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Chapter XXXII.

And by this means let those who have the capacity of comprehending truths so profound, learn that he to whom were allotted those who had not formerly sinned is far more powerful than the others, since he has been able to make a selection of individuals from the portion of the whole,41904190    ἀπὸ τῆς πάντων μερίδος. and to separate them from those who received them for the purpose of punishment, and to bring them under the influence of laws, and of a mode of life which helps to produce an oblivion of their former transgressions.  But, as we have previously observed, these remarks are to be understood as being made by us with a concealed meaning, by way of pointing out the mistakes of those who asserted that “the various quarters of the earth were from the beginning distributed among different superintending spirits, and being allotted among certain governing powers, were administered in this way;” from which statement Celsus took occasion to make the remarks referred to.  But since those who wandered away from the east were delivered over, on account of their sins, to “a reprobate mind,” and to “vile affections,” and to “uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,”41914191    Cf. Rom. i. 24, 26, 28. in order that, being sated with sin, they might hate it, we shall refuse our assent to the assertion of Celsus, that “because of the superintending spirits distributed among the different parts of the earth, what is done among each nation is rightly done;” for our desire is to do what is not agreeable to these spirits.41924192    ἀλλὰ καὶ βουλόμεθα, οὐχ ὅπη ᾖ ἐκείνοις φίλον, ποιεῖν τὰ ἐκείνων.  For we see that it is a religious act to do away with the customs originally established in the various places by means of laws of a better and more divine character, which were enacted by Jesus, as one possessed of the greatest power, who has rescued us “from the present evil world,” and “from the princes of the world that come to nought;” and that it is a mark of irreligion not to throw ourselves at the feet of Him who has manifested Himself to be holier and more powerful than all other rulers, and to whom God said, as the prophets many generations before predicted:  “Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.”41934193    Ps. ii. 8.  For He, too, has become the “expectation” of us who from among the heathen have believed upon Him, and upon His Father, who is God over all things.


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