Origen Con. Cels., 6.27

After the matter of the diagram, he brings forward certain monstrous statements, in the form of question and answer, regarding what is called by ecclesiastical writers the seal, statements which did not arise from imperfect information; such as that he who impresses the seal is called father, and he who is sealed is called young man and son; and who answers, I have been anointed with white ointment from the tree of life,— things which we never heard to have occurred even among the heretics. In the next place, he determines even the number mentioned by those who deliver over the seal, as that of seven angels, who attach themselves to both sides of the soul of the dying body; the one party being named angels of light, the others ‘archontics;’ and he asserts that the ruler of those named ‘archontics’ is termed the ‘accursed’ god. Then, laying hold of the expression, he assails, not without reason, those who venture to use such language; and on that account we entertain a similar feeling of indignation with those who censure such individuals, if indeed there exist any who call the God of the Jews— who sends rain and thunder, and who is the Creator of this world, and the God of Moses, and of the cosmogony which he records— an accursed divinity. Celsus, however, appears to have had in view in employing these expressions, not a rational object, but one of a most irrational kind, arising out of his hatred towards us, which is so unlike a philosopher. For his aim was, that those who are unacquainted with our customs should, on perusing his treatise, at once assail us as if we called the noble Creator of this world an accursed divinity. He appears to me, indeed, to have acted like those Jews who, when Christianity began to be first preached, scattered abroad false reports of the Gospel, such as that Christians offered up an infant in sacrifice, and partook of its flesh; and again, that the professors of Christianity, wishing to do the ‘works of darkness,’ used to extinguish the lights (in their meetings), and each one to have sexual intercourse with any woman whom he chanced to meet. These calumnies have long exercised, although unreasonably, an influence over the minds of very many, leading those who are aliens to the Gospel to believe that Christians are men of such a character; and even at the present day they mislead some, and prevent them from entering even into the simple intercourse of conversation with those who are Christians.


Chapter 71

Celsus accordingly, as not understanding the doctrine relating to the Spirit of God (for the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned ), weaves together (such a web) as pleases himself, imagining that we, in calling God a Spirit, differ in no respect in this particular from the Stoics among the Greeks, who maintain that God is a Spirit, diffused through all things, and containing all things within Himself. Now the superintendence and providence of God does extend through all things, but not in the way that spirit does, according to the Stoics. Providence indeed contains all things that are its objects, and comprehends them all, but not as a containing body includes its contents, because they also are body, but as a divine power does it comprehend what it contains. According to the philosophers of the Porch, indeed, who assert that principles are corporeal, and who on that account make all things perishable, and who venture even to make the God of all things capable of perishing, the very Word of God, who descends even to the lowest of mankind, would be— did it not appear to them to be too gross an incongruity — nothing else than a corporeal spirit; whereas, in our opinion—who endeavour to demonstrate that the rational soul is superior to all corporeal nature, and that it is an invisible substance, and incorporeal,— God the Word, by whom all things were made, who came, in order that all things might be made by the Word, not to men only, but to what are deemed the very lowest of things, under the dominion of nature alone, would be no body. The Stoics, then, may consign all things to destruction by fire; we, however, know of no incorporeal substance that is destructible by fire, nor (do we believe) that the soul of man, or the substance of angels, or of thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, can be dissolved by fire.