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Origen Against Celsus by Origen

Chapter XIV. In designating others by the epithets of |uninstructed, and servileà

In designating others by the epithets of |uninstructed, and servile, and ignorant,| Celsus, I suppose, means those who are not acquainted with his laws, nor trained in the branches of Greek learning; while we, on the other hand, deem those to be |uninstructed| who are not ashamed to address (supplications) to inanimate objects, and to call upon those for health that have no strength, and to ask the dead for life, and to entreat the helpless for assistance. And although some may say that these objects are not gods, but only imitations and symbols of real divinities, nevertheless these very individuals, in imagining that the hands of low mechanics can frame imitations of divinity, are |uninstructed, and servile, and ignorant;| for we assert that the lowest among us have been set free from this ignorance and want of knowledge, while the most intelligent can understand and grasp the divine hope. We do not maintain, however, that it is impossible for one who has not been trained in earthly wisdom to receive the |divine,| but we do acknowledge that all human wisdom is |folly| in comparison with the |divine.| In the next place, instead of endeavouring to adduce reasons, as he ought, for his assertions, he terms us |sorcerers,| and asserts that |we flee away with headlong speed from the more polished class of persons, because they are not suitable subjects for our impositions, while we seek to decoy those who are more rustic.| Now he did not observe that from the very beginning our wise men were trained in the external branches of learning: Moses, e.g., in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; Daniel, and Ananias, and Azariah, and Mishael, in all Assyrian learning, so that they were found to surpass in tenfold degree all the wise men of that country. At the present time, moreover, the Churches have, in proportion to the multitudes (of ordinary believers), a few |wise| men, who have come over to them from that wisdom which is said by us to be |according to the flesh;| and they have also some who have advanced from it to that wisdom which is |divine.|
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