Eusebius of Caesarea: Demonstratio Evangelica. Tr. W.J. Ferrar (1920) -- Book 3
I HAVE now adequately completed the prolegomena1 to (87) my Proof of the Gospel: I have shewn the nature of our Saviour's Gospel teaching, and given the reason of our regard for the oracles of the Jews, while we reject their rule of life. And I have also made it clear that their (88) prophetic writings in their foresight of the future recorded our own calling through Christ, so that we make use of them not as books alien to us, but as our own property. And now it is time for me to embark on my actual work, and to begin to treat of the promises. How these were actually concerned with the human dispensation of Jesus the Christ of God, and the teaching of the Hebrew prophets on the theology based on His Person, and predictions of His appearance among men, which I shall (b) shew immediately from their clear fulfilment can only apply to Him alone. But I must first of necessity consider the fact that the prophets definitely made mention 2 of the Gospel of the Christ.
That the Prophets made Mention of the Gospel of the Christ.
MY witness of this shall be from the words of Isaiah, who cries in the Person of Christ: |102
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim (c) deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the [[Isa. lxi. i.]] blind."
Our Saviour, after reading this prophecy through in the Synagogue one day to a multitude of Jews, shut the book [[Luke iv. 21]] and said: "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." And beginning His own teaching from that point He began to preach the Gospel to the poor, putting in the forefront of His blessings: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs [[Matt. v. 3.]] is the kingdom of heaven." Yea, and to those who were (d) hampered by evil spirits, and bound for a long time like slaves by daemons, He proclaimed forgiveness, inviting all to be free and to escape from the bonds of sin, when He [[Matt. xi.28.]] said: "Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you."
And to the blind He gave sight, giving the power of seeing to those whose bodily vision was destroyed, and dowering with the vision of the light of true religion those who of old in their minds were blind 3 to the truth. The prophecy before us shews it to be essential that Christ Himself should be the originator and leader of the Gospel activity, and the same prophet foretells that after Him His own disciples should be ministers of the same system: (89)
"How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good [[Isa. lii. 7; Rom. x.]] tidings of good things, and of those that bring good tidings of peace."
Here he says very particularly that it is the feet of those who publish the good news of Christ that are beautiful. For how could they not be beautiful, which in so small, so short a time have run over the whole earth, and filled every place with the holy teaching about the Saviour of the world?
(b) And that they did not use human words to persuade their hearers, but that it was the power of God that worked with them in the Gospel preaching, again another prophet says:
"The Lord will give a word to those that bring good [[Ps. lxviii.11.]] tidings with much power." |103
And again Isaiah:
"9. Go up to the high mountain, thou that bringest good tidings in Zion, lift up thy voice with strength thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem; lift it up, be not afraid, Say to the cities of Juda, Behold your God, 10. Behold the Lord comes with strength,4 and his arm with power. Behold his reward is with him, (c) and his work before him. 11. As a shepherd feeds his flock, and gathers the lambs in his arms, and comforts those that are great with young." [[Isa. xl. 9.]]
We shall know in what sense this is to be taken, when we have reached a further point on the road of Gospel teaching. But at least it is established that the voices of the prophets witnessed to the Gospel, and even to the name of the Gospel, and you have clear and definite proofs from whom the Gospel will take its origin, that is to say from Christ Himself, and by whom it will be preached, that it will be through His Apostles. At least (we are told) by what power it will gain the mastery, that it will not be (d) human: since this is established by the words: "The Lord will give a word to those that bring good tidings with much power." So then it only remains to quote a few out of the many other ancient Hebrew prophecies concerning Christ, that you may know what the good tidings were that would be preached in after days, and may realize the wonderful foreknowledge of future events in the prophets, and the fulfilments of their predictions, how they stand fulfilled in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ of God.
That the Hebrew Prophets prophesied of Christ.
MOSES was the first of the prophets to tell the good news (90) that another prophet like unto himself would arise. For since his legislation was only applicable to the Jewish race, and only to that part of it resident in the land of Judaea or its neighbourhood, and not to those living far away abroad |104 (as has been seen in my previous book); and as it was surely necessary that He Who was not only the God of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles, should provide helpful means for all the Gentiles to know Him and to become holy in their lives, He makes known by the oracle accordingly (b) that another prophet will arise from the Jewish race, no whit inferior to His own dispensation. And God Himself names him in this manner:
"A prophet will I raise up to them from their brethren like unto thee, and I will put my word in his mouth, and he shall speak to them according to what I command him. And whatsoever man shall not hear that prophet['s words], whatsoever he shall speak in [[Deut.xviii.18]] my name, I will take vengeance on him."
And Moses speaks similar words when interpreting the oracle of God to the people:
(c) "A prophet shall the Lord thy God raise up of your brethren like unto me. Him shall ye hear according to all things that ye asked of the Lord God in Horeb [[Deut.xviii.15]] in the day of the assembly."
Was then any of the prophets after Moses, Isaiah, say, or Jeremiah, or Ezekiel, or Daniel, or any of the twelve, like Moses in being a lawgiver? Not one. Did any of them behave like Moses? One cannot affirm it. For each of (d) them from the first to the last referred their hearers to Moses, and based their rebukes of the people on their breaches of the Mosaic law, and did nothing but exhort them to hold fast to the Mosaic enactments. You could not say that any of them was like him: and yet Moses speaks definitely of one who should be. Whom then does the oracle prophesy will be a prophet like unto Moses, but our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and none other?
We must consider thoroughly why this was said. Moses was the first leader of the Jewish race. He found them attached to the deceitful polytheism of Egypt, and was the first to turn them from it, by enacting the severest punishment (91) for idolatry. He was the first also to publish the theology of the one God, bidding them worship only the Creator and Maker of all things. He was the first to draw up for the same hearers a scheme of religious life, and is acknowledged to have been the first and only lawgiver of their religious polity. But Jesus Christ too, like Moses, |105 only on a grander stage, was the first to originate the teaching according to holiness for the other nations, and first accomplished the rout of the idolatry that embraced (b) the whole world. He was the first to introduce to all men the knowledge and religion of the one Almighty God. And He is proved to be the first Author and Lawgiver of a new life and of a system adapted to the holy.
And with regard to the other teaching on the genesis of the world, and the immortality of the soul, and other doctrines of philosophy which Moses was the first to teach (c) the Jewish race, Jesus Christ has been the first to publish them to the other nations by His disciples in a far diviner form. So that Moses may properly be called the first and only lawgiver of religion to the Jews, and Jesus Christ the same to all nations, according to the prophecy which says of Him:
"Set, O Lord, a lawgiver over them: that the Gentiles may know themselves to be but men." 5 [[Ps. ix. 20.]]
Moses again by wonderful works and miracles authenticated (d) the religion that he proclaimed: Christ likewise, using His recorded miracles to inspire faith in those who saw them, established the new discipline of the Gospel teaching. Moses again transferred the Jewish race from the bitterness of Egyptian slavery to freedom: while Jesus Christ summoned the whole human race to freedom from their impious Egyptian idolatry under evil daemons. Moses, too, promised a holy land and a holy life therein under a blessing to those who kept his laws: while Jesus Christ says likewise: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth," promising a far better land in truth, and a holy and godly, not the land of Judaea, which in no way excels the rest (of the earth), but the heavenly country which suits souls that (92) love God, to those who follow out the life proclaimed by Him. And that He might make it plainer still, He proclaimed the kingdom of heaven to those blessed by Him. And you will find other works done by our Saviour with greater power than those of Moses, and yet resembling the works which Moses did. As, for example, Moses fasted forty days continuously, as Scripture witnesses, saying: "And (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and (b) |106 [[Exod. xxxiv. 28.]] forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water." And Christ likewise: For it is written: "And he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil; and in those days he did eat nothing." [[Luke iv. 1.]]
Moses again fed the people in the wilderness: for Scripture says: Behold, I give 6 you bread from heaven." [[Exod. xvi.4.]] And after a little:
"It came to pass as the dew ceased round about the camp, and behold on the face of the wilderness a small (c) thing, like white coriander seed, as frost upon the ground." [[Exod. xvi.14.]]
And our Lord and Saviour likewise says to.His disciples:
" 8. O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9. Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10. Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?" [[Matt. xvi.8.]]
Moses again went through the midst of the sea, and led the people; for Scripture says:
(d) "And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the Lord carried back the sea with a strong south wind all the night, and the water was divided. And the children of Israel passed through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the water was a wall to them on the right and a wall on the left." [[Exod.xiv.21-22]]
In the same way, only more divinely, Jesus the Christ of God walked on the sea, and caused Peter to walk on it. For it is written:
"25. And in the fourth watch of the night he went unto them, walking on the sea. 26. And when they saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled." [[Matt. xiv. 25.]]
And shortly after:
"28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water."
Moses again made the sea dry with a strong south wind. (93) For Scripture says: "Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the Lord drave back the sea with a strong |107 south wind," and he adds: "The waves were congealed in the midst of the sea." In like manner, only much more grandly, our Saviour "rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm." Again when Moses descended from the Mount, his face was seen full of glory: for it is written:
"And Moses descending from the Mount did not know that the appearance of the skin of his face was (b) glorified while He spake to him. And Aaron and all the elders [of the children] of Israel saw Moses, and the appearance of the skin of his face was glorified." [[Exod. xxxiv. 29.]]
In the same way only more grandly our Saviour led His disciples "to a very high mountain,7 and he was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments were white like the light." [[Matt. xvii.2.]]
Again Moses cleansed a leper: for it is written: " And behold Miriam (was) leprous (as white) as snow." [[Num. xii.10.]]
And a little further on: "And Moses cried to the Lord: O God, I pray thee to heal her."
And in the same way, but with more superb power, the (c) Christ of God, when a leper came to him, saying: "If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean; answered: I will; be thou clean. And his leprosy was cleansed." [[Matt. viii.2.]]
Moses, again, said that the law was written with the finger of God: for it is written:
"And he gave to Moses, when he ceased speaking to him in Mount Sinai, the two tables of witness, stone tables written with the finger of God." [[Exod.xxxi.18.]]
And in Exodus: "The magicians therefore said to Pharaoh, (d) It is the finger of God." [[Exod. viii.19.]]
In like manner Jesus, the Christ of God, said to the Pharisees: "If I by the finger of God 8 cast out devils." [[Matt. xii.27]] Moreover, Moses changed the name of Nave to Jesus, and likewise the Saviour changed that of Simon to Peter. And Moses set up seventy men as leaders to the people. For Scripture says:
"16. Bring together to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, 9 17. and I will take of the spirit that is upon |108 thee, and I will put it upon them. ... 24. And he brought together seventy men." 10 [[Num. xi.16]]
Likewise our Saviour "chose out His seventy disciples,11 and sent them 12 two and two before his face." [[Luke x.1.]] Moses (94) again sent out twelve men to spy out the land, and likewise, only with far higher aims, our Saviour sent out twelve Apostles to visit all the Gentiles. Moses again legislates saying:
[[Deut. v. 17]] "Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not forswear thyself." 13
But our Saviour, extending the law, not only forbids to kill, but also to be angry: instead of "Thou shalt not commit adultery," He forbids to look on a woman with unbridled lust. Instead of "Thou shalt not steal," He enjoins that we should give what is our own to the needy. And transcending the law against false swearing, He lays down the rule of not swearing at all. But why need I seek further (b) for proof that Moses and Jesus our Lord and Saviour acted in closely similar ways, since it is possible for any one who likes to gather instances at his leisure? Even when they say that no man knew the death of Moses, or his sepulchre, so (none saw) our Saviour's change after His Resurrection into the divine. If then no one but our Saviour can be shewn to have resembled Moses in so many ways, surely it only remains for us to apply to Him, and to none other, the prophecy of Moses, in which he foretold that God (c) would raise up one like unto himself, saying:
"18. I will raise a prophet to them of their brethren like thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them, as I shall bid him. 19. And [[Deut.xviii.18]] whatever man will not hear whatsoever words that prophet saith, I will take vengeance on him."
And Moses himself, interpreting the words to the people, said:
(d) "15. A prophet shall the Lord thy God raise up to |109 thee of thy brethren, like me; him ye shall hear; 16. according to all things which you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly." [[Deut.xviii 15.]]
But the Old Testament 14 clearly teaches that, of the prophets after Moses, no one before our Saviour was raised up like unto Moses, when it says:
"And there has not arisen yet a prophet like Moses whom the Lord knew face to face in all his signs and wonders." [[Deut.xxxiv. 10.]]
I have then proved that the Divine Spirit prophesied through Moses of our Saviour, if He alone and none other has been shewn to fulfil the requirements of Moses' words. But note another recorded prophecy. We know that many (95) multitudes among all the nations call our Lord and Saviour Lord, though He was born according to the flesh of the seed of Israel, confessing Him as Lord because of His divine power. And this also Moses knew by the Divine Spirit, and proclaimed in this manner in writing:
"There shall come a man from his seed" (He means Israel's), "and he shall be Lord over the Gentiles, and his kingdom shall be exalted." [[Num.xxiv.7.]]
