ORIGEN AGAINST CELSUS -- BOOK VII (CHAP. I to CHAP. XXXIII)

ORIGEN AGAINST CELSUS.

BOOK VII.

CHAP. I.

In the six former books we have endeavoured, reverend brother Ambrosius, according to our ability to meet the charges brought by Celsus against the Christians, and have as far as possible passed over nothing without first subjecting it to a full and close examination. And now, while we enter upon the seventh book, we call upon God through Jesus Christ, whom Celsus accuses, that He who is the truth of God would shed light into our hearts and scatter the darkness of error, in accordance with that saying of the prophet which we now offer as our prayer, "Destroy them by Thy truth."(1) For it is evidently the words and reasonings opposed to the truth that God destroys by His truth; so that when these are destroyed, all who are delivered from deception may go on with the prophet to say, "I will freely sacrifice unto Thee,"(2) and may offer to the Most High a reasonable and smokeless sacrifice.

CHAP. II.

Celsus now sets himself to combat the views of those who say that the Jewish prophets foretold events which happened in the life of Christ Jesus. At the outset let us refer to a notion he has, that those who assume the existence of another God beSides the God of the jews have no ground on which to answer his objections; while we who recognise the same God rely for our defence on the prophecies which were delivered concerning Jesus Christ. His words are: "Let us see how they can raise a defence. To those who admit another God, no defence is possible; and they who recognise the same God will always fall back upon the same reason 'This and that must have happened.' And why? 'Because it had been predicted long before.'" To this we answer, that the arguments recently raised by Celsus against Jesus and Christians were so utterly feeble, that they might easily be overthrown even by those who are impious enough to bring in another God. Indeed, were it not dangerous to give to the weak any excuse for embracing false notions, we could furnish the answer ourselves, and show Celsus how unfounded is his opinion, that those who admit another God are not in a position to meet his arguments. However, let us for the present confine ourselves to a defence of the prophets, in continuation of what we have said on the subject before.

CHAP. III.

Celsus goes on to say of us: "They set no value on the oracles of the Pythian priestess, of the priests of Dodona, of Clarus, of Branchidae, of Jupiter Ammon, and of a multitude of others; although under their guidance we may say that colonies were sent forth, and the whole world peopled. But those sayings which were uttered or not uttered in Judea, after the manner of that country, as indeed they are still delivered among the people of Phoenicia and Palestine--these they look upon as marvellous sayings, and unchangeably true." In regard to the oracles here enumerated, we reply that it would be possible for us to gather from the writings of Aristotle and the Peripatetic school not a few things to overthrow the authority of the Pythian and the other oracles. From Epicurus also, and his followers, we could quote passages to show that even among the Greeks themselves there were some who utterly discredited the oracles which were recognised and admired throughout the whole of Greece. But let it be granted that the responses delivered by the Pythian and other oracles were not the utterances of false men who pretended to a divine inspiration; and let us see if, after all, we cannot convince any sincere inquirers that there is no necessity to attribute these oracular responses to any divinities, but that, on the other hand, they may be traced to wicked demons--to spirits which are at enmity with the human race, and which in this way wish to hinder the soul from rising upwards, from following the path of virtue, and from returning to God in sincere piety. It is said of the Pythian priestess, whose oracle seems to have been the most celebrated, that when she sat down at the mouth of the Castalian cave, the prophetic Spirit of Apollo entered her private parts; and when she was filled with it, she gave utterance to responses which are regarded with awe as divine truths. Judge by this whether that spirit does not show its profane and impure nature, by choosing to enter the soul of the prophetess not through the more becoming medium of the bodily pores which are both open and invisible, but by means of what no modest man would ever see or speak of. And this occurs not once or twice, which would be more permissible, but as often as she was believed to receive inspiration from Apollo. Moreover, it is not the part of a divine spirit to drive the prophetess into such a state of ecstasy and madness that she loses control of herself. For he who is under the influence of the Divine Spirit ought to be the first to receive the beneficial effects; and these ought not to be first enjoyed by the persons who consult the oracle about the concerns of natural or civil life, or for purposes of temporal gain or interest; and, moreover, that should be the time of clearest perception, when a person is in close intercourse with the Deity.

CHAP. IV.

Accordingly, we can show from an examination of the sacred Scriptures, that the Jewish prophets, who were enlightened as far as was necessary for their prophetic work by the Spirit of God, were the first to enjoy the benefit of the inspiration; and by the contact--if I may so say--of the Holy Spirit they became clearer in mind, and their souls were filled with a brighter light. And the body no longer served as a hindrance to a virtuous life; for to that which we call "the lust of the flesh" it was deadened. For we are persuaded that the Divine Spirit "mortifies the deeds of the body," and destroys that enmity against God which the carnal passions serve to excite. If, then, the Pythian priestess is beside herself when she prophesies, what spirit must that be which fills her mind and clouds her judgment with darkness, unless it be of the same order with those demons which many Christians cast out of persons possessed with them? And this, we may observe, they do without the use of any curious arts of magic, or incantations, but merely by prayer and simple adjurations which the plainest person can use. Because for the most part it is unlettered persons who perform this work; thus making manifest the grace which is in the word of Christ, and the despicable weakness of demons, which, in order to be overcome and driven out of the bodies and souls of men, do not require the power and wisdom of those who are mighty in argument, and most learned in matters of faith.(1)

CHAP. V.

Moreover, if it is believed not only among Christians and Jews, but also by many others among the Greeks and Barbarians, that the human soul lives and subsists after its separation from the body; and if reason supports the idea that pure souls which are not weighed down with sin as with a weight of lead ascend on high to the region of purer and more ethereal bodies, leaving here below their grosser bodies along with their impurities; whereas souls that are polluted and dragged down to the earth by their sins, so that they are unable even to breathe upwards, wander hither and thither, at some times about sepulchres, where they appear as the apparitions of shadowy spirits, at others among other objects on the ground;--if this is so, what are we to think of those spirits that are attached for entire ages, as I may say, to particular dwellings and places, whether by a sort of magical force or by their own natural wickedness? Are we not compelled by reason to set down as evil such spirits as employ the power of prophesying--a power in itself neither good nor bad -for the purpose of deceiving men, and thus turn them away from God, and from the purity of His service? It is moreover evident that this is their character, when we add that they delight in the blood of victims, and in the smoke odour of sacrifices, and that they feed their bodies on these, and that they take pleasure in such haunts as these, as though they sought in them the sustenance of their lives; in this resembling those depraved men who despise the purity of a life apart from the senses, and who have no inclination except for the pleasures of the body, and for that earthly and bodily life in which these pleasures are found. If the Delphian Apollo were a god, as the Greeks suppose, would he not rather have chosen as his prophet some wise man? or if such an one was not to be found, then one who was endeavouring to become wise How came he not to prefer a man to a woman for the utterance of his prophesies? And if he preferred the latter sex, as though he could only find pleasure in the breast of a woman, why did he not choose among women a virgin to interpret his will?

