ORIGEN AGAINST CELSUS -- REST OF BOOK VI

CHAP. XXXVIII.

Our noble (friend), moreover, not satisfied with the objections which he has drawn from the diagram, desires, in order to strengthen his accusations against us, who have nothing m common with it, to introduce certain other charges, which he adduces from the same (heretics), but yet as if they were from a different source. His words are: "And that is not the least of their marvels, for there are between the upper circles--those that are above the heavens--certain inscriptions of which they give the interpretation, and among others two words especially, 'a greater and a less,' which they refer to Father and Son."(1) Now, in the diagram referred to, we found the greater and the lesser circle, upon the diameter of which was inscribed "Father and Son;" and between the greater circle (in which the lesser was contained) and another(2) composed of two circles,--the outer one of which was yellow, and the inner blue,--a barrier inscribed in the shape of a hatchet. And above it, a short circle, close to the greater of the two former, having the inscription "Love;" and lower down, one touching the same circle, with the word "Life." And on the second circle, which was intertwined with and included two other circles, another figure, like a rhomboid, (entitled) "The foresight of wisdom." And within their point of common section was "The nature of wisdom." And above their point of common section was a circle, on which was inscribed "Knowledge;" and lower down another, on which was the inscription, "Understanding." We have introduced these matters into our reply to Celsus, to show to our readers that we know better than he, and not by mere report, those things, even although we also disapprove of them. Moreover, if those who pride themselves upon such matters profess also a kind of magic and sorcery,--which, in their opinion, is the summit of wisdom,--we, on the other hand, make no affirmation about it, seeing we never have discovered anything of the kind. Let Celsus, however, who has been already often convicted of false witness and irrational accusations, see whether he is not guilty of falsehood in these also, or whether he has not extracted and introduced into his treatise, statements taken from the writings of those who are foreigners and strangers to our Christian faith.

CHAP. XXXIX.

In the next place, speaking of those who employ the arts of magic and sorcery, and who invoke the barbarous names of demons, he remarks that such persons act like those who, in reference to the same things,(3) perform marvels before those who are ignorant that the names of demons among the Greeks are different from what they are among the Scythians. He then quotes a passage from Herodotus, stating that "Apollo is called Gongosyrus by the Scythians; Poseidon, Thagimasada; Aphrodite, Argimpasan; Hestia, Tabiti."(4) Now, he who has the capacity can inquire whether in these matters Celsus and Herodotus are not both wrong; for the Scythians do not understand the same thing as the Greeks, in what relates to those beings which are deemed to be gods. For how is it credible(5) that Apollo should be called Gongosyrus by the Scythians? I do not suppose that Gongosyrus, when transferred into the Greek language, yields the same etymology as Apollo; or that Apollo, in the dialect of the Scythians, has the signification of Gongosyrus. Nor has any such assertion hitherto been made regarding the other names,(6) for the Greeks took occasion from different circumstances and etymologies to give to those who are by them deemed gods the names which they bear; and the Scythians, again, from another set of circumstances; and the same also was the case with the Persians, or Indians, or Ethiopians, or Libyans, or with those who delight to bestow names (from fancy), and who do not abide by the just and pure idea of the Creator of all things. Enough, however, has been said by us in the preceding pages, where we wished to demonstrate that Sabaoth and Zeus were not the same deity, and where also we made some remarks, derived from the holy Scriptures, regarding the different dialects. We willingly, then, pass by these points, on which Celsus would make us repeat ourselves. In the next place, again, mixing up together matters which belong to magic and sorcery, and referring them perhaps to no one,--because of the non-existence of any who practise magic under pretence of a worship of this character,--and yet, perhaps, having in view some who do employ such practices in the presence of the simple (that they may have the appearance of acting by divine power), he adds: "What need to number up all those who have taught methods of purification, or expiatory hymns, or spells for averting evil, or (the making of) images, or resemblances of demons, or the various sorts of antidotes against poison (to be found)(1) in clothes, or in numbers, or stones, or plants, or roots, or generally in all kinds of things?" In respect to these matters, reason does not require us to offer any defence, since we are not liable in the slightest degree to suspicions of such a nature.

CHAP. XL.

After these things, Celsus appears to me to act like those who, in their intense hatred of the Christians, maintain, in the presence of those who are utterly ignorant of the Christian faith, that they have actually ascertained that Christians devour the flesh of infants, and give themselves without restraint to sexual intercourse with their women. Now, as these statements have been condemned as falsehoods invented against the Christians, and this admission made by the multitude and those altogether aliens to our faith; so would the following statements of Celsus be found to be calumnies invented against the Christians, where he says that "he has seen in the hands of certain presbyters belonging to our faith(2) barbarous books, containing the names and marvellous doings of demons;" asserting further, that "these presbyters of our faith professed to do no good, but all that was calculated to injure human beings." Would, indeed, that all that is said by Celsus against the Christians was of such a nature as to be refuted by the multitude, who have ascertained by experience that such things are untrue, seeing that most of them have lived as neighbours with the Christians, and have not even heard of the existence of any such alleged practices!

CHAP. XLI.

In the next place, as if he had forgotten that it was his object to write against the Christians, he says that, "having become acquainted with one Dionysius, an Egyptian musician, the latter told him, with respect to magic arts, that it was only over the uneducated and men of corrupt morals that they had any power, while on philosophers they were unable to produce any effect, because they were careful to observe a healthy manner of life." If, now, it had been our purpose to treat of magic, we could have added a few remarks in addition to what we have already said on this topic; but since it is only the more important matters which we have to notice in answer to Celsus, we shall say of magic, that any one who chooses to inquire whether philosophers were ever led captive by it or not, can read what has been written by Moiragenes regarding the memoirs of the magician and philosopher Apollonius of Tyana, in which this individual, who is not a Christian, but a philosopher, asserts that some philosophers of no mean note were won over by the magic power possessed by Apollonius, and resorted to him as a sorcerer; and among these, I think, he especially mentioned Euphrates and a certain Epicurean. Now on the other hand, affirm, and have learned by experience, that they who worship the God of all things in conformity with the Christianity which comes by Jesus, and who live according to His Gospel, using night and day, continuously and becomingly, the prescribed prayers, are not carried away either by magic or demons. For verily "the angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them"(3) from all evil; and the angels of the little ones in the Church, who are appointed to watch over them, are said always to behold the face of their Father who is in heaven,(4) whatever be the meaning of "face" or of "behold."

CHAP. XLII.

After these matters, Celsus brings the following charges against us from another quarter: "Certain most impious errors," he says, "are committed by them, due to their extreme ignorance, in which they have wandered away from the meaning of the divine enigmas, creating an adversary to God, the devil, and naming him in the Hebrew tongue, Satan. Now, of a truth, such statements are altogether of mortal invention,(5) and not even proper to be repeated, viz., that the mighty God, in His desire to confer good upon men, has yet one counterworking Him, and is helpless. The Son of God, it follows, is vanquished by the devil; and being punished by him, teaches us also to despise the punishments which he inflicts, telling us beforehand that Satan, after appearing to men as He Himself had done, will exhibit great and marvellous works, claiming for himself the glory of God, but that those who wish to keep him at a distance ought to pay no attention to these works of Satan, but to place their faith in Him alone. Such statements are manifestly the words of a deluder, planning and manoeuvring against those who are opposed to his views, and who rank themselves against them." In the next place, desiring to point out the "enigmas," our mistakes regarding which lead to the introduction of our views concerning Satan, he continues: "The ancients allude obscurely to a certain war among the gods, Heraclitus speaking thus of it: 'If one must say that there is a general war and discord, and that all things are done and administered in strife.' Pherecydes, again, who is much older than Heraclitus, relates a myth of one army drown up in hostile array against another, and names Kronos as the leader of the one, and Ophioneus of the other, and recounts their challenges and struggles, and mentions that agreements were entered into between them, to the end that whichever party should fall into the Ocean(1) should be held as vanquished, while those who had expelled and conquered them should have possession of heaven. The mysteries relating to the Titans and Giants also had some such (symbolical) meaning, as well as the Egyptian mysteries of Typhon, and Horus, and Osiris." After having made such statements, and not having got over the difficulty(2) as to the way in which these accounts contain a higher view of things, while our accounts are erroneous copies of them, he continues his abuse of us, remarking that "these are not like the stories which are related of a devil, or demon, or, as he remarks with more truth, of a man who is an impostor, who wishes to establish an opposite doctrine." And in the same way he understands Homer, as if he referred obscurely to matters similar to those mentioned by Heraclitus, and Pherecydes, and the originators of the mysteries about the Titans and Giants, in those words which Hephaestus addresses to Hera as follows:--

"Once in your cause I felt his matchless might,

Hurled headlong downward from the ethereal height."(3)

And in those of Zeus to Hera:--

"Hast thou forgot, when, bound and fix'd on high,

From the vast concave of the spangled sky,

I hung thee trembling in a golden chain,

And all the raging gods opposed in vain?