Now if none other of the kings and rulers of those of the Circumcision has ever at any period been Lord of many Gentiles (and no record suggests it) while truth cries and (b) shouts of our Saviour's unique rule, that many multitudes from all nations confess Him to be Lord not only with their lips but with the most genuine affection,15 what can hinder us from saying that He is.the one foretold by the prophet? That Moses' prediction was not indefinite, and that he did not see his prophecy in the shadows of illimitable and unmeasured time, but circumscribed the fulfilment of his predictions with the greatest accuracy by temporal limits, hear how he speaks prophetically about Him: (c) "There shall not fail a prince from Juda, and a leader from his loins until he come in whom it is laid up,16 and he is the expectation of the Gentiles"---- [[Gen. xlix.10.]] which means that the order and succession of rulers and leaders of the Jewish race will not fail until the coming of the Prophesied, but that when there is a failure of their |110 rulers the Prophesied will come. By Judah here he does (d) not mean the tribe of Judah, but since in later days the whole race of the Jews came to be called after the kingly tribe, as even now we call them Jews, in a very wonderful and prophetic way he named the whole Jewish race, just as we do when we call them Jews.
Next he says that the rulers and heads of their race will not fail, before the Prophesied appear: and that on his arrival the Jewish state will be at once dissolved, and that he will be no longer the expectation of the Jews, but of the Gentiles. Now you could not apply this prophecy (96) to any of the prophets, but only to our Lord and Saviour. For immediately on his appearance the kingdom of the Jews was taken away. For at once their king in the direct line failed, who ruled them according to their own laws, Augustus then being the first Roman Emperor, and Herod, who was of an alien race, becoming their king.17 And while they failed, the expectation of the Gentiles throughout the whole world appeared according to the divine prophecy, (b) so that even now all men of all nations who believe in Him place the hope of godly expectation in Him.
All these good tidings, and many others besides these, does Moses give us concerning the Christ. And Isaiah definitely foretells in words akin to his of one who shall rise from the seed and line of King David:
"A rod shall come forth from the root of Jesse, and a flower shall spring forth from his root, and the spirit of God shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding." [[Isa. xi. 1.]]
And then he proceeds in prophetic style to paint the (c) change that will transform all races of men, both Greek and barbarian, from savagery and barbarism to gentleness and mildness. For he says:
"And the wolf shall feed with the lamb, and the |111 leopard shall lie down with the goat, and the calf and the bull and lion shall feed together." [[Isa. xi. 6.]]
And similar things, which he at once makes clear by interpretation, saying:
"And he that arises to rule the Gentiles, on him shall the Gentiles trust."
Thus he has made it clear that the unreasoning animals, (d) and the wild beasts mentioned in the passage, represent the Gentiles, by reason of their being by nature like wild beasts; and he says that one arising from the seed of Jesse, from whom the genealogy of our Lord and Saviour runs, will rule over the Gentiles; on Him the nations that now believe in Him fix their hope, agreeably to the prediction, "And it shall be that he who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust." And the words "In him shall the Gentiles trust" are the same as "And he will be the expectation of the Gentiles." For there is (97) no difference between saying "In him shall the Gentiles trust" and "He shall be the expectation of the Gentiles." And the same Isaiah, continuing, prophesies these things about Christ:
"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased, he shall bring judgment to the nations." [[Isa. xlii. 1.]]
And he adds: "Till he place judgment upon the earth, and in his name shall the Gentiles trust."
Here, then, the second time the prophet states that the Gentiles will hope in Christ, having said above "In Him shall the Gentiles trust." Though here it is "In His name shall the Gentiles trust." And it was said also to David, that "of the fruit of thy body shall one be raised (b) up," about Whom God says further on: " He shall call on me, Thou art my father; and I will make him my first-born." [[Ps. cxxxii.11]] And about Him he says again, "And he shall rule from the one sea to the other, and from the rivers even unto the ends of the world." [[Ps.lxxxviii.26.]] And once more, "All the Gentiles shall serve him, and all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed in him." [[Ps. lxxi.8.]] And moreover, the definite place of His prophesied birth is foretold by Micah, saying: [[Ps. lxxi.11 and 17.]] "And thou, Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, art the least that can be among the thousands of Judah. Out of thee shall come a leader, who shall feed my people Israel. And (c) |112 his goings forth are from the beginning from the days of eternity." [[Micah v.2; Matt.ii.6.]]
Now all agree that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem,18 and a cave 19 is shewn there by the inhabitants to those who come from abroad to see it. The place of His birth then was foretold. And the miracle of His birth Isaiah teaches sometimes mysteriously, and sometimes more plainly: mysteriously, when he says:
"Lord, who hath believed our report? And the arm of the Lord to whom hath it been revealed? we (d) proclaimed him before as a child, as a root in a thirsty soil." [[Isa. liii. 1.]]
Instead of which Aquila interpreted thus: "And he shall be proclaimed as a suckling before his face, and as a root from an untrodden ground." And Theodotion: "And he shall go up as a suckling before him, and as a root in a thirsty land."
For in this passage, the prophet having mentioned "the Arm of the Lord," which was the Word of God, says: "In his sight we have proclaimed (him) as a sucking child, and one nurtured at the breast, and as a root from untrodden ground." The child that is "a suckling and nurtured at the breast" exactly therefore shews forth the (98) birth of Christ, and "the thirsty and untrodden land" the Virgin that bare Him, whom no man had known, from whom albeit untrodden sprang up "the blessed root," and "the sucking child that was nurtured by the breast." But this prophecy was darkly and obscurely given: the same prophet explains his meaning more plainly, when he says: "Behold a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name God with us," [[Isa. vii. 14.]] for Emmanuel signifies this.
(b) Such were the thoughts of Hebrews long ago about the birth of Christ among men. Do they, then, describe in |113 their prophecy some famous prince or tyrant, or some one in any other class of those who have great power in earthly things? One cannot say so, for no such man appeared. But as He was in His life, so they prophesied that He would be, in no way failing in truth. For Isaiah said: "We proclaimed him before, as a child, as a root in thirsty soil.'' [[Is. liii. 2.]] And then he proceeds saying:
"2. He hath no form or glory, and we saw him, and he had no form or beauty, 3. And his form was dishonourable and slight even compared with the sons of (c) men, a man in suffering, and knowing to bear sickness 1 he was dishonoured, and not esteemed." What remains for him to say?
Surely, if they predicted His tribe and race and manner of birth, and the miracle of the Virgin, and His manner of life, it was impossible for them to pass over in silence that which followed, namely His Death: and what does Isaiah prophesy about it?
"3. A man" he says "in suffering, and knowing to bear sickness,20 he was dishonoured and not esteemed. 4. This man bears our sins, and is pained for our sake. And we thought him to be in trouble, in suffering, and in evil; 5. He was wounded for our sins, and bruised (cl) for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripe we are healed. 6. All we as sheep have gone astray,21 and the Lord delivered him for our sins, and he because of his affliction opens not his mouth. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before her shearers, so he opens not his mouth.22 8. Who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth." [[Isa. liii. 3-8.]]
In this he shews that Christ, being apart from all sin, will receive the sins of men on Himself. And therefore (99) He will suffer the penalty of sinners, and will be pained on their behalf; and not on His own. And if He shall be wounded by the strokes of blasphemous words, this also will be the result of our sins. For He is weakened through our sins, so that we, when He had taken on Him our faults and the wounds of our wickedness, might be |114 healed by His stripes. And this is the cause why the Sinless shall suffer among men: and the wonderful prophet, (b) in no way shrinking, clearly rebukes the Jews who plotted his death; and complaining bitterly of this very thing he says: "For the transgressions of my people he was led to death." And then because total destruction overtook them immediately, and not a long time after their evil deed to Christ, when they were besieged by the Romans, he does not pass this over either, but adds: "And I will give the wicked for his tomb, and the rich for his death."
It would have sufficed for him to have concluded the prophecy at this point, if he had not seen that something (c) else would happen after the death of Christ. But as He after His death and entombment is to return and rise again almost at once, he adds this also concerning Him, saying next:
"The Lord also is pleased to purify him from his stroke----if ye can give an offering for sin, your soul shall see a life-long seed. And the Lord wills to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light." [[Isa. liii. 10.]]
He said above: "A man stricken, and knowing to bear weakness"; and now after his death and burial, he says: "The Lord wishes to cleanse him from his strokes." And (d) how will this be done? "If ye offer," he says, "for sin, your soul shall see a seed that prolongs its days." For it is not allowed to all to see the seed of Christ that prolongs its days, but to those only who confess and bring the offerings for sins to God. For the soul of these only shall see the seed of Christ prolonging its days, be it His eternal life after death, or the word sown by Him through the whole world, which will prolong its days and endure for ever.
And as he said above: "And we reckoned him to be in trouble," so, now, after His slaughter and death, he says: "And the Lord wills to take his life away from its (100) trouble, and to give it light." Since then the Lord, the Almighty God, willed to cleanse Him from this stroke, and to show Him light, if He willed He would most certainly do what He willed; for there is nothing that He wills which is not brought to pass: but He willed to cleanse Him and to give Him light; therefore he accomplished it, He cleansed Him and gave Him light. And since He willed |115 it, and being willing took away the travail of His soul, and shewed Him light, the prophet rightly proceeds with the words: "Therefore he shall inherit from many, and shall divide the spoil of the strong." [[Isa. liii.12.]]
Here it remained for him to mention the heritage of (b) Christ, in agreement with the Second Psalm, in which the prophetic word foretells the plot that was hatched against Him, giving His name:
"2. The kings of the earth stood up,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against his Christ." [[Ps. ii. 2.]]
And it adds next:
"3. The Lord said to me, Thou art my son,
To-day I have begotten thee;
Ask of me and I shall give thee the Gentiles for thine inheritance
And the bounds of the earth for thy possession." It was to these Gentiles that the Prophet darkly referred, (c) saying: "He shall inherit from many, and shall divide the spoil of the strong." [[Isa. liii. 12.]] For he rescued the subject souls from the opposing powers, which of old ruled over the Gentiles, and divided them as spoils among his disciples. Wherefore Isaiah says of them: "And they shall rejoice before thee, as they who divide the spoils."[[Isa. ix. 3.]]
And the Psalmist:
"12. The Lord will give a word to the preachers with much power.
13. The king of the powers of the beloved, in the beauty of his house divideth the spoils." [[Ps. lxvii.12.]]
He rightly, therefore, says this also of Christ: "Therefore (d) he shall have the inheritance of many, and divide the spoils of the strong." And shortly after he tells us why, saying:
"Because his soul was delivered to death, and he was reckoned among the transgressors, and he himself bare the sins of many, and was delivered for their iniquities."
For it was as a meet return for all this, because of His obedience and long-suffering, that the Father gave Him what we have seen, for He was obedient to the Father even unto death. Wherefore it is prophesied that He should receive the inheritance of many, and should be |116 reckoned with the transgressors not before but after His being delivered to death. For therefore He is said "to receive the inheritance of many, and to share the spoil of the strong." And I consider that it is beyond doubt that in these words the resurrection from the dead of the (101) subject of the prophecy is shewn. For how else can we regard Him as led as a sheep to the slaughter, and delivered to death for the sins of the Jewish people, numbered with transgressors, and delivered to burial, then cleansed by the Lord, and seeing light with Him, and receiving the inheritance of many, and dividing the spoils with his friends? David, too, prophesying in the Person of Christ says somewhere of His Resurrection after death:
(b) "10. Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades,
Neither wilt thou give thine Holy one to see corruption." [[Ps.xvi. 10.]]
"4. Lord, Thou hast brought my soul out of Hades, Thou hast kept my life from them that go down into the pit." [[Ps. xxx. 4.]]
"14. Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death. 15. That I may tell all thy praises." [[Ps. ix. 14.]]
I consider that not even the most obtuse can look these things in the face 23 (and disregard them). And the conclusion of the prophecy of Isaiah, tells of the soul once sterile and empty of God, or perhaps of the Church of the (c) Gentiles, agreeably to the view I have taken. For since Christ has borne all for its sake, he rightly goes on after the predictions about them, to say:
"Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for more are the children of the desolate, than of her that hath a husband,24 for the Lord has said, Enlarge the place of thy tent, and the skins of thy hangings 25 peg down, do not spare. Widen thy cords, and strengthen thy pins: spread out still more to the right and left, and thy seed shall inherit the heathen." [[Is. liv. 1.]] |117
This is the good news the Word gives the Church (d) gathered from the Gentiles scattered throughout the world and stretching from sunrise to sunset, shewn forth very clearly when it says: "And thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles."
And now, though this part of my subject needs more elaboration, I will conclude it, as I have said sufficient for the present. You yourself will be able at your leisure to make selections relating to the subject, and this present work on the Proof of the Gospel will adduce and interpret individual details in their place. Meantime, for the present what has been said will suffice, on the predictions (and foreknowledge) of the prophets about our Saviour, and that it was they who proclaimed the good news that the good things of the future were coming for all men. (102) They foretold the coming of a prophet and the religion of a lawgiver like Moses, his race, his tribe, and the place he should come from, and they prophesied the time of his appearance, his birth, and death, and resurrection, as well as his rule over all the Gentiles, and all those things have been accomplished, and will continue to be accomplished in the sequence of events, since they find their completion in our Lord and Saviour alone.
But such arguments from the sacred oracles are only (b) intended for the faithful. Unbelievers in the prophetic writings I must meet with special arguments. So that I must now argue about Christ as about an ordinary man and one like other men,26 in order that when He has been shewn to be far greater and more excellent in solitary preeminence than all the most lauded of all time, I may then take the opportunity to treat of His diviner nature, and shew from clear proofs, that the power in Him was not (c) of mere humanity. And after that I will deal with the theology of His Person, so far as I can envisage it.
Since then many unbelievers call Him a wizard and a deceiver, and use many other blasphemous terms, and cease not yet to do so, I will reply to them, drawing my |118 arguments, not from any source of my own, but from His own words and teaching.
Addressed to those that suppose that the Christ of God was a Deceiver.
