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Chapter LIV.

In the next place, he proceeds to answer himself as he thinks fit in the following terms:  “And so he is not the only one who is recorded to have visited the human race, as even those who, under pretext of teaching in the name of Jesus, have apostatized from the Creator as an inferior being, and have given in their adherence to one who is a superior God and father of him who visited (the world), assert that before him certain beings came from the Creator to visit the human race.”  Now, as it is in the spirit of truth that we investigate all that relates to the subject, we shall remark that it is asserted by Apelles, the celebrated disciple of Marcion, who became the founder of a certain sect, and who treated the writings of the Jews as fabulous, that Jesus is the only one that came to visit the human race.  Even against him, then, who maintained that Jesus was the only one that came from God to men, it would be in vain for Celsus to quote the statements regarding the descent of other angels, seeing Apelles discredits, as we have already mentioned, the miraculous narratives of the Jewish Scriptures; and much more will he decline to admit what Celsus has adduced, from not understanding the contents of the book of Enoch.  No one, then, convicts us of falsehood, or of making contradictory assertions, as if we maintained both that our Saviour was the only being that ever came to men, and yet that many others came on different occasions.  And in a most confused manner, moreover, does he adduce, when examining the subject of the visits of angels to men, what he has derived, without seeing its meaning, from the contents of the book of Enoch; for he does not appear to have read the passages in question, nor to have been aware that the books which bear the name Enoch42504250    [See p. 380, supra.] do not at all circulate in the Churches as divine, although it is from this source that he might be supposed to have obtained the statement, that “sixty or seventy angels descended at the same time, who fell into a state of wickedness.”


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