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Chapter VIII.

He says, further, that “many other persons would appear such as Jesus was, to those who were willing to be deceived.”  Let this Jew of Celsus then show us, not many persons, nor even a few, but a single individual, such as Jesus was, introducing among the human race, with the power that was manifested in Him, a system of doctrine and opinions beneficial to human life, and which converts men from the practice of wickedness.  He says, moreover, that this charge is brought against the Jews by the Christian converts, that they have not believed in Jesus as in God.  Now on this point we have, in the preceding pages, offered a preliminary defence, showing at the same time in what respects we understand Him to be God, and in what we take Him to be man.  “How should we,” he continues, “who have made known to all men that there is to come from God one who is to punish the wicked, treat him with disregard when he came?”  And to this, as an exceedingly silly argument, it does not seem to me reasonable to offer any answer.  It is as if some one were to say, “How could we, who teach temperance, commit any act of licentiousness? or we, who are ambassadors for righteousness, be guilty of any wickedness?”  For as these inconsistencies are found among men, so, to say that they believed the prophets when speaking of the future advent of Christ, and yet refused their belief to Him when He came, agreeably to prophetic statement, was quite in keeping with human nature.  And since we must add another reason, we shall remark that this very result was foretold by the prophets.  Isaiah distinctly declares:  “Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye 433shall see, and shall not perceive:  for the heart of this people has become fat,”32333233    Isa. vi. 9. etc.  And let them explain why it was predicted to the Jews, that although they both heard and saw, they would not understand what was said, nor perceive what was seen as they ought.  For it is indeed manifest, that when they beheld Jesus they did not see who He was; and when they heard Him, they did not understand from His words the divinity that was in Him, and which transferred God’s providential care, hitherto exercised over the Jews, to His converts from the heathen.  Therefore we may see, that after the advent of Jesus the Jews were altogether abandoned, and possess now none of what were considered their ancient glories, so that there is no indication of any Divinity abiding amongst them.  For they have no longer prophets nor miracles, traces of which to a considerable extent are still found among Christians, and some of them more remarkable than any that existed among the Jews; and these we ourselves have witnessed, if our testimony may be received.32343234    [“The Fathers, while they refer to extraordinary divine agency going on in their own day, also with one consent represent miracles as having ceased since the apostolic era.”—Mozley’s Bampton Lectures, On Miracles, p. 165.  See also, Newman’s Essay on the Miracles of the Early Ages, quoted by Mozley.  S.]  But the Jew of Celsus exclaims:  “Why did we treat him, whom we announced beforehand, with dishonour?  Was it that we might be chastised more than others?”  To which we have to answer, that on account of their unbelief, and the other insults which they heaped upon Jesus, the Jews will not only suffer more than others in that judgment which is believed to impend over the world, but have even already endured such sufferings.  For what nation is an exile from their own metropolis, and from the place sacred to the worship of their fathers, save the Jews alone?  And these calamities they have suffered, because they were a most wicked nation, which, although guilty of many other sins, yet has been punished so severely for none, as for those that were committed against our Jesus.


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