Headlong I hurled them from the Olympian hall,

Stunn'd in the whirl, and breathless with the fall."(4)

Interpreting, moreover, the words of Homer, he adds: "The words of Zeus addressed to Hera are the words of God addressed to matter; and the words addressed to matter obscurely signify that the matter which at the beginning was in a state of discord (with God), was taken by Him, and bound together and arranged under laws, which may be analogically compared to chains;(5) and that by way of chastising the demons who create disorder in it, he hurls them down headlong to this lower world." These words of Homer, he alleges, were so understood by Pherecydes, when he said that beneath that region is the region of Tartarus, which is guarded by the Harpies and Tempest, daughters of Boreas, and to which Zeus banishes any one of the gods who becomes disorderly. With the same ideas also are closely connected the peplos of Athena, which is beheld by all in the procession of the Panathenoea. For it is manifest from this, he continues, that a motherless and unsullied demon(6) has the mastery over the daring of the Giants. While accepting, moreover, the fictions of the Greeks, he continues to heap against us such accusations as the following, viz., that "the Son of God is punished by the devil, and teaches us that we also, when punished by him, ought to endure it. Now these statements are altogether ridiculous. For it is the devil, I think, who ought rather to be punished, and those human beings who are calumniated by him ought not to be threatened with chastisement."

CHAP. XLIII.

Mark now, whether he who charges us with having committed errors of the most impious kind, and with having wandered away from the (true meaning) of the divine enigmas, is not himself clearly in error, from not observing that in the writings of Moses, which are much older not merely than Heraclitus and Pherecydes, but even than Homer, mention is made of this wicked one, and of his having fallen from heaven. For the serpent(7)--from whom the Ophioneus spoken of by Pherecydes is derived--having become the cause of man's expulsion from the divine Paradise, obscurely shadows forth something similar, having deceived the woman(8) by a promise of divinity and of greater blessings; and her example is said to have been followed also by the man. And, further, who else could the destroying angel mentioned in the Exodus of Moses(9) be, than he who was the author of destruction to them that obeyed him, and did not withstand his wicked deeds, nor struggle against them? Moreover (the goat), which in the book Of Leviticus(10) is sent away (into the wilderness), and which in the Hebrew language is named Azazel, was none other than this; and it was necessary to send it away into the desert, and to treat it as an expiatory sacrifice, because on it the lot fell. For all who belong to the "worse" part, on account of their wickedness, being opposed to those who are God's heritage, are deserted by God.(1) Nay, with respect to the sons of Belial in the book of Judges,(2) whose sons are they said to be, save his, on account of their wickedness? And besides all these instances, in the book of Job, which is older even than Moses himself,(3) the devil is distinctly described as presenting himself before God,(4) and asking for power against Job, that he might involve him in trials(5) of the most painful kind; the first of which consisted in the loss of all his goods and of his children, and the second in afflicting the whole body of Job with the so-called disease of elephantiasis.(6) I pass by what might be quoted from the Gospels regarding the devil who tempted the Saviour, that I may not appear to quote in reply to Celsus from more recent writings on this question. In the last (chapter)(7) also of Job, in which the Lord utters to Job amid tempest and clouds what is recorded in the book which bears his name there are not a few things referring to the serpent. I have not yet mentioned the passages in Ezekiel,(8) where he speaks, as it were, of Pharaoh, or Nebuchadnezzar, or the prince of Tyre; or those in Isaiah,(9) where lament is made for the king of Babylon, from which not a little might be learned concerning evil, as to the nature of its origin and generation, and as to how it derived its existence from some who had lost their wings,(10) and who had followed him who was the first to lose his own.

CHAP. XLIV.

For it is impossible that the good which is the result of accident, or of communication, should be like that good which comes by nature; and yet the former will never be lost by him who, so to speak, partakes of the "living" bread with a view to his own preservation. But if it should fail any one, it must be through his own fault, in being slothful to partake of this "living bread" and "genuine drink," by means of which the wings, nourished and watered, are fitted for their purpose, even according to the saying of Solomon, the wisest of men, concerning the truly rich man, that "he made to himself wings like an eagle, and returns to the house of his patron.(11) For it became God, who knows how to turn to proper account even those who in their wickedness have apostatized from Him, to place wickedness of this sort in some part of the universe, and to appoint a training-school of virtue, wherein those must exercise themselves who would desire to recover in a "lawful manner "(12) the possession (which they had lost); in order that being tested, like gold in the fire, by the wickedness of these, and having exerted themselves to the utmost to prevent anything base injuring their rational nature, they may appear deserving of an ascent to divine things, and may be elevated by the Word to the blessedness which is above all things, and so to speak, to the very summit of goodness. Now he who in the Hebrew language is named Satan, and by some Satanas--as being more in conformity with the genius of the Greek language--signifies, when translated into Greek, "adversary." But every one who prefers vice and a vicious life, is (because acting in a manner contrary to virtue) Satanas, that is, an "adversary" to the Son of God, who is righteousness, and truth, and wisdom.(13) With more propriety, however, is he called "adversary," who was the first among those that were living a peaceful and happy life to lose his wings, and to fall from blessedness; he who, according to Ezekiel, walked faultlessly in all his ways, "until iniquity was found in him,"(14) and who being the "seal of resemblance" and the "crown of beauty" in the paradise of God, being filled as it were with good things, fell into destruction, in accordance with the word which said to him in a mystic sense: "Thou hast fallen into destruction, and shalt not abide for ever."(15) We have ventured somewhat rashly to make these few remarks, although in so doing we have added nothing of importance to this treatise. If any one, however, who has leisure for the examination of the sacred writings, should collect together from all sources and form into one body of doctrine what is recorded concerning the origin of evil, and the manner of its dissolution, he would see that the views of Moses and the prophets regarding Satan had not been even dreamed of either by Celsus or any one of those whose soul had been dragged down, and torn away from God, and from right views of Him, and from His word, by this wicked demon.

CHAP. XLV.

But since Celsus rejects the statements concerning Antichrist, as it is termed, having neither read what is said of him in the book of Daniel(16) nor in the writings of Paul,(1) nor what the Saviour in the Gospels(2) has predicted about his coming, we must make a few remarks upon this subject also; because, "as faces do not resemble faces,"(3) so also neither do men's "hearts" resemble one another. It is certain, then, that there will be diversities amongst the hearts of men,--those which are inclined to virtue not being all modelled and shaped towards it in the same or like degree; while others, through neglect of virtue, rash to the opposite extreme. And amongst the latter are some in whom evil is deeply engrained, and others in whom it is less deeply rooted. Where is the absurdity, then, in holding that there exist among men, so to speak, two extremes,(4)--the one of virtue, and the other of its opposite; so that the perfection of virtue dwells in the man who realizes the ideal given in Jesus, from whom there flowed to the human race so great a conversion, and healing, and amelioration, while the opposite extreme is in the man who embodies the notion of him that is named Antichrist? For God, comprehending all things by means of His foreknowledge, and foreseeing what consequences would result from both of these, wished to make these known to mankind by His prophets, that those who understand their words might be familiarized with the good, and be on their guard against its opposite. It was proper, moreover, that the one of these extremes, and the best of the two, should be styled the Son of God, on account of His pre-eminence; and the other, who is diametrically opposite, be termed the son of the wicked demon, and of Satan, and of the devil. And, in the next place, since evil is specially characterized by its diffusion, and attains its greatest height when it simulates the appearance of the good, for that reason are signs, and marvels, and lying miracles found to accompany evil, through the co-operation of its father the devil. For, far surpassing the help which these demons give to jugglers (who deceive men for the basest of purposes), is the aid which the devil himself affords in order to deceive the human race. Paul, indeed, speaks of him who is called Antichrist, describing, though with a certain reserve,(5) both the manner, and time, and cause of his coming to the human race. And notice whether his language on this subject is not most becoming, and undeserving of being treated with even the slightest degree of ridicule.

CHAP. XLVI.

It is thus that the apostle expresses himself: "We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by word, nor by spirit, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."(6) To explain each particular here referred to does not belong to our present purpose. The prophecy also regarding Antichrist is stated in the book of Daniel, and is fitted to make an intelligent and candid reader admire the words as truly divine and prophetic; for in them are mentioned the things relating to the coming kingdom, beginning with the times of Daniel, and continuing to the destruction of the world. And any one who chooses may read it. Observe, however, whether the prophecy regarding Antichrist be not as follows: "And at the latter time of their kingdom, when their sins are coming to the full, there shall arise a king, bold in countenance, and understanding riddles. And his power shall be great, and he shall destroy wonderfully, and prosper, and practise; and shall destroy mighty men, and the holy people. And the yoke of his chain shall prosper: there is craft in his hand, and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by craft shall destroy many; and he shall stand up for the destruction of many, and shall crush them as eggs in his hand."(7) What is stated by Paul in the words quoted from him, where he says, "so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,"(8) is in Daniel referred to in the following fashion: "And on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations, and at the end of the time an end shall be put to the desolation."(1) So many, out of a greater number of passages, have I thought it right to adduce, that the hearer may understand in some slight degree the meaning of holy Scripture, when it gives us information concerning the devil and Antichrist; and being satisfied with what we have quoted for this purpose, let us look at another of the charges of Celsus, and reply to it as we best may.

CHAP. XLVII.

