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Chapter LVI.

Moreover, since Celsus asserts that “the soul is the work of God, but that the nature of body is different; and that in this respect there is no difference between the body of a bat, or of a worm, or of a frog, and that of a man, for the matter is the same, and their corruptible part alike,”—we have to say in answer to this argument of his, that if, since the same matter underlies the body of a bat, or of a worm, or of a frog, or of a man, these bodies will differ in no respect from one another, it is evident then that these bodies also will differ in no respect from the sun, or the moon, or the stars, or the sky, or any other thing which is called by the Greeks a god, cognisable by the senses.39333933    αἰσθητοῦ θεοῦ.  For the same matter, underlying all bodies, is, properly speaking, without qualities and without form, and derives its qualities from some (other) source, I know not whence, since Celsus will have it that nothing corruptible can be the work of God.  Now the corruptible part of everything whatever, being produced from the same underlying matter, must necessarily be the same, by Celsus’ own showing; unless, indeed, finding himself here hard pressed, he should desert Plato, who makes the soul arise from a certain bowl,39343934    Cf. Plato in Timæo. and take refuge with Aristotle and the Peripatetics, who maintain that the ether is immaterial,39353935    ἄϋλον. and consists of a fifth nature, separate from the other four elements,39363936    πέμπτης παρὰ τὰ τέσσαρα στοιχεῖα εἷναι φύσεως. against which view both the Platonists and the Stoics have nobly protested.  And we too, who are despised by Celsus, will contravene it, seeing we are required to explain and maintain the following statement of the prophet:  The heavens shall perish, but Thou remainest:  and they all shall wax old as a garment; and as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed:  but Thou art the same.”39373937    Cf. Ps. cii. 26, 27.  These remarks, however, are sufficient in reply to Celsus, when he asserts that “the soul is the work of God, but that the nature of body is different;” for from his argument it follows that there is no difference between the body of a bat, or of a worm, or of a frog, and that of a heavenly39383938    αἰθερίου. being.


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