辜鸿铭2 210x300 (清)辜鸿铭:《为吾国吾民争辩书》辜鸿铭,有“狂儒”之称,学博中西,号称“清末怪杰”,是满清时代精通西洋科学、语言兼及东方华学的中国第一人。此文原作于1891年长江教案时期,最初发表在《学林西报》上。


人能弘道,非道弘人。--《论语 卫灵公第十五》

近日,鉴于中国底层民众屡屡发起反对在华外国传教士的骚乱,本人拟在此对他们的传教事业、他们为之而做的实际工作以及其传教目的予以检视与调查。在进行这样的检视之后,为了中外双方的共同利益,我想请求外国政府采取一些措施——即便不是将其全部撤走,至少也应该对目前在中国业已初步成型的整个基督教系统做出一些调整。至于将我这个建议付诸实施的时机是否已经成熟,下面我来进行进一步的分析。

目前,在华外国传教士们公开宣称,他们传教的目的——这正是我将专门提出来加以检视的——我想,可以归纳为以下几点:

一、提升中国国民之道德

坦白地说,最初中国政府被请求接受在华传播基督教的行为,这一目的理应是合理且合法的。按照他们最初的设想,这样的善行无疑应得到中国政府的全面支持:任何能够提高人民道德水平,并使他们成为更加遵纪守法的百姓和具有高贵心智之公民的计划,花费一切纯粹世俗的东西都是值得的。因此,如果能够证明西方的传教士们以他们目前在中国传播基督教的手段与方式,将有实现这一目标的些许希望,那么我绝对赞成让他们得到全面的保护--如果必要,我们的政府甚至可以用枪炮和战舰来镇压不服的民众。但是,西方人能够提出让人心悦诚服的证明吗?

如果只是接受具备现代知识的传教士们带入中国的形式上的基督教便能有助于中国人提高其道德水平,使其变得更加善良、高尚,那么人们一定会自然而然地想到该民族的那些最优秀分子--即便中国现在很贫弱,西方人也不能否认,在中国仍然存在好人和高尚的人--他们将是最愿意被吸纳入教的人。但是,事情果真如此吗?

我想请求每一位真正了解中国那些最优秀、最有教养的人所思所想的外国人坦诚直白地说,是否有可能将这些人吸纳入教?他们关于本民族文化传统的信仰,是否能够自然而然地容忍传教士们带入中国的形式上的基督教这样一种宗教信仰?我认为,答案是否定的。相反,一个公开而残酷的事实是,在中国人之中,只有那些人品最糟糕、为人最软弱无知、最为贫贱堕落的人,才会是第一批响应传教士号召而皈依基督教的人。

我们再来审视一下,除了这些人之外,传教士们还吸纳了什么样的人?如果有人认为我这种观点过于武断而绝对,那么我要求他向我证明,传教士们所吸纳的中国教民作为一个社会阶层,不要说其道德水准较高了,即便他们能像那些没有皈依基督教的中国人那样受过教育,或者能像他们一样善良或一样对社会有用也可以。但是,事实是怎么样的呢?我再请求反对我的观点的人向我证明,这些皈依者,这些丢弃了他们先辈信仰的中国人,是否确实听从外国老师吩咐,对他们自己民族既往的历史与传统持既不蔑视也不同情的中立态度?总之,我仍然要坚持自己的观点:这些孤立地生活在中国社会而为本民族的人所不容的弃民,一旦他们那种意在追求纯粹的金钱利益的希望破灭和其他外在的道德、制度约束消除之后,这些人便会迅速堕落成比目前中国社会中最坏的人还要邪恶的恶棍。如果有任何人怀疑我在此所道出的事实,那么我将请他老人家去读一读太平天国叛乱的历史--将来,这场叛乱会被中国乃至全世界的史家称为“加入基督教会的中国弃民之叛乱”。很明显,无论是在道德上还是在智识上,太平天国的叛乱分子都属于那种皈依基督教的中国人的典型。

因此,我请求在中国的每一个有评判资格的外国人--也包括那些传教士本人--扪心自问,他们是否完成了传教计划中的这一部分,即通过传播基督教使中国人道德水平提高,让他们变得更加善良、高尚?他们在这方面的活动是否还没有被证明就已经痛遭失败?接着我想进一步发问,特别是问那些新教传士们,这种惨痛的失败是不是促使他们将传教工作重心转向了他们称之为“科学宗教”和“慈善宗教”方面?

接下来,我们再来讨论一下外国传教士们的另外两个传教目的。

二、开启中国国民之民智

无疑,这也应该是一项伟大而高尚的工作。如果说世俗的、相对于文化思想交流而言更易于腐烂的商品的交流是必需而有价值的,那么民族之间不朽思想的交流则更为必要,也更有价值。因此,如果能够证明在中国的传教事业是一种智识运动,如果传教士们能够证明,他们确实为笼罩于愚昧无知之黑暗中的中国人带来了光明,也就可以说,他们通过融汇贯通更高层次的思想交流使东西方之间的文化联系变得更加紧密了。如果事情真是这样的,我希望他们得到中国所有善良之人的支持。但是,我又要发问,现实真的能够证明这一主张吗?

无疑,新教传教士们近年带来了大量他们称之为“科学”和“科学宗教”的东西,他们敢毫不犹豫地告诉传教处所在地方的中国学生们:你们的朝廷官员愚蠢到对月食也会大惊小怪的地步--但是,讽刺的是,在紧接着进行祈祷时他却又会告诉同样一批学生:太阳和月亮至今仍然听命于犹太耶稣会长约书亚,在空中停止不动。然后,他们还会告诉这些学生:《圣经》是一本记载着世界所有事物真实情况的书,是一本由全知全能的造物主所口述的圣书。现在,凭心而论,我请求每一个心中尚存以智识启蒙儿童之目的人说,世上是不是还有比这种说教更反科学的东西了?用一个不至于让洋大人们感到过于刺耳的名词,我们可以称之为“知识杂耍”。虔诚的传教士们自己也许没有意识到这一事实,我认为,这反而显得更可悲,也更能证明其说教的毒害有多么大,同时又有多么隐晦,杀人于无形!

基于这一观点,我认为,无论新教的传教士们能够给中国人带来多少纯科学的信息,他们同时也引狼入室,带来了一大祸害,这一祸害最终将葬送启蒙中国民众智识的全部希望。因为,为了反对与之同根的“知识杂耍”,欧洲近代所有伟大的人类精神解放者已经与之奋力战斗了数百年--甚至直到今天,他们仍然在继续战斗!的确,对于任何一个完全了解欧洲启蒙思潮发展历史的人来说,那些在欧洲焚烧科学进步书籍、迫害科学家的基督教卫道士,却在中国把自己打扮成科学和智识启蒙事业的斗士,这看起来该是多么奇怪和荒唐可笑!因此,外国传教士们在中国奋力开拓的传教事业,非但不是真正的智识运动,甚至任何一个中国人只要有耐心浏览完那些以传教名义出版的愚不可及的小册子,就很容易发现这些东西实在无法使受过教育的中国人在智识上看得起外国人。对于那些受过教育的中国人,他们看到这些愚昧的东西正在被强加给中国人民,一方面伴之以传教士的傲慢自大和狂妄放肆,另一方面又伴之以某些外国政府炮舰的威胁,他们便自然而然地对那些外国人充满憎恶了。这不是一般的憎恶,而是只有看到他们奉之为至高至圣的东西、那些属于整个民族国家同时也属于他们自己的东西--诸如他们的处世之道,他们的文化和文学的优雅--都处在无可挽回的损伤和破坏的危险中时才能有的憎恶。这,让我在此指出,就是受过教育的中国人憎恶西方人的根源。

因此,我认为,如果就传教士传播福音这一合理合法的目的本身而言,鉴于人们仍可以抛开其纯粹的基督教外在形式而相信其教义精神,所以它对中国人来说还是有某种好处的,起码没有任何害处。然而,当他们以反科学的“知识杂耍”来传播“科学”的虚伪面目暴露时,肯定连这样一点好处也谈不上了。如果像我曾经指出的那样,外国传教士在中国传播福音的工作已彻底破产,那么我也必定会认为,最近某些传教士关于“科学”和“科学器物”能够使中国强盛的叫嚣(无疑,它带有反对其祖国的终极目的)不是一种显而易见的欺骗,便是一种幻想。

三、在中国开展慈善工作

尽管我们可以肯定这也是一种值得赞赏的事,但是必须承认,一个世俗的工作,其本身必须以纯粹世俗利益的天平去衡量。如果在中国的基督教传教活动是并且只是一个纯粹的慈善计划,那么我请求证明:作为一种慈善活动,与它的花费相比,它应有等值的意义。无疑,新教医院和天主教孤儿院对于单个的中国人来说是一种行善的手段,但是传教士们是否能够证明,这种善行在数量上与它所花费的钱相配吗?且不提其他费用,仅就其本国政府为传教土在中国所提供的特别保护与补偿费用而言,这一切都值得吗?我个人认为,所有这样被花费掉的钱,与其被用于期望传教机构去行善,还不如代之以职业的医生和护士去行同样的善更为值当(如果你们欧洲人愿意的话),在救死扶伤方面,后者的收益不知要大到多少倍,而且也更加能够胜任。如果人们还要认为基督教传教是为减轻中国人民的痛苦而行善,那么让我再问,他们实际上所做的工作,与他们叫嚷每年都“的的确确”用在中国人民福利事业上的那样一笔庞大的钱款相比,是否值得呢?在欧美人民为支持传教所捐助的数以百万元计的费用中,到底有多少被用于减轻中国人民的痛苦,而又有多少被用于供养传教士及其家眷,用于修建他们漂亮的住屋和疗养院,用于支付他们长篇累牍的信笺和邮票费用,或者用于支持他们的讨论会呢?因此,我请问,这种被当作为纯粹的慈善计划的东西,难道不是每个在中国的公正无私的外国人都知道的公开秘密吗?在中国的整个传教事业,难道不只是一个为那些从欧美来的失业的专职人员提供福利的巨大慈善计划吗?对于这种慈善问题,谁也不愿意如此来谈论,但是我认为一旦发现真理,就应该毫无保留。不仅如此,我请求那些心胸最为博大的人们开口说点什么。这些本来受雇而来要带给这个国家和平与亲善的人们,此时却正在对该国政府极尽侮辱和叫嚣报复之能事,而这个政府尽管焦头烂额、困难重重,仍然在忠实地设法保护他们;这些口口声声对这里的人民念著仁慈和宽爱的人们,如今却只是为了那些愚昧之举--甚至于在最近这些骚乱中,即使那些受难最深的合法起诉人在公正的法庭上,也只能证明这些举动并不比可以理解的无知更坏--便以炮弹威胁他们。事实上,我请求那些心胸最为博大之人,当人们对上述这些人仅以真理相告的时候,他们是否有资格要求人们嘴上留情?

不过,我在这里对传教士们道出这番逆耳忠言的目的,并非只是逞自己口舌上的一时之快。前面我已经跟大家说明,他们传播福音的工作已然失败;此外,我还证明,他们那所谓的“传播科学”和“进行智识启蒙”的事业不是一种欺骗,便是一种幻想;进而,我还证明,那些被认为是纯粹的慈善计划的在华传教事业,充其量不过是一个为了那些在欧美各国失业的专职人员而设计的巨大慈善计划--像这样一种东西是不值当它的花费的,即便仅以供养他们的钱款而论,也不合算。我之所以要证明这些目的,是要请求每一个具备明达智慧、公正无私的西方人,如果他发现我所表明的(他可以加以补充和修改)观点确实可信,那么我请求他说说看,这种不值得的慈善计划还该不该让它继续为害下去--此时此刻,它所威胁到的东西比它已经损害到的东西要多得多--它不仅威胁到四万万中国人民生命财产的安全,而且威胁到欧美各国在中国的巨大的商业、工业和其他利益,并使之危若累卵,面临倾覆之险。因此我认为,传教士在中国的存在,无论对于中国人还是外国人 都是一个危害。

下面,我将证明,目前外国政府支持在中国的传教活动,既是对中华民族的侮辱,也是对他们自身利益的损害。我之所以说它对中华民族是一种侮辱,是因为中国的高级官员,那些正雇佣著大批有技术、有教养的外国专家的高级官员,当他们看到连他们所雇佣的这些人也不相信传教士的鬼话,而外国政府却偏要坚持将其作为宗教导师送到中国来“提高中国人民的道德水平”时,他们所想到的会是什么呢?我说它对中国人民是一种侮辱,还因为当外国领事调来炮舰为传教活动撑腰的时候,那些在他们的领事馆干活的中国苦力们却知道,传教士作为一个整体,并不被那些地位较高的外国人当成道德教师。

再者,它不仅仅是对于中国人的一种侮辱,还是一种导致了中国人民起来反对在华传教的侮辱。我已经提到,它对于欧美列国人民来说也是一笔巨大的花费--一笔经由他们的政府为传教士及其财产提供专门保障而不得不支付的浪费。此外,在所有这些骚乱中,外国公众只能听取传教士--有偏见的一方的一面之辞,而中国人民的声音他们却听不到。现在,代表那些中国人民,我斗胆提出下列意见,我想每个正直无私的外国人都将认为它是合理的。

一般人都承认,对于一切错误行为,只有两种途径可以加以有效的控制,那就是法律和公众舆论。但是对于在中国的传教士,那些被允许带着 comitatus(我称之为中国的“社会弃民”)四处游荡的人,他们的眼中却没有法律,因为他们的领事远在天边,而中国人对之又没有直接审判权。同时,他们也不害怕中国的公众舆论,因为他们只同那些中国弃民,即他们的皈依者们接触,很少有人主动地接触普通中国民众。因此,我以为在那些中国人甚至于目前的那些骚乱者受到谴责之前,应该揭示这样一个事实,即:那些缺少所谓一般人都必需的两种基本约束力的传教士们,是能够堕落无恶不作的地步的。他们出于对那些中国弃民也就是他们的皈依者的偏心,出于他们自己对于“圣洁”的“高见”,能够对他们生活于其中的中国人表现得蛮横而放肆,到处插手中国社会事务或对中国老百姓施以小小的暴虐行经。如果有人怀疑就其主体而言,传教士们会做出这些事情来,那么请他去看一看并记下这些人不仅在有关中国人的问题上,而且在只与外国人有关的问题上,“无论何时涉及到传教士自身的事情与私利时,他们在报纸上所发表的言论以及其所持之共同论调和精神”。因此,我说,在中国人受到外国公众舆论的道德谴责之前,请拿出证据来说明这些骚乱不是日积月累的侮辱和伤害所激起的愤慨的总爆发。至于那些关于婴儿及其被挖出的眼珠的骇人传闻,其实不过 是点燃这场随时可燃的烈焰的导火索罢了(见1879年爆发的福州乌石山教案的相关报道)。

上述这些原因,我认为就是中国民众对于传教士存在于中国的事实持强烈不满的真正原因。至于我称之为“来自欧美的失业的专职人员”这一阶层,他们可以带着中国的弃民在中国的土地上自行其事、无所约束。除了他们身上的纯粹的圣职之外,没有什么是他们不敢侮辱、伤害的,这样的事实让我不得不在此再次强调,这就是中国民众憎恶外国人的根源--它与我在本文第二节(即“智识启蒙”部分)谈到的受过教育的中国人憎恨外国人的根源有所不同。这样,传教士就对中国人憎恨外国人仅有的两个深层原因都负有不可推卸的责任。基督教传教士在华传教给中国带来的所有灾难,都可以从一个丑恶而凶暴的史实中管窥全豹。这个事实就是我称之为“在华基督教传教团教导出的中国弃民的叛乱”的太平天国叛乱。正是这一暴乱,改变了我们曾经喜爱并自豪地称之为“花国”(Flowerly Land)的本来面目,就像将一个如花似玉、面带微笑的少女变成一个形容枯槁、憔悴不堪的老妇人一样。

下面,我长话短说,想简单地谈谈传教士在中国的存在为何对于外国的利益也是一种危害。在此,我只需请求所有明智的外国人想一想一个资深外国驻华领事曾对我说过的话:“对于中国人持久的伤害,最终也要伤害到外国人。”因此,如果我所做的关于传教土在中国不是行善而实在伤害了中国人的说明有可信之处,那么传教士在中国的存在也就必然是对外国人的伤害了。我曾说过,传教士对中国人憎恶外国人负有责任。现在,毫无疑问的是,中国人的这种憎恨对于外国人不可能有什么好处。面对今日中国的这种危急现状,我坚持认为,此种憎恨已使外国人在华的巨大商业利益和其他利益面临着大大受损的威胁。一切愚蠢和感情用事的憎恨当然应当制止,但那种归根结蒂是正义情绪的憎恨,我相信再多的炮弹也摧毁不了它,那些试图如此行事的人将只能造成混乱,并以伤害他们自己而告终。

现在,传教士们正叫嚷要以炮舰镇压中国人,并试图引导外国公众相信,那些请求外国人在这些教案中不要以炮舰相威胁的官员们不过是出于自私的目的。但我想,那些了解人民脾气的人应当告诉外国公众,外国炮舰为所谓“传教事业”所发出的第一炮,就将成为一场战争的标志,不是与中国政府的对抗--正如我们迄今为止所经历的对外战争那样--而是一场反对中国人民的战争。传教士们已经在以大声“鸦片战争”相恐吓,但他们应称之为一场“传教战争”。我们现在正饱受这样一场战争的折磨--除非能有一些公正无私、有足够的常识,并富有正义感的外国人挺身而出,否则,要阻止这场战争是不可能的。因此,凭著这种常识和正义感,我要说,为了中外人民的共同利益,我极力请求外国政府着手解决中国的传教问题--即便不将其完全撤离,起码也应该对他们做某些限制。我想请问列国政府,这样一种时机是否还没有到来?对于此种传教计划,我已经证明,它不过是救济来自欧美诸国的失业专职人员的一种毫无价值的慈善计划罢了。

现在,我讲出了多年来反复沉思的话,这些话鉴于我个人和其他更深刻的考虑,我一直犹豫未曾出口,不过现在都讲出来了--Sohilf mir Gott: ich kann nieht anders.(吾岂好辩哉,吾不得已也。)

一个中国人又及:以上所述,我把新教教会与天主教会的活动等量齐观,并为一谈。然而,如果不在此附上引自埃里松伯爵先生(Comte d’Herisson)所著《一位译员在中国的日记》一书中的这个片断,我将有失公正,也不便于人们了解真相的来龙去脉。对于这个富有狂热的爱国精神的伯爵,我可以在此指出,他是那个统帅法军、与英国人一道进占北京的法国将军的译员和机要秘书--这位伯爵先生说:“如果在此不提醒人们注意我们在中国所看到的基督教传教士在战争中起了多么大的协助作用,那么我就缺乏正义感,也没有尊重事实。耶稣会士所呈献给将军的一切情报以及说明情报的准确性的文件,无论是关于我们必经的那些省份的资源的情报,还是关于我们将要在前面碰到的部队人数的情报,都是通过当地耶稣会士获得的--而他们也得通过为他们效劳的中国人来得到这些情报。秘密报告不仅要求对人和事有深入的了解,而且要求提供报告者有真正的勇气,因为我们一旦离开这个国家,这些报告就会使他们受到中国人的可怕报复。耶稣会士在这个时期表现出了热烈的爱国主义和令人钦佩的忠诚。”

现在,我请求每一个外国人说说看--无论他是法国人,英国人还是德国人,中国人民以他们所具有的力量,Ecrasezlle inffame(消灭邪恶者),猛烈地打击怀有这样一种patriotisme ardent(爱国主义狂热)的人--就像他们现在所做的那样,在道德上是否还有什么不对的?

塞尔苏斯(Celsus):反基督第一人

Posted: 13th December 2012 by admin in 经典文献

塞尔苏斯(Celsus)是有纪录以来第一位发出反基督缴文的战士。公元178年,塞尔苏斯发表第一部反对基督教的著作《真言》(Logos Alethés / the True Word),维护希腊-罗马文化圈的传统学说。他的主要目的是捍卫罗马帝国,认为帝国从内部开始分崩离析的原因是非理性的泛滥。

过了70年,希腊神父俄利根(Origines)才在248年发表《驳塞尔苏斯》(Kata Kelsou / Against Celsus)。

由于在随后的几百年间,基督教狂热分子只要见到塞尔苏斯的书就烧,所以,后人只能从俄利根的书中摘录出塞尔苏斯的原话整理成书。

中文大意如下:

  1. 基督教是一种适合于没受过教育的人的学说,只能赢得头脑简单的人,因为这些人自己太蠢,缺乏作学术的习性,基督教的追随者是头脑简单、低等并愚钝的人,是奴仆、女人和孩子。遇到有教养、不受这种欺骗的人,基督徒只能逃之夭夭。
  2. 基督教从内容上看没什么新东西,只是重复了受过教育的人早就熟知的许多观点,比如对敌人的爱、谦卑、轻视物质财富、上帝之子、拒绝图像崇拜和处女生子等等。希腊人不用吹嘘什么神的语言或神子的语言,对这种东西的表达却要好得多。
  3. 对犹太教的选民思想提出批判。犹太人是一个次要民族,是完全没受过教育的人。犹太人的思想是︰上帝是对我们进行了启示,然后就离弃了世界和天体,也不再管广阔的大地,而只是统治我们,只给我们送使者,不停地送啊,探究啊,使我们永远和他联系在一起。
  4. 基督徒根据自己的以人为中心的观念错误地把最高的神人性化了。基督徒们给上帝强加了过于大、过于世俗的野心。上帝对世间的事根本不关心,把最高的上帝想像为一个藏身在受苦的人的形态里,根本就是愚蠢。
  5. 基督徒说最高的上帝化成了拿撒勒的耶稣这个人,仅凭耶稣这个人和他的生活作风,就是胡说。理由之一是,耶稣是玛利亚和一个叫作Panthera的罗马士兵的私生子。
  6. 耶稣是第一个人亚当的后代,不能令人信服。犹太教─基督教的历史哲学观整个就是给小孩子们听的童话,而旧约不同的预言预示了他的出现的说法,都是他的门徒们杜撰的。
  7. 而所谓变成肉身的说法,究竟上帝降临人间有什么意义呢?为了了解人间的情况?那他不是全知的吗?他知道一切,却不改善什么,是因为他没有能力还是因为他的神权没这个能力,除了为此向人间派一个人来的能力?所以,基督徒并非在信全能的神,上帝怎么能没有能力说服并纠正人呢?基督徒实际上是太看重自己。如果人变恶了,不知感恩了,上帝怎么能够通过基督徒感受到忏悔、通过他们来谴责并恨自己的艺术品、威胁人类并让自己的造物毁灭?
  8. 基督徒专门收敛罪人。他们说,谁有罪了,不明事理了,不懂事了,总之,谁不幸福了,谁就进神的国。你们是不是在说……不公正的人、盗贼、制毒者、偷庙人和盗墓贼?但为什么耶稣不是为了没罪的人而来?难道不行恶反倒成了恶?
  9. 基督教的信仰极端矛盾︰旧约的上帝通过摩西告诫他的信徒发财、统治,对敌人不分男女全杀,而耶稣却宣称,谁要是富了,权利欲强,谁要是要求智慧和声誉,那就不能到父的身边……究竟是谁在撒谎,摩西还是耶稣?还是那个父在送耶稣来的时候忘了和摩西说过的话?要么是他改变了自己的主意并咒了自己立的律法,所以才让一个使者送来完全相反的规定?
  10. 基督教肉体复活的念头令人恶心,这念头或许对虫和蛆正合适。哪个人的灵魂会喜欢一个正在腐烂的尸体呢?而且,哪具被毁坏的躯体有能力返回原本的状态?因为他们回答不了这种问题,他们就找无聊之极的借口,说什么对上帝而言什么都有可能。
  11. 因为基督徒信仰的基础太薄弱,所以必然是从一开始就分裂为不同的团组和流派,唯一共同的只是他们的名称。
  12. 犹太人和基督徒有造反倾向,他们蔑视传统,喜欢地下活动,或明或暗地反对习俗和法律。他们不公开生活,对国家完全没有兴趣,所以是文明的敌人,野蛮的开路人。
  13. 请基督徒从帝国的角落里出来,参与国家生活。

[The text in regular type is from Celsus, in italic type from Origen.]

Jesus and the Jewish Critic

Book I

6. It is by the names of certain demons, and by the use of incantations, that the Christians appear to be possessed of (miraculous) power.

It was by means of sorcery that He was able to accomplish the wonders which He performed; and that foreseeing that others would attain the same knowledge, and do the same things, making a boast of doing them by help of the power of God, He excludes such from His kingdom.

If they [sorcerers] are justly excluded, while He Himself is guilty of the same practices, He is a wicked man; but if He is not guilty of wickedness in doing such things, neither are they who do the same as He.

26. A few years ago he began to teach this doctrine, being regarded by Christians as the Son of God.

28. For he [Celsus] represents the Jew disputing with Jesus, and confuting Him, as he thinks, on many points; and in the first place, he accuses Him of having invented his birth from a virgin, and upbraids Him with being born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning, and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child, who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God.

32. But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that “when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera.

39If the mother of Jesus was beautiful, then the god whose nature is not to love a corruptible body, had intercourse with her because she was beautiful.

It was improbable that the god would entertain a passion for her, because she was neither rich nor of royal rank, seeing no one, even of her neighbours, knew her.

When hated by her husband, and turned out of doors, she was not saved by divine power, nor was her story believed. Such things, he says, have no connection with the kingdom of heaven.

41. And it is a Jew who addresses the following language to Him whom we acknowledge to be our Lord Jesus: When you were bathing, says the Jewbeside John, you say that what had the appearance of a bird from the air alighted upon you. What credible witness beheld this appearance? or who heard a voice from heaven declaring you to be the Son of God? What proof is there of it, save your own assertion, and the statement of another of those individuals who have been punished along with you?

50. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Why should it be you alone, rather than innumerable others, who existed after the prophecies were published, to whom these predictions are applicable?

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The prophecies referred to the events of his life may also suit other events as well.