Celsus, after what has been said, goes on as follows: "I can tell how the very thing occurred, viz., that they should call him 'Son of God.' Men of ancient times termed this world, as being born of God, both his child and his son.(2) Both the one and other 'Son of God,' then, greatly resembled each other." He is therefore of opinion that we employed the expression "Son of God," having perverted(3) what is said of the world, as being born of God, and being His "Son," and "a God." For he was unable so to consider the times of Moses and the prophets, as to see that the Jewish prophets predicted generally that there was a "Son of God" long before the Greeks and those men of ancient time of whom Celsus speaks. Nay, he would not even quote the passage in the letters of Plato, to which we referred in the preceding pages, concerning Him who so beautifully arranged this world, as being the Son of God; lest he too should be compelled by Plato, whom he often mentions with respect, to admit that the architect of this world is the Son of God, and that His Father is the first God and Sovereign Ruler over all things.(4) Nor is it at all wonderful if we maintain that the soul of Jesus is made one with so great a Son of God through the highest union with Him, being no longer in a state of separation from Him For the sacred language of holy Scripture knows of other things also, which, although "dual" in their own nature, are considered to be, and really are, "one" in respect to one another. It is said of husband and wife, "They are no longer twain, but one flesh;"(5) and of the perfect man, and of him who is joined to the true Lord, Word, and Wisdom, and Truth, that "he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit."(6) And if he who "is joined to the Lord is one spirit," who has been joined to the Lord, the Very Word, and Wisdom, and Truth, and Righteousness, in a more intimate union, or even in a manner at all approaching to it than the soul of Jesus? And if this be so, then the soul of Jesus and God the Word--the first-born of every creature--are no longer two, (but one).

CHAP. XLVIII.

In the next place, when the philosophers of the Porch, who assert that the virtue of God and man is the same, maintain that the God who is over all things is not happier than their wise man, but that the happiness of both is equal, Celsus neither ridicules nor scoffs at their opinion. If, however, holy Scripture says that the perfect man is joined to and made one with the Very Word by means of virtue, so that we infer that the soul of Jesus is not separated from the first-born of all creation, he laughs at Jesus being called "Son of God," not observing what is said of Him with a secret and mystical signification in the holy Scriptures. But that we may win over to the reception of our views those who are willing to accept the inferences which flow from our doctrines, and to be benefited thereby, we say that the holy Scriptures declare the body of Christ, animated by the Son of God, to be the whole Church of God, and the members of this body--considered as a whole--to consist of those who are believers; since, as a soul vivifies and moves the body, which of itself has not the natural power of motion like a living being, so the Word, arousing and moving the whole body, the Church, to befitting action, awakens, moreover, each individual member belonging to the Church, so that they do nothing apart from the Word. Since all this, then, follows by a train of reasoning not to be depreciated, where is the difficulty in maintaining that, as the soul of Jesus is joined in a perfect and inconceivable manner with the very Word, so the person of Jesus, generally speaking,(7) is not separated from the only-begotten and first-born of all creation, and is not a different being from Him? But enough here on this subject.

CHAP. XLIX.

Let us notice now what follows, where, expressing in a single word his opinion regarding the Mosaic cosmogony, without offering, however, a single argument in its support, he finds fault with it, saying: "Moreover, their cosmogony is extremely silly."(8) Now, if he had produced some credible proofs of its silly character, we should have endeavoured to answer them; but it does not appear to me reasonable that I should be called upon to demonstrate, in answer to his mere assertion, that it is not "silly." If any one, however, wishes to see the reasons which led us to accept the Mosaic account, and the arguments by which it may be defended, he may read what we have written upon Genesis, from the beginning of the book up to the passage, "And this is the book of the generation of men,"(1) where we have tried to show from the holy Scriptures themselves what the "heaven" was which was created in the beginning; and what the "earth," and the "invisible part of the earth," and that which was "without form;"(2) and what the "deep" was, and the "darkness" that was upon it; and what the "water" was, and the "Spirit of God" which was "borne over it;" and what the "light" which was created, and what the "firmament," as distinct from the "heaven" which was created in the beginning; and so on with the other subjects that follow. Celsus has also expressed his opinion that the narrative of the creation of man is "exceedingly silly," without stating any proofs, or endeavouring to answer our arguments; for he had no evidence, in my judgment, which was fitted to overthrow the statement that "man has been made in the image of God."(3) He does not even understand the meaning of the "Paradise" that was planted by God, and of the life which man first led in it; and of that which resulted from accident,(4) when man was cast forth on account of his sin, and was settled opposite the Paradise of delight. Now, as he asserts that these are silly statements, let him turn his attention not merely to each one of them (in general), but to this in particular, "He placed the cherubim, and the flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life,"(5) and say whether Moses wrote these words with no serious object in view, but in the spirit of the writers of the old Comedy, who have sportively related that "Proetus slew Bellerophon," and that "Pegasus came from Arcadia." Now their object was to create laughter in composing such stories; whereas it is incredible that he who left behind him laws(6) for a whole nation, regarding which he wished to persuade his subjects that they were given by God, should have written words so little to the purpose,(7) and have said without any meaning, "He placed the cherubim, and the flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," or made any other statement regarding the creation of man, which is the subject of philosophic investigation by the Hebrew sages.

CHAP. L.

In the next place, Celsus, after heaping together, simply as mere assertions, the varying opinions of some of the ancients regarding the world, and the origin of man, alleges that "Moses and the prophets, who have left to us our books, not knowing at all what the nature of the world is, and of man, have woven together a web of sheer nonsense."(8) If he had shown, now, how it appeared to him that the holy Scriptures contained "sheer nonsense," we should have tried to demolish the arguments which appeared to him to establish their nonsensical character; but on the present occasion, following his own example, we also sportively give it as our opinion that Celsus, knowing nothing at all about the nature of the meaning and language of the prophets,(9) composed a work which contained "sheer nonsense," and boastfully gave it the title of a "true discourse." And since he makes the statements about the "days of creation" ground of accusation,--as if he understood them clearly and correctly, some of which elapsed before the creation of light and heaven, and sun, and moon, and stars, and some of them after the creation of these,--we shall only make this observation, that Moses must then have forgotten that he had said a little before, "that in six days the creation of the world had been finished," and that in consequence of this act of forgetfulness he subjoins to these words the following: "This is the book of the creation of man, in the day when God made the heaven and the earth!" But it is not in the least credible, that after what he had said respecting, the six days, Moses should immediately add, without a special meaning, the words, "in the day that God made the heavens and the earth;" and if any one thinks that these words may be referred to the statement, "In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth," let him observe that before the words, "Let there be light, and there was light," and these, "God called the light day," it has been stated that "in the beginning God made the heaven and the earth."

CHAP. LI.

On the present occasion, however, it is not our object to enter into an explanation of the subject of intelligent and sensible beings,(10) nor of the manner in which the different kinds(11) of days were allotted to both sorts, nor to investigate the details which belong to the subject, for we should need whole treatises for the exposition of the Mosaic cosmogony; and that work we had already performed, to the best of our ability, a considerable time before the commencement of this answer to Celsus, when we discussed with such measure of capacity as we then possessed the question of the Mosaic cosmogony of the six days. We must keep in mind, however, that the Word promises to the righteous through the mouth of Isaiah, that days will come(1) when not the sun, but the LORD Himself, will be to them an everlasting light, and God will be their glory.(2) And it is from misunderstanding, I think, some pestilent heresy which gave an erroneous interpretation to the words, "Let there be light," as if they were the expression of a wish(3) merely on the part of the Creator, that Celsus made the remark: "The Creator did not borrow light from above, like those persons who kindle their lamps at those of their neighbours." Misunderstanding, moreover, another impious heresy, he has said: "If, indeed, there did exist an accursed god opposed to the great God, who did this contrary to his approval, why did he lend him the light?" So far are we from offering a defence of such puerilities, that we desire, on the contrary, distinctly to arraign the statements of these heretics as erroneous, and to undertake to refute, not those of their opinions with which we are unacquainted, as Celsus does, but those of which we have attained an accurate knowledge, derived in part from the statements of their own adherents, and partly from a careful perusal of their writings.

CHAP. LII.

Celsus proceeds as follows: "With regard to the origin of the world and its destruction, whether it is to be regarded as uncreated and indestructible, or as created indeed, but not destructible, or the reverse, I at present say nothing." For this reason we too say nothing on these points, as the work in hand does not require it. Nor do we allege that the Spirit of the universal God mingled itself in things here below as in things alien to itself,(4) as might appear from the expression, "The Spirit of God moved upon the water;" nor do we assert that certain wicked devices directed against His Spirit as if by a different creator from the great God, and which were tolerated by the Supreme Divinity, needed to be completely frustrated. And, accordingly, I have nothing further to say to those(5) who utter such absurdities; nor to Celsus, who does not refute them with ability. For he ought either not to have mentioned such matters at all, or else, in keeping with that character for philanthropy which he assumes, have carefully set them forth, and then endeavoured to rebut these impious assertions. Nor have we ever heard that the great God, after giving his spirit to the creator, demands it back again. Proceeding next foolishly to assail these impious assertions, he asks: "What god gives anything with the intention of demanding it back? For it is the mark of a needy person to demand back (what he has given), whereas God stands in need of nothing." To this he adds, as if saying something clever against certain parties: "Why, when he lent (his spirit), was he ignorant that he was lending it to an evil being?" He asks, further: "Why does he pass without notice(6) a wicked creator who was counter-working his purposes?"

CHAP. LIII.

