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THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN
To the Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Caesar, and
to his son Verissimus the Philosopher, and to Lucius the Philosopher, the
natural son of Caesar, and the adopted son of Pius, a lover of learning, and to
the sacred Senate, with the whole People of the Romans, I, Justin, the son of
Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, natives of Flavia Neapolis in Palestine,
present this address and petition in behalf of those of all nations who are
unjustly hated and wantonly abused, myself being one of them.
1. Reason directs
those who are truly pious and philosophical to honor and love only what is true,
declining to follow traditional opinions, if these be worthless. For not only
does sound reason direct us to refuse the guidance of those who did or taught
anything wrong, but it is incumbent on the lover of truth. .
2. And by all
means if death be
threatened, even before his own life, to choose to do and say what is right. Do
you, then, since ye are called pious and philosophers, guardians of justice and
lovers of learning, give good heed, and hearken to my address; and if ye are
indeed such, it will be manifested.
3. For we have
come, not to flatter you by this writing, nor please you by our address, but to
beg that you pass judgment, after an accurate and searching investigation, not
flattered by prejudice or by a desire of pleasing superstitious men, nor induced
by irrational impulse or evil rumors which have long been prevalent, to give a
decision which will prove to be against yourselves.
4. For as for us,
we reckon that no evil can be done us, unless we be convicted as evildoers or be
proved to be wicked men; and you, you can kill, but not hurt us.
· Claim of judicial investigation.
5. But lest any
one think that this is an unreasonable and reckless utterance, we demand that
the charges against the Christians be investigated, and that, if these be
substantiated, they be punished as they deserve; [or rather, indeed, we
ourselves will punish them.]
6. But if no one
can convict us of anything, true reason forbids you, for the sake of a wicked
rumor, to wrong blameless men, and indeed rather yourselves, who think fit to
direct affairs, not by judgment, but by passion.
7. And every
sober-minded person will declare this to be the only fair and equitable
adjustment, namely, that the subjects render an unexceptional account of their
own life and doctrine; and that, on the other hand, the rulers should give their
decision in obedience, not to violence and tyranny, but to piety and philosophy.
For thus would
both rulers and ruled reap benefit. For even one of the ancients somewhere said,
"Unless both rulers and ruled philosophize, it is impossible to make states
blessed." It is our task, therefore, to afford to all an opportunity of
inspecting our life and teachings, lest, on account of those who are accustomed
to be ignorant of our affairs, we should incur the penalty due to them for
9. And it is your
business, when you hear us, to be found, as reason demands, good judges. For if,
when ye have learned the truth, you do not what is just, you will be before God
· Christians unjustly condemned for
their mere name.
10. By the mere
application of a name, nothing is decided, either good or evil, apart from the
actions implied in the name; and indeed, so far at least as one may judge from
the name we are accused of, we are most excellent people.
11. But as we do
not think it just to beg to be acquitted on account of the name, if we be
convicted as evildoers, so, on the other hand, if we be found to have committed
no offence, either in the matter of thus naming ourselves, or of our conduct as
citizens, it is your part very earnestly to guard against incurring just
punishment, by unjustly punishing those who are not convicted.
12. For from a name
neither praise nor punishment could reasonably spring, unless something
excellent or base in action be proved. And those among yourselves who are
accused you do not punish before they are convicted; but in our case you receive
the name as proof against us, and this although, so far as the name goes, you
ought rather to punish our accusers.
For we are
accused of being Christians, and to hate what is excellent is unjust. Again, if
any of the accused deny the name, and say that he is not a Christian, you acquit
him, as having no evidence against him as a wrongdoer; but if any one
acknowledges that he is a Christian, you punish him on account of this
requires that you inquire into the life both of him who confesses and of him who
denies, that by his deeds it may be apparent what kind of man each is. For as
some who have been taught by the Master, Christ, not to deny Him, give
encouragement to others when they are put to the question, so in all probability
do those who lead wicked lives give occasion to those who, without
consideration, take upon them to accuse all the Christians of impiety and
15. And this also
is not right. For of philosophy, too, some assume the name and the garb who do
nothing worthy of their profession; and you are well aware, that those of the
ancients, whose opinions and teachings were quite diverse, are yet all called by
the one name of philosophers.
16. And of these
some taught atheism; and the poets who have flourished among you raise a laugh
out of the uncleanness of Jupiter with his own children. And those who now adopt
such instruction are not restrained by you; but, on the contrary, you bestow
prizes and honors upon those who euphoniously insult the gods.
· Christians charged with atheism.
17. Why, then,
should this be? In our case, who pledge ourselves to do no wickedness, nor to
hold these atheistic opinions, you do not examine the charges made against us;
but, yielding to unreasoning passion, and to the instigation of evil demons, you
punish us without consideration or judgment.
For the truth
shall be spoken; since of old these evil demons, effecting apparitions of
themselves, both defiled women and corrupted boys, and showed such fearful
sights to men, that those who did not use their reason in judging of the actions
that were done, were struck with terror; and being carried away by fear, and not
knowing that these were demons, they called them gods, and gave to each the name
which each of the demons chose for himself.
19. And when
Socrates endeavored, by true reason and examination, to bring these things to
light, and deliver men from the demons, then the demons themselves, by means of
men who rejoiced in iniquity, compassed his death, as an atheist and a profane
person, on the charge that "he was introducing new divinities;" and in
our case they display a similar activity.
20. For not only
among the Greeks did reason prevail to condemn these things through Socrates,
but also among the Barbarians were they condemned by Reason (or the Word, the
Logos) Himself, who took shape, and became man, and was called Jesus Christ.
21. And in
obedience to Him, we not only deny that they who did such things as these are
gods, but assert that they are wicked and impious demons, whose actions will not
bear comparison with those even of men desirous of virtue.
