Saturday, January 29, 2011

Angel in Iamblichus

Book V. CHAP. XXV.

If, therefore, these things were human customs alone, and derived their authority through our legal institutions, it might be said that the worship of the Gods was the invention of our conceptions. Now, however, divinity is the leader of it, who is thus invoked by sacrifices, and who is surrounded by a numerous multitude of Gods and angels. Under him, likewise, a certain common presiding power, is allotted dominion according to each nation of the earth. And a peculiar presiding power is allotted to each temple. Of the sacrifices, also, which are performed to the Gods, the inspective guardian is a God; but an angel, of those which are performed to angels; and a daemon, of such as are performed to daemons. After the same manner, also, in other sacred operations, the presiding power is allotted dominion over each, in a way allied to his proper genus. When, therefore, we offer sacrifices to the Gods, accompanied by the presiding Gods, who give completion to sacred operations, then at the same time, it is necessary in sacrifices to venerate the sacred law of divine sanctity; and at the same time, also, we ought to be confident, as sacrificing under the Gods who are the rulers of such works. We ought, likewise, to be very cautious, lest we should offer any gift unworthy of, or foreign from, the Gods. And, as the last admonition, we should in a manner entirely perfect, pay attention to all that surrounds us, and to the Gods, angels, and daemons that are distributed according to genera in the universe. And to all these, in a similar manner, an acceptable sacrifice should be offered; for thus alone sanctity can be preserved in a way worthy of the Gods who preside over it.



Another controversy now awaits us, not less in significance than the one which has just been finished. Thou introducest it at once in regard to the divinities that are the causative powers in the art of divination, by questioning "whether a god or angel or demon, or some other such being, is present at the manifestations (epiphanies) or at the divinations or at any of the Sacred Performances."

The simple reply which we make to this is that it is not possible for the Divine Performances to be carried on in a manner befitting sacred matters without some one of the superior races being present, beholding and making the Sacred Performances complete.

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