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497Book IV.

Chapter I.

Having, in the three preceding books, fully stated what occurred to us by way of answer to the treatise of Celsus, we now, reverend Ambrosius, with prayer to God through Christ, offer this fourth book as a reply to what follows.  And we pray that words may be given us, as it is written in the book of Jeremiah that the Lord said to the prophet:  “Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth as fire.  See, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, and to build and to plant.”36823682    Cf. Jer. i. 9, 10.  For we need words now which will root out of every wounded soul the reproaches uttered against the truth by this treatise of Celsus, or which proceed from opinions like his.  And we need also thoughts which will pull down all edifices based on false opinions, and especially the edifice raised by Celsus in his work which resembles the building of those who said, “Come, let us build us a city, and a tower whose top shall reach to heaven.”36833683    Cf. Gen. xi. 4.  Yea, we even require a wisdom which will throw down all high things that rise against the knowledge of God,36843684    Cf. 2 Cor. x. 5. and especially that height of arrogance which Celsus displays against us.  And in the next place, as we must not stop with rooting out and pulling down the hindrances which have just been mentioned, but must, in room of what has been rooted out, plant the plants of “God’s husbandry;”36853685    Cf. 1 Cor. iii. 9. and in place of what has been pulled down, rear up the building of God, and the temple of His glory,—we must for that reason pray also to the Lord, who bestowed the gifts named in the book of Jeremiah, that He may grant even to us words adapted both for building up the (temple) of Christ, and for planting the spiritual law, and the prophetic words referring to the same.36863686    τοὺς ἀνάλογον αὐτῷ προφητικοὺς λόγους.  And above all is it necessary to show, as against the assertions of Celsus which follow those he has already made, that the prophecies regarding Christ are true predictions.  For, arraying himself at the same time against both parties—against the Jews on the one hand, who deny that the advent of Christ has taken place, but who expect it as future, and against Christians on the other, who acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ spoken of in prophecy—he makes the following statement:—

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