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Chapter XLIX.

This statement also is untrue, that it is “only foolish and low individuals, and persons devoid of perception, and slaves, and women, and children, of whom the teachers of the divine word wish to make converts.”  Such indeed does the Gospel invite, in order to make them better; but it invites also others who are very different from these, since Christ is the Saviour of all men, and especially of them that believe, whether they be intelligent or simple; and “He is the propitiation with the Father for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”35933593    Cf. 1 John ii. 2.  After this it is superfluous for us to wish to offer a reply to such statements of Celsus as the following:  “For why is it an evil to have been educated, and to have studied the best opinions, and to have both the reality and appearance of wisdom?  What hindrance does this offer to the knowledge of God?  Why should it not rather be an assistance, and a means by which one might be better able to arrive at the truth?”  Truly it is no evil to have been educated, for education is the way to virtue; but to rank those amongst the number of the educated who hold erroneous opinions is what even the wise men among the Greeks would not do.  On the other hand, who would not admit that to have studied the best opinions is a blessing?  But what shall we call the best, save those which are true, and which incite men to virtue?  Moreover, it is an excellent thing for a man to be wise, but not to seem so, as Celsus says.  And it is no hindrance to the knowledge of God, but an assistance, to have been educated, and to have studied the best opinions, and to be wise.  And it becomes us rather than Celsus to say this, especially if it be shown that he is an Epicurean.


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