ORIGEN AGAINST CELSUS -- REST OF BOOK III

CHAP. XL.

But observe whether the principles of our faith, harmonizing with the general ideas implanted in our minds at birth, do not produce a change upon those who listen candidly to its statements; for although a perverted view of things, with the aid of much instruction to the same effect, has been able to implant in the minds of the multitude the belief that images are gods, and that things made of gold, and silver, and ivory, and stone are deserving of worship, yet common sense[2] forbids the supposition that God is at all a piece of corruptible matter, or is honoured when made to assume by men a form embodied in dead matter, fashioned according to some image or symbol of His appearance. And therefore we say at once of images that they are not gods, and of such creations (of art) that they are not to be compared with the Creator, but are small in contrast with the God who is over all, and who created, and upholds, and governs the universe. And the rational soul recognising, as it were, its relationship (to the divine), at once rejects what it for a time supposed to be gods, and resumes its natural love[3] for its Creator; and because of its affection towards Him, receives Him also who first presented these truths to all nations through the disciples whom He had appointed, and whom He sent forth, furnished with divine power and authority, to proclaim the doctrine regarding God and His kingdom.

CHAP. XLI.

But since he has charged us, I know not how often already, "with regarding this Jesus, who was but a mortal body, as a God, and with supposing that we act piously in so doing," it is superfluous to say any more in answer to this, as a great deal has been said in the preceding pages. And yet let those who make this charge understand that He whom we regard and believe to have been from the beginning God, and the Son of God, is the very Logos, and the very Wisdom, and the very Truth; and with respect to His mortal body, and the human soul which it contained, we assert that not by their communion merely with Him, but by their unity and intermixture,[4] they received the highest powers, and after participating in His divinity, were changed into God. And if any one should feel a difficulty at our saying this regarding His body, let him attend to what is said by the Greeks regarding matter, which, properly speaking, being without qualities, receives such as the Creator desires to invest it with, and which frequently divests itself of those which it formerly possessed, and assumes others of a different and higher kind. And if these opinions be correct, what is there wonderful in this, that the mortal quality of the body of Jesus, if the providence of God has so willed it, should have been changed into one that was ethereal and divine?[5]

CHAP. XLII.

Celsus, then, does not speak as a good reasoner,(1) when he compares the mortal flesh of Jesus to gold, and silver, and stone, asserting that the former is more liable to corruption than the latter. For, to speak correctly, that which is incorruptible is not more free from corruption than another thing which is incorruptible, nor that which is corruptible more liable to corruption than another corruptible thing. But, admitting that there are degrees of corruptibility, we can say in answer, that if it is possible for the matter which underlies all qualities to exchange some of them, how should it be impossible for the flesh of Jesus also to exchange qualities, and to become such as it was proper for a body to be which had its abode in the ether and the regions above it, and possessing no longer the infirmities belonging to the flesh, and those properties which Celsus terms "impurities," and in so terming them, speaks unlike a philosopher? For that which is properly impure, is so because of its wickedness. Now the nature of body is not impure; for in so far as it is bodily nature, it does not possess vice, which is the generative principle of impurity. But, as he had a suspicion of the answer which we would return, he says with respect to the change of the body of Jesus, "Well, after he has laid aside these qualities, he will be a God:" (and if so), why not rather Aesculapius, and Dionysus, and Hercules? To which we reply, "What great deed has AEsculapius, or Dionysus, or Hercules wrought?" And what individuals will they be able to point out as having been improved in character, and made better by their words and lives, so that they may make good their claim to be gods? For let us peruse the many narratives regarding them, and see whether they were free from licentiousness or injustice, or folly, or cowardice. And if nothing of that kind be found in them, the argument of Celsus might have force, which places the forenamed individuals upon an equality with Jesus. But if it is certain that, although some things are reported of them as reputable, they are recorded, nevertheless, to have done innumerable things which are contrary to right reason, how could you any longer say, with any show of reason, that these men, on putting aside their mortal body, became gods rather than Jesus?

CHAP. XLIII.

He next says of us, that "we ridicule those who worship Jupiter, because his tomb is pointed out in the island of Crete; and yet we worship him who rose from the tomb,(2) although ignorant of the grounds(3) on which the Cretans observe such a custom." Observe now that he thus undertakes the defence of the Cretans, and of Jupiter, and of his tomb, alluding obscurely to the allegorical notions, in conformity with which the myth regarding Jupiter is said to have been invented; while he assails us who acknowledge that our Jesus has been buried, indeed, but who maintain that He has also been raised from the tomb,--a statement which the Cretans have not yet made regarding Jupiter. But since he appears to admit that the tomb of Jupiter is in Crete, when he says that "we are ignorant of the grounds on which the Cretans observe such a custom," we reply that Callimachus the Cyrenian, who had read innumerable poetic compositions, and nearly the whole of Greek history, was not acquainted with any allegorical meaning which was contained in the stories about Jupiter and his tomb; and accordingly he accuses the Cretans in his hymn addressed to Jupiter, in the words:(4)--

"The Cretans are always liars: for thy tomb, O king,

The Cretans have reared; and yet thou didst not die,

For thou ever livest."

Now he who said, "Thou didst not die, for thou ever livest," in denying that Jupiter's tomb was in Crete, records nevertheless that in Jupiter there was the beginning of death.(5) But birth upon earth is the beginning of death. And his words run:--

"And Rhea bore thee among the Parrhasians;"--

whereas he ought to have seen, after denying that the birth of Jupiter took place in Crete because of his tomb, that it was quite congruous with his birth in Arcadia that he who was born should also die. And the following is the manner in which Callimachus speaks of these things: "O Jupiter, some say that thou weft born on the mountains of Ida, others in Arcadia. Which of them, O father, have lied? The Cretans are always liars," etc. Now it is Celsus who made us discuss these topics, by the unfair manner in which he deals with Jesus, in giving his assent to what is related about His death and burial, but regarding as an invention His resurrection from the dead, although this was not only foretold by innumerable prophets, but many proofs also were given of His having appeared after death.

CHAP. XLIV.

After these points Celsus quotes some objections against the doctrine of Jesus, made by a very few individuals who are considered Christians, not of the more intelligent, as he supposes, but of the more ignorant class, and asserts that "the following are the rules laid down by them. Let no one come to us who has been instructed, or who is wise or prudent (for such qualifications are deemed evil by us); but if there be any ignorant, or unintelligent, or uninstructed, or foolish persons, let them come with confidence. By which words, acknowledging that such individuals are worthy of their God, they manifestly show that they desire and are able to gain over only the silly, and the mean, and the stupid, with women and children."(1) In reply to which, we say that, as if, while Jesus teaches continence, and says, "Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart," one were to behold a few of those who are deemed to be Christians living licentiously, he would most justly blame them for living contrary to the teaching of Jesus, but would act most unreasonably if he were to charge the Gospel with their censurable conduct; so, if he found nevertheless that the doctrine of the Christians invites men to wisdom, the blame then must remain with those who rest in their own ignorance, and who utter, not what Celsus relates (for although some of them are simple and ignorant, they do not speak so shamelessly as he alleges), but other things of much less serious import, which, however, serve to turn aside men from the practice of wisdom.

CHAP. XLV.

