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2. But indeed, some one will say, He deserved our hatred because He has driven religion34043404 Pl. from the world, because He has kept men back from seeking to honour the gods.34053405 This seems the true rationale of the sentence, viewed in relation to the context. Immediately before, Arnobius suggests that the hatred of Christ by the heathen is unjustifiable, because they had suffered nothing at His hands; now an opponent is supposed to rejoin, “But He has deserved our hatred by assailing our religion.” The introductory particles at enim fully bear this out, from their being regularly used to introduce a rejoinder. Still, by Orelli and other editors the sentence is regarded as interrogative, and in that case would be, “Has He indeed merited our hatred by driving out,” etc., which, however, not merely breaks away from what precedes, but also makes the next sentence somewhat lame. The older editors, too, read it without any mark of interrogation. Is He then denounced as the destroyer of religion and promoter of impiety, who brought true religion into the world, who opened the gates of piety to men blind and verily living in impiety, and pointed out to whom they should bow themselves? Or is there any truer religion—one more serviceable,34063406 i.e., according to Orelli, to the wants of men; but possibly it may here have the subjunctive meaning of “more full of service,” i.e., to God. powerful, and right—than to have learned to know the supreme God, to know how to pray to God Supreme, who alone is the source and fountain of all good, the creator,34073407 So the ms., reading perpetuarum pater, fundator conditor rerum, but all the editions pa-ri-ter, “alike,” which has helped to lead Orelli astray. He suggests et fons est perpetu-us pariter, etc., “perpetual fountain,…of all things alike the founder and framer.” It has been also proposed by Oehler (to get rid of the difficulty felt here) to transfer per metathesin, the idea of “enduring,” to God; but the reference is surely quite clear, viewed as a distinction between the results of God’s working and that of all other beings. founder, and framer of all that endures, by whom all things on earth and all in heaven are quickened, and filled with the stir of life, and without whom there would assuredly be nothing to bear any name, and have any substance? But perhaps you doubt whether there is that ruler of whom we speak, and rather incline to believe in the existence of Apollo, Diana, Mercury, Mars. Give a true judgment;34083408 So the ms. and almost all edd, reading da verum judicium, for which Heraldus suggested da naturæ, or verum animæ judicium, “give the judgment of nature,” or “the true judgment of the soul,” as if appeal were made to the inner sense; but in his later observations he proposed da puerum judicem, “give a boy as judge,” which is adopted by Orelli. Meursius, merely transposing d-a, reads much more naturally ad—“at a true judgment.” and, looking round on all these things which we see, any one will rather doubt whether all the other gods exist, than hesitate with regard to the God whom we all know by nature, whether when we cry out, O God, or when we make God the witness of wicked deeds,34093409 The ms. reading is illum testem d-e-um constituimus improbarum, retained in the edd. with the change of -arum into -orum. Perhaps for deum should be read r-e-r-um, “make him witness of wicked things.” With this passage compare iii. 31–33. and raise our face to heaven as though He saw us.
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