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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part I: Ad Nationes.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Book I
Chapter I
The Heathen Perverted Judgment in the Trial of Christians. They Would Be More Consistent If They Dispensed with All Form of Trial. Tertullian Urges This with Much Indignation.
The Great Offence in the Christians Lies in Their Very Name. The Name Vindicated.
The Truth Hated in the Christians; So in Measure Was It, of Old, in Socrates. The Virtues of the Christians.
The Inconsistent Life of Any False Christian No More Condemns True Disciples of Christ, Than a Passing Cloud Obscures a Summer Sky.
The Innocence of the Christians Not Compromised by the Iniquitous Laws Which Were Made Against Them.
The Christians Defamed.  A Sarcastic Description of Fame; Its Deception and Atrocious Slanders of the Christians Lengthily Described.
The Calumny Against the Christians Illustrated in the Discovery of Psammetichus. Refutation of the Story.
The Christians are Not the Cause of Public Calamities: There Were Such Troubles Before Christianity.
The Christians are Not the Only Contemners of the Gods. Contempt of Them Often Displayed by Heathen Official Persons. Homer Made the Gods Contemptible.
The Absurd Cavil of the Ass's Head Disposed of.
The Charge of Worshipping a Cross. The Heathens Themselves Made Much of Crosses in Sacred Things; Nay, Their Very Idols Were Formed on a Crucial Frame.
The Charge of Worshipping the Sun Met by a Retort.
The Vile Calumny About Onocoetes Retorted on the Heathen by Tertullian.
The Charge of Infanticide Retorted on the Heathen.
Other Charges Repelled by the Same Method. The Story of the Noble Roman Youth and His Parents.
The Christian Refusal to Swear by the Genius of Cæsar. Flippancy and Irreverence Retorted on the Heathen.
Christians Charged with an Obstinate Contempt of Death. Instances of the Same are Found Amongst the Heathen.
If Christians and the Heathen Thus Resemble Each Other, There is Great Difference in the Grounds and Nature of Their Apparently Similar Conduct.
Truth and Reality Pertain to Christians Alone. The Heathen Counselled to Examine and Embrace It.
Book II
Chapter I
Philosophers Had Not Succeeded in Discovering God. The Uncertainty and Confusion of Their Speculations.
The Physical Philosophers Maintained the Divinity of the Elements; The Absurdity of the Tenet Exposed.
Wrong Derivation of the Word Qeός. The Name Indicative of the True Deity. God Without Shape and Immaterial. Anecdote of Thales.
The Physical Theory Continued. Further Reasons Advanced Against the Divinity of the Elements.
The Changes of the Heavenly Bodies, Proof that They are Not Divine. Transition from the Physical to the Mythic Class of Gods.
The Gods of the Mythic Class. The Poets a Very Poor Authority in Such Matters. Homer and the Mythic Poets. Why Irreligious.
The Gods of the Different Nations. Varro's Gentile Class. Their Inferiority. A Good Deal of This Perverse Theology Taken from Scripture. Serapis a Perversion of Joseph.
The Power of Rome.  Romanized Aspect of All the Heathen Mythology. Varro's Threefold Distribution Criticised. Roman Heroes (Æneas Included,) Unfavourably Reviewed.
A Disgraceful Feature of the Roman Mythology. It Honours Such Infamous Characters as Larentina.
The Romans Provided Gods for Birth, Nay, Even Before Birth, to Death. Much Indelicacy in This System.
The Original Deities Were Human--With Some Very Questionable Characteristics. Saturn or Time Was Human. Inconsistencies of Opinion About Him.
The Gods Human at First.  Who Had the Authority to Make Them Divine? Jupiter Not Only Human, But Immoral.
Gods, Those Which Were Confessedly Elevated to the Divine Condition, What Pre-Eminent Right Had They to Such Honour? Hercules an Inferior Character.
The Constellations and the Genii Very Indifferent Gods. The Roman Monopoly of Gods Unsatisfactory. Other Nations Require Deities Quite as Much.
Inventors of Useful Arts Unworthy of Deification. They Would Be the First to Acknowledge a Creator. The Arts Changeable from Time to Time, and Some Become Obsolete.
Conclusion, the Romans Owe Not Their Imperial Power to Their Gods. The Great God Alone Dispenses Kingdoms, He is the God of the Christians.
Appendix: A Fragment Concerning the Execrable Gods of the Heathen.
Elucidation.


Next: Book I

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