But that the object of Christianity(2) is that we should become wise, can be proved not only from the ancient Jewish writings, which we also use, but especially from those which were composed after the time of Jesus, and which are believed among the Churches to be divine. Now, in the fiftieth Psalm, David is described as saying in his prayer to God these words: "The unseen and secret things of Thy wisdom Thou hast manifested to me."(3) Solomon, too, because he asked for wisdom, received it; and if any one were to peruse the Psalms, he would find the book filled with many maxims of wisdom: and the evidences of his wisdom may be seen in his treatises, which contain a great amount of wisdom expressed in few words, and in which you will find many laudations of wisdom, and encouragements towards obtaining it. So wise, moreover, was Solomon, that "the queen of Sheba, having heard his name, and the name of the LORD, came to try him with difficult questions, and spake to him all things, whatsoever were in her heart; and Solomon answered her all her questions. There was no question omitted by the king which he did not answer her. And the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, and the possessions which he had(4) and there was no more spirit in her.(5) And she said to the king, The report is true which I heard in mine own land regarding thee and thy wisdom; and I believed not them who told me, until I had come, and mine eyes have seen it. And, lo, they did not tell me the half. Thou hast added wisdom and possessions above all the report which I heard."(6) It is recorded also of him, that "God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore. And the wisdom that was in Solomon greatly excelled the wisdom of all the ancients, and of all the wise men of Egypt; and he was wiser than all men, even than Gethan the Ezrahite, and Emad, and Chalcadi, and Aradab, the sons of Madi. And he was famous among all the nations round about. And Solomon spake three thousand proverbs, and his songs were five thousand. And he spake of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop which springeth out of the wall; and also of fishes and of beasts. And all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth who had heard of the fame of his wisdom."(7)

And to such a degree does the Gospel desire that there should be wise men among believers, that for the sake of exercising the understanding of its hearers, it has spoken certain truths in enigmas, others in what are called "dark" sayings, others in parables, and others in problems.(8) And one of the prophets--Hosea--says at the end of his prophecies: "Who is wise, and he will understand these things? or prudent, and he shall know them?"(9) Daniel, moreover, and his fellow-captives, made such progress in the learning which the wise men around the king in Babylon cultivated, that they were shown to excel all of them in a tenfold degree. And in the book of Ezekiel it is said to the ruler of Tyre, who greatly prided himself on his wisdom, "Art thou wiser than Daniel? Every secret was not revealed to thee."(10)

CHAP. XLVI.

And if you come to the books written after the time of Jesus, you will find that those multitudes of believers who hear the parables are, as it were, "without," and worthy only of exoteric doctrines, while the disciples learn in private the explanation of the parables. For, privately, to His own disciples did Jesus open up all things, esteeming above the multitudes those who desired to know His wisdom. And He promises to those who believe upon Him to send them wise men and scribes, saying, "Behold, I will send unto you wise men and scribes, and some of them they shall kill and crucify.", And Paul also, in the catalogue of "charismata" bestowed by God, placed first "the word of wisdom," and second, as being inferior to it, "the word of knowledge," but third, and lower down, "faith."(2) And because he regarded "the word" as higher than miraculous powers, he for that reason places "workings of miracles" and "gifts of healings" in a lower place than the gifts of the word. And in the Acts of the Apostles Stephen bears witness to the great learning of Moses, which he had obtained wholly from ancient writings not accessible to the multitude. For he says: "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians."(3) And therefore, with respect to his miracles, it was suspected that he wrought them perhaps, not in virtue of his professing to come from God, but by means of his Egyptian knowledge, in which he was well versed. For the king, entertaining such a suspicion, summoned the Egyptian magicians, and wise men, and enchanters, who were found to be of no avail as against the wisdom of Moses, which proved superior to all the wisdom of the Egyptians.

CHAP. XLVII.

But it is probable that what is written by Paul in the first Epistle to the Corinthians,(4) as being addressed to Greeks who prided themselves greatly on their Grecian wisdom, has moved some to believe that it was not the object of the Gospel to win wise men. Now, let him who is of this opinion understand that the Gospel, as censuring wicked men, says of them that they are wise not in things which relate to the understanding, and which are unseen and eternal; but that in busying themselves about things of sense alone, and regarding these as all-important, they are wise men of the world: for as there are in existence a multitude of opinions, some of them espousing the cause of matter and bodies,(5) and asserting that everything is corporeal which has a substantial existence,(6) and that besides these nothing else exists, whether it be called invisible or incorporeal, it says also that these constitute the wisdom of the world, which perishes and fades away, and belongs only to this age, while those opinions which raise the soul from things here to the blessedness which is with God, and to His kingdom, and which teach men to despise all sensible and visible things as existing only for a season, and to hasten on to things invisible, and to have regard to those things which are not seen,--these, it says, constitute the wisdom of God. But Paul, as a lover of truth, says of certain wise men among the Greeks, when their statements are true, that "although they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful."(7) And he bears witness that they knew God, and says, too, that this did not happen to them without divine permission, in these words: "For God showed it unto them;"(8) dimly alluding, I think, to those who ascend from things of sense to those of the understanding, when he adds, "For the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are Clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful."(9)

CHAP. XLVIII.

And perhaps also from the words, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the base things, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh may glory in His presence;(10) some have been led to suppose that no one who is instructed, or wise, or prudent, embraces the Gospel. Now, in answer to such an one, we would say that it has not been stated that "no wise man according to the flesh," but that "not many wise men according to the flesh," are called. It is manifest, further, that amongst the characteristic qualifications of those who are termed "bishops," Paul, in describing what kind of man the bishop ought to be, lays down as a qualification that he should also be a teacher, saying that he ought to be able to convince the gainsayers, that by the wisdom which is in him he may stop the mouths of foolish talkers and deceivers.(11) And as he selects for the episcopate a man who has been once married(12) rather than he who has twice entered the married state,(13) and a man of blameless life rather than one who is liable to censure, and a sober man rather than one who is not such, and a prudent man rather than one who is not prudent, and a man whose behaviour is decorous rather than he who is open to the charge even of the slightest indecorum, so he desires that he who is to be chosen by preference for the office of a bishop should be apt to teach, and able to convince the gainsayers. How then can Celsus justly charge us with saying, "Let no one come to us who is 'instructed,' or 'wise,' or 'prudent?' " Nay, let him who wills come to us "instructed," and "wise," and "prudent;" and none the less, if any one be ignorant and unintelligent, and uninstructed and foolish, let him also come: for it is these whom the Gospel promises to cure, when they come, by rendering them all worthy of God.

CHAP. XLIX.

This statement also is untrue, that it is "only foolish and low individuals, and persons devoid of perception, and slaves, and women, and children, of whom the teachers of the divine word wish to make converts." Such indeed does the Gospel invite, in order to make them better; but it invites also others who are very different from these, since Christ is the Saviour of all men, and especially of them that believe, whether they be intelligent or simple; and "He is the propitiation with the Father for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."(1) After this it is superfluous for us to wish to offer a reply to such statements of Celsus as the following: "For why is it an evil to have been educated, and to have studied the best opinions, and to have both the reality and appearance of wisdom? What hindrance does this offer to the knowledge of God? Why should it not rather be an assistance, and a means by which one might be better able to arrive at the truth?" Truly it is no evil to have been educated, for education is the way to virtue; but to rank those amongst the number of the educated who hold erroneous opinions is what even the wise men among the Greeks would not do. On the other hand, who would not admit that to have studied the best opinions is a blessing? But what shall we call the best, save those which are true, and which incite men to virtue? Moreover, it is an excellent thing for a man to be wise, but not to seem so, as Celsus says. And it is no hindrance to the knowledge of God, but an assistance, to have been educated, and to have studied the best opinions, and to be wise. And it becomes us rather than Celsus to say this, especially if it be shown that he is an Epicurean.