In the next place, mixing up together various heresies, and not observing that some statements are the utterances of one heretical sect, and others of a different one, he brings forward the objections which we raised against Marcion.(7) And, probably, having heard them from some paltry and ignorant individuals,(8) he assails the very arguments which combat them, but not in a way that Shows much intelligence. Quoting then our arguments against Marcion, and not observing that it is against Marcion that he is speaking, he asks: "Why does he send secretly, and destroy the works which he has created? Why does he secretly employ force, and persuasion, and deceit? Why does he allure those who, as ye assert, have been condemned or accused by him, and carry them away like a slave-dealer? Why does he teach them to steal away from their Lord? Why to flee from their father? Why does he claim them for himself against the father's will? Why does he profess to be the father of strange children?" To these questions he subjoins the following remark, as if by way of expressing his surprise:(9) "Venerable, indeed, is the god who desires to be the father of those sinners who are condemned by another (god), and of the needy,(10) and, as themselves say, of the very offscourings(11) (of men), and who is unable to capture and punish his messenger, who escaped from him!" After this, as if addressing us who acknowledge that this world is not the work of a different and strange god, he continues in the following strain: "If these are his works, how is it that God created evil? And how is it that he cannot persuade and admonish (men)? And how is it that he repents on account of the ingratitude and wickedness of men? He finds fault, moreover, with his own handwork,(12) and hates, and threatens, and destroys his own offspring? Whither can he transport them out of this world, which he himself has made?" Now it does not appear to me that by these remarks he makes clear what "evil" is; and although there have been among the Greeks many sects who differ as to the nature of good and evil, he hastily concludes, as if it were a consequence of our maintaining that this world also is a work of the universal God, that in our judgment God is the author of evil. Let it be, however, regarding evil as it may--whether created by God or not--it nevertheless follows only as a result when you compare the principal design.(1) And I am greatly surprised if the inference regarding God's authorship of evil, which he thinks follows from our maintaining that this world also is the work of the universal God, does not follow too from his own statements. For one might say to Celsus: "If these are His works, how is it that God created evil? and how is it that He cannot persuade and admonish men?" It is indeed the greatest error in reasoning to accuse those who are of different opinions of holding unsound doctrines, when the accuser himself is much more liable to the same charge with regard to his own.

CHAP. LIV.

Let us see, then, briefly what holy Scripture has to say regarding good and evil, and what answer we are to return to the questions, "How is it that God created evil?" and, "How is He incapable of persuading and admonishing men?" Now, according to holy Scripture, properly speaking, virtues and virtuous actions are good, as, properly speaking, the reverse of these are evil. We shall be satisfied with quoting on the present occasion some verses from the 34th Psalm, to the following effect: "They that seek the LOuD shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good."(2) Now, the injunctions to "depart from evil, and to do good," do not refer either to corporeal evils or corporeal blessings, as they are termed by some, nor to external things at all, but to blessings and evils of a spiritual kind; since he who departs from such evils, and performs such virtuous actions, will, as one who desires the true life, come to the enjoyment of it; and as one loving to see "good days," in which the word of righteousness will be the Sun, he will see them, God taking him away from this "present evil world,"(3) and from those evil days concerning which Paul said: "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."(4)

CHAP. LV.

Passages, indeed, might be found where corporeal and external (benefits) are improperly(5) called "good,"--those things, viz., which contribute to the natural life, while those which do the reverse are termed "evil." It is in this sense that Job says to his wife: "If we have received good at the hand of the Lord, shall we not also receive evil!"(6) Since, then, there is found in the sacred Scriptures, in a certain passage, this statement put into the mouth of God, "I make peace, and create evil;"(7) and again another, where it is said of Him that "evil came down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem, the noise of chariots and horsemen,"(8)--passages which have disturbed many readers of Scripture, who are unable to see what Scripture means by "good" and "evil,"--it is probable that Celsus, being perplexed thereby, gave utterance to the question, "How is it that God created evil?" or, perhaps, having heard some one discussing the matters relating to it in an ignorant manner, he made this statement which we have noticed. We, on the other hand, maintain that "evil," or "wickedness," and the actions which proceed from it, were not created by God. For if God created that which is really evil, how was it possible that the proclamation regarding (the last) judgment should be confidently announced,(9) which informs us that the wicked are to be punished for their evil deeds in proportion to the amount of their wickedness, while those who have lived a virtuous life, or performed virtuous actions, will be in the enjoyment of blessedness, and will receive rewards from God? I am well aware that those who would daringly assert that these evils were created by God will quote certain expressions of Scripture (in their support), because we are not able to show one consistent series(10) of passages; for although Scripture (generally) blames the wicked and approves of the righteous, it nevertheless contains some statements which, although comparatively(11) few in number, seem to disturb the minds of ignorant readers of holy Scripture. I have not, however, deemed it appropriate to my present treatise to quote on the present occasion those discordant statements, which are many in number,(12) and their explanations, which would require a long array of proofs. Evils, then, if those be meant which are properly so called, were not created by God; but some, although few in comparison with the order of the whole world, have resulted from His principal works, as there follow from the chief works of the carpenter such things as spiral shavings and sawdust,(1) or as architects might appear to be the cause of the rubbish(2) which lies around their buildings in the form of the filth which drops from the stones and the plaster.

CHAP. LVI.

If we speak, however, of what are called "corporeal" and "external" evils,--which are improperly so termed,--then it may be granted that there are occasions when some of these have been called into existence by God, in order that by their means the conversion of certain individuals might be effected. And what absurdity would follow from such a course? For as, if we should hear those sufferings(3) improperly termed "evils" which are inflicted by fathers, and instructors, and pedagogues upon those who are under their care, or upon patients who are operated upon or cauterized by the surgeons in order to effect a cure, we were to say that a father was ill-treating his son, or pedagogues and instructors their pupils, or physicians their patients, no blame would be laid upon the operators or chastisers; so, in the same way, if God is said to bring upon men such evils for the conversion and cure of those who need this discipline, there would be no absurdity in the view, nor would "evils come down from the LORD upon the gates of Jerusalem,"(4)--which evils consist of the punishments inflicted upon the Israelites by their enemies with a view to their conversion; nor would one visit "with a rod the transgressions of those who forsake the law of the Lord, and their iniquities with stripes;"(5) nor could it be said, "Thou hast coals of fire to set upon them; they shall be to thee a help."(6) In the same way also we explain the expressions, "I, who make peace, and create evil;"(7) for He calls into existence "corporeal" or "external" evils, while purifying and training those who would not be disciplined by the word and sound doctrine. This, then, is our answer to the question, "How is it that God created evil?"

CHAP. LVII.

With respect to the question, "How is he incapable of persuading and admonishing men?" it has been already stated that, if such an objection were really a ground of charge, then the objection of Celsus might be brought against those who accept the doctrine of providence. Any one might answer the charge that God is incapable of admonishing men; for He conveys His admonitions throughout the whole of Scripture, and by means of those persons who, through God's gracious appointment, are the instructors of His hearers. Unless, indeed, some peculiar meaning be understood to attach to the word "admonish," as if it signified both to penetrate into the mind of the person admonished, and to make him hear the words of his(8) instructor, which is contrary to the usual meaning of the word. To the objection, "How is he incapable of persuading?"--which also might be brought against all who believe in providence,--we have to make the following remarks. Since the expression "to be persuaded" belongs to those words which are termed, so to speak, "reciprocal"(9) (compare the phrase "to shave a man," when he makes an effort to submit himself to the barber(10), there is for this reason needed not merely the effort of him who persuades, but also the submission, so to speak, which is to be yielded to the persuader, or the acceptance of what is said by him. And therefore it must not be said that it is because God is incapable of persuading men that they are not persuaded, but because they will not accept the faithful words of God. And if one were to apply this expression to men who are the "artificers of persuasion,"(11) he would not be wrong; for it is possible for a man who has thoroughly learned the principles of rhetoric, and who employs them properly, to do his utmost to persuade, and yet appear to fail, because he cannot overcome the will of him who ought to yield to his persuasive arts. Moreover, that persuasion does not come from God, although persuasive words may be uttered by him, is distinctly taught by Paul, when he says: "This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you."(12) Such also is the view indicated by these words: "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, a sword shall devour you."(13) For that one may (really) desire what is addressed to him by one who admonishes, and may become deserving of those promises of God which he hears, it is necessary to secure the will of the hearer, and his inclination to what is addressed to him. And therefore it appears to me, that in the book of Deuteronomy the following words are uttered with peculiar emphasis: "And now, O Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, and to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to keep His commandments?"(1)

CHAP. LVIII.

There is next to be answered the following query: "And how is it that he repents when men become ungrateful and wicked; and finds fault with his own handwork, and hates, and threatens, and destroys his own offspring?" Now Celsus here calumniates and falsities what is written in the book of Genesis to the following effect: "And the LORD God, seeing that the wickedness of men upon the earth was increasing, and that every one in his heart carefully meditated to do evil continually, was grieved(2) He had made man upon the earth. And God meditated in His heart, and said, I will destroy man, whom I have made, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and creeping thing, and fowl of the air, because I am grieved(3) that I made them;"(4) quoting words which are not written in Scripture, as if they conveyed the meaning of what was actually written. For there is no mention in these words of the repentance of God, nor of His blaming and hating His own handwork. And if there is the appearance of God threatening the catastrophe of the deluge, and thus destroying His own children in it, we have to answer that, as the soul of man is immortal, the supposed threatening has for its object the conversion of the hearers, while the destruction of men by the flood is a purification of the earth, as certain among the Greek philosophers of no mean repute have indicated by the expression: "When the gods purify the earth."(5) And with respect to the transference to God of those anthropopathic phrases, some remarks have been already made by us in the preceding pages.