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: If you say that every man, born according to the decree of Divine Providence, is a son of God, in what respect should you differ from another? Countless individuals will convict Jesus of falsehood, alleging that those predictions which were spoken of him were intended of them.

58[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Chaldeans are spoken of by Jesus as having been induced to come to him at his birth, and to worship him while yet an infant as a God, and to have made this known to Herod the tetrarch; and that the latter sent and slew all the infants that had been born about the same time, thinking that in this way he would ensure his death among the others; and that he was led to do this through fear that, if Jesus lived to a sufficient age, he would obtain the throne.

61. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: But if, then, this was done in order that you might not reign in his stead when you had grown to man’s estate; why, after you did reach that estate, do you not become a king, instead of you, the Son of God, wandering about in so mean a condition, hiding yourself through fear, and leading a miserable life up and down?

62. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Jesus having gathered around him ten or eleven persons of notorious character, the very wickedest of tax-gatherers and sailors fishermen and tax-gatherers, who had not acquired even the merest elements of learning, fled in company with them from place to place, and obtained his living in a shameful and importunate manner.

66. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: What need, moreover, was there that you, while still an infant, should be conveyed into Egypt? Was it to escape being murdered? But then it was not likely that a God should be afraid of death; and yet an angel came down from heaven, commanding you and your friends to flee, lest ye should be captured and put to death! And was not the great God, who had already sent two angels on your account, able to keep you, His only Son, there in safety?

67. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The old mythological fables which attributed a divine origin to Perseus, and Amphion, and Aeacus, and Minos were not believed by us. Nevertheless, that they might not appear unworthy of credit, they represented the deeds of these personages as great and wonderful, and truly beyond the power of man; but what hast thou done that is noble or wonderful either in deed or in word? Thou hast made no manifestation to us, although they challenged you in the temple to exhibit some unmistakable sign that you were the Son of God.

68. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]:; and he adds: Well, let us believe that these cures, or the resurrection, or the feeding of a multitude with a few loaves, from which many fragments remained over, or those other stories of a marvelous nature were actually wrought by you. These are nothing more than the tricks of jugglers, who profess to do more wonderful things, and to the feats performed by those who have been taught by Egyptians, who in the middle of the market-place, in return for a few obols, will impart the knowledge of their most venerated arts, and will expel demons from men, and dispel diseases, and invoke the souls of heroes, and exhibit expensive banquets, and tables, and dishes, and dainties having no real existence, and who will put in motion, as if alive, what are not really living animals, but which have only the appearance of life. Since, then, these persons can perform such feats, shall we of necessity conclude that they are ‘sons of God,’ or must we admit that they are the proceedings of wicked men under the influence of an evil spirit?

69. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Such a body as yours could not have belonged to GodThe body of god would not have been so generated as you, O Jesus, were.

70. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The body of a god is not nourished with such food….But the body of a god does not make use of such a voice as that of Jesus, nor employ such a method of persuasion as he.

71.[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: These tenets of his were those of a wicked and God-hated sorcerer.

Book II

1. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The converts from Judaismhave forsaken the law of their fathers, in consequence of their minds being led captive by Jesus; that they have been most ridiculously deceived, and that they have become deserters to another name and to another mode of life.

4. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: If any one predicted to us that the Son of God was to visit mankind, he was one of our prophets, and the prophet of our God?

John, who baptized Jesus, was a Jew.

5. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The resurrection of the dead, and the divine judgment, and of the rewards to be bestowed upon the just, and of the fire which is to devour the wicked, are stale doctrines and there is nothing new in your teaching upon these points.

8. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Many other persons would appear such as Jesus was, to those who were willing to be deceived.

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The charge is brought against the Jews by the Christian converts that they have not believed in Jesus as in God.

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: How should we who have made known to all men that there is to come from God one who is to punish the wicked, treat him with disregard when he came? Was it that we might be chastised more than others?

9. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: How should we deem him to be a God, who not only in other respects, as was currently reported, performed none of his promises, but who also, after we had convicted him, and condemned him as. deserving of punishment, was found attempting to conceal himself, and endeavouring to escape in a most disgraceful manner, and who was betrayed by those whom he called disciples?

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: One who was a God could neither flee nor be led away a prisoner; and least of all could he be deserted and delivered up by those who had been his associates, and had shared all things in common, and had had him for their teacher, who was deemed to be a Saviour, and a son of the greatest God, and an angel.

15. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The disciples of Jesus, having no undoubted fact on which to rely, devised the fiction that he foreknew everything before it happened

16. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The disciples of Jesus wrote such accounts regarding him, by way of extenuating the charges that told against him: as if any one were to say that a certain person was a just man, and yet were to show that he was guilty of injustice; or that he was pious, and yet had committed murder; or that he was immortal, and yet was dead; subjoining to all these statements the remark that he had foretold all these things.

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: For ye do not even allege this, that he seemed to wicked men to suffer this punishment, though not undergoing it in reality; but, on the contrary, ye acknowledge that he openly suffered.

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: How is it credible that Jesus could have predicted these things? and how could the dead man be immortal?

17. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: What god, or spirit, or prudent man would not, on foreseeing that such events were to befall him, avoid them if he could; whereas he threw himself headlong into those things which he knew beforehand were to happen?

18. [Celsus’ Jewish critic] How is it that, if Jesus pointed out beforehand both the traitor and the perjurer, they did not fear him as a God, and cease, the one from his intended treason, and the other from his perjury?

20. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: These events, he says, he predicted as being a God, and the prediction must by all means come to pass. God, therefore, who above all others ought to do good to men, and especially to those of his own household, led on his own disciples and prophets, with whom he was in the habit of eating and drinking, to such a degree of wickedness, that they became impious and unholy men. Now, of a truth, he who shared a man’s table would not be guilty of conspiring against him; but after banqueting with God, he became a conspirator. And, what is still more absurd, God himself plotted against the members of his own table, by converting them into traitors and villains!

24. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Why does he mourn, and lament, and pray to escape the fear of death, expressing himself in terms like these: ‘O Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me?

27. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The Christian believerslike persons who in a fit of drunkenness lay violent hands upon themselves, have corrupted the Gospel from its original integrity, to a threefold, and fourfold, and many-fold degree, and have remodeled it, so that they might be able to answer objections.

32. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: The makers of the genealogies, from a feeling of pride, made Jesus to be descended from the first man, and from the kings of the Jewsand the carpenters wife could not have been ignorant of the fact, had she been of such illustrious descent.

33 [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Butwhat great deeds did Jesus perform as being a God? Did he put his enemies to shame, or bring to a ridiculous conclusion what was designed against him?

34 [Celsus’ Jewish critic]But, he continues, no calamity happened even to him who condemned him, as there did to Pentheus, viz., madness or disception.

35. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: If not before, yet why now, at least, does he not give some manifestation of his divinity, and free himself from this reproach, and take vengeance upon those who insult both him and his Father?

41. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: He did not show himself to be pure from all evil.

43. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: You will not, I suppose, say of him, that, after failing to gain over those who were in this world, he went to Hades to gain over those who were there.

45. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: In the next place, those who were his associates while alive, and who listened to his voice, and enjoyed his instructions as their teacher, on seeing him subjected to punishment and death, neither died with him, nor for him, nor were even induced to regard punishment with contempt, but denied even that they were his disciples, whereas now ye die along with him.

48 [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: the Christians deemed Jesus to be the Son of God, because he healed the lame and the blindand moreover, because, as they assert, he raised the dead.

49. O light and truth! he distinctly declares, with his own voice, as ye yourselves have recorded, that there will come to you even others, employing miracles of a similar kind, who are wicked men, and sorcerers; and he calls him who makes use of such devices, one Satan. So that Jesus himself does not deny that these works at least are not at all divine, but are the acts of wicked men; and being compelled by the force of truth, he at the same time not only laid open the doings of others, but convicted himself of the same acts. Is it not, then, a miserable inference, to conclude from the same works that the one is God and the other sorcerers? Why ought the others, because of these acts, to be accounted wicked rather than this man, seeing they have him as their witness against himself? For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature, but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men.

53. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Is it not a wretched inference from the same acts, to conclude that the one is a God, and the others sorcerers?

54. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: By what, then, were you induced (to become his followers)? Was it because he foretold that after his death he would rise again?

54. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Come now, let us grant to you that the prediction was actually uttered. Yet how many others are there who practise such juggling tricks, in order to deceive their simple hearers, and who make gain by their deception?–as was the case, they say, with Zamolxis in Scythia, the slave of Pythagoras; and with Pythagoras himself in Italy; and with Rhampsinitus in Egypt (the latter of whom, they say, played at dice with Demeter in Hades, and returned to the upper world with a golden napkin which he had received from her as a gift); and also with Orpheus among the Odrysians, and Protesilaus in Thessaly, and Hercules at Cape Taenarus, and Theseus. But the question is, whether any one who was really dead ever rose with a veritable body. Or do you imagine the statements of others not only to be myths, but to have the appearance of such, while you have discovered a becoming and credible termination to your drama in the voice from the cross, when he breathed his last, and in the earthquake and the darkness? That while alive he was of no assistance to himself, but that when dead he rose again, and showed the marks of his punishment, and how his hands were pierced with nails: who beheld this? A half-frantic woman, as you state, and some other one, perhaps, of those who were engaged in the same system of delusion, who had either dreamed so, owing to a peculiar state of mind, or under the influence of a wandering imagination bad formed to himself an appearance according to his own wishes, which has been the case with numberless individuals; or, which is most probable, one who desired to impress others with this portent, and by such a falsehood to furnish an occasion to impostors like himself.

58. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Do you imagine the statements of others not only to be myths, but to have the appearance of such, while you have discovered a becoming and credible termination to your drama in the voice from the cross, when he breathed his last?

61. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: Jesus accordingly exhibited after His death only the appearance of wounds received on the cross, and was not in reality so wounded as He is described to have been.

63. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: if Jesus desired to show that his power was really divine, he ought to have appeared to those who had ill-treated him, and to him who had condemned him, and to all men universally.

70. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: And who that is sent as a messenger ever conceals himself when he ought to make known his message?

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: While he was in the body, and no one believed upon him, he preached to ail without intermission; but when he might have produced a powerful belief in himself after rising from the dead, he showed himself secretly only to one woman, and to his own boon companions.

[Celsus’ Jewish critic]: While undergoing his punishment he was seen by all, but after his resurrection only by one.

72. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]: If he wished to remain hid, why was there heard a voice from heaven proclaiming him to be the Son of God? And if he did not seek to remain concealed, why was he punished? or why did he die?

73. [Celsus’ Jewish critic]:His having wished, by the punishments which He underwent, to teach us also to despise death required that after His resurrection He should openly summon all men to the light, and instruct them in the object of His coming.

79 The conclusion of all these arguments regarding Jesus is thus stated by the Jew: He was therefore a man, and of such a nature, as the truth itself proves, and reason demonstrates him to be.

Book VII

53. Seeing you are so eager for some novelty, how much better it would have been if you had chosen as the object of your zealous homage some one of those who died a glorious death, and whose divinity might have received the support of some myth to perpetuate his memory! Why, if you were not satisfied with Hercules or Aesculapius, and other heroes of antiquity, you had Orpheus, who was confessedly a divinely inspired man, who died a violent death. But perhaps some others have taken him up before you. You may then take Anaxarchus, who, when cast into a mortar, and beaten most barbarously, showed a noble contempt for his suffering, and said, ‘Beat, beat the shell of Anaxarchus, for himself you do not beat,’–a speech surely of a spirit truly divine. But others were before you in following his interpretation of the laws of nature. Might you not, then, take Epictetus, who, when his master was twisting his leg, said, smiling and. unmoved, ‘You will break my leg;’ and when it was broken, he added, Did I not tell you that you would break it?’ What saying equal to these did your god’ utter under suffering? If you had said even of the Sibyl, whose authority some of you acknowledge, that she was a child of God, you would have said something more reasonable. But you have had the presumption to include in her writings many impious things, and set up as a god one who ended a most infamous life by a most miserable death. How much more suitable than he would have been Jonah in the whale’s belly, or Daniel delivered from the wild beasts, or any of a still more portentous kind!

Judaism and Christianity

Book I

2. Judaism, upon which Christianity depends, is barbarous in its origin. They deserve credit for their ability in discovering true doctrines but the Greeks are more skillful than any others in judging, establishing, and reducing to practice the discoveries of barbarous nations.

Book IV

2. But that certain Christians and (all) Jews should maintain, the former that there has already descended, the latter that there will descend, upon the earth a certain God, or Son of a God, who will make the inhabitants of the earth righteous, is a most shameless assertion, and one the refutation of which does not need many words.

3. What is the meaning of such a descent upon the part of God? Was it in order to learn what goes on amongst men? Does he not know all things?

Then he does know, but does not make (men) better, nor is it possible for him by means of his divine power to make (men) better.

5. The illustrious Celsus, taking occasion I know not from what, next raises an additional objection against us, as if we asserted that “God Himself will come down to men.” He imagines also that it follows from this, that He has left His own abode.

If you were to change a single one, even the least, of things on earth, all things would be overturned and disappear.

6. Now God, being unknown amongst men, and deeming himself on that account to have less than his due, would desire to make himself known, and to make trial both of those who believe upon him and of those who do not, like those of mankind who have recently come into the possession of riches, and who make a display of their wealth; and thus they testify to an excessive but very mortal ambition on the part of God.

Nay, not even with the desire to try those who do or who do not believe upon Him, does He, by His unspeakable and divine power, Himself take up His abode in certain individuals, or send His Christ.

God does not desire to make himself known for his own sake, but because he wishes to bestow upon us the knowledge of himself for the sake of our salvation, in order that those who accept it may become virtuous and be saved, while those who do not accept may be shown to be wicked and be punished.” And yet, after making such a statement, he raises a new objection, saying: “After so long a period of time, then, did God now bethink himself of making men live righteous lives, but neglect to do so before?

10 it is perfectly manifest that they babble about God in a way that is neither holy nor reverential; and he imagines that we do these things to excite the astonishment of the ignorant, and that we do not speak the truth regarding the necessity of punishments for those who have sinned. And accordingly he likens us to those who in the Bacchic mysteries introduce phantoms and objects of terror.

11 The belief has spread among them, from a misunderstanding of the accounts of these occurrences, that after lengthened cycles of time, and the returns and conjunctions of planets, conflagrations and floods are wont to happen, and because after the last flood, which took place in the time of Deucalion, the lapse of time, agreeably to the vicissitude of all things, requires a conflagration and this made them give utterance to the erroneous opinion that God will descend, bringing fire like a torturer.

14. And again,” he says, “let us resume the subject from the beginning, with a larger array of proofs. And I make no new statement, but say what has been long settled. God is good, and beautiful, and blessed, and that in the best and most beautiful degree. But if he come down among men, he must undergo a change, and a change from good to evil, from virtue to vice, from happiness to misery, and from best to worst. Who, then, would make choice of such a change? It is the nature of a mortal, indeed, to undergo change and remoulding, but of an immortal to remain the same and unaltered. God, then, could not admit of such a change.

18. God either really changes himself, as these assert, into a mortal body, and the impossibility of that has been already declared; Or else he does not undergo a change, but only causes the beholders to imagine so, and thus deceives them, and is guilty of falsehood. Now deceit and falsehood are nothing but evils, and would only be employed as a medicine, either in the case of sick and lunatic friends, with a view to their cure, or in that of enemies when one is taking measures to escape danger. But no sick man or lunatic is a friend of God, nor does God fear any one to such a degree as to shun danger by leading him into error.

20. According to Celsus, the Jews say that (human) life, being filled with all wickedness, needed one sent from God, that the wicked might be punished, and all things purified in a manner analogous to the first deluge which happened.

21. But I do not understand how he can imagine the overturning of the tower (of Babel) to have happened with a similar object to that of the deluge, which effected a purification of the earth, according to the accounts both of Jews and Christians.

The destruction by fire, moreover, of Sodom and Gomorrah on account of their sins, related by Moses in Genesis, is compared by Celsus to the story of Phaethon.

22 The Christians, making certain additional statements to those of the Jews, assert that the Son of God has been already sent on account of the sins of the Jews; and that the Jews hating chastised Jesus, and given him gall to drink, have brought upon themselves the divine wrath.

23. In the next place, ridiculing after his usual style the race of Jews and Christians, he compares them all to a flight of bats or to a swarm of ants issuing out of their nest, or to frogs holding council in a marsh, or to worms crawling together in the comer of a dunghill, and quarreling with one another as to which of them were the greater sinners, and asserting that God shows and announces to us all things beforehand; and that, abandoning the whole world, and the regions of heaven, and this great earth, he becomes a citizen among us alone, and to us alone makes his intimations, and does not cease sending and inquiring, in what way we may be associated with him for ever. And in his fictitious representation, he compares us toworms which assert that there is a God, and that immediately after him, we who are made by him are altogether like unto God, and that all things have been made subject to us,–earth, and water, and air, and stars,–and that all things exist for our sake, and are ordained to be subject to us. And, according to his representation, the worms–that is, we ourselves–say that “now, since certain amongst us commit sin, God will come or will send his Son to consume the wicked with fire, that the rest of us may have eternal life with him. And to all this he subjoins the remark, that such wranglings would be more endurable amongst worms and frogs than betwixt Jews and Christians.

31. After this, wishing to prove that there is no difference between Jews and Christians, and those animals previously enumerated by him, he asserts that the Jews were fugitives from Egypt, who never performed anything worthy of note, and never were held in any reputation or account.

He states that they were never held in any reputation or account because no remarkable event in their history is found recorded by the Greeks

33. Immediately after this, Celsus, assailing the contents of the first book of Moses, which is entitled “Genesis,” asserts that the Jews accordingly endeavoured to derive their origin from the first race of jugglers and deceivers, appealing to the testimony of dark and ambiguous words, whose meaning was veiled in obscurity, and which they misinterpreted to the unlearned and ignorant, and that, too, when such a point had never been called in question during the long preceding period.

And he hazarded the assertion, in speaking of those names, from which the Jews deduce their genealogies, that never, during the long antecedent period, has there been any dispute about these names, but that at the present time the Jews dispute about them with certain others.

36. Celsus in the next place, producing from history other than that of the divine record, those passages which bear upon the claims to great antiquity put forth by many nations, as the Athenians, and Egyptians, and Arcadians, and Phrygians, who assert that certain individuals have existed among them who sprang from the earth, and who each adduce proofs of these assertionssays: “The Jews, then, leading a grovelling life in some comer of Palestine, and being a wholly uneducated people, who had not heard that these matters had been committed to verse long ago by Hesiod and innumerable other inspired men, wove together some most incredible and insipid stories, viz., that a certain man was formed by the hands of God, and had breathed into him the breath of life, and that a woman was taken from his side, and that God issued certain commands, and that a serpent opposed these, and gained a victory over the commandments of God; thus relating certain old wives’ fables, and most impiously representing God as weak at the very beginning (of things), and unable to convince even a single human being whom He Himself had formed.

He imagines that Hesiod and the innumerable” others, whom he styles inspired men, are older than Moses and his writings–that very Moses who is shown to be much older than the time of the Trojan war!

37 He charges us, moreover, with introducing a man formed by the hands of God and given breath.

41. They speak, in the next place, of a deluge, and of a monstrous ark, having within it all things, and of a dove and a crow as messengers, falsifying and recklessly altering the story of Deucalion; not expecting, I suppose, that these things would come to light, but imagining that they were inventing stories merely for young children.

43. Altogether absurd, and out of season, he continues, is the (account of the) begetting of children where, although he has mentioned no names, it is evident that he is referring to the history of Abraham and Sarah. Cavilling also at the conspiracies of the brothers, he allies either to the story of Cain plotting against Abel, or, in addition, to that of Esau against Jacob; and (speaking) of a father’s sorrow, he probably refers to that of Isaac on account of the absence of Jacob, and perhaps also to that of Jacob because of Joseph having been sold into Egypt. And when relating the crafty procedure of mothers, I suppose he means the conduct of Rebecca, who contrived that the blessing of Isaac should descend, not upon Esau, but upon Jacob. Now if we assert that in all these cases God interposed in a very marked degree, what absurdity do we commit?

He says that God presented his sons with asses, and sheep, and camels.

44. He has characterized the story of Lot and his daughters (without examining either its literal or its figurative meaning) as worse than the crimes of Thyestes.

46. Celsus, moreover, sneers at the hatred of Esau.

Although not clearly stating the story of Simeon and Levi he inveighs against their conduct.

brothers selling (one another), alluding to the sons of Jacob; and of a brother sold, Joseph to wit; and of a father deceived, viz., Jacob.

47. Celsus next, for form’s sake, and with great want of precision, speaks of the dreams of the chief butler and chief baker.

He adds: He who had been sold behaved kindly to his brethren (who had sold him), when they were suffering from hunger, and had been sent with their asses to purchase (provisions);although he has not related these occurrences (in his treatise).

He relates, further, that Joseph, who had been sold as a slave, was restored to liberty, and went up with a solemn procession to his father’s funeral, and thinks that the narrative furnishes matter of accusation against us, as he makes the following remark: By whom (Joseph, namely) the illustrious and divine nation of the Jews, after growing up in Egypt to be a multitude of people, was commanded to sojourn somewhere beyond the limits of the kingdom, and to pasture their flocks in districts of no repute.

48. In the next place, as if he had devoted himself solely to the manifestation of his hatred and dislike of the Jewish and Christian doctrine, he says: The more modest of Jewish and Christian writers give all these things an allegorical meaning; and, Because they are ashamed of these things, they take refuge in allegory.

49. If Celsus had read the Scriptures in an impartial spirit, he would not have said that our writings are incapable of admitting an allegorical meaning.

50. The more modest among the Jews and Christians endeavour somehow to give these stories an allegorical signification, although some of them do not admit of this, but on the contrary admit that they are exceedingly silly inventions.

51. The allegorical explanations, however, which have been devised are much more shameful and absurd than the fables themselves, inasmuch as they endeavour to unite with marvelous and altogether insensate folly things which cannot at all be made to harmonize.

Book V

2. O Jews and Christians, no God or son of a God either came or will come down (to earth). But if you mean that certain angels did so, then what do you call them? Are they gods, or some other race of beings? Some other race of beings (doubtless), and in all probability demons.

6. The first point relating to the Jews which is fitted to excite wonder, is that they should worship the heaven and the angels who dwell therein, and yet pass by and neglect its most venerable and powerful parts, as the sun, the moon, and the other heavenly bodies, both fixed stars and planets, as if it were possible that ‘the whole’ could be God, and yet its parts not divine; or (as if it were reasonable) to treat with the greatest respect those who are said to appear to such as are in darkness somewhere, blinded by some crooked sorcery, or dreaming dreams through the influence of shadowy spectres, while those who prophesy so clearly and strikingly to all men, by means of whom rain, and heat, and clouds, and thunder (to which they offer worship), and lightnings, and fruits, and all kinds of productiveness, are brought about,–by means of whom God is revealed to them,–the most prominent heralds among those beings that are above,–those that are truly heavenly angels,–are to be regarded as of no account!

14. It is folly on their part to suppose that when God, as if He were a cook, introduces the fire (which is to consume the world), all the rest of the human race will be burnt up, while they alone will remain, not only such of them as are then alive, but also those who are long since dead, which latter will arise from the earth clothed with the self-same flesh (as during life); for such a hope is simply one which might be cherished by worms. For what sort of human soul is that which would still long for a body that had been subject to corruption? Whence, also, this opinion of yours is not shared by some of the Christians, and they pronounce it to be exceedingly vile, and loathsome, and impossible; for what kind of body is that which, after being completely corrupted, can return to its original nature, and to that self-same first condition out of which it fell into dissolution? Being unable to return any answer, they betake themselves to a most absurd refuge, viz., that all things are possible to God. And yet God cannot do things that are disgraceful, nor does He wish to do things that are contrary to His nature; nor, if (in accordance with the wickedness of your own heart) you desired anything that was evil, would God accomplish it; nor must you believe at once that it will be done. For God does not rule the world in order to satisfy inordinate desires, or to allow disorder and confusion, but to govern a nature that is upright and just. For the soul, indeed, He might be able to provide an everlasting life; while dead bodies, on the contrary, are, as Heraclitus observes, more worthless than dung. God, however, neither can nor will declare, contrary to all reason, that the flesh, which is full of those things which it is not even honourable to mention, is to exist for ever. For He is the reason of all things that exist, and therefore can do nothing either contrary to reason or contrary to Himself.

25. As the Jews, then, became a peculiar people, and enacted laws in keeping with the customs of their country, and maintain them up to the present time, and observe a mode of worship which, whatever be its nature, is yet derived from their fathers, they act in these respects like other men, because each nation retains its ancestral customs, whatever they are, if they happen to be established among them. And such an arrangement appears to be advantageous, not only because it has occurred to the mind of other nations to decide some things differently, but also because it is a duty to protect what has been established for the public advantage; and also because, in all probability, the various quarters of the earth were from the beginning allotted to different superintending spirits, and were thus distributed among certain governing powers, and in this manner the administration of the world is carried on. And whatever is done among each nation in this way would be rightly done, wherever it was agreeable to the wishes (of the superintending powers), while it would be an act of impiety to get rid of the institutions established from the beginning in the various places.

33. Let the second party come forward; and I shall ask them whence they come, and whom they regard as the originator of their ancestral customs. They will reply, No one, because they spring from the same source as the Jews themselves, and derive their instruction and superintendence from no other quarter, and notwithstanding they have revolted from the Jews.

