A Plea For the Christians

 Chapter I.—Injustice Shown Towards the Christians.

 Chapter II.—Claim to Be Treated as Others are When Accused.

 Chapter III.—Charges Brought Against the Christians.

 Chapter IV.—The Christians are Not Atheists, But Acknowledge One Only God.

 Chapter V.—Testimony of the Poets to the Unity of God.

 Chapter VI.—Opinions of the Philosophers as to the One God.

 Chapter VII.—Superiority of the Christian Doctrine Respecting God.

 Chapter VIII.—Absurdities of Polytheism.

 Chapter IX.—The Testimony of the Prophets.

 Chapter X.—The Christians Worship the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

 Chapter XI.—The Moral Teaching of the Christians Repels the Charge Brought Against Them.

 Chapter XII.—Consequent Absurdity of the Charge of Atheism.

 Chapter XIII.—Why the Christians Do Not Offer Sacrifices.

 Chapter XIV.—Inconsistency of Those Who Accuse the Christians.

 Chapter XV.—The Christians Distinguish God from Matter.

 Chapter XVI.—The Christians Do Not Worship the Universe.

 Chapter XVII.—The Names of the Gods and Their Images are But of Recent Date.

 Chapter XVIII.—The Gods Themselves Have Been Created, as the Poets Confess.

 Chapter XIX.—The Philosophers Agree with the Poets Respecting the Gods.

 Chapter XX.—Absurd Representations of the Gods.

 Chapter XXI.—Impure Loves Ascribed to the Gods.

 Chapter XXII.—Pretended Symbolical Explanations.

 Chapter XXIII.—Opinions of Thales and Plato.

 Chapter XXIV.—Concerning the Angels and Giants.

 Chapter XXV.—The Poets and Philosophers Have Denied a Divine Providence.

 Chapter XXVI.—The Demons Allure Men to the Worship of Images.

 Chapter XXVII.—Artifices of the Demons.

 Chapter XXVIII.—The Heathen Gods Were Simply Men.

 Chapter XXIX.—Proof of the Same from the Poets.

 Chapter XXX.—Reasons Why Divinity Has Been Ascribed to Men.

 Chapter XXXI.—Confutation of the Other Charges Brought Against the Christians.

 Chapter XXXII.—Elevated Morality of the Christians.

 Chapter XXXIII.—Chastity of the Christians with Respect to Marriage.

 Chapter XXXIV.—The Vast Difference in Morals Between the Christians and Their Accusers.

 Chapter XXXV.—The Christians Condemn and Detest All Cruelty.

 Chapter XXXVI.—Bearing of the Doctrine of the Resurrection on the Practices of the Christians.

 Chapter XXXVII.—Entreaty to Be Fairly Judged.

Chapter XII.—Consequent Absurdity of the Charge of Atheism.

Should we, then, unless we believed that a God presides over the human race, thus purge ourselves from evil? Most certainly not. But, because we are persuaded that we shall give an account of everything in the present life to God, who made us and the world, we adopt a temperate and benevolent and generally despised method of life, believing that we shall suffer no such great evil here, even should our lives be taken from us, compared with what we shall there receive for our meek and benevolent and moderate life from the great Judge. Plato indeed has said that Minos and Rhadamanthus will judge and punish the wicked; but we say that, even if a man be Minos or Rhadamanthus himself, or their father, even he will not escape the judgment of God. Are, then, those who consider life to be comprised in this, “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die,” and who regard death as a deep sleep and forgetfulness (“sleep and death, twin brothers”38    Hom., Il., xvi. 672.), to be accounted pious; while men who reckon the present life of very small worth indeed, and who are conducted to the future life by this one thing alone, that they know God and His Logos, what is the oneness of the Son with the Father, what the communion of the Father with the Son, what is the Spirit, what is the unity of these three, the Spirit, the Son, the Father, and their distinction in unity; and who know that the life for which we look is far better than can be described in words, provided we arrive at it pure from all wrong-doing; who, moreover, carry our benevolence to such an extent, that we not only love our friends (“for if ye love them,” He says, “that love you, and lend to them that lend to you, what reward will ye have?”39    Luke vi. 32, 34; Matt. v. 46.),—shall we, I say, when such is our character, and when we live such a life as this, that we may escape condemnation at last, not be accounted pious? These, however, are only small matters taken from great, and a few things from many, that we may not further trespass on your patience; for those who test honey and whey, judge by a small quantity whether the whole is good.

