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But again sin prevailed, and with the exception of one race, who alone treasured the true knowledge of the Deity, mankind lost by degrees the pure faith of their fathers; and as they receded from the light, the idea of the Godhead became obscured, and in the progress of time well nigh lost, and the vague and imperfect ideas of a supernatural Power derived from tradition, prompted to a terror and awe of some invisible yet mighty influence, unknown and inexplicable, but which was manifested to man in the more striking objects and the incomprehensible phenomena of nature, which were regarded and worshipped as the seats of this unknown Power, forming the substratum of those wonderful systems of mythology which have characterised successive eras and races. ...As in the course of generations the pristine revelation of the Godhead to man became obscured, and a vague and traditionary belief alone remained,—the conceptions, the thoughts and imaginations of each generation being implanted in the succeeding one, and influencing it by the force of habit, education, and authority,—man, impressed with an imperfect notion of a supernatural Power, and ignorant of the forces of the material world, on seeking to unfold the source of those changes which he beheld in the budding forth of spring, the fervid beauty of summer, the maturity of autumn, and the stern grandeur of winter, conceived that the wonderful phenomena ever going on around him owed their origin and effects to the influence of supernatural agency, and marking their apparent dependence upon the sun and other orbs in space, he offered adoration to those luminaries. ...Vesta presided over the vital heat of the body; Janus opened the gate of life to infant man; Opis assisted him when he came into the world; Nascio presided over the moment of birth; Cunia watched over the cradle, and while he lay and slept; Vagitanus, or Vaticanus, took care while the infant cried; Rumina presided while the child sucked the breast; Potina guarded the infant drinking; Educa watched over it while it received food; Ossilago 'knit its bones' and hardened its body; Carna presided over the safety of the inward parts; the goddess Nundina had charge of the child on the ninth day—the day of purification; Statilinus taught the infant to stand and walk, and preserved it from falling; Fabulinus looked after the child when it began to speak; Paventia preserved it from fright; Juventus protected the beginning of youth; Agenoria excited man to action; Strenua encouraged him to behave bravely on all occasions; Stimula urged him to extraordinary exertions; Horta exhorted him to noble actions; Quis gave peace and quietude; Murcia rendered man lazy, idle, and dull; Adeona protected him in his outgoings and incomings; Vibilia guarded wanderers; Vacuna protected the lazy and idle; Fessonia refreshed the weary; Meditrina healed injuries; Vitula presided over and gave mirth; Volupia governed pleasures; Orbona was a goddess supplicated that she might