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Chapter XVII.

In one point alone is Celsus correct in his statements on this subject.  It is that in which he says:  “The prophets would not foretell this, because it involves that which is wicked and impious,”—namely, that the great God should become a slave or suffer death.  But that which is predicted by the prophets is worthy of God, that He who is the brightness and express image of the divine nature should come into the world with the holy human soul which was to animate the body of Jesus, to sow the seed of His word, which might bring all who received and cherished it into union with the Most High God, and which would lead to perfect blessedness all those who felt within them the power of God the Word, who was to be in the body and soul of a man.  He was to be in it indeed, but not in such a way as to confine therein all the rays of His glory; and we are not to suppose that the light of Him who is God the Word is shed forth in no other way than in this.  If, then, we consider Jesus in relation to the divinity that was in Him, the things which He did in this capacity present nothing to offend our ideas of God, nothing but what is holy; and if we consider Him as man, distinguished beyond all other men by an intimate communion with the Eternal Word, with absolute Wisdom, He suffered as one who was wise and perfect, whatever it behoved Him to suffer who did all for the good of the human race, yea, even for the good of all intelligent beings.  And there is nothing absurd in a man having died, and in His death being not only an example of death endured for the sake of piety, but also the first blow in the conflict which is to overthrow the power of that evil spirit the devil, who had obtained dominion over the whole world.47044704    [John xii. 31 and xvi. 11.]  For we have signs and pledges of the destruction of his empire, in those who through the coming of Christ are everywhere escaping from the power of demons, and who, after their deliverance from this bondage in which they were held, consecrate themselves to God, and earnestly devote themselves day by day to advancement in a life of piety.


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