CHAP. VI.

But no; the Pythian, so much admired among the Greeks, judged no wise man, nay, no man at all, worthy of the divine possession, as they call it. And among women he did not choose a virgin, or one recommended by her wisdom, or by her attainments in philosophy; but he selects a common woman. Perhaps the better class of men were too good to become the subjects of the inspiration. Besides, if he were a god, he should have employed his prophetic power as a bait, so to speak, with which he might draw men to a change of life, and to the practice of virtue. But history nowhere makes mention of anything of the kind. For if the oracle did call Socrates the wisest of all men, it takes from the value of that eulogy by what is said in regard to Euripides and Sophocles. The words are:--

"Sophocles is wise, and Euripides is wiser,

But wiser than all men is Socrates."(1)

As, then, he gives the designation "wise" to the tragic poets, it is not on account of his philosophy that he holds up Socrates to veneration, or because of his love of truth and virtue. It is poor praise of Socrates to say that he prefers him to men who for a paltry reward compete upon the stage, and who by their representations excite the spectators at one time to tears and grief, and at another to unseemly laughter (for such is the intention of the satyric drama). And perhaps it was not so much in regard to his philosophy that he called Socrates the wisest of all men, as on account of the victims which he sacrificed to him and the other demons. For it seems that the demons pay more regard in distributing their favours to the sacrifices which are offered them than to deeds of virtue. Accordingly, Homer, the best of the poets, who describes what usually took place, when, wishing to show us what most influenced the demons to grant an answer to the wishes of their votaries, introduces Chryses, who, for a few garlands and the 'thighs of bulls and goats, obtained an answer to his prayers for his daughter Chryseis, so that the Greeks were driven by a pestilence to restore her back to him. And I remember reading in the book of a certain Pythagorean, when writing on the hidden meanings in that poet, that the prayer of Chryses to Apollo, and the plague which Apollo afterwards sent upon the Greeks, are proofs that Homer knew of certain evil demons who delight in the smoke of sacrifices, and who, to reward those who offer them, grant in answer to their prayers the destruction of others. "He," that is, Jupiter, "who rules over wintry Dodona, where his prophets have ever unwashed feet, and sleep upon the ground,"(2) has rejected the male sex, and, as Celsus observes, employs the women of Dodona for the prophetic office. Granting that there are oracles similar to these, as that at Clarus, another in Branchidae, another in the temple of Jupiter Ammon, or anywhere else; yet how shall it be proved that these are gods, and not demons?

CHAP. VII.

In regard to the prophets among the Jews, some of them were wise men before they became divinely inspired prophets, while others became wise by the illumination which their minds received when divinely inspired. They were selected by Divine Providence to receive the Divine Spirit, and to be the depositaries of His holy oracles, on the ground of their leading a life of almost unapproachable excellence, intrepid, noble, unmoved by danger or death. For reason teaches that such ought to be the character of the prophets of the Most High, in comparison with which the firmness of Antisthenes, Crates, and Diogenes will seem but as child's play. It was therefore for their firm adherence to truth, and their faithfulness in the reproof of the wicked, that "they were stoned; they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; they wandered in deserts and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth, of whom the world was not worthy:"(3) for they looked always to God and to His blessings, which, being invisible, and not to be perceived by the senses, are eternal. We have the history of the life of each of the prophets; but it will be enough at present to direct attention to the life of Moses, whose prophecies are contained in the law; to that of Jeremiah, as it is given in the book which bears his name; to that of Isaiah, who with unexampled austerity walked naked and barefooted for the space of three years.(4) Read and consider the severe life of those children, Daniel and his companions, how they abstained from flesh, and lived on water and pulse.(5) Or if you will go back to more remote times, think of the life of Noah, who prophesied;(6) and of Isaac, who gave his son a prophetic blessing; or of Jacob, who addressed each of his twelve sons, beginning with "Come, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days."(7) These, and a multitude of others, prophesying on behalf of God, foretold events relating to Jesus Christ. We therefore for this reason set at nought the oracles of the Pythian priestess, or those delivered at Dodona, at Clarus, at Branchidae, at the temple of Jupiter Ammon, or by a multitude of other so-called prophets; whilst we regard with reverent awe the Jewish prophets: for we see that the noble, earnest, and devout lives of these men were worthy of the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, whose wonderful effects were widely different from the divination of demons.

CHAP. VIII.

I do not know what led Celsus, when saying, "But what things were spoken or not spoken in the land of Judea, according to the custom of the country," to use the words "or not spoken," as though implying that he was incredulous, and that he suspected that those things which were written were never spoken. In fact, he is unacquainted with these times; and he does not know that those prophets who foretold the coming of Christ, predicted a multitude of other events many years beforehand. He adds, with the view of casting a slight upon the ancient prophets, that "they prophesied in the same way as we find them still doing among the inhabitants of Phoenicia and Palestine." But he does not tell us whether he refers to persons who are of different principles from those of the Jews and Christians, or to persons whose prophecies are of the same character as those of the Jewish prophets. However it be, his statement is false, taken in either way. For never have any of those who have not embraced our faith done any thing approaching to what was done by the ancient prophets; and in more recent times, since the coming of Christ, no prophets have arisen among the Jews, who have confessedly been abandoned by the Holy Spirit on account of their impiety towards God, and towards Him of whom their prophets spoke. Moreover, the Holy Spirit gave signs of His presence at the beginning of Christ's ministry, and after His ascension He gave still more; but since that time these signs have diminished, although there are still traces of His presence in a few who have had their souls purified by the Gospel, and their actions regulated by its influence. "For the holy Spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding."(1)

CHAP. IX.

