Why we honour the Gods, who are not indigent of any thing.
From hence we are presented with a solution of the doubts concerning sacrifices and other particulars relative to the cultivation of divinity;
for that which is divine is not indigent of any thing.
But the honours which we pay to the gods, are performed for the sake of our advantage:
and since the providence of the gods is every where extended, a certain habitude, or fitness, is all that is requisite in order to receive their beneficent communications.
But all habitude is produced through imitation and similitude;
and hence temples imitate the heavens,
but altars the earth;
statues resemble life, and on this account they are similar to animals [living things];
and prayers imitate that which is intellectual;
superior ineffable powers;
herbs and stones resemble matter;
and animals which are sacrificed, the irrational life of our souls.
But from all these nothing happens to the gods beyond what they already possess; for what accession can be made to a divine nature?
But a conjunction with our souls and the gods is by this means produced.