Learn, O you servants of God who are just now entering upon His service,
and you who have already solemnly sworn allegiance to Him recall what
principle of faith, what reason inherent in truth, what rule in our way of
life forbid, along with the other errors of the world, also the pleasures
of the spectacles, lest by ignorance or self-deception anyone fall into
(2) For so strong is the appeal of pleasure that it can bring about a
prolongation of ignorance with a resulting facility for sin, or a
perversion of conscience leading to self-deception.
(3) In addition, some may perhaps be allured to either error by the
opinions of the heathens who commonly use the following arguments against
us in this matter: such comforting and merely external pleasures of the
eyes and ears are not opposed to religion which is founded in man's mind
and conscience; neither is God offended by a man's enjoying himself, nor is
taking delight in such enjoyment in its proper time and place a sin as long
as the fear of God and God's honor remain unimpaired.
(4) But this is precisely what we intend to prove: that these things are
not compatible with true religion and true obedience to the true God.
(5) There are some who think that the Christians, a sort of people ever
ready to die, are trained in that stubbornness of theirs that they more
easily despise life, once its ties have been cut, as it were, and lose
their craving for that which, as far as they themselves are concerned, they
have already made empty of everything desirable; and thus it is considered
a rule laid down by human design and forethought rather than by divine
(6) It would, indeed, be loathsome for people continuing in the enjoyment
of such delightful pleasures to die for God. On the other hand, if what
they say were true, stubbornness in a rule of life so strict as ours might
well submit to a plan so apt.
(1) Moreover, there is no one of our adversaries who will not offer this
excuse, too: that all things have been created by God and handed over to
man--just as we Christians teach--and that they are undoubtedly good, as
coming from a good Creator; and among them we must count all the various
components that make up the spectacles, the horse, for instance, and the
lion, the strength of body and the sweetness of voice. Accordingly, they
say that a thing which exists by God's creation cannot be considered either
foreign or opposed to God, nor must a thing which is not opposed to God,
because it is not foreign to Him, be considered opposed to God's
(2) Obviously, they continue, the very structures of the places--the
squared stones, unhewn stones, marble slabs and columns--also are all the
handiwork of God who gave them to furnish the earth; indeed, the
performances themselves take place under God's heaven.
How clever in adducing proofs does human ignorance think itself, especially
when it is afraid of losing some of these delights and enjoyments of the
(3) Accordingly, you will find more people turned away from our religion by
the danger to their pleasures than by the danger to their lives. For of
death even a fool is not particularly afraid, feeling that it is a debt he
owes to nature; but pleasure, inasmuch as it is born with man, even a sage
does not despise, since both fool and sage have no other gratification in
life but pleasure.
(4) No one denies-- because everyone knows what nature of its own accord
tells us--that God is the Creator of the universe, and that this universe
is good and has been made over to man by its Creator.
(5) But because they have no real knowledge of God--knowing Him only by
natural law and not by right of friendship, knowing Him only from afar and
not from intimate association--it is inevitable that they prove ignorant of
His commands regarding the use of His creation. Likewise, must they be
unaware of the rival power that by its hostile actions seeks to pervert to
wrong uses the things of divine creation. For with such defective knowledge
of God one cannot know either His will or His adversary.
(6) We must, then, consider not only by whom all things were created, but
also by whom they were perverted. For in this way it will become clear for
what use they were created, once it is evident for what use they were not.
(7) The state of corruption differs vastly from that of innocence, because
there is an enormous difference between the Creator and the perverter.
Why, every form of evil-doing--misdeeds which also the heathens forbid and
punish as such--comes from things created by God.
(8) You see murder committed by iron dagger, poison, or magic incantation:
but iron, poisonous herbs, demons are all equally creatures of God. Yet,
did the Creator design those creatures of His for man's destruction?
Certainly not. He forbids man-slaying by the one summary commandment: 'Thou
shalt not kill.'
(9) In like manner, gold, brass, silver, ivory, wood, and any other
material used in the manufacture of idols--who has brought them into the
world if, not God, the Maker of the world? Yet, has He done this that they
may be made into objects of worship set up in opposition to Himself?
Certainly not. For the most grievous sin in His eyes is idolatry. What is
there that offends God and is not His own? But, when it offends God, it has
ceased to be His; and when it has ceased to be His, it offends Him.
(10) Man himself, the perpetrator of every kind of villainy, is not only
the work of God, but also His likeness--yet, both in body and spirit he has
fallen away from his Creator. For we did not receive the eyes for
gratifying carnal appetite, the tongue for speaking evil, the ears for
listening to slander, the gullet for indulging in the sin of gluttony, the
belly to be the gullet's partner, the organs of sex for immodest excesses,
the hands for committing acts of violence, and the feet to lead a roving
life; nor was the spirit implanted in the body that it might become a
workshop for contriving acts of treachery and fraud and injustice. I think
(11) For if God, who demands innocence of us, hates all wickedness, even if
it be only in thought, then it is certain beyond all doubt that it was
never His intention in creation that whatever He created should lead to
acts He condemns, even if those acts are done through the medium of His
handiwork. The whole reason for condemnation is, rather, the misuse of
God's creation by God's creatures.
(12) We, therefore, in coming to know the Lord, have also looked upon His
rival, and in learning the Creator, we have likewise detected the
perverter; we ought, then, to feel neither surprise nor doubt. For man
himself, God's handiwork and image, the lord of the whole universe, was
hurled down in the very beginning from his state of innocence by the power
of that angel, perverter of God's creation and His rival; at the same time,
that same perverter corrupted along with man the whole material world,
man's possession, created like man for innocence, and turned it against the
Creator. And in his anger that God had given it to man and not to him he
intended to make man in this very possession guilty before God as well as
establish his own power in it.
(1) Armed with this knowledge against heathen opinion, let us now turn,
instead, to the same excuses put forward by people in our own ranks. For
there are some brethren who, being either too naive or overparticular in
their faith, demand a testimony from holy Scripture, when faced with giving
up the spectacles, and declare the matter an open question, because such a
renunciation is neither specifically nor in so many words enjoined upon the
servants of God.
(2) Now, to be sure, nowhere do we find it laid down with the same
precision as 'Thou shalt not kill,' 'Thou shalt not worship an idol,' 'Thou
shalt not commit adultery,' 'Thou shalt not commit fraud'--nowhere do we
find it thus clearly declared: 'Thou shalt not go to the circus,' 'Thou
shalt not go to the theater,' 'Thou shalt not watch a contest or show of
(3) But we do find that to this special case there can be applied that
first verse of David, where he says: 'Happy is the man who has not gone to
the gathering of the ungodly, nor stood in the ways of sinners, nor sat in
the chair of pestilence.'
