Изображения страниц

nor reap. Which neither have store-house, nor barn. Consider the lilies, how they grow” As to what Celsus says of our Lord's discouraging the seeking of riches, power, honour; it is indeed the tenour of our Lord’s doctrine in his discourses, that we are to “seek the kingdom of heaven, and its righteousness, in the first place,” Matt. vi. 33. . And he condemns the seeking, principally, that honour which comes from men, John v. 44. And in Luke vi. 24, he says: “Woe unto you that are rich: for you have received your consolation :” the very same chapter, in which he says, at ver. 29, “And unto him that smiteth thee on one cheek offer also the other.” Which are the very words to which Celsus seems to refer. And he calls our Saviour ‘the Nazarean man,’ or man of Nazareth, referring to some texts of the gospels, or the Acts, where Nazareth is mentioned, as the place of our Lord's education and abode, till he appeared publicly in the world. See Matt. ii. 23; iv. 13; Mark i. 9; Luke i. 26; ii. 4, 39, 51; iv. 16. And he is often spoken of as ‘the Prophet of Nazareth,’ as Matt. xxi. 11; Mark i. 24; x. 47; Luke xviii. 37; xxiv. 19 ; John i. 45; xix. 19 ; Acts ii. 22; iii. 6; and elsewhere. This character of Jesus, therefore, Celsus learned from the historical books of the New Testament, though he is pleased to mention it in the way of contempt. 13. ‘Of that P saying of Jesus, “ that it is easier for a ‘ camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich ‘man to enter into the kingdom of God,” he says, it was ‘plainly taken from Plato; but Jesus had spoiled the ob‘ servation of Plato, who says; To be very good and very ‘ rich is impossible.” Here was in Celsus a reference to Matt. xix. 24, or Mark x. 25, or Luke xviii. 25, where that expression is recorded. Origen has several good remarks upon this passage of Celsus. He says, it must appear ridiculous, not only to the followers of Jesus, but likewise to all other attentive persons, to say, that Jesus had read Plato; when, according to the true records of his faithful disciples, he was a Jew, educated among the Jews, supposed to be the son of a carpenter, who had never been instructed neither in Greek, no, nor Hebrew learning. And he likewise asks, if that observation of Plato does not justify all that our Lord says in the gospels concerning moderating our regards for riches, and other worldly goods? 14. ‘He's says, it is a saying of ours, that God was sent to ‘ sinners. And he asks; But why was he not sent to those * who were free from sin 3 What harm is it not to have “sinned ? God accepts an unrighteous man, if he humbleth ‘ himself for his wickedness; but a righteous man, who has ‘practised virtue from the beginning, if he looks up to him, ‘ he will not accept.’ Here is a manifest reference to what our Lord says in several of the gospels: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” Matt. ix. 13; Mark ii. 17; Luke v. 32, and likewise to the parable of the pharisee and the publican, which last “stood afar off, and would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, and went down to his house [from the temple, justified rather than the other.” Luke xviii. 9–14. Origen makes good answers to these cavils, which well deserve to be perused ; but I must not stay to transcribe them. 15. He also adds: “But Celsus insinuates, that we give “ this encouragement to sinners, because we are not able to “ persuade any really good and honest men; and therefore “we open the doors to the most wicked and abandoned.’ “But,’ says Origen, “if any man will with a tolerable de‘gree of equity examine our conversions, he may see that “we have among us more of such as were converted from * no very bad life, than of such as were abandoned.’ 16. ‘Celsus,’ says: Origen, omitting those things that “show the divinity of Jesus, reproacheth him with those “things that are written of him in the gospels, his “ deriders, ‘the purple robe, the crown of thorns, and the reed in his ‘ hand,” Matt. xxvii; Mark xv.; Luke xxiii; John xix. “Whence" did you learn these things, Celsus, but from the ‘gospels, says Origen, and tells him, that" instead of ridi‘culing these things, he ought to admire the veracity of ‘ those who wrote them, and the greatness of him, who ‘ voluntarily suffered such things for the good of men, and

* Meta Tavra rmv kara Twy TrAsowy atropaow re Imos starovrog, EvkotroTepov Kapam}\ov—opmow, Avrukpug atro IIAarovog sipmo 6at, ra Imo's trapag,0eupovroc, to IIAarovurov, 8v oig strew Ó IIAarov ort ayabov ovra ötapepovrwg, kat TA80tov. čwat Öuapépovrwg ačvvarov. L. vi. sect. 16. p. 286.

