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Chapter LVI.

Although, therefore, Celsus would, in his own words, “drive us with all haste out of life,” so that “such a race may become extinct from the earth;” yet we, along with those who worship the Creator, will live according to the laws of God, never consenting to obey the laws of sin.  We will marry if we wish, and bring up the children given to us in marriage; and if need be, we will not only partake of the blessings of life, but bear its appointed sorrows as a trial to our souls.  For in this way is divine Scripture accustomed to speak of human afflictions, by which, as gold is tried in the fire, so the spirit of man is tried, and is found to be worthy either of condemnation or of praise.  For those things which Celsus calls evils we are therefore prepared, and are ready to say, “Try me, O Lord, and prove me; purge my reins and my heart.”49534953    Ps. xxvi. 2.  For “no one will be crowned,” unless here upon earth, with this body of humiliation, “he strive lawfully.”49544954    2 Tim. ii. 5.  Further, we do not pay honours supposed to be due to those whom Celsus speaks of as being set over the affairs of the world.  For we worship the Lord our God, and Him only do we serve, and desire to be followers of Christ, who, when the devil said to Him, “All these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me,” answered him by the words, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”49554955    Matt. iv. 9, 10.  Wherefore we do not render the honour supposed to be due to those who, according to Celsus, are set over the affairs of this world; for “no man can serve two masters,” and we “cannot serve God and mammon,” whether this name be applied to one or more.  Moreover, if any one “by transgressing the law dishonours the lawgiver,” it seems clear to us that if the two laws, the law of God and the law of mammon, are completely opposed to each other, it is better for us by transgressing the law of mammon to dishonour mammon, that we may honour God by keeping His law, than by transgressing the law of God to dishonour God, that by obeying the law of mammon we may honour mammon.

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