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Chapter XXV.

Let us next notice the statements of Celsus, which follow the preceding, and which are as follow:  “As the Jews, then, became a peculiar 554people, and enacted laws in keeping with the customs of their country,41694169    καὶ κατὰ τὸ ἐπιχώριον νόμους θέμενοι. and maintain them up to the present time, and observe a mode of worship which, whatever be its nature, is yet derived from their fathers, they act in these respects like other men, because each nation retains its ancestral customs, whatever they are, if they happen to be established among them.  And such an arrangement appears to be advantageous, not only because it has occurred to the mind of other nations to decide some things differently, but also because it is a duty to protect what has been established for the public advantage; and also because, in all probability, the various quarters of the earth were from the beginning allotted to different superintending spirits,41704170    τὰ μέρη τῆς γῆς ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἄλλα ἄλλοις ἐπόπταις νενεμημένα. and were thus distributed among certain governing powers,41714171    καὶ κατά τινας ἐπικρατείας διειλημμένα. and in this manner the administration of the world is carried on.  And whatever is done among each nation in this way would be rightly done, wherever it was agreeable to the wishes (of the superintending powers), while it would be an act of impiety to get rid of41724172    παραλύειν. the institutions established from the beginning in the various places.”  By these words Celsus shows that the Jews, who were formerly Egyptians, subsequently became a “peculiar people,” and enacted laws which they carefully preserve.  And not to repeat his statements, which have been already before us, he says that it is advantageous to the Jews to observe their ancestral worship, as other nations carefully attend to theirs.  And he further states a deeper reason why it is of advantage to the Jews to cultivate their ancestral customs, in hinting dimly that those to whom was allotted the office of superintending the country which was being legislated for, enacted the laws of each land in co-operation with its legislators.  He appears, then, to indicate that both the country of the Jews, and the nation which inhabits it, are superintended by one or more beings, who, whether they were one or more, co-operated with Moses, and enacted the laws of the Jews.


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