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Chapter XXVIII.

But since he has represented those whom he regards as worms, viz., the Christians, as saying that “God, having abandoned the heavenly regions, and despising this great earth, takes up His abode amongst us alone, and to us alone makes His announcements, and ceases not His messages and inquiries as to how we may become His associates for ever,” we have to answer that he attributes to us words which we never uttered, seeing we both read and know that God loves all existing things, and loathes37863786    βδελύσσεται. nothing which He has made, for He would not have created anything in hatred.  We have, moreover, read the declaration:  “And Thou sparest all things, because they are Thine, O lover of souls.  For Thine incorruptible Spirit is in all.  And therefore those also who have fallen away for a little time Thou rebukest, and admonishest, reminding them of their sins.”37873787    Cf. Wisd. of Solom. xi. 26, xii. 1, 2.  How can we assert that “God, leaving the regions of heaven, and the whole world, and despising this great earth, takes up His abode amongst us only,” when we have found that all thoughtful persons must say in their prayers, that “the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord,”37883788    Ps. xxxiii. 5. and that “the mercy of the Lord is upon all flesh;”37893789    Ecclus. xviii. 13. and that God, being good, “maketh His sun to arise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth His rain upon the just and the unjust;”37903790    Cf. Matt. v. 45. and that He encourages us to a similar course of action, in order that we may become His sons, and teaches us to extend the benefits which we enjoy, so far as in our power, to all men?  For He Himself is said to be the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe;37913791    Cf. 1 Tim. iv. 10. and His Christ to be the “propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”37923792    Cf. 1 John ii. 2.  And this, then, is our answer to the allegations of Celsus.  Certain other statements, in keeping with the character of the Jews, might be made by some of that nation, but certainly not by the Christians, who have been taught that “God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us;”37933793    Cf. Rom. v. 8. and although “scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some 509would even dare to die.”37943794    Cf. Rom. v. 7.  But now is Jesus declared to have come for the sake of sinners in all parts of the world (that they may forsake their sin, and entrust themselves to God), being called also, agreeably to an ancient custom of these Scriptures, the “Christ of God.”


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