(4) For, even though David seems to have praised that well-known just man,
because he took no part in the gathering and meeting of the Jews
deliberating on the killing of the Lord, divine Scripture admits always a
broader interpretation wherever a passage, after its actual sense has been
exhausted, serves to strengthen discipline. So, in this case, too, the
verse of David is not inapplicable to the prohibition of spectacles.
(5) For, if then he called a mere handful of Jews 'a gathering of the
ungodly,' how much more such a vast crowd of heathen people? Are the
heathens less ungodly, less sinners, less the enemies of Christ that the
Jews were then?
(6) Moreover, the other details also fit in well. For at the spectacles
there is both sitting 'in the chair' (in cathedra) and standing 'in the
way' (in via). For 'ways' (viae) they term both the gangways that run round
the girding walls and the aisles that slope down the incline and divide the
seats of the populace; in like manner is the very place for chairs in the
curving gallery called 'chair' (cathedra).
(7) And so, to take the converse of the verse of David, 'he is unhappy who
has gone to any gathering whatsoever of the ungodly, stood in any way at
all of sinners, and sat in any chair of pestilence.'
Let us take, then, the general application, even when, besides the general,
a special interpretation is conceded. For some things that are said with
special intent have also a general meaning.
(8) When God reminds the Israelites of discipline and upbraids them, His
words apply undoubtedly to all men; and when He threatens destruction to
Egypt and Ethiopia, He certainly cautions every sinful nation against
judgment to come. Thus, if we reason from a special case to the general
type that every sinful nation is an Egypt and Ethiopia, in the same manner
we reason from the general class to a special case that every spectacle is
a gathering of the ungodly.
(1) Lest anyone think that I am avoiding the point in question, I shall now
appeal to the prime and principal authority of our 'seal' itself. When we
step into the water and profess the Christian faith in the terms prescribed
by its law, we bear public witness that we have renounced the Devil and his
pomp and his angels.
(2) What, however, shall we call the chief and foremost manifestation by
which the Devil and his pomp and his angels are recognized, if not
idolatry? From this source, in a few words--because I will not dwell any
longer on this subject--comes every unclean and evil spirit.
(3) So, if it shall be proved true that the entire apparatus of the
spectacles originates from idolatry, we will have reached a decision in
advance that our profession of faith in baptism refers also to the
spectacles, since they belong to the Devil and his pomp and his angels
because of the idolatry involved.
(4) We shall, therefore, set forth the origins of the various spectacles,
explaining in what nurseries they grew up; next in order, the titles of
some of them, that is, the names by which they are called; then their
equipment and the superstitions observed in them; thereafter the places and
the presiding spirits to whom they are dedicated; and finally the arts
employed in them and the authors to whom they are ascribed. If, among
these, we find anything that is not related to an idol, we shall declare it
to be free from the stain of idolatry and, as a result, to have no
connection with our renunciation.
(1) Concerning the origins of the spectacles, which are somewhat obscure
and, therefore, unknown among most of our people, we had to make a rather
thorough investigation, our authority being none other than the works of
(2) There are many authors who have published treatises on the subject.
They give the following report on the origin of the games. The Lydians
migrated from Asia and settled in Etruria, according to the account of
Timaeus, under the leadership of Tyrrhenus, who, in the struggle for the
kingship, had succumbed to his brother. In Etruria, then, they also
introduced, along with their other superstitious customs, the spectacles in
the name of religion.
From that place, in turn, the Romans invited the performers, borrowing also
the name, so that the 'performers' (ludii) were so called from the
(3) And though Varro derives "ludii" from "ludus," that is, from "lusus"
('the play'), as they used to call also the Luperci "ludii," because, as
"ludendo" ('in play') indicates, they ran to and fro, this play of the
youths belongs in his view to festal days, temples, and religious
(4) But it is, after all, not the name that matters; the real issue is
idolatry. For, since the games also went under the general name of
Liberalia, they clearly proclaimed the honor of Father Liber. They were
first held in honor of Liber by the country folk because of the blessing
which they say he bestowed upon them by making known to them the delicious
taste of wine.
(5) Then came the games called Consualia, which originally were celebrated
in honor of Neptune, because he is also called Consus. After that, Romulus
consecrated the Ecurria, derived from "equi" (horses), to Mars, though they
claim the Consualia as well for Romulus on the ground that he consecrated
them to Consus, the god, as they will have it, of counsel, to wit, of that
very counsel by which he arrived at the scheme of carrying off the Sabine
girls to be wives for his soldiers.
(6) A noble counsel, indeed, even now considered just and lawful among the
Romans themselves, not to say in the eyes of a god! For, also, this tends
to stain their origin, lest you think something good that, had its origin
in evil, in shamelessness, violence and hatred, in a founder who was a
fratricide and the son of Mars.
(7) Even now, at the first goal posts in the Circus, there is an
underground altar dedicated to that Consus with an inscription that reads
as follows: CONSUS MIGHTY IN COUNSEL, MARS IN WAR, THE LARES AT THE
CROSSROAD. Sacrifice in offered on this altar on the seventh day of July by
the priests of the state, and on the twenty-first of August by the Flamen
of Quirinus and the Vestal Virgins.
(8) On a later date, the same Romulus instituted games in honor of Jupiter
Feretrius at the Tarpeian Rock, which, according to the tradition handed
down by Piso, were called Tarpeian and Capitoline Games. After him, Numa
Pompilius initiated games in honor of Mars and Robigo--for they invented
also a goddess of "robigo" (mildew). Later still came Tullus Hostilius,
then Ancus Martius and, in their order, the other founders of games.
As to the idols in whose honor they instituted these games, information is
found in Tranquillus Suetonius or in his sources. But this will suffice to
prove the guilty origin of the games in idolatry.
(1) The testimony of antiquity is confirmed by that of the succeeding
generations. For the titles by which the games still go today betray the
nature of their origin. In these titles there is clearly expressed for what
idol and for what superstition of one kind or other they were designed.