34. We might adduce Herodotus as a witness on this point, for he expresses himself as follows: ‘For the people of the cities Mares and Apis, who inhabit those parts of Egypt that are adjacent to Libya, and who look upon themselves as Libyans, and not as Egyptians, finding their sacrificial worship oppressive, and wishing not to be excluded from the use of cows’ flesh, sent to the oracle of Jupiter Ammon, saying that there was no relationship between them and the Egyptians, that they dwelt outside the Delta, that there was no community of sentiment between them and the Egyptians, and that they wished to be allowed to partake of all kinds of food. But the god would not allow them to do as they desired, saying that that country was a part of Egypt, which was watered by the inundation of the Nile, and that those were Egyptians who dwell to the south of the city of Elephantine, and drink of the river Nile.’ Such is the narrative of Herodotus. But,” continues Celsus, “Ammon in divine things would not make a worse ambassador than the angels of the Jews, so that there is nothing wrong in each nation observing its established method of worship. Of a truth, we shall find very great differences prevailing among the nations, and yet each seems to deem its own by far the best. Those inhabitants of Ethiopia who dwell in Meroe worship Jupiter and Bacchus alone; the Arabians, Urania and Bacchus only; all the Egyptians, Osiris and Isis; the Saites, Minerva; while the Naucratites have recently classed Serapis among their deities, and the rest according to their respective laws. And some abstain from the flesh of sheep, and others from that of crocodiles; others, again, from that of cows, while they regard swine’s flesh with loathing. The Scythians, indeed, regard it as a noble act to banquet upon human beings. Among the Indians, too, there are some who deem themselves discharging a holy duty in eating their fathers, and this is mentioned in a certain passage by Herodotus. For the sake of credibility, I shall again quote his very words, for he writes as follows: ‘For if any one were to make this proposal to all men, viz., to bid him select out of all existing laws the best, each would choose, after examination, those of his own country. Men each consider their own laws much the best, and therefore it is not likely than any other than a madman would make these things a subject of ridicule. But that such are the conclusions of all men regarding the laws, may be determined by many other evidences, and especially by the following illustration. Darius, during his reign, having summoned before him those Greeks who happened to be present at the time, inquired of them for how much they would be willing to eat their deceased fathers? their answer was, that for no consideration would they do such a thing. After this, Darius summoned those Indians who are called Callatians. who are in the habit of eating their parents, and asked of them in the presence of these Greeks, who learned what passed through an interpreter, for what amount of money they would undertake to burn their deceased fathers with fire? on which they raised a loud shout, and bade the king say no more. Such is the way, then, in which these matters are regarded. And Pindar appears to me to be right in saying that ‘law’ is the king of all things.

41. If, then, in these respects the Jews were carefully to preserve their own law, they are not to be blamed for so doing, but those persons rather who have forsaken their own usages, and adopted those of the Jews. And if they pride themselves on it, as being possessed of superior wisdom, and keep aloof from intercourse with others, as not being equally pure with themselves, they have already heard that their doctrine concerning heaven is not peculiar to them, but, to pass by all others, is one which has long ago been received by the Persians, as Herodotus somewhere mentions. ‘For they have a custom,’ he says, ‘of going up to the tops of the mountains, and of offering sacrifices to Jupiter, giving the name of Jupiter to the whole circle of the heavens.’

And I think that it makes no difference whether you call the highest being Zeus, or Zen, or Adonai, or Sabaoth, or Ammoun like the Egyptians, or Pappaeus like the Scythians. Nor would they be deemed at all holier than others in this respect, that they observe the rite of circumcision, for this was done by the Egyptians and Colchians before them; nor because they abstain from swine’s flesh, for the Egyptians practised abstinence not only from it, but from the flesh of goats, and sheep, and oxen, and fishes as well; while Pythagoras and his disciples do not eat beans, nor anything that contains life. It is not probable, however, that they enjoy God’s favour, or are loved by Him differently from others, or that angels were sent from heaven to them alone, as if they had had allotted to them ‘some region of the blessed,’ for we see both themselves and the country of which they were deemed worthy. Let this band, then, take its departure, after paying the penalty of its vaunting, not having a knowledge of the great God, but being led away and deceived by the artifices of Moses, having become his pupil to no good end.

52. Let us then pass over the refutations which might be adduced against the claims of their teacher, and let him be regarded as really an angel. But is he the first and only one who came (to men), or were there others before him? If they should say that he is the only one, they would be convicted of telling lies against themselves. For they assert that on many occasions others came, and sixty or seventy of them together, and that these became wicked, and were cast under the earth and punished with chains, and that from this source originate the warm springs, which are their tears; and, moreover, that there came an angel to the tomb of this said being–according to some, indeed, one, but according to others, two–who answered the women that he had arisen. For the Son of God could not himself, as it seems, open the tomb, but needed the help of another to roll away the stone. And again, on account of the pregnancy of Mary, there came an angel to the carpenter, and once more another angel, in order that they might take up the young Child and flee away (into Egypt). But what need is there to particularize everything, or to count up the number of angels said to have been sent to Moses, and others amongst them? If, then, others were sent, it is manifest that he also came from the same God. But he may be supposed to have the appearance of announcing something of greater importance (than those who preceded him), as if the Jews had been committing sin, or corrupting their religion, or doing deeds of impiety; for these things are obscurely hinted at.

54. And so he is not the only one who is recorded to have visited the human race, as even those who, under pretext of teaching in the name of Jesus, have apostatized from the Creator as an inferior being, and have given in their adherence to one who is a superior God and father of him who visited (the world), assert that before him certain beings came from the Creator to visit the human race.

59. The Jews accordingly, and the Christians have the same God.

It is certain, indeed, that the members of the great Church admit this, and adopt as true the accounts regarding the creation of the world which are current among the Jews, viz., concerning the six days and the seventh.

61. Some of them will concede that their God is the same as that of the Jews, while others will maintain that he is a different one, to whom the latter is in opposition, and that it was from the former that the Son came. There is a third class who call certain persons “carnal,” and others “spiritual” and there are some who give themselves out as Gnostics. There are some who accept Jesus, and who boast on that account of being Christians, and yet would regulate their lives, like the Jewish multitude, in accordance with the Jewish law.

62. Certain Simonians exist who worship Helene, or Helenus, as their teacher, and are called Helenians, certain Marcellians, so called from Marcellina, and Harpocratians from Salome, and others who derive their name from Mariamme, and others again from Martha and Marcionites, whose leader was Marcion.

63. There are others who have wickedly invented some being as their teacher and demon, and who wallow about in a great darkness, more unholy and accursed than that of the companions of the Egyptian Antinous.

65. You may hear all those who differ so widely saying, ‘The world is crucified to me, and I unto the world’.

Those Christians who have made progress in their studies say that they are possessed of greater knowledge than the Jews.

Ignorance, Irrationality and Superstition

Book I

9 Celsus urges us to follow reason and a rational guide in accepting doctrines because anyone who believes people without so doing is certain to be deceived. He compares those who believe without rational thought to the begging priests of Cybele and soothsayers and to the worshippers of Mithras and Sabazius and whatever else one may meet such as apparitions of Hecate and or some other daimons. For just as among them scoundrels frequently take advantage of the lack of education of gullible people and lead them wherever they wish so also this happens among the Christians. Some Christians do not even wish to give or to receive a reason for what they believe and use such expressions as `Do not ask questions: just believe’, and` Thy faith will save thee. He writes also that some Christians say: `The wisdom in the world is evil, and foolishness a good thing”

Book III

10. Christians at first were few in number, and held the same opinions; but when they grew to be a great multitude, they were divided and separated, each wishing to have his own individual party: for this was their object from the beginning.”

12. Being thus separated through their numbers, they confute one another, still having, so to speak, one name in common, if indeed they still retain it. And this is the only thing which they are yet ashamed to abandon, while other matters are determined in different ways by the various sects.

14. Their union is the more wonderful, the more it can be shown to be based on no substantial reason. And yet rebellion is a substantial reason, as well as the advantages which accrue from it, and the fear of external enemies. Such are the causes which give stability to their faith.

16. Christians weave together erroneous opinions drawn from ancient sources, and trumpet them aloud, and sound them before men, as the priests of Cybele clash their cymbals in the ears of those who are being initiated in their mysteries.

44 The following are the rules laid down by them. Let no one come to us who has been instructed, or who is wise or prudent (for such qualifications are deemed evil by us); but if there be any ignorant, or unintelligent, or uninstructed, or foolish persons, let them come with confidence. By which words, acknowledging that such individuals are worthy of their God, they manifestly show that they desire and are able to gain over only the silly, and the mean, and the stupid, with women and children.

50 Nay, we see, indeed, that even those individuals, who in the market-places perform the most disgraceful tricks, and who gather crowds around them, would never approach an assembly of wise men, nor dare to exhibit their arts among them; but wherever they see young men, and a mob of slaves, and a gathering of unintelligent persons, thither they thrust themselves in, and show themselves off.

55 We see, indeed, in private houses workers in wool and leather, and fullers, and persons of the most uninstructed and rustic character, not venturing to utter a word in the presence of their elders and wiser masters; but when they get hold of the children privately, and certain women as ignorant as themselves, they pour forth wonderful statements, to the effect that they ought not to give heed to their father and to their teachers, but should obey them; that the former are foolish and stupid, and neither know nor can perform anything that is really good, being preoccupied with empty trifles; that they alone know how men ought to live, and that, if the children obey them, they will both be happy themselves, and will make their home happy also. And while thus speaking, if they see one of the instructors of youth approaching, or one of the more intelligent class, or even the father himself, the more timid among them become afraid, while the more forward incite the children to throw off the yoke, whispering that in the presence of father and teachers they neither will nor can explain to them any good thing, seeing they turn away with aversion from the silliness and stupidity of such persons as being altogether corrupt, and far advanced in wickedness, and such as would inflict punishment upon them; but that if they wish (to avail themselves of their aid,) they must leave their father and their instructors, and go with the women and their playfellows to the women’s apartments, or to the leather shop, or to the fuller’s shop, that they may attain to perfection;–and by words like these they gain them over.

75 The teacher of Christianity acts like a person who promises to restore patients to bodily health, but who prevents them from consulting skilled physicians, by whom his ignorance would be exposed.

We do not betake ourselves then to young persons and silly rustics, saying to them, Flee from physicians. Nor do we say, See that none of you lay hold of knowledge; nor do we assert that knowledge is an evil; nor are we mad enough to say that knowledge causes men to lose their soundness of mind. We would not even say that any one ever perished through wisdom; and although we give instruction, we never say, Give heed to me, but “Give heed to the God of all things, and to Jesus, the giver of instruction concerning Him. And none of us is so great a braggart as to say what Celsus put in the mouth of one of our teachers to his acquaintances, I alone will save you. Observe here the lies which he utters against us! Moreover, we do not assert that true physicians destroy those whom they promise to cure.”

76 And he produces a second illustration to our disadvantage, saying that the Christian teacher acts like a drunken man, who, entering a company of drunkards, should accuse those who are sober of being drunk.

77 He next likens our teacher to one suffering from ophthalmia, and his disciples to those suffering from the same disease, and says that such an one amongst a company of those who are afflicted with ophthalmia, accuses those who are sharp-sighted of being blind.

78 These charges I have to bring against them, and others of a similar nature, not to enumerate them one by one, and I affirm that they are in error, and that they act insolently towards God, in order to lead on wicked men by empty hopes, and to persuade them to despise better things, saying that if they refrain from them it will be better for them.

Book VI

1. These things are stated much better among the Greeks (than in the Scriptures). and in a manner which is free from all exaggerations and promises on the part of God, or the Son of God.

10. You see how Plato, although maintaining that (the chief good) cannot be described, in words, yet, to avoid the appearance of retreating to an irrefutable position, subjoins a reason in explanation of this difficulty, as even ‘nothing’ might perhaps be explained in words.

Plato is not guilty of boasting and falsehood, giving out that he has made some new discovery, or that he has come down from heaven to announce it, but acknowledges whence these statements are derived. Accordingly, we do not say to each of our hearers, ‘Believe, first of all, that He whom I introduce to thee is the Son of God although he was shamefully bound, and disgracefully punished, and very recently was most contumeliously treated before the eyes of all men. Believe it even the more (on that account)’.

11. If these (meaning the Christians) bring forward this person, and others, again, a different individual (as the Christ), while the common and ready cry of all parties is, ‘Believe, if thou wilt be saved, or else begone,’ what shall those do who are in earnest about their salvation? Shall they cast the dice, in order to divine whither they may betake themselves, and whom they shall join?

12. Christians declare the wisdom that is among men to be foolishness with God because of their desire to win over by means of this saying the ignorant and foolish alone.

14. Christians are sorcerers who flee away with headlong speed from the more polished class of persons, because they are not suitable subjects for our impositions, while we seek to decoy those who are more rustic.

12. He wished to show that this statement was an invention of ours, and borrowed from the Grecian sages, who declare that human wisdom is of one kind, and divine of another

15. He imagines that [the subject of humility] is borrowed from some words of Plato imperfectly understood.

16This saying, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” manifestly proceeded from Plato, and that Jesus perverted the words of the philosopher.

19. Certain Christians, having misunderstood the words of Plato, loudly boast of a ‘super-celestial’ God thus ascending beyond the heaven of the Jews.

22. These things are obscurely hinted at in the accounts of the Persians, and especially in the mysteries of Mithras, which are celebrated amongst them.

24. He who would investigate the Christian mysteries, along with the aforesaid Persian, will, on comparing the two together, and on unveiling the rites of the Christians, see in this way the difference between them.

29. What could be more foolish or insane than such senseless wisdom? For what blunder has the Jewish lawgiver committed? and why do you accept, by means, as you say, of a certain allegorical and typical method of interpretation, the cosmogony which he gives, and the law of the Jews, while it is with unwillingness, O most impious man, that you give praise to the Creator of the world, who promised to give them all things; who promised to multiply their race to the ends of the earth, and to raise them up from the dead with the same flesh and blood, and who gave inspiration to their prophets; and, again, you slander Him! When you feel the force of such considerations, indeed, you acknowledge that you worship the same God; but when your teacher Jesus and the Jewish Moses give contradictory decisions, you seek another God, instead of Him, and the Father!

34. They continue to heap together one thing after another,–discourses of prophets, and circles upon circles, and effluents from an earthly church, and from circumcision; and a power flowing from one Prunicos, a virgin and a living soul; and a heaven slain in order to live, and an earth slaughtered by the sword, and many put to death that they may live, and death ceasing in the world, when the sin of the world is dead; and, again, a narrow way, and gates that open spontaneously. And in all their writings (is mention made) of the tree of life, and a resurrection of the flesh by means of the ‘tree,’ because, I imagine, their teacher was nailed to a cross, and was a carpenter by craft; so that if he had chanced to have been cast from a precipice, or thrust into a pit, or suffocated by hanging, or had been a leather-cutter, or stone-cutter, or worker in iron, there would have been (invented) a precipice of life beyond the heavens, or a pit of resurrection, or a cord of immortality, or a blessed stone, or an iron of love, or a sacred leather! Now what old woman would not be ashamed to utter such things in a whisper, even when making stories to lull an infant to sleep?

39. Those who employ the arts of magic and sorcery, and who invoke the barbarous names of demons act like those who, in reference to the same things, perform marvels before those who are ignorant that the names of demons among the Greeks are different from what they are among the Scythians.

What need to number up all those who have taught methods of purification, or expiatory hymns, or spells for averting evil, or (the making of) images, or resemblances of demons, or the various sorts of antidotes against poison (to be found) in clothes, or in numbers, or stones, or plants, or roots, or generally in all kinds of things?

40. I have seen in the hands of certain presbyters belonging to the Christian faith barbarous books which contain the names and marvellous doings of demons; and these presbyters of our faith professed to do no good, but all that was calculated to injure human beings.

42. Certain most impious errors are committed by them, due to their extreme ignorance, in which they have wandered away from the meaning of the divine enigmas, creating an adversary to God, the devil, and naming him in the Hebrew tongue, Satan. Now, of a truth, such statements are altogether of mortal invention, and not even proper to be repeated, viz., that the mighty God, in His desire to confer good upon men, has yet one counterworking Him, and is helpless. The Son of God, it follows, is vanquished by the devil; and being punished by him, teaches us also to despise the punishments which he inflicts, telling us beforehand that Satan, after appearing to men as He Himself had done, will exhibit great and marvellous works, claiming for himself the glory of God, but that those who wish to keep him at a distance ought to pay no attention to these works of Satan, but to place their faith in Him alone. Such statements are manifestly the words of a deluder, planning and manoeuvring against those who are opposed to his views, and who rank themselves against them.

The ancients allude obscurely to a certain war among the gods, Heraclitus speaking thus of it: ‘If one must say that there is a general war and discord, and that all things are done and administered in strife.’ Pherecydes, again, who is much older than Heraclitus, relates a myth of one army drown up in hostile array against another, and names Kronos as the leader of the one, and Ophioneus of the other, and recounts their challenges and struggles, and mentions that agreements were entered into between them, to the end that whichever party should fall into the Ocean should be held as vanquished, while those who had expelled and conquered them should have possession of heaven. The mysteries relating to the Titans and Giants also had some such (symbolical) meaning, as well as the Egyptian mysteries of Typhon, and Horus, and Osiris.”

These are not like the stories which are related of a devil, or demon, or, as he remarks with more truth, of a man who is an impostor, who wishes to establish an opposite doctrine.

Homer refers obscurely to matters similar to those mentioned by Heraclitus, and Pherecydes, and the originators of the mysteries about the Titans and Giants, in those words which Hephaestus addresses to Hera as follows:–“Once in your cause I felt his matchless might,/ Hurled headlong downward from the ethereal height.” and in those of Zeus to Hera:–“Hast thou forgot, when, bound and fix’d on high,/ From the vast concave of the spangled sky,/ I hung thee trembling in a golden chain,/ And all the raging gods opposed in vain?/ Headlong I hurled them from the Olympian hall,/ Stunn’d in the whirl, and breathless with the fall.” The words of Zeus addressed to Hera are the words of God addressed to matter; and the words addressed to matter obscurely signify that the matter which at the beginning was in a state of discord (with God), was taken by Him, and bound together and arranged under laws, which may be analogically compared to chains; and that by way of chastising the demons who create disorder in it, he hurls them down headlong to this lower world.” These words of Homer were so understood by Pherecydes, when he said that beneath that region is the region of Tartarus, which is guarded by the Harpies and Tempest, daughters of Boreas, and to which Zeus banishes any one of the gods who becomes disorderly. With the same ideas also are closely connected the peplos of Athena, which is beheld by all in the procession of the Panathenoea. For it is manifest from this that a motherless and unsullied demon has the mastery over the daring of the Giants.

The Son of God is punished by the devil, and teaches us that we also, when punished by him, ought to endure it. Now these statements are altogether ridiculous. For it is the devil, I think, who ought rather to be punished, and those human beings who are calumniated by him ought not to be threatened with chastisement.

47. I can tell how the very thing occurred, viz., that they should call him ‘Son of God.’ Men of ancient times termed this world, as being born of God, both his child and his son. Both the one and other ‘Son of God,’ then, greatly resembled each other.

49. Moreover, their cosmogony is extremely silly.

The narrative of the creation of man is exceedingly silly.

Perhaps Moses wrote these words with no serious object in view, but in the spirit of the writers of the old Comedy, who have sportively related that “Proetus slew Bellerophon,” and that “Pegasus came from Arcadia.

50. Moses and the prophets, who have left to us our books, not knowing at all what the nature of the world is, and of man, have woven together a web of sheer nonsense.

The Spirit of the universal God mingled itself in things here below as in things alien to itself.

Certain wicked devices directed against His Spirit as if by a different creator from the great God, and which were tolerated by the Supreme Divinity, needed to be completely frustrated.

The great God, after giving his spirit to the creator, demands it back again. What god gives anything with the intention of demanding it back? For it is the mark of a needy person to demand back (what he has given), whereas God stands in need of nothing.

Why, when he lent (his spirit), was he ignorant that he was lending it to an evil being?

Why does he pass without notice a wicked creator who was counter-working his purposes?

53. Why does he send secretly, and destroy the works which he has created? Why does he secretly employ force, and persuasion, and deceit? Why does he allure those who, as ye assert, have been condemned or accused by him, and carry them away like a slave-dealer? Why does he teach them to steal away from their Lord? Why to flee from their father? Why does he claim them for himself against the father’s will? Why does he profess to be the father of strange children?

Venerable, indeed, is the god who desires to be the father of those sinners who are condemned by another (god), and of the needy, and, as themselves say, of the very offscourings (of men), and who is unable to capture and punish his messenger, who escaped from him!

If these are his works, how is it that God created evil? And how is it that he cannot persuade and admonish (men)? And how is it that he repents on account of the ingratitude and wickedness of men? He finds fault, moreover, with his own handwork, and hates, and threatens, and destroys his own off-spring? Whither can he transport them out of this world, which he himself has made?”

54. How is He incapable of persuading and admonishing men?

59. But if he does not destroy his own offspring, whither does he convey them out of this world which he himself created?

60. By far the most silly thing is the distribution of the creation of the world over certain days, before days existed: for, as the heaven was not yet created, nor the foundation of the earth yet laid, nor the sun yet revolving, how could there be days?

Moreover, taking and looking at these things from the beginning, would it not be absurd in the first and greatest God to issue the command, Let this (first thing) come into existence, and this second thing, and this (third); and after accomplishing so much on the first day, to do so much more again on the second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth?

61. After this, indeed, he is weary, like a very bad workman, who stands in need of rest to refresh himself!

It is not in keeping with the fitness of things that the first God should feel fatigue, or work with His hands, or give forth commands.

Christians and Society

Book I

1 The Christians entered into secret associations with each other contrary to law.

The love-feasts [ag©pai] of the Christians, have their origin in the common danger, and are more binding than any oaths.

3 Christians teach and practise their favourite doctrines in secretand they do this to ,some purpose, seeing they escape the penalty of death which is imminent. The dangers are comparable with those which were encountered by such men as Socrates for the sake of philosophy.

5. The Christians do not consider those to be gods that are made with hands, on the ground that it is not in conformity with right reason (to suppose) that images, fashioned by the most worthless and depraved of workmen, and in many instances also provided by wicked men.

Book III

59 That I bring no heavier charge than what the truth compels me, any one may see from the following remarks. Those who invite to participation in other mysteries, make proclamation as follows: ‘Every one who has clean hands, and a prudent tongue;’ others again thus: ‘He who is pure from all pollution, and whose soul is conscious of no evil, and who has lived well and justly.’ Such is the proclamation made by those who promise purification from sins. But let us hear what kind of persons these Christians invite. Every one, they say, who is a sinner, who is devoid of understanding, who is a child, and, to speak generally, whoever is unfortunate, him will the kingdom of God receive. Do you not call him a sinner, then, who is unjust, and a thief, and a housebreaker, and a poisoner, and a committer of sacrilege, and a robber of the dead? What others would a man invite if he were issuing a proclamation for an assembly of robbers?

62 Christians say that it was to sinners that God has been sent. Why was he not sent to those who were without sin? What evil is it not to have committed sin?

God will receive the unrighteousness man if he humble himself on account of his wickedness, but He will not receive the righteous man, although he look up to Him, (adorned) with virtue from the beginning.

63 Those persons who preside properly over a trial make those individuals who bewail before them their evil deeds to cease from their piteous wailings, lest their decisions should be determined rather by compassion than by a regard to truth; whereas God does not decide in accordance with truth, but in accordance with flattery.

All men, then, without distinction, ought to be invited, since all indeed are sinners.

64 What is this preference of sinners over others?

65 The Christians utter these exhortations for the conversion of sinners, because they are able to gain over no one who is really good and righteous, and therefore open their doors to the most unholy and abandoned of men.

And yet, indeed, it is manifest to every one that no one by chastisement, much less by merciful treatment, could effect a complete change in those who are sinners both by nature and custom, for to change nature is an exceedingly difficult thing. But they who are without sin are partaken of a better life.

70 Christians assert that God will be able to do all things but He will not desire to do anything wicked, even if one were to admit that He has the power, but not the will, to commit evil.

71 Their God, like those who are overcome with pity, being Himself overcome, alleviates the sufferings of the wicked through pity for their wailings, and casts off the good, who do nothing of that kind, which is the height of injustice.

73. No wise man believes the Gospel, being driven away by the multitudes who adhere to it.

Book VII

62. Let us pass on to another point. They cannot tolerate temples, altars, or images. In this they are like the Scythians, the nomadic tribes of Libya, the Seres who worship no god, and some other of the most barbarous and impious nations in the world. That the Persians hold the same notions is shown by Herodotus in these words: ‘I know that among the Persians it is considered unlawful to erect images, altars, or temples; but they charge those with folly who do so, because, as I conjecture, they do not, like the Greeks, suppose the gods to be of the nature of men.’ Heraclitus also says in one place: ‘Persons who address prayers to these images act like those who speak to the walls, without knowing who the gods or the heroes are.’ And what wiser lesson have they to teach us than Heraclitus? He certainly plainly enough implies that it is a foolish thing for a man to offer prayers to images, whilst he knows not who the gods and heroes are. This is the opinion of Heraclitus; but as for them, they go further, and despise without exception all images. If they merely mean that the stone, wood, brass, or gold which has been wrought by this or that workman cannot be a god, they are ridiculous with their wisdom. For who, unless he be utterly childish in his simpliCity, can take these for gods, and not for offerings consecrated to the service of the gods, or images representing them? But if we are not to regard these as representing the Divine Being, seeing that God has a different form, as the Persians concur with them in saying, then let them take care that they do not contradict themselves; for they say that God made man His own image, and that He gave him a form like to Himself. However, they will admit that these images, whether they are like or not, are made and dedicated to the honour of certain beings. But they will hold that the beings to whom they are dedicated are not gods, but demons, and that a worshipper of God ought not to worship demons.

68. In the first place, I would ask why we are not to serve demons? Is it not true that all things are ordered according to God’s will, and that His providence governs all things? Is not everything which happens in the universe, whether it be the work of God, of angels, of other demons, or of heroes, regulated by the law of the Most High God? Have these not had assigned them various departments of which they were severally deemed worthy? it not just, therefore, that he who worships God should serve those also to whom God has assigned such power? Yet it is impossible, he says, for a man to serve many masters.

70. Is not everything which happens in the universe, whether it be the work of God, of angels, of other demons, or of heroes, regulated by the law of the Most High God? Have these not had assigned to them various departments of which they were severally deemed worthy? Is it not just, therefore, that he who serves God should serve those also to whom God has assigned such power?” To which he adds, “It is impossible, they say, for a man to serve many masters.”

