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 XXIV.—Concerning the Angels and Giants.

What need is there, in speaking to you who have searched into every department of knowledge, to mention the poets, or to examine opinions of another kind? Let it suffice to say thus much. If the poets and philosophers did not acknowledge that there is one God, and concerning these gods were not of opinion, some that they are demons, others that they are matter, and others that they once were men,—there might be some show of reason for our being harassed as we are, since we employ language which makes a distinction between God and matter, and the natures of the two. For, as we acknowledge a God, and a Son his Logos, and a Holy Spirit, united in essence,—the Father, the Son, the Spirit, because the Son is the Intelligence, Reason, Wisdom of the Father, and the Spirit an effluence, as light from fire; so also do we apprehend the existence of other powers, which exercise dominion about matter, and by means of it, and one in particular, which is hostile to God: not that anything is really opposed to God, like strife to friendship, according to Empedocles, and night to day, according to the appearing and disappearing of the stars (for even if anything had placed itself in opposition to God, it would have ceased to exist, its structure being destroyed by the power and might of God), but that to the good that is in God, which belongs of necessity to Him, and co-exists with Him, as colour with body, without which it has no existence (not as being part of it, but as an attendant property co-existing with it, united and blended, just as it is natural for fire to be yellow and the ether dark blue),—to the good that is in God, I say, the spirit which is about matter,89    [Comp. cap. xxvii., infra.] who was created by God, just as the other angels were created by Him, and entrusted with the control of matter and the forms of matter, is opposed. For this is the office of the angels,—to exercise providence for God over the things created and ordered by Him; so that God may have the universal and general providence of the whole, while the particular parts are provided for by the angels appointed over them.90    [Kaye, 192. And see cap. x., supra, p. 133. Divine Providence does not exclude the ministry of angels by divine appointment. Resurrection, cap. xviii., infra.] Just as with men, who have freedom of choice as to both virtue and vice (for you would not either honour the good or punish the bad, unless vice and virtue were in their own power; and some are diligent in the matters entrusted to them by you, and others faithless), so is it among the angels. Some, free agents, you will observe, such as they were created by God, continued in those things for which God had made and over which He had ordained them; but some outraged both the constitution of their nature and the government entrusted to them: namely, this ruler of matter and its various forms, and others of those who were placed about this first firmament (you know that we say nothing without witnesses, but state the things which have been declared by the prophets); these fell into impure love of virgins, and were subjugated by the flesh, and he became negligent and wicked in the management of the things entrusted to him. Of these lovers of virgins, therefore, were begotten those who are called giants.91    [The Paris editors caution us against yielding to this interpretation of Gen. vi. 1–4. It was the Rabbinical interpretation. See Josephus, book i. cap. 3.] And if something has been said by the poets, too, about the giants, be not surprised at this: worldly wisdom and divine differ as much from each other as truth and plausibility: the one is of heaven and the other of earth; and indeed, according to the prince of matter,—

“We know we oft speak lies that look like truths.”92    Hesiod, Theog., 27. [Traces of the Nephilim are found in all mythologies.]