(2) For instance, the games of the Great Mother and Apollo, and also those
of Ceres, Neptune, Jupiter Latiaris, and Flora are general festivals; the
remaining trace their superstitious origin back to birthdays and
commemorative celebrations of the emperors, to happy political events, and
(3) Among them are also the funeral games, established by bequests to
render honor to the memory of private persons. This, too, is in accordance
with ancient custom. For from the very beginning two kinds of games were
distinguished: sacred and funereal; that is, games in honor of pagan
deities and those in honor of dead persons.
(4) But in the question of idolatry, it makes no difference to us under
what name and title they are exhibited, as long as the matter concerns the
same spirits that we renounce. Whether they exhibit these games in honor of
their dead or in honor of their gods, they render the very same honor to
their dead as to their gods. On either side you have one and the same
situation: it is one and the same idolatry on their part, and one and the
same renunciation of idolatry on our part.
(1) Both kinds of games, then, have a common origin; common, too, are their
names, inasmuch as the reasons for their being held are the same.
Therefore, also, their equipment must be the same because of the common
guilt of idolatry which founded them.
(2) Somewhat greater pomp, however, is displayed in the spectacles in the
circus to which the term is properly applied. The "pompa"'procession'--
which comes first, proves in itself to whom it belongs, with the long line
of idols, the unbroken train of images, the cars and chariots and
conveyances for carrying them, the portable thrones and garlands and the
attributes of the gods.
(3) Moreover, how many sacred rites are observed, how many sacrifices
offered at the beginning, in the course, and at the end of the procession,
how many religious corporations, furthermore, how many priesthoods, how
many bodies of magistrates are called upon to march in it--each is known to
the inhabitants of that city where all the demons have gathered and taken
up their abode.
(4) And if in the provinces less care is given to management of the games
because of less ample funds, all the spectacles in the circus everywhere
must be considered as belonging to the model from which they are copied,
and are contaminated by the source from which they are drawn. For also, the
small brook from its spring, and the tiny shoot from its stem, contain in
them the nature of their origin.
(5) Let splendor and frugality look to it where they come from. The pomp of
the circus, whatever its nature, offends God. Even if there be carried but
a few idols in procession, it takes only one to have idolatry; even if
there be driven but one chariot, it is Jupiter's car; every kind of
idolatry, even one meanly or moderately equipped, is still rich and
splendid because of its sinful origin.
(1) In accordance with my plan, I shall deal next with the places. The
circus is primarily consecrated to the Sun. His temple stands in the middle
of it, and his image shines forth from the pediment of the temple. For they
did not think it proper to worship beneath a roof a god whom they see above
them in the open.
(2) Those who maintain that the first circus show was exhibited by Circe in
honor of the Sun, her father, as they will have it, conclude also that the
name is derived from her. Plainly, the sorceress undoubtedly transacted the
business in behalf of those whose priestess she was, namely, the demons and
evil spirits. How many evidences of idol worship do you recognize
accordingly in the decoration of the place?
(3) Every ornament of the circus is a temple by itself. The eggs are
regarded as sacred to Castor and Pollux by people who do not feel ashamed
to believe the story of their origin from the egg made fertile by the swan,
Jupiter. The dolphins spout water in honor of Neptune; the columns bear
aloft images of Seia, so called from "sementatio" ('sowing'); of Messia, so
called as deity of "messis" ('reaping'); and of Tutulina, so called as
'tutelary spirit' of the crops.
(4) In front of these are seen three altars for the triple gods: the Great,
the Potent, the Prevailing. They think these deities are Samothracean.
(5) The huge obelisk, as Hermateles maintains, has been set up in honor of
the Sun. Its inscription which, like its origin, is Egyptian, contains a
superstition. The gathering of the demons would be dull without their Great
Mother, so she presides there over the ditch.
(6) Consus, as we have mentioned, keeps in hiding underground at the
Murcian Goals. The latter are also the work of an idol. For Murcia, as they
will have it, is a goddess of love to whom they have dedicated a temple in
that part (of the valley).
(7) Take note, O Christian, how many unclean deities have taken possession
of the circus. You have nothing to do with a place which so many diabolic
spirits have made their own. Speaking of places, this is the appropriate
occasion for throwing more light on the subject in order to anticipate a
question that some may raise.
(8) What will happen, you say, if I enter the circus at some other time?
Shall I be then, too, in danger of contamination? There is no law laid down
with regard to places as such. For not only these places where people
gather for the spectacles but also the temples may be entered by the
servant of God without peril to his rule of life, provided that he do so
for an urgent and honest reason which has no connection with the business
and function proper of the place.
(9) Moreover, there is no place--whether streets or marketplace or baths or
taverns or even our own homes--that is completely free of idols: Satan and
his angels have filled the whole world.
(10) Yet, it is not by our being in the world that we fall away from God,
but by taking part in some sins of the world. Therefore, if I enter the
temple of Jupiter on the Capitol or that of Serapis as a sacrificer or
worshiper, I shall fall away from God, just as I do if I enter the circus
theater as a spectator. It is not the places in themselves the defile us,
but the things done in them, by which the places themselves, as we have
contended, are defiled; it is by defiled that we are defiled.
(11) It is for this reason that we remind you who those to whom places of
this kind are dedicated to prove what takes place in them is the work of
those to whom very places are sacred.
(1) Next let us consider the arts displayed in the circus games. In times
past, equestrian skill was simply a matter riding on horseback, and
certainly no guilt was involved the ordinary use of the horse. But when
this skill was pressed into the service of the games, it was changed from a
gift God into an instrument of the demons.
(2) Accordingly, t kind of exhibition is regarded as sacred to Castor and
Pollux to whom horses were allotted by Mercury, as Stesichorus tells us.
Also, Neptune is an equestrian deity, since the Greeks call him "Hippios"
('Lord of Steeds').
(3) Moreover, concerning the chariot, the four-horse team was consecrated
to the Sun; the two-horse team, to the Moon. But we also read:
"Erichthonius first dared to yoke four steeds to the car
And to ride upon its wheels with victorious swiftness."
This Erichthonius, a son of Minerva and Vulcan, fruit of lust, in truth,
that fell to earth, is a demon-monster, or, rather, the Devil himself, not
a mere snake.