· Charge of atheism refuted.
Hence are we
called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this
sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of
righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all
23. But both Him,
and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of
the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic
Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring
without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught.
Christian must be tried by his own life.
1. But some one
will say, some have ere now been arrested and convicted as evildoers. For you
condemn many, many a time, after inquiring into the life of each of the accused
severally, but not on account of those of whom we have been speaking.
2. And this we
acknowledge, that as among the Greeks those who teach such theories as please
themselves are all called by the one name "Philosopher," though their
doctrines be diverse, so also among the Barbarians this name on which
accusations are accumulated is the common property of those who are and those
who seem wise.
For all are
called Christians. Wherefore we demand that the deeds of all those who are
accused to you be judged, in order that each one who is convicted may be
punished as an evildoer, and not as a Christian.
4. And if it is
clear that any one is blameless, that he may be acquitted, since by the mere
fact of his being a Christian he does no wrong. For we will not require that you
punish our accusers; they being sufficiently punished by their present
wickedness and ignorance of what is right.
· Christians confess their faith in
5. And reckon ye
that it is for your sakes we have been saying these things; for it is in our
power, when we are examined, to deny that we are Christians; but we would not
live by telling a lie.
6. For, impelled
by the desire of the eternal and pure life, we seek the abode that is with God,
the Father and Creator of all, and hasten to confess our faith, persuaded and
convinced as we are that they who have proved to God by their works that they
followed Him, and loved to abide with Him where there is no sin to cause
disturbance, can obtain these things.
7. This, then, to
speak shortly, is what we expect and have learned from Christ, and teach. And
Plato, in like manner, used to say that Rhadamanthus and Minos would punish the
wicked who came before them; and we say that the same thing will be done, but at
the hand of Christ, and upon the wicked in the same bodies united again to their
spirits which are now to undergo everlasting punishment.
8. And not only as
Plato said, for a period of a thousand years. And if any one says that this is
incredible or impossible, this error of ours is one, which concerns ourselves
only, and no other person, so long as you cannot convict us of doing any harm.
· Folly of idol, worship.
9. And neither do
we honor with many sacrifices and garlands of flowers such deities as men have
formed and set in shrines and called gods; since we see that these are soulless
and dead, and have not the form of God (for we do not consider that God has such
a form as some say that they imitate to His honor), but have the names and forms
of those wicked demons which have appeared.
10. For why need we
tell you who already know, into what forms the craftsmen, carving and cutting,
casting and hammering, fashion the materials? And often out of vessels of
dishonor, by merely changing the form, and making an image of the requisite
shape, they make what they call a god. Which
we consider not only senseless, but to be even insulting to God, who, having
ineffable glory and form, thus gets His name attached to things that are
corruptible, and require constant service.
11. And that the
artificers of these are both intemperate, and, not to enter into particulars,
are practiced in every vice, you very well know; even their own girls who work
along with them they corrupt. What infatuation that dissolute men should be said
to fashion and make gods for your worship, and that you should appoint such men
the guardians of the temples where they are enshrined; not recognizing that it
is unlawful even to think or say that men are the guardians of gods.
· How God is to be served.
12. But we have
received by tradition that God does not need the material offerings, which men
can give, seeing, indeed, that He Himself is the provider of all things. And we
have been taught, and are convinced, and do believe, that He accepts those only
who imitate the excellences which reside in Him, temperance, and justice, and
philanthropy, and as many virtues as are peculiar to a God who is called by no
13. And we have
been taught that He in the beginning did of His goodness, for man's sake, create
all things out of unformed matter; and if men by their works show themselves
worthy of this His design, they are deemed worthy, and so we have received--of
reigning in company with Him, being delivered from corruption and suffering.
For as in the
beginning He created us when we were not, so do we consider that, in like
manner, those who choose what is pleasing to Him are, on account of their
choice, deemed worthy of incorruption and of fellowship with Him.
For the coming
into being at first was not in our own power; and in order that we may follow
those things which please Him, choosing them by means of the rational faculties
He has Himself endowed us with, He both persuades us and leads us to faith. And
we think it for the advantage of all men that they are not restrained from
learning these things, but are even urged thereto.
16. For the
restraint which human laws could not effect, the Word, inasmuch as He is divine,
would have effected, had not the wicked demons, taking as their ally the lust of
wickedness which is in every man, and which draws variously to all manner of
vice, scattered many false and profane accusations, none of which attach to us.
· What kingdom Christians look for.
17. And when you
hear that we look for a kingdom, you suppose, without making any inquiry, that
we speak of a human kingdom; whereas we speak of that which is with God, as
appears also from the confession of their faith made by those who are charged
with being Christians, though they know that death is the punishment awarded to
him who so confesses.
18. For if we
looked for a human kingdom, we should also deny our Christ, that we might not be
slain; and we should strive to escape detection, that we might obtain what we
expect. But since our thoughts are not fixed on the present, we are not
concerned when men cut us off; since also death is a debt, which must at all
events be paid.
· Christians live as under God's eye.
19. And more than
all other men are we your helpers and allies in promoting peace, seeing that we
hold this view, that it is alike impossible for the wicked, the covetous, the
conspirator, and for the virtuous, to escape the notice of God, and that each
man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation according to the value of his
20. For if all men
knew this, no one would choose wickedness even for a little, knowing that he
goes to the everlasting punishment of fire; but would by all means restrain
himself, and adorn himself with virtue, that he might obtain the good gifts of
God, and escape the punishments.
For those who,
on account of the laws and punishments you impose, endeavor to escape detection
when they offend (and they offend, too, under the impression that it is quite
possible to escape your detection, since you are but men), those persons, if
they learned and were convinced that nothing, whether actually done or only
intended, can escape the knowledge of God, would by all means live decently on
account of the penalties threatened, as even you yourselves will admit.