But as Celsus promises to give an account of the manner in which prophecies are delivered in Phoenicia and Palestine, speaking as though it were a matter with which he had a full and personal acquaintance, let us see what he has to say on the subject. First he lays it down that there arc several kinds of prophecies, but he does not specify what they arc; indeed, he could not do so, and the statement is a piece of pure ostentation. However, let us see what he considers the most perfect kind of prophecy among these nations. "There are many," he says, "who, although of no name, with the greatest facility and on the slightest occasion, whether within or without temples, assume the motions and gestures of inspired persons; while others do it in cities or among armies, for the purpose of attracting attention and exciting surprise. These are accustomed to say, each for himself, 'I am God; I am the Son of God; or, I am the Divine Spirit; I have come because the world is perishing, and you, O men, are perishing for your iniquities. But I wish to save you, and you shall see me returning again with heavenly power. Blessed is he who now does me homage. On all the rest I will send down eternal fire, both on cities and on countries. And those who know not the punishments which await. them shall repent and grieve in vain; while those who are faithful to me I will preserve eternally.'" Then he goes on to say: "To these promises are added strange, fanatical, and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning: for so dark are they, as to have no meaning at all; but they give occasion to every fool or impostor to apply them to suit his own purposes."

CHAP. X.

But if he were dealing honestly in his accusations, he ought to have given the exact terms of the prophecies, whether those in which the speaker is introduced as claiming to be God Almighty, or those in which the Son of God speaks, or finally those under the name of the Holy Spirit. For thus he might have endeavoured to overthrow these assertions, and have shown that there was no divine inspiration in those words which urged men to forsake their sins, which condemned the past and foretold the future. For the prophecies were recorded and preserved by men living at the time, that those who came after might read and admire them as the oracles of God, and that they might profit not only by the warnings and admonitions, but also by the predictions, which, being shown by events to have proceeded from the Spirit of God, bind men to the practice of piety as set forth in the law and the prophets. The prophets have therefore, as God commanded them, declared with all plainness those things which it was desirable that the hearers should understand at once for the regulation of their conduct; while in regard to deeper and more mysterious subjects, which lay beyond the reach of the common understanding, they set them forth in the form of enigmas and allegories, or of what are called dark sayings, parables, or similitudes. And this plan they have followed, that those who are ready to shun no labour and spare no pains in their endeavours after truth and virtue might search into their meaning, and having found it, might apply it as reason requires. But Celsus, ever vigorous in his denunciations, as though he were angry at his inability to understand the language of the prophets, scoffs at them thus: "To these grand promises are added strange, fanatical, and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning; for so dark are they as to have no meaning at all; but they give occasion to every fool or impostor to apply them so as to suit his own purposes." This statement of Celsus seems ingeniously designed to dissuade readers from attempting any inquiry or careful search into their meaning. And in this he is not unlike certain persons, who said to a man whom a prophet had visited to announce future events, "Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee?"(1)

CHAP. XI.

I am convinced, indeed, that much better arguments could be adduced than any I have been able to bring forward, to show the falsehood of these allegations of Celsus, and to set forth the divine inspiration of the prophecies; but we have according to our ability, in our commentaries on Isaiah, Ezekiel, and some of the twelve minor prophets, explained literally and in detail what he calls "those fanatical and utterly unintelligible passages."(2) And if God give us grace in the time that He appoints for us, to advance in the knowledge of His word, we shall continue our investigation into the parts which remain, or into such at least as we are able to make plain. And other persons of intelligence who wish to study Scripture may also find out its meaning for themselves; for although there are many places in which the meaning is not obvious, yet there are none where, as Celsus affirms, "there is no sense at all." Neither is it true that "any fool or impostor can explain the passages so as to make them suit his own purposes." For it belongs only to those who are wise in the truth of Christ (and to all them it does belong) to unfold the connection and meaning of even the obscure parts of prophecy, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual," and interpreting each passage according to the usage of Scripture writers. And Celsus is not to be believed when he says that he has heard such men prophesy; for no prophets bearing any resemblance to the ancient prophets have appeared in the time of Celsus. If there had been any, those who heard and admired them would have followed the example of the ancients, and have recorded the prophecies in writing. And it seems quite clear that Celsus is speaking falsely, when he says that "those prophets whom he had heard, on being pressed by him, confessed their true motives, and acknowledged that the ambiguous words they used really meant nothing." He ought to have given the names of those whom he says he had heard, if he had any to give, so that those who were competent to judge might decide whether his allegations were true or false.

CHAP. XII.

He thinks, besides, that those who support the cause of Christ by a reference to the writings of the prophets can give no proper answer in regard to statements in them which attribute to God that which is wicked, shameful, or impure; and assuming that no answer can be given, he proceeds to draw a whole train of inferences, none of which can be allowed. But he ought to know that those who wish to live according to the teaching of sacred Scripture understand the saying, "The knowledge of the unwise is as talk without sense,"(3) and have learnt "to be ready always to give an answer to every one that asketh us a reason for the hope that is in us."(4) And they are not satisfied with affirming that such and such things have been predicted; but they endeavour to remove any apparent inconsistencies, and to show that, so far from there being anything evil, shameful, or impure in these predictions, everything is worthy of being received by those who understand the sacred Scriptures. But Celsus ought to have adduced from the prophets examples of what he thought bad, or shameful, or impure, if he saw any such passages; for then his argument would have had much more force, and would have furthered his purpose much better. He gives no instances, however, but contents himself with loudly asserting the false charge that these things are to be found in Scripture. There is no reason, then, for us to defend ourselves against groundless charges, which are but empty sounds, or to take the trouble of showing that in the writings of the prophets there is nothing evil, shameful, impure, or abominable.

CHAP. XIII.