CHAP. L.

But let us see what those statements of his are which follow next in these words: "Nay, we see, indeed, that even those individuals, who in the market-places perform the most disgraceful tricks, and who gather crowds around them, would never approach an assembly of wise men, nor dare to exhibit their arts among them; but wherever they see young men, and a mob of slaves, and a gathering of unintelligent persons, thither they thrust themselves in, and show themselves off." Observe, now, how he slanders us in these words, comparing us to those who in the market-places perform the most disreputable tricks, and gather crowds around them! What disreputable tricks, pray, do we perform? Or what is there in our conduct that resembles theirs, seeing that by means of readings, and explanations of the things read, we lead men to the worship of the God of the universe, and to the cognate virtues, and turn them away from contemning Deity, and from all things contrary to right reason? Philosophers verily would wish to collect together such hearers of their discourses as exhort men to virtue,--a practice which certain of the Cynics especially have followed, who converse publicly with those whom they happen to meet. Will they maintain, then, that these who do not gather together persons who are considered to have been educated, but who invite and assemble hearers from the public street, resemble those who in the market-places perform the most disreputable tricks, and gather crowds around them? Neither Celsus, however, nor any one who holds the same opinions, will blame those who, agreeably to what they regard as a feeling of philanthropy, address their arguments to the ignorant populace.

CHAP. LI.

And if they are not to be blamed for so doing, let us see whether Christians do not exhort multitudes to the practice of virtue in a greater and better degree than they. For the philosophers who converse in public do not pick and choose their hearers, but he who likes stands and listens. The Christians, however, having previously, so far as possible, tested the souls of those who wish to become their hearers, and having previously instructed(2) them in private, when they appear (before entering the community) to have sufficiently evinced their desire towards a virtuous life, introduce them then, and not before, privately forming one class of those who are beginners, and are receiving admission, but who have not yet obtained the mark of complete purification; and another of those who have manifested to the best of their ability their intention to desire no other things than are approved by Christians; and among these there are certain persons appointed to make inquiries regarding the lives and behaviour of those who join them, in order that they may prevent those who commit acts of infamy from coming into their public assembly, while those of a different character they receive with their whole heart, in order that they may daily make them better. And this is their method of procedure, both with those who are sinners, and especially with those who lead dissolute lives, whom they exclude from their community, although, according to Celsus, they resemble those who in the market-places perform the most shameful tricks. Now the venerable school of the Pythagoreans used to erect a cenotaph to those who had apostatized from their system of philosophy, treating them as dead; but the Christians lament as dead those who have been vanquished by licentiousness or any other sin, because they are lost and dead to God, and as being risen from the dead (if they manifest a becoming change) they receive them afterwards, at some future time, after a greater interval than in the case of those who were admitted at first, but not placing in any office or post of rank in the Church of God those who, after professing the Gospel, lapsed and fell.

CHAP. LII.

Observe now with regard to the following statement of Celsus, "We see also those persons who in the market-places perform most disreputable tricks, and collect crowds around them," whether a manifest falsehood has not been uttered, and things compared which have no resemblance. He says that these individuals, to whom he compares us, who "perform the most disreputable tricks in the market-places and collect crowds, would never approach an assembly of wise men, nor dare to show off their tricks before them; but wherever they see young men, and a mob of slaves, and a gathering of foolish people, thither do they thrust themselves in and make a display." Now, in speaking thus he does nothing else than simply load us with abuse, like the women upon the public streets, whose object is to slander one another; for we do everything in our power to secure that our meetings should be composed of wise men, and those things among us which are especially excellent and divine we then venture to bring forward publicly in our discussions when we have an abundance of intelligent hearers, while we conceal and pass by in silence the truths of deeper import when we see that our audience is composed of simpler minds, which need such instruction as is figuratively termed "milk."

CHAP. LIII.

For the word is used by our Paul in writing to the Corinthians, who were Greeks, and not yet purified in their morals: "I have fed you with milk, not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able, for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"(1) Now the same writer,(2) knowing that there was a certain kind of nourishment better adapted for the soul, and that the food of those young(3) persons who were admitted was compared to milk, continues: "And ye are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."(4) Would then those who believe these words to be well spoken, suppose that the noble doctrines of our faith would never be mentioned in an assembly of wise men, but that wherever (our instructors) see young men, and a mob of slaves, and a collection of foolish individuals, they bring publicly forward divine and venerable truths, and before such persons make a display of themselves in treating of them? But it is clear to him who examines the whole spirit of our writings, that Celsus is animated with a hatred against the human race resembling that of the ignorant populace, and gives utterance to these falsehoods without examination.

CHAP. LIV.

We acknowledge, however, although Celsus will not have it so, that we do desire to instruct all men in the word of God, so as to give to young men the exhortations which are appropriate to them, and to show to slaves how they may recover freedom of thought,(5) and be ennobled by the word. And those amongst us who are the ambassadors of Christianity sufficiently declare that they are debtors(6) to Greeks and Barbarians, to wise men and fools, (for they do not deny their obligation to cure the souls even of foolish persons,) in order that as far as possible they may lay aside their ignorance, and endeavour to obtain greater prudence, by listening also to the words of Solomon: "Oh, ye fools, be of an understanding heart,"(7) and "Who is the most simple among you, let him turn unto me;"(8) and wisdom exhorts those who are devoid of understanding in the words, "Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mixed for you. Forsake folly that ye may live, and correct understanding in knowledge."(1) This too would I say (seeing it bears on the point),(2) in answer to the statement of Celsus: Do not philosophers invite young men to their lectures? and do they not encourage young men to exchange a wicked life for a better? and do they not desire slaves to learn philosophy? Must we find fault, then, with philosophers who have exhorted slaves to the practice of virtue? with Pythagoras for having so done with Zamolxis, Zeno with Perseus, and with those who recently encouraged Epictetus to the study of philosophy? Is it indeed permissible for you, O Greeks, to call youths and slaves and foolish persons to the study of philosophy, but if we do so, we do not act from philanthropic motives in wishing to heal every rational nature with the medicine of reason, and to bring them into fellowship with God, the Creator of all things? These remarks, then, may suffice in answer to what are slanders rather than accusations(3) on the part of Celsus.

CHAP. LV.

But as Celsus delights to heap up calumnies against us, and, in addition to those which he has already uttered, has added others, let us examine these also, and see whether it be the Christians or Celsus who have reason to be ashamed of what is said. He asserts, "We see, indeed, in private houses workers in wool and leather, and fullers, and persons of the most uninstructed and rustic character, not venturing to utter a word in the presence of their elders and wiser masters;(4) but when they get hold of the children privately, and certain women as ignorant as themselves, they pour forth wonderful statements, to the effect that they ought not to give heed to their father and to their teachers, but should obey them; that the former are foolish and stupid, and neither know nor can perform anything that is really good, being preoccupied with empty trifles; that they alone know how men ought to live, and that, if the children obey them, they will both be happy themselves, and will make their home happy also. And while thus speaking, if they see one of the instructors of youth approaching, or one of the more intelligent class, or even the father himself, the more timid among them become afraid, while the more forward incite the children to throw off the yoke, whispering that in the presence of father and teachers they neither will nor can explain to them any good thing, seeing they turn away with aversion from the silliness and stupidity of such persons as being altogether corrupt, and far advanced in wickedness, and such as would inflict punishment upon them; but that if they wish (to avail themselves of their aid,) they must leave their father and their instructors, and go with the women and their playfellows to the women's apartments, or to the leather shop, or to the fuller's shop, that they may attain to perfection;--and by words like these they gain them over."

