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The Spiritual Declension of the Soul by Michael Durham
"A believer may pass through much affliction, and yet secure very little blessing from it all. Abiding in Christ is the secret of securing all that the Father meant the chastisement to bring us." -
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: The Octavius Of Minucius Felix
The Octavius Of Minucius Felix
Chapter I.--Argument: Minucius Relates How Delightful
Chapter II.--Argument: The Arrival of Octavius at Rome During the Time of the Public Holidays Was Very Agreeable to Minucius. Both of Them Were Desirous of Going to the Marine Baths of Ostia, with Cæcilius Associated with Them as a Companion of Minu
Chapter III.--Argument: Octavius, Displeased at the Act of This Superstitious Man, Sharply Reproaches Minucius, on the Ground that the Disgrace of This Wicked Deed is Reflected Not Less on Himself, as Cæcilius' Host, Than on Cæcilius.
Chapter IV.--Argument: Cæcilius, Somewhat Grieved at This Kind of Rebuke Which for His Sake Minucius Had Had to Bear from Octavius, Begs to Argue with Octavius on the Truth of His Religion. Octavius with His Companion Consents, and Minucius Sits in
Chapter V.--Argument: Cæcilius Begins His Argument First of All by Reminding Them that in Human Affairs All Things are Doubtful and Uncertain, and that Therefore It is to Be Lamented that Christians, Who for the Most Part are Untrained and Illiterat
Chapter VI.--Argument: The Object of All Nations, and Especially of the Romans, in Worshipping Their Divinities, Has Been to Attain for Their Worship the Supreme Dominion Over the Whole Earth.
Chapter VII.--Argument: That the Roman Auspices and Auguries Have Been Neglected with Ill Consequences, But Have Been Observed with Good Fortune.
Chapter VIII.--Argument: The Impious Temerity of Theodorus, Diagoras, and Protagoras is Not at All to Be Acquiesced In, Who Wished Either Altogether to Get Rid of the Religion of the Gods, or at Least to Weaken It. But Infinitely Less to Be Endured is tha
Chapter IX.--Argument: The Religion of the Christians is Foolish, Inasmuch as They Worship a Crucified Man, and Even the Instrument Itself of His Punishment. They are Said to Worship the Head of an Ass, and Even the Nature of Their Father. They are Initia
Chapter X.--Argument: Whatever the Christians Worship, They Strive in Every Way to Conceal: They Have No Altars, No Temples, No Acknowledged Images. Their God, Like that of the Jews, is Said to Be One, Whom, Although They are Neither Able to See Nor to Sh
Chapter XI.--Argument: Besides Asserting the Future Conflagration of the Whole World, They Promise Afterwards the Resurrection of Our Bodies: and to the Righteous an Eternity of Most Blessed Life; To the Unrighteous, of Extreme Punishment.
Chapter XII.--Argument: Moreover, What Will Happen to the Christians Themselves After Death, May Be Anticipated from the Fact that Even Now They are Destitute of All Means, and are Afflicted with the Heaviest Calamities and Miseries.
Chapter XIII.--Argument: Cæcilius at Length Concludes that the New Religion is to Be Repudiated; And that We Must Not Rashly Pronounce Upon Doubtful Matters.
Chapter XIV.--Argument: With Something of the Pride of Self-Satisfaction, Cæcilius Urges Octavius to Reply to His Arguments; And Minucius with Modesty Answers Him, that He Must Not Exult at His Own by No Means Ordinary Eloquence, and at the Harmonio
Chapter XV.--Argument: Cæcilius Retorts Upon Minucius, with Some Little Appearance of Being Hurt, that He is Foregoing the Office of a Religious Umpire, When He is Weakening the Force of His Argument. He Says that It Should Be Left to Octavius to Co
Chapter XVI.--Argument: Octavius Arranges His Reply, and Trusts that He Shall Be Able to Dilute the Bitterness of Reproach with the River of Truthful Words. He Proceeds to Weaken the Individual Arguments of Cæcilius. Nobody Need Complain that the Ch
Chapter XVII.--Argument: Man Ought Indeed to Know Himself, But This Knowledge Cannot Be Attained by Him Unless He First of All Acknowledges the Entire Scope of Things, and God Himself. And from the Constitution and Furniture of the World Itself, Every One
Chapter XVIII.--Argument: Moreover, God Not Only Takes Care of the Universal World, But of Its Individual Parts. That by the Decree of the One God All Things are Governed, is Proved by the Illustration of Earthly Empires. But Although He, Being Infinite a
Chapter XIX.--Argument: Moreover, the Poets Have Called Him the Parent of Gods and Men, the Creator of All Things, and Their Mind and Spirit. And, Besides, Even the More Excellent Philosophers Have Come Almost to the Same Conclusion as the Christians Abou
Chapter XX.--Argument: But If the World is Ruled by Providence and Governed by the Will of One God, an Ignorant Antipathy Ought Not to Carry Us Away into the Error of Agreement with It: Although Delighted with Its Own Fables, It Has Brought in Ridiculous
Chapter XXI.--Argument: Octavius Attests the Fact that Men Were Adopted as Gods, by the Testimony of Euhemerus, Prodicus, Persæus, and Alexander the Great, Who Enumerate the Country, the Birthdays, and the Burial-Places of the Gods. Moreover He Sets
Chapter XXII.--Argument: Moreover, These Fables, Which at First Were Invented by Ignorant Men, Were Afterwards Celebrated by Others, and Chiefly by Poets, Who Did No Little Mischief to the Truth by Their Authority. By Fictions of This Kind, and by Falseho
Chapter XXIII.--Argument: Although the Heathens Acknowledge Their Kings to Be Mortal, Yet They Feign that They are Gods Even Against Their Own Will, Not Because of Their Belief in Their Divinity, But in Honour of the Power that They Have Exerted. Yet a Tr
Chapter XXIV.--Argument: He Briefly Shows, Moreover, What Ridiculous, Obscene, and Cruel Rites Were Observed in Celebrating the Mysteries of Certain Gods.