Ἀρα τοίνυν, εἰ μὴ ἐφεστηκέναι θεὸν τῷ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένει ἐνομίζομεν, οὕτως ἂν ἑαυτοὺς ἐξεκαθαίρομεν; οὐκ ἔστιν εἰπεῖν, ἀλλ' ἐπεὶ πεπείσμεθα ὑφέξειν παντὸς τοῦ ἐνταῦθα βίου λόγον τῷ πεποιηκότι καὶ ἡμᾶς καὶ τὸν κόσμον θεῷ, τὸν μέτριον καὶ φιλ άνθρωπον καὶ εὐκαταφρόνητον βίον αἱρούμεθα, οὐδὲν τηλικοῦτον πείσεσθαι κακὸν ἐνταῦθα νομίζοντες κἂν τῆς ψυχῆς ἡμᾶς ἀφαι ρῶνταί τινες, ὧν ἐκεῖ κομιούμεθα τοῦ πράου καὶ φιλανθρώπου καὶ ἐπιεικοῦς βίου παρὰ τοῦ μεγάλου δικαστοῦ. Πλάτων μὲν οὖν Μίνω καὶ Ῥαδάμανθυν δικάσειν καὶ κολάσειν τοὺς πονηροὺς ἔφη, ἡμεῖς δὲ κἂν Μίνως τις κἂν Ῥαδάμανθυς ᾖ κἂν ὁ τούτων πατήρ, οὐδὲ τοῦτόν φαμεν διαφεύξεσθαι τὴν κρίσιν τοῦ θεοῦ. εἶθ' οἱ μὲν τὸν βίον τοῦτον νομίζοντες “φάγωμεν καὶ πίωμεν, αὔριον γὰρ ἀποθνῄσκομεν” καὶ τὸν θάνατον βαθὺν ὕπνον καὶ λήθην τιθέμενοι “ὕπνος καὶ θάνατος διδυμάονε” πιστεύονται θεοσεβεῖν· ἄνθρωποι δὲ τὸν μὲν ἐνταῦθα ὀλίγου καὶ μικροῦ τινος ἄξιον βίον λελογισμένοι, ὑπὸ μόνου δὲ παραπεμπόμενοι τοῦ τὸν ὄντως θεὸν καὶ τὸν παρ' αὐτοῦ λόγον εἰδέναι, τίς ἡ τοῦ παιδὸς πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἑνότης, τίς ἡ τοῦ πατρὸς πρὸς τὸν υἱὸν κοινωνία, τί τὸ πνεῦμα, τίς ἡ τῶν τοσούτων ἕνωσις καὶ διαίρεσις ἑνουμένων, τοῦ πνεύματος, τοῦ παιδός, τοῦ πατρός, πολὺ δὲ καὶ κρείττον' ἢ εἰπεῖν λόγῳ τὸν ἐκ δεχόμενον βίον εἰδότες, ἐὰν καθαροὶ ὄντες ἀπὸ παντὸς παρα πεμφθῶμεν ἀδικήματος, μέχρι τοσούτου δὲ φιλανθρωπότατοι ὥστε μὴ μόνον στέργειν τοὺς φίλους (“ἐὰν γὰρ ἀγαπᾶτε”, φησί, “τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας καὶ δανείζητε τοῖς δανείζουσιν ὑμῖν, τίνα μισθὸν ἕξετε;”), τοιοῦτοι δὲ ἡμεῖς ὄντες καὶ τὸν τοιοῦτον βιοῦντες βίον ἵνα κριθῆναι διαφύγωμεν, ἀπιστούμεθα θεοσεβεῖν; Ταῦτα μὲν οὖν μικρὰ ἀπὸ μεγάλων καὶ ὀλίγα ἀπὸ πολλῶν, ἵνα μὴ ἐπὶ πλεῖον ὑμῖν ἐνοχλοίημεν· καὶ γὰρ τὸ μέλι καὶ τὸν ὀρὸν δοκι μάζοντες μικρῷ μέρει τοῦ παντὸς τὸ πᾶν εἰ καλὸν δοκιμάζουσιν.