4 p.mouv juac Asystv, apaprw}\cup retropopoat row esov. K. A. L. iii. Sect. 62. p. 148, 149. * Huste §s, st tig karavomoat mutov evyvouovog ro a6potopia, TAstovac exopsy Tapasmoat rag sk atro XaAET's Tavv 6ts, mirsp reg atro sáoxesarov apaptnuarov striapsibavrac. L. iii. sect. 65. p.

* L. ii. sect. 34. p. 81. * [Io9sv 8v, w KSAqs, ravra usuaômkac, m atro row evayysłtww. * MaXXov 8v Savpia's avrov to ot)\a)\m6eg—

bore all with meekness and patience; for it is no where written, that he bemoaned himself, or that he said or did any thing mean and abject, when he was condemned.’ And just before Celsus had said: “But " neither did he who condemned him suffer any thing like Pentheus, who ran mad, and was torn to pieces.’ “He does not consider,’ says Origen, ‘ that Jesus was not so much condemned by Pilate, “who knew that for envy the Jews had delivered him,” as by the Jewish people; for which cause they have been condemned by God, and have been dispersed and scattered over the whole earth more than Pentheus. And why does he designedly omit what is recorded concerning the wife of Pilate, who sent to him, “ saying, Have nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream, because of him,”’ Matt. xxvii. 19. So writes Origen. But Eusebius says, that" Pontius Pilate met with many troubles, and at last made away with himself. 18. ‘He’s pretends,’ says Origen, “that christians argue ‘miserably when they say, that the Son of God is the Word ‘ himself: and he thinks he makes good his charge, in that * after we have affirmed the Son of God to be the Word, we “do not show him to be a pure and holy Word, but a ‘miserable man, condemned, scourged, and crucified.’ Where, as I apprehend, Celsus referred to St. John's gospel, in which, at the beginning, Jesus is spoken of as “ the Word,” and at the end, as indeed in all the gospels, his crucifixion is related. 19. By way of ridicule Celsus speaks of the blood, ‘ which flowed from the body of Jesus when on the cross.’ Referring, as Origen justly supposes, to John xix. 34. 20. The Jew, in Celsus, having referred to some heathen stories, or rather fables, turns himself to Jesus: “But you, ‘what good or wonderful thing, either in word or deed, did “you perform 2 You showed us nothing, though they called ‘ upon you in the temple to give some manifest sign, that “you were the Son of God.' Here is, I think, a reference to John x. 23, 24, “And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. Then


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


* L. ii. sect. 34. p. 81. * H. E. l. ii. cap. 7.

* L. ii. sect. 31. p. 79. 9 Eura, p.mouv 0 KSAoog. Ti, rat avaokoxotroopsva ra couaroc, trowoc tyop,

- Olog trop re pset uakapegow Seotow,

Ekstvoc usv ev traičev. L. ii. Sect. 36.81. * L. i. Sect. 67. p. 52.