CHAP. LVI.

Observe now how by such statements he depreciates those amongst us who are teachers of the word, and who strive in every way to raise the soul to the Creator of all things, and who show that we ought to despise things "sensible," and "temporal," and "visible," and to do our utmost to reach communion with God, and the contemplation of things that are "intelligent," and "invisible," and a blessed life with God, and the friends of God; comparing them to "workers in wool in private houses, and to leather-cutters, and to fullers, and to the most rustic of mankind, who carefully incite young boys to wickedness, and women to forsake their fathers and teachers, and follow them." Now let Celsus point out from what wise parent, or from what teachers, we keep away children and women, and let him ascertain by comparison among those children and women who are adherents of our doctrine, whether any of the opinions which they formerly heard are better than ours, and in what manner we draw away children and women from noble and venerable studies, and incite them to worse things. But he will not be able to make good any such charge against us, seeing that, on the contrary, we turn away women from a dissolute life, and from being at variance with those with whom they live, from all mad desires after theatres and dancing, and from superstition; while we train to habits of self-restraint boys just reaching the age of puberty, and feeling a desire for sexual pleasures, pointing out to them not only the disgrace which attends those sins, but also the state to which the soul of the wicked is reduced through practices of that kind, and the judgments which it will suffer, and the punishments which will be inflicted.

CHAP. LVII.

But who are the teachers whom we call triflers and fools, whose defence is undertaken by Celsus, as of those who teach better things? (I know not,) unless he deem those to be good instructors of women, and no triflers, who invite them to superstition and to unchaste spectacles, and those, moreover, to be teachers not devoid of sense who lead and drag the young men to all those disorderly acts which we know are often committed by them. We indeed call away these also, as far as we can, from the dogmas of philosophy to our worship of God, by showing forth its excellence aud purity. But as Celsus, by his statements, has declared that we do not do so, but that we call only the foolish, I would say to him, "If you had charged us with withdrawing from the study of philosophy those who were already preoccupied with it, you would not have spoken the truth, and yet your charge would have had an appearance of probability; but when you now say that we draw away our adherents from good teachers, show who are those other teachers save the teachers of philosophy, or those who have been appointed to give instruction in some useful branch of study."(1)

He will be unable, however, to show any such.; while we promise, openly and not in secret, that they will be happy who live according to the word of God, and who look to Him in all things, and who do everything, whatever it is, as if in the presence of God. Are these the instructions of workers in wool, and of leather-cutters, and fullers, and uneducated rustics? But such an assertion he cannot make good.

CHAP. LVIII.

But those who, in the opinion of Celsus, resemble the workers in wool in private houses, and the leather-cutters, and fullers, and uneducated rustics, will, he alleges, in the presence of father or teachers be unwilling to speak, or unable to explain to the boys anything that is good. In answer to which, we would say, What kind of father, my good sir, and what kind of teacher, do you mean? If you mean one who approves of virtue, and turns away from vice, and welcomes what is better, then know, that with the greatest boldness will we declare our opinions to the children, because we will be in good repute with such a judge. But if, in the presence of a father who has a hatred of virtue and goodness, we keep silence, and also before those who teach what is contrary to sound doctrine, do not blame us for so doing, since you will blame us without good reason. You, at all events, in a case where fathers deemed the mysteries of philosophy an idle and unprofitable occupation for their sons, and for young men in general, would not, in teaching philosophy, make known its secrets before worthless parents; but, desiring to keep apart those sons of wicked parents who had been turned towards the study of philosophy, you would observe the proper seasons, in order that the doctrines of philosophy might reach the minds of the young men. And we say the same regarding our teachers. For if we turn (our hearers) away from those instructors who teach obscene comedies and licentious iambics, and many other things which neither improve the speaker nor benefit the bearers (because the latter do not know how to listen to poetry in a philosophic frame of mind, nor the former how to say to each of the young men what tends to his profit), we are not, in following such a course, ashamed to confess what we do. But if you will show me teachers who train young men for philosophy, and who exercise them in it, I will not from such turn away young men, but will try to raise them, as those who have been previously exercised in the whole circle of learning and in philosophical subjects, to the venerable and lofty height of eloquence which lies hid from the multitude of Christians, where are discussed topics of the greatest importance, and where it is demonstrated and shown that they have been treated philosophically both by the prophets of God and the apostles of Jesus.

CHAP. LIX.

Immediately after this, Celsus, perceiving that he has slandered us with too great bitterness, as if by way of defence expresses himself as follows: "That I bring no heavier charge than what the truth compels me, any one may see from the following remarks. Those who invite to participation in other mysteries, make proclamation as follows: 'Every one who has clean hands, and a prudent tongue;'(2) others again thus: 'He who is pure from all pollution, and whose soul is conscious of no evil, and who has lived well and justly.' Such is the proclamation made by those who promise purification from sins.(3) But let us hear what kind of persons these Christians invite. Every one, they say, who is a sinner, who is devoid of understanding, who is a child, and, to speak generally, whoever is unfortunate, him will the kingdom of God receive. Do you not call him a sinner, then, who is unjust, and a thief, and a housebreaker, and a poisoner, and a committer of sacrilege, and a robber of the dead? What others would a man invite if he were issuing a proclamation for an assembly of robbers?" Now, in answer to such statements, we say that it is not the same thing to invite those who are sick in saul to be cured, and those who are in health to the knowledge and study of divine things. We, however, keeping both these things in view, at first invite all men to be healed, and exhort those who are sinners to come to the consideration of the doctrines which teach men not to sin, and those who are devoid of understanding to those which beget wisdom, and those who are children to rise in their thoughts to manhood, and those who are simply(1) unfortunate to good fortune,(2) or--which is the more appropriate term to use--to blessedness.(3) And when those who have been turned towards virtue have made progress, and have shown that they have been purified by the word, and have led as far as they can a better life, then and not before do we invite them to participation in our mysteries. "For we speak wisdom among them that are perfect."(4)

CHAP. LX.

And as we teach, moreover, that "wisdom will not enter into the soul of a base man, nor dwell in a body that is involved in sin,"(5) we say, Whoever has clean hands, and therefore lifts up holy hands to God, and by reason of being occupied with elevated and heavenly things, can say, "The lifting up of my hands is as the evening sacrifice,'(6) let him come to us; and whoever has a wise tongue through meditating on the law of the Lord day and night, and by "reason of habit has his senses exercised to discern between good and evil," let him have no reluctance in coming to the strong and rational sustenance which is adapted to those who are athletes in piety and every virtue. And since the grace of God is with all those who love with a pure affection the teacher of the doctrines of immortality, whoever is pure not only from all defilement, but from what are regarded as lesser transgressions, let him be boldly initiated in the mysteries of Jesus, which properly are made known only to the holy and the pure. The initiated of Celsus accordingly says, "Let him whose soul is conscious of no evil come." But he who acts as initiator, according to the precepts of Jesus, will say to those who have been purified in heart, "He whose soul has, for a long time, been conscious of no evil, and especially since he yielded himself to the healing of the word, let such an one hear the doctrines which were spoken in private by Jesus to His genuine disciples." Therefore in the comparison which he institutes between the procedure of the initiators into the Grecian mysteries, and the teachers of the doctrine of Jesus, he does not know the difference between inviting the wicked to be healed, and initiating those already purified into the sacred mysteries!

