Изображения страниц

* God,” but the coming of ‘the Christ of God.” Not that we deny, says Origen, that the coming of the Son of God was foretold ; but no Jew would allow of this. 2. ‘There * are innumerable, says the Jew in Celsus, * who confute Jesus, affirming, that of themselves were said ‘ those things which were prophesied of concerning him :’ that is, concerning the person who was to come. But those were impostors, as Theudas, and some others, who affirmed without proof; who neither said, nor performed such things as Jesus had done; as Origeno well shows. 3. ‘And says he," how could we, who had told all men, ‘there would come one from God, who should punish the wicked, treat him injuriously when he came.’ 4. "But" the Jew in Celsus says: For what reason could we reject him, whom we had before spoken of. Was it, that we might be punished more severely than other men o' 5. ‘The’ Jew adds: The prophets say, that he who is to come, is great, and a prince, and lord of all the earth, and of all nations, and of armies.” 6. ‘The 8 Jew in Celsus says: What god ever came to men, who did not obtain acceptance, especially if he came to them who expected him Or, why should he not be acknowledged by them, who had long before expected him 2 ° 7. “Afterwards" the Jew, representing their sentiments, says: For we certainly expect a resurrection of the body, and eternal life: of which he who is to be sent to us, is to ‘ be a pattern : and thereby to show, that it is not impossi‘ble for God to raise up a man with a body.' But Origen makes a doubt, whether any Jews would say this of their expected Messiah. 8. ‘Afterwards' Celsus in his own person says: That the * contention between the christians and the Jews is very ‘silly; and that all our dispute with one another about ‘Christ, is no better than about the shadow of the ass, ac‘cording to the proverb. And he thinks, the whole ques‘tion is of no importance; both sides believing that it had ‘ been foretold by the Spirit of God, that a Saviour of man

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Tuvsgös kat Asy&sou, dig pnow-6 trapa Koog Iačawog, uvpiot Tov Ingev, (paakovreg, trept £avrov ravra supmobat, direp Trept sketva trposopmtsvero. L. i.

sect. 57. p. 44. * Ibid. et l. ii. Sect. 8. in. p. 61. med.
* Ib. l. ii. scot. 8. p. 61. * L. ii. sect. 8. p. 62.
f L. ii. n. 29. p. 78. & L. ii. n. 75. p. 106.

* L. ii. n. 77. p. 109. * Lib. iii. sub in.

“kind is to come. But they do not agree, whether he who ‘has been prophesied of, is come, or not.’ e 9. Therek are other places, where Celsus speaks of this same matter. Perhaps some of them may appear hereafter in our fourth section. Here is enough to show, that the Jewish expectation of a great person prophesied of, was a thing well known; and that this expectation was in being before the appearance of Jesus in the world. And indeed their having generally such an expectation in the time of Celsus, is an argument, that they had it before the coming of Jesus; for they would not have taken up such a notion from his followers. 10. I must not go from this section, without putting down a remarkable observation of Origen, that the Jews did not join John (the Baptist) with Jesus, and made a difference between the death of each of them.


Passages of Celsus containing references to the books of the JWew Testament.

I. IN some of these passages we shall observe our scriptures spoken of in general; in others there will be references to particular texts. 2. “After that,” says Origen, “the Jew in Celsus goes ‘on in this manner; I could say many things concerning “ the affairs of Jesus, and those too true, different from those ‘written by the disciples of Jesus. But I purposely omit “ them.” It is not easy to believe, that the Jew, or Celsus, would have done so, if he could have contradicted the disciples, upon good evidence, in any material points. This is only an oratorical flourish, as Origen well observes. Celsus by “disciples of Jesus' does not mean his followers in general; for them he calls christians, or believers, or the like. He therefore here useth that term in the most strict and proper sense, for those who had been taught by Jesus himself, that is, his apostles and their companions.

[ocr errors][merged small]

We hence learn, that in the time of Celsus there were books well known, and allowed to be written by “the dis‘ciples of Jesus:” which books contained a history of him, and his teaching, doctrine, and works. The books here intended, undoubtedly, are the gospels ; and, possibly, there may be here also a reference to the Acts of the apostles. 3. ‘Then," says Origen, he accuseth the disciples, and “says: It is a fiction of theirs, that Jesus foreknew and fore‘told all things, which befell him.’ He refers to our gospels, in which it is often related, that Jesus spoke of his sufferings before-hand, and likewise of the things that should befall his disciples, who were to be brought before kings and rulers for his name sake. 4. “Afterwards" he says, that some of the believers, as if “ they were drunk, take a liberty to alter the gospel, from “ the first writing, three or four ways, or oftener, that when “ they are pressed hard, and one reading has been confuted, “ they may disown that, and flee to another.’ So that there was an ancient original account ; but the believers, or christians of after-times, had altered it, he says, to serve a purpose. But that is only a general charge, which is of no value, without particular instances; which, so far as we can perceive from Origen, Celsus did not specify. Origen, by way of answer, says, he did not know of any who had altered the gospel, beside the followers of Marcion and Valentinus, and perhaps Lucanus; and that this is not the fault of the word itself, but of those who had been so daring as to corrupt the gospels; and that the fault of those men, who introduce new opinions, ought not to be laid to the charge of genuine christianity. However, we hence perceive, that there were ancient written histories of our Saviour, composed by his own disciples. Nor is their genuineness disputed, but allowed of, as well known. 5. “The" Jew in Celsus,’ says Origen, “ shuts up that ‘ argument in this manner. These things, then, we have ‘ alleged to you out of your own writings, not needing any ‘other witnesses. Thus you are beaten with your own ‘ weapons.”