Book VIII

2. In a passage previously quoted Celsus asks us why we do not worship demons, and he represents us as answering that it is impossible to serve many masters. This, he goes on to say, is the language of sedition, and is only used by those who separate themselves and stand aloof from all human society. Those who speak in this way ascribe,” as he supposes, “their own feelings and passions to God. It does hold true among men, that he who is in the service of one master cannot well serve another, because the service which he renders to the one interferes with that which he owes to the other; and no one, therefore, who has already engaged himself to the service of one, must accept that of another. And, in like manner, it is impossible to serve at the same time heroes or demons of different natures. But in regard to God, who is subject to no suffering or loss, it is,” he thinks, “absurd to be on our guard against serving more gods, as though we had to do with demi-gods, or other spirits of that sort.” He says also, “He who serves many gods does that which is pleasing to the Most High, because he honours that which belongs to Him.” And he adds, “It is indeed wrong to give honour to any to whom God has not given honour.” “Wherefore,” he says, “in honouring and worshipping all belonging to God, we will not displease Him to whom they all belong.

11. And indeed he who, when speaking of God, asserts that there is only one who may be called Lord, speaks impiously, for he divides the kingdom of God, and raises a sedition therein, implying that there are separate factions in the divine kingdom, and that there exists one who is His enemy.

14. If you should tell them that Jesus is not the Son of God, but that, God is the Father of all, and that He alone: ought to be truly worshipped, they would not consent to discontinue their worship of him who is their leader in the sedition. And they call him Son of God, not out of any extreme reverence for God, but from an extreme desire to extol Jesus Christ.

15. That I may give a true representation of their faith, I will use their own words, as given in what is called A Heavenly Dialogue: ‘If the Son is mightier than God and the Son of man is Lord over Him, who else than the Son can be Lord over that God who is the ruler over all things? How comes it, that while so many go about the well, no one goes down into it? Why art thou afraid when thou hast gone so far on the way? Answer: Thou art mistaken, for I lack neither courage nor weapons.’ Is it not evident, then, that their views are precisely such as I have described them to be? They suppose that another God, who is above the heavens, is the Father of him whom with one accord they honour, that they may honour this Son of man alone, whom they exalt under the form and name of the great God, and whom they assert to be stronger than God, who rules the world, and that he rules over Him. And hence that maxim of theirs, ‘It is impossible to serve two masters,’ is maintained for the purpose of keeping up the party who are on the side of this Lord.

17. Christians shrink from raising altars, statues, and temples; and this, he thinks, has been agreed upon among us as the badge or distinctive mark of a secret and forbidden society.

21. God is the God of all alike; He is good, He stands in need of nothing, and He is without jealousy. What, then, is there to hinder those who are most devoted to His service from taking part in public feasts.

24. If these idols are nothing, what harm will there be in taking part in the feast? On the other hand, if they are demons, it is certain that they too are God’s creatures, and that we must believe in them, sacrifice to them according to the laws, and pray to them that they may be propitious.

28. If in obedience to the traditions of their fathers they abstain from such victims, they must also abstain from all animal food, in accordance with the opinions of Pythagoras, who thus showed his respect for the soul and its bodily organs. But if, as they say, they abstain that they may not eat along with demons, I admire their wisdom, in having at length discovered, that whenever they eat they eat with demons, although they only refuse to do so when they are looking upon a slain victim; for when they eat bread, or drink wine, or taste fruits, do they not receive these things, as well as the water they drink and the air they breathe, from certain demons, to whom have been assigned these different provinces of nature?

33. We must either not live, and indeed not come into this life at all, or we must do so on condition that we give thanks and first-fruits and prayers to demons, who have been set over the things of this world: and that we must do as long as we live, that they may prove good and kind.”

34. The learned Greeks say that the human soul at its birth is placed under the charge of demons.

35. The satrap of a Persian or Roman monarch, or ruler or general or governor, yea, even those who fill lower offices of trust or service in the state, would be able to do great injury to those who despised them; and will the satraps and ministers of earth and air be insulted with impunity?

37. If they who are addressed are called upon by barbarous names, they will have power, but no longer will they have any if they are addressed in Greek or Latin.

38. He next represents Christians as saying what he never heard from any Christian; Behold, they are made to say, I go up to a statue of Jupiter or Apollo, or some other god: I revile it, and beat it, yet it takes no vengeance on me

39. Do you not see, good sir, that even your own demon is not only reviled, but banished from every land and sea, and you yourself, who are as it were an image dedicated to him, are bound and led to punishment, and fastened to the stake, whilst your demon–or, as you call him, ‘the Son of God’–takes no vengeance on the evil-doer?

41. You mock and revile the statues of our gods; but if you had reviled Bacchus or Hercules in person, you would not perhaps have done so with impunity. But those who crucified your God when present among men, suffered nothing for it, either at the time or during the whole of their lives. And what new thing has there happened since then to make us believe that he was not an impostor, but the Son of God? And forsooth, he who sent his Son with certain instructions for mankind, allowed him to be thus cruelly treated, and his instructions to perish with him, without ever during all this long time showing the slightest concern. What father was ever so inhuman? Perhaps, indeed, you may say that he suffered so much, because it was his wish to bear what came to him. But it is open to those whom you maliciously revile, to adopt the same language, and say that they wish to be reviled, and therefore they bear it with patience; for it is best to deal equally with both sides,–although these (gods) severely punish the scorner, so that he must either flee and hide himself, or be taken and perish.

43. Of those gods whom you load with insults, you may in like manner say that they voluntarily submit to such treatment, and therefore they bear insults with patience; for it is best to deal equally with both sides. Yet these severely punish the scorner, so that he must either flee and hide himself, or be taken and perish.

45. What need is there to collect all the oracular responses, which have been delivered with a divine voice by priests and priestesses, as wall as by others, whether men or women, who were under a divine influence?–all the wonderful things that have been heard issuing from the inner sanctuary?–all the revelations that have been made to those who consulted the sacrificial victims?–and all the knowledge that has been conveyed to men by other signs and prodigies? To some the gods have appeared in visible forms. The world is full of such instances. How many cities have been built in obedience to commands received from oracles; how often, in the same way, delivered from disease and famine! Or again, how many cities, from disregard or forgetfulness of these oracles, have perished miserably! How many colonies have been established and made to flourish by following their orders! How many princes and private persons have, from this cause, had prosperity or adversity! How many who mourned over their childlessness, have obtained the blessing they asked for! How many have turned away from themselves. the anger of demons! How many who were maimed in their limbs, have had them restored! And again, how many have met with summary punishment for showing want of reverence to the temples–some being instantly seized with madness, others openly confessing their crimes, others having put an end to their lives, and others having become the victims of incurable maladies! Yea, some have been slain by a terrible voice issuing from the inner sanctuary.

48. Just as you, good sir, believe in eternal punishments, so also do the priests who interpret and initiate into the sacred mysteries. The same punishments with which you threaten others, they threaten you. Now it is worthy of examination, which of the two is more firmly established as true; for both parties contend with equal assurance that the truth is on their side. But if we require proofs, the priests of the heathen gods produce many that are clear and convincing, partly from wonders performed by demons, and partly from the answers given by oracles, and various other modes of divination.

49. Besides, is it not most absurd and inconsistent in you, on the one hand, to make so much of the body as you do–to expect that the same body will rise again, as though it were the best and most precious part of us; and yet, on the other, to expose it to such tortures as though it were worthless? But men who hold such notions, and are so attached to the body, are not worthy of being reasoned with; for in this and in other respects they show themselves to be gross, impure, and bent upon revolting without any reason from the common belief. But I shall direct my discourse to those who hope for the enjoyment of eternal life with God by means of the soul or mind, whether they choose to call it a spiritual substance, an intelligent spirit, holy and blessed, or a living soul, or the heavenly and indestructible offspring of a divine and incorporeal nature, or by whatever name they designate the spiritual nature of man. And they are rightly persuaded that those who live well shall be blessed, and the unrighteous shall all suffer everlasting punishments. And from this doctrine neither they nor any other should ever swerve.

53. Since men are born united to a body, whether to suit the order of the universe, or that they may in that way suffer the punishment of sin; or because the soul is oppressed by certain passions until it is purged from these at the appointed period of time,–for, according to Empedocles, all mankind must be banished from the abodes of the blessed for 30,000 periods of time,–we must therefore believe that they are entrusted to certain beings as keepers of this prison-house.

55. They must make their choice between two alternatives. If they refuse to render due service to the gods, and to respect those who are set over this service, let them not come to manhood, or marry wives, or have children, or indeed take any share in the affairs of life; but let them depart hence with all speed, and leave no posterity behind them, that such a race may become extinct from the face of the earth. Or, on the other hand, if they will take wives, and bring up children, and taste of the fruits of the earth, and partake of all the blessings of life, and bear its appointed sorrows (for nature herself hath allotted sorrows to all men; for sorrows must exist, and earth is the only place for them), then must they discharge the duties of life until they are released from its bonds, and render due honour to those beings who control the affairs of this life, if they would not show themselves ungrateful to them. For it would be unjust in them, after receiving the good things which they dispense, to pay them no tribute in return.

58. Let any one inquire of the Egyptians, and he will find that everything, even to the most insignificant, is committed to the care of a certain demon. The body of man is divided into thirty-six parts, and as many demons of the air are appointed to the care of it, each having charge of a different part, although others make the number much larger. All these demons have in the language of that country distinct names; as Chnoumen, Chnachoumen, Cnat, Sicat, Biou, Erou, Erebiou, Ramanor, Reianoor, and other such Egyptian names. Moreover, they call upon them, and are cured of diseases of particular parts of the body. What, then, is there to prevent a man from giving honour to these or to others, if he would rather be in health than be sick, rather have prosperity than adversity, and be freed as much as possible from all plagues and troubles?

60. Care, however, must be taken lest any one, by familiarizing his mind with these matters, should become too much engrossed with them, and lest, through an excessive regard for the body, he should have his mind turned away from higher things, and allow them to pass into oblivion. For perhaps we ought not to despise the opinion of those wise men who say that most of the earth-demons are taken up with carnal indulgence, blood, odours, sweet sounds, and other such sensual things; and therefore they are unable to do more than heal the body, or foretell the fortunes of men and cities, and do other such things as relate to this mortal life.

62. We must offer sacrifices to them, in so far as they are profitable to us, for to offer them indiscriminately is not allowed by reason.

63. The more just opinion is, that demons desire nothing and need nothing, but that they take pleasure in those who discharge towards them offices of piety.

We must never in any way lose our hold of God, whether by day or by night, whether in public or in secret, whether in word or in deed, but in whatever we do, or abstain from doing.

If this is the case, what harm is there in gaining the favour of the rulers of the earth, whether of a nature different from ours, or human princes and kings? For these have gained their dignity through the instrumentality of demons.”

65. We are not so mad as to stir up against us the wrath of kings and princes, which will bring upon us sufferings and tortures, or even death.

66. 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.

67. Men seem to do the greater honour to the great God when we sing hymns in honour of the sun and Minerva.

If you are commanded to swear by a human king, there is nothing wrong in that. For to him has been given whatever there is upon earth; and whatever you receive in this life, you receive from him.

68. We must not disobey the ancient writer, who said long ago, ‘Let one be king, whom the son of crafty Saturn appointed;. If you set aside this maxim, you will deservedly suffer for it at the hands of the king. For if all were to do the same as you, there would be nothing to prevent his being left in utter solitude and desertion, and the affairs of the earth would fall into the hands of the wildest and most lawless barbarians; and then there would no longer remain among men any of the glory of your religion or of the true wisdom.

69. You surely do not say that if the Romans were, in compliance with your wish, to neglect their customary duties to gods and men, and were to worship the Most High, or whatever you please to call him, that he will come down and fight for them, so that they shall need no other help than his. For this same God, as yourselves say, promised of old this and much more to those who served him, and see in what way he has helped them and you! They, in place of being masters of the whole world, are left with not so much as a patch of ground or a home; and as for you, if any of you transgresses even in secret, he is sought out and punished with death.

71. Surely it is intolerable for you to say, that if our present rulers, on embracing your opinions, are taken by the enemy, you will still be able to persuade those who rule after them; and after these have been taken you will persuade their successors and so on, until at length, when all who have yielded to your persuasion have been taken some prudent ruler shall arise, with a foresight of what is impending, and he will destroy you all utterly before he himself perishes.

72. If only it were possible that all the inhabitants of Asia, Europe, and Libya, Greeks and Barbarians, all to the uttermost ends of the earth, were to come under one law! but any one who thinks this possible, knows nothing.

73. Celsus urges us to help the king with all our might, and to labour with him in the maintenance of justice, to fight for him; and if he requires it, to fight under him, or lead an army along with him.

75. Celsus also urges us to take office in the government of the country, if that is required for the maintenance of the laws and the support of religion.

Prophecy

Book VII

3. They set no value on the oracles of the Pythian priestess, of the priests of Dodona, of Clarus, of Branchidae, of Jupiter Ammon, and of a multitude of others; although under their guidance we may say that colonies were sent forth, and the whole world peopled. But those sayings which were uttered or not uttered in Judea, after the manner of that country, as indeed they are still delivered among the people of Phoenicia and Palestine–these they look upon as marvellous sayings, and unchangeably true.

9. There are many who, although of no name, with the greatest facility and on the slightest occasion, whether within or without temples, assume the motions and gestures of inspired persons; while others do it in cities or among armies, for the purpose of attracting attention and exciting surprise. These are accustomed to say, each for himself, ‘I am God; I am the Son of God; or, I am the Divine Spirit; I have come because the world is perishing, and you, O men, are perishing for your iniquities. But I wish to save you, and you shall see me returning again with heavenly power. Blessed is he who now does me homage. On all the rest I will send down eternal fire, both on cities and on countries. And those who know not the punishments which await. them shall repent and grieve in vain; while those who are faithful to me I will preserve eternally.'” Then he goes on to say: “To these promises are added strange, fanatical, and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning: for so dark are they, as to have no meaning at all; but they give occasion to every fool or impostor to apply them to suit his own purposes.

12. Those who support the cause of Christ by a reference to the writings of the prophets can give no proper answer in regard to statements in them which attribute to God that which is wicked, shameful, or impure.

13. In their books God does the most shameless deeds, or suffers the most shameless sufferings.

For what better was it for God to eat the flesh of sheep, or to drink vinegar and gall, than to feed on filth?

14. But pray, if the prophets foretold that the great God–not to put it more harshly–would become a slave, or become sick or die; would there be therefore any necessity that God should die, or suffer sickness, or become a slave, simply because such things had been foretold? Must he die in order to prove his divinity? But the prophets never would utter predictions so wicked and impious. We need not therefore inquire whether a thing has been predicted or not, but whether the thing is honourable in itself, and worthy of God. In that which is evil and base, although it seemed that all men in the world had foretold it in a fit of madness, we must not believe. How then can the pious mind admit that those things which are said to have happened to him, could have happened to one who is God?

15. If these things were predicted of the Most High God, are we bound to believe them of God simply because they were predicted?

Although the prophets may have foretold truly such things of the Son of God, yet it is impossible for us to believe in those prophecies declaring that He would do or suffer such things.

18. Will they not besides make this reflection? If the prophets of the God of the Jews foretold that he who should come into the world would be the Son of this same God, how could he command them through Moses to gather wealth, to extend their dominion, to fill the earth, to put their enemies of every age to the sword, and to destroy them utterly, which indeed he himself did–as Moses says–threatening them, moreover, that if they did not obey his commands, he would treat them as his avowed enemies; whilst, on the other hand, his Son, the man of Nazareth, promulgated laws quite opposed to these, declaring that no one can come to the Father who loves power, or riches, or glory; that men ought not to be more careful in providing food than the ravens; that they were to be less concerned about their raiment than the lilies; that to him who has given them one blow, they should offer to receive another? Whether is it Moses or Jesus who teaches falsely? Did the Father, when he sent Jesus, forget the commands which he had given to Moses? Or did he change his mind, condemn his own laws, and send forth a messenger?

20. It was foretold to the Jews, that if they did not obey the law, they would be treated in the same way as they treated their enemies

Philosophical and Theological Criticisms

Book I

12. If they [the Christians] would be willing to answer my questions, which I do not put as one who is trying to understand their beliefs (for I know them all), all would be well. But if they will not consent but say, as they usually do, `Do not ask questions’, and so on, then it will be necessary to teach them the nature of the doctrines which they affirm, and the source from which they come.

14. There is an authoritative account from the very beginning, respecting which there is a constant agreement among all the most learned nations, and cities, and men.

21 Moses having learned the doctrine which is to be found existing among wise nations and eloquent men, obtained the reputation of divinity.

24. These herdsmen and shepherds concluded that there was but one God, named either the Highest, or Adonai, or the Heavenly, or Sabaoth, or called by some other of those names which they delight to give this world; and they knew nothing beyond that.

It makes no difference whether the God who is over all things be called by the name of Zeus, which is current among the Greeks, or by that, e.g., which is in use among the Indians or Egyptians”.

Book III

3. In the next place, miracles were performed in all countries, or at least in many of them, as Celsus himself admits, instancing the case of Aesculapius, who conferred benefits on many, and who foretold future events to entire citieswhich were dedicated to him, such as Tricca, and Epidaurus, and Cos, and Pergamus; and along with Aesculapius he mentionsAristeas of Proconnesus, and a certain Clazomenian, and Cleomedes of Astypalaea.

22 The Dioscuri, and Hercules, and Aesculapius, and Dionysus, who are believed by the Greeks to have become gods after being men, but Christians cannot bear to call such beings gods, because they were at first men, and yet they manifested many noble qualifies, which were displayed for the benefit of mankind, while they assert that Jesus was seen after His death by His own followers, as if they said that “He was seen indeed, but was only a shadow!

24. A great multitude both of Greeks and Barbarians acknowledge that they have frequently seen, and still see, no mere phantom, but Aesculapius himself, healing and doing good, and foretelling the future.

37 They will not endure his being compared with Apollo or Zeus.

39 Faith, having taken possession of our minds of Christians, makes them yield the assent which they give to the doctrine of Jesus.

42. Well, after he has laid aside these qualities, he will be a God: (and if so), why not rather Aesculapius, and Dionysus, and Hercules?

43 Christians ridicule those who worship Jupiter, because his tomb is pointed out in the island of Crete; and yet they worship him who rose from the tomb, although ignorant of the grounds on which the Cretans observe such a custom.

Book IV

52. Of such a nature do I know the work to be, entitled Controversy between one Papiscus and Jason, which is fitted to excite pity and hatred instead of laughter. It is not my purpose, however, to confute the statements contained in such works; for their fallacy is manifest to all, especially if any one will have the patience to read the books themselves. Rather do I wish to show that Nature teaches this, that God made nothing that is mortal, but that His works, whatever they are, are immortal, and theirs mortal. And the soul is the work of God, while the nature of the body is different. And in this respect there is no difference between the body of a bat, or of a worm, or of a frog, and that of a man; for the matter is the same, and their corruptible part is alike.

57. The multitude affirm at the present time that a snake should be formed out of a dead man, growing out of the marrow of the back, and that a bee should spring from an ox, and a wasp from a horse, and a beetle from an ass, and, generally, worms from the most of bodies of animals.

58. Irrational animals are more beloved by God than we, and have a purer knowledge of divinity.

60. A common nature pervades all the previously mentioned bodies, and one which goes and returns the same amid recurring changes.

It is one nature which goes and returns the same through all bodies amid recurring changes.

61. No product of matter is immortal.

On this point these remarks are sufficient; and if any one is capable of hearing and examining further, he will come to know (the truth).

62. There neither were formerly, nor are there now, nor will there be again, more or fewer evils in the world (than have always been). For the nature of all things is one and the same, and the generation of evils is always the same.

65. It is not easy, indeed, for one who is not a philosopher to ascertain the origin of evils, though it is sufficient for the multitude to say that they do not proceed from God, but cleave to matter, and have their abode among mortal things; while the course of mortal things being the same from beginning to end, the same things must always, agreeably to the appointed cycles, recur in the past, present, and future.

69. Neither have visible things been given to man (by God), but each individual thing comes into existence and perishes for the sake of the safety of the whole passing agreeably to the change, which I have already mentioned, from one thing to another.

There will neither be more nor less good and evil among mortals.

God does not need to amend His work afresh. But it is not as a man who has imperfectly designed some piece of workmanship, and executed it unskillfully, that God administers correction to the world, in purifying it by a flood or by a conflagration.

70. Although a thing may seem to you to be evil, it is by no means certain that it is so; for you do not know what is of advantage to yourself, or to another, or to the whole world.

73. Is it not ridiculous to suppose that, whereas a man, who became angry with the Jews, slew them all from the youth upwards, and burned their city (so powerless were they to resist him), the mighty God, as they say, being angry, and indignant, and uttering threats, should, (instead of punishing them,) send His own Son, who endured the sufferings which He did?

But that I may speak not of the Jews alone (for that is not my object), but of the whole of nature, as I promised, I will bring out more clearly what has been already stated.

74. He next, in many words, blames us for asserting that God made all things for the sake of man.

All things came into existence not more for the sake of man than of the irrational animals.

So in a far greater degree are Celsus and they who think with him guilty of impiety towards the God who makes provision for rational beings, in asserting that His arrangements are made in no greater degree for the sustenance of human beings than for that of plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns.

75. Thunders, and lightnings, and rains are not the works of God.

Even if one were to grant that these were the works of God, they are brought into existence not more for the support of us who are human beings, than for that of plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns.

Although you may say that these things, viz., plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns, grow for the use of men, why will you maintain that they grow for the use of men rather than for that of the most savage of irrational animals?

76. We indeed by labour and suffering earn a scanty and toilsome subsistence, while all things are produced for them without their sowing and ploughing.

77. But if you will quote the saying of Euripides, that ‘The Sun and Night are to mortals slaves,’ why should they be so in a greater degree to us than to ants and flies? For the night is created for them in order that they may rest, and the day that they may see and resume their work.

78. If one were to call us the lords of the animal creation because we hunt the other animals and live upon their flesh, we would say, Why were not we rather created on their account, since they hunt and devour us? Nay, we require nets and weapons, and the assistance of many persons, along with dogs, when engaged in the chase; while they are immediately and spontaneously provided by nature with weapons which easily bring us under their power.

79. With respect to your assertion, that God gave you the power to capture wild beasts, and to make your own use of them, we would say that, in all probability, before cities were built, and arts invented, and societies such as now exist were formed, and weapons and nets employed, men were generally caught and devoured by wild beasts, while wild beasts were very seldom captured by men.

The world was uncreated and incorruptible, and that it was only the things on earth which underwent deluges and conflagrations, and that all these things did not happen at the same time.”

80. In this way God rather subjected men to wild beasts.

81. If men appear to be superior to irrational animals on this account, that they have built cities, and make use of a political constitution, and forms of government, and sovereignties, this is to say nothing to the purpose, for ants and bees do the same. Bees, indeed, have a sovereign, who has followers and attendants; and there occur among them wars and victories, and slaughterings of the vanquished, and cities and suburbs, and a succession of labours, and judgments passed upon the idle and the wicked; for the drones are driven away and punished.

83. The ants set apart in a place by themselves those grains which sprout forth, that they may not swell into bud, but may continue throughout the year as their food,

84. When ants die, the survivors set apart a special place (for their interment), and that their ancestral sepulchres such a place is.

And when they [the ants] meet one another they enter into conversation, for which reason they never mistake their way; consequently they possess a full endowment of reason, and some common ideas on certain general subjects, and a voice by which they express themselves regarding accidental things.

85. Come now, if one were to look down from heaven upon earth, in what respect would our actions appear to differ from those of ants and bees?

86. In certain individuals among the irrational creation there exists the power of sorcery.

If, however, men entertain lofty notions because of their possessing the power of sorcery, yet even in that respect are serpents and eagles their superiors in wisdom; for they are acquainted with many prophylactics against persons and diseases, and also with the virtues of certain stones which help to preserve their young. If men, however, fall in with these, they think that they have gained a wonderful possession.

88. If, because man has been able to grasp the idea of God, he is deemed superior to the other animals, let those who hold this opinion know that this capacity will be claimed by many of the other animals; and with good reason: for what would any one maintain to be more divine than the power of foreknowing and predicting future events? Men accordingly acquire the art from the other animals, and especially from birds. And those who listen to the indications furnished by them, become possessed of the gift of prophecy. If, then, birds, and the other prophetic animals, which are enabled by the gift of God to foreknow events, instruct us by means of signs, so much the nearer do they seem to be to the society of God, and to be endowed with greater wisdom, and to be more beloved by Him. The more intelligent of men, moreover, say that the animals hold meetings which are more sacred than our assemblies, and that they know what is said at these meetings, and show that in reality they possess this knowledge, when, having previously stated that the birds have declared their intention of departing to some particular place, and of doing this thing or the other, the truth of their assertions is established by the departure of the birds to the place in question, and by their doing what was foretold. And no race of animals appears to be more observant of oaths than the elephants are, or to show greater devotion to divine things; and this, I presume, solely because they have some knowledge of God.

97. How impious, indeed, is the assertion of this man, who charges us with impiety, that not only are the irrational animals wiser than the human race, but that they are more beloved by God (than they)!

The assemblies of the irrational animals are more sacred than ours.

Intelligent men say that these animals hold assemblies which are more sacred than ours, and that they know what is spoken at them, and actually prove that they are not without such knowledge, when they mention beforehand that the birds have announced their intention of departing to a particular place, or of doing this thing or that, and then show that they have departed to the place in question, and have done the particular thing which was foretold.

99. All things, accordingly, were not made for man, any more than they were made for lions, or eagles, or dolphins, but that this world, as being God’s work, might be perfect and entire in all respects. For this reason all things have been adjusted, not with reference to each other, but with regard to their bearing upon the whole. And God takes care of the whole, and (His) providence will never forsake it; and it does not become worse; nor does God after a time bring it back to himself; nor is He angry on account of men any more than on account of apes or flies; nor does He threaten these beings, each one of which has received its appointed lot in its proper place.

Book VI

62. He has neither mouth nor voice.

God possesses nothing else of which we have any knowledge.