CHAP. LIX.

Celsus, in the next place, suspecting, or perhaps seeing clearly enough, the answer which might be returned by those who defend the destruction of men by the deluge, continues: "But if he does not destroy his own offspring, whither does he convey them out of this world(6) which he himself created?" To this we reply, that God by no means removes out of the whole world, consisting of heaven and earth, those who suffered death by the deluge, but removes them from a life in the flesh, and, having set them free from their bodies, liberates them at the same time from an existence upon earth, which in many parts of Scripture it is usual to call the "world." In the Gospel according to John especially, we may frequently find the regions of earth(7) termed "world," as in the passage, "He was the true Light, which lighteneth every man that cometh into the 'world;'"(8) as also in this, "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."(9) If, then, we understand by "removing out of the world" a transference from "regions on earth," there is nothing absurd in the expression. If, on the contrary, the system of things which consists of heaven and earth be termed "world," then those who perished in the deluge are by no means removed out of the so-called "world." And yet, indeed, if we have regard to the words, "Looking not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen;"(10) and also to these, "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,"(11)--we might say that he who dwells amid the "invisible" things, and what are called generally "things not seen,"is gone out of the world, the Word having removed him hence, and transported him to the heavenly regions, in order to behold all beautiful things.

CHAP. LX.

But after this investigation of his assertions, as if his object were to swell his book by many words, he repeats, in different language, the same charges which we have examined a little ago, saying: "By far the most silly thing is the distribution of the creation of the world over certain days, before days existed: for, as the heaven was not yet created, nor the foundation of the earth yet laid,(12) nor the sun yet revolving,(13) how could there be days?" Now, what difference is there between these words and the following: "Moreover, taking and looking at these things from the beginning, would it not be absurd in the first and greatest God to issue the command, Let this (first thing) come into existence, and this second thing, and this (third); and after accomplishing so much on the first day, to do so much more again on the second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth?" We answered to the best of our ability this objection to God's "commanding this first, second, and third thing to be created," when we quoted the words, "He said, and it was done; He commanded, and all things stood fast;"(1) remarking that the immediate(2) Creator, and, as it were, very Maker(3) of the world was the Word, the Son of God; while the Father of the Word, by commanding His own Son--the Word--to create the world, is primarily Creator. And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day, and of the firmament upon the second, and of the gathering together of the waters that are under the heaven into their several reservoirs(4) on the third (the earth thus causing to sprout forth those (fruits) which are under the control of nature alone(5), and of the (great) lights and stars upon the fourth, and of aquatic(6) animals upon the fifth, and of land animals and man upon the sixth, we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world, and quoted the words: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens."(7)

CHAP. LXI.

Again, not understanding the meaning of the words, "And God ended(8) on the sixth day His works which He had made, and ceased(9) on the seventh day from all His works which He had made: and God blessed the seventh day, and hollowed it, because on it He had ceased(9) from all His works which He had begun to make;"(10) and imagining the expression," He ceased on the seventh day," to be the same as this, "He rested(11) on the seventh day," he makes the remark: "After this, indeed, he is weary, like a very bad workman, who stands in need of rest to refresh himself!" For he knows nothing of the day of the Sabbath and rest of God, which follows the completion of the world's creation, and which lasts during the duration of the world, and in which all those will keep festival with God who have done all their works in their six days, and who, because they have omitted none of their duties,(12) will ascend to the contemplation (of celestial things), and to the assembly of righteous and blessed beings. In the next place, as if either the Scriptures made such a statement, or as if we ourselves so spoke of God as having rested from fatigue, he continues: "It is not in keeping with the fitness of things(13) that the first God should feel fatigue, or work with His hands,(14) or give forth commands." Celsus says, that" it is not in keeping with the fitness of things that the first God should feel fatigue. Now we would say that neither does God the Word feel fatigue, nor any of those beings who belong to a better and diviner order of things, because the sensation of fatigue is peculiar to those who are in the body. You can examine whether this is true of those who possess a body of any kind, or of those who have an earthly body, or one a little better than this. But "neither is it consistent with the fitness of things that the first God should work with His own hands." If you understand the words" work with His own hands" literally, then neither are they applicable to the second God, nor to any other being partaking of divinity. But suppose that they are spoken in an improper and figurative sense, so that we may translate the following expressions, "And the firmament showeth forth His handywork,"(15) and "the heavens are the work of Thy hands,"(16) and any other similar phrases, in a figurative manner, so far as respects the "hands" and "limbs" of Deity, where is the absurdity in the words, "God thus working with His own hands?" And as there is no absurdity in God thus working, so neither is there in His issuing "commands;" so that what is done at His bidding should be beautiful and praiseworthy, because it was God who commanded it to be performed.

CHAP. LXII.

Celsus, again, having perhaps misunderstood the words, "For the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it,"(17) or perhaps because some ignorant individuals had rashly ventured upon the explanation of such things, and not understanding, moreover, on what principles parts called after the names of the bodily members are assigned to the attributes(18) of God, asserts: "He has neither mouth nor voice." Truly, indeed, God can have no voice, if the voice is a concussion of the air, or a stroke on the air, or a species of air, or any other definition which may be given to the voice by those who are skilled in such matters; but what is called the "voice of God" is said to be seen as "God's voice" by the people in the passage; "And all the people saw the voice of God;"(19) the word "saw" being taken, agreeably to the custom of Scripture, in a spiritual sense. Moreover, he alleges that "God possesses nothing else of which we have any knowledge;" but of what things we have knowledge he gives no indication. If he means "limbs," we agree with him, understanding the things "of which we have knowledge" to be those called corporeal, and pretty generally sO termed. But if we are to understand the words "of which we have knowledge" in a universal sense, then there are many things of which we have knowledge, (and which may be attributed to God); for He possesses virtue, and blessedness, and divinity. If we, however, put a higher meaning upon the words, "of which we have knowledge," since all that we know is less than God, there is no absurdity in our also admitting that God possesses none of those things" of which we have knowledge." For the attributes which belong to God are far superior to all things with which not merely the nature of man is acquainted, but even that of those who have risen far above it. And if he had read the writings of the prophets, David on the one hand saying, "But Thou art the same,"(1) and Malachi on the other, "I am (the LORD), and change not,"(2) he would have observed that none of us assert that there is any change in God, either in act or thought. For abiding the same, He administers mutable things according to their nature, and His word elects to undertake their administration.

CHAP. LXIII.

Celsus, not observing the difference between "after the image of God" and "God's image," next asserts that the "first-born of every creature" is the image of God,--the very word and truth, and also the very wisdom, being the image of His goodness, while man has been created after the image of God; moreover, that every man whose head is Christ is the image and glory of God;--and further, not observing to which of the characteristics of humanity the expression "after the image of God" belongs, and that it consists in a nature which never had nor longer has "the old man with his deeds," being called "after the image of Him who created it," from its not possessing these qualities,--he maintains: "Neither did He make man His image; for God is not such an one, nor like any other species of (visible) being." Is it possible to suppose that the element which is "after the image of God" should exist in the inferior part--I mean the body--of a compound being like man, because Celsus has explained that to be made after the image of God? For if that which is "after the image of God" be in the body only, the better part, the soul, has been deprived of that which is "after His image," and this (distinction) exists in the corruptible body,--an assertion which is made by none of us. But if that which is "after the image of God" be in both together, then God must necessarily be a compound being, and consist, as it were, of soul and body, in order that the element which is "after God's image," the better part, may be in the soul; while the inferior part, and that which "is according to the body," may be in the body,--an assertion, again, which is made by none of us. It remains, therefore, that that which is "after the image of God" must be understood to be in our "inner man," which is also renewed, and whose nature it is to be "after the image of Him who created it," when a man becomes "perfect," as "our Father in heaven is perfect," and hears the command, "Be ye holy, for I the LORD your God am holy,"(3) and learning the precept, "Be ye followers of God,"(4) receives into his virtuous soul the traits of God's image. The body, moreover, of him who possesses such a soul is a temple of God; and in the soul God dwells, because it has been made after His image.(5)

CHAP. LXIV.

Celsus, again, brings together a number of statements, which he gives as admissions on our part, but which no intelligent Christian would allow. For not one of us asserts that "God partakes of form or colour." Nor does He even partake of "motion," because He stands firm, and His nature is permanent, and He invites the righteous man also to do the same, saying: "But as for thee, stand thou here by Me."(6) And if certain expressions indicate a kind of motion, as it were, on His part, such as this, "They heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day,"(7) we must understand them in this way, that it is by sinners that God is understood as moving, or as we understand the "sleep" of God, which is taken in a figurative sense, or His "anger," or any other similar attribute. But "God does not partake even of substance."(8) For He is partaken of (by others) rather than that Himself partakes of them, and He is partaken of by those who have the Spirit of God. Our Saviour, also, does not partake of righteousness; but being Himself "righteousness," He is partaken of by the righteous. A discussion about "substance" would be protracted and difficult, and especially if it were a question whether that which is permanent and immaterial be "substance" properly so called, so that it would be found that God is beyond" substance," communicating of His "substance," by means of office and power,(1) to those to whom He communicates Himself by His Word, as He does to the Word Himself; or even if He is "substance," yet He is said be in His nature "invisible," in these words respecting our Saviour, who is said to be "the image of the invisible God,"(2) while from the term "invisible" it is indicated that He is "immaterial." It is also a question for investigation, whether the "only-begotten" and "first-born of every creature" is to be called "substance of substances," and "idea of ideas," and the "principle of all things," while above all there is His Father and God.(3)

CHAP. LXV.