* L. ii. n. 13. p. 67. ° Mera Tavra ruvag Twy Trussvovrwy opmow, dog sk us&ng covrag Eug ro spe=&vat avtotg ustaxaparrelv čk rmg orpwrmg Ypapng to evayyātov rptym kai terpaxm kai troXXaxm. K. A. L. ii. n. 27. p. 77.

* --—ravra psy av vow sk row iustspov ovyypapuarov, sp' dic edevoc &\e uaprupoc xongopmv. K. A. L. ii. Sect. 74, p. 106.

6. Origen expressly says, “That" Celsus quoted many ‘things out of the gospel according to St. Matthew, as the “star that appeared at the nativity of Jesus, and other won‘derful things.” 7. Celsus' says, the composers of the genealogies of Jesus, “were very extravagant in making him to descend ‘ from the first man, and the Jewish kings. And he thinks ‘ he says somewhat very extraordinary, when he observes, ‘that the carpenter's wife was ignorant of her high ‘original.’ Celsus plainly refers to both St. Matthew’s and St Luke's gospels; for he speaks of composers of the genealogy in the plural number; and St. Luke only has carried up our Saviour's genealogy to the first man. See Matt. eh i. and Luke iii. 8. “They & have likewise such precepts as these. Resist ‘not him that injures you; and, if a man strike thee, as his “ phrase is, on the one cheek, offer to him the other also. ‘That is an old saying ; but here it is expressed in a more ‘ homely manner.” Then he quotes a passage from Plato's Crito to the like purpose. Celsus here refers to our Saviour's sermon upon the mount, as it is called, and particularly to Matt. v. 39, “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” See likewise Luke vi. 29. Celsus says, the same thing had been said before, and better expressed. This is not a place to enter into controversy upon that head. But Origen answers very well: “That" these precepts of Jesus thus ‘ expressed, as Celsus says unpolitely, anpotkoTepov, have ‘ been more beneficial in life than Plato's discourse in ‘Crito, of which the vulgar have never heard, and hardly ‘they, who have gone through a course of Greek phi‘losophy.’ 9. Hei finds fault with Jesus after this manner. He ‘threatens, and feebly reproaches, when he says: “Woe ‘ unto you:” and “I foretell unto you :” For thereby he

[ocr errors]

n. 58, p. 370. * Ibid. n. 61. p. 373. L. ii. n. 76, p. 107.

‘plainly confesseth his disability to persuade; which is so ‘ far below a god, that it is even unworthy a wise man.’ I need not say, that here are references to our gospels. But these are poor remarks. 10. ‘Celsus" asks, why we may not worship angels, and ‘ demons, and heroes? Why, the only reason, he says, is, ‘ because “it is impossible to serve two masters.” ” He refers to some text, where are those words, either Matt. vi. 24, or Luke xvi. 13. This maxim Celsus has endeavoured to expose, several times. 11. ‘O light," O truth, says the Jew in Celsus; Jesus ‘with his own mouth expressly declares these things, as you ‘ have recorded it, that there will come unto you other men, ‘with like wonders, wicked men, and impostors.” Undoubtedly, he refers to some of our Saviour's predictions concerning the coming of deceivers, and false prophets; as Matt. vii. 15; xxiv. 11, 24; Mark xiii. 22. And the genuineness of the evangelical histories is here clearly acknowledged ; they are here alleged as containing our Lord's own words there recorded. And" in other places Celsus has taken notice of such like predictions of our Saviour. 12. In another place Celsus is arguing, that Moses and Jesus, though both are said to be sent from God, do not agree. “Moses" encourageth the people to get riches; and ‘ destroy their enemies. But his Son, [meaning ‘the Son of ‘God,'] the Nazarean man, delivers quite contrary laws. “Nor will he admit a rich man, or one that affects dominion, ‘ to have access to his Father. Nor will he allow men to * take more care for food, or treasure, than the ravens; nor ‘to provide for clothing, so much as the lilies; and to him ‘ that has smitten once, he directs to offer, that he may smite * again.” Beside the quotation from Matt. v. 39, or Luke vi. 29, which we had before, here are plain references to Matt. vi. 26, “Behold the fowls of the air. For they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.” And ver. 28, “Why take ye thought for raiment 1 Consider the lilies of the field ” or to Luke xii. 24, 27, “Consider the ravens. For they neither sow,

* L. vii. sect. 68. p. 376, 377. | L. viii. sect. 2, 3. p. 380, 381. et sect. 15. p. 388. " ––a)\\', w pog kat axm{}sta Tu avre povy duašÉmón v ščayopsvci v.noeg Tavra, ka0a kai ipsig ovyyeypaspars——k. A. L. ii. Sect. 53. p. 92. * Vid. l. vi. sect. 42. p. 303. ° ——ó Ös vioc apa avre, & Nagapatoc avópwrog, avruvouoterst. K. A. L. vii. sect. 18, p. 343.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »