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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XLIX. ORIGEN, c Cels.i.68.


The Argument from our Lord's Miracles


Ἑξῆς δὲ τούτοις ὁ Κέλσος ὑπιδόμενος τὰ ἐπιδειχθησόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ γεγενημένα μεγάλα, περὶ ὧν ὀλίγα ἀπὸ πολλῶν εἰρήκαμεν· προσποιεῖται συγχωρεῖν ἀληθῆ εἶναι, ὅσα περὶ θεραπειῶν, ἢ ἀναστάσεως, ἢ περὶ ἄρτων ὀλίγων θρεψάντων πολλοὺς ἀναγέγραπται, ἀφ' ὧν λείψανα πολλὰ καταλέλειπται, ἢ ὅσα ἄλλα οἴεται τερατευσαμένους τοὺς μαθητὰς ἱστορηκέναι, καὶ ἐπιφέρει αὐτοῖς· ' Φέρε πιστεύσωμεν εἶναί σοι ταῦτ' εἰργασμένα. ' καὶ εὐθέως κοινοποιεῖ αὐτὰ πρὸς τὰ ἔργα τῶν γοήτων, ὡς ὑπισχνουμένων θαυμασιώτερα, καὶ πρὸς τὰ ὑπὸ τῶν μαθόντων ἀπὸ Αἰγυπτίων ἐπιτελούμενα, ἐν μέσαις ἀγοραῖς ὀλίγων ὀβολῶν ἀποδιδομένων τὰ σεμνὰ μαθήματα, καὶ δαίμονας ἀπὸ ἀνθρώπων ἐξελαυνόντων, [καὶ νόσους ἀποφυσώντων,] καὶ ψυχὰς ἡρώων ἀνακαλούντων, δεῖπνά τε πολυτελῆ, καὶ τραπέζας, καὶ πέμματα, καὶ ὄψα τὰ οὐκ ὄντα δεικνύντων, καὶ ὡς ζῷα κινούντων οὐκ ἀληθῶς ὄντα ζῷα, ἀλλὰ μέχρι φαντασίας φαινόμενα τοιαῦτα. καί φησιν· ' Ἆρ' ἐπεὶ ταῦτα ποιοῦσιν ἐκεῖνοι, δεήσει ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς ἡγεῖσθαι υἱοὺς εἶναι θεοῦ; ἢ λεκτέον αὐτὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα εἶναι ἀνθρώπων πονηρῶν καὶ κακοδαιμόνων; '

In the next place Celsus, suspecting that we shall put forward the mighty works of Jesus, of which we have already spoken very slightly, professes to grant that they may be true – all that is recorded of healings, or of a resurrection, or of the many who fed on a few loaves and left of them many fragments, and all the rest of the stories in telling which he thinks the disciples were romancing – and adds, 'Well, suppose we believe that you really did them.' Then straightway he puts them on a level with the works of the jugglers, on the ground that their professions are still more marvellous, and with the performances of those who have learned from the Egyptians, who sell their venerated arts for a few pence in the open market-place, and cast out demons from men, and puff away diseases, and call up souls of heroes, and exhibit costly dinners with tables and cakes and dainties non-existent, and set in motion as living animais lifeless things which have only the appearance of animais. Then he says, 'Since the jugglers do these things, must we needs think them sons of God, or shall we say that these are practices of wicked wretches?'


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