63. Neither did He make man His image; for God is not such an one, nor like any other species of (visible) being.

64. God partakes of form or colour nor does He even partake of “motion”.

He is not to be reached by word.

He cannot be expressed by name.

He has undergone no suffering that can be conveyed by words.

Deity is beyond all suffering.

66. How, then, shall I know God? and how shall I learn the way that leads to Him? And how will you show Him to me? Because now, indeed, you throw darkness before my eyes, and I see nothing distinctly.

Those whom one would lead forth out of darkness into the brightness of light, being unable to withstand its splendours, have their power of vision affected and injured, and so imagine that they are smitten with blindness.

68. Celsus asks us how we think we know God, and how we shall be saved by Him.

69. Celsus, however, asserts that the answer which we give is based upon a probable conjecture, admitting that he describes our answer in the following terms: Since God is great and difficult to see, He put His own Spirit into a body that resembled ours, and sent it down to us, that we might be enabled to hear Him and become acquainted with Him.

71. He imagines that we, in calling God a Spirit, differ in no respect in this particular from the Stoics among the Greeks, who maintain that “God is a Spirit, diffused through all things, and containing all things within Himself.”

72. As the Son of God, who existed in a human body, is a Spirit, this very Son of God would not be immortal.

He next becomes confused in his statements, as if there were some of us who did not admit that God is a Spirit, but maintain that only with regard to His Son, and he thinks that he can answer us by saying that there is no kind of spirit which lasts for ever.

He proceeds, in the next place, to assume what we do not maintain, that God must necessarily have given up the ghost; from which also it follows that Jesus could not have risen again with His body. For God would not have received back the spirit which He had surrendered after it had been stained by contact with the body.

73. Had He wished to send down His Spirit from Himself, what need was there to breathe it into the womb of a woman? For as one who knew already how to form men, He could also have fashioned a body for this person, without casting His own Spirit into so much pollution; and in this way He would not have been received with incredulity, if He had derived His existence immediately from above.

74. How could he, who was punished in such a manner, be shown to be God’s Son, unless these things had been predicted of him?

75. Since a divine Spirit inhabited the body (of Jesus), it must certainly have been different From that of other beings, in respect of grandeur, or beauty, or strength, or voice, or impressiveness, or persuasiveness. For it is impossible that He, to whom was imparted some divine quality beyond other beings, should not differ from others; whereas this person did not differ in any respect from another, but was, as they report, little, and ill-favoured, and ignoble.

77. Since a divine Spirit inhabited the body (of Jesus), it must certainly have been different from that of other beings in respect of grandeur, or voice, or strength, or impressiveness, or persuasiveness.

78. Again, if God, like Jupiter in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (of the earth)? He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world. Now the comic poet, to cause laughter in the theatre, wrote that Jupiter, after awakening, despatched Mercury to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians; but do not you think that you have made the Son of God more ridiculous in sending Him to the Jews?

81. Although knowing all things, He was not aware of this, that He was sending His Son amongst wicked men, who were both to be guilty of sin, and to inflict punishment upon Him.

Book VII

32. Our teaching on the subject of the resurrection is not, as Celsus imagines, derived from anything that we have heard on the doctrine of metempsychosis.

33. As Celsus supposes that we uphold the doctrine of the resurrection in order that we may see and know God, he thus follows out his notions on the subject: After they have been utterly refuted and vanquished, they still, as if regardless of all objections, come back again to the same question, ‘How then shall we see and know God? how shall we go to Him?’

35. Seeking God, then, in this way, we have no need to visit the oracles of Trophonius, of Amphiaraus, and of Mopsus, to which Celsus would send us, assuring us that we would there see the gods in human form, appearing to us with all distinctness, and without illusion.

The gods who are in human form do not show themselves for once, or at intervals, like him who has deceived men, but they are ever open to intercourse with those who desire it.

36. Again they will ask, ‘How can we know God, unless by the perception of the senses? for how otherwise than through the senses are we able to gain any knowledge?’ This is not the language of a man; it comes not from the soul, but from the flesh. Let them hearken to us, if such a spiritless and carnal race are able to do so: if, instead of exercising the senses, you look upwards with the soul; if, turning away the eye of the body, you open the eye of the mind thus and thus only will you be able to see God. And if you seek one to be your guide along this way, you must shun all deceivers and jugglers, who will introduce you to phantoms. Otherwise you will be acting the most ridiculous part, if, whilst you pronounce imprecatious upon those others that are recognised as gods, treating them as idols, you yet do homage to a more wretched idol than any of these, which indeed is not even an idol or a phantom, but a dead man, and you seek a father like to him.

42. You perceive, then, how divine men seek after the way of truth, and how well Plato knew that it was impossible for all men to walk in it. But as wise men have found it for the express purpose of being able to convey to us some notion of Him who is the first, the unspeakable Being,–a notion, namely; which may represent Him to us through the medium of other objects,–they endeavour either by synthesis, which is the combining of various qualities, or by analysis, which is the separation and setting aside of some qualities, or finally by analogy;–in these ways, I say, they endeavour to set before us that which it is impossible to express in words. I should therefore be surprised if you could follow in that course, since you are so completely wedded to the flesh as to be incapable of seeing ought but what is impure.

45. Things are either intelligible, which we call substance–being; or visible, which we call becoming: with the former is truth; from the latter arises error. Truth is the object of knowledge; truth and error form opinion. Intelligible objects are known by the reason, visible objects by the eyes; the action of the reason is called intelligent perception, that of the eyes vision. As, then, among visible things the sun is neither the eye nor vision, but that which enables the eye to see, and renders vision possible, and in consequence of it visible things are seen, all sensible things exist and itself is rendered visible; so among things intelligible, that which is neither reason, nor intelligent perception, nor knowledge, is yet the cause which enables the reason to know, which renders intelligent perception possible; and in consequence of it knowledge arises, all things intelligible, truth itself and substance have their existence; and itself, which is above all these things, becomes in some ineffable way intelligible. These things are offered to the consideration of the intelligent; and if even you can understand any of them, it is well. And if you think that a Divine Spirit has descended from God to announce divine things to men, it is doubtless this same Spirit that reveals these truths, and it was under the same influence that men of old made known many important truths. But if you cannot comprehend these things, then keep silence; do not expose your own ignorance, and do not accuse of blindness those who see, or of lameness those who run, while you yourselves are utterly lamed and mutilated in mind, and lead a merely animal life–the life of the body, which is the dead part of our nature.

58. They have also a precept to this effect, that we ought not to avenge ourselves on one who injures us, or, as he expresses it, ‘Whosoever shall strike thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.’ This is an ancient saying, which had been admirably expressed long before, and which they have only reported in a coarser way. For Plato introduces Socrates conversing with Crito as follows: ‘Must we never do injustice to any?’ ‘Certainly not.’ ‘And since we must never do injustice, must we not return injustice for an injustice that has been done to us, as most people think?’ ‘It seems to me that we should not.’ ‘But tell me, Crito, may we do evil to any one or not?’ ‘Certainly not, O Socrates.’ ‘Well, is it just, as is commonly said, for one who has suffered wrong to do wrong in return, or is it unjust?’ ‘It is unjust. Yes; for to do harm to a man is the same as to do him injustice.’ ‘You speak truly. We must then not do injustice in return for injustice, nor must we do evil to any one, whatever evil we may have suffered from him.’ Thus Plato speaks; and he adds, ‘Consider, then, whether you are at one with me, and whether, starting from this principle, we may not come to the conclusion .that it is never right to do injustice, even in return for an injustice which has been received; or whether, on the other hand, you differ from me, and do not admit the principle from which we started. That has always been my opinion, and is so still. Such are the sentiments of Plato, and indeed they were held by divine men before his time. But let this suffice as one example of the way in which this and other truths have been borrowed and corrupted. Any one who wishes can easily by searching find more of them.

Compiled by Niall Mc Closkey from volume 4 of The ante-Nicene fathers : translations of the writings of the fathers down to A.D. 325, the Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., and James Donaldson, LL.D., editors; American reprint of the Edinburgh edition, revised and chronologically arranged, with brief prefaces and occasional notes, by A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D. Buffalo, Christian Literature Pub. Co., 1886-87

原载于http://duke.usask.ca/~niallm/252/Celstop.htm#philosophical(已离线)

公元四世纪,古罗马诞生了第一位基督教皇帝君士坦丁,在他的庇护下,基督教由屡受迫害的异教变成了正统国教。当徒手的耶稣战胜了持剑的凯撒之后,基督教逐渐征服了西方人的精神,对西方文明的发展做出了诸多贡献。

一、驯化野蛮人的基督教

从人性进化的角度讲,特别是在精神及其伦理层面上,基督教在古希腊的理性精神之外,提供了统一的持久的超验信仰,对天堂的期待安抚着地上的苦难,信徒的良知反抗著世俗权力的蛮横,并通过圣徒的殉道和忏悔为人们提供道德典范(比如,耶稣殉难之后,又有圣彼得和圣保罗的殉教,圣.奥古斯丁的忏悔)。这信仰,这典范,提升著西方人的精神世界,也作为在道德上凝聚社会的纽带连接起世世代代的伦理传承。由基督教和古希腊形而上学的结合而形成的超验伦理,在西方文明中具有超越世俗功利的绝对价值,并逐渐演变为普遍有效的公德标准。来自上天的超自然的恩惠和制裁,许给为善者入天堂的万世至福,降给作恶者下地狱的永生惩罚,又通过忏悔的途径给人以赎罪和自新的机会。上帝之子耶稣用甘愿上十字架的代价,背负起人的“原罪”,以绝对的非暴力对抗暴力,以绝对的爱与宽恕降恩于所有罪人。生而有罪的人类,唯有终生向上帝祈祷和忏悔,在行为上不断行善积德,才能在无限的赎罪之路上接近天国。正是这种恩罚并重、忏悔赎罪和良知反抗的超验伦理,逐渐把凶悍的野蛮人和贪婪的惟利是图之徒,驯化为平和、节制和反省的文明人,也就是把本能人提升为具有信仰的理性人。

从历史进程的角度讲,基督教兴盛于大一统的罗马帝国开始走向衰败之时。北方蛮族的入侵、内部的暴虐统治、腐败奢侈、权争阴谋和底层反抗,已经失去道德方向的罗马帝国,强大的武力只能带来更大的灾难。幸运的在于,罗马帝国在武力上败给了蛮族,基督教却在精神上驯服了野蛮人,使之逐渐变成文明人。古罗马帝国的统一传统与北方蛮族的分离势力发生武力冲突,在世俗意义上,促成了罗马帝国的衰亡和民族国家的纷纷独立,但在属灵意义上,教权之下的信仰及教会的统一,等于在另类意义上延续著昔日的罗马帝国统一。正如英国历史上最伟大的政治领袖温斯顿.邱吉尔所言:“罗马帝国灭亡以后,获胜的野蛮人也同样被基督的福音迷住了。虽然他们并不比今天的善男信女更能克制自己的邪欲,但是他们有共同的教义和神灵的启示。一条联接着欧洲各个民族。一个世界性机构遍布所有国家,它无比强大,而且是罗马时代幸存下来的惟一成为系统的机构。这一机构的首脑是罗马的主教,他在精神上或者至少以教职的形式,恢复了罗马皇帝已经丧失的权威。”(《英语民族史》第一卷《不列颠的诞生》,温斯顿.邱吉尔著,薛力敏林林译,南方出版社2003年版P83)

正是凭借著圣徒的榜样激励、教会的超然权威、教义的普世正义、教士之布道安慰、仪式之庄严魅力、信徒之坚定虔诚……才培育出互助、慈善、克制、苦行等社会公德。僧侣们的开荒拓土,教堂和修道院对弱势者的庇护、对穷人的赈济、收养鲧寡孤独、安顿迷途旅客,教会医院救死扶伤,特别是救助那些被遗弃的罪犯和传染病人……等等,宗教场所不仅成为施善育德和救死扶伤之地,也成为维护世界和平的源泉,交战双方不得进入宗教场所,已经成为世界通则。

二、改变社会结构的基督教

从社会发展的角度讲,基督教对西方社会的发展具有三大功能。

1,教会成为凝聚社会大家庭的组织纽带和自治权威,也成为秩序与和平之源。不仅是罗马教廷提供了西方属灵世界的统一权威,而且各地方教会也成为社区自治的组织核心。这种以教会为组织核心而形成的秩序,对结束无政府的混乱状态来说,具有着远比世俗政府更强大的功能。怪不得有人戏称:“梵蒂冈的世界性权威就是宗教领域的‘联合国总部’。”但与现在的联合国相比,梵蒂冈的统一权威具有悠久的传统,而联合国的权威仅仅是二战后的产物,所以,梵蒂冈对世界各地的天主教会的权威之有效,远非纽约联合国总部对各成员国的权威所能比拟。梵蒂冈训令对全世界的教徒具有强大的约束力,而联合国决议却难以真正约束各主权国家的行为。

2,基督教信仰,逐渐凝聚起整个西方教徒的信仰共识,从而形成了相对于世俗权力及其利益的超验良知,随着教会的普及和日渐扩张,这种独立于世俗王权之外的道德的或精神的普遍共识,逐渐变成了高度组织化的宗教权威,在世俗政权本身无法形成对最高权力的内部制度化制约的情况下,基督教作为社会性的精神权威,发挥着从外部制约世俗王权的作用。由此,基督教改变了西方社会的整体结构,即在世俗政府的权威之外,造就了另一个独立的属灵权威,构成了两种权威、两套法律、两种责任的并存。神权的确立及其教会财产的合法化,在使西方人的宗教信仰由多神教变成一神教的同时,也使古希腊遗留下来的一元社会随之退出历史舞台,西方社会的权力结构逐渐由一元变成二元,神权与王权、教会与政府、僧侣与俗人、宗教法与世俗法……的并存,构成了古罗马社会结构的二元化:一是僧俗并存并日趋走向政教分离,二是自上而下的封建和自下而上的自治并存。正是在两种不相上下的社会力量及其制度的相互对抗中,西方社会才能逐渐形成两种统治力量相互制约的权威均衡,为西方制度向自由宪政的演变提供了成熟的社会条件。

3,为西方法治秩序的形成提供超验基础。在基督教成为古罗马的国教之后,不仅教会法在技术上为世俗法提供了可资效仿的对象,而且对来自超验正义的教会法为法治秩序的超验基础,于是,西方人逐渐形成了这样的法治思想:法律如若要形成稳定的普遍的规则,首先,法律来上帝的意志,乃善法而非恶法,《摩西五经》是法律的原型;而法律如果仅仅来自恺撒,就很容易变成主要服务于统治者意志的恶法。其次,法律只有被信仰,才会被尊重、被自愿服从,整个社会才能具有以遵纪守法为荣的公共意愿。否则的话,法律要么变成“恶法”,只服务于统治者的意志;要么形同虚设、被法律之外的潜规则代替。

三、培育西方人文精神的基督教

从人文精神的特质和文化发展的角度讲,基督教为西方文化提供了精神、制度和物质的伟大贡献。

1,基督教的教义及其神学思想,对西方的人文学具有全面而深刻的影响。教义提供普世道义,拉丁文提供统一文字,自耶稣殉难以来的西方,没有基督教背景的一流精神产品,几乎是不可想像的。无论是神学、哲学、文学,还是绘画、音乐、建筑,只要是人文和艺术的创造,无一不打上鲜明的基督教印迹。不要说神权时代的人文精神被基督教信仰所左右,即便是在理性化世俗化的近、现代西方,基督精神也为人文创造提供深层的滋养,文艺复兴运动、启蒙运动和非理性主义运动之中诞生的文化巨人们,尽管以复兴古希腊的理性精神来对抗神权主宰的中世纪,但是从但丁的《神曲》到意大利三杰的绘画,从莎士比亚的戏剧到歌德的《浮士德》再到贝多芬等人的交响曲,从康德的绝对律令到尼采的超人,人们都能看到基督受难的形象和听到天国的钟声。可以说,基督教已经渗入了西方文化的血肉之中。特别是那种指向绝对价值的超越精神,已经成为西方文化的最醒目的标志。

2,基督教教会和神职人员在保存古代文化遗产方面贡献卓著,不仅是与基督教传承直接相关的古典遗产,还有大量异教和异端的文献资料。经院神学家对古典哲学做出的独特性解释,对古典精神的传承具有承前启后的意义。教会开办的神学院为西方高等教育体制奠基,是西方的近、现代的大学及其研究制度的母体。教会、修道院和神学院训练出大量的教师、学者、法官、外交官和内阁大臣。教会的慈善事业也包括资助艺术创作,西方的音乐、绘画和建筑所达到的艺术高度,没有教会所提供的精神资源和物质支持,也是难以想像的。

近、现代以来,借助于强大的经济、先进的技术和优越的制度,基督教的信仰征服已经从西方向非西方国家扩展,而且一直持续到当代世界。基督教及资本主义文明具有强烈的扩张性,先后造就了罗马帝国、大英帝国和二战后的美利坚新帝国,并由武力的征服和占领的殖民扩张演变为资本的扩张和福音的扩张(道义扩张),基督教为西方文明的扩张意识注入了“传播上帝福音”的道义动力,其世俗化进程表现为经济上的自由市场的全球化和政治上的自由民主的全球化。在“资本”为了利润而进行的无远弗界的扩张中,虔诚而富于献身精神的传教士,也不惜历尽千难万险地传播福音,甚至于只要有人的地方就有西方传教士的足迹。

进入20世纪之后,人类历史富於戏剧性的发展证明:自发形成于特定地区的基督教、市场经济和自由宪政,之所以具有难以抗拒的扩张性,就在于它们具有其他文明所缺乏的与人性的内在契合性——善待人性、确立人的尊严、鼓励自由竞争、确保和平秩序和激发人的首创精神。所以,西方文明逐渐显露出其普世性品质,被越来越多的其他地区和其他文明所接受,甚至演变成难以抗拒的历史大势,顺治者昌而逆之者亡。

然而,基督教对西方的伟大贡献并不能掩饰其制造的灾难。在基督教主宰西方精神的漫长历史上,教会犯下的最大罪恶便是迫害异教和异端。这样的迫害史,从公元4世纪初一直延续到20世纪后期。

四、初为国教时期的迫害异端

非常讽刺的是,基督教由异教变成正统之后,也变成了制造并迫害其他异端的信仰独裁者。从此,作为国教的基督教忘记了自己作为异教徒被迫害的伤疤,开始了在权力的支撑下的漫长的迫害异教徒的过程。君士坦丁大帝在把基督教定为国教之后,就开始迫害其他宗教信仰和基督教内部的异端。他就针对异教颁布严格的禁令:禁止在新首都敬拜任何偶像,禁止任何异教的集会并焚毁其会堂。四世纪的最后20年,狂热的基督徒在罗马各城市里不断地制造骚乱,摧毁异教的古老神庙,清除所有偶像和异教徒,禁止异教的祭祀和仪式。异教派别主要源自古希腊的精神遗产,如,新柏拉图派、斯多葛派、犬儒派和密斯拉教派(Mithraism),其中尤以新柏拉图派和斯多葛派的影响最大,并通过圣.奥古斯丁的神学而融入基督教之中。

虽然,在基督教的扩张中,由于战功赫赫并喜欢希腊哲学的朱利安皇帝(Julianus 公元332 – 363)信奉异教,导致了基督教正统地位的暂时动摇,但这位皇帝被一个基督徒刺死之后,无数基督徒公开庆祝这位异教皇帝死去,基督教也随之再次控制了政府,大规模的迫害异教运动再次展开。4世纪末期,罗马城中还矗立著700多座异教庙宇,但是,从公元380年开始,在信奉“尼西亚信条”的正统派格雷先皇帝(Gratian)的大迫害下,异教遭到了严重摧毁,驱赶异教的神职人员、拆毁异教的庙宇和僧院并没收其土地。最过分的是,罗马历史上最伟大的皇帝奥古斯都(屋大维)建立在元老院中的胜利女神像,也作为异教象征物而被拆除。要知道,这座雕像建于公元前29年,至此已经有四百多年的历史,曾经有十二代元老在此像前宣誓效忠帝国及其皇帝。

公元393年,意大利的异教徒们冒险发动革命,这也是他们反抗宗教迫害的最后一次努力,但以失败告终。394年,东罗马帝国的皇帝西奥多西一世(Theodosian I)率军进入罗马城,强迫元老院下令废止所有异教信仰。及至5世纪中叶,罗马城市中的异教徒已经所剩无几,但基督徒却越来越多,遍及整个帝国。

同时,基督教从被立为罗马国教之日起,基督教内部的派别之争就从未停止过,正统对异端的迫害也从未中止过。

君士坦丁大帝在尼西亚公会议上确立了“三位一体”的正统之后,也开始对基督教内的异端进行迫害,他下令:凡是不符合正统教条的主张全是异端,异端的书籍一经发现必须焚毁,私藏者将被处死。而且,基督教内部的派别之争,还演变为血腥的暴乱。从325年的尼西亚公会议开始,正统的三位一体教义与不承认三位一体的阿莱亚斯派(Arius)之间的争论一直持续。君士坦丁死后,在亚历山大城和君士坦丁堡等城市,两派之间的暴力冲突持续了长达一年时间(公元342 – 343),双方共有3000多基督徒丧生。

之后,基督教教会的最为重要、也最为繁琐的任务之一,便是尽力阻止异端邪说的繁衍,迫害异端也就成为贯穿于正统基督教史的组成部分。罗马教廷决不会容忍对正统教义的任何挑战,极端敌视基督信仰上的个人主义的宗教自由。在教廷眼中,异端教派的罪恶是双重的:既分裂教会的同一性,也有分裂国家的潜在危险。特别是在政教合一的统治时期,由国家支持的正统教派就特别反对由民族主义支持的异端教派。确实,在很多情况下,异端思想来自某一试图脱离帝国统治的“叛乱地区”,异端思想是叛乱者们的道义旗帜。比如,否定基督的人神二性的“基督一性说教派”(Monophysites),就极力鼓动叙利亚和埃及脱离君士坦丁堡;“道纳杜斯派”(由迦太基主教道纳杜斯创立)鼓动非洲脱离罗马;在罗马受到压制的阿莱亚斯派却在蛮族中赢得了众多信徒。

公元4 – 5世纪,由于蛮族入侵,异端教派也纷纷出现,决不下于几十派,举其大者就有:阿莱亚斯派、犹诺米乌斯派(Eunomians)、马其顿派(Macedonians)、萨伯流派(Sabellians)、诺瓦千派(Novatians)、普里西连派(Priscilliasts)、还有最著名的摩尼教(Manicheism)。各教派反对正统教派的斗争,其深层动力是争取地方教会独立于罗马教会的自治权力。所以,所有这些教派都遭遇过数位罗马皇帝的残酷镇压,特别是对摩尼教的镇压最为凶狠。公元385年,一位西班牙主教被指控为摩尼教徒,并与数位同伴一起被烧死。对其他异端派别,他们的领袖大都被逐出教堂,信徒被没收财产。然而,由于西罗马帝国的日渐衰落,罗马教会也无力控制各地的、特别是东方的教会,东西罗马帝国的分裂,也使基督教陷于了事实上的分裂状态。受迫害的异端派对正统派的怨恨之深,甚至达到了有你无我的程度,以至于,当阿拉伯人在公元7世纪征服埃及和近东之时,这些地区的一半以上的人将入侵者视为解放者,期望阿拉伯人让他们在宗教上、政治上和经济上得以摆脱拜占庭的残酷统治。

基督教的正统地位,开始改变西方人的时空观念,时间和空间同时被基督教化了。在时间上,主耶稣一生中的核心事件——圣诞节、复活节和星期日(主日)——成为记年的标志。比如,长期以来关于基督诞生日的争论,在公元354年也有了最终的结论,包括罗马教会在内的西方教会,一致把基督诞辰确定为12月25日,也就是现在通行于全世界的“圣诞节”。

在空间上,以纪念基督教的殉道者为核心的建筑矗立起来,指向天国的高耸尖顶与世俗的皇宫和民宅的低矮形成鲜明的对比。以殉道者的名字命名的大教堂逐渐占据了西方各大城市的中心,遍布城乡各地的教堂也自然成为社区生活的中心。东罗马帝国的首都拜占庭(“新罗马”)就是基督之城的最好象征。建都二百年后,它已经成为世界上最富有、最美丽和最文明的城市,享誉基督教世界千年之久。在公元5世纪时,这座基督之城就以金壁辉煌的皇宫和华丽巍峨的教堂而著称于世,据记载,已经有了5处皇宫、6处宫女宫殿,3处贵族宫,4388座大厦,322条街道,52个柱廊,1000多家店舖,100多处游乐场所、豪华澡堂和壮观的广场……有人将之称为世界古典艺术的博物馆。最著名的当数君士坦丁会堂、圣索非亚大教堂、三面临海的皇宫和奥古斯塔广场。

在时间和空间的基督教化的背后,是西方的社会秩序的基督教化。这一过程经历了两个阶段,第一阶段从君士坦丁时代到公元6世纪末,大致经历了近300年时间。这是作为国教的基督教向所有异教宣战的时代,也是皇权对基督教具有支配权的时期。在清除异教影响的过程中,核心的问题是身份甄别:“什么样的人才算基督徒?”圣.奥古斯丁等教父的神学,不仅对此做了系统的回答,而且对各异端派进行了系统的驳斥。公元533年公布的《查士丁尼法典》,也把信奉“三位一体”作为基督教正统,并以法律的形式确立了罗马教会的领导地位:所有基督教团体皆要服从罗马教会的权威,为各大都会的各主教、各修道院院长以及其他神职人员都要服从教皇,为神职人权的行为立下规矩,禁止神职人员赌博、看戏和看竞技等。当然,异端派也必然成为该法典的禁止对像:首先是财产上的惩罚,比如,道纳杜斯派、一性论者和其他反国教派别,统统没收其财产,判处其无买卖能力,没有继承权和遗赠权,更无资格向正统基督徒借债。其次是参与公共事务的限制,异端派不得集会,不准担任公职。最后是肉体灭绝,特别是对摩尼教徒和再次信奉异端者,统统处死。由于正统基督教对各异端的迫害,必须借助于皇权的支持,所以,教会也就自然听命于皇权。《查士丁尼法典》规定了皇帝对教会的统治权。就这样,基督教正统教父们的神学与基督教皇帝制定的《查士丁尼法典》相结合,奠定了以基督教为道义正当性的法治秩序。