Celsus proceeds to say of God that "of Him are all things," abandoning (in so speaking), I know not how, all his principles;(4) while our Paul declares, that "of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things,"(5) showing that He is the beginning of the substance of all things by the words "of Him," and the bond of their subsistence by the expression "through Him," and their final end by the terms "to Him." Of a truth, God is of nothing. But when Celsus adds, that "He is not to be reached by word,"(6) I make a distinction, and say that if he means the word that is in us--whether the word conceived in the mind, or the word that is uttered(7)--I, too, admit that God is not to be reached by word. If, however, we attend to the passage, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,"(8) we are of opinion that God is to be reached by this Word, and is comprehended not by Him only, but by any one whatever to whom He may reveal the Father; and thus we shall prove the falsity of the assertion of Celsus, when he says, "Neither is God to be reached by word." The statement, moreover, that "He cannot be expressed by name," requires to be taken with a distinction. If he means, indeed, that there is no word or sign(9) that can represent the attributes of God, the statement is true, since there are many qualities which cannot be indicated by words. Who, for example, could describe in words the difference betwixt the quality of sweetness in a palm and that in a fig? And who could distinguish and set forth in words the peculiar qualities of each individual thing? It is no wonder, then, if in this way God cannot be described by name. But if you take the phrase to mean that it is possible to represent by words something of God's attributes, in order to lead the hearer by the hand,(10) as it were, and so enable him to comprehend something of God, so far as attainable by human nature, then there is no absurdity in saying that "He can be described by name." And we make a similar distinction with regard to the expression, "for He has undergone no suffering that can be conveyed by words." It is true that the Deity is beyond all suffering. And so much on this point.

CHAP. LXVI.

Let us look also at his next statement, in which he introduces, as it were, a certain person, who, after hearing what has been said expresses himself in the following manner, "How, then, shall I know God? and how shall I learn the way that leads to Him? And how will you show Him to me? Because now, indeed, you throw darkness before my eyes, and I see nothing distinctly." He then answers, as it were, the individual who is thus perplexed, and thinks that he assigns the reason why darkness has been poured upon the eyes of him who uttered the foregoing words, when he asserts that "those whom one would lead forth out of darkness into the brightness of light, being unable to withstand its splendours, have their power of vision affected(11) and injured, and so imagine that they are smitten with blindness." In answer to this, we would say that all those indeed sit in darkness, and are rooted in it, who fix their gaze upon the evil handiwork of painters, and moulders and sculptors, and who will not look upwards, and ascend in thought from all visible and sensible things, to the Creator of all things, who is light; while, on the other hand, every one is in light who has followed the radiance of the Word, who has shown in consequence of what ignorance, and impiety, and want of knowledge of divine things these objects were worshipped instead of God, and who has conducted the soul of him who desires to be saved towards the uncreated God, who is over all. For "the people that sat in darkness--the Gentiles--saw a great light, and to them who sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up,"(12)--the God Jesus. No Christian, then, would give Celsus, or any accuser of the divine Word, the answer, "How shall I know God?" for each one of them knows God according to his capacity. And no one asks, "How shall I learn the way which leads to Him?" because he has heard Him who says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life,"(1) and has tasted, in the course of the journey, the happiness which results from it. And not a single Christian would say to Celsus, "How will you show me God?"

CHAP. LXVII.

The remark, indeed, was true which Celsus made, that any one, on hearing his words, would answer, seeing that his words are words of darkness, "You pour darkness before my eyes." Celsus verily, and those like him, do desire to pour darkness before our eyes: we, however, by means of the light of the Word, disperse the darkness of their impious opinions. The Christian, indeed, could retort on Celsus, who says nothing that is distinct or true, "I see nothing that is distinct among all your statements." It is not, therefore, "out of darkness" into "the brightness of light" that Celsus leads us forth: he wishes, on the contrary, to transport us from light into darkness, making the darkness light and the light darkness, and exposing himself to the woe well described by the prophet Isaiah in the following manner: "Woe unto them that put darkness for light, and light for darkness."(2) But we, the eyes of whose soul have been opened by the Word, and who see the difference between light and darkness, prefer by all means to take our stand "in the light," and will have nothing to do with darkness at all. The true light, moreover, being endued with life, knows to whom his full splendours are to be manifested, and to whom his light; for he does not display his brilliancy on account of the still existing weakness in the eyes of the recipient. And if we must speak at all of "sight being affected and injured," what other eyes shall we say are in this condition, than his who is involved in ignorance of God, and who is prevented by his passions from seeing the truth? Christians, however, by no means consider that they are blinded by the words of Celsus, or any other who is opposed to the worship of God. But let those who perceive that they are blinded by following multitudes who are in error, and tribes of those who keep festivals to demons, draw near to the Word, who can bestow the gift of sight,(3) in order that, like those poor and blind who had thrown themselves down by the wayside, and who were healed by Jesus because they said to Him, "Son of David, have mercy upon me," they too may receive mercy and recover their eyesight,(3) fresh and beautiful, as the Word of God can create it.

CHAP. LXVIII.

Accordingly, if Celsus were to ask us how we think we know God, and how we shall be saved by Him, we would answer that the Word of God, which entered into those who seek Him, or who accept Him when He appears, is able to make known and to reveal the Father, who was not seen (by any one) before the appearance of the Word. And who else is able to save and conduct the soul of man to the God of all things, save God the Word, who, "being in the beginning with God," became flesh for the sake of those who had cleaved to the flesh, and had become as flesh, that He might be received by those who could not behold Him, inasmuch as He was the Word, and was with God, and was God? And discoursing in human form,(4) and announcing Himself as flesh, He calls to Himself those who are flesh, that He may in the first place cause them to be transformed according to the Word that was made flesh, and afterwards may lead them upwards to behold Him as He was before He became flesh; so that they, receiving the benefit, and ascending from their great introduction to Him, which was according to the flesh, say, "Even if we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we Him no more."(5) Therefore He became flesh, and having become flesh, "He tabernacled among us,"(6) not dwelling without us; and after tabernacling and dwelling within us, He did not continue in the form in which He first presented Himself, but caused us to ascend to the lofty mountain of His word, and showed us His own glorious form, and the splendour of His garments; and not His own form alone, but that also of the spiritual law, which is Moses, seen in glory along with Jesus. He showed to us, moreover, all prophecy, which did not perish even after His incarnation, but was received up into heaven, and whose symbol was Elijah. And he who beheld these things could say, "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."(6) Celsus, then, has exhibited considerable ignorance in the imaginary answer to his question which he puts into our mouth, "How we think we can know God? and how we know we shall be saved by Him?" for our answer is what we have just stated.

CHAP. LXIX.

Celsus, however, asserts that the answer which we give is based upon a probable conjecture,(7) admitting that he describes our answer in the following terms: "Since God is great and difficult to see,(1) He put His own Spirit into a body that resembled ours, and sent it down to us, that we might be enabled to hear Him and become acquainted with Him." But the God and Father of all things is not the only being that is great in our judgment; for He has imparted (a share) of Himself and His greatness to His Only-begotten and First-born of every creature, in order that He, being the image of the invisible God, might preserve, even in His greatness, the image of the Father. For it was not possible that there could exist a well-proportioned,(2) so to speak, and beautiful image of the invisible God, which did not at the same time preserve the image of His greatness. God, moreover, is in our judgment invisible, because He is not a body, while He can be seen by those who see with the heart that is, the understanding; not indeed with any kind of heart, but with one which is pure. For it is inconsistent with the fitness of things that a polluted heart should look upon God; for that must be itself pure which would worthily behold that which is pure. Let it be granted, indeed, that God is "difficult to see," yet He is not the only being who is so; for His Only-begotten also is "difficult to see." For God the Word is "difficult to see," and so also is His(3) wisdom, by which God created all things. For who is capable of seeing the wisdom which is displayed in each individual part of the whole system of things, and by which God created every individual thing? It was not, then, because God was "difficult to see" that He sent God His Son to be an object "easy to be seen."(4) And because Celsus does not understand this, he has represented us as saying, "Because God was 'difficult to see,' He put His own Spirit in a body resembling ours, and sent it down to us, that we might be enabled to hear Him and become acquainted with Him." Now, as we have stated, the Son also is "difficult to see," because He is God the Word, through whom all things were made, and who "tabernacled amongst us."

CHAP. LXX.

