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Chapter XLVI.

But how can this Jew of Celsus escape the charge of falsehood, when he says that Jesus, “when on earth, gained over to himself only ten sailors and tax-gatherers of the most worthless character, and not even the whole of these?”  Now it is certain that the Jews themselves would admit that He drew over not ten persons merely, nor a hundred, nor a thousand, but on one occasion five thousand at once, and on another four thousand; and that He attracted them to such a degree that they followed Him even into the deserts, which alone could contain the assembled multitude of those who believed in God through Jesus, and where He not only addressed to them discourses, but also manifested to them His works.  And now, through his tautology, he compels us also to be tautological, since we are careful to guard against being supposed to pass over any of the charges advanced by him; and therefore, in reference to the matter before us following the order of his treatise as we have it, he says:  “Is it not the height of absurdity to maintain, that if, while he himself was alive, he won over not a single person to his views, after his death any who wish are able to gain over such a multitude of individuals?”  Whereas he ought to have said, in consistency with truth, that if, after His death, not simply those who will, but they who have the will and the power, can gain over so many proselytes, how much more consonant to reason is it, that while He was alive He should, through the greater power of His words and deeds, have won over to Himself manifold greater numbers of adherents?

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