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64. What, then, constrains you, what excites you to revile, to rail at, to hate implacably Him whom no man33823382 So the edd., reading nemo h-om-i-n-um, except Hildebrand and Oehler, who retain the ms. om-n-i-um—“no one of all.” can accuse of any crime?33833383 John viii. 46: “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” Tyrants and your kings, who, putting away all fear of the gods, plunder and pillage the treasuries of temples; who by proscription, banishment,33843384 So Heraldus and LB., followed by later edd., reading exiliis for the ms. ex-uis, for which Gelenius, Canterus, and Ursinus read et suis—“and by their slaughters.” and slaughter, strip the state of its nobles? who, with licentious violence, undermine and wrest away the chastity of matrons and maidens,—these men you name indigites and divi; and you worship with couches, altars, temples, and other service, and by celebrating their games and birthdays, those whom it was fitting that you should assail with keenest33853385 Here, as frequently in Arnobius, the comparative is used instead of the superlative. hatred. And all those, too, who by writing books assail in many forms with biting reproaches public manners; who censure, brand, and tear in pieces your luxurious habits and lives; who carry down to posterity evil reports of their own times33863386 “To posterity evil reports of their own time”—sui temporis posteris notas—so emended by Ursinus, followed by Orelli and Hildebrand, for the ms. in temporis posteri-s, retained by LB., and with the omission of s in the 1st ed.; but this requires our looking on the passage as defective. in their enduring writings; who seek to persuade men that the rights of marriage should be held in common;33873387 The reference is clearly to the well-known passage in Plato’s Republic. [See the sickening details, book v. p. 282, Jowett’s trans.] who lie with boys, beautiful, lustful, naked; who declare that you are beasts, runaways, exiles, and mad and frantic slaves of the most worthless character,—all these with wonder and applause you exalt to the stars of heaven, you place in the shrines of your libraries, you present with chariots and statues, and as much as in you lies, gift with a kind of immortality, as it were, by the witness which immortal titles bear to them. Christ alone you would tear in pieces,33883388 So Gelenius, LB., and Orelli, reading con-v-ell-e-refor the ms. con-p-ell-a-re, “to accost” or “abuse,” which is out of place here. Canterus suggested com-p-il-are, “to plunder,” which also occurs in the sense “to cudgel.” you would rend asunder, if you could do so to a god; nay, Him alone you would, were it allowed, gnaw with bloody mouths, and break His bones in pieces, and devour Him like beasts of the field. For what that He has done, tell, I pray you, for what crime?33893389 Supply, “do you pursue Him so fiercely?” What has He done to turn aside the course of justice, and rouse you to hatred made fierce by maddening torments? Is it because He declared that He was sent by the only true King to be your soul’s guardian, and to bring to you the immortality which you believe that you already possess, relying on the assertions of a few men? But even if you were assured that He spoke falsely, that He even held out hopes without the slightest foundation, not even in this case do I see any reason that you should hate and condemn Him with bitter reproaches. Nay, if you were kind and gentle in spirit, you ought to esteem Him even for this alone, that He promised to you things which you might well wish and hope for; that He was the bearer of good news; that His message was such as to trouble no one’s mind, nay, rather to fill all with less anxious expectation.33903390 These words are followed in the edition of Gelenius by ch. 2–5 of the second book, seemingly without any mark to denote transposition; while Ursinus inserted the same chapters—beginning, however, with the last sentence of the first chapter (read as mentioned in the note on it)—but prefixed an asterisk, to mark a departure from the order of the ms. The later editors have not adopted either change.
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