CHAP. LXI.

Not to participation in mysteries, then, and to fellowship in the wisdom hidden in a mystery, which God ordained before the world to the glory of His saints,(7) do we invite the wicked man, and the thief, and the housebreaker, and the prisoner, and the committer of sacrilege, and the plunderer of the dead, and all those others whom Celsus may enumerate in his exaggerating style, but such as these we invite to be healed. For there are in the divinity of the word some helps towards the cure of those who are sick, respecting which the word says, "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick;"(8) others, gain, which to the pure in soul and body exhibit "the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest by the Scriptures of the prophets,"(9) and "by the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,"(10) which "appearing" is manifested to each one of those who are perfect, and which enlightens the reason" in the true" knowledge of things. But as he exaggerates the charges against us, adding, after his list of those vile individuals whom he has mentioned, this remark, "What other persons would a robber summon to himself by proclamation?" we answer such a question by saying that a robber summons around him individuals of such a character, in order to make use of their villany against the men whom they desire to slay and plunder. A Christian, on the other hand, even though he invite those whom the robber invites, invites them to a very different vocation, viz. to bind up these wounds by His word, and to apply to the soul, festering amid evils, the drugs obtained from the word, and which are analogous to the wine and oil, and plasters, and other healing appliances which belong to the art of medicine.

CHAP. LXII.

In the next place, throwing a slur(13) upon the exhortations spoken and written to those who have led wicked lives, and which invite them to repentance and reformation of heart, he asserts that we say "that it was to sinners that God has been sent." Now this statement of his is much the same as if he were to find fault with certain persons for saying that on account of the sick who were living in a city, a physician had been sent them by a very benevolent monarch.(14) God the Word was sent, indeed, as a physician to sinners, but as a teacher of divine mysteries to those who are already pure and who sin no more. But Celsus, unable to see this distinction,--for he had no desire to be animated with a love of truth,--remarks, "Why was he not sent to those who were without sin? What evil is it not to have committed sin?" To which we reply, that if by those "who were without sin" he means those who sin no more, then our Saviour Jesus was sent even to such, but not as a physician. While if by those "who were without sin" he means such as have never at any time sinned,--for he made no distinction in his statement,--we reply that it is impossible for a man thus to be without sin. And this we say, excepting, of course, the man understood to be in Christ Jesus,(1) who "did no sin." It is with a malicious intent, indeed, that Celsus says of us that we assert that "God will receive the unrighteousness man if he humble himself on account of his wickedness, but that He will not receive the righteous man, although he look up to Him, (adorned) with virtue from the beginning." Now we assert that it is impossible for a man to look up to God (adorned) with virtue from the beginning. For wickedness must necessarily first exist in men. As Paul also says, "When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."(2) Moreover, we do not teach regarding the unrighteous man, that it is sufficient for him to humble himself on account of his wickedness in order to his being accepted by God, but that God will accept him if, after passing condemnation upon himself for his past conduct, he walk humbly on account of it, and in a becoming manner for the time to come.

CHAP. LXIII.

After this, not understanding how it has been said that "every one who exalted himself shall be abased;"(3) nor (although taught even by Plato) that "the good and virtuous man walketh humbly and orderly;" and ignorant, moreover, that we give the injunction, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time;"(4) he says that "those persons who preside properly over a trial make those individuals who bewail before them their evil deeds to cease from their piteous wailings, lest their decisions should be determined rather by compassion than by a regard to truth; whereas God does not decide in accordance with truth, but in accordance with flattery."(5) Now, what words of flattery and piteous walling are contained in the Holy Scriptures when the sinner says in his prayers to God, "I have acknowledged my sin, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgression to the Lord," etc., etc.? For is he able to show that a procedure of this kind is not adapted to the conversion of sinners, who humble themselves in their prayers under the hand of God? And, becoming confused by his efforts to accuse us, he contradicts himself; appearing at one time to know a man "without sin," and "a righteous man, who can look up to God (adorned) with virtue from the beginning;" and at another time accepting our statement that there is no man altogether righteous, or without sin;(6) for, as if he admitted its truth, he remarks, "This is indeed apparently true, that somehow the human race is naturally inclined to sin." In the next place, as if all men were not invited by the word, he says, "All men, then, without distinction, ought to be invited, since all indeed are sinners." And yet, in the preceding pages, we have pointed out the words of Jesus: "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."(7) All men, therefore, labouring and being heavy laden on account of the nature of sin, are invited to the rest spoken of in the word of God, "for God sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions."(8)

CHAP. LXIV.

But since he says, in addition to this, "What is this preference of sinners over others?" and makes other remarks of a similar nature, we have to reply that absolutely a sinner is not preferred before one who is not a sinner; but that sometimes a sinner, who has become conscious of his own sin, and for that reason comes to repentance, being humbled on account of his sins, is preferred before one who is accounted a lesser sinner, but who does not consider himself one, but exalts himself on the ground of certain good qualities which he thinks he possesses, and is greatly elated on their account. And this is manifest to those who are willing to peruse the Gospels in a spirit of fairness, by the parable of the publican, who said, "Be merciful to me a sinner,"(9) and of the Pharisee who boasted with a certain wicked self-conceit in the words, "I thank Thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican."(10) For Jesus subjoins to his narrative of them both the words: "This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."(1) We utter no blasphemy, then, against God, neither are we guilty of falsehood, when we teach that every man, whoever he may be, is conscious of human infirmity in comparison with the greatness of God, and that we must ever ask from Him, who alone is able to supply our deficiencies, what is wanting to our (mortal) nature.

CHAP. LXV.

He imagines, however, that we utter these exhortations for the conversion of sinners, because we are able to gain over no one who is really good and righteous, and therefore open our gates to the most unholy and abandoned of men. But if any one will fairly observe our assemblies we can present a greater number of those who have been converted from not a very wicked life, than of those who have committed the most abominable sins. For naturally those who are conscious to themselves of better things, desire that those promises may be true which are declared by God regarding the reward of the righteous, and thus assent more readily to the statements (of Scripture) than those do who have led very wicked lives, and who are prevented by their very consciousness (of evil) from admitting that they will be punished by the Judge of all with such punishment as befits those who have sinned so greatly, and as would not be inflicted by the Judge of all contrary to fight reason? Sometimes, also, when very abandoned men are willing to accept the doctrine of (future) punishment, on account of the hope which is based upon repentance, they are prevented from so doing by their habit of sinning, being constantly dipped,(3) and, as it were, dyed(4) in wickedness, and possessing no longer the power to turn from it easily to a proper life, and one regulated according to right reason. And although Celsus observes this, he nevertheless, I know not why, expresses himself in the following terms: "And yet, indeed, it is manifest to every one that no one by chastisement, much less by merciful treatment, could effect a complete change in those who are sinners both by nature and custom, for to change nature is an exceedingly difficult thing. But they who are without sin are partaken of a better life."

CHAP. LXVI.

