Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Philochristus
Author: Abbott, Edwin Abbott
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Philochristus" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                              PHILOCHRISTUS

                   _Memoirs of a Disciple of the Lord_

                              [Illustration]



                              PHILOCHRISTUS
                                 MEMOIRS
                                   OF
                         A DISCIPLE OF THE LORD

                   _ἔμαθεν ἀφ’ ὧν ἔπαθεν τὴν ὑπακοήν_

                                 London
                            MACMILLAN AND CO
                                  1878

         _The Right of Translation and Reproduction is Reserved_



                                 LONDON:
                       R. CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR,
                         BREAD STREET HILL, E. C.



                                  _TO_
                       _THE AUTHOR OF ‘ECCE HOMO’_
                _NOT MORE IN ADMIRATION OF HIS WRITINGS_
                           _THAN IN GRATITUDE_
                     _FOR THE SUGGESTIVE INFLUENCE_
                   _OF A LONG AND INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP._



    _PHILOCHRISTUS THE ELDER TO THE SAINTS OF THE CHURCH IN LONDINIUM,
    GRACE, MERCY, AND PEACE FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST._

_Forasmuch as almost all those disciples who with me saw the Lord Jesus in
the flesh, are now fallen asleep, and I myself am well stricken in years
and daily expect the summons of the Lord; it hath therefore seemed good to
me to bequeath unto you some memorial of Christ in writing; which, instead
of my voice, shall testify to you of him for ever._

_All the more need seemeth thereof because the Lord delayeth his coming.
For now these ten years Jerusalem hath been trodden down of the Gentiles,
and the words of the Lord concerning the destruction of the Holy City have
been fulfilled; and yet he cometh not. Yea, and sometimes my mind
presageth that his coming __may be yet longer delayed, even till all they
that knew him in the flesh have fallen asleep._

_For this cause I was long ago moved, even from the second or third year
after the destruction of the Holy City, to leave some record behind me to
testify of the Lord. But when I adventured to write, behold, it was an
hard matter and well‐nigh impossible, to set forth such an image of the
Lord Jesus as should be at once according to the truth, and yet not
altogether too bright for mortal eye to look upon and love. Therefore at
the last, when I perceived that it was not given unto me to portray any
character of the Lord as he was in himself, I determined rather to set
forth an history of mine own life; wherein, as in a mirror, might
perchance be discerned some lineaments of the countenance of Christ, seen
as by reflexion, in the life of one that loved him._



                                THE TABLE


_Chapter_
        1   _Of my childhood in Galilee; and how I gave myself
            wholly to the study of the Law._
        2   _Of my doubts concerning the Law; and of the Patriots
            the son of Zachariah._
        3   _Concerning the casting out of unclean Spirits; and of
            the nature of the Redemption of Israel; and how I first
            saw Jesus of Nazareth._
        4   _Of the doctrine of John the Prophet, how it suited
            with the people of the land; and how I was baptized of
            the Prophet._
        5   _Of the Greek philosophers in Alexandria; and how I had
            discourse with Philo the Alexandrine._
        6   _How I found not salvation in the worship of the
            Temple; nor in the teachers of Galilee; nor in the
            Essenes; and how I first spake with Jesus of Nazareth._
        7   _Of the Good News; and concerning the Kingdom of God;
            and how we desired of Jesus new laws._
        8   _Of the New Law._
        9   _How Quartus interpreted the New Law._
       10   _How some desired Jesus to mix the New Law with the Old
            Law; and concerning the legion of swine; and how Jesus
            began to teach in parables._
       11   _Concerning the new power of the Forgiveness of Sins._
       12   _How the Forgiveness of Sins is the Key that openeth
            the New Kingdom; and how the Old Law and the New Law
            must not be mixed._
       13   _Of the plotting of the Pharisees against Jesus, how
            they said he had a devil; and concerning the Holy
            Spirit._
       14   _How John the Prophet doubted concerning Jesus; and
            concerning them that are __“__born of women;__”__ and
            of the beheading of John the Prophet._
       15   _How Jesus fled from Capernaum, and the Galileans at
            first fell away from him; and concerning the levy in
            Galilee; and of the visit of Jesus to Nazareth._
       16   _How, after the death of John the Prophet, Jesus
            foresaw that he also must be slain; and of the Bread of
            Life, and the feeding of the five thousand; and
            concerning the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees._
       17   _How Xanthias the Alexandrine said that the philosophy
            of Jesus aimed at the taking in of the Gentiles into
            the Kingdom, and at the enfranchisement of slaves; and
            how he found fault with Jesus for that he called
            himself the Son of man._
       18   _Of signs in heaven; and concerning the healing of the
            Syrophœnician maiden, how Jesus seemed to gain thereby
            some new knowledge._
       19   _How Jesus would work no sign in heaven; and concerning
            his temptation and wherefore he denied to work signs in
            heaven._
       20   _How Jesus led us, in our exile, to the Rock of
            Salvation; and how he founded the Temple of his
            Congregation thereon; and how he gave the Key thereof
            to Simon Peter._
       21   _How Jesus, having now determined to die, spake of that
            which was to come, with Moses and Elias, upon the Mount
            Hermon._
       22   _Of our going up to Jerusalem; and of the division
            between parents and children; and how Jesus testified
            of a Day of Judgment._
       23   _Of covetousness; and of fleeing from Death into Life;
            and concerning the Law of Retribution._
       24   _Of the falling away of Judas of Kerioth; and of the
            Times and Seasons; and of the Chief Places in the
            Kingdom; and how Jesus did and said nothing except it
            were prepared for him by the Father._
       25   _Concerning the fire of the Lord; and of the parables
            of watching; and of the Holy Spirit; and how Quartus
            urgeth that Jesus knew not all things beforehand._
       26   _How Jesus went down to Jerusalem, as a king, to wage
            war against Satan in the Temple; and how he foresaw
            that the Temple must be cast down; and of the parable
            of the withered fig‐tree._
       27   _How Jesus prophesied of troubles, and of a great
            battle against Satan; and in the end the victory of the
            Son of man; but, first of all, his death._
       28   _How Jesus, by his Testament, bequeathed himself to his
            disciples for ever; and how he bare the sins of men in
            Gethsemane._
       29   _Of the crucifixion of Jesus; and of his last words
            upon the cross._
       30   _How the Holy Spirit, through much sorrow, prepared the
            disciples to behold Jesus risen from the dead; and of
            the vision of angels, which appeared first of all unto
            the women._
       31   _How Jesus appeared ofttimes to his disciples; and how,
            after many days, he ascended up to heaven._
       32   _How Jesus now ruleth the world, sitting on the right
            hand of the Father in heaven._



                              PHILOCHRISTUS



                                CHAPTER I


My former name was Joseph the son of Simeon, and I was born in Sepphoris,
the metropolis of Galilee, in the twentieth year of the reign of the
Emperor Augustus, about four years before the death of King Herod. In
those days Israel was grievously afflicted, and tribulation befell the
righteous. Satan put it into the heart of the rulers of the land to move
the people to the worship of false gods, and the Lord God had not yet
raised up a Redeemer for Israel.

In my fourth year my father’s brother, the Rabbi Matthias, was burned
alive by Herod for causing his scholars to cast down the golden image of
an eagle which the king had set up over the gate of the temple of the
Lord. Not many months afterwards, the Romans marched through Sepphoris in
order to bring succour to Sabinus, who was hard beset by the men of
Jerusalem in the fortress called Antonia; and we fought against them, and
my father was taken captive and crucified by Varus. Now as concerning my
father and my father’s brother, how they were slain, perchance I remember
their deaths rather from my mother’s often mention of them in after times
than from what I heard then: but this thing can I never forget, for I saw
it with mine own eyes: namely, how, when my mother brought me forth from
the caves of Arbela whither we had been sent for refuge, behold, where
Sepphoris had stood, there was not now one house standing; and I saw also
the bodies of many of my kinsfolk, which lay unburied and crying unto the
Lord for vengeance. Yet the Lord sent no avenger.

After this came tidings that the Parthians, which went with Varus, had
laid waste the country in the south far and wide, and had slain our
brethren with the sword; and that Varus had taken two thousand of my
countrymen in Jerusalem and had crucified them, and among them Eleazar,
the youngest and dearest of my mother’s brethren. Then my mother led me to
a rocky place not far from Sampho. There was a cave there, and only one
path led to it, and that so narrow that no multitude of men could force an
entrance, if one brave man withstood them. When we were come thither, my
mother lifted up her voice and wept, and pointing to the cave she said,
“In former times this cave was held by my mother’s brother, Hezekiah by
name. Six children he had; and he fled from Herod the King with them and
with his wife, and here they took refuge. Now when the king could by no
means drive Hezekiah hence by force, he offered much gold unto him if he
would come forth from the cave quietly. But when Hezekiah refused, the
king began to let down armed men by ropes from the top of the hill, with
firebrands in their hands, to kindle fires at the mouth of the cave. Then
when no hope of safety remained, behold, my mother’s brother brought out
his children, and slew the youngest with his sword in the sight of the
king. Afterwards he laid his hands on his second child. But Herod,
perceiving his intent, stretched out his right hand and besought Hezekiah
to spare his children and to come forth in peace. But he slew the second
also, heaping reproaches on Herod as an usurper and a son of Edom, sitting
on David’s seat; and he slew the third and the rest likewise, even to the
sixth, and last of all his wife; and then he cast himself down the steep
place and perished.” Then spake my mother unto me and said, “The Lord do
so unto thee, my son, and more likewise, if thou avenge not the blood of
thy kinsfolk and of thy father.” So it came to pass that, even from a
child, I hated the very name of a Gentile with an exceeding hatred;
insomuch that I should have accounted him blessed who should have taken
the children of Rome (according as it is written) and dashed them against
the stones.

There stood up at this time divers to lead Israel; but they were no true
leaders of the people, and the Lord had not sent them. Athronges the
shepherd, a man of great stature, and Simon, one of the servants of Herod
the King, rose up in the south of Judah; but they both perished, and their
followers were scattered. Again, about the time of the numbering of the
people, when the decree went forth from the Emperor Augustus that all
Israel should be taxed, there rose up Judas of Gamala. This was about the
thirty‐third year of the Emperor Augustus. The people came to him from all
sides; and Judas taught them that it was not lawful to pay tribute to
Cæsar, nor to call any man Master, save God alone. At that time I was some
thirteen years old; and I saw him when, with a thousand men, he marched
into Capernaum and burned down the house of customs there; and as I looked
upon his face, and the numbers of his followers, I thought within my
heart, “Surely the hand of the Lord is with this man, surely this is the
Redeemer of Israel, even the Messiah to whom all the prophets bear
witness, that he must arise and judge the land.” But five Sabbaths had not
passed away before he also had been cut off; and all the men that were
with him were either scattered to their homes or slain.

Meanwhile, as I grew up, I was being trained by my mother with all care in
the paths of the law of Israel; and according to the custom of my people,
at five years old I had begun to learn the Scripture, and, at ten years,
Mishnah; and I profited more than my companions in the study of the
Traditions. But when I read how great things God had done in times past
for His chosen ones, and how He had redeemed Israel by the hand of His
servants Gideon and David, then did my heart burn within me; and I
besought the Lord that He would repeat His mercies upon His chosen people,
and that He would speedily send that Messiah of whom all the prophets
spake, for the Redemption of Israel. Afterwards I questioned one of my
teachers, by name Abuyah the son of Elishah, and I said unto him, “It is
revealed and known before the All‐seeing (blessed is He) that our will is
to do His will: and what hindereth?” Then he answered and said, “The dough
in the leaven” (meaning Gentile customs, which corrupt the customs of
Israel even as leaven changeth bread) “and servitude to the Kingdom.” Then
I said, “Why therefore do we not rise up against the Gentile Kingdom?” But
he answered, “Joseph, son of Simeon, busy thyself with the Law. Whosoever
is busied in the Law for the Law’s sake deserveth many things; and not
only so, but he is worth the whole world. He is called friend, beloved;
loveth God, loveth mankind; pleaseth God, pleaseth mankind. And it
clotheth him with meekness and fear, and fitteth him to become righteous,
pious, upright, and faithful; and removeth him from sin, and bringeth him
towards the side of merit.” Then said I, “But wherefore doth not the God
of our Salvation bring freedom to Israel?” But he answered, “It is said,
The tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God,
graven upon the tables. Read not _charuth_, graven, but _cheruth_,
freedom; for thou wilt find none free, save only them which be occupied in
the learning of the Law. For whoso is occupied in learning the Law,
behold, it magnifieth him and exalteth him over all things.”

Then I applied myself more diligently to the study of the Law, and I
observed Sabbaths and festivals, and practised ablutions with all scruple;
and I became known among my companions as a sin‐fearer, instructed in the
wisdom of the Law, avoiding those lesser faults which are called the
“Descendants,” as well as those which are called the “Fathers”; insomuch
that I would not even curdle milk on the Sabbath, because that had been
declared by the decisions of the Wise to be a lesser kind of building;
neither would I walk upon grass during the Sabbath, because that also had
been pronounced by the Rabbis to be a lesser kind of threshing. Also in
the matter of fringes and phylacteries, and in smaller matters, even to
the burning of nail‐parings, I walked diligently according to the
decisions of the Ancients. Thus in all things I strove to bear in mind the
saying that “While in the written Law there are light as well as weighty
precepts, the precepts of the Scribes are all weighty.” I took little
sleep, little merriment; I associated myself ever with the wise, and
abstained from the company of the people of the land (for by this name the
Pharisees were wont to call them that gave not themselves to the study of
the Law); I settled my heart to study; I asked, and answered, and
whatsoever I received I strove to add thereto. And it came to pass that,
because I had a strength of memory more than was usual among my fellow‐
students, my teacher said to me, “Joseph, son of Simeon, thou art a
plastered cistern, which loseth no drop of water”; and by this name of
“plastered cistern” I became known among my fellows. And when I perceived
that the Traditions said little concerning a Messiah; and that my teachers
also said little, and had no hope, nor so much as a desire (for the most
part) that a Messiah should ever come, but were wholly given up to the
study of the Law; then I endeavoured myself also to do the same, and to
put away the thought of a Redeemer.

Nevertheless at times the question would arise within me, “Wherefore do I
serve God for naught?” For all around I saw the wicked and the scornful
seated, as kings, in high places, and the poor and the humble trampled
under foot. There was the name of peace among us, but it was no peace; for
Satan was making war upon us under the semblance of peace. Everywhere
defilement was taking the land by force or by stealth. Many Greek cities,
called by the names of the great ones among the Gentiles, were built in
the midst of us, such as Tiberias, and Julias, and Cæsarea Stratonis, and
Cæsarea Philippi; and even in our city of Sepphoris, now rebuilt, we were
constrained to admit Greeks to be our fellow‐citizens. Theatres and
amphitheatres, and games, and alien rites in honour of false gods, had
been brought in among us. Images of living things began to be seen on
every side, and even our coinage was defiled with the uncleanness of the
Gentiles; so that, in place of the vine‐clusters and wheat‐sheaf and star
of Israel, we were forced to handle the semblances of Thracian shields and
helmets, and the winged rod of enchantments, called by the Gentiles the
caduceus. Moreover, as each year passed, our fears waxed greater and
greater, lest at last the eagles of the Gentiles should be brought from
Cæsarea into the streets of the Holy City itself, and lest the image of
the Emperor should be set up therein. For the former Emperor, even Cæsar
Augustus, was now dead, and a new Emperor reigned in his stead, whose name
was Tiberius. But he attained not unto the former Emperor in wisdom;
wherefore the minds of many were unsettled, the common people fearing lest
the Romans should take away their religion, and the Scribes fearing lest
the common people should incense the Romans by fresh revolt, and so bring
destruction on the nation.

So it came to pass that by reason of my continual sorrow for the burdens
of Sion, my heart was pressed down with care, and my trouble became too
heavy for me to bear; and I found no peace, no, not even in the study of
the Law. In vain I repeated to myself the saying of the Wise, “Whoso
studieth the Law, he becometh modest and long‐suffering and forgiving of
insult”; and again, “The Law is acquired by long‐suffering, by a good
heart, by faith in the Wise, by acceptance of chastisements.” I looked
upon my countrymen in their servitude, and I could not feel long‐
suffering; neither could I attain to the wisdom of the acceptance of
chastisements.

When I mentioned my trouble to my teacher, Abuyah the son of Elishah, he
rebuked me for presumption; for he said that such doubts came of evil,
neither would he hearken unto me. Therefore I turned to another of the
Scribes, whose name was Jonathan the son of Ezra. Now Jonathan was older
than Abuyah the son of Elishah, but not so learned. Howbeit he was of a
more gentle and loving disposition. He said to me, “Beware lest thou
follow the path of Elishah the son of Solomon.” “What path?” I asked. Then
Jonathan answered as follows: “It is reported that Elishah the son of
Solomon was once studying the Scriptures, and he saw two men taking birds’
nests. The one obeyed not the Law, but took the mother with the young; yet
he went his way in peace. The other obeyed the Law and took the young
only, but let the mother go free; yet as he descended from the tree a
serpent stung him and he died. Then said Elishah the son of Solomon, ‘Is
it not written, The young thou mayest take to thyself, but the mother thou
shalt surely let go, that it may be well with thee and that thou mayest
live many days? Verily the promises of God are naught, for the man that
obeyed hath not lived many days, but the man that disobeyed is unhurt.’”
Then said I, “And what answer was made to Elishah the son of Solomon?” And
my teacher replied, “Whosoever obeyeth the Law, his days will be long in
the world to come.” Then was my heart comforted for a while, and I devoted
myself even more diligently than before to the study of the Law.



                                CHAPTER II


For the space of nine or ten years I was content to give myself wholly to
the study of the Law; but when I had now numbered thirty years, my doubts
and fears came back to me again. While I sat in the school with the
Scribe, and heard his answers and asked him questions, so long I seemed to
myself righteous and on the path of righteousness; but when I came forth
into the streets, or back to my mother’s house, then seemed my
righteousness immediately to have vanished away. At such seasons the
learning of the Wise seemed to me not bread, but a stone.

Moreover, my heart was turned from some of the Scribes that lived in
Sepphoris, even them that were counted as props and pillars of the Law. To
Jonathan the son of Ezra I ceased not to pay honour; but Abuyah the son of
Elishah I could not reverence, and others also like unto him: for they had
regard unto the praise of men rather than to the love of God. As, for
example, Abuyah, whensoever he was delayed by the crowd so that he came
not to the synagogue in time for prayer, he would stand where he chanced
to be, at the hour of prayer, praying in the middle of the market‐place.
When he walked, he walked with a mincing gait and with his eyes half
closed, feigning to be given up to the meditation of the Law, so that he
saw no passer by. On fast days he would ever look pale and worn, as if
with watching and hunger; and whensoever he met a woman as he went in the
way, he would shiver and turn aside. It came to pass that on a certain day
one of his pupils asked him which was the most weighty of precepts. Then
Abuyah answered, “The Law of Tassels”; and continued he, “so do I esteem
this law that once, because I had chanced to tread upon a portion of the
fringe of my garment, going up a ladder, I steadfastly refused to move
from the spot where I stood, till such time as the rent had been
repaired.” Another day, this Abuyah chid my mother because she wore on her
dress a ribbon that was not sewn, but only fastened to her vesture. For
thus, he said, my mother transgressed the Law by bearing burdens on the
Sabbath. But by such teaching Abuyah himself laid upon his pupils burdens
grievous to be borne; and among the Rabbis of Israel there were more like
unto Abuyah the son of Elishah than unto Jonathan the son of Ezra.

Many things also in the traditions of the Wise seemed to me not worthy of
wise men, nor even of honest men. I had joined myself to a certain
brotherhood (who all, or almost all, were Pharisees), such as bound
themselves to observe the Law with special strictness, and in particular
to pay tithes of all things. The brotherhood was called Chabura, and each
of the brethren was called a Chaber. Now it was the custom of us Chaberim
to meet on the Sabbath day at one another’s houses that we might sup
together. But the space between our houses often exceeded two thousand
paces, which distance was not to be exceeded by a man journeying on the
Sabbath day. Therefore to a plain man it would have seemed that we could
not sup with one another on the Sabbath day and at the same time obey the
Law. But the Scribes were otherwise minded; and many of them, yea even of
the strictest sect, escaped from the Law after this fashion. On the
evening before the Sabbath, they would place small pieces of meat, distant
two thousand paces one from another, on the road whereon they desired to
journey. Where a man’s meat is, said they, there is his home. So when they
were come in their journeying to the first piece of meat, they would say,
“Now I am at my home and may walk yet another two thousand paces.” And so,
walking from this home to other homes if need were, they walked as far as
they listed. This mixing of distances they called _erûbh_, or “mixture;”
and the device remaineth unto this day.

Again, if a man’s ox were dying on some holy day, and the owner thereof
desired to kill it; he was forbidden. But if he slew the beast and then
took of the meat and ate thereof, yea, even though it were a piece of
flesh no bigger than an olive, and if he said, “I slay the beast to
provide a necessary meal,” then he was held excused. Likewise, though a
man might not buy from a butcher on the Sabbath, yet if he abstained from
mentioning the number or weight of the things bought, and the sum of money
to be paid, then he might buy as much as his heart desired and be held
blameless. Thus he would say, “Give me a portion, or half a portion of
meat,” and the butcher would give it; and the buyer would go away, paying
naught. But next day the money would be paid. And this was called not a
sale, but a gift. After the same manner they did away with the Law which
remitteth debts in the Sabbatical year. On the day of payment the creditor
would come (such was the ordinance of the Scribes) and say, “In accordance
with the Sabbatical year I remit thee the debt.” Then the debtor was bound
to reply, “I nevertheless wish to pay it,” and the debt was paid, and the
Law was made of none effect.

About the thirteenth year of the Emperor Tiberius, it came to pass that I
(being now thirty‐three years old or a little more) discoursed with a
Greek proselyte concerning the Law. He said to me that it seemed to him
better to disannul such ordinances as were not convenient (just as a man
might prune a too luxuriant vine); and not to say, “I will obey the
ordinance, but I will make my obedience the same as disobedience.” His
words pleased me; but when I reported this saying to some of the Scribes
my friends, they with one consent rejected it. Abuyah the son of Elishah
said, scoffing at my doubts, “The Law drowneth them that cannot swim.”
Then said I (repeating a certain saying of the Greek), “But water groweth
bad if it be kept long in one vessel.” But he straightway put me to
silence saying, “Is this likewise the case with the Law? Nay, it is like
unto wine which groweth better as it groweth older.” Jonathan the son of
Ezra also added in a gentle voice, “My son, thou knowest the saying of the
Elders, the first of the sayings of the Wise: Be deliberate in judgment,
and raise up many disciples, and make a fence to the Law. But thou, O my
son, wouldst fain pull down fences. But if we begin to destroy a part of
the Law, who shall stay the hand of the destroyer? And in the end we shall
be even as the Gentiles, which have no law. Is it not better to be too
careful rather than to be too careless? Is it not better to have too many
fences rather than to have too few? For to what is the matter like? Even
to a man watching a garden. If he watch it from without, it is all
watched. But if he watch it from within, the part in front of him is
watched; but the part behind him is not watched. Be thou therefore careful
to go in thine obedience even beyond the things which the Law requireth at
thy hands; and watch the Law not from within, but from without.”

There seemed much wisdom in the sayings of Jonathan, and I knew not what
answer to make. For if to transgress the Law, even in the smallest matter,
was to fall into destruction, then it seemed wise to fence round the Law,
even as a man would fence round a pit; and not to suffer the unwary to go
near, and peradventure to stumble, and so to be swallowed up. Yet I could
not but perceive that it was not well for men thus to resort to the Law
and to the Traditions as to a sacred oracle, even on those occasions and
in those matters wherein the voice of the Lord speaking unto the heart
saith clearly, “This is right, do this. This is wrong, do not this.” For
thus it must needs come to pass that men would pervert even the Law to the
contradicting of the voice of the Lord. And so indeed it was with us. As,
for example, the Law forbade fornication, neither did it permit us to
marry a woman with intent to divorce her; but one of the Traditions,
making the Law of none effect, told us that “If a man first tell her that
he is going to marry her for a season, then it is lawful.” Other
Traditions sinned yet more grievously in the cloaking of sins and
impurities. Hence also the duties of children to parents (albeit upheld
indeed by the better part of the Wise) were by many diminished, or even
made of none effect.

Now I have heard certain Romans say that in their Law they also use the
same devices to observe the letter and to break the spirit. But the
mischief was, that our Law was not as the laws of the Gentiles, which
concern naught save lands, and houses, and slaves, and the like, and which
have not to do with the souls and spirits of men. The Gentiles could break
the letter of their laws and sin not: for what sin was it to make a slave
free by feigning to sell him, or, in disputing about a farm, to treat of a
clod as though it were the farm? But our Law had to do with the supreme
God, the Maker of all things, the All‐seeing (blessed is He). Therefore to
observe the letter and to break the spirit of His Law seemed to be a
profaning of His Holy Name. Now I had been trained up from my earliest
years to dread the pulling down of the fences, having this precept, as it
were, engraved and charactered in my memory, “Whoso pulleth down a hedge a
serpent shall sting him:” and I had been taught to prefer Sinai, that is,
the teacher of the Law, even to an “uprooter of mountains,” that is, to a
teacher which hath understanding to remove all manner of offences and
stumbling‐blocks from the path of the weak ones. Howbeit, at times, after
discourse with the Greek proselyte whom I mentioned above, there would
arise in my heart this thought, that when the words of the Law seemed to
contradict that which was right, then we ought to go into the presence of
God and to say, “Thou, O God of righteousness, art righteous altogether,
neither can it be Thy pleasure that we should be unrighteous”; and again,
“Thou art a God of truth, neither can it be Thy will that we should lie
with our hands in Thy presence. Therefore permit us in this case to break
Thy Law. For Thy righteousness is greater than Thy Law.” But the Scribes
would not so much as listen to such words as these; for they said that
scarce even a prophet durst speak so exceeding boldly. But when I asked
them whether it might be that a prophet should arise in Israel, then the
most said that it was not possible; for the Shekinah and the Holy Spirit
had departed from Israel when the first Temple had been destroyed. Thus my
words were an abomination unto my teachers, so that I hid my thoughts in
my heart: but it was pain and grief to me.

Yet another trouble was added to me. For as I grew older and understood
more of the ways of men and perceived the thoughts of men’s hearts, it
seemed to me a strange and horrible thing that the Law of the Lord should
be cut off from the greater part of the Lord’s people: so that it was a
current saying with the Rabbis that the common people were an accursed
rabble which knew not the Law: insomuch that one of the most pious of our
teachers, even Hillel the Great, said that no boor could be a sin‐fearer,
and that the people of the land (for by that name they called the common
people) could not be pious. This, I say, seemed an horrible thing: yet
indeed I could not deny that the Scribes must needs be right, and that the
people of the land could not be pious, so long as to be pious meant to be
obedient to the light precepts of the Law, such as the laws concerning the
exact observance of the Sabbath, and concerning purifications, and
concerning the consumption of nail‐parings, and the like. For the
knowledge of all these things was not to be obtained save by men of
leisure, that could give their time, and settle their minds to the study
of such matters: and how was this possible for them that must needs earn
their bread with the sweat of their brow, to wit, the sailors and
fishermen, the vine‐dressers and ploughmen, the dyers and glassmakers; who
all were called of the Scribes “the people of the land”? So it was borne
in upon me that our Law was a Law for the schools, but not for the lives
of men; and for Scribes, but not for the whole nation. Then my heart sank
within me, and I remembered the words of the Prophet, how that a time
shall come when men shall no longer teach each one his neighbour, saying,
Know the Lord; but all shall know Him from the least even to the greatest;
and I wondered if it would please the Lord to bring such a time as that to
Israel, and to make His Law clear to all our nation, yea, even to the poor
and simple, even to the people of the land.

Others that did not observe the Law so exactly as I did, nor felt the
burdens thereof so sorely, were nevertheless ill pleased that the Scribes
did naught to free them from the yoke of the Gentiles. Of these some dwelt
in Judæa, and a few in Peræa; but the more part dwelt in Galilee, insomuch
that the sect of Patriots was known by the name of Galileans. There were
also living among us James and John, the two eldest sons of Judas of
Galilee, and their youngest brother Manahem. To these, for the sake of
their great father, we all had respect. Many also (like myself) were ever
in a readiness to avenge upon the Romans the blood of kinsfolk shed in the
Galilean wars. Hence it came to pass that in Galilee more than in any
region of Syria, the minds of men were ready for revolt against the
Romans, and waited but for the ripening of occasion.

Now it came to pass that in the fourteenth year of Tiberius Cæsar, there
arose a quarrel between the Tetrarch of Galilee and his father‐in‐law, the
King of Arabia; because the Tetrarch had behaved ill to the King’s
daughter his wife, and sought to divorce her. Then it seemed good to some
of my friends to join the army of Antipas the Tetrarch, to the intent that
they might thereby gain experience in war; but others spake against it,
saying that it was not lawful to take up arms for the unjust against the
just.

At this time also a rumour went forth that a new prophet had of late
appeared, John by name, the son of Zachariah a priest, who was calling the
whole of Israel to repent and to be purified with baptisms, prophesying
that the Lord would soon send the Deliverer of Israel, or Messiah: for by
this name of Messiah, the Deliverer that was to come (of whom the prophets
had prophesied) was commonly known among us. Some said that John himself
was the Messiah; others denied it, but said that the Lord had sent down
Elias from heaven, and that John was Elias. Many other rumours also were
noised abroad, and this rumour prevailed most, that “One from the East
would come forth to rule the world,” which saying had spread even to Italy
and Spain: and we in Galilee thought that this conqueror from the East
would be our Messiah. Thus, the hearts of all men everywhere being in
expectation, it came to pass that many of my friends (who were the leaders
of the sect called the Patriots or Galileans), having purposed these many
weeks to hold a council, determined at this time to confer together in a
little valley between Sepphoris and Nazareth, there to resolve what should
be done.

Most of those present were from the inland parts of Galilee: of these
Barabbas, and one other, were from Jotapata. Only Hezekiah, the son of
Zachariah (a Scribe, who was thought to be well affected towards the
Galileans), came from Jerusalem. And from Capernaum came my cousin Baruch,
the son of Manasseh, with three others. There were present also from the
region of Gaulonitis James and John and Manahem, sons of the famous Judas
of Galilee. James the son of Judas spake first, giving his judgment for
war, and saying that Israel had slept too long: “For while we sleep,” said
he, “the leaven spreadeth; Greek cities cover our land; our own cities are
being defiled with Gentile abominations. They are stealing from us even
our language. No man may earn a living in Galilee now, unless he speak
Greek. With Greek theatres and amphitheatres, and baths, and market‐
places; with Greek pictures and images, and feasts and games; with Greek
songs, and poems, and histories, they purpose, by easy degrees, to beguile
the hearts of our young men from the religion of their forefathers. Our
princes are Edomites in the pay of Rome. Our rich men long for the
fleshpots of Rome, and call themselves by the name of Herod. Our Scribes,
our wise men, cry peace when there is no peace, and wink at the payment of
tribute. Publicans and harlots bring down the wrath of God upon the
nation, and go unpunished. All these things are as the meshes of the net
wherein Rome is encompassing our city. And lo, the fowler layeth the net
and the silly bird stayeth still.” Then Baruch said: “But is it so indeed
that the Romans would blot out our religion? Do they not suffer all
religions? The Gauls, the Spaniards, the Numidians, Egyptians and
Scythians, all worship divers gods: so have I heard from a Greek merchant
at Capernaum; and this, without let or hindrance from the Romans.”

“Nay,” cried Barabbas, “but thou seest not that the Roman suffereth all
false religions and hindereth them not; but he hateth the worship of the
true God of Israel. For this alone putteth other gods to shame. The
Syrians and the Egyptians scruple not to worship the Roman gods, besides
Astarte and Osiris, and to offer incense to the emperor of Rome, to boot.
But the children of Israel will bow down to no false god, neither offer
they incense before the image of the emperor. Hence cometh it to pass that
the Romans hate our religion and would fain destroy it. James therefore
speaketh the words of truth; and whoso speaketh otherwise allegeth naught
but pretexts of delay and cowardice.”

“Peace, Barabbas,” said John, the son of Judas; “we meet to hold
conference, not to cast reproaches. Nevertheless, my judgment goeth with
my brother, that our choice lieth between lingering perdition and speedy
deliverance. Hereof this is proof. But lately I was at the Holy City, not
many days before the Passover; and there went abroad a rumour that the
Procurator Pilate was minded to bring the eagles of the legions from
Cæsarea to Jerusalem, yea, even into the streets of the Holy City. Then
the Priests, even the Chief Priests, yea, even the whole Council, fell
down at Pilate’s feet, if perchance he would change his purpose.
Multitudes ran together round the Prætorium. In vain did they pray and
were disquieted. Under the cloak of night the procurator brought in the
Abomination. Then all the men of Jerusalem, and all the pilgrims which had
come together from the uttermost parts of the earth, clothed themselves in
sackcloth, and sat down in the streets about the palace, with ashes on
their heads after the manner of suppliants; crying aloud that they would
sit there for ever rather than endure the presence of the Abomination. But
when Pilate saw all the streets of Jerusalem thronged, so that no one
might pass night and day, and all business was at a stand, did he yield
from his purpose? Nay, he gave orders that the armed cohorts should beset
the streets around us, threatening to smite us with the sword if we should
not straightway void the streets. And when we would not, then went the
word forth from the captains to draw the swords; and the swords were
drawn, and the soldiers were in act to fall upon us. But we uncovered our
necks and held them out to the soldiers, crying ‘Give us death rather than
defilement.’ So at the last, but not till blood had been shed, the
procurator gave consent that the images should be sent back. Suppose ye
that this was a little matter, naught but an error in judgment of the
procurator? Would a procurator have dared to risk the peace of the whole
province for a little matter? It was no little matter. Pilate did what he
did, not of himself, but at the express instance of the emperor; to prove
the limits of our slavishness, and to force us into defilement and into
the worship of the Abomination.”

Hereat there was a general applause; but he, not heeding it, continued,
“If ye be of one mind with me that the hour is come to smite with the
sword; then how and where? I say, let certain of us join ourselves to the
army of the Tetrarch, which even now maketh ready to march against Aretas.
Thereby we shall gain experience of war, and, as I hope, win over some of
the army to our side. As for the tyrant’s guards, the Gauls, Germans, and
Thracians, they are bought with his money, so that we have no hope of
them; but by far the larger part of the army consisteth of our own
countrymen; and many of them may revolt on our side; as they did with
Simon against Archelaus, and some also helped Athronges, whom men call a
rebel. Meantime, let the rest of us make ready our friends in our several
cities to take up arms next Passover. They in Jerusalem will attack the
garrison there, others break open the armoury at Sepphoris and in Masada.
On the same day our countrymen in Joppa, Cæsarea, and Ptolemais will
attack and drive out the Greeks. Then will rise a flame of war from one
end of Syria to the other. Our rich men, even the Herodians, seeing all
the people to be of one mind, will stand with us; and having Israel with
us as one man, doing battle for the name of the true God against the gods
of the Gentiles, doubt not but we shall have also the sword of the Lord on
our side, as in the days of Gideon.”

The applause was now yet louder than before; and at first it seemed as
though the whole assembly were minded with one consent to obey the words
of John the son of Judas of Galilee. But one of the companions of
Hezekiah, Levi by name, an old man and grey‐bearded, rose up presently and
said that the hour had not yet arrived, because, said he, the Sabbath was
not yet duly observed, and the wrath of the Lord still weighed upon
Israel. Then Barabbas answered with indignation, saying that it was only
the rich and delicate, or else they that were enfeebled with old age, who
were thus content to be the slaves of idolaters.

Upon this Hezekiah the Scribe stood up to speak: “These young men of
Galilee gladly make mention of the old times of Gideon and David, yet do
they not themselves imitate the old times in having respect unto old age.
For even though Levi were old and enfeebled, yet what saith the Tradition?
‘Old age, though it be broken, is yet to be held in reverence, even as the
broken tables of the Law were kept in the ark of the Lord.’ But what
meaneth this youth of Jotapata, when he calleth my friend and companion
Levi, the son of Ezra, delicate or enfeebled; and all because the advice
of Levi is not the advice of Barabbas? Hear, O ye young men of Galilee,
the words of Levi are true: the hour hath not yet arrived. ‘What
hindereth?’ ye ask. I answer in the words of the Wise, ‘The dough in the
leaven.’

“I also, like John the son of Judas, will give proof of my words; but do
ye, being Galileans, incline your ears to the saying of a Galilean,
according to the proverb, ‘A Galilean said When the shepherd is angry with
his flock, he appointeth for their leader a blind bell‐wether.’ Note
therefore the leaders of Israel, which have risen up against the Romans of
late. Hath God sent them in anger or in mercy? Have they been blind bell‐
wethers, or endowed with sight? I say naught of Judas of Gamala, in the
presence of his sons: but Judas the son of the robber Hezekiah, how went
it with him? He thought in his heart that he was a second Joshua, and that
the waters of Jordan would part at his word. But who knoweth not his
miserable end? As also the end of Athronges: who aimed at the kingdom
because, forsooth, he was in stature a second Saul. Simon also, the slave
of Herod the king, when he had shewn forth his valour by destroying the
king’s palace at Jericho, became a portion for foxes at Amathus, and his
head was cast before the feet of the conqueror. Answer then unto me, ye
young men. Hath the Lord sent Simon the slave, and Athronges the shepherd,
and Judas the son of the robber, in mercy or in wrath?

“Nay, but since shame hindereth your answering, I, even I, a man of Judæa,
will answer for you, according as it is said, ‘From Judæa grain, from
Galilee straw, from Peræa chaff.’ The Lord sent these men in wrath. All
these were blind bell‐wethers, blinded by the lust of fame or gain. But do
ye therefore wait for the true leaders whom the Lord your God will send?
Leave it to this young man of Jotapata to follow any knave that may chance
to call himself the Redeemer of Israel because, forsooth, he may be a head
taller than his neighbours, or may have dreamed a dream, or may perchance
have gained some knowledge of herbs or unclean spirits.

“Even now they say there hath appeared in the southern parts (so I heard,
coming but now from Jericho) one John the son of Zachariah, concerning
whom I judge (if he be indeed a true prophet and no deceiver) that he is
either the prophet spoken of by Moses, or else Elias. For that Elias is to
come again we all know, because it is so written; and that the prophet
like unto Moses must needs appear, this also the Scriptures tell us: but
that other prophets should appear is not written, neither is it likely;
for the age of prophets is past. But whether this John be Elias or
whatever else, meet it is that we go to him; for he may perchance reveal
to us what it is our wisdom to do. If ye ask ‘What shall be the sign of
the true prophet?’: I answer, it is written in our traditions, ‘A false
prophet may shew signs on earth and in the deep; but a sign from heaven he
cannot shew.’ Wait therefore till the sign from heaven shall be
vouchsafed, revealing the true Prophet, whom it will be our wisdom to
obey, and for whom (during this present) it is our wisdom to wait.”

When Hezekiah had made an end of speaking, James the son of Judas was sore
displeased at his words, and made as if he would have spoken in answer;
but John (who was of a gentler disposition) prevented his brother, and
said that Hezekiah gave good counsel. For he, like the rest of us, had
been moved by the mention of John the Prophet. So in the end it was
determined according to the words of Hezekiah the Scribe; and we brake up
without resolving anything further, except that we would go straightway,
so many of us as conveniently could, to Bethany beyond Jordan, where the
prophet was baptizing. But on the morrow and on the day after, when I
spake to my friends and acquaintance concerning John the son of Zachariah,
it was a marvel to see how greatly the hearts of all men were stirred at
the thought of a new prophet in Israel. For that after so many hundreds of
years a prophet should arise in Israel (none having prophesied since the
time of Malachi, the last of the prophets, more than four hundred years
ago) this seemed a marvellous thing and well nigh impossible, and almost
as if a man should rise again from the dead. For the prophets were counted
as it were dead and out of mind in Israel, meet to be reverenced for their
past words, but not to be hoped for in the time to come. For this cause
were we much moved by the mention of the name of John the son of
Zachariah. And as the Prophet Elias from the top of Carmel looking out
into the Great Sea and discerning a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand,
foretold the imminent storm, so did all we in Galilee, on the first breath
of the rumour of the coming of a prophet, begin to forebode in our hearts
of the coming of one that should be no common prophet; but, in all
likelihood, Elias from the dead; or else one greater than Moses, to give
us perchance a new Law and a new Kingdom.



                               CHAPTER III


On the fourth day, I set out in company with Baruch my cousin, the son of
Manasseh, my father’s brother, intending to go to Capernaum, and thence to
take ship for Gamala, where we were to meet James and John the sons of
Judas of Galilee; and so to journey all together to Bethany, where the
prophet was. When we were come to Capernaum, we tarried two days in the
house of Manasseh: and the second day was the Sabbath. Now the house of
Manasseh was nigh unto the wharf, so that nothing stood between it and the
lake.

It happened that I was sitting on the house‐roof and the sun wanted yet an
hour or two of setting; and a tumult arose on the beach below, between a
Greek merchant and certain of the townsmen. Word had come to the Greek
that his son was sick in Bethsaida and nigh unto death: so he had besought
certain of the sailors that they would launch their ship and put out to
sea, although the sun had not yet set; to the intent that he might pass
over with all speed, if perchance he might see his child before he died.
The sailors were persuaded by the man’s prayers and gifts, and were
preparing their vessel to launch it. But the inhabitants, those of the
more devout sort, coming together with stones and staves, threatened the
sailors, and forced them to cease, declaring that not a boat should leave
the strand till the Sabbath should be ended.

The air was calm and still so that the merchant’s words came up even to my
ears, as he pointed again and again to the coast over against us: “Surely
your God will permit you to do this service of kindness. Yonder is my son,
mine only son, dying as if within sight of his father. Strangers will
receive his last breath, and close his eyes. I beseech you, as ye are
fathers, have compassion on a father who must soon be childless.” So
saying the Greek beat his breast and tore his hair; but in vain. The ruler
of the synagogue, who had gathered the multitude together, would not
listen to his entreaties; and he departed, weeping and wailing and calling
upon his gods in vain.

Then the ruler of the synagogue, seeing the crowd running together,
exhorted them to a more strict observing of the Sabbath, declaring that
the breaking of the Sabbath was the principal cause of the wrath of God
with His people, and of the delay of the Redemption of Sion. He went on to
speak of the blessing of the Redemption, and he besought the people to do
what lay in them to hasten it forward, by raising up the fences of the
Law, and by constant and scrupulous obedience. “Let all repent,” he said,
“of former slackness and misdoings; for the Lord your God is merciful,
long suffering, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of
the evil. To Him belong mercies and forgiveness, though ye have rebelled
against Him.”

By this time a great multitude was come together, and in the uttermost
parts of the throng stood certain tax‐gatherers (among whom was the
principal receiver of customs in Capernaum, by name Matthew the son of
Alpheus), with certain of the looser sort, men and women, outcasts from
the synagogue: which had been cast forth, some for weighty offences, but
some for light, according to the custom of our Scribes. These had
approached, as it seemed to me, because they had heard mention of “mercy,”
and “forgiveness”; and their faces were somewhat sad, as if they also
would fain have drawn near unto the God of Israel, that they might receive
forgiveness of sins. But the ruler of the synagogue, catching sight of
them, drove them away with reproaches, reviling them as children of Satan.
“Even your alms,” he cried, “we trample under our feet; away, extortioners
and harlots, fit food for fire and worms!”

They departed in haste amid the scoffs and curses of the crowd. But their
countenances changed as they went, and there seemed no more thought of
repentance in them; for they hardened their faces as flint stones because
of the reproaches of the chief ruler. Then it came into my heart that the
ruler of the synagogue erred, in that he drove away the sinners that would
fain have drawn nigh unto the Lord. And not only he, but all our Rabbis
and Scribes seemed to be in the same error, because they drove away
instead of bringing nigh. For even the words of the Wise tell us that
peace is to be proclaimed to the far‐off as well as to the near; and to
the far‐off first. Moreover the words of the Prophet Ezekiel came to my
mind, that if the wicked turned from his wickedness and did that which was
lawful and right, he should live. Now the ruler of the synagogue had
himself also used words like unto these; yet his acts had not been like
unto his words. For after that he had spoken of God as merciful and
forgiving, he had driven away the sinners as though God were unmerciful
and unforgiving. Therefore he had on his lips the wisdom of the Law; but
in the thoughts of his heart and the works of his hand there was no
wisdom. Then I repeated to myself the tradition of the Wise, “Whoso hath
much wisdom and little works, to what is he like? Even to a tree whereof
the branches be abundant but the roots poor and thin: and the wind cometh
and uprooteth it and overturneth it.” Truly, said I, the wisdom of the
Scribes is like unto a tree whereof the roots suffice not for the
branches.

Then began I to consider with myself what would be the doctrine of John
the son of Zachariah as touching forgiveness and repentance; and it was
borne in upon my mind that we lacked, not the true doctrine of forgiveness
(for this we had already in the Law and the Traditions), but somewhat
beyond the reach of doctrine; albeit, what it was, I did not yet
understand. Also methought we had need of some new kind of wisdom that
should avail, not only for Scribes and lawyers but also for the people of
the land, for ploughmen and fishermen, yea, perchance even for tax‐
gatherers and sinners. Then behold, as I mused, methought all the precepts
of the Law and of the Traditions lay scattered about on the beach, like so
many dry bones (according to the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel), and there
they lay, awaiting, till the breath of the Spirit of God should blow upon
them and give them life. And, in my musing, I saw One coming, and his face
was as bright as the morning star, and the breath of the Lord breathed
from his mouth, and he came forward to the bones for to breathe life into
them; and I spake aloud and said, “Perchance John the son of Zachariah is
the Messiah, and will breathe life into these bones.”

But while I thus mused, came Baruch behind me and touched my shoulder, and
pointed to the crowd and said, “See, the sun has now just set; and the
people are following the exorcist yonder. Shall we not go with them? He is
no common exorcist, but by means of certain herbs known only to himself he
can draw an evil spirit out of the nostrils of the possessed; and this
hath he done many times this week in the presence of certain of the most
notable people in Capernaum, insomuch that all men here do hold him in
great esteem. And even now he goeth to cast out an evil spirit from
Raphael, the son of one of our neighbours: who hath been possessed now
these two years.”

So lost was I in thought that, while Baruch was speaking, I scarce
understood the purport of his words. But shouts and shrieks from below
caused me to awake out of my trance. So I looked; and behold, a great
multitude below, and in the midst thereof a youth possessed with an evil
spirit. The youth was led by three strong men; and as he went, he shrieked
aloud and struggled against them that led him. Close after them came one
whose sorrowful countenance betokened him to be the father of the youth.
Before them all went the exorcist.

Here in Britain it is a rare thing to see a man possessed with a demon.
Therefore it is needful to say first, that in the land of Israel (and
especially in the lowlands of Galilee along the coast of the Sea of
Gennesareth, and also in the valley of Jordan), the unclean spirits
prevailed mightily in my days, insomuch that I have noted as many as
twelve or even more in a small town, such as Bethsaida. They wandered
about the country half clothed or naked, assailing their dearest friends
or strangers, or even themselves, with stones or other weapons, such as
they could procure. They saw strange sights, demons and flames; their ears
were filled with thunderings and roarings of beasts and voices of devils.
A stench, as of sulphur and brimstone, was in their nostrils. Their
bellies also were beset with worms, toads, snakes, or scorpions; which
nevertheless destroyed them not. Two voices, the voice of the demon and
the voice of the man, issued from the mouth of the possessed. Verily of
all the diseases with which Satan hath been permitted by the Unsearchable
(blessed is He) to afflict the children of men, this disease is the worst
and cruellest; inasmuch as it poisoneth the very springs of love, causing
the son to hate even the father that begot him and the mother that gave
him suck.

What were the causes of this evil, wise men have asked, and have given no
certain answer. They at Jerusalem said that it was a chastisement because
of men’s neglect of worship in the Holy Temple; and certain it is, that
Gentiles and outcasts from the synagogue were more often possessed than
the devout. Nay, I have known some (more especially women) that, having
been possessed, were cured by the offering of sacrifice, or by a more
constant attending on the worship in the Temple. Others said that it was a
punishment for eating swine’s flesh; others for dwelling in houses built
amid tombs or on ancient burial‐places. But others said that they which
lived in the lowlands about the Lake of Gennesareth and in the valley of
Jordan were more under the unclean demons; for that the demons possessed
and ruled over waterish and low‐lying regions. And so much is undoubted,
that in the inland highlands of Galilee there were few possessed, and in
Jerusalem none, or at least no number worthy of mention; but down in
Jericho and Capernaum the possessed could be seen at the corner of every
street.

Cure there was none, or at least no certain cure. Sometimes sudden terror
or sudden joy availed to drive out the unclean spirit. I have heard of one
Joachim the son of Levi, that was vexed with a dumb spirit for many years;
but seeing some robbers about to kill his father, the string of his tongue
was unloosed, and he cried out to them not to kill him. But no physic, nor
no diet, was of any certain avail. This uncertainty brought great gain to
many vagrant exorcists which wandered here and there throughout Galilee,
their scrips full of amulets, charms, drugs, magic roots, and books of
incantations. These men, with shouts and shrieks and uncouth gestures and
dances, were wont to amaze the demoniacs for a time and to drive them into
a kind of torpor; which torpor they called health and peace, and boasted
that they had wrought a cure. At other times, by magic arts, they would
persuade Satan to go out of the man for a short time, that they might
obtain a reward. But in either case, the cure lasted no long time. For in
a brief space the demon would awake again out of torpor; or if he had been
driven out, he would return, and sometimes bring with him other demons yet
more powerful than himself; insomuch that it was a proverb among us that
it was better for a possessed person that the unclean spirit should not be
driven out at all, than that, having been driven out, he should be allowed
to return.

But about the causes and cures of this evil let others consider and
dispute: I speak now of the exorcist in Capernaum. Going down straightway
with Baruch, I followed him into a house not two hundred paces from the
quay. When we entered, there seemed scarce space for the exorcist and the
demoniac in the middle of the chamber, so thick stood the people together;
but by favour of the master of the house, who was known to Baruch, we
obtained place in the inner part of the circle. The father of the boy now
came up to my cousin. “I have taken Raphael,” he said, “to many exorcists
before, but never a man of them was to be compared with this learned man.
I have described to him the nature of the unclean spirit that possesseth
my son, and he protesteth to me that he hath frequently driven out the
like kind of demons, and that he is assured of success.” Meanwhile
Raphael, the boy possessed with the unclean spirit, was seated on the
ground in the middle. He no longer struggled nor shrieked, but sat quiet,
though sullen withal.

Two slaves now came forth, the first carrying in one hand a bucket of
water and in the other a covered basket; but the second bore a chafing‐
dish. Now all voices were hushed, for the exorcist stepped into the middle
of the chamber. “Many,” he said, “of my profession pretend to drive out
evil spirits, but they do not perform what they promise. But that ye may
perceive how far Theudas the son of Eleazar differeth from such common
vagrants and impostors, I shall not only cast out this unclean spirit, but
I shall also give you proof thereof which ye shall see with your own
eyes.” He then bade the slaves place the bucket upon a shelf in the room
where all could see it; but the basket and chafing‐dish were set in the
midst of the circle.

Perchance the boy began to understand in part that the exorcist was
speaking of him; or it may be that from his father’s anxious mien and
troubled countenance he conjectured that some new thing was at hand. For
he leapt from the ground, and shrieked, and blasphemed God, uttering
obscene words, tearing his hair, and marring his cheeks with his nails;
and but for the two keepers on either side of him he would assuredly have
rent off his garments; and even with all their efforts they had much ado
to hinder him.

But the exorcist threw a few leaves and fragments of root on the chafing‐
dish, muttered a charm, waved his wand, and then waited as though for an
answer. Then frowning, he waved his wand a second time, and repeated a
louder charm, stamping his foot on the ground, and then waited again. A
deep silence fell on all in the chamber, insomuch that no one ventured so
much as to draw breath; and even the boy ceased from his struggles and
stared amazedly at the exorcist. But he, now standing upright and
manifesting in his face that he had received an answer from the unclean
spirit, turned from us to the possessed, and fixing his eye full upon his
face, he cried in a loud voice, “Thou unclean spirit, thine hour is come.
Thy name is revealed unto me, and thy shape likewise. In vain thou wouldst
evade my sight, assuming the semblance of a long black worm. Lo! by the
mysterious power of King Solomon’s ring and these strong roots I will draw
thee out of the poor boy’s nostrils in the presence of this assembly: and
when I say the word, thou, obedient to my commands, shalt leave the body
which thou defilest, and, in thy passage, thou shalt overturn yonder
vessel of water. Dost hear me? Thy name is Ialdabaoth.”

Hereat the demoniac shrieked and raved louder than before, and a deep
voice, deeper than the voice of a youth, cried out from within him, “I am
Ialdabaoth, the worm of darkness; depart from me.” The crowd shouted, and
the sorcerer, turning to us, “Sirs,” said he, “ye see how the evil spirit
is already half conquered; for he hath confessed his name and nature to be
even as I foretold.” Then turning to the boy and applying a ring to his
nostrils, he cried aloud, “Come forth, Ialdabaoth;” and with very great
quickness, so that the motion could scarce be perceived, (all the time
shouting charms and incantations with a loud voice,) he drew forth from
the nostrils of the demoniac a shape like unto a long black worm. Now
verily the crowd shrieked as if they themselves were possessed; but the
boy sat, not struggling, but still and pale, as though no life were in
him. But the exorcist, turning himself quickly round to the vessel of
water behind him, “Away,” he cried, “away, worm of darkness! Back,
Ialdabaoth, to the abyss! Back through the air: and dash down yonder
bucket as thou fliest!” At the word, the worm vanished, the bucket was
dashed down, and the boy fell, as it seemed, lifeless.

We all pressed in upon the youth, wishing to discern whether life were
still in him, or no; but the exorcist waved us back, as one having
authority; and taking the boy by the hand, he raised him up, speaking kind
words to him and to his father. Soon his life returned to the boy, and the
exorcist restored him to his father, whole and sound (albeit weak and
pale), and, as it appeared, delivered from the unclean spirit. The father,
weeping for joy, placed a heavy purse in the hand of the exorcist; who, at
first, put it from him, as though he would have none of it. But
afterwards, while he was receiving the salutations and greetings of them
that were departing, one of his slaves, being urged by the father, took
the purse and placed it in the covered basket.

As for us, it being now late, we stayed not to congratulate with the
father of Raphael; but with all speed, made our way through the press; all
the people around us praising God and marvelling at the power which the
Lord had given to Theudas the son of Eleazar. But we hasted to the house
of Manasseh to make ready for our journey; for we were to set forth early
on the morrow. But when the morrow came, behold, Baruch was sick of a
fever, and could not travel; and I tarried for him for the space of four
days. But on the fifth day after the Sabbath, Baruch being now in case to
travel, we purposed to take ship for Gamala, which lieth on the southern
coast of the lake. For our intent was there to join ourselves to James and
John, the sons of Judas, and so to continue our journey with them till we
came to Bethany in Peræa where John was baptizing.

Now it came to pass that very early in the morning when we were to set
out, the sun being not yet risen, I went to the house of Joazar, the
father of Raphael, to inquire concerning the boy’s welfare. And when I
came to the threshold, behold, another stood at the door; but his back was
towards me, so that I knew not who he was. And before I could accost him,
the door was opened unto us; and behold, a sound as of shrieking and
lamentation. Then we both listened, and lo, a deep voice from an upper
chamber, and it cried, “We are Ialdabaoth! We are Ialdabaoth, the worms of
darkness!” Then came forth other words of blasphemy and filthiness, so
that I loathed to listen to them; and I turned to go back. But at that
instant I heard the voice of the father bewailing: and the stranger
delayed not, but entered into the house; wherefore I also, albeit against
my will, was moved to go in likewise.

So I went in, following the stranger till we both came to the door of the
upper room: and there I stood, and durst not enter into the chamber; for
my heart was empty of comfort, neither knew I how to console the old man
in his affliction. But the stranger that was with me, going forward, spake
first of all to Joazar the father, and said some words of kindness to him.
Now so it was, that when the stranger first entered into the chamber, the
evil spirits ceased not, but raged yet more fiercely than before, crying
aloud and saying, “Depart from us; let us alone; let us alone”; and the
youth also rent his cheeks so that the blood gushed out; and he would fain
have leaped up from his bed. But the stranger (whose face I had not yet
seen), hearing the voices of the spirits, turned himself round from the
old man to the son: and going up to the bedside he stood there,
steadfastly looking at the youth. Now when he thus turned himself, then
for the first time I beheld his countenance; and, as I remember, I
marvelled thereat, and also at the manner of his dealing with the youth.
For, first of all, when he looked upon the youth, his face seemed
swallowed up with pity; and then of a sudden it changed again, and he
stretched out his arm as one having authority, and as if on the point to
bid the evil spirits depart, and this he did twice; but twice again he
drew back his arm, as if changing his purpose. Then, at the last, the pity
came back upon his face all in an instant, so that his features seemed
even melted therewith; and he stooped down and embraced the boy, and
kissed him; and, as I thought, he whispered words in his ear. But this I
know not for certain; howbeit the boy, in any case, ceased from his raging
and no longer struggled, but lay still and quiet, only muttering and
moaning a little. Hereat the stranger turned himself to Joazar to take his
leave; but I (perchance because my mind misgave me that I had played the
eavesdropper, albeit, unwittingly, or for whatever other reason) feared to
wait and meet the stranger; so I turned my back, and went forth in haste
from the house.

When I was come to Baruch again, I held my peace concerning Raphael, lest
I should stir up melancholy in my cousin, since he was freshly recovered
from his disease. But, when we went on board the vessel, the sailors were
not yet ready to sail. So I lay down on the sleeping‐cushion: but no sleep
fell upon my eyes. For there appeared ever before me the image of the
demoniac Raphael and his sorrowful father; and my heart was weighed down
with the thought of their affliction. But I grieved not for them alone,
but also for the daughter of Sion; who seemed to be, in a manner,
possessed with an evil spirit, and to cry aloud for some one that should
cast it out. All the deliverers of old seemed to be even as Theudas the
son of Eleazar; and even as the demon had returned into Raphael, so that
his last state was worse than the first, even so it seemed with Israel;
therefore I besought the Lord to hasten the time of the coming of the true
Redeemer of Sion.

As I mused, I began to consider with myself what would be the manner of
the true redemption. Beside the demoniac, there appeared unto me the face
of Matthew the publican and the faces of the sinners. It was borne in upon
my mind that, even though every legionary in Syria were slain or driven
out, and though the borders of Israel should be enlarged from the Nile to
the Euphrates, yet if we still had amidst us sinners unforgiven, and
Priests and Rulers with no power to forgive nor to convert, then of a
surety the evil spirit would not depart from us save only for a season.

By this time, as I remember, we were but just putting out into the deep,
and the sun was risen. And there came down certain fishermen to the beach
to prepare their tackling for fishing: and with them there came one that,
as I noted, was no fisherman (for he was not girt as a fisherman): and he
walked down to the brink of the waters and looked out steadfastly to the
deep. And so it was that, as he looked, the sun even that instant rising
above the eastern mountains, shone suddenly upon his face so that I could
see it clearly (though we were by this time a full furlong from the
shore); and behold, it was the countenance of the stranger that I had seen
that same morning in the house of Joazar. So I called to Tobias
straightway and asked him who the stranger might be: and Tobias raised
himself upon his elbow where he lay on the sleeping‐cushion, and he
looked, and knew him, and told me his name. And then first I heard the
name of Jesus of Nazareth.

Again I lay down to sleep, but still no sleep would come to me: wherefore
I took forth from my bosom the book of the prophet Isaiah, which I had
with me, and began to read therein. And so it was that as I unrolled it,
my eyes fell upon the place where the prophet saith, “To what purpose is
the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the
burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts.... Bring no more vain
oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths,
the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the
solemn meeting.”

Now at that word, “the new moons and sabbaths I cannot away with,” I
ceased from reading. For I seemed to hear the Greek merchant weeping and
crying to the sailors, “Surely your God will permit you to do this service
of kindness.” Then I called to mind the words of the Lord, “I will have
mercy, and not sacrifice;” and behold, it came in upon me all at once, as
in a flood, that our exactness in the observing of the Sabbath might haply
be an abomination in the eyes of the All‐seeing (blessed is He) whensoever
it hindereth kindness and mercy. After this my eyes again fell upon the
roll, and I read aloud these words wherein the prophet prescribeth the
cure for the wounds of Israel. “Cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek
judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the
widow.” Then I cried aloud, “Is not this a plain and simple path even for
the people of the land, that all Israel should walk therein.”

Now so it was that Baruch had come up while I was thus reading and
speaking aloud; and I knew it not. So he answered and said, “Thou speakest
well; notwithstanding I have heard a certain Greek of mine acquaintance in
Capernaum say that virtue cannot be taught; for that some men have their
hearts inclined by nature to do well, but others to do ill; so that it
availeth nothing to say ‘Learn to do well.’” Then was I silent for a
while, for methought the Greek said well, and indeed we needed, not so
much that a new path should be made plain, as that a clean heart and a
right spirit should be created anew within us, according as it is written,
“Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” So in
the end I concluded to wait till we should understand what new message the
prophet John the son of Zachariah might bring to us from the Lord, if
perchance he might teach us aught concerning the creating of a right
spirit. But by this time our ship was come to Gamala; where we were
courteously entertained by James and John the sons of Judas; and we abode
with them three days. But on the fourth day we set out for Bethany of
Peræa.



