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Chapter LXV.

And since Jesus, in teaching His disciples not to be guilty of rashness, gave them the precept, “If they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another; and if they persecute you in the other, flee again into a third,”31993199    Cf. Matt. x. 23. to which teaching He added the example of a consistent life, acting so as not to expose Himself to danger rashly, or unseasonably, or without good grounds; from this Celsus takes occasion to bring a malicious and slanderous accusation,—the Jew whom he brings forward saying to Jesus, “In company with your disciples you go and hide yourself in different places.”  Now similar to what has thus been made the ground of a slanderous charge against Jesus and His disciples, do we say was the conduct recorded of Aristotle.  This philosopher, seeing that a court was about to be summoned to try him, on the ground of his being guilty of impiety on account of certain of his philosophical tenets which the Athenians regarded as impious, withdrew from Athens, and fixed his school in Chalcis, defending his course of procedure to his friends by saying, “Let us 426depart from Athens, that we may not give the Athenians a handle for incurring guilt a second time, as formerly in the case of Socrates, and so prevent them from committing a second act of impiety against philosophy.”  He further says, “that Jesus went about with His disciples, and obtained His livelihood in a disgraceful and importunate manner.”  Let him show wherein lay the disgraceful and importunate element in their manner of subsistence.  For it is related in the Gospels, that there were certain women who had been healed of their diseases, among whom also was Susanna, who from their own possessions afforded the disciples the means of support.  And who is there among philosophers, that, when devoting himself to the service of his acquaintances, is not in the habit of receiving from them what is needful for his wants?  Or is it only in them that such acts are proper and becoming; but when the disciples of Jesus do the same, they are accused by Celsus of obtaining their livelihood by disgraceful importunity?


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