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42. You worship, says my opponent, one who was born a mere human being. Even if that were true, as has been already said in former passages, yet, in consideration of the many liberal gifts which He has bestowed on us, He ought to be called and be addressed as God. But since He is God in reality and without any shadow of doubt, do you think that we will deny that He is worshipped by us with all the fervour we are capable of, and assumed as the guardian of our body? Is that Christ of yours a god, then? some raving, wrathful, and excited man will say. A god, we will reply, and the god of the inner powers;33183318    The phrase potentiarum interiorum is not easily understood. Orelli is of opinion that it means those powers which in the Bible are called the “powers of heaven,” the “army of heaven,” i.e., the angels. The Jews and the early Fathers of the Church divided the heaven into circles or zones, each inhabited by its peculiar powers or intelligent natures, differing in dignity and in might. The central place was assigned to God Himself, and to Christ, who sat on His right hand, and who is called by the Fathers of the Church the “Angel of the Church,” and the “Angel of the New Covenant.” Next in order came “Thrones,” “Archangels,” “Cherubim and Seraphim,” and most remote from God’s throne the “Chorus of Angels,” the tutelar genii of men. The system of zones and powers seems to have been derived from the Chaldeans, who made a similar division of the heavens. According to this idea, Arnobius speaks of Christ as nearest to the Father, and God of the “inner powers,” who enjoyed God’s immediate presence. Reference is perhaps made to some recondite doctrine of the Gnostics. It may mean, however, the more subtile powers of nature, as affecting both the souls of men and the physical universe. and—what may still further torture unbelievers with the most bitter pains—He was sent to us by the King Supreme for a purpose of the very highest moment. My opponent, becoming more mad and more frantic, will perhaps ask whether the matter can be proved, as we allege. There is no greater proof than the credibility of the acts done by Him, than the unwonted excellence of the virtues He exhibited, than the conquest and the abrogation of all those deadly ordinances which peoples and tribes saw executed in the light of day,33193319    So Orelli with most edd., following Ursinus, for the ms. suo ge-ne-ri-s sub limine, which might, however, be retained, as if the sense were that these ordinances were coeval with man’s origin, and translated, “tribes saw at the beginning of their race.” with no objecting voice; and even they whose ancient laws or whose country’s laws He shows to be full of vanity and of the most senseless superstition, (even they) dare not allege these things to be false.


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