1.  The fame of Issa's sermons spread to the neighboring countries, and, when he reached Persia, the priests were terrified and forbade the inhabitants to listen to him.

2.  But when they saw that the villages welcomed him with joy, and eagerly listened to his preaching, they caused his arrest and brought him before the high priest, where he was submitted to the following interrogatory:

3.  "Who is this new God of whom thou speaketh?  Dost thou not know, unhappy man that thou art, that Saint Zoroaster is the only just one admitted to the honor of receiving communications from the Supreme Being,

4.  "Who has commanded the angels to draw up in writing the word of God, laws that were given to Zoroaster in Paradise?

5.  "Who then art thou that darest to blaspheme our God and sow doubt in the hearts of believers?"

6.  And Issa replied: "It is not of a new god that I speak, but of our Heavenly Father, who existed before the beginning and will still be after the Eternal End.

7.  "It was of Him I spoke to the people, who, even as an innocent child, cannot yet understand God by the mere strength of their intelligence and penetrate His Spiritual and Divine Sublimity.

8.  "But as a new-born child recognizes the maternal breast even in obscurity, so your people, induced in error by your erroneous doctrines and religious ceremonies have instinctively recognized the Father in the Father of Whom I am the prophet.

9.  "The Eternal Being says to your people through the intermediary of my mouth: 'You shall not adore the sun, for it is only a part of the world I have created for man.

10.  " 'The sun that rises that it may warm you during your labor; it sets that it may give you the hours of rest I have myself fixed.

11.  " ' It is to Me, and to Me only, that you owe all you possess, all that is around you, whether above or beneath you.' "

12.  "But," interjected the priests, "how could a nation live according to the laws of justice, if it possessed no preceptors?"

13.  Then Issa replied: "As long as the people had no priests, they were governed by the law of nature and retained their candor of soul.

14.  "Their souls were in God, and to communicate with the Father, they had recourse to the intermediary of no idol or animal, nor to fire, as you practice here.

15.  "You claim that we must worship the sun, the genius of Good and that of Evil; well, your doctrine is an abomination.  I say to you, the sun acts not spontaneously, but by the will of the Invisible Creator who has given it existence,

16.  "And Who has willed that this orb should light the day and warm the labor and the crops of man.

17.  "The Eternal Spirit is the Soul of all that is animated; you commit a grievous sin in dividing It into the spirit of Evil and the spirit of Good, for there is no God save that of good,

18.  "Who, like the father of a family, does good only to his children, forgiving all their faults if they repent of them.

19.  "And the spirit of Evil dwells on this earth, in the heart of men who turn the children of God from the right path.

20.  "Therefore I say to you, beware of the Day of Judgment, for God will inflict a terrible punishment on all who have turned His children from the right path and filled them with superstitions and prejudices,

21.  "On them that have blinded the seeing, transmitted contagion to the sound of health, and taught the adoration of things which God has subjected to man for his own good and to aid him in his labor.

22.  "Your doctrine is therefore the fruit of your errors, for, in desiring to approach the God of Truth, you have created false gods."

23.  After listening to him, the wise men resolved to do him no harm.  In the night, while the city was wrapped in slumber, they conducted him outside the walls and left him on the highway, hoping that he might soon become the prey of wild beasts,

24.  But, being protected by the Lord our God, Saint Issa continued his way unmolested.


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