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Chapter LIII.

The preceding remarks might suffice as an answer to the charges of Celsus, so far as regards those points in which our Saviour Jesus Christ is made the subject of special investigation.  But that we may avoid the appearance of intentionally passing over any portion of his work, as if we were unable to meet him, let us, even at the risk of being tautological (since we are challenged to this by Celsus), endeavour as far as we can with all due brevity to continue our discourse, since perhaps something either more precise or more novel may occur to us upon the several topics.  He says, indeed, that “he has omitted the refutations which have been adduced against the claims which Christians advance on behalf of their teacher,” although he has not omitted anything which he was able to bring forward, as is manifest from his previous language, but makes this statement only as an empty rhetorical device.  That we are not refuted, however, on the subject of our great Saviour, although the accuser may appear to refute us, will be manifest to those who peruse in a spirit of truth-loving investigation all that is predicted and recorded of Him.  And, in the next place, since he considers that he makes a concession in saying of the Saviour, “Let him appear to be really an angel,” we reply that we do not accept of such a concession from Celsus; but we look to the work of Him who came to visit the whole human race in His word and teaching, as each one of His adherents was capable of receiving Him.  And this was the work of one who, as the prophecy regarding Him said, was not simply an angel, but the “Angel of the great counsel:”42494249    Cf. Isa. ix. 6. [according to Sept.  See vol. i. pp. 223, 236, this series.]  for He announced to men the great 567counsel of the God and Father of all things regarding them, (saying) of those who yield themselves up to a life of pure religion, that they ascend by means of their great deeds to God; but of those who do not adhere to Him, that they place themselves at a distance from God, and journey on to destruction through their unbelief of Him.  He then continues:  “If even the angel came to men, is he the first and only one who came, or did others come on former occasions?”  And he thinks he can meet either of these dilemmas at great length, although there is not a single real Christian who asserts that Christ was the only being that visited the human race.  For, as Celsus says, “If they should say the only one,” there are others who appeared to different individuals.


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