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Chapter XXXIII.

“But,” continues Celsus, “what great deeds did Jesus perform as being a God?  Did he put his enemies to shame, or bring to a ridiculous conclusion what was designed against him?”  Now to this question, although we are able to show the striking and miraculous character of the events which befell Him, yet from what other source can we furnish an answer than from the Gospel narratives, which state that “there was an earthquake, and that the rocks were split asunder, and the tombs opened, and the veil of the temple rent in twain from top to bottom, and that darkness prevailed in the day-time, the 445sun failing to give light?”32903290    Cf. Matt. xxvii. 51, 52; cf. Luke xxiii. 44, 45.  But if Celsus believe the Gospel accounts when he thinks that he can find in them matter of charge against the Christians, and refuse to believe them when they establish the divinity of Jesus, our answer to him is:  “Sir,32913291    ὦ οὗτος. either disbelieve all the Gospel narratives, and then no longer imagine that you can found charges upon them; or, in yielding your belief to their statements, look in admiration on the Logos of God, who became incarnate, and who desired to confer benefits upon the whole human race.  And this feature evinces the nobility of the work of Jesus, that, down to the present time, those whom God wills are healed by His name.32923292    [Testimony not to be scorned.]  And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Cæsar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles.”32933293    On Phlegon, cf. note in Migne, pp. 823, 854.  [See also vol. iii. Elucidation V. p. 58.]

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