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Chapter L.

But since he reproaches us with too great an anxiety about the body, let him know that when that feeling is a wrong one we do not share in it, and when it is indifferent we only long for that which God has promised to the righteous.  But Celsus considers that we are inconsistent with ourselves when we count the body worthy of honour from God, and therefore hope for its resurrection, and yet at the same time expose it to tortures as though it were not worthy of honour.  But surely it is not without honour for the body to suffer for the sake of godliness, and to choose afflictions on account of virtue:  the dishonourable thing would be for it to waste its powers in vicious indulgence.  For the divine word says:  “What is an honourable seed?  The seed of man.  What is a dishonourable seed?  The seed of man.”49414941    Ecclus. x. 19.  In the LXX. the last clause is, “What is a dishonourable seed?  They that transgress the commandments.”  Moreover, Celsus thinks that he ought not to reason with those who hope for the good of the body, as they are unreasonably intent upon an object which can never satisfy their expectations.  He also calls them gross and impure men, bent upon creating needless dissensions.  But surely he ought, as one of superior humanity, to assist even the rude and depraved.  For society does not exclude from its pale the coarse and uncultivated, as it does the irrational animals, but our Creator made us on the same common level with all mankind.  It is not an undignified thing, therefore, to reason even with the coarse and unrefined, and to try to bring them as far as possible to a higher state of refinement—to bring the impure to the highest practicable degree of purity—to bring the unreasoning multitude to reason, and the diseased in mind to spiritual health.

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