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cian inscribed Iris · Alexander or Pseudomantis, which was not written until after the death of the forementioned emperor. He therefore reached to the time of Commodus. I choose, therefore, upon the whole, to place him with his friend Lucian, (who will be in the next chapter,) in the year of Christ 176, not far from the end of the reign of Marcus, who died in March, in the year 180. Against this adversary of our religion Origen, at 6 the desire of his friend Ambrose, wrote

It was published, as some think, in the year 246, according to others in 249, an excellent work, greatly esteemed and celebrated, not only by Eusebius and Jerom, but also by many judicious moderns, particularly Du Pin: who says, it is polite and methodical; not only the best work of Origen, but the completest and best written apology for the Christian religion, which the ancients have left us.

This apology of Origen consists of eight books, undoubtedly thus divided by that great master himself, that each book might be perused at a single reading, without disgust or weariness. But the Benedictines have now divided the books into sections; which is a very useful and acceptable service.

As Celsus undertook a laboured argument against the Christians, and he wrote so late as the time of Marcus Antoninus, when too the Christians were openly persecuted, and their affairs were rendered better known by the persecution itself, and by the apologies then made for them; we may reasonably expect to find in his work many things which may be now of great use to us: none, however, more valuable, than the testimony here given to the books of the New Testament. As Chrysostom says: .Celsus d and Bataneotes (meaning Porphyry) are sufficient wit• nesses to the antiquity of our books. For, I presume, they did not oppose writings which • have been published since their own time.'

As our collections from the remains of Celsus, preserved in Origen, will be large and various, it is very proper to divide them into several sections.


Passages in Celsus, representing the Jewish expectation of the Messiah. Nor ought it to be thought at all strange, that we find some things in Celsus concerning this matter, because in a large part of his work he personated a Jew.

1. "But my prophet said formerly at Jerusalem, that the Son of God will come a judge of good men, and a punisher of the wicked.'

Upon this Origen has divers observations, shewing, that these words are improperly put in the mouth of a Jew. First, he says, that the Christ was not prophesied of by one, but by many: Secondly, if by 'my propheť be meant Moses, here is another absurdity: for the name of Jerusalem was not known in his time. Thirdly, no Jew would say, that any prophet foretold the coming of the Son of God, but the coming of the Christ of God. Not that we deny, says Origen, that the coming of the Son of God was foretold: but no Jew would allow of this.

2. • There are innumerable, says the Jew in Celsus, who confute Jesus, affirming, that of • themselves were said those things which were prophesied of concerning him:' that is, concerning the person who was to come.

But those were impostors, as Theudas, and some others, who affirmed without proof: who neither said, nor performed such things as Jesus had done; as Origens well shews.

3. • And, says he, “ how could we, who had told all men, there would come one from God, who should punish the wicked, treat him injuriously when he came.'

4. • But the Jew in Celsus says: For what reason could we reject him, whom we had before spoken of. Was it, that we might be punished more severely than other men ?'

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* Lucian. T. i. p 746. edit. Gr.
• Contr. Cels. in Pr. et sub fin. libri octavi et ultimi,
c See Vol. i.


526. 4 Ικανοι δε και οι καθ' ημων ειρηκοΐες την αρχαιότητα μαρΠυρησαι τοις βιβλιοις, οι σερι Κελσον και τον Βαλανεωλην τον μεθ' εκεινον. Ου γαρ δη τοις μετ' αυλες συνδεθεισιν ανθελείαν. . Chrys. in ep. i. ad Cor. hom. vi. T. x. p. 47.

Θες Υιος, των όσιων κρίσης, και των αδικων κολασης. Contr.
Cels. I. i. sect. 49. p. 38.

1 Τινες δε και ελεγξεσιν, ώς φησιν ο παρα Κελσω Ιεδαιος, μυριοι τον Ιησεν, φασκονlες, περι εαυτων ταυλα ειρησθαι, απερ WEDI EXELV8 w foɛørlevslo. L. i. sect. 57. p. 44.

• Αλλ' ειπεν ο εμος προφητης εν Ιεροσολύμοις πολε, ότι ήξει

Ś Ibid. et l. ij. sect. 8. in. p. 01. med.
n Ib. 1. ii. sect. 3. p. 61. i L. ii. sect. 8. p. 62.

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5. The · Jew adds: The prophets say, that he who is to come, is great, and a prince, and lord of all the earth, and of all nations, and of armies.'

6. "The • Jew in Celsus says: What god ever came to men, who did not obtain acceptance, especially, if he came to them who expected him? Or, why should he not be acknowledged by them, who had long before expected him?

