Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume IV/Origen/Origen Against Celsus/Book I/Chapter LXVII
After the above, this Jew of Celsus, as if he were a Greek who loved learning, and were well instructed in Greek literature, continues: “The old mythological fables, which attributed a divine origin to Perseus, and Amphion, and Æacus, and Minos, were not believed by us. Nevertheless, that they might not appear unworthy of credit, they represented the deeds of these personages as great and wonderful, and truly beyond the power of man; but what hast thou done that is noble or wonderful either in deed or in word? Thou hast made no manifestation to us, although they challenged you in the temple to exhibit some unmistakeable sign that you were the Son of God.” In reply to which we have to say: Let the Greeks show to us, among those who have been enumerated, any one whose deeds have been marked by a utility and splendour extending to after generations, and which have been so great as to produce a belief in the fables which represented them as of divine descent. But these Greeks can show us nothing regarding those men of whom they speak, which is even inferior by a great degree to what Jesus did; unless they take us back to their fables and histories, wishing us to believe them without any reasonable grounds, and to discredit the Gospel accounts even after the clearest evidence. For we assert that the whole habitable world contains evidence of the works of Jesus, in the existence of those Churches of God which have been founded through Him by those who have been converted from the practice of innumerable sins. And the name of Jesus can still remove distractions from the minds of men, and expel demons, and also take away diseases; and produce a marvellous meekness of spirit and complete change of character, and a humanity, and goodness, and gentleness in those individuals who do not feign themselves to be Christians for the sake of subsistence or the supply of any mortal wants, but who have honestly accepted the doctrine concerning God and Christ, and the judgment to come.
- [Note the words, “The whole habitable world,” and comp. cap. iii., supra, “the defeat of the whole world.” In cap. vii. is another important testimony. “Countless numbers” is the phrase in cap. xxvii. See cap. xxix. also, ad finem. Such evidence cannot be explained away.]