If Celsus, indeed, had understood our teaching regarding the Spirit of God, and had known that "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God,"(5) he would not have returned to himself the answer which he represents as coming from us, that "God put His own Spirit into a body, and sent it down to us;" for God is perpetually bestowing of His own Spirit to those who are capable of receiving it, although it is not by way of division and separation that He dwells in (the hearts of) the deserving. Nor is the Spirit, in our opinion, a "body," any more than fire is a "body," which God is said to be in the passage, "Our God is a consuming fire."(6) For all these are figurative expressions, employed to denote the nature of "intelligent beings" by means of familiar and corporeal terms. In the same way, too, if sins are called "wood, and straw, and stubble," we shall not maintain that sins are corporeal; and if blessings are termed "gold, and silver, and precious stones,"(7) we shall not maintain that blessings are "corporeal;" so also, if God be said to be a fire that consumes wood, and straw, and stubble, and all substance(8) of sin, we shall not understand Him to be a "body," so neither do we understand Him to be a body if He should be called "fire." In this way, if God be called "spirit,"(9) we do not mean that He is a "body." For it is the custom of Scripture to give to "intelligent beings" the names of "spirits" and "spiritual things," by way of distinction from those which are the objects of "sense;" as when Paul says, "But our sufficiency is of God; who hath also made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life,"(10) where by the "letter" he means that "exposition of Scripture which is apparent to the senses,"(11) while by the "spirit" that which is the object of the "understanding." It is the same, too, with the expression, "God is a Spirit." And because the prescriptions of the law were obeyed both by Samaritans and Jews m a corporeal and literal(12) manner, our Saviour said to the Samaritan woman, "The hour is coming, when neither in Jerusalem, nor in this mountain, shall ye worship the Father. God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."(13) And by these words He taught men that God must be worshipped not in the flesh, and with fleshly sacrifices, but in the spirit. And He will be understood to be a Spirit in proportion as the worship rendered to Him is rendered in spirit, and with understanding. It is not, however, with images(14) that we are to worship the Father, but "in truth," which "came by Jesus Christ," after the giving of the law by Moses. For when we turn to the Lord (and the Lord is a Spirit(15)), He takes away the veil which lies upon the heart when Moses is read.

CHAP. LXXI.

Celsus accordingly, as not understanding the doctrine relating to the Spirit of God ("for the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"(1)), weaves together (such a web) as pleases himself,(2) imagining that we, in calling God a Spirit, differ in no respect in this particular from the Stoics among the Greeks, who maintain that "God is a Spirit, diffused through all things, and containing all things within Himself." Now the superintendence and providence of God does extend through all things, but not in the way that spirit does, according to the Stoics. Providence indeed contains all things that are its objects, and comprehends them all, but not as a containing body includes its contents, because they also are "body,"(3) but as a divine power does it comprehend what it contains. According to the philosophers of the Porch, indeed, who assert that principles are "corporeal," and who on that account make all things perishable, and who venture even to make the God of all things capable of perishing, the very Word of God, who descends even to the lowest of mankind, would be--did it not appear to them to be too gross an incongruity(4)--nothing else than a "corporeal" spirit; whereas, in our opinion,--who endeavour to demonstrate that the rational soul is superior to all "corporeal" nature, and that it is an invisible substance, and incorporeal,--God the Word, by whom all things were made, who came, in order that all things might be made by the Word, not to men only, but to what are deemed the very lowest of things, under the dominion of nature alone, would be no body. The Stoics, then, may consign all things to destruction by fire; we, however, know of no incorporeal substance that is destructible by fire, nor (do we believe) that the soul of man, or the substance of "angels," or of "thrones," or dominions," or "principalities," or "powers," can be dissolved by fire.

CHAP. LXXII.

It is therefore in vain that Celsus asserts, as one who knows not the nature of the Spirit of God, that "as the Son of God, who existed in a human body, is a Spirit, this very Son of God would not be immortal." He next becomes confused in his statements, as if there were some of us who did not admit that God is a Spirit, but maintain that only with regard to His Son, and he thinks that he can answer us by saying that there "is no kind of spirit which lasts for ever." This is much the same as if, when we term God a "consuming fire," he were to say that there "is no kind of fire which lasts for ever;" not observing the sense in which we say that our God is a fire, and what the things are which He consumes, viz., sins, and wickedness. For it becomes a God of goodness, after each individual has shown, by his efforts, what kind of combatant he has been, to consume vice by the fire of His chastisements. He proceeds, in the next place, to assume what we do not maintain, that "God must necessarily have given up the ghost;" from which also it follows that Jesus could not have risen again with His body. For God would not have received back the spirit which He had surrendered after it had been stained by contact with the body. It is foolish, however, for us to answer statements as ours which were never made by us.

CHAP. LXXIII.

He proceeds to repeat himself, and after saying a great deal which he had said before, and ridiculing the birth of God from a virgin,--to which we have already replied as we best could,--he adds the following: "If God had wished to send down His Spirit from Himself, what need was there to breathe it into the womb of a woman? For as one who knew already how to form men, He could also have fashioned a body for this person, without casting His own Spirit into so much pollution;(5) and in this way He would not have been received with incredulity, if He had derived His existence immediately from above." He had made these remarks, because he knows not the pure and virgin birth, unaccompanied by any corruption, of that body which was to minister to the salvation of men. For, quoting the sayings of the Stoics,(6) and affecting not to know the doctrine about "things indifferent," he thinks that the divine nature was cast amid pollution, and was stained either by being in the body of a woman, until a body was formed around it, or by assuming a body. And in this he acts like those who imagine that the sun's rays are polluted by dung and by foul-smelling bodies, and do not remain pure amid such things. If, however, according to the view of Celsus, the body of Jesus had been fashioned without generation, those who beheld the body would at once have believed that it had not been formed by generation; and yet an object, when seen, does not at the same time indicate the nature of that from which it has derived its origin. For example, suppose that there were some honey (placed before one) which had not been manufactured by bees, no one could tell from the taste or sight that it was not their workmanship, because the honey which comes from bees does not make known its origin by the senses,(1) but experience alone can tell that it does not proceed from them. In the same way, too, experience teaches that wine comes from the vine, for taste does not enable us to distinguish (the wine) which comes from the vine. In the same manner, therefore, the visible(2) body does not make known the manner of its existence. And you will be induced to accept this view,(3) by (regarding) the heavenly bodies, whose existence and splendour we perceive as we gaze at them; and yet, I presume, their appearance does not suggest to us whether they are created or uncreated; and accordingly different opinions have existed on these points. And yet those who say that they are created are not agreed as to the manner of their creation, for their appearance does not suggest it, although the force of reason(4) may have discovered that they are created, and how their creation was effected.

CHAP. LXXIV.

After this he returns to the subject of Marcion's opinions (having already spoken frequently of them), and states some of them correctly, while others he has misunderstood; these, however, it is not necessary for us to answer or refute. Again, after this he brings forward the various arguments that may be urged on Marcion's behalf, and also against him, enumerating what the opinions are which exonerate him from the charges, and what expose him to them; and when he desires to support the statement which declares that Jesus has been the subject of prophecy,--in order to found a charge against Marcion and his followers,--he distinctly asks, "How could he, who was punished in such a manner, be shown to be God's Son, unless these things had been predicted of him?" He next proceeds to jest, and, as his custom is, to pour ridicule upon the subject, introducing "two sons of God, one the son of the Creator,(5) and the other the son of Marcion's God; and he portrays their single combats, saying that the Theomachies of the Fathers are like the battles between quails;(6) or that the Fathers, becoming useless through age, and falling into their dotage(7) do not meddle at all with one another, but leave their sons to fight it out." The remark which he made formerly we will turn against himself: "What old woman would not be ashamed to lull a child to sleep with such stories as he has inserted in the work which he entitles A True Discourse? For when he ought seriously(8) to apply himself to argument, he leaves serious argument aside, and betakes himself to jesting and buffoonery, imagining that he is writing mimes or scoffing verses; not observing that such a method of procedure defeats his purpose, which is to make us abandon Christianity and give in our adherence to his opinions, which, perhaps, had they been stated with some degree of gravity,(9) would have appeared more likely to convince, whereas since he continues to ridicule, and scoff, and play the buffoon, we answer that it is because he has no argument of weight(10) (for such he neither had, nor could understand) that he has betaken himself to such drivelling."(11)

CHAP. LXXV.

To the preceding remarks he adds the following: "Since a divine Spirit inhabited the body (of Jesus), it must certainly have been different From that of other beings, in respect of grandeur, or beauty, or strength, or voice, or impressiveness,(12) or persuasiveness. For it is impossible that He, to whom was imparted some divine quality beyond other beings, should not differ from others; whereas this person did not differ in any respect from another, but was, as they report, little, and ill-favoured, and ignoble."(13) Now it is evident by these words, that when Celsus wishes to bring a charge against Jesus, he adduces the sacred writings, as one who believed them to be writings apparently fitted to afford a handle for a charge against Him; but wherever, in the same writings, statements would appear to be made opposed to those charges which are adduced, he pretends not even to know them! There are, indeed, admitted to be recorded some statements respecting the body of Jesus having been "ill-favoured;" not, however, "ignoble," as has been stated, nor is there any certain evidence that he was "little." The language of Isaiah runs as follows, who prophesied regarding Him that He would come and visit the multitude, not in comeliness of form, nor in any surpassing beauty: "Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed? He made announcement before Him, as a child, as a root in a thirsty ground. He has no form nor glory, and we beheld Him, and He had no form nor beauty; but His form was without honour, and inferior to that of the sons of men."(1) These passages, then, Celsus listened to, because he thought they were of use to him in bringing a charge against Jesus; but he paid no attention to the words of the 45th Psalm, and why it is then said, "Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty, with Thy comeliness and beauty; and continue, and prosper, and reign."(2)

CHAP. LXXVI.

