Gesta Romanorum Vol. I (1871)/Of worldly Fear

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TALE XXII.

OF WORLDLY FEAR.

Augustine tells us, that when the Egyptians formerly deified Isis and Serapis, they proceeded in this manner. First, they made a law, that whosoever declared them to be mortal, or so much as expressed a doubt relative to their birth, should be put to an ignominious death. Then they erected two images; and that the aforesaid law should be strictly observed, they placed near them, in every temple dedicated to their honour, another of diminutive form, having a fore-finger laid upon its lips,—to indicate that silence was indispensably required of those who entered their temples. In this way they endeavoured to repress the promulgation of truth.

APPLICATION.

My beloved, these Egyptians are all worldly-minded men, who would deify and worship their vices, while they sedulously hide truth from the heart. The smaller image, is Fear of the world, which is ever instrumental in the suppression of truth.