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Chapter XXVIII.—True righteousness is obtained by Christ.

And Trypho replied, “We heard you adducing this consideration a little ago, and we have given it attention: for, to tell the truth, it is worthy of attention; and that answer which pleases most —namely, that so it seemed good to Him—does not satisfy me. For this is ever the shift to which those have recourse who are unable to answer the question.”

Then I said, “Since I bring from the Scriptures and the facts themselves both the proofs and the inculcation of them, do not delay or hesitate to put faith in me, although I am an uncircumcised man; so short a time is left you in which to become proselytes. If Christ’s coming shall have anticipated you, in vain you will repent, in vain you will weep; for He will not hear you. ‘Break up your fallow ground,’ Jeremiah has cried to the people, ‘and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and circumcise the foreskin of your heart.’20192019    Jer. iv. 3. Do not sow, therefore, among thorns, and in untilled ground, whence you can have no fruit. Know Christ; and behold the fallow ground, good, good and fat, is in your hearts. ‘For, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will visit all them that are circumcised in their foreskins; Egypt, and Judah,20202020    So in A.V., but supposed to be Idumæa. and Edom, and the sons of Moab. For all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in their hearts.’20212021    Jer. ix. 25 f. Do you see how that God does not mean this circumcision which is given for a sign? For it is of no use to the Egyptians, or the sons of Moab, or the sons of Edom. But though a man be a Scythian or a Persian, if he has the knowledge of God and of His Christ, and keeps the everlasting righteous decrees, he is circumcised with the good and useful circumcision, and is a friend of God, and God rejoices in his gifts and offerings. But I will lay before you, my friends, the very words of God, when He said to the people by Malachi, one of the twelve prophets, ‘I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord; and I shall not accept your sacrifices at your hands: for from the rising of the sun unto its setting My name shall be glorified among the Gentiles; and in every place a sacrifice is offered unto My name, even a pure sacrifice: for My name is honoured among the Gentiles, saith the Lord; but ye profane it.’20222022    Mal. i. 10, etc. And by David He said, ‘A people whom I have not known, served Me; at the hearing of the ear they obeyed Me.’20232023    Ps. xviii. 43.


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