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Chapter XXIII.

In the next place, ridiculing after his usual style the race of Jews and Christians, he compares them all “to a flight of bats or to a swarm of ants issuing out of their nest, or to frogs holding council in a marsh, or to worms crawling together in the corner of a dunghill, and quarrelling with one another as to which of them were the greater sinners, and asserting that God shows and announces to us all things beforehand; and that, abandoning the whole world, and the regions of heaven,37693769    τὴν οὐράνιον φοράν. and this great earth, he becomes a citizen37703770    ἐμπολιτεύεται. among us alone, and to us alone makes his intimations, and does not cease sending and inquiring, in what way we may be associated with him for ever.”  And in his fictitious representation, he compares us to “worms which assert that there is a God, and that immediately after him, we who are made by him are altogether like unto God, and that all things have been made subject to us,—earth, and water, and air, and stars,—and that all things exist for our sake, and are ordained to be subject to us.”  And, according to his representation, the worms—that is, we ourselves—say that “now, since certain amongst us commit sin, God will come or will send his Son to consume the wicked with fire, that the rest of us may have eternal life with him.”  And to all this he subjoins the remark, that “such wranglings would be more endurable amongst worms and frogs than betwixt Jews and Christians.”

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