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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XLVII. ARNOBIUS, Adv.Nationes,i.43-53.


Our Lord's Miracles


'Magus fuit, clandestinis artibus omnia ilia perfecit, Aegyptiorum ex adytis angelorum potentium nomina et remotas furatus est disciplinas.' Quid dicitis, ? parvuli, incomperta vobis et nescia temerariae vocis loquacitate garrientes? Ergone ilia quae gesta sunt daemonum fuere praestigiae et magicarum artium ludi? Potestis aliquem nobis designare, monstrare ex omnibus illis magis, qui umquam fuere per saecula, consimile aliquid Christo millesima ex parte qui fecerit? ...

Unus fuit e nobis, qui redire in corpora iamdudum animas praecipiebat efflatas, prodire ab aggeribus conditos et post dum funeris tertium pollinctorum velaminibus expediri? Unus fuit e nobis, qui quid singuli voluerint, quid sub obscuris cogitationibus continerent tacitorum in cordibus pervidebat? ...

Nihil ut remini magicum, nihil humanum, praestigiosum aut subdolum, nihil fraudis delituit in Christo, derideatis licet ex more atque in lasciviam dissolvamini cachinnorum. Deus ille sublimis fuit, deus radice ab intima, deus ab incognitis regnis et ab omnium principe deo sospitator

Jesus was a Magician; He effected all these things by secret arts. From the shrines of the Egyptians he stole the names of angels of might, and the rules of a secret craft. Why, O witlings, do you speak of things which you have not examined, and which are unknown to you, prating with the garrulity of a rash tongue? Were, then, those things which were done, the freaks of demons, and the tricks of magical arts? Can you specify and point out to me any one of all those magicians who have ever existed in past ages that did anything similar in the thousandth degree to Christ? ...

Was He one of us, who ordered souls once breathed forth to return to the body, persons buried to come forth from the tomb, and after three days to be loosed from the swathings of the undertaker? Was He one of us, who saw clearly in the hearts of the silent what each was pondering, what each had in his secret thoughts? ...

There was nothing magical, as you suppose, nothing of human trickery in Christ; no deceit lurked in him, although you smile in derision, as your wont is, and though you split with roars of laughter. He was God on high, God in His inmost root, God from unknown realms, sent by the ruler of all as a Saviour.

R.


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