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Chapter XXXIII.

Celsus, however, shows that he has read a good many Grecian histories, when he quotes further what is told of Cleomedes of Astypalæa, “who,” he relates, “entered into an ark, and although shut up within it, was not found therein, but through some arrangement of the divinity, flew out, when certain persons had cut open the ark in order to apprehend him.”  Now this story, if an invention, as it appears to be, cannot be compared with what is related of Jesus, since in the lives of such men there is found no indication of their possessing the divinity which is ascribed to them; whereas the divinity of Jesus is established both by the existence of the Churches of the saved,35403540    τῶν ὠφελουμένων. and by the prophecies uttered concerning Him, and by the cures wrought in His name, and by the wisdom and knowledge which are in Him, and the deeper truths which are discovered by those who know how to ascend from a simple faith, and to investigate the meaning which lies in the divine Scriptures, agreeably to the injunctions of Jesus, who said, “Search the Scriptures,”35413541    John v. 39. and to the wish of Paul, who taught that “we ought to know how to answer every man;”35423542    Cf. Col. iv. 6. nay, also of him who said, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh of you a reason of the faith35433543    πίστεως. that is in you.”35443544    1 Pet. iii. 15.  If he wishes to have it conceded, however, that it is not a fiction, let him show with what object this supernatural power made him, through some arrangement of the divinity, flee from the ark.  For if he will adduce any reason worthy of consideration, and point out any purpose worthy of God in conferring such a power on Cleomedes, we will decide on the answer which we ought to give; but if he fail to say anything convincing on the point, clearly because no reason can be discovered, then we shall either speak slightingly of the story to those who have not accepted it, and charge it with being false, or we shall say that some demoniac power, casting a glamour over the eyes, produced, in the case of the Astypalæan, a result like that which is produced by the performers of juggling tricks,35453545    ἢτοι διαβαλοῦμεν τοῖς αὐτὴν μὴ παραδεξαμένοις, καὶ ἐγκαλέσομεν τῇ ἱστορία ὡς οὐκ ἀληθεὶ, ἤ δαιμόνιόν τι φησομεν παραπλήσιον τοῖς ἐπιδεικνυπένοις γόησιν ἀπατῆ ὀφθαλμῶν πεποιηκέναι καὶ περὶ τὸν ᾽Αστυπαλαιέα.  Spencer in his edition includes μὴ in brackets, and renders, “Aut eos incusabimus, qui istam virtutem admiserint.” while Celsus thinks that with respect to him he has spoken like an oracle, when he said that “by some divine arrangement he flew away from the ark.”

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