And there is no truth in the statement of Celsus, that "God does the most shameless deeds, or suffers the most shameless sufferings" or that "He favours the commission of evil; for whatever he may say, no such things have ever been foretold. He ought to have cited from the prophets the passages in which God is represented as favouring evil, or as doing and enduring the most shameless deeds, and not to have sought without foundation to prejudice the minds of his readers. The prophets, indeed, foretold what Christ should suffer, and set forth the reason why He should suffer. God therefore also knew what Christ would suffer; but where has he learnt that those things which the Christ of God should suffer were most base and dishonourable? He goes on to explain what those most shameful and degrading things were which Christ suffered, in these words: "For what better was it for God to eat the flesh of sheep, or to drink vinegar and gall, than to feed on filth?" But God, according to us, did not eat the flesh of sheep; and while it may seem that Jesus ate, He did so only as possessing a body. But in regard to the vinegar and gall mentioned in the prophecy, "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink,"(1) we have already referred(2) to this point; and as Celsus compels us to recur to it again, we would only say further, that those who resist the word of truth do ever offer to Christ the Son of God the gall of their own wickedness, and the vinegar of their evil inclinations; but though He tastes of it, yet He will not drink it.

CHAP. XIV.

In the next place, wishing to shake the faith of those who believe in Jesus on the ground of the prophecies which were delivered in regard to Him, Celsus says: "But pray, if the prophets foretold that the great God--not to put it more harshly--would become a slave, or become sick or die; would there be therefore any necessity that God should die, or suffer sickness, or become a slave, simply because such things had been foretold? Must he die in order to prove his divinity? But the prophets never would utter predictions so wicked and impious. We need not therefore inquire whether a thing has been predicted or not, but whether the thing is honourable in itself, and worthy of God. In that which is evil and base, although it seemed that all men in the world had foretold it in a fit of madness, we must not believe. How then can the pious mind admit that those things which are said to have happened to him, could have happened to one who is God?" From this it is plain that Celsus feels the argument from prophecy to be very effective for convincing those to whom Christ is preached; but he seems to endeavour to overthrow it by an opposite probability, namely," that the question is not whether the prophets uttered these predictions or not." But if he wished to reason justly and without evasion, he ought rather to have said, "We must show that these things were never predicted, or that those things which were predicted of Christ have never been fulfilled in him," and in that way he would have established the position which he holds. In that way it would have been made plain what those prophecies are which we apply to Jesus, and how Celsus could justify himself in asserting that that application was false. And we should thus have seen whether he fairly disproved all that we bring from the prophets in behalf of Jesus, or whether he himself is convicted of a shameless endeavour to resist the plainest truths by violent assertions.

CHAP. XV.

After assuming that some things were foretold which are impossible in themselves, and inconsistent with the character of God, he says: "If these things were predicted of the Most High God, are we bound to believe them of God simply because they were predicted?" And thus he thinks he proves, that although the prophets may have foretold truly such things of the Son of God, yet it is impossible for us to believe in those prophecies declaring that He would do or suffer such things. To this our answer is that the supposition is absurd, for it combines two lines of reasoning which are opposed to each other, and therefore mutually destructive. This may be shown as follows. The one argument is: "If any true prophets of the Most High say that God will become a slave, or suffer sickness, or die, these things will come to God; for it is impossible that the prophets of the great God should utter lies." The other is: "If even true prophets of the Most High God say that these same things shall come to pass, seeing that these things foretold are by the nature of things impossible, the prophecies are not true, and therefore those things which have been foretold will not happen to God." When, then, we find two processes of reasoning in both of which the major premiss is the same, leading to two contradictory conclusions, we use the form of argument called "the theorem of two propositions,"(3) to prove that the major premiss is false, which in the case before us is this, "that the prophets have foretold that the great God should become a slave, suffer sickness, or die." We conclude, then, that the prophets never foretold such things; and the argument is formally expressed as follows: 1st, Of two things, if the first is true, the second is true; 2d, if the first is(4) true, the second is not true, therefore the first is not true. The concrete example which the Stoics give to illustrate this form of argument is the following: 1st, If you know that you are dead, you are dead; 2d, if you know that you are dead, you are not dead. And the conclusion is--"you do not know that you are dead." These propositions are worked out as follows: If you know that you are dead, that which you know is certain; therefore you are dead. Again, if you know that you are dead, your death is an object of knowledge; but as the dead know nothing, your knowing this proves that you are not dead. Accordingly, by joining the two arguments together, you arrive at the conclusion--"you do not know that you are dead." Now the hypothesis of Celsus which we have given above is much of the same kind.

CHAP. XVI.

But besides, the prophecies which he introduces into his argument are very different from what the prophets actually foretold of Jesus Christ. For the prophecies do not foretell that God will be crucified, when they say of Him who should suffer, "We beheld Him, and He had no form or comeliness; but His form was dishonoured and marred more than the sons of men; He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief."(1) Observe, then, how distinctly they say that it was a man who should endure these human sufferings. And Jesus Himself, who knew perfectly that one who was to die must be a man, said to His accusers: "But now ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath spoken unto you the truth which I heard of God."(2) And if in that man as He appeared among men there was something divine, namely the only-begotten Son of God, the first-born of all creation, one who said of Himself, "I am the truth," "I am the life," "I am the door," "I am the way," "I am the living bread which came down from heaven," of this Being and His nature we must judge and reason in a way quite different from that in which we judge of the man who was seen in Jesus Christ. Accordingly, you will find no Christian, however simple he may be, and however little versed in critical studies, who would say that He who died was "the truth," "the life," "the way," "the living bread which came down from heaven," "the resurrection;" for it was He who appeared to us in the form of the man Jesus, who taught us, saying, "I am the resurrection." There is no one amongst us, I say, so extravagant as to affirm "the Life died," "the Resurrection died." The supposition of Celsus would have some foundation if we were to say that it had been foretold by the prophets that death would befall God the Word, the Truth, the Life, the Resurrection, or any other name which is assumed by the Son of God.

CHAP. XVII.

