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Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video : Christian Books : Chapter XXX. It appears to me that Celsus has also misunderstood this statementà

Origen Against Celsus by Origen

Chapter XXX. It appears to me that Celsus has also misunderstood this statementà

It appears to me that Celsus has also misunderstood this statement, |Let Us make man in Our image and likeness;| and has therefore represented the |worms| as saying that, being created by God, we altogether resemble Him. If, however, he had known the difference between man being created |in the image of God| and |after His likeness,| and that God is recorded to have said, |Let Us make man after Our image and likeness,| but that He made man |after the image| of God, but not then also |after His likeness,| he would not have represented us as saying that |we are altogether like Him.| Moreover, we do not assert that the stars are subject to us; since the resurrection which is called the |resurrection of the just,| and which is understood by wise men, is compared to the sun, and moon, and stars, by him who said, |There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.| Daniel also prophesied long ago regarding these things. Celsus says further, that we assert that |all things have been arranged so as to be subject to us,| having perhaps heard some of the intelligent among us speaking to that effect, and perhaps also not understanding the saying, that |he who is the greatest amongst us is the servant of all.| And if the Greeks say, |Then sun and moon are the slaves of mortal men,| they express approval of the statement, and give an explanation of its meaning; but since such a statement is either not made at all by us, or is expressed in a different way, Celsus here too falsely accuses us. Moreover, we who, according to Celsus, are |worms,| are represented by him as saying that, |seeing some among us are guilty of sin, God will come to us, or will send His own Son, that He may consume the wicked, and that we other frogs may enjoy eternal life with Him.| Observe how this venerable philosopher, like a low buffoon, turns into ridicule and mockery, and a subject of laughter, the announcement of a divine judgment, and of the punishment of the wicked, and of the reward of the righteous; and subjoins to all this the remark, that |such statements would be more endurable if made by worms and frogs than by Christians and Jews who quarrel with one another!| We shall not, however, imitate his example, nor say similar things regarding those philosophers who profess to know the nature of all things, and who discuss with each other the manner in which all things were created, and how the heaven and earth originated, and all things in them; and how the souls (of men), being either unbegotten, and not created by God, are yet governed by Him, and pass from one body to another; or being formed at the same time with the body, exist for ever or pass away. For instead of treating with respect and accepting the intention of those who have devoted themselves to the investigation of the truth, one might mockingly and revilingly say that such men were |worms,| who did not measure themselves by their corner of their dung-heap in human life, and who accordingly gave forth their opinions on matters of such importance as if they understood them, and who strenuously assert that they have obtained a view of those things which cannot be seen without a higher inspiration and a diviner power. |For no man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him: even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.| We are not, however, mad, nor do we compare such human wisdom (I use the word |wisdom| in the common acceptation), which busies itself not about the affairs of the multitude, but in the investigation of truth, to the wrigglings of worms or any other such creatures; but in the spirit of truth, we testify of certain Greek philosophers that they knew God, seeing |He manifested Himself to them,| although |they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations; and professing themselves to be wise, they became foolish, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.|
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