1For all people who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists, nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to his works;2but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.3If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them.4And if people were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is the one who formed them.5 For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.
Date: 100-50 B.C.E. (based on scholarly estimates)
Cyprian Treatises 11:5
5 In the cxiiith Psalm it is shown that the idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have a mouth, and speak not; eyes have they, and see not. They have ears, and hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouth. Let those that make them be made like them. Also in the Wisdom of Solomon: They counted all the idols of the nations to be gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers on their hands to handle; and as for their feet, they are slow to go. For man made them, and he that borrowed his own spirit fashioned them; but no man can make a god like himself. For, since he is mortal, he works a dead thing with wicked hands; for he himself is better than the things which he worships, since he indeed lived once, but they never. In Exodus also: You shall not make to you an idol, nor the likeness of anything. Moreover, in Solomon, concerning the elements: Neither by considering the works did they acknowledge who was the workmaster; but deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the sun, or the moon, to be gods. On account of whose beauty, if they thought this, let them know how much more beautiful is the Lord than they. Or if they admired their powers and operations, let them understand by them, that He that made these mighty things is mightier than they.