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Chapter XXVII.

After the matter of the diagram, he brings forward certain monstrous statements, in the form of question and answer,44224422    ἀλλόκοτα καὶ ἀμοιβαίας φωνάς. regarding what is called by ecclesiastical writers the “seal,” statements which did not arise from imperfect information; such as that “he who impresses the seal is called father, and he who is sealed is called young man and son;” and who answers, “I have been anointed with white ointment from the tree of life,”—things which we never heard to have occurred even among the heretics.  In the next place, he determines even the number mentioned by those who deliver over the seal, as that “of seven angels, who attach themselves to both sides of the soul of the dying body; the one party being named angels of light, the others ‘archontics;’”44234423    ἀρχοντικῶν. and he asserts that the “ruler of those named ‘archontics’ is termed the ‘accursed’ god.”  Then, laying hold of the expression, he assails, not without reason, those who venture to use such language; and on that account we entertain a similar feeling of indignation with those who censure such individuals, if indeed there exist any who call the God of the Jews—who sends rain and thunder, and who is the Creator of this world, and the God of Moses, and of the cosmogony which he records—an “accursed” divinity.  Celsus, however, appears to have had in view in employing these expressions, not a rational44244424    οὐκ εὔγνωμον ἀλλά…πάνυ ἀγνωμονέστατον. object, but one of a most irrational kind, arising out of his hatred towards us, which is so unlike a philosopher.  For his aim was, that those who are unacquainted with our customs should, on perusing his treatise, at once assail us as if we called the noble Creator of this world an “accursed divinity.”  He appears to me, indeed, to have acted like those Jews who, when Christianity began to be first preached, scattered abroad false reports of the Gospel, such as that “Christians offered up an infant in sacrifice, and partook of its flesh;” and again, “that the professors of Christianity, wishing to do the ‘works of darkness,’ used to extinguish the lights (in their meetings), and each one to have sexual intercourse with any woman whom he chanced to meet.”  These calumnies have long exercised, although unreasonably, an influence over the minds of very many, leading those who are aliens to the Gospel to believe that Christians are men of such a character; and even at the present day they mislead some, and prevent them from entering even into the simple intercourse of conversation with those who are Christians.


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