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Chapter XXVIII.

For with what purpose in view did Providence accomplish the marvels related of Aristeas?  And to confer what benefit upon the human race did such remarkable events, as you regard them, take place?  You cannot answer.  But we, when we relate the events of the history of Jesus, have no ordinary defence to offer for their occurrence;—this, viz., that God desired to commend the doctrine of Jesus as a doctrine which was to save mankind, and which was based, indeed, upon the apostles as foundations of the rising35163516    τῆς καταβαλλομένης οἰκοδομῆς. edifice of Christianity, but which increased in magnitude also in the succeeding ages, in which not a few cures are wrought in the name of Jesus, and certain other manifestations of no small moment have taken place.  Now what sort of person is Apollo, who enjoined the Metapontines to treat Aristeas as a god?  And with what object does he do this?  And what advantage was he procuring to the Metapontines from this divine worship, if they were to regard him as a god, who a little ago was a mortal?  And yet the recommendations of Apollo (viewed by us as a demon who has obtained the honour of libation and sacrificial odours35173517    τοῦ καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς δαίμονος, λαχόντος γέρας λοιβῆς τε κνίσσης τε.) regarding this Aristeas appear to you to be worthy of consideration; while those of the God of all things, and of His holy angels, made known beforehand through the prophets—not after the birth of Jesus, but before He appeared among men—do not stir you up to admiration, not merely of the prophets who received the Divine Spirit, but of Him also who was the object of their predictions, whose entrance into life was so clearly predicted many years beforehand by numerous prophets, that the whole Jewish people who were hanging in expectation of the coming of Him who was looked for, did, after the advent of Jesus, fall into a keen dispute with each other; and that a great multitude of them acknowledged Christ, and believed Him to be the object of prophecy, while others did not believe in Him, but, despising the meekness of those who, on account of the teaching of Jesus, were unwilling to cause even the most trifling sedition, dared to inflict on Jesus those cruelties which His disciples have so truthfully and candidly recorded, without secretly omitting from their marvellous history of Him what seems to the multitude to bring disgrace upon the doctrine of Christianity.  But both Jesus Himself and His disciples desired that His followers should believe not merely in His Godhead and miracles, as if He had not also been a partaker of human nature, and had assumed the human flesh which “lusteth against the Spirit;”35183518    ὡς οὐ κοινωνήσαντος τῇ ἀνθρωπίνῃ φύσει, οὐδ᾽ ἀναλαβόντος τὴν ἐν ἀνθρώποις σάρκα ἐπιθυμοῦσαν κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος. but they saw also that the power which had descended into human nature, and into the midst of human miseries, and which had assumed a human soul and body, contributed through faith, along with its divine elements, to the salvation of believers,35193519    ᾽Αλλὰ γὰρ καὶ τὴν καταβᾶσαν εἰς ἀνθρωπίνην φύσιν καὶ εἰς ἀνθρωπίνας περιστάσεις δύναμιν, καὶ ἀναλαβοῦσαν ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀνθρώπινον, ὲώρων ἐκ τοῦ πιστευεσθαι μετὰ τῶν θειοτέρων συμβαλλομένην εἰς σωτηρίαν τοῖς πιοτεύουσιν. when they see that from Him there began the union of the divine with the human nature, in order that the human, by communion with the divine, might rise to be divine, not in Jesus alone, but in all those who not only believe, but35203520    μετὰ τοῦ πιστεύειν.  Others read, μετὰ το πιστεύειν. enter upon the life which Jesus taught, and which elevates to friendship with God and communion with Him every one who lives according to the precepts of Jesus.


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