Now here Celsus appears to me to have committed a great error, in refusing to those who are sinners by nature, and also by habit, the possibility of a complete transformation, alleging that they cannot be cured even by punishment. For it clearly appears that all men are inclined to sin by nature,(5) and some not only by nature but by practice, while not all men are incapable of an entire transformation. For there are found in every philosophical sect, and in the word of God, persons who are related to have undergone so great a change that they may be proposed as a model of excellence of life. Among the names of the heroic age some mention Hercules and Ulysses, among those of later times, Socrates, and of those who have lived very recently, Musonius.(6) Not only against us, then, did Celsus utter the calumny, when he said that "it was manifest to every one that those who were given to sin by nature and habit could not by any means--even by punishments--be completely changed for the better," but also against the noblest names in philosophy, who have not denied that the recovery of virtue was a possible thing for men. But although he did not express his meaning with exactness, we shall nevertheless, though giving his words a more favourable construction, convict him of unsound reasoning. For his words were: "Those who are inclined to sin by nature and habit, no one could completely reform even by chastisement;" and his words, as we understood them, we refuted to the best of our ability.(7)

CHAP. LXVII.

It is probable, however, that he meant to convey some such meaning as this, that those who were both by nature and habit given to the commission of those sins which are committed by the most abandoned of men, could not be completely transformed even by punishment. And yet this is shown to be false from the history of certain philosophers. For who is there that would not rank among the most abandoned of men the individual who somehow submitted to yield himself to his master, when he placed him in a brothel,(8) that he might allow himself to be polluted by any one who liked? And yet such a circumstance is related of Phaedo! And who will not agree that he who burst, accompanied with a flute-player and a party of revellers, his profligate associates, into the school of the venerable Xenocrates, to insult a man who was the admiration of his friends, was not one of the greatest miscreants(9) among mankind? Yet, notwithstanding this, reason was powerful enough to effect their conversion, and to enable them to make such progress in philosophy, that the one was deemed worthy by Plato to recount the discourse of Socrates on immortality, and to record his firmness in prison, when he evinced his contempt of the hemlock, and with all fearlessness and tranquillity of mind treated of subjects so numerous and important, that it is difficult even for those to follow them who are giving their utmost attention, and who are disturbed by no distraction; while Polemon, on the other hand, who from a profligate became a man of most temperate life, was successor in the school of Xenocrates, so celebrated for his venerable character. Celsus then does not speak the truth when he says "that sinners by nature and habit cannot be completely reformed even by chastisement."

CHAP. LXVIII.

That philosophical discourses, however, distinguished by orderly arrangement and elegant expression, (1) should produce such results in the case of those individuals just enumerated, and upon others (2) who have led wicked lives, is not at all to be wondered at. But when we consider that those discourses, which Celsus terms "vulgar," (3) are filled with power, as if they were spells, and see that they at once convert multitudes from a life of licentiousness to one of extreme regularity, (4) and from a life of wickedness to a better, and from a state of cowardice or unmanliness to one of such high-toned courage as to lead men to despise even death through the piety which shows itself within them, why should we not justly admire the power which they contain? For the words of those who at the first assumed the office of (Christian) ambassadors, and who gave their labours to rear up the Churches of God,--nay, their preaching also,--were accompanied with a persuasive power, though not like that found among those who profess the philosophy of Plato, or of any other merely human philosopher, which possesses no other qualities than those of human nature. But the demonstration which followed the words of the apostles of Jesus was given from God, and was accredited s by the Spirit and by power. And therefore their word ran swiftly and speedily, or rather the word of God through their instrumentality, transformed numbers of persons who had been sinners both by nature and habit, whom no one could have reformed by punishment, but who were changed by the word, which moulded and transformed them according to its pleasure.

CHAP. LXIX.

Celsus continues in his usual manner, asserting that "to change a nature entirely is exceedingly difficult." We, however, who know of only one nature in every rational soul, and who maintain that none has been created evil by the Author of all things, but that many have become wicked through education, and perverse example, and surrounding influences, (6) so that wickedness has been naturalized (7) in some individuals, are persuaded that for the word of God to change a nature in which evil has been naturalized is not only not impossible, but is even a work of no very great difficulty, if a man only believe that he must entrust himself to the God of all things, and do everything with a view to please Him with whom it cannot be (8) that

"Both good and bad are in the same honour,

Or that the idle man and he who laboured much Perish alike." (9)

But even if it be exceedingly difficult to effect a change in some persons, the cause must be held to lie in their own will, which is reluctant to accept the belief that the God over all things is a just Judge of all the deeds done during life. For deliberate choice and practice (10) avail much towards the accomplishment of things which appear to be very difficult, and, to speak hyperbolically, almost impossible. Has the nature of man, when desiring to walk along a rope extended in the air through the middle of the theatre, and to carry at the same time numerous and heavy weights, been able by practice and attention to accomplish such a feat; but when desiring to live in conformity with the practice of virtue, does it find it impossible to do so, although formerly it may have been exceedingly wicked? See whether he who holds such views does not bring a charge against the nature of the Creator of the rational animal" rather than against the creature, if He has formed the nature of man with powers for the attainment of things of such difficulty, and of no utility whatever, but has rendered it incapable of securing its own blessedness. But these remarks may suffice as an answer to the assertion that "entirely to change a nature is exceedingly difficult." He alleges, in the next place, that "they who are without sin are partakers of a better life;" not making it clear what he means by "those who are without sin," whether those who are so from the beginning (of their lives), or those who become so by a transformation. Of those who were so from the beginning of their lives, there cannot possibly be any; while those who are so after a transformation (of heart) are found to be few in number, being those who have become so after giving in their alIegiance to the saving word. And they were not such when they gave in their allegiance. For, apart from the aid of the word, and that too the word of perfection, it is impossible for a man to become free from sin.

CHAP. LXX.

In the next place, he objects to the statement, as if it were maintained by us, that "God will be able to do all things," not seeing even here how these words are meant, and what "the all things" are which are included in it, and how it is said that God "will be able." But on these matters it is not necessary now to speak; for although he might with a show of reason have opposed this proposition, he has not done so. Perhaps he did not understand the arguments which might be plausibly used against it, or if he did, he saw the answers that might be returned. Now in our judgment God can do everything which it is possible for Him to do without ceasing to be God, and good, and wise. But Celsus asserts--not comprehending the meaning of the expression "God can do all things "--" that He will not desire to do anything wicked," admitting that He has the power, but not the will, to commit evil. We, on the contrary, maintain that as that which by nature possesses the property of sweetening other things through its own inherent sweetness cannot produce bitterness contrary to its own peculiar nature, (1) nor that whose nature it is to produce light through its being light can cause darkness; so neither is God able to commit wickedness, for the power of doing evil is contrary to His deity and its omnipotence. Whereas if any one among existing things is able to commit wickedness from being inclined to wickedness by nature, it does so from not having in its nature the ability not to do evil.

CHAP. LXXI.

He next assumes what is not granted by the more rational class of believers, but what perhaps is considered to be true by some who are devoid of intelligence,--viz., that "God, like those who are overcome with pity, being Himself overcome, alleviates the sufferings of the wicked through pity for their wailings, and casts off the good, who do nothing of that kind, which is the height of injustice." Now, in our judgment, God lightens the suffering of no wicked man who has not betaken himself to a virtuous life, and casts off no one who is already good, nor yet alleviates the suffering of any one who mourns, simply because he utters lamentation, or takes pity upon him, to use the word pity in its more common acceptation. (2) But those who have passed severe condemnation upon themselves because of their sins, and who, as on that account, lament and bewail themselves as lost, so far as their previous conduct is concerned, and who have manifested a satisfactory change, are received by God on account of their repentance, as those who have undergone a transformation from a life of great wickedness. For virtue, taking up her abode in the souls of these persons, and expelling the wickedness which had previous possession of them, produces an oblivion of the past. And even although virtue do not effect an entrance, yet if a considerable progress take place in the soul, even that is sufficient, in the proportion that it is progressive, to drive out and destroy the flood of wickedness, so that it almost ceases to remain in the soul.