But you seem to
fear lest all men become righteous, and you no longer have any to punish. Such
would be the concern of public executioners, but not of good princes. But as we
before said, we are persuaded that these things are prompted by evil spirits,
who demand sacrifices and service even from those who live unreasonably.
23. But as for you,
we presume that you who aim at [a reputation for] piety and philosophy will do
nothing unreasonable. But if you also, like the foolish, prefer custom to truth,
do what you have power to do. But just so much power have rulers who esteem
opinion more than truth, as robbers have in a desert.
24. And that you
will not succeed is declared by the Word, than whom, after God who begat Him, we
know there is no ruler more kingly and just. For as all shrink from succeeding
to the poverty or sufferings or obscurity of their fathers, so whatever the Word
forbids us to choose, the sensible man will not choose.
25. That all these
things should come to pass, I say, our Teacher foretold, He who is both Son and
Apostle of God the Father of all and the Ruler, Jesus Christ; from whom also we
have the name of Christians.
26. When we become
more assured of all the things He taught us, since whatever He beforehand
foretold should come to pass, is seen in fact coming to pass; and this is the
work of God, to tell of a thing before it happens, and as it was foretold so to
show it happening.
27. It were
possible to pause here and add no more, reckoning that we demand what is just
and true; but because we are well aware that it is not easy suddenly to change a
mind possessed by ignorance, we intend to add a few things, for the sake of
persuading those who love the truth, knowing that it is not impossible to put
ignorance to flight by presenting the truth.
serve God rationally.
sober-minded man, then, will not acknowledge that we are not atheists,
worshipping as we do the Maker of this universe, and declaring, as we have been
taught, that He has no need of streams of blood and libations and incense; whom
we praise to the utmost of our power by the exercise of prayer and thanksgiving
for all things wherewith we are supplied, as we have been taught that the only
honor that is worthy of Him is not to consume by fire what He has brought into
being for our sustenance,
But to use it
for ourselves and those who need, and with gratitude to Him to offer thanks by
invocations and hymns for our creation, and for all the means of health, and for
the various qualities of the different kinds of things, and for the changes of
the seasons; and to present before Him petitions for our existing again in
incorruption through faith in Him.
Our teacher of
these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was
crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the times of Tiberius
Caesar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of
the true God Himself.
4. And holding Him
in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove. For
they proclaim our madness to consist in this, that we give to a crucified man a
place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all; for they
do not discern the mystery that is herein, to which, as we make it plain to you,
we pray you to give heed.
· The demons misrepresent Christian
5. For we forewarn
you to be on your guard, lest those demons that we have been accusing should
deceive you, and quite differ you from reading and understanding what we say.
For they strive to hold you their slaves and servants; and sometimes by
appearances in dreams, and sometimes by magical impositions, they subdue all who
make no strong opposing effort for their own salvation.
6. And thus do we
also, since our persuasion by the Word, stand aloof from them (i.e., the
demons), and follow the only un-begotten God through His Son--we who formerly
delighted in fornication, but now embrace chastity alone.
7. We who formerly
used magical arts, dedicate ourselves to the good and un-begotten God; we who
valued above all things the acquisition of wealth and possessions, now bring
what we have into a common stock, and communicate to every one in need; we who
hated and destroyed one another, and on account of their different manners would
not live with men of a different tribe.
8. Now, since the
coming of Christ, live familiarly with them, and pray for our enemies, and
endeavor to persuade those who hate us unjustly to live comfortably to the good
precepts of Christ, to the end that they may become par-takers with us of the
same joyful hope of a reward from God the ruler of all.
But lest we
should seem to be reasoning sophistically, we consider it right, before giving
you the promised explanation, to cite a few precepts given by Christ Himself.
And be it yours, as powerful rulers, to inquire whether we have been taught and
do teach these things truly. Brief and concise utterances fell from Him, for He
was no sophist, but His word was the power of God.
· What Christ himself taught.
chastity, He uttered such sentiments as these: "Whosoever look upon a woman
to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart before
God." And, "If thy right eye offend thee, cut it out; for it is better
for thee to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one eye, than, having two
eyes, to be cast into everlasting fire."
"Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced from another husband, commits
adultery." And, "There are some who have been made eunuchs of men, and
some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the
kingdom of heaven's sake; but all cannot receive this saying." So that all
who, by human law, are twice married, are in the eye of our Master sinners, and
those who look upon a woman to lust after her.
For not only he
who in act commits adultery is rejected by Him, but also he who desires to
commit adultery: since not only our works, but also our thoughts, are open
before God. And many, both men and women, who have been Christ's disciples from
childhood, remain pure at the age of sixty or seventy years; and I boast that I
could produce such from every race of men.
For what shall
I say, too, of the countless multitude of those who have reformed intemperate
habits, and learned these things? For Christ called not the just nor the chaste
to repentance, but the ungodly, and the licentious, and the unjust; His words
being, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
14. For the
heavenly Father desires rather the repentance than the punishment of the sinner.
And of our love to all, He taught thus: "If ye love them that love you,
what new thing do ye? For even fornicators do this. But I say unto you, Pray for
your enemies, and love them that hate you, and bless them that curse you, and
pray for them that despitefully use you."
And that we
should communicate to the needy, and do nothing for glory, He said, "Give
to him that asks, and from him that would borrow turn not away; for if ye lend
to them of whom ye hope to receive, what new thing do ye? Even the publicans do
16. Lay not up for
yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
robbers break through; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain
the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for
treasure, therefore, in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt."
And, "Be ye kind and merciful, as your Father also is kind and merciful,
and make His sun to rise on sinners, and the righteous, and the wicked.
Take no thought
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall put on: are ye not better than the birds and
the beasts? And God feeds them. Take no thought, therefore, what ye shall eat,
or what ye shall put on; for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of
But seek ye the
kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you. For where his
treasure is, there also is the mind of a man." And, "Do not these
things to be seen of men; otherwise ye have no reward from your Father which is
· Concerning patience and swearing.
20. And concerning
our being patient of injuries, and ready to serve all, and free from anger, this
is what He said: "To him that smite thee on the one cheek, offer also the
other; and him that take away thy cloak or coat, forbid not. And whosoever shall
be angry, is in danger of the fire. And every one that compels thee to go with
him a mile, follow him two.
And let your
good works shine before men, that they, seeing them, may glorify your Father
which is in heaven." For we ought not to strive; neither has He desired us
to be imitators of wicked men, but He has exhorted us to lead all men, by
patience and gentleness, from shame and the love of evil.
22. And this indeed
is proved in the case of many who once were of your way of thinking, but have
changed their violent and tyrannical disposition, being overcome either by the
constancy which they have witnessed in their neighbors' lives, or by the
extraordinary forbearance they have observed in their fellow-travelers when
defrauded, or by the honesty of those with whom they have transacted business.
And with regard
to our not swearing at all, and always speaking the truth, He enjoined as
follows: "Swear not at all; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for
whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." And that we ought to worship
God alone, He thus persuaded us:
greatest commandment is, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall
thou serve, with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, the Lord God that
made thee." And when a certain man came to Him and said, "Good
Master," He answered and said, "There is none good but God only, who
made all things."
And let those
who are not found living as He taught, be understood to be no Christians, even
though they profess with the lip the precepts of Christ; for not those who make
profession, but those who do the works, shall be saved, according to His word:
"Not every one who saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.
hears Me, and doeth My sayings, hears Him that sent Me. And many will say unto
Me, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten and drunk in Thy name, and done wonders? And
then will I say unto them, Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity.
there be wailing and gnashing of teeth, when the righteous shall shine as the
sun, and the wicked are sent into everlasting fire. For many shall come in My
name, clothed outwardly in sheep's clothing, but inwardly being ravening wolves.
28. By their works
ye shall know them. And every tree that brings not forth good fruit, is hewn
down and cast into the fire." And as to those who are not living pursuant
to these His teachings, and are Christians only in name, we demand that all such
be punished by you.
taught civil obedience.
1. And everywhere
we, more readily than all men, endeavor to pay to those appointed by you the
taxes both ordinary and extraordinary, as we have been taught by Him; for at
that time some came to Him and asked Him, if one ought to pay tribute to Caesar;
and He answered, "Tell Me, whose image does the coin bear?" And they
2. And again He
answered them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's,
and to God the things that are God's." Whence to God alone we render
worship, but in other things we gladly serve you, acknowledging you as kings and
rulers of men, and praying that with your kingly power you be found to possess
also sound judgment.
But if you pay
no regard to our prayers and frank explanations, we shall suffer no loss, since
we believe (or rather, indeed, are persuaded) that every man will suffer
punishment in eternal fire according to the merit of his deed, and will render
account according to the power he has received from God, as Christ intimated
when He said, "To whom God has given more, of him shall more be
· Proof of immortality and the
upon the end of each of the preceding kings, how they died the death common to
all, which, if it issued in insensibility, would be a God send to all the
wicked. But since sensation remains to all who have ever lived, and eternal
punishment is laid up (i.e., for the wicked), see that ye neglect not to be
convinced, and to hold as your belief, that these things are true.
5. For let even
necromancy, and the divinations you practice by immaculate children, and the
evoking of departed human souls, and those who are called among the magi,
Dream-senders and Assistant-spirits (Familiars), and all that is done by those
who are skilled in such matters--let these persuade you that even after death
souls are in a state of sensation.
6. And those who
are seized and cast about by the spirits of the dead, whom all call demoniacs or
madmen; and what you repute as oracles, both of Amphilochus, Dodana, Pytho, and
as many other such as exist; and the opinions of your authors, Empedocles and
Pythagoras, Plato and Socrates, and the pit of Homer, and the descent of Ulysses
to inspect these things.
And all that
has been uttered of a like kind. Such favor as you grant to these, grant also to
us, who not less but more firmly than they believe in God; since we expect to
receive again our own bodies, though they be dead and cast into the earth, for
we maintain that with God nothing is impossible.
· The resurrection possible.
And to any
thoughtful person would anything appear more incredible, than, if we were not in
the body, and some one were to say that it was possible that from a small drop
of human seed bones and sinews and flesh be formed into a shape such as we see?
For let this
now be said hypothetically: if you yourselves were not such as you now are, and
born of such parents [and causes], and one were to show you human seed and a
picture of a man, and were to say with confidence that from such a substance
such a being could be produced, would you believe before you saw the actual
No one will
dare to deny [that such a statement would surpass belief]. In the same way,
then, you are now incredulous because you have never seen a dead man rise again.
But as at first you would not have believed it possible that such persons could
be produced from the small drop, and yet now you see them thus produced.
11. So also judge
ye that it is not impossible that the bodies of men, after they have been
dissolved, and like seeds resolved into earth, should in God's appointed time
rise again and put on incorruption. For what power worthy of God those imagine
who say, that each thing returns to that from which it was produced, and that
beyond this not even God Himself can do anything, we are unable to conceive.
But this we see
clearly, that they would not have believed it possible that they could have
become such and produced from such materials, as they now see both themselves
and the whole world to be. And that it is better to believe even what is
impossible to our own nature and to men, than to be unbelieving like the rest of
13. We have
learned; for we know that our Master Jesus Christ said, that "what is
impossible with men is possible with God," and, "Fear not them that
kill you, and after that can do no more; but fear Him who after death is able to
cast both soul and body into hell."
14. And hell is a
place where those are to be punished who have lived wickedly, and who do not
believe that those things which God has taught us by Christ will come to pass.
