Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Harmony of the Gospels.: Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVII.—An Argument Urging It Upon the Remnant of Idolaters that They Should at Length Become Servants of This True God, Who Everywhere is Subverting Idols.
42. Let them now give their answer with respect to the God of Israel, to whom, as teaching and enjoining such things, witness is borne not only by the books of the Christians, but also by those of the Jews. Regarding Him, let them ask the counsel of their own deities, who have prevented the blaspheming of Christ. Concerning the God of Israel, let them give a contumelious response if they dare. But whom are they to consult? or where are they to ask counsel now? Let them peruse the books of their own authorities. If they consider the God of Israel to be Jupiter, as Varro has written (that I may speak for the time being in accordance with their own way of thinking), why then do they not believe that the idols are to be destroyed by Jupiter? If they deem Him to be Saturn, 619 why do they not worship Him? Or why do they not worship Him in that manner in which, by the voice of those prophets through whom He has made good the things which He has foretold, He has ordained His worship to be conducted? Why do they not believe that images are to be destroyed by Him, and the worship of other gods forbidden? If He is neither Jove nor Saturn (and surely, if He were one of these, He would not speak out so mightily against the sacred rites of their Jove and Saturn), who then is this God, who, with all their consideration for other gods, is the only Deity not worshipped by them, and who, nevertheless, so manifestly brings it about that He shall Himself be the sole object of worship, to the overthrow of all other gods, and to the humiliation of everything proud and highly exalted, which has lifted itself up against Christ in behalf of idols, persecuting and slaying Christians? But, in good truth, men are now asking into what secret recesses these worshippers withdraw, when they are minded to offer sacrifice; or into what regions of obscurity they thrust back these same gods of theirs, to prevent their being discovered and broken in pieces by the Christians. Whence comes this mode of dealing, if not from the fear of those laws and those rulers by whose instrumentality the God of Israel discovers His power, and who are now made subject to the name of Christ. And that it should be so He promised long ago, when He said by the prophet: “Yea, all kings of the earth shall worship Him: all nations shall serve Him.” 620
Reading Si Saturnum putant. Others read, Si Saturnum Deum putant = if they deem Saturn to be God, etc.94:620
Ps. lxxii. 11.
Next: Chapter XXVIII
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