                                CHAPTER IV


As we drew near to Bethany, we noted many hundreds of travellers on the
road, the most part on foot, but many on asses and camels; for rich as
well as poor were journeying to the new prophet. A full score of Scribes
went past us in the space of an hour; there were also some soldiers going
to Machærus; here and there was a tax‐gatherer; and Baruch took note of
certain that were sinners, outcasts from the synagogue of Capernaum. We
had now been journeying for a day and a half; and toward the end of the
second day, we began to see the valley of Jordan right over against us.
Going down a little further, we perceived that there was a great multitude
gathered together near the bank of the river; and presently we could
clearly discern the prophet himself.

Around him stood men in white garments awaiting purification; at a
somewhat greater distance, the mixed multitude hearkening to his words.
John himself, wearing no tunic, but clad only in a rough mantle of camel’s
hair with a girdle of untanned leather, was sitting upon a rock, and
thence he was speaking to the people in a clear voice, whereof the sound
(though not as yet the meaning) was borne up even to our ears. For a while
we stood still, with one consent, marvelling at the sight; for there had
not been a prophet in Israel for four hundred years and more; but
presently, riding down with all speed, we came into the valley, and joined
ourselves to the multitude: and, albeit, we could not come very nigh to
John, for the press, yet was there such a stillness among all the
assembly, that we very soon understood whatsoever he said.

He had been speaking (this I learned afterwards from one of the
bystanders) concerning the old wars and troubles which the Lord had sent
on Israel; how, according to the saying of the Prophet Isaiah, the Lord
had brought the Assyrian against the land as an axe, whereby He had cut
down our chosen nobles and princes, even as a woodman felleth the choicest
trees. Also how, in the days of the Prophet Jeremiah, the Lord had sent
the blast of His wrath upon the people, and had winnowed away the unstable
and faithless into captivity, even as a winnower fanneth the chaff from
the wheat. The same things were at hand even now, he said: “Now also the
axe is laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth
not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”

Hereat the multitude cried aloud, saying that it was even so; for indeed
we all felt in our hearts that the prophet spake the truth. As the
Assyrian axe in the days of old, so now the Roman axe was laid at the root
of Israel; and unless the Lord turned away His wrath from us, the nation
would be destroyed. But then a stillness fell upon the multitude, as we
waited till the prophet should tell us what we should do to turn away the
Lord’s wrath.

Then the prophet set his face toward the men in white garments, and said
to them that they should cleanse their hearts and not their bodies merely,
and put away the iniquity of their souls, and he called upon them to
confess their sins. He bade them also not to trust in their being children
of Abraham, nor in the purifications of the Law, nor in the observances of
Sabbaths and feast‐days. If, said he, the tree was to escape the axe, it
must no longer be barren: “bring forth fruits therefore worthy of
repentance, and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our
father, for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up
children unto Abraham.”

Saying these words, he beckoned to the men in white robes that they should
follow him. The multitude made way for them; and he led them down to a
place by the side of the river where the reeds and thickets of willow‐beds
had been rooted up, so that there might be free passage into the water.
Then he cried in a clear voice, “Receive the baptism of Repentance,” and
bade them plunge themselves beneath the surface. At the same time he
offered up prayers to God; and we upon the higher bank said, Amen. When he
had made an end of baptizing the men, he went up again to the rock, and
thence he again spoke to the people; and as many as desired purification
went up to him there.

Now while the people were going up by courses, I also began to resolve in
my heart that I too would go up in the order of my course. Yet had I sore
misgivings in my soul; for it seemed as if I were on the verge of a great
sea, launching out into the deep I knew not whither. For the teaching of
this new prophet in no wise agreed with the teaching of the Scribes and
Lawyers, whom I had reverenced; and if I went with him, I perceived that I
must needs go away from them. Now it came to pass that a certain Scribe
(who was with our company) perceived the reasonings of my heart, and that
I was desirous to receive purification at the hands of John. Therefore he
took me by the cloak, and held me back, saying, “Behold, if John the son
of Zachariah speaketh well, the Scribes have spoken ill, and have taught
ill. Yea, and all thy study of the Law, and thy painful meditations
therein, and thy nightly watchings and weariness of the flesh have all
been in vain. But wilt thou lightly forsake the teaching of the Law and
the Traditions of the Fathers, and all for the sake of one new prophet,
concerning whom thou knowest not as yet even that he is a prophet? And
wherefore shouldst thou thus seek after prophets? Knowest thou not that
the Inscrutable (blessed be He) decreed that, after the destruction of the
first Temple, there should be no longer with us the Shekinah, nor the Holy
Spirit, nor the Urim and Thummim; wherefore it is said, ‘From the fourth
year of King Darius, the Holy Spirit no longer rested upon the prophets.’
But in the place of the prophets (who were not always with Israel) thou
hast now the Scribes always with thee, according as it is said, ‘Moses
received the Law from Sinai, and the elders delivered it to the prophets,
and the prophets to the men of the Great Congregation;’ and it is also
said, ‘from the time that the Temple was destroyed, the gift of prophecy
was taken from the prophets and given to the Wise.’”

His words moved me, and I restrained myself for the time. Yet on the other
side there rose in my heart a certain Voice, which seemed to come from the
Lord, saying, “The words of John are right, and they are simple,
converting the soul. Moreover, they are fit for the people of the land,
and not only for Scribes and scholars and pedants. But that he is a
prophet, thine own heart convinceth thee; for even when thou hearest him,
thou knowest that he speaketh not from himself, but that he is taught from
above. And did not also the prophets of old speak like things, saying,
‘Rend your hearts, and not your garments,’ and bidding Israel not to offer
sacrifice, but to shew mercy, and not to observe Sabbaths, but to do
judgment and relieve the oppressed?” So between the words of the Scribe
and the words of the Voice within me I was in a great strait. Howbeit for
the time I restrained myself and did nothing, but remained where I was,
giving heed to the words of the Prophet.

Now it came to pass that certain of the soldiers from Machærus went up:
and all we in the crowd waited silently expecting that the Prophet would
deny purification to these men, except they should first promise to depart
from the army of Herod. But he commanded them only to abstain from robbery
and outrage. Upon this certain tax‐gatherers (whom the Romans call
publicans) took confidence, and they too went up. And now indeed all we
that looked on, expected that there should have been a great outburst of
wrath and of cursing upon them, as upon traitors and apostates from
Israel. But the Prophet received these also, and bade them exact no more
than that which was appointed to them. To others he said that they were to
observe that saying in the Traditions which enjoineth the doing of
kindnesses; that is to say, they were to clothe the naked and to feed the
hungry, and the like.

Hereupon arose a murmuring among certain of the Scribes from Jerusalem,
who were standing nigh to the place where I was: and I heard the voice of
Hezekiah son of Zachariah saying in an austere manner, “It is said, ‘On
three things the world is stayed; on the Law, and on the Worship, and on
the bestowal of Kindnesses:’ what meaneth this teacher of strange things
therefore, to subvert the Law and the Worship, in that he maketh no
mention thereof, but he exalteth Kindnesses to the skies?” Then another
said, “He allegeth the authority of no teacher; why therefore hearken we
to him?” But a third said, “Peradventure he is a prophet, and is taught of
God.” But Hezekiah made answer, “The time of prophets hath passed.
Besides, he hath wrought no sign from Heaven; how know we therefore that
he is a true prophet?”

These things spake the Scribes together, as we went back from the river to
the place where our tents were pitched; for by this time the sun was
setting. But all that night long my thoughts still beat on the doctrine of
John; and I marvelled much whence it came that the people so flocked to
John as to a prophet; yea, and that my own heart also was so drawn towards
him, although he had wrought no sign in heaven, nor so much as driven out
any unclean spirit. But the reason seemed to me partly in himself. For his
very countenance, yea, even his gesture and carriage, proclaimed him to
be, not a student of books, but one that was taught of God; and yet
further the hardships that he endured, and the manner of his clothing and
food (for he fed on nothing but locusts and wild honey) shewed to all men
that he did not prophesy for gain. But another reason lay in his doctrine.
For the doctrine of John was simple and just, commending itself to the
consciences of men; not flattering any nor busying itself with abstruse
matters; but fit for the work of life and the paths of busy men, able, as
it seemed, to carry purity and righteousness even to the side of the
plough, and into the ranks of armed men, and into the shops and offices of
tradesmen and tax‐gatherers. For this cause the teaching of John won a way
into the hearts of men of every degree, save only certain of the
Pharisees. So when I thought on all these things, I began to be convinced
that he was sent of God.

But when I went forth on the morrow to behold the purification of the
disciples and to hear the teaching of the Prophet, my heart was even more
drawn unto him. For I compared him with Abuyah the son of Elishah, and
with the ruler of the synagogue, that had driven away the tax‐gatherers
and sinners from the teaching of repentance; and it seemed to me that John
was as much better than they, as light is better than darkness. For though
he were of a stern countenance and austere in aspect, yet was the
austerity of John in no wise as the austerity of Abuyah the son of
Elishah. For Abuyah was sour and peevish, for that he ever loved to find
fault, and because he desired to obtain occasion for rebuking, to the
intent that he might persuade himself that he was better than others: but
John seemed to be austere only because he hated sin. So I no more delayed,
but went up with the rest, about the second hour of the day; and I
confessed my sins and received purification.

After we had been purified, I stood with the rest, clothed in white
garments, wholly given up to meditating upon the new life whereto we
seemed to have risen out of the waters. But I was aroused by hearing these
words spoken with a great vehemency of anger: “Ye serpents, ye generation
of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Great
indeed was my astonishment when, raising myself to see what they were to
whom the Prophet was thus speaking, I discerned the faces of some of the
most famous Scribes in Jerusalem. It seemed that they had been questioning
him who he was and by what authority he taught these things. But the
Prophet rebuked them with exceeding indignation. For he said that they
were even as barren trees, full of leaf, but bearing no fruit, fit for
naught but to be cut down and cast into the fire. Then they went backward,
being put to utter confusion; but John turned to us that had been
purified, and spake to us a second time as follows:

“I am not the Christ. Call not yourselves my disciples: for I myself am
naught but a herald in the wilderness preparing the way for the Great
King. But verily the King cometh. Therefore weep no more for the evils of
sin. The rough ways of oppression shall be made smooth; the crooked paths
of deceit and violence shall be made straight. Let the daughter of
Jerusalem rejoice greatly, for her salvation is nigh. For the glory of the
Lord draweth near, and all flesh shall see it together. Notwithstanding
think not of me as your deliverer. He that hath the bride is the
bridegroom, and the Bridegroom of Sion is the Redeemer, who shall espouse
her in the day of salvation. I am but the friend of the Bridegroom. Nay, I
am but his servant, not worthy to follow him as slave, nor to loose the
latchet of his sandal. Ye ask in your hearts who I am. But think not of
me, for I am as one that is no man. I am naught but a voice, even the
voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make His paths straight.’”

Then he warned us that had been purified not to suppose that we needed no
further purification. Speaking of the old days of Joshua the Conqueror, he
brought to our minds how our fathers had two kinds of purification; one
inferior, with water, wherewith they purified things perishable, such as
garments and the like; but a more searching purification, wherewith they
purified silver and gold and other imperishable things, and this was with
fire. Even so, he said, it was given to him to purify only with the
washing of water; but one would come after him, the Messiah and Redeemer;
and he would purify us with fire and with the Holy Spirit.

In the evening, when we, that had received the purification, conversed
together in the inn at Jericho, there was much questioning whence the
Messiah should come, and by what signs he should be known. But most of the
Scribes did not believe that John was a true prophet; and Hezekiah
protested that he ought not to be called a prophet, for he had wrought no
sign, not even on earth, much less in heaven. But this he said not openly,
for fear of the multitude; for almost all believed John to be a prophet.

But on the morrow, when we turned ourselves to go northward, heaviness
fell upon my heart, and all things seemed flat and unprofitable. All our
counsels of action, whether to join ourselves to the army of Herod, or
straightway to rise up against the Romans, behold, they now seemed no
longer the wisdom of men, but rather the vain talk of children. For what
could Barabbas and the sons of Judas do, in comparison with the true
Redemption which had been prophesied by the Prophet; or how could they
avail to bring about the day of that Redemption? It seemed to be our
wisdom to wait for the Lord, who alone could send the true Redeemer. And
yet, on the other hand, how was it possible for one that loved Israel and
longed after righteousness, to look patiently upon the servitude of his
country? Hence I loathed the thought of living in peace at home.

When I returned to Sepphoris, I applied myself to labour and to study, if
perchance I might settle my thoughts; but I could not, for I was divided
between two minds. At one time I was minded to obey John and his teaching,
and to set no store on the teaching of the Scribes, nor to give heed to
what were called the “light precepts” of the Fathers, such as those
concerning tassels and fringes, and the purification of vessels, and the
observance of the Sabbath for things without life, and the like; and it
seemed nobler to cast these things away, and to say that mercy, and
judgment, and truth, and kindness, were the great commandments, and whoso
observeth these, observeth all. But then at other times, when I considered
with myself how frail and fitful a thing is man, how impotent for all good
ends, and how easily led aside from the right path by passion and by
ignorance, then I trembled at the thought of casting down the fences which
had been raised by the generations of the wise; for I feared lest I should
be guilty of presumption, and should fall, and be swallowed up with an
utter destruction.

But in the minds of other men (and not in me alone) there was at this time
much unsettlement and many searchings of heart. For many others in
Sepphoris became ill‐content with the teaching of the Scribes, and with
the performance of the precepts of the Law. Some men even said that, when
the Messiah came, there should be no more Law. So, if, even before, men
had been expecting the Messiah and looking forward to the Redemption of
Sion, much more did they do so now, after the preaching of John the
Prophet; insomuch that the whole of Galilee became as dry fuel ready for
the flame: and nothing was wanting save a spark of fire from heaven to
kindle the whole into a great blaze.

By this time I had numbered thirty‐four years, or something more; and it
was the fourteenth year of the Emperor Tiberius.



                                CHAPTER V


Now it came to pass that about this time, at the beginning of the
fifteenth year of Tiberius Cæsar, very early in the spring, the only son
of my mother’s eldest brother died in Alexandria; and my mother’s brother
(whose name was Onias) sent to my mother desiring her that she would
suffer me to come to Alexandria to visit him during his affliction. He was
a shipwright and a man of great wealth, possessing many corn‐ships; and he
was desirous to have adopted me for his son. But to this I would not
consent, nor did my mother urge me thereto. Howbeit out of love for her
brother, and because she thought it would be for my advantage, she desired
me to visit my uncle for a time. I had no mind to remain in Alexandria,
nor to leave my mother for long. But at my mother’s bidding I was willing
to go to my uncle for a season, if perchance I might comfort him a little.

Two days I spent at Cæsarea Stratonis waiting for the sailing of our
vessel; and during that time my heart was moved within me, for that I saw
on all sides the signs of the power and prosperity of the Gentiles; for a
Gentile city this was, insomuch that, though the wall be on holy ground,
yet was the city itself esteemed of our Scribes to be defiled and in a
Gentile land. For the region round about was called the land of life; but
the city was called the daughter of Edom. A great breakwater here
protecteth the ships from the rage of the sea. Each stone therein is
thirty cubits long, six cubits deep, and seven cubits broad, let down into
water twenty fathom deep. Above the waters the breakwater is of the
breadth of one hundred and forty cubits. Over against the mouth of the
haven standeth a temple dedicated to Cæsar, and thereon two images of
marble, very large, the one of Cæsar, the other of Rome. There is also in
this city a theatre, and an amphitheatre, and a market‐place, after the
manner of the Greeks; and in all parts of the city there were to be seen
baths, and gardens, and palaces, and porticoes, and other public
buildings, all adorned, after the Greek fashion, with images of living
creatures. When I looked on these things, Satan tempted me and said, “God
loveth the Romans more than He loveth the children of Israel; and the
wisdom of the Greeks is greater than the wisdom of Sion.”

More, yea much more grievously did Satan tempt me when I was come to that
great city, even to Alexandria. For here the streets were broader and the
public buildings also larger and goodlier than those of Cæsarea; and in
the streets and public gardens, yea even in the households of the Gentiles
to whom my uncle commended me, I perceived the abominations of idolatry.
For on every side were to be seen images and pictures of false gods and of
demons which they called demigods and heroes; insomuch that the walls of
the houses and the chambers, yea even the seats, and couches, and
ornaments of dress, and utensils of furniture, and instruments of music
were all painted or carven with abominable devices, setting forth the
doings of these demons. But when I heard the interpretation of these
pictures and graven images, then sometimes indeed my heart loathed them
for their lewd and profane spirit; but at other times I was constrained to
confess that there was a certain wondrous beauty and delight in the songs
of certain of the poets of the Gentiles.

Here also men of all nations and religions, Jews and Greeks, Romans and
Egyptians, and strangers from the East, lived all together in peace,
making gain, and worshipping after the traditions of their fathers; and no
one vexed nor oppressed other. All this troubled me, for I said in my
heart, “There is but one God: how then doth the All‐powerful (blessed is
He) endure that the Gentiles should live thus prosperously in the worship
of gods that are no true gods?”

My uncle’s house also was a snare unto me and a temptation; for although
he himself reverenced the Law, yet did he consort with many of our nation
which scoffed at the Scriptures and warred against all sacred things,
making it their delight to have the commandments of the Lord in derision,
and saying to the faithful among their countrymen, “Do ye still make
account of your laws as if they contained the rules of the truth? Yet see,
the Holy Scriptures, as ye call them, contain also fables, such as ye are
accustomed to laugh at, when ye hear others say the like.”

When I rebuked these backsliders and revolters in the presence of my
uncle, he spake kindly to me; yet did his words shake my faith. As for the
Scribes whose teaching I had once so prized, he described them as meaning
well, but not teaching well; and he called them “puzzle‐browed sophists,”
and “those that busy themselves with the letter.” The letter of the Law,
he said, was full of falsehoods, such as the Greeks call myths, which were
intended to warn the wise from cleaving unto the letter of the Law.

Again, he exhorted me not to despise the learning of the Greeks, nor the
teaching of the Gentile Scribes, whom they called “Philosophers.” “For,”
said he, “they enlarge and open the mind and help to the right
understanding of the Law of Israel.” But when I repeated the proverb of my
countrymen, “The very air of Palestine maketh wise,” and said that the
Scribes in Galilee eschewed the Greek learning, warning their pupils
against it, as against a net that entangleth the feet, and when I appealed
to the Scribes of my uncle’s acquaintance, hoping that they should have
been on my side, behold, they were with one consent against me and with my
uncle. For they all said that the Galilean Scribes spake as unlearned men,
and that there was much to be learned from a certain Gentile philosopher
called Plato; and one added a line from a Greek play‐writer which saith
“even from enemies one may win learning.” Then was I staggered in my
judgment, and bent to their opinion, so that I began to frequent the
schools of the philosophers.

But great indeed was my perplexity and bewilderment when I found that
these philosophers treated not of such subjects as I had supposed, namely
of the nature of the soul, and whether it be mortal or immortal, or
whether there be many gods or one God; but they questioned whether the
world came together by chance or by design, and whether there be any God
or no. Yet howsoever they differed among themselves, they agreed all in
believing that our God was not the true God, and that the stories of the
mighty works wrought by Him for our forefathers were mere myths and
fables; or, if any thought otherwise, they held that our stories were no
truer than their stories, and that Æsculapius and Hercules were far more
worthy of honour than Elijah and Samson. Now a certain voice within me
constantly testified that they were in error; for the righteous teaching
of our prophets and our lawyers far exceeded anything that the Gentiles
could shew from their philosophers or lawgivers. But I had been taught by
the Scribes of Galilee not to trust to this voice within me, namely to my
conscience, but only to tradition and authority; and behold, my traditions
and the authority whereon I set store were rejected by these Gentiles:
wherefore I knew not how to answer them.

It came to pass that, on a certain day, going from lecture‐room to
lecture‐room, I perceived a great multitude passing into a hall in the
Great Library, where there was to be a dispute between two philosophers;
so I followed with them. One of the two belonged to the sect called the
Stoics, and the other to the sect called the Epicureans; and the dispute
was concerning the government of the universe by the gods, which is
affirmed by the former sect, but denied by the latter. Now the contention
had endured for the space of a whole day already, and yesterday the Stoic
had delivered his arguments: but to‐day the dispute was to be continued by
the other, and so it was that, when I entered the chamber, the Epicurean
was at the point to speak.

He began with reckoning up how many unjust acts, how many oppressions and
sins, how many diseases and miseries, had been let loose by the gods (if
gods there were) to prey upon the children of men. He set forth the
diverse gods and goddesses worshipped by diverse nations; the gods of the
Grecians and Romans, wrought of marble or ivory; the sword worshipped by
the Scythians; the cat and ibis by the Egyptians. What, he asked, had they
all done for their servants? Then he said that in a certain region of
Syria there lived a nation which professed to reject the gods of other
nations and to believe in one only god: but to what end? Their god had
allowed their enemies to destroy his own temple with fire, and had given
up his chosen people to be the servants of the Romans. He added a story of
one of our learned men, whose life had been blameless and whose teaching
had been of the One True God. “Yet,” said the Epicurean, “what befell this
teacher of truth in his old age? His god delivered him into the hands of
persecutors, who placed his tongue between the teeth of a dog which had
been made exceeding fierce with hunger; and so the dog bit off the tongue
of the pious teacher, even that tongue which had ever spoken words of
truth. What say we then? If there be a god, then he suffered this
wickedness (for without him is naught); and therefore he is wicked. But if
there be no god, then at least we are delivered from the constraint to
believe that the Supreme Governor of the world is worse than the worst of
men.”

The people, who had been on the side of the Epicurean from the first, in
despite of the interruptions of the Stoic, now loudly applauded; and when
it fell to the Stoic to speak, he had little to say. If he discoursed of
oracles as proofs of the divine foreknowledge, then the Epicurean asked
who had ever been profited by oracles, bringing forward many dark sayings
of the gods, which had led men to destruction; and other sayings that
savoured of manifest folly; adding thereto jests and flouts of oracles
drawn from the plays of the comedians. When the Stoic spake of a life
after death, and alleged apparitions of the dead, then his adversary
answered that the said apparitions were mere unsubstantial phantasms, such
as appear to madmen and drunkards when they see all things twofold.
Lastly, when the Stoic spake of judgment after death, and a final
consumption of the world by fire, then the Epicurean demanded proof
hereof; and he laughed at the stories of Minos and Rhadamanthus as nursery
fables and bugbears to frighten babes withal. He also compared the Supreme
Being of the Stoics burning up the world, to an unskilful cook that
burneth the cake that he is baking.

Again the people laughed loudly, and shouted applause; but the Stoic,
touched with choler, left reasoning with his adversary and began to revile
him, calling him atheist and sacrilegious wretch, and other names; which
only made the people laugh the more. But I came forth from the theatre
sick at heart and saddened, not more by the arguments of the Epicurean
than by the faithlessness of the multitude. Then said I, “How know I that
there is a life after death? or who hath returned from the grave to bring
back word thereof? For it is written, ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,
do it with thy might.’ But wherefore? ‘Even because,’ saith the Scripture,
‘there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave
whither thou goest.’” Then again I lamented that I had wasted my years in
labour, and much study had been to me a weariness in the flesh, and I
said, “It would have been wiser to have preferred mirth, for it is
written, ‘A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat and drink,
and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of
his life, which God giveth him under the sun.’”

From henceforth my days and nights were busied with such questions as
these, which crept into my soul against my will, and would not be driven
out: After death shall I live no more, and will no one even once think of
me, since infinite time burieth all things in forgetfulness? Will it be
even as though I had never been born? When was the world created, and what
was in the beginning before the world? If the world was from all eternity,
then it will always be; but if it had a beginning, then must it likewise
have an end. And, after the end of the world, what will be then? What
perhaps but the silence of death?

Being constantly given up to such thoughts, I resorted yet more diligently
to the schools of the philosophers, hoping to obtain some deliverance from
my doubts: but I saw nothing but the contentions of orators, and the
foyning and thrusting of rhetoricians, fighting not for the truth, but
each desiring to prove himself more skilful than his adversaries. So it
came to pass that I inclined, now to one, now to another. As, for example,
at one time they that taught the immortality of the soul seemed to
prevail; then again they that would have the soul to be mortal. When the
former doctrine had the upper hand, I rejoiced: when the latter, I was
downcast. Thus was I driven to and fro by differing opinions, and was
forced to conclude that things appear not as they are in themselves, but
as they happen to be presented on this side, or on that. My brain was in a
greater whirl than ever, and I sighed from the bottom of my heart.

At the last I went to my uncle in my distress, and poured forth my
troubles in his ear. But when he had hearkened to my complaints, he said,
“It will be well that thou shouldst have speech with Philo; for he is our
principal teacher here, and he will answer thy doubts.” But I said in my
haste and impatience, “Behold, I have resorted unto the wisest teachers in
Galilee, and now, at thy word, I have frequented the lectures of these
Gentile philosophers; but they have added nothing to me, for they are as
dried‐up springs.” At this my uncle laughed, and said, “Suppose not, O son
of my sister, that our Philo is like unto the Scribes of Galilee: for as
well might a dog hope to lap up the Nile as that thou shouldst drain dry
the wisdom of Philo the Alexandrine.” So without more ado I accompanied
him to the house of Philo.

When we entered the house of Philo, I admired first of all the homely
plainness of his household. For though he were one of the foremost Jews in
Alexandria (and there were nigh unto a hundred myriads of our countrymen
in the city and the country round about) and kinsman also to Alexander the
Alabarch, whose wealth was known to all, yet were there no signs of
luxury, nor of pride in his house, nor in his furniture nor in his
clothing: and his wife also wore a plain and simple garment without
plaiting of the hair, or painting, or adornment with gold and precious
stones; and in all the house there was naught whereat the strictest
Pharisee could have been offended.

Philo received us courteously; and when I had opened to him at large all
my doubts, he replied fully to them. I cannot at this time set down
exactly all that we spake together; but this was the substance. First, I
said that I was loth to be as one of the backsliders among my countrymen,
who in effect gave up the Law, deriding it as a heap of fables; yet on the
other hand, I confessed that after much study of the Law I had not been
able to attain to righteousness nor peace. Thereto Philo made answer that
he was not one of them that rejected the Law of Israel; for he diligently
observed it, believing that it contained all knowledge and all wisdom;
“and,” said he, “I consider that Moses was the greatest and most perfect
of men, and that he attained unto the very pinnacle of wisdom.(1) But as
for the wisdom of the Greeks, it is but as a handmaid in respect of our
wisdom; even as the slave Hagar was, in respect of her mistress and queen,
Sarah. Notwithstanding,” added he, “when I speak of our Scriptures, I mean
that there are two interpretations of every Scripture. There is first the
outer meaning, which is as it were the body; but there is, next, the inner
spiritual meaning, which is, as it were, the soul. Thus, for example, when
thou readest that Eve was made out of the rib of Adam, or that the world
was made in six days, or that God talked with Moses in a thorn‐bush, the
letter of these Scriptures is indeed fable, but the spiritual meaning is
truth and life.” Then said I, “If the letter be fable, why retain the
letter?” But he said, “And if the body be unspiritual, why retain the
body? As well cast away the body because it is not soul, as cast away the
letter because it is not spirit.”

Then I asked, “But how shall I attain righteousness?” Philo replied, “All
men have in them a certain spiritual nature, in virtue whereof they are
allied with the Word of God. Whosoever recogniseth the sins wherewith he
is defiled, hath the power (if he will use it) of rising above his
passions, and conquering his lusts, so that in the end, by repentance and
by constant struggling after righteousness, he can follow after the
virtues of the Father in heaven who begat him.” Then said I, “All this
have I done; for I have now these many years observed not only the words
of the Law, but also the Traditions of the Elders; yet have I not attained
peace.” But he said, “Thou puttest first that which should come second;
first aim after the virtues that have to do with men; afterward shalt thou
attain the virtue that hath to do with God.” “It would seem therefore,”
said I, “that thou dost not advise thy disciples to withdraw themselves
from the world, after the manner of hermits.” “Yea, but I do advise them,”
said Philo; “only first men should attain to the lower step before aiming
at the higher. For first, they should study truthfulness, striving to love
their neighbours, and to be helpful and gentle to all; for man should be
gentle, and not savage, being fitted by nature for fellowship and concord.
But after that thou hast attained to this lower stage, my counsel is that
thou forsake thy home and thy friends, and thy wealth, and all that thou
hast, and that thou abstain from business of state, and from all traffic,
and that thou give thyself entirely to the contemplation of the divine
essence.”

Then said I, “Methinks, many of our Scribes in Galilee would not please
thee; for they seek after righteousness by other ways, observing the
smallest matters of the Law, and afflicting the flesh.” “Tell such an one
from me,” said Philo, “when thou shalt see him perchance abstaining from
food or drink at the times of eating, or disdaining the bath and the use
of oil, or tormenting himself with a hard couch or with night‐watchings,
deceiving himself with this show of abstinence, that he is not in the true
way to continence, and that all his labour is in vain.”

“But what,” asked I, “is this highest revelation of the essence of the
Supreme (blessed is He) to which the soul shall at last attain?” Philo
paused a moment and then answered, “Thou shalt attain to the knowledge of
God, as mere being or existence.” But I, not understanding him aright,
said, “Thou sayest ‘existence:’ dost thou mean ‘holy existence’?” But
Philo answered with a smile, “How can we call Him holy who is holier than
all holiness? But by ‘mere existence,’ I mean that which is known as
existence and in no other way.” Then I said, “May we not therefore call
Him good? or loving?” “Call Him so,” replied Philo, “if thou dost not
believe that He is better than all goodness, more loving than all love.”

Hereat my heart sank within me; for such a God as this “mere existence”
seemed to me not a being able to love me nor to be loved by me, no more
than if it had been a triangle or a circle. But presently I called to mind
that Moses had named God the Father of the spirits of all flesh: and the
prophets also had named God Father. Therefore said I to Philo, “And the
name Father also? May we not give this name to God?” “No,” said Philo,
“except in order to teach the common folk; as when the Scripture saith
that God chasteneth those whom He loveth, like as a father chasteneth his
son. For God cannot change; neither can He feel anger, nor love, nor joy.
But when the Scripture sayeth such words as these, it speaketh for the
common multitude, even as when it saith that God spake or heard; or that
He smelled a sweet savour; or that He awaked from sleep; or that He
repented of that which He had done.”

When I heard this, it seemed to me that I had come to Philo for naught;
but I said to him, “Thou speakest of that revelation of God, which thou
callest mere existence, as being the highest revelation. Is there then a
lower revelation?” “Certainly,” he replied, “for just as there is, in
human life, the thing and the word that revealeth the thing, even so is
there also on the one hand God, the true God, THAT WHICH IS, and on the
other hand the Word of God, which revealeth God to the minds of men.” Then
I questioned him concerning this Word of God, or Logos (as he called it,
using a Greek name): and he answered me fully, yet not so that I could
altogether understand him. But this I gathered, that the Word or Logos was
a second divine being, inseparable from the Father; and that by the Word
was the world made. But sometimes he said that the world, as conceived by
the intellect, _was_ the Word, (“for,” said he, “as a city, not yet being,
is in the mind or reason of the architect thereof, so the world, albeit
not being, was in the mind or reason of God”;) and with these exact words
he made an end of this part of his discourse, for I set them down at the
time: “If any one should desire to use still plainer terms, he would not
call the world (regarded as perceptible only to the intellect) as anything
else but the Reason of God busied with the creation of the world; for
neither is a city, while only perceptible to the intellect, anything else
except the reason of the architect.”

Then said I, “But how do men attain to the revelation of the Word?” “By
the exercise of the divine Word or Reason within them,” said Philo; “for
all men have in themselves a ray of light from the archetypal Light, the
Word of the Supreme Being. For no mortal thing is framed, nor could have
been framed, in the similitude of the Supreme Father; but only after the
pattern of the second deity, the Word. Now this Word can be received of
all them that will live according to it. For the race of mankind is
twofold, the one being the race of them that live by the Divine Spirit and
reason; the other, of such as live according to the pleasures of the
flesh. The universe therefore, apprehended by the reason of man, conveyeth
the revelation of the Word. And this revelation, this heavenly food of the
soul (which Moses calleth manna), the Word of God meteth out in equal
portions among all them which are to use it. For the blessed soul
proffereth her own reason as the holy goblet of true joy. But who can pour
forth the wine of life, save only the Cup‐bearer of God, the Master of the
Feast, the Word? And indeed the Cup‐bearer differeth in no wise from the
draught. For the Word is the draught itself, pure and unpolluted.”

Then it was borne in upon my mind, that in all his discourse (which
inforced attention by reason of the beauty of his sayings, and because of
his exceeding earnestness) he had left no place for the Messiah or
Redeemer of Israel, whose coming had been prophesied by John, the son of
Zachariah. Therefore I questioned him of this matter. But he smiled and
said, “Trouble not thyself on this matter; for it is likely that no
Messiah is to come. But it will come to pass, in the day of Redemption,
that the children of Israel, which be now scattered over the earth, will
be led from all parts back to the Sacred Land, by the light of a great
light invisible to all others, but visible only to such as are to be
saved.” Then, seeing that I was of a sad countenance, he added, “Dost thou
not perceive that the revelation of a Messiah would be as much inferior to
the revelation of the Word, or Logos, as the revelation of the Logos is
itself inferior to the revelation of mere existence, _τὸ ὄν_, or THAT
WHICH IS? For the revelation of the Logos (that is of God known by
creation) is through hope and fear; but the revelation of _τὸ ὄν_ (that is
God in itself) is through love. And the revelation of a Messiah must needs
be a poor and low thing as compared with either of these. But thou
shouldst aspire towards the highest revelation of all, even the Father of
all, with a divinely inspired passion not inferior to the _enthousiasmos_
wherewith the worshippers of the gods of the Gentiles celebrate their
inferior rites.”

The day was now far spent: so my uncle arose to bid Philo farewell. I
thanked him with my whole heart: for righteousness and goodness breathed
in his presence; and my spirit was refreshed while I heard him speak. For
the very voice of the Lord seemed to sound from him when he said that to
afflict the flesh was of no avail without afflicting the spirit, and that
the practice of virtue with men should go before the practice of virtue
with God. But when I was departed from him, musing as I returned home,
then I saw that the philosophy of Philo could in no wise give me peace.
For it was not possible that I should feel that _enthousiasmos_, or divine
passion, whereof he made mention, for such a being as Mere Existence: and
methought I could feel this _enthousiasmos_ for none save a man, or some
similitude of a man.

Therefore my heart went back to that lower revelation whereof he spake, to
wit, to God revealed through the world; that is, the Word: and this seemed
to me more likely to give peace. But as for Mere Existence, albeit Philo
called it the Father of all, yet had he plainly told me he meant this only
for the unlearned multitude. And whereas he used one word, God, to signify
two things, one thing for the learned, and another for the unlearned;
herein, to say truth, his doctrine brought to my mind a certain tale of
the poet Homer, which my uncle had but yesternight related unto me; how a
certain mighty man of valour, and a wise counsellor among the Greeks,
Ulysses by name, deceived the giant Polyphemus, saying that his name was
NOMAN. Wherefore, when Polyphemus said that NOMAN had blinded him, his
brethren, the giants, thought that he meant to say that not a man, but a
god, had blinded him. And even so Philo seemed to me, when he spake to the
wise and learned, to call God _no man_; but when he spake to the foolish
and unlearned, he called Him NOMAN, making them think He was a person.

But what troubled me in this revelation was, that it seemed not to leave
any room or place for the Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel. And “Why,”
thought I, “should the Word reveal himself only through the world, and not
through mankind? But if he revealed himself through mankind (which Philo
also would allow), why might he not reveal himself through a Messiah?” All
that night I lay awake musing on the same thing, and asking whether it
might not be that Philo spake truth in proclaiming the revelation of the
Word, and yet John the son of Zachariah might also speak truth in
proclaiming the revelation of the Messiah. But after long tossing of the
matter in my mind I concluded that there was no cause why the one should
destroy the other: so I prayed that both might be true.

But as for my former studies, and my old strict observances of the Sabbath
and of the precepts concerning the use of purifications and concerning the
consumption of nail‐parings, and concerning the wearing of tassels,
behold, all these matters began to seem unto me things far off, forgotten,
and childish. And though I knew not clearly whither to turn, yet I felt at
least that to them I could return no more; for I perceived that, even if I
became as perfect in these matters as Abuyah the son of Elishah himself,
yet should I none the more attain to peace, nor could I find in them that
food for want whereof my soul was an‐hungered. Wherefore I was now
resolved in my mind of this one thing, in any case, namely, that the
observance of the smaller precepts of the Law could not gain for me that
Banquet, or Manna, or heavenly Draught of the Word of God whereof Philo
had made mention. But what the true Manna might be, or how I might attain
to it, this I did not as yet perceive. For I was, at that time, even as a
little child in a boat without oars or sail, which hath drifted out
unawares far into the open sea.



                                CHAPTER VI


Not many days after my discourse with Philo the Alexandrine, when I
returned from the Great Library to my uncle’s house, a messenger was
waiting for me, bearing a letter from Rabbi Jonathan. Opening it I read
that my mother was suffering under a grievous disease, and being, as she
thought, nigh unto death, she would fain see me before she died. So I
straightway made all things ready for my journey, and having bidden
farewell to my uncle, I set sail on the morrow from Alexandria, and on the
fifth day arrived in Jerusalem; where, according to my mother’s desire, I
purposed to offer sacrifice unto the Lord, and to make vows for my
mother’s health.

The sun was well nigh set when I came to Jerusalem. But on the morrow, as
I went up to the Temple through the narrow ways, amid the throng of them
that sold oxen and sheep and doves, new thoughts and doubts rose in my
heart, such as I had never felt before when I had gone up to sacrifice
during the three great feasts. Methought the Lord must needs turn His face
from so much traffic and disorder and defilement of His Holy House. On
both sides of the gate Horæa, as far as Solomon’s porch, were shops of
merchants and stalls of money‐changers. Even in the Court of the Gentiles,
which is a part of the Temple itself, there were penned flocks of sheep
and oxen, with drovers and salesmen. Pilgrims and proselytes from all
parts pressed and thronged; buyer reviled seller, and seller buyer; from
the stalls of the money‐changers one might hear the clink of money mixed
with the sounds of contention. The stench also of so many cattle, being
increased by reason of the great heat, made the ill‐savour of the place
almost past bearing. Also I could not but marvel at the greediness of the
sellers. For the Chief Priests had let out the right of selling offerings
at a great price, to make profit thereof for themselves, insomuch that a
single dove was sold for a gold piece.

Then, again, when it came to the offering of the sacrifice, I must needs
wait for the space of an hour whilst others were offering up their
sacrifices; and the Levites and priests seemed all in haste, and did their
work rather as an handicraft than as worship; and many others were
sacrificing at the same time, and the cries and struggles of the victims,
and the smoke and reek of the fat, and the blood flowing on all sides,
caused the place to seem rather like a butcher’s shambles than like the
House of the Lord. Now all this I had known and seen aforetime, yet had I
never taken it to heart. But now there came to my mind certain words of
Philo touching the sect called the Essenes, how they worship the Lord with
an exceeding carefulness of purity: wherefore they think it not meet to
sacrifice the blood of beasts unto the Lord, but they offer up their own
hearts, purified so as to be a fit offering for Him. Also at this time
(perchance because I was but freshly come from the lecture‐rooms of the
philosophers of Alexandria, or belike because the Lord would have it so to
be, willing by easy degrees to open mine eyes, and to reveal unto me His
Messiah) so it was that I could think of naught but the words of Isaiah
the Prophet wherein the Lord saith, “I am full of the burnt offerings of
rams, and the fat of fed beasts, and I delight not in the blood of
bullocks, or of lambs, or of he‐goats.” These words, I say, so possessed
my soul that, even when the victim was being slain, I could not refrain
from repeating them to myself again and again; albeit against my will,
being fearful to pollute the sacrifice of the Lord. But though I made
shift to dissemble my trouble until the sacrifice was ended, for fear of
offending the priests, yet when I had returned to my lodging in the city,
I could not forbear weeping; for behold, all worship seemed as vanity, and
the children of men were in mine eyes as beasts of the field, void of
understanding and given over to all folly; and God was He that had made
them thus. Therefore I cried aloud in the fervency of my passion and said,
“It is written, ‘On three things the world is stayed: on the Law, and on
the Worship, and on the Bestowal of Kindnesses;’ and lo, I know not the
interpretation of the Law; and worship is naught but vanity; and as for
kindness, my heart is dry and empty of love, so that there is no kindness
in me.”

On the third day after the sacrifice, I came to Sepphoris. My mother was
so far recovered of her sickness that she was no longer despaired of by
the physicians. For the time, my joy thereat, and our rejoicing together
(because the Lord had suffered us to look on one another again) drove away
my former searchings of heart: which notwithstanding presently came back
upon me. My mother took a delight in my continual presence, and that I
should sit by her bed, expounding unto her passages of the Law; and many a
time, while I was doing this, she would make mention of the title
wherewith I had been honoured by Rabbi Jonathan, who had called me “the
plastered cistern.” But oftentimes it was not in my heart to find any
words of comfort or hope, and when my mother longed for the draughts of
the Law I felt that I was a dried‐up cistern, and no longer full.

At the last, on a certain morning, my mother, having (as I suppose) noted
my silence before, spake aloud reproving me, albeit gently, and saying,
“Why flow not the drops of refreshment from the plastered cistern as in
former days?” But I replied in haste, “Call me no longer, O my mother, a
cistern. For lo, I am become even as a strainer, which letteth out the
wine and keepeth in itself nothing but the dregs.” Then my mother wept
bitterly, thinking that she had angered me, and that I had spoken falsely;
and I also wept, partly for that I had made her weep, but still more
because my words were true.

Then went I forth hastily into the street; and meeting Jonathan the son of
Ezra, and Abuyah the son of Elishah, I accompanied them. And we came to
the well that is on the road to Nazareth, about a thousand paces from the
town, and there we sat down to rest. For a time we were silent. Then I
turned to Rabbi Jonathan and said, “Simeon the Just was of the remnant of
the Great Synagogue. He used to say, ‘On three things the world is stayed:
on the Law, and on the Worship, and on the Bestowal of Kindnesses.’ Now
there was a certain young man which observed the Law, and worshipped duly
in the temple. Also he clothed the naked, and buried them that lay
unburied, and fed the hungry: but there was no kindness in his heart. Is
such an one, therefore, in the path of righteousness?” Then Abuyah replied
at once, “He is righteous. For it is written concerning the statutes and
judgments of the Law of the Lord that whosoever doeth them shall live in
them; but whether he shall do them easily or with difficulty, or gladly or
sorrowfully, concerning this, behold, nothing is written.” But Jonathan
the son of Ezra was silent for a while, and said at last, “Antigonus of
Soko used to say, ‘Be not as slaves that minister to their lord with
intent to receive recompense; but be ye as slaves that minister to their
lord without thought of recompense; and let the fear of Heaven be upon
you.’”

Then I replied, “True, oh my Master; but ought not the love of Heaven as
well as the fear of Heaven to be upon us? For is it not said, ‘Learn for
love, and honour will come in the end’?” “Thou speakest well,” said
Jonathan, “and it is written also as the chief of all the commandments,
‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’” Then I
said, “But what if a man feel no love of God in his heart? For I have met
lately certain of the Gentiles, yea, and some also of our own nation,
which have no love of God; whereof some even constantly say that there is
no God. Yea, and even in mine own heart arise strange questionings as to
whence I came into this world, and whither I am going, and before whom I
am to give account and reckoning.”

Then Abuyah brake forth again: “Joseph son of Simeon, busy not thyself
with questions that are too high for thee: for it is said ‘Whosoever shall
consider four things, what is above, below, before, behind, it were better
for him that he had not come into the world.’” “Yea, but,” said I,
smiling, “it is said by the Wise, ‘Consider three things, and thou wilt
not come into transgression, Know whence thou earnest; and whither thou
art going; and before whom thou art to give account and reckoning.’”
Hereat Abuyah arose hastily from his seat in sore displeasure, and he
said, “Child, thou hast defiled thyself by going to a city of the Gentiles
which is not a place of the Law; for it is said, ‘Two that sit together
without words of the Law are a session of scorners;’ and again, ‘Betake
thyself to a place of the Law, and say not that it shall come after thee,
for thine associates will confirm it unto thee: and lean not unto thine
own understanding.’ Howbeit, I thank thee, O Lord my God and God of my
fathers, that Thou hast cast my lot among them that do frequent the
schools and synagogues, and not among such as frequent the theatre and the
circus. For both I and they work and watch: I to inherit eternal life, but
they for eternal destruction.” So saying he departed, and left me alone
with Jonathan the son of Ezra.

Jonathan sat still by my side saying naught, but gazing up into the
heaven, or else upon the trees round about us. For all around us were
orange‐trees and pomegranate‐trees; the leaves thereof scarce to be seen
for the multitude of white and scarlet blossoms; for the spring was now
something worn. The fields also and the gardens and the hedges of cactus,
by reason of the rains, were of a marvellous verdure, even above their
wont. Behind us, at a little distance, stood a grove of olive‐trees,
wherein the doves made a pleasant murmuring: and birds of divers colours
fluttered to and fro around the well. Nigh over our heads there were
passing larger birds, flying in a long train towards the country of the
Lake; and far off I could discern an eagle, like a spot, high up in the
sky. Then Jonathan spake unto me and said, “My son, dost thou not remember
the words of the Psalmist, how he praiseth the name of God because ‘He
sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give
drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By
them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among
the branches. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the
service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine
that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and
bread which strengthened man’s heart.’ Doth not the sight of all this
glory and beauty cause thee also to say with the Singer of Israel, ‘O
Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all’?”

But I made answer, in the bitterness of my heart, according to the words
of the same Psalm, saying, “Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled: Thou
takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” Then
Jonathan bowed his head and answered nothing, but I continued, “Did not
the same hand which made the dove make also yonder eagle to destroy the
dove? Did not the God which chose out Israel from among the Gentiles to
serve Him, choose out Rome also to rend Israel in pieces? Thou speakest
after the manner of Philo the Alexandrine, who saith that God revealeth
Himself to us through His Word in the universe. But verily He revealeth
Himself not so unto me. Nay rather, unsearchable are the paths of the
Creator in the universe, and His ways in the World are past finding out.”

Then the old man covered his face with his hands and wept; but soon
raising his head he said, “Is it seemly that a son of Abraham should have
so little trust in the Lord? Bethink thee of the times when the Holy
Temple was burned with fire, and Judah led into captivity: did not all the
Gentiles say in those days, ‘God hath forsaken them’? Yet did the Lord
save Israel out of the hand of the daughter of Babylon, and out of the
hand of the Assyrian and the Philistine, as also out of the hand of the
Egyptian, in the days of old. Commit thy way therefore unto the Lord, and
trust in Him, and He shall bring the word of His prophets to pass.

“Is not the Lord our God perchance even now on the point to stop the
mouths of them that complained? Is there not even now, after four hundred
years, a prophet again in Israel? But if the Lord sendeth unto us a
prophet after so long a time, as it were from the dead, surely it is like
that He hath some great redemption in store for Sion. Even during this
week have I heard that John the prophet, who hath these six months
prophesied of a Deliverer shortly to come, hath of late prophesied that
the Redeemer is even now amongst us; and some say that it is a certain
Jesus, the son of Joseph, of the town of Nazareth, one famous in word and
deed. This Jesus, as they report the matter, being baptized of John,
beheld a vision of the Lord; and in that instant the Spirit of the Lord
fell upon him; insomuch that, since that time, he both speaketh as a
prophet and worketh signs as a man of God. Moreover, I had speech but
yesterday with some that say he is come into Galilee, and is even now in
these parts. Who knoweth whether this may not be true? But whether it be
true or false, trust thou in the Lord God of Abraham and of Isaac and
Jacob, whose arm is not shortened, and who is not a man that He should
lie.”

For an instant, my heart leaped up at the mention of the name of that
Jesus whom I had seen in the house of the father of Raphael; but then it
seemed not possible that one of so gentle an aspect should be the Redeemer
of Israel. Howbeit, I asked Jonathan concerning the vision that had been
reported to have been seen of Jesus; and he told me that it had not been a
vision of flames of fire, nor of angels, nor of thrones, nor of seraphim,
nor any such vision as had been seen of the prophets in times past, but a
vision of a dove descending from heaven. Hereat I marvelled and I said, as
I remember, in the bitterness and folly of my heart, that the times needed
an eagle, and, lo, the new prophet brought a dove.

But Jonathan rose up from his seat to depart, and paying no heed to my
last words, he spake kindly unto me and said, “If thy heart inclineth
thee, my child, to prove whether there be any avail for thee in a life of
contemplation, and whether thou mayest thereby attain peace; wherefore
goest thou not unto the village of Jotapata where the Essenes dwell?
Menahem the son of Barachiah is their chief ruler, a man that followeth
after holiness and seeth things to come; who, being my friend, will for my
sake receive thee kindly. Finally my child, offer up prayers unto God and
pour forth thy troubles before Him; neither think too evil of thyself nor
give place unto dark thoughts; and let not thy prayers be uttered at set
times and in set words, but let them express thy heart’s desire, according
as it is said, ‘Make not thy prayer an ordinance, but an entreaty before
Him who filleth all space (blessed is He).’ Think not also too evil of
thine own heart; but remember the saying, ‘Be not wicked unto thyself.’
And now farewell, for I must needs go back to the city.”

Saying these words, the old man departed and left me still sitting by the
well. But, as it was not yet the third hour of the day (and the Essene
village was distant not much more than a two hours’ journey, or three
hours’ at the most), it came into my mind that I would hearken unto the
voice of Jonathan, and visit the village of the Essenes that very day. So
I arose straightway and set out on my journey. I rested often during the
heat of the day, for I was weary with long watching and fasting; but a
little before noontide, I was come to the top of the mountain which
looketh down upon the village.

Then I looked, and lo, in the valley the Essenes busy at their labours,
even as the ants that move to and fro in an ant‐hill; and as near as I
could conjecture, they were to the number of three or four hundred thus
labouring together. But as I looked, behold, a sound as of one proclaiming
the hour of prayer; and lo, the fields were empty, neither was any one
anywhere to be seen. Presently they appeared again in white robes
thronging to the house of prayer. Then a sound, as of psalms sung by many
voices, rose up to my ears, and filled my heart with a deep peace. I
waited for the space of nearly an hour, till the assembly had broken up,
returning in their white robes to their several cottages. When I had
beheld all this, my heart rejoiced, and I said, “If only all Israel could
thus return to the Lord, then would the dough be no longer corrupt with
leaven, according to the saying; and the wrath of the Lord would be turned
from His people.” But then came into my mind the saying of Philo, that the
virtue towards man must come before the virtue towards God. I remembered
also that which I had often before heard of the Essenes, how they neither
marry nor give in marriage, but replenish their community by adopting the
children of others and by admitting of strangers into their number. Then I
bethought myself that if all the children of Israel should become Essenes,
Israel would speedily perish; neither could there be any Redemption. For
even now, though there had been Essenes these thirty or forty years, or
even more, yet did they number no more than three thousand or four
thousand men in all Israel; and of these almost all lived in the country,
avoiding towns for fear of defilement, and exceeding even the Pharisees in
the strictness wherewith they observe Sabbaths and obey the precepts of
the Law (save only in the matter of sacrifice). So, as I looked down upon
the village, and round upon the hills which shut it in and hid it from the
sight of men, the proverb came to my mind which sayeth that “a city that
is set upon a hill cannot be hid:” but said I, “the city of the Essenes
lieth in a valley.” Then I turned my back upon the place and would not go
down to see Menahem, but set out to return to Sepphoris.

But as I went, my burden grew heavier than I could bear, and I cried unto
the Lord in the sore grief of my heart. For all Israel seemed unto me even
as sheep without a shepherd, a nation given over to servitude. For behold,
the Scribes, and Lawyers, and all the Pharisees, had set their thought on
vanity, and fed the people with chaff and not with wheat. Yea, they
despised the poor and simple, and said that the “people of the land” could
not attain to the knowledge of the Law. But as for the Priests and
Sadducees, they were given over to the pursuit of wealth and to the
pleasures of this world. And last of all, these Essenes were as naught
save for themselves alone. For they took for their watchword the saying,
“Withdraw thyself from an evil neighbour and consort not with the wicked:”
therefore were they of no avail to the sinners of my people. For albeit
that saying of Hillel was often in their mouths, which saith, “Be of the
disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace;” yet did they forget
the last words of that saying, which bid us also to “love mankind and
bring men nigh unto the Law.” For the Essenes bring no man nigh unto the
Law save themselves only.

But when I came in my journey back to the well where Rabbi Jonathan and I
had discoursed together, then did my despair so weigh upon me that I could
not so much as cry unto the Lord; for the Lord seemed as one that heard
not; and even as I had made a circle in my journey that day, and was now
come back to the same place whence I had set forth at the first, and all
in vain, even so did I seem to have journeyed these many years in a circle
of vain thoughts, searching and groping after God; and all for naught.
“For,” said I, “I have gone from the Scribes of Galilee to the teaching of
John the Prophet, and from John the Prophet to the wisdom of the Greeks,
and from the wisdom of the Greeks to the teaching of Philo the Wise; and
yet seem I no nearer to God than before, but even where I was at the
first. And they which did profess to guide, have been unto me as no
guides. Therefore the foundations of my life are broken up, and the rock
of my trust is become as unstable as water. Whithersoever I look, I see no
one to avenge, no one to deliver; for the ways of the world are crooked,
and sin is stronger than righteousness.”

Then a Voice of the Lord spake unto me, and rebuked me in that, albeit I
compassed sea and land in search of guides, and had made much of them
which explain the Law and the Prophets, yet I had not given myself so
zealously to the true guides of Israel, even the Prophets themselves, of
whom John the son of Zachariah was one. Now they all with one consent
prophesied of a day of Redemption, and of a Redeemer; and without a
Redeemer their prophecies seemed maimed and void of fulfilment. Moreover
John the son of Zachariah had prophesied that the Redeemer should come
speedily, and that the rough places should be made smooth, and the crooked
places straight; and Jonathan the son of Ezra had spoken as if the
Redeemer were even now among us, yea in our own country of Galilee. So
falling on my face before the Lord, I besought the Almighty (blessed is
He) to make no long tarrying, but to have mercy upon me and either to take
away my life, or else to send the Redeemer unto me, even me, and to grant
me His salvation.

But as I arose, there came one behind me unperceived and touched my
shoulder; and he said unto me, “Wherefore weepest thou?” I started at his
voice, for there was a power in it; but I looked not up for weeping, but
made answer and said, “Because of the yoke of the Law; for it is written
‘Whoso receiveth upon him the yoke of the Law, THEY remove from him the
yoke of oppression and the yoke of the path of the world.’ But it is not
so with me. For from a child I have settled my heart to study the Law, and
to take upon me the yoke thereof, yet have I not attained to the knowledge
thereof. But the yoke of the world and the yoke of the oppression of
Israel weigheth heavily upon me.” Then he that spake said unto me, “Cast
away the heavy yoke and take upon thee the light yoke.”(2) So I looked up,
marvelling at such words, and behold, it was not the face of a stranger,
for I knew it; and yet again I knew it not, neither could I bring to mind
the name of him that spake to me. But I saw strength in his countenance,
and his face was as the morning‐star in brightness; and I rejoiced with a
great joy, for I knew that the Lord had sent unto me a teacher to guide my
feet into the path of life. So I replied, “What yoke, O Master?” And he
answered and said, “Take my yoke upon thee, and learn of me; for I am meek
and lowly of heart.” When I heard that, I was speechless and as one
astonied to hear such a saying, which seemed in part the words of a king,
and in part the words of a child. But when speech came back to me, I said,
“My heart is afflicted because of the wonder of the ways of the Lord, and
because His paths are past finding out.” But he answered, “They that
wonder shall reign, and they that reign shall rest.”(3) Now I perceived
not all the meaning of his words at the time; but thus much I did most
clearly perceive, that here was one that could guide me through all
wonderment and perplexity, even unto the haven of rest. But a sudden fear
fell upon me that peace would depart from my soul, if my Master should
depart; therefore with many entreaties I besought him to tarry that night
at my mother’s house. So when he had consented we straightway went to the
city. But, as we went, my mind still beat upon the thought that I had seen
my Master’s countenance before; yet could I not call to mind the when and
where.

But even as we entered into the house, behold, my mother was crying aloud,
being tormented beyond measure by her disease: and when my Master heard
it, he asked who cried thus, and I answered and told him concerning my
mother’s condition. Then straightway he desired to go into the upper
chamber where she lay; and having gone in, he looked steadfastly at her,
and took her by the hand, and said, as one having authority, “Arise:” and
immediately my mother arose and went about as one whole. Now it came to
pass, that when he looked steadfastly at my mother, even in that instant I
knew his face, that it was the face of the stranger that had looked after
the like manner upon Raphael the son of Joazar, even the face of Jesus of
Nazareth; and then also in that same instant it was borne to my mind that
this was he of whom Jonathan had spoken, concerning whom John the son of
Zachariah had prophesied, saying that he was the Messiah of Israel: and I
marvelled that I had not known him before; but I perceived that, albeit
the same, yet was he not the same; so great a glory and a brightness, as
of power from heaven, now reigned in his countenance. All this, I say, I
perceived even when he was gazing on my mother; but I durst not for my
life speak to him then. But when my mother was made whole and arose from
her bed, then straightway I fell down on my knees and bowed before him;
and I spake also to my mother all the words of Jonathan the son of Ezra,
how that John had affirmed my Master to be the Redeemer of Israel: and I
believed, and my mother also, and all our household.

On the morrow, when I would fain have accompanied Jesus to Capernaum (for
he was journeying thither), he suffered me not, but said that he must
needs go to Capernaum alone; but I was to remain for nine days at
Sepphoris with my mother, and on the tenth day I might go down to
Capernaum. But he suffered me to go with him about twelve or thirteen
furlongs out of the town, and there I was to bid him farewell.

He did not speak many words to me by the way; but what I noted especially
in him (as being that wherein he differed from all my former teachers) was
that he spake not according to rule, nor out of any books, nor traditions,
but as it were out of himself. For he taught as one having authority.
There was also yet another difference. For most of the Pharisees were wont
to walk with their faces turned up to the sky, or else with their eyes
half shut, repeating, as they went, certain passages of the Law, or
prayers, or precepts of the Elders; and if they met women they would avoid
them; and of children also they took no note, except it were to instruct
them or question them in the Law and the Traditions; moreover they walked
with a sour and austere countenance. But Jesus was in all respects
different from these. For he looked on all things, and in all things
seemed to see joy and gladness, taking note even of the smallest matters,
such as the flowers of the field, and the birds of the air, and also of
the trees, and the cornfields. Moreover, as often as we met women on the
way, he saluted them courteously and shunned them not.

But most marvellous of all, in my judgment, was the manner of his dealing
with children. For so it was, as I remember, that when we were passing by
a hamlet, about six furlongs from Sepphoris, a little child ran out from
the door of a house, even under the feet of our asses, insomuch that we
had much ado to prevent the asses from trampling down the child. But when
I rebuked the child somewhat vehemently, Jesus chid me; and presently,
after we had ridden on awhile in silence, he turned to me and bade me
always have respect unto little children; “For,” said he, “their angels do
always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Then he added
words still stranger and harder for me to understand, that “Except a man
were born again and become as a little child, he could in no wise enter
into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

But I returned, marvelling greatly at his words and pondering them in my
mind. For I could in no wise perceive how we could redeem Israel and drive
out the Tetrarch from Tiberias, and the Romans from Jerusalem, and set up
the Kingdom of God, and all this by becoming as little children.



                               CHAPTER VII


When I drew nigh to Capernaum, it was about the eleventh hour; so I hasted
that I might inquire where Jesus of Nazareth abode, before the sun went
down: for it was the day before the Sabbath. But as I journeyed down the
valley, called the Valley of the Doves, and came to the place where the
road turneth round to the right, I could not forbear to draw rein for a
while, so beautiful was the sight; and though I had seen it often‐times
before, yet never before, methought, had it seemed so beautiful as now.

On the tops of the hills were walnut‐trees; lower down fig‐trees; and
below them grew luxuriant palms. For the place hath, as it were, several
climates suiting several trees and plants; corn also aboundeth in those
parts, and flax is not wanting; but the olive‐trees (as elsewhere in
Galilee) stand so thick together, and so thriving, that it was a common
saying, “Thou mayest sooner rear a forest of olive‐trees in Galilee than
one child in Judæa;” fruit‐trees also of all sorts grew there without
number, laden with the goodliest fruits, exceeding the fruit‐trees of any
other part of Galilee; insomuch that the place was justly wont to be
called the Garden of Abundance. But the city itself was as a half‐circle
of pearls, encompassed with gardens as with a circlet of emerald. A
multitude of ships and fishing‐boats bestrewed the surface of the lake,
which was of a deep blue colour, as blue as sapphire; and the waves
thereof were very still, because no wind at all was blowing. But as I
looked towards Chorazin, the sight in the surface of the waters surpassed
the sight of the land. For there, as in a mirror, one might see by
reflexion in the water below, all that was on the land above; the walnut‐
trees and fig‐trees and palm‐trees, and the oleanders on the border of the
waters, and the white pelicans watching for their prey upon the brink
thereof, and the hedges of cactus, and the cottages of the husbandmen; all
these things were to be clearly seen as if painted on the waters of the
lake.