· Heathen analogies to Christian
15. And the Sibyl
and Hystaspes said that there should be a dissolution by God of things
corruptible. And the philosophers called Stoics teach that even God Himself
shall be resolved into fire, and they say that the world is to be formed anew by
this revolution; but we understand that God, the Creator of all things, is
superior to the things that are to be changed.
16. If, therefore,
on some points we teach the same things as the poets and philosophers whom you
honor, and on other points are fuller and more divine in our teaching, and if we
alone afford proof of what we assert, why are we unjustly hated more than all
17. For while we
say that all things have been produced and arranged into a world by God, we
shall seem to utter the doctrine of Plato; and while we say that there will be a
burning up of all, we shall seem to utter the doctrine of the Stoics.
18. And while we
affirm that the souls of the wicked, being endowed with sensation even after
death, are punished, and that those of the good being delivered from punishment
spend a blessed existence, we shall seem to say the same things as the poets and
19. And while we
maintain that men ought not to worship the works of their hands, we say the very
things which have been said by the comic poet Menander, and other similar
writers, for they have declared that the workman is greater than the work.
· Analogies to the history of Christ.
And when we say
also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual
union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose
again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you
believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.
For you know
how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the
interpreting word and teacher of all; Aesculapius, who, though he was a great
physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and bacchus
too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed
himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri;
and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals,
rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus.
22. For what shall
I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among
the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem
worthy of deification, and in whose behalf, you produce some one who swears he
has seen the burning Caesar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre?
And what kind
of deeds are recorded of each of these reputed sons of Jupiter, it is needless
to tell to those who already know. This only shall be said, that they are
written for the advantage and encouragement of youthful scholars; for all reckon
it an honorable thing to imitate the gods.
24. But far be such
a thought concerning the gods from every well-conditioned soul, as to believe
that Jupiter himself, the governor and creator of all things, was both a
parricide and the son of a parricide, and that being overcome by the love of
base and shameful pleasures, he came in to Ganymede and those many women whom he
had violated and that his sons did like actions.
25. But, as we said
above, wicked devils perpetrated these things. And we have learned that those
only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue; and we
believe that those who live wickedly and do not repent are punished in
to the Son-ship of Christ.
1. Moreover, the
Son of God called Jesus, even if only a man by ordinary generation, yet, on
account of His wisdom, is worthy to be called the Son of God; for all writers
call God the Father of men and gods. And if we assert that the Word of God was
born of God in a peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation, let this,
as said above, be no extraordinary thing to you, who say that Mercury is the
angelic word of God.
But if any one
objects that He was crucified, in this also He is on a par with those reputed
sons of Jupiter of yours, who suffered as we have now enumerated. For their
sufferings at death are recorded to have been not all alike, but diverse.
So that not
even by the peculiarity of His sufferings does He seem to be inferior to them;
but, on the contrary, as we promised in the preceding part of this discourse, we
will now prove Him superior--or rather have already proved Him to be so--for the
superior is revealed by His actions.
4. And if we even
affirm that He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you accept
of Ferseus. And in that we say that He made whole the lame, the paralytic, and
those born blind, we seem to say what is very similar to the deeds said to have
been done by AEsculapius.
· The argument.
And that this
may now become evident to you-- (firstly) that whatever we assert in conformity
with what has been taught us by Christ, and by the prophets who preceded Him,
are alone true, and are older than all the writers who have existed; that we
claim to be acknowledged.
Not because we
say the same things as these writers said, but because we say true things: and
that Jesus Christ is the only proper Son who has been begotten by God, being His
Word and first-begotten, and power; and, becoming man according to His will,
He taught us
these things for the conversion and restoration of the human race: and that
before He became a man among men, some, influenced by the demons before
mentioned, related beforehand, through the instrumentality of the poets, those
circumstances as having really happened.
8. Which, having
fictitiously devised, they narrated, in the same manner as they have caused to
be fabricated the scandalous reports against us of infamous and impious actions,
of which there is neither witness nor proof--we shall bring forward the
· Varieties of heathen worship.
9. In the first
place because, though we say things similar to what the Greeks say, we only are
hated on account of the name of Christ, and though we do no wrong, are put to
death as sinners; other men in other places worshipping trees and rivers, and
mice and cats and crocodiles, and many irrational animals.
Nor are the
same animals esteemed by all; but in one place one is worshipped, and another in
another, so that all are profane in the judgment of one another, on account of
their not worshipping the same objects.
11. And this is the
sole accusation you bring against us, that we do not reverence the same gods as
you do, nor offer to the dead libations and the savor of fat, and crowns for
their statues, and sacrifices. For you very well know that the same animals are
with some esteemed gods, with others wild beasts, and with others sacrificial
gods abandoned by Christians.
because we who out of every race of men, used to worship bacchus the son of
semele, and apollo the son of Latona (who in their loves with men did such
things as it is shameful even to mention), and proserpine and venus (who were
maddened with love of adonis, and whose mysteries also you celebrate).
or some one or other of those who are called gods, have now through Jesus
Christ, learned to despise these, though we be threatened with death for it, and
have dedicated ourselves to the un-begotten and impossible God; of whom we are
persuaded that never was he goaded by lust of antiope, or such other women.
Or of ganymede,
nor was rescued by that hundred-handed giant whose aid was obtained through
thetis, nor was anxious on this account that her son achilles should destroy
many of the Greeks because of his concubine briseis. Those who believe these
things we pity, and those who invented them we know to be devils.
· Magicians not trusted by Christians.
15. That they
themselves were gods; and they were not only not persecuted by you, but even
deemed worthy of honors. There was a Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village
called Gitto, who in the reign of Claudius Caesar, and in your royal city of
Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by virtue of the art of the devils operating in
16. He was
considered a god, and as a god was honored by you with a statue, which statue
was erected on the river Tiber, between the two bridges, and bore this
inscription, in the language of Rome: "Simoni Deo Sancto," "To
Simon the holy God."
17. And almost all
the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worship him, and acknowledge
him as the first god; and a woman, Helena, who went about with him at that time,
and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him.
And a man,
Meander, also a Samaritan, of the town Capparetaea, a disciple of Simon, and
inspired by devils, we know to have deceived many while he was in Antioch by his
magical art. He persuaded those who adhered to him that they should never die,
and even now there are some living who hold this opinion of his.
19. And there is
Marcion, a man of Pontus, who is even at this day alive, and teaching his
disciples to believe in some other god greater than the Creator. And he, by the
aid of the devils, has caused many of every nation to speak blasphemies, and to
deny that God is the maker of this universe, and to assert that some other
being, greater than He, has done greater works.
All who take
their opinions from these men, are, as we before said, called Christians; just
as also those who do not agree with the philosophers in their doctrines, have
yet in common with them the name of philosophers given to them.
21. And whether
they perpetrate those fabulous and shameful deeds--the upsetting of the lamp,
and promiscuous intercourse, and eating human flesh--we know not; but we do know
that they are neither persecuted nor put to death by you, at least on account of
22. But I have a
treatise against all the heresies that have existed already composed, which, if
you wish to read it, I will give you.
of exposing children.
23. But as for us,
we have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked
men; and this we have been taught lest we should do any one an injury, and lest
we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not
only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution.
And as the
ancients are said to have reared herds of oxen, or goats, or sheep, or grazing
horses, so now we see you rear children only for this shameful use; and for this
pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit
unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation.
And you receive
the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate
from your realm. And any one who uses such persons, besides the godless and
infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own
child, or relative, or brother.
26. And there are
some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly
mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the
mother of the gods, and along with each of those whom you esteem gods there is
painted a serpent, a great symbol and mystery.
27. Indeed, the
things which you do openly and with applause, as if the divine light were
overturned and extinguished, these you lay to our charge; which, in truth, does
no harm to us who shrink from doing any such things, but only to those who do
them and bear false witness against us.
· God's care for men.
For among us
the prince of the wicked spirits is called the serpent, and Satan, and the
devil, as you can learn by looking into our writings. And that he would be sent
into the fire with his host, and the men who follow him, and would be punished
for an endless duration, Christ foretold.
29. For the reason
why God has delayed to do this, is His regard for the human race. For He
foreknows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps
not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought
and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse
before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative.
30. And if any one
disbelieves that God cares for these things, he will thereby either insinuate
that God does not exist, or he will assert that though He exists He delights in
vice, or exists like a stone, and that neither virtue nor vice are anything, but
only in the opinion of men these things are reckoned good or evil. And this is
the greatest profanity and wickedness.
1. And again, lest
some of them be not picked up, but die, and we become murderers. But whether we
marry, it is only that we may bring up children; or whether we decline marriage,
we live continently.
2. And that you
may understand that promiscuous intercourse is not one of our mysteries, one of
our number a short time ago presented to Felix the governor in Alexandria a
petition, craving that permission might be given to a surgeon to make him an
eunuch. For the surgeons there said that they were forbidden to do this without
the permission of the governor.
3. And when Felix
absolutely refused to sign such permission, the youth remained single, and was
satisfied with his own approving conscience, and the approval of those who
thought as he did.
And it is not
out of place, we think, to mention here Antinous, who was alive but lately, and
whom all were prompt, through fear, to worship as a god, though they knew both
who he was and what was his origin.
· Was Christ not a magician?
But lest any
one should meet us with the question, What should prevent that He whom we call
Christ, being a man born of men, performed what we call His mighty works by
magical art, and by this appeared to be the Son of God?
We will now
offer proof, not trusting mere assertions, but being of necessity persuaded by
those who prophesied [of Him] before these things came to pass, for with our own
eyes we behold things that have happened and are happening just as they were
predicted; and this will, we think appear even to you the strongest and truest
· Of the Hebrew prophets.
then, among the Jews certain men who were prophets of God, through whom the
prophetic Spirit published beforehand things that were to come to pass, ere ever
they happened. And their prophecies, as they were spoken and when they were
uttered, the kings who happened to be reigning among the Jews at the several
times carefully preserved in their possession, when they had been arranged in
books by the prophets themselves in their own Hebrew language.
Ptolemy king of Egypt formed a library, and endeavored to collect the writings
of all men, he heard also of these prophets, and sent to Herod, who was at that
time king of the Jews, requesting that the books of the prophets be sent to him.
9. And Herod the
king did indeed send them, written, as they were, in the foresaid Hebrew
language. And when their contents were found to be unintelligible to the
Egyptians, he again sent and requested that men be commissioned to translate
them into the Greek language.
10. And when this
was done, the books remained with the Egyptians, where they are until now. They
are also in the possession of all Jews throughout the world; but they, though
they read, do not understand what is said, but count us foes and enemies; and,
like yourselves, they kill and punish us whenever they have the power, as you
can well believe.
For in the
Jewish war, which lately raged, Barchochebas, the leader of the revolt of the
Jews, gave orders that Christians alone should be led to cruel punishments,
unless they would deny Jesus Christ and utter blasphemy.
In these books,
then, of the prophets we found Jesus our Christ foretold as coming, born of a
virgin, growing up to man's estate, and healing every disease and every
sickness, and raising the dead, and being hated, and unrecognized, and
crucified, and dying, and rising again, and ascending into heaven, and being,
and being called, the Son of God.
We find it also
predicted that certain persons should be sent by Him into every nation to
publish these things, and that rather among the Gentiles men should believe on
And He was
predicted before He appeared, first 5000 years before, and again 3000, then
2000, then 1000, and yet again 800; for in the succession of generations
prophets after prophets arose.
