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Chapter LXV.

Celsus proceeds to say of God that “of Him are all things,” abandoning (in so speaking), I know not how, all his principles;46184618    For αὐτοῦ Boherellus conjectures αὑτοῦ, and translates, “Propria ipse principia, quæ sunt Epicuri, subruens.” while our Paul declares, that “of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things,”46194619    Rom. xi. 36. showing that He is the beginning of the substance of all things by the words “of Him,” and the bond of their subsistence by the expression “through Him,” and their final end by the terms “to Him.”  Of a truth, God is of nothing.  But when Celsus adds, that “He is not to be reached by word,”46204620    οὐδὲ λογῷ ἐφικτός. I make a distinction, and say that if he means the word that is in us—whether the word conceived in the mind, or the word that is uttered46214621    εἴτε ἐνδιαθέτῳ εἴτε καὶ προφορικῷ.—I, too, admit that God is not to be reached by word.  If, however, we attend to the passage, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”46224622    John i. 1. we are of opinion that God is to be reached by this Word, and is comprehended not by Him only, but by any one whatever to whom He may reveal the Father; and thus we shall prove the falsity of the assertion of Celsus, when he says, “Neither is God to be reached by word.”  The statement, moreover, that “He cannot be expressed by name,” requires to be taken with a distinction.  If he means, indeed, that there is no word or sign46234623    οὐδὲν τῶν ἐν λέξεσι καὶ σημαινομένοις. that can represent the attributes of God, the statement is true, since there are many qualities which cannot be indicated by words.  Who, for example, could describe in words the difference betwixt the quality of sweetness in a palm and that in a fig?  And who could distinguish and set forth in words the peculiar qualities of each individual thing?  It is no wonder, then, if in this way God cannot be described by name.  But if you take the phrase to mean that it is possible to represent by words something of God’s attributes, in order to lead the hearer by the hand,46244624    χειραγωγῆσαι. as it were, and so enable him to comprehend something of God, so far as attainable by human nature, then there is no absurdity in saying that “He can be described by name.”  And we make a similar distinction with regard to the expression, “for He has undergone no suffering that can be conveyed by words.”  It is true that the Deity is beyond all suffering.  And so much on this point.


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