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Chapter VIII.

I do not know what led Celsus, when saying, “But what things were spoken or not spoken in the land of Judea, according to the custom of the country,” to use the words “or not spoken,” as though implying that he was incredulous, and that he suspected that those things which were written were never spoken.  In fact, he is unacquainted with these times; and he does not know that those prophets who foretold the coming of Christ, predicted a multitude of other events many years beforehand.  He adds, with the view of casting a slight upon the ancient prophets, that “they prophesied in the same way as we find them still doing among the inhabitants of Phœnicia and Palestine.”  But he does not tell us whether he refers to persons who are of different principles from those of the Jews and Christians, or to persons whose prophecies are of the same character as those of the Jewish prophets.  However it be, his statement is false, taken in either way.  For never have any of those who have not embraced our faith done any thing approaching to what was done by the ancient prophets; and in more recent times, since the coming of Christ, no prophets have arisen among the Jews, who have confessedly been abandoned by the Holy Spirit on account of their impiety towards God, and towards Him of whom their prophets spoke.  Moreover, the Holy Spirit gave signs of His presence at the beginning of Christ’s ministry, and after His ascension He gave still more; but since that time these signs have diminished, although there are still traces of His presence in a few who have had their souls purified by the Gospel, and their actions regulated by its influence.  “For the holy Spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding.”46934693    Wisd. of Sol. i. 5.

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