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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/191

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177
AGNOSTICISM: A REJOINDER.

certain categories of persons who, in his opinion, will, or will not, be saved.[1] These are:

1. Orthodox Jews who refuse to believe that Jesus is the Christ. Not saved.

2. Jews who observe the law; believe Jesus to be the Christ; but who insist on the observance of the law by Gentile converts. Not saved.

3. Jews who observe the law; believe Jesus to be the Christ, and hold that Gentile converts need not observe the law. Saved (in Justin's opinion; but some of his fellow-Christians think the contrary).

4. Gentile converts to the belief in Jesus as the Christ, who observe the law. Saved (possibly).

5. Gentile believers in Jesus as the Christ, who do not observe the law themselves (except so far as the refusal of idol sacrifices), but do not consider those who do observe it heretics. Saved (this is Justin's own view).

6. Gentile believers who do not observe the law except in refusing idol sacrifices, and hold those who do observe it to be heretics. Saved.

7. Gentiles who believe Jesus to be the Christ and call themselves Christians, but who eat meats sacrificed to idols. Not saved.

8. Gentiles who disbelieve in Jesus as the Christ. Not saved.

Justin does not consider Christians who believe in the natural birth of Jesus, of whom he implies that there is a respectable minority, to be heretics, though he himself strongly holds the preternatural birth of Jesus and his pre-existence as the "Logos" or "Word." He conceives the Logos to be a second God, inferior to the first, unknowable, God, with respect to whom Justin, like Philo, is a complete agnostic. The Holy Spirit is not regarded by Justin as a separate personality, and is often mixed up with the "Logos." The doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul is, for Justin, a heresy; and he is as firm a believer in the resurrection of the body as in the speedy second coming and the establishment of the millennium.

This pillar of the Church in the middle of the second century—a much-traveled native of Samaria—was certainly well acquainted with Rome, probably with Alexandria, and it is likely that he knew the state of opinion throughout the length and breadth of the Christian world as well as any man of his time. If the various categories above enumerated are arranged in a series thus—

Justin's Christianity.
Orthodox Judæo-Christianity. Idolothythic
Judaism. Christianity Paganism.
I II III IV V VI VII VIII
 
  1. See "Dial. cum Tryphone," sections 47 and 35. It is to be understood that Justin does not arrange those categories in order as I have done.