with the mediocrity of their own class, and the remaining species of mankind, will be like those unto the species of whose class they’ve joined themselves.

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