(d) THE questions I would ask them are these: whether any other deceiver, such as He is supposed to have been, is ever reported to have become as a teacher the cause of meekness, "sweet reasonableness," 27 purity, and every virtue in those that he deceived? Whether it is right to call by these names one that did not permit men to gaze on women with unbridled lust, whether He was a deceiver Who taught philosophy in its highest form in that He trained His disciples to share their goods with the needy, and set (103) industry and benevolence in the front rank? Whether He was a deceiver Who wakened 28 (men) from common, vulgar, and noisy company, and taught them to enjoy only the study of holy oracles?
He dissuaded from everything false, and exhorted men to honour truth before all, so that so far from swearing false oaths, they should abstain even from true ones. "For let your Yea be yea, and your Nay, nay." How could He be justly called a deceiver? And why need I say more, since it may be known from what I have already said what kind of ideal of conduct He has shed forth (b) on life, from which all lovers of (ruth would agree that He was no deceiver, but in truth something divine, and the author of a holy and divine philosophy, and not one of the common vulgar type?
He has been proved in the first book of this work to have been the only one to revive the life of the old Hebrew saints, long perished from amongst men, and to have spread it not among a paltry few but through the (c) whole world: from which it is possible to shew that men 29 |119 in crowds 30 through all the world (are following the way) of those holy men of Abraham's day, and that there are innumerable lovers of their godly manner of life from Barbarians as well as Greeks.
Such then is the more ethical side of His teaching. But let us also examine whether the word deceiver applies to Him in relation to His most central doctrines. Is it not a fact that He is recorded Himself to have been devoted to the One Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and earth and the whole Universe, and to have led His disciples to Him, and that even now the words of His teaching lead up the (d) minds of every Greek and Barbarian to the Highest God, outsoaring all visible Nature? But surely He was not a deceiver in not allowing the real deceiver, fallen headlong 31 from the loftiest and the only true theology, to worship many gods? Remember that this was no novel doctrine or one peculiar to Him, but one dear to the Hebrew saints of long ago, as I have shewn in the Preparation, from whom lately the sons 32 of our modern philosophers have derived great benefit, expressing approval of their teaching. Yes, and the most erudite of the Greeks pride themselves, forsooth, on the fact that the oracles of their own gods mention the Hebrews in terms like these. 33 (104)
"The Chaldeans alone possess wisdom, and the Hebrews,
Who worship in holy wise, God their King, self-born."
Here the writer called them Chaldeans because of Abraham, who it is recorded was by race a Chaldean. If, then, in the ancient days the sons of the Hebrews, to whose (b) eminent wisdom even the oracles bear witness, directed men's worship only towards the One God, Creator of all things, why should we class Him as a deceiver and not as a |120 wonderful teacher of religion Who, with invisible and inspired power, pressed forward and circulated among all men the very truths which in days of old were only known to the godly Hebrews, so that no longer as in ancient days some few men easily numbered hold true opinions about God, but many multitudes of barbarians who were once like (c) wild beasts, as well as learned Greeks, are taught simply by His power a like religion to that of the prophets and just men of old?
But let me now examine the third point----whether this is the reason why they call Him a deceiver, viz. that He has not ordained that God should be honoured with sacrifices of bulls or the slaughter of unreasoning beasts, or by blood, or fire, or by incense made of earthly things. That He thought these things low and earthly and quite unworthy of the immortal nature, and judged the most (d) acceptable and sweetest sacrifice to God to be the keeping of His own commandments. That He taught that men purified by them in body and soul, and adorned with a pure mind and holy doctrines would best reproduce the likeness of God, saying expressly: "Be ye perfect, as your Father is perfect."
Now if any Greek is the accuser, let him realize that his accusations would not please his own teachers, who, it may be, assisted by us, for they have come after us in time, I mean after the gifts to us of our Saviour's teaching, have expressed such sentiments as these in their writings---- listen.
That we ought not to burn as Incense, or offer in Sacrifice, any of the Things of Earth to the. Supreme God.
(105) From Porphyry 34 On Vegetarianism
[II. 34. Cf. Praep. Evan. IV. p. 149 B.]
To the supreme God, as a certain wise man has said, we must neither offer by fire, nor dedicate any of the things |121 known by sense. (For everything material is perforce impure to the immaterial.) Wherefore not even speech is germane to Him, whether of the speaking voice, or of the voice within when defiled by the passion of the soul. By (b) pure silence and pure thoughts of Him we will worship Him. United therefore with Him and made like Him, we must offer our own "self-discipline" 35 as a holy sacrifice to God. That worship is at once a hymn of praise and our salvation in the passionless state of the virtue of the soul. And in the contemplation of God this sacrifice is perfected.
From the Theology of Apollonius of Tyana 36 (Praep. Ev. p. 150).
In this way then, I think, one would best shew the the proper regard for the deity, and thereby beyond all other men secure His favour and good will, if to Him, Whom we called the First God, and Who is One and separate (c) from all others, and to Whom the rest must be acknowledged |122 inferior, he should sacrifice nothing at all, neither kindle fire nor dedicate anything whatever that is an object of sense----for He needs nothing even from beings that are greater than we are; nor is there any plant at all, which the earth sends up, nor animal which it, or the air, sustains, to which there is not some defilement attached----but should ever employ towards Him only that better speech: I mean (d) the speech which passes not through the lips, and should ask good things from the noblest of beings by what is noblest in ourselves, and this is the mind, which needs no instrument. According to this, therefore, we ought not to offer sacrifice to the great God, that is over all.37
If then these are the conclusions of eminent Greek philosophers and theologians, how could he be a deceiver who delivers to his pupils not words only but acts, which are far more important than words, to perform, by which they may serve God according . to right reason? The manner and words of the recorded sacrifices of the (106) ancient Hebrews have been already dealt with in the first Book of the present work, and with that we will be satisfied. And now, since besides what I have so far examined, we know that Christ taught that the world was created,38 and that the heaven itself, the sun, moon, and stars, are the work of God, and that we must not worship them but their Maker, we must inquire if we are deceived, in accepting this way of thinking from Him.
It was certainly the doctrine of the Hebrews, and the (b) most famous philosophers agreed with them, in teaching that the heaven itself, the sun, moon, and stars, indeed the whole universe, came into being through the Maker of all things. And Christ also taught us to expect a consummation and transformation of the whole into something better, in agreement with the Hebrew Scriptures. And what of that? Did not Plato 39 know the heaven itself, the sun, moon, and other stars to be of a dissoluble and corruptible nature, and if he did not say they would actually be |123 dissolved, it was only because (he thought that) the One Who put them together did not will it?
And though He willed us to be part of such a natural (c) order, yet He taught us to think that we have a soul immortal and quite unlike the unreasoning brutes, bearing a resemblance to the powers of God; and He instructed every barbarian and common man to be assured, and to think that this is so. Has He not made those, who hold His views through the whole world wiser than the philosophers with their eyebrows raised,40 who claim that in essence the human soul is identical with that of the flea, the worm, and the fly; yea, that the soul of their most philosophic brethren, so far as essence and nature go, differs not at all from the soul of a serpent, or a viper, or a bear, or a leopard, or a pig?
And if moreover He persisted in reminding men of a (d) divine judgment, and described the punishments and inevitable penalties of the wicked, and God's promises of eternal life to the good, the kingdom of heaven, and a blessed life with God, whom did He deceive?----nay, rather, whom did He not impel to follow virtue keenly, because of the prizes looked for by the holy, and whom did He not divert from all manner of sin through the punishment prepared for the wicked?
In His doctrinal teaching, we learn that below the Highest: God there are Powers, by nature unembodied and spiritual, (107) possessing reason and every virtue, a choir around the Almighty, many of whom are sent by the will of the Father even unto men on missions of salvation. We are taught to recognize and honour them according to the measure of their worth, but to render the honour of worship to Almighty God alone.
In addition to this He has taught us to believe that there are enemies of our race flying in the air (hat surrounds the earth, and that there dwell with the wicked powers of daemons, evil spirits and their rulers, whom we are taught (b) to flee from with all our strength, even if they usurp for themselves without limit God's Name and prerogatives. |124 And that they are to be shunned even more because of their warfare and enmity against God, according to the proofs I have given at great length in the Praeparatio.41 Whatever teaching of this kind is found in the doctrine of our Saviour is exactly the same religious instruction as the godly men and prophets of the Hebrews gave.
If, then, these doctrines are holy, useful, philosophic and full of virtue, on what fair ground can the name of deceiver (c) be fastened on their teacher?
But the above inquiry has had to do with Christ as if He only possessed ordinary human nature, and has shewn forth His teaching as weighty and useful----let us proceed and examine its diviner side.
Of the Diviner Works of Christ.
WE must now proceed to review the number and character of the marvellous works He performed while living among men: how He cleansed by His divine power those leprous (d) in body, how He drove demons out of men by His word of command, and how again He cured ungrudgingly those who were sick and labouring under all kinds of infirmity. As, for instance, one day He said to a paralytic, "Arise, take up thy bed, and walk," [[Matt iv.10]] and he did what he was told. Or [[Mark ii. 11.]] as again bestowed on the blind the boon of seeing the light; and once, too, a woman with an issue of blood, worn down for many long years by suffering, when she saw great crowds surrounding Him, which altogether prevented her approaching Him in order to kneel and beg from Him the cure of her suffering, taking it into her head that if she could (108) only touch the hem of His garment she would recover, she stole through, and taking hold of His garment, at the same moment took hold of the cure of her illness. She became whole that instant, and exhibited the greatest example of our Saviour's power. And another, a man 42 of courtly |125 rank, who had a sick son, besought Jesus, and at once John v. received him safe and well.
Another, again, had a sick daughter, and he was a chief ruler of a Synagogue of the Jews, and He (restored her) though she was even now dead. Why need I tell how (b) a man four days dead was raised up by the power of Jesus? Or how He took His way upon the sea, as upon the earth we tread, while His disciples were sailing? ---- and how when they were overtaken by the storm He rebuked the sea, and the waves, and the winds, and they all were still at once, as fearing their Master's voice?
When He filled to satisfaction five thousand men in addition to another great crowd of women and children, with loaves five in number, and had so much over that there was enough to (c) fill twelve baskets to take away, whom would He not astonish, and whom would He not impel to an inquiry of the true source of His unheard-of power? But in order not to extend my present argument to too great length, to sum all up I will consider His Death, which was not the common death of all men. For. He was not destroyed by disease, nor by the cord,43 nor by fire, nor even on the trophy 44 of the Cross were His legs cut with steel like those of the others who were evil-doers; neither, in a word, did He reach His end by suffering from any man any of the usual forms of violence which destroy life. But as if He were only handing His (d) life over willingly to those who plotted against His body, as soon as He was raised from the earth He gave a cry upon the tree, and commended His Spirit to His Father, saying these words: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"; thus uncompelled and of His own free will He departed from the body. And His body having then been taken by His friends, and laid in the fitting tomb,45 on the third day He again took back again the body which He had willingly resigned before when He departed.
And He shewed Himself again in flesh and blood, the very self He was before, to His own disciples, after staying a brief while with whom, and completing a short time, He returned where He was before, beginning His way to the (109) |126 heavens before their eyes. And giving them instructions on what was to be done, He proclaimed them teachers of the highest religion to all the nations. Such were the far-famed wonders of (our Saviour's) power. Such were the proofs of His divinity. And we ourselves have marvelled at them with reverent reasoning, and received them after subjecting them to the tests and inquiries of a critical judgment. We have inquired into and tested them not only by other plain facts which make the whole subject clear, by which our Lord is still wont to shew to those, whom He thinks worthy, some slight evidences of His power,46 but also by the more logical (b) method which we are accustomed to use in arguing with those who do not accept what we have said, and either completely disbelieve in it, and deny that such things were done by Him at all, or hold that if they were done, they were done by wizardry for the leading astray of the spectators, as deceivers often do. And if I must be brief in dealing with these opponents, at least I will be earnest, and refute them in some way or other.
Against those that disbelieve the Account of Our Saviour's Miracles given by His Disciples.
(c) Now if they say that our Saviour worked no miracle at all, nor any of the marvels to which His friends bore witness, let us see if what they say will be credible, if they have no rational explanation why the disciples and the Master were associated. For a teacher always promises some special form of instruction, and pupils always, in pursuit of that instruction, come and commit themselves to the teacher. |127
What cause then shall we assign to the union of the (d) disciples with Christ and of Christ with them, what lay at the root of their earnestness, and of what instruction did they rank Him as Master?
Is not the answer clear? It was only and altogether the instruction which they carried to other men, when they had learned it from Him. And His precepts were those of a philosopher's life, which He outlined when He said to them: "Provide neither gold nor silver 47 in your girdles, nor a staff for the road," [[Matt. x. 9.]] and similar words, that they should commit themselves to all-governing Providence, and take no care for their needs, and bade them to aim higher than the Jews under Moses' commandments, to whom he gave a law as to men prone to murder. "Do (110) not kill," and likewise, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" as to men who were lascivious and lecherous, and again, "Thou shalt not steal," as to men of the type of slaves; but our Saviour taught that they must regard such laws as not applying to them, and aim above all at a soul free from passion, cutting away from the depths of their minds as from the roots the shoots of sin: they must try to (b) master anger and every base lust, and more, they must never ruffle the sublime calm of the soul with anger: they must not look upon a woman with unbridled lust, and so far from stealing they must lavish their own property on the needy: they must not be proud of not defrauding one another, but consider rather that they must bear no malice against those who defrauded them. But why should I collect everything that He taught and that they learned? (c) He commanded them besides all this to hold so fast to truth, that so far from swearing falsely they should not need to swear at all, and to contrive to exhibit a life more faithful than any oath, going so far only as Yea and Nay, and using the words with truth.
