SELECTIONS FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS: ILLUSTRATIVE OF CHURCH HISTORY TO THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE by Henry Melvill Gwatkin, M.A. First Edition, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1893. Reprinted with additions and corrections, 1897, 1902, 1905. Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram, 2013.
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XV. JUSTIN, Apol. i, 5.


Heathenism the work of demons


[5.1] Τί δὴ οὖν τοῦτ’ ἂν εἴη; ἐφ’ ἡμῶν, ὑπισχνουμένων μηδὲν ἀδικεῖν μηδὲ τὰ ἄθεα ταῦτα δοξάζειν, οὐ κρίσεις ἐξετάζετε, ἀλλὰ ἀλόγῳ πάθει καὶ μάστιγι δαιμόνων φαύλων ἐξελαυνόμενοι ἀκρίτως κολάζετε μὴ φροντίζοντες. [2] εἰρήσεται γὰρ τἀληθές· ἐπεὶ τὸ παλαιὸν δαίμονες φαῦλοι, ἐπιφανείας ποιησάμενοι, καὶ γυναῖκας ἐμοίχευσαν καὶ παῖδας διέφθειραν καὶ φόβητρα ἀνθρώποις ἔδειξαν, ὡς καταπλαγῆναι τοὺς οἳ λόγῳ τὰς γινομένας πράξεις οὐκ ἔκρινον, ἀλλὰ δέει συνηρπασμένοι καὶ μὴ ἐπιστάμενοι δαίμονας εἶναι φαύλους θεοὺς προσωνόμαζον, καὶ ὀνόματι ἕκαστον προσηγόρευον, ὅπερ ἕκαστος αὐτῷ τῶν δαιμόνων ἐτίθετο. [3] ὅτε δὲ Σωκράτης λόγῳ ἀληθεῖ καὶ ἐξεταστικῶς ταῦτα εἰς φανερὸν ἐπειρᾶτο φέρειν καὶ ἀπάγειν τῶν δαιμόνων τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, καὶ αὐτοὶ οἱ δαίμονες διὰ τῶν χαιρόντων τῇ κακίᾳ ἀνθρώπων ἐνήργησαν ὡς ἄθεον καὶ ἀσεβῆ ἀποκτεῖναι, λέγοντες καινὰ εἰσφέρειν αὐτὸν δαιμόνια· καὶ ὁμοίως ἐφ’ ἡμῶν τὸ αὐτὸ ἐνεργοῦσιν. [4] οὐ γὰρ μόνον Ἕλλησι διὰ Σωκράτους ὑπὸ λόγου ἠλέγχθη ταῦτα, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν βαρβάροις ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ τοῦ λόγου μορφωθέντος καὶ ἀνθρώπου γενομένου καὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ κληθέντος, ᾧ πεισθέντες ἡμεῖς τοὺς ταῦτα πράξαντας δαίμονας οὐ μόνον μὴ ὀρθοὺς εἶναί φαμεν, ἀλλὰ κακοὺς καὶ ἀνοσίους δαίμονας, οἳ οὐδὲ τοῖς ἀρετὴν ποθοῦσιν ἀνθρώποις τὰς πράξεις ὁμοίας ἔχουσιν.

What does this mean? In our case, though we profess to do no man wrong and to reject these godless opinions, you do not examine charges, but are driven by unreasoning passion and the scourge of evil demons to punish us without investigation or consideration. For the truth shall be told. It is because evil demons of old made apparitions, and defiled women and corrupted boys, and showed to men such horrors that those were struck with terror who did not judge by reason the acts performed, but were carried away by fear, and in their ignorance that these were evil demons called them gods, and addressed each of them by name according as each demon styled himself. But when Socrates essayed by true reason and examination to bring these things to the light and lead men away from the demons, then these same demons by means of men who rejoiced in iniquity caused them to slay him as a godless and impious man, saying that he was introducing new divinities – and the same likewise they cause to be done in our case. For not among the Greeks alone were these things through Socrates condemned by reason, but among the barbarians also by the Reason himself taking shape and made man and called Jesus Christ; and at His persuasion we hold that the demons who did these things are not only not good, but wicked and unholy demons, whose acts are not like even those of men who long for virtue.


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