第二阶段开始于6世纪末的“大格利高里时代”(Gregory the Great,在位590 – 604),结束于11世纪,经历了大约400年的时间。这是拜占庭东方被伊斯兰化的时代,也是西方逐渐皈依基督教的时代,即已经普及之后的基督教建立自身的标准和秩序的时期,核心问题是如何提升基督教的地位和品质:“具有怎样的生活方式和行为举止才算一个好基督徒?”这是一个秩序建立和完善的阶段。在此阶段,殉道先知的行迹和著名教父的教诲不再具有主宰作用,教会制度和主教布道成为建立秩序的主角,他们制定了一套基督徒应该遵守的道德准则,也制定了辨别何为“异教徒”的标准,有权威裁定基督徒生活中的是非善恶、高尚和低俗,逐渐形成了有别于世俗国家秩序的属灵王国秩序。这种秩序,其内在权威是靠罗马教廷及其颁布的一系列通谕建立起来的,进而形成了教会法和宗教法庭;其外在权威是靠对异端的文攻武吓及其迫害建立起来的,所以才有中世纪的几次十字军东征和大规模迫害异端运动。

五、迫害异端的制度化时期

如果说,1096年,教皇乌尔班二世发动第一次十字军东征是对外地的讨伐异教,那么,1215年,教皇英诺森三世主持召开的具有里程碑意义的世界性基督教公会议,就是对内的镇压异端。

那是一个充满战乱、经济变革和社会动荡的时代,随着战争和商业而来的东西方交流的不断扩展和加深,各类不同于正统基督教的思想观念也蜂拥而至,从而导致了各种异端的兴起。而当时占据正统地位和达到权力顶峰的罗马教廷,既是战争狂又是吸血鬼,既垄断教权又垄断财富,既炫耀主教的权杖又挥霍腐败。这个企图独霸人类精神世界权力的教会,已经由单纯的信仰团体变成了利益集团。在经济上,一方面是日益加重的苛捐杂税,对各地教会和普通信徒进行敲骨吸髓的诈取,另一方面是买卖神职、出卖赎罪券、聚敛和挥霍财富的腐败,罗马城里的主教在拉特兰宫(Lateran)的生活,其排场堪比皇帝及其王公大臣们。所谓“教皇的税吏甚至比国王的军队更恐怖”的民间谚语,正是底层对教廷的强烈不满的表达。

于是,上帝的代理人已经变成双重的独裁者:精神的压迫者和财富的掠夺者,异端思想也就成为底层反权贵反教权的有利工具。所以,最令教廷恐惧的反对力量,不是来自其他异教,而是来自基督教内部的异端,教廷根本不可能对各类异端做出宽容性的接纳,而只能愚蠢地做出防御性的镇压反应。

可以说,异端大都是穷人的信仰,诸如“卡塔尔派”(Cathar)、“韦尔多派”(或称“里昂穷人派”)、以及魔法、巫术等。这些异端,与其说是反对基督教,不如说是“反对天主教会”。首先,他们诉诸于《圣经》的原始教义和圣.奥古斯丁的神学,反对罗马教廷对一切宗教活动和属灵道德的垄断权力,拒绝崇拜教士和正教的权威,而要求纯洁基督教的信仰,通过严格的戒律来成就基督教的“完人”——精神至善。其次,他们反对教会及其神职人员的聚敛财富和腐化堕落,反对苛捐杂税和奴隶制,而追求信仰上、经济上、人身上的平等。再次,异端也是边缘对中心的反叛,比如,异端“卡塔尔派”和“韦尔多派”都来源于自治权力日渐强大的法国,二者在法国也都受到支持和鼓励。

可以说,在反教廷垄断和反教会腐败的意义上,中世纪的异端运动正是16世纪的新教运动的先驱,新教运动不过是此前的一系列异端运动的继承者:被迫害的异端“……为以后约翰.胡斯的改革派异端铺平了道路,被十六世纪新教辩护士所采纳,成为宗教改革的先驱。”(《宗教裁判所——异端之锤》,爱德华.伯曼著,何开松译,辽宁教育出版社P9)两者的不同只在于:先驱者失败了,继承者成功了。而历史的悲哀就在于,先驱者是悲剧人物,他们必定失败并付出生命的代价,而继承者是正剧人物,他们必定胜利并赢得权威。因为,无数先驱者所付代价的持续累积,终将达到某一临界点,继承者又恰好幸运地把握住了这一临界点。

教廷自然要为维持自己的垄断地位而向异端宣战。距君士坦丁主持的全教会性宗教会议八百九十年之后的1215年,教皇英诺森三世主持召开了另一次具有里程碑意义的世界性基督教公会议,会议发布的第三条教规就特别强调对异端的镇压。到1227年,教皇格利高里九世执掌罗马教廷之后,开启了镇压异端的制度化:发布“绝罚赦令”,设立宗教裁判所,发行“宗教法庭指南”,建立书籍审查制度,审讯时的体罚制度,惩罚法规(包括耻辱标志、没收财产、监禁、火刑处死等)之后,英诺森四世在1252年5月15日发布了迫害异端最恐怖的教皇通谕《论彻底根除异端》:把根除异端作为国家的首要任务,要求世俗权力完全听命于宗教裁判所。这项教皇通谕使意大利变成了名副其实的警察国家。天主教会的首席神学家圣.托马斯.阿奎那也写出了权威性的《驳异教徒大全》。

十字军东征成为最血腥的信仰之战,宗教法庭成为最臭名昭著的迫害异端之地,留下了遗臭万年的《女巫之锤》,这本经过教皇英诺森八世钦定的通谕,为腥风血雨的迫害异端开启了大门。据记载,在意大利,宗教裁判所处死过至少一万五千人;在西班牙,宗教裁判所处死过三万二千人;在法国,宗教裁判所的审判官尼古拉.雷米是个迫害狂,据说他在一天之内就烧死过被判为女巫的八百名妇女。更荒唐的是,许多迷信魔法的高阶神职人员却热衷于巫术审判,比如,1316年当选教皇的约翰二十二世,一面沉溺于各类魔法,不惜用自己的动产和不动产作抵押,来换取具有魔力的器皿,一面又疯狂地迫害术士,连续发布四份训谕,发动了史无前例地迫害异教徒运动。

无数的异教徒和女巫的鲜血淤积起来,阻塞了多元化的精神通道,窒息着人类的精神创造力。直到新时代黎明之际,宗教法庭还烧死过布鲁诺,判决过伽利略;在16、17、18三个世纪里,还陷于巫术审判的极端狂热之中。据西方史家估计,在这种狂热中被迫害致死的人数,高达二十万到一百万之间,而且大多数是女人。也就是说,中世纪被称为“黑暗时代”,宗教不宽容及其迫害异端,便是这“黑暗”的最醒目标记。

六、从宽容到迫害的新教时期

尽管,在罗马教廷的严厉而持续的迫害下,大多数异端教派没有成气候,但经历过基督教内部的两次大分化,异端思想还是对天主教正统取得了胜利,“东正教”和“新教”就是异端胜利的标志。前者是土耳其入主拜占庭帝国的产物,后者是16世纪的西方宗教改革的产物。

特别是在宗教改革运动中崛起的新教,无论是路德派还是加尔文派,也都经历了由提倡宗教宽容到回归宗教迫害的过程。即便以提倡宗教宽容著称的马丁.路德,在路德派取得了牢固地位之后,也逐渐放弃了宽容而转向迫害。

路德的不宽容

在宗教改革之初,马丁.路德公开呼吁宽容犹太人、异教徒和基督教异端,而反对天主教“烧死异端者”的行为,称其是“违反神意”。他以教徒的个人良知取代了教会权威对信仰解释权的垄断,在宗教内部开启了“个人主义”的滥觞。他主张“每个人皆为教士”,个人有权按照自己的理解来解释《圣经》,每个信徒都具有不经由教会权威的钦定而直接仰望上帝的信仰权利。他在《论世俗权威》一文中表达了宗教宽容观念:“由于信与不信,全系个人良知之事……世俗权威应满足于料理其自身之事,而准许人们,依照他们的能力和志愿,信这,或信那,而不用外力强迫任何人。……当人们全凭力量而不凭神的话语反抗它们的时候,信仰和异端决不如此的强烈。”“我们既不能也不该强迫任何人信教。” 路德谴责对用言词表达信仰者处以极刑的残忍,他还写信给非特列选候,请求其宽恕起义领袖闵采尔和其他敌人。他反对用暴力等强制手段来维护福音真理,说出了最著名的宽容箴言:“征服异端,不当用火而当用书。”特别值得一提的是,当时的路德还专门呼吁对犹太人采取宽容态度,他说:“由于这群傻瓜,这些教皇、主教、辩士和修士这些粗鲁的笨驴,像他们那样对待犹太人,每个基督徒恐怕都宁可当犹太人了。真的,如果我是犹太人,看到这些笨瓜白痴那样解释基督教教义,我宁可变成猪而不当基督徒……我呼吁每一个人应善待犹太人,……”(参见:《世界文明史.宗教改革》P567 – 569)

然而,当路德开创的新教得到了德国候王们的支持和广大教徒的信奉之后,他开始像他曾经反对过的历任天主教教皇一样,变成惟我独尊的信仰霸主。他在1522年公开宣称:“我不允许任何人批判我的主张,即使是天使。凡是不接受我的主张者就不能得救。”这样的口气,其霸道甚至超过了教皇们。路德还在《圣经.申命记》第13章找到了迫害异端的神圣戒律:“你不可顾惜他,你不可庇护他”;即便他是“你的同胞兄弟,或你的儿女,或是你怀中的妻子……你必定要杀他,你要首先下手,将其置于死地。”就这样,路德假借上帝的命令之手把异端置于死地。早在13世纪,教廷就以此为根据大肆迫害异端。1515年,路德也求助于官方的检查制度,毁掉再洗礼派和茨温利派的“邪恶教条”。1530年,他建议政府把煽动暴乱和反私有财产的所有异教徒、所有宣扬基督是人而不是神的异端……统统处以极刑。

其他新教的大小领袖和新教国家,也在得到权力之后回归天主教的先例,模仿了天主教迫害异端的所有措施:没收财产、关闭教堂、书籍审查、开除教籍、驱逐出境、逮捕监禁、处死。新教中的极端者甚至主张新教国家对信仰邪教者必要斩草除根,对其子女也像牲畜一样一并摧毁。1537年1月18日,奥格斯堡市议会颁布一项针对天主教的命令:禁止天主教徒的礼拜,限该市的所有天主教徒在八天内改信新教,不服从者将被放逐,并派军队没收所有的教堂和修道院的财产;祭坛和塑像被迁移,修士和修女被驱逐出境。之后,对天主教的禁令扩展到所有被新教控制的国家和地区,许多城市颁布过类似奥格斯堡市的法令。

对于犹太人,当路德发现宽容态度也无法让犹太人改信基督教时,他便露出狰狞的不宽容面目,他把犹太人与罗马教皇归为一丘之貉,斥之为“不敬神的坏蛋。”咒骂犹太民族是“一个僵颈、不信神、骄傲、邪恶、可厌的民族”,他公开号召把犹太人的学校和教会付之一炬:“让任何人把硫磺和松脂尽量掷向他们,假如有人在他们身上投掷地狱之火,那就更妙了……把他们的房舍也给粉碎和摧毁。……把他们的书籍和《犹太法典》,还有他们的《圣经》夺下;禁止他们的教师在死亡的痛苦上,从此不再教导。封锁一切的街道和大路以阻其通行。禁止他们放高利贷,把他们所有的金银财宝夺下并贮进保险箱。如果这还不够,将他们像疯狗一样地驱逐出境。”在路德看来,只有对异教徒采取这种赶尽杀绝的手段,基督徒才能荣耀我们的主和基督,上帝才会“发现我们是真正的基督徒。”(P371)

加尔文的迫害异端

新教的另一领袖加尔文的不宽容举世皆知,著名作家茨维格的名著《异端的权利》,详尽记述和评价了加尔文对异端的野蛮迫害。

加尔文在新教中的崇高地位奠基于他的神学著作《基督教原理》。在路德用德文翻译《圣经》之后,《基督教原理》便成为宗教改革的最重要实绩。它是宗教改革时期第一部系统的阐释福音教义的神学著作,并被奉为新教的指导教义和经典著作。西方史家认为,路德发动了宗教改革,加尔文以《基督教原理》完成了宗教革命。

因提倡新教而受过天主教迫害的加尔文,最初同样是迫害异端的坚决反对者,他不仅从人道主义出发反对迫害:“把异端处死是罪恶的,用火和剑结束他们的生命是反对人道的所有原则的。”他也基于基督教教义来反对迫害:“使用武器对付被教会逐出的人,并否认他们拥有全人类共同的权利是反基督教义的。”然而,一旦他被奉为精神教主和掌握权力之后,他对待异端的态度便由捍卫异端的权利变成必欲把异端置于死地。

当他从流亡地被请回瑞士、出任最高决策机构长老会的会长之后,权力机构不仅变成了加尔文实行信仰独裁的强制工具,也让他本身的道德狂妄姿态迅速显露,他自视为瑞士共和国的精神征服者,开始把极权野心加诸于一个自由共和国,旨在将共和国改造成神权独裁的国家。他为日内瓦市行政会提供了“新教十戒”,要求市政会强迫自由市民逐个宣誓,公开接受他的新教义,而拒绝宣誓者将被驱逐。他迫害每一个反对他的宗教信条的人,教徒也好,自由民也罢,一旦拒绝向加尔文法令宣誓效忠,或在理论上向加尔文的教义提出异议,就会被加尔文视为敌人,不仅要被逐出日内瓦,而且可能被置于死地。

然而,日内瓦是个共和城市,居民早已习惯了自由生活,很难容忍加尔文的独裁统治和清教徒戒律,教徒和市民起而反对加尔文独裁,拒绝向加尔文法令宣誓效忠,反对像对待“扒手”一样对待他们。而靠新教信仰掌权的加尔文必须靠权力维护信仰的独尊,权力一旦加入信仰之争,必将把恐怖统治强加于论战对手。加尔文公开宣称:日内瓦已经变成腐败不堪之城,只有厉行严格的统治才能扭转颓风,需要绞死1800个青年,道德和教规才能在这建立起来。他做出如此严厉而残酷的宣示的理由,很有点“宁可错杀一千,也决不放过一个罪人”的滥杀,他说:为了维护信仰的纯洁(实质上是维护他的教义的不容挑战),宁愿无罪者受到折磨,也不愿让一个罪人逃脱上帝的审判。就这样,在加尔文统治日内瓦的前五年里,就有10人被斩首13人被绞死,35人被烧死,76人被驱逐。还有更多的人慑于恐怖而逃跑。正如法国著名作家巴尔扎克所言:“加尔文的宗教恐怖统治比法国革命最坏的血洗还要可憎。”

在被迫害者之中,有两个人需要特别予以说明,一个是西班牙医生和神学家米圭尔.塞维特斯。此人把对基督教教义的改革作为他终生的追求,具有大胆质疑和刨根问底的执著精神和为寻找真理而不畏强权的坚韧品德。最初,塞维特斯把加尔文作为信得过的神学家和老朋友,并把自己尚未出版的《基督教的恢复》一书的校样送给了加尔文,希望得到这位宗教改革的领袖给予指导和支持。在这部还未公开出版的著作中,他对《圣经》进行了更大胆的解释,并想纠正加尔文的《基督教原理》。然而,这本书却激怒新教领袖加尔文,使这位新教领袖露出世俗小人的卑劣品质:加尔文没有公开回应他的朋友,而是利用背后告密的诡计,而且是向新教的死敌罗马天主教宗教法庭告密,企图假敌人之手将一位信奉基督的老朋友逮捕并送上断头台。如果加尔文的阴谋得逞,就可以达到一箭双雕的目的:既消灭了对自己的教条提出质疑的辩论对手,又把不宽容的罪行栽赃给死敌天主教。然而,天主教法庭并没有上加尔文的当:决不能为了取悦于日内瓦的异端领袖而杀害另一个普通的异端分子。所以,天主教以其人之道还治其人之身,故意制造犯人越狱而使塞维特斯逃脱,然后把塞维特斯的模拟像和他的五大箱《基督教的恢复》在维也那市场焚烧。

然而,坚韧的塞维特斯居然向加尔文做出了更富有冒险性的挑战,他在流亡了四个月后来到了日内瓦,直奔加尔文经常布道的那座教堂。巧合的是,加尔文此刻正在教堂并一眼就认出了这位挑战者,于是,塞维特斯刚离开教堂就被捕了。面对被套上枷锁的塞维特斯,加尔文再也无法掩饰自己的仇恨,他立刻撕掉了昔日的伪善面具,像不宽容的天主教法庭一样,对塞维特斯进行宗教审判。塞维特斯被捕的两个月后,即1553年10月27日,米圭尔.塞维特斯被绑赴查佩尔广场执行火刑。刑前,塞维特斯匍匐在地,用膝盖爬行,仅仅请求减少死亡时的痛苦,希望用先砍头、再火烧的处决方式。因为他担心,自己可能忍受不了火烧的身体痛苦而背叛自己的终生信念。加尔文的追随者却想趁机要挟塞维特斯放弃信念:如果你承认加尔文的教义是惟一正确的教条,并放弃反对三位一体的异端,我们就可以让得到较为宽大的处决方式。然而,这样的要挟却激发出塞维特斯的坚强,他以轻蔑的口吻拒绝了这一建议,毅然走上火刑柱。

就这样,一位虔诚的基督教徒及其著作一起化为灰烬。但他的殉难精神却没有随之绝迹,反而为后人留下的警示:不宽容的异端迫害必须中止,宽容的宗教自由必须建立。

另一位遭受加尔文迫害的著名人士是法国人塞巴斯蒂安.卡斯特利奥。这位精通拉丁文、希腊文、希伯莱文和德语的博学之士,还懂得音乐,写作诗歌和散文,被当时的自由主义神学家们称为“最有学问的人”和“百科全书之称”的人。他热衷于社会问题的思考且富有人道主义情怀,当他在里昂第一次看到宗教法庭烧死异端者,宗教法庭的残酷和异端者的殉难勇气,从正反两方面震撼着他的心灵。正是这种震撼,促使他投身于席卷欧洲的宗教改革运动,为捍卫新教教义和反对天主教教廷而斗争。

最初,卡斯特利奥和塞维特斯一样,也把加尔文当成宗教改革的领袖和福音派教义的代表,谦卑而虔诚地向加尔文学习,主动前往斯特拉斯堡向加尔文求教。这次见面,加尔文对他颇有好感和极为赏识,加尔文重返日内瓦之后,卡斯特利奥被聘为日内瓦神学院院长。他的教学获得巨大成功,他编写的小册子《难题解答入门》声名卓著,即便在他死后的几世纪里,仍然不断再版,据统计,至少出了四十七版。

作为一位虔诚的教徒和智慧卓越的学者,他为自己确定了更高的目标,即在对宗教改革及其新教教义的阐释上要超越路德等先驱者。为此,他计划把全部《圣经》翻译成拉丁文和法文。然而,他万万没有想到,如此虔敬的事业却遭到自己的早期偶像加尔文的阻拦。在当时的日内瓦,加尔文是精神事务的最高裁决者,拥有至高无上的独裁权力。神学教义的邪正需要他来裁决,宗教著作的出版也必须得到他的许可。

经过自身的努力,卡斯特利奥也很快成为了著名神学家,他对加尔文的再次拜访,本应该是两位卓越的新教神学家之间的的平等对话,起码应该是两位同行之间的切磋。然而,加尔文那种惟我独尊的狂妄姿态及其拥有的独裁权力,把本来无心挑战加尔文权威的卡斯特利奥硬是逼成挑战者。与加尔文的狂妄相比,卡斯特利奥就显得谦卑有加,他不仅从来不会自我宣称为“惟一正确”,而且他坦承《圣经》是一部晦涩难解、充满矛盾的经典,自己也并不完全了解《圣经》的所有章节,自己的新译本所能提供的不过是无数种解释之一,而不是确定无疑的宗教真理。所以,他特别提醒读者不要对他的新译本过于相信。但是,知识上的谦卑并不等于道德上的懦弱,恰恰相反,希望与加尔文进行平等交流的卡斯特利奥,具有个人独立的强烈愿望,也有捍卫个人尊严的坚定决心,于是,在具有许可权的加尔文与不承认这种许可权的卡斯特利奥之间,必然产生冲突。

新教运动与天主教会的冲突在文化上表现形式之一,就是各民族语言向拉丁文的一统权威的挑战。在天主教会看来,已有的拉丁文《圣经》就是最权威的文本,而路德却在拉丁文本之外把《圣经》翻译成德文。同样,加尔文也曾与卡斯特利奥合作,共同把《圣经》翻译成法文,卡斯特利奥并还未这个合作译本作了序。但他并不认为这就是惟一钦定的法文译本,他还要出版自己单独完成的新译本。于是,加尔文利用他的许可权提出了一个蛮横的先决条件:必须由他先读新的译本并对不合适的部分作出修改之后,新译本才会得到出版许可。

作为一名具有虔诚信仰而又勤于探索的思想者,卡斯特利奥在思维天赋、语言才能和学问功底等方面,一点也不逊于自视甚高的加尔文。何况,在瑞士这样的共和国里,思想自由乃天经地义。无论是学者还是神学家,彼此之间可以有知识上的差异和观点上的分歧,但在人格尊严上和表达权利上应该是平等的。所以,他无法忍受根据独裁者的意志来“加工”和“提高”自己的著作,更无法接受加尔文的蛮横要求及其书刊检查制度。但加尔文毕竟是声名卓著的新教领袖,卡斯特利奥也由衷地尊敬加尔文,所以,他不想把两人的关系弄僵,而是希望找出一种既维护了自己的尊严而又不至于不得罪加尔文的办法来化解尴尬。于是,卡斯特利奥提出:他愿意在加尔文方便的时候为其朗读自己的原稿,以便倾听加尔文的建议或忠告。然而,自视为绝对权威的加尔文,以为自己对他人的任何发言都是必须遵守的命令,而不是要与对方进行交流或协商的建议。所以,加尔文毫无商量地回绝了卡斯特利奥的建议并开始了迫害。

1543年12月15日,鉴于卡斯特利奥的神学成就和影响力,日内瓦市政会一致通过了任命他为新教传教士的决议。但加尔文坚决反对这一任命,反对的理由仅仅是卡斯特利奥卡斯翻译的法文《圣经》有两段不同于加尔文的翻译,而且是完全无关教义宏旨的细微末节上的差异。

在当时的欧洲,日内瓦毕竟还是自由城市,对于两人的分歧,市政会并没有做出偏袒某方的裁决,而是让双方通过公开辩论来解决。令人惊讶的是,一向狂妄的加尔文并没有公开反对这个要求,而且在辩论会上也没有被卡斯特利奥的挑战所激怒。加尔文也是个精明的现实主义者,他知道自己的地位有赖于日内瓦市政会,也知道因迫害米圭尔.塞维特斯而损伤了自己的形象,所以,维护自身的权威形象最好办法,就是在公开辩论中以理智的平静来应对激烈的挑战。他的策略是先让对手在辩论会上出丑,然后再进行“后发制人”的迫害。是的,狡猾的加尔文做到了:在辩论会上,他深藏起对卡斯特利奥的仇恨和市政会的不满,而表现出罕见的克制。

果然,辩论会后,加尔文也没有在理论上回应卡斯特利奥的挑战,而是立刻在行动上做出回应,从法律上对卡斯特利奥的提出控告,。他的狡猾还在于,他不是向宗教法庭而是向世俗法庭市政会提出控告:“卡斯特利奥破坏牧师的威望”。加尔文之所以这样做是基于两方面的精明算计:首先,他在此前已经把异端者塞维特斯送上宗教法庭并处以火刑,他不愿再用可能对他的形象造成更大伤害的同一种迫害手段;其次,通过世俗法庭的审判,可以使神学分歧变成政见冲突,把思想争论变成司法性或行政性的裁决。

然而,市政会对加尔文的指控并不热心,仅仅作出了带有平衡性质的裁决:除了暂行中止对卡斯特利奥的任命提名之外,对卡斯特利奥本人并未给予严厉的处罚。即便如此,卡斯特利奥也意识到:只要加尔文在日内瓦,他便不会有真正的自由。所以,他主动请求市政会解除了他的神学院院长职务并离开了日内瓦。回到巴塞尔后,卡斯特利奥放弃享乐消遣和名誉财富,以清教徒精神继续著《圣经》的翻译事业,以表明自己的言论权利的不可侵犯和自由意志的不可摧毁。

已经迫使卡斯特利奥离开日内瓦的加尔文并没有罢手,因为他知道自己的对手的实力,无论卡斯特利奥生活在何处,只要他仍然投身于神学事业和公开放言,就是对加尔文谋求的思想独裁的威胁。所以,加尔文再次重演残酷的“肉体灭绝”的迫害之道——想办法烧死卡斯特利奥。但意志坚强的卡斯特利奥决不等死,他接连发表《论异端》、《答加尔文书》和《悲痛地向法兰西忠告》来挑战加尔文的迫害。卡斯特利奥也并非毫无智慧的莽汉,而是善于斗争的睿智之士,他用过去反迫害的加尔文来反对现在实施迫害的加尔文。他在文中引述当年加尔文在受迫害时写下的反迫害文字:处死异端是罪恶的——既有违人道又亵渎教义。这种“以其人之道还治其人之身”的办法,把加尔文逼入极为尴尬的境地,其恼怒是不难想像的。

