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Chapter L.

Celsus has not explained how error accompanies the “becoming,” or product of generation; nor has he expressed himself with sufficient clearness to enable us to compare his ideas with ours, and to pass judgment on them.  But the prophets, who have given some wise suggestions on the subject of things produced by generation, tell us that a sacrifice for sin was offered even for new-born infants, as not being free from sin.47984798    [The noteworthy testimony of the Alexandrian school to the doctrine of birth-sin.]  They say, “I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me;”47994799    Ps. li. 5. also, “They are estranged from the womb;” which is followed by the singular expression, “They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.”48004800    Ps. lviii. 3.  Besides, our wise men have such a contempt for all sensible objects, that sometimes they speak of all material things as vanity:  thus, “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that subjected the same in hope;”48014801    Rom. viii. 20. at other times as vanity of vanities, “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, all is vanity.”48024802    Eccles. i. 2.  Who has given so severe an estimate of the life of the human soul here on earth, as he who says:  “Verily every man at his best estate is altogether vanity?”48034803    Ps. xxxix. 5.  He does not hesitate at all as to the difference between the present life of the soul and that which it is to lead hereafter.  He does not say, “Who knows if to die is not to live, and if to live is not death”48044804    Euripides.  [See De la Rue’s note ad loc. in his edition of Origen’s Works.  S.]  But he boldly proclaims the truth, and says, “Our soul is bowed down to the dust;”48054805    Ps. xliv. 25. and, “Thou hast brought me into the dust of death;”48064806    Ps. xxii. 15. and similarly, “Who will deliver me from the body of this death?”48074807    Rom. vii. 24. also, “Who will change the body of our humiliation.”48084808    Phil. iii. 21.  It is a prophet also who says, “Thou hast brought us down in a place of affliction;”48094809    Ps. xliii. 20 (LXX.). meaning by the “place of affliction” this earthly region, to which Adam, that is to say, man, came after he was driven out of paradise for sin.  Observe also how well the different life of the soul here and hereafter has been recognised by him who says, “Now we see in a glass, obscurely, but then face to face;”48104810    1 Cor. xiii. 12. and, “Whilst we are in our home in the body, we are away from our home in the Lord;” wherefore “we are well content to go from our home in the body, and to come to our home with the Lord.”48114811    2 Cor. v. 6, 8.


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