Then came into my mind certain words which my Master had said to me when
we went forth from Sepphoris together; how that our Father in heaven
provideth for the adornment even of the grass of the fields, and how He
hath made the simple flowers of the fields more beautiful than Solomon in
his glory. And so it was that, as I thought on these words, I praised the
Lord of Hosts, who hath made the world so beautiful; and though I had seen
this sight many times before when I had come down from Sepphoris, yet now
mine eyes seemed, as it were, to be opened to discern a new beauty
therein. But I thought also on Israel and of the blessedness that was in
store for this goodly land, if only the Roman could be driven forth. As I
thought on these things, an east wind sprang up; and lo, where there had
been but a moment ago so fair a sight, naught was now to be seen save
troubled waters of many divers colours. Then I hasted onward, purposing to
inquire concerning Jesus of Nazareth first, and afterwards to go to the
house of my uncle.

But when I was now at the going down to the city, my cousin Baruch was
come forth to meet me, saying I was stayed for at a feast in the house of
Manasseh. So I went straightway with him, and the sun set and the Sabbath
was begun; and I had not yet seen Jesus of Nazareth. During supper time I
would have inquired of Manasseh concerning Jesus; but Baruch had
forewarned me that I should be silent. For my uncle, (he was a dyer by
trade, and had many slaves and more than one house of merchandise, there
and at Magdala, and elsewhere round about the Lake,) being fond of peace
and wholly given to traffic, feared Jesus, lest he should beguile the
people of Capernaum to take up arms against the Romans. Also he feared for
Baruch, lest he too should be led away by Jesus. This I learned from my
cousin after supper; howbeit he said not much about Jesus, for my uncle
watched us. Only he said that Jesus had been now a full week in Capernaum,
and that he was said to be able to work signs, and that certain of the
fishermen had joined themselves unto him; but the most part still held
with John the Prophet, saying that John was greater than Jesus; neither
believed they that Jesus was the Messiah.

On the morrow, about the sixth hour, we went to the synagogue. There was a
great throng, so that we were fain to sit in the farthest seats from the
Ark of the Law; neither could we discern who sat in the chief seats, nor
who read, because a pillar stood between us and the pulpit. Now first the
Law was read and prayers were offered up according to custom; but by
reason of my sadness, because I desired to have seen Jesus again, I was
even as the parched ground, and no moisture fell upon my soul. But when
the Prophets were read, then it was as a shower of heaven on the
congregation, and the dew of the Lord upon our souls; for the voice of him
that read was the voice of Jesus of Nazareth.

When he had made an end of reading, Jesus began to exhort the people,
saying that he was sent to proclaim good news, to release the captive,
give health to the sick, and light to the blind, and to bring Redemption
to Israel. God, he said, loved all; not the good alone, but even the bad:
yea, God was in very truth our Father in heaven. Therefore how much soever
the kindest father on earth may love his children, albeit they transgress
against him, much more is the love of God toward us though we be sinners.
He did not tell us that we were not sinful; nay rather, he made it clear
to us that our sins were as red as blood in the sight of the All‐seeing;
but none the less, he called us the children of God. As many as would
repent should be forgiven; and he spake as if he himself had a certain
divine power of forgiveness whereby he might purify the soul and bring us
close to God, one family in the presence of our Father. One thing was
needful, that we should trust in him and in his message. This day, he
said, this very day, are the prophecies of Redemption fulfilled in your
ears. Then he cried aloud unto all that were hungering or thirsting for
righteousness, all that were weary of the burden of their sins, all that
felt themselves utterly hopeless, friendless, and vile, bidding them
resort to him as their refuge: “Come unto me all ye that are weary and
heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

While he was speaking, methought I was not hearing words, but seeing
somewhat that might be seen and touched; so solid seemed the mercies of
God, even as a rock whereon one standeth. For Jesus ever testified of the
Father as one testifieth that knoweth by experience, and spake of heaven
as of that which he had known and felt. Yea, and more than that; a certain
strange power was in him to make things invisible to seem visible by his
discourse. Wherefore, albeit Moses had called God the Father of the
spirits of all flesh, and the Prophets also had taught Israel to say unto
God, “Thou art our Father,” and all this doctrine was well known and trite
among us; yet now, for the first time, the doctrine seemed to be no more a
mere dead letter, but a living word. Such a life did Jesus of Nazareth
breathe into it, insomuch that his Good News (for so he called it) came
upon our hearts as news indeed, never heard before among the children of
men.

This long while (since Jesus had first begun to speak), a certain youth
whom I had before noted, sitting not far from me, had been muttering and
moaning gently to himself; but I was rapt in the words of Jesus, wherefore
I had given the less heed to the boy. But now, he stood up, and cried
aloud in a deep hollow voice, as of a full‐grown man, “What hast thou to
do with us? Let us alone, let us alone.” Then in his own voice he cried
again, “I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” Immediately I
perceived that it was the demoniac, even Raphael the son of Joazar, whom
Theudas the Exorcist had adventured to heal; but a great fear fell on all
the congregation, and the women rose up from their places, shrieking for
terror. But Jesus, without use of charm or gesture, rebuked the unclean
spirits and bade them come forth. Then they tare the youth, so that he
shrieked with a piercing shriek; and so they came forth. And Jesus
delivered the boy to his father; who would scarce suffer Jesus out of his
sight, between joy that the devils were gone forth, and fear lest they
might return. Howbeit, now the spirits were driven out so that they
returned no more. For the boy lived to be a man; nor did he die (as it
hath been reported to me) till he numbered fifty years, dying about twelve
years ago, two years before destruction came upon the Holy City.

When Jesus departed from the synagogue, the people thronged him, bringing
to him divers requests, some concerning their friends that were diseased
or lunatic, or afflicted with devils; others begging him to come and bless
their children; others asking him that he would lodge in their houses, or
at the least sup with them. For at this time all men, rich and poor,
Pharisees, Sadducees, and Galileans, inclined to follow Jesus. But he
would go to none of the rich men’s houses, but only to the house of Simon
the son of Jonah (whom he afterwards called Peter); he was one of the
fishermen of the place and had joined himself to Jesus. But Jesus suffered
me to accompany him.

But when we were now entering into the house, behold all things were full
of disorder and lamentation. For Simon’s wife’s mother (who abode in the
house) had been suddenly afflicted with a grievous sickness, so that,
instead of serving the guests, she was laid speechless upon a bed in an
upper room. Then they spake to Jesus concerning her. Now I was not myself
present when the thing took place; but (as it was reported to me) Jesus
healed her after the same manner as he had healed my mother; for he took
her by the hand and lifted her up, and she arose whole and free from her
disease, and ministered unto the guests.

Jesus straitly charged us that we should tell no man; whereat we marvelled
not a little. But howsoever we obeyed him, it could not be hid. And
besides this, the fame of the healing of Raphael the son of Joazar had
been noised abroad through the whole of the city, insomuch that at sunset,
when we went forth, the Sabbath being now ended, we saw great multitudes
of demoniacs, lunatics, and some also sick of the palsy and of fever, laid
in their beds along the road through which we would have passed. Some
also, that were afflicted with incurable diseases, had been brought
notwithstanding, because of their entreaties; if perchance Jesus might
heal them; and I saw one man that had been blind from his birth.

Now it came to pass that when Jesus came forth from Simon Peter’s house,
and saw the faces of all these sick people, and the faces of their
friends, all waiting if perchance he would help them, his countenance was
altered, and the shadow of sorrow fell upon him, and he sighed and said,
“Verily for the sorrowful I am sorrowful, and for the sick I am sick.”(4)
Then he passed along the ranks of the sick people; and wheresoever he
perceived that any could be healed, he laid his hands on them, and lo,
they were at once freed from their infirmities; and many unclean spirits
were driven out from those whom they had possessed. Now most of them that
were healed had been possessed with evil spirits; but others were lunatic,
or sick of the palsy, or of fever, or had impediment in their speech. But
Jesus had a marvellous power to discern, methought, not only them that had
faith from them that had not, but also such diseases as were to be cured,
from such as were not to be cured, because it was not prepared for him
that he should cure them. But when Jesus had made an end of healing, the
multitude still followed us; and the friends of such as had not been
cured, vexed us with importunities; and others, whose friends had been
cured, called down blessings on Jesus, and refused to leave him. Thus, go
whither we would, we could not be alone. So Jesus returned to the house,
and I went back to the house of Manasseh.

I opened my mind to my uncle that night, and said to him that I purposed
to go with Jesus of Nazareth whithersoever he went; and Baruch said the
same. But my uncle no longer opposed himself against our wills; only he
forewarned us that evil was in store for us; “For,” said he, “I have
sojourned in Italy among the Romans three years, and I know well that
nothing can withstand their power. But whoso gainsayeth them gainsayeth
the strength of a king: according as it is written, ‘Where the word of a
king is, there is power; and who may say unto him, What doest thou?’”

All the night long no sleep came to my eyes for musing on all the things
that I had seen and heard that day: “For this day,” said I, “is, as it
were, the birthday of the Redemption of Israel,” But when I thought
thereon, and considered with myself that I had now joined myself unto
Jesus as the Redeemer, and when I compared Jesus with the image of the
Redeemer of Sion (such as I had framed it in my mind from the reading of
the Prophets, and such as my countrymen expected), then was I as one
astonied and amazed to find myself believing in Jesus, and standing on his
side. For I had imagined unto myself one that should perchance appear,
riding on the clouds of heaven, encompassed by thousands of angels, taking
vengeance upon the enemies of Sion, according to the word of the prophet
Daniel; or else I had thought to see a royal deliverer, even such another
as David himself, mighty with the sword, riding at the head of his ten
thousands, ruling the Gentiles with a rod of iron, or breaking them in
pieces like a potter’s vessel; or else I had fashioned in my mind a
Deliverer after the manner of Elias, rebuking kings in their pride, and
calling down fire from heaven for a sign, or for the destruction of the
Gentiles.

Now before this time, I had had no leisure to consider the matter; for, in
the presence of Jesus, I had been drawn towards him as by an enchantment:
but in the stillness of the night, Jesus being no more before my face, I
thought on all the signs and wonders wrought by Moses and Elias aforetime,
and doubt fell upon me; and it seemed to me not possible that Jesus of
Nazareth could be greater than they, so as to be the Messiah. But when I
asked myself, “Could it then be that Jesus is a deceiver?” my heart made
answer, “Nay, that could not be. And if thou trust not in Jesus, there is
not any one in the world in whom thou canst trust.” So I comforted myself
in my perplexity, saying to myself, “Perchance the time hath not yet come
for Jesus to manifest himself as the son of David, nor as the Son of man
spoken of by the prophet Daniel: but doubtless that time will come; and
then shalt thou see Jesus, as the Messiah indeed, in power.”

But on the morrow, very early, when we went forth to the house of Simon
Peter, behold, a mixed multitude had gathered round the doors waiting for
the coming of Jesus. And I also waited, standing with them, and heard how
they conversed with each other. But it seemed that one had but now come
forth from the house of Peter, saying that Jesus could not be found in the
house. Then arose a murmur in the crowd; and a certain man from Antioch
said that Simon had set a snare for Jesus of Nazareth, and had betrayed
him to Herod the Tetrarch. But there was in the press one Gorgias the son
of Philip, a man well known to Simon; and he laughed the man of Antioch to
scorn. He had been in the army of Herod the King in former times, and his
father was a Greek; but he conformed himself to the Law and joined himself
to the sect of the Galileans; and his word prevailed greatly with them,
because he was versed in warlike matters. This man declared that Jesus had
withdrawn himself, that he might not be shut up in prison by the Tetrarch:
“And no marvel,” said he, “for, seeing that the tyrant hath but now taken
John the son of Zachariah, why should he not also adventure to take the
new prophet?”

Others, beside myself, had not heard before that John had been cast into
prison. So we questioned Gorgias, and heard that the prophet had been cast
into prison in the Black Castle at Machærus three days ago. Many of them
that were in the crowd had been disciples of John; and they cried aloud
that the men of Galilee ought to rise up and deliver the prophet. But
Gorgias beckoned with his hand that they should be silent, and when
silence was made, he said, “Let us rise up, indeed, but not without a
leader. Now the Lord hath sent to us this Jesus of Nazareth: and that he
is a prophet sent from God none can deny.” The multitude shouted that it
was even so, and one or other uttered praises of Jesus; and a certain man
said, “Yea, never man spake as this spake.” But Gorgias answered and said,
“It is known to all that I am a soldier, neither do words prevail with me
without deeds. Wherefore I also, until yesterday, did but lightly esteem
Jesus of Nazareth. But now he hath shown forth his power in deeds. And he
that can do such deeds as Jesus hath wrought in our streets, shall he not
do even greater deeds than these when the time shall come for them? Yea,
doubtless, all things are possible to him. And what will avail squadrons
of horse, or legions of foot, against one that can call down fire from
heaven, or cause the walls of a city to fall to the ground? Choose we
therefore Jesus to be our leader, and no one shall be able to stand
against us.”

At this instant Simon Peter came forth, and he confirmed what had been
said, to wit, that Jesus of Nazareth was not in the house: but he thought
that he was gone forth to be alone. And so it was. For when we had made
diligent search for him we found him alone on a mountain, about three
miles from the town. We besought him to return; but he answered that he
must proclaim the Good News in other villages also, for to that end he had
been sent. So Simon Peter and the rest of the disciples accompanied him,
and Baruch and I went with them; and for the space of four or five weeks
we continued with him, going from town to town in Galilee; and Jesus
preached the Good News, and healed the sick; and a great multitude of all
sorts was added to our number.

Now the greater part of our band were honest people, hungering and
thirsting for the Redemption of Sion: but some were vain men, children of
iniquity, seeking the wages of unrighteousness. Especially they that had
been formerly soldiers resorted to Jesus, as to a prince or general, like
vultures hasting to the prey, supposing that they should gain much spoil
if he prevailed against the Romans. And so it was that once when Jesus
spake to his disciples, saying that they must be “fishers of men,” then
Baruch, being offended by the presence of these children of mammon among
us, answered and said, “But must the fishers catch vile fish as well as
good?”

Hereat Jesus turned and looked sorrowfully on Baruch, and said, “The
kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and
gathered of every kind: which, when it was full they drew to shore, and
sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So
shall it be at the end of the age. The messengers of God shall come forth
and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the
furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Another parable spake he to the same effect, that the tares must needs
grow with the wheat till the day of harvest, for not till then can the
division be made between good and evil. When we heard this, we grieved
thereat; for we had supposed that none save the faithful should have been
admitted into the Kingdom, and we marvelled why Jesus should first suffer
the bad to enter, and then drive them forth. Howbeit, we besought him that
he would give us ordinances which we might observe, to the intent that we
might not be cast out of the Kingdom. For some of our number had begun to
say that Jesus had come to destroy the Law, so that every one might do
what he listed; as though Jesus had said that God loveth the wicked as
much as the righteous, even though the wicked abide in wickedness. Thus
they brought shame upon us, and they set stumblingblocks in the path of
many that had otherwise believed. Moreover the disciples of John the
Baptist compared us with themselves, and asked us concerning our laws and
customs and prayers; and, when they found that we had none of these
things, then they despised us, saying that our Master was not equal to
John. For at this time the fame of John the son of Zachariah overshadowed
the fame of Jesus; yea, and for some time after this, even after John had
been cast into prison. For this cause we intreated Jesus that he would
both teach us how to pray, as John also had taught his disciples, and also
that he would lay down laws for the new Kingdom, even as Moses had laid
down laws for the kingdom in old times.

Jesus hearkened to our petition in silence. Then he said that he must
depart from us for a season and go to the top of a certain mountain; but
he appointed the third hour of the following day that we should come to
him. Certain of the Scribes that followed with us murmured at Jesus,
because he had appointed that we should come to him on the mountain: and
one, finding fault for that Jesus was often wont to spend the whole night
praying alone on some mountain, said, “It is written, ‘Out of the depths
have I cried unto thee, O Lord;’ therefore it is good to pray from a low
place, and not from a high place.” But Nathanael answered and said that
Jesus loved to be alone on the mountain by night, to meditate on the
greatness of the Lord and how He hath exalted the Son of man, according as
it is written, “I will consider thy heavens, even the works of thy
fingers, the moon and stars which thou hast ordained:” and “these very
words,” said Nathanael, “I heard the Prophet but yesterday repeat, when we
were upon the top of yonder mountain.” Hereat the Scribes murmured the
more, saying that it was not written that any prophet in old times thus
took counsel with the heavens after the manner of a Chaldean. But Gorgias
the son of Philip murmured for another cause, saying that the Prophet
ought not thus to mistrust his followers, nor to be so fearful for his own
safety, and that it behoved the friends of Jesus to take him by force, if
need be, and to make him a king. And to this Judas of Kerioth consented
and some others.

But to the most of us the words of Gorgias seemed an abomination; for we
knew that Jesus did not depart for fear: for indeed fear was not in him.
But he desired to be alone because he wished to pray, and because of the
burden of his heart. For it grieved him, more than can be told, to see the
misery and wretchedness, yea, and the ignorance and the sinfulness of the
mixed multitude which pressed round him. All their pains pained him and
all their sufferings he suffered, insomuch that more than once I have
heard him saying in a low voice to himself, “For them that are hungry I
hunger, and for them that are athirst I thirst, and for them that are sick
I am sick.”(5)

Notwithstanding he was not so much distressed with the pains and diseases
of the body as with the pains and diseases of the soul. For the sins of
souls seemed to him as real and loathsome as the diseases of the flesh to
us; and oftentimes a transgression that would appear slight to us, he
counted as a work of Satan; so that whithersoever he moved, he saw sins
more than could be seen of common men, yea, a very sea of sinfulness;
albeit, underlying the sea of sin and sorrow, he still discerned the
Everlasting Arms.

Moreover, because he loved all men with an exceeding great love, for this
cause every hour in his life brought unto him a burden passing the power
of words to describe. For the sins of men were not unto him as the sins of
aliens and strangers, but as the sins of his own brethren: yea, they were
even as his own sins; for, although he himself sinned not, neither knew
sin, yet what pain cometh from the bearing of a brother’s sin, that he
knew full well. Wherefore in him was fulfilled the saying of the prophet
Isaiah; who prophesied that the Messiah should be a man of sorrows and
acquainted with griefs, and that he should carry our sins and bear our
iniquities.



                               CHAPTER VIII


On the morrow, about the second hour, we began to go up the mountain which
Jesus had appointed. But having strayed from the path, we knocked at the
door of a house which was near the foot of the mountain, and besought the
goodman of the house that he would guide us. There opened the door a man
of churlish appearance; but he would neither come out, nor so much as
speak with us. This delayed us for a time, but we soon found the path, and
the way became steep. The sun shone, but not with too fervent a heat, and
the north wind blew gently from Hermon, whose top we saw clearly toward
the north, clad in snow. On the west was the Mount Carmel, shining with a
brightness as of purple; and further off the Great Sea, resembling a blue
plain, whereon appeared many sails, almost too small for sight by reason
of the distance. We climbed upward through groves of terebinth and oak. As
often as we turned round to recover breath, the houses and fields grew
smaller, till, at the last, when we drew nigh unto the top, the whole
plain of Esdraelon seemed but as a small ground‐plat; and large towns
appeared as little hamlets, and all the works of man became very small in
our eyes, as though we were leaving earth and approaching heaven.

Then said Baruch, “Is not this a second Sinai? For verily Jesus of
Nazareth is about to give us a new law.” But Eliezer the son of Arak, the
principal Scribe of Capernaum (for he at this time followed Jesus and was
now with us) rebuked him, saying, “Even though Jesus of Nazareth were the
greatest of prophets, yet were he not equal to Moses; for it is said,
Sinai is to be preferred even to the uprooter of mountains!” And another
said, “Behold, the Word of God, when it went forth from Sinai from the
mouth of the Holy One (blessed be His Name), was like sparks, and
lightnings, and flames of fire; a torch of flame was on his right hand,
and a torch of flame on his left hand: it flew and hovered in the air of
the heavens, and returned and graved itself upon the tables of the
covenant which were given into the hands of Moses. How then is it possible
that the like wonders should be wrought on this mountain?”

Then said Nathanael to Simon Peter that it might perchance please the Lord
not always to speak by the whirlwind or by the fire, but, as in the days
of Elias, by the still small voice. And to this Peter agreed, but others
did not agree: for though they inclined not to Eliezer the son of Arak,
yet it was because they thought that Jesus would of a surety soon work
some sign in heaven to prove that he was the Redeemer. But Judas of
Kerioth affirmed that Jesus would not, at this present time, lay down laws
for the Kingdom, but only ordinances for a season, to instruct the host in
the journey towards Jerusalem; but until Jerusalem should be ours, lasting
laws would not be made.

While we were disputing among ourselves concerning the saying of Judas,
Peter cried “Peace:” for, said he, “yonder is the Prophet:” and looking
upward, we saw Jesus on a rock stretching out his hands in prayer. When he
had made an end of praying, Peter approached him and besought him a second
time to teach us to pray; and Jesus gave us that well‐known prayer which
is used in all the churches. Afterwards he beckoned to us to follow him,
and he came down and stood in the bed of a torrent, which was dry by
reason of the drought. While we were following him, I heard the companion
of Eliezer murmuring because there were no words in the prayer concerning
the Redemption of Israel; “moreover,” said he, “albeit the prayer asketh
for bread, yet is there no mention of wine, nor oil, nor even of raiment.
But how can a man sit and search the Law and the Traditions, and know not
whence he is to drink as well as eat, and whence to be clad and covered?”
To this I would have made reply; but Peter again cried to us to hold our
peace, for Jesus was beginning to speak.

When he opened his lips, every one was silent for expectation; but, as he
proceeded, the silence was a silence as of them that are astonished and
disappointed. For he began with setting forth in his discourse a character
and image of a citizen of the New Kingdom; and lo, it was not the image of
a conqueror, but of one conquered. Also he drew as it were a model of the
palace of the Great King, and of the princes and nobles which stand about
His throne; and behold, when we compared the model with that which we had
imagined in our hearts, and with that which we had read of in histories,
the model of Jesus was in all things contrary to the model in our hearts.
For in old times men had done reverence unto the valiant, the proud, the
strong, the rich and the wise; but Jesus said that the chief places about
the throne of God should be given to the hungry and thirsty, and poor; to
them that were innocent and simple; to them that made not war, but peace;
yea, even to them which resisted not evil, but rewarded evil with good.
Upon all these, as being the nobles and princes of the New Kingdom, Jesus
pronounced a blessing; to wit, that all things should work together for
good to them, so that they should have all that they needed, according to
the words of the prophet, “Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be
hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty; behold,
my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed.” Even so did Jesus
ordain that they which hungered should be satisfied, and that the makers
of peace should conquer and inherit the earth.

Next, he described the statutes and judgments of the New Kingdom; and,
behold, instead of an easier yoke, he seemed to be placing upon us a yoke
even heavier than the yoke of the ancient Law, too heavy to be borne. For
the old Law forbade us to commit murder; but the new Law forbade us even
to hate our enemies. Again, the old Law forbade us to commit adultery; but
the new Law forbade us even to entertain a lustful thought in our hearts.
In a word, the old Law laid down certain ordinances, which if a man
obeyed, he should live therein; but the new Law laid down nothing fixed
nor certain for us, so that we might say “I have done this or that, and
therefore I have fulfilled the Law of Christ.” For the Law of Moses
touched the life of man, as it were, in certain points; as for example, in
sacrifices, and feasts, and purifications, and Sabbaths, and in the
obeying of the Ten Commandments: but the Law of Christ covered the whole
of the state of man, the thoughts as well as the deeds; even as the
encompassing air, which pierceth into every corner and cavern of the
earth, wheresoever human life is. In fine, whereas the Law of Moses
commanded us what we should do, the Law of Christ commanded what we should
be. For this cause Jesus set himself against all bookishness, and against
all worship of Traditions, and even of the precepts of the Scriptures; for
he taught that precepts, howsoever they may shape the outward action,
shape not the inner man.

Again, as concerning the laws, and the judgments, and the rewards, and the
punishments, in the New Kingdom, he spake as if they were not laws of
man’s device, but rather Laws according to the nature of things, like unto
the ordinances of the rain and the sunshine, the harvest and the seed‐
time. For he said that righteousness was not any such thing as could be
attained by a price, nor by the doing of deeds; but that it consisted in a
seeing of that which may be seen of God. He also spake of a certain eye of
the soul, which, if it were clear, the man would be righteous; but if it
were darkened, the man would be unrighteous. Also he spake of a certain
law of retributions, which decreeth that whoso judgeth shall be judged,
whoso forgiveth shall be forgiven, whoso giveth shall receive: adding
thereunto this most strange doctrine, that if we would go forth into the
world, giving and ready to give, then, from all sides, the world would
give to us again; yea, the angels of God, and the elements of the world
(which are His ministers) and even the children of men, should make us
marvel by reason of their gratitude, giving us back good measure pressed
down and running over. Now there is a saying in the Traditions that,
“Whensoever a poor man standeth at thy door, the Holy One (blessed is He)
standeth at his right hand. If thou givest him alms, know that thou shalt
receive a reward from Him who standeth at his right hand.” Jesus therefore
added to this doctrine, teaching that God standeth at the right hand not
of the poor only, but of every one that is in need of aught, that is to
say, of every one of the children of men: wherefore whatsoever is given to
men, is given to God, and from God cometh back multiplied to the giver.
Howbeit, we were neither to give alms, nor to do aught else, for hope of
reward; but only out of love.

Concerning citizenship in the Kingdom and how men should become citizens
therein, he spake little to us, as being already citizens therein: save
only this, that whoso would come, must come unto him; and through him, as
through a door, they should pass into the Kingdom. And behold, the Kingdom
was no other than a family, wherein God was at once Father and King, and
all men were as children of the Father in Heaven. For the foundation of
all was, that the heart and not the hands shaped the goodness and badness
of all deeds, and made men to become citizens of the Kingdom: wherefore
the heart and not the hands must be purified; nor could any be in truth
citizens of the Kingdom except they had the thought of the Kingdom always
in their hearts, so that their hopes and treasures were all stored up, not
in the banks of money‐changers, but in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Then he spake of the exceeding joys of the citizens of the Kingdom of God,
and how they are free from all troubles and all disquietudes. But none, he
said, could serve God and Mammon at one time; neither was it possible to
serve God aright and yet to be distracted and torn asunder by cares
concerning meat or raiment. Hereat the companion of Eliezer murmured
again, saying that Jesus had before spoken blasphemously in joining the
forgiving of sins by God with the forgiving of sins by men, and now he had
spoken as a madman, in forbidding us to be careful about food and raiment;
“Can a man sit,” said he, “and search the Law, and not know whence he is
to eat, and drink, and to be clad?” Now whether Jesus perceived his
murmuring I know not: but he pointed, first upwards to the birds (for even
at that instant there was a flight of pelicans above us) and then downward
to the flowers, which bestrewed the side of the brook, and he said that
our Father in Heaven fed the birds and clothed the flowers; and should He
not much more care for us? Then he bade us seek first the Kingdom of God
and His righteousness, and all things else should be added unto us.

Now concerning this Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven, for he called it
by both names) we understood not much at this time: but my judgment now is
that Jesus desired that all the Lord’s people should be as Prophets, not
teaching one the other and saying “Know the Lord,” but all knowing the
Lord from the least to the greatest. For he perceived that all the tribes
of the earth were joined together under one emperor through desire of
wealth and ease, and that Israel was joined together through hatred of the
Romans and through desire to be rescued from them; but he saw that neither
love of ease nor hatred of enemies could bind men together in an enduring
Kingdom: but that which bindeth men together is the Spirit of love, which
is a Spirit of brotherhood among men and of childhood unto God. For all
nations begin with being first families, and then many families together;
helping one another by reason of kindred, and not by reason of manhood.
Now such a nation as this, and all men of such a nation, Jesus called
“born of flesh and blood:” and he said that no nation could leave off to
be a tribe and become a nation indeed, except it were born again, not of
flesh and blood, but of the Spirit; so as to enter into a certain
government of God, which the Greeks called _theocratia_, but Jesus called
it the Kingdom of God. Such a _theocratia_ Moses had partly established in
old times; howbeit the King in the kingdom of Moses was the God of
Abraham, but the King in the kingdom of Jesus was the Father of the Son of
man.

But now to return to the words of Jesus. He ended his discourse with
warning. First he warned us to beware of the common saying, “Give judgment
according to the greater number”; for he said that the path to destruction
is broad, and many go thereby. He bade us also try teachers and prophets
by their works. Last of all, he spake very earnestly against certain which
pretended to obey him but obeyed him not. We were the salt of the earth,
he said, but if we lost our savour, how could the world be salted, and to
what end could we serve, but to be cast out and trampled under foot? Whoso
heard him and obeyed him not, such an one he likened unto a foolish
shepherd (and even as he spake, there was nigh, within a bow‐shot of us, a
sheep‐cote that had been cast down by the swollen waters of the brook)
which built his house upon the sand, so that it fell: but whoso heard and
obeyed, he likened him unto a wise shepherd, which built his house upon a
rock so that it fell not. This parable Jesus did not at this time
interpret to us, but afterwards he made it clear. For even as the
Psalmists of Israel spake often of a certain Rock of Salvation, even so
was it afterwards a common saying with Jesus both that each citizen of the
New Kingdom must build his house upon a Rock, and that the Kingdom itself
must be founded on a Rock, so that the gates of Hades or Destruction
should not prevail against it. Howbeit what this Rock might be, we did not
as yet understand; for he had not at this time revealed it unto us.



                                CHAPTER IX


When Jesus had ended all these words, he came down from the mountain, and
we followed, reasoning much among ourselves. Baruch spake first,
complaining that the new Law was full of hard sayings. “For,” said he,
“when the Prophet proclaimed a blessing on the poor and hungry, that was
easy to understand, and I rejoiced thereat: but afterwards, when he bade
us bless them that cursed us, and do good to those that injured us, yea,
and turn the left cheek to him that had smitten us on the right, and give
our coat to him that had taken away our cloak, then indeed his doctrine
seemed too wonderful for the mind of man to fathom.” Then a certain Essene
(who at that time followed with us) made answer and said, “This world is
but as a vestibule before the world to come: therefore the Prophet’s
intent is to instruct us how to prepare ourselves at the vestibule so that
we may find grace to come into the King’s presence: and his words enjoin
on us to abstain from all earthly cares and pleasures, and to withdraw
ourselves from the cities of men.” But to this Simon Peter made answer
that Jesus had taught us to live in the sight of all men, like a city on
an hill or like a candle on a candlestick: moreover, he had promised that
we should inherit the earth.

But here Eliezer the son of Arak could no longer constrain himself. “I
marvel,” he said, “that we listen so long without first asking this
Prophet by what authority he sayeth these things, or what sign he can work
in Heaven to prove his authority. For other teachers received of teachers
before them; as, for example, Hillel and Shammai received from Shemaiah
and Abtalion; and Shemaiah and Abtalion received from Jehudah the son of
Tabai, and Simeon the son of Shatach; and so on successively; but this
teacher maketh mention of no teachers from whom he hath received his
doctrine: neither worketh he any sign in Heaven. But whence doth he draw
his knowledge about the Unapproachable (blessed is He)? Even from the
creatures; even from the weeds of the field, and the silly birds that are
caught in the snare of the fowler; from the senseless rain and from the
shining of the sun; yea, and from the nature of the heart of man, which is
evil from his youth! But how much better than all these is the Law,
whereby was created all that is; according as it is said, ‘Beloved are the
children of Israel, in that there was given to them the instrument by
which the world was created.’”

No answer was made to the words of Eliezer: but Barabbas took up the words
of Baruch, and said, “If we are to turn the left cheek to him which hath
smitten the right, and if we are to do good unto them which do us harm,
who shall cause injustice to cease in the world? For verily the unjust
will wax fat in their injustice and will go on from oppression to
oppression.” But said Judas of Kerioth, “Listen unto me, O foolish ones,
and take counsel from me: for is it not even as I foretold? Did not I say
unto you that the Prophet would not at this time make laws that should
endure for ever, but only ordinances for a season, till we had gained the
upper hand? Wherefore ye must know that it is in the mind of the Prophet
to draw unto himself the hearts of all people by fair words and gentle
dealing: but when the time is come for different policy, then we shall
take fresh counsel according to our needs. But now hearken. Did not the
Prophet prophesy woe to the rich and the powerful? These are the Romans;
and in foretelling woe to them, he foretold woe against the Romans. Again,
did he not prophesy blessing for the poor? And we are poor: and in every
city of Israel the poor are the greater part, and will fight on our side,
and will have a part in our blessing. I grant, he said not that we should
be judges and princes: but he promised that we should have that for which
we asked; and is not this enough for us? Yea, and albeit he mentioned not
expressly money, or lands, or houses, yet he said that our reward should
be great. But if persecution or the shedding of some of our blood must
needs come before our success, who is so fainthearted and womanish as to
draw back for such a cause? Therefore, I say, be of good heart; and though
there be some dark sayings of the Prophet, let us be content to stand fast
on those sayings which are plain. But as touching the words of Eliezer, we
all know in our hearts that Jesus is not a man as other men, but that he
is a leader sent from God; and howsoever he teacheth, and whithersoever he
leadeth, it is our wisdom to obey him and to follow him.”

The words of Judas pleased us: and we all agreed to them. Only a certain
Alexandrine (whose name was Quartus) said to Baruch that he judged not
that the words of Jesus were intended to be merely transitory ordinances.
Now this Quartus was a man of no common understanding and discernment; and
inasmuch as his father had been a Greek and had caused him to be trained
in the Greek learning and philosophy, he spake with more art and subtlety
than most of my companions. Howbeit he lacked not faith and the love of
righteousness; and, his mother being of our nation, he had been
circumcised, and had conformed himself to the worship of Israel; but
having been bred up in the schools of the Greeks and in the school of
Philo, he was at all times desirous to compare the teaching of other
philosophers with the teaching of Jesus. He was a merchant, and his
business brought him oftentimes to Capernaum, where I had met him; but I
had also met him before in the house of my uncle at Alexandria. So when I
overheard Quartus saying these words to my cousin, I questioned him how he
interpreted the sayings of Jesus, and in particular, that saying
concerning the turning of the cheek to the smiter.

Then said Quartus unto me, after some pause, “Be not displeased if I speak
in a parable. Many times in Capernaum have I seen mariners (such as know
not your waters) grievously tossed by a storm while they strove to enter
into the harbour by a straight course, and toiling hard for many hours,
but all to no purpose; but others (which know the secret) leave the
straight course on one side, and stand far out to Taricheæ. Thence floweth
a current toward Capernaum, strong at all times; but in stormy weather it
cannot be resisted. Falling into this current therefore, the wise mariner
needeth but to row softly, or scarce at all, and lo, he entereth into
Capernaum as it were upon wings. Now even such a wise mariner doth Jesus
seem unto me.”

I marvelled at his words. But Quartus perceived that I understood him not;
and he continued, “I speak as one groping in the dark. But the meaning of
my parable is this: The lake is the world; the vessel is Israel; and
Capernaum is redemption. Other pilots have striven to guide Israel to
redemption by dint of force, but they have failed: Jesus is the true
pilot, and knoweth the currents and streams in the nature of men and
things; and by his wisdom he thinketh to guide us aright.”

“But what,” I asked, “are these streams and currents?” Again Quartus was
silent for a while, and longer than before, so that by this time we were
almost come down from the mountain; but at last he said unto me, “What
seemeth to thee the strongest current in the nature of men?” But, when I
held my peace, not knowing what to answer, he spake again very earnestly,
“Thou art a student of the sayings of the Wise, O Joseph, and canst answer
with discerning. Tell me, then, on what standeth the earth?” Then I
replied according to the saying, “Upon the pillars; and the pillars upon
the waters.” “Yea,” replied Quartus; “and after these cometh the wind; and
what after the wind?” Then I said, “Beneath the wind is the storm, and
beneath the storm is the arm of the Holy One; for it is said, ‘Underneath
are the Everlasting Arms.’” Then said Quartus, “It is so; and verily the
foundations of earth are the Everlasting Arms of the Father in Heaven: but
if the Fatherhood of God be the strongest thing on earth, and if this be
the mightiest stream or current in the nature of men, then how may we best
sail with that current?” I remembered the words which Jesus had spoken
that we were to become as little children; so I answered, “I suppose, by
approaching Him as children.”

Here Judas interrupted us and said, “Nay, but wisdom is the strongest
thing in the world, for it is written of wisdom, ‘The Lord possessed me in
the beginning of His way, before His works of old. When He appointed the
foundations of the earth, then I was by Him as one brought up with Him.’”
“Thou sayest well,” said Quartus, “but what human wisdom is like unto that
wisdom which revealeth God to men? Now as no child can understand his
father unless he love his father, so no man can know God (who is our
Father in Heaven) unless he love Him; but whoso loveth, understandeth;
therefore to love God is the highest wisdom of man.” Then Judas scoffed at
him and said, “This is nothing but repeating in new words the old saying
of the Law, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.’ What! do
ye then deem our Master to be naught but a merchant that retaileth old
wares as if they were new?” So he left us and went on before.

But Quartus continued, “Judas saith truly that the new Law aimeth at the
same mark as the old Law. But the means are diverse. For the old Law
worketh by purifications and feasts and sabbaths; but the new Law belike
worketh in part by these means, but in greater part by other means. And,
as I judge, Jesus goeth toward the end of the old Law; but by a path that
is new, yea, altogether new. For I have myself heard him say that the
redeemers of old were like unto thieves and robbers, using force and
violence; but he himself cometh not like a thief over the wall, but like
the true shepherd through the door of the fold, that is to say, through
the path of Redemption which God hath appointed. Now this path is kindness
or love. And Jesus saith that the former redeemers failed of their
purpose, for they thought to redeem men by force; but he will not fail,
for he purposeth to redeem men by gentleness. And he saith that God
ordaineth strength out of babes and sucklings, and that the spirit of
childhood is the conquering spirit of the world. Rememberest thou not how
our teacher Philo said some things not much unlike to these, teaching that
the highest revelation of God is through love? Howbeit, none methinks,
save Jesus only, can reveal this revelation. For Philo testifieth of that
which is behind the veil; but Jesus of Nazareth hath power to lift up the
veil.”

By this time we had overtaken the others, whom we found all sitting, and
Jesus in the midst of them. By the side of Jesus was a man bearing in his
arms a little child. He was come forth from a house nigh to the place
where Jesus sat, bringing a cup of water for Jesus to drink. While Jesus
was drinking, the father still kept his eyes upon the child in his arms,
and his face was full of compassion and tenderness; for the child was very
sickly. We soon perceived that it was the same man that had denied to give
us guidance in the morning; but at first we knew him not; pity and love
had so transformed his countenance. Now it came to pass that when Jesus
had given back the cup to the man, he laid his hands on the child and
blessed him. And as he blessed him, his face shone as with the glory of
the Lord; and the little one also seemed to rejoice and to partake in the
brightness of our Master’s countenance.

We both stood still, beholding Jesus. Then said Quartus unto me, “Did not
Eliezer the son of Arak say truly, that ‘Jesus looketh upon the book of
the world as well as upon the book of the Law, and seeth in all things
God’? For even as Elias the Prophet loved to commune with God on the tops
of mountains, and in deserts, and in caves, and received revelations of
the Lord from earthquakes and fires, but most of all from the still small
voice; even so doth our Master look upon all things that are, yea even on
the smallest things that live or grow, and from all, he heareth a still
small voice that speaketh of the Father. Yea, and there is yet more than
this. For whithersoever he turneth his face, methinks he giveth of his
love to all things, whether they be the flowers of the field, or the
birds, or the mountains, or the children of men: and because he thus
giveth, it is given to him again; yea, wisdom and joy and peace are given
back to him, even from things that have not life; but most of all from the
children of men, which are made in the image of God. Therefore said I that
Jesus seemeth as the wise mariner of whom we spake but now; for, by the
Word of God in himself, he hath haply hit upon a certain current in the
nature of created things, whereby he will easily prevail over the blasts
of all opposing storms, and be carried into the haven of God, both he and
all they that put their trust in him.”

“Thy words are fair,” I replied, “but they do not persuade me. That the
love of children doth bind husband and wife together, and that the bond of
families is the bond of nations, this I deny not. Perchance also the love
that parents have to their children may have lifted up the hearts of many
in Israel, during many generations, to the true God. But how we are to
take Jerusalem or thrust forth the Romans from Syria by becoming as little
children, this passeth my understanding. Or dost thou not believe that
Jesus will lead us against the Romans in Jerusalem?”

“I know not,” replied Quartus (who spoke as one musing, and not giving
heed to my question); “but what troubleth me most of all is the fear lest
the knowledge of Jesus may haply perish with him; for if he hath (as I
judge that he hath) a certain inborn power of winning men over to his will
by kindness and gentleness, then, as it seemeth to me, this power may be
likened unto the fabled ring of Solomon, which gave unto the owner well
nigh whatsoever he desired. But there is this difference. The ring could
be delivered from one man to another; but the art or secret of Jesus is,
in all likelihood, not able to be delivered to them that shall come after;
but it will perish with him. And then what becometh of his Kingdom of
God?”

As long as Quartus was speaking I heard him gladly: but when he had
ceased, his words seemed like mist in the morning sun; but the words of
Judas seemed as the solid ground from which the mist rolleth away. For
what Quartus said was hard to understand; but the words of Judas seemed
according to reason, and very plain to be understood; to wit, that the
ordinances given on the mountain of blessing were transitory, and that we
were still to wait for the New Law: and to this I agreed, and not I only,
but the most part of the disciples.



                                CHAPTER X


It came to pass, not many days afterwards (about a month after the Feast
of the Harvest), that we journeyed to Capernaum; and Nathanael, and
Gorgias the son of Philip, and I, had been sent on before to prepare a
lodging. Now when we were standing at the door of the house where we were
to lodge, we heard a sound as of many feet; and, looking up, Gorgias said,
“See, hither cometh the Tetrarch’s Thracian guard.” I looked and saw a
band of about three hundred men, of a wild and savage aspect, bearing
targets and girt with scimitars. But Gorgias, noting as I suppose the
anger in my countenance, answered, “These dogs (may the Lord destroy them
root and branch!) are swift indeed to shed the blood of women and
children, but they are as naught compared with the Romans. Could’st thou
but see a Roman legion how they march, these would seem unto thee but as
jackals at the lion’s tail. Mark but how the dogs straggle. But when the
Romans march, the spears in their hands all point one way, and the swords
by their sides hang all after one fashion, and even their stakes and tools
(which they carry behind their backs) do all swing to one time, and their
feet, arms, and heads, yea, even to the winking of their eyes, go all
together after the manner of a five‐banked corn‐ship of Alexandria, with
her five hundred oars all keeping time; and when they charge, they charge
like ten thousand elephants clad in iron. Moreover, they add to their
power so much wisdom, that when they halt for the night, each man setteth
up his stake in the ground, and taketh his spade, and diggeth his portion
of trench before his stake, and behold, the solitary place becometh in a
trice a fortified city, with streets and walls and ditches. Verily these
Roman swine are all as children of Satan; but a Roman legion is as Satan
himself.” By this time our Master had arrived; so I was silent. But when
he went into the house, I remained without, musing; for the words of Jesus
came into my mind again, concerning the entering into the Kingdom; and
methought it would be very hard to overthrow these Thracians, and much
more the Romans, by becoming as little children.

While I thought on these things there came to the door of the house
Jonathan the son of Ezra; for he knew that I was coming to Capernaum, and
he had appointed to meet me there. When he had greeted me in loving terms,
he said that he desired to speak with me touching Jesus of Nazareth;
“For,” said he, “I hear that he turneth from him the minds of many, in
that he observeth not the Sabbath.” I could not deny this; for indeed
Jesus had oftentimes, during our journey in Galilee, broken the Sabbath.
Sometimes he had healed the sick on the Sabbath; and but lately on the
Sabbath before the Feast of the Harvest, he had healed one that had an
impediment in his speech; and when certain of the Pharisees had blamed it,
he had said aloud, before all the people, that it was right to do good on
the Sabbath, but not to do evil. Moreover, he had not rebuked them that
carried the sick to him on the Sabbath, though the bearing of burdens be
forbidden. Once, indeed, he had even commanded a sick man to carry with
him the bed whereon he lay. I therefore held my peace, but Jonathan added,
“Even though he cure the sick on the Sabbath, yet why need he offend the
learned and the pious by bidding the sick bear burdens on the day of rest?
Moreover, if he desire to go more than a Sabbath day’s journey on some
errand of mercy, why doth he not use the device of meat, so that he may
keep the letter of the Law? Therefore, speak thou unto him, as one that
loveth him; and warn him that the Pharisees are wroth.”

Then there came into my mind how, on the last Sabbath day, Jesus had
passed by a house in a certain village, which was the house of a poor
widow; and a great storm of wind and rain, which had arisen in the night,
had washed away some part of the wall thereof, so that the rest was in
danger to fall. And behold, a man, a mason by trade, was working
diligently to repair the breach. When we saw it we were ready to take up
stones for to stone him; but Jesus forbade us, and said to the man, “Man,
if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou; but if thou knowest not
what thou doest, cursed art thou.”(6) Thereat we all marvelled, and there
was much questioning among us. But when we had considered the matter, we
perceived no more but this; that Jesus would not have us to observe the
Sabbath as the Scribes observed it.

I therefore replied that I durst not speak to Jesus, nor did I believe
that he would give heed to my speech: for that I thought he brake the
Sabbath, not out of heedlessness, but of set purpose. Jonathan was
astonished at these words, but I continued, “Not that our Master aimeth at
breaking the Sabbath: but if a sick man needeth to be healed, he thinketh
it right that the Sabbath should be broken for the sick man’s sake.” Then
Jonathan said, “Then what new rule doth he teach? Doth he suffer you to go
four thousand paces or even five thousand paces on the Sabbath, instead of
two thousand, which the Law alloweth?” But I replied, “Neither four
thousand paces, nor five thousand; for our Master maketh no rules. But, as
it seemeth to me, there is in him a certain spirit from God which
prompteth him to do this or that, and forbiddeth him to do otherwise: and
if the spirit of kindness say unto him ‘Go,’ then he will go and bid us
go, though it be ten thousand or twenty thousand paces; and this, even on
the Sabbath. For, in fine, he saith that the Sabbath is made for man, and
not man for the Sabbath.”

Hereat Jonathan was sorely grieved, and said, “If this be so, I fear lest
counsel be of no avail.” But after that he had weighed the matter, he
said, “Even though he be a prophet, and have a message from God, yet are
there seasons and ways of delivering a message; and in these matters the
experience and counsel of old age may have weight. Therefore I will
adventure to speak to him.” I was glad that he had thus determined: for
many of us had desired to speak with Jesus. Yet I feared lest Jonathan
might not prevail. For I had noted that Jesus at first brake the Sabbath,
only when a kindness compelled; but when the Scribes and Pharisees were
wroth, and strove to place the yoke on his neck, so as to cause him to
cease from good works on the Sabbath, then he not only rebelled against
it, but made as if he would break the yoke from off the necks of all,
especially the poorer sort, to whom the Sabbath was rather a burden than a
joy. For the more the Pharisees raged against him, the more he made war
against the Sabbath. Therefore I did not forebode well for Jonathan:
howbeit, I accompanied him into the presence of Jesus.

When we entered into the house, behold, Barabbas was with Jesus,
beseeching him that he would not go into the synagogue on the next
Sabbath: “For,” said he, “the chief ruler of the synagogue hath a plot
against thee, and desireth to question thee touching the Sabbath, that he
may raise up a tumult of the people against thee. For all the Pharisees
and elders of the synagogue are wroth with thee for the sake of the
Sabbath, saying that thou dost both break it and teach others also to
break it.”

Hereon Jonathan, finding his occasion, spake to the same effect, saying
that all the Scribes in the country round about Sepphoris had been turned
away from Jesus because it had been noised abroad that he observed not the
Sabbath. So he besought Jesus to consider his course well: “Despise not
instruction from an elder, O my son, even though thou art a prophet. Art
thou confident in thine heart that it is a spirit from God, and not a
spirit from Satan, that tempteth thee thus to break the Sabbath? Bethink
thee also how thou wilt cause the people of the land to go astray. For the
simple walk by rules, and straighten their path by ordinances. But lo,
thou takest away rules and ordinances; and what dost thou leave in the
place thereof? I have heard from Eliezer the son of Arak that a certain
man was working even at his handicraft on the Sabbath day, and thou sawest
him, and didst not rebuke him: but didst say, that if he had knowledge of
that which he did, he was blessed; but if he had not that knowledge, he
was accursed. Whence, O my son, should the simple and unlearned gain this
knowledge whereof thou speakest? But if thou sayest, ‘I am a prophet and
will give them this knowledge,’ then remember that thou too art mortal,
and as the grass of the field; and when thou shalt pass away, thy
knowledge shall perish with thee, unless it be set forth in rules. But
thou givest no rules to thy disciples.

“But come, let us reason together as though thou wert altogether right in
this matter, having a message from God to us touching the Sabbath.
Notwithstanding, is there not a place and a time for delivering a message,
and a place and a time for concealing it? There is a time to go forward;
but is there not also a time to make a stand? It is good to set thy face
toward the light, that thou mayest advance; but it is good also to turn
thy face from the light, that thou mayest see whither thou hast advanced.
Moreover, why dost thou cause the Pharisees to stumble, and the rich to
take offence at thy doctrine? Art thou not the Redeemer of all Israel? Are
not the Pharisees also thy brethren, and the rich also sheep of the flock?
Why therefore dost thou drive them from the fold and cast them forth into
the wilderness? If thou sayest, ‘They are weak,’ then take pity, O my son,
on the weak ones of Israel, yea and perchance on thine own disciples, lest
they that may come after thee drink of thy doctrine and die, and the Name
of Heaven be profaned.”

Now at the first the face of Jesus was not altered toward Jonathan the son
of Ezra, and he heard him kindly, yet patiently withal, and as if he knew
what the old man would say, before he said it. But when Jonathan begged
him for compassion’s sake not to cause the weak ones to stumble, then the
fashion of his countenance was changed as if he would have wept, and he
seemed to us like one in sore straits, for he changed colour and was
silent. Judge, therefore, how great was our astonishment when he stood up
and rebuked Jonathan as though his words were from Satan.

Perplexity and sore grief fell upon us all, and the old man would have
retired abashed. But Jesus took him by the hand and constrained him to
stay, and made him sit down by his side and spake kindly unto him. Yet he
began to speak again of the words of Jonathan as being a sore temptation,
telling us how in former times he had undergone a like temptation from
Satan. He had been in the wilderness, he said, and lo, in a moment of time
he had been borne to the top of a mountain, whence he saw the kingdoms of
the earth and the glory thereof, and Satan said to him, “All these things
will I give unto thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

While we marvelled at the words of Jesus, and disputed among ourselves how
that temptation in the wilderness could be like unto this temptation,
behold, Judas of Kerioth came into the chamber, saying the same things
which Barabbas had said, to wit that the Pharisees in Capernaum were
laying a snare for Jesus, for to catch him in his teaching, that they
might cause the people to stone him. But Jesus gave command that we should
pass over on the morrow to the other side of the lake.

On the morrow, while we rowed across the lake, I asked Nathanael what
seemed to him the nature of the temptation of Satan whereof Jesus had
spoken. Nathanael made answer and said, “Thou perceivest that the heart of
our Master overfloweth with pity for the miseries of men; and even to
redeem them from these miseries he hath been sent by the Lord. Now as for
silver and gold, or fame, or wisdom, none of these things can in any wise
tempt him once to go aside either to the right hand or to the left from
the straight path of Redemption. Howbeit, pity and love can tempt him.
Wherefore the only temptation that can befal him is from the Voice that
saith, Be pitiful, even though thou transgress in pitying; Do evil that
thou mayest do good; Gain power by crooked ways, that thou mayest
straighten the paths of salvation for them which wander astray; Wink thou
at falsehood, that they which err may be guided toward truth. Now this
Voice, as it seemeth to me, is to our Master the Voice of Satan; and to
listen to it is to bow down to Satan. And Satan, perchance, knowing that
in this way alone can our Master be tempted, hath caused Jonathan the son
of Ezra to tempt him. But I know no more than thou; only such is my
conjecture.”

While we thus conversed together the boat drew nigh unto the eastern
shore. The mountains came down to the water’s edge, so close, and so
precipitous withal, that there was scarce space enough to land: and,
because the sun still lay low in the east, all was dark before us, though
the waters behind us shone fair and bright. But when we were now entering
under the shadow of the cliffs, so that we could discern things more
clearly, we perceived that there was a margin of shore, but narrow and
exceeding rocky, strewn all over with large and small fragments of black
rock, which had fallen from the mountain above. Then suddenly there fell
on our ears a marvellous strange cry, neither as of a man nor yet as of a
wild beast; and while we ceased rowing for to listen, behold, yet another
cry, more piercing and strange than the first, and then straightway
another: and withal the rocks and cliffs took up the sound and multiplied
it, and tossed it this way and that way till all the land seemed alive
with the clamour. But Gorgias trembled and said it was an evil spirit,
for, said he, “There be burial‐places in this part of the coast.” Then
Peter cried aloud and said, “I see a form as of a man, lank and lean,
coming out from the rocks; and it is naked.” Then some of us bade steer
towards another part of the coast; but Jesus commanded to keep on our
course.

Now when we landed, we perceived that it was a man, but he was one
possessed with evil spirits. For he had chains about his body; and he had
cut and lanced his flesh with grievous wounds. When he saw us, he took up
stones to cast at us, so that we feared to approach him; and certain
shepherds from afar off beckoned to us to go back from him. But Jesus went
before the rest of us and accosted him. And lo, at the voice of Jesus, the
man straightway let the stones fall from his hands; and, for a moment, he
stood as one astonied and in a trance. Then he shrieked aloud and made
answer to Jesus in two voices, after the manner of those possessed with
unclean spirits. For at one time the man spake, and at another the devils.
But the devils, speaking in a deep hollow voice, declared that they were
swine, and three thousand in number, and that their name was Legion.
Moreover they besought Jesus that he would not send them into the abyss
(for by this name do the evil spirits use to call that place wherein they
must needs wander so long as they have no bodies of men to dwell in), but
that he would suffer them to remain in the man’s body. But Jesus drove
them out, and the Legion went forth into the abyss, to the number of three
thousand, and in the shapes of swine. But Jesus did not suffer the man to
accompany him, but bade him return to his friends, and to tell them what
great things the Lord had done for him.

This mighty work of Jesus I have set down the more exactly, because no
such unclean spirit as this was ever cast out by any other exorcist. For
other men have been possessed with swine, or toads, or scorpions, or
serpents, but not with many in number, seldom with more than seven. But
this man was possessed with three thousand swine. For I not only heard him
say this to Jesus, but he also repeated it to me; for I conversed with
him. He told me also that he himself saw the three thousand swine go forth
and run, first upward, and then violently down from the cliff, even to the
abyss. Now the man was a Gadarene, a Jew by birth, and a patriot, one of
the sect of the Galileans. Howbeit, living in Gadara, which is a Greek
city, he had suffered himself to become defiled, and had rejected the Law
and the Worship, and had eaten swine’s flesh. But it came to pass that on
a certain day, even at the hour of prayer, when he thought on these
things, a darkness fell upon his soul, and he saw sights of demons; and
sometimes also he saw the sun as though it were red as blood; and he
loathed his food as it had been poison. And this continued for the space
of six months. But at the end of the six months, on a certain Sabbath, as
he stood in the streets of Gadara, so it was that there came a cohort,
which is the tenth part of a Roman legion, marching through the town. And
he turned and cursed them in the name of the Lord; and lo, as the curse
went forth from his mouth, the devils entered into him in the shape of a
legion of swine; and they possessed him even to the day when Jesus healed
him. All this I heard from the demoniac himself.

When Jesus had worked this miracle we all rejoiced greatly; for we thought
that whoso could do so mighty a work, to him all things were possible; and
we desired Jesus to go back to the other side of the lake, and there to
work miracles that he might convince the Pharisees. But we marvelled that
Jesus set so little store on his mighty works, insomuch that he even
seemed oftentimes unwilling to work them. Many also he wrought in private;
and many he would fain have kept secret, but he could not. Now when I
asked Nathanael (for he was as it were an interpreter unto me to explain
such sayings of Jesus as were hard to understand) for what cause Jesus
lightly esteemed his own miracles, he asked me whether I had not noted how
the common folk resorted to Jesus as a mere worker of wonders, so that
sometimes they even interrupted his discourse, being desirous that Jesus
should cease to teach that he might begin to work cures. “Now Jesus,” he
said, “doth not desire that men should come to him merely as the healer of
their bodies, but as the healer also of their souls.”

“For this cause,” said Nathanael, “Jesus often biddeth such as he healeth
in Galilee to keep silence, although he suffered the Gadarene in these
distant parts to make it known. For he deemeth it his especial work not so
much to drive out diseases and evil spirits from the body, as rather to
heal the soul, ministering bread to the hungry and wine to them that are
athirst, loosing the tongue of the dumb, and causing the deaf to hear,
opening the eyes of the blind, and making the lame to leap as a hart in
the paths of salvation.”

We made no long stay on the eastern side of the lake; but when we came
again to Capernaum we found the hearts of the people turned from us. For
not only did the chief ruler and the elders of the synagogue watch us, as
before, if perchance they could take us at an advantage; but the zeal of
the townsmen also seemed to have waxed cold. Scarcely had our boat touched
the strand at Capernaum when my uncle Manasseh met me. He took me aside
and spake with me very earnestly, saying that he had rebuked his son
Baruch for his slackness at business, because poverty was coming upon them
as an armed man, by reason of his constant attending on Jesus; and he
added, “It is true also of thee as of Baruch, ‘He becometh poor that
dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He
that gathereth in summer is a wise son; but he that sleepeth in harvest is
a son that causeth shame.’” “And what said Baruch?” I asked. “He hath
consented to my words,” said Manasseh, “and hath promised that he will no
longer accompany this Jesus of Nazareth in his wanderings: and do thou the
like.” But this I would not do; so we parted in anger.

Not a few left Jesus at this time, mostly they of the wealthier sort, as
were Baruch and Manasseh; some going back to their vineyards, others to
their olive‐presses, others to the dye‐works and glass‐furnaces, whereof
there were many in Galilee. But the poorer sort joined themselves to Jesus
as much as before, being drawn unto him by the fame of his mighty works.
Howbeit they also began to wax impatient that Jesus should give the sign
for war. Nor did they give now much heed to the words of Jesus; but they
paid regard to him as to some great exorcist and sorcerer, who useth his
art for good ends. Therefore the heart of our Master was sad at this time;
and he was grieved that the simple folk knew him not: and their words of
praise were an abomination to him.

Now it came to pass that on the third day after we had returned to
Capernaum, the fame of Jesus, how he had driven out the legion of swine
into the abyss, having been now noised abroad on our side of the lake,
behold, the common people thronged him more than before; insomuch that,
when he began to teach the people on the shore after his manner, during
the cool of the evening, they pressed in upon him and interrupted him, so
that he was not able to continue his discourse. But Jesus, being grieved
thereat, gave command to Peter and to Andrew that they should straightway
launch a boat; and he went on board. When the people saw it, they made
lamentation; but the boat was stayed at about fifty paces from the land;
and Jesus sat in the boat and taught us while we stood on the shore.

When he opened his mouth, we perceived that he taught after a new fashion.
For he no longer said “Do this,” “Do not that”; but he spake in parables.
Now almost all the teaching of the Wise is in parables, and Jesus also had
before taught in parables; but these parables had been short, and along
with the parables there had been added the interpretation thereof. But it
was not so now; for the parable was naught but a tale about a certain
sower, how he sowed seed on several kinds of ground: of the seeds, some
falling on rock were destroyed by birds; others by heat and the
shallowness of the soil; others by weeds; but some brought forth fruit.

Hereat certain murmured, and Gorgias said aloud, “Doth he think to redeem
Sion with a tale? Lo, the prophet John is in prison, and the men of
Galilee wait but for a nod from Jesus to rescue him; and our Master
rescueth him not, but openeth his mouth in dark sayings.” But the greater
number listened all agape, as though spell‐bound; for the very voice of
Jesus had power to bind the souls of a multitude. Howbeit, when evening,
or at the most when the morrow came, the parable had clean vanished out of
the minds of the greater part. Notwithstanding some (but these only a very
few) stored up the words of Jesus in their hearts, and diligently pondered
them.

In the evening I went with the rest to Jesus; and we besought him to tell
us what the parable might mean, and also why he taught thus in parables.
When he had answered, I perceived the meaning of the parable, how that
Abuyah the son of Elishah, and Eliezer the son of Arak, were the rocky
ground from which the birds picked up the seed; but Baruch, and such as
Baruch, were the shallow ground; and Manasseh and the rich merchants and
artificers were the fertile ground wherein weeds choked the seed. But
still we were fain to know why he spake in parables.

When we again questioned him of this, behold, Jesus cried aloud with an
exceeding bitter cry, saying, in the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “I heard
the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, Here am I; send me. And the Lord said, ‘Go and tell this
people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but
perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears
heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with
their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and be
healed.’”

Then were we all sad, and sat silent for a while; for our Master’s face
was full of sorrow, and this was, as it were, the first shadow of evil
that had fallen upon our path. Moreover we began to fear that, as in the
days of Isaiah, so it would be now. The Lord had sent his prophet, even
Jesus of Nazareth; but the hearts of the people would be hardened against
the words of the prophet; yea, the prophet himself would seem to make the
hearts of the people hard and not soft, as it was with Abuyah the son of
Elishah and Eliezer the son of Arak, whose hearts were made fat and their
ears heavy by the words of Jesus of Nazareth.

For we perceived in part his meaning, to wit, not that he desired in truth
to shut the eyes of the people, but that he was constrained of the Lord to
preach the Gospel, and all pressed to hear it; yet could he in no wise
preach it so as to make it plain to all, but only to a few. For behold, he
had made trial of the plain way of teaching, and men had thought they had
understood him, but they had understood him not; but had esteemed him
lightly, as little better than an exorcist. For his words had not pierced
into their hearts, but had rested without, as seeds on the wayside;
insomuch that they had been carried away by the angels of Satan. Therefore
must he now adventure a new path of teaching to the end that, at the
least, some few of us might be convinced of our want of understanding, so
that we might seek and find the truth; but, to the most, all things should
be in darkness, yea, the light itself should be as darkness unto the most.

All this the Lord Jesus spake more clearly afterwards, when he perceived
the will of the Father that only a few should be chosen, though many were
called: but at this time (perchance because it had been but newly revealed
to him) he spake more darkly and with a greater bitterness of sorrow.
Howbeit when he had lifted up his head and perceived that we also were
weighed down with his affliction, then straightway he made himself to be
of a cheerful countenance, and comforted us, saying, “Unto you it is given
to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are
without, all things are done in parables.” Then he bade us take heed that
we taught others even as he had taught us; for, said he, “with what
measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.” He said also, “Take heed
how ye hear; for whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and whosoever hath
not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” These latter words
we understood not then; but, as I take it, the meaning of Jesus was
twofold; first, that whoso had not faith nor honesty would receive damage
(even as Judas received damage, and not advantage) from the doctrine of
Jesus; but, secondly, he seemed to mean that the doctrine was, as it were,
lent to each of the disciples, as money upon usury; each being bound to
traffic with the doctrine in the commerce of his own thoughts, so as to
add thereto. In the same way he told us, at another time, that we were to
bring forth out of our treasuries things new as well as old; and he also
bade us to “be trustworthy bankers.”(7) For of all things Jesus misliked
that we should repeat his words by rote; nor did he even bid us copy his
actions exactly (but he even said that a time should come when we should
do greater works than he had done); and the like also of his words. For
this cause perchance, Jesus spake afterwards to us also, even to us his
disciples, sometimes in dark sayings; to the intent that we might ponder,
and ask and know the truth. For albeit we often feared to ask him
questions (because of our folly and our want of faith), yet did he ever
desire us to question him; teaching us that only to them that knock, is
the door opened; and only to them that hunger, is given of the bread of
Life.

When we went forth from the chamber, Gorgias said, “What meaneth the
Prophet? Doth he say that whosoever is rich, he shall be made richer? And
whosoever is poor, shall he also be made poorer?” Hereat we all smiled;
for we knew that our Master spake not of money, but of wisdom: and one
made answer to Gorgias to this effect. Then said Judas, “But if Jesus mean
wisdom, then how sayeth he ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be
measured to you?’” But Jonathan the son of Ezra replied, “Is not this even
according to the saying of the Wise, ‘Man is born to learn in order to
teach?’ And again, ‘He that learneth the Law and doth not teach it, he it
is that despiseth the Name of the Lord.’ Therefore the meaning of Jesus
is, that if a man teach others what he hath learned, the angels give into
his bosom a hundredfold reward.” To this Nathanael agreed, and he added,
“The reward is not as a price that is paid, so many shekels for so much
teaching; but it is even as the rain cometh from the cloud, or as heat
cometh from the fire. Even so doth wisdom come from teaching. For wisdom
is not as a dead block that wasteth with the using, but as a living thing
that groweth with exercise. But most of all is this true of that kind of
wisdom whereof our Master speaketh.”

Then Judas said, “But I would to God that our Master would leave off to
speak of wisdom and would do somewhat.” And Gorgias said Amen to that. But
Simon Peter replied: “It is said, ‘Take to thyself a master, and be quit
of doubt.’ Now my Master is Jesus of Nazareth, and I purpose not to spend
the time in doubting, nor to halt between many opinions. For the man that
is given to much doubting, to what is he like? He is like unto a ship with
many pilots, which attaineth not to the harbour. Therefore have I settled
my mind to believe that whatsoever Jesus doeth, that is righteousness, and
whatsoever he purposeth, that is wisdom.”

To this we agreed, and no more was said. Howbeit many of us could not so
far constrain ourselves, but we had some searchings of heart; and passing
clouds of trouble sometimes crossed our souls for that the Pharisees were
set against us, and because Jesus himself had that day seemed like unto
one bearing a burden of the Lord. Notwithstanding on the morrow, when we
looked upon his countenance, full of brightness and cheerfulness, and when
we heard him speak, after his wont, of the greatness and the glory of the
Kingdom that was to come, behold, all our dark thoughts had immediately
vanished away.



                                CHAPTER XI


Among them that came to Jesus, a few were outcasts from the synagogues,
or, as they were called, “sinners”; and it grieved the chief ruler of the
synagogue in Capernaum and the elders of that synagogue that Jesus should
receive such people. But Jesus received them gladly, and his anger waxed
daily hotter against the rulers of the synagogues and against the Scribes,
“because,” said he, “they kept the key of the Kingdom, and yet they would
neither enter in themselves nor suffer others to enter in.” He also spake
sometimes of a new Key which he must give to his disciples; but this, as
yet, he spake not clearly. But as I remember, these words concerning the
Scribes were spoken when Jesus first heard of the story of Hannah; which I
will set down here, though the matter occurred some days before.

There lived in Capernaum a certain woman whose name was Hannah, sister of
the mother of Nathanael. This woman was afflicted by Satan, so that she
could not stand upright, but was bowed down to the earth. Now it came to
pass that on a certain day when Nathanael visited her in her affliction,
behold, the Rabbi Eliezer was in her house, questioning her touching her
sins. And Eliezer had persuaded the woman that she was guilty of many
sins; for enquiring whether she had visited any of her acquaintance on the
Sabbath, he found that one of them, a widow, old and bed‐ridden, lived
somewhat more than two thousand paces from her house; wherefore he
declared that Hannah had broken the Law in visiting this poor widow on the
Sabbath. Moreover he reproved Hannah because she had borne burdens on the
Sabbath, in that she had worn ribbons upon her garment during the Sabbath,
which ribbons were not sewn to her garment; neither had she observed the
Law of the Sabbath as touching things that are not living. Many other like
sins did Eliezer reprove in Nathanael’s kinswoman.

But when she sought how to be forgiven, he said, “Thou hast not sinned
against man, but against God. If a man sin against men, the judge shall
judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?
But give of thy substance to the treasury of the synagogue, and I will
entreat for thee if perchance the Lord will deal mercifully with thee.
Howbeit thou must needs wait till the Day of Atonement: for until that day
thou mayest not be forgiven. But in the mean season fast, and eat no
pleasant food, nor drink wine: but afflict thy soul before the face of the
All‐merciful (blessed is He) if perchance He may incline His ear unto thy
prayer.”

Now when Hannah heard these things, her spirit fainted within her, and she
knew not what to do, and she cried aloud to Eliezer, “Alas! the Angel of
Death is even now upon my threshold, and my sins weigh heavily upon me. I
beseech thee therefore, entreat the Lord for me, that He may forgive me
immediately, lest I die unforgiven.” But he made answer, as before, that
she must needs wait till the Day of Atonement; and he made ready to
depart. Then she caught him by the garment to entreat him; but he would
not stay, but went out.

On the third day after these things, it came to pass that seven evil
spirits entered into Hannah and possessed her in the shapes of swine; and
Eliezer heard it, and said that it was a judgment of the Lord. Then was
Nathanael sorely grieved, and he came to Jesus and told him everything;
both that which Eliezer had said, and how Hannah had cried unto him, and
afterwards how the evil spirits had entered into her. But Jesus (as it was
reported to me by Nathanael), being exceeding wroth, arose in haste upon
hearing of this story; and he went forth straightway to the house of
Hannah and cast out the seven devils, and bade her be of good cheer and
live in peace. And then it was that he uttered this saying against the
Scribes, whereof I made mention above, namely that they kept the key of
the Kingdom of God, but would neither enter in themselves, nor suffer
others to enter in.

Now it happened that, soon after these things, I brought Nathanael to
visit the Rabbi Jonathan at his lodging in Capernaum; and we found there
the aforesaid Eliezer the son of Arak conversing with him. When Eliezer
saw us, he complained sorely of the light‐mindedness (so he called it)
which our Master manifested in receiving sinners. But Jonathan replied
saying that the cause lay in the exceeding gentleness of our Master,
because he knew not the evil nature of man.

“For,” said he, “from his birth upward, Jesus of Nazareth hath moved in
Paradise; and being himself good, pure, and gentle, he believeth that
others also are in their thoughts like unto himself, and that they need
but a little help to make them in their deeds like unto himself. For he
esteemeth of sin as being naught but an infirmity. But time and experience
will open his eyes.”

Then answered Nathanael and said to Eliezer, “But is it not truly said, O
son of Arak, that ‘The perfection of wisdom is repentance?’ and again,
‘When a man hath been wholly wicked, and hath repented at last, the Holy
One receiveth him’? Nay, it is added that, ‘If a sinner repent, all the
transgressions which he hath committed are imputed to him as merits,’ and
that ‘Repentance was created before the world.’ How then is our Master
wrong in receiving them that repent?” But Eliezer answered, with an
austere countenance, that repentance availed nothing without works; and he
quoted the saying, “No boor is a sin‐fearer; nor is the vulgar pious”; and
another saying which warneth men “Not to frequent the company of the
unlearned.” “Moreover,” he added, “the All‐seeing (blessed is He) alone
knoweth the hearts of men, and discerneth the true repentance from the
false. Wherefore none can forgive sins but God alone.”

Then Nathanael, remembering how great an evil had befallen his kinswoman
through the hardness of Eliezer, became exceeding wroth, and brake out
into bitter accusations against the Scribes, because they despised the
people of the land: “For lo,” he said, “more than half of Israel even now
goeth down to the pit of destruction, and ye raise no hand to save them.
Yea, when the drowning ones lift up their heads from the waters and cry
saying, ‘We are alive, help us,’ then stand ye on the bank and answer,
saying, ‘Down, down, ye ought not to be alive, ye are not alive.’ For ye
say that ye make fences to keep in the Law; but ye make fences indeed to
keep out the people from the Law. Wherefore your fences are as offences,
and ye are guilty of the blood of half the nation of Israel in the sight
of the Lord.”

Then Eliezer arose in wrath, and as he went to the door, he turned and
looked on Nathanael and said, “Like master, like scholar:” and so he went
out. But when he was departed, Jonathan said to us, “Eliezer spake
unadvisedly and harshly; yet is there truth in his words. For when we shun
the ‘unlearned’ and the ‘vulgar,’ or the people of the land, we mean such
as have not learned their duties toward God and man, which also are wholly
given up to the things of earth. Such men are lovers of self, wallowing in
carnal lusts: and are they not to be blamed?”

To this Nathanael replied, “True, O my father; and if all the teachers of
Israel were as thou art, verily Israel would be blessed. But do not the
Scribes cast out many from the synagogues for small matters, even though
they perform the weightier duties? Yea, I myself have heard Eliezer say
many times, ‘Hasten to a light precept’; and I have seen him to be more
angered for a light transgression than a heavy one. Also many of them say
that a ‘vulgar’ person is one that repeateth not the daily Krishma, or
weareth not phylacteries, or fringes, or doth not wait on the learned.
These things do the Scribes exalt, but they pass over justice, mercy,
righteousness, and truth.”

Jonathan made no answer to this at first; but presently he sighed and
said, “Truly we have need of a discerning spirit; and we should pray unto
the All‐seeing (blessed is He) that we may not make defiled the pure, nor
make pure the defiled, and that we may not bind the loosed nor loose the
bound.” No one spake further about this matter. But Nathanael sat musing,
while I conversed with Jonathan concerning his return to Sepphoris and
concerning certain messages which I desired that he should deliver to my
mother. Presently we bade farewell to Jonathan and departed.

But as we passed through the street together, Nathanael still mused, and,
as it seemed to me, was repeating to himself the words of Jonathan, “That
we may not bind the loosed nor loose the bound.” Then he turned to me and
said, “Joseph, is there not a certain saying touching the destroying of
the Evil Nature?” “Yes, of a truth is there,” replied I; “for it is said
that it shall come to pass, in the time to come, that the Holy One will
bring the Evil Nature, and slay him in the presence of the righteous and
in the presence of the wicked.” Then Nathanael smote his hands together
for joy, and lifted up his voice and said “Perchance, therefore, in the
day of the Redemption of Sion, the Evil Nature shall be utterly destroyed,
and we shall no longer pray according to the prayer of Jonathan the son of
Ezra, that we may not loose the bound; for all shall be loosed.”

While he spake thus, somewhat loudly, behold, a certain Barachiah the son
of Zadok heard the last words of Nathanael; and he cried after us and
mocked at us and our Nazarene prophet, for so he called Jesus. Now this
man was a beggar, crook‐backed and lame, and of a malignant disposition,
one that took pleasure in slander and mischief: and oftentimes he had
thrust himself in the path of Jesus and had besought Jesus to heal him of
his deformity. But Jesus would not. So this man called after us, mocking
us and imitating the voice of Jesus and saying, “Go in peace, go in
peace.”

Then I began to question Nathanael why Jesus had not healed this
Barachiah: Nathanael answered and said, “Because he hath not faith.
Moreover, as thou knowest, Jesus doth not adventure to heal all
afflictions and all diseases. And even if the affliction be such as can be
healed, yet he healeth not, except there be first faith.” Then I said,
“But how doth he discern such as have faith from such as have not faith?”
But Nathanael answered, “I know not; and indeed it is a marvel to me to
see how he healeth the sick. But he speaketh of these mighty works as
being prepared for him beforehand in heaven. And indeed it seemeth to me
that whensoever Jesus doeth a mighty work on earth, he seeth it also done,
in that instant, in heaven. For he looketh upon the body of the sick man
with his eyes; but with his spirit methinks he looketh on the spirit of
the man in heaven; and there he seeth a Hand, even the Hand of the
Everlasting Arm; and whatsoever the Hand worketh in heaven, even that doth
Jesus work on earth; and if he seeth the Hand unloosing the chain from the
spirit of the man in heaven, then Jesus unlooseth the chain on earth. But
if he seeth that the Hand in heaven moveth not, then his hand also is
stayed on earth.”

But I said, “When Jesus hath healed the sick, he biddeth them go in peace,
as Barachiah but now cried after us. Now if there be no peace in the man’s
heart, how can he go in peace? Doth Jesus therefore make peace in the
man’s heart? Or is it that he merely seeth peace in the man’s heart, and
speaketh aloud that which he seeth?” “Both,” replied Nathanael; “at least,
so it seemeth to me. For I judge that Jesus not only discerneth peace, but
also maketh peace. Likewise also he seemeth to me to make faith. I know
not how it is, but of late a certain Mattathias described to me the manner
in which Jesus had dealt with him. Now this Mattathias was afflicted with
a disease in his feet, insomuch that he had not walked for these three
years: and he was carried by his friends into the presence of Jesus.
‘And,’ said he, ‘before I saw Jesus, I had scarce any hope that he might
be able to help me; but when I looked upon Jesus, and saw what a strength
shone in his countenance, then I began to have faith, but not much; for
still I feared more than I hoped. Yet as Jesus healed first one and then
another (for there were many waiting to be healed before me) my faith grew
stronger and stronger. But when Jesus was come to the bed whereon I lay,
he fixed his eyes steadfastly upon me, so that the brightness thereof
passed like purifying fire into my soul; and he looked up unto heaven and
then down upon me, and it was as if he had been wrestling with the evil
spirit of faithlessness in my heart and had quite driven it out. For now,
behold, of a sudden, my doubts and fears and troubles were all clean gone,
and my heart was as light as air, and a certain irresistible faith
possessed me; insomuch that, though I lay still on my bed, I knew that I
had been made whole and that I needed naught save the bidding of Jesus to
tell me when to arise. And when the word came, I arose.’ Now,” said
Nathanael, “thus spake Mattathias to me. But if he spake aright, then
methinks Jesus hath a power to create faith in the heart as well as to
heal the diseases of the body.”

All that night I meditated upon the words of Nathanael and upon the story
of Mattathias: for that a prophet should cure diseases seemed possible,
though wonderful; but that any one, yea, even though he were the Redeemer
of Israel himself, should have power to create peace and faith, this
indeed seemed a marvellous and almost an impossible thing. But it came to
pass that on the morning of the very next day, as I remember, we went into
the house of a certain rich man with Jesus; and a great company was
assembled (some because of the mighty work that Jesus had wrought on the
Gadarene, but others, of the richer sort, because they desired to abet the
plotting of the Pharisees against him), and Jesus was now on the point to
speak to the people, when a noise was heard from the roof above. There had
been no small stir, even before, near the door of the house, and none had
taken heed thereof; but now we looked up, and behold, one sick of the
palsy in a bed was let down by ropes, until the bed reached the place
where Jesus was; for he sat in the gallery that ran round the court‐yard,
but we stood in the court‐yard below. Now many of us thought that Jesus
would not heal one that thus thrust himself into the midst of the people,
interrupting his exhortation and doctrine; and some cried out to remove
the man, but others cried out Nay. Howbeit, when Jesus gave command that
there should be silence, there was silence, even such a silence that men
feared almost to breathe; so great was the expectation of all to see what
Jesus would do.

Then sounded forth these words above the heads of all the congregation,
full of pity, yet like unto the sound of a silver trumpet in clearness:
“Thy sins be forgiven thee.” I myself was so far off that I heard the
words, but could not see the countenance of Jesus. But they that saw him
told me that it was even as Nathanael had described unto me the healing of
Mattathias. For Jesus fixed his eyes steadfastly on the man, as if he saw,
not the man himself, but the man’s angel standing in heaven bound before
the throne of God, with the chains of Satan round him, and all the host of
heaven looking thereon. “His countenance also shone as the sun: pity and
sorrow were there, but pity and sorrow swallowed up in the brightness and
glory of joy and triumph; and the sick man’s face gave back the
brightness. But when Jesus perceived that the time had come, and that the
word of God had gone forth, and that the chains in heaven had been broken,
then Jesus spake and broke the chains on earth.” So spake one unto me
afterwards, describing the manner of Jesus, how he forgave the palsied
man.

But after the first silence there arose a great murmuring and the sound of
many voices disputing. The voice of Eliezer was clearly heard saying,
“This man blasphemeth; who can forgive sins but God alone?” “Yea,” said
another, “and sins are forgiven not on earth, but in heaven, at the last
day.” But others mocking said that the sick man seemed not yet to have
gained much profit, albeit his sins had been forgiven. All this noise and
stir ceased at once when Jesus began to speak. He said, “Why reason ye
these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of
the palsy, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee,’ or to say ‘Arise, and take up thy
bed and walk’? But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath authority
even upon earth to forgive sins”—here he paused and stood up, and behold,
the whole of the congregation was constrained to stand up with one
consent; insomuch that I saw even Eliezer the son of Arak standing up with
the rest, and his face was kindling as the faces of the rest, and the
silence was even such as could be felt, and the palsied man himself seemed
half to raise himself in his bed in expectation: and, like a shock, there
fell on us the word “Arise.” And lo, the man arose at once, and stood
straight up, and Jesus said to him, “Take up thy bed, and go thy way into
thy house.” And immediately he arose, took up his bed, and went forth
whole before them all.

Then were all amazed, and glorified God, and some said, “We never saw it
in this fashion.” But others praised and magnified the All‐merciful
because He had given this new authority to men, so as to forgive sins, and
this too not hereafter in heaven, but at once and upon earth. But Eliezer
and the chief ruler and others of the elders of the synagogue, when they
had recovered from their first astonishment, took counsel how they might
again catch Jesus in his doctrine. For they said, “None can forgive sins,
except God only: therefore it is certain that this man maketh himself
God.” Howbeit they veiled their thoughts with a smooth countenance, for
fear of the multitude; and going up to Jesus they saluted him before they
departed from the synagogue. But Jesus looked wistfully at them, like unto
one hoping for good news; for he thought that they would have understood
that God had sent him, perceiving the finger of God in the healing of the
man that was sick of the palsy. But when he perceived their dissimulation,
he was silent until he had come forth from the synagogue: and then I heard
him sigh, and he said in a low voice to himself, “For judgment am I come
into this world, that those who see may see not.”

During the rest of that day Jesus sat musing: and at one time he seemed to
be sad, but at another time to rejoice. But even when he was sad, there
always appeared a joy beneath the sadness; so that his sadness was but as
the cloud that dappleth the side of a mountain, the summit whereof shineth
bright in the sunlight. For it was the nature of Jesus always to be
cheerful and to rejoice; insomuch that peace and joy seemed to go forth
from him to all men and things around him, and from them to come back with
increase to him again. But now he was sorrowful, as we gathered, because
of the hardness of heart of the Pharisees. For howsoever they might
outwardly dissemble, yet did he discern their hearts, that they were
inwardly grieved, yea, at the goodness of God; wherefore now indeed, after
this second token of their hardness, it seemed to be indeed the will of
God that the Good News should be of no avail unto the Scribes, save only
to make their eyes blind, and their hearts fat, and their ears hard of
hearing. For this cause our Master sorrowed: but for some other cause he
rejoiced, or seemed in expectation of some joy to come.

But as for the rest of us, we disputed among ourselves touching this new
power which Jesus had brought into the world; for it seemed more than
human, and such as no prophet before him had ever used or so much as
sought from God. Only Judas was silent more than was his custom: and he
seemed disturbed and doubtful, as one uncertain of his path and not
knowing whether to go forward or backward. For when Nathanael spake about
our Master’s authority to forgive sins, and how in the day of Redemption
he would destroy the Evil Nature, then Judas at times heard him gladly, as
if he earnestly desired that this should be true; but at another time he
scoffed and said that “No forgiveness of sins would drive out Herod from
Tiberias, nor the Romans from Jerusalem.”



                               CHAPTER XII


By this time the autumn was come round, and it wanted but a few days to
the tenth day of the month Tisri, which is the Great Day of Atonement. Now
so it was that, when we arose on a certain morning (in the first week, as
I remember, of the month Tisri), behold, Jesus was not in the house, and
when we sought him, we found him on the shore musing; insomuch that at
first he was not aware of our presence. But when he saw us, he bade Simon
Peter prepare his fishing‐boat, for he desired to go out into the deep. So
Simon Peter and Andrew launched the boat, and I with them; and Jesus went
on board, and there he sat, still musing, while we made ready the tackling
and the nets. While we busied ourselves herein, many of the sailors and
fishermen of the town came down to the coast and began to launch their
vessels; for the day was fair for fishing.

Now there was standing on the beach the hunchback Barachiah, the son of
Zadok: for his custom was to beg of the sailors, and to do for them such
small services as he was able. But he was hated of the most part of the
sailors by reason of his envious and malignant disposition, and because he
could not refrain from reproaches and revilings. Moreover they accused him
that he had sometimes mislaid or hurt their tackling. Others also said
that he had an evil eye and brought evil fortune. Wherefore he fared ill
with the sailors, and even when they gave him alms, it was as to a dog or
an unclean creature: and oftentimes they struck him when he crossed them.
Now it chanced that while we made ready our nets, behold, a certain
merchant, coming down to the water, stumbled upon a stone and fell against
Barachiah. Then Barachiah cried out in anger, “Wast thou born with a
bridle in thy hand that thou shouldst treat thy brethren as if they were
mules or asses?” But the other replied, “Yea, and thou wast born with a
saddle on thy back, that I might ride upon thee.” So saying, he spurned
Barachiah out of his path, so that he fell to the ground: and hereat all
the sailors laughed.

Not long after this there came down two sailors, nigh to the place where
Barachiah sat wiping the blood from his face; and one of them spake to the
hunchback some words, I know not what, but, as it appeared, of kindness.
Then straightway Barachiah rose up and went with the man, and willingly
helped him to launch his boat and to prepare his tackling. And the man’s
companion laughed and said, “Whence hast thou the power to soften the
heart of that child of Satan?” But when Barachiah was departed, the sailor
answered that he had in times past shown kindness to a brother of
Barachiah, that was now dead; and he added in jest, “In all men there be
two hearts, a heart of stone and a heart of flesh: and Barachiah hath his
heart of flesh, even as others, though he be a child of Satan.” “Nay,”
replied the other, “but if there be a heart of flesh in Barachiah, it
would need Solomon’s ring to find out where it is hid.” And so jesting
they rowed out into the deep.

Now I perceived that Jesus noted all these words of the two sailors, and
likewise that which had befallen Barachiah, and while he listened and
looked, the appearance of his countenance was altered; for before, he had
seemed in his musing like one waiting for an answer to a question, but now
like one that had received an answer. Howbeit still he mused and ceased
not, while we rowed out into the deep, and busied ourselves with casting
our nets.

But so it was that, as we rowed and drifted hither and thither in our
fishing, we were carried very close to the coast, where the rocks came
straight down to the sea after the manner of a wall; and suddenly we heard
a piteous sound as of bleating. When we looked up, we saw a lamb, which
had strayed from the flock, and had come to a stand upon a ledge in the
rock, exceeding narrow, so that it could not go forward, neither knew it
how to turn back: but there it stood, and bleated often and piteously, so
that our hearts were sorry for the creature, and we would fain have helped
it, but knew not how; for there was not space to land. But while we hung
upon our oars not knowing what to do, Peter cried out, “The shepherd
cometh”; and presently we all discerned him, very high up, and clambering
from rock to rock for to reach the lamb. And when we all shouted and
beckoned to him, he straightway understood us, and coming down, though
with much ado, took the lamb on his shoulders and bore it safely away.
Hereat we were all well content; but when I looked on Jesus, his face
shone with an exceeding joy, too great, methought, for so small a matter,
so that I marvelled. For there was no more in his countenance the look of
one questioning, but rather of one gazing upon the glory of God. Then when
we had hauled in the net, he gave command that we should row back to
Capernaum.

Now the next day Jesus showed forth what he had on his mind. For about
noon he went down to the place where one Matthew a tax‐gatherer was
sitting at the house of customs near the quay. And for a while Jesus
beheld him, how he bore himself amid all the concourse and stir of that
busy place; then he drew nigh, and called Matthew to be one of his
disciples, saying unto him, “Follow me.” And Matthew arose and followed
him and bade him to a great feast in his house on the same day, and
thereto he called many of his acquaintance, both tax‐gatherers and
sinners, and others of the poorer sort; and Jesus promised that he would
come to the feast. But when this was noised about the town, the anger of
the Pharisees was great; for they counted it as a sign that Jesus would
not join himself to them, nor do anything to gain their favour. But as for
the sailors and common people, some rejoiced, others marvelled; insomuch
that when we came to Matthew’s house, we found a great concourse of people
both round the doors and in the feast‐chamber.

Now as we entered the chamber, I could not but chafe somewhat for the
baseness of the company with whom we were forced to consort. For they were
all unlearned men, and given to vain conversation; and many of them had
not washed before supper; and the savour of their garments and the heat of
the room were scarce to be borne. Moreover I saw at one of the tables
Barachiah the son of Zadok, and others with whom I should never have
expected to sit at meat. Then the words of Jonathan the son of Ezra came
back to my mind, how he had said that Jesus was misled, in that he knew
not the evil nature of men; nor could I refrain from imparting these words
to Nathanael, who was my companion at the table.

But Nathanael answered that I erred greatly, for that Jesus knew the evil
that was in men better than any man, and hated it more than any man:
“But,” said he, “the evil of unwashed hands and unsavoury garments doth
not seem to Jesus the greatest of evils.” “But,” said I, “these men are
given to other sins; and how cometh it to pass that Jesus beareth with the
sins of these men, but doth not bear with the Scribes, who do not commit
such sins?” Then said Nathanael, “As it seemeth to me, there is a certain
light in the hearts of men; and whoso hath this light in him, loveth
light, and is drawn towards the light whenever the light is placed near to
him, even though he may have turned his back upon the light: and thus
these sinners are drawn towards Jesus. But if a man for many years make it
his business to quench the light in himself, because he feareth it; then
he cannot love the light, nor can he be drawn towards it, even though it
be very close to him. Even as the Pharisees fear the light in themselves,
and say there is no light save in the Law and the Traditions. Therefore
they quench the light in their hearts and cannot see the true light; and
they destroy the Word of God in their hearts, and cannot hear the true
Word.” “But,” said I, “if there be stripped off fine‐sounding words from
thy speech, to what is the matter like? It is as though thou shouldst say,
‘It is better that a man should commit murder and adultery and theft
(provided that he love righteousness), than that he should abstain from
all these sins, but not love righteousness.’” “Thou knowest well,” replied
Nathanael, “that according to a man’s love of righteousness will be his
hatred of sin; and whoso really hateth sin, he cannot live therein. Yet
what thou sayest is true; there is more hope of the vilest sinner than of
the man that hath in his heart no love of righteousness.”

I mused for a while, and then I said, “Thou speakest of hope: but doth it
seem to thee truthful, looking upon a bad man, to say, this man is good,
merely because thou mayest have hopes that he may become good?” But before
Nathanael could make answer, there came into my mind the words of the
sailor, that “If Barachiah the son of Zadok had a heart of flesh as well
as a heart of stone, it would need Solomon’s ring to find out where the
heart of flesh was hid;” so I told the words to Nathanael. Straightway
Nathanael looked toward the place were Barachiah was sitting at table; and
then he turned to me and said, “And hath not our Master the ring of
Solomon?” Then I also looked at Barachiah; and I marvelled to see what a
gentleness there was in his countenance. But Jesus was at that instant
beginning a discourse; so we ceased conversing that we might hearken unto
it.

The discourse told of a certain son of a kind father, who, taking his
patrimony, wandered into a distant city, where he squandered his substance
in riotous living, so that he was forced to keep swine like an hireling;
but returning to his father he was welcomed. Other like parables he spake:
and all the people were marvellously attentive to hear him.
Notwithstanding, Jesus would not always discourse himself alone: for he
gladly heard others, and by questions led many to speak, questioning them
with courtesy in no way akin to condescension (even as a brother meeting
brothers after long absence); the merchants concerning foreign countries;
the officers of the customs concerning the commerce and wares of the
place; the mariners and soldiers concerning the ships and currents and
strong places and fortresses whereof they severally had knowledge. With
all these common people did Jesus converse, and to each, methought, he
added somewhat of his own nature. And so it was that amid all that
concourse of vulgar and unlearned people and boors (as the Scribes would
have called them), not one did or said anything unworthy of the presence
of our Master. Thus did Jesus give to others, and lo, they gave back to
him good measure into his bosom, pressed down and running over, according
to his own saying.

But when he rose up to go, behold, Barachiah the son of Zadok also rose up
in haste, and coming to Jesus he fell down on his knees before him, and
besought him that he would forgive all the slanders and revilings which he
had used concerning Jesus and concerning his disciples. And Jesus both
forgave him and blessed him. And from that hour even to the day of his
death Barachiah was a new creature; insomuch that he was no longer known
among them of Capernaum as the viper, or the child of Satan, but they
called him “the changed man.”

But as Jesus was now going forth, two of the disciples of John the son of
Zachariah came unto him. For they had been present in the chamber, though
they had not partaken of the feast; and they marvelled at the cheerfulness
of Jesus, because he ate bread and drank wine and conversed freely with
the common people, not after the manner of their master. So they were
offended at Jesus, and said to him, “Master, why do we and the Pharisees
fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?” Now John himself had called Jesus
the Bridegroom of Israel. Jesus therefore, using these same words,
answered and said, “Can the children of the bride‐chamber mourn as long as
the bridegroom is with them?” Then he turned and looked at us, and his
face was sorrowful; and he added, “But the days will come when the
bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast in those
days.” Then first did Jesus speak concerning his departure from his
disciples: and he meant, perchance, that as John the Prophet had been
taken from the midst of his disciples, so also would he himself be taken
away from us; for the Lord had revealed unto him that Israel was not to be
redeemed easily, nor without much tribulation. But by what power he should
be thus taken, whether by imprisonment (as had befallen John), or by death
of violence (as was shortly to befall John), or by death in course of
nature, concerning these things he said naught at this time. But we
neither understood his words, neither took we thought of them.

But as we came forth, we met Eliezer the son of Arak, and the chief ruler
of the synagogue, and many of the elders of the synagogue; and they looked
at us with sore displeasure. And the chief ruler did not restrain himself,
but said to Jesus aloud in the presence of us all, “Is it even so that
thou wouldst fain be Ruler over Israel? Behold, on thy side are Matthew
the tax‐gatherer, and Barachiah the child of Satan, and Mary the sinner;
but on my side are Eliezer the son of Arak and all the elders of the
synagogue. Is it not better to be the tail of a lion rather than the head
of a dog?”

But when Jesus noted how certain of the sinners feared to stand before the
faces of Eliezer the son of Arak, and of the ruler of the synagogue, and
how they were shaken in their faith and abashed (for that they were
accustomed to be despised and to be trampled on, as being without all hope
of redemption); then was he exceeding wrath, and he answered and said unto
the ruler of the synagogue, “Woe unto the world because of offences: for
it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man by whom the
offence cometh.” Then he pointed to the sinners behind him (whom he was
wont to call “little ones,” because they were babes in faith), and he
spake again to the chief ruler and his party, saying, “Take heed that ye
despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that in heaven
their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.”

Then Eliezer the son of Arak interrupted him and said, “Why eatest thou,
contrary to the Traditions, with tax‐gatherers and sinners?” But Jesus
answered and said, “How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one
of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety‐and‐nine, and goeth
into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be
that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep
than of the ninety‐and‐nine which went not astray.” “But,” said another of
the Scribes, “why dost thou shun and rebuke the righteous? What evil is it
not to be a sinner?” When Jesus heard that, he said unto him, “They that
be whole need not a physician, but they that be sick. But go ye and learn
what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come
to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” So saying, he passed on
and left the Pharisees, and we followed him.

Now Andrew and Simon Peter had been disciples of John the son of
Zachariah, before they had joined themselves to Jesus. In the evening,
therefore, they resorted to Jesus to question him touching the answer he
had that day given to John’s disciples concerning fasting. I was with
them, and also Judas of Kerioth, and a certain Eleazar the son of Azariah,
a Scribe of Sepphoris and a friend of Jonathan. Now Eleazar did not
venture to advise Jesus to use shifts and subterfuges so as to keep
friendship with the Pharisees; but he said that perchance such sinners as
might be converted to the path of righteousness might not be able to
continue therein, unless the path were fenced in by rules and laws,
feasts, fasts, and other like ordinances. He also bade Jesus not separate
himself from the congregation; for said he, “Whatsoever is decreed by the
congregation below, that is decreed by the congregation above; and what is
ratified on earth is ratified in heaven; and with whomsoever the spirit of
men is pleased the Spirit of God is pleased.”

But Jesus answered that as new wine was not like unto old wine, nor a new
garment like an old garment, even so the doctrine of John was not like
unto his doctrine; neither could the two be mixed. The doctrine of the
Pharisees also, he said, was not like his doctrine, and the two kinds of
doctrine needed two several and distinct shapes, even as several kinds of
wine need several bottles. When Eleazar heard this, he went out; for these
words seemed to him (as he said to John the son of Zebedee) to be a kind
of proclaiming of war against the Pharisees; so that there appeared no
longer any hope of concord between Jesus and them. Judas also, although he
still seemed strangely perturbed, and spake less than was his wont,
nevertheless said that a great gulf was opening itself between our Master
and the Pharisees; “and,” said he, “unless something is speedily done,
this gulf will be impassable.” Many also that had been disciples of John
the Prophet murmured against Jesus, because he had promised to fulfil the
Law and had been expected to follow in the course of John, but now he went
contrary to the Law and was for choosing a path of his own. For at that
time in Galilee they that honoured John the Prophet were more than they
that honoured Jesus of Nazareth.

But for my part my soul was given up to thanksgiving and to praise of God,
because of this new power which He had sent down to men, of forgiving
sins. For if it seemed a divine word to say “Let there be light,” and
there was light, much more divine a word it seemed to say, “Let there be
righteousness,” and lo, there was righteousness. And when I remembered the
saying of the sailor, how that it needed Solomon’s ring to find out the
heart of flesh in bad men, and when I called to mind how Jesus had found
it out, then it seemed to me that a greater than Solomon was among us. I
thought also on the words of Nathanael, how that, in the day of
Redemption, the Holy One (blessed is He) will bring the Evil Nature and
slay him in the presence of the righteous and of the wicked; and my
thoughts were swallowed up in wonder.



                               CHAPTER XIII


The words of Judas were true, that a great gulf now lay between our Master
and the Pharisees; and day by day the gulf grew wider, as I soon
perceived. It chanced that Eliezer the son of Arak knew that I was a
friend of Jonathan; and desiring to draw me away from Jesus, he wrote a
letter to Jonathan begging him to move me that I might return home. This
letter of Eliezer therefore Jonathan sent unto me, and it was to the
following effect:

“From Eliezer the son of Arak to Jonathan the son of Ezra: salutation and
peace. Be it known unto thee, O Jonathan, that this Jesus of Nazareth,
concerning whom we once had hopes that he might be a deep well or
perchance even an ever‐welling spring of the Law, hath proved an empty
vessel and a broken cistern. He profaneth the Sabbath and teacheth others
to profane it; he eateth without the washing of hands; he teacheth that no
man is defiled by that which he toucheth or eateth; in a word, he breaketh
the Law and causeth others to profane it. Yet this in part was known unto
thee even before, and thou didst deceive thyself, and saidst, ‘Perchance
he hath a message from God concerning the Sabbath and concerning the Law.’
Hear, therefore, O son of Ezra, what new thing this blind guide hath taken
upon himself to do. He not only teacheth all people everywhere to abstain
from sacrifice, wresting to his own destruction that hard saying of the
Prophet which saith, ‘I will have mercy and not sacrifice,’ but he also
hath dared to make himself as God, forgiving sins. This he hath done
publicly in the synagogue, before the face of the congregation.

“Now we would fain deal gently with the young man, because he seemed once
to purpose well, and because he hath made unto himself a name for casting
out unclean spirits. Moreover he is befriended not only by the rabble that
knoweth not the Law, but also by a few of the wise and pious, as, for
example, thyself. For this cause we are minded not at once to punish him
in accordance with the law for blasphemy, but to make excuses for him by
saying that he is beside himself.

“And this indeed seemeth to be not unlikely, for he is not as other men
are; for ofttimes he sleepeth not, but watcheth (as I am informed) whole
nights together; and albeit he seeth no vision (which sheweth him to be no
prophet), yet he carrieth himself in such strange fashion as if he saw
visions daily; also he is wroth at small faults and at no faults (as thou
thyself knowest), and yet withal easy to forgive great faults. Moreover of
late he most strangely forsweareth the company of all the pious and
learned, and consorteth publicly with tax‐gatherers and sinners; insomuch
that, but now, having called one Matthew a tax‐gatherer, to be one of his
disciples, afterwards, at a feast in the house of this Matthew, amid mirth
and wine‐bibbing, he took upon himself to forgive the sins of that
Barachiah the son of Zadok, who, as thou knowest, is by all men called the
child of Satan.

“Now therefore, for the sake of the young man Jesus himself, it beseemeth
thee, O Jonathan, to cause this evil to cease, and to warn his friends, if
perchance they may see fit to restrain him. Write therefore, I pray thee,
to his mother Mary, and to his brethren (but I grieve that his father no
longer liveth to restrain him) that they may come and lay hands upon him:
for they will listen to thy voice. We desire also that thou wouldst write
to the young man, thy pupil and friend, Joseph the son of Simeon, that he
may return to Sepphoris, lest he too fall into the pit of destruction
along with this blind guide Jesus. If also thou shouldst inform Joanna,
the mother of Joseph, concerning all these things, she would peradventure
join her voice to thine, that thy pupil might return. But in any case it
were well that the certainty of the madness of this Jesus should be noised
abroad among all thy friends and acquaintances, to the intent that we may
the more easily restrain him.

“Hearken, I pray thee, unto my words, O Jonathan, for I will not hide the
truth from thee, that certain of us judge the young man Jesus of Nazareth
more harshly, saying that he is possessed by Beelzebub. Others also say
that hands should be laid upon him without delay, and that he should be
delivered to Herod. Now if he hearken unto thee and desist from his
consorting with sinners, or if his kinsmen lay gentle hands upon him, then
we are willing that he should suffer few stripes; but if not, many stripes
will be needful. But if he should be delivered to Herod, or if the people
should peradventure take up stones to stone him, who knoweth the end
thereof? Peace be with thee!”

Together with the letter of Eliezer was a letter from Jonathan, who
besought me to send word unto him about the welfare of Jesus; and I could
perceive that, albeit the old man was wroth that any should say that Jesus
was possessed with an unclean spirit, yet even he inclined his ear to
believe that Jesus was beside himself. For after some words touching the
health of my mother, the letter ended thus, “Alas, because of the iniquity
of this generation! For verily Jesus was fit to be the Redeemer of Israel;
but the generation was unfit. He was as the morning star in his joy, and
as the sun in the glory of his brightness; but the night cometh apace, and
the sun must give place to the darkness. Verily, Jesus was of them that
have entered into Paradise, and have tasted of the honey of the highest
heaven. But perchance he hath seen things not vouchsafed to men to see,
even the mystery of the Chariot; and the vision hath been too much for the
eye of man, and with much honey the mind hath been demented.”

When I received these letters, I purposed at once to inform Jesus
concerning the plots of the Pharisees. But he was not at that time at
Capernaum, but at Bethsaida Julias; so I hastened thither. When I was come
thither, Jesus was exhorting the people; and there was a great concourse
to hear him, so that I could not come nigh unto him for the press. But
while I stood afar off, behold, Eliezer the son of Arak advanced towards
him through the midst of the press; and all men made way for him. But he,
making as though he could not advance further, called to Jesus in a loud
voice, so that all men should hear: “Behold, thy mother and thy brethren
stand without, desiring to see thee.”

Now could I see from Eliezer’s countenance and from the manner of his
speech, and from the faces of some of the Scribes that were sitting in the
principal places, yea, and from the faces of some others that were in the
outermost part of the crowd (for they nodded and beckoned each to the
other) that here was indeed the very plot of the Pharisees whereof Eliezer
had made mention in his letter to Jonathan. For the mother and brethren of
Jesus had come with intent to lay hands on him, having been persuaded that
he was beside himself. And immediately all that were in the chamber seemed
to become aware of the plot. For Jesus ceased from his teaching; and many
stood on tiptoe gazing toward that quarter of the crowd where the mother
of Jesus was waiting, and then they gazed back on Jesus again, marking how
he bore himself. So there arose a marvellous great stillness, while every
one waited to hear what Jesus would say: and my heart beat so that I could
even hear the beating thereof. But Jesus said, “Who is my mother, and who
are my brethren?” Then he looked round about on those of his disciples
that sat nigh unto him and he said, “Behold my mother and my brethren. For
whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother and my sister
and mother.”

When he had said these words, then the countenance of Eliezer fell. For he
had hoped either to have found occasion against Jesus (as though he paid
no reverence to his mother, not rising up or going forth to meet her), or
else that the brethren of Jesus should have laid hands on him as he went
forth, and so all men should ever after have esteemed him as one beside
himself. But the words of Jesus manifested that he ceased not to love and
honour his mother, howbeit he loved and honoured others also, even as many
as were in the Family of God, unto whom he was as a brother or as a son;
neither ought he to have forsaken all the Family of God to please the
family of Nazareth; for, had he gone forth to meet them that stood
without, he had forsaken and caused to stumble all them that sat within.
So they perceived what was in the mind of Jesus; and they magnified him
the more.

When the Pharisees perceived that they had not prevailed with the common
people, they began to adventure a second plot. For they procured a certain
Scribe to accuse Jesus in the synagogue, and to say that he cast out
devils through Beelzebub the prince of the devils. The name of the Scribe
was Hezekiah the son of Zachariah, from Jerusalem; even the same Hezekiah
of whom I spake before, when I spake of the meeting of the Galileans in
the valley nigh unto Sepphoris. Howbeit, neither did this plot prevail
with the common people. For the same accusation had been brought by the
Scribes against John the prophet: but in vain. For the people could in no
wise be persuaded that such an one as Jesus was possessed with an unclean
spirit, nor that sick men could be healed and devils driven out by
Beelzebub.

But that which caused most surprise to many of the disciples was to note
how great a wrath was kindled in Jesus by this accusation. It chanced, as
I remember, that we were in a small synagogue in the town called Jotapata.
He had driven out a devil from a young man, and the devil tare the young
man as he passed out of him, so that the young man lay on the ground
lifeless. Jesus, as his manner was, took the young man by the hand for to
help him to arise; and because there seemed no life in him, he stooped
down and embraced him for to lift him up. Now the rest of them that were
with Hezekiah held their peace, albeit against their will; so great was
their marvel at the deed, and so mighty was the presence of Jesus. Only
Hezekiah still hardened his heart. Therefore while Jesus was now lifting
up the youth, of a sudden was heard the voice of Hezekiah crying aloud,
“Thou castest out devils through Beelzebub the prince of the devils:” and
all the people were as men amazed, and stood agape, expecting what Jesus
would do.

Jesus himself, at first, seemed like unto one in a dream, turning his eyes
from the young man (whose life had now returned to him) to the face of
Hezekiah, and from Hezekiah again back to the young man; as though either
he himself had not heard aright, or else Hezekiah had not seen clearly how
great a work had been wrought for the young man. For belike he could
scarce believe that any man in Israel could refrain from rejoicing at the
young man’s deliverance; nor did it seem possible to him that any among
the children of men could suppose that a devil could be cast out save by
the finger of God. But when he perceived that the face of Hezekiah was set
as a rock against him, and that his eyes were as the eyes of one mocking
him; and when he looked round also upon the people, and perceived that
some of them were abashed and shaken in their faith because he had as yet
made no answer, then indeed his countenance was changed against Hezekiah,
and he made answer to him after his folly: that, if it was so indeed, and
if Satan was divided against himself, then let all men rejoice, for
behold, Satan could not stand. But if not, and if he cast out devils by
the hand of God, “Then,” said he, “the Kingdom of God hath come upon you
unawares.”

When he had spoken these words, he stood, as if in pause, and fixed his
eyes on the face of Hezekiah. But he looked upon him no more with anger,
but with a marvellous pity; and behold, his countenance, which was wont to
shine as the sun, became pale and cold to look upon, even as the moon in
her brightness, looking down upon a man drowning in deep waters; and he
added and said, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto
men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto
men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be
forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not
be forgiven, neither in this age, nor in the age to come.” Never before
had we seen Jesus so moved. Hezekiah himself was confounded, and gasped
for breath and could not speak, but went out of the synagogue in
confusion; neither was there one in the congregation that went out with
him.

But when the congregation had departed I went to Nathanael and questioned
him concerning this matter. For even from the first, Nathanael had a
discerning spirit, able to discern matters wherein I groped as in
darkness; but moreover of late I had noted how he had seemed to grow in
wisdom and discernment, so that it was a marvel to see how great a change
had come to pass in how short a time: and he was to me, as it were, an
interpreter of the words of Jesus. So I asked Nathanael what Jesus meant
by the words “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” and why that sin was
above all other sins so that it could not be forgiven.

“For,” said I, “Jesus was blasphemed as a gluttonous man and as a wine‐
bibber, not many days past, in this very place, and I noted well (but thou
wast not with us) with what a calmness, yea, even to mirth, Jesus endured
the charge. For we chanced to be passing through this very street, and the
children were coming forth from the school and sporting after their
manner; and Jesus sat him down on the stone yonder and watched them at
their sports. And behold, the children had divided themselves into two
companies, a small company and a large company; and the small company had
pipes and tabors, and were to play thereon; but the others were to conform
themselves to the music of their fellows. But when they were now
beginning, the larger company could not agree among themselves, and (after
the manner of wanton children) they knew not their own minds. So when the
pipers piped merry music they would not dance, but cried out for sad
music; but when the pipers piped sadly, then they would not beat their
breasts, nor make as if they were in the house of mourning, but stopped
their ears and called for merry music: whereat the pipers were vexed, and
complained of the inconstancy of their fellows. Then do I right well
remember how Jesus noted it all, and smiled thereat. And turning to us, he
said, still smiling (though with some touch of sadness), that this
generation was like unto those children: for he had come piping merry
music, and John the Prophet had come piping sad music, but the men of this
generation would listen to neither; for they said that John had a devil,
and that he himself was a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of
publicans and sinners. Now wherefore, thinkest thou, did Jesus endure so
lightly to be blasphemed as a gluttonous man and a winebibber, but endured
not to hear the words of Hezekiah? And what is this sin against the Holy
Spirit?”

While I was saying these words, standing beneath the olive‐grove on the
side of the hill which looketh on Jotapata, Nathanael sat down upon the
grass; and I sat down likewise. Then he said to me, “Not many days gone
by, I heard Jesus speak concerning the Holy Spirit; and his words were on
this wise. As in each man the man’s breath or spirit is the life of the
body, so in each man there is a certain holy breath or spirit which is the
life of his soul; whence also cometh every good thought and deed unto the
man. Moreover thou seest that the air which we breathe, and which is the
breath of our bodies, is but a part of that great sea of air which
embraceth the whole earth so that there is nothing hidden from the touch
thereof; insomuch that the same air or breath which is coming towards us
from yonder mountain top, making the terebinth‐trees to bow, and which
even now rustleth in the olive‐trees above us, even this is our breath and
our life. Now I have heard Jesus say that there is a likeness between this
breath of our bodies and the breath or spirit of our souls. For as the
wind bloweth where it listeth, and we hear the sound thereof, but know not
whence it cometh nor whither it goeth, even so it is with the spirit of
our souls, the spirit of goodness, which is the Holy Spirit of God.”

Then I said, “But how shall we obtain this Holy Spirit? Or is it indeed
needful that we should obtain it, seeing that we have it already? Or do
some have it, but others have it not?” Nathanael answered and said, “All
have it. But some have little, and none much; and Jesus hath come that we
may have it abundantly. But how we shall obtain it, this I know not now.
But this I know, that Jesus hath the Holy Spirit in himself, and that he
will impart it to us. For I heard him say that no man can enter into the
Kingdom of God unless he is born again of the Holy Spirit.”

Then he paused, and said, “Is there not, O Joseph, a certain saying
touching the Shekinah, how that it dwelleth not with one man, but with
many?” And I replied, “Yea, but with one also; for it is said, ‘When _ten_
sit and are occupied in words of the Law, the Shekinah is among them, for
it is said, God standeth in the _congregation_ of the mighty. And whence
dwelleth it even with _two_? Because it is said, Then they that feared the
Lord spake often _one_ to _another_. And whence even with _one_? Because
it is said, In all places where I record my name I will come unto _thee_
and bless _thee_.’” Nathanael smiled and said, “Our Master also teacheth
that the presence of the Holy Spirit is with two or three, whensoever they
are gathered together in his name. But this doctrine he foundeth not on
words of Scripture; but methinks he seeth that there is a certain Spirit
of Goodness or Kindness which passeth from one man to his neighbour and
gathereth strength as it passeth. But when a man is alone and without
neighbours, it cannot in this way gather strength. For it is a Spirit of
Love. Wherefore, as it seemeth to me, our Master teacheth that the Holy
Spirit is present, in some sort, in the intercourse between man and man,
whensoever men do aught together as the children of God.”

“But yet,” said I, “I would fain know why Hezekiah the Scribe was thus
rebuked, and why the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not forgiven.”
Then said Nathanael, “All men have within themselves some portion of the
Spirit of God; even as we now have some portion of that great wind and
breath of heaven which here in Jotapata is rustling in the olive‐branches,
and yonder at Capernaum is driving the fishing‐boats, and out in the Great
Sea is speeding the ships of Tarshish on their path. Now if thou closest
thy mouth and thy nostrils against the winds of heaven and sayest, ‘The
air is as poison to me, I will not breathe it,’ behold, thou perishest.
Even so is it with the Holy Spirit. Every man that cometh into the world,
hath in him some portion of the Holy Spirit. For the spirit which is in
him breatheth of the Holy Spirit, and dependeth and liveth thereon. But if
he shall say knowingly in his heart, ‘I will not breathe thereof; I will
call good evil, and the Holy Spirit I will call unholy’; then lo, his
spirit dieth within him, and he can no more enter into the life of God.”

Then I said, “Is not the sin of Hezekiah less than the sin of Barachiah
the son of Zadok, who cursed Jesus?” And Nathanael replied, “No, for
Barachiah cursed Jesus in his anger and in his haste, knowing not the
truth: but Hezekiah saith in his heart, ‘Lo, the truth is not pleasing
unto me, therefore I will not look upon it; nay, it is hateful, therefore
I will call it evil.’”

Then I mused for a space, and afterwards I questioned Nathanael yet again
and said, “Thou hast said that in the Day of Redemption the Holy One
(blessed is He) will slay the Evil Nature of men. Therefore at the great
day what thinkest thou of them which have blasphemed the Holy Spirit? Will
they also perish together with the Evil Nature? Or will there be yet
another age after the age that is to come, so that even the wicked may yet
be in the end redeemed? For Jesus said that they should not be forgiven,
neither in this age nor in the age to come.” But Nathanael could not
answer this question; and we feared to ask Jesus concerning the matter.

While we thus spake together, behold, Barabbas stood before us: and he
saluted us and besought us that we would sup at his house; for he dwelt at
Jotapata. But I asked him for what cause he had been absent from us of
late, and where he had been, and what the people of Jotapata said touching
the words of Hezekiah the Scribe. Touching the cause of his absence he
made no answer; but as concerning the people, he said that the men of
Jotapata were of one mind, that Hezekiah had spoken for envy. “Nor is it
possible,” said he, “that a man should believe that Jesus hath a devil,
unless he himself should have a devil. For they which have devils say and
do all things without forethought and with distraction, as if divided
against themselves; but in Jesus there is the contrary from these: for he
doth all things with forethought, yea, and perchance” (these words he
uttered with some show of anger) “with more than enough of forethought.”

Now Barabbas spake with something of austerity, which was not usual with
him. Moreover I marvelled at those words which he had said touching “too
much of forethought.” Therefore I asked him again where he had been of
late, and why he had forsaken the disciples. But he answered with still
more of passion than before, “Because I am weary of these idle wanderings
about Galilee, which bring forth no fruit. Not to sit on stools at the
feet of a Scribe did I and my friends join ourselves to Jesus of Nazareth.
Why tarrieth he so long idle? Why is his hand so backward to smite the
oppressor?” But I bade him be of good cheer, for the hour was not yet
come, and Jesus would know better than we the season fit for our uprising.

But he replied, still in great heat, “Thou wouldst fain know where I have
tarried these twenty days. Well, I will tell thee. I have but even now
come from Machærus, where I have tarried these two weeks and more, nigh
unto the fort called the Black Castle, wherein John the Prophet is
imprisoned. With the Prophet himself I had no speech; for he is kept in
close durance, insomuch that he pineth, as I hear, for lack of air and
freedom. This I heard from one of the guard, who is a kinsman of mine.
Moreover my kinsman told me that had it not been for Chuza the Steward,
the Prophet had been slain ten days ago. For the Tetrarch, after supper,
being heavy with wine, was moved by the adulteress, even by Herodias, to
write letters that John should be beheaded. Howbeit Chuza took order that
the letter should be stayed for that time, and won the Tetrarch from his
purpose. But what surety have we that the adulterous woman may not win the
Tetrarch to write even such another letter to‐morrow? And when John shall
feel the left hand of the Thracian gripping his hair and the Thracian
scimitar (may it be accursed!) hacking at his neck, will he not then cry
unto the Lord in his sore agony and say, ‘Jesus of Nazareth hath forsaken
me: Jesus of Nazareth is guilty of my blood’? For this cause do we
Galileans begin no more to trust your Master, because he speaketh many
fair words, but we see not from him any doing of deeds.”

His words so troubled me that I knew not what to say; Nathanael also was
silent. But I besought Barabbas to trust in Jesus because of his mighty
works, and because of his Gospel, which surely was a message from God.
“Certainly,” I began, “Jesus of Nazareth will not suffer the Prophet to
die as a dog dieth.” But, even while I spake, it came into my mind that
the ways of Jesus were not as the ways of other men; neither could I
foretell what Jesus would do, or not do, save only I knew that he would do
right. So I paused, and added, “or, if otherwise——.” But Barabbas, at that
word “if,” brake away from us, and was departing in fury. Howbeit,
remembering himself, he returned and constrained himself, and courteously
besought us to tarry with him that night. But we could not; for we were to
pass on to another town, and not to tarry at Jotapata. So we bade him
farewell.

As we journeyed eastward, I looked back now and then to the high rock
whereon the tower of Jotapata is built: for it was exceeding high, being
indeed one of the fire‐stations whence the new moon was wont to be
proclaimed. And as the sun was now sinking towards the west behind the
rock, the castle seemed to stand up very clear, and easy to be seen
against the red sky. But as often as I looked thereat, the words of
Barabbas would come again and again into my mind; and there rose up before
me the black castle of Machærus and the face of the prophet shut up in
chains and darkness, and waiting for a deliverer. Then it seemed to me
that the shadows of evil were encompassing our own Master also. For the
Pharisees had set their faces against him; and though he had avoided their
first snares, yet I knew full well that they were even now making others
ready. Yea, Eliezer himself had confessed as much; for he had said in his
letter to Jonathan that, if other means failed, it was purposed to deliver
Jesus over to Herod. And now behold, the Galileans also were like to sever
themselves from Jesus and to desert him. So all things seemed full of
danger, and there appeared no path of deliverance.

In my dejection there came one upon another into my mind all the dark
sayings of Jesus, and especially the words which he had spoken to us in
the house of Matthew the tax‐gatherer, that “The days should come when the
bridegroom should be taken away from the children of the bridechamber, and
then should they fast in those days.” So I marvelled and pondered what
those words might mean, “the bridegroom should be taken away.” But they
were too deep for me to understand, and I was as one wading in them and
out of my depth; nor could I light upon anything solid in them save only
this, that they appeared to prophesy some evil.



                               CHAPTER XIV


On the third or fourth day after that we had seen Barabbas, we came to
Bethsaida. And behold, as Jesus was exhorting the people, there came into
the synagogue two disciples of John the Prophet. And the principal Scribe
of the place brought the men in, saying that they had a message from the
Prophet to Jesus of Nazareth. Then all men held their peace and expected
what the message should be; and I remembered the words of Barabbas
concerning John, and my mind presaged that the prophet had sent to bid
Jesus release him. But the Scribe (for he knew what the message was, and
desired to discredit Jesus) said aloud that the message was a strange one,
not fit for the ear of the common multitude; therefore it should be
reserved for the ear of Jesus alone. But all the people listened the more
intently; and Jesus gave command that the messengers should deliver their
message aloud, and they did so. Now the words of the message were these,
“John the Prophet hath sent us to thee from the prison of Herod, saying,
‘Art thou he that should come, or must we look for another?’”

When we heard these words we all looked that Jesus should either rebuke
the Prophet for his want of faith, or else make some comfortable answer,
saying that he would come with speed and deliver the Prophet from his
bonds. Howbeit Jesus made no answer, but continued his exhortation; and he
drove out certain unclean spirits, and forgave sins. But when he had ended
these things, he called to the disciples of John, and he repeated to them
those passages of the prophets which describe the signs of Redemption, and
in particular the prophecy of Isaiah: how the ears of the deaf shall be
unstopped to hear the tidings of Redemption, and the eyes of the blind
shall be opened to discern the truth of the Lord; and the lame man shall
leap as a hart in the paths of salvation; and the tongue of the dumb shall
sing the praises of the Lord. And he said unto the two messengers, “Go and
show John the things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their
sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the
dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Then
he added these words, “Blessed is he who shall not be offended in me.”

When the messengers were departed, Jesus spake to the people concerning
John, saying that John (howbeit he might have changed and fallen from his
first estate, seeming to be, for the time, unstable as a reed or pliant as
a courtier) was, none the less, truly a prophet, yea, and the greatest of
prophets, inasmuch as he was sent by God as the herald of the Redeemer.
Then he added thereto a certain saying which filled us all with amazement:
yea, and even now after forty years, though I be enlightened with the Holy
Spirit, yet can I not choose but be amazed thereat. For the words were
these: “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women, there
hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is
least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.”

When the congregation brake up, many of the people said among themselves
that this was an hard saying. Others asked what Jesus meant by dividing
them that were “born of women” from them that are in the Kingdom of
Heaven; and whether the former meant the living and the latter meant the
dead. Now I understood (for Nathanael had instructed me) that Jesus put a
difference between them which are born of flesh and blood, and them which
are born of the Spirit; wherefore I partly perceived the meaning of his
saying, namely, that the kingdom of the Law and of the Prophets now had an
end, and that the kingdom of the Spirit of God was at hand; and that the
greatest in the former kingdom was less than the least in the latter.
Likewise I understood Jesus to say that the sending of this message and
the moving of Jesus to take up the arms of the flesh argued in John a
certain nature of flesh; as if he thereby shewed himself to be born not of
the New Kingdom, but of the Old Kingdom of flesh and blood, albeit the
greatest therein. Yet for all this, that such an one as Jesus of Nazareth,
whose gentleness and meekness (albeit mixed at all times with a certain
royal carriage and demeanour) for the most part exceeded the meekness of a
little child, should notwithstanding seem to rate so low the greatest of
all the prophets of Israel, and exalt so high the meanest of all the
citizens in the Kingdom that was to come (which also seemed perforce to
include a certain magnifying of himself as being chief in that Kingdom);
this, I say, for all my poising and pondering, still perplexed and
distracted my mind, as a thing new and strange, and (I had almost said)
monstrous to human reason.