Let it be supposed, however, that he had not read the prophecy, or that he had read it, but had been drawn away by those who misinterpreted it as not being spoken of Jesus Christ. What has he to say of the Gospel, in the narratives of which Jesus ascended up into a high mountain, and was transfigured before the disciples, and was seen in glory, when both Moses: and Elias, "being seen in glory, spake of the decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem?"(3) or when the prophet says, "We beheld Him, and He had no form nor beauty," etc.? and Celsus accepts this prophecy as referring to Jesus, being blinded in so accepting it,! and not seeing that it is a great proof that the Jesus who appeared to be "without form" was the Son of God, that His very appearance should have been made the subject of prophecy many years before His birth. But if another prophet speak of His comeliness and beauty, he will no longer accept the prophecy as referring to Christ And if it were to be clearly ascertained from the Gospels that "He had no form nor beauty, but that His appearance was without honour, and inferior to that of the sons of men," it might be said that it was not with reference to the prophetic writings, but to the Gospels, that Celsus made his remarks. But now, as neither the Gospels nor the apostolic writings indicate that "He had no form nor beauty," it is evident that we must accept the declaration of the prophets as true of Christ, and this will prevent the charge against Jesus from being advanced.(4)

CHAP. LXXVII.

But again, how did he who said, "Since a divine Spirit inhabited the body (of Jesus), it must certainly have been different from that of other beings in respect of grandeur, or voice, or strength, or impressiveness, or persuasiveness," not observe the changing relation of His body according to the capacity of the spectators (and therefore its corresponding utility), inasmuch as it appeared to each one of such a nature as it was requisite for him to behold it? Moreover it is not a subject of wonder that the matter, which is by nature susceptible of being altered and changed, and of being transformed into anything which the Creator chooses, and is capable of receiving all the qualities which the Artificer desires, should at one time possess a quality, agreeably to which it is said, "He had no form nor beauty," and at another, one so glorious, and majestic, and marvellous, that the spectators of such surpassing loveliness--three disciples who had ascended (the mount) with Jesus--should fall upon their faces. He will say, however, that these are inventions, and in no respect different from myths, as are also the other marvels related of Jesus; which objection we have answered at greater length in what has gone before. But there is also something mystical in this doctrine, which announces that the varying appearances of Jesus are to be referred to the nature of the divine Word, who does not show Himself in the same manner to the multitude as He does to those who are capable of following Him to the high mountain which we have mentioned; for to those who still remain below, and are not yet prepared to ascend, the Word "has neither form nor beauty," because to such persons His form is "without honour," and inferior to the words given forth by men, which are figuratively termed "sons of men." For we might say that the words of philosophers--who are "sons of men"--appear far more beautiful than the Word of God, who is proclaimed to the multitude, and who also exhibits (what is called) the "foolishness of preaching," and on account of this apparent "foolishness of preaching" those who look at this alone say, "We saw Him; but He had no form nor beauty." To those, indeed, Who have received power to follow Him, in order that they may attend Him even when He ascends to the "lofty mount," He has a diviner appearance, which they behold, if there happens to be (among them) a Peter, who has received within himself the edifice of the Church based upon the Word, and who has gained such a habit (of goodness) that none of the gates of Hades will prevail against him, having been exalted by the Word from the gates of death, that he may "publish the praises of God in the gates of the daughter of Sion," and any others who have derived their birth from impressive preaching,(5) and who are not at all inferior to "sons of thunder." But how can Celsus and the enemies of the divine Word, and those who have not examined the doctrines of Christianity in the spirit of truth, know the meaning of the different appearances of Jesus? And I refer also to the different stages of His life, and to any actions performed by Him before His sufferings, and after His resurrection from the dead.

CHAP. LXXVIII.

Celsus next makes certain observations of the following nature: "Again, if God, like Jupiter in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (of the earth)? He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world. Now the comic poet, to cause laughter in the theatre, wrote that Jupiter, after awakening, despatched Mercury to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians; but do not you think that you have made the Son of God more ridiculous in sending Him to the Jews?" Observe in such language as this the irreverent character of Celsus, who, unlike a philosopher, takes the writer of a comedy, whose business is to cause laughter, and compares our God, the Creator of all things, to the being who, as represented in the play, on awaking, despatches Mercury (on an errand)! We stated, indeed, in what precedes, that it was not as if awakening from a lengthened slumber that God sent Jesus to the human race, who has now, for good reasons, fulfilled the economy of His incarnation, but who has always conferred benefits upon the human race. For no noble deed has ever been performed amongst men, where the divine Word did not visit the souls of those who were capable, although for a little time, of admitting such operations of the divine Word. Moreover, the advent of Jesus apparently to one corner (of the earth) was founded on good reasons, since it was necessary that He who was the subject of prophecy should make His appearance among those who had become acquainted with the doctrine of one God, and who perused the writings of His prophets, and who had come to know the announcement of Christ, and that He should come to them at a time when the Word was about to be diffused from one corner over the whole world.

CHAP. LXXIX.

And therefore there was no need that there should everywhere exist many bodies, and many spirits like Jesus, in order that the whole world of men might be enlightened by the Word of God. For the one Word was enough, having arisen as the "Sun of righteousness," to send forth from Judea His coming rays into the soul of all who were willing to receive Him. But if any one desires to see many bodies filled with a divine Spirit, similar to the one Christ, ministering to the salvation of men everywhere, let him take note of those who teach the Gospel of Jesus in all lands in soundness of doctrine and uprightness of life, and who are themselves termed "christs" by the holy Scriptures, in the passage, "Touch not Mine anointed,(1) and do not My prophets any harm."(2) For as we have heard that Antichrist cometh, and yet have learned that there are many antichrists in the world, in the same way, knowing that Christ has come, we see that, owing to Him, there are many christs in the world, who, like Him, have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, and therefore God, the God of Christ, anointed them also with the "oil of gladness." But inasmuch as He loved righteousness and hated iniquity above those who were His partners,(3) He also obtained the first-fruits of His anointing, and, if we must so term it, the entire unction of the oil of gladness; while they who were His partners shared also in His unction, in proportion to their individual capacity. Therefore, since Christ is the Head of the Church, so that Christ and the Church form one body, the ointment descended from the head to the beard of Aaron,--the symbols of the perfect man,--and this ointment in its descent reached to the very skirt of his garment. This is my answer to the irreverent language of Celsus when he says, "He ought to have breathed (His Spirit) alike into many bodies, and have sent it forth into all the world." The comic poet, indeed, to cause laughter, has represented Jupiter asleep and awaking from slumber, and despatching Mercury to the Greeks; but the Word, knowing that the nature of God is unaffected by sleep, may teach us that God administers in due season, and as right reason demands, the affairs of the world. It is 'not, however, a matter of surprise that, owing to the greatness and incomprehensibility(4) of the divine judgments, ignorant persons should make mistakes, and Celsus among them. There is therefore nothing ridiculous in the Son of God having been sent to the Jews, amongst whom the prophets had appeared, in order that, making a commencement among them in a bodily shape, He might arise with might and power upon a world of souls, which no longer desired to remain deserted by God.

CHAP. LXXX.

After this, it seemed proper to Celsus to term the Chaldeans a most divinely-inspired nation from the very earliest times,(5) from whom the delusive system of astrology(6) has spread abroad among men. Nay, he ranks the Magi also in the same category, from whom the art of magic derived its name and has been transmitted to other nations, to the corruption and destruction of those who employ it. In the preceding part of this work, (we mentioned) that, in the opinion even of Celsus, the Egyptians also were guilty of error, because they had indeed solemn enclosures around what they considered their temples, while within them there was nothing save apes, or crocodiles, or goats, or asps, or some other animal; but on the present occasion it pleases him to speak of the Egyptian people too as most divinely inspired, and that, too, from the earliest times,--perhaps because they made war upon the Jews from an early date. The Persians, moreover, who marry their own mothers,(1) and have intercourse with their own daughters, are, in the opinion of Celsus, an inspired race; nay, even. the Indians are so, some of whom, in the preceding, he mentioned as eaters of human flesh. To the Jews, however, especially those of ancient times, who employ none of these practices, he did not merely refuse the name of inspired, but declared that they would immediately perish. And this prediction he uttered respecting them, as being doubtless endued with prophetic power, not observing that the whole history of the Jews, and their ancient and venerable polity, were administered by God; and that it is by their fall that salvation has come to the Gentiles, and that "their fall is the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles,"(2) until the fulness of the Gentiles come, that after that the whole of Israel, whom Celsus does not know, may be saved.

CHAP. LXXXI.

I do not understand, however, how he should say of God, that although "knowing all things, He was not aware of this, that He was sending His Son amongst wicked men, who were both to be guilty of sin, and to inflict punishment upon Him." Certainly he appears, in the present instance, to have forgotten that all the sufferings which Jesus was to undergo were foreseen by the Spirit of God, and foretold by His prophets; from which it does not follow that "God did not know that He was sending His Son amongst wicked and sinful men, who were also to inflict punishment upon Him." He immediately adds, however, that "our defence on this point is that all these things were predicted." But as our sixth book has now attained sufficient dimensions, we shall stop here, and begin, God willing, the argument of the seventh, in which we shall consider the reasons which he thinks furnish an answer to our statement, that everything regarding Jesus was foretold by the prophets; and as these are numerous, and require to be answered at length, we wished neither to cut the subject short, in consequence of the size of the present book, nor, in order to avoid doing so, to swell this sixth book beyond its proper proportions.

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