(4) If, however, the Argive Trochilus is the inventor of the chariot, he
dedicated this work of his in the first place to Juno. And if, at Rome,
Romulus was the first to display a four-horse chariot, he, too, in my view,
has been enrolled among the idols himself, provided that he is identical
(5) The chariots having been produced by such inventors, it was only
fitting that they clad their drivers in the colors of idolatry. For at
first there were only two colors: white and red. White was sacred to Winter
because of the whiteness of its snow; red, to Summer because of the redness
of its sun. But afterwards, when both love of pleasure and superstition had
grown apace, some dedicated the red to Mars, others the white to the
Zephyrs, the green to Mother Earth or Spring, the blue to Sky and Sea or
(6 ) Since, however, every kind of idolatry is condemned by God, this
condemnation certainly applies also to that kind which is impiously offered
to the elements of nature.
(1) Let us pass on to the exhibitions on the stage. We have already shown
that they have a common origin with those in the circus, that they bear
identical titles, inasmuch as they were called "ludi" ('games') and were
exhibited together with equestrian displays.
(2) The pageantry is likewise the same, inasmuch as a procession is held to
the theater from the temples and altars, with that whole wretched business
of incense and blood, to the tune of flutes and trumpets, under the
direction of the two most polluted masters of ceremonies at funerals and
sacrifices: the undertaker and soothsayer.
(3) And so, as we passed from the origins of the games to the spectacles in
the circus, now we will turn to the performances on the stage. Because of
the evil character of the place, the theater is, strictly speaking, a
shrine of Venus. It was in that capacity, after all, that this type of
structure gained influence in the world.
(4) For many a time the censors would tear down theaters at the very moment
they began to rise. In their solicitude for public morals, they foresaw, no
doubt, the great danger arising from the theater's lasciviousness. In this
occurrence already, then, the heathens have their own opinion coinciding
with ours as evidence, and we have the foreboding situation of a merely
human code of morality giving additional strength to our way of life.
(5) So, when Pompey the Great, a man who was surpassed only by his theater
in greatness, had erected that citadel of all vile practices, he was afraid
that some day the censors would condemn his memory. He therefore built on
top of it a shrine of Venus, and when he summoned the people by edict to
its dedication, he termed it not a theater, but a temple of Venus, 'under
which,' he said, 'we have put tiers of seats for viewing the shows.'
(6) In this way he misrepresented the character of a building, condemned
and worthy of condemnation, with a temple's name, and employed superstition
to make sport of morality.
Venus and Liber (Bacchus), however, are close companions. The two demons of
lust and drunkenness have banded together in sworn confederacy.
(7) Therefore, the temple of Venus is also the house of Liber. For they
appropriately gave the name of Liberalia also to other stage performances
which, besides being dedicated to Liber (and called Dionysia among the
Greeks), were also instituted by him.
(8) And, quite obviously, the arts of the stage are under the patronage of
Liber and Venus. Those features which are peculiar to, and characteristic
of, the stage, that wantonness in gesture and posture, they dedicate to
Venus and Liber, deities both dissolute: the former by sex perversion, the
latter by effeminate dress.
(9) And all else that is performed with voice and melodies, instruments and
script, belongs to the Apollos and the Muses, the Minervas and Mercuries.
You will hate, O Christian, the things whose authors you cannot help but
(10) At this point we intend to make a few remarks concerning the arts and
things whose authors we utterly detest in their very names. We know that
the names of dead men are nothing, even as their images are nothing. But we
are not unaware of the identity of those who are at work behind those
displayed names and images, who exult in the homage paid to them and
pretend to be divine, namely, the evil spirits, the demons.
(11) We see then, also, that the arts are consecrated to the honor of those
who appropriate the names of the inventors of those arts, and that they are
not free from the taint of idolatry when their inventors for that very
reason are considered gods.
(12) Even more, as far as the arts are concerned, we ought to have gone
further back and take exception to all further arguments, on the ground
that the demons, from the very beginning looking out for themselves
contrived, along with the other foul practices of idolatry, also those of
the shows in order to turn man from the Lord and bind him to their
glorification, and gave inspiration to men of genius in these particular
(13) For no one else but the demons would have contrived what was going to
redound to their advantage, nor would they have produced the arts at that
time through the agency of anyone except those very men in whose names and
images and fables they accomplished the fraud of consecration which would
work out to their advantage.
To follow our plan, let us now begin the treatment of the contests
(1) Their origin is akin to that of the games. As a result, they, too, are
instituted either as sacred or as funereal, and are performed in honor
either of the gods of the Gentiles or of the dead. Accordingly, you have
such titles as the Olympian contests in honor of Jupiter (these are called
the Capitoline at Rome), the Nemean in honor of Hercules, the Isthmian in
honor of Neptune; the rest are various contests to honor the dead.
(2) What wonder is it, then, if the whole paraphernalia of these contests
are tainted with idolatry--with unholy crowns, priestly superintendents,
assistants from the sacred colleges, and last, but not least, with the
blood of bulls?
(3) To add a supplementary remark concerning the place: as you may expect
from a place where the arts of the Muses, of Minerva, of Apollo, and even
of Mars meet in common, with contest and sound of trumpet they endeavor to
equal the circus in the stadium, which is no doubt a temple, too--I mean of
the very idol whose festival is celebrated there.
(4) The gymnastic arts also had their origin in the teaching of the Castors
and Herculeses and Mercuries.
(1) It still remains to examine the most prominent an most popular
spectacle of all. It is called "munus" ('a obligatory service') from being
an "officium" ('a duty'). For "munus" and "officium" are synonyms. The
ancients thought they were performing a duty to the dead by this sort of
spectacle after they had tempered its character by a more refined form of
(2) For in time long past, in accordance with the belief that the souls of
the-dead are propitiated by human blood, they used to purchase captives or
slaves of inferior ability and to sacrifice them at funerals.
(3) Afterwards, they preferred to disguise this ungodly usage by making it
a pleasure. So, after the persons thus procured had been trained--for the
sole purpose of learning how to be killed!-- in the use of such arms as
they then had and as best as they could wield, they then exposed them to
death at the tombs on the day appointed for sacrifices in honor of the
dead. Thus they found consolation for death in murder.
(4) Such is the origin of the gladiatorial contest. But gradually their
refinement progressed in the same proportion as their cruelty. For the
pleasure of these beasts in human shape was not satisfied unless human
bodies were torn to pieces also by wild beasts. What was then a sacrifice
offered for the appeasement of the dead was no doubt considered a rite in
honor of the dead. This sort of thing is, therefore, idolatry, because
idolatry, too, is a kind of rite in honor of the dead: the one and the
other is a service rendered to dead persons.
(5) It is, furthermore, in the images of the dead that the demons have
To come to the consideration of the titles also: though this type of
exhibition has been changed from being an act in honor of the dead to being
one in honor of the living--I mean those entering upon quaestorships,
magistracies, flaminates, and priesthoods--still, since the guilt of
idolatry cleaves the dignity of the title, whatever is carried out in the
name this dignity shares necessarily in the taint of its origin.
(6) In the same way we must interpret the paraphernal which are considered
as belonging to the ceremonies of the very offices. For the purple robes,
the fasces, the fillets, and crowns--finally, also, the announcements made
in meeting and on posters, and the pottage dinners given on the eve of
exhibitions--do not lack the pomp of the Devil and the invocation of
(7) In conclusion, what shall I say about that horrible place which not
even perjurers can bear? For the amphitheater is consecrated to names more
numerous and more dreadful than the Capitol, temple of all demons as it is.
There, as many unclean spirits have their abode as the place can seat men.
And to say a final word about the arts concerned, we know that Mars and
Diana are the patrons of both types of games.
(1) I have, I think, adequately carried out my plan by showing in how many
and in what ways the spectacles involve idolatry. I discussed their
origins, their names, their equipment, their locations, and their arts--all
that we may be certain that the spectacles in no way become us who twice
(2) 'Not that an idol is anything,' as the Apostle says, 'but because what
they do, they do in honor of demons' who take up their abode there at the
consecration of idols, whether of the dead, or, as they think, of gods.
(3) It is for this reason, therefore, since both kinds of idols belong to
one and the same category (the dead and the gods being the same thing) that
we refrain from both types of idolatry.
(4) Temples and tombs, we detest both equally; we know neither kind of
altar, we adore neither kind of image, we offer no sacrifice, we celebrate
no funeral rites. Nor do we eat of what is sacrificed, or offered at
funeral rites, because 'we cannot share the Lord's supper and the supper of
(5) If we keep, then, our palate and stomach free from defilement, how much
more should we guard our nobler organs, our ears and eyes, from pleasures
connected with sacrifices to idols and sacrificers to the dead--pleasures
which do not pass through the bowels, but are digested in the very spirit
and so with whose purity God is more concerned than with that of the
(1) Having established the charge of idolatry, which itself should be
reason enough for our giving up the spectacles, let us now treat the matter
fully from another point of view, chiefly for the benefit of those who
delude themselves with the thought that such abstention is not expressly
( 2 ) The latter excuse sounds as if judgment enough were not pronounced on
spectacles, when the lusts of the world are condemned. For, just as there
is a lust for money, a lust for high station in life, for gluttony, for
sensual gratification, for fame, so there is a lust for pleasure. The
spectacles, however are a sort of pleasure.
(3) In my opinion, under the general heading of lust, there are also
included pleasures; similarly, under the general idea of pleasures,
spectacles are treated as a special class.
(1) Dealing with the matter of the places, we have already mentioned above
that they do not contaminate us of themselves, but on account of what is
done in them, that is, once these places have imbibed contamination by such
actions, they spit it out again to the same degree on others. So much,
then, as we have said, for the main charge: idolatry.
Now let us also point out that the other characteristics of the things
which are going on at the spectacles are all opposed to God.
(2) God has given us the command both to deal with the Holy Spirit in
tranquillity, gentleness, quiet, and peace, inasmuch as, in accordance with
the goodness of His nature, He is tender and sensitive, and also not to vex
Him by frenzy, bitterness of feeling, anger, and grief.
(3) How, then, can the Holy Spirit have anything to do with spectacles?
There is no spectacle without violent agitation of the soul. For, where you
have pleasure, there also is desire which gives pleasure its savor; where
you have desire, there is rivalry which gives desire its savor.
(4) And where, in turn, you have rivalry, there also are frenzy and
bitterness of feeling and anger and grief and the other effects that spring
from them, and, moreover, are incompatible with our moral discipline.
(5) For, even if a man enjoys spectacles modestly and soberly, as befits
his rank, age, and natural disposition, he cannot go to them without his
mind being roused and his soul being stirred by some unspoken agitation.
(6) No one ever approaches a pleasure such as this without passion; no one
experiences this passion without its damaging effects. These very effects
are incitements to passion. On the other hand, if the passion ceases, there
is no pleasure, and he who goes where he gains nothing is convicted of
(7) But I think that foolishness also is foreign to us. Is it, further, not
true that a man really condemns himself when he has taken his place among
those whose company he does not want and whom, at any rate, he confesses to
(8) It is not enough to refrain from such acts, unless we also shun those
who commit them. 'If thou didst see a thief,' says holy Scripture, 'thou
didst run with him.' Would that we did not live in the world with them!
Still, we are separated from them in the things of the world. For the world
is God's, but the things of the world are the Devil's.
(1) Since, then, frenzy is forbidden us, we are debarred from every type of
spectacle, including the circus, where frenzy rules supreme. Look at the
populace, frenzied even as it comes to the show, already in violent
commotion, blind, wildly excited over its wagers.
(2) The praetor is too slow for them; all the time their eyes are rolling
as though in rhythm with the lots he shakes up in his urn. Then they await
the signal with bated breath; one outcry voices the common madness.
(3) Recognize the madness from their foolish behavior. 'He has thrown it!'
they shout; everyone tells everybody else what all of them have seen just
that moment. This I take as a proof of their blindness: they do not see
what has been thrown--a signal cloth, they think--but it is the symbol of
the Devil hurled headlong from on high.
(4) Accordingly, from such beginnings the affair progresses to outbursts of
fury and passion and discord and to everything forbidden to the priests of
peace. Next come curses, insults without any justified reason for the
hatred, and rounds of applause without the reward of affection.
(5) What are the partakers in all this --no longer their own masters--
likely to achieve for themselves? At best, the loss of their self-control.
They are saddened by another's bad luck; they rejoice in another's success.
What they hope for and what they dread has nothing to do with themselves,
and so their affection is to no purpose and their hatred is unjust.
(6) Or are we, perhaps, permitted love without cause any more than to hate
without cause? God who bids us to love our enemies certainly forbids us to
hate even with cause; God who commands us to bless those who curse us does
not permit us to curse even with cause.
(7) But what is more merciless than the circus, where they do not even
spare their rulers or their fellow citizens? If any of these frenzies of
the circus become the faithful elsewhere, then it will be lawful also in
the circus; but, if nowhere, then neither in the circus.
(1) In like manner we are commanded to steer clear of every kind of
impurity. By this command, therefore, we are precluded also from the
theater, which is impurity's own peculiar home, where nothing wins approval
but what elsewhere finds approval.
