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

These angels, then, who have fallen from heaven, and haunt the air and the earth, and are no longer able to rise to heavenly things, and the souls of the giants, which are the demons who wander about the world, perform actions similar, the one (that is, the demons) to the natures they have received, the other (that is, the angels) to the appetites they have indulged. But the prince of matter, as may be seen merely from what transpires, exercises a control and management contrary to the good that is in God:—

“Ofttimes this anxious thought has crossed my mind,

Whether ’tis chance or deity that rules

The small affairs of men; and, spite of hope

As well as justice, drives to exile some

Stripped of all means of life, while others still

Continue to enjoy prosperity.”93    Eurip.; from an unknown play.

Prosperity and adversity, contrary to hope and justice, made it impossible for Euripides to say to whom belongs the administration of earthly affairs, which is of such a kind that one might say of it:—

“How then, while seeing these things, can we say

There is a race of gods, or yield to laws?”94    Ibid.

The same thing led Aristotle to say that the things below the heaven are not under the care of Providence, although the eternal providence of God concerns itself equally with us below,—

“The earth, let willingness move her or not,

Must herbs produce, and thus sustain my flocks,”95    Eurip., Cycl., 332 sq.

and addresses itself to the deserving individually, according to truth and not according to opinion; and all other things, according to the general constitution of nature, are provided for by the law of reason. But because the demoniac movements and operations proceeding from the adverse spirit produce these disorderly sallies, and moreover move men, some in one way and some in another, as individuals and as nations, separately and in common, in accordance with the tendency of matter on the one hand, and of the affinity for divine things on the other, from within and from without,—some who are of no mean reputation have therefore thought that this universe is constituted without any definite order, and is driven hither and thither by an irrational chance. But they do not understand, that of those things which belong to the constitution of the whole world there is nothing out of order or neglected, but that each one of them has been produced by reason, and that, therefore, they do not transgress the order prescribed to them; and that man himself, too, so far as He that made him is concerned, is well ordered, both by his original nature, which has one common character for all, and by the constitution of his body, which does not transgress the law imposed upon it, and by the termination of his life, which remains equal and common to all alike;96    [Kaye, p. 190.] but that, according to the character peculiar to himself and the operation of the ruling prince and of the demons his followers, he is impelled and moved in this direction or in that, notwithstanding that all possess in common the same original constitution of mind.97    Or, “powers of reasoning” (λογισμός).

οὗτοι τοίνυν οἱ ἄγγελοι οἱ ἐκπεσόντες τῶν οὐρανῶν, περὶ τὸν ἀέρα ἔχοντες καὶ τὴν γῆν, οὐκέτι εἰς τὰ ὑπερουράνια ὑπερκύψαι δυνάμενοι, καὶ αἱ τῶν γιγάντων ψυχαὶ οἱ περὶ τὸν κόσμον εἰσὶ πλανώμενοι δαίμονες, ὁμοίας κινήσεις, οἱ μὲν αἷς ἔλαβον συστάσεσιν, οἱ δαίμονες, οἱ δέ, αἷς ἔσχον ἐπιθυμίαις, οἱ ἄγγελοι, ποιούμενοι. ὁ δὲ τῆς ὕλης ἄρχων, ὡς ἔστιν ἐξ αὐτῶν τῶν γινομένων ἰδεῖν, ἐναντία τῷ ἀγαθῷ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιτροπεύει καὶ διοικεῖ. πολλάκι μοι πραπίδων διῆλθε φροντίς, εἴτε τύχα εἴτε δαίμων τὰ βρότεια κραίνει, παρά τ' ἐλπίδα καὶ παρὰ δίκαν τοὺς μὲν ἀπ' οἴκων δ' ἐναπίπτοντας ἀτὰρ θεοῦ, τοὺς δ' εὐτυχοῦντας ἄγει . [εἰ] τὸ παρ' ἐλπίδα καὶ δίκην εὖ πράττειν ἢ κακῶς ἐν ἀφασίᾳ τὸν Eὐριπίδην ἐποίησεν, τίνος ἡ τοιαύτη τῶν περιγείων διοίκησις, ἐν ᾗ εἴποι τις ἄν· πῶς οὖν τάδ' εἰσορῶντες ἢ θεῶν γένος εἶναι λέγωμεν ἢ νόμοισι χρώμεθα; τοῦτο καὶ τὸν Ἀριστοτέλη ἀπρονόητα εἰπεῖν τὰ κατωτέρω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐποίησεν, καίτοι τῆς ἀϊδίου ἐπ' ἴσης ἡμῖν μενούσης προ νοίας τοῦ θεοῦ, ἡ γῆ δ' ἀνάγκῃ, κἂν θέλῃ κἂν μὴ θέλῃ, φύουσα ποίαν τἀμὰ πιαίνει βοτά, τῆς δ' ἐπὶ μέρους πρὸς ἀλήθειαν, οὐ πρὸς δόξαν, χωρούσης ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀξίους καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν κατὰ τὸ κοινὸν συστάσεως νόμῳ λόγου προνοουμένων. ἀλλ' ἐπεὶ αἱ ἀπὸ τοὐναντίου πνεύματος δαι μονικαὶ κινήσεις καὶ ἐνέργειαι τὰς ἀτάκτους ταύτας ἐπιφορὰς παρέχουσιν, ἤδη καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἄλλον ἄλλως, καὶ καθ' ἕνα καὶ κατὰ ἔθνη, μερικῶς καὶ κοινῶς, κατὰ τὸν τῆς ὕλης λόγον καὶ τῆς πρὸς τὰ θεῖα συμπαθείας, ἔνδοθεν καὶ ἔξωθεν κινοῦσαι, διὰ τοῦτό τινες, ὧν δόξαι οὐ μικραί, ἐνόμισαν οὐ τάξει τινὶ τὸ πᾶν τοῦτο συνεστάναι, ἀλλ' ἀλόγῳ τύχῃ ἄγεσθαι καὶ φέρεσθαι, οὐκ εἰδότες ὅτι τῶν μὲν περὶ τὴν τοῦ παντὸς κόσμου σύστασιν οὐδὲν ἄτακτον οὐδὲ ἀπημελημένον, ἀλλ' ἕκαστον αὐτῶν γεγονὸς λόγῳ, διὸ οὐδὲ τὴν ὡρισμένην ἐπ' αὐτοῖς παραβαίνουσι τάξιν, ὁ δὲ ἄνθρωπος κατὰ μὲν τὸν πεποιηκότα καὶ αὐτὸς εὐτάκτως ἔχει καὶ τῇ κατὰ τὴν γένεσιν φύσει ἕνα καὶ κοινὸν [ἐπ]ἐχούσῃ λόγον καὶ τῇ κατὰ τὴν πλάσιν διαθέσει οὐ παραβαινούσῃ τὸν ἐπ' αὐτῇ νόμον καὶ τῷ τοῦ βίου τέλει ἴσῳ καὶ κοινῷ μένοντι, κατὰ δὲ τὸν ἴδιον ἑαυτῷ λόγον καὶ τὴν τοῦ ἐπέχοντος ἄρχοντος καὶ τῶν παρακολουθούντων δαιμόνων ἐνέργειαν ἄλλος ἄλλως φέρεται καὶ κινεῖται, κοινὸν πάντες τὸν ἐν αὑτοῖς ἔχοντες λογισμόν.