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Chapter LXXI.

Celsus again, as is usual with him, gets confused, and attributes to us things which none of us have ever written.  His words are:  “Surely it is intolerable for you to say, that if our present rulers, on embracing your opinions, are taken by 668the enemy, you will still be able to persuade those who rule after them; and after these have been taken you will persuade their successors and so on, until at length, when all who have yielded to your persuasion have been taken, some prudent ruler shall arise, with a foresight of what is impending, and he will destroy you all utterly before he himself perishes.”  There is no need of any answer to these allegations: for none of us says of our present rulers, that if they embrace our opinions, and are taken by the enemy, we shall be able to persuade their successors; and when these are taken, those who come after them, and so on in succession.  But on what does he ground the assertion, that when a succession of those who have yielded to our persuasion have been taken because they did not drive back the enemy, some prudent ruler shall arise, with a foresight of what is impending, who shall utterly destroy us?  But here he seems to me to delight in inventing and uttering the wildest nonsense.

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