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Chapter XXIX.

According to Celsus, then, Apollo wished the Metapontines to treat Aristeas as a god.  But as the Metapontines considered the evidence in favour of Aristeas being a man—and probably not a virtuous one—to be stronger than the declaration of the oracle to the effect that he was a god or worthy of divine honours, they for that reason would not obey Apollo, and consequently no one regarded Aristeas as a god.  But with respect to Jesus we would say that, as it was of advantage to the human race to accept him as the Son of God—God come in a human soul and body—and as this did not seem to be advantageous to the gluttonous appetites35213521    λιχνείᾳ. of the demons which love bodies, and to those who deem them to be gods on that account, the demons that are on earth (which are supposed to be gods by those who are not instructed in the nature of demons), and also their worshippers, were desirous to prevent the spread of the doctrine of Jesus; for they saw that the libations and odours in which they greedily delighted were being swept away by the prevalence of the instructions of Jesus.  But the God who sent Jesus dissipated all the conspiracies of the demons, and 476made the Gospel of Jesus to prevail throughout the whole world for the conversion and reformation of men, and caused Churches to be everywhere established in opposition to those of superstitious and licentious and wicked men; for such is the character of the multitudes who constitute the citizens35223522    τοιαῦτα γὰρ τὰ πανταχοῦ πολιτευόμενα ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῶν πόλεων πλήθη. in the assemblies of the various cities.  Whereas the Churches of God which are instructed by Christ, when carefully contrasted with the assemblies of the districts in which they are situated, are as beacons35233523    φωστῆρες.  [Phil. ii. 15.  Very noteworthy are the details of this and the following chapter, and their defiant comparisons.] in the world; for who would not admit that even the inferior members of the Church, and those who in comparison with the better are less worthy, are nevertheless more excellent than many of those who belong to the assemblies in the different districts?


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