CHAP. LXXII.

In the next place, speaking as in the person of a teacher of our doctrine, he expresses himself as follows: "Wise men reject what we say, being led into error, and ensnared by their wisdom." In reply to which we say that, since wisdom is the knowledge of divine and human things and of their causes, or, as it is defined by the word of God, "the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty; and the brightness of the everlasting light, and the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness," (3) no one who was really wise would reject what is said by a Christian acquainted with the principles of Christianity, or would be led into error, or ensnared by it. For true wisdom does not mislead, but ignorance does, while of existing things knowledge alone is permanent, and the truth which is derived from wisdom. But if, contrary to the definition of wisdom, you call any one whatever who dogmatizes with sophistical opinions wise, we answer that in conformity with what you call wisdom, such an one rejects the words of God, being misled and ensnared by plausible sophisms. And since, according to our doctrine, wisdom is not the knowledge of evil, but the knowledge of evil, so to speak, is in those who hold false opinions and who are deceived by them, I would therefore in such persons term it ignorance rather than wisdom.

CHAP. LXXIII.

After this he again slanders the ambassador of Christianity, and gives out regarding him that he relates "ridiculous things," although he does not show or clearly point out what are the things which he calls "ridiculous." And in his slanders he says that "no wise man believes the Gospel, being driven away by the multitudes who adhere to it." And in this he acts like one who should say that owing to the multitude of those ignorant persons who are brought into subjection to the laws, no wise man would yield obedience to Solon, for example, or to Lycurgus, or Zaleucus, or any other legislator, and especially if by wise man he means one who is wise (by living) in conformity with virtue. For, as with regard to these ignorant persons, the legislators, according to their ideas of utility, caused them to be surrounded with appropriate guidance and laws, so God, legislating through Jesus Christ for men in all parts of the world, brings: to Himself even those who are not wise in the way in which it is possible for such persons to be brought to a better life. And God, well knowing this, as we have already shown in the preceding pages, says in the books of Moses "They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation." (1) And Paul also, knowing this, said, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise," (2) calling, in a general way, wise all who appear to have made advances in knowledge, but have fallen into an atheistic polytheism, since "professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things." (3)

CHAP. LXXIV.

He accuses the Christian teacher, moreover of" seeking after the unintelligent." In answer we ask, Whom do you mean by the "unintelligent?" For, to speak accurately, every wicked man is "unintelligent." If then by "unintelligent" you mean the wicked, do you, in drawing men to philosophy, seek to gain the wicked or the virtuous? (4) But it is impossible to gain the virtuous, because they have already given themselves to philosophy. The wicked, then, (you try to gain;) but if they are wicked, are they "unintelligent?" And many such you seek to win over to philosophy, and you therefore seek the "unintelligent." But if I seek after those who are thus termed "unintelligent," I act like a benevolent physician, who should seek after the sick in order to help and cure them. If, bow-ever, by "unintelligent" you mean persons who are not clever, (5) but the inferior class of men intellectually, (6) I shall answer that I endeavour to improve such also to the best of my ability, although I would not desire to build up the Christian community out of such materials. For I seek in preference those who are more clever and acute, because they are able to comprehend the meaning of the hard sayings, and of those passages in the law, and prophecies, and Gospels, which are expressed with obscurity, and which you have despised as not containing anything worthy of notice, because you have not ascertained the meaning which they contain, nor tried to enter into the aim of the writers.

CHAP. LXXV.

But as he afterwards says that "the teacher of Christianity acts like a person who promises to restore patients to bodily health, but who prevents them from consulting skilled physicians, by whom his ignorance would be exposed," we shall inquire in reply, "What are the physicians to whom you refer, from whom we turn away ignorant individuals.? For you do not suppose that we exhort those to embrace the Gospel who are devoted to philosophy, so that you would regard the latter as the physicians from whom we keep away such as we invite to come to the word of God." He indeed will make no answer, because he cannot name the physicians; or else he will be obliged to betake himself to those of them who are ignorant, and who of their own accord servilely yield themselves to the worship of many gods, and to whatever other opinions are entertained by ignorant individuals. In either case, then, he will be shown to have employed to no purpose in his argument the illustration of "one who keeps others away from skilled physicians." But if, in order to preserve from the philosophy of Epicurus, and from such as are considered physicians after his system, those who are deceived by them, why should we not be acting most reasonably in keeping such away from a dangerous disease caused by the physicians of Celsus,--that, viz., which leads to the annihilation of providence, and the introduction of pleasure as a good? But let it be conceded that we do keep away those whom we encourage to become our disciples from other philosopher-physicians,--from the Peripatetics, for example, who deny the existence of providence and the relation of Deity to man,--why shall we not piously train (7) and heal those who have been thus encouraged, persuading them to devote themselves to the God of all things, and free those who yield obedience to us from the great wounds inflicted by the words of such as are deemed to be philosophers? Nay, let it also be admitted that-we turn away from physicians of the sect of the Stoics, who introduce a corruptible god, and assert that his essence consists of a body, which is capable of being changed and altered in all its parts, (1) and who also maintain that all things will one day perish, and that God alone will be left; why shall we not even thus emancipate our subjects from evils, and bring them by pious arguments to devote themselves to the Creator, and to admire the Father of the Christian system, who has so arranged that instruction of the most benevolent kind, and fitted for the conversion of souls, (2) should be distributed throughout the whole human race? Nay, if we should cure those who have fallen into the folly of believing in the transmigration of souls through the teaching of physicians, who will have it that the rational nature descends sometimes into all kinds of irrational animals, and sometimes into that state of being which is incapable of using the imagination, (3) why should we not improve the souls of our subjects by means of a doctrine which does not teach that a state of insensibility or irrationalism is produced in the wicked instead of punishment, but which shows that the labours and chastisements inflicted upon the wicked by God are a kind of medicines leading to conversion? For those who are intelligent Christians, (4) keeping this in view, deal with the simple-minded, as parents do with very young s children. We do not betake ourselves then to young persons and silly rustics, saying to them, "Flee from physicians." Nor do we say, "See that none of you lay hold of knowledge;" nor do we assert that "knowledge is an evil;" nor are we mad enough to say that "knowledge causes men to lose their soundness of mind." We would not even say that any one ever perished through wisdom; and although we give instruction, we never say, "Give heed to me," but "Give heed to the God of all things, and to Jesus, the giver of instruction concerning Him." And none of us is so great a braggart (6) as to say what Celsus put in the mouth of one of our teachers to his acquaintances, "I alone will save you." Observe here the lies which he utters against us! Moreover, we do not assert that "true physicians destroy those whom they promise to cure."

CHAP. LXXVI.