Chapter XXV.--Argument: Then He Shows that Cæcilius Had Been Wrong in Asserting that the Romans Had Gained Their Power Over the Whole World by Means of the Due Observance of Superstitions of This Kind. Rather the Romans in Their Origin Were Collecte
Chapter XXVI.--Argument: The Weapon that Cæcilius Had Slightly Brandished Against Him, Taken from the Auspices and Auguries of Birds, Octavius Retorts by Instancing the Cases of Regulus, Mancinus, Paulus, and Cæsar. And He Shows by Other Examp
Chapter XXVII.--Argument: Recapitulation Doubtless Here is a Source of Error: Demons Lurk Under the Statues and Images...
Chapter XXVIII.--Argument: Nor is It Only Hatred that They Arouse Against the Christians, But They Charge Against Them Horrid Crimes, Which Up to This Time Have Been Proved by Nobody. This is the Work of Demons. For by Them a False Report is Both Set on F
Chapter XXIX.--Argument: Nor is It More True that a Man Fastened to a Cross on Account of His Crimes is Worshipped by Christians, for They Believe Not Only that He Was Innocent, But with Reason that He Was God. But, on the Other Hand, the Heathens Invoke
Chapter XXX.--Argument: The Story About Christians Drinking the Blood of an Infant that They Have Murdered, is a Barefaced Calumny. But the Gentiles, Both Cruelly Expose Their Children Newly Born, and Before They are Born Destroy Them by a Cruel Abortion.
Chapter XXXI.--Argument: The Charge of Our Entertainments Being Polluted with Incest, is Entirely Opposed to All Probability, While It is Plain that Gentiles are Actually Guilty of Incest. The Banquets of Christians are Not Only Modest, But Temperate. In
Chapter XXXII.--Argument: Nor Can It Be Said that the Christians Conceal What They Worship Because They Have No Temples and No Altars, Inasmuch as They are Persuaded that God Can Be Circumscribed by No Temple, and that No Likeness of Him Can Be Made. But
Chapter XXXIII.--Argument: That Even If God Be Said to Have Nothing Availed the Jews, Certainly the Writers of the Jewish Annals are the Most Sufficient Witnesses that They Forsook God Before They Were Forsaken by Him.
Chapter XXXIV.--Argument: Moreover, It is Not at All to Be Wondered at If This World is to Be Consumed by Fire, Since Everything Which Has a Beginning Has Also an End. And the Ancient Philosophers are Not Averse from the Opinion of the Probable Burning Up
Chapter XXXV.--Argument: Righteous and Pious Men Shall Be Rewarded with Never-Ending Felicity, But Unrighteous Men Shall Be Visited with Eternal Punishment. The Morals of Christians are Far More Holy Than Those of the Gentiles.
Chapter XXXVI.--Argument: Fate is Nothing, Except So Far as Fate is God. Man's Mind is Free, and Therefore So is His Action: His Birth is Not Brought into Judgment. It is Not a Matter of Infamy, But of Glory, that Christians are Reproached for Their Pover
Chapter XXXVII.--Argument: Tortures Most Unjustly Inflicted for the Confession of Christ's Name are Spectacles Worthy of God. A Comparison Instituted Between Some of the Bravest of the Heathens and the Holy Martyrs. He Declares that Christians Do Not Pres
Chapter XXXVIII.--Argument: Christians Abstain from Things Connected with Idol Sacrifices...
Chapter XXXIX.--Argument: When Octavius Had Finished This Address, Minucius and Cæcilius Sate for Some Time in Attentive and Silent Wonder. And Minucius Indeed Kept Silence in Admiration of Octavius, Silently Revolving What He Had Heard.
Chapter XL.--Argument: Then Cæcilius Exclaims that He is Vanquished by Octavius; And That, Being Now Conqueror Over Error, He Professes the Christian Religion. He Postpones, However, Till the Morrow His Training in the Fuller Belief of Its Mysteries
Chapter XLI.--Argument: Finally, All are Pleased, and Joyfully Depart: Cæcilius, that He Had Believed; Octavius, that He Had Conquered; And Minucius, that the Former Had Believed, and the Latter Had Conquered.
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