I desired to question Nathanael the son of Zebedee concerning these
things; but I could not. For having noted the face of one of my mother’s
household in the congregation, and fearing lest he might have some message
touching my mother’s health, I hasted to seek the man out: and it proved
even as I feared, for my mother was indeed sick, and had sent, desiring
that I would come to see her. Therefore I went to Jesus at once, and
besought him that he would suffer me to go to my mother. As I went to
Jesus, I met Eliezer the son of Arak, and would have passed him. But he,
noting that I was somewhat moved, stayed me, and having questioned me, he
said, “If thou art wise, thou wilt not go to Jesus: for but now, he
forbade one of his disciples to bid farewell to his parents, and another
he would not so much as suffer to bury the dead body of his father. For he
rageth like a young lion taken in the net of the hunter; and whoso leaveth
his side, though it be for an hour, seemeth to him a traitor. Be
persuaded, therefore, and quit this Jesus of Nazareth, and his rabble of
sinners, and come unto the side of the learned, and thou shalt have
eminence among us.”

Now I could not indeed deny that Jesus had forbidden certain of his
disciples to leave him; but he had done it for their advantage, and
because he knew that it would have been ill for them to leave him.
Therefore I answered Eliezer with the same proverb which the ruler of the
synagogue had said to Jesus, that it was better to be the tail of the lion
than the head of the fox; and so I left him. For he spake out of a
malignant heart, and not because he loved me. Moreover, I knew that if
Jesus should say, Go not, it would be well said; for I trusted him in all
things.

I found Jesus surrounded by many disciples, who had been asking him
questions concerning John the Prophet, and concerning the manner of his
deliverance. For all we at that time were assured in our minds that John
would be delivered: for men counted John the son of Zachariah and Jesus of
Nazareth as yoke‐fellows in Israel, and the safety of one seemed to depend
on the safety of the other, and the salvation of Israel on both. And
indeed I myself have often marvelled that Jesus was not moved to adventure
to deliver John. But, as I judge, he rejected all such motions as
temptations of Satan, because he knew that he had not been sent to smite
with the sword but only with the breath of his mouth. Wherefore, if he
were tempted at all, it was rather, as I suppose, that he should die with
John than that he should fight that John might live. And at this time,
methinks, it came into his mind that if indeed it was ordained that John
the Prophet should be slain, and perchance he himself also, then was it
high time that new labourers should be sent into the harvest of the Lord,
to take the places of them that were to pass away. Howbeit, concerning
these things I can but conjecture; but, as I remember, when I came to
Jesus, he was looking at the young corn in the fields around very
intently, and as if he espied in the sight more than others could see.
Presently he said to them which sat next to him, “Say ye not, There are
yet four months and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift
up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to
harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life
eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice
together.” Then Judas said to them which sat nigh unto him, that these
words signified that John should be delivered at once, and that a levy was
to be made throughout all Galilee: and he added aloud, looking to Jesus,
that, “The reapers were ready,” or words to that effect. But Jesus
answered and said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are
few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth
labourers into his harvest.”

Then I spake to Jesus and told him that I desired to go and see my mother.
But I thought perchance that he would have restrained me, if it were so
indeed that a levy was to be made throughout all Galilee. But he
restrained me not, but bade me go in peace and blessed me, and spake
comfortable words to me; and wished me to comfort my mother.

On the next day I came to Sepphoris, and behold my mother was grievously
sick and nigh unto death. But when I took her by the hand and delivered to
her the message of Jesus, saying that he bade her be of good cheer, even
in that instant her strength came back to her, and her disease abated; and
on the fourth day it departed, so that she rose from her bed. But when the
day came that I should depart, so it was that my mother desired me to go
first to Tiberias, there to collect certain debts which were owing to her
now many days. To this I agreed, nothing loth, for it seemed to me that by
passing through Tiberias to Capernaum I might bring unto Jesus the newest
tidings touching the doings of Herod, and perchance also touching the
state of John the Prophet. For there were certain of mine acquaintance in
the house of Chuza, the king’s steward, who lived in Tiberias nigh unto
the royal palace. So I set out for Tiberias first. But when I reached the
city, it being now about the tenth hour of the day, I found the people
gathered together in the Greek quarter by twos and by threes in the
streets; and in our part of the city, instead of rejoicings (which I had
expected, because the Feast of Purim was at this time), there were
everywhere signs of lamentation and mourning. So I saluted one of them
that passed by, and asked him what these things might mean. But he glanced
at my mule (which I had borrowed, for more speed, of a Greek in Sepphoris;
for not many in Galilee, except Gentiles, use to ride on mules), and he
said, “I perceive that thou art but a sojourner here, else wouldst thou
surely have known these tidings which are in the mouths of all the people,
since the eighth hour of the day, touching John the Prophet.” Then I said,
“What tidings?” He answered “That he is dead, slain with the sword; and
they say that his head hath been given to Herodias on a charger. But why
speak I of things that concern me not?” So saying he looked at me, as I
had been a spy (for the spies of Herod were everywhere in Galilee at this
time, and most of all in Tiberias); and so he passed on.

Straightway I hasted on to come to the Greek quarter, seeking the house of
Chuza. But on my way thither I passed the royal palace; and at the gate
thereof were certain of the Thracian guard keeping watch. Now as I passed
them, one of the soldiers called to his companion and said, “But wherefore
dost thou keep guard to‐day?” And the other said, “I keep guard in the
place of Thrasymachus who is gone with three centuries to Capernaum.” “And
wherefore to Capernaum?” said the first. “There is like to be a tumult in
the town,” replied the sentinel, “because of the beheading of this John in
Machærus; and they say that the rabble will set some leader at their head,
who is to be arrested.” “Nay,” said the other, “and sayest thou arrested?
I would have no arresting, but make quick despatch with these leaders of
the rabble. But hath Herod heard of this leader?” “Not so,” said the
other, “for he is busy in the south with the army; but our general meaneth
to take order that Herod shall never hear of him.” With that he laughed,
and made a sign to signify beheading, drawing his hand across his throat;
then he bade his fellow go carry some message for him, for he should be
busy that day; “For,” said he, “the cohort hath not been gone one full
hour yet, and will not be here again these six hours or more, for they
mean not to take him by force publicly, but will arrest the man quietly at
nightfall.”

When I heard these things, my spirit fainted, and there was no strength in
me; but when I came to myself, it seemed best to journey forwards at once
to Capernaum if perchance I might prevent the coming of the Thracian guard
and give the alarm to Jesus. So I turned the mule’s head straightway
toward the city gate, and rode on the way that leadeth to Capernaum. But
she was sore wearied by reason of the length of the journey, and could
scarce carry me. Howbeit after the space of an hour’s riding I came up
with the rear of the Thracians: but I perceived that I could not pass
them. For a certain merchant riding on a fresh mule had passed out from
the city gate before me, and behold, they had stayed him, and suffered him
not to pass; but he rode behind with the rear. Now when I saw this, I
smote my hands together, for I saw that I could be of no avail to my
Master. And by this time the houses of Capernaum, that is to say the quay
and the houses near the quay, were in sight, and not far off. For one
headland only remained between us and the headland whereon the town
standeth; and when the Thracians should have passed round that first
headland, there were but six furlongs between them and the market‐place of
Capernaum. But the sun was now nigh setting and the barbarians began to
quicken their pace.

Therefore I cried unto the Lord in sore distress and left my mule and
climbed up to a rock whence I could watch what befel, and there I offered
up prayers to the All‐Powerful, who alone is able to save. Now behold, by
this time the Thracians had passed round the first headland, and the last
of them were out of my sight, so that I could see nothing but the quay of
Capernaum and two or three fishing‐boats riding at anchor just off the
quay: and there seemed no signs of tumult; for there was no man stirring
there. And presently began the helmets of the Thracians to shine again
before mine eyes as their front guard drew near unto the town, and still
no man perceived them; for the cliff lay between them and the town, and
there were still none save two or three sailors on the quay. Then I took
off the covering from my head and waved it in the air that the sailors
perchance might take note of it: but they took no note.

Now by this time there was but about a space of two furlongs between the
front of the column of the Thracians and the quay of Capernaum, and I
could hear the captain give the word of command (albeit not in a loud
voice) to hasten their march that they might enter the town the more
quickly (for darkness was now falling upon the lake); and as the word of
command sounded across the water even to my ears in the stillness of the
evening, behold, the Thracians hastened their march so that they began to
run. Now I held my breath, for I could not so much as pray for very
trouble; when lo, a great noise of shouting from the other side of the
headland, even from Capernaum; and at the same time a great concourse of
people upon the quay, and immediately a long galley appeared, which rowed
forth very swiftly toward the eastward side of the lake. Then the
barbarians halted, even without the word of command; for they knew that
the bird was escaped from the snare of the fowlers: and the noise of their
cursing and clamour came up even unto mine ears as I sat upon my place of
watching. But I glorified the God of Israel; and gave thanks to Him whose
mercy endureth for ever.



                                CHAPTER XV


When I came into Capernaum, I thought to have heard all men rejoicing for
that Jesus had not been taken by the Thracians. But, go where I might, I
found it quite contrary; for all men were wroth with him for departing.
Barabbas was there, and James the son of Judas of Galilee, and many others
of the Galilean sect; but I could not have much speech with them, so hot
was their anger against Jesus; but on the morrow, lighting upon my cousin
Baruch, I questioned him touching that which had happened, and he said
that “the Prophet had turned from him all the hearts of the Galileans
because he would not raise up Israel to avenge the death of John.”

Then I asked how soon they had received tidings of John’s death, and he
said “Yesterday a little before sunset.” I marvelled how the news should
have been brought past the Thracians; for, said I, “they stayed all
travellers from Tiberias, neither suffered they any to pass them.” But
Baruch said that James the son of Judas had contrived that lights should
be held up each night from Gamala on the other side of the lake, to the
intent that the Galileans in Capernaum might know how John fared; and one
light should signify that the Prophet lived, but two lights that he lived
not. “And,” said Baruch, “yestereven before the sun went down, many of the
Galileans had gathered together by twos or by threes upon the strand to
watch for the signal. And first one light appeared, as was usual; and the
men said that it was well, for they had one more day wherein to labour for
the Prophet’s deliverance. But then Barabbas cried out that there were two
lights; and at first no man would believe it, for (because the sun had not
yet set) the lights were not plain to see. But presently Judas also saw
the second light, and then they all saw it. Hereupon arose a loud
lamentation, and the news spread at once through all the city, and the
women began to wail, and the men rushed forth into the streets, and there
was a great gathering. Presently with one consent the multitude ran
together to the door of the house where Jesus lodged; and first Barabbas
went in to ask Jesus to be leader of the host, but soon he came forth
again, saying that Jesus would not. Then went in James the son of Judas,
saying that he would beseech Jesus in the name of his father, who had
fought and died for Israel. With James there went in also three others of
the eldest and most reverend of the Galileans, and they remained in the
house longer, so that the people thought they had prevailed upon Jesus;
and there was a great expectation. But when the elders came out, they
showed by their countenances that they had not prevailed.

“Then there was much clamour; and the greater part cried out that they
would not depart from before the threshold of Jesus till they had
persuaded Jesus to be leader of the host; and some cried out to draw him
forth by violence and to make him leader of the host. But immediately the
door opened, and Jesus himself came forth. Then they no more talked of
violence; but Barabbas and others of the armed men held out their right
hands to him, and promised to give up their lives for his sake if he would
be their king. Others fell down on their knees before him; and some caught
him by the garment to have stayed him. Only James the son of Judas said
nothing; and it seemed to me,” said Baruch, “that at the sight of James,
Jesus was more moved than by all the rest. Howbeit he halted not, but
moved straight down to the beach.

“Then when the people perceived that he would leave them, they cried out
even louder than before, and threw dust in the air and poured it upon
their heads; and some threw themselves on the ground in his path for to
stay him; and some also spared not threatening. But Jesus took no heed
thereof, but went still onward with his eyes fast set upon the ground;
till one thrust himself before the rest, crying aloud and saying that they
would do more for John dead than for Jesus living, and that it was better
for a man to lose his life, as John the Prophet had lost it, than to save
his life as Jesus desired to save it. Thereat Jesus stayed for an instant,
and lifted his eyes from the ground; howbeit not in anger, but rather as
he is wont to do (for thou well knowest his manner) whensoever he heareth
a Voice of God. But when all the people shouted again, supposing that he
had been bent from his purpose, then Jesus beckoned with the hand, and
when he had commanded silence, he spake briefly unto them, and said the
hour was not yet come; and so he departed.

“Now,” said Baruch, “while Jesus was speaking to the people, and even
afterwards while he was in the sight of the people, it was a marvellous
thing to see how still they were; for he hath a power over the hearts of
the people so that when he is present no one dare move his tongue against
him. But as soon as the boat had rowed away and they could see him no
more, straightway Barabbas and his friends began to curse and swear; and
they said that they would never again ask aught of Jesus, nor place any
faith in him. James the son of Judas said little, but his mind seemed to
be the same. For this cause therefore all the Galileans are incensed
against Jesus; insomuch that, whereas they had begun to rate him far above
John, they now esteem the memory of John more than the presence of Jesus.”

After this, Baruch began to advise me to sever myself from Jesus and to
return to my home at Sepphoris, for, said he, “He hath the Pharisees for
his enemies; and the richer sort are also estranged from him; and it is
commonly reported that Herod the Tetrarch seeketh to slay him with the
sword; and now behold, even the Galileans are turned away from him. Now
therefore be persuaded, and come back with me to the house of my father
Manasseh, and tarry with us for the night, and refresh thyself, and on the
morrow set forth for thy home.”

But I made him some fair answer and bade him farewell; for I had
determined with myself to take ship that same night, to have sailed over
to the other side. But on the morrow, I thought it good (albeit perchance
I erred therein) to return first to my mother and to relate to her all
that had come to pass, and to bid her farewell: for all men now accounted
of Jesus as of one that must either fight or perish: for it could not be
that he should live and be honoured of men, and yet not avenge the death
of John the Prophet. Wherefore, before I joined myself to a cause that
seemed so full of peril, I desired to take leave of my mother.

On the fourth day after I was come to Sepphoris, word was brought that
Jesus of Nazareth was gathering the people for battle, and that he was
making a levy throughout all Galilee, and for this intent had chosen out
twelve of his disciples, whom also he called Apostles; and these he had
sent out by two and two through the several villages and towns. Jonathan
the son of Ezra brought me these tidings; and I was with him next day,
walking on the road between Sepphoris and Capernaum, when we met Simon
Peter and Andrew.

They told us that they had been sent forth by Jesus to proclaim the
Kingdom of Heaven, and to drive out unclean spirits, and to heal diseases.
They came without wallet, or food, or money, trusting to the alms of the
people. But when we questioned them as to the Kingdom, and whether indeed
it was to be achieved by force of arms (as the rumour went), or by signs
such as fire from heaven and the like: concerning this they knew nothing.
As for the healing of diseases, we saw with our own eyes that they had
this power; for they healed certain that were sick in Sepphoris, and even
cast out three or four unclean spirits.

When we had bidden farewell to Simon Peter and Andrew (for they were in
haste, passing from place to place like messengers of war) then Jonathan
turned to me and said, “Whoso pulleth down his old house and doth not
first build for himself a new one, is he wise?” I replied, “Nay.” Then
said Jonathan, “Lo, Jesus of Nazareth pulleth down the house of the Law;
tell me therefore, what buildeth he in the place thereof?” I was silent,
for I knew not what to answer; but at last I said that Jesus spake of a
certain new Spirit which would purify the children of men and enable them
to attain righteousness without the Law. But Jonathan said, “Nay but, my
son, can a Spirit tell each man of the children of men, from day to day,
what meat he shall eat and what he shall not eat; and when to fast and
when to feast; and what to do on the Sabbath day, and what not to do? Now
if the Spirit shall tell each man different things, shall there not be a
confusion as of Babel? But if the same things, then why should not these
things be written in a law? Moreover who shall tell which man hath the
Spirit and which hath not? For all will say they have it.” Then I said
that I could not answer those questions, but that I trusted in Jesus of
Nazareth as in one sent from God, who could not deceive, neither be
deceived, for that his deeds and words were those of a prophet. After this
manner I answered; but Jonathan said nothing, but only shook his head a
little, as one that doubted more than he hoped.

Now on the third day after this discourse (it being, as I remember, the
month called Adar, a little after the Feast of Purim), my mother being now
completely recovered of her disease, I determined to return to Jesus. For
tidings came in daily that all Galilee was ready to rise up when he gave
the sign, and I was unwilling to show myself a laggard if matters should
come to smiting with the sword. But every day I heard that Jesus was more
and more beloved of the people. For all (save only the Pharisees) were now
drawn towards him, in that he seemed to be bent upon avenging John the
Prophet. And his fame began to be noised abroad through all the country of
Galilee and the parts beyond, insomuch that many that had not heard of him
before, began to cast in their minds what he could be. And some said that
he was Elias. For the common folk, yea, and the Scribes also, were ever
expecting that Elias should be sent down to earth, according to the saying
of the prophet Malachi. But others said that he was John the Baptist risen
from the dead; and this saying was commonly reported, especially among the
Gentiles which border on the land of Galilee and in Decapolis, insomuch
that Herod himself heard of the rumour, and feared lest it might be even
so. But whatsoever men reported about Jesus, in any case his fame waxed
very great at this time. For before John was beheaded, the fame of John
prevailed over the fame of Jesus in the minds of many; but now all alike,
even the disciples of John, looked to Jesus as the avenger of John and as
the only Deliverer; insomuch that, at this time, Jesus had both his own
fame and also the fame of John the Prophet.

I found Jesus in a village about seven miles to the north of Galilee. But
when I had saluted him, I noted that he was marvellously changed; yet not
so that he was austere, nor even very sad; yet still changed withal,
albeit I knew not how nor why. But I had expected that he should have
rebuked me for that I had been so long absent, neither had I come to him
with all speed so as to be present when first he made the levy in Galilee.
Howbeit, he reproved me not; but questioned me kindly touching my mother’s
health, and rejoiced when I gave him a good report: but afterwards he gave
himself again to meditation. When I was come forth from his presence, I
asked the disciples concerning the state of Galilee, and what number of
men were ready to fight on our side, and when the levy should be made, and
the hour for battle should be at hand. But the rest were silent, and Judas
alone made answer, that concerning these things the disciples knew
nothing; yea, and from certain signs he conjectured that even to Jesus
himself the hour of uprising was not yet known, no, nor yet the manner of
it, nor the means for it.

“But,” said I, “did not the people in Galilee receive you when ye went
forth to proclaim the Redemption?” “Yes truly did they,” said Judas, “but
all of the baser sort, and the poor folk which have naught of their own;
wherefore they be always ready for warfare.” “And what answer made Jesus
to your report?” asked I. “Truly a marvellous answer,” replied Judas, “for
when we said that only the poor and simple folk received us, he rejoiced
thereat, and thanked God that it was even so.” “Nay,” said I, “that were
hard to believe.” “But yea,” said Judas; “for his words were these, that
he thanked the Father, because He had hidden these things from the wise
and the prudent, and revealed them unto babes.” Then I looked at Nathanael
to know whether it was even so, and Nathanael nodded his head, as if to
say that it was so.

But Judas continued: “This also is not the worst. For he hath not only
turned from him the Galileans; but besides, since our flight, whereas
there is special need to be busy and striving, behold, these ten days, he
museth and meditateth, and ceaseth not. Neither are his musings touching
war, nor vengeance, nor military matters; but he broodeth over
prophesyings and abstruse matters. And a stranger might go near to think
that he had conceived an imagination that, because the Lord hath suffered
John the son of Zachariah to die, therefore he must needs die also. But
unless he be speedily raised up from this humour of dejection, all is
lost.”

He said no more at this time, for Jesus came forth into the court‐yard
where we sat together around the fountain; and straightway we held our
peace. Then we fell to discourse of John the son of Zachariah, how great
things he had prophesied, and how we had hoped that he should have
triumphed with us in the Kingdom of God; and one likened John unto Elias
the prophet, saying that he spake in the spirit of Elias, and that many of
the common people would have it that this John was indeed Elias risen from
the dead. Then another spake of the love in which the disciples of John
the son of Zachariah still had their Master, and how, though he were dead,
yet did they still cleave to him in their hearts; insomuch that his spirit
seemed to rule over them yet more than his living presence. But another
said that John the Prophet could not be Elias: for was it possible that
the Lord should suffer such an one as Elias to be slain? And to him
Nathanael replied that Isaiah the Prophet was sawn asunder, and wherefore
not also Elias? Then Thomas, one of the Twelve, lamented for John the son
of Zachariah, because he had been thus swallowed up by destruction,
neither had he left children to stand in his stead upon the earth; “for
they that die, leaving children behind them,” said he (quoting a certain
proverb of my countrymen) “die not, but only fall asleep: but they that
die and leave no children, these die indeed.” To this John the son of
Zebedee made answer that whoso leaveth behind him children perverse and
alien from his own nature, he liveth not, for all his children; but whoso
leaveth behind him disciples and followers like unto himself and imbued
with his own doctrine, such an one liveth, yea even though he be childless
and lie in the grave. Hereat methought Jesus was strangely moved: howbeit
he sat still where he was, and spake never a word.

But presently mention was made of Jonah the Prophet, how that he also was
an exile and fled from his country, even as our Master had been forced to
flee. Then Judas said that Jonah had done ill to flee, for that none could
flee from the presence of the All‐seeing, the Maker of all things, “for,”
said he, “the son of man, while he liveth, is like unto a horse tethered
by a cord which suffereth him to graze, but resteth still in the hand of
his owner.” Thereon some one took up the discourse and said, “Nay, but
rather the cord is a cord of love, and the owner is not an owner, but a
father;” and another disciple quoted the words of the psalmist, “By thee
have I been holden up from the womb.” Thereat Jesus smiled as if to say
that that disciple had spoken well, and he bade John repeat the rest of
that same psalm. But when John came, in his repeating, to the words, “O
God, Thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy
wondrous works,” then did Jesus seem somewhat moved. But afterwards when
John came unto the words, “Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore
troubles, shalt give me life again, and shalt bring me up again from the
depths of the earth;” then indeed the face of Jesus kindled with a
marvellous light, and he bade John cease. But he himself sat, still
musing, and his lips moved like unto one repeating the same words over and
over again: “Thou shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

It came to pass that, about two or three weeks after these things we came
to Nazareth, where Jesus was born. Now Jesus had not gone to the place
these many days. Some said that he came thither now for to shew unto his
mother and his brethren (for his father had been long since dead) that he
was sound in health and not possessed nor distraught. Others said that he
desired to cause his brethren to believe in him; for at this time they
believed not. But others said that he desired to bid farewell to his
mother before he went forth to deliver Israel; and to this most people
agreed.

But when we came to Nazareth, we marvelled that there was so little faith
in the men of that place. For they thronged us, as in the other towns, and
they were fain to look on Jesus, and called him by familiar names (some
being playmates and schoolfellows, some his kinsfolk, and almost all of
the number of his acquaintances); moreover they were eager that he should
do some mighty work before their eyes; yet could they not believe that he
was a prophet, much less that he was the Redeemer of Israel. Neither would
they believe that he could drive out evil spirits or heal diseases.

Hence it came to pass that Jesus could do no mighty work there. And when
they brought unto him many that were sick, and possessed with evil
spirits, he looked on them, but perceived that they had not faith to be
healed. Wherefore he healed none of them; save only that he laid his hands
on a few that were sick of slight diseases and healed them, and even these
not without labour. For the same things happened as once in another city,
where a man was healed that had been afflicted with a deaf and dumb
spirit. For there, because of the man’s want of understanding and lack of
faith, Jesus took him apart from the people (for there was a great stir of
traffic and of men coming and going), and made signs to him, at the same
time touching his ears and his tongue; and he also spake very loud in the
man’s ears, not in Greek, but in the language of the Jews (which is used
by the poorer people), saying _Ephphatha_. In this way the man was healed,
but only with labour and by degrees. And so it was now, but even worse.
Wherefore Jesus himself marvelled at their unbelief.

Now the cause of their unbelief was that they knew him from a child. For,
said one of them to Jesus himself in my hearing, “Behold, these thirty
years we have known thy goings out and thy comings in; we have also sat by
thy side in the school, and whatsoever thou didst learn we also learned;
thou didst play with us at our games round the well; we have seen thee a‐
working in thy father’s house; our couches and our seats are made by thy
hand; and shall we call thee the Redeemer of Israel?” Moreover another
bade him come back to the carpenter’s shop; and a third cried out that he
had changed trades for the worse, for the Redemption of Israel was a
dangerous trade. All these were moved by jealousy, and spake out of the
malignity of their hearts.

But a certain old Scribe, Josiah the son of Hezekiah, (which also was the
chief Scribe of the place, and had known Jesus and loved him of a child)
coming forth from his house, met him and fell upon his neck, and blessed
him, and embraced him; and then, when he had looked more narrowly at his
countenance, he began to mourn over him as if he were his own son,
lamenting for that the bloom of beauty had departed from the countenance
of Jesus: “for behold,” said he, “sorrow hath driven out the former
brightness of thy joy. Thou wast as the dew of the morning, O my lamb, but
art become as the parched ground at noontide. Behold, O my lamb, around
thy cradle mercy and righteousness joined hands together; and when thou
didst sport amid this valley, lo, truth and peace went ever with thee, and
thou didst still hold converse with the angels of God? Unfit art thou, O
my gentle one, to do battle with the wickedness of wicked men, and with
the cunning arts of the adversary. Verily thou wilt be led as a lamb to
the slaughter. Hast thou fathomed the depth of the pit of destruction? Or
dost thou know by experience the snares of deceit? Return, O thou that art
the apple of mine eye, while there is yet time, lest evil befal thee. For
I know that danger compasseth thee around, and if thou shalt go hence,
thou wilt come back to me no more.”

Jesus spake comfortably to the old man and consoled him; and while he
consoled him, his face shone with joy and love; insomuch that the old man
also rejoiced, saying that Jesus appeared now again as he appeared in the
days of his youth. But still he besought Jesus to return and to avoid
contention with the Pharisees, saying that “no vessel but peace can hold
blessing.” But Jesus answered him kindly and bade him farewell. And so we
departed from Nazareth.

When we were now come to the top of the hill which looketh down on
Nazareth, we rested a little to recover our breath. Now Jesus was
sorrowful because of the unbelief of his kinsfolk and acquaintance, and he
was silent (as was his wont when sorrow fell upon him), musing and
meditating, and, as it seemed to me, praying; even as one striving to
unloose the knot of some hard saying or riddle. For the unbelief of his
kinsfolk had filled him with astonishment. While he thus mused, we
conversed together, and Judas said that it was an error to have come to
Nazareth. “For who knoweth not,” said he, “that a prophet hath no honour
in his own country? For a prophet known is a prophet despised.”

But John the son of Zebedee replied that it was a strange thing that the
acquaintance and kinsfolk of Jesus should suppose that they knew the mind
and spirit of Jesus because they knew his outward shape and mien and
manner of speech: “For his mind and spirit pass knowledge; and the more a
man knoweth thereof, the more a man must needs wonder thereat.” So spake
John; but Judas jested at him, and said that John spake as a babe and as a
simple clown, knowing nothing of the world. “Yet,” added he, looking up at
Jesus, “it is strange methinks that even our Master should also wonder at
that which is in no way wonderful.” Then John rebuked him and said,
“Knowest thou not the saying of our Master, ‘They that wonder shall reign,
and they that reign shall rest?’ Wherefore who knoweth whether it may not
be that even our Master day by day learneth some new revelation from God
whereat to wonder? For whoso increaseth not diminisheth.”

When I heard these words I looked at Jesus, and behold, it was even as
John said. For the sorrow that rested upon his countenance because of the
unbelief of his kinsfolk seemed to be passing away, and to be revealing
beneath it an exceeding joy, as of one learning some hidden mystery, or
hearing some glad tidings. And there came into my mind the words of
Barabbas (which were contrary to the words of John), how he said that
Jesus did everything with forethought; and behold, both the words of John
seemed true and also the words of Barabbas; but the words of John seemed
the truer. For though Jesus did naught in haste nor in fear nor
perturbation; yet was he not like unto one that seeth all things to come,
great and small alike, marked out for him as in a chart, nor like unto him
which trusteth in the strength of his own unchangeable will. Nay rather,
even as a little child hangeth upon the bosom of his mother and hath no
will of his own, even so did Jesus continually look upon earth and heaven
and on the deeds and words of men; and, look where he might, he discerned
in all things some new knowledge, some revelation concerning the will of
the Father in heaven; insomuch that no day passed, yea no hour of the day,
but Jesus in this wise held communion with his Father.

By this time Jesus was arisen from his seat, and we ceased conversing
together when he drew nigh. But Judas, desirous to say somewhat (so as to
hide what he had been saying), pointed down to the white houses of
Nazareth and to the fields and orchards which compass the city round in
the bottom of the valley; and he said to Jesus that the place was
exceeding beautiful, like unto a handful of pearls in a goblet of emerald.
But Jesus looked narrowly at Judas for an instant, and then down at
Nazareth, and then at Judas again; and the sounds of the bleating of the
goats and the piping of the shepherds came up to our ears, and the
laughter of the children as they sported round the well. When Jesus heard
these things, he sighed, and cast his eyes down again on Nazareth, even on
the place of his nativity; and he looked at it for a long while very
lovingly. Then he turned away his head and departed, and he saw it no
more.



                               CHAPTER XVI


Now so it was that, at this time, the more the hearts of the people were
drawn toward Jesus (for though the people of Nazareth had rejected him,
yet was he much honoured in the rest of Galilee), so much the more did
Jesus seem to thrust them away. For he began to teach us at this time that
he should give us no new law, but a certain manna or bread from heaven.
Now if he had said no more than this, this was not hard to understand; for
our Scribes also taught in parables after this fashion: but he added that
this manna or bread from heaven should be himself, his flesh and his
blood, which should be given for the life of the world. Now albeit I have
myself heard the Scribes speak of “the days when Israel shall _eat_ the
Messiah,”(8) meaning that Israel shall enjoy the presence of the Messiah,
yet Jesus seemed to mean somewhat more than this, insomuch that his words
were a stumbling‐block unto many. And straightway many of them departed
from him.

But when I went (according to my wont) to question Nathanael touching
these words, he replied that they were hidden from him also.
Notwithstanding it seemed to him that at this time our Master was
receiving some new revelation, whereof these words might peradventure be a
part. For he said that on the day before, when I had been absent, mention
had been made of the coming Passover, and how Jesus would not be present
thereat; and from mentioning the sacrifice of the Passover they came to
speak of other sacrifices; and one said that Jesus had come to take away
sacrifice, for that he had said that God desired mercy, and not sacrifice,
and that the right sacrifice was that the whole nation should serve the
Lord and do His will. Then another, quoting the Scripture, said, “Nay, but
the people may perchance stand in the place of the fuel and the fire: but
where is the lamb for the burnt‐offering?” Then answered another from the
same Scripture, and said, “God will provide himself a lamb for the burnt‐
offering.” And at these words, said John, “the countenance of Jesus
changed as if he had heard some new word from God.” Hereat I marvelled
greatly, and wondered what new thing the Lord was preparing for us and for
our Master. And the words of Judas came to my mind that, because John the
son of Zachariah had been slain, therefore Jesus had begun to imagine that
he also must needs be slain. But it was but for an instant; for I durst
not so much as entertain the thought of so great an evil.

But, as I now judge, the Lord Jesus began at this time to see clearly that
he must needs die for Israel, even as John the son of Zachariah had died,
and that he must needs rise again (according to the Prophets); even as the
common people spake, saying that John the Baptist was at this very time
risen from the dead. For he perceived that the needs of the world, that is
to say the will of the Father, required that he should rise again from the
dead. Moreover as John the son of Zachariah had gained strength through
death, so that all men still loved and honoured John, and were more ready
to die for him dead than living; even so Jesus perceived that he also
should have more strength to help us after his death than before his
death. But touching the manner of his rising again, and the time of it,
and whether he should appear in his own shape (as he did indeed), or in
some other shape (as did Elias in the shape of John the Baptist),
concerning all this, what was revealed unto him I know not; the Lord only
knoweth. But that he should of a certainty rise again from the dead, this
was without doubt revealed unto him; and, as I conceive, about this time.

For this cause, because he perceived that by the giving of his body and
blood to die for men, his spirit would pass into his disciples (even as
the spirit of John the son of Zachariah had passed into the disciples of
John), for this cause, I say, he spake at this time (as he did also
afterwards), saying that he would give himself to be the food of men, even
the Bread of Life. For his spirit was a spirit of sonship to God, and of
brotherhood to men; and except the world should receive this spirit into
itself, the world could not be quickened, and the nations of the earth
could not pass into the family or kingdom of God.

From this time also he began to be very careful, even to disquietude,
concerning us his disciples, what should be our estate when he should have
departed from us; and he desired to impart to us this Bread of Life that
we also in turn might impart it to the multitude. Moreover he would fain
exercise us already in imparting this Bread of Life, yea, before he had
passed away; to the end that, by beginning in his presence, we might learn
by degrees to be steadfast in the ministering of the Bread even though he
were absent from us. And for this he found occasion not many days
afterwards. For about the tenth day before the Passover, Jesus being still
on the other side of the lake (but I had been sent with Judas on an errand
to Capernaum), it came to pass that much people resorted to him; some from
Capernaum, and others from the parts round about the village wherein he
had lodged. For, because of the Passover, which was at hand, many were
going up to Jerusalem. Also of the Galileans some came; howbeit not James
nor Barabbas, nor any of them which had most authority with the Galileans.
Now Jesus himself ministered unto certain of them the Bread of Life, and
forgave sins, and healed the sick. But afterwards, because of the
multitude of them which came unto him (for they were more than five
thousand) he caused the disciples to divide them into companies and to
minister the Bread unto the people. So they ministered as Jesus bade them,
and the grace of the Lord was with them; insomuch that Thomas (who had
been at the first loth to minister the Bread, as not being worthy) came
afterwards to Jesus saying, “Of a truth the crumbs of thy Banquet which
are fallen from the table of the guests do suffice unto them that
minister: for the Lord hath increased the Bread of Life within us.” So
mightily did the Bread of our Master increase in the hands of the Twelve.
And Matthew said that Jesus had not only spread a table in the wilderness
for the hungry, but that he had also fulfilled his saying, “Give and it
shall be given unto you. For,” said he, “behold, to each of the disciples
there cometh back his basketful of the fragments of the Feast.” And the
like happened on another occasion, when they ministered the Bread unto
another very great multitude about four thousand in number.

All this I heard when I returned with Judas from Capernaum, bringing word
that the Thracians had left the town. So we returned to Capernaum, and
there we kept the Passover; for Jesus would not go up to Jerusalem to keep
it, though we were very desirous that he should go up; but he said that
his hour had not yet come. But scarcely had we been in Capernaum five or
six days, and the Feast of the Passover was still not ended, when we fled
(upon some new rumour of danger) from Capernaum again to the eastern side
of the lake. Now while we were rowing across, some of us murmured (though
not so loud methought that Jesus could hear) concerning our many flights
and wanderings, and we wondered why our Master would not suffer the common
people to make him king.

In the midst of our disputing Jesus called unto us from the hinder part of
the boat and said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the
leaven of the Sadducees.” Then we looked one at another, for we felt that
we were guilty; for in the haste of our embarking, because we had come on
board before it was well dawn (for fear of the arrival of the Thracians,
which was reported to us) we had forgotten to bring with us any unleavened
bread; and the feast of the Passover wanted yet two days before it should
have an end, and behold, we were going to a Gentile country where our
customs were not regarded, so that we could not easily obtain such bread
as was needful. Therefore we confessed to Jesus, and said that indeed we
were verily guilty of sore neglect.

But when Jesus heard our words, he rebuked us for our want of
understanding; and he asked us whether we did not remember how the
disciples had ministered the Bread of Life to the four thousand and to the
five thousand; and he made mention of the saying of Thomas, one of the
Twelve, how the bread had been multiplied in the hands of the Twelve, and
also of the saying of Matthew the son of Levi, how the fragments of the
Feast had returned to them that ministered, and had satisfied them. So we
perceived that he spake not of the leaven that leaveneth bread of corn,
but of the leaven which leaveneth and corrupteth the bread of the soul.

Yet forasmuch as the Pharisees agree not with the Sadducees (neither do
they teach the same doctrine, nor observe the same customs) I could not
understand what this “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” might be. But
when I asked Nathanael thereof, he said that perchance Jesus desired to
warn us lest we should be led away in our hearts by the desire of this
world, and by the haste to be prosperous. “For,” said Nathanael, “the
Sadducees love place and wealth and ease, and the Pharisees love power
with the people, and the salutations of the rich, and the respect of the
poor, and the name and reputation for piety; and these sects do both go
straight towards their several ends. But, though several in appearance,
their ends are really the same. For both the Pharisees and Sadducees serve
themselves, and live for their own pleasure. And methinks our Master
feareth lest we too in the same way may follow him not out of love and out
of faithfulness, but from a desire to be prosperous.”

“But are we not,” asked I, “to be prosperous in the end?” “Yes, assuredly
in the end,” replied Nathanael; “but the end may perchance be somewhat
farther off than we suppose, and our course may perchance be somewhat
slow. For in all works there are two courses, the course of men and the
course of God. Now men work visibly and speedily, and with much stir and
noise; but the Father in Heaven worketh for the most part invisibly and
slowly, and very gently. Now it may be that the slow ways are best. But in
any case I begin to perceive that our Master loveth the slow ways best,
according to his saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto the wheat,
which is sown and watered and resteth long unseen in the earth, and
springeth up at last and by degrees, and putteth forth, first the blade,
and then the ear and then the full corn; and all this by slow ways,
quietly and gently, while the husbandman riseth and sleepeth and goeth in
and out, and taketh no heed how great a work the gentle hand of the Lord
is working around him.”

Thus spake Nathanael, and I gave heed unto his words; for he seemed day by
day to grow in the love and knowledge of our Master, and behold, the
knowledge of Jesus seemed to bestow upon him knowledge of all spiritual
things, so that he was not like the same Nathanael whom I had first known
now a year ago. And the other disciples also were greatly changed from
their former selves. For we had now been a full year with the Lord Jesus;
and it was the sixteenth year of Tiberius Cæsar.



                               CHAPTER XVII


Between the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Weeks I was not much with
Jesus; for when I perceived that Jesus was in no instant peril, I returned
to Sepphoris for a while, partly by reason of my mother’s health, and
partly to gather in the harvest. And during this time, when it was
perceived that Jesus went not up to the Passover, neither made any levy of
the people as had been expected, the Pharisees for a while ceased to lay
snares for him: and the common people, though they murmured that he went
not up to Jerusalem, nevertheless had him in honour. But the harvest being
now over, when I went back to meet Jesus at Capernaum, I found there one
of mine acquaintance, a merchant (whom I had known at Alexandria in my
uncle’s house), a Greek learned in the knowledge of the Greeks. This man
was not a proselyte; neither did he in any wise conform himself to the Law
of Moses. But he spake of himself, at that time, as a seeker after truth;
for he did not join himself to any of the schools of the Gentile
philosophers, but chose forth from each whatsoever seemed to him useful or
true. He had read our Scriptures, and was greatly given to the study of
our psalms and prophecies; and when he had heard me speak of Jesus of
Nazareth as being our Messiah, his heart was moved to hear Jesus preach
the gospel. So it came to pass, about the first or second Sabbath after
the Feast of Weeks, he accompanied me into the synagogue where Jesus was
to speak to the people. But as I went, I perceived Abuyah the son of
Elishah; and with him were certain of the Sadducees, and some also of the
Herodians. And when I saw them, I knew that they had come for no good
purpose.

And so it proved. For when we were now assembled in the synagogue, Abuyah
came forward and said to Jesus, “Behold, thou art a vessel very full of
knowledge, and the people are come together at thy feet for to hear of
thee the words of wisdom, according as it is said, ‘Powder thyself in the
dust of the feet of the wise, and drink their words with thirstiness.’ Now
therefore, I pray thee, suffer me to ask of thee touching a certain
matter.” And Jesus said, “Ask.” And Abuyah said, “Is it lawful for a man
to put away his wife?”

Now when Abuyah spake these words, all the Herodians and Sadducees
listened with greedy ears, as though they would devour the words that fell
from Jesus, if perchance he should say something against Herod the
Tetrarch. For Herod had put away his own wife and had married Herodias,
the wife of his brother Herod Philip, which thing was not lawful for him
to do. And it was for this cause that Abuyah had asked the question. For
the Pharisees considered that in this way they would do one of two things;
either they would incense Herod against Jesus (even as they had incensed
him against John the son of Zachariah, whose death they had procured), or
else they would cause Jesus to appear unto the people a time‐server and a
prophet of smooth things, a prophet not to be trusted.

But Jesus knew their devices and said to Abuyah, “What did Moses command
you?” And Abuyah said, “Moses suffered a man to write a bill of
divorcement and to put his wife away.” But Jesus answered and said, “For
the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this precept. But from the
beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause
shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife: and they
twain shall be one flesh. So then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.” By these
words we understood Jesus both to find fault with them that allowed of
divorce for every slight cause (as did certain of the Pharisees); and also
to disallow of divorce generally, except (as he afterwards said) for
adultery; which alone is, of itself, a divorce. But it was quite after the
manner of Jesus to found this doctrine not upon the Law, but upon the
nature of things, as it was created in the beginning; teaching that woman
was not made as an afterthought, nor as a mere pleasure to the man; but
that mankind was made, from the first, male and female. And according to
this doctrine did Jesus ever behave towards women, showing unto them not
only gentleness and kindness, but also a singular reverence.

After these words Jesus began to exhort the people: and he taught them
that God requireth purity in the inner parts, namely, in the soul, saying,
Not that which goeth into a man defileth a man, but that which cometh out
of a man, evil and impure thoughts and deeds, these, he said, defile a
man. Hereat many of the disciples were sore grieved that Jesus should thus
openly, as it seemed, trample upon the Law of Moses; and from this time
certain Essenes that had hitherto followed with us, now altogether left
Jesus. And one of the younger Scribes, interrupting him, cried aloud, “He
that despiseth the washing of hands shall be rooted out.” But Jesus went
on to say, Nay, but every plant that the Father in Heaven had not planted,
should be rooted out; and as for the teaching of the Pharisees, he likened
it to the tares, the end whereof is to be burned. He also likened them and
their pupils to blind men leading other blind men; who should all together
fall into the pit.

Then he drew, as it were, a model of the New Kingdom; wherein, he said,
the only thing needful would be that a man should love God with all the
heart, and his neighbours as himself. And when some one asked him who were
a man’s neighbours, he replied, in parables, that whosoever was sick, or
naked, or an‐hungered, or in pain or sorrow, whosoever in fine was in need
of aught, that man (yea, even though he were a Samaritan), was neighbour
unto each citizen in the New Kingdom; and towards every neighbour the
citizens were to do whatsoever they would desire that their neighbours
should do unto them.

When the people were come forth out of the synagogue, the Greek merchant
walked by my side for a while in silence: but Abuyah, who walked behind
us, was plainly heard blaming Jesus as one that brake the Law and taught
others to break it. Hearing these words, the merchant nodded over his
shoulder, and exclaimed, “Yonder pedant, who with his washings would
purify the very sun, is altogether void of understanding; else would he
perceive that the philosophy of thy Teacher mounteth up to something far
higher than the pulling down of the laws of thy nation.” Then he
questioned me touching Jesus, and of his former doctrine and manner of
life since he had begun to teach; and I replied to all these things and
asked of him in turn what he might mean by his words about the philosophy
of Jesus. But he seemed rapt for the time in other thoughts, and, instead
of answering me, he questioned me further concerning the birth and rearing
and childhood of Jesus; and in particular, whether both his parents were
of Israel, or whether his mother were not a Greek. But after that I had
answered again to all his questioning, when I perceived that he was still
musing on his own thoughts, and took no heed of my words, I waxed
impatient, and repeated my question somewhat loudly.

Then my friend made answer, howbeit not in the way of a direct reply to my
question, but rather as still partly meditating with himself: “Thou
describest a gracious, a very gracious nature, ignorant of evil throughout
his youth, seeing ever in his mind’s eye the Isles of the Blessed, and
desiring that same blessedness for all mankind. And lo, whatsoever he
desireth that he seeth: for he deceiveth himself, feigning that all things
are like unto that beautiful idea which he seeth in his mind.” But I said
to the merchant, “Nay, friend Xanthias,” for that was the man’s name, “but
when Jesus spake of the Pharisees, did he then seem to thee ignorant of
evil?” “Thou didst not give me time,” replied the merchant, “to finish my
speech: for I was about to say that, as it seemeth to me, thy teacher is
even now awakening to the evil that is in the world; and, becoming at last
undeceived, he seeth his fair phantasma vanishing away. Thus his gracious
nature, yielding to the over great pressure of the evil that surroundeth
him, is becoming marred and wounded. Alas for the pitiful change! For
behold, his former life, as thou describest it, was like unto a deer
sporting gladly in the woods, to whom the flowers of the fields are as
friends, and the wind ever bringeth glad tidings. But to what shall I
liken the latter end of his life? It is like unto the same deer wounded by
the huntsman, who passeth by the same way, and through the same woods; but
she is glad no longer, for the dart still cleaveth to her side, and the
flowers delight her no longer, and the breezes are messengers of evil.”

I was grieved at his words, and all the more because they agreed with
certain fears in the depth of my own heart, whereof I had up to this time
made no mention even to Nathanael, no, nor yet unto mine own self. But I
was grieved also because the Greek knew not the true nature of Jesus. For
he spake of him as of one gracious and lovable, but he knew not the might
and the power of our Master, how he was like unto a rock immovable,
unchangeable; even such another as the Gentiles fable Atlas to have been,
who bore up the world by the strength of his shoulders. For I knew that,
if heaven and earth had set themselves in league against Jesus, to make
him do aught against the will of the Father, Jesus would have stood up
alone against earth and heaven, and hell to boot. Moreover, I had noted
how there still came forth from Jesus a new strength to bear each new
burden, and a new knowledge to discern each new Revelation from the
Father, yea, and a new delight to delight therein. For though it were true
indeed, as the Greek had said, that Jesus had sometimes marvelled at evil
(when it befel him) as though he had been ignorant thereof before, yet was
it also true that he seemed to have become greater through the increase of
the knowledge of evil. But Xanthias knew naught of this. For he was
deceived by the gentleness of Jesus, not perceiving that this same
gentleness of Jesus was stronger than the strength of kings. Therefore was
I grieved at his words; but I constrained myself and asked him yet again
what he might mean by saying that the philosophy of Jesus mounted to
somewhat higher than the pulling down of the Law.

Then said the Greek, “Are there then in this country no slaves?” “Thou
knowest,” I replied, “that there are slaves: howbeit, not many, nor ill
used, nor treated like beasts, as the Gentiles treat them.” Then said he
to me, “And wouldst thou willingly be a slave in this country?” I said,
“Nay.” “And if thou wert a slave, wouldst thou wish that thy master should
retain thee as a slave, or should enfranchise thee?” I replied, “The
latter.” Then said the Greek with a smile, “But if ye all became followers
of Jesus of Nazareth, would ye not perforce confess that all men were your
neighbours, yea, even Greeks and Romans; yea, even Samaritans; yea, even
your own slaves?” Then was I silent: for I understood now that his meaning
was, that the teaching of Jesus would in the end bring to pass the
enfranchising of all slaves, and I knew not what to reply.

But he, still smiling, said, “I perceive that thou understandest my
meaning. For the teaching of thy Master aimeth at nothing less than the
destroying of all manner of slavery. But without slavery the race of man
neither hath existed, nor can exist, as thou knowest very well. For
without slaves no work could be performed except the tilling of the land,
which alone is fit for free men.” I said then to him that in Israel there
was not the same disliking of handicrafts as among the Greeks and Romans.
But he said, “Dost thou suppose that thy Master’s philosophy concerneth
only thine own people?” “Yea, of a surety,” said I; “our own people, and
none else; for he himself proclaimed the Kingdom to no strangers.” He
replied, “That may be, for a time: but is not the Samaritan thy
neighbour?” Then was I again silent. For there came into my mind that
ancient prophecy which saith that in the seed of Abraham, that is to say
in the Messiah, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; and I
remembered how oft Jesus had of late taught us that the Samaritans were
neighbours to the citizens in the Kingdom. But I put the thought away from
me; for the truth was at that time hid from our eyes: neither could I at
that time perceive how we could be redeemed or delivered, if we were to
treat the Romans as neighbours. But while I mused thereon, Xanthias
continued his speech concerning Jesus, and he said that Jesus did wisely
in that he seemed to encourage marriage, and to prohibit many wives, and
to forbid divorce. “For,” said he, “herein I incline rather to Aristotle
than to Plato, believing that the state is composed of families; and if
the family be rotten, the state cannot be sound. But to hope to destroy
slavery is to hope to pull down the pillar whereon the life of all states
is based.”

Now was my heart hot within me; and I was fain to speak, and to say that
Jesus would indeed pull down slavery in Israel, and make our people to be
a nation of priests and princes for the world, and would in the end
destroy even the Evil Nature of man. But I abstained from speech; for I
knew that my words would be foolishness in his ears, and that he could not
understand the Redemption unless he understood Jesus himself. Therefore I
made him some courteous answer and accompanied him toward the house where
he lay.

But he still continued his discourse of the philosophy of Jesus (as he
called it), and he likened Jesus unto the Greek Teacher Socrates, in that
neither Socrates nor Jesus would receive teaching upon mere authority, nor
because this saying or that precept chanced to have been written in books:
but Socrates trusted to a certain power of reason or dialectic, and Jesus
to a certain power which he called a Spirit: the two being diverse in
appearance, but in truth following one and the same method. Thus Xanthias
continued his speech of Jesus; but as he bade me farewell near the
threshold, it came to pass that Abuyah, who had been walking behind us,
came near, still talking with his companions, and saying in a loud voice
that Jesus was as the bramble, whereof Jotham maketh mention in the
Scriptures. “Wherefore,” said he, “meet it is that we cut down this vile
thorn‐tree, lest there come forth fire from the bramble and consume the
olive‐tree, and the fig, and all the fruitful trees of the forest.”

When Abuyah had passed by, the merchant said unto me, “Truly I have heard
no philosopher whose lectures have so pleased me as the teaching of this
thy Teacher; and, though I esteem little of wonders, whereof we have
enough and to spare at Alexandria, yet if even the half of that which thou
sayest touching the acts of thy Jesus be true, he will deserve worship
even better than Æsculapius or Amphiaraus. But as thou knowest, my dear
friend, I am one of them which doubt all things; and I incline to the
belief that there are no gods, or if there be, that they deal not with
human matters. And thereto I incline the more because I see all human
things full of misery and oppression. And, unless my fears deceive me,
this my belief will be confirmed by the fate of thine own Teacher. For I
fear, I greatly fear, lest the friends of Abuyah the Scribe may prevail
over the friends of Jesus the philosopher of the New Kingdom and deliverer
of the slaves.”

So saying he turned himself round to depart. But I was scarce gone ten
paces when he called me back, and taking me by the hand very earnestly, “I
pray thee,” said he, “tell me by what name doth thy Master call himself. A
prophet? or a teacher? Or doth he say that he is your Messiah? or a
lawgiver like unto Moses?” But I made answer that Jesus called himself by
none of these names; but, for the most part, only “Son of man.” Hereat
Xanthias marvelled and said, “But wherefore useth he this title? For thou,
and I, and all men, are not we all sons of men? Doth thy Master therefore
fear lest his disciples may perchance forget that he is a man and deem him
to be a god? For such a title as this, albeit humble in appearance,
seemeth in verity too proud for any save such as aspire to be gods. But
perchance your prophets have so used this title that it hath some strange
meaning, whereof I know naught.” Then I said that the word was indeed used
by the prophets: for whensoever the Lord speaketh to Ezekiel as to a
mortal creature, the Lord calleth him Son of man, as if to set the mortal
infirmities of the prophet over against the divine nature of the Lord; but
again the prophet Daniel saith that, in the day of Judgment, there shall
appear one like unto the Son of man, sitting on the clouds of heaven, and
coming in glory to judge the nations of the earth: wherefore the title
seemed to signify the weak nature of man, whether infirm or whether
exalted. Howbeit, added I, before Jesus, no prophet spake thus of himself
as the Son of man.

Hereat Xanthias marvelled the more, saying that this was indeed a strange
title, and such as no philosopher had ever before taken upon himself. Then
he mused a while, still holding me by the cloak, and would have questioned
me farther; but I could tell him no more. So at the last he let me go,
shaking his head, and saying that it was strange, it was passing strange,
and that there was more in this than he could understand: and as he turned
himself to depart, I heard him repeating again to himself that it was a
proud title, a very proud title, and such as no wise and sober philosopher
should take. And thus he departed, meditating as he went, and so rapt in
his study that he forgot to bid me farewell. But when he was departed, so
that I had leisure to think on his wonder and on the cause thereof; then I
also began to perceive that there was more than I had as yet understood,
in this title of the Son of man.



                              CHAPTER XVIII


No evil followed on the words which Jesus had spoken concerning divorce;
and we remained many days in peace, even till the day of Atonement, which
falleth toward the beginning of the autumn in the month called Tisri. But
we had friends in Tiberias, who were to send us word by day, or signify to
us by lights during the night, if perchance any plot were intended against
Jesus.

Now so it was that some of the Galileans did not consent to James the son
of Judas, and to Barabbas in forsaking Jesus, neither did they allow the
conduct of the Pharisees; but having gathered themselves together they
agreed that it was not fit that Israel should so long halt between two
opinions; but as it had been in the days of Elias the prophet, so should
it be now. “For,” said the chief man among them, “Elias gathered the
people together and the people promised to be on his side, if he brought
down fire from heaven; and he did so. Now perchance this Jesus is even
Elias; for many so report of him, and even the Scribes say that Elias must
come, and some say that Elias hath come oftentimes before now. But whether
he be Elias or no, doubtless, if he be a true prophet, he can work the
sign of Elias. For a false prophet can work signs on the earth and in the
air, and in the deep; but a sign in heaven or from heaven he cannot work.
Therefore meet it is that the Pharisees, instead of setting snares for
Jesus, should promise to obey him if he will work a sign in heaven in
their presence. My counsel is therefore that we ask Jesus to work a sign
in heaven; and if he consent, then that we obey him, even though all the
Pharisees speak against him, yea, and though he bid us hold out our
throats to be cut by the Romans.”

Thus spake the Galileans at their council, not many days after the
discourse of Jesus concerning divorce. And the counsel of the Galileans
was reported unto the Scribes. But when Abuyah the son of Elishah heard
it, he said that this was according to the Scripture and the Traditions,
and that it should be so. But Eliezer the son of Arak said that it should
not be so; for that it was in no wise certain that a magician could not
work a sign in heaven, or at the least, a sign that should appear to be in
heaven. But if he could, said Abuyah, then, though the sign should not
really be in heaven, yet if it appeared to be therein, all the foolish
rabble, even the people of the land, would be drawn after Jesus, and the
Pharisees also would be obliged to submit to him. “For,” added he, “I have
heard of magicians which can make statues walk, and can knead loaves of
stones; and of others that can become serpents, and transform themselves
into goats, and can open locked gates, and can melt iron in a moment of
time; but if they can do things so wonderful, think ye they cannot
likewise perform signs which shall appear to be signs in heaven?”

Others also protested to the same effect, and one said that he had been
present when a certain magician had been smitten right through his body
with the sword, but behold, the sword had passed through him as through
smoke, and he had taken no hurt; and another said that he had seen an
enchanter at a banquet create all manner of images, and cause dishes to be
borne of themselves to wait upon the guests, no bearers being seen. At the
last Abuyah himself confessed that he also had once seen a certain
magician roll himself on the fire, and yet not burned; and the same man
also to fly in the air. “Wherefore,” said he, “true it is, as Eliezer
saith, that one flying high enough in the air, might seem to fly down from
heaven, and so to perform some sign in heaven; and thus might he lead away
the common people, which know not the Law.” All this I heard from a
certain Scribe, a friend of Jonathan the son of Ezra; his name was Eleazar
the son of Azariah, and he was present at the meeting of the Scribes.

The same Eleazar also told me that whilst the Scribes were yet debating
what they should do, a message was brought, as from one that had spoken
with the chosen disciples of Jesus, saying that Jesus would certainly not
work a sign in heaven; for that he had refused to do this, though he had
been besought by his disciples. When they heard this, they rejoiced
greatly; and Eliezer the son of Arak rose up and straightway gave his
judgment that they should now change their policy. “For,” said he, “the
Lord having revealed this new thing unto us, meet it is that we change our
path accordingly, neither harden our faces against the will of God.
Wherefore my judgment now is, that we ask this Jesus to work a sign in
heaven before the face of the whole congregation in the synagogue. For
when it shall be perceived that he cannot work a sign in heaven, all men
will go from him; for they will know that he is a false prophet.” And
thereto the rest agreed, and it was so resolved. But I knew not thereof
till many days after.

It was the intent of the Scribes to have asked Jesus to work a sign in
heaven on the next Sabbath; but in the meantime, lights having been held
up by night in Tiberias (on I know not what report or rumour of some
danger intended to Jesus by Herod, or some marching forth of the Thracian
guard), Jesus gave command to pass over again unto the other side of the
lake. We accompanied him, albeit sorely against our will; for there seemed
to be no end unto these wanderings or flights; and each new flight was
like to turn the hearts of the people more and more from Jesus. Moreover,
the manner of Jesus at this time disquieted us, and made some of us to
doubt. Not that he seemed to fear; for fear had no part in him, neither
did he seem to know what fear meant. But he appeared again (as in former
days) like unto one waiting for a message and marvelling somewhat that the
message came not.

During these days, and these wanderings to and fro, the words of the
prophet Jonah were often in his mouth, and he seemed as if he discerned a
certain likeness between that prophet and himself; but what it was we
understood not. For sometimes he spake of Nineveh, and how Jonah thought
only of his own people, and had no compassion upon that great city of the
Gentiles, yea, and fought against the voice of the Lord, who bade him go
prophesy unto them; and how he wandered hither and thither, if perchance
he could flee from the voice of the Lord. But at other times he spake how
Jonah cried unto the Lord even from the belly of hell, and how the Lord
inclined His ear unto him, and heard him, and raised him up to prophesy
unto the Gentiles; and he quoted oftentimes the words of the prayer of the
prophet, “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her
bars was about me for ever; yet hast thou brought up my life from
corruption, O Lord my God.” Likewise he made mention of some sign of
Jonah, which he said should be manifested to this generation; but whether
he meant that he should be sent far away unto the Gentiles, or that he
should be cast into the depths, and delivered again, as Jonah was, this we
understood not, and the saying was hidden from us.

Now it came to pass, when we had journeyed now many days on the other side
of the lake, we came nigh to the mountain of Hermon. Snows cover the top
of this mountain both summer and winter; and when the sun in his strength
shineth on the snows thereof, it is as though the glory of the Lord had
come down from heaven. Towards this mountain Jesus had set his face as
though he had an errand thither from the Lord; and as we journeyed towards
it, he gazed often thereon and rejoiced greatly. But it came to pass, as
we now drew nigh unto the mountain, we journeyed through a certain village
of the country; and because we were in haste and Jesus desired that none
should know him, we were to have passed quickly through the village before
dawn. For the fame of Jesus, how he could cast out unclean spirits, was
spread abroad even in that country. But as we passed through the village,
we heard sounds as of one calling after us: and some thought they heard
shrieks. Howbeit we turned not back, but journeyed forward the more
quickly.

Now a certain woman in this village (a worshipper of idols, after the
manner of the people of that land) had a daughter possessed with an
unclean spirit, which, whensoever it took her, drove her to all manner of
wickedness, even to the attempting of her mother’s life. So the woman had
resolved in her own mind that when Jesus passed by (for he must needs come
through that village), she would beseech Jesus to heal her daughter, and
she had told her daughter of her purpose, and likewise all her friends and
acquaintance; and she had been advised of the approach of Jesus and was
watching for us. Therefore seeing us pass quickly through her village, she
adventured to bring out her daughter unto Jesus: but her daughter would
not come. For even then, at the hearing of the name of Jesus, the devil
took her, and she shrieked aloud and strove against her mother, and would
have slain her: but her mother ran forth from the house and followed
Jesus, calling and crying aloud and piteously lamenting.

Now to us it seemed a strange thing and an unseemly, that a prophet of
Israel should thus be beset and importuned by an heathen woman. So we
expected that Jesus should have at once sent the woman away. But Jesus
uttered never a word, nor so much as turned his face towards her, but
journeyed steadfastly forward. And even as one running a race towards a
goal settleth his soul upon the prize that is before him, even so seemed
Jesus to settle his soul upon the snows of the mountain of Hermon: for
they shone in the light of the rising sun, like unto a dove sent from God,
whose breast‐feathers are as silver, and whose wings like unto fine gold.
But the woman ceased not from her following and lamenting, and poured
forth before Jesus all the story of her troubles.

At last we adventured to accost Jesus, and we besought him to send her
away. But he answered us, still not turning his face, “I am not sent but
unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Yet as he spake, he slackened
his going, and spake, as it were, like unto one doubting somewhat, and
willing to have his words amended. Now came the woman in haste up to him,
and threw herself before his feet and said, “Lord, help me.” Then Jesus
stayed. Yet did he still keep his eyes fixed on that which he saw afar
off; and for a brief space he was silent; but then he said, as though he
were asking a question of his own soul, “It is not meet to take the
children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs?” But the woman answered,
“Truth, O Master, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their
master’s table.”

