1 For verily all men by nature were but vain who had no perception of God, And from the good things that are seen they gained not power to know him that is, Neither by giving heed to the works did they recognize the artificer; 2 But either fire, or wind, or swift air, Or circling stars, or raging water, or luminaries of heaven, They thought to be gods that rule the world.
3 And if it was through delight in their beauty that they took them to be gods, Let them know how much better than these is their Sovereign Lord; For the first author of beauty created them: 4 But if it was through astonishment at their power and influence, Let them understand from them how much more powerful is he that formed them; 5 For from the greatness of the beauty even of created things In like proportion does man form the image of their first maker.
6 But yet for these men there is but small blame, For they too perhaps do but go astray While they are seeking God and desiring to find him.
7 For living among his works they make diligent search, And they yield themselves up to sight, because the things that they look upon are beautiful.
8 But again even they are not to be excused.
9 For if they had power to know so much, That they should be able to explore the course of things, How is it that they did not sooner find the Sovereign Lord of these his works?