(2) And so, the theater's greatest charm is above all produced by its
filth--filth which the actor of the Atellan farces conveys by gestures;
filth which the mimic actor even exhibits by womanish apparel, banishing
all reverence for sex and sense of shame so that they blush more readily at
home than on the stage; filth, finally, which the pantomime experiences in
his own body from boyhood in order to become an artist.
(3) Even the very prostitutes, the victims of public lust, are brought upon
the stage, creatures feeling yet more wretched in the presence of women,
the only members in the community who were unaware of their existence; now
they are exhibited in public before the eyes of persons of every age and
rank; their address, their price, their record are publicly announced, even
to those who do not need the information, and (to say nothing of the rest)
things which ought to remain hidden in the darkness of their dens so as not
to contaminate the daylight.
(4) Let the senate blush, let all the orders blush, let even those very
women who have committed murder on their own shame blush once a year when,
by their own gestures, they betray their fear of the light of the day and
the gaze of the people.
(5) Now, if we must detest every kind of impurity, why should we be allowed
to hear what we are not allowed to speak, when we know that vile jocularity
and every idle word are judged by God? Why, in like manner, should we be
permitted to see that which is sinful to do? Why should things which,
spoken by the mouth, defile a man not be regarded as defiling a man when
allowed access by the ears and eyes, since the ears and eyes are the
servants of the spirit, and he whose servants are filthy cannot claim to be
(6) You have, therefore, the theater prohibited in the prohibition of
uncleanness. Again, if we reject the learning of the world's literature as
convicted of foolishness before God, we have a sufficiently clear rule also
concerning those types of spectacles which, in profane literature, are
classified as belonging to the comic or tragic stage.
(7) Now, if tragedies and comedies are bloody and wanton, impious and
prodigal inventors of outrage and lust, the recounting of what is atrocious
or base is no better; neither is what is objectionable in deed acceptable
(1) Now, if you maintain that the stadium is mentioned in the Scriptures, I
will admit at once that you have a point. But as for what is done in the
stadium, you cannot deny that it is unfit for you to see--punches and kicks
and blows and all the reckless use of the fist and every disfiguration of
the human face, that is, of God's image.
(2) Never can you approve the foolish racing and throwing feats and the
more foolish jumping contests ; never can you be pleased with either
harmful or foolish exhibitions of strength nor with the cultivation of an
unnatural body, outdoing the craftsmanship of God; you will hate men bred
to amuse the idleness of Greece.
(3) Also, the art of wrestling belongs to the Devil's trade: it was the
Devil who first crushed men. The very movements of the wrestler have a
snakelike quality: the grip that takes hold of the opponent, the twist that
binds him, the sleekness with which he slips away from him. Crowns are of
no use to you; why do you seek pleasure from crowns?
(1) Are we now to wait for a scriptural repudiation of the amphitheater,
also? If we can claim that cruelty, impiety, and brutality are permitted
us, let us by all means go to the amphi-theater. If we are what people say
we are, let us take delight in human blood.
(2) It is a good thing when the guilty are punished. Who will deny this but
the guilty? Yet it is not becoming for the guiltless to take pleasure in
the punishment of another; rather, it befits the guiltless to grieve that a
man like himself, has become so guilty that he is treated with such
(3) And who is my voucher that it is the guilty always who are condemned to
the beasts, or whatever punishment, and that it is never inflicted on
innocence, too, through the vindictiveness of the judge or the weakness of
the defense or the intensity of the torture? How much better it is, then,
not to know when the wicked are punished, lest I come to know also when the
good are destroyed, provided, of course, that there is savor of good in
(4) Certain it is that innocent men are sold as gladiators to serve as
victims of public pleasure. Even in the case of those who are condemned to
the games, what a preposterous idea is it that, in atonement for a smaller
offense, they should be driven to the extreme of murder!
(5) This reply I have addressed to Gentiles. Heaven forbid that a Christian
should need any further instruction about the detestableness of this kind
of spectacle. No one, however, is able to describe all the details at full
length except one who is still in the habit of going to the spectacles. I
myself prefer to leave the picture incomplete rather than to recall it.
(1) How foolish, then--rather, how desperate--is the reasoning of those
who, obviously as a subterfuge to avoid the loss of pleasure, plead as
their excuse that no regulation concerning such an abstinence is laid down
in Scripture, precise terms or in a definite passage, forbidding the
servant of God to enter gatherings of this kind.
(2) Only recently heard a novel defense offered by one of these devotees of
games. 'The sun,' he said, 'nay, even God Himself, looks from heaven and is
not defiled.' Why, the sun also sends rays into the sewer and is not
(3) Would that God looked on at no sins of men that we might all escape
judgment! But He looks on at robberies, He looks on at falsehood and
adulteries and frauds and acts of idolatry and at the very spectacles. And
it is for that reason that we will not look at them, lest we be seen by Him
who looks on at everything.
(4) My man, you are putting the defendant on the same footing as the judge:
the defendant who is a defendant because he is seen, and the judge who,
because he sees, is judge.
(5) Do we, perhaps, indulge in frenzy also outside the confines of the
circus, outside the gates of the theater give free play to lewdness,
outside the stadium to haughty deportment, outside the amphitheater to
cruelty, just because God has eyes also outside the covered seats and the
tiers and the stage? We are wrong: nowhere and never is there any exemption
from what God condemns; nowhere and never is there any permission for what
is forbidden always and everywhere.
(6) It is the freedom from the change of opinion and from the mutability of
judgment that constitutes the fullness of truth and--what is due to truth--
perfect morality, unvarying reverence, and faithful obedience. What is
intrinsically good or evil cannot be anything else.
(1) All things, we maintain, are firmly defined by the truth of God. The
heathens who do not possess the fullness of truth, since their teacher of
truth is not God, form their judgment of good and evil in accordance with
their own opinion and inclination, making what is good in one place evil in
another, and what is evil in one place good in another.
(2) Thus it happens that the same man who in public will scarcely raise the
tunic to ease nature will put it off in the circus in such a way as to
expose himself completely to the gaze of all; and the man who protects the
ears of his maiden daughter from every foul word will take her himself to
the theater to hear such words and see the gestures which accompany them.
(3) The same man who tries to break up or denounces a quarrel in the
streets which has come to fisticuffs will in the stadium applaud fights far
more dangerous; and the same man who shudders at the sight of the body of a
man who died in accordance with nature's law common to all will in the
amphitheater look down with tolerant eyes upon bodies mangled, rent
asunder, and smeared with their own blood.
