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Chapter XVI.

“But what the legends are of every kind which we gather together, or the terrors which we invent,” as Celsus without proof asserts, he who likes may show.  I know not, indeed, what he means by “inventing terrors,” unless it be our doctrine of God as Judge, and of the condemnation of men for their deeds, with the various proofs derived partly from Scripture, partly from probable reason.  And yet—for truth is precious—Celsus says, at the close, “Forbid that either I, or these, or any other individual should ever reject the doctrine respecting the future punishment of the wicked and the reward of the good!”  What terrors, then, if you except the doctrine of punishment, do we invent and impose upon mankind?  And if he should reply that “we weave together erroneous opinions drawn from ancient sources, and trumpet them aloud, and sound them before men, as the priests of Cybele clash their cymbals in the ears of those who are being initiated in their mysteries;”34783478    τὰ τοῦ παλαιοῦ λόγου παρακούσματα συμπλάττοντες, τούτοις προκαταυλοῦμεν καὶ προκατηχοῦμεν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ὥς οἱ τους κορυβαντιζομένους περιβομβοῦντες . we shall ask him in reply, “Erroneous opinions from what ancient sources?”  For, whether he refers to Grecian accounts, which taught the existence of courts of justice under the earth, or Jewish, which, among other things, predicted the life that follows the present one; he will be unable to show that we who, striving to believe on grounds of reason, regulate our lives in conformity with such doctrines, have failed correctly to ascertain the truth.34793479    οὐκ ἄν ἔχοι παραστῆσαι, ὅτι ἡμεῖς μὲν ἐν παρακούσμασι γενόμενοι τῆς ἀληθείας, ὅσοι γε πειρώμεθα μετὰ λόγου πιστεύειν, πρὸς τὰ τοιαῦτα ζῶμεν δόγματα.


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