In one point alone is Celsus correct in his statements on this subject. It is that in which he says: "The prophets would not foretell this, because it involves that which is wicked and impious,"--namely, that the great God should become a slave or suffer death. But that which is predicted by the prophets is worthy of God, that He who is the brightness and express image of the divine nature should come into the world with the holy human soul which was to animate the body of Jesus, to sow the seed of His word, which might bring all who received and cherished it into union with the Most High God, and which would lead to perfect blessedness all those who felt within them the power of God the Word, who was to be in the body and soul of a man. He was to be in it indeed, but not in such a way as to confine therein all the rays of His glory; and we are not to suppose that the light of Him who is God the Word is shed forth in no other way than in this. If, then, we consider Jesus in relation to the divinity that was in Him, the things which He did in this capacity present nothing to offend our ideas of God, nothing but what is holy; and if we consider Him as man, distinguished beyond all other men by an intimate communion with the Eternal Word, with absolute Wisdom, He suffered as one who was wise and perfect, whatever it behoved Him to suffer who did all for the good of the human race, yea, even for the good of all intelligent beings. And there is nothing absurd in a man having died, and in His death being not only an example of death endured for the sake of piety, but also the first blow in the conflict which is to overthrow the power of that evil spirit the devil, who had obtained dominion over the whole world.(3) For we have signs and pledges of the destruction of his empire, in those who through the coming of Christ are everywhere escaping from the power of demons, and who, after their deliverance from this bondage in which they were held, consecrate themselves to God, and earnestly devote themselves day by day to advancement in a life of piety.

CHAP. XVIII.

Celsus adds: "Will they not besides make this reflection? If the prophets of the God of the Jews foretold that he who should come into the world would be the Son of this same God, how could he command them through Moses to gather wealth, to extend their dominion, to fill the earth, to put their enemies of every age to the sword, and to destroy them utterly, which indeed he himself did--as Moses says--threatening them, moreover, that if they did not obey his commands, he would treat them as his avowed enemies; whilst, on the other hand, his Son, the man of Nazareth, promulgated laws quite opposed to these, declaring that no one can come to the Father who loves power, or riches, or glory; that men ought not to be more careful in providing food than the ravens; that they were to be less concerned about their raiment than the lilies; that to him who has given them one blow, they should offer to receive another? Whether is it Moses or Jesus who teaches falsely? Did the Father, when he sent Jesus, forget the commands which he had given to Moses? Or did he change his mind, condemn his own laws, and send forth a messenger with counter instructions?" Celsus, with all his boasts of universal knowledge, has here fallen into the most vulgar of errors, in supposing that in the law and the prophets there is not a meaning deeper than that afforded by a literal rendering of the words. He does not see how manifestly incredible it is that worldly riches should be promised to those who lead upright lives, when it is a matter of common observation that the best of men have lived in extreme poverty. Indeed, the prophets themselves, who for the purity of their lives received the Divine Spirit, "wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented: they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth."(1) For, as the Psalmist, says, "many are the afflictions of the righteous."(2) If Celsus had read the writings of Moses, he would, I daresay, have supposed that when it is said to him who kept the law, "Thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou thyself shalt not borrow,"(3) the promise is made to the just man, that his temporal riches should be so abundant, that he would be able to lend not only to the Jews, not only to two or three nations, but "to many nations." What, then, must have been the wealth which the just man received according to the law for his righteousness, if he could lend to many nations? And must we not suppose also, in accordance with this interpretation, that the just man would never borrow anything? For it is written, "and thou shalt thyself borrow nothing." Did then that nation remain for so long a period attached to the religion which was taught by Moses, whilst, according to the supposition of Celsus, they saw themselves so grievously deceived by that lawgiver? For nowhere is it said of any one that he was so rich as to lend to many nations. It is not to be believed that they would have fought so zealously in defence of a law whose promises had proved glaringly false, if they understood them in the sense which Celsus gives to them. And if any one should say that the sins which are recorded to have been committed by the people are a proof that they despised the law, doubtless from the feeling that they had been deceived by it, we may reply that we have only to read the history of the times in order to find it shown that the whole people, after having done that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, returned afterwards to their duty, and to the religion prescribed by the law.

CHAP. XIX.

Now if these words in the law, "Thou shalt have dominion over many nations, and no one shall rule over thee," were simply a promise to them of dominion, and if they contain no deeper meaning than this, then it is certain that the people would have had still stronger grounds for despising the promises of the law. Celsus brings forward another passage, although he changes the terms of it, where it is said that the whole earth shall be filled with the Hebrew race; which indeed, according to the testimony of history, did actually happen after the coming of Christ, although rather as a result of God's anger, if I may so say, than of His blessing. As to the promise made to the Jews that they should slay their enemies, it may be answered that any one who examines carefully into the meaning of this passage will find himself unable to interpret it literally. It is sufficient at present to refer to the manner in which in the Psalms the just man is represented as saying, among other things, "Every morning will I destroy the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all workers of iniquity from the city of Jehovah."(4) Judge, then, from the words and spirit of the speaker, whether it is conceivable that, after having in the preceding part of the Psalm, as any one may read for himself, uttered the noblest thoughts and purposes, he should in the sequel, according to the literal rendering of his words, say that in the morning, and at no other period of the day, he would destroy all sinners from the earth, and leave none of them alive, and that he would slay every one in Jerusalem who did iniquity. And there are many similar expressions to be found in the law, as this, for example: "We left not anything alive."(5)

CHAP. XX.

Celsus adds, that it was foretold to the Jews, that if they did not obey the law, they would be treated in the same way as they treated their enemies; and then he quotes from the teaching of Christ some precepts which he considers contrary to those of the law, and uses that as an argument against us. But before proceeding to this point, we must speak of that which precedes. We hold, then, that the law has a twofold sense, --the one literal, the other spiritual,--as has been shown by some before us. Of the first or literal sense it is said, not by us, but by God, speaking in one of the prophets, that "the statutes are not good, and the judgments not good;"(1) whereas, taken in a spiritual sense, the same prophet makes God say that "His statutes are good, and His judgments good." Yet evidently the prophet is not saying things which are contradictory of each other. Paul in like manner says, that "the letter killeth, and the spirit giveth life,"(2) meaning by "the letter" the literal sense, and by "the spirit" the spiritual sense of Scripture. We may therefore find in Paul, as well as in the prophet, apparent contradictions. Indeed, if Ezekiel says in one place, "I gave them commandments which were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live," and in another, "I gave them good commandments and judgments, which if a man shall do, he shall live by them,"(3) Paul in like manner, when he wishes to disparage the law taken literally, says, "If the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious?"(4) But when in another place he wishes to praise and recommend the law, he calls it "spiritual," and says, "We know that the law is spiritual;" and, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good."(5)

CHAP. XXI.

