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Chapter XX.

And we say to those who hold similar opinions to those of Celsus:  “Paul then, we are to suppose, had before his mind the idea of no pre-eminent wisdom when he professed to speak wisdom among them that are perfect?”  Now, as he spoke with his customary boldness when in making such a profession he said that he was possessed of no wisdom, we shall say in reply:  first of all examine the Epistles of him who utters these words, and look carefully at the meaning of each expression in them—say, in those to the Ephesians, and Colossians, and Thessalonians, and Philippians, and Romans,—and show two things, both that you understand Paul’s words, and that you can demonstrate any of them to be silly or foolish.  For if any one give himself to their attentive perusal, I am well assured either that he will be amazed at the understanding of the man who can clothe great ideas in common language; or if he be not amazed, he will only exhibit himself in a ridiculous light, whether he simply state the meaning of the writer as if he had comprehended it, or try to controvert and confute what he only imagined that he understood!

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