When Jesus heard these words he turned his face straightway from the glory
of the mountain and looked down on the woman; and behold, he rejoiced more
because of that which he beheld nigh unto him, than because of the glory
that was afar off. For the fashion of his countenance was changed so as I
cannot describe it. And immediately he stooped down, and took the woman by
the hand and raised her up, and said unto her, “O woman, great is thy
faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”

Now when the woman ran back to her house, she found the child on a bed,
struggling, and scarce held of her friends; who stood by, weeping and
supposing the child to be possessed, not now with one devil but with many.
Then she cried aloud for joy, and told her acquaintance how that Jesus had
granted her prayer. And straightway, when the devil heard this saying,
even at the mention of the name of Jesus, he tare the child, and departed,
leaving her, as it seemed, lifeless. But presently she rose up whole and
sound, being delivered from the devil; nor was she ever again afflicted.
All this was done by the word of Jesus spoken by the Syrophœnician woman;
for he was not present to heal the girl; albeit (as I gathered) the girl
had before heard oftentimes of her mother that Jesus was to come to heal
her, and how great things he had done for others that were possessed. But
when Jesus had heard the words of the Syrophœnician woman, he was no
longer minded to journey towards the north, but went back into the village
where was the girl afflicted with the unclean spirit. Now the people would
fain have constrained him to tarry with them; but he would not, but set
his face southward again to go toward the Sea of Galilee. For the faith of
the Syrophœnician had strangely moved him, insomuch that he spake as if
the Redemption were nearer than it had been before; and, as I judge, he
desired to make one more proof of the Pharisees, whether they also would
not have faith in him. And straightway he crossed over and came again to
Capernaum.

As we rowed across the lake back to Capernaum we rejoiced greatly; for we
thought that the time was at hand when the Galileans (for of the intent of
the Pharisees we knew naught) would ask Jesus to work a sign in heaven,
and Jesus would now grant their request. But when Jesus had done this, we
trusted that the whole nation should have believed in him, and that the
time should have come that he should redeem Israel. Howbeit certain of the
disciples (and more especially Judas of Kerioth) took it ill that Jesus
should have listened to the prayer of an heathen woman which was an
idolater. For although Esaias saith that the Gentiles are to come to the
rising of the Lord, and that the Gentiles shall seek to the Deliverer of
Israel, yet had it been always fixed and rooted in our hearts that the
deliverance of the Gentiles (if it should come to pass at all) must come
by the uprising of the children of Israel, who should be princes and
kings, conquering and triumphing over the nations of the earth. And then
the Gentiles were to seek to Israel and to become proselytes, entering
into the true fold. And this belief Jesus had confirmed in our hearts in
that he had bidden us to go not to the Samaritans nor to the Gentiles, but
only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Which saying Jesus himself
now seemed to contradict, having thus healed the Syrophœnician maiden. But
whether it had been revealed to our Master, through the words of the
Syrophœnician, that the deliverance of the Gentiles should come more
speedily than had been supposed, and not by fetching a compass, as it
were, round all the borders of Israel, but by a more direct course,
concerning this I know nothing: but Quartus judgeth that it was so.



                               CHAPTER XIX


Gorgias the son of Philip exceeded the rest of us in his rejoicing at the
return of Jesus, and in the largeness of his expectation, saying that it
could not be that our Master, when he adventured to work a sign, would
suffer himself to be surpassed by any, albeit the most cunning magicians.
“Now,” said he, “I have heard an Alexandrine say that there are certain
magicians which, in the middle of the market‐place, in return for a few
obols, will drive out demons and diseases, and call up the souls of
heroes, and costly banquets, tables, dishes, and dainties, all as though
ready for a feast; all which at the magician’s wand shall vanish away. If
therefore a common magician can do such things for hire, how much more can
Jesus do greater things than these for the Redemption of Israel!” Judas
also spake after the same manner, and he said that perchance it was well
done of Jesus not to work a sign in heaven at first; for had he worked the
sign too early, it would have been counted cheap, and would have been
despised. “Much wiser,” continued he, “to hold the sign back till the
people crave for it, and till the Pharisees (supposing forsooth that he
cannot do it) venture to promise obedience to Jesus on the condition that
he work a sign in heaven. For thus shall they be taken in their own
snare.” Only John was doubtful, saying to Judas, “Hast thou then forgotten
how once in our presence our Master said he should work no sign in
heaven?” But Judas replied that our Master had more than once changed his
course, suiting it to the needs of the time; “And,” said he, “when he
shall once perceive that the Redemption of Sion dependeth upon the working
of a sign in heaven, then, trust me, the sign will not long be wanting.
And so strongly am I assured thereof, that it would even seem to me to be
a friendly deed to tell the Pharisees how Jesus hath said that he will
never work the sign, and in this way to move them to ask Jesus to work the
sign; to the intent that they may dig a pit for Jesus and fall into it
themselves.”

Now this he spake jesting; but (as I afterwards learned) Judas had indeed
moved the Pharisees even, as he said, to ask Jesus to work a sign in
heaven. And Judas it was that had sent to Eliezer that message whereof I
have before made mention. But these things Judas did, not because he
desired (at that time) to harm Jesus, but wishing to help him, and
supposing that he should help him by forcing him to do that which, of
himself, Jesus would not do. Howbeit of all these things we, at this
present, knew nothing; and we took the words of Judas as if spoken in
jest. But John shook his head and made no answer.

It was in the winter, in the month called Chisleu, that we returned to
Capernaum. But it came to pass, on the first Sabbath day after that we had
returned, we went into the synagogue after our custom, and Jesus taught
the people; and the hand of the Lord was present among them, and the
people were very attentive to hear him. But when he had ended his words
there rose up Abuyah the son of Elishah; and he spake after the manner of
the Galileans, saying that it was not right that Israel should be any more
divided against itself, but that all should confess that Jesus was the
Anointed or Christ, if indeed he could shew that he was the Christ. “But
the proof,” said he, “is, as we all know, the working of a sign in heaven.
For signs on earth and in the deep, false prophets can work; but not in
heaven. Now, therefore, this is the sum of the matter: thou wouldst have
us, the Scribes and teachers of Israel, to believe in thee and to follow
thee. Our answer is, Work a sign in heaven such as Elias worked, and
straightway we follow thee.”

While Abuyah was speaking his last words, a hesitation and a gasping
overcame him, so that he was almost speechless. For he was abashed by the
aspect of Jesus and by the stillness of the multitude. And, to say the
truth, when Abuyah spake those words, “such as Elias worked,” we held our
breath; expecting when the fire of heaven should come down, as in the days
of Elias, and should consume Abuyah, and Eliezer, and all the enemies of
Jesus; or else we thought that the earth should have opened and swallowed
them up, as the earth swallowed up Korah and his fellows. But when Eliezer
had ended all his words, and no gulf yawned nor fire came down from
heaven, then indeed our hearts sank within us. But Abuyah and Eliezer
began to be of good cheer; for they perceived that they had been well
advised, and that Jesus would work no sign in heaven.

When Jesus made answer to Abuyah, the people listened to him and were
silent; but their hearts no longer inclined unto him as before. For indeed
his words were not easy to understand. But he bade the Pharisees note the
signs of the times, even as they noted the signs of the weather, and
therein, he said, they should find proof enough. Moreover he spake those
same strange words which he had spoken before to us privately, to wit,
that they should have no sign but the sign of the prophet Jonah. Having
said these words he departed from the synagogue; and at sunset, finding
that the hearts of all men were turned from him, he gave command once
again to launch the boat and to pass over unto the other side.

Never before were the minds of the disciples so troubled as now: for we
had all been assured, in the very depth of our hearts, that Jesus had even
for this cause returned to Capernaum, because he purposed now at last to
work a sign in heaven. Neither could we in any way understand why he
should thus suffer the slanderers to triumph, delaying so long the
Redemption of Sion. Judas especially inflamed our grief, saying that all
was now lost, and that one sign in heaven would have been better worth
than a thousand discourses about the Kingdom of Heaven.

But suddenly we were silent; for we heard the voice of Jesus speaking; and
he told us that he had formerly been tempted in a like fashion, even as
the Pharisee had tempted him; for he had been led by the Spirit into a
wilderness, and there in some vision the Evil Spirit had placed him upon
the battlements of the Holy Temple, bidding him cast himself down as a
sign unto the multitudes of them which were walking in the courts of the
Temple; and the Evil One had said unto him, “If thou be the Son of God,
cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge
concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any
time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” But Jesus had made answer,
saying, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Now
therefore we all understood (after a dark fashion, and, as it were,
obliquely) that Jesus esteemed the temptation to perform a sign in heaven
to be a temptation from Satan. But why he so esteemed it, was hid from the
most of us, and we feared to ask him thereof.

When Jesus lay down on the sleeping‐cushion, I questioned Nathanael why
Jesus would work no sign in heaven. “For,” said I, “signs on earth and in
the bodies of men he daily worketh; as but now, when he raised up the
daughter of Jairus (all men supposing her to be dead): and again, at
another time, albeit he neither said nor did aught, a woman was healed,
though she did but touch him, and that too in a throng: so powerful was
the mere garment of our Master to work healing. And when Jesus perceived
the woman (discerning the pressure of her hand, albeit in the midst of the
throng), then, as thou rememberest, he was neither wroth nor chid the
woman for thus, as it were, stealing a miracle; but bade her go in peace,
and be healed of her disease. Wherefore then worketh he no sign in heaven?
Did not Moses and Elias work signs in heaven? Yet our Master is greater
than they.” To these words Nathanael made no answer for a while; but at
last he said, “Concerning Moses and Elias, and concerning what they did or
did not, I am not able to speak. But as touching Jesus of Nazareth, thus
much I know, that he lightly esteemeth all signs, both in heaven and in
earth, except they reveal the mercifulness of God. For he teacheth that
heaven and earth shall pass away, but his words shall remain for ever. And
assuredly he seemeth to me to be greater than Moses and Elias, yea, though
he should work no sign at all. For he moveth upon the face of the earth
like unto the Son of God, and looketh upon all things that are, as being
the servants of his Father. But seeing that they are the servants of his
Father, he loveth them; yea, he cherisheth even the flowers of the fields;
the sky also, and the winds, and the waters seem to him as the ministers
of his Father; and the more he loveth the Father, the more he loveth his
Father’s servants; neither will he check them nor chide them save
according to his Father’s will, but submitteth himself unto them even more
willingly than others submit themselves. For this cause he endureth to be
cold, and an‐hungered, and athirst, and homeless; neither doth he chide
the frost, nor stamp on the ground to make the wheat spring up for him;
nor strike waters from the rock; nor bid the stones come together at his
word for to build him an house.” “But is not this patience,” asked I, “the
condition of a slave?” “Yes, truly is it,” replied Nathanael, “but what
saith our Master? He that is to be greatest among men must be as he that
is least; he that is to rule must be as he that ministereth; he that is to
be king over all must be as the slave of all. Only it is needful that we
serve not unwillingly, but willingly. But whoso serveth the Lord in all
things willingly, he is no slave, but a son.

“For this cause, in part methinks, Jesus calleth himself the Son of man;
as if to shew that he is willingly subject to all the fleshly weaknesses
wherewith the All‐Wise hath encompassed the souls of men to the end that
they may depend on Him. For he teacheth that he, being the weakness of
man, shall be made strength and exalted to the very throne of God, and we
with him; so that we shall reign with God, and the Kingdom of God shall
also be a Kingdom of man, according as it is said, ‘What is man that thou
art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest
him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things
in subjection under his feet.’”

“Yea, but,” said I, “the Psalmist speaketh only of the things of the
earth, to wit, the ‘sheep and oxen and the beasts of the field, the fowl
of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the
paths of the seas.’”

But to this Nathanael made answer, “In the Kingdom of God the Son of man
shall be Lord over all things in heaven and earth, not on earth merely;
yea, over death itself, and over the Evil Nature in man. For this cause,
even as an earnest of that which is to come, our Master checketh and
chideth diseases and devils in them which be possessed. For our Master
hateth the devils and diseases even as he hateth the sins of men,
esteeming them as the work of Satan, and not as the work of his Father.
But the course and appointed order of the world he esteemeth as the
vesture of God, whereof he would not disturb one single fold.”

Now herein Nathanael spake truly. For once only (as I have heard) did
Jesus so much as appear to adventure to alter the course of the world. It
was on a winter evening, and the disciples were on the lake; but I was not
with them. A great storm had suddenly come down on them (as storms are
wont to come down from the mountains round about the lake) and the boat
was now well‐nigh filled with the waves and like to sink. Then the
disciples lifted up their voices for fear, and ran to Jesus as he slept
upon the cushion, and besought him, saying, “Master, carest thou not that
we perish?” Then he arose in grief for them, as it seemed, that they
should, after so cowardly a fashion, tremble before the winds; and he
opened his mouth to rebuke them. “And all this while,” said Matthew (for
he was present), “the winds yet raged, and the waves beat in upon the
deck, and in another instant, methought, we had been all dead men. But
Jesus, noting this, turned himself from us toward the sea, and then (as if
it were revealed to him that he, being the safety of the world, could not
be wrecked by any turbulence of winds or waves, and therefore that the
storm was to cease), behold, he stretched out his hands to the tempest,
praying; and straightway the storm seemed to abate a little; and then,
perceiving the will of the Father, he stood up like some great king or
emperor, and rebuked the storm, bidding it be still; and immediately there
was a great calm.”

Now on this only occasion did our Master appear to change the course of
the world; and methinks, even here, he did it only in appearance. For he
spake as he was moved by the Holy Spirit, it being revealed to him that
the storm must needs cease lest the fortunes of the world should be
shipwrecked, if the Son of man should perish. But if Xanthias findeth
fault with this story, saying that on this only occasion our Master spake
after the manner of a Mænad, and not worthily of himself, to this I reply
that, if Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God (as I doubt not), then it
was fit that he should feel faith, yea, a singular faith in God his
Father. And if Caius Cæsar, the first Emperor, could be assured that he
was not to be drowned, saying to the boatmen that they must be of good
cheer because they carried Cæsar and his Fortune; how much more might the
true Emperor of men be assured that the Fortune of mankind should not be
shipwrecked, yea, and rather than this should come to pass, that the storm
must cease? For this cause I incline not to the opinion of Xanthias; who
saith that Jesus rebuked not the storm, but the disciples, bidding them
not be fearful and of little faith. And, though I was not myself present,
yet was the matter reported to me afterwards by one that had heard the
relation thereof from Matthew the son of Levi, as I said above.

While I spake with Nathanael, there came into my mind certain words of my
Greek friend, whom I had met at Capernaum (I mean the Alexandrine
merchant), how he had praised Jesus in that he breathed a spirit of
soberness and peace, so that, wheresover he might be, he seemed happy and
at home; and I told this to Nathanael. But he said, “Thy friend said well;
for to Jesus the world is as a great instrument of music giving forth
sounds which we hear not, but he both heareth and enjoyeth. And well I
remember how once, in the presence of Jesus, there arose a dispute between
a musician and another, concerning the sense of hearing and the sense of
sight; and the other said, jesting at the musician, ‘To believe thee, the
sun should have a voice if it is to be perfect.’ ‘Nay,’ said the musician,
‘but the sun hath indeed a voice to those which have ears to hearken; for
when it riseth in the east, it is not a large round shining shekel, but it
is a minister of God and crieth with ten thousand times ten thousand
voices, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.’ And thereat Jesus
smiled and said that it was even so, and that in the time to come there
would dwell this power of sound not in the lights of heaven alone, but
also in the earth, and all that therein is; insomuch that the vine‐twigs
and grape‐clusters should have voices of their own and commune with the
children of men.”(9)

By this time we had reached the coast, and we went forth from the vessel,
and took our way to a little village lying in the road which leadeth unto
Cæsarea Philippi. And as Nathanael had been sent on before the rest to
prepare lodging for us, I could find no more occasion that day to converse
with him. But my mind was still beating on the dark saying of Jesus
touching the temptation of Satan, and I still assayed to understand why
Jesus would not work a sign in heaven: for the words of Nathanael had not
sufficed to make the matter clear unto me.

Only concerning the sign in heaven, thus much was revealed unto me, that I
myself was not drawn unto Jesus by his signs and wonders, but by reason of
my love for him and trust in him; and the same was true also of the other
disciples. Moreover Jesus desired that men should be drawn unto him in
this way, by love and trust, and by feeling that he was needful to them,
and not by being astonished at signs and wonders. Further I questioned
myself and said, “If Jesus had caused the sun to stop still, would Abuyah
the son of Elishah, and Eliezer the son of Arak, and the chief ruler of
the synagogue straightway have loved Jesus and trusted in him, as Jesus
desireth his disciples to love and trust in him?” Now I knew that they
might have obeyed him and followed him, but they could not have loved him.
For Jesus was light: but they loved darkness. Wherefore Jesus could not
redeem them nor deliver them, even though he had worked a sign in heaven.
For he could not deliver them which loved him not; no, not though he had
worked ten thousand signs in heaven.



                                CHAPTER XX


As soon as day dawned on the morrow, we left the village where we had lain
that night, and journeyed northward; and Jesus set his face once more
toward Mount Hermon. We were all very silent, more than was our custom;
for we were downcast and dejected by reason of our often fleeing from
before the face of our enemies, and because of the delay of the day of
Redemption. And though we still loved Jesus and trusted him after a
manner, yet we knew not what to think concerning the things that he had
done of late. As we journeyed, Jesus spake much concerning faith, and how,
without faith, no one could truly believe in him. From time to time he
looked at us, as we went by his side; and he seemed as if he were
measuring our thoughts by our faces, and reckoning up the sum of our
strength: and now he seemed desirous to speak, and now to delay speaking;
watching over us as if some great burden were at hand, and as though he
feared lest the burden should be more than we could bear.

But as concerning faith he said some things hard to understand; to wit,
that if a man had not faith, there should be taken from him even that
which he seemed to have; and yet, at the same time, he said that no man
could have faith in him nor come to him unless he were drawn by the
Father. Moreover he said that whoso had faith as a grain of mustard‐seed,
should be able to overthrow trees or mountains. Likewise he added that, if
two or three would agree together touching anything that they would ask of
the Father in heaven, it should be done for them.

Now as touching the overthrowing of mountains or destruction of trees,
some have supposed that Jesus really wrought such wonders as these; and I
have heard that stories of this kind are currently reported in the Church.
But Jesus did never any such thing. But in our language an “uprooter of
mountains” was a name given to any Rabbi that had power by his words to
remove great difficulties out of the path of the righteous, and to make
smooth the rough places in the ways of the Law. And after the like manner,
as I suppose, are to be interpreted the words of Jesus touching the answer
to prayer. For it entered not into his mind that his disciples should ask
for earthly things as their hearts’ desire; but they were to ask for
heavenly things, and earthly things should be added to them, sufficient
for their needs. Howbeit Quartus explaineth this saying somewhat
otherwise, as I shall set forth further on.

As we journeyed, Jesus would not that any should know him: and few took
heed of us; for instead of a great multitude, none now went with him, save
the Twelve, and three or four others beside myself. But passing by a
certain house wherein dwelt one of our countrymen (though we were by this
time far beyond the bounds of Galilee) Jesus entered in asking for water;
for the weather was exceeding sultry. And so it was that in the house the
good folk were making ready to circumcise a child; and (after the manner
of the people in Galilee) an empty chair had been set for the prophet
Elias, as being the prophet of the covenant of circumcision. But some one
of our company (Judas of Kerioth, as I remember) not knowing wherefore the
chair was thus set, asked the cause thereof. So the good man of the house
said that it was set for Elias the prophet, “who hath ofttimes appeared,”
said he, “in the guise of a merchant, to one or other of the Scribes in
old times; and, three days before the Messiah come, he needs must appear
for to anoint the Messiah: but I have heard it said of many, these ten
days, that he hath appeared indeed as a prophet, on the other side of the
lake, for to avenge the death of John the son of Zachariah.”

When he said these words, we looked each at other but held our peace: and
Jesus, after he had courteously thanked the man, came forth and addressed
himself again to the journey; but, methought, even more sadly and
sorrowfully than before. But still his discourse (as oft as he said
anything) was on faith; and presently he began to say in a low voice a
certain psalm (which was both at this time and during many days afterwards
upon his lips); and in the psalm are these words, first of supplication
and then of praise: “Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the
power of the dog, save me from the lion’s mouth, thou hast heard me also
from among the horns of the unicorns. I will declare thy Name unto my
brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” Now when
he spake these words touching the “congregation,” and also the following
words, “my praise is of thee in the great congregation,” then so it was
that Judas, who had been scarce able, these many days, to restrain himself
because of his anger at the tarrying of Jesus, spake aloud and very
vehemently, saying that, but one or two months ago, there was indeed a
congregation, and a great congregation, which also had been ready with one
consent to have risen up against the Romans; “but now,” said Judas, “we be
scarce a score in all.”

Hereat Jesus stayed, and turned round and looked at Judas, methought, to
have rebuked him; but when his eyes fell upon our “little flock,” as he
was wont to call us at this time, not a score in all (for herein had Judas
spoken truly), then it seemed as if his thoughts for us drove out the
thought of Judas: and he paused as if he would have questioned us: “Do ye
also say as Judas saith?” But then he turned again and went before us,
beckoning to us to follow a little behind; and so he continued his
journey, steadfastly looking toward the north, where the Mount Hermon rose
up before us all glorious to behold. But so far as I could gather from
some words that I heard, he still spake to himself concerning the
“congregation:” and once I thought I heard him praying for us with great
passion, and beseeching God that he would bring us out of the horrible
pit, out of the mire and clay, and set our feet upon the rock.

When I spake with one of the disciples concerning that which was to come,
and how the Kingdom was to be established, now that all Israel was against
us, he would fain have kept silence; and when I urged him, he said, “What
know I? Sometimes I am lifted up in my soul, and I know and am sure that
the Kingdom shall come; but at other times I know not what to think, nor
can I understand why Jesus would work no sign in heaven. But then again I
say unto myself that whether he be the Redeemer of Israel or no, he is of
a surety the Redeemer of my soul. For in his presence I find life: but to
be absent from him is death. The sum is, that I trust in him to‐day, for I
know not what else to do: but as for the morrow and what it may bring
forth, behold, all things are uncertain and unshapen in my mind.” The like
also said others of the disciples, albeit not in such plain terms, for
almost all spake unwillingly. Yet could I not but perceive that the most
part had been sorely shaken in their faith, because Jesus had denied to
work a sign in heaven: and it was even as Jesus had warned us; the leaven
of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees had entered into our souls.
Wherefore, although we all still called our Master, as before, the Christ
or Anointed, and the Redeemer, or at the least, the Prophet, yet inwardly
we were wavering in our hearts; and a breath would have moved us this way
or that way, towards belief or towards unbelief. For indeed we were being
driven down, as it were, from our former faith, whereby we had believed in
Jesus as a worker of wonders or fulfiller of prophecy; and we were falling
(as it seemed, but in truth we were rising) to another and a new belief in
Jesus as a man, full of tenderness, and suffering, and patience, and
withal of a goodness that could not be deceived nor disappointed; and this
perchance was the very thing whereat Jesus aimed, to wit, that we should
believe in him as the Son of man, conquering through weakness. For our
former belief was as the mire or shifting sand, because it could give no
firm footing: but our new belief in the Son of man was to be as the rock
whereon we and all others were to stand immovable for ever. But we, at
this present, being, as it were, still on the sand, and not yet aware of
the Rock, how nigh it was at hand, we, I say, knowing in our minds that we
wavered, were notwithstanding desirous to keep our wavering secret;
insomuch that we spake little on this matter one to another, yea, we would
scarce confess it each man to himself: so greatly did we tremble at the
very thought of severing ourselves from Jesus. Yet, for all our
dissembling, Jesus knew our thoughts; even as though he had been seated in
our hearts.

By this time the aspect of the country shewed that we were leaving the
region of the lake. For the thickets of oleander, which but yesterday we
had seen blossoming thickly with red blossoms, were here, in these
northern and higher parts, still green and in bud. Now also the snows of
Hermon seemed very nigh, even over our heads; and we were not far from the
town called Cæsarea Philippi. The grass was everywhere green under our
feet as though the land knew not drought; and trees of diverse foliage
shaded us overhead; and as we drew nigh to the town, we heard the sound of
many rushing waters.

Yet though all things shewed thus fair around us, our hearts were sad,
yea, all the sadder for the beauty of the place, which seemed to rejoice
while we sorrowed. Jesus himself looked not now (as he was wont to do) on
the glories of the mountainous country, but rather on our faces; neither
did he take note of the cedars, and the olives, and the groves of oak‐
trees; nor of the great plains of green grass; nor even of the Mount
Hermon, the top whereof, all covered with snow, waxed daily larger and yet
larger as we journeyed still northward. Ever and anon he turned to us as
if he would have said some new thing to us; but as often, he turned again,
as if still perceiving that the hour was not yet come.

We were now nigh to the outskirts of the town called Cæsarea, even at the
place where the fountain of the Jordan floweth forth; and here Jesus bade
us sit down. If we had had leisure to admire, there was much cause for
admiration. Before us, just above the spring, was a cavern wherein the
inhabitants worshipped a certain false god of the Greeks, which haunteth
thickets and forests, and he is called Pan: whence also the town in former
times had been called Paneas. Higher up, on the summit of the cliff, stood
a temple of marble, white and fair to look on, built by Herod in honour of
Augustus Cæsar. Below, from the foot of the same rock, there flowed forth,
under cover of poplars and oleanders, many little rills of pure clear
water, which, meeting together, made a rushing stream, the noise whereof
was exceedingly pleasant. This stream it is which passeth through the lake
called Merom, and, flowing southward, becometh our river of Jordan.

But for all these sights we had at that time no leisure; or if we noted
them, they brought no delight to our eyes, being unto us but as signs and
tokens that we were exiles. Our great river Jordan, the river of Joshua
and of Gideon, a river of mighty works and wonders of the Lord, how
exceeding small did it appear, even as a mere rivulet, in this land of the
Gentiles where it first arose! The cavern of Pan also and the temple of
Augustus filled us with sad thoughts, to think how all the world was
covered with the worship of false gods as with a net; so that, save in one
little corner of Syria, the true God was not known. The name of Augustus
also, yea, and the very names of the town whereon we looked, Paneas and
Cæsarea Philippi, these all but spake aloud, testifying unto us how great
was the power not only of the Greek worship, but also of the Roman
kingdom, inasmuch as our own princes built these temples and towns, and
called them by the names our conquerors. Wherefore it was not possible
that a son of Israel, fresh from Galilee, should look on such sights as
these and not feel downcast.

Jesus stood a while, steadfastly beholding the temple; then he sat down
amid the rest of us. Our speech among ourselves had, even before, become
less and less while we waited for that which was to come from Jesus: for
we had all perceived these many hours that he purposed to say unto us some
new and strange thing. But now, because we knew that the time was at hand,
none dared so much as to open his mouth; and a deep silence and a great
fear fell on us; and we saw the lips of Jesus moving as if in prayer. But
when Jesus at last opened his mouth to speak, he said nothing at first
such as we had expected and dreaded. For he neither rebuked us nor
prophesied evil, but only asked us touching himself (calling himself by
that familiar title whereof I have made mention above) what the common
people considered him to be, saying, “Whom do men say that I the Son of
man am?” Straightway all the disciples began severally to make answer,
saying that most men in that region deemed him to be Elias risen from the
dead; but that others supposed him to be the prophet concerning whom Moses
had prophesied, and others again called him one of the prophets. These
several answers we made to Jesus readily and promptly, for our hearts were
lightened because we supposed that this was the question that he had had
so long in mind, for which we had all been waiting. But Jesus, as I noted,
listened to our speech as a mother listeneth to the prattle of her
children. For his lips still moved as if in prayer, and his eyes were
fixed upon the temple on the rock before him; and his mind was not with us
nor with our words, but with something that still was to come from the
depths of the future.

And lo, while we were still reporting this and that, touching the opinions
of the common people, Jesus turned himself round and set his eyes full
upon us who were sitting before him, but most directly (as it seemed to
me) upon Peter, who was face to face with him: and he opened his mouth and
said, “But whom say ye that I am?” As he spake these words, he looked at
us for an instant as if he could read our inmost hearts, and as if he knew
that we could not and would not deceive him. Then he turned from us again,
as though to leave us to our own thoughts, because he would not constrain
us nor draw forth from us any word that was not our own: and so he
remained, gazing steadfastly on the rock and waiting for our answer, for
as long, I suppose, as one would take to count ten very slowly.

I have read in a certain story of enchantments how a prince was caused by
a magician to plunge his head into a vessel of water and to hold his
breath, and behold, while he was holding his breath beneath the water, he
seemed to himself to have travelled long journeys and to have been
shipwrecked and to have had many other adventures, and to have married a
wife and reared up children, and to have passed through a life of many
years even till he had reached old age, and all this within the compass of
a single breath. Even so was it with us while Jesus was waiting our
answer. For we seemed in that moment to be summing up all our past life
and all the life that lay before us, in order to answer this question of
Jesus aright. For we dared not lie to him nor flatter him; yea, rather we
would have displeased him sooner than have flattered him. Such a
constraint lay upon us to speak the truth at all times in his presence;
and especially now. But what the truth might be we knew not, and searched
through all the past and groped in the future, if perchance we might light
upon it.

A few Sabbaths, before, we should have been very ready with an answer; for
then all men said that Jesus was the Redeemer, the Christ; and we had
often said the same thing. But now many stumblingblocks lay in our path.
The Scribes and the pious and the learned, all, save a very few, had
rejected Jesus. The patriots had joined themselves to him for a long time,
but they too had cast him off; yea, and even the rest of the men of
Galilee had been led away with them. The poor, as well as the rich, were
now against us. In fine, none were now on our side except a few of the
lowest of the people, sinners and tax‐gatherers and the like. Besides all
this, John himself, a prophet, and one whom Jesus had called the greatest
of the prophets, even he seemed to have wavered in his faith in Jesus; and
when he had besought help in prison, Jesus had helped him not. Yea, and
Jesus himself of late seemed to have cast off faith in himself. For when
he had been challenged to work a sign in heaven, which seemed an easy
thing for a prophet to do, he had refused to do it. Also, he had fled from
the face of Herod and from the Pharisees, and seemed to have become a
wanderer rather than a deliverer. Else, why were we, children of Abraham
and inheritors of the Land of Promise, sitting there like exiles, looking
on the temples of false gods in a foreign land? Even in the words wherein
he had questioned us, Jesus had spoken of himself as the Son of man. Might
it not be indeed that he was, and knew that he was, naught more than one
of the common sons of man? When had he called himself the Redeemer? Never.

We seemed in that instant to have been brought by the hand of the Lord
into a place where two roads met, and we had to choose one of the two. And
if we went by the one, behold we had against us not only Rome and Greece
and the whole inhabited world, but also the princes of our own people, and
the priests and the patriots, and the traditions also of our forefathers
handed down through many hundreds of years, and the Law given unto us by
God for which many generations of our countrymen had fought and died; yea,
even Moses himself seemed to be as an adversary if we went by that road.
But on the other road no one stood against us; only we saw not Jesus
there. So the conclusion seemed to be that we had in that instant to
choose between Jesus and all the world.

And, as I judge, even for this cause did the Lord lead us into the
wilderness together with our Master in sorrow and in exile, to the intent
that there, being apart from the world, we might weigh, as it were in a
balance, on the one side all the world, and on the other side the Son of
man; a man of sufferings and sorrows, a man of wanderings and exiles,
acquainted with rejections and contempts; and then that, having weighed
the two, we might prefer the Son of man, because of a certain voice in our
hearts which cried within us, “Whom have we in heaven but thee? And there
is none on earth that we desire in comparison of thee.” And this, as I
judge, was the faith that Jesus desired of us: and to this faith was the
Lord leading our hearts, while Jesus was patiently waiting for our answer.
But though it needeth many words to show even a very little of the
searchings of our hearts in that sore extremity, yet the time thereof was
short, not more (as I said before) than while a man could count nine or
ten very slowly.

Then Peter rose up. If it were possible to judge from their countenances,
some of the other disciples also were very nigh unto speaking; for their
features were as it were in a flux, dissolving in passion, and speech
seemed welling upward through them, and the lips of John the son of
Zebedee were trembling as if upon the brink of utterance. Notwithstanding
it was reserved for Simon Peter to set forth in words and to shape by the
force of his soul the thoughts of John and all the rest. He therefore rose
up and spake as I never heard man speak before, neither think I ever to
hear man speak again, saying, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living
God.”

Twice or thrice at least, before this time, I had heard words like unto
these; when either the disciples or the multitude, marvelling at his
mighty works, had hailed Jesus as the Son of God. Also many thousands of
times have I heard the like confession made in the accustomed worship of
the Church. But never till this day, nor ever after, did I hear the words
uttered in the same way. For there seemed to come forth from the mouth of
Simon Peter no mere airy syllables, unsubstantial beatings of the wind,
but a certain solid truth, able as it were to be seen and touched, and not
to be destroyed by force of man. What made the difference I know not: nor
know I how to explain the difference, except it came from Jesus himself.
For indeed it seemed to me that power passed from Jesus into Peter and
gave unto him a strength more than his own, and not human. Yea, again and
again, pondering that saying of Simon Peter in my mind, I have thought of
the words of Nathanael, how he said that Jesus gave a voice to all visible
things even though they be voiceless by nature; and, in the same way, it
might have been said also that Jesus had power to give a kind of light to
sounds: such brightness did he seem to cast upon the words of Simon Peter,
insomuch that the words, though old, seemed new, yea quite new, and never
heard before. For the tongue and the voice seemed the tongue and the voice
of Peter, but the spirit and the light thereof seemed to proceed from
Jesus; so that one scarce knew whether it were truer to say that it was
Jesus speaking through Peter, or that it was Peter speaking in the spirit
of Jesus.

But when Jesus heard the words of Peter, he turned and looked upon all the
disciples and upon Peter, and he rejoiced with an exceeding joy, as if in
that utterance of faith the first seed had been sown which was to grow up
into the Tree of Life; or as if he had seen before his very eyes the
laying of the foundations of a great temple, not like unto the marble
temple of Augustus built upon the visible rock, but a temple of human
souls compacted together by no hands of man, but by the Spirit of God, and
destructible by no power in earth or hell. Howbeit he called it not
Temple, but rather (using the word which our fathers had used in old days
concerning Israel) Congregation. For oftentimes he had instructed us to
believe that the gathering together of the disciples made a temple,
wheresoever it might be, even at the ends of the earth: but the Temple
could not of itself make disciples: yea, though the Temple itself were
destroyed yet he said that God would raise up even in two or three days a
new temple not made by hands. So Jesus made answer unto Peter calling him
by his two names, first by the name which he had from his father (which
name he had as being “born of woman”) and then by that name of Peter which
he bore in the Kingdom, which name Jesus himself gave unto him: and he
signified that Simon the son of Jonah, being changed by faith into Peter
(which name meaneth a stone or rock), presented and manifested forth that
very Rock upon which the Congregation should be built; and these were his
very words: “Blessed art thou, Simon son of Jonah: for flesh and blood
hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I
say also unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my
Congregation; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Then, as if he already saw the Temple of the New Congregation standing on
the Rock, he added yet another blessing upon Simon Peter and his faith,
making mention of the key of the New Temple, and promising that he would
give this key to Peter, because they which have faith, those alone can
forgive: and forgiveness is the key which openeth the Congregation to all
the world. Now it is a common prayer with the scholars of the Scribes that
“We may not make defiled the pure, nor make pure the defiled; that we may
not bind the loosed, nor loose the bound.” But Jesus promised unto Peter
something better than this, to wit, that the faith which Peter had this
day manifested (that is, the faith of the New Congregation) should have
power to loose them that else had been bound; and that forgiveness below
should go hand in hand with forgiveness above; saying that he would give
unto Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and he added, “Whatsoever
thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou
shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

When he had spoken these words, he arose and went into Cæsarea, where we
were to tarry that night. We followed him, marvelling much at his words,
and especially because of this promise touching binding and loosing. For
we did not understand how we could receive such a power; and even though
we should receive it, we did not perceive how it would avail us to conquer
the Romans nor how it could hasten the Redemption of Sion.
Notwithstanding, we rejoiced even more than we marvelled; partly because
we dimly understood that the Lord had this day wrought some great work for
us; partly because we felt ourselves to be more settled and confirmed in
our allegiance to our Master; but most of all because we perceived that
Jesus rejoiced with an exceeding joy, and we could not but rejoice with
him.

Only Judas said that he liked not that Jesus should speak of a
Congregation and not of a Nation or People. “For,” said he, “a
Congregation goeth not forth to battle, nor taketh cities, nor setteth up
empires and kingdom: but this is the work of a People. Wherefore my mind
misgiveth me lest our Master, becoming desperate of his first purpose of
setting up a kingdom, should now determine within himself to found a sect
such as the sect of the Essenes or Pharisees. For he was not wont before
to speak of a Congregation, but he ever spake of a Kingdom of God, or a
Kingdom of heaven.” But one made answer and said that it was written, “Let
the Congregation of saints praise him; let the saints be joyful with
glory; let the praises of God be in their mouth, and a two‐edged sword in
their hands, to be avenged of the heathen:” wherefore, said he, the
meaning of our Master perchance is, that in the time to come, Israel shall
be both a nation of conquerors and a congregation of saints. And to this
we all agreed.



                               CHAPTER XXI


From that day forth we noted but seldom in our Master’s countenance that
look of expectancy which had sometimes perplexed us before. For now, and
for many days after, he spake and acted like one that seeth things to come
as clear as things past. On the morrow after the blessing of Simon Peter,
he called us together, and told us that we must go up to Jerusalem at the
next Passover. If we were joyful before, much more did we rejoice now; and
Judas smote his hands together for very gladness, esteeming Jerusalem
already captured. For he supposed that Jesus could not march up to
Jerusalem so as not to raise up the Romans against him, “and when they
come against us in battle,” he said, “then Jesus will perforce put forth
his power against them, and will utterly destroy them.”

These words said Judas (but not so loud that Jesus could hear them) during
the first stir that followed the saying of Jesus about going up to
Jerusalem. But Jesus opened his mouth to speak again, and behold, he
prophesied things that passed all understanding; namely, that he should be
rejected by the rulers of the people, and delivered over to them, and put
to death with insult. But then he added that although this must needs come
to pass, yet in a few days afterwards, yea no more than one or two, it
should be with him as with Jonah, whose prayer was heard even from the
belly of hell, and according to the words of the prophet Hosea, who wrote
this saying, “Come and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn and
he will heal us: he hath smitten and he will bind us up. After two days
will he restore us to life; in the third day he will raise us up, and we
shall live in his sight.”

We stood silent around him, all agape with wonder, and scarce believing
our ears. But he spake quietly and cheerfully, like unto one describing
what had already been accomplished, or as if he perceived that the thing
was as much according to nature as that a stone should fall downwards or a
spark fly upwards. For not long afterwards he spake as if this were an
ordinance of God, that “Whoso saveth his life shall lose it; but whoso
loseth it shall save it:” desiring, as I suppose, to teach us that in
death, no less than in life, there prevailed that great Law of God which
was ever in his mouth, “Give, and it shall be given unto you:” meaning
that whoso gave up his life unto the Father should receive it again
abundantly, both now and ever.

Notwithstanding, at this time our ears were deaf and our hearts were
hardened against all such words as these, and we feared to ask him
concerning them. Only Peter, mindful how Jesus had of late blessed him,
and therefore venturing somewhat more than the rest, would fain
expostulate. So after he had besought Jesus not to vex the hearts of us
his loving followers by prophesying evil things, he spake concerning the
death of Jesus, saying, “Be it far from thee, O Master; this shall not
happen to thee.” Then Jesus looked wrathfully upon Simon Peter, even as he
had looked before upon Jonathan the son of Ezra, and he rebuked Peter as
if he had been the Adversary himself tempting him; and he said, “Get thee
behind me, Satan; thou art a stumblingblock unto me; for thou savourest
not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Yet was there no
hate in his countenance, though he used the name of Satan; but there was
grief, and trouble, and many signs of inward perturbation; as if Peter had
assailed him where he was weakest, appealing to him in the name of the
disciples whom he must needs forsake. Yea, the tears seemed nigh at hand
even in the moment of the bitterest rebuking.

After this, Jesus began to speak to us of the journey to Jerusalem, how
full of peril, and how desperate it was like to be. For he said that
whosoever followed him must be prepared to risk all for his sake. Yea,
even as men condemned to die might go forth to their doom with the ropes
round their necks or the crosses on their shoulders, even so must we go up
to Jerusalem, all prepared for death, if we were fain to go with him. And
this he said many times, saying that none might follow him except they
would take up the cross; and during all the time of our going up to
Jerusalem, the cross was, as it were, the only watch‐word that he would
appoint for them that went with him: insomuch that some, mocking, called
it a journey of the cross, or a journey of the halter. But he added that,
if we had courage to go with him, a reward was in store for us: “Whosoever
will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my
sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole
world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his
soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his
angels; and then shall he reward every man according to his works.”

Now at these last words Judas turned away in anger, saying in a low voice,
“He speaketh only of what is after the grave.” But Jesus straightway
added, “Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not
taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom.” At
these words we all rejoiced again, and Judas with the rest, for, said he,
“These words are no dark saying, but such as babes can understand.” So we
went out from the presence of Jesus marvelling indeed, but rejoicing even
more than we marvelled.

Now when we were come forth, and were alone apart from Jesus, we disputed
among ourselves what his words might mean. But Judas said (after his wont)
that whatsoever was obscure should be interpreted by that part which was
clearer. Now Jesus had declared that he would come and reward his
followers and take unto himself his Kingdom even in the lifetime of some
that were standing by. But as for the rest, concerning the losing of life
and finding of it, and as for what Jesus had said concerning his own dying
and rising again, it was clear, said Judas, that the words were used
poetically and in a figure, as if one should speak of sinking into the pit
of the darkness of ruin and then of being raised up therefrom, as it had
been described also by Jonah, and as Hosea the prophet had spoken.

But then Thomas said, “Yet methinks, since all men must die, therefore
also the Redeemer of Israel must perforce come to the grave at some time;
and then what shall befall the disciples that shall remain in the flesh?”
To this some one made reply that Jesus would assuredly not depart from
life till he had established the kingdom and trampled all our enemies
under his feet. Another said that, if Jesus indeed died as a captive
according to his own words, then his death would be like unto that of
Samson, who destroyed many thousands of the Gentiles in his own
destruction. But still Thomas persevered that, whensoever the time came
that Jesus should depart from the flesh, then all the brightness of joy
would depart from the disciples for ever.

Then John answered and said that Thomas had well spoken, only that the
Lord would provide against so great an evil; and he added, “Let us not
suppose that the gates of death can separate us from the love of the Lord,
neither let our imagination assure us that the grave is a strong place
against the hand of the Almighty. For by the Word of God we were framed;
and by the Word of God we were born; and by the Word of God we live; and
by the Word of God we die; and by the Word of God we are to give account
before the King of kings. Wherefore if even we are in the hand of the Lord
though we lie in the grave, how much more is the Redeemer of Israel, who
is in the bosom of the Father? Wherefore my counsel is that we trust in
the Lord, and that we rejoice because we see our Master rejoicing.”

To this we all agreed. Howbeit, when we tried to understand the meaning of
the words of Jesus, the judgment of Judas seemed good to the most part of
us. And so it was that when we rejoiced, we rejoiced with John; but when
we reasoned we reasoned with Judas. But of this we were all with one
consent persuaded, that it could not be that the Lord would permit such an
one as Jesus of Nazareth to die a common death; but either he would not
die at all, or if he were taken from us, it must be after the manner of
Elias, exalted to heaven in a chariot of fire.

But Jesus desired to offer up prayers to the Lord upon Mount Hermon before
he set his face to go southward to Jerusalem. For he had long been
journeying towards it, and it seemed to be unto him as a goal and limit of
his wanderings. Moreover at all times Jesus loved to be alone on the tops
of mountains, not as though he counted high places to be more holy than
others, but because all visible things testified to him of the Father, and
when he looked forth upon the world at sunrise from the summit of a
mountain, then the Angels of God which rule over the light and the sky and
the earth and the air, seemed to speak unto him with a louder and a fuller
voice. Moreover though he spake not of the moon and stars in parables (but
only of the flowers of the field and the seed and the smaller things of
earth), yet did he oft consider the heavens and the lights therein which
are the works of the fingers of God; and for this cause he would sometimes
spend a whole night upon a mountain‐top alone, meditating on the works of
God. So it came to pass that on the morrow after these things we went with
Jesus even to the foot of Mount Hermon. There we tarried during the night
in a village just below the mountain; but Jesus left us and went up the
mountain alone, save that he took with him Simon Peter, and John, and
James the brother of John.

Now as for what happened on the mountain, I myself was not present; but
the three disciples told us afterwards things that made us to marvel. At
first indeed they saw nothing more than common, nor indeed took heed of
aught which they saw; for they were wearied with the labour of the long
journey, going for many hours up hill, and besides they were faint with
hunger; insomuch that, when they were come to that part of the mountain
where the snow lieth continually, they were borne down with sleep. Hereat
Jesus bade them stay where they were, and pray; but he himself went
forward higher up the mountain, as it were a distance of three bowshot;
yet not so far but they could hear his voice; for the air was exceeding
still, and all sounds came with a marvellous clearness to their ears even
from very far off. Now it came to pass that when the three disciples were
alone, they strove to pray, sometimes standing up, but at other times
kneeling or lying flat upon their faces. Howbeit their eyes were still
weighed down and heavy with sleep; but even as they began to slumber,
behold, the voice of Jesus, like unto the voice of an angel, fell upon
their ears magnifying and praising God. So the night passed, while they
lay there betwixt sleeping and waking; sometimes hearing the voice of
Jesus and praying with him; anon falling into slumber and dreaming strange
dreams and seeing visions; and (betwixt dreaming and waking) scarce able
to know what they saw, nor what they heard, nor even whether they slept or
waked. But at the last the Lord sent upon them a deep sleep; and how long
they slept they knew not, but suddenly with one consent awaking, they
perceived that they were on holy ground, and that the presence of the Lord
was around them, and the voice of the Lord sounding in their ears. Yet for
the instant they knew not what work the Lord had in hand; only they felt
that He was very nigh.

But when they came to themselves, they heard the voice of Jesus speaking
words as if conversing with men present and face to face. Then for a brief
space the disciples lay even where they had been sleeping, still and
astonied, supposing that it was a dream and that the voice should have
speedily ceased. But it ceased not, but continued. And they heard Jesus
plainly speaking both to Moses and to Elias concerning that which was to
come to pass in Jerusalem; which, he said, would not be an error, nor a
misadventure, but the very fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets, and the
fore‐ordained will of the Father. (Also Quartus saith (but this I heard
not myself from any of the three) that Jesus testified unto Moses, saying
that he came not to destroy sacrifice but to fulfil sacrifice.)

But when the disciples perceived that it was no dream, they with one
consent started up; and behold, the sun was just risen, and Hermon was all
a‐fire with the glory of the Lord, and the ice and the snow all around
shone like unto burning gold and silver and sapphire, only far brighter,
even as the brightness of the Throne of the Majesty on High. But Jesus
stood on a rock above them; and when they looked on him, behold, his
garments were exceeding white, whiter than snow, and his face was
transfigured as the face of an archangel, and his shape was all glorious
to behold, shining with a wondrous light; and his eyes were set like unto
one looking on the forms of departing friends. For Moses and Elias were
now passed away and were no more to be seen.

But Simon Peter, being nigh distraught at the glory of the sight, and
scarce knowing whether he were asleep or awake, cried out to Jesus in a
loud voice that they would remain on that mountain‐top for ever; and he
said, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three
tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” But
Jesus took no heed of his words, but kept still gazing upon Moses and
Elias. And while they still looked, the Lord sent down on them a cloud,
and compassed them round with darkness; and they feared exceedingly when
they entered into the cloud; and there came a voice as of thunder out of
the cloud, saying that Jesus was the son of God. Then fell the disciples
on their faces, and offered up prayers unto the Lord. But presently, when
they arose, the cloud had passed away, and Jesus alone was standing by
their side.

When Jesus came down from the mountain, all we that were waiting for him
in the village below perceived that he had had a vision; for there was
still an unwonted brightness on his countenance. Likewise also the people
which were with us (for there was a great multitude) marvelled at the
brightness of his countenance; and running to Jesus, they saluted him as a
prophet. Some also began to beseech him to heal a certain boy which was
possessed with an evil spirit. For so it was that, while Jesus was upon
the mountain, certain of the Pharisees that dwelt in that village (for
there was a synagogue there, and many Jews dwelt round about that country)
came to us bringing one possessed with an unclean spirit and bidding us
cast him out. So we adventured to drive him out. But we could not do it.
Therefore the Pharisees strove against us and declared that we were
vagabonds and deceivers, and that our Master was like unto us; and of the
multitude part sided with us and part with the Pharisees, insomuch that
there was a great uproar and noise of contention. All these things had
come to pass while Jesus was coming down from the mountain; but when we
saw Jesus near at hand, straightway on both sides we all ceased from our
contention.

Now when Jesus understood the cause of the contention, and that the
Pharisees were striving against us because we had not been able to drive
out the unclean spirit, he looked around both upon us and our adversaries:
and behold, we were all heated with disputing, and angered by
reproachings, and there was no faith in us. Therefore he was sorely
grieved, and he sighed bitterly, and said, “O faithless and perverse
generation, how long shall I be with you, how long shall I suffer you?”
Then he turned to the father of the child (for the man was standing nigh,
piteously bewailing his child) and he said, “Bring thy son hither to me.”
So they brought him.

But Jesus, looking upon the boy and upon the father and upon the
Pharisees, and upon all them which were standing nigh, perceived
straightway that there was no faith as yet that the boy should be cured.
Therefore he asked the father certain questions touching the boy, and the
man replied that the boy had been possessed even from a child; “and
oftentimes,” continued he, weeping as he spake, “it hath cast him into the
fire, and into the waters to destroy him; but if thou canst do anything,
have compassion on us and help us.” When Jesus perceived that the man had
not yet faith (but only desire bordering upon faith), he said unto him,
repeating the man’s words, “_If_ thou canst; _if_ thou canst. Nay, but
believe. All things are possible to him that believeth.” And straightway
the man cried out for anguish of soul, and said with tears, “Lord, I
believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Then the face of Jesus was glad, and
immediately he rebuked the unclean spirit; and it came forth tearing the
boy and leaving him as one dead, insomuch that many said “he is dead.” But
Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

Hereupon the multitude departed, praising God for His goodness; but when
we were come to the house, we asked him why we had not been able to cast
out the unclean spirit. Jesus answered that it was because of our want of
faith; and he repeated the words which he had before spoken, that
whosoever had but faith, even as a grain of mustard‐seed, should be able
to uproot mountains. But such spirits as these, he said, could not be
driven out save by much prayer. He did not further rebuke us for our ill
success: but our want of faith seemed to engender in him a certain
disquietude for our sakes, perchance because he perceived that we were as
yet too weak to stand by ourselves; and this, though the hour was nigh
when his hand could no longer hold us upright. Howbeit he said no more at
that season, but only gave command that we should straightway set out for
Capernaum.



                               CHAPTER XXII


As we passed through the country to Capernaum, we began to tell the people
everywhere that Jesus had now determined to go up to Jerusalem at the head
of his followers, and that the time of Redemption was at hand. But Jesus
forbade us; for he would not that any man should know that he was passing
through. Howbeit, even though we were silent, the rumour of his journey
was everywhere noised abroad, so that he could not be hid. Many therefore
left their ploughs, and their fishing‐boats, and their trades, and
followed with us: or, if they followed not, they appointed to be with us
at the next Passover when we went up to the Holy City. For it was already
the month called Adar, so that it wanted no more than four or five weeks
to the Passover.

Now certain youths and striplings followed us, not deliberately, nor with
forethought, but because they were ever unstable and ever seeking after
new things. Them therefore Jesus warned to go back to their homes, telling
them that they had not counted the cost of the journey. Others were fain
to have come with us; but their friends sought by all means to prevent
them, telling them what cruelties the Romans had wrought upon their
fathers and kinsfolk in former times; how some had been sold for slaves,
some slain with the sword, some crucified; and with many tears sisters
besought their brothers, and mothers their children, not to go up to
Jerusalem, nor to bring them down with sorrow to the grave. Now Jesus did
not call upon such as these to come to him; but if they were minded to
come, he bade them remember that they must above all things trust in him
and love him; yea, he said that they must love him better than houses, or
lands, or kinsfolk.

Hence also it came to pass that in a certain village he spake words which
have been a stumblingblock to many. For so it was that a certain young man
of that village had come forth to meet Jesus; and after he had saluted
him, the young man had promised to follow in his army, and to serve him
even to the death. Howbeit he besought Jesus that he would suffer him
first to go and bid farewell to his father and mother. Now Jesus looked on
him, and perceived that he was as a reed that bendeth with the wind. So he
said unto him that he must not go: “For,” said he, “he that putteth his
hand to the plough and looketh back, is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Thereupon the face of the young man fell and he became very sad; yet he
obeyed Jesus, for that day, and followed him; but on the morrow he
secretly departed for to bid his parents farewell, meaning shortly to
return to Jesus. So when Jesus passed through the village wherein the
young man abode, behold, the young man was even then coming forth from the
door of his home. But his mother ran behind him, and caught him by the
cloak, and embracing him besought him again and again not to go with
Jesus. Thus she constrained him. But Jesus, looking back on the youth,
said, “Verily he that hateth not his father and his mother cannot be my
disciple.”

Already, even at the beginning of our march, when we first departed from
Hermon, there had arisen a questioning among us, who should have the chief
places in the New Kingdom. For now, within one month, we looked to see the
Romans cast out of Jerusalem, the Holy City and Temple purified, and the
throne of the Redeemer established. This done, it seemed to us that Syria
would be portioned out to several princes or governors; Galilee to one,
Samaria to another, Peræa to a third; after the manner of the Romans,
whose custom it is to divide their dominions among many princes. So we
disputed among ourselves who should have the best provinces. Judas, as
being ever foremost in all actions, claimed a principal share; but the
others also were not backward. Thus we disputed as we walked behind Jesus,
being now nigh to Capernaum; and so it was that, in the heat of our
disputing, we knew not that Jesus was standing still, waiting till we
should overtake him. Therefore we walked on, still disputing, with clamour
and much anger, till, lo, Jesus was in the midst of us. He looked
sorrowfully on us, but said nothing for that time, and we were all
straightway silent.

But in the evening, when we were all together in the house, Jesus called
us to him, holding a little child by the hand; and when we were gathered
round him, he set the little one in the midst of us, and said that we had
forgotten his former saying, how that no man could enter the Kingdom
unless he became as a little child. Then he added these words, “Whosoever
shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the
Kingdom of Heaven.” Then said Judas, “Whoso hath wrought much, shall he
not receive much? and whoso hath wrought little, shall he not receive
little? And is not the Master of the work faithful, who will pay us the
wage of our work?”

For an instant Jesus was silent, looking at Judas as though perchance he
had not heard his words aright. Then he answered that in the New Kingdom
there was no difference of reward; for the least were to be as the
greatest. At the same time he placed his hand on the head of the little
one and said, “Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name
receiveth me, and whosoever shall receive me receiveth not me, but Him
that sent me.” He also spake a certain parable to us, as if to shew that
the reward in the kingdom is not by way of price but rather by way of a
free gift, coming from the Father, as cometh the rain from heaven, and
sufficing for all them which receive it; even as the lord of an estate,
out of the kindness of his heart, might give unto all his labourers the
same wage (and that sufficing for their needs), even though some of the
labourers might perchance be hired later than the rest.

Judas had withdrawn himself before Jesus began this parable. For he was
greatly abashed, though Jesus had not rebuked him by name. But Jesus
seemed saddened by our disputing, and by our hardness of heart in that we
understood him not. Notwithstanding he was still cheerful and gentle
according to his wont. For albeit he saw close before his feet the
darkness of the valley of death, yet, above and beyond the valley of death
was the hill of life, which (at that time) he seemed to see and to
describe, even as if he had traversed and measured it out with a measuring
reed. Notwithstanding for our sakes he seemed sometimes to be in
meditation and sorrow, as though, when he had reached Paradise, he should
look back upon us left behind and alone.

When we went forth from before the face of Jesus, we found Judas chafing
much at his repulse (for so he termed it), and asking how it was possible
that in any kingdom there should be no degrees of rank or honour? For
some, he said, must needs be near the throne, others far off; and some
courtiers; but others tillers of the land and artificers. To us there
seemed much reason in the sayings of Judas, though we liked not that he
should pay so little deference to our Master. John also himself confessed
that he understood not how it should be otherwise than Judas had said.
“Notwithstanding,” said he, “if Jesus should see fit not to give us power
and wealth in the New Kingdom, we must none the less be content, and not
lust after the table of kings; for our table is greater than their table,
and our crown greater than their crown, and faithful is our taskmaster who
will pay us the wage of our work.”

The words of John did not please the most of the disciples; who said that
it would not be fit that Jesus should give power and wealth to other
servants and courtiers, and should neglect them that had borne the burden
of the first persecutions, who were now to bear the brunt of the conflict
at Jerusalem. So they went away still disputing among themselves. Then,
when we were alone, I asked Nathanael whether he thought that Jesus had
any certain plans how to take Jerusalem or how to drive out the Romans.
But Nathanael answered that it seemed to him that Jesus had no such
certain plans. Then said I, “Wherefore then goeth he up to Jerusalem?”
“Because,” replied Nathanael, “thus much hath been revealed to him that he
must needs go up to Jerusalem, there to be glorified and lifted up. But as
to the manner and time thereof, he saith nothing. Yea, and I have heard
him speak as if he himself knew not these things, but they are known to
the Father alone.”

At this time Jesus began to speak more often than before of a certain day
of wrath in store for Israel; and, as David on Araunah’s threshing‐floor
saw the sword between heaven and earth, even so did Jesus discern a sword
of the Lord; howbeit not stayed, as David saw it, but uplifted and in act
to strike. Sometimes he spake as if he himself were to wield this flaming
sword; but evermore, beyond the fire and the sword, he discerned the glory
of the Kingdom of God; and he spake as if the Kingdom could not come
except the fire should first be kindled, and he must needs kindle it
himself. Therefore once, when Jonathan the son of Ezra said to him that he
was accused of his enemies the Pharisees as if he would fain set all
Israel on fire, he replied, “The nearer to me the nearer to the fire; but
the further from me, the further from the Kingdom.”(10)

Seeing this flaming sword ever before him, Jesus none the less continued
to speak of his death. This perplexed us not a little. For at one time he
would say that his enemies would be slain with the sword; or destroyed as
tares are destroyed with fire; and yet, on the other hand, he repeated
again and again that he should die at the hands of his enemies in
Jerusalem. Howbeit of the evil prophecy we his disciples took small heed,
but gave our minds to the prophecies of good things. For he spake much of
being “perfected,” and of being “glorified,” and how he should be “lifted
up” or “raised up” in Jerusalem. Moreover, Jesus was wont to use the word
“dead” of them that were in the deep waters of sin; as when he said that
“The dead should bury their own dead;” and again, when he said that “The
son of man hath power to quicken the dead.” Oftentimes also he spake in
the same way of raising up the dead, as when he told the disciples of John
the son of Zachariah that “the dead are raised up.” Hence it came to pass
that, if we heeded at all his words touching his death, we were assured
that he meant to say only this, that he should be for some days struggling
with Satan, and not at once overcoming, but as it were in darkness and in
the shadow and depth of death; but that in two or three days he should be
raised up and triumph over Satan.

In this belief we were much confirmed by our Master’s constancy and
stoutness of heart. For on the second day after we had returned to
Capernaum, Eliezer the son of Arak, with others of the Pharisees, came to
Jesus where he was seated in the midst of his disciples, and making as if
they were reconciled to Jesus, they bade him flee from Galilee lest Herod
should slay him. But this they did, not out of love to Jesus, but hoping
to rid the city of him, and partly desiring to discredit him with the
disciples, as if Jesus once more would go into exile for to avoid strife.
But Jesus made an exceeding bold answer, and said that the Pharisees were
to tell that fox (for so he called Herod) that he would go on his way to
Jerusalem not through fear of him, nor in haste, like unto a fugitive, but
healing and teaching as he went, both to‐day and to‐morrow; and on the
third day (for the journey was a journey of three days for a strong man,
according to the common saying) he said that he should be perfected, even
in Jerusalem. Moreover, when Eliezer, nothing abashed, dissembled still
further, and bade Jesus take heed lest he should perish even as the
Galileans, whom Pilate had slain, Jesus answered that to be slain did not
argue that the men slain were sinners above the rest; and then he added
that another sword (which they saw not) was near at hand to smite them
also themselves, if they repented not.

This gladdened our hearts and made us eager for the journey: and when on
the morrow we went up from Capernaum, journeying towards Samaria, there
was not one in our band that was fainthearted nor desirous to return. Now
at that time there were about three hundred following Jesus. But the
greater part of our friends, as we understood, were not to go with us, but
to meet us at the going in to Jerusalem, or at some place nigh unto
Jerusalem.

When we were come to a certain village in the road (the name of the
village is Beth‐Gader) where a man journeying towards Jerusalem from
Samaria leaveth the Lake of Gennesareth behind him and seeth it no more,
then it came to pass that our Master turned him round to look his last
upon Capernaum, and Bethsaida, and Chorazin, and upon all the cities of
the Lake, wherein he had taught and wrought. And he stood and gazed a long
time, and cried out that it should be ill for those cities in the day of
Judgment; for if the mighty deeds that had been wrought there, had been
wrought in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented a long while ago in
sackcloth and ashes. But when he saw Capernaum, and the fields thereof,
and the gardens which compass it round, all bright with the greenness of
spring, and the lake, still and peaceful, whereon were fishing‐boats and
ships innumerable, then he lifted up his voice and prophesied evil against
the place, saying, “Thou also, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven,
shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works which have been
done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this
day.” Then spake he to us, saying, that it should be more tolerable for
the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for that city. When he had
said these words, he turned his back upon Capernaum and upon all the
country of the lake; and he departed and saw it no more.



                              CHAPTER XXIII


When we were now drawing nigh to the borders of Samaria, it being (as I
remember) about the ninth hour in the second day of our journey, behold, a
tumult arose in the front of the band, and shouts as of men contending
together. Then those of us that had swords drew them; for we thought
surely the hour was now come for battle. But Jesus bade us put up our
swords; and going forward he saw a multitude of Samaritans gathered
together to oppose us, neither would they suffer us to pass through their
country; and they reviled us and began to cast stones at us. When he saw
this, Jesus neither reproached them nor persuaded them to let us pass, but
straightway commanded that our band should go back a distance of many
furlongs on the road whereby we had come, and then to turn eastward; so
that we might pass through the country beyond Jordan, thus avoiding
Samaria. This seemed to the most part of us a grievous thing and scarce
tolerable, that the army of the Redeemer of Sion should be thus turned out
of the path by a Samaritan rabble. Therefore we besought Jesus with many
entreaties, and some even with tears, that he would suffer us to force a
passage; but he would not hear. At the last, when he had now begun to go
back, James and John, being filled with wrath because the Redeemer of
Israel was thus despised, prayed Jesus that, if he would not suffer them
to smite with the sword he would, at the least, suffer them to call upon
the Lord that He might send down fire upon our enemies. Hereat we all were
in suspense, and hearkened eagerly to what Jesus would say; for in our
hearts we had long supposed that Jesus purposed in this way to destroy the
bands of the Romans, even as the prophet Elias had destroyed the captains
and footmen of Ahaziah. But Jesus looked steadfastly upon James and John
and said unto them, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the
Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Then he
went back by the way whereby he had come; and we followed him, sorely
grieving. Some of us also murmured (and Judas most of all), saying that it
was a strange thing that our Master should have threatened to cast the
Pharisees into the valley of Hinnom, and notwithstanding would not force a
passage through the Cuthite strip (for by this name we termed Samaria),
nor call down fire on a rabble of unbelievers. Moreover Judas spared not
to say that Jesus must be made perforce to shew forth some mighty work
against the enemy, or else the Redemption of Sion would not come to pass.
And the heart of Judas began from this time to be turned away from Jesus
even more than before; and Jesus also, as it seemed to me, began to
perceive that Judas was estranged from him. For whensoever his eyes rested
upon Judas, then the face of Jesus was as if God had hidden His
countenance for a season.

After this we went over Jordan and journeyed through the country that
lieth eastward of Jordan, which is called Peræa. Here we tarried some
days, even till the beginning of Nisan, which is the month of the
Passover: and, about this time, were completed two full years during which
we had followed Jesus of Nazareth. Now the people and the land of Peræa
are not like unto the people and the land of Galilee. For in Galilee the
fields are small, and they till corn and vines and olives; and the men are
exceeding stubborn and resolute, neither very rich, nor very poor. But in
Peræa they have great pastures, and some are rich in flocks and herds,
while others have scarce bread to eat; moreover the men are of an unstable
disposition, fond also of wealth, and given to ease, and not so steadfast
as the men of Galilee.

Therefore it came to pass that in this country and at this season, our
Master testified most of all against covetousness, and lifted up his voice
against them which had their good things in this world and wanted nothing
more. At this time also he spake many parables, which it needeth not to
set forth at full length, for that they are well known among the saints.
But among other parables, as I remember, he spake one against a certain
rich and foolish farmer (the like of whom we saw many in that country) who
thought not of others but of himself only, and had promised unto himself
many years of plenty and ease, but was cut off by God that night; also
another parable against a rich man that suffered the poor to lie at his
gate untended; but afterwards the poor man was comforted, but the rich man
punished in hell.

About this time also began Jesus to speak less of the Kingdom of God and
more of a certain Eternal Life, which, as he said, the righteous and none
other should attain. Some would have it that he changed his words, only
for fear of the Romans, lest they should suspect his often mention of the
Kingdom of God, and lay hands upon him as one aiming to be king; and these
men said that Eternal Life signified the Kingdom of God, though in
different words. And perchance it did signify the same thing: howbeit
Jesus changed not his words for fear, but partly, as I judge, because the
covetousness of the people weighed upon him, and because he perceived them
to be wholly given up to the lusts of the flesh, insomuch that they were
even as dead, and content to lie in the valley of the shadow of death.

For ever as Jesus drew nearer to Jerusalem, the sins of the people seemed
to weigh heavier upon his soul, and death and destruction seemed to grow
larger in his eyes; insomuch that now he desired to exhort the people not
so much to enter into the Kingdom, as rather to flee from death unto life.
Yea, so exceedingly did he fear the power of Satan to slay the souls of
men, that about this time, when a certain disciple desired to have left
him for a season to bury his father, Jesus would have the young man still
continue with him, saying that the dead should bury their own dead.
Howbeit, though we understood this afterwards, we perceived it not at the
time; but whensoever Jesus spake of Eternal Life, then we would interpret
the words still to signify the setting up of his Kingdom in Jerusalem.

Notwithstanding, while Jesus spake day by day more earnestly touching them
which would not come into the Kingdom of God, and concerning those whose
hearts were satisfied with the good things of this world so that they
thought they needed nothing, he none the less was tender and gentle to all
sinners, and to the afflicted, and to young children, after his wont; yea,
and perchance, even exceeding his wont. For albeit he saw daily more and
more of the evil nature of men, yet was he not embittered thereby; but
whensoever his burden became heavier to bear, then, as it seemed to me,
his gentleness appeared greater likewise. Of which gentleness I will here
set down one among many instances. When we were come into a certain
village, at the end of a day’s journey, the hour being now late (for the
sun had already set), behold, at the going into the village, stood many
women with children in their arms; and they besought Jesus to bless them.
Then we (who went before Jesus and the rest to prepare a lodging for him)
bade the women take away the children and to bring them on the morrow; for
we had walked a long journey and were weary and had fasted long; and, said
we, it was not seemly at that hour to trouble the Master. But he was sore
displeased at us, and took up the little children in his arms and blessed
them and said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them
not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” He also repeated his former
saying, that none should inherit the Kingdom unless they became as little
children. These words seemed to some of us well fit for peaceful times and
for quiet talk and meditation in Galilee, but not fit now when the hour
had come to enter the Kingdom, as we supposed, by smiting with the sword.
Howbeit to Jesus these words seemed always fit and seasonable; so gentle
was he and so loving, even to the last.

It came to pass that in the throng, listening to these words of Jesus,
there was a certain young man whose name was Tobias the son of Zechariah.
He also came that same night to the inn, to hearken to the teaching of
Jesus: and he said unto certain of his friends in my hearing that he was
willing to do anything that Jesus should say, even to the giving of half
his wealth: moreover he made many professions as if on the morrow he would
join himself unto Jesus and go forth with us to Jerusalem. Howbeit on the
morrow, when we assembled early according to our wont to set forth, the
young man Tobias was not with us. But we (for it was usual with us to hear
many promises and to see few fulfilments) began our journey without him.
But we had not gone more than six or seven furlongs when the young man
came in haste running after us, and when he had come near to Jesus, he
saluted him and knelt before him. For his heart had been inflamed with
admiration of the doctrine which Jesus taught concerning the Kingdom of
God; howbeit he trusted not in our Master as the Redeemer of Israel, but
he loved him as a very pious Scribe, teaching things lovable and
excellent. Therefore, willing to gain the favour of Jesus and yet being
unwilling to journey forth with Jesus, he was fain to gain our Master’s
favour and also satisfy his own conscience, if it might be, by doing some
other good work in lieu of doing that which he had promised to do. So he
called Jesus “Good Teacher,” and said unto him, “What shall I do that I
may inherit eternal life?”

Now Jesus perceived that the young man was deceiving himself; for he
supposed himself to be righteous, but he was not; moreover he trusted in
his wealth and thought to buy the mercies of God with a price. Therefore
Jesus took compassion on him; and looking upon him, he loved him, and
would fain have opened his eyes that he might know himself and be less
content with himself. So he desired to shew him that he was wrapped up in
the love of his possessions. Therefore first of all Jesus answered as a
teacher (forasmuch as the young man also had called him a teacher), and he
bade the young man obey the Law. But Tobias, like unto a pupil reproaching
a teacher for that the task appointed is too easy, replied that he had
observed the Law from his childhood upward. Then Jesus, knowing what would
come to pass, made mention of the watch‐word of our desperate journey,
calling it the journey of the cross (or halter, as some people termed it);
and he said to the young man, “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell
whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure
in heaven; and come, take up the cross and follow me.” Then the
countenance of the young man fell, for he had not supposed that the
teacher would appoint so great a task; for he had great possessions. So he
rose up from his knees, and departed, grieving much, and he went back by
the way he had come.

Jesus looked after him as he went; even as a physician regardeth the
patient which struggleth against the knife of healing. And he stood still,
and marvelled much because of the power of the things of this world over
the mind of man, and yet more because of the power of the Lord to deliver
the souls of men from the things of this world. For when he considered the
weakness of men and the strength of this world, then it seemed to him (as
he was wont to say) a harder and a greater work to redeem a rich man’s
soul than to uproot a tree or a mountain, or what else may be wrought by
art of magic. So he turned to us and said, “Children, how hardly shall
they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 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.” Hereat we were astonished out of measure, saying
among ourselves, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked upon us and
said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all
things are possible.”

Afterwards as we walked behind him, we discoursed further among ourselves
concerning these words, and Judas said, “How then? Are we never to be
rich!” But another said, “He meaneth that none that are rich can enter
into the Kingdom; howbeit when we have attained to the Kingdom, then shall
we be rich, though we be poor now; but the rich shall be shut out.” But
Nathanael said to me privately he thought Jesus meant otherwise; as if he
divided the children of men into two parts, the one part having their
hopes and treasures in heaven and the other part having their hopes and
treasures on earth (according as he had himself commanded us to have our
treasure in heaven, saying that where our treasure is, there would our
heart be also): now if a man have his treasure in heaven, then though he
have five hundred talents on earth, yet they harm him not, for he useth
them to good end: but whoso hath his treasure on earth, though he have but
five hundred pence on earth, yet they harm him, clogging his soul, and
hindering him from looking upwards, because he useth his little wealth to
the ends of his own pleasure. “For,” said Nathanael, “as often as Jesus
speaketh of wealth, he meaneth ever some spiritual meaning, as when he
speaketh of bread and corn and wine, and the like.”

I doubt not that Nathanael interpreted aright the words of Jesus. Howbeit
also true it is that very few whom the world calleth rich, entered either
then or afterwards into the Kingdom of God. Therefore I judge that Jesus
meant also perchance to warn us how dangerous a thing it is for a man to
have more wealth than is needful for simple wants. For the experience of
the saints hath been, everywhere and at all times, that fewer men come
into the Church with five hundred talents than with five hundred pence.

But after we had discoursed a long time concerning the matter, Judas moved
Peter to question Jesus, and to ask whether indeed it was true, that the
disciples should never be rewarded with wealth. So Peter went to Jesus and
said, “Lo, we have left all and followed thee.” He said no more, but Jesus
perceived what was in his heart; and he answered and said to us all,
“Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren,
or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my
sake and the Gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this
time, houses and brethren and sisters and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions: and in the world to come eternal life.” Then he ceased;
but when we thought that he had made an end and we were departing, he
added, “But many that are first shall be last, and the last first.”

These latter words of Jesus troubled us not a little. For of late since we
had left Capernaum, many new disciples had joined themselves to us, and
Jesus had suffered them gladly; and now we thought that his intent was
that, in the kingdom of Jerusalem, they, even these new disciples, should
have equal reward with us, who had followed him through all his
wanderings. Moreover we were vexed because in the beginning of our
consorting with Jesus he had set much store upon us his followers, saying
unto us, “Whosever is not with me is against me,” as much as to say that
only we, which followed with him, were his friends, but all else were his
enemies; but now he seemed to set store upon all them that were not siding
with his enemies. For of late when John the son of Zebedee saw a certain
man adventuring to cast out evil spirits in the name of Jesus, and yet he
followed not with us, John would have forbidden him. But Jesus said
“Forbid him not: for whosoever is not against me is with me.” These words
were contrary to the words which he had spoken before, insomuch that we
knew not what to think.

But as concerning the first words of Jesus, namely, that all our goods,
whatsoever we had left for the sake of Jesus, should be multiplied an
hundredfold, and that too even in this life, we rejoiced exceedingly. For
some that had left small fields, began to reckon that they should have
great estates; others that had left houses or boats, counted up whole
villages and navies that should be theirs when Jesus should be king in
Jerusalem. Moreover a certain Scribe, who followed with us, said “This
saying of Jesus is also in accordance with the sayings of the Wise; for it
is said all things are done according to exact retribution, whether in way
of punishment or reward. Even as Samson (who followed after the desire of
his eyes) was blinded by the Philistines; and Absolom (who boasted of his
hair) was hanged upon the tree by his hair, so that he died. Moreover also
Ham the father of Canaan (who sinned by seeing and by telling, that is
with the eyes and with the teeth) was therefore made a slave; as Moses
also enacted that whatsoever slave was sinned against by his master in the
matter of teeth or eyes, so as to suffer loss thereof, he should be made
no longer a slave but free. For this is according to the law of
retributions; for with what measure a man measureth, THEY measure to him.”

“Nevertheless,” said Matthew the Publican, “I would fain know how, when we
attain to the Kingdom, the mothers of the faithful should be multiplied an
hundredfold.” But some one said, in answer to Matthew, that perchance the
meaning of that hard saying was, that as many as were in the Kingdom
should be as one family; so that all men, esteeming one another as
brethren, should look upon the mothers of their brethren as being their
own mothers. Howbeit most of us agreed to the words of Judas, who said
that we should take our stand upon the clear sayings of Jesus and leave
the dark sayings: now Jesus had said that our houses and lands should be
multiplied an hundredfold, and that saying ought to suffice for us.

Thus for that season we gave not much heed to the deep saying of Jesus:
but afterwards when I wrote concerning it to Quartus the Alexandrine, of
whom I spake before, he explained it after a different fashion. For he
said that Jesus had in his mind a law of retribution indeed, but not such
a law of retribution as that whereof the Scribes spake, but a far deeper
one, a certain retribution of the soul. “For,” said he, “the meaning of
Jesus is (as I understand it) that whatsoever the mind of man giveth to
God, this returneth from God to the mind of man again with increase, in
like manner as there returneth from the earth to man whatsoever fruit or
produce man trusteth to the earth. For God giveth to man many good gifts,
such as food, and houses, and lands, and wealth, and friends, and
kinsfolk; and these all are as seed. Now if a man keep these good gifts to
himself, and use them for his own pleasure, he is like unto a husbandman
that should keep his seeds in a vessel, or closet, feasting himself with
the sight thereof, and not venturing to trust them to the earth; wherefore
they grow not nor return him fruits of increase. But whoso trusteth all
these seeds to God, and useth them according to His will, behold, unto him
there ariseth a harvest in heaven.

“For whosoever useth food aright, there springeth up for him cheerfulness
and thankfulness and temperance and self‐restraint; and whoso useth aright
lands and houses and wealth, there springeth up for him liberality and
generosity and magnanimity; again, whosoever casteth the seed of
friendship into the lap of the divine goodness, behold there springeth up
for him a tree of living friendship that knoweth not death. And in the
same way, whosoever consecrateth unto God the love of mother and father,
he receiveth a new power of love multiplied an hundredfold, and a new
feeling of fatherhood, whereby he is drawn nearer unto the Eternal Father.
For assuredly, whensoever Jesus speaketh of the increase of houses, and
lands, and money, and the like, for them that enter into the Kingdom; he
hath not in his mind shekels, and vines of Eschol or Engedi, but he ever
seeth a certain spiritual coinage and a spiritual vineyard of the Lord.”

After this manner wrote Quartus unto me; making mention at the same time
of the words of Jesus, how he had said that whosoever should receive a
righteous man, _i.e._ an observer of the law, in the name of a righteous
man, should receive a righteous man’s reward; and whosoever should receive
a prophet in the name of a prophet, should receive a prophet’s reward.
“Now by these words,” said Quartus, “Jesus signifieth not that a man shall
have more or less of shekels, or more or less of food, or raiment, or
happiness, for that he receiveth a prophet or a righteous man; but his
meaning is this: that whoso by force of fellow‐feeling and by the links of
faith shall be bound to a righteous man, or shall be bound to a prophet in
his heart, he shall become one with the righteous man or one with the
prophet, so that he shall receive the like reward with the righteous man
or with the prophet, to wit, increase of righteousness, or increase of the
knowledge of God’s will.”

Whether Quartus, or he that made answer to Matthew, be the better
interpreter of these words of Jesus, I know not even now: howbeit at that
time we gave not much thought to these words, nor to aught else of the
doctrine of Jesus. For whatsoever we had learned or whatsoever we thought
that we had learned aforetime, while we were in Galilee, concerning the
forgiveness of sins, and the not resisting evil, and the becoming as
little children, behold, all these lessons now began to seem to us dim and
far off, and fit rather for the schools of children than for the stir of
the lives of men: because we were now going up to Jerusalem, and because
the Day of Decision seemed nigh at hand. For each morning, when we arose,
we said unto one another, “Perchance the Romans may this day attack us,”
and each day, when we lay down to take rest, we reckoned the time and
said, “There wanteth now one day less to the day of the Passover: and on
that day, if not before, Jesus must of a surety redeem Israel with the
strong hand.”



                               CHAPTER XXIV


On the last day of the month Adar, as I remember, we left the young man
Tobias behind us: and about three or four days afterwards, to wit on the
third or fourth day of the month Nisan (which is the month of the
Passover), we came down to the valley of Jordan over against Jericho. Now
therefore there wanted but ten days to the fourteenth day of the month,
which is the great day of the Passover. As the time drew nigh for our
entering into Jerusalem, Judas began to complain very bitterly that Jesus
neither strengthened nor encouraged his followers like a wise leader, but
kept back some from following, and others, which followed, he made to be
of a faint heart. Especially he reproached Jesus for that he did not set
forth the Kingdom in clear words; “For,” said he, “two or three words
would suffice, if Jesus would but tell us plainly the when and the where
thereof; but now he speaketh darkly, saying at one time, that it is at
hand; at another time, that it is among us; anon, that it is still
distant; then, that we must strive to enter into it. Wherefore, to what is
this Kingdom of God like? Even to a mist, which taketh many different
shapes, because it hath no substance.”

Now Jesus seemed to me to perceive what was in the mind of Judas, and to
be grieved thereat; but he took no note thereof in our presence, although
Judas had been these many days turning his heart from our Master and
inclining himself to leave him. For indeed he had by this time begun to
repent that he had ever joined himself to Jesus. Notwithstanding even now,
at certain seasons, while Jesus was speaking, Judas was drawn towards him
as in old times; but, as it were, perforce, and in spite of himself. Hence
it came to pass that he was sorely distracted in his mind, being tossed
now this way, now that, like unto a troubled sea. For sometimes, upon no
apparent cause, he would break out into protestations of love for Jesus;
but at other times, when he thought no one was at hand (yea, and even in
our hearing when the passion was on him) he would rage and fume that he
had ever left Kerioth for to join such a leader as this, declaring that
Jesus would ruin all them that followed him, and saying that he could
well‐nigh hate him as a blind leader of the blind.

Oftentimes hath it been marvelled how it should come to pass that Jesus
should have chosen Judas to be one of his apostles; for he knew what was
in men. Why therefore did our Master choose for an apostle one that should
afterwards betray him? But the answer which Quartus giveth is this, that,
at the first, perchance Jesus did not know that Judas would betray him;
yea, and had not Judas hardened himself against Jesus, he might have
become a chosen vessel of the Lord.

For, at the first, Judas was no traitor, nor like unto one that should be
a traitor; but of a sanguine complexion and disposition, cheerful even to
mirthfulness, and frank on a first acquaintance; not given to musing nor
premeditating; but active and strenuous, and withal a lover of Israel:
albeit perchance somewhat too ambitious and less ready in friendship than
in counsel. From a child his mind was ever given to great purposes; and
towards these ends he bent all his faculties: for he was of a deep
understanding, skilled in the ways of men, and of a discerning spirit,
quick to perceive what means were fit to accomplish his ends. But the
mischief was that the power to understand was quicker in him than the
power to love; for his understanding moved as a flame of fire, but his
heart was very cold.

When he first became acquainted with our Master, he straightway clave unto
him as unto a great leader of the people, who was like to redeem Sion.
Howbeit his heart went not out to Jesus as the heart of John the son of
Zebedee, and as the heart of Simon the son of Jonah. For I remember once,
when I questioned Simon Peter for what cause he first joined himself to
Jesus, Peter said, “Because he had been drawn unto Jesus he knew not how,
and by the hand of the Lord”; but Judas said, “Nay, but thou speakest as a
sheep or a goat, in whom there is feeling but no understanding: but I
applied myself to him with deliberation, as deeming him to be the fittest
instrument to do good unto Sion.”

Now perchance because Judas gave not so much of his heart unto our Master,
for this cause he received not so much back again; wherefore he grew not
in spirit like the rest, but went backward rather than forward. And when
he found that Jesus of Nazareth was not to be used as an instrument, no
not even to do good to Sion; then he began to repent that he had joined
himself unto him. Afterwards, when Jesus first took upon him to forgive
sins, this was, as it were, the turning‐point in the course of Judas. For
he was sore disturbed at that time, insomuch that he carried his
searchings of heart written even upon his countenance. For he was much
moved to have poured himself out before Jesus of Nazareth, beseeching him
to take away the coldness of heart, and to give him a heart of flesh.
Howbeit Satan hindered it, taking advantage of his pride; for the man was
always very proud, and had hitherto been foremost among the apostles; nor
could he brook now to step down from his high place and to make himself
even as one of the sinners. Wherefore he opened himself not to Jesus, but
hardened himself against the voice of the Lord within him.

Yet methinks the conflict was no light one in his heart; and even to the
last, he could scarce refrain from giving himself up to Jesus. And, as it
seemed to me, for this cause Jesus called him to be one of the Twelve,
perceiving how great gifts the Lord had bestowed upon him, and also
hoping, by this means, perchance, to have cast out the jealousy and the
pride from his heart, and in the end, to have drawn him wholly towards
himself. For if Judas could have felt that he was altogether trusted, even
as the chief of all the apostles, then belike he would have cast away the
pride whereon he clothed himself, and would have opened his heart to our
Master; and then verily he would have been a light in Israel, not less
than the greatest of the apostles. But it was not so to be; for it was
otherwise willed by the Inscrutable.

So it came to pass that, from the time when he was rebuked by Jesus, as I
have related above (though in truth the rebuke was not more for Judas than
for the rest of the disciples), Judas withdrew himself more and more from
Jesus and from the other disciples; neither would he speak freely nor ask
questions as before, but he moved the other disciples to question Jesus in
his stead. Yet notwithstanding when Jesus exhorted or rebuked us, Judas
would ever take the rebuke unto himself above all, and say that Jesus
pointed at him, though he did not mention him by name. Then would he fume
and rage and depart in anger, and avoid the rest for many hours together.
But when he came among the disciples, he would sow strife among us with
speech of passion and jealousy; so that he was, as it were, a thorn in the
side of the Master.

All this Jesus perceived, and grieved thereat. Yet he said nothing. And,
as it seemed to me, his grief for Judas was swallowed up in another and a
larger grief; which I understood not then, but now I understand in part.
For Jesus at this time began to see more and more clearly that all or
almost all in Israel should reject him; and that his disciples should
prove faithless, at least for a time; and that he should bring troubles
and sorrows and wars upon the earth, as well as joy and peace; and that
the day of Deliverance and Redemption was further off than had been
supposed. Howbeit, for all this, he turned not to the right hand nor to
the left from the going up to Jerusalem: for he knew that the Lord God had
an errand for him there; and that his death was to be for the life of men:
and that the Lord would in the end give him the victory over all his
enemies.

On the fourth day of the month Nisan, being (as I said above) the tenth
day before the Passover, we set forth again on our journey to Jerusalem,
and much people went with us. And when we came down from the mountains to
Jordan, even to the fords of the river, then some expected that Jesus
should have stretched out his hand and dried up the river, even as a
certain Egyptian false prophet had lately promised to do; and likewise
Elias in old times had dried up Jordan, and it had been also dried up at
the word of the priests when Joshua passed over. (For both now, and
before, and for a long time after, the minds of all in Israel were ready
to expect any sign howsoever strange and monstrous, and to follow any that
would profess to work such signs; insomuch that, about ten years ago, even
on the very day that the Holy Temple was burned with fire by the Romans,
even on that last day (as I have heard) a certain false Christ led some
six thousand of my countrymen into one of the courtyards of the Temple,
expecting a sign from heaven. So strong was faith in Israel; if it be
faith indeed, to trust in any that profess to work signs and wonders.)
Howbeit Jesus wrought neither this nor any other sign at this season, and
we all passed over, even as the other pilgrims, by the fords; but with not
a little difficulty and even some peril, for the river was marvellously
swollen. Hereat some of the common people that were with us began to
murmur, wondering when the time should come that Jesus should put away
delays, and work such works as they expected from a Messiah.

When we came unto Gilgal we rested; but Judas made some pretext that he
should go on to Jericho before us to prepare the way for Jesus; and, as I
afterwards learned, he went to the house of a certain Scribe in Jericho
one of his acquaintance, and a principal man among the Pharisees of that
city, and he conversed with him a long time. The name of the Scribe was
Azariah the son of Simon.

Now while we rested at Gilgal, we looked gladly upon Jericho, gazing at
the forest of palm‐trees which lay between us and the city. Much did we
admire also the four towers of the city, which rose up straight to heaven
on the other side of the forest, and the walls high and newly built;
surrounded on all sides by thickets of balsam, and gardens of roses, and
full of all delights. For the place knoweth not drought, by reason of the
perpetual waters; but it is a paradise all the year round. Beyond Jericho,
on the other side, we could see, rising up as it were over against us, the
mountains that lead up to Jerusalem; insomuch that it was a saying with
them of the Holy City that the sounds of the sacred music and the smell of
the incense go down even to the men of Jericho. But the ascent is steep
and the way bleak and barren, through cliffs and rocks on the right hand
and on the left; where no trees are, nor any water; but robbers and
murderers lurk at all times in the caves on the sides of the mountains,
for to come down unawares upon the pilgrims and travellers which pass by
that way. Then said Peter unto John, “Without doubt the Romans will not
suffer us to go up; but they will fall upon us by the way. And should not
the people be advised thereof, that they may stand upon their guard?” But
John said nothing; notwithstanding, he seemed troubled that Jesus took no
order for what was to come to pass upon our journey.

When we came unto Jericho, behold, the people had been advised of our
coming, and on both sides of the road there was gathered together a great
multitude to see Jesus as he passed; and the common people hailed him at
this time by the name that was dearest unto the patriots of our nation,
calling him a deliverer after the manner of David, and saying, “Hosanna,
son of David.” But Azariah the son of Simon, who was of the acquaintance
of Judas, was come forth also; and he saluted Jesus and besought him to
eat bread in his house. Howbeit Jesus would not eat bread in the house of
Azariah. For as he passed through the midst of the people, he had espied a
certain man, by name Zacchæus, looking down upon him from a sycamore‐tree,
into the which he had climbed up, out of the fervency of his desire to see
Jesus: and straightway he had called unto the man, and bidden him come
down, saying that he must eat bread in the man’s house. Now the man was a
tax‐gatherer, as might have been seen by his dress and tablets, and indeed
the crowd shouted aloud that he was a tax‐gatherer, when they saw that
Jesus had chosen him to eat bread in his house; and they were sore
displeased at Jesus. Notwithstanding Jesus was constant in his purpose not
to eat bread in the house of Azariah the Rabbi, but in the house of
Zacchæus the publican. So Azariah dissembled his anger and came to the
feast in the house of Zacchæus, and certain other Pharisees with him.
Howbeit they themselves feasted not with the common people and the tax‐
gatherers; but they conversed with Jesus and asked him questions.

Now it came to pass, during the feast, that the heart of Zacchæus the tax‐
gatherer was turned unto Jesus (even as the heart of Barachiah the son of
Zadok had been turned to Jesus in the house of Matthew the publican, as I
related above): and he stood up and repented aloud of his evil deeds, and
promised to make restitution, and that also not twofold but fourfold,
saying moreover that he would give the half of his goods to the poor. And
Jesus rejoiced at his words and said, “This day is salvation come unto
this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”

Now while Jesus was saying these words, I took note that Judas was making
signs unto Azariah; and Jesus had scarce made an end of speaking when
Azariah (upon a set plan, as I conjecture, devised with Judas) said to
him, “Thou sayest that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand: tell us therefore
when cometh it, and at what hour? So shall we be prepared and ready when
it cometh.” But Jesus made answer to him and said, “The Kingdom of Heaven
cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo
there! For behold” (and saying these words he pointed to Zacchæus) “the
Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” At these words the face of Azariah was
clouded with anger; for he had not attained that which he desired: and we
also were somewhat sorry, for we had hoped that we should have heard some
new thing. But Judas straightway went out of the chamber, not able to
contain himself for displeasure.

When the guests and the Pharisees were gone forth, and we were alone with
Jesus, we would have questioned him still further concerning this matter;
but we were afraid. Howbeit many of the common people, yea and some also
of ourselves, expected that on the morrow Jesus should have made an
assault on the barracks of the guard in Jericho and on the king’s palace;
or, at the least, that he should have suffered us to burn down the house
of customs. But Jesus did none of these things: but on the morrow we set
forth again to go up to Jerusalem. It was now the sixth day of the month
Nisan, and the eighth day before the day of the Passover.

After we had journeyed for about an hour, the way being exceeding steep,
and the sun (although it was not long risen) beating with an exceeding
heat upon us, by reason of the rocks and cliffs around us and before us;
it came to pass that we sat down to rest. And Jesus looked down upon
Jericho, and on the palm‐trees thereof and on the balsam‐groves, and on
all the gardens of the place, and then he turned and looked to the right
hand upon the country where Jordan floweth into the Dead Sea, and he
opened his mouth and taught us concerning the Kingdom of God. For he said
that, as in old time the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah had been swallowed
up in that same sea of destruction which we saw before our eyes, even so
should it be hereafter: and the Kingdom of Heaven should come in a flash,
even as the lightning which lighteneth out of the one part under heaven
and shineth unto the other part under heaven. But first he said that
trouble should come upon the disciples; for the Son of man should be
rejected, and the days should come when we should desire to see one of the
days of the Son of man, and should not see it. Most of all he lamented
that in the darkness of that time there should be division in Israel, yea
in every household and in every corner of Israel: “I tell you in that
night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken and the
other left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken
and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken
and the other left.”

Now this seemed quite contrary to the word which Jesus had spoken
yesterday. For then Jesus had said that the Kingdom of God was within us;
but now he said that it should come like the lightning. Howbeit, these
latter words made us rejoice; for now again we were lifted up in our
hearts, supposing that Jesus would work some sudden sign, to destroy our
enemies in a moment of time. And Judas was now no longer able to constrain
himself (for he had been sore displeased, even before, that the question
of Azariah had not been answered by Jesus): therefore, when Jesus had made
an end of speaking these words, how that “the one shall be taken and the
other left,” supposing that now at last he should obtain to know that
secret which he had so long desired to know, he leapt up in the vehemence
of his desire, and cried aloud to Jesus, “Where, O Master?” But Jesus
paused and looked steadfastly at him and said, “Wheresoever the body is,
thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Saying these words, Jesus
arose and turned his face from the Dead Sea and from the pleasant places
of Jericho, and bent himself again to ascend the mountainous way which
leadeth up to Bethany and thence to Jerusalem. But Judas remained behind
standing in the same place, and there I saw him still standing and musing,
long after the rest of the disciples had followed Jesus up the mountainous
way.

When Judas at last overtook us, he complained much that Jesus knew in
himself what was to come to pass, and yet hid it from his followers.
“For,” said he, “we risk our lives for him, yet he trusteth us not.” Now
we were displeased at the words of Judas; for we were assured that Jesus
did all things for the best. Notwithstanding we were somewhat moved
because Jesus thought not fit to tell us beforehand that which was to
befall us in Jerusalem and on our journey to Jerusalem. And so it was
that, while we were disputing, there was a great clamour in the front of
our band, and a cry went up that the Romans were upon us; and straightway
there was much stir of men putting themselves in order of defence (those
at least that had arms), and certain of the women cried out for fear. And
Peter said it was not unlikely that the Romans should fall upon us here;
for this was the very place where they had laid ambush for Athronges and
slain him; moreover one came running past us saying that he had seen the
glittering of their helmets, and that they were lying in wait for us at
the corner of the road. Howbeit the report was false; for there were no
Romans, but some one had been deceived by the shining of the sun against
the rocks, and so had caused all this stir.

Now Jesus was grieved when he saw that some of the disciples were afraid;
and he rebuked us, bidding us not to fear destruction of body, but only
destruction of soul. He himself also shewed no sign of fear, so that we
marvelled at his steadfastness and stoutness of heart. Nevertheless Judas
said that it would have been better if Jesus, being a prophet, had
forewarned the multitude and had said unto them, “The Romans will not fall
upon us save at Bethany, or so many furlongs on this side of Bethany; or,
they will not fall upon us to‐day, but to‐morrow at the seventh hour,
naming the place and time exactly:” and this, said Judas, would have been
far better than that our band should thus be thrown into a confusion upon
a mere rumour.

We said nothing against Judas; for we knew not what to say: neither do I
perfectly know even to this day. But Quartus saith that “Jesus knew not
all these things exactly, but only generally, and as it were on a large
scale; as if a pilot, piloting a vessel into an haven, should know the
winds, and the currents, and the shoals, and the aspect and form of the
coast, but not all the pebbles upon the strand, nor even the very moment
that the ship should come into the harbour. For by certain signs of the
times,” said Quartus, “Jesus discerned of that which was to come, even as
a wise mariner foretelleth the weather by the clouds, and winds, and the
other signs in the heavens. Neither was Jesus like unto a magician or
common enchanter, who pretendeth to change the course of things by his
enchantment; but he was even as a Son of God, who can read what is in the
book of the future, yea, and can shape the future, because he doeth all
things in accordance with the invisible laws of God.”

Thus far Quartus; but concerning these things I know not, neither
pronounce judgment. But let us return to our journey. Soon after these
things, going to John the son of Zebedee, I found him conversing with his
mother; and he received me with a constrained countenance not according to
his custom. Presently I perceived that his mother desired him to do a
certain thing, which he was loth to do. It seemed that Judas had been
speaking to her, saying that it was fit that strife should be quenched
among the disciples by determining once and for all who should have the
first places in the Kingdom; for, said he, until this be settled, there
must still be quarrelling among the disciples. For Simon Peter, forsooth,
had supposed himself to be chief, because Jesus had blessed him and given
unto him a title; but the sons of Zebedee had done no less deeds, and
shewn no less zeal, than Peter; and they, as well as Peter, had received a
title, having been called Sons of Thunder; wherefore then (said Judas)
should they not claim the first places? For himself, he said, he had no
thoughts about such high matters; for Jesus loved him not as the rest.
Howbeit, he desired that the expedition should not fail owing to the
strife among the disciples. Now Jesus had promised that if two or three of
his disciples agreed touching anything they should ask, it should be done
for them. Therefore he bade the mother of John go with her two sons to
Jesus and ask of him a certain favour; and if Jesus granted it, then she
was to ask that her two sons might be next to Jesus in the place of honour
in the New Kingdom.

When James and John had been at last persuaded by their mother, they made
their petition unto Jesus. But Jesus refused it, saying that to sit on his
right hand and on his left hand was not his to give, save to those for
whom it had been prepared by the Father. For he would do nothing unjustly,
nor out of respect for persons; but here, as in all things, he desired to
conform himself to the unseen ordinances of the Father. And herein Jesus
shewed himself very different from that which he was supposed to be by
Jonathan the son of Ezra. For Jonathan supposed that he was misled by his
desires, and that whatsoever things seemed to Jesus desirable, these Jesus
fancied to be true: but it was not so; for no one ever saw, more clearly
than Jesus, that which must needs be. Only he rebelled not against it, but
willingly submitted himself to it and embraced it, as being the will of
the Father, and therefore very good. For this cause both now and at other
times, he spake of all his words and works as being prepared for him;
saying that he could neither do nor say anything of himself, but only that
which the Father had prepared. Also I marked, both at this time and often
before and after, how Jesus joined together in himself virtues that mix
not well together in the minds of most. For with most men a nature that
judgeth well and wisely is somewhat cold; and they which love warmly, love
neither wisely nor well, but are fond. But with Jesus it was not so: for
the more he loved men, the more he loved justice and truth; because, as I
suppose, his love of men on earth sprang out of his love of Him in heaven
whose name is Truth and Justice.

On this same day Jesus spake much concerning that which was to come; and
all his words tended to sadness. For he lamented over the divisions among
his disciples, and the divisions that should be in the world, saying that
it was as if he had not come to bring peace but a sword; yea, and that he
had verily come to kindle a fire upon the earth. Moreover of the day of
Redemption he spake as though it were a great way off, and the disciples
would need to wait long for it, and to watch, and to pray, and to resist
many temptations. Howbeit in every parable he spake confidently of a
certain day of Decision or Judgment, when the good should be separated
from the evil, and the evil should be cast into the fire, but the good
should be preserved for everlasting life.

These things he said to all the disciples; but when the Twelve, and we
that were always with him, were come to him in the inn where he rested
during the heat of the noontide, he spake privately to us concerning our
disputings and contentions among ourselves. For he had noted how sorely
the rest of the apostles were displeased at John and James; and also at
other times he had perceived that we were jealous one of another.
Wherefore he besought us (and as it seemed to me there were even tears in
his eyes) to be at peace among ourselves. Moreover he spake about himself,
saying that he had a cup of sorrow to drink and a baptism of suffering to
be baptized withal, and that he had come to give his life a ransom for the
multitude. Therefore if any man among us desired to be chief of all and
foremost of all, he desired that man to be foremost in serving, and in
ministering, and in suffering; even as he also came to be a sufferer and a
minister for the multitude.

Then he besought us with great passion and fervency to suffer nothing to
come between us and our entrance into the Kingdom, saying that it were
better for us to cut off our right hand or pluck out our right eye and so
to enter into life, rather than to enter with two eyes and hands into
darkness, into the valley of Hinnom, where the worm ceaseth not and the
fire is not quenched. Finally, he lamented over the world, how that it was
not fit to be a sacrifice to the Father because it was not salted; and he
called us the salt of the world: “But if,” said he, “the salt hath lost
its savour, wherewith shall the salting be performed?”

Now some of his words were hidden from us, but these last were easy to
understand. And we were ashamed of our disputings, and because we were not
like unto our Master in singleness of heart. Judas also himself seemed to
be moved somewhat at the time: yet, soon after, he spake again as before,
saying that it was impossible to obey Jesus, because Jesus said at one
time one thing and at another time another; “Wherefore,” added Judas,
“inasmuch as our Master will neither plan nor perform aught to do good
unto himself, methinks it is meet that we his disciples should strive to
do him good, even though it be against his own will.”



                               CHAPTER XXV


After Jesus had made an end of this exhortation, he set forth on his
journey to go towards Bethany, which lay still far up above us. There was
in his countenance even such a brightness as we had noted when he came
down from the mountain with Peter and James and John. Whereat we
marvelled, because he that had but now spoken to us with such a passion of
sorrow concerning a cup of suffering and death, seemed to go towards
suffering and death like unto one triumphing in glory. Howbeit we feared
to ask him further concerning these things; but we followed after him,
questioning among ourselves.

Now Judas ceased not cavilling at the exhortation of Jesus, saying that it
was not fit that a leader should make himself like a child, nor that whoso
would fain be greatest should make himself least; “For,” said Judas, “a
leader must lead, not follow; and he must command, not obey; and he must
have the forethought of a man to arrange all things orderly, not the
afterthought of a child to adventure all things at hazard. Now Jesus, in
his former days, when he was like himself, ever took upon himself the part
of leader, yea, even a leader greater than Moses; for he was wont to speak
in our ears such words as these, It was said to them of old time, Do this,
but _I_ say unto you, Do that; and again, Come unto _me_, and _I_ will
give you rest; Take _my_ yoke upon you, and the like. Were not these words
the words of a leader? But now what saith he? Even such words as these: ‘I
am not a leader, but a follower’; ‘I am not as the greatest, but as the
least’; ‘I am not a conqueror, but as one to be vanquished, yea and
already vanquished, even as a lamb led to the slaughter.’ Nor doth he give
command beforehand, nor warn us how to meet the enemy, nor where to expect
the onset. But behold it wanteth but a week or less, and there cometh the
Passover; and nothing is settled. Verily we are as sheep without a
shepherd.”

Thus spake Judas in the bitterness of his heart, more freely than he had
ever spoken before (at least in our presence), and we marvelled at the
bitterness of his speech. But Peter rebuked him and said, “Say not such
words as these, O Judas, for of a surety Jesus is our leader even unto
death; but his ways are not as our ways, and we must have faith in him.
Howbeit concerning what is to come to pass on the day after the morrow,
somewhat, as I know, is already settled; for he purposeth to enter the
Holy City publicly, even before the face of all that dwell in Jerusalem.
Now when that cometh to pass, then doubtless he will be moved to perform
some mighty work. I say not that he will smite with the sword; for he ever
shrinketh from the sword. But perchance he will pray unto the Lord, and
the earth will open for our enemies, even as it opened for the children of
Korah, or fire will go forth from the presence of our Master himself, and
he will consume his enemies with the fervency of his breath. For the
mercies of the Lord are manifold, and very many are His paths for the
destruction of the wicked.”

When Judas heard mention of the going of Jesus into Jerusalem, he held his
peace, thinking (as I perceived from his words afterwards) that this was
perchance a sign that Jesus was minded to become a leader indeed. But
another, taking up the word spoken by Simon Peter touching the fire from
the presence of Jesus, said, “And perchance this fire is even what our
Master signifieth, when he saith that the adversaries shall be cast into
the fire.” But another said, “Nay, but it is written, the punishment of
malefactors shall be fire and worms. Also it is written in the prophet
Isaiah that, when all things are made anew, in that day the righteous
shall go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord, ‘and they shall go forth and
look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me; for
their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched.’ Therefore
it is most certain that, when Jerusalem shall be purified, the adversaries
shall be cast forth into the valley of Hinnom, even to the fire and worms;
and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh.”

To this the most part agreed. Only Nathanael seemed doubtful; but he said
nothing in the hearing of the rest. But when I questioned him concerning
the meaning of the words of Jesus, he answered that he knew not for
certain what they meant; only he felt assured that Jesus had in his mind
not a visible but some kind of invisible fire, which preyeth upon
wickedness, even as the fire whereon we look preyeth upon fuel. This
seemed to me at that time a hard saying, but now I consent unto it. And to
the same effect spake Quartus afterwards, saying, “To Jesus the invisible
things were visible, even as those things which are seen with the eyes;
yea, they were more visible. Therefore when he looked upon the hearts of
men and discerned in them jealousy or malignity or hypocrisy, behold, such
men seemed to him as men that are suffering from a sore disease, which
disease must be burned away with the fires of God. For as the all‐
encompassing sunlight bringeth life to them which are whole, but fiery
heats to them in whose veins the fever rageth, even so the fire of God
(which compasseth all invisible things, so that naught can escape from the
flame thereof) purifieth that which will be purified, but consumeth that
which is corrupt, according as it is written, ‘The jealousy of the Lord
burneth like fire for ever.’”

Now Xanthias, the Greek merchant of Alexandria, was wont to say that Jesus
would have done well to make distinction between the fire of God and the
fires of men; lest his disciples should be led astray by his words, and
lest they should suppose that Jesus was speaking of earthly destruction.
But if Xanthias had lived unto these days, and had seen how, after the
death of our Master, the most part of our nation were given up to darkness
and madness, and their city and temple were burned with fire, and they
themselves were consumed by hundreds and by thousands, then, as it seemeth
to me, he would have perceived that the fire whereof Jesus spake consumeth
alike things visible and invisible, and on earth as well as not on earth.
Howbeit at this season we understood none of these things, and almost all
thought that the Romans and other Gentiles in Jerusalem, and whosoever of
our own nation stood up against our Master, should be slain and cast out
into the valley of Hinnom to be consumed by fire and worms.

But while we thus disputed among ourselves, behold, we were now come nigh
unto the village called Bethany; which lieth high up on the mountain
called the Mount of Olives, and looketh, from above, upon the road that
goeth down to Jericho. And from Bethany to Jerusalem is but sixteen
furlongs or less. Here therefore our journey was at an end; for our Master
was to tarry at Bethany, in the house of Mary and Martha, for that night
and during the morrow also; for the Sabbath was at hand. But of the rest
of our band, some few remained with us; others went forward a little space
to Bethphage, which was about a Sabbath day’s journey; others, and these
the greater part, hasted to pass into Jerusalem before the Sabbath should
have begun; for there wanted but one hour of sunset.

During all that night Jesus said not much to us. Only, while speaking to
the women after supper, he discoursed concerning the need of patience, and
how the disciples in the New Kingdom must be like unto wise virgins going
unto a wedding, which take not only lighted lamps, but also good store of
oil that they may keep their lamps alight; but the foolish, which take no
oil, have not their lamps alight when the bridegroom arriveth suddenly:
wherefore they come too late for the feast and are shut out. Thereby, said
Peter, Jesus seemed to mean that he was to leave us for a time and to
return suddenly; and whoso was not prepared to meet him should be shut out
from the Kingdom. Some other parables Jesus spake to the same effect.

Now concerning these parables Quartus judgeth that Jesus spake in them of
his resurrection. “For,” said he, “the meaning of Jesus was, that if the
disciples had not prayed unto the Lord, and watched and waited after his
death (but contrariwise had given themselves over to idleness and folly,
as men desperate), then Jesus would never have appeared to them; and they
would have been shut out from the Kingdom.” Others interpret the words, as
if Jesus spake of some other coming, which may not perchance be fulfilled
in our days. But I incline rather to think that our Master prophesied
partly concerning some future coming which is not yet fulfilled; and
partly concerning his resurrection and manifestation to us his disciples,
soon to be fulfilled; but partly also concerning our nation: how that,
after his death, some few should be ready to receive him, but the greater
part should be unready; and as for these, darkness should fall upon their
hearts, and then the door should be shut, and they should grope around the
door, but find no entrance. Which things have indeed come to pass. For at
the first, Israel was desirous to enter into the Kingdom, but now the veil
is upon their hearts, so that they can no longer have light to enter into
the Kingdom, no, not though they desire it.

The morrow, as I have said, was the Sabbath; and all the day, Jesus sat
still in the house talking with the women, especially with Mary and Martha
the sisters of our host; neither did he go forth all that day, save that
he went to the village of Bethphage to see some sick folk. But in the
evening he spake to us very kindly, yea, very tenderly, even more than his
wont. And though he said not many words, yet all his words were concerning
us, not concerning himself; or, if he spake of himself, it was for our
sakes, as if he were striving to look into the darkness of that which was
to come, so that he might discern what perils awaited us, for to warn us
thereof.

As we walked towards Bethphage, it came to pass that Philip said to Jesus
(thinking to please him), that certain Greeks which were in Jerusalem
desired to see him. Now so it was, that when Philip spake these words, we
chanced to be passing through the fields of corn; and the corn was now
strong and in ear, for the spring was well advanced. But Jesus stopped at
that word Greeks, and looked down at the corn; and then he said that the
hour was verily come when he should be glorified: “For,” said he, “except
a corn of wheat fall into the ground, it abideth alone: but if it die, it
bringeth forth much fruit.” Then he went on to say that, after his death,
we need not fear lest we should be left desolate, for a Spirit should
strengthen us; and of this Spirit he spake, at one time as coming from
himself, but at another time as coming from his Father; moreover it should
come to us, he said, by a certain ordinance, which could not be altered.
For just as the ear of wheat cometh not unless the corn of wheat first
die, even so his Spirit should not come, except he also should first
depart from us.

Hereat Judas brake out in hot anger, “Wherefore, then, go we up to
Jerusalem, if our going is to be for naught, and if thou art to depart
from us, and if we are to be left as sheep without a shepherd?” Jesus
rebuked him not, neither answered as we had expected; but said that it
could not be that a prophet should perish out of Jerusalem. Hereat one
said, “Nay but, O Master, the prophet John perished not in Jerusalem.” But
to this Jesus made no answer; but only spake a few words touching the
difference between the simplicity of the Galileans and the subtlety of the
men of Jerusalem; and he condemned the Scribes of Jerusalem and the
priests of the temple, for that they made darkness instead of light,
causing all Israel, and even the Galileans, to transgress. He also spake
as if Satan reigned in the Holy City, and as if he were shortly going down
to do battle there with Satan in Jerusalem. So he seemed to signify that
Jerusalem was as it were a field of battle, whereon it was meet and right
that a true prophet should die. After this he added, that if he were
lifted up in the sight of all men, he should draw all men unto him. This
joining together of words diverse in nature, of perishing and lifting up,
and of departing and drawing all men unto him, filled us with perplexity;
insomuch that Judas said in a low voice that the words of Jesus were like
unto oil and vinegar, which cannot be mixed. The rest of us also showed,
as I suppose, by our countenances that we understood him not; for he
looked kindly on us, and rebuked us not, but said that he had yet many
things to say unto us, but we could not bear them now. He also added at
another time, this promise, that a Spirit of Truth should come, which
should guide us into all the truth.

Now so it was that, while Jesus was saying these words, we were now
drawing nigh unto Bethphage, and we spake concerning the going into
Jerusalem on the morrow. And it came to pass that Matthew, looking upon an
ass (which was standing in the village at the back of a house where two
ways met), made mention of a certain prophecy which saith that the Messiah
shall come into Jerusalem, not as an Egyptian nor as an Assyrian (for they
ride in chariots or on horses), but as one of the princes of our nation,
who used to ride on asses; and the words were these, “Rejoice greatly, O
daughter of Sion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy king cometh
unto thee. He is meek and having salvation, lowly and riding upon an ass,
and a colt, the foal of an ass.” Now Jesus overheard these words, but said
nothing; yet, as it seemed to me, he took note thereof.

When we returned to the house, Jesus gave command for the morrow, that we
should rise early to go down into Jerusalem with him, and that certain of
the disciples should go before the rest into Jerusalem, even to our
friends and companions there, for to instruct them concerning the time of
the going down of Jesus, that they might come forth to meet us. Hereat we
rejoiced greatly: and all the teaching of Jesus concerning his death and
departure, and concerning the days of trouble and of parting, quite
vanished away; and even Judas was glad. And now our minds began to be set
once more, and even more than before, upon the Kingdom, and upon our
places in the Kingdom. So when we lay down on the supper couches, our
tongues still harped thereon; and our disputings were so loud that Jesus
could not but hear them. Then was he sore displeased that we should thus
think of ourselves when he was to depart from us; and he opened his mouth
to speak. But he spake not; for it was as if no words could avail to
pierce the hardness of our hearts. Howbeit, when supper was ended and I
was gone forth from the chamber, then, as it was reported to me by some
(but others say that it happened on another evening), he arose from the
table, and girded himself as a servant, and would wash the feet of all the
disciples; and when they would have resisted, he constrained them; but
when he had made an end, he said, “I have given you an example that ye
should do as I have done to you.”

After this manner therefore that Sabbath ended; but throughout the whole
of the Sabbath and all the evening after, yea and on the morrow, and
during all the days before his suffering, Jesus, as it now appeareth unto
me, was wholly bent upon serving us, and upon helping us, thinking ever of
our needs and our weaknesses, and how we should fare without him, and how
he could strengthen us so that we might be ready when he suddenly came
back to us. For our sakes also, as I judge, he made entry after that
public and solemn fashion into Jerusalem, to the intent that no man might
hereafter reproach any of us and say, “Thy master was no Messiah; for he
dared not show himself as Messiah before the face of the people; neither
did he claim allegiance, but only professed himself a servant; nor did he
manifest bravery, but hid himself from his enemies even to the last.”

For this cause do I in no wise assent to the saying of Xanthias, that the
going in of Jesus into Jerusalem was not worthy of him. For, as I judge,
he did it for our sakes, and not for his own; yea, and for the sake of the
whole world; that it might be on record for ever how that the Son of man,
though he were the humblest of men, did nevertheless claim for himself the
allegiance of all them that were in the city, yea, and of all that were in
the inhabited world; as if he were at once the king and the servant of
mankind.

But as touching that other saying (not of Xanthias, but of the Scribe
Hezekiah) that, “If Jesus had been a prophet indeed, he should have
prophesied unto his disciples the whole manner of his death, and the
manner of his resurrection, and the manner of the giving of the Holy
Spirit,” concerning this I say nothing, as one doubtful and waiting for
the truth. But Quartus is perchance herein too bold (though he speak out
of his great love for the Lord Jesus) in saying that our Master “knew not
little matters that were to come, but only great matters. And so he knew
that the fire of heaven would fall on Jerusalem, but when it would fall,
this was hidden from him. Likewise, he knew that he must die; for unless
he died his Spirit would not come; but when the Spirit should come, this
too was hidden from him.

“Yea and even as touching his own death and rising again; that he should
go unto the Father he knew, and that he should come again he knew; but on
what day he should come again, and at what hour he should manifest himself
to his disciples, this he knew not. And even for this cause, perchance,”
saith Quartus (who was not present in Jerusalem when the Lord suffered and
rose again), “he was so earnest with you that ye should give your minds to
watching and praying in the hour when he should be taken from you; to the
intent that, when he came suddenly back to you from the grave (manifesting
himself to you in the night, whether in the first watch, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or whensoever it might be) he might not find you given
over to surfeit and drunkenness, and to the thoughts and cares of this
present world; and so your hearts should be closed against the sight of
him, and he should not be able to reveal himself unto you. For if, when
Jesus died, ye had given yourselves over to despair and recklessness, then
though Jesus himself had stood before you, coming from his grave, yet
would ye none the more have seen him.”

Against these words of Quartus there standeth, as it were, in opposition,
a certain prophecy of Jesus, wherein he was wont to declare to us that he
should be raised from the dead in three days, limiting the time exactly.
And true it is that Jesus made often mention of certain words of the
prophet Hosea which speak thus about being revived in three days: “Come
and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn and he will heal us; he
hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in
the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Now
because of this prophecy, which was very often in the mouth of Jesus, it
hath been supposed by many that Jesus knew for certain that he should die
on the day of the Passover, and that he should lie in the grave two days,
and be raised up on the third day.

But to this Quartus yieldeth not. For he saith that the words “two days”
and “three days” were used by the prophet Hosea to signify only “a short
time,” even as the Romans also, and men of other nations, speak of “the
day after the morrow,” or “in a day or two,” when they mean “a short time
hence”; or even as the Hebrew tongue, speaking of past time, useth “the
third day” to signify “some time ago.” Moreover Quartus urgeth that, if
Jesus had known of the day and hour, he would assuredly not have harrowed
our souls with a needless sorrow, but would have told them to us; and he
thinketh that Jesus spake concerning his coming from the grave, when he
said that the day of the coming of the Son of man was not known to any,
neither to the angels, nor even to the Son himself, but only to the
Father.

“Therefore in my judgment,” saith Quartus, “when Jesus spake about the
fire which should consume his enemies, and concerning his death and
lifting up or glorifying, and concerning his departing and coming again,
and concerning the giving of the Holy Spirit, he knew indeed that all
these things must needs come to pass, because they were according to the
pattern and ordinance of things invisible; but when, and where, and how
they should come to pass, he knew not. Neither did he hide that which he
knew, cloaking it from you his disciples, for to keep you in ignorance and
in suspense; but he spake as he knew, and all that he knew, so far as ye
could understand it.”

Thus wrote Quartus to me; and sometimes I incline to his words, but at
other times I do not. Howbeit, to whichsoever opinion I incline, it
mattereth little; for whether Jesus knew little or much of that which was
to come (and he himself told us that he knew not all), my love for him is
the same: save that sometimes it seemeth to me as if he were almost more
lovable and more divine, going forth into the darkness of death in trust
and faith, and knowing not everything that was to betide him, than if he
had had the descents and ascents and all the paths of Hades marked out for
him exactly beforehand as in a chart.



                               CHAPTER XXVI


On the morrow (which was the first day of the week), some of us rose
earlier than the rest, and went down to Jerusalem to carry word to the
other disciples and to such as were friendly among the Galileans (for many
of them favoured us at this time, and a great number of them had come up
to the Feast) that they might come forth from the city to meet Jesus and
to welcome him. But the rest of us stayed with Jesus in Bethany. About the
second hour of the day, when we were now about to set forth, Jesus sent
Matthew the tax‐gatherer, and another, to the village over against us,
bidding them bring the ass whereof we had taken note yesterday; and if any
man said aught, Matthew was to make answer that “the Master hath need of
him.” When the ass was brought, Jesus mounted thereon, and we set forth at
once; and it was now about the third hour of the day.

When Bethany was by this time out of our sight, as we went by the road
that lieth between the Tombs of the Prophets and the Mount of Offence,
suddenly we heard a shouting as of a mixed multitude, and presently we
discerned a great crowd of the disciples coming over the brow of the hill
towards us, with many hundreds of the Galileans, all waving palm‐branches
in their hands, and hailing Jesus as the son of David. Now Jesus was
riding before our band, upon the ass; but when the two bands met, there
was a great shouting for joy; and the former band turned round and went on
as vanguard, but our band marched on behind. Presently, as we drew near to
the descent of the Mount of Olives, when we began to descry that quarter
of the Holy City which men called the City of David, the shouting became
louder, and so it continued, even there where the road descendeth so that
the Holy City is no longer seen.

But when at last we attained unto the summit of the Mount Olivet, so that
the whole of the city was seen at once spread out before our eyes, with
all the roofs, and towers, and pinnacles thereof, and the gilded
battlements of the temple, shining like fire in the sun, then indeed the
splendour of the sight so lifted up our hearts that we were even beside
ourselves for admiration; and looking unto Jesus as the King of all this
glory, we cried even louder than before unto him as our King and
Conqueror, like unto David of old. But Jesus neither now nor at any time
during the entering into Jerusalem seemed at all lifted up by our
salutations and praises; nor yet, on the other hand, was he of a gloomy or
sad countenance as though he foreboded evil and ruin. Rather he was as one
waiting and expecting, looking perchance for some sign of the will of the
Lord, in case it might yet please Him to turn the hearts of the Pharisees,
that they might be converted and live. Therefore also when he looked on
the glory of Jerusalem below his feet, he was neither astonished at the
beauty thereof, nor did he (at least at this time) weep or lament over it:
but he gazed at it, as it were in suspense and questioning his own spirit;
if perchance it might be the Lord’s pleasure to manifest Himself to the
daughter of Sion, and to stay His hand from destroying the beautiful city;
or whether that could not be, but evil must take his course.

But we, at this time, perceived naught of that which was in our Master’s
mind; but we lifted up our voices and shouted amain, hailing him as Son of
David, and crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh
in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom that cometh of our father
David!” Some also cast their palm‐branches down in the road before him,
and others strewed their garments in the path to do him honour. After this
fashion therefore, shouting, and singing, and praising God, the whole
multitude of us came down from the mountain into the valley below.

When we drew nigh unto the gate of the city, we saw that only some few of
the citizens were come forth to welcome us. For the most part feared
Jesus, lest he should bring down the wrath of the Romans upon the Holy
City; neither knew they him as the Galileans knew him. But instead of the
citizens, there stood a great throng of children gathered together before
the gate; and when they heard the voices of the disciples and the voices
of the Galileans, immediately they also took up the cry, and sang
“Hosanna, Hosanna,” in a clear shrill voice, after the manner of children,
so that their song sounded forth quite distinctly, and above all the noise
and shouting of the multitude. Now of the Pharisees, none had gone forth
from the city to welcome Jesus; but certain of the younger among them,
desirous to look on the coming in of Jesus, as on a show in a theatre (and
perchance willing, by the manifesting of their contempt of him, to overawe
and to control the multitude of pilgrims), were come as far as the gate;
and there they stood, over against the children, waiting the coming of
Jesus, and with many gestures and beckonings signifying their displeasure.
When therefore they heard the sound of the singing, they straightway
rebuked the children, and would have them to hold their peace: but when
the children would not, then turned the Pharisees in sore displeasure to
Jesus, and bade him constrain them.

Now Jesus all this while had seemed rapt in other matters; even as if he
heard not the shouting nor the singing, neither understood the meaning
thereof; but as if he heard other voices which we could not hear, and
which, even for him, were not easy to understand. And when he drew nigh
unto the gate of the city, and beheld the Pharisees, how they stood all
together, and made no sign of welcome; then he looked up (methinks as I
now remember it) with a wistful countenance to the gate, as though he
partly expected that the very stones should cry out from the wall
(according to the saying of the prophet Habakkuk), as if bearing witness
against the unbelief of the Pharisees. Even thus looked Jesus, as he drew
nigh to the gate, and there seemed as it were a shadow of doubt and
expectancy upon his face; and just then it was that the Pharisees thrust
themselves in his way and bade him stop the brawling of the children, for
so they termed it.