I would ask, then, where would be the sense in suspecting that hearers of such teaching, who were themselves masters in such instruction, invented their account of their Master's work? How is it possible to think that they were all in (d) agreement to lie, being twelve in number especially chosen, and seventy besides, whom He is said to have sent two |128 and two before His face into every place and country into which He Himself would come? But no argument can prove that so large a body of men were untrustworthy, who embraced a holy and godly life, regarded their own affairs as of no account, and instead of their dearest ones ----I mean their wives, children, and all their family----chose a life of poverty, and carried to all men as from one mouth a consistent account of their Master. Such would be the right and obvious and true argument; let us examine that which opposes it. Imagine the teacher and his disciples. Then admit the fanciful hypothesis that he teaches not the aforesaid things, hut doctrines opposed to them, that is to say, to transgress, to be unholy, to be unjust, to be covetous and fraudulent, and anything else that is evil; that he recommends them to endeavour so to do without being found out, and to hide their disposition quite cleverly with a screen of holy teaching and a novel profession of godliness. Let the pupils pursue these, and more vicious ideals still, with the eagerness and (b) inventiveness of evil: let them exalt their teacher with lying words, and spare no falsity: let them record in fictitious narrative his miracles and works of wonder, so that they may gain admiration and felicitation for being the pupils of such a master. Come, tell me, if such an enterprise engineered by such men would hold together? (c) You know the saying, "The rogue is neither dear to rogue nor saint."1 Whence came, among a crew of so many, a harmony of rogues? Whence their general and consistent evidence about everything, and their agreement even unto death? Who, in the first place, would give heed to a wizard giving such teaching and commands? Perhaps you will say that the rest were wizards no less than their guide. Yes----but surely they had all seen the end of their (d) teacher, and the death to which He came. Why then after seeing His miserable end did they stand their ground? Why did they construct a theology about Him when He was dead? Did they desire to share His fate? No one surely on any reasonable ground would choose such a punishment with his eyes open.
And if it be supposed that they honoured Him, while |129 He was still their comrade and companion, and as some might say their deceitful cozener, yet why was it that after His death they honoured Him far more than before? For while He was still with men they are said to have once deserted Him and denied Him, when the plot was engineered against Him, yet after He had departed from men, they chose willingly to die, rather than to depart from their good witness about Him. Surely if they (112) recognized nothing that was good in their Master, in His life, or His teaching, or His actions----no praiseworthy deed, nothing in which He had benefited them, but only wickedness and the leading astray of men, they could not possibly have witnessed eagerly by their deaths to His glory and holiness, when it was open to them all to live on untroubled, and to pass a life of safety by their own hearths with their dear ones. How could deceitful and shifty men have thought it desirable to die for some one else, especially, if one may say so, for a man who they knew had been of no service to them, but their teacher in all evil? For (b) while a reasonable and honourable man for the sake of some good object may with good reason sometimes undergo a glorious death, yet surely men of vicious nature, slaves to passion and pleasure, pursuing only the life of the moment and the satisfactions which belong to it, are not the people to undergo punishment even for friends and relations, far less for those who have been condemned for crime. How then could His disciples, if He was really a deceiver and a wizard, recognized by them as such, with their own minds enthralled by still worse viciousness, (c) undergo at the hands of their fellow-countrymen every insult and every form of punishment on account of the witness they delivered about Him?----this is all quite foreign to the nature of scoundrels.
And once more consider this. Granted that they were deceitful cozeners, you must add that they were uneducated, and quite common men, and Barbarians to boot, with no knowledge of any tongue but Syrian----how, then, did they go into all the world? Where was the intellect to sketch out 48 so daring a scheme? What was the power that |130 enabled them to succeed in their adventure? For I will admit that if they confined their energies 49 to their own (d) country, men of no education might deceive and be deceived, and not allow a matter to rest.50 But to preach to all the Name of Jesus, to teach about His marvellous deeds in country and town, that some of them should take possession of the Roman Empire, and the Queen of Cities itself, and others the Persian, others the Armenian, that others should go to the Parthian race, and yet others to the Scythian, that some already should have reached the very ends of the world, should have reached the land of the Indians, and some have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain, all this I for my part will not admit (113) to be the work of mere men, far less of poor and ignorant men, certainly not of deceivers and wizards.51
I ask you how these pupils of a base and shifty master, who had seen His end, discussed with one another how they should invent a story about Him which would hang together? For they all with one voice bore witness that He cleansed lepers, drove out demons, raised the dead (b) to life, caused the blind to see, and worked many other |131 cures on the sick----and to crown all they agreed in saying that He had been seen alive after His death first by them. If these events had not taken place in their time, and if the tale had not yet been told, how could they have witnessed to them unanimously, and guaranteed their evidence by their death, unless at some time or other they had met together, made a conspiracy with the same intent, and come to an agreement with one another with regard to their lies and inventions about what had never taken place? What speech shall we suppose was made at their covenant? Perhaps it was something like this:
"Dear friends, you and I are of all men the best-informed with regard to the character of him, the deceiver and master of deceit of yesterday, whom we have all seen undergo the extreme penalty, inasmuch as we were initiated into his mysteries.52 He appeared a holy man to the people, and yet his aims were selfish beyond those of the people, and he has done nothing great, or worth a resurrection, if one leaves out of account the craft and guile of his disposition, and the crooked teaching he gave us and its vain deceit. In return for which, come, let us join hands, and all together make a compact to carry to all men a tale of deceit in which we all agree, and let us say that we have seen him bestow sight on the blind, which none of us ever heard he did, and giving hearing to the deaf, which none of us ever heard tell of: (let us say) he cured lepers, and raised the dead. To put it in a word, we must insist that he really did and said what we never saw him do, or heard him say. But since his last end was a notorious and well-known death, as we cannot disguise the fact, yet we can slip out even of this difficulty by determination, if quite shamelessly we bear witness that he joined us after his resurrection from the dead, and shared our usual home and food. Let us all be impudent and determined, and let us see that our freak lasts even to death. There is nothing ridiculous in dying for nothing at all. And why should we dislike for no good reason undergoing scourging and bodily |132 torture, and if need be to experience imprisonment, dishonour, and insult for what is untrue? Let us now (b) make this our business. We will tell the same falsehoods, and invent stories that will benefit nobody, neither ourselves, nor those we deceive, nor him who is deified53 by our lies. And we will extend our lies not only to men of our own race, but go forth to all men, and fill the whole world with our fabrications about him. And then let us lay down laws for all the nations in direct opposition to the opinions they have held for ages about their ancestral gods. Let us bid the Romans first of all not to worship the gods (c) their forefathers recognized. Let us pass over into Greece, and oppose the teaching of their wise men. Let us not neglect the Egyptians, but declare war on their gods, not going back to Moses' deeds against them of old time for our weapons, but arraying against them our Master's death, to scare them;54 so we will destroy the faith in the gods which from immemorial time has gone forth to all men, not by words and argument, but by the power of our Master Crucified.
Let us go to other foreign lands, and overturn all their (d) institutions. None of us must fail in zeal; for it is no petty contest that we dare, and no common prizes lie before us----but most likely the punishments inflicted according to the laws of each land: bonds, of course, torture, imprisonment, fire and sword, and wild beasts. We must greet them all with enthusiasm, and meet evil bravely, having our Master as our model. For what (115) could be finer than to make both gods and men our enemies for no reason at all, and to have no enjoyment of any kind, to have no profit of our dear ones, to make no money, to have no hope of anything gocd at all, but just to be deceived and to deceive without aim or object? This is our prize, to go straight in the teeth of all the nations, to war on the gods that have been acknowledged by them all for ages, to say that our Master, who (was crucified) 55 before our very eyes was God, and to represent Him as God's Son, for Whom we are ready to |133 die, though we know we have learned from Him nothing either true or useful. Yes, that is the reason we must (b) honour Him the more----His utter uselessness to us----we must strain every nerve to glorify His name, undergo all insults and punishments, and welcome every form of death for the sake of a lie. Perhaps truth is the same thing as evil, and falsehood must then be the opposite of evil. So let us say that He raised the dead, cleansed lepers, drove out daemons, and did many other marvellous works, knowing all the time that He did nothing of the kind, while we invent everything for ourselves, and deceive those we can. And suppose we convince nobody, at any rate we shall have the satisfaction of (c) drawing down upon ourselves, in return for our inventions, the retribution for our deceit."
Now is all this plausible? Does such an account have the ring of truth? Can any one persuade himself that poor and unlettered men could make up such stories, and form a conspiracy to invade the Roman Empire? Or that human nature, whose characteristic clement is self-preservation, would ever be able for the sake of nothing at all to undergo a voluntary death? (or) that our Saviour's (d) disciples reached such a pitch of madness, that, though they had never seen Him work miracles, they with one consent invented many, and having heaped together a mass of lying words about Him were ready to suffer death to uphold them? What is that you suggest? That they never looked forward to or expected to suffer anything unpleasant because of their witness 56 to Jesus, and so they had no fear in going forth to preach about Him? What, you think it unlikely, that men who announced to Romans, Greeks, and Barbarians the total rout of their gods, would expect to undergo extreme sufferings on behalf of their (116) Master? At least the record about them is clear in shewing, that after the Master's death they were taken by plotters, who first imprisoned them, and afterwards released them, bidding them speak to none about the Name of Jesus. And discovering that after this they had publicly discussed the questions about Him before the multitude, they took them in charge and scourged them as a punishment |134 for their teaching. It was then Peter answered them, and said: "It is right to obey God rather than men." [[Acts v. 29.]] And after this Stephen was stoned to death for boldly addressing the Jewish populace, and an extraordinary (b) persecution arose against those who preached in Jesus' Name.
Herod again later on, the King of the Jews, killed James the brother of John with the sword, and cast Peter into prison, as is written in the Acts of the Apostles. [[Acts xii.1-3]] And yet, though they had suffered thus, the rest of the disciples held tenaciously to Jesus, and were still more diligent in preaching to all of Him and His miracles.
Afterwards James, the Lord's brother, whom of old the people of Jerusalem called "the Just" for his extraordinary (c) virtue, being asked by the chief priests, and teachers of the Jews what he thought about Christ, and answering that He was the Son of God, was also stoned by them.57 Peter was crucified head downwards at Rome,58 Paul beheaded,59 and John exiled to an island. Yet though they suffered thus, not one of the others gave up his intention, (d) but they made their prayer to God that they themselves might suffer a like fate for their religion, and continued to bear witness to Jesus and His marvellous works with yet more boldness.
And even supposing that they combined together to invent falsehoods, it is surely wonderful that so large a number of conspirators should continue to agree about their inventions even to death, and that not one of them in alarm at what happened to those who had been already killed ever severed himself from the association, or preached against the others, and brought to light their conspiracy; nay, the very one who dared to betray his Master while He lived, dying by his own hand, at once paid the penalty for his treachery.
(117) And would it not be a most inexplicable thing that shifty and unlettered men, unable to speak or understand any other language but their own, should not only take it into their heads to dare to go forth to the whole circle60 of the nations, but that having gone forth they should |135 succeed in their undertaking. And note, what a remarkable thing it is that they all agreed in every point in their account of the acts of Jesus. For if it is true that in all matters of dispute, either in legal tribunals or in ordinary (b) disagreements, the agreement is decisive (in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established), 61 [[Deut. xiv.15; 2 Cor.xiii.1]] surely the truth must be established in their case, there being twelve apostles and seventy disciples, and a large number apart from them, who all shewed an extraordinary agreement, and gave witness to the deeds of Jesus, not without labour, and by bearing torture, all kinds of outrage and death, and were in all things borne witness to by God, Who even now empowers the Word they preached, and will do so for ever.
I have thus concluded the working out of what would (c) follow if for the sake of argument a ridiculous hypothesis were supposed. This hypothesis was, to make suppositions contrary to the records, and to argue that Jesus was a teacher of impure words, injustice, covetousness, and all kinds of intemperance, that the disciples, profiting by such instruction from Him, surpassed all men in cupidity and wickedness. It was, indeed, the height of absurdity, equivalent to saying that when Moses said in his laws: "Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not bear false witness," he should be calumniated and accused falsely of speaking in irony and pretence, and of really desiring that (d) his hearers should kill and commit adultery, and do the opposite to what his laws commanded, and of merely putting on the appearance and disguise of a holy life for a pretence. In this way, too, any one might slander the records of all the Greek philosophers, their strenuous life and sayings, with the calumny that their disposition and mode of life was contrary to their writings, and that their choice of a philosopher's life was but a hypocritical pretence. And in this way, to speak generally, (118) one might slander all the records of the ancients, annul |136 their truth, and turn them upside down. But just as no one who had any sense would not scruple to set down one who acted thus as a madman, so also (should it be) with regard to our Saviour's words and teaching, when people try to pervert the truth, and suggest that He really believed the opposite to what He taught. But my argument has been, of course, purely hypothetical, with the object of shewing the inconsistency of the contrary, by proving too much would follow from granting for the moment an absurd supposition.
This line of argument, then, being refuted, let me recur to the truth of the sacred writings, and consider the character of the disciples of Jesus. From the men as they stand, surely any sensible person would be inclined to consider them worthy of all confidence; they were admittedly poor men without eloquence, they fell in love with holy and philosophic instruction, they embraced and persevered in a strenuous and a laborious life, with fasting and abstinence from wine and meat, and much bodily restriction besides, with prayers and intercessions to God, (c) and, last but not least, excessive purity, and devotion botli of body and soul.