When, then, the letter of the law promises riches to the just, Celsus may follow the letter which killeth, and understand it of worldly riches, which blind men; but we say that it refers to those riches which enlighten the eyes, and which enrich a man "in all utterance and in all knowledge." And in this sense we "charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate."(6) For, as Solomon says, "riches" are the true good, which "are the ransom of the life of a man;" but the poverty which is the opposite of these riches is destructive, for by it "the poor cannot bear rebuke."(7) And what has been said of riches applies to dominion, in regard to which it is said, "The just man shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight."(8) Now if riches are to be taken in the sense we have just explained, consider if it is not according to God's promise that he who is rich in all utterance, in all knowledge, in all wisdom, in all good works, may not out of these treasures of utterance, of wisdom, and of knowledge, lend to many nations. It was thus that Paul lent to all the nations that he visited, "carrying the Gospel of Christ from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum."(9) And as the divine knowledge was given to him by revelation, and his mind was illumined by the Divine Word, he himself therefore needed to borrow from no one, and required not the ministry to any man to teach him the word of truth. Thus, as it had been written, "Thou shalt have dominion over many nations, and they shall not have dominion over thee," he ruled over the Gentiles whom he brought under the teaching Of Jesus Christ; and he never "gave place by subjection to men, no, not for an hour,(10) as being himself mightier than they. And thus also he "filled the earth."

CHAP. XXII.

If I must now explain how the just man "slays his enemies," and prevails everywhere, it is to be observed that, when he says, "Every morning will I destroy the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all workers of iniquity from the city of Jehovah," by "the land" he means the flesh whose lusts are at enmity with God; and by "the city of Jehovah" he designates his own soul, in which was the temple of God, containing the true idea and conception of God, which makes it to be admired by all who look upon it. As soon, then, as the rays of the Sun of righteousness shine into his soul, feeling strengthened and invigorated by their influence, he sets himself to destroy all the lusts of the flesh, which are called "the wicked of the land," and drives out of that city of the Lord which is in his soul all thoughts which work iniquity, and all suggestions which are opposed to the truth. And in this way also the just give up to destruction all their enemies, which are their vices, so that they do not spare even the children, that is, the early beginnings and promptings of evil. In this sense also we understand the language of the 137th Psalm: "O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us: happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."(11) For "the little ones" of Babylon (which signifies confusion) are those troublesome sinful thoughts which arise in the soul and he who subdues them by striking, as it were, their heads against the firm and solid strength of reason and truth, is the man who "dasheth the little ones against the stones;" and he is therefore truly blessed. God may therefore have commanded men to destroy all their vices utterly, even at their birth, without having enjoined anything contrary to the teaching of Christ; and He may Himself have destroyed before the eyes of those who were "Jews inwardly"(1) all the offspring of evil as His enemies. And, in like manner, those who disobey the law and word of God may well be compared to His enemies led astray by sin; and they may well be said to suffer the same fate as they deserve who have proved traitors to the truth of God.

CHAP. XXIII.

From what has been said, it is clear then that Jesus, "the man of Nazareth," did not promulgate laws opposed to those just considered in regard to riches, when He said, "It is hard for the rich man to enter into the kingdom of God;''(2) whether we take the word "rich" in its simplest sense, as referring to the man whose mind is distracted by his wealth, and, as it were, entangled with thorns, so that he brings forth no spiritual fruit; or whether it is the man who is rich in the sense of abounding in false notions, of whom it is written in the Proverbs, "Better is the poor man who is just, than the rich man who is false."(3) Perhaps it is the following passages which have led Celsus to suppose that Jesus forbids ambition to His disciples: "Whoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all;"(4) "The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,"(5) and "they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors."(6) But there is nothing here inconsistent with the promise, "Thou shalt rule over many nations, and they shall not rule over thee," especially after the explanation which we have given of these words. Celsus next throws in an expression in regard to wisdom, as though he thought that, according to the teaching of Christ, no wise man could come to the Father. But we would ask in what sense he speaks of a wise man. For if he means one who is wise in "the wisdom of this world," as it is called, "which is foolishness with God,"(7) then we would agree with him in saying that access to the Father is denied to one who is wise in that sense. But if by wisdom any one means Christ, who is "the power and wisdom of God," far from such a wise man being refused access to the Father, we hold that he who is adorned by the Holy Spirit with that gift which is called "the word of wisdom," far excels all those who have not received the same grace.

CHAP. XXIV.

The pursuit of human glory, we maintain, is forbidden not only by the teaching of Jesus, but also by the Old Testament. Accordingly we find one of the prophets, when imprecating upon himself certain punishments for the commission of certain sins, includes among the punishments this one of earthly glory. He says, "O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, rather, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy;) let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and set my glory up an high."(8) And these precepts of our Lord, "Take no thought what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink. Behold the fowls of the air, or behold the ravens: for they sow not, neither do they reap; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. How much better are ye than they! And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field;"(9)--these precepts, and those which follow, are not inconsistent with the promised blessings of the law, which teaches that the just "shall eat their bread to the full;(10) nor with that saying of Solomon, "The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul, but the belly of the wicked shall want."(11) For we must consider the food promised in the law as the food of the soul, which is to satisfy not both parts of man's nature, but the soul only. And the words of the Gospel, although probably containing a deeper meaning, may yet be taken in their more simple and obvious sense. as teaching us not to be disturbed with anxieties about our food and clothing, but, while living in plainness, and desiring only what is needful, to put our trust in the providence of God.

CHAP. XXV.

