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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 XLIV.

But as Celsus would compare the venerable customs of the Jews with the laws of certain nations, let us proceed to look at them.  He is of opinion, accordingly, that there is no difference between the doctrine regarding “heaven” and that regarding “God;” and he says that “the Persians, like the Jews, offer sacrifices to Jupiter upon the tops of the mountains,”—not observing that, as the Jews were acquainted with one God, so they had only one holy house of prayer, and one altar of whole burnt-offerings, and one censer for incense, and one high priest of God.  The Jews, then, had nothing in common with the Persians, who ascend the summits of their mountains, which are many in number, and offer up sacrifices which have nothing in common with those which are regulated by the Mosaic code,—in conformity to which the Jewish priests “served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” explaining enigmatically the object of the law regarding the sacrifices, and the things of which these sacrifices were the symbols.  The Persians therefore may call the “whole circle of heaven” Jupiter; but we maintain that “the heaven” is neither Jupiter nor God, as we indeed know that certain beings of a class inferior to God have ascended above the heavens and all visible nature:  and in this sense we understand the words, “Praise God, ye heaven of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens:  let them praise the name of the Lord.”42244224    Cf. Ps. cxlviii. 4, 5.


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