And who would not admire them, cut off by their divine philosophy even from lawful nuptials, not dragged in the train of sensual pleasure, not enslaved by the desire of children and descendants, since they did not yearn for mortal but immortal progeny? And who would not be astonished at their indifference to money, certified by their not turning from but welcoming a Master, Who forbade the possession of gold and silver, Whose law did not even allow the acquisition of a second coat? Why, any one only hearing such a law might reject it as too heavy, but these men are shewn to have carried out the words in fact. For once, when a lame man was begging from Peter's companions (it was a man in extreme need who begged for food), Peter, not having anything to give him, confessed that he had no belongings in silver or gold, and said: (119) "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I unto thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ,62 arise and walk." [[Acts iii. 6.]]
When the Master gave them gloomy prophecies, if they |137 gave heed to the things He said to them: "Ye shall have tribulation," [[John xvi. 33.]] and again: "Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice" [[John xvi. 20]]----the strength and depth of their nature is surely plain, since they did not fear the discipline of the body, nor run after pleasures. And the Master also, as One Who would not soothe them by deceit Himself, was like them in renouncing His property, and in His prophecy of the future, so open and so true, fixed in their minds the choice of His way of life. These were (b) the prophecies of what would happen to them for His Name's sake----in which He bore witness, saying that they should be brought before rulers, and come even unto kings, and undergo all sorts of punishments, not for any fault, nor on any reasonable charge, but solely for this----His Name's sake. And we who see it now fulfilled ought to be struck by the prediction; for the confession of the Name of Jesus ever inflames the minds of rulers. And (c) though he who confesses Christ has done no evil, yet they punish him with every contumely "for His Name's sake," as the worst of evil-doers, while if a man swears away the Name, and denies that he is one of Christ's disciples, he is let off scot-free, though he be convicted of many crimes.63 But why need I attempt to describe further the character of our Saviour's disciples? Let what I have said suffice to prove my contention. I will add a few words (d) more, and then pass to another class of slanderers.
The Apostle Matthew, if you consider his former life, did not leave a holy occupation, but came from those occupied in tax-gathering and over-reaching one another. [[Luke v. 27: Mark]] None of the evangelists has made this clear, neither his fellow-apostle John, nor Luke, nor Mark, but [[Matthew ii. 14.]] himself,64 who brands his own life, and becomes his own accuser. Listen how he dwells emphatically on his own name in the Gospel written by him,65 when he speaks in this way: |138
(120) "9. And as Jesus passed by from thence, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting at the place of toll, and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. 10. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples." [[Matt.ix.9.]]
And again further on, when he gives a list of the disciples, he adds the name "Publican" to his own. For he says:
(b) "Of the twelve apostles the names are these: First, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican." [[Matt. x.2-3.]]
Thus Matthew, in excess of modesty, reveals the nature of his own old life, and calls himself a publican, he does not conceal his former mode of life, and in addition to this he places himself second after his yoke-fellow. For he is paired with Thomas, Peter with Andrew, James with John, and Philip with Bartholomew, and he puts Thomas before himself, preferring his fellow-apostle to himself, while the (c) other evangelists have done the reverse. If you listen to Luke, you will not hear him calling Matthew a publican, nor subordinating him to Thomas, for he knows him to be the greater, and puts him first and Thomas second. Mark has done the same. Luke's words are as follows:
"And when it was day, he called his disciples unto him, and chose twelve whom he also named apostles, Simon whom he also called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas." [[Luke vi.13]]
(d) So Luke honoured Matthew, according to what they delivered, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word. And you would find John like Matthew. For in his epistles he never mentions his own |139 name, or call himself the Elder, or Apostle, or Evangelist; and in the Gospel, though he declares himself as the one whom Jesus loved, he does not reveal himself by name. Neither did Peter permit himself to write a Gospel through (121) his excessive reverence.66 Mark, being his friend and companion, is said to have recorded the accounts of Peter about the acts of Jesus, and when he comes to that part of the story where Jesus asked whom men said that He was, and what opinion His disciples had of Him, and Peter had replied that they regarded Him as (the) Christ, he writes that Jesus answered nothing, and said naught to him, except that He charged them to say nothing to any one about Him.
For Mark was not present when Jesus spoke those words; and Peter did not think it right to bring forward on his own testimony what was said to him and concerning him by Jesus. But Matthew tells us what was actually said to him, in these words:
"15. But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon (b) Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood have not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18. And I also say unto thee. That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever things 67 thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever things thou shall loose on earth shall be [[Matt. xvi.15]] loosed in heaven."
Though all this was said to Peter by Jesus, Mark does not record it, because, most likely, Peter did not include it in his teaching----see what he says in answer to Jesus' question: (c) "Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ. And [[Mark viii.29.]] he straitly charged them that they should tell no man." About this event Peter for good reasons thought it best to keep silence. And so Mark also omitted it, though he made known to all men Peter's denial, and how he wept |140 about it bitterly. You will find Mark gives this account of him:
"66. And as Peter was in the court,68 there cometh one of the maids of the high priest; 67. and when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68. But he denied saying (I know not) 69 neither understand what thou sayest; and he went into the outside porch, and the cock crew. 69. And the maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean. 71. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72. And the second time the cock crew." [[Mark xiv.66.]]
(122) Mark writes thus, and Peter through him bears witness about himself. For the whole of Mark's Gospel is said to be the record of Peter's teaching. Surely, then, men who refused (to record) what seemed to them to spread their good fame, and handed down in writing slanders against themselves to unforgetting ages, and accusations of sins, which no one in after years would ever have known of unless he had heard it from their own voice, by thus placarding themselves, may justly be considered to have (b) been void of all egoism and false speaking, and to have given plain and clear proof of their truth-loving disposition. And as for such people who think they invented and lied, and try to slander them as deceivers, ought they not to become a laughing-stock, being convicted as friends of envy and malice, and foes of truth itself, who take men that have exhibited in their own words good proof of their integrity, and their really straightforward and sincere (c) character, and suggest that they are rascals and clever sophists, who invent what never took place, and ascribe gratuitously to their own Master what He never did?
I think then it has been well said: "One must put complete confidence in the disciples of Jesus, or none at all." And if we are to distrust these men, we must distrust |141 all writers, who at any time have compiled, either in Greece or other lands, lives and histories and records of men of their own times, celebrated for noble achievements,70 or else we should be considering it reasonable to believe others, (d) and to disbelieve them only.71 And this would be clearly invidious. What! Did these liars about their Master, who handed down in writing the deeds He never did, also falsify the account of His Passion? I mean His betrayal by one of His disciples, the accusation of the false witnesses, the insults and the blows on His face, the scourging of His back, and the crown of acanthus set on His head in contumely, the soldier's purple coat thrown round Him like a cloak, and finally His bearing72 the very trophy of the Cross, His being nailed to it, His hands and feet pierced, His being given vinegar to drink, struck on the cheek with a reed, and reviled by those who looked on. Were these things and everything like them in the Gospels, (123) also invented by the disciples, or must we disbelieve in the glorious and more dignified parts, and yet believe in these as in truth itself? And how can the opposite opinion be supported? For to say that the same men both speak the truth, and at the same time lie, is nothing else but predicating contraries about the same people at the same time.
What, then, is the disproof? That if it was their aim to deceive, and to adorn their Master with false words, they would never have written the above accounts, neither would they have revealed to posterity that He was pained and (b) troubled and disturbed in spirit, that they forsook Him and fled, or that Peter, the apostle and disciple who was chief of them all, denied Him thrice though untortured and |142 unthreatened by rulers. For surely if their aim was solely to present the more dignified side of their Master they would have had to deny the truth of such things, even when stated by others. And if their good faith is evident in (c) their gloomier passages about Him, it is far more so in the more glorious. For they who had once adopted the policy of lying would have the more shunned the painful side, and either passed it over in silence, or denied it, for no man in an after age would be able to prove that they had omitted them.
Why, then, did they not lie, and say that Judas who betrayed Him with a kiss, when he dared to give the sign of treachery, was at once turned into a stone? 73 and that the man who dared to strike Him had his right hand at once dried up; and that the high priest Caiaphas, as he conspired with the false witnesses against Him, lost the (d) sight of his eyes? And why did they not all tell the lie that nothing disastrous happened to Him at all, but that He vanished laughing at them from the court, and that they who plotted against Him, the victims of an hallucination divinely sent, thought they were proceeding against Him still though He was no longer present? 74 But what? Would it not have been more impressive, instead of making up these inventions of His miraculous deeds, to have written that He experienced nothing of the lot of human beings or mortals, but that after having settled all things with power (124) divine He returned to heaven with diviner glory? For, of course, those who believed their other accounts would have believed this.
And surely they who have set no false stamp 75 on anything that is true in the incidents of shame and gloom, ought to be regarded as above suspicion in other accounts wherein they have attributed miracles to Him. Their evidence then may be considered sufficient about our (b) Saviour. And here it will not be inappropriate for me to make use of the evidence of the Hebrew Josephus 76 as |143 well, who in the eighteenth chapter of The Archaeology of the Jews, in his record of the times of Pilate, mentions our Saviour in these words:
"And Jesus arises at that time, a wise man, if it is befitting to call him a man. For he was a doer of no common works, a teacher of men who reverence truth. And he gathered many of the Jewish and many of the Greek race. This was Christus; and when Pilate (c) condemned him to the Cross on the information of our rulers, his first followers did not cease to revere him. For he appeared to them the third day alive again, the divine prophets having foretold this, and very many other things about him. And from that time to this the tribe of the Christians has not failed." 77
If, then, even the historian's evidence shews that He attracted to Himself not only the twelve Apostles, nor the seventy disciples, but had in addition many Jews and Greeks, He must evidently have had some extraordinary power beyond that of other men. For how otherwise could (d) He have attracted many Jews and Greeks, except by wonderful miracles and unheard-of teaching? And the evidence of the Acts of the Apostles goes to shew that there were many myriads of Jews who believed Him to be the Christ of God foretold by the prophets. And history also assures us that there was a very important Christian Church in Jerusalem, composed of Jews, which existed until the siege of the city under Hadrian.78 The bishops, too, who stand first in the line of succession there are said to have been Jews, whose names are still remembered by |144 (125) the inhabitants.79 So that thus the whole slander against His disciples is destroyed, when by their evidence, and apart also from their evidence, it has to be confessed that many myriads of Jews and Greeks were brought under His yoke by Jesus the Christ of God through the miracles that He performed.
Such being my answer to the first division of the unbelievers, now let us address ourselves to the second body, (b) This consists of those, who while they admit that Jesus worked miracles, say that it was by a species of sorcery that deceived those who looked on, like a magician or enchanter. He impressed them with wonder.
Against Those who think that the Christ of God was a Sorcerer.
OF course, such opponents must first of all be asked how they would reply to what has been already said. The question is about the possibility of a teacher of a noble and virtuous way of life, and of sane and reasonable doctrines, such as I have described, being a mere sorcerer in character. And supposing He was a magician and (c) enchanter, a charlatan and a sorcerer, how could He have become the source to all the nations of such teaching, as we ourselves see with our eyes, and hear even now with our ears? What sort of a person was He Who undertook to unite things which have never before been united? For a sorcerer being truly unholy and vile in his nature, dealing with things forbidden and unholy, always acts for the sake of base and sordid gain. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus, the Christ of God, was surely not open to such a charge. In (d) what sense could such a thing be said of One Who said to His disciples, according to their written record: " Provide neither gold nor silver in your girdles, nor a staff for the Matt.x.10. road, nor shoes"? How could they have heeded His sayings, and thought fit to hand them down recorded in |145 writing, if they had seen their Master bent on making money, and Himself doing the opposite of what He taught others? They would soon have ridiculed Him and His words and left their discipleship in natural disgust, if they had seen Him laying down such noble laws for them, and Himself the Lawgiver in no way following His own words. Once more, sorcerers and real charlatans devote themselves (126) to the forbidden and the unholy in order to pursue vile and unlawful pleasures, with the object of ruining women by magic, and seducing them to their own desires. But our Lord and Saviour is devoted to purity beyond the power of words to say, for His disciples record that He forbade them to look on a woman with unbridled lust, saying:
" It was said to them of old time, Thou shall not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." [[Matt. v.27]]
And on one occasion when they saw Him conversing with (b) a woman of Samaria when it was the only possible way to aid and save many, they wondered that He spoke with the woman, thinking they saw something marvellous, such as they had never before seen. And surely our Saviour's words commend a serious and severe tone of behaviour: while of His purity the great evidence is that teaching of His, in which He taught men to attain purity by cutting away from the depth of the heart the lustful desires:
"There are some eunuchs who so were born, and there are eunuchs who we're made eunuchs of men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake." [[Matt, xii.19.]]