卡斯特利奥认为:加尔文宣称判定“异端”的标准来自《圣经》惟一的法律文件,但在《圣经》里却找不到“异端”这个词。在宗教事务上,不可能只有一种对《圣经》的解释是绝对真理,基督教内部对《圣经》的解释历来存在着诸多差异,不要说天主教和新教之间的差异,即便在新教内部也有路德派和加尔文派之间的不同。难道只要有差异就变成异端了吗?天主教指控加尔文派教徒是异端,加尔文派指控再洗礼派教徒是异端,甚至法国的信徒到了瑞士就变成了异端,在日内瓦北作为异端烧死的罪犯,却在邻国被视为烈士。卡斯特利奥一针见血地指出“异端”的实质就是迫害异见:“当我思考什么是真正的异端时,我只能发现一个标准:我们在那些和我们观点不同的人们的眼里都是异端。”所以,“这一称号在今天已变得如此荒谬,如此可怖,具有如此耻辱的气氛,以致于如果有人要去掉他的一个私仇,最容易的方法就是控告这人是异端。一旦其他人听到这可怕的名字,他们就吓得魂飞魄散,掩耳不迭,就会盲目地不仅对被说成是异端的,而且对那些胆敢为他讲一句好话的人进行攻击。”

卡斯特利奥的《论异端》,自然要激怒加尔文,他无法容忍卡斯特利奥对迫害异端的批判,更无法容忍竟有人敢于公开谈论他对塞维特斯的处决。所以,他立刻写信告诫瑞士各宗教会议禁止《论异端》,不允许讨论异端问题。在他看来,新的异端已经出现,如果不迅速加以剿灭,就可能燃成“地狱之火”。他迅速写出了自我辩护的《保卫三位一体的真正信仰反对塞维特斯可怕的错误》的宣言,并让日内瓦所有教士签名,但双手沾血的他毕竟心虚,在宣言中把烧死塞维特斯的责任推给行政当局,并为日内瓦市政会灭绝异端的行为辩护,宣称“有权消灭那个魔鬼”。

卡斯特利奥看到加尔文的强词夺理的宣言之后,也迅速给出了回应,这就是16世纪西方的最为著名的反宗教迫害的起诉书《答加尔文书》。卡斯特利奥控告加尔文的信仰专断:以宗教名义把塞维特斯送上断头台。他不与加尔文讨论塞维特斯的宗教观点,而只对加尔文提出蓄意谋杀塞维特斯的指控。塞维特斯仅仅因为自己的言论而被烧死,尽管加尔文把火刑的直接责任推给了行政当局,但背后的操纵者正是加尔文。他还指出,烧死塞维特斯凸现了加尔文的独断、暴戾和野蛮,已经在欧洲、特别是在法国和意大利引发出诸多抗议。

此前,加尔文为了回应这些抗议写过《保卫》一文。对此,《答加尔文书》指出:加尔文指控塞维特斯“独立地武断地”解释《圣经》,但在事实上,对《圣经》做出独立的解释,在宗教改革运动中并非塞维特斯一人,恰恰相反,宗教改革运动恰恰发端于路德对《圣经》的独立解释,这一运动的发展也依赖于越来越的对《圣经》独立解释,加尔文的教条也是这众多的独立解释之一。“百家争鸣”才是宗教改革运动的最大特色。如果除了加尔文的解释之外的其他解释都被视为异端,进而被判处火刑之罪,那么,宗教改革运动就失去了它的真正意义。也就是说,宗教改革不同于中世纪的最大意义在于:宗教真理不是天主教教廷钦定的,也不是唯一的,而是有分歧的和可争论的,任何个人和任何派别都不能自奉为“唯一正确”和“永远不会错”,没有资格宣称“只有我们知道真理,和我们不同的所有意见都是错的。”加尔文之所以把不同于他的观点视为“异端”,绝非因为他握有唯一真理,而是因为他独裁。所以,他就像历史上的所有独裁者一样,独断地要求所有人都按照塔一个人的标准来思想来行动,而把其他不同思想统统作为“敌人”来加以禁止和迫害。卡斯特利奥质问加尔文:当我们共同参与一场有关信仰的辩论时,你为什么要求所有的论战对手沉默呢?事实上,你的独断蛮横恰恰证明了你的虚弱和恐惧:非常害怕自由的争论使你丧失独裁者的地位。

由此可见,加尔文以保卫上帝为名而“把一个人活活烧死”,绝非保卫一个教义而仅仅是保卫独裁权力。所以,烧死异见者的加尔文就犯有三重罪:第一,加尔文没有任何理由封杀对《圣经》的不同解释,封杀就是思想独裁之罪;第二,即便异见者的观点有错误,他们也有说出错误观点的权利;在封杀令之下,即便他们坚持说出自己的观点“不是在坚持真理”,却是在捍卫“思想的权利和说话的权利”。而加尔文因为他们坚持说出其观点就迫害他们,是犯了压制自由权利的反人道罪。第三,不论以任何借口,任何人和任何组织都无权杀死一个坚持己见的异见者,而加尔文却以“保卫信仰”的借口烧死异见者,就是犯下了最严重的谋杀罪。人死而不能复生,即便以后冤狱被平反,死者的名誉被恢复,但再多的补偿也不能弥补不了被谋杀的生命。所以,卡斯特利奥对处死异见者坚决说“不”,因为,最根本的是保护现在还活着的人。

迫于加尔文的权力,《答加尔文书》被禁止出版,只能以手抄本在民间流传,直到近一个世纪之后才得以出版。所以,这篇正中加尔文要害的反迫害檄文并未发挥应有的影响。但卡斯特利奥的威望和影响却与日俱增,甚至开始动摇加尔文在日内瓦的独裁地位。也正因为如此,在卡斯特利奥退出论战、回归学术之后,必欲置异见者于死地的加尔文也决不会罢手。他支持这次甚至不再用学术争论来伪装之间,而是抛开《圣经》阐释,也不再关心是非真伪,一心要尽快在肉体上消灭他的对手。他先伪造匿名文章,进行栽赃陷害,但这些小人手段一一失败。于是,他采取了更为赤裸的挨户搜查的迫害手段,果然在搜查中发现了一本未经加尔文许可而出版的《悲痛地向法兰西忠告》,这本小册子又恰好是卡斯特利奥的新作。

在这本小册子中,卡斯特利奥再次呼吁:熄灭教会内部的愤怒和仇恨,回归到通过理性讨论来解决争端的和平方式。因为,地球上所有的邪恶都源于“违心的迫使”。首先,在道德上,强迫一个人去信仰他所不信的教义,强迫一个人公开声明接受一种他所反对的信仰,是不变的虚伪;其次,在智慧上,强制入伙只能招来一些懦夫和伪君子,是极端的愚蠢;在法律上,对拒绝强迫而坚持己见的人治罪,是不合法的犯罪。所以,与其要用迫害异端的名义强迫别人改信,还不如既不强迫这部分人,让新教徒成为新教徒;也不强迫那部分人,让天主教徒继续作天主教徒。新教和天主教应该和解,起码应该允许人们自愿地信或不信,自愿地加入或退出某一教派;允许对《圣经》的不同解释,保证各种解释的和平而平等的发言权,进而达成一种自由争鸣的社会气氛。卡斯特利奥呼吁:“法兰西,我对您的忠告是,停止强制、迫害和杀害良心吧,代之以每一个信仰基督的人自行其是”。

独裁而狂妄的加尔文根本听不进卡斯特利奥的忠告,在他的操纵下,对卡斯特利奥的双重迫害同时展开:一方面是改革教会在宗教大会上通过决议:“特通告卡斯特利奥所著一本名为《悲痛地向法兰西忠告》的书业已出版,此书危险绝顶,兹警告教徒们对此书警惕勿懈。”另一方面把卡斯特利奥告上法庭并要求予以逮捕。但加尔文在日内瓦之外的影响力毕竟有限,巴塞尔大学出面庇护了卡斯特利奥,巴塞尔行政当局没有听命于加尔文。

然而,曾是卡斯特利奥的密友的两名亡命巴塞尔的异教徒,一位是《论异端》的合作者,另一位曾将《三十次对话》译为拉丁文出版。审判两位异教徒的案子必然牵涉到卡斯特利奥,当地的巴塞尔大学和行政当局再也无法给予庇护。正当卡斯特利奥即将遭到被捕、流放、甚至被烧死的命运之时,病魔之手先于加尔文的迫害之手,于1563年12月29日夺去卡斯特利奥的年仅48岁的生命。在当时的严酷环境下,卡斯特利奥死于疾病与可能遭到人为迫害及其火刑相比,似乎已经算是上天给予的眷顾了,正如他的朋友们所说:“靠上帝赐助,把他侥幸地从敌人的魔爪下夺了回来。”

卡斯特利奥死了。但他反对异端迫害的事迹和精神、连同他的虔诚、宽容、坚韧、才华和著述却永彪史册。他不仅反对用教条压制异见,反对用法律压制言论,更反对用独裁权力压制良心自由。卡斯特利奥与加尔文的斗争,起码留给后人如下珍贵的遗产:

——没有任何一个教义和真理,仅仅因为自我吹捧和狂热布道而变得更正确更真实,更无法通过强制和迫害而使某一教义或哲学变得正确更真实。

——无论借助于什么样的理由——上帝、国家、民族、信仰、真理——即便是极为神圣的理由,也无权因思想分歧而迫害异见,仅仅因为某人表达了自己的信念,并在威逼利诱之下仍然坚持说真话,即便是和平表达的错误观念,也不足以构成遭受迫害的理由。

——谁也无权剥夺任何人的思想、信仰、言论的自由,更不能剥夺人的生命。自由比任何真理都珍贵,生命比任何教条都神圣。

——信仰和真理,可以传播,可以说服,却不能强加;任何个人、组织、团体和政权,甚至可以靠互相吹捧来传播某种教义、信仰和观念,但决不能靠用禁书、监狱、火刑来传播自己的信仰。正如卡斯特利奥所言:不能用暴力来捍卫自己的信仰,更不能用暴力来证明我们的强大。

七、走向宗教自由和宗教和解的朝圣之旅

尽管,迫害异端及其宗教裁判所在19世纪开始衰落,但直到1860年代,罗马教廷仍然颁布针对异教和异端的《邪教汇编》,教皇庇护九世仍然想召开一次世界性的大公会议,意在恢复教廷的宗教及其世俗的权力,恢复“教皇永无谬误”的信仰教条。“它成为这些人抵挡自由主义在天主教中传播的一个共同的盾牌。”(阿克顿语,见《自由与权力》P234)甚至直到20世纪的二战前后,禁书和宗教裁判所仍然存在。比如,天主教廷还1945年和1948年两次再版《禁书目录》,涉及到英语、法语、意大利语、拉丁语、德语、希腊语、阿拉伯语、希伯莱语、西班牙语、荷兰语的各类著作,被禁书籍:法国692部,意大利655部,包括等;德国(含奥地利和波西米亚的作者)483部,英国143部,西班牙109部,还有另外24个国籍的书籍和未署名的书籍552部。其中包括许多世界知名的作家和思想家,作家如:大小仲马、左拉、福楼拜、斯汤达、蒙田、乔治.桑、笛福等,思想家如:康德、笛卡尔、洛克、休漠、斯宾诺沙、伯格森、卢梭、伏尔泰、狄德罗、孔德、霍布士、莫尔、米勒、布鲁诺、吉本、伊拉斯莫等。(参见:《宗教裁判所——异端之锤》)

这种延绵数世纪的宗教迫害,直到20世纪60年代才正视宣告结束,梵蒂冈于1965年颁布的《宗教自由宣言》,标志着罗马教廷走向真正的宗教宽容。该宣言明确宣布:放弃“持谬见的人无任何权利”的不宽容传统。自此以后,罗马教廷也开始致力于在世界范围内传播宗教自由,及至新旧世纪之交,罗马教皇不但公开承认宗教法庭审判异端和伽利略是错误的,为伽利略平反,而且向曾经遭受过罗马教廷迫害的所有异教徒道歉,以此来为中世纪教会的迫害异端赎罪。

2001年2月25日,已经79岁高龄并患有帕金森症等多种疾病的罗马教皇约翰.保罗二世,开始了前往中东的朝圣之旅,旨在推动种族仇恨和战火频燃的是非之地的宗教和解。他访问了伊斯兰教徒占全国人口的90%的埃及,呼吁以和解的对话代替宗教仇恨,代表20亿天主教徒与伊斯兰最大的教派逊尼派领袖进行了对话。5月初,教皇保罗二世又一次前往三大宗教的发源地耶路撒冷,作朝圣之旅。

众所周知,耶路撒冷也许是世界上最有争议和最血腥之地,为争夺它的圣战至今仍然硝烟弥漫。最早诞生于此地的犹太教的命运最为悲惨,遭受了基督教和伊斯兰的长期迫害,圣殿多次被烧毁又多次重建,整个民族差点付出种族灭绝的代价,直到二战后才重返家园和重新建国,彻底结束了漂泊四方的浪迹生涯。但是,历史遗留的以色列与阿拉伯世界的冲突之解决,似乎还遥遥无期。

同时,基督教世界与伊斯兰世界的冲突,从伊斯兰教诞生起就一直延续到今天。中古时期,基督教发动了四次十字军东征,直接起因就是公元1070年土耳其占领了耶路撒冷。之后又经历了罗马帝国的衰落和奥斯曼帝国的兴起。现在,虽然大多数阿拉伯国家,由于内部的政治、经济的纷争而已经与西方修好,但是利比亚操纵的洛克比空难,伊朗制造的人质危机,伊拉克挑起的海湾战争,以及美国对以色列的支持,使阿拉伯的某些国家仍然以圣战为号召,对抗以美国为首的基督教世界。

保罗二世教皇是遵循《圣经》的箴言来到苦难之地的:“你们要记念被捆绑的人,好像与他们同受捆绑;也要记念遭苦害的人,想到自己也在肉身之内。”他记念苦难中的人们,不是来挑起争端的,而是以宽容、和解、忏悔和爱的精神来弥合裂痕的。他的朝圣之行的中心议题是中东和平、宗教和解与圣城使用等问题,他分别会晤了约旦国王、巴以双方的领导人,参观一座大屠杀纪念馆,并前往一个巴勒斯坦难民营。他还讨论怎样改善汇集在耶路撒冷的犹太教、基督教和伊斯兰教之间的关系。在叙利亚,他发表了真诚忏悔与呼吁和解的演说,他主持了在大马士革举行的露天弥撒,呼吁基督徒和穆斯林相互谅解、相互尊重与和平共处;他前往伊斯兰的倭马亚清真寺,在圣徒施洗约翰墓前祷告,与当地穆斯林领袖见面并共同宣读一份祷文。他不仅成为首位踏足清真寺的教皇,而且完成了历史上第一次天主教领袖和穆斯林领袖在一起祷告;最后,他前往戈兰高地祈祷和平,拥抱一位叙利亚少女:化恐惧为信任、藐视为尊重、仇恨为互爱、武力对抗为协商对话。

令人感动的还有,约翰.保罗二世还访问了希腊。因为在历史上天主教与东正教之间的恩怨最深,所以教皇旨在促成宗教和解的访问就更有意义。在希腊,教皇与当地的东正教领袖大主教克里斯托杜洛发表联合声明,谴责所有以宗教之名而进行的暴力、强迫改变信仰和极端狂热主义。教皇忏悔了历史上天主教对异教徒的不宽容和迫害,表示对穆斯林的深深歉意。他特别指出:在中古时期基督教分裂不久后,天主教发动十字军东征,洗劫了当时东正教中心君士坦丁堡(今天的伊斯坦布尔),为天主教所犯的历史罪过请求对方的宽恕。

教皇以谦卑的自省与宽容的姿态,在播散和解的种子与爱的福音的同时,也没有忘记对殉难圣徒的追记。他为历史上的殉教者封圣,既是表达着对殉教者的尊敬和纪念,也是表示对以信仰的名义施加的迫害和仇杀的反省,更是对世俗政权压制信仰自由的抗议。

这位老人、这位教皇的姿态,是为了使十字架不再成为受难和仇恨的标志,而仅仅成为对上帝之爱的信仰的永恒象征。他的和解姿态,就是对圣地的最虔诚朝拜,对上帝之爱最好的践行。

但愿老人的虔诚之爱,能感动仍然陷于宗教及民族的纷争之中的世界。

1999年8月写于大连劳动教养院
2004年11月改于北京家中
——民主中国 (12/31/2004 17:25)
来源:新世纪 www.ncn.org 转载请

* 谨以这篇文章献给每一位真心爱猫的人士,认识一段令人悲痛的血腥史。

前言

今天,可爱的猫儿已成为了很多家庭的得意宠物,其敏捷的身躯、清雅的叫声、时而傲气时而可怜的性格,相信大家也绝不会陌生。 可是大家却万万想不到,这位可人的家庭宠儿,却曾经有一段长达数百年的被残杀史,而凶手更是满口“仁义道德”(抱歉,笔者用此四字实在美化了此教,其仁义道德其实只是自身圈子里的自我感觉良好)的基督教!而这场长达数百年的基督教残杀猫史,亦成全了中世纪时的黑死病杀死了当时三分一的欧洲总人口。基督徒们,你们配养猫吗?

家猫的兴起

古埃及的文明源于尼罗河流域一带,世代文明的延续都是靠着古埃及昌盛的农业耕种,人民生活无不受到农业收成所影响。然而农业的收成,除了受到天气的左右,另一个最大的杀手莫过于是老鼠的为患。当人类知道猫原来是老鼠的天敌时,原本不被重视的野猫却反过来成为了人们不可多得的恩物。 因此,家家户户的埃及家庭便开始多了一名新成员--家猫!

古埃及奉猫为神圣之物

古埃及不但视猫为重要的家庭成员,更视其为灭鼠的专员,是农作物和幼发拉底河和底格里斯河旁谷仓的优质管理员。 因为猫的无比重要性,古埃及人逐渐把猫神化了起来。今天,当我们翻看古埃及的神话故事时,总不难看到猫在其中的重要位置。以下列举几例:

  • 太阳神拉在尼罗河旁边创造出人类之后,在夜间的时候出动了一只外形酷似猫的阿匹卜 (Agep) 来对抗邪恶之蛇。猫被描绘成正义之师去向邪恶对决。
  • 猫被看作为埃及女神贝斯特的化身,这位女神有着掌管女性生育的能力。每年春季,古埃及都会举行一场盛大朝圣活动,吸引数十万人一同歌颂女神贝斯特。其重要之处,不言而喻。
  • 埃及人常以木头/金属来配制猫形的护身符,并安放身边或挂在身上。

基督教残杀猫只之数百年血腥历史

中世纪末期,当基督教的势力掌控欧洲大陆之时,猫的神圣崇拜迅速变成历史,而且立即变成强烈的对立,猫被基督教视为非基督教神灵的象征(如上文所说,猫是古埃及的神明,是基督教的异邦神),是撒旦的写照,是邪魔的化身。在今天我们所看到的卡通或电影,常被大众描绘为邪恶女巫的身边,总有一只黑猫或自己可变成一只黑猫.然后在黑夜中从事各种的邪恶邪魔活动。不管是人是猫,不管两者的关系为何,女巫与猫都是撒旦的写照,都是邪魔的化身,必须受到审判及残杀!

约在十四世纪开始,罗马的教皇就不断的强调猫是与恶魔联系在一起的“非基督教的邪恶动物”,亦因为如此,猫正式开始了被基督徒残杀的时期,为时长达数百年之久,基督教徒把可爱猫儿推向走投无路之景:

  • 每逢盛大的节日里,基督徒都会以各种的方式把猫残杀至死,以示成功杀掉“撒旦/魔鬼”,而增加自身对神的使命感,及为盛大节日增添欢悦,亦表示对其所相信的神一种高度的尊敬。例如:基督徒会把猫从教堂的塔顶上扔下去,把猫活活的摔死;把猫掉到火坑或火堆中,将其活活烧死;把猫活活鞭策至死,以示对“撒旦/魔鬼”的憎恨及厌恶;泡一大碗水,然后把猫放入碗中将其活活溺毙至死;
  • 基督徒用各式的尖利硬物割开猫的喉管,然后在所割开的喉管位置塞进铁器,使其呼吸道感受到无比的辛苦,再硬把舌头挤出来然后割掉,最后将其再吊起让猫辛苦地慢慢死去;
  • 如基督徒夜里外出,巧遇一种小猫,他会用尽各种的残忍手法把这种猫杀害掉,若留活口或使用的方式不够残酷,则是对基督教神明不尊重和不崇敬;
  • 基督徒把残杀过后的猫尸体堆砌在建筑物的墙边,用作阻止其它邪魔入侵,以恶攻恶,以邪攻邪;
  • 把残杀过后的猫,取其余下有用的器官,用作制备药物。

欧洲黑死病的罪魁祸首之一

相信大家对欧洲中世纪时的黑死病也不会过于陌生,它是人类史上最严重的瘟疫之一,这场瘟疫造成了全世界约 7500 万人死亡的惊人数字,在黑死病于欧洲的爆发时期,当时约三分之一的欧洲人口总数也是死于黑死病!

聪明的读者们,文章看到这里,相信也会发现中世纪时基督教于欧洲对猫的残杀及与同样是中世纪时发生的欧洲黑死病之间的千丝万缕关系。基督教对猫的残杀足足维持数百年,使得猫只在欧洲几乎绝迹。 当老鼠没有了猫这个天敌后,两者的生物链便会断裂,老鼠便能借此大好时机于欧洲大肆横行。鼠疫的滋生及快速的蔓延,造就了黑死病由来的至佳条件--这亦是当今科学及考古学界解释黑死病来源的著名鼠疫理论。

结语

今天,可爱的猫儿已再次成为了众多家庭的一分子,是人类的得意宠物。笔者不知道今天有多少基督徒也养著猫,但我很想问问各位养著猫的基督徒们,你们配养猫吗?贵教对猫的残杀史实在让人毛骨悚然,贵教亦因对猫残杀而造成了黑死病的肆虐,杀死了当时三分之一的欧洲总人口。今天你选择了相信此宗教,当然贵宗教亦绝不会告讯你这个骇人的真相,但笔者在此真切的希望你张大双眼看看你身边可爱的小猫,然后再看看贵教的可怕的残杀历史及于今一切埋没真相的谎言。你们配不配养猫,请自行评审!

理智再临者笔
(10 / 09 / 2012)

参考书目:

  • [德] 雷纳.科特文;[德] 莱纳.茨格、弗兰克.克里门特图,高建中译,《神秘的猫》,武汉:湖北教育出版社,2009/8。
  • Cohn, Samuel K, The Black DeathTransformed: Disease and Culture in Early Renaissance Europe, London: A Hodder Arnold, 2003.
  • 戴特勒夫.布鲁姆,张志成译,《猫的足迹》,台北:左岸文化出版社,2006。
  • [德] 瓦尔特.克莱默,《生活中最常见的谬误--嗨!都在胡说些什么》,青岛:青岛出版社,2008。

引言

每四年一度的奥林匹克运动会,是一场举世欢腾的世界性体育盛事,世界各国顶尖运动员选手齐齐聚首一堂。透过各类型的公平运动比赛,运动员不但能向世界施展其苦练多载的非凡身手,更能展现出人类能够排除万难、自强不息、不断进步、共同造就更美好的生活以及更美好的世界--奥林匹克精神!可是,每四年一度的欢呼声背后,这项意义深重的运动比赛却有一段教人悲痛不已的历史,而这段悲痛的历史就正正是由基督教来亲自执笔!