7. “Afterwards the Jew, representing their sentiments, says: For we certainly expect a * resurrection of the body, and eternal life: of which he who is to be sent to us, is to be a pat• tern: and thereby to shew, that it is not impossible for God to raise up a man with a body.' But Origen makes a doubt, whether any Jews would say this of their expected Messiah.

8. Afterwards • Celsus in his own person says: That the contention between the Christians and the Jews is very silly; and that all our dispute with one another about Christ, is no better * than about the shadow of the ass, according to the proverb. And he thinks, the whole ques. * tion is of no importance: both sides believing, that it had been foretold by the Spirit of God, « that a Saviour of mankind is to come. But they do not agree, whether he who has been prophesied of, is come, or not.'

9. There are other places, where Celsus speaks of this same matter. Perhaps some of them may appear hereafter in our fourth section. Here is enough to shew, that the Jewish expectattion of a great person prophesied of, was a thing well known; and that this expectation was in being before the appearance of Jesus in the world.

of Jesus in the world. And indeed their having generally such ani expectation in the time of Celsus, is an argument, that they had it before the coming of Jesus; for they would not have taken up such a notion from his followers.

10. I must not go from this section, without putting down a remarkable observation of Origen, that the Jews did not join John (the Baptist) with Jesus, and made a difference between the death of each of them.


Passages of Celsus containing references to the books of the New Testament.

1. In some of these passages we shall observe our scriptures spoken of in general; in others there will be references to particular texts.

2. · After that,' says Origen, the Jew in Celsus goes on in this manner: I could say many * things concerning the affairs of Jesus, and those too true, different from those written by the disciples of Jesus. But I purposely omit them.'

It is not easy to believe, that the Jew, or Celsus, would have done so, if he could have contradicted the disciples, upon good evidence, in any material points. This is only an oratorical Aourish, as Origen well observes.

Celsus by disciples of Jesus' does not mean his followers in general: for them he calls Christians, or believers, or the like. He therefore here useth that term in the most strict and proper sense, for those who had been taught by Jesus himself, that is, his apostles and their companions.

We hence learn, that in the time of Celsus there were books well known, and allowed to be written by the disciples of Jesus :' which books contained a history of Him, and his teaching, doctrine, and works." The books here intended, undoubtedly, are the gospels : and, possibly, there may be here also a reference to the Acts of the apostles.

3. • Then,' " says Origen, he accuseth the disciples, and says: “It is a fiction of theirs, that • Jesus foreknew and foretold all things, which befell him.'

He refers to our gospels, in which it is often related, that Jesus spoke of his sufferings before hand, and likewise of the things that should befall his disciples, who were to be brought before kings and rulers for his name sake.

4. • Afterwards · he says, that some of the believers, as if they were drunk, take a liberty • L. ü.n. 29. p. 78. b L. ii. n. 75. p. 100.

1. L. ii. n. 13. p. 67. € L. ï. n. 77. p. 109. d Lib. iii. sub in.

Μεία ταυτα τινας των αισευονίων φησιν, ως εκ μέθης e Lib. iv. sub in, et alibi.

ήκονlας εις το εφεσαναι αυτοις μελαχάραττειν εκ της πρωλης ' L. i. sect. 48. p. 38. And see before Vol, iii. p. 537. γραφης το ευαγγελιoν τριχη και τετραχη και πολλαχη, κ, λ,

-δει πολλα εχων λεξειν, και αληθη, περι των καλα Ιησεν L. ii. n. 27. p. 77. γενομενων, και και παραπλησια τους υπο μαθητων τε Ιησε γραφεισιν, έκιων εκεινα παραλειπω. L. ii. sec. 13. p. 67.


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i to alter the gospel, from the first writing, three or four ways, or oftener, that when they are • pressed hard, and one reading has been confuted, they may disown that, and flee to another.'

So that there was an ancient original account: but the believers, or Christians of after times, had altered it, he says, to serve a purpose. But that is only a general charge, which is of no value, without particular instances; which, so far as we can perceive from Origen, Celsus did not specify. Origen, by way of answer, says, he did not know of any who had altered the gospel, beside the followers of Marcion and Valentinus, and perhaps Lucanus: and that this is not the fault of the word itself, but of those who had been so daring as to corrupt the gospels: and that the fault of those men, who introduce new opinions, ought not to be laid to the charge of genuine Christianity.

However, we hence perceive, that there were ancient written histories of our Saviour, composed by his own disciples. Nor is their genuineness disputed, but allowed of, as well known.