came the Jews round about him, and said unto him: How long doest thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” See also John ii. 18. 21. “After" this he adds,’ says Origen: ‘To the sepul‘chre of Jesus there came two angels, as is said by some, “ or, as by others, one only. He had observed, I think, that ‘Matthew and Mark mention one only, Luke and John two. “But,’ says Origen, those things are not contrary to each ‘other: they are easily reconciled.’ See Matt. xxviii. 2; Mark xvi. 5; Luke xxiv. 4; John xx. 12. Origen supposed, therefore, that Celsus had read all our four gospels; which, indeed, appears to me to be very probable, from the collections which we have made. And their genuineness is here acknowledged. These histories of Jesus were written by his own disciples, the apostles, and their companions, as we now say, and as has been said by all christians in general from the beginning. 22. “But " Celsus, who has often derided a resurrection, which he did not understand, not contented with what he had already said, adds, that we expect a resurrection of the flesh from wood : perverting, as I suppose, what is figuratively said: “By wood [or by a to came death; and by a tree comes life. By Adam came death, but life by Christ,” I Cor. xv. 22. Then playing upon the word, wood, he endeavours to expose it in two respects, and says, “that wood is honoured by us, either because our master was fastened to a cross, or because he was a carpenter by trade.”’ In answer to which Origen says; “That Jesus himself is no where called a carpenter in any of the gospels received by the church.” Whence it came to pass that Origen said this is not certain; whether it be a slip of memory, or whether the copies used by him had carpenter's son; for in all the Greek manuscripts in general Jesus is called a carpenter, in Mark vi. 3, as in our version. I suppose, that this passage may afford good proof, that Celsus had seen and read St. Mark’s, as well as the other gospels. 23. “Some of them say: “Do not examine, but believe;

[ocr errors]

31 eru kat orpog row avre re Inga rapov isopmvrai sãm\v6svat iro rivalv psy ayyeMot 8vo, ötro rivalv je sic' sk, oupiat, rmonoag Marðatov prev Kat Mapkov £va isopmréval, Aekav ćs kat Iwavvmv čvo’ &rep 8k my evavria. Lib. v. sect. 56. p. 268. * L. vi. sect. 36. p. 299.

C Xoma0at ral, Mm såstače, a\\a trussvgov" kai, H trusic oa owest as: Kat phow avrag Asystv’ Kakov i sv rop 8tsp gopur, ayatov če o utopia. L. i. Sect. 9. p. 8.

, and thy faith shall save thee; and the wisdom of this world is evil, and folly good.”" Afterwards Origen quotes from Celsus the same saying in this manner: “Wisdom" in life is evil, and folly good.’ In another place Celsus says, that we say: “Wisdom" in men is foolishness with God:” whereas, says Origen, Paul says: “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Nor can it be questioned, that Celsus referred to St. Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. See 1 Cor. iii. 19. And compare I Cor. i. 19—31. 24. Here I may take a reflection of Celsus upon the christians, which is in these terms. ‘These, he says, are our institutions: Let not any man of learning come hither, nor any wise man, nor any man of prudence; for these things, he says, are reckoned evil by us: but if any man be unlearned, if he is ignorant, if he is silly, let him come without fear. Thus acknowledging, that these are the men who are acceptable to their God; and thereby manifesting, that they are neither willing nor able to gain any but the foolish, the vulgar, the stupid, slaves, women, and children.’ To which, beside many other things, Origen answers: Celsus, without reason, chargeth us, as if we said: Let not any man of learning, any wise man, and discreet person come to us. Yea, let the learned, the wise, the discreet come, if he will ; but let him also come who is unlearned, and uninstructed, and ignorant, and foolish ; for such likewise the word undertakes to heal, (or promiseth to heal,) if they are willing, and will prepare themselves for the divine acceptance.” ‘For it is false, that the foolish, the ignorant, the vulgar, and slaves, and women, and children, are the only persons, whom the teachers of the divine word are desirous to persuade. Such indeed the divine word calls, that it may improve them; but it calls also those who are of very different characters; for our Saviour Jesus Christ is “ the Saviour of all nucn, especially of them that believe,” whether they are wise, or simple.’ I Tim. iv. 10. For certain, that is a misrepresentation of the christian institution, wherein all who are willing, are called, and invited, to come, and learn, and partake of the blessings appertaining to it, as appears from Matt. xi. 22—30. See also Rev. xxii. 17. And presently afterwards Origen says,

[ocr errors]

* L. i. Sect. 13. p. 11. * L. vi. Sect. 12. p. 283.
* L. iii. Sect. 44. p. 137. 8 L iii. Sect. 48, 49. p. 141.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »