Celsus

, a celebrated philosopher of the Epicurean sect, flourished in the second century under Adrian and Antoninus Pius, and is the person to whom Lucian has | dedicated his “Pseudamantis.” He wrote a bitter invective against the Christian religion, under the title of “The true Word,” which was answered by Origen with great ability in a work consisting of eight books. His “True Word” is lost; but his objections against Christianity may be known from the extracts which are preserved of it in Origen’s answer. It is agreed on all hands, that he was a most subtle adversary, perfectly versed in all the arts of controversy, and as learned as he was ingenious: so that it is no wonder if the primitive Christians thought nothing less than such a champion as Origen a match for him. Although he sometimes recurs to Platonic and Stoic modes of reasoning, he is expressly ranked by Lucian, as well as Origen, among the Epicureans; and this supposition best accounts for the violence with which he opposed the Christian religion; for an Epicurean would of course reject, without examination, all pretensions to divine communications or powers. Yet his hostility, or the great pains he took to display it, affords some strong testimonies in favour of the Christian religion, as may be seen in Lardner, and other writers. 1

1

Lardner’s Woiks, vol. VIII.—Dupin.—Brucker.—Mosheim.—Cave.