5. • The · Jew in Celsus,' says Origen, shuts up that argument in this manner. These things, then, we have alleged to you out of your own writings, not needing any other wit

Thus you are beaten with your own weapons.' 6. Origen expressly says, “That Celsus quoted many things out of the gospel according to • St. Matthew, as the star that appeared at the nativity of Jesus, and other wonderful things. 7. Celsus

says, the composers of the genealogies of Jesus, 'were very extravagant in making him to descend from the first man, and the Jewish kings. And he thinks he says • somewhat very extraordinary, when he observes, that the carpenter's wife was ignorant of her • high original."

Celsus plainly refers to both St. Matthew's and St. Luke's gospels: for he speaks of composers of the genealogy in the plural number: and St. Luke only has carried up our Saviour's genealogy to the first man. See Matt. ch i. and Luke iii.

8. • They have likewise such precepts as these. Resist not him that injures you: and, if • a man strike thee, as his phrase is, on the one cheek, offer to him the other also. That is an

old saying: but here it is expressed in a more homely manner.' Then he quotes a passage from Plato's Crito to the like purpose.

Celsus here refers to our Saviour's sermon upon the mount, as it is called, and particularly to Matt. v. 39. “ But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” See likewise Luke vi. 29. Celsus says, the same thing had been said before, and better expressed. This is not a place to enter into controversy upon that head. But Origen answers very well: • That' these precepts of Jesus thus

expressed, as Celsus says unpolitely, arpornolepov, have been more beneficial in life than Plato's • discourse in Crito, of which the vulgar have never heard, and hardly they, who have gone through a course of Greek philosophy.'

9. He' finds fault with Jesus after this manner. He threatens, and feebly reproaches, * when he says: “Woe unto you:” and “I foretel unto you:” For thereby he plainly confesseth • his disability to persuade: which is so far below a god, that it is even unworthy a wise man.'

I need not say, that here are references to our gospels. But these are poor remarks.

10. · Celsus & asks, why we may not worship angels, and dæmons, and heroes? Why, the only reason, he says, is, because " it is impossible to serve two masters."

He refers to some text, where are those words, either Matt. vi. 24. or Luke xvi. 13., This maxim Celsus has endeavoured to expose, several times.

11.," • O light, ' O truth, says the Jew in Celsus: Jesus with his own mouth expressly declares • these things, as you have recorded it, that there will come unto you other men, with like won• ders, wicked men, and impostors.'

Undoubtedly, he refers to some of our Saviour's predictions concerning the coming of de

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---ταυτα μεν εν υμιν εκ των υμετερων συγγραμμαίων, εφ' φυνθος και των εν Ιεδαιοις βασιλεων τον Ιησεν και οιειαι τι ειστις αδενος αλλα μαρτυρος χρηζομεν. κ. λ. Ι. ii. sect. 74. p. 106. φερειν γενναιον, ότι εκ αν η τ8 τεκίονος γυνη τηλικείο γενος τυί

Οι δε κακαρίων ο Κελσος εκ εξεθείο την προφηθειαν. [Is. xavosa rdvoer. L ii. n. 32. p. 80. vii. 10.-14 Μatt.i. 22, 23.] δηλον μοι γινεται, εκ τ8 d L. vii. n. 58. p. 370.

e Ibid. n. 61. p. 373. παραθεμενον αυτον πολλα απο τα καλα Ματθαιον ευαλγελιε, , i L. ii. n. 76. p. 107, 8 L. vii. sect. 68. p. 376, 377 ώσπερ τον αναλειλαντα αςερα επι τη γενεσει το Ιησε, και αλλα h L. viii. sect. 2, 3. p. 380, 381. et sect. 15. των παραδοξων, μηδε την αρχην το78 εμνημονευκεναι. L. i. n. -αλλ', ω φως και αληθεια, τη αυλα φωνη διαρρηδην 34. p. 27.

εξαίρευει Ιησες ταυτα, καθα και υμεις συγείραφάλε-κ. λ. φησι δε απηυθαδησθαι της γενεαλοίησανίας απο το πρωί. L. ii. sect. 53. p. 92.


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ceivers, and false prophets: as Matt. vii. 15. xxiv. 11. 24. Mark xiii. 22. And the genuineness of the evangelical histories is here clearly acknowledged: they are here alleged as containing our Lord's own words there recorded. And · in other places Celsus has taken notice of such like predictions of our Saviour.

