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Chapter XVII.—The Jews sent persons through the whole earth to spread calumnies on Christians.

“For other nations have not inflicted on us and on Christ this wrong to such an extent as you have, who in very deed are the authors of the wicked prejudice against the Just One, and us who hold by Him. For after that you had crucified Him, the only blameless and righteous Man,— through whose stripes those who approach the Father by Him are healed, —when you knew that He had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, as the prophets foretold He would, you not only did not repent of the wickedness which you had committed, but at that time you selected and sent out from Jerusalem chosen men through all the land to tell that the godless heresy of the Christians had sprung up, and to publish those things which all they who knew us not speak against us. So that you are the cause not only of your own unrighteousness, but in fact of that of all other men. And Isaiah cries justly: ‘By reason of you, My name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.’19861986    Isa. lii. 5. And: ‘Woe unto their soul! because they have devised an evil device against themselves, saying, Let us bind the righteous, for he is distasteful to us. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! evil shall be rendered to him according to the works of his hands.’ And again, in other words:19871987    Isa. iii. 9 ff. ‘Woe unto them that draw their iniquity as with a long cord, and their transgressions as with the harness of a heifer’s yoke: who say, Let his speed come near; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel come, that we may know it. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put light for darkness, and darkness for light; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’19881988    Isa. v. 18, 20. Accordingly, you displayed great zeal in publishing throughout all the land bitter and dark and unjust things against the only blameless and righteous Light sent by God.

For He appeared distasteful to you when He cried among you, ‘It is written, My house is the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves!’19891989    Matt. xxi. 13. He overthrew also the tables of the money-changers in the temple, and exclaimed, ‘Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye pay tithe of mint and rue, but do not observe the love of God and justice. Ye whited sepulchres! appearing beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones.’19901990    This and following quotation taken promiscuously from Matt. xxiii. and Luke xi. And to the Scribes, ‘Woe unto you, Scribes! for ye have the keys, and ye do not enter in yourselves, and them that are entering in ye hinder; ye blind guides!’


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