(4) What is more, the same man who allegedly comes to the spectacle to show
his approval of the punishment for murder will have a reluctant gladiator
driven on with lashes and with rods to commit murder; and the same man who
wants every more notorious murderer to be cast before the lion will have
the staff and cap of liberty granted as a reward to a savage gladiator,
while he will demand that the other man who has been slain be dragged back
to feast his eyes upon him, taking delight in scrutinizing close at hand
the man he wished killed at a distance--and, if that was not his wish, so
much more heartless he!
(1) What wonder! Such are the inconsistencies of men who confuse and
confound the nature of good and evil through their fickleness of feeling
and instability in judgment.
(2) Take the treatment the very providers and managers of the spectacles
accord to those idolized charioteers, actors, athletes, and gladiators, to
whom men surrender their souls and women even their bodies, on whose
account they commit the sins they censure: for the very same skill for
which they glorify them, they debase and degrade them; worse, they publicly
condemn them to dishonor and deprivation of civil rights, excluding them
from the council chamber, the orator's platform, the senatorial and
equestrian orders, from all other offices and certain distinctions.
(3) What perversity! They love whom they penalize; they bring into
disrepute whom they applaud; they extol the art and brand the artist with
(4) What sort of judgment is this--that a man should be vilified for the
things that win him a reputation? Yes, what an admission that these things
are evil, when their authors, at the very peak of their popularity, are
marked with disgrace!
(1) Since, then, man reflecting on these matters, even over against the
protest and appeal of pleasure, comes to the conclusion that these people
should be deprived of the benefits of posts of honor and exiled to some
island of infamy, how much more will divine justice inflict punishment on
those who follow such professions?
(2) Or will God take pleasure in the charioteer, the disturber of so many
souls, the minister to many outbursts of frenzy, flaunting his rostral
crown as a priest wears his wreath, dressed up in gay colors like a pimp,
attired by the Devil as a ludicrous counterpart of Elias to be swept away
in his chariot?
(3) Will God be pleased with the man who alters his features with a razor,
belying his own countenance and, not content with making it resemble that
of Saturn or Isis or Liber, on top of that submits it to the indignity of
being slapped, as if in mockery of the Lord's commandment?
(4) The Devil, to be sure, also teaches that one should meekly offer his
cheek to be struck. In the same way, he also makes the tragic actors taller
by means of their high shoes, because 'no one can add a single cubit to his
stature.' He wishes to make Christ a liar.
(5) Again, I ask whether this whole business of masks is pleasing to God,
who forbids the likeness of anything to be made--how much more of His own
image? The Author of truth does not love anything deceitful; all that is
counterfeit is a kind of adultery in His eyes.
(6) Accordingly, He will not approve the man who feigns voice, sex, or age,
or who pretends love, anger, groans, or tears, for He condemns all
hypocrisy. Moreover, since in His law He brands the man as accursed who
dresses in woman's clothes, what will be His judgment upon the pantomime
who is trained to play the woman?
(7) No doubt, also, the artist in punching will go unpunished. For those
scars and wales, marks left by boxing gloves and blows, and those growths
upon his ears he got from God when his body was being fashioned; God gave
him eyes to have them blinded in fighting!
(8) I say nothing of the man who pushes another to the lion lest he seem
less a murderer than the fellow who afterwards cuts the same victim's
(1) In how many ways are we expected to prove that none of the things
connected with the spectacles is pleasing to God? Or, because it is not
pleasing to God, befits His servant?
(2) If we have shown that all these things have been instituted for the
Devil's sake, and furnished from the Devil's stores (for everything which
is not God's or which displeases God is the Devil's), then this represents
the pomp of the Devil which we renounce in the 'seal' of faith.
(3) No share, however, ought we to have, whether in deed or word, whether
by beholding or watching, in what we renounce. Moreover, if we ourselves
renounce and rescind the 'seal' by making void our testimony to it, does it
remain, then, for us to seek an answer from the heathen? Yes, let them tell
us whether it be permitted for Christians to attend a spectacle. Why, for
them this is the principal sign of a man's conversion to the Christian
faith, that he renounces the spectacles.
(4) A man, therefore, who removes the mark by which he is recognized,
openly denies his faith. What hope is there left for such a man? No one
deserts to the camp of the enemy without first throwing away weapons,
deserting his standards, renouncing his oath of allegiance to his leader,
and without pledging himself to die with the enemy.
(1) Will the man, seated where there is nothing of God, at that moment
think of God? He will have peace in his soul, I suppose, as he cheers for
the charioteer; he will learn purity as he gazes with fascination at the
(2) No, indeed, in every kind of spectacle he will meet with no greater
temptation than that over careful attire of women and men. That sharing of
feelings and that agreement or disagreement over favorites fan the sparks
of lust from their fellowship.
(3) Finally, no one going to a spectacle has any other thought but to see
and be seen. But, while the tragic actor is ranting, our good friend will
probably recall the outcries of some prophet! Amid the strains of the
effeminate flute-player, he will no doubt meditate on a psalm! And while
the athletes are engaged in combat, he is sure to say that a blow must not
be struck in return for a blow!
(4) He will, therefore, also be in a position to let himself be stirred by
pity, with his eyes fixed on the bears as they bite, and the net-fighters
as they roll up their nets. May God avert from His own such a passion for
(5) What sort of behavior is it to go from the assembly of God to the
assembly of the Devil, from sky to sty, as the saying goes? Those hands
which you have lifted up to God, to tire them out afterwards applauding an
actor? To cheer a gladiator with the same lips with which you have said
'Amen' over the Most Holy? To call out 'for ever and ever' to anyone else
but to God and Christ?
(1) Why, then, should such people not also be susceptible to demoniac
possession? For we have the case of that woman--the Lord is witness--who
went to the theater and returned home having a demon.
(2) So, when in the course of exorcism the unclean spirit was hard pressed
with the accusation that he had dared to seize a woman who believed, he
answered boldly: 'I was fully justified in doing so, for I found her in my
(3) It is well known, too, that to another woman, during the night
following the very day on which she had listened to a tragic actor, a
shroud was shown in a dream, and a rebuke called out to her, mentioning the
tragic actor by name; nor was that woman still alive after five days.
(4) Indeed, how many other proofs can be drawn from those who, by
consorting with the Devil at the spectacles, have fallen away from the
Lord. For 'no man can serve two masters. ' 'What fellowship has light with
darkness?' What has life to do with death?
(1) We ought to hate those gatherings and meetings of the heathen, seeing
that there the name of God is blasphemed, there the cry to set the lions
upon us is raised every day, there persecutions have their source, thence
temptations are let loose.
(2) What will you do when you are caught in that surging tide of wicked
applause? Not that you are likely to suffer anything there at the hands of
men (no one recognizes you as a Christian), but consider how you would fare
(3) Do you doubt that at the very moment when the Devil is raging in his
assembly, all the angels look forth from heaven and note down every
individual who has uttered blasphemy, who has listened to it, who has lent
his tongue, who has lent his ears to the service of the Devil against God?
(4) Will you, therefore, not shun the seats of Christ's enemies, that
'chair of pestilences', and the very air that hangs over it and is polluted
with sinful cries? I grant you that you have there some things that are
sweet, pleasant, harmless, and even honorable. No one flavors poison with
gall and hellebore; it is into spicy, well-flavored, and mostly sweet
dishes that he instills that noxious stuff. So, too, the Devil pours into
the deadly draught he prepares the most agreeable and most welcome gifts of
(5) Everything, then, you find there, whether manly or honorable or
sonorous or melodious or tender, take it for drippings of honey from a
poisoned cake, and do not consider your appetite for the pleasure worth the
danger you run from its sweetness.
(1) Let the Devil's own guests stuff themselves with sweets of that sort:
the places, the times, and the host who invites are theirs. Our banquet, or
marriage feast, has not yet come. We cannot recline with them at table, as
they cannot with us. Things in this matter run their course in succession.
Now they rejoice, and we are afflicted.
(2) 'The world,' holy Scripture says, 'will rejoice, you will be sad.' Let
us mourn therefore while the heathen rejoice, that, when they have begun to
mourn, we may rejoice: lest sharing their joy now, then we may be sharing
their mourning too.
(3) You are too dainty, O Christian, if you desire pleasure also in this
world; nay, more, you are a fool altogether if you deem this pleasure.
(4) The philosophers at least have given the name 'pleasure' to quiet and
tranquillity; in it they rejoice, they find their diversion in it, they
even glory in it. But you--why, I find you sighing for goal posts, the
stage, dust, the arena.
(5) I wish you would say plainly: 'We cannot live without pleasure!'
Whereas we ought to die with pleasure. For what other prayer have we but
that of the Apostle--'to leave the world and find our place with the Lord'?
Our pleasure is where our prayer is.
(1) And finally, if you think that you are to pass this span of life in
delights, why are you so ungrateful as not to be satisfied with so many and
so exquisite pleasures given you by God, and not to recognize them? For
what is more delightful than reconciliation with God, our Father and Lord,
than the revelation of truth, the recognition of errors, and pardon for
such grievous sins of the past?
(2) What greater pleasure is there than distaste of pleasure itself, than
contempt of all the world can give, than true liberty, than a pure
conscience, than a contented life, than freedom from fear of death?
(3) To trample under foot the gods of the heathen, to drive out demons, to
effect cures, to seek revelations, to live unto God --these are the
pleasures, these are the spectacles of the Christians, holy, everlasting,
and free of charge. In these find your circus games: behold the course of
the world, count the generations slipping by, bear in mind the goal of the
final consummation, defend the bonds of unity among the local churches,
awake at the signal of God, arise at the angel trumpet, glory in the palms
(4) If the literary accomplishments of the stage delight you, we have
sufficient literature of our own, enough verses and maxims, also enough
songs and melodies; and ours are not fables, but truths, not artful
devices, but plain realities.
(5) Do you want contests in boxing and wrestling? Here they are --contests
of no slight account, and plenty of them. Behold impurity overthrown by
chastity, faithlessness slain by faith, cruelty crushed by mercy, impudence
put in the shade by modesty. Such are the contests among us, and in these
we win our crowns. Do you have desire for blood, too? You have the blood of
(1) Moreover, what a spectacle is already at hand--the second coming of the
Lord, now no object of doubt, now exalted, now triumphant! What exultation
will that be of the angels, what glory of the saints as they rise again!
What a kingdom, the kingdom of the just thereafter! What a city, the new
(2) But there are yet other spectacles to come--that day of the Last
Judgment with its everlasting issues, unlooked for by the heathen, the
object of their derision, when the hoary age of the world and all its
generations will be consumed in one file.
(3) What a panorama of spectacle on that day! Which sight shall excite my
wonder? Which, my laughter? Where shall I rejoice, where exult--as I see so
many and so mighty kings, whose ascent to heaven used to be made known by
public announcement, now along with Jupiter himself, along with the very
witnesses of their ascent, groaning in the depths of darkness? Governors of
provinces, too, who persecuted the name of the Lord, melting in flames
fiercer than those they themselves kindled in their rage against the
Christians braving them with contempt?
(4) Whom else shall I behold? Those wise philosophers blushing before their
followers as they burn together, the followers whom they taught that the
world is no concern of God's whom they assured that either they had no
souls at all or that what souls they had would never return to their former
bodies? The poets also, trembling, not before the judgment seat of
Rhadamanthus or of Minos, but of Christ whom they did not expect to meet.
(5) Then will the tragic actors be worth hearing, more vocal in their own
catastrophe; then the comic actors will be worth watching, more lither of
limb in the fire; then the charioteer will be worth seeing, red all over on
his fiery wheel; then the athletes will be worth observing, not in their
gymnasiums, but thrown about by fire--unless I might not wish to look at
them even then but would prefer to turn an insatiable gaze on those who
vented their rage on the Lord.
(6) 'This is He,' I will say, 'the son of the carpenter and the harlot, the
sabbath-breaker, the Samaritan who had a devil. This is He whom you
purchased from Judas, this is He who was struck with reed and fist, defiled
with spittle, given gall and vinegar to drink. This is He whom the
disciples secretly stole away to spread the story of His resurrection, or
whom the gardener removed lest his lettuces be trampled by the throng of
(7) What praetor or consul or quaestor or priest with all his munificence
will ever bestow on you the favor of beholding and exulting in such sights?
Yet, such scenes as these are in a measure already ours by faith in the
vision of the spirit. But what are those things which 'eye has not seen nor
ear heard and which have not entered into the heart of man'? Things of
greater delight, I believe, than circus, both kinds of theater, and any