Τί δὲ δεῖ πρὸς ὑμᾶς πάντα λόγον κεκινηκότας ἢ ποιητῶν μνημονεύειν ἢ καὶ ἑτέρας δόξας ἐξετάζειν, τοσοῦτον εἰπεῖν ἔχοντι· εἰ καὶ μὴ ποιηταὶ καὶ φιλόσοφοι ἕνα μὲν εἶναι ἐπεγίνωσκον θεόν, περὶ δὲ τούτων οἱ μὲν ὡς περὶ δαιμόνων, οἱ δὲ ὡς περὶ ὕλης, οἱ δὲ ὡς περὶ ἀνθρώπων γενομένων ἐφρόνουν, ἡμεῖς [τε] ἂν εἰκότως ἐξεν ηλατούμεθα, διαιρετικῷ λόγῳ καὶ περὶ θεοῦ καὶ ὕλης καὶ περὶ τῆς τούτων αὐτῶν οὐσίας κεχρημένοι; ὡς γὰρ θεόν φαμεν καὶ υἱὸν τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ καὶ πνεῦμα ἅγιον, ἑνούμενα μὲν κατὰ δύναμιν [διαιρούμενα δὲ κατὰ τάξιν εἰς] τὸν πατέρα, τὸν υἱόν, τὸ πνεῦμα, ὅτι νοῦς, λόγος, σοφία ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ ἀπόρροια ὡς φῶς ἀπὸ πυρὸς τὸ πνεῦμα, οὕτως καὶ ἑτέρας εἶναι δυνάμεις κατειλήμμεθα περὶ τὴν ὕλην ἐχούσας καὶ δι' αὐτῆς, μίαν μὲν τὴν ἀντίθεον, οὐχ ὅτι ἀντιδοξοῦν τί ἐστι τῷ θεῷ ὡς τῇ φιλίᾳ τὸ νεῖκος κατὰ τὸν Ἐμπεδοκλέα καὶ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ νὺξ κατὰ τὰ φαινόμενα (ἐπεὶ κἂν εἰ ἀνθειστήκει τι τῷ θεῷ, ἐπαύσατο τοῦ εἶναι, λυθείσης αὐτοῦ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ δυνάμει καὶ ἰσχύι τῆς συστάσεως), ἀλλ' ὅτι τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀγαθῷ, ὃ κατὰ συμβεβηκός ἐστιν αὐτῷ καὶ συνυπάρχον ὡς χρόα σώματι, οὗ ἄνευ οὐκ ἔστιν (οὐχ ὡς μέρους ὄντος, ἀλλ' ὡς κατ' ἀνάγκην συνόντος παρακολουθήματος, ἡνωμένου καὶ συγκεχρωσ μένου ὡς τῷ πυρὶ ξανθῷ εἶναι καὶ τῷ αἰθέρι κυανῷ), ἐναντίον ἐστὶ τὸ περὶ τὴν ὕλην ἔχον πνεῦμα, γενόμενον μὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, καθὸ [καὶ] οἱ λοιποὶ ὑπ' αὐτοῦ γεγόνασιν ἄγγελοι, καὶ τὴν ἐπὶ τῇ ὕλῃ καὶ τοῖς τῆς ὕλης εἴδεσι πεπιστευμένον διοίκησιν. τούτων γὰρ ἡ τῶν ἀγγέλων σύστασις τῷ θεῷ ἐπὶ προνοίᾳ γέγονε τοῖς ὑπ' αὐτοῦ διακεκοσμημένοις, ἵν' ᾖ τὴν μὲν παντελικὴν καὶ γενικὴν ὁ θεὸς [ἔχων] τῶν ὅλων πρόνοιαν, τὴν δὲ ἐπὶ μέρους οἱ ἐπ' αὐτοῖς ταχθέντες ἄγγελοι. ὡς δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων αὐθαίρετον καὶ τὴν ἀρετὴν καὶ τὴν κακίαν ἐχόντων (ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἂν οὔτ' ἐτιμᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς οὔτ' ἐκολάζετε τοὺς πονηρούς, εἰ μὴ ἐπ' αὐτοῖς ἦν καὶ ἡ κακία καὶ ἡ ἀρετή) [καὶ] οἱ μὲν σπουδαῖοι περὶ ἃ πιστεύονται ὑφ' ὑμῶν, οἱ δὲ ἄπιστοι εὑρίσκονται, καὶ τὸ κατὰ τοὺς ἀγγέλους ἐν ὁμοίῳ καθέστηκεν. οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἄλλοι–αὐθαίρετοι δὴ γεγόνασιν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ–ἔμειναν ἐφ' οἷς αὐτοὺς ἐποίησεν καὶ διέταξεν ὁ θεός, οἱ δὲ ἐνύβρισαν καὶ τῇ τῆς οὐσίας ὑποστάσει καὶ τῇ ἀρχῇ οὗτός τε ὁ τῆς ὕλης καὶ τῶν ἐν αὐτῇ εἰδῶν ἄρχων καὶ ἕτεροι τῶν περὶ τὸ πρῶτον τοῦτο στερέωμα (ἴστε δὲ μηδὲν ἡμᾶς ἀμάρτυρον λέγειν, ἃ δὲ τοῖς προφήταις ἐκπεφώνηται μηνύειν), ἐκεῖνοι μὲν εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν πεσόντες παρθένων καὶ ἥττους σαρκὸς εὑρεθέντες, οὗτος δὲ ἀμελήσας καὶ πονηρὸς περὶ τὴν τῶν πεπιστευμένων γενόμενος διοίκησιν. ἐκ μὲν οὖν τῶν περὶ τὰς παρθένους ἐχόντων οἱ καλούμενοι ἐγεννήθησαν γίγαντες· εἰ δέ τις ἐκ μέρους εἴρηται περὶ τῶν γιγάντων καὶ ποιηταῖς λόγος, μὴ θαυμάσητε, τῆς κοσμικῆς ... σοφίας ὅσον ἀλήθεια πιθανοῦ διαφέρει διαλλαττουσῶν καὶ τῆς μὲν οὔσης ἐπουρανίου, τῆς δὲ ἐπιγείου καὶ κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ὕλης· ἴσμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα.