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Chapter XXIII.—The argument.

And that this may now become evident to you—(firstly 1814 ) that whatever we assert in conformity with what has been taught us by Christ, and by the prophets who preceded Him, are alone true, and are older than all the writers who have existed; that we claim to be acknowledged, not because we say the same things as these writers said, but because we say true things: and (secondly) that Jesus Christ is the only proper Son who has been begotten by God, being His Word and first-begotten, and power; and, becoming man according to His will, He p. 171 taught us these things for the conversion and restoration of the human race: and (thirdly) that before He became a man among men, some, influenced by the demons before mentioned, related beforehand, through the instrumentality of the poets, those circumstances as having really happened, which, having fictitiously devised, they narrated, in the same manner as they have caused to be fabricated the scandalous reports against us of infamous and impious actions, 1815 of which there is neither witness nor proof—we shall bring forward the following proof.



The Benedictine editor, Maranus, Otto, and Trollope, here note that Justin in this chapter promises to make good three distinct positions: 1st, That Christian doctrines alone are true, and are to be received, not on account of their resemblance to the sentiments of poets and philosophers, but on their own account; 2d, that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God, and our teacher; 3d that before His incarnation, the demons, having some knowledge of what He would accomplish, enabled the heathen poets and priest in some points to anticipate, though in a distorted form, the facts of the incarnation. The first he establishes in chap. xxiv-xxix.; the second in chap. xxx.-liii.; and the third in chap. liv. et sq.


We have here followed the reading and rendering of Trollope. [But see reading of Langus, and Grabe’s note, in the edition already cited, 1. 46.]

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