And he produces a second illustration to our disadvantage, saying that "our teacher acts like a drunken man, who, entering a company of drunkards, should accuse those who are sober of being drunk." But let him show, say from the writings of Paul, that the apostle of Jesus gave way to drunkenness, and that his words were not those of soberness; or from the writings of John, that his thoughts do not breathe a spirit of temperance and of freedom from the intoxication of evil. No one, then, who is of sound mind, and teaches the doctrines of Christianity, gets drunk with wine; but Celsus utters these calumnies against us in a spirit very unlike that of a philosopher. Moreover, let Celsus say who those "sober" persons are whom the ambassadors of Christianity accuse. For in our judgment all are intoxicated who address themselves to inanimate objects as to God. And why do I say "intoxicated?" "Insane" would be the more appropriate word for those who hasten to temples and worship images or animals as divinities. And they too are not less insane who think that images, fashioned by men of worthless and sometimes most wicked character, confer any honour upon genuine divinities. (7)

CHAP. LXXVII.

He next likens our teacher to one suffering from ophthalmia, and his disciples to those suffering from the same disease, and says that "such an one amongst a company of those who are afflicted with ophthalmia, accuses those who are sharp-sighted of being blind." Who, then, would we ask, O Greeks, are they who in our judgment do not see, save those who are unable to look up from the exceeding greatness of the world and its contents, and from the beauty of created things, and to see that they ought to worship, and admire, and reverence Him alone who made these things, and that it is not befitting to treat with reverence anything contrived by man, and applied to the honour of God, whether it be without a reference to the Creator, or with one? (8) For, to compare with that illimitable excellence, which surpasses all created being, things which ought not to be brought into comparison with it, is the act of those whose understanding is darkened. We do not then say that those who are sharp-sighted are suffering from ophthalmia or blindness; but we assert that those who, in ignorance of God, give themselves to temples and images, and so-called sacred seasons, (1) are blinded in their minds, and especially when, in addition to their impiety, they live also in licentiousness, not even inquiring after any honourable work whatever, but doing everything that is of a disgraceful character.

CHAP. LXXVIII.

After having brought against us charges of so serious a kind, he wishes to make it appear that, although he has others to adduce, he passes them by in silence. His words are as follows: "These charges I have to bring against them, and others of a similar nature, not to enumerate them one by one, and I affirm that they are in error, and that they act insolently towards God, in order to lead on wicked men by empty hopes, and to persuade them to despise better things, saying that if they refrain from them it will be better for them." In answer to which, it might be said that from the power which shows itself in those who are converted to Christianity, it is not at all the "wicked" who are won over to the Gospel, as the more simple class of persons, and, as many would term them, the "unpolished." (2) For such individuals, through fear of the punishments that are threatened, which arouses and exhorts them to refrain from those actions which are followed by punishments, strive to yield themselves up to the Christian religion, being influenced by the power of the word to such a degree, that through fear of what are called in the word "everlasting punishments," they despise all the tortures which are devised against them among men,--even death itself, with countless other evils,--which no wise man would say is the act of persons of wicked mind. How can temperance and sober-mindedness, or benevolence and liberality, be practised by a man of wicked mind? Nay, even the fear of God cannot be felt by such an one, with respect to which, because it is useful to the many, the Gospel encourages those who are not yet able to choose that which ought to be chosen for its own sake, to select it as the greatest blessing, and one above all promise; for this principle cannot be implanted in him who prefers to live in wickedness.

CHAP. LXXIX.

But if in these matters any one were to imagine that it is superstition rather than wickedness which appears in the multitude of those who believe the word, and should charge our doctrine with making men superstitious, we shall answer him by saying that, as a certain legislators replied to the question of one who asked him whether he had enacted for his citizens the best laws, that he had not given them absolutely the best, but the best which they were capable of receiving; so it might be said by the Father of the Christian doctrine, I have given the best laws and instruction for the improvement of morals of which the many were capable, not threatening sinners with imaginary labours and chastisements, but with such as are real, and necessary to be applied for the correction of those who offer resistance, although they do not at all understand the object of him who inflicts the punishment, nor the effect of the labours. For the doctrine of punishment is both attended with utility, and is agreeable to truth, and is stated in obscure terms with advantage. (4) Moreover, as for the most part it is not the wicked whom the ambassadors of Christianity gain over, neither do we insult God. For we speak regarding Him both what is true, and what appears to be clear to the multitude, but not so clear to them as it is to those few who investigate the truths of the Gospel in a philosophical manner.

CHAP. LXXX.

Seeing, however, that Celsus alleges that "Christians are won over by us through vain hopes," we thus' reply to him when he finds fault with our doctrine of the blessed life, and of communion with God: "As for you, good sir, they also are won over by vain hopes who have accepted the doctrine of Pythagoras and Plato regarding the soul, that it is its nature to ascend to the vaults of heaven, and in the super-celestial space to behold the sights which are seen by the blessed spectators above. According to you, O Celsus, they also who have accepted the doctrine of the duration of the soul (after death), and who lead a life through which they become heroes, and make their abodes with the gods, are won over by vain hopes. Probably also they who are persuaded that the soul comes (into the body) from without, and that it will be withdrawn from the power of death, (6) would be said by Celsus to be won over by empty hopes. Let him then come forth to the contest, no longer concealing the sect to which he belongs, but confessing himself to be an Epicurean, and let him meet the arguments, which are not lightly advanced among Greeks and Barbarians, regarding the immortality of the soul, or its duration (after death), or the immortality of the thinking principle;, and let him prove that these are words which deceive with empty hopes those who give their aSsent to them; but that the adherents of his philosophical system are pure from empty hopes, and that they indeed lead to hopes of good, or--what is more in keeping with his opinions--give birth to no hope at all, on account of the immediate and complete destruction of the soul (after death). Unless, perhaps, Celsus and the Epicureans will deny that it is a vain hope which they entertain regarding their end,--pleasure,--which, according to them, is the supreme good, and which consists in the permanent health of the body, and the hope regarding it which is entertained by Epicurus. (2)

CHAP. LXXXI.

And do not suppose that it is not in keeping with the Christian religion for me to have accepted, against Celsus, the opinions of those philosophers who have treated of the immortality or after-duration of the soul; for, holding certain views in common with them, we shall more conveniently establish our position, that the future life of blessedness shall be for those only who have accepted the religion which is according to Jesus, and that devotion towards the Creator of all things which is pure and sincere, and un-mingled with any created thing whatever. And let him who likes show what "better things" we persuade men to despise, and let him compare the blessed end with God in Christ,--that is, the word, and the wisdom, and all virtue;-which, according to our view, shall be bestowed, by the gift of God, on those who have lived a pure and blameless life, and who have felt a single and undivided love for the God of all things, with that end which is to follow according to the teaching of each philosophic sect, whether it be Greek or Barbarian, or according to the professions of religious mysteries; (3) and let him prove that the end which is predicted by any of the others is superior to that which we promise, and consequently that that is true, and ours not befitting the gift of God, nor those who have lived a good life; or let him prove that these words were not spoken by the divine Spirit, who filled the souls of the holy prophets. And let him who likes show that those words which are acknowledged among all men to be human, are superior to those which are proved to be divine, and uttered by inspiration. (4) And what are the "better" things from which we teach those who receive them that it would be better to abstain? For if it be not arrogant so to speak, it is self-evident that nothing can be denied which is better than to entrust oneself to the God of all, and yield oneself up to the doctrine which raises us above all created things, and brings us, through the animate and living word--which is also living wisdom and the Son of God--to God who is over all. However, as the third book of our answers to the treatise of Celsus has extended to a sufficient length, we shall here bring our present remarks to a close, and in what is to follow shall meet what Celsus has subsequently written.

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