Celsus then extracts from the Gospel the precept, "To him who strikes thee once, thou shalt offer thyself to be struck again," although without giving any passage from the Old Testament which he considers opposed to it. On the one hand, we know that "it was said to them in old time, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;"(1) and on the other, we have read, "I say unto you, Whoever shall smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also."(2) But as there is reason to believe that Celsus produces the objections which he has heard from those who wish to make a difference between the God of the Gospel and the God of the law, we must say in reply, that this precept, "Whosoever shall strike thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other," is not unknown in the older Scriptures. For thus, in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, it is said, "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth: he sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him; he is filled full with reproach."(3) There is no discrepancy, then, between the God of the Gospel and the God of the law, even when we take literally the precept regarding the blow on the face. So, then, we infer that neither "Jesus nor Moses has taught falsely." The Father in sending Jesus did not "forget the commands which He had given to Moses:" He did not "change His mind, condemn His own laws, and send by His messenger counter instructions."

CHAP. XXVI.

However, if we must refer briefly to the difference between the constitution which was given to the Jews of old by Moses, and that which the Christians, under the direction of Christ's teaching, wish now to establish, we would observe that it must be impossible for the legislation of Moses, taken literally, to harmonize with the calling of the Gentiles, and with their subjection to the Roman government; and on the other hand, it would be impossible for the Jews to preserve their civil economy unchanged, supposing that they should embrace the Gospel. For Christians could not slay their enemies, or condemn to be burned or stoned, as Moses commands, those who had broken the law, and were therefore condemned as deserving of these punishments; since the Jews themselves, however desirous of carrying out their law, are not able to inflict these. punishments. But in the case of the ancient Jews, who had a land and a form of government of their own, to take from them the right of making war upon their enemies, of fighting for their country, of putting to death or otherwise punishing adulterers, murderers, or others who were guilty of similar crimes, would be to subject them to sudden and utter destruction whenever the enemy fell upon them; for their very laws would in that case restrain them, and prevent them from resisting the enemy. And that same providence which of old gave the law, and has now given the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not wishing the Jewish state to continue longer, has destroyed their city and their temple: it has abolished the worship which was offered to God in that temple by the sacrifice of victims, and other ceremonies which He had prescribed. And as it has destroyed these things, not wishing that they should longer continue, in like manner it has extended day by day the Christian religion, so that it is now preached everywhere with boldness, and that in spite of the numerous obstacles which oppose the spread of Christ's teaching in the world. But since it was the purpose of God that the nations should receive the benefits of Christ's teaching, all the devices of men against Christians have been brought to sought; for the more that kings, and rulers, and peoples have persecuted them everywhere, the more have they increased in number and grown in strength.

CHAP. XXVII.

After this Celsus relates at length opinions which he ascribes to us, but which we do not hold, regarding the Divine Being, to the effect that "he is corporeal in his nature, and possesses a body like a man." As he undertakes to refute opinions which are none of ours, it would be needless to give either the opinions themselves or their refutation. Indeed, if we did hold those views of God which he ascribes to us, and which he opposes, we would be bound to quote his words, to adduce our own arguments, and to refute his. But if he brings forward opinions which he has either heard from no one, or if it be assumed that he has heard them, it must have been from those who are very simple and ignorant of the meaning of Scripture, then we need not undertake so superfluous a task as that of refuting them. For the Scriptures plainly speak of God as of a being without body. Hence it is said, "No man hath seen God at any time;"(4) and the First-born of all creation is called "the image of the invisible God,"s which is the same as if it were said that He is incorporeal. However, we have already said something on the nature of God while examining into the meaning of the words, "God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."

CHAP. XXVIII.

After thus misrepresenting our views of the nature of God, Celsus goes on to ask of us "where we hope to go after death;" and he makes our answer to be, "to another land better than this." On this he comments as follows: "The divine men of a former age have spoken of a happy life reserved for the souls of the blessed. Some designated it 'the isles of the blest,' and others 'the Elysian plain,' so called because they were there to be delivered from their present evils. Thus Homer says: 'But the gods shall send thee to the Elysian plain, on the borders of the earth, where they lead a most quiet life.'(1) Plato also, who believed in the immortality of the soul, distinctly gives the name 'land' to the place where it is sent. 'The extent of it,' a says he, 'is immense, and we only occupy a small portion of it, from the Phasis to the Pillars of Hercules, where we dwell along the shores of the sea, as grasshoppers and frogs beside a marsh. But there are many other places inhabited in like manner by other men. For there are in different parts of the earth cavities, varying in form and in magnitude, into which run water, and clouds, and air. But that land which is pure lies in the pure region of heaven.'" Celsus therefore supposes that what we say of a land which is much better and more excellent than this, has been borrowed from certain ancient writers whom he styles "divine," and chiefly from Plato, who in his Phaedon discourses on the pure land lying in a pure heaven. But he does not see that Moses, who is much older than the Greek literature, introduces God as promising to those who lived according to His law the holy land, which is "a good land and a large, a land flowing with milk and honey;"(3) which promise is not to be understood to refer, as some suppose, to that part of the earth which we call Judea; for it, however good it may be, still forms part of the earth, which was originally cursed for the transgression of Adam. For these words, "Cursed shall the ground be for what thou hast done; with grief, that is, with labour, shalt thou eat of the fruit of it all the days of thy life,"(4) were spoken of the whole earth, the fruit of which every man who died in Adam eats with sorrow or labour all the days of his life. And as all the earth has been cursed, it brings forth thorns and briers all the days of the life of those who in Adam were driven out of paradise; and in the sweat of his face every man eats bread until he returns to the ground from which he was taken. For the full exposition of all that is contained in this passage much might be said; but we have confined ourselves to these few words at present, which are intended to remove the idea, that what is said of the good land promised by God to the righteous, refers to the land of Judea.

CHAP. XXIX.

If, then, the whole earth has been cursed in the deeds of Adam and of those who died in him, it is plain that all parts of the earth share in the curse, and among others the land of Judea; so that the words, "a good land and a large, a land flowing with milk and honey, cannot apply to it, although we may say of it, that both Judea and Jerusalem were the shadow and figure of that pure land, goodly and large, in the pure region of heaven, in which is the heavenly Jerusalem. And it is in reference to this Jerusalem that the apostle spoke, as one who, "being risen with Christ, and seeking those things which are above," had found a truth which formed no part of the Jewish mythology. "Ye are come," says he, "unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels."(5) And in order to be assured that our explanation of "the good and large land" of Moses is not contrary to the intention of the Divine Spirit, we have only to read in all the prophets what they say of those who, after having left Jerusalem, and wandered astray from it, should afterwards return and be settled in the place which is called the habitation and city of God, as in the words, "His dwelling is in the holy place;"(6) and, "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth."(7) It is enough at present to quote the words of the thirty-seventh Psalm, which speaks thus of the land of the righteous, "Those that wait upon the Lord they shall inherit the earth;" and a little after, "But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace;" and again, "Those who bless Him shall inherit the earth;" and, "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever."(8) And consider whether it is not evident to intelligent readers that the following words from this same Psalm refer to the pure land in the pure heaven: "Wait on the Lord, and keep His way; and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land."

