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Chapter LXVI.

Then Celsus, following the example of those who are under the influence of demons—at one time recovering, at another relapsing, as though he were again becoming sensible—says:  “If, however, any worshipper of God should be ordered to do anything impious, or to say anything base, such a command should in no wise be regarded; but we must encounter all kinds of torment, or submit to any kind of death, rather than say or even think anything unworthy of God.”  Again, however, from ignorance of our principles, and in entire confusion of thought, he says:  “But if any one commands you to celebrate the sun, or to sing a joyful triumphal song in praise of Minerva, you will by celebrating their praises seem to render the higher praise to God; for piety, in extending to all things, becomes more perfect.”  To this our answer is, that we do not wait for any command to celebrate the praises of the sun; for we have been 666taught to speak well not only of those creatures that are obedient to the will of God, but even of our enemies.  We therefore praise the sun as the glorious workmanship of God, which obeys His laws and hearkens to the call, “Praise the Lord, sun and moon,”49604960    Ps. cxlviii. 3. and with all your powers show forth the praises of the Father and Creator of all.  Minerva, however, whom Celsus classes with the sun, is the subject of various Grecian myths, whether these contain any hidden meaning or not.  They say that Minerva sprang fully armed from the brain of Jupiter; that when she was pursued by Vulcan, she fled from him to preserve her honour; and that from the seed which fell to the ground in the heat of Vulcan’s passion, there grew a child whom Minerva brought up and called Erichthonius,

“That owed his nurture to the blue-eyed maid,

But from the teeming furrow took his birth,

The mighty offspring of the foodful earth.”49614961    Homer’s Iliad, ii. 547, 548.

It is therefore evident, that if we admit Minerva the daughter of Jupiter, we must also admit many fables and fictions which can be allowed by no one who discards fables and seeks after truth.

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