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ANF04. Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second
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Chapter LXXIX.

The conclusion of all these arguments regarding Jesus is thus stated by the Jew:  “He was therefore a man, and of such a nature, as the truth itself proves, and reason demonstrates him to be.”  I do not know, however, whether a man who had the courage to spread throughout the entire world his doctrine of religious worship and teaching,34333433    τὴν κατ᾽ αὐτὸν θεοσέβειαν καὶ διδασκαλίαν. could accomplish what he wished without the divine assistance, and could rise superior to all who withstood the progress of his doctrine—kings and rulers, and the Roman senate, and governors in all places, and the common people.  And how could the nature of a man possessed of no inherent excellence convert so vast a multitude?  For it would not be wonderful if it were only the wise who were so convened; but it is the most irrational of men, and those devoted to their passions, and who, by reason of their irrationality, change with the greater difficulty so as to adopt a more temperate course of life.  And yet it is because Christ was the power of God and the wisdom of the Father that He accomplished, and still accomplishes, such results, although neither the Jews nor Greeks who disbelieve His word will so admit.  And therefore we shall not cease to believe in God, according to the precepts of Jesus Christ, and to seek to convert those who are blind on the subject of religion, although it is they who are truly blind themselves that charge us with blindness:  and they, whether Jews or Greeks, who lead astray those that follow them, accuse us of seducing men—a good seduction, truly!—that they may become temperate instead of dissolute, or at least may make advances to temperance; may become just instead of unjust, or at least may tend to become so; prudent instead of foolish, or be on the way to become such; and instead of cowardice, meanness, and timidity, may exhibit the virtues of fortitude and courage, especially displayed in the struggles undergone for the sake of their religion towards God, the Creator of all things.  Jesus Christ therefore came announced beforehand, not by one prophet, but by all; and it was a proof of the ignorance of Celsus, to represent a Jew as saying that one prophet only had predicted the advent of Christ.  But as this Jew of Celsus, after being thus introduced, asserting that these things were indeed in conformity with his own law, has somewhere here ended his discourse, with a mention of other matters not worthy of remembrance, I too shall here terminate this second book of my answer to his treatise.  But if God permit, and the power of Christ abide in my soul, I shall endeavour in the third book to deal with the subsequent statements of Celsus.


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