CHAP. XXX.

It seems to me also that the fancy of Plato, that those stones which we call precious stones derive their lustre from a reflection, as it were, of the stones in that better land, is taken from the words of Isaiah in describing the city of God, "I will make thy battlements of jasper, thy stones shall be crystal, and thy borders of precious stones;"(1) and, "I will lay thy foundations with sapphires." Those who hold in greatest reverence the teaching of Plato, explain this myth of his as an allegory. And the prophecies from which, as we conjecture, Plato has borrowed, will be explained by those who, leading a godly life like that of the prophets, devote all their time to the study of the sacred Scriptures, to those who are qualified to learn by purity of life, and their desire to advance in divine knowledge. For our part, our purpose has been simply to say that what we affirm of that sacred land has not been taken from Plato or any of the Greeks, but that they rather--living as they did not only after Moses, who was the oldest, but even after most of the prophets--borrowed from them, and in so doing either misunderstood their obscure intimations on such subjects, or else endeavoured, in their allusions to the better land, to imitate those portions of Scripture which had fallen into their hands. Haggai expressly makes a distinction between the earth and the dry land, meaning by the latter the land in which we live. He says: "Yet once, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the dry land, and the sea."(2)

CHAP. XXXI.

Referring to the passage in the Phaedon of Plato, Celsus says: "It is not easy for every one to understand the meaning of Plato's words, when he says that on account of our weakness and slowness we are unable to reach the highest region of the air; but that if our nature were capable of so sublime a contemplation, we would then be able to understand that that is the true heaven, and that the true light." As Celsus has deferred to another opportunity the explanation of Plato's idea, we also think that it does not fall within our purpose at present to enter into any full description of that holy and good land, and of the city of God which is in it; but reserve the consideration of it for our Commentary on the Prophets, having already in part, according to our power, treated of the city of God in our remarks on the forty-sixth and forty-eighth Psalms. The writings of Moses and the prophets--the most ancient of all books--teach us that all things here on earth which are in common use among men, have other things corresponding to them in name which are alone real. Thus, for instance, there is the true light, and another heaven beyond the firmament, and a Sun of righteousness other than the sun we see. In a word, to distinguish those things from the objects of sense, which have no true reality, they say of God that "His works are truth;"(3) thus making a distinction between the works of God and the works of God's hands, which latter are of an inferior sort. Accordingly, God in Isaiah complains of men, that "they regard not the works of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands."(4) But enough on this point.

CHAP. XXXII.

Celsus next assails the doctrine of the resurrection, which is a high and difficult doctrine, and one which more than others requires a high and advanced degree of wisdom to set forth how worthy it is of God; and how sublime a truth it is which teaches us that there is a seminal principle lodged in that which Scripture speaks of as the "tabernacle" of the soul, in which the righteous "do groan, being burdened, not for that they would be unclothed, but clothed upon."(5) Celsus ridicules this doctrine because he does not understand it, and because he has learnt it from ignorant persons, who were unable to support it on any reasonable grounds. It will be profitable, therefore, that in addition to what we have said above, we should make this one remark. Our teaching on the subject of the resurrection is not, as Celsus imagines, derived from anything that we have heard on the doctrine of metempsychosis; but we know that the soul, which is immaterial and invisible in its nature, exists in no material place, without having a body suited to the nature of that place. Accordingly, it at one time puts off one body which was necessary before, but which is no longer adequate in its changed state, and it exchanges it for a second; and at another time it assumes another in addition to the former, which is needed as a better covering, suited to the purer ethereal regions of heaven. When it comes into the world at birth, it casts off the integuments which it needed in the womb; and before doing this, it puts on another body suited for its life upon earth. Then, again, as there is "a tabernacle" and "an earthly house" which is in some sort necessary for this tabernacle, Scripture teaches us that "the earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved," but that the tabernacle shall "be clothed upon with a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."(6) The men of God say also that "the corruptible shall put on incorruption,"(7) which is a different thing from "the incorruptible;" and "the mortal shall put on immortality," which is different from "the immortal." Indeed, what "wisdom" is to "the wise," and "justice" to "the just," and "peace" to "the peaceable," the same relation does "incorruption" hold to "the incorruptible," and "immortality" to "the immortal." Behold, then, to what a prospect Scripture encourages us to look, when it speaks to us of being clothed with incorruption and immortality, which are, as it were, vestments which will not suffer those who are covered with them to come to corruption or death. Thus far I have taken the liberty of referring to this subject, in answer to one who assails the doctrine of the resurrection without understanding it, and who, simply because he knew nothing about it, made it the object of contempt and ridicule.

CHAP. XXXIII.

As Celsus supposes that we uphold the doctrine of the resurrection in order that we may see and know God, he thus follows out his notions on the subject: "After they have been utterly refuted and vanquished, they still, as if regardless of all objections, come back again to the same question, 'How then shall we see and know God? how shall we go to Him?'" Let any, however, who are disposed to hear us observe, that if we have need of a body for other purposes, as for occupying a material locality to which this body must be adapted, and if on that account the "tabernacle" is clothed in the way we have shown, we have no need of a body in order to know God. For that which sees God is not the eye of the body; it is the mind which is made in the image of the Creator,(1) and which God has in His providence rendered capable of that knowledge. To see God belongs to the pure heart, out of which no longer proceed "evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, the evil eye,"(2) or any other evil thing. Wherefore it is said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."(3) But as the strength of our will is not sufficient to procure the perfectly pure heart, and as we need that God should create it, he therefore who prays as he ought, offers this petition to God, "Create in me a clean heart, O God."(4)

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