My Opponent Will Perhaps Meet Me with Many Other Slanderous and Childish Charges which Are...
My opponent will perhaps meet me with many other slanderous and childish charges which are commonly urged. Jesus was a Magian; [3320] He effected all these things by secret arts. From the shrines of the Egyptians He stole the names of angels of might, [3321] and the religious system of a remote country. Why, O witlings, do you speak of things which you have not examined, and which are unknown to you, prating with the garrulity of a rash tongue? Were, then, those things which were done, the freaks of demons, and the tricks of magical arts? Can you specify and point out to me any one of all those magicians who have ever existed in past ages, that did anything similar, in the thousandth degree, to Christ? Who has done this without any power of incantations, without the juice of herbs and of grasses, without any anxious watching of sacrifices, of libations, or of seasons? For we do not press it, and inquire what they profess to do, nor in what kind of acts all their learning and experience are wont to be comprised. For who is not aware that these men either study to know beforehand things impending, which, whether they will or not, come of necessity as they have been ordained? or to inflict a deadly and wasting disease on whom they choose; or to sever the affections of relatives; or to open without keys places which are locked; or to seal the month in silence; or in the chariot race to weaken, urge on, or retard horses; or to inspire in wives, and in the children of strangers, whether they be males or females, the flames and mad desires of illicit love? [3322] Or if they seem to attempt anything useful, to be able to do it not by their own power, but by the might of those deities whom they invoke.

[3320] Magus, almost equivalent to sorcerer.

[3321] Arnobius uses nomina, "names," with special significance, because the Magi in their incantations used barbarous and fearful names of angels and of powers, by whose influence they thought strange and unusual things were brought to pass.

[3322] All these different effects the magicians of old attempted to produce: to break family ties by bringing plagues into houses, or by poisons; open doors and unbind chains by charms (Orig., contra Cels., ii.); affect horses in the race--of which Hieronymus in his Life of Hilarion gives an example; and use philters and love potions to kindle excessive and unlawful desires.

42 you worship says my
Top of Page
Top of Page