The sorcerer again and the true charlatan courts notoriety (c) and ostentation in all his enterprises and actions, and always makes a boast of knowing more and having more than other people. But that our Lord and Saviour was not thirsty for notoriety, or a braggart or ostentatious, is shewn by His bidding those He cured to tell no one, and not to reveal Him to the crowd, so that He might escape notice, and also from His seeking periods of retirement in |146 (d) the mountains, and shunning the vicious society of the crowd in cities. If then He neither devoted Himself to teaching for glory, nor money, nor pleasure, what ground of suspicion remains for considering Him a charlatan and a sorcerer? But once more think of this point. A sorcerer, when he shares the fruits of his wickedness with others, makes men resemble himself: how can he help making sorcerers and charlatans and enchanters in all ways like himself? But who has ever so far found the whole body of Christians from His teaching given to sorcery or enchantment? (127) No one would suggest that, but rather that it has been concerned with philosophic words, as we have shewn. What, then, could you rightly call One Who was the source to others of a noble and pure life and of the highest holiness, but the prince of philosophers and the teacher of holy men? And I suppose so far as every master is better than his pupils, our Lord and Saviour must be considered, so far from being a charlatan and a sorcerer, but philosophic and truly holy (b) If, then, He was such, He could only have attempted His miracles by divine and unspeakable power and by the highest piety towards the Supreme God, Whom He is proved to have honoured and worshipped as His Father in the highest degree, from the accounts of Him. And the disciples, who were with Him from the beginning, with those who inherited their mode of life afterwards, are to such an incalculable extent removed from base and evil suspicion (of sorcery), that they will not allow their sick (c) even to do what is exceedingly common with non-Christians, to make use of charms written on leaves or amulets, or to pay attention to those promising to soothe them with songs of enchantment, or to procure ease for their pains by burning incense made of roots and herbs, or anything else of the kind. |147
All these things at any rate are forbidden by Christian teaching, neither is it ever possible to see a Christian using an amulet, or incantations, or charms written on curious leaves, or other things which the crowd consider quite permissible. What argument, then, can rank the disciples of such a Master with the disciples of a sorcerer and charlatan?
And yet the one great proof of the worth of any one who (d) promises to effect anything is found in the circle of his pupils. In the arts and sciences it is so, men always claim him who was the source of their skill to be greater than themselves; so medical students would witness to the excellence of their instructor in their own subject, geometricians will not regard any other as their master but a geometrician, and arithmeticians any but one skilled in arithmetic. In the same way, also, the best witnesses to a sorcerer are his pupils, who it may be presumed will themselves share in the character of their master. And yet through all these (128) years no disciple of Jesus has been proved a sorcerer, although rulers and kings from time to time have attempted by means of torture to extract the exactest information about our religion. No, in spite of all, none has admitted himself to be a sorcerer, though had he done so he might have gone free, and without any danger, only being compelled by them to offer sacrifice. And if not one of our own people has ever been convicted of sorcery, nor any of those ancient disciples of Jesus, it follows that their Master could not have been a sorcerer.
But that my argument may not be based solely on the (b) unwritten, hear the proofs also that I draw from the written record. The first disciples of Jesus in the Book of their own Acts, describe without doubt how the Gentiles thronging to their teaching (were so impressed), that many of those |148 with a bad reputation for sorcery, changed their ways to such an extent that they had the courage to bring the forbidden books into the midst, and commit them to the fire in the sight of all. Hear how the Scripture describes it:
"And many of those who used curious arts, brought their books, and burned them before all, and they reckoned the price of the books, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver." [[Acts xix 19]]
It shews what our Saviour's disciples were, it shews the extraordinary influence of their words when they addressed their audience, that they so touched the depths of their souls, caught hold of and pierced the individual conscience, that men no longer hid anything away in concealment, but brought their forbidden things to light, and (d) themselves completed the indictment of themselves and their own former wickedness. It shews what their pupils were like, how pure and honourable in disposition, determined that nothing evil in them should lurk below the surface, and how boldly they prided themselves on their change from the worse to the better. Yes, they who gave their magic books to the flames, and voted for their complete destruction, left no one in any doubt that they would never again have anything to do with sorcery, and from that day forth were pure from the slightest suspicion of it.
If, then, our Saviour's disciples are seen to have been like this, must not their Master have been so long before them?
(129) And if in the widest sense you wish to deduce from the character of His followers the character of their Head, you have to-day a myriad disciples of the teaching of Jesus, great numbers of whom have declared war against the natural pleasures of the body, and guard their minds from the stroke of every base passion, and when they grow old in temperance provide bright evidence of the nurture of His words. And not men only live the life of wisdom in this wise for His sake, but innumerable myriads of women, too, throughout the world, like priestesses of the Supreme God, embracing the highest wisdom, enraptured with the love of (b) heavenly wisdom, have lost all joy of bodily progeny, and spending all their care on the soul, have devoted themselves entirely body and soul alike to the King of kings, the Supreme God, practising complete purity and virginity. |149
Of one shepherd, we know, who left his own country for the sake of philosophy the sons of Greece are ever carrying the story hither and thither. This was their Democritus. And Krates is the second man who is a miracle among (b) them, because, forsooth! he resigned his property to the citizens, and boasted that "Krates himself had freed himself." But the zealots of the teaching of Jesus are myriads in number, not one or two, who have sold their goods and given them to the poor and needy, a fact to which I can witness, as I am specially concerned in such matters, and can see the results of the discipleship of Jesus not only in their words, but in their works as well.
But why need I tell how many myriads of actual barbarians, and not Greeks only, learning from the teaching of Jesus to despise every form of polytheistic error, have borne witness to their knowledge of the one God as Saviour and Creator of the Universe? Whom long ago, Plato was the only philosopher who knew, but confessed that he dare not carry His Name to all, saying in so many words: "To discover the Father and Creator of the Universe is a hard matter, and when He is found it is impossible to tell of Him to all." [[Timaeus p. 28]] Yes, to him the discovery seemed a |150 hard matter, for it is indeed the greatest thing of all, and it seemed to him impossible to speak of Him to all, because he did not possess so great a power of holiness as the (130) disciples of Jesus, to whom it has become easy by the cooperation of their Master to discover and to know the Father and Creator of all, and having discovered Him to bear forth that knowledge, to unveil it, to supply it, and to preach it to all men among all races of the world, with the result that even now at the present time owing to the instruction given by these men there are among all the nations of the earth many multitudes not only of men, but of women and children, slaves and country-folk, who are so far away from fulfilling Plato's dictum, that they know (b) the One God to be the Maker and Creator of the Universe, worship Him only, and base their whole theology on Christ. This, then, is the success of the new modern sorcerer; such are the sorcerers who spring from Him Who is reckoned a charlatan; and such are the disciples of Jesus, from whose character we may deduce that of their Master.
But once more, let us follow the argument in this direction: You say, my friend, that He was a sorcerer, and dub Him a clever enchanter and deceiver. Would . you say, then, that He was the first and only discoverer of the (c) business, or that we must not, as would be done in similar cases, look for the original source of His work directly in His own teaching? For if nobody taught Him, and He was Himself the first and only discoverer of the enterprise, if He had no benefit at all from the teaching of others, if he did not share in the feast of the ancients, we ought surely to ascribe divinity to Him, as One Who (d) without books, or education, or teachers, self-taught, self-educated, is assumed to have discovered such a new world. We know that it is impossible to acquire the knowledge of a lower-class trade, or of the art of reasoning, or indeed of the elements of knowledge without the help of a guide or teacher, unless the learner transcends the powers of ordinary people. I am sure we have not yet had a teacher of literature who was self-taught, nor an orator who had not been to school, nor a physician "born and not made," nor a carpenter, nor any other kind of craftsman; and these |151 things are relatively insignificant and human; what does it mean, then, to suggest that the Teacher of true religion to men, Who worked such miracles in the period of His earthly life, and did the extraordinary prodigies which I have lately described, was born actually endowed with (131) such power, and had not to share the feast of the ancients, nor to take advantage of the instruction of modern teachers, who had done like things before Him? What is it but to witness and confess that He was indeed divine, and that He altogether transcended humanity?
And supposing you say that He had foregathered with masters of deceit, and was acquainted with the wisdom of the Egyptians, and the secret knowledge of their ancient teachers, and that collecting His equipment from them, He appeared in the character that His story exhibits. (b) How is it, then, I reply, that no others have appeared greater than He, and no teachers antecedent to Him in time, either in Egypt, or anywhere else? Why has not their fame among all men preceded this accusation of Him, and why is not their glory even now celebrated in strains like ours? And what enchanter from the remotest age, either Greek or Barbarian, has ever been the Master of so many pupils, the prime mover of such laws and (c) teaching, as the power of our Saviour has shewn forth, or is recorded to have worked such cures, and bestowed such marvellous blessings, as our Saviour is reported to have done? Who has had friends and eye-witnesses of his deeds, ready to guarantee by the proof of fire and sword the truth of their witness, like the disciples of our Saviour, who have borne all insults, submitted to all forms of torture, and at last have sealed their witness about Him with their very blood?
Then, moreover, let him who supports the contention opposed to mine, inform me if any enchanter that ever existed has ever even taken it into his head to institute a new nation called after his own name? To go beyond the (d) mere conception, and to succeed in effecting it, is surely beyond the power of humanity.
What sorcerer has ever thought of establishing laws against idolatry in direct opposition to the decrees of kings, |152 ancient legislators, poets, philosophers, and theologians, and of giving them power, and of promulgating them so that they should last on unconquered and invincible for long ages? But our Lord and Saviour did not conceive and not dare to attempt, neither did he attempt and not succeed.
(132) With one word and voice He said to His disciples: "Go, and make disciples of all the nations in My Name, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," [[Matt. xxviii. 19.]] and He joined the effect to His Word; and in a little while every race of the Greeks and Barbarians was being brought into discipleship, and laws were spread among all nations opposed to the superstition of the ancients, laws inimical to daemons, and to all the deceits of polytheism, laws that have made Scythians, Persians, and the other barbarians temperate, and revolutionized every lawless and uncivilized custom, laws that have overturned the immemorial habits of the Greeks themselves, (b) and heralded a new and real religion. What similar daring has been shewn by the ancient sorcerers before the time of Jesus, or even after Him, which would make it plausible that He was assisted in His sorcery by others? And if the only answer to this is that no one has ever been like Him, for no one was the source of His virtue, surely it is time to confess that a strange and divine Being has sojourned in our humanity, by Whom alone, and for the first time in (c) man's history, things unrecorded before in human annals have been effected.
In such wise I will conclude this part of the subject. But I must again attack my opposer, and inquire if he has ever seen or heard of sorcerers and enchanters doing their sorcery without libations, incense, and the invocation and presence of daemons. But no one surely could venture to cast this aspersion on our Saviour, or on His teaching, or on those even now imitating His life. It must be clear even to the blind that we who follow Jesus arc totally opposed to such agencies, and would sooner dare to sacrifice our (d) soul to death than an offering to the dremons, yea, would |153 sooner depart from life than remain alive under the tyranny of evil daemons. Who does not know how we love by the mere Name of Jesus and the purest prayers to drive away all the work of the daemons? The mere word of Jesus and His teaching has made us all far stronger than this invisible Power, and has trained us to be enemies and foes of daemons, not their friends or associates, and certainly not their slaves and tributaries. And how could He Who (133) has led us on to this, Himself be the slave of the daemons? How could He sacrifice to evil spirits? Or how could He have invoked the daemons to aid Him in His Miracles, when even to-day every daemon and unclean spirit shudders at the Name of Jesus as at something that is likely to punish and torment its own nature, and so departs and yields to the power of His Name alone? So was it of old in the days when He sojourned in this life: they could not bear His Presence, but cried, one from, one side and one from another: "Come, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, (b) Son of God? Art thou come to torment us before the time?" [[Matt. viii.29.]]
And a man whose mind was wholly devoted to sorcery, and in every way involved in the quest of the forbidden, would surely be (would he not?) unholy in his ways; scandalous, base, atheistic, unjust, irreligious. And if He were such, from what source, or by what means, could He teach others about religion, or temperance, or the knowledge of God, or about the tribunal and judgment of Almighty God? Would He not rather commend the (c) opposites of these, and act according to His own wickedness, deny God and God's Providence, and God's Judgment, and revile teaching about virtue and the immortality of the soul? And if one could see such a character in our Lord and Saviour, there would be no more to say. But (d) if instead we see Him calling on God the Father, the Creator of all things, in every act and word, and training His pupils to resemble Him, if He being pure Himself teaches purity, if He is a maker and herald of justice, truth, philanthropy, and every virtue, and the introducer of the worship of God the King of kings, surely it follows from this that He cannot be suspected of working His |154 miracles by sorcery, and that we must admit that they were the result of unspeakable and truly inspired power. (134)
But if you are so far gone in folly as not to pay any heed to temperate argument and logical consistency of thought, and are not impressed by probable proofs, because you suspect me perhaps to be a special pleader----at least you will hear your own daemons, the gods I mean who give the oracles, hear them bearing witness to our Saviour, not like you of His sorcery, but of His holiness, His wisdom, and His Ascension into Heaven. What could be a more persuasive testimony than that written by our enemy 80 in the third chapter of his book, Concerning Philosophy from Oracles, where he thus speaks in so many words.
Oracles about Christ.
"WHAT I am about to say may seem surprising to some. It is that the gods have pronounced Christ to have been most holy and immortal, and they speak of Him reverently."
And lower down he adds:
"To those asking the question, 'Is Christ a God?' the oracle replied:
That the soul goes forth immortal after (its severance from) the body.
Thou knowest, severed from wisdom it ever roams.
That soul is the soul of a man signal in holiness." |155
He certainly says here that He was most holy, and that His soul, which the Christians ignorantly worship, like the souls of others, was made immortal after death. And when asked, "Why did He suffer?" the oracle replied:
The body of the weak has ever been exposed to torments,
But the soul of holy men takes its place in heaven."
And he adds after the oracle:
"Christ, then, was holy, and like the holy, went to the (d) heaven. Wherefore you will say no evil about Him, but pity the folly of men."
