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Chapter XIII.

And there is no truth in the statement of Celsus, that “God does the most shameless deeds, or suffers the most shameless sufferings,” or that “He favours the commission of evil;” for whatever he may say, no such things have ever been foretold.  He ought to have cited from the prophets the passages in which God is represented as favouring evil, or as doing and enduring the most shameless deeds, and not to have sought without foundation to prejudice the minds of 617his readers.  The prophets, indeed, foretold what Christ should suffer, and set forth the reason why He should suffer.  God therefore also knew what Christ would suffer; but where has he learnt that those things which the Christ of God should suffer were most base and dishonourable?  He goes on to explain what those most shameful and degrading things were which Christ suffered, in these words:  “For what better was it for God to eat the flesh of sheep, or to drink vinegar and gall, than to feed on filth?”  But God, according to us, did not eat the flesh of sheep; and while it may seem that Jesus ate, He did so only as possessing a body.  But in regard to the vinegar and gall mentioned in the prophecy, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink,”46984698    Ps. lxix. 21. we have already referred46994699    Book ii. cap. xxxvii. to this point; and as Celsus compels us to recur to it again, we would only say further, that those who resist the word of truth do ever offer to Christ the Son of God the gall of their own wickedness, and the vinegar of their evil inclinations; but though He tastes of it, yet He will not drink it.


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