12. In another place Celsus is arguing, that Moses and Jesus, though both are said to be sent from God, do not agree. Moses encourageth the people to get riches; and destroy their • enemies. But his Son, [meaning the Son of God,'] the Nazarean man, delivers quite con• trary laws. Nor will he admit a rich man, or one that affects dominion, to have access to his • Father. Nor will he allow men to take more care for food, or treasure, than the ravens: nor

to provide for clothing, so much as the lilies: and to him that has smitten once, he directs to offer, that he may smite again.'

Beside the quotation from Matt. v. 39. or Luke vi. 29. which we had before, here are plain references to Matt. vi. 26. “Behold the fowls of the air. For they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.” And ver. 28. “ Why take.

.ye thought for raiment! Consider the lilies of the field- _” or to Luke xii. 24–27. “Consider the ravens. For they neither sow, nor reap. Which neither have store-house, nor barn-Consider the lilies, how they grow”.

As to what Celsus says of our Lord's discouraging the seeking of riches, power, honour: it is indeed the tenour of our Lord's doctrine in his discourses, that we are to “ seek the kingdom of heaven, and its righteousness, in the first place.” Matt. vi. 33. And he condemns the seek. ing, principally, that honour which comes from men. John v. 44. And in Luke vi. 24. he says: • Woe unto y u that are rich: for you have received your consolation:” the very same chapter, in which he sa s, at ver. 29.“ And unto him that smiteth thee on one cheek offer also the other," Which are the very words to which Celsus seems to refer.

And he calls our Saviour the Nazarean man,' or man of Nazareth, referring to some texts of the gospels, or the Acts, where Nazareth is mentioned, as the place of our Lord's education and abode, till he appeared publicly in the world. See Matt. ii. 23. iv. 13. Mark i. 9. Luke i. 26. ii. 4-39—51. iv. 16. And he is often spoken of as 'the Prophet 'of Nazareth,' as Matt. xxi. 11. Mark i. 24. X. 47. Luke xviii. 37. xxiv. 19. John i. 45. xix. 19. Acts ii. 22. iii. 6. and elsewhere. This character of Jesus, therefore, Celsus learned from the historical books of the New Testament, though he is pleased to mention it in the way of contempt.

13. Of that saying of Jesus, “ that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, • than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” he says, it was plainly taken from Plato: • but Jesus had spoiled the observation of Plato, who says: To be very good and very rich is impossible.'

Here was in Celsus a reference to Matt. xix. 24. or Mark x. 25. or Luke xviii. 25. where that expression is recorded. Origen has several good remarks upon this passage of Celsus. He says, it must appear ridiculous, not only to the followers of Jesus, but likewise to all other attentive persons, to say, that Jesus had read Plato: when, according to the true records of his faithful disciples, he was a Jew, educated among the Jews, supposed to be the son of a carpenter, who had never been instructed neither in Greek, no nor Hebrew learning. And he likewise asks, if that observation of Plato does not justify all that our Lord says in the gospels concerning moderating our regards for riches, and other worldly goods ?

14. · He d says, it is a saying of ours, that God was sent to sinners. And he asks: But why was he not sent to those who were free from sin? What harm is it not to have sinned ? • God accepts an unrighteous man, if he humbleth himself for his wickedness : but a righ* teous man, who has practised virtue from the beginning, if he looks up to him, he will not accept.'

Here is a manifest reference to what our Lord says in several of the gospels : “ I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matt. ix. 13. Mark ii. 17. Luke v. 32. and likewise to the parable of the pharisee and the publican, which last “ stood afar off, and would

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a Vid. I. vi. sect. 42. p. 303.

ειρησθαι, το Ιησε παραφθειρονloς τo Πλατωνικον, εν οίς ειπεν και Βδε υίος αρα αυie, Ναζαραιος ανθρωπος, αντινομοθελει. Πλαίων τι αλαθον ονία διαφερονίως, και αλεσιον ειναι διαφερονίως a. . L. vii. sect. 18. p. 343..

aduralov. L. vi. sect. 16, p. 286. • Μεία ταυλα την καλα των πλεσιων αποφασιν τε Ιησε Φησιν ημας λείειν, αμαρτωλοις πεπεμφθαι τον Θεόν. κ. λ. ειπουλος, Ευκοπωλερον καμηλογο-φησιν, Αντικρυς απο Πλαίωνος L. iii. sect. 62. p. 148, 149.

not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, and went down to his house [from the temple, ] justified rather than the other." Luke xviii. 9-14.

Origen makes good answers to these cavils, which well deserve to be perused: but I must not stay to transcribe them.

15. He also adds: But Celsus insinuates, that we give this encouragement to sinners, because we are not able to persuade any really good and honest men; and therefore we open • the doors to the most wicked and abandoned.' • But,' says 'Origen, if any men will with a tolerable degree of equity examine our conversions, he may see that we have among us more of such as were converted from no very bad life, than of such as were abandoned.'

16. •Celsus,' says " Origen, omitting those things that shew the divinity of Jesus, reproach. “eth him with those things that are written of him in the gospels, his “ deriders, the purple robe, • the crown of thorns, and the reed in his hand.” Matt. xxvii. Mark xv. Luke xxiii. John xix. • Whence did you learn these things, Celsus, but from the gospels, says Origen, and tells him, • that ' instead of ridiculing these things, he ought to admire the veracity of those who wrote

them, and the greatness of him, who voluntarily suffered such things for the good of men, • and bore all with meekness and patience: for it is no where written, that he bemoaned himself, or that he said, or did any thing mean and abject, when he was condemned.'

And just before Celsus had said: · But neither did he who condemned him suffer any thing • like Pentheus, who ran mad, and was torn to pieces.'

• He does not consider, says Origen, that Jesus was not so much condemned by Pilate, “ who • knew that for envy the Jews had delivered him," as by the Jewish people: for which cause they • have been condemned by God, and have been dispersed and scattered over the whole earth more • than Pentheus. And why does he designedly onnit what is recorded concerning the wife of • Pilate, who sent to him," saying, Have nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered

many things this day in a dream, because of him.” Matt. xxvii. 19. So writes Origen. But Eusebius says, that Pontius Pilate met with many troubles, and at last made away with himself.

18. He s pretends,' says Origen, 'that Christians argue miserably when they say, that the Son of God is the Word himself: and he thinks he makes good his charge, in that after we have af• firmed the Son of God to be the Word, we do not shew him to be a pure and holy Word, but a * miserable man, condemned, scourged, and crucified.'

Where, as I apprehend, Celsus referred to St. John's gospel, in which, at the beginning, Jesus is spoken of as “ the Word," and at the end, as indeed in all the gospels, his crucifixion is related.

19. By way of ridicule Celsus speaks of "the blood, which flowed from the body of Jesus when on the cross.' Referring, as Origen justly supposes, to John xix. 34.

20. The Jew, in Celsus, having referred to some heathen stories, or rather fables, turns himself to Jesus: “But you, what good or wonderful thing, either in word or deed, did you perform? You • shewed us nothing, though they called upon you in the temple to give some manifest sign, that * you were the Son of God.'

Here is, I think, a reference to John X. 23, 24, “ And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him: How long doest thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” See also John ii. 18.

21. “ After this he adds,' says Origen: • To the sepulchre of Jesus there came two angels, • as is said by some, or, as by others, one only. He had observed, I think, that Matthew and • Mark mention one only, Luke and John two. But,' says Origen, “those things are not contrary to each other: they are easily reconciled. See Matt. xxviii. 2. Mark xvi. 5. Luke xxiv. 4. John xx. 12.

Ημεις δε, ει τις κατανοησαι ημων ευγνωμονως το αθροισμα, Ελα, φησιν ο Κελσος: Τι, και ανασκολοπιζομεν8 τ8 σωπλειονας εχομεν παρατησαι τες εκ απο χαλεπε σανυ βιο, μαλος, ποιος χωρ, σπερ της απο εξωλεσαίων αμαρτηματων επιςρεψαλας. L. iii. Οίος τσερ τε ρεει μακαρεσσι θεοισιν, , sect. 65. p.

Εκεινος μεν εν παιζει. L. ii. sect. 36. 81. b L. ii. sect. 34. p. 81.

i L. i. sect. 67. p. 52. «Ποθεν Bν, ω Κελσε, ταύθα μεμαθηκας, η απο των ευαγγελιων. E-έλι και προς τον αυθο τε Ιησε ταφον ισορηγίαι εληλυθεναι • Μαλλον θαυμαζε αυίων το φιλαληθες

υπο τινων μεν αλγελοι δυο, υπο τινων δε εις οκ, οιμαι, τηρησας • L. ii, sect. 34. p. 81. "H. E. 1. di. cap. 7. Ματθαιον μεν και Μαρκον ένα ισορηκεναι, Λεκαν δε και Ιωαννης L. ii. sect. 31. p. 79.

duo aneg ox yy eyarlia. Lib. v. sect. 56. p.


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