So says Porphyry even now. Was He then a charlatan, my friend? Perhaps the friendly words of one of your kidney may put you out of countenance. For you have our Saviour Jesus, the Christ of God, admitted by your own teachers to be, not an enchanter or a sorcerer, but holy, wise, the justest of the just, and dwelling in the vaults of heaven. He, then, being such, could only have done |156 His miracles by a divine power, which also the holy writings bear witness that He had, saying that the Word of God and the highest Power of God dwelt in man's shape and form, nay, even in actual flesh and body therein, and performed all the functions of human nature. (135) And you yourself may realize the divine elements of this power, if you reflect on the nature and grandeur of a Being who could associate with Himself poor men of the lowly fisherman's class, and use them as agents in carrying through a work that transcends all reason. For having conceived the intention, which no one ever before had done, of spreading His own laws and a new teaching among all nations, and of revealing Himself as the teacher of the religion of One Almighty God to all the races of men, He (b) thought good to use the most rustic and common men as ministers of His own design, because maybe He had in mind to do the most unlikely things. For how could men unable even to open their mouths be able to teach, even if they were appointed teachers to only one person, far less to a multitude of men? How should they instruct the people, who were themselves without any education?
But this was surely the manifestation of the divine will and of the divine power working in them. For when He called them, the first thing He said to them was: " Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." [[Mark i. 17.]] And (c) when He had thus acquired them as His followers, He breathed into them His divine power, He filled them with strength and bravery, and like a true Word of God and as God Himself, the doer of such great wonders, He made them hunters of rational and thinking souls, adding power to His words: "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men," and sent them forth fitted already to be workers and teachers of holiness to all the nations, declaring (d) them heralds of His own teaching. And who would not be amazed and naturally inclined to disbelieve a thing so extraordinary, for none of those who have ever won fame among men----no king, no legislator, no philosopher, no Greek, no barbarian----are recorded to have ever conceived such a design, or dreamed of anything at all resembling it? For each one of them has been satisfied, if he could establish his own system over his own land only, and if he were able to enforce desirable laws within the limits of his own race. |157 Whereas He, who conceived nothing human or mortal, see (136) how truly He speaks with the voice of God, saying in these very words to those disciples of His, the poorest of the poor: "Go forth, and make disciples of all the nations." [[Matt.xxviii. 19.]] "But how," the disciples might reasonably have answered the Master, "can we do it? How, pray, can we preach to Romans? How can we argue with Egyptians? We are men bred up to use the Syrian tongue only, what language shall we speak to Greeks? How shall we persuade Persians, Armenians, Chaldrearis, Scythians, Indians, and other (b) barbarous nations to give up their ancestral gods, and worship the Creator of all? What sufficiency of speech have we to trust to in attempting such work as this? And what hope of success can we have if we dare to proclaim laws directly opposed to the laws about their own gods that have been established for ages among all nations? By what power shall we ever survive our daring attempt?"
But while the disciples of Jesus were most likely either saying thus, or thinking thus, the Master solved their difficulties, by the addition of one phrase, saying they should (c) triumph "In MY NAME." For He did not bid them simply and indefinitely make disciples of all nations, but with the necessary addition of " In my Name." And the power of His Name being so great, that the apostle says: "God has given him a name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth," [[Phil. ii. 9.]] He shewed the virtue of the power in His Name concealed (d) from the crowd when He said to His disciples: "Go, and make disciples of all nations in my Name." He also most accurately forecasts the future when He says: "For this gospel must first be preached to all the world, for a witness to all nations." [[Matt.xxiv.14.]]
These words were said in a corner of the earth then, and only those present heard it. How, I ask, did they credit them, unless from other divine works that He had done they had experienced the truth in His words? Not one of them disobeyed His command: but in obedience to (137) His Will according to their orders they began to make disciples of every race of men, going from their own country to all races, and in a short time it was possible to see His words realized. |158
The Gospel, then, in a short time was preached in the whole world, for a witness to the heathen, and Barbarians and Greeks alike possessed the writings about Jesus in their ancestral script and language. And yet who would not quite reasonably be at a loss to explain how the disciples of Jesus gave this teaching? Did they go into the (b) middle of the city, and stand there in the Agora, and call on the passers-by with a loud voice, and then address the populace? And what were the arguments in their address, which would have any chance of persuading such an audience? How could untrained speakers, quite deficient in education, give addresses at all?
Perhaps you suggest they did not speak in public, but in private to those they met. If so, with what arguments could they have persuaded their hearers?----for they had (c) a most difficult task, unless they were ready to deny the shameful death of Him they preached. And suppose they concealed it, and passing over the nature and number of His sufferings at the hands of the Jews, retailed simply the noble and the glorious incidents (I mean His miracles and mighty works, and His philosophic teaching), they had even so no light problem to solve in gaining easily the adherence of listeners, who spoke strange tongues, and then for the first time heard novelties talked of by men who brought with them nothing sufficient to authenticate |159 what they said. Yet such a Gospel would, perhaps, have (d) seemed more plausible.
But in fact they preached, first, that God came on an embassy in a man's body, and was actually the Word of God by nature, and had wrought the wonders He did as God. And next----a tale opposed to this, that He had undergone insult and contumely, and at last the Cross, the most shameful punishment and the one reserved for the most criminal of mankind; who would not have had ground for despising them as preaching an inconsistent message?
And who could be so simple, as to believe them easily when they said that they had seen Him after His death risen to life from the dead, One Who was unable to defend Himself when alive? Who would have believed common and uneducated men who told them they must (138) despise their fathers' gods, condemn the folly of all who lived in the ages past, and put their sole belief in them and the commands of the Crucified----because He was the only-beloved and only-begotten Son of the One Supreme God? I myself, when I frankly turn the account over in my own mind, have to confess that I find in it no power to persuade, no dignity, no credibility, not even enough plausibility, to convince iust one of the most simple, (b) But when I turn my eyes away to the evidence of the power of the Word, what multitudes it has won, and what enormous churches have been founded by those unlettered and mean disciples of Jesus, not in obscure and unknown places, but in the most noble cities----I mean in Royal Rome, in Alexandria, and Antioch, throughout the whole of Egypt and Libya, Europe and Asia, and in villages and (c) country places and among the nations----I am irresistibly forced to retrace my steps, and search for their cause, and to confess that they could only have succeeded in their daring venture, by a power more divine, and more strong than man's, and by the co-operation of Him Who said to them: "Make disciples of all the nations in my Name."
And when He said this He appended a promise, that would ensure their courage and readiness to devote themselves to carrying out His commands. For He said to |160 them: "And lo! I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the world." Moreover, He is said to have breathed into them a holy Spirit, yea to have given them divine and miraculous power----first saying: "Receive ye Holy Spirit," [[John xx.22]] and then: "Heal the sick, cleanse lepers, cast out demons; freely ye have received, freely give.'' [[Matt. x. 8.]]
You yourself will recognize what power their word has had, for the Book of the Acts agrees with their having these powers, and gives consistent evidence, where these men are reported by their power of working miracles by (139) the Name of Jesus to have astonished the spectators present.
They amazed the spectators first most probably by the miracles themselves; they then found men bent on inquiring Who He was, Whose power and Name had caused the wonder; then they taught them and found that their faith had preceded the teaching. For without persuasion by words, being first convinced by works, they were easily brought into the state that the words required. For some are said to have been about to offer sacrifices and libations to the disciples of Jesus, as if they had been gods. [[Acts xiv. 12.]] And the exhibition of their miracles so struck their minds, that they called one (b) Hermes and the other Zeus. And, of course, whatever they told about Jesus to men in such a state, was naturally after that considered the truth, and thus their evidence for His Resurrection after death was not given by simple or unproven words, but came with the persuasion of the very working, since they could shew forth the works of One living still.
And if they preached that He was God, and the Son of God, being with the Father before He came to earth, to this truth they were equally open, and would certainly have (c) thought anything opposed to it incredible and impossible, reckoning it impossible to think that what was done was the work of a human being, but ascribing it to God without any one telling them.
Here, then, in this and nothing else is the answer to our question, by what power the disciples of Jesus convinced |161 their first hearers, and how they persuaded Greeks as well as barbarians to think of Him as of the Word of God, and how in the midst of cities, as well as in the country, they (d) instituted places of instruction in the religion of the One Supreme God.
And yet all must wonder, if they consider and reflect, that it was not by mere human accident, that the greater part of the nations of the world were never before under the one empire of Rome, but only from the times of Jesus. For His wonderful sojourn among men synchronized with Rome's attainment of the acme of power, Augustus then first being supreme ruler over most of the nations, in whose time, Cleopatra being captured, the succession of the Ptolemies was dissolved in Egypt. And from that day (140) to this, the kingdom of Egypt has been destroyed, which had lasted from immemorial time, and so to say from the very beginnings of humanity. Since that day the Jewish people have become subject to the Romans, the Syrians likewise, the Cappadocians and Macedonians, the Bithynians and Greeks, and in a word all the other nations who are under Roman rule. And no one could deny that the synchronizing of this with the beginning of the teaching about our Saviour is of God's arrangement, if he considered the difficulty of the disciples taking their journey, had the (b) nations been at variance one with another, and not mixing together because of varieties of government. But when these were abolished, they could accomplish their projects quite fearlessly and safely, since the Supreme God had smoothed the way before them, and subdued the spirit of the more superstitious citizens under the fear of a strong central government.
For consider, how if there had been no force available to hinder those who in the power of polytheistic error were contending with Christian education, that you would have long ago seen civil revolutions, and extraordinarily bitter persecutions and wars, if the superstitious had had (c) the power to do as they willed with them.
Now this must have been the work of God Almighty, this subordination of the enemies of His own Word to a |162 greater fear of a supreme ruler. For He wills it daily to advance, and to spread among all men. And, moreover, that it might not be thought to prosper through the leniency of rulers, if some of them under the sway of evil designed (d) to oppose the Word of Christ, He allowed them to do what was in their hearts, both that his athletes might display their holiness, and also that it might be made evident to all that the triumph of the Word was not of the counsel of men, but of the power of God. Who would not wonder at what ordinarily happened in times like those? For the athletes of holiness of old shone forth clear and glorious to the eyes of all, and were thought worthy of the prizes of God; while the enemies of holiness paid their meet penalty, driven mad with divine scourges, afflicted with (141) terrible and vile diseases in their whole body, so that at last they were forced to confess their impiety against Christ. And all the rest who were worthy of the Divine Name, and gloried in their Christian profession, passing through a short discipline of trial, exhibited the nobility and sincerity of their hearts, received back again once more their own liberty, while through them the word of salvation shone out daily more brightly, and ruled even in the midst of foes.
And not only did they struggle against visible enemies, (b) but against the invisible, such evil daemons and their rulers as haunt the nebulous air around the earth, whom also Christ's true disciples by purity of life and prayer to God and by His Divine Name drove off, giving proofs of the miraculous signs, which of old were said to have been done by Him, and also, to eyes that could see, of His divine power still active.
And now that these preliminary topics are concluded, in their right order, I must proceed to handle the more mystical theology about Him, and consider Who He was that performed miracles through the visible humanity (of Jesus).
[Footnotes up to p.145 renumbered and placed here at the end. Footnotes after that omitted as tedious to transcribe and of limited value to the general reader.]
1. 1 Books I. and II. are the "prolegomena." The Demonstratio itself begins here. Eusebius claims by his arguments to have established the Christian use of the O.T., since Christianity is its real fulfilment. The way is now clear for the work itself, ἡ αὐτὴ ὑπόθεσις, which is an examination of the prophetic witness to Christ, and of the correspondence of Jesus Christ with that witness, as described in the Gospels, and as evident in the effects of His coming on the world of heathenism.
2. 2 παρέλαβον = state concisely.
3. 1 Following Gaisford, who for ἀναβλέπουσι suggests ἀμβλυώττουσι. Diodatus had evidently read----ἀναπήροις οὖσι.
4. 1 LXX: ἰδοὺ κύριος. κύριος μετὰ ἰσχύος ἔρχεται.
5. 1 S.: οἱ ἄνθρωποι. Prayer Book Version: " Put them in fear."
6. 1 S. reads for δίδωμι ("give"), ὕω----"rain down."
7. 1 W.H. add κατ' ἰδίαν.
8. 2 E.: ἐν δακτύλῳ Θεου~. W.H.: ἐν πνεύματι Θεοῦ.
9. 3 S. adds: "whom you yourself know to be elders of the people and their scribes, and thou shall bring them to the tabernacle of witness, and they shall stand there with thee. And I will descend and speak there with thee."
10. 1 S. "He brought the seventy men" follows in verse 24.
11. 2 E.: μαθητάς. W.H.: ἑτέρους.
12. 3 E. omits αυτούς.
13. 4 S. reads: "Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shall not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness (ψευδομαρτυρύσεις for ἐπιορκήσεις) against thy neighbour."
14. 1 ἡ παλαιὰ γραφη&, or "ancient records."
15. 2 διαθέσει γνησιωτάτη.
16. 3 See note, page 21.
17. 1 The ancestor of the Herods was Antipater, governor of Judaea under Alexander Jannaeus (104-78 B.C.). Nicolaus of Damascus, Herod's minister, represented him as a Jew, but Josephus states that he was an Idumaean of high birth. (Jos., B.J. i. 6. 2; Ant. xiv. 8. 1.) The stories of his servile and Philistine origin, common among Jews and Christians, have no foundation: e.g. Just. Mart., Tryph. 52: Ἡρώδην Ἀσκαλωίττην: Julius Africanus ap Eus., H.E. i. 7. 11. See Schürer, History of the Jewish People, i. 314 n.
18. 1 Cf. I. i.
19. 2 ὀλιγοστὸς εἶ τοῦ εἶναι; cf. Origen, contra Celsum, l. i. §51. "The cave is shewn where He was born, and the manger in which He was swaddled; and that which is widely spoken of in those places, even among aliens from the faith, viz. that Jesus . . . was born in that cave.' Earlier Apologists, e.g. Justin, do not mention the cave. Helena, A.D. 326, "left a fruit of her piety to posterity" in two churches which she built, "one at the cave of the nativity." Eus., Vita Const, cc. 42, 43; cf. Dem. p. 1.
20. 1 E. omits: ὅτι ἀπέστραπται τό πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ.
21. 2 E. omits: ἄνθρωπος τῇ ὁδῷ αὐτοῦ ἐπλανήθη.
22. 3 E. omits: Ἐν τῇ ταπεινώσει ἡ κρίσις αὐτοῦ ἠρθη.
23. 1 ἀντιβλέψαι. Cf. P.E. 289 B, from Orig., Tom. iii. in Gen. ἀντιβλέπειν ἡδονῇ ---- to resist pleasure.
24. 2 LXX: καὶ τῶν αὐλαίων σου.
25. 3 E.: καὶ τὰς δέρρεις τῶν αὐλαίων.
26. 1 Unbelievers in the prophecies must be approached by another method. To them E. must speak of Christ, ὡς περὶ ἀνδρὸς κοινοῦ καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς παραπλησίου. The uniqueness of His Humanity will point the way to the revelation of His Divinity, as foretold by the prophets. Of what nature then was His power? Was it wizardry?
27. 1 ἐπιεικείας.
28. 2 Or "reassembled."
29. 3 Reading ἀνθρώπους αὐτοὺς καθ (Paris ed.), and supplying, "are following the way of": "Plura mihi videnter emendationis egere" (Gaisford).
30. 1 ἐπὶ σπείρας· σπεῖρα, equivalent of Roman "manipulus" (Polyb. xi. 23. 1). In Acts x. 1 a larger body, probably "a cohort."
31. 2 τραχηλισθέντα. Cp. Heb. iv. 13. The spirit of Heathenism was the true deceiver which had deluded an originally monotheistic world into polytheism.
32. 3 i.e. followers of Porphyry.
33. 4 Cf. Sib. Or. iii. 218 seq. for an eulogy of the Jews: "There is on earth a city, Ur of the Chaldees, from which springs a race of upright men, ever given to wise counsel and good works." See Bate, The Sibylline Oracles, S.P.C.K., pp. 31-36, for an account of the Sibyl in early Christian literature.
34. 1 Porphyry (Malchus, Vit. Plot. vii. 107) "the soberest of the Neoplatonic philosophers" (Cheetham), succeeded Plotinus. He was born A. D. 232 at Batanea, probably of a Tyrian family, Vit. Plot. 8; Jerome, Praef. in Gal.; Chrysost. Hom. on 1 Cor. vi. p. 58. He met Origen (Vincent Lerin. Commonit. i. 23) and afterwards ridiculed his method (Eus., HE. vi. 19). He was a pupil of Longinus at Athens (Eus., P. E. x. 3. 1). He joined Plotinus at Rome, and earlier in Eusebius' life lived in Sicily. He died about 305. His philosophy was intensely ethical, and emphasized personal access to God, in faith, truth, love, and hope. He was hostile to Christianity, though he reverenced Christ as a man, and wrote a work called To the Christians, His chief remaining works are De Abstinentia, Lives of Plotinus and Pythagoras, Letters to Marcellus, Anebo and Sententiae. See also note p. 155.
35. 1 ἀγωγήν.
36. 2 Philostratus' Life of Apollonius. See Praep. Evan. p. 150, where G. quotes from Ritter and Preller "a brief summary of Suidas of the life of this notorious philosopher and imposter." He flourished in the reigns of Caius, Claudius, and Nero, and until the time of Nerva, in whose reign he died. After the example of Pythagoras he kept silence five years: then he sailed away to Egypt, afterwards to Babylon to visit the Magi, and thence to the Arabians: and from all those he collected the innumerable juggleries ascribed to him. He composed Rites, or concerning Sacrifice, A Testament, Oracles, Epistles, Life of Pythagoras. The life by Philostratus, written at the request of the wife of the Emperor Septimius Severus, is accessible in Phillimore's edition and in the Loeb Series. (See Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, pp. 40, 399, 472, 518.) "As against unmodified Judaism the Christians could find support for some of their own positions in the appeal to religious reformers like Apollonius of Tyana; who condemning blood-offerings as he did on more radical grounds than themselves was yet put forward by the apologists of paganism as a half-divine personage."----T. WHITTAKER, The Neo-Platonists, p. 138.
37. 1 Gifford's translation.
38. 2 γενητὸς ὁ κόσμος, cf. note by Gifford in P. E. 18 c. 3 on distinction between ἀγένητος (uncreated) and ἀγέννητος (unbegotten).
39. 3 E. quotes Phaedo, 96 A. (P. E. 26) on the research into the natural laws of growth and decay; cf. Republ. viii. 546.
40. 1 τας ὀφρῦς ἀνασπακότων, cf. P. E. 135 d of theosophical philosophers, 224 a from Oenomaus ---- to draw up the eyebrows, and so put on a grave important air. Ar. Ach. 1069, Dem. 442, 11, etc. (L. and S.) This satirical account echoes the irony of Plato.
41. 1 See chiefly, P. E., Books iv. v. and vi.
42. 2 Βασιλικὸς ἀνὴρ.
43. 1 Or "choked by a cord."
44. 2 τὸ τρόπαιον: the other reading is τὸν τρόπον which hardly yields sense.
45. 3 Or "buried in the fitting way."
46. 1 l. c. The Lord's miracles have been tested both by their agreement with what the Christian recognizes as miraculous in a minor degree still, and also by a logical method that should appeal to the unbeliever. (There seems to be something corrupt in the text.) For the continuance of miraculous powers in the third century, cf. Origen c. Cels. i. 13, also i. 9 (pp. 411, 405).
47. 1 W.H. add μηδὲ χαλκόν.
48. 1 ἐφαντάσθησαν, cf: P.E. 17 c, of learning God's greatness from His works: here it has the Aristotelian sense of something imagined.
49. 1 Καλινδουμένοι; cf. ἐκαλινδοῦντο, P. E. 511, a, 1. Lit.: "rolling about," so in common idiom "busied.'' So Dem. 403, 9; Xen. Cyr. I. 4, 5; Isoc. 295 B.
50. 2 ἐφ' ἡσυχίας. Cf. Arist. Vesp. 1517.
51. 3 Cf. H.E. iii. i, which gives the tradition that the apostles evangelized the whole world: Thomas receiving Parthia, Andrew Scythia, John Asia, Peter the Jews of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia and Asia; Paul, preaching from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and ii. 16 makes Mark the apostle of Egypt, and v. 10 tells how Pantaenus (circa 160) went to India, and found a Church that had been founded by Bartholomew.
Harnack regards all traditions of apostolic missions as legendary, except those of Paul, Peter, and "perhaps John of Ephesus," but accepts the Mission of Pantaenus (Expansion of Christianity, I. pp. 439-441). For earlier statements of the diffusion of Christianity cf. Justin, Trypho, c. cxvii.; Tertullian Apol. xxxvii., adv. Jud. 7: "The haunts of the Britons inaccessible to the Romans subjugated to Christ." About A.D. 150 the Church of Edessa counted the king among its members (see F. C. Burkitt, Early Christianity outside the Roman Empire, p. 11, Cambridge, 1899) and Persia, Media, Parthia and Bactria were evangelized. Origen (185-254) visited the Arabian Churches more than once. In Africa, Egypt, Cyrene, and Carthage were evangelized before 200. In Gaul there were strong Churches, e. g. Lyons and Vienne. (G. P. Fisher, History of the Church, pp. 46, 47. London, 1892.)
52. 1 οἷα μύσται τῶν ἀπορρήτων αὐτοῦ γεγενημένοι.
53. 1 ἐκθειαζόμενον; cf. P. E. 41 a, 780 b.
54. 2 ὥσπέρ τι φόβητρον.
55. 3 σταυρωθέντα supplied by Gaisford.
56. 1 ὑπ' αὐτοῦ (P.). Amended to ὑπέρ by Gaisford.
57. 1 See Eus., H.E. ii. 23.
58. 2 Ibid. ii. 25.
59. 3 Ibid. iii. 23.
60. 4 περίδος. Cf. HE. 72b.
61. 1 S. (Deut. xix. 15): ἐπὶ στόματος δύο μαρτύρων, καὶ ἐπὶ στόματος τριῶν μαρτύρων στήσεται πᾶν ῥῆμα. W.H. (2 Cor. xiii. 1): ἐπι στόματος δύο μαρτύρων καὶ τριῶν σταθήσεται πᾶν ῥῆμα. E.: ἐπὶ στόματος δ̕ οὖν δύο καὶ τριῶν μαρτύρων συνίσταται πᾶν ῥῆμα.
62. 1 W.H. add τοῦ Ναζωραίου.
63. 1 Cf. Tertull., Apol. c. 2: "Illud solum expectatur quod odio publico necessarium est, confessio nominis, non examinatio criminis."
64. 2 W.H.: λεγόμενον. E.: ὀνόματι.
65. 3 That Matthew "wrote in Hebrew the Gospel that hears his name'' is stated by Eus., H.E. iii. 24. And the words of Papias that "Matthew compiled the Logia in Hebrew, while they were interpreted by each man according to his ability," are quoted, H.E. iii. 39. It is agreed that E. was wrong in thinking our Matthew a translation of the Hebrew Logia. But there is no doubt a strong Matthaean element in the non-Marcan, and even in some of the Marcan, constituents of our Matthew. See J. V. Bartlet (Hastings' D.B. vol. iii. p. 296 sq.), who postulates Palestinian catechetical Matthaean Logia, earlier than the matter used by Mark in its Petrine form, taking written form as the main constituent in our Gospel, which was composed either before or after A.D. 70, as the basis of them and the Marcan memoirs of Peter (ib. p. 304). If this be so, the argument of E. as to Matthew's modesty would to a slight extent hold good.
66. 1 εὐλάβεια: cf. Hebrews xii. 29, μετὰ εὐλαβείας καὶ δέους.
67. 2 W.H.: ὅ ἐάν and singular participles. E.: ὅσα ἄν and pl.
68. 1 E. changes order of words: Verses 67 and 69 read εἰς τὴν ἔξω πρόαυλιν, for ἔξω εἰς τὸ προαύλιον (68). W.H. add κάτω (66).
69. 2 Paris Text adds οὔτε οἶδα.
70. 1 It is certainly true that modern Criticism has judged the Gospels by canons that would be considered unduly rigorous in other fields of history. But the enormous importance of the issues has made this inevitable, and the Church has not shrunk from the minutest examination of her documents. I do not know the author of the saying: " One must .... at all."
71. 2 The χλαμύς was the short military cloak. It is used by Plutarch (Peric 35, Lysander 13) for the "paludamentum," or general's cloak, and also for the royal cloak. The χιτών was the soldier's frock worn under the outer garment. E. says the "frock" was used in mockery for a (royal) cloak.
72. 3 ἐπικομίζοντα. usually "carry to " There seems no force here in the ἐπί.
73. 1 Possibly E. is condemning by implication some absurd tales in the Apocryphal Gospels.
74. 2 As the Docetists taught.
75. 3 Παραχαράξαντες cf. P.E. 495 a. A word used both literally and metaphorically of "marking with a false stamp," "falsifying."
76. 4 Josephus, Ant. XVIII. iii. 3. The passage is also quoted, H.E. I. 11. 6, 7. It is found in all MSS. of Josephus, none being earlier than the eleventh century. But it is not quoted by Origen (contra Celsum, i. 47, and the extant part of Comm. in Matt. Tom. x. 17), and his use of Ant. xx. 9, for Josephus' evidence to Christ seems to count against his knowledge of this passage. W. E. Barnes' recent reexamination of the question makes out a strong case for its authenticity. (See H. St. J. Thackeray in Hastings' D.B. extra vol., p. 471, and, on the other side, W. E. Barnes, The Testimony of Josephus to Christ, 1920, S.P.C. K.)
77. 1 E. has e0kei=non for τοῦτον. σεβομένων for δεχομένων. τοῦ Ἰουδαίκοι for Ἰουδαίους. τῶν παρ' ἡμῖν ἀρχόντων for τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ' ἡμῖν. δ'θεν εἰς ἔτι for εἰσἐτι δε----and ἀπὸ τοῦδε τῶν χρ: οὐκ ἐπίλιπε for τῶν χρ:ἀπὸ τοῦδε ώνομασμένον οὐκ ἐπέλιπε.
78. 2 A.D. 130. Cf. H.E. iv. 6, "eighteenth year of Hadrian." In his Chronicon Eusebius puts the rebellion in Hadrian's sixteenth year. Hadrian reigned from A.D. 117 to A.D. 138.
79. 1 See Eus., H.E. iv. 5.
[Note to the online text: From p.145 onwards I have omitted all but one of the footnotes as having very little value to the vast majority of the readers]
80. 2 Porphyry: see notes, pp. 120 and 155. "The Neoplatonists praised Christ while they disparaged Christianity" (Aug., De Consensu Evang. i. 15), D.C.B. iv. 442. ... Augustine (De Civ. Dei, XIX. c. 23, 2).
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