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Chapter LXXIII.

After this he again slanders the ambassador of Christianity, and gives out regarding him that he relates “ridiculous things,” although he does not show or clearly point out what are the things 493which he calls “ridiculous.”  And in his slanders he says that “no wise man believes the Gospel, being driven away by the multitudes who adhere to it.”  And in this he acts like one who should say that owing to the multitude of those ignorant persons who are brought into subjection to the laws, no wise man would yield obedience to Solon, for example, or to Lycurgus, or Zaleucus, or any other legislator, and especially if by wise man he means one who is wise (by living) in conformity with virtue.  For, as with regard to these ignorant persons, the legislators, according to their ideas of utility, caused them to be surrounded with appropriate guidance and laws, so God, legislating through Jesus Christ for men in all parts of the world, brings to Himself even those who are not wise in the way in which it is possible for such persons to be brought to a better life.  And God, well knowing this, as we have already shown in the preceding pages, says in the books of Moses:  “They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols:  and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”36573657    Cf. Deut. xxxii. 21.  And Paul also, knowing this, said, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise,”36583658    Cf. 1 Cor. i. 27. calling, in a general way, wise all who appear to have made advances in knowledge, but have fallen into an atheistic polytheism, since “professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”36593659    Rom. i. 22, 23.


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