· Christ predicted by Moses.
15. Moses then, who
was the first of the prophets, spoke in these very words: "The scepter
shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until He come
for whom it is reserved; and He shall be the desire of the nations, binding His
foal to the vine, washing His robe in the blood of the grape."
16. It is yours to
make accurate inquiry, and ascertain up to whose time the Jews had a lawgiver
and king of their own. Up to the time of Jesus Christ, who taught us, and
interpreted the prophecies which were not yet understood, as was foretold by the
holy and divine Spirit of prophecy through Moses, "that a ruler would not
fail the Jews until He should come for whom the kingdom was reserved"
(For Judah was
the forefather of the Jews, from whom also they have their name of Jews); and
after Him Christ appeared, you began to rule the Jews, and gained possession of
all their territory. And the prophecy, "He shall be the expectation of the
nations," signified that there would be some of all nations who should look
for Him to come again.
And this indeed
you can see for yourselves, and be convinced of by fact. For of all races of men
there are some who look for Him who was crucified in Judea, and after whose
crucifixion the land was straightway surrendered to you as spoil of war. And the
prophecy, "binding His foal to the vine, and washing His robe in the blood
of the grape," was a significant symbol of the things that were to happen
to Christ, and of what He was to do.
19. For the foal of
an ass stood bound to a vine at the entrance of a village, and He ordered His
acquaintances to bring it to Him then; and when it was brought, He mounted and
sat upon it, and entered Jerusalem, where was the vast temple of the Jews which
was afterwards destroyed by you.
20. And after this
He was crucified, that the rest of the prophecy might be fulfilled. For this
"washing His robe in the blood of the grape" was predictive of the
passion He was to endure, cleansing by His blood those who believe on Him.
21. For what is
called by the Divine Spirit through the prophet "His robe," are those
men who believe in Him in whom abides the seed of God, the Word. And what is
spoken of as "the blood of the grape," signifies that He who should
appear would have blood, though not of the seed of man, but of the power of God.
And the first
power after God the Father and Lord of all is the Word, who is also the Son; and
of Him we will, in what follows, relate how He took flesh and became man. For as
man did not make the blood of the vine, but God, so it was hereby intimated that
the blood should not be of human seed, but of divine power, as we have said
23. And Isaiah,
another prophet, foretelling the same things in other words, spoke thus: "A
star shall rise out of Jacob, and a flower shall spring from the root of Jesse;
and His arm shall the nations trust." And a star of light has arisen, and a
flower has sprung from the root of Jesse--this Christ.
For by the
power of God He was conceived by a virgin of the seed of Jacob, who was the
father of Judah, who, as we have shown, was the father of the Jews; and Jesse
was His forefather according to the oracle, and He was the son of Jacob and
Judah according to lineal descent.
of Christ's birth predicted.
1. And hear again
how Isaiah in express words foretold that He should be born of a virgin; for he
spoke thus: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a son, and
they shall say for His name, 'God with us.' " For things which were
incredible and seemed impossible with men, these God predicted by the Spirit of
prophecy as about to come to pass, in order that, when they came to pass, there
might be no unbelief, but faith, because of their prediction.
But lest some,
not understanding the prophecy now cited, should charge us with the very things
we have been laying to the charge of the poets who say that Jupiter went in to
women through lust, let us try to explain the words.
3. This, then,
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive," signifies that a virgin should
conceive without intercourse. For if she had had intercourse with any one
whatever, she was no longer a virgin; but the power of God having come upon the
virgin, overshadowed her, and caused her while yet a virgin to conceive.
4. And the angel
of God who was sent to the same virgin at that time brought her good news,
saying, "Behold, thou shalt conceive of the Holy Ghost, and shalt bear a
Son, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest, and thou shalt call His name
For He shall
save His people from their sins,"--as they who have recorded all that
concerns our Savior Jesus Christ have taught, whom we believed, since by Isaiah
also, whom we have now adduced, the Spirit of prophecy declared that He should
be born as we intimated before.
It is wrong,
therefore, to understand the Spirit and the power of God as anything else than
the Word, who is also the first-born of God, as the foresaid prophet Moses
declared; and it was this which, when it came upon the virgin and overshadowed
her, caused her to conceive, not by intercourse, but by power.
7. And the name
Jesus in the Hebrew language means Swthr (Savior) in the Greek tongue.
Wherefore, too, the angel said to the virgin, "Thou shalt call His name
Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." And that the prophets
are inspired by no other than the Divine Word, even you as I fancy will grant.
· Place of Christ's birth foretold.
8. And hear what
part of earth He was to be born in, as another prophet, Micah, foretold. He
spoke thus: "And thou, Bethlehem, the land of Judah, art not the least
among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come forth a Governor, who
shall feed My people."
Now there is a
village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which
Jesus Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registers of the
taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea.
Other fulfilled prophesies.
10. And how Christ
after He was born was to escape the notice of other men until He grew to man's
estate, which also came to pass, hear what was foretold regarding this. There
are the following predictions: --"Unto us a child is born, and unto us a
young man is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders;" which
is significant of the power of the cross, for to it, when He was crucified.
11. He applied His
shoulders, as shall be more clearly made out in the ensuing discourse. And again
the same prophet Isaiah, being inspired by the prophetic Spirit, said, "I
have spread out my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people, to those who
walk in a way that is not good.
12. They now ask of
me judgment, and dare to draw near to God." And again in other words,
through another prophet, He says, "They pierced My hands and My feet, and
for My vesture they cast lots." And indeed David, the king and prophet, who
uttered these things, suffered none of them; but Jesus Christ stretched forth
His hands, being crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He
was the Christ.
And as the
prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said,
Judge us. And the expression, "They pierced my hands and my feet," was
used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and
And after He
was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him
parted it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from
the Acts of Pontius Pilate. And we will cite the prophetic utterances of another
prophet, Zephaniah, to the effect that He was foretold expressly as to sit upon
the foal of an ass and to enter Jerusalem.
15. The words are
these: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of
Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and
upon a colt the foal of an ass."
· Different modes of prophecy.
16. But when you
hear the utterances of the prophets spoken as it were personally, you must not
suppose that they are spoken by the inspired themselves, but by the Divine Word
who moves them. For sometimes He declares things that are to come to pass, in
the manner of one who foretells the future;
He speaks as from the person of God the Lord and Father of all; sometimes as
from the person of Christ; sometimes as from the person of the people answering
the Lord or His Father, just as you can see even in your own writers, one man
being the writer of the whole, but introducing the persons who converse.
And this, the
Jews who possessed the books of the prophets did not understand, and therefore
did not recognize Christ even when He came, but even hate us who say that He has
come, and who prove that, as was predicted, He was crucified by them.
· Utterances of the father.
19. And that this
too may be clear to you, there were spoken from the person of the Father through
Isaiah the prophet, the following words: "The ox knows his owner, and the
ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, and My people hath not
nation, a people full of sins, a wicked seed, children that are transgressors,
ye have forsaken the Lord." And again elsewhere, when the same prophet
speaks in like manner from the person of the Father, "What is the house
that ye will build for Me? Saith the Lord. The heaven is My throne, and the
earth is My footstool."
21. And again, in
another place, "Your new moons and your Sabbaths My soul hates; and the
great day of the fast and of ceasing from labor I cannot away with; nor, if ye
come to be seen of Me, will I hear you: your hands are full of blood; and if ye
bring fine flour, incense, it is abomination unto Me: the fat of lambs and the
blood of bulls I do not desire.
22. For who hath
required this at your hands? But loose every bond of wickedness, tear asunder
the tight knots of violent contracts, cover the houseless and naked deal thy
bread to the hungry." What kind of things are taught through the prophets
from [the person of] God, you can now perceive.
of the Son.
1. And when the
Spirit of prophecy speaks from the person of Christ, the utterances are of this
sort: "I have spread out My hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people,
to those who walk in a way that is not good."
2. And again:
"I gave My back to the scourges, and My cheeks to the buffetings; I turned
not away My face from the shame of spitting; and the Lord was My helper:
therefore was I not confounded: but I set My face as a firm rock; and I knew
that I should not be ashamed, for He is near that justifies Me."
3. And again, when
He says, "They cast lots upon My vesture, and pierced My hands and My feet.
And I lay down and slept, and rose again, because the Lord sustained Me."
And again, when He says, "They spake with their lips, they wagged the head,
saying, Let Him deliver Himself."
4. And that all
these things happened to Christ at the hands of the Jews, you can ascertain. For
when He was crucified, they did shoot out the lip, and wagged their heads,
saying, "Let Him who raised the dead save Himself."
· Direct predictions by the Spirit.
And when the
Spirit of prophecy speaks as predicting things that are to come to pass, He
speaks in this way: "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word
of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall
rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and
their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more."
6. And that it did
so come to pass, we can convince you. For from Jerusalem there went out into the
world, men, twelve in number, and these illiterate, of no ability in speaking:
but by the power of God they proclaimed to every race of men that they were sent
by Christ to teach to all the word of God.
7. And we who
formerly used to murder one another do not only now refrain from making war upon
our enemies, but also, that we may not lie nor deceive our examiners, willingly
die confessing Christ. For that
saying, "The tongue has sworn but the mind is un-sworn," might be
imitated by us in this matter.
But if the
soldiers enrolled by you, and who have taken the military oath, prefer their
allegiance to their own life, and parents, and country, and all kindred, though
you can offer them nothing incorruptible, it were verily ridiculous if we, who
earnestly long for incorruption, should not endure all things, in order to
obtain what we desire from Him who is able to grant it.
· Christ's advent foretold,
9. And hear how it
was foretold concerning those who published His doctrine and proclaimed His
appearance, the above-mentioned prophet and king speaking thus by the Spirit of
prophecy "Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge.
10. There is no
speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their voice has gone out
into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the sun hath He
set His tabernacle, and he as a bridegroom going out of his chamber shall
rejoice as a giant to run his course."
11. And we have
thought it right and relevant to mention some other prophetic utterances of
David besides these; from which you may learn how the Spirit of prophecy exhorts
men to live, and how He foretold the conspiracy which was formed against Christ
by Herod the king of the Jews, and the Jews themselves, and Pilate, who was your
governor among them, with his soldiers.
12. And how He
should be believed on by men of every race; and how God calls Him His Son, and
has declared that He will subdue all His enemies under Him; and how the devils,
as much as they can, strive to escape the power of God the Father and Lord of
all, and the power of Christ Himself.
13. And how God
calls all to repentance before the day of judgment comes. These things were
uttered thus: "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful:
but his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law will he meditate day
14. And, he shall
be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters, which shall give his fruit in
his season; and his leaf shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall
prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives
away from the face of the earth. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the
judgment, nor sinners in the council of the righteous.
15. For the Lord
knows the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Why do
the heathen rage, and the people imagine new things? The kings of the earth set
themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against
His Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast their yoke from
He that dwells
in the heavens shall laugh at them, and the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall He speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.
Yet have I been set by Him a King on Zion His holy hill, declaring the decree of
17. The Lord said
to Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall
give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the
earth as Thy possession. Thou shall herd them with a rod of iron; as the vessels
of a potter shalt Thou dash them in pieces.
18. Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, all ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Embrace instruction, lest at any time the Lord be angry, and ye perish from the right way, when His wrath has been suddenly kindled. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him."