奥林匹克运动会简史

奥运会的起源可追溯到古希腊时期的奥运会。从公元前776年起,古希腊就每四年一度于奥林匹亚(希腊的一个宗教圣地)举行一次大型的运动比赛,整个比赛除了运动员于各种不同的运动项目上竞赛,更藉以祭祀希腊的最高神宙斯之巨大庆典。古希腊时代是一个城邦制国家,意即国家并没有一个专权的君主,而是由各城邦各自为政,各自管理。可是多年来,各城邦之间为了吞并对方的资源土地,大小战争常常发生。后来,人们逐渐厌倦了战争不断的生活,他们都渴望着有一天能够和平过生活,因此,慢慢地古希腊原作为准备军事或体能的训练设拖,也逐渐由战场上的血腥战争演变成体育场上的公平运动竞赛。

而近代世界所看到奥运会,则源于一位法国男爵--皮埃.德.顾拜旦男爵(下称顾拜旦男爵)。1892年11月25日,顾拜旦男爵就于一次在巴黎的演讲中提出重新举办奥运会的提案(这里问题来了,提出重新举办奥运会即是指远古时代的奥运会曾被终止?大家可会问是谁把这项竞赛取消?他们又为何要终止奥运会?而且究竟终止了多久?大家先别着急,笔者会于下文逐一回答),可惜,众人的反应皆流于疑惑却步。可是顾拜旦男爵并没有因此而气馁,并继续努力不断地寻找伙伴一同完成这项愿景。于1894年6月23日,顾拜旦男爵联同多名志同道合的伙伴一同决定,于1896年在雅典作为第一站,重新恢复被终止已久的奥林匹克运动会!与此同时,国际奥委会(IOC)亦正式成立。

由1896年于雅典举行的“新世界第一届”奥运会至今,虽然当中亦经历了不少磨练(例如:1916年原定于柏林举行的奥运会因第一次世界大战而取消,1940年及1944年的奥运会亦因为第二次世界大战而取消,1980年因前苏联出兵阿富汗内战而遭到66个国家拒绝参加当年的前苏联莫斯科奥运会),但整体来说,尚算稳步成长,使到愈来愈多的运动大项加入其中,检测功夫愈来愈先进及制度化,使得比赛更公平更公正。

奥林匹克精神

奥林匹克精神可从奥林匹克运动会的官方格言体会出来: “ CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS(中译:更快,更高,更强)”,意指人类永远会努力不懈地去追求更美好的理想。 若果用中国的话语来看,笔者觉得《周易》的两句说话与奥林匹克运动会的官方格言有着异曲同工之妙:“天行健,君子以自强不息”(乾卦)及“地势坤,君子以厚德载物”(坤卦)。

基督教之霸权兴起,奥运会之彻底衰灭

在上文中,提及到顾拜旦男爵提出重新举办奥运会,意即远古时代的奥运会曾被终止, 那么大家会问究竟是谁会这么大胆去把这场运动会取消?他们又为何要终止奥林匹运动会?而且究竟一共终止了多久?有关于以上种种的问题,原来都是与今天的第一大宗教基督教有着直接的关系。

大约在公元前146年至公元394年期间,罗马帝国开始正式统治古希腊后,在公元2世纪时,由于基督教的影响力开始在欧洲各国迅速蔓延,其主张的禁欲主义,强调灵肉分开,“灵”与“肉体”应要截然割开处理,人要着重“灵”于“上帝”所得到的满足,而非有限会逐渐弱化的“肉体”。就是因为这种莫名其妙的禁欲主义,基督教反对各类型用作提升“肉体”的体育运动。

于公元393年,当时的罗马帝国国王提奥多西一世正式定基督教为罗马国的国教(有关罗马帝国开始定立基督教为国教可参考批判虚拟节日系列之一--圣诞节之谬一文)。没错,相信读者们也猜到,自罗马国把基督教定为国教后,逐渐把基督教的思想教义,包括上述的禁欲主义放到罗马国的生活当中,由于禁欲主义主张人应重“灵”而非“肉”,奥林匹克运动会这么的一项着重体育竞赛的活动,就被视为有违基督教教旨,是一种异教徒的活动,因此于翌年便宣布正式废除奥林匹克运动会。

后语

就是因为基督教狭隘的思想教义,及唯我独尊、排除异己的态度,就驱使到意义深长的奥林匹克运动会被终止。而且一终止就终止了一千多年,直到顾拜旦男爵的出现才把这项在体育项目上公平竞赛的奥运会(而非血腥的战争争夺)重现于世人面前。犹记得,现时奥运会的格言:“CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS(中译:更快,更高,更强)”,世界各地的人们应自强不息、努力不懈去追求一个更美好更美丽更动人的世界。可是基督教的兴起,却把这个追求更美好、更美丽、更动人世界的梦想彻底粉碎,不但导致人类世界的发展停滞不前,更一直倒退粉碎原本很好的事物--奥林匹克运动会。 今天,在奥运会场上,笔者真的不知道基督徒的想法为何?奥运会是由自己的宗教亲自粉碎终止,为了在场上得到好表现、好成绩而在出赛前祈祷,以祈求基督教的神明能在这场亲自粉碎的奥运会上帮助他们,这是多么可笑的矛盾思想。但更可笑的,是现时的基督徒们根本不知道奥运会是自己所深信的宗教一手毁灭。

理智再临者笔
(02 / 09 / 2012)

参考书目

  • Bucher, C. A., & Wuest, D. A. Foundations of Physical Education and Sport (10th ed.), St. Louis, Missouri: Times Mirror / Mosby College Publishing, 1987.
  • [德] 约尔格.维摩尔特,高建中译,《奥林匹克》,武汉: 湖北教育出版社,2009。
  • 徐元民,《体育史》,台北:品度图书,2005。

日期

6月11日

简介

释广德法师公开自焚而死,以抗议南越总统吴廷琰政策多年来偏袒天主教迫害佛教徒。

详情

1955年,吴廷琰在西贡发动政变,建立越南共和国(南越)。吴廷琰是天主教徒,曾进入修道院及前往巴黎攻读神学。父亲吴廷可也是一名虔诚天主教徒,是法国殖民地时期成泰皇帝的大臣,长兄吴廷魁与内阁领袖、天主教徒阮有拜的女儿结婚。当时南越佛教徒的人口约占七至九成,天主教人口只占极少数。

吴廷琰在出任南越总统后,其政策处处倾向天主教。天主教徒在政府部门和军队中较易获晋升,在公共服务、分配土地、商业和税务上都有明显优待,天主教徒村庄的自卫民兵部队比佛教徒村庄所获发的武器也多得多。而很多天主教神父更拥有私人军队,他们到处大肆抢掠和破坏寺庙。一些佛教徒村庄要被迫全体改宗,才能得到援助或避免被强迫迁居。

天主教会是南越最大的地主,但其拥有的土地和财产获得额外税务减免,更免受土地改革影响。天主教徒也获豁免政府强迫所有公民参加的无偿劳动,美国供应的援助大都只分配到天主教徒村庄,所有重要公众场合都升起梵蒂冈旗帜,新成立的顺化大学和大叻大学都被置于天主教会的管理之下,培育倾向天主教的学术环境。吴廷琰更在1959年一次弥撒中承诺将越南奉献给圣母玛利亚。

吴廷琰的二哥吴廷俶被教廷委任为顺化教区总主教,是南越最有权势的宗教领袖,他被允许向西贡商人请求“向教会自愿捐款”,并利用其地位为天主教会获得农庄、商店、城市房地产和橡胶种植园,更动用军队为其个人工作,包括木料和建筑工程。四弟吴廷瑈成为总统政治顾问,吴廷琰没有妻子,因此由吴廷瑈的夫人陈丽春(称为瑈夫人)担任第一夫人的角色。瑈夫人原为佛教徒,为嫁给吴廷瑈而改信天主教。

1963年5月,政府引用禁止悬挂非政府旗帜的法规,禁止佛教徒在佛诞日庆典上悬挂佛教旗帜,但却允许吴廷俶在天主教一个庆典上悬挂梵蒂冈国旗。在5月8日佛诞当天,顺化一大群佛教徒上街抗议,军队向示威群众开火,射杀了九名示威者,导致全国大规模的反政府运动。佛教徒提出五点要求:自由悬挂宗教旗帜、停止逮捕佛教徒、抚恤顺化的受难者、严惩杀人凶手和实行宗教平等。但吴廷琰称佛教徒为要求过分的“谴责白痴”,引发5月14日一大群大学学生上街到寺庙抗议,政府出动军队镇压,多人受伤。

1963年6月11日,高僧释广德(Thich Quang Duc)在繁忙的西贡十字街头当众自焚,抗议吴廷琰的宗教不平等政策。他在死前留下了遗言:“在我闭上双眼去见佛祖之前,我恳求总统吴先生能以一颗同情心去对待人民并履行许下的宗教平等诺言,以长久地保持国力。我已经呼吁各宗教人士及广大佛教徒,在必要时为保护佛教而牺牲。”

亲眼目睹自焚的记者大卫写道:“我会再看多一次该场景,但一次就够了。一个活人的身体中喷射着火焰,他的皮肤慢慢开始发泡并且起皱,他的头被烧黑并慢慢炭化。空气中弥漫着人肉燃烧的气味;我从未想过人的身体是如此易燃。在我的身后,我听到越南民众开始聚集起来并且小声地哭泣。我本人震惊到连哭都哭不出来,头脑中一片混乱到连采访和用笔记录都做不到,连脑子都已经无法思考了……在他燃烧的过程中,他没有抽动过一块肌肉,没有发出一点喊叫,他本人出奇地镇静,和他周围哀号的民众形成了鲜明的对比。”他拍到的自焚图片迅速传到了各个新闻通讯社,并刊登在世界各地报刊的头版。

美国总统甘迺迪看到有关报导后吓至大叫:“耶稣基督!”他后来表示:“除了此相片外,没有另外一幅相片可以令全世界如此激动!”瑈夫人对自焚发表了“看到一出和尚肉烧烤的好戏而拍手叫好”、“假如是爱国分子就不该用入口汽油来点火自焚”的言论,吴廷瑈更说:“如果佛教徒想要另一次烧烤,我倒很乐意提供汽油。”并继续查抄舍利寺和迫害佛教徒。这些言论和举动激起了更大民怨。吴廷琰称自焚的是越共的阴谋,并将继续奉行天主教的人格主义应对事件。

释广德的遗体在坟场重新火化后,心脏虽然缩小,但却保持完好无缺。它被视为圣物,但其后被隶属吴廷瑈的特种部队抢走。此后,又有释善美、妙光、释善惠、光香、释清穗和释元香6位僧尼在藩切、顺化和宁和的街头自焚。

释广德自焚4个多月后,吴廷琰和吴廷瑈死于兵变。其后瑈夫人的长女死于车祸,弟弟勒死了自己父母,她本人则流落异乡孤单地渡过漫长的48年,在2011年于罗马逝世。

Th%C3%ADch Qu%E1%BA%A3ng %C4%90%E1%BB%A9c self immolation 06月11日   越南释广德自焚纪念日

Malcolm Browne拍摄的释广德自焚照片,为他赢得1963年的普立兹奖。至今胡志明市富润郡(Phu Nhuan District)还有一条释广德路,就是为了纪念这位舍身殉道的高僧。 Malcolm Browne拍摄的释广德自焚照片,为他赢得1963年的普立兹奖。至今胡志明市富润郡(Phu Nhuan District)还有一条释广德路,就是为了纪念这位舍身殉道的高僧。

资料来源

维基百科,释广德,http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%87%8B%E5%BB%A3%E5%BE%B7
维基百科,吴廷琰,http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%90%B3%E5%BB%B7%E7%90%B0
维基百科,陈丽春,http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-hk/%E9%99%B3%E9%BA%97%E6%98%A5
越南广德菩萨,http://blog.udn.com/tamthuythuy/4157509
越南共和国总统吴庭艳的老婆陈艳春--残暴的第一夫人http://club.china.com/data/thread/5688138/2734/74/03/2_1.html

09月16日 – 阿斯科里死忌

Posted: 31st July 2012 by admin in 非基督教血泪史

日期

9月16日

简介

自然哲学家阿斯科里被宗教裁判所判为异端,成为第一位被绑在火刑柱上烧死的大学教授。

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Cecco Ascoli 09月16日   阿斯科里死忌阿斯科里(Cecco d’Ascoli,真名Francesco degli Stabili),意大利著名占星学家、数学家、诗人、物理学家及百科全书编纂人,1257年出生,在意大利多间学院任教占星学,为布鲁尼科大学数学及占星学教授,主要著作为长诗《阿采尔巴》(Acerba),其他作品手稿大部分都遭毁灭。

14世纪初期,阿斯科里出版了对约翰内斯(Johannes de Sacrobosco)所著、关于阐述地球是球形的《天球论》(Tractatus de Sphaera)的评论,提出关于魔鬼作用与力量的大胆理论。1324年,宗教裁判所以“发表对天主教信仰不敬言论”的罪名,阿斯科里被罚款、充公书籍及逼令停止教授和进行占星活动。其后他由布鲁尼科逃到佛罗伦斯,成为托斯卡纳公爵的私人占星师,但继续因其自由和率直的言论和见解而招惹不少敌人。

1326年7月,阿斯科里被宗教裁判所拘禁,1327年被宗教裁判所宣告为异端,在佛罗伦斯被绑在火刑柱上烧死。

宗教裁判所并没有当时的审判纪录,只在其后的15世纪时解释说,阿斯科里曾发表过渎神言论,指出有关耶稣出生及受苦命运原因,只是由于他在诞生时受东方一颗星体影响,亦即带领东方三博士前来降生地的星体。亦有分析显示因为他曾认为地球的另一边有人生存而遭杀害,或有传由于他尝试解读耶稣诞生时的星座而招致杀身之祸,或是由于他为捍卫在但丁的《神曲》中被攻击的占星术而被视为异端的伟大诗人,也可能是因为违反不准占星的禁令而被杀。

占星学传承自古希腊及罗马,为天文学的始祖。 早期基督教对占星学的立场相当矛盾,由于占星学认为人的命运是可以先知的,这与基督教基本教义之一“人拥有自由意志”是相反的;但另一方面,耶稣的诞生曾被一个天文现象预言过,因此认为神自己也在使用占星学。教会中一些人将占星学看作是敌人,另一些人则自己相信占星学。占星学在中世纪时期曾被基督教会压制,而在阿斯科里处身的文艺复兴时期之始,正值占星学重新蓬勃发展的阶段,当时占星学获得罗马国王、教皇及众多宗教改革派人士的信任,受到皇室、教廷以至平民广泛应用。

(处死日期资料各异,另有纪录为12月15日、9月15日、9月26日,现以较普遍者为准。)

资料来源

Yahoo! Education,  Cecco d’Ascoli,http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry/CeccodAs
维基百科,占星学,http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8D%A0%E6%98%9F%E5%AD%A6
MarkHumphrys.com,  Science and Relgion,http://markhumphrys.com/science.religion.html
University of London 2003, Cecco D’Ascoli and Church Discipline of Natural Philosophers in the Middle Ages:  http://jameshannam.com/Church%20 … 20Middle%20Ages.pdf
Cecco d’Ascoli, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecco_d’Ascoli
James Hannam 2003, “Medieval Science, the Church and Universities”, Bede’s Library:
http://www.bede.org.uk/university.htm

日期

3月9日

简介

上海学生成立非基督教学生同盟,揭开民国时期一系列非基督教运动的序幕。

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陈独秀 150x150 03月09日   中国非基督教运动纪念日

陈独秀为非基督教运动领导者之一

清末时期,屡屡战败的清政府被逼与列强签订各种不平等条约,当中的谈判都有传教士的参与。这些不平等条约规定外国传教士可以随意在华开设教堂,地方官员还务必要厚待保护。其后由于传教士企图改变中国传统礼俗,反对敬孔祭祖,诋毁佛教和道教,而且还仗势欺人,霸占土地,包揽词讼,袒护不法教民,因此基督教传教势力与中国人民出现剧烈矛盾。从鸦片战争到20世纪20年代的80多年间,百姓受到传教士的欺压而备受屈辱,积怨成仇,出现牵涉基督教会的大小“教案”多达600多宗,其中包括著名的义和团运动。

20世纪20年代,基督教在华的传教事业出现两个重要倾向:一是集中力量在城市传播;二是重点发展高等教育。在1921年9月及1922年春,基督教分别出版了《基督教教育在中国》及《中华归主》。

《基督教教育在中国》在基督教差会和洛克菲勒财团的资助下,由美、英、中三国传教士、教育家、神学家组成的调查团,对包括教会学校在内的中国各级各类学校进行的调查报告。书中如此论述基督教教育的目的和作用:“基督教教育对在华教会全部工作的特殊贡献在于,运用教育手段实现基督教差会的目标,即通过引导人们直接与耶稣基督接触,缔造一个基督教社会秩序,以建立上帝之国。”该书强调:“现在是加强在华教会学校的时机,将来从教会学校出来的男男女女,将由他们把中国变成一个基督教国家。”

《中华归主》是中外教会联手调查在华传教事业的报告,书中用了240页的巨大篇幅,逐一比较各省的历史与现状,标明已“归主”的区域,和需要“征服”的范围。书中甚至列出一个紧急日程表,用以指导进一步占领中国。此书强烈的征服意向,极大地刺激了中国人民的民族感情。

这两本书刺激了中国的知识阶层,他们意识到当时的外国传教士已在中国建立起一个从初等教育到高等教育,并包括各种专门教育相互衔接的庞大的教育系统,而且这些学校都是独立于教育体系之外的,无须经政府批准和备案,不受政府管理,甚至不悬挂中国国旗。这使中国的教育权完全掌握在他人手中。

1922年,世界基督教学生同盟(World Student Christian Federation)拟定于4月4日在北京清华学校召开第十一届年会。3月9日,上海学生率先成立“非基督教学生同盟”组织,通电反对这个年会在中国召开,并呼吁支持。3月11日,北京学生响应上海的呼吁,成立“非宗教大同盟”,成员包括陈独秀、李大钊、蔡元培、吴虞、胡适、汪精卫等思想家、教育家、文学家、科学家、革命者和国共两党成员。同盟简章规定:专以解脱宗教羁绊,发挥科学真理为宗旨。

3月21日,非宗教大同盟联署发表宣言通电全国,指出:“我们要为人类社会扫除宗教的毒害。我们深恶痛绝宗教之流毒于人类社会十倍于洪水猛兽。有宗教可无人类,有人类便无宗教。宗教与人类,不能两立。”4月4日至8日,世界基督教学生同盟第十一届年会在北京清华学校如期召开,受到大批军警保护。4月4日,同盟12位成员在《晨报》上发表《非宗教者宣言》,并分别发表文章,批判宗教。4月8日,年会闭幕的当天,北京大学举行非宗教演讲大会,有3千多人参加。会上宣读蔡元培的演说词,要求教会学校的教育与宗教分离。5月10日,北京非宗教同盟在北大第三院正式成立。6月,非宗教同盟编辑出版罗章龙编辑的《非宗教论》一书,改书收集了蔡元培、陈独秀、李大钊、吴虞、李石曾、萧子升、周太玄、朱执信、罗章龙等人写的31篇批判和否定基督教的文章。

到了1924年,“收回教育权”成为运动的主要目标。1924年4月初,广州圣三一中学一批对教会学校奴化教育制度不满的学生讨论组织学生会,该核校长(英国人)闻讯后,即带领学监韦荣翰前来干涉,并声称:“未经我许可,不得擅自组织学生会,不得在校内开会。”又说:“英国人的学校,有英领事在广州,断不能循你们的情,任从你们中国人的自由。”学校当局的态度激怒了广大学生,议决一定要组织学生会,并以罢课抗争。4月16日,学生发表《广州圣三一学校通电》,呼吁社会各界及教会学校学生团结起来反对奴隶式的教育,反对帝国主义以办学为借口对中国进行文化侵略。5月20日,圣三一学生发出《广州圣三一学生退学宣言》,坚决表示:在教育权没有收回之前,誓死不愿多受一日之奴隶教育,故马上宣布脱离圣三一。

圣三一的学潮引发了全国教会学校的学潮,当时廖仲恺接见学生并表示坚决支持。孙中山亲笔批示“有此觉悟,亦属可嘉,可与邹海滨商量转学”。1924年8月,新的“非基督教同盟”在上海成立,并出版《非基督教特刊》。

到1924年10月,全国教育联合会第十届年会在开封召开。通过了《教育实行与宗教分离》和《取缔外人在国内办理教育事业》两个议案。12月,该同盟策动了一个“非基督教周”活动。在圣诞节期间,长沙、广州、济南、武汉、九江、上海、苏州、徐州、杭州、绍兴、宁波等地,反基督教的群众拥上街头分队讲演,散发传单,游行示威,有些人则教堂和教会学校捣毁设施,围攻教士。1925年5月30日发生五卅惨案,更激起整个非基督教运动的高潮,当时教会和教会学校受到了很大冲击。

收回教育权运动由学生、教育学界、学者蔓延至政府,促使广州国民政府于1926年10月18日公布了《私立学校章程》。但同年北伐开始,政局动乱使得此章程效力减弱,但也因为北伐,大多数外籍传教士纷纷躲避,撤离中国,当时国民革命军所到之处,反基督教的事件多有发生,教堂、教会学校、教会医院多被占用或毁坏。1927年3月24日,国民革命军攻克南京,部分军人袭击英、美领事馆,攻击、劫掠外国传教士,杀害六位传教士,其中包括基督教金陵大学副校长文怀恩,史称“南京事件”。

1927年国民党建立南京政权之后,开展了收回教育权运动,教会学校受到严重影响。由1922年来华传教士达8,300人,经过非基督教运动之后,1928年降至3,150人。由于教育主权的收回,随着许多外国传教士的陆续撤离和外国教会势力的削弱,非基督教运动的风潮逐渐平息下来。

谨以3月9日上海学生率先成立“非基督教学生同盟”的当天为整个非基督教运动的序幕,纪念中国近代史上一次重要的思想启蒙运动,激励了民族的自觉意识和独立精神,并推动收回教育权的自主运动。

资料来源

维基百科,非基督教运动:http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9 … 9%E8%BF%90%E5%8A%A8
非基督教运动,生小白:http://t.sina.com.cn/1791302944/wr4mQk61M5

06月08日 – 晚清反教纪念日

Posted: 31st July 2012 by admin in 非基督教血泪史

日期

6月8日

简介

《辟邪纪实》出版,掀起晚清时期中国官民的反教热潮。

详情

bixie 06月08日   晚清反教纪念日

1839至1842年鸦片战争后,基督教获得在通商口岸传教的权利,在法国坚持之下,终再准许国人信教。咸丰八年(1858年)及十年(1860年)分别签订《天津条约》及《北京条约》,明订给予基督教在中国境内传教的权利,并允许天主教能收回自禁教时期被政府没收的教堂教产,而且可在任何地区买地或租地建立教堂。传教士有恃无恐,横行霸道,本土原有宗教和文化被大肆破坏。

在上述的背景下,《辟邪纪实》一书便因而诞生。该书写成于咸丰十一年五月朔日(西历1861年6月8日),为湖南省一位署名“天下第一伤心人”所编著,内容分为上卷的天主邪教集说、天主邪教入中国考略、辟邪论,中卷的杂引、批驳邪说、下卷的案证,附卷的辟邪歌、团防法、哥老会说,其中〈团防法〉是最先提出一套完整防制入境传教机制,希望利用防卫地方的民团组织,以“团防”方式防止传教者进入。除此之外,《辟邪纪实》对基督教教义有广泛而深入的讨论,内容一针见血,例如就耶稣被钉十字架就有以下驳斥:

“上帝子,何假人生?人既有罪,何为代赎?耶稣未生前,宇宙权果操自何人?既谓肉身升天,何更有墓而使人拜?荒谬之极,数语中便自相矛盾。”

《辟邪纪实》在当时广泛流传,掀起了士大夫、官绅以至民间的反教热潮,历数十年不衰。同期亦有流行于四川的《植纲扶纪--讨洋人檄文》、福建林昌彝著《辟邪教论》等等,皆为知识分子对基督教危机的一种醒觉。当时大部分知识分子都认为基督教与列强侵略息息相关,纷纷对大众宣扬反教思想,至使民教冲突,“教案”此起彼落,大小合共达五百余宗。

其实中国知识分子的反对基督教,并非始于晚清。明神宗万历四十四年(1616年),在耶稣会士利玛窦死后六年,南京礼部侍郎沈榷便曾对在华的天主教发动一次猛烈的攻击,曾三次上疏,并逮捕西洋及中国教士教民二十余人,造成“南京教案”。随后陆续有不满天主教的言论,包括明代出版《破邪集》、清初《不得已》,直至雍正禁教后,反教言论趋向沉寂。

为纪念中国人民对基督教侵略的对抗,谨以此书的出版日期作纪念日。

资料来源

吕实强(2006),《近代中国知识分子反基督教问题论文选集》。台北:宇宙光全人关怀。
吕实强,中国官绅反教的原因(1860-1874)(节录),http://www.horace.org/christianfaq/C07.htm
《辟邪纪实》下载:(上)http://ishare.iask.sina.com.cn/f/7240022.html(下)http://ishare.iask.sina.com.cn/f/7240035.html

02月12日 – 达尔文日

Posted: 31st July 2012 by admin in 非基督教血泪史

日期

2月12日

简介

达尔文日,藉他诞辰的日子向他的学术贡献致敬,让大众更了解演化天择论和相关研究在人类知识上的应用。

详情

Charles Darwin in 1855 150x150 02月12日   达尔文日达尔文于1809年2月12日生于英格兰。1825年到苏格兰爱丁堡大学习医。由于他无法忍受病人在没有麻醉的情况下进行手术(直到1800年代中期才开始使用麻醉),也怕血淋淋的场景,于是在1827年四月结束习医,离开爱丁堡。之后,遵从他父亲的建议,达尔文在1828年赴剑桥大学就读,并于1831年毕业。达尔文并非攻读科学方面的学位,但在该校期间花很多时间观察生物在其自然环境中的情形,也蒐集了许多种类的昆虫。他其实对户外活动和自然史更有兴趣。

剑桥大学毕业后,在1831到1835年间,他在皇家小猎犬号上担任自然学家,为期五年。所谓“自然学家”是指在自然情境中研究生命体和环境关系的学者,这是相对于在实验室中进行实验研究(但达尔文当时在实验室中做植物的实验)。他在皇家小猎犬号上的任务是在世界各处做生物和地质观察,尤其是要观察南美洲海岸区域的情形。开始这项航行任务时,他是22岁。

由于这趟皇家小猎犬号之旅,达尔文得到了许多实地观察的资料,使他在之后的20年间得以不断修正天择的概念。达尔文观察并分析动植物在其自然情境中的情形,再加上化石的证据、以及家畜的资料,使他推测地球上的生命发展是因天择造成个体差异,并因此导致新的生命形式、或说新物种的产生。1859年11月24日,他所著的《物种起源》(Origin of Species) 正式出版,阐述他所发现的天择概念。

天择是指环境中有生和无生(如温度和湿度)的因素影响生命体的生物能力。这种交互作用的结果是某些生物能成功的适应,并将其特质传给后代,而无法适应的就此结束其基因传承(灭绝)。

对自然学家来说,子代与亲代不同,即使是同一物种间也有个体差异是很明显的。例如说有的个体较高大、速度较快、颜色不同、较具攻击性、较合作、较能忍受炎热或低湿度的情况。天择作用在这些特质上,使得某些个体能成功繁衍后代,某些则不行。适应性的特征因此传给后代,再加上该世代的遗传变异,导致变化的后代。

《物种起源》出版后,一直回响很大,演化天择论受到捍卫创造论的基督徒持续不断的贬斥、歪曲和攻击,更制造诸如“达尔文晚年信主”等谣言,以图推翻演化天择论。时至近年,基督教方面更推出类似“智慧设计论”等变相的创造论,企图经包装后打入科学教育的领域。但天主教在纪念达尔文诞辰200周年的2009年,终于修改一直以来的敌视态度,正式承认他的演化论。

达尔文日始于1995年,很多地方每年在2月12日都庆祝达尔文日,以向这位伟大人物的学术贡献致敬,借此机会让大众、学生和学者更加了解演化天择论、以及演化研究在人类知识上的应用。

资料来源

International Darwin Day Foundation: http://www.darwinday.org/
谢奉家 2009,达尔文日:http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/biopesticides-hsieh/article?mid=2591&next=2584&l=a&fid=41
书虫 & S.C.,达尔文晚年信主:http://exchristian.hk/wiki/doku.php/%E9%81%94%E7%88%BE%E6%96%87%E6%99%9A%E5%B9%B4%E4%BF%A1%E4%B8%BB
香港科学教育关注组:http://sites.google.com/site/hkscienceeducation/
教廷与进化论“和解” 2009:http://exchristian.hk/forum/viewthread.php?tid=3383&extra=&page=1