Brutus has written some excellent treatises, the merit of which is far superior to that of his orations. He supports admirably well the weight of his matter, and seems to feel what he says. Cornelius Celsus, in the manner of the Skeptics, has written a good many tracts, which are not without elegance and perspicuity.
Celsus says that they cared neither to receive nor to give any reason of their faith, and that it was an usual saying with them, do not examine, but believe only, and thy faith will save thee. Julian affirms, that the sum, of all their wisdom was comprised in this single precept, believe.
Celsus and Gallus expressed their approval, and requested them to turn back and carry them to Caecina. However, Celsus, upon his approach, was in danger from the vanguard, who happened to be some of the horse that had suffered at the ambush.
But like other data in his controversial writings against the Gnostic philosopher Celsus we can place little reliance on his statement, for Eusebius Pamphyli writing in A.D. 324-5, a century afterwards, speaks of the Simonians as still considerable in numbers.
M. Cocceius Nerva, Sempronius Proculus, and Juventius Celsus, were of the school of Labeo. Gaius, who flourished in the time of the Antonines, was a great legal authority; and the recent discovery of his Institutes has revealed the least mutilated fragment of Roman jurisprudence which exists, and one of the most valuable, and sheds great light on ancient Roman law.
"Why, of course a smattering; or how could I read Pliny, and Celsus, and ever so much more rubbish that custom chucks down before the gates of knowledge, and says, 'There before you go the right road, you ought to go the wrong; it is usual. Study now, with the reverence they don't deserve, the non-observers of antiquity."
Celsus, Numenius, and Dion Cassius, three of the most notable authors of the second century, speak of the Jewish people and Jewish Scriptures in a very different tone from that of a Tacitus and an Apion. And as it has been said, "Who shall know how many cultured pagans were led by the books of Josephus to read the Bible and to look on Judaism with other eyes?"
A sketch of the state of medicine in Rome is given by Celsus in the first of his eight books, and he mentions the names of many of the leading practitioners, particularly Asclepiades, the Bithynian, a man of great ability, and a follower of the Alexandrians, who regarded all disease as due to a disturbed movement of the atoms.
In his books against Celsus we find this passage: "That our religion teaches us to seek after wisdom, shall be shown, both out of the ancient Jewish Scriptures which we also use, and out of those written since Jesus, which are believed in the churches to be divine." These expressions afford abundant evidence of the peculiar and exclusive authority which the Scriptures possessed.
Celsus, or the Jew whom he personates, uses these words: "I could say many things concerning the affairs of Jesus, and those, too, different from those written by the disciples of Jesus; but I purposely omit them."