Now for an instant Jesus seemed scarce to understand the intent of the
Pharisees, nor even the meaning of their words. But when he perceived it,
and when he turned his face toward the children (who all this time ceased
not from their singing, but cried Hosanna, Hosanna, even louder than
before), then his mind seemed to come back to earth, and his countenance
became clearer, and he smiled for joy; for methought in the voices of
those simple children he acknowledged the very voice of the Father in
Heaven speaking by His little ones on earth, and showing unto him how that
there must be no sign of fire from Heaven, nor no mighty work of any
visible sort; but only strength through weakness, and wisdom through
simplicity, and the Kingdom of God through little children, according to
the eternal ordinance.

This behaviour of Jesus, though we understood it not then, yet was it
partly interpreted to us, even at that time, by the answer which he made
unto the Pharisees, saying unto them, “Verily I say unto you, if these
should hold their peace, the very stones should cry out.” Moreover,
afterwards, when they would have had him rebuke them in the Temple, and
when they said unto him, “Hearest thou what these say?” then Jesus spake
unto them yet more clearly, and said, “Yea, have ye never read, ‘Out of
the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise’?”

When we came to the foot of Mount Moriah, we arrayed ourselves to enter
into the temple, and we went in by the gate called Shushan. But lo, the
courts of the temple and all the ways which lead into the courts were
crowded with oxen and doves, and drovers and money‐changers; and it was
more like unto a market‐place or shambles than to a temple of the Lord:
even as I had beheld it two years before, when I came to offer sacrifice
during my mother’s sickness, yea, and worse also. For during the week
before the Passover, almost the whole of the Jewish nation was wont to
assemble in Jerusalem for to offer sacrifice, even as many (so it hath
been reported to me, but it is well nigh past belief) as three hundred
myriads; wherefore, though there should be but one lamb slain for a score
of pilgrims, yet the number of beasts to be sacrificed at one time must
needs be many thousands, not less than one hundred and fifty thousand.
When Jesus looked around on all this stir and traffic, he was sore
displeased, and his anger was very hot, yea, such as I had seldom noted
the like in him before; and he bade the merchants and money‐changers take
their wares hence. But when they would not, he made unto himself a scourge
of cords and drove them before him; and the disciples and the people did
the same, and overthrew the tables of the money‐changers, and thrust out
them which sold doves. And Jesus said unto the Pharisees, “It is written,
My house shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of
thieves.”

When Jesus spake these words, the Pharisees were exceeding wrath, and
certain of their servants ran forward as if they would have laid hands on
Jesus. Howbeit, Hezekiah the Scribe (the same of whom I have often made
mention above) checked them, lest there should have been a tumult of the
people. But it was plain to all men that they would fain have destroyed
Jesus, only they feared the people. Therefore Jesus made no long stay for
that day in the temple, but gave commandment to return to Bethany (for he
would not tarry in Jerusalem by night lest the chief priests and Pharisees
should lay hands upon him); and certain of the disciples accompanied us to
the gate of the city, but not many.

While we were going through the streets of the city toward the gate, we
conversed concerning that which had happened, and especially concerning
the driving out of the merchants and the money‐lenders; and most said that
it was well done, for the presence of them that bought and sold defiled
the House of the Lord. But a certain Greek, of Philip’s acquaintance (one
of them that had desired Philip that they might see Jesus), said that it
was not well done of our Master, thus with his own hand to drive out them
that bought and sold: “For,” said he, “it is not the part of a philosopher
to use violence, nor to be moved by passion to anything that is against
seemliness and dignity, nor to take upon himself the part of a common
door‐keeper.” Not much was said in answer at that time, for other thoughts
possessed our minds; only John said that our Master did well to be angry,
because he saw his Father’s House defiled. Nevertheless oftentimes, since
that day, the words of the Greek have come into my mind, and also other
like words of Xanthias, how that “towards the end of his life, Jesus of
Nazareth was driven out of the bounds of his patience by the persecution
of enemies; so that he became bitter and somewhat austere.”

But my judgment is not so. For to me it seemeth that all through those
days of tarrying in Jerusalem and in Bethany, our Master was neither
bitter nor austere. But he had ever before his eyes the thought of us his
disciples; and he was ever musing on our desolation, (which should fall
upon us when he should be parted from us), and how we should fare,
contending without him against the Pharisees and against all other evil.
Therefore he desired to leave it, as it were, on record, that the worst
kind of sacrilege is the sacrilege of them which handle sacred things
without the feeling thereof. And, as he had entered into Jerusalem like
one having authority, so he desired perchance (for our sakes) to manifest
himself, in the temple also, as one to whom obedience was due. Again,
whereas Xanthias saith that Jesus, ever before in Galilee, taught us to
endure evil, and not to put down evil by force, as now in Jerusalem; “The
former rule,” saith Quartus, “applieth only to the brethren that live in
the midst of them that know not the truth. But wheresoever a nation or a
congregation, shall recognise a certain law” (as our nation did in the
worship of the temple), “there perchance the breaking of the law is not to
be suffered, and the law is to be maintained, even by force. For it is one
thing to avenge oneself, but another to avenge a law.” After this manner
wrote Quartus; but, in any case, Xanthias was assuredly wrong in saying
that Jesus was “embittered by persecution;” unless it be bitter to call
Satan Satan. For he was gentle and tender and very loving even to the
last.

Howbeit at this time our thoughts were full of other matters, so that we
were the less bent on defending our Master against the friend of Philip.
For we were something downcast, and Judas even more than the rest, because
nothing had come of our entering into Jerusalem; but, as Judas phrased it,
all our great purposes had ended in naught. “For,” said Judas, “the Lord
hath given occasions, but we have used them not. For first, when we
entered in at this same gate this morning, then I looked that Jesus should
have given the word to disarm the guard that kept watch therein. But
afterwards, when we had entered into the city and all the citizens were
gathered to us, then at least I hoped to have heard him give commandment
to assail the Fort of Antonia; or else I expected that he would have
worked some sign in heaven, to have turned every one to our side, and so
to have driven out the Gentiles without shedding of blood. But now we have
gained nothing. Nay, we have lost everything. For we shall not again
gather the multitude thus round us. And as for the Pharisees, he hath now
so angered them that, even were he to work an hundred signs in heaven, I
doubt they would not now accept him.” Hereupon John said that we must have
patience and trust in Jesus; but Judas made answer that the time had
passed for patience, and that other courses must be tried.

For the space of two days, namely, the second day of the week, and
likewise the third day, Jesus resorted to the temple daily, and taught the
people there: but the more he saw of the temple, and of the priests
therein, and likewise of the Pharisees and Sadducees (who disputed with
him daily in the temple), so much the more his heart loathed the
abominations which he discerned, insomuch that he seemed like unto one
contending against Satan himself, enthroned in the Holy Place; and his
words against the Pharisees in those days were as if he desired that they
should be engraven in fiery letters upon the hearts of all that heard him,
for ever. So hot was the vehemency of his passion against them; yet not
against them, but against the Satan in their hearts, who through them
reigned over Israel. For whatsoever Jesus had noted of evil in the
teaching of the Scribes in Galilee, and whatsoever of blindness and
narrowness, yea, and of persecution and malignity; all this, and much more
did he note in the Scribes of Jerusalem; insomuch that the Holy City and
the temple itself now seemed to him to have become a very source of evil,
poisoning the waters of life for the whole of the people.

At the first, the Pharisees began to lay snares to take him at an
advantage before the face of all the people; but he answered them
according to their folly, proving to all the people that they knew not the
foundations of truth. When they asked him by what authority he did that
which he did, he would not tell them; but they must first tell him whether
the baptism of John were from heaven or no; which question they feared to
answer. As to the giving of tribute, he said that the denarius (which had
on it the image of Cæsar) spake, of itself, that they that used it should
give Cæsar his due. But when he gave back unto the Pharisee the denarius,
saying these words, “Render therefore to Cæsar the things which are
Cæsar’s,” then he paused for an instant, and afterwards added, “and to God
the things that are God’s.” This he said, not as though some things
belonged to Cæsar and not to God; but as though each man, in giving unto
Cæsar his dues, must bear in mind that he was thereby giving to God his
dues also; for a time might come when it might be a defrauding of God to
give Cæsar tribute; but, at that time, to have refused tribute to Cæsar,
would have been to refuse God His dues. So he bade them obey the signs of
the times, yet so as never to defraud God; nor would he lay down any rule,
as they had desired, but pointed to the foundations of righteousness,
which lie in the heart and not in the hands. The like also he did in
saying that the love of God and of man was the chief commandment of the
Law. But concerning the Sadducees and their doctrine, that there is no
resurrection, he said that the second life differeth from the first as
much as angels differ from men; so that the bands whereby we are bound
together here, will not be the same as will bind us together there.
Howbeit he said not that there should be no bands hereafter, nor that
these present bands should vanish; but only that they should be different,
and not carnal, but spiritual. Moreover he questioned the Pharisees
concerning their expectations of the Messiah and their interpretations of
the Scriptures; and they could not make answer to his questions.

But all these were only as the beginnings of the conflict. For presently
the Pharisees began to wax more vehement in their disputations and to
reveal their hatred of him more clearly. And when Jesus looked upon their
faces, he discerned his own death instant therein. So he turned and spake
to the people in parables, likening Israel to an estate let out to greedy
husbandmen, which killed the servants of their lord, and last of all slew
his son also, when he came to receive of the fruits of the land. Again, he
likened the Kingdom of Heaven to a wedding feast, and the Pharisees to
murderous people, subjects of a king; who would not come to the wedding of
the king’s son, but slew his servants that invited them. Then one in the
crowd, a Galilean by birth, and a man of loose life, cried aloud, “That is
well said, O prophet; for we, that are poor, shall enter into the Kingdom;
but the rich shall not enter.” But Jesus straightway continued his parable
and described an unworthy guest, admitted indeed to the feast, but soon
cast out, because he had come in not having on a wedding garment.

Thus all the day was spent in contention; but in the evening, at Bethany,
Jesus spake unto us very tenderly concerning the Holy Spirit (the mention
whereof was at this time daily more and more upon his lips), and how this
Spirit should abide with us for ever and be always our guide and helper.
Moreover he encouraged us to be of good cheer, saying that, though the
world were against us, yet he had overcome the world: and that he could
give us a peace that should last for ever. Likewise he began at this time
to say more oft and more clearly (for he had said the like before once or
twice in dark sayings) that, besides his little flock (for so he was wont
lovingly to call us), there should be yet other flocks gathered unto him,
and there should be one fold, and one shepherd. Now of all this we
understood not much at that season; for our hearts were not yet opened to
it. Howbeit his words were sweet to the ear, yea, and they reached to our
very souls; insomuch that we were drawn unto him even more than before,
and loved him with an exceeding love: but still it was hidden from us that
our Master was shortly to depart.

But as concerning the Pharisees, Jesus told us that the wrath of the Lord
must needs fall upon them. And he likened them unto a fig‐tree which
(after the manner of fig‐trees) should, by course of nature, put forth
fruit first and leaves afterwards; but this fig‐tree, he said, putteth
forth leaves but no fruits. Therefore the Lord, seeking fruit, goeth unto
the tree, rising up early in the morning; and he looketh on it, and behold
there are leaves, but no fruits. Then was the Lord wroth, and breathed
upon the tree, and said unto it, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for
ever:” and lo, when He returned and came by the same path again in the
evening, the tree had withered away. When we heard these things,
straightway there came into our minds another parable which our Master had
spoken in former times concerning a barren tree; how the owner thereof
cometh to the gardener and saith, “Lo, these two years I come seeking
fruit and find none. Cut it down.” But the gardener besought the Lord that
it might not be cut down till another year should pass, if perchance it
might in the meantime bear fruit. Thence we perceived, comparing the two
parables together, that Jesus discerned the wrath of God now nearer at
hand. For before, there was mention of hope and of a respite of two years;
but now there was to be no hope and no respite.

But most strange it was to us to note how the worship and splendour of the
temple, caused him no pleasure, but rather displeasure. Yet so it was. For
on the second day of the week, when he was going forth from the city in
the evening, a certain citizen of Jerusalem besought the disciples that
they would shew him the buildings of the temple; “For,” said he, “it were
a shame that Jesus of Nazareth should have been now two whole days in
Jerusalem and not to have seen these sights.” But when the disciples moved
him to see these things, he seemed like unto one constraining himself to
look upon them that he might do us a pleasure: and when he had looked
round upon them all, then he was silent for a while, and we perceived that
they pleased him not. At last he opened his mouth and said unto us, “See
ye not all these things? verily I say unto you there shall not be left
here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

But when another spake of the many years during which the temple had been
a‐building, Jesus answered that, even though the temple were destroyed to‐
day, the Lord could raise up the true temple in three days. Now whether by
“three days,” he meant three days exactly, or “two or three days,”
according to the common phrase, concerning this matter, it has been
disputed sufficiently above. But when he spake of the true temple,
assuredly he meant, not the temple of Herod, but that invisible temple set
upon a rock, whereof he had before spoken to Simon Peter; and this temple
seemed to him at all times one with himself: therefore said he that the
true temple would be raised up, meaning the Son of man, and, in himself,
the Church or Congregation of mankind.

But all this was hid from us at that time, save that we understood Jesus
to set no store by the temple of Herod, in that he discerned the fire of
God’s wrath impending over it. And to us, as I remember, yea even to us
that had daily converse with Jesus, it seemed strange that he should so
set at naught that same temple which he had himself cleansed. For
throughout all the land of Israel, the temple, being but one (and not
many, as in Gentile countries), and very full of most ancient memories,
because it presented and signified to us the former temple of Solomon and
the tabernacle of Moses, this temple, I say, albeit Herod the Idumæan had
built it, nevertheless seemed to us, in Israel, very holy, and well nigh
one with Israel itself. And for this cause Xanthias blameth the saying of
Jesus touching the temple, how that it should be thrown down: for saith
Xanthias, the casting down of the temple must needs have seemed to the
common folk in Israel all one with the casting down of Israel itself even
as the Romans took it ill when, in after days, Gaius Cæsar desired of his
gods that the Roman people might have had but one neck that he might have
destroyed it at a blow. Wherefore Xanthias findeth fault with this saying
of Jesus, as not politic, nor discreet.

But, in my judgment, Jesus spake herein not truthfully only, but also
expediently; yea and expediently for all time; bearing witness, as it
were, even now to all the churches, lest perchance the service of the Lord
become the service of Satan: as it was in the temple of Herod. For all
things therein seemed unto him to savour of hypocrisy, being done to
obtain praise and admiration of men, but not to lift up the heart unto the
Lord; so that the very splendour and brightness hid, instead of revealing,
Him whose name is the Truth. Therefore when he was led to the treasury and
bidden to mark how great gifts the rich men cast therein, he stood awhile
watching; then turning round to us, he pointed to a certain poor widow
(who had cast in no more than two mites, or a farthing), and he said,
“This poor widow hath cast in more than all they which have cast into the
treasury.” Many other like words he said at this time: and, in fine, he
ceased after the first day to speak concerning the purifying of the
temple, nor would he any more call it his Father’s house; for he perceived
that it was become a den of thieves and that the purifying must be by
fire. But that which most of all made us at that time to marvel, was, that
he spake of the Chief Priests and Pharisees as murderers. But hereby he
meant, as I judge, not only that they desired to slay him, but also that
they were slaying the souls of all Israel by giving unto the people a
doctrine and a worship, that were as poison to the hearts of mankind.
Wherefore, as a man might discern with the eye the spots of blood upon the
hand of a murderer, even so (but with much more clearness) did our Master
discern the blood of Israel upon the souls of the Priests and Scribes in
the temple; insomuch that the temple itself appeared even as a great
slaughter‐house, and the worshippers as murdered men, and the priests, as
butchers girt for the slaughter of Truth.

Therefore on the last day, even on the third day of the week, when the sun
was nigh setting, and the time was now at hand that Jesus should depart
from the temple, and he knew he should enter it no more; behold, he stood
up in the presence of all the people, and poured forth denunciation
against the Pharisees as being verily the children of Satan. Some of them
he charged with love of gain; and he bade the multitude especially to
beware of those Scribes who devour widows’ houses and wring forth gifts
for the synagogues, and for a pretence make long prayers. These, he said,
should receive even greater condemnation than the rest. But even against
them that cared not for money, yea even against all the Pharisees, he
brought grievous accusations.

For he said they had quenched the spirit of life within their hearts, so
that Satan had taken possession of them and used them as his tools. For
this cause they could not distinguish between small things and great,
between the purifying of the outside and the inside, between that which
sanctifieth and that which is sanctified; and they esteemed the tithing of
mint and anise and cummin of more avail than mercy, judgment, and truth.
Also he said they had made the interpretation of the Law into a gainful
profession, doing whatsoever they did for to be honoured and admired of
men. Therefore he spared not to call them, not only fools and blind, but
also hypocrites. For he said that they knew in their own hearts that they
had no sight and no knowledge, yet they professed to see and to know; and
they had cast out their own consciences, yet would they fain appear able
to judge between right and wrong. Thus they presented one appearance to
men, which look only on the outside; but another appearance to God, who
discerneth the inside; and therefore he called them actors in masks, or
hypocrites; he likened them also unto whited sepulchres, hiding death
within them. For they hated the Spirit of life, and they lived by rules
and precepts which work death; and they would neither enter into life
themselves, nor suffer the people of the land to enter in; and they feared
and hated prophets and prophecies, and would fain destroy them; and they
had hated John the prophet while he lived, and now they hated Jesus, even
to the death: and this, while they professed to repent of the persecutions
of the prophets by our forefathers, and to build monuments to their
memory, saying, “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not
have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.”

After this, he turned round, to go forth for the last time from the
temple. But as he came to the steps, he looked back upon all the
Pharisees, and upon all their friends (who stood all gathered together
behind him, watching him depart), and he pronounced a curse upon them; as
though it needs must be that they must yet continue their course; and
Satan must accomplish his purpose in them, and must be revealed in all his
wickedness working through the Pharisees his bondsmen; and the judgment of
the Lord must needs fall upon these servants of Satan: “Fill ye up the
measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye
escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore behold, I send unto you prophets
and wise men and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify: and
some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city
to city. That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the
earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zachariah son of
Barachiah, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say
unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.”



                              CHAPTER XXVII


When Jesus had made an end of denouncing the Pharisees, many of the young
men with them and their servants were desirous to have laid hands on him;
and they came near as if for that intent, but the older sort checked them.
Yet was their wrath clearly to be read in their faces: and when I came out
of the temple, being a little space behind the rest, Hezekiah the Scribe
overtook me and said, “Young man, I warn thee that thou mayest with speed
sever thyself from this blind shepherd: for lo, he hath to‐day provoked
war, and war shall fall upon him; for unless he perish we shall perish.”
But I made answer, that I should follow Jesus constantly even to the end.
Then he spake again of the evil which, he said, had befallen that rash
young man Barabbas; how that he had been taken ten days ago by the Romans
on the road that goeth down to Jericho, while he was riding at the head of
a band of Galileans that were raising sedition: and, said Hezekiah to me,
“Thy friend of Jotapata is to be crucified, as I hear, two or three days
hence. Take heed therefore unto thine own steps, lest thou also fall into
the same destruction.” I made him no further answer, but departed,
sorrowing not a little for the sake of Barabbas: for I had not before
heard how great an evil had befallen him.

When I overtook the rest, I heard the disciples conversing earnestly one
with another; and the Greek, even the friend of Philip, bade us take note
that we were beset with spies and watched; for “When ye issued from the
temple,” said he, “I perceived that the servants of the chief priests and
the Pharisees watched you whithersoever ye turned; and, meseemeth, it is
their intent to lay hands on your Master this night. But I marvel why your
Master so inveighed against the Pharisees, transgressing the bounds of
seemliness and decorum, at least in my judgment.” So spake he, after his
Greek fashion; but Judas also spake to the same effect, and said that we
had come up to Jerusalem to destroy enemies, and lo, we had destroyed
none, but made many.

The rest knew not what answer to make to these words; neither did I myself
at that time. Howbeit, now I know well that Jesus came not to prophesy
smooth things, but to teach us the truth. Therefore was it most needful
that he should speak the truth, and nothing less than the truth,
concerning the Pharisees; to the intent that the eyes of all mankind might
be opened, even to the generations of generations, that they might discern
that the sin of sins is hypocrisy. For other sins wound, but this sin
slayeth, the conscience. Peradventure also Jesus foresaw that a time might
come when certain, even among his own disciples, would err as the
Pharisees had erred, shutting their eyes against the truth, as being unfit
for use and not convenient. And he that came to make a spiritual Israel, a
nation of priests and ministers for mankind, was it not most needful that
he should thus as it were mark out and brand with censure the special sin
of priests? He also that came to redeem all the children of men from all
evil, was it not most necessary that he should make clear in the sight of
all men what was the greatest evil? For if men knew it not, how could he
redeem them from it? And well I know that, if he had not assailed the
Pharisees as he did, then these same Greeks who now say that “Jesus
transgressed the bounds of seemliness,” would in that case have said (even
as Jonathan the son of Ezra said) that “Jesus knew not the evil in human
nature.” Notwithstanding at this season we thought not of these things;
but we feared what should betide to our Master if the Pharisees took him
and cast him into bonds.

But a certain man of the Pharisees, Joseph by name, of the town of
Arimathæa, clave unto Jesus; and although he dared not openly consort with
us, he sent a servant after us, when we came forth from the Temple, to bid
Jesus not abide in the same house this night as last night, because, said
he, “the Pharisees purpose to take thee.” He also warned Jesus not to come
into Jerusalem on the morrow. But if Jesus desired to have some chamber in
the city wherein to keep the Passover, Joseph promised that he would
provide one. So much I heard myself; for I was nigh to Jesus when the
servant of Joseph brought the message; but the answer of Jesus I heard
not, save that he thanked the messenger courteously.

In the meantime we had passed out of the gate of the city, and had begun
to climb up the side of the hill called Olivet; and by reason that we were
in the depth of the valley, the sun had by this time set for us. But when
we had gone some space up the side of the hill, as we turned round to take
breath and rest, behold, the sun had not yet set, but was just beginning
to sink; and the western quarter of the heaven was lit up with a light
exceeding red and fiery, and the roofs of the temple and the towers of the
castle of Herod shone as with a blood‐red flame; and though our hearts
were heavy with many thoughts, yet could we not choose but look. But when
Jesus saw the city and the temple, whence he had but now come and wherein
he was never to set foot again; his eyes were filled with tears, and he
changed colour and could go no further, but sat down upon a stone and
covered his face with his hands: and then he looked again upon the city
and wept, mourning over it and saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that
killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often
would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her
chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left
unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth,
till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

Having said these words, he arose and went on his way, going up the hill.
And we followed him, as men in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, that
follow an angel of deliverance, but fear while they follow, lest at any
time their guide should vanish out of their sight, and they should be left
alone. Even so followed we Jesus up the Mount of Olives, and we feared
much to question him concerning his words, but we feared even more to
remain silent and so to be ignorant concerning the approaching peril.
Therefore presently Simon Peter, with two other disciples, went to him and
questioned him, saying, “Tell us when shall these things be.” Jesus turned
and looked upon our faces, and he perceived that we were all desirous to
question him. So he beckoned to us to sit down, and he himself sat down
upon a stone, and we also sat down upon the ground around him.

Then began Jesus to pour forth many prophecies of troubles near at hand
and troubles far off; and he seemed like unto one upon the shore of a
stormy sea covered with mists and darkness, who peereth into the night if
perchance he may descry the ship wherein his friends sail tempest‐tossed;
even so did Jesus look forward into that which was to come, for our sakes.
For though his own end was at hand, his thoughts and words were all for
us. But he also had in his mind the prophecies of the prophet Daniel; who
had prophesied, many generations before, that a time should come when the
worship of God should fail, and a king of evil set himself up to be
worshipped, and the daily sacrifice should be taken away, and the
abomination of desolation set in the place thereof. Daniel likewise
prophesieth that those of the nation who were of understanding should
remain upright; yet even these should fall for a time, to try them and to
purify them. But because the prophecies of Daniel were like unto the words
of our Master, I will here set them down; for Daniel saith, “They shall
pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily
sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And
such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries;
but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. And
they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall
fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil many days. Now
when they shall fall they shall be holpen with a little help; but many
shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding
shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the
time of the end, because it is yet for a time appointed.”

Now these prophecies of Daniel were fulfilled, in part, in the days of
that wicked king Antiochus who is called Epiphanes, or Illustrious; but
Jesus prophesied that they, or others like unto them, should still be
fulfilled. Howbeit, in my judgment, he did not prophesy that these things
should come to pass merely because Daniel had prophesied the like; but
because, looking upon the present, he discerned the signs of the times
(according to his own saying), and hence he perceived that which was yet
to come. For his words were the words of Daniel; but his thoughts were the
thoughts that came to him from that which he saw in the world. For when he
looked upon the world, he saw love of self, and love of ease, and all
manner of baseness and servility; and all the empire was given up to the
worship of a man, even the Emperor Tiberius, and that man a tyrant and a
man of sin, a slave to all abominations of the flesh. Wherefore death was
reigning over the whole of the world. But when he looked to Israel, which
was appointed to redeem the world and to lead the world to the knowledge
of the true God, behold, Israel himself was blind; and they which should
have been priests unto the Gentiles were as naught but pedants; and these
too, given over unto all sin, hypocrites, and murderers in their hearts,
and children of Satan.

Therefore it was discerned clearly by Jesus (having his eyes open to
things future even as our eyes are open to things present), that a great
conflict was at hand between evil and good, evil rearing itself aloft in
the world to receive the worship of all mankind and driving out the true
worship of God; and for a time evil must prevail. For if he looked upon us
his apostles or disciples, then he perceived even too easily in our hearts
the signs of weakness and instability; and for this cause he prophesied
that we should all desert him and fall away for a time. Moreover, because
he saw how the men of Israel thirsted for redemption, yea, and how all the
children of men desired some deliverance from their present evils,
therefore he knew and prophesied that, when he had departed, his place
would not be left empty, neither at once nor in after generations; but in
every time and in every nation false deliverers and false redeemers should
arise, saying that men should obey them, and that they would deliver men.
For this cause he warned us against false Christs, yea, even though they
should work signs and wonders.

But as concerning the times and seasons when these several troubles should
arise, he said naught; nor did he describe the manner of the wars, nor the
nations, nor the armies that should make war. Now Quartus judgeth that
Jesus knew not these matters; and true it is that Jesus himself spake
concerning the time of his coming, saying, “But of that day and hour
knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the
Father.” Only, concerning one part of the prophecy, he said, for certain,
that this generation should not pass away till all had been fulfilled. But
this, saith Quartus, he knew because of the signs of the times: for as to
that which he said, “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say,
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” Quartus supposeth that
Jesus himself knew not the time thereof, but only this, that it was not
possible that Sion could behold him until Sion desired him: for the
beholding of Jesus after his death was not to be with the bodily eye, but
with the spiritual, through love and desire. Now concerning the
foreknowledge of Jesus, what things he knew, and what things he knew not,
I have said above that I pronounce no judgment. But true it is that at
this time he spake unto us a third parable concerning the fig‐tree, and
said that we were to discern the coming of these evils from the signs of
the times, even as men discern the coming of the summer from the fig‐tree,
when it putteth forth leaves. For, like as the summer causeth the fig‐tree
to put forth her leaves, or like as the scent of the carcase guideth the
vultures to the prey, even so he taught us that the sins of men, and
especially of Israel, would bring after them miseries and judgments, not
by chance, but of necessity.

Therefore he prophesied that great tribulation should fall on the land of
Israel, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no,
nor yet ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there
should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days should be
shortened. But after the tribulation of Israel, he prophesied that all the
empire should be shaken, and the thrones and princedoms thereof should be
cast down, and the throne of the Son of man should be set up on high in
the sight of all men, and the tribes of the earth should mourn, and the
Gentiles should see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with
power and great glory, and the elect should be gathered together by an
angel as with the sound of a trumpet from all the corners of the earth.
Finally he exhorted us to watch in patience, for we knew not at what hour
our Master would come.

Now as concerning these prophecies, part were perchance fulfilled when our
Master came to us from the grave; for then to them that watched and waited
he appeared. But part also, in my judgment, yea, and a great part, were
fulfilled ten years ago, when Jerusalem was trodden down by the Gentiles,
and the temple was burned with fire, and Israel was scattered over the
face of the earth, and many were slain, and many more sold for slaves, and
such tribulation befell them as never before. But part remaineth to be
fulfilled, when men’s hearts shall fail them because the empire shall be
shaken, and the thrones of this world shall be cast down, and the worship
of the Son of man shall be set up. For albeit the empire fell not in the
days of Nero, when all men expected that the end of all things was at
hand; yet must the empire needs be cast down. And it is like that this
shall come to pass in my days, even in the days of me Philochristus, the
writer of this book. And when Israel shall turn unto the Lord Jesus and
shall call them blessed that come in his name, then shall Israel see him,
according to his saying. Howbeit concerning the day and the hour we have
no knowledge thereof; only we know that in the end the Son of man must
come with glory; and until the Son of man shall reign over the world,
peace cannot be; that is to say, cannot be so as to be settled and firm.
For all things move violently to their place, but easily in their place.
Wherefore the ways of the world cannot be smooth, nor can the children of
men and the tribes of men move smoothly and easily in the world, until the
Son of man be in his place as King of the world over all men and over all
nations, and until all men and all nations be in their places as his
servants; and then there shall be peace for ever; but not till then.

But all this I write, having been enlightened by the Spirit. But at the
time when we were sitting thus round about Jesus, listening to his
prophecies, we were not yet enlightened; for the Spirit of Jesus was not
yet in the world, because Jesus was yet with us. Therefore were we all
greatly dismayed by his words, and our hearts quite failed us; and when he
had made an end of speaking, we sat still silent; and the shadow of night,
stretching over the face of the earth, seemed unto us like to a shadow of
Satan encompassing both us and all the world and our Redeemer himself, in
whom we had trusted that he should have redeemed Sion. Thomas at last
brake silence, and said, “Alas, O Master, dost thou not remember thine own
words on that other mount in Galilee, where thou didst pour blessings on
us, and didst strengthen us with comfortable sayings, telling us that the
meek should inherit the earth? Verily the prophecies of the Mount of
Olives do not accord with the prophecies of the Mount of Blessing.” By
this time it was become dark, so that we could not clearly discern the
features of Jesus, for the moon had not yet risen; but he seemed to turn
his face suddenly to Thomas as though his words had grieved him. Howbeit,
he said nothing, but arose from his place, and we followed him up the
mountain even unto Bethany.

When we had been a full hour in Bethany, our Master called for Judas, that
he should bear some message to Joseph of Arimathea in Jerusalem; for Judas
was oftentimes employed by Jesus about such matters, being a man of
understanding, and of a ready wit, and having a knowledge of the ways of
men, more than the rest of the disciples. But search being made for Judas,
he was not to be found; and this seemed not a little to disquiet Jesus.
Howbeit, he bade me go in his stead, and bear a certain letter to Joseph
of Arimathea. So I went down straightway and delivered the letter; and
having received an answer written and sealed, I set forth to return to
Bethany. Now the moon was by this time risen, and shining very brightly.
So, because I was minded not to be seen of any of the servants of the
chief priests, I kept myself in the shadow of the street as I went forth
to the gate of Kidron; and it being now late, even in the second watch of
the night, there were few people stirring.

But as I was now near to the street called Straight, whereby one turneth
to the right hand to go unto the gate, methought I heard the sound of the
voice of the night‐watch going their rounds. So I drew near to the wall,
and remained in a corner where I could not be seen. And straightway
Hezekiah the Scribe came by, and Judas with him, walking very near the
place where I was (but they discerned me not) and talking in a low voice
together. And as they passed, I clearly heard Judas say to Hezekiah, “But
if he should call down fire upon the guards?” And Hezekiah made answer,
“Then thou wouldst have done him good service,” or words to that effect:
but the exact words of Hezekiah I heard not, because they were by this
time gone somewhat past me. Neither could I hear what Judas said in answer
to the words of Hezekiah. Only I noted, even afar off, that after they had
conversed some while longer, Judas held out his right hand to Hezekiah,
and Hezekiah seemed to take it as a pledge.

When I saw this, my mind misgave me that all was not well; yet did it not
so much as enter into my mind, at that time, that one of the Twelve could
purpose treachery against our Master; and, because of my message and my
haste, I gave no thought to the words that I had heard. But I sped away to
the gate, and passing through unquestioned, I went up the mountain in
haste; and when I came to the top, I found John, the son of Zebedee,
waiting for me, to take me to the house where Jesus lay that night; for he
was not to abide in the same house as before, for fear of the Pharisees.
So I came to Jesus and delivered my letter; and I found with him a certain
Nicodemus, a great teacher among the Pharisees. He had come to converse
with Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the chief priests. Then I delivered
my letter to Jesus, and I told him how I had seen Judas discoursing with
Hezekiah. But the old man, even Nicodemus, was troubled when he heard me
make mention of Judas, and he turned to Jesus and said that from friends
came sometimes even more dangers than from enemies; and as he had before
warned Jesus against the plotting of the Chief Priests, so now again he
besought Jesus not to adventure himself in Jerusalem on the morrow. Then
he gave thanks to Jesus for his doctrine, and departed. But when the
letter of Joseph of Arimathea was opened, it confirmed the words of
Nicodemus; for he also bade Jesus not come to Jerusalem on the morrow, but
to tarry till the next day. He also added (but these words Jesus read not
aloud, so that I knew not of them till afterwards) that Jesus should keep
the Passover on the day after the morrow; howbeit not at his house, but at
another house which his servants should prepare. He also gave Jesus a sign
whereby he might be guided to the house. Likewise the letter bade him
beware of false friends.

When Jesus had made an end of reading aloud those last words bidding him
beware of false friends, his heart was sorely troubled, and the burden
seemed more than he could bear; and he went out for a while to be alone
and to pray. But presently he returned and spake comfortable words to us,
and cheered us with his kindness; and so for that night he lay down to
rest; and some of us slept while others watched. Howbeit that night no
enemy came.

On the morrow (which was the fourth day of the week) Jesus neither went
down to Jerusalem, nor sent any down to make preparation for the Passover.
But he remained with us in Bethany, part of the time in the house, and
part in the fields round about, going with us hither and thither, and
speaking more and more to us of that same Holy Spirit whereof he had
spoken before; which should guide us, he said, into all truth, and teach
us what to reply unto our enemies, and be unto us a comforter and a
friend, yea, the source of all happiness and good. And more and more he
spake concerning his departure; insomuch that, though we were unwilling,
yet by this time we were constrained to suppose that our Master must be
severed from us for a season, and that we must watch for his return. Yet
how or in what way he should be taken from us we could not conjecture:
only that he should be slain by his enemies we had no manner of belief,
no, nor so much as a fear thereof, although he had so many times
prophesied it to us. For the thing was hidden from us of the Lord, that we
should neither believe it nor conceive it.

But the women were otherwise minded, and were very full of fears. To them
it seemed that, if Jesus was indeed about to be taken from them, then it
mattered not whether he were taken in a chariot of fire or by whatever
other means: and they lamented over him as over one already dead. Many
times did we rebuke them for their faithlessness (for so it seemed to us),
but they would not cease. Judas also rebuked them even more bitterly than
we: for he had come to us on the morning of that day, saying that he had
been with certain of his acquaintance in Jerusalem that he might be
informed concerning the plots of the Pharisees. Jesus received him kindly,
even more methought than was usual; and when we sat together at meat that
night, he placed Judas next unto himself, John being on one side of him
and Judas on the other, in the seat of honour.

Now so it was that, while we were at meat, behold, one of the women came
behind Jesus, having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and
poured it on his head, at the same time uttering most piteous cries and
lamentations. Then Judas changed colour; for his heart misgave him, as I
judge, that the lamentations of the women might prove true; and besides,
he was wrath perchance because the love wherewith this woman loved Jesus
put his semblance of love utterly to shame. Therefore he rose up from his
seat in indignation and said, “To what purpose is this waste? for this
ointment might have been sold for three hundred pence and given to the
poor.” We also ourselves in like manner murmured against the woman. But
Jesus said, “Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work
upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body she did it for my
burial.” Then he paused, and mused for an instant, and added a prophecy,
that wheresoever his good tidings of Redemption should be proclaimed in
the whole world, there also should this that this woman had done be told
for a memorial of her.

Now before these words, while we had sat at meat listening to the
discourse of Jesus, Judas seemed as if his heart were enlarged towards
Jesus; and albeit at times he fell to pondering and musing (like unto a
man doubting of two courses which to take), yet anon he would be aroused
by some word that Jesus spake; and then his countenance would kindle, and
he would stoop forward, as in old times, with his eyes all a‐glow,
listening as if he would fain devour each syllable with his ears. But now
his countenance fell, and he was filled with rage because he had been
rebuked by Jesus; and he went forth from the chamber, and we saw him that
night no more. But as for us that remained, our hearts became exceeding
sorrowful; for now indeed it pressed upon us that the departure of Jesus
must needs be sad and grievous and full of sorrow, like unto death. But
still, that he should die indeed, and be buried: this, even now, we could
in no wise believe.



                              CHAPTER XXVIII


When the morrow came (which was the fifth day of the week) Jesus abode
still in Bethany, and went not forth to Jerusalem. Now so it was that the
Passover that year fell on the Sabbath day; and because of the multitude
of the sacrifices that were to be slain between the two evenings in the
temple, it was a custom that certain of the pilgrims should keep the
Passover on a day before the Sabbath. For it was said (though I can scarce
believe it) that there were nigh upon three hundred myriads of souls in
Jerusalem during the Passover week; and even though the women partook not
of the feast, yet the number of lambs to be slaughtered must needs be very
great. Therefore we expected that he should have gone down to Jerusalem
that day, for so it had been determined with Joseph of Arimathea; and we
marvelled that he did not go. But he continued speaking unto Mary and
Martha and other of the women. And by this time it was noon, and yet
nothing had been done.

But at the last Peter went to him and reminded him that after two days
would be the feast of the Passover; and he asked Jesus where he desired
that we should prepare for the feast. Then Jesus bade Peter and John go to
a certain street in Jerusalem and to stand there during the ninth hour of
the day; and they should meet there a certain slave of Joseph of Arimathea
bearing a pitcher of water upon his head; and they were to say, as a sign
to the man, “The Master saith, my time is at hand; I will keep the
Passover at thy house with my disciples;” and the slave would shew them an
upper room prepared; and there they were to make ready. For the space of
an hour after Peter and John were departed, Jesus continued still speaking
unto the women: then he arose and bade them farewell, and set his face to
go down to Jerusalem.

When it was now late, the sun having set two hours or more, we sat down to
keep the feast; and Judas also was with us. While we sat at meat, we
spake, according to the custom, concerning the ancient deliverance of
Israel in the days of Moses: but our hearts were very heavy, for we said
within ourselves, “We need not a past, but a present deliverance; and,
behold, it is not to be.” Jesus alone was of good cheer, and rejoiced with
a marvellous joy; and he spake very cheerfully and tenderly to us, and
said that his heart had yearned to eat this Passover with us, for he
should not eat with us again till the Kingdom of God should be
established. Now at this we marvelled, but we rejoiced not; for we had
learned by much experience not to rejoice at the promises of Jesus as if
they were the promises of common men. Moreover we were sore disturbed by a
certain saying of Jesus. For in the midst of his comfortable discourse to
us, he suddenly brake off, saying that one of us, that sat there at meat
with him, should betray him. And he said, “The Son of man goeth as it is
written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!
It had been good for that man if he had not been born.” And hereat we sat
a while dumb and looking each at other, wondering whom Jesus might mean,
and afterwards we brake out into many and passionate questionings, each
asking whether he himself was to be the traitor: but Jesus made no certain
answer, none at least that I heard. At the last, before rising from the
table, Jesus looked earnestly upon us all, as if his heart went out to us:
and he pitied us, and said that he would now give us his last gift; for
this feast was as a funeral feast, and he was to die and leave us alone;
therefore, before he died, he desired to bequeath to us somewhat by his
last will and testament.

While we marvelled what this gift or legacy might be, behold, Jesus took
bread and blessed God, and brake it and gave it to each of us, saying,
“Take, eat, this is my body.” After this he took wine and blessed that
likewise, and bade us drink of it, saying, “This is my blood of the New
Testament, which is shed for many.” So we ate and drank as we were bidden,
even like children that have no understanding; nor did we then discern the
meaning of his words. Howbeit, even at that time we understood somewhat of
his purpose; for we perceived that Jesus was pouring his love, yea, and
his life, into our hearts; and our souls stretched out as it were toward
the truth, namely, that Jesus, in this testament of his, was bequeathing
himself to us his disciples, to be our possession for ever.

Now all the other disciples were strangely moved, insomuch that their
hearts were melted with the fervency of their love; but Judas alone was
unmoved. Yea, rather he was moved indeed, but in a manner quite contrary
to the rest. For when Jesus reached unto him the bread, all eyes were upon
him, for we could not now refrain from suspecting him: but he ate it
against his will, and as though he ate it with difficulty; and when he had
eaten it, he looked angrily at us that gazed still upon him, and then he
rose up in haste from the table, like unto one possessed with Satan. Now
while he was eating, Jesus beheld him with a marvellous love and pity,
yea, and, as it seemed to me, with a great struggle and conflict of soul,
as if he were wrestling for the last time against Satan for the soul of
Judas. But, when he perceived that Judas had hardened his heart against
him, he sighed, and said some word unto him, but what it was I heard not:
and hereupon Judas went hastily forth, and left Jesus still sitting with
us. Then did our hearts misgive us yet more. For none could any longer
doubt that Judas was indeed a traitor; and we bethought ourselves for what
cause he had gone forth, and when he would return.

But Jesus neither stayed him, nor lamented when he had departed; but he
seemed like unto one in whom all tears and sorrow had been swallowed up in
a certain unfathomable depth of joy. For he looked up to heaven and
offered up praise unto the Lord, the Deliverer of Israel, and he bade us
join him in singing a portion of the great Hallel; for the singing of
these psalms was according to the custom of the Passover. Now so it was
that, in the singing, Jesus must needs utter certain words that tell how
the Lord giveth life out of death: “The snares of death compassed me round
about, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me. I shall find trouble and
heaviness, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, O Lord I beseech
thee, deliver my soul:” and then, “Turn again then unto thy rest, O my
soul, for the Lord hath rewarded thee. And why? Thou hast delivered my
soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will
walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” While he sang these
words, it was a wonder to see the face of Jesus, with what a brightness he
looked up to heaven, and how great a trust shone from his countenance;
insomuch that, as we gazed upon him, our hearts also seemed lifted up with
his. But Jesus went on, until he came to those following words of the
Hallel which say how “The right hand of the Lord hath the pre‐eminence:
the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass. I shall not die
but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath chastened and
corrected me, but he hath not given me over unto death. Open me the gates
of righteousness, that I may go into them and give thanks unto the Lord.”

At the last, when we sang of the stone refused of the builders but become
the head stone of the corner, he sang with an exceeding clear voice, not
loud, but very piercing, so that it seemed to cleave us to the very heart;
and behold, our voices became lower, even as his became clearer; and we
feared to sing the same words as he sang; but we were rapt with wonder as
we looked upon his countenance; for it was as the countenance of an angel
seeing the very glory of the Most High and gazing upon Him face to face.
And when he sang the last words of all, “God is the Lord who hath shewed
us light, bind the sacrifice with cords, yea even unto the horns of the
altar. Thou art my God, and I will thank thee; thou art my God, and I will
praise thee”; then indeed it came to pass that all we that listened to him
were lifted up in spirit with him in an ecstasy, being delivered from all
our doubts and cares and fears, looking down on them as petty things; and
it was even as if Jesus were holding us by the hand and carrying us up
with himself above the firmament, to the seventh heaven and beyond, yea
even to the Throne of the Blessed.

That instant, a knocking was heard at the door, and one entered in haste
and as if in terror; and he went up to Jesus and whispered in his ear.
Then the glory faded from the face of Jesus, and he became sad, and
straightway gave commandment to depart. But as we went forth from the
chamber to the roof (for the guest‐chamber was an upper chamber and upon
the roof, as was the custom in my country), we heard from the slave that a
guard had been sent forth by Annas to seek Jesus, and that Judas of
Kerioth was thought to be with them, to guide them to the place where
Jesus was. So we went down immediately from the upper chamber where we had
been at meat; and behold, as we passed from the brightness of the
moonlight, which shone upon the roof, down into the darkness of the shadow
of the street, we seemed to have passed out of life into death, and to
have been cast down from Paradise to the depths beneath the earth.

Now when we were all come down from the house into the street, Jesus stood
for a while in the midst of his disciples looking up to the sky; and he
seemed for an instant like unto one doubting whither he should go. For
first he made two or three steps toward the temple and the tower of
Antonia, as if to go thither (but this would have been certain death, for
the guard was coming thence, and we should have met them); but then he
looked at us and seemed to change his purpose. For he turned towards the
gate that leadeth to the vale of Kidron. Now why he did this we knew not
at that time; but afterwards we judged that he was moved at first to go to
meet the guard that he might give himself up at once unto death; but when
he had thought thereon, it seemed better for our sakes that he should
still remain with us a few hours longer. Perchance also he wished to
commune with God alone upon the mountain of Olivet; for he ever loved the
loneliness of mountainous places and nightly prayers. Moreover Quartus
writeth to this effect, that “though Jesus knew that he was to die, yet
the manner of his dying, and how he should be taken, was not known to him:
therefore he would not prevent the hand of the Lord, but would avoid the
peril by all honourable means even till the last, leaving the decision
with the Lord.”

As we drew nigh to the gate of Kidron I was near him, and I heard him
repeating some saying of Scripture to himself; and at the last, he spake
aloud and said, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night, for it
is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.”
But when he marked us, how exceedingly we sorrowed at these words of his,
then he began to encourage us again; and he spake some words how that he
would return to us, or guide us hereafter. Now what he said exactly I know
not, for I was a little behind the rest. But he looked around him in the
narrow street, as though that were no place for him to abide in: and then
he added some words concerning Galilee, which I did not clearly hear.
Howbeit, it seemed to me that he said he should manifest himself to us
hereafter, not in Jerusalem but in Galilee.(11) And so also most of the
disciples interpreted his words. But we all with one consent cried out
that we would never desert him nor go from his side; and he listened to us
gently, even as a mother listeneth to the prattle of a little child which
prattleth concerning the things which he will do when he cometh to man’s
estate. Even so listened Jesus to our speech; but when Peter was vehement,
even above the rest, in protestations, Jesus interrupted him, and said
that before the morrow’s sun had risen, yea, before cockcrow, Simon Peter
should have denied him.

By this time we were come to the gate of the Kidron valley; and methought
certain of the servants of the chief priests, which stood together at the
gate, were advised of the intent to arrest Jesus, and were fain to lay
hands on him. Howbeit, many were coming in and going out, and we that were
going with Jesus joined ourselves together around him, insomuch that the
guards suffered us to pass; for they could not then have taken him
quietly, nor without a tumult; which thing they purposed to avoid. And so
it was that, as we closed ourselves together for to encompass Jesus and to
guard him, my place was very nigh unto Jesus, even next upon his left
hand; and as we went down the steep path which leadeth across the brook
Kidron, I chanced to stumble; and Jesus took me by the right hand to stay
me from falling. And the touch thereof remaineth with me unto this day;
for his hand was not again to touch my hand upon earth.

When we were now going up the hill on the other side of the brook (being
by this time quite out of the shadow of the city walls, so that we could
see all things in the moonlight very clearly), we perceived that Jesus was
still meditating on prophecies; and ever and anon he looked upon us, as
though his care for us were a burden on his soul. And perchance he desired
to prepare us to live without him in the world; and not to depend upon the
exact words of his precepts, nor to make therefrom a rule nor a law unto
ourselves, but to obey the Spirit only; making new rules and laws for
ourselves if need were, even as the times might suggest and the Spirit
might bid us. For he said unto us, “When I sent you without purse, and
scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?” And we said “Nothing.” Then said he
unto us, “But now he that hath a purse let him take it, and likewise his
scrip.” Here he paused awhile, and then he added these words: “And he that
hath no sword let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say unto you
that this that is written, must yet be accomplished in me: ‘And he was
reckoned among the transgressors.’ For the things concerning me have an
end.” Hereat we wondered, that Jesus (who had ever spoken against smiting
with the sword) should bid us buy swords. Howbeit, we answered that we had
two swords with us. Straightway Jesus ceased from walking, and stood quite
still for an instant; and it seemed as if he marvelled at our want of
understanding, but yet perceived that he must needs be content, for he
could do no more to help us. Therefore he said nothing, but presently
continued to walk on as before. But, as I now suppose, his meaning was to
prepare us for much tribulation, and that we should, in the days to come,
use all means and all faculties in his service. Howbeit, even to this day,
I understand not altogether that saying about the buying of a sword. But
as I judge, Jesus had invisible things in his mind, and he spake of the
stores and treasures, and of the weapons also, that were like to be needed
in the great and terrible war which we were to wage against Satan in the
days to come.

Against this, Xanthias urgeth (and methinks not without shew of reason)
that the scrip and purse whereof Jesus made mention in Galilee were not
invisible things, but visible: but, if they were visible, so also must the
sword needs be, whereof Jesus made mention in the same saying. But Quartus
replieth that when Jesus, being still with us in the flesh, sent the
disciples forth in Galilee without purse and scrip, he would have them to
go forth not only without visible purse and scrip (which indeed they did),
but also without the spirit of the purse and the spirit of the scrip, that
is to say without forethought and provision, the better to awaken them to
whom they were to preach the Good News: and this, saith Quartus, was the
main part of the precept of Jesus. But now that he was to be no longer
with us in the flesh, he changed his precept, bidding us use the spirit of
the purse and the spirit of the scrip: and “after those words,” saith
Quartus, “that ye might the better understand them, Jesus paused” (which
indeed he did, for I took note of it) “in the midst of his saying, and
bade you buy a sword, supposing that ye would know assuredly that he (who
ever hated the sword) could not mean a visible sword, but an invisible:
even that two‐edged sword which Jesus brought into the world to do battle
against evil withal. And belike,” saith Quartus, “Jesus meant that, after
he should be taken away, we were never to be content to defend ourselves
against evil, nor to lead harmless lives in peace and quiet (as the
Essenes are wont to do); but that we were evermore to do battle against
evil, and to assail it, and to give up all things sooner than cease to
make war against it.”

At this time came down one from Bethany to tell us that the servants of
the chief priests had beset the house of Mary and Martha, and others were
watching on the road for to take Jesus if he should come up the hill.
Therefore Jesus turned aside from the road and went unto a place whither
he had also beforetime gone with us: it was a small vale, wherein grew
many olive‐trees, insomuch that it was hence called the Press of Olive
Oil, or Gethsemane. When Jesus came to this place, we would fain have
still accompanied him; but he suffered us not, but bade us stay where we
were, and there to watch and pray, lest we entered into temptation: for
these were his very words to us. But taking John and Peter and James, he
himself went forward about a stone’s cast; and we noted that, after a
short while, he parted from them, though they were fain to stay him (for
we could hear all things as well as see, because the night was very calm,
and no less still than bright); and he went on yet another stone’s cast or
somewhat less, and the three disciples sat down where they were. Then
Jesus stretched out his hands unto the Lord and prayed with exceeding
earnestness; and to us, where we stood, he seemed as one in a sore agony;
for at one time we could discern him standing erect, but at another time
kneeling or prostrate upon the ground; and though he spake not loud, yet
could I hear words that made my very flesh to shiver and creep; for he
cried unto the Lord and said, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me.” These words he said more than once, so that I could not but
hear them; and a sickness of heart and an horror fell on me that such an
one as Jesus of Nazareth should come to such a pass, and should ever need
to say, “if it be possible.”

Now so it was, that in spite of our sorrow and anguish of heart, all we
that watched with Jesus at this time were so pressed down with a strange
slumber that it was not possible for us to resist the burden thereof upon
our eyelids; and oftentimes we would walk up and down and speak each to
other for to shake off the leaden weight from our eyes; but we could not,
no, though we were angered, and reproached ourselves aloud. For we had not
slept much during three nights past or more, because of the need of
watching for Jesus; and besides, the very unexpectedness of all that
sorrow which had of late encompassed us round on every side, caused us to
feel like unto them which wander in the wilderness of a dream or vision of
the night, insomuch that we scarce knew whether we were asleep or awake:
and the anguish of Jesus itself was unto us as it were but a part of a bad
dream. For we could not attain to understand his sorrow, nor to share in
his burden. Only we knew that he sorrowed not for fear of death. But we
knew not at that time the secret of his agony, how he was at that instant
wrestling with Satan for the salvation of all the children of men. Yet so
indeed it was. And though the suffering of Jesus was seen of men when his
body hung upon the cross, yet meseemeth it was seen of God when he was
prostrate upon the ground in Gethsemane, and his soul was crying unto the
Lord and saying, “if it be possible.”

Loth am I to write many words concerning that which is above all reach of
words, yea, and above all reach of the thoughts of men; yet will I here
set down that which was said unto me concerning this matter by a certain
Alexandrine, a friend of Quartus, who was a man of an understanding spirit
and of discernment above the common. This man, when I once marvelled
aloud, in his presence, as to the cause of the agony of Jesus, made answer
to me and said, “What was it, thinkest thou, that caused Jesus more pain
and sorrow than aught else?” So I replied, “Without doubt, the sins of
men: for he often spake as if it were a pain to him, even to forgive the
sins of men.” But the Alexandrine replied, “As it seemeth to me, Jesus did
not merely forgive sins twice or thrice in a week, nor in a day, no, nor
even in an hour: but his whole life was a state of forgiving, and a state
of bearing sins and of carrying iniquities, and of making himself one with
sinners. For this end it was needful that Jesus should have strength to
trust in men and to hope for men: for without trust and hope thou knowest
it is impossible for thee to lift up a sinful man in forgiveness,
howsoever great may be thy love for the sinful.

“Therefore, even as the Gentiles fable that Atlas doth bear up the pillars
of the earth, even so, methinks, Jesus of Nazareth knew in himself that he
bare up the pillars of the invisible Jerusalem, the city of the souls of
men; and so long as he had strength to trust and hope, so long he knew
that the invisible city stood and was to stand; but, if he should fail in
trust and hope so that he should fall (even for a single instant), then
behold, in that same fall of the Son of man fell all the world, yea, all
the souls of men, and all the Temple of the Congregation of the children
of God; and so the universe became the hunting‐ground of Satan, and the
children of men his prey, and God was not. Peradventure, therefore, the
burden of Jesus was this bearing of the sins of men, and especially of the
sin of Judas and the infirmities of you his disciples, and the thought of
the impotence of good to conquer evil. Moreover perchance there rose up
before him the image of the morrow, when he should hang upon the cross,
and when the strength and force of life should leave him, and there should
be no one to succour, no one to comfort; and a vision from Satan stood
before him, and he heard a voice that whispered evil things: ‘If now thou
shouldest lose thy trust for an instant? and the pillar should be snapped?
and the invisible city should fall? and the gates of hell should prevail
over the gates of heaven?’”

This then is what the Alexandrine said unto me concerning the suffering of
Jesus: but it needeth not to say that at this time we understood naught of
these things: only we perceived that some terrible thing was at hand. But
about the space of an hour or more, as I judge, had passed since we first
heard Jesus say, “if it be possible”; and now methought Jesus was less
disturbed in praying. And presently we saw him standing upright, very
clearly to be seen in the light of the moon, which streamed upon him
through the olive branches; and these words were borne to our ears through
the stillness of the night, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away
from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” But some of the disciples
told me afterwards that at this time they saw a shape, as of an angel
clothed in white, ministering unto him. But I saw it not, for it may be
that I was at that time slumbering: for soon after I had heard Jesus speak
these last words, there fell a deep sleep upon me and upon the rest of the
disciples that were nearest to me. Afterwards they all slumbered and
slept, even the sons of Zebedee and Peter also; and perchance this thing
was from the Lord, to the intent that Jesus might bear all his burden
alone.

After this, I remember no more, save that I had a vision of the night in
my slumber, wherein I saw Jesus of Nazareth clothed in bright raiment,
glorious to behold. He stood and prayed upon the summit of a mountain.
Howbeit in my dream it seemed to be not Mount Olivet, but the Mount of the
Law in Galilee. And as I looked upon him, his stature grew larger and his
raiment brighter, till the brightness thereof filled the sky, and set it
all in a flame. With that I awoke on a sudden, and opening mine eyes, I
perceived that there were flames indeed around me; then, leaping up, I
found myself in the midst of torches, and armed men compassing me round.
Yet could I discern, through the midst of them all, Jesus, with a calm
countenance, stooping over John and Peter and James, and arousing them
from sleep.

Now all that came to pass thereafter was finished in a few moments, though
it take long to tell. For Judas, who was the guide of the armed men, ran
swiftly before the rest up to Jesus and said, “Hail, Master,” and saluted
him. And, as I was told by them that were nigh to see, Judas seemed as if
he knew not, even at the last, what would come to pass, nor scarce what he
himself was doing. For he embraced Jesus and pointed to the soldiers that
followed behind him, as if half expecting that Jesus would call down fire
upon them. But Jesus looked upon him as if looking upon a stranger, and
made him such answer as to shew that he perceived his treachery; whereat
Judas drew back, they said, as one distraught. Then Simon Peter drew a
sword and struck a blow at one of the soldiers; and the rest of us ran up
to have joined in the fray. But Jesus straightway rebuked us, and bidding
Peter put up his sword, he yielded himself up to the soldiers. Yet even to
the last he was as a son obeying the will of the Father, and not like unto
one acting from constraint; for I myself heard him say unto Simon Peter,
“Thinkest thou that I cannot pray to my Father and He shall presently give
me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures
be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”

Now up to this moment we had not yet fled; for we could not even then
believe that our Redeemer, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, would
be led captive; yea, even though he resisted not, yet were we assured that
the Lord God of Israel would stretch out His hand to deliver His Holy One.
So we still waited and were in expectation. But when at last the servants
of the high priests laid their hands on him and the soldiers bound him and
dragged him roughly away, and yet no fire from heaven came down upon them,
neither did the earth open her mouth to swallow them up; then we all
forsook him and fled.



                               CHAPTER XXIX


Though we had so basely fled from our Master, yet away from him we were
not able to rest. Therefore we followed after the guard down the mountain,
even into Jerusalem, and mingled with the concourse that was gathered
together before the doors of the High Priest’s house. Near me was John the
son of Zebedee; who, having some acquaintance in the household of the High
Priest, gained access into the house; and Peter also with him. But I
remained without; and I conversed with the people, making as if I were no
Galilean, but a citizen of Jerusalem. For I perceived that the most part
of the multitude were men of Jerusalem, some indeed citizens, but the
greater part servants of the chief priests, and money‐changers, and
cattle‐dealers; who had been gathered together of set purpose by the
enemies of Jesus.

But when I asked one why he hated Jesus (for the man had declared aloud
that he trusted that day to see Jesus on the cross), he replied, “Because
this Galilean marreth our trade, and taketh away our living; for behold,
these three days men buy no beasts for sacrifice from my stalls in the
temple.” And another said, “Yea, and he maketh no secret that he purposeth
to destroy our religion, and change our customs which Moses appointed: for
he saith that he will destroy this temple, and boasteth, forsooth, that he
will raise up another equal to this in three days.” Now this saying of
Jesus (which indeed he had not said, for I have set down his words exactly
above) had been carried from mouth to mouth throughout Jerusalem; and the
chief priests had everywhere caused it to be rumoured that the intent of
Jesus was to destroy the temple with fire during that Passover. Therefore
the hearts of many of the devout and sober people were turned away from
Jesus.

After we had waited about two hours or something less, a certain Scribe
came up to a servant of the chief priests, who was conversing with me; and
the Scribe asked the man concerning the multitude, for what cause it was
gathered together: and the man said, “To see the false prophet, named
Jesus of Nazareth, who is to be condemned to death.” “Nay,” said the
other, “then thou losest thy labour. For if a man be tried for his life,
he may not be tried on the day before the Sabbath; for the Law alloweth
appeal on the morrow. Therefore if, as thou sayest, Jesus of Nazareth is
yonder being tried, it cannot be that he is tried for his life.” Hereat I
rejoiced greatly, for I bethought myself that it was even so as the Scribe
had said, wherefore it could not be that Jesus was to be tried for his
life. But when I drew nigh unto them (for the press had parted us for an
instant): “I give thee a yea for thy nay,” said the other, “for thou
knowest the Law, but I know my master Annas; and he is not the man to
allow a little matter of a day to stand in his way; nor to permit the
booths and shops in the temple (whence cometh profit to the priests) to be
destroyed by false prophets and Galileans to boot.” Then indeed my heart
misgave me that it was to be no trial, but only a murder.

Just then one came down the steps leading from the High Priest’s house,
and the people ran together towards him to know what had been done. He
stood still, and made a gesture that they should keep silence; and then in
a clear voice he spake to the multitude and said, “The council hath
pronounced that Jesus of Nazareth is a man of death.” Hereupon there was a
general shout, for all knew that to be “a man of death” meant to be
condemned to die: and straightway a cry arose, “Stone him, stone him;
bring him out that we may stone him.” But the man checked them that
shouted, saying that the accused must first be led to the judgment seat of
the procurator, Pontius Pilate, for without his judgment it was not lawful
that any should be put to death.

Then my heart revived a little again; for it seemed there was still some
hope. But seeing Simon Peter come forth from the High Priest’s house, I
pressed through the throng if perchance I might come at him, to ask him
touching the trial, and what the witnesses had testified, and how Jesus
had borne himself. But Peter seemed not to see me; and even when I called
him by name he would not hear me. At last, by dint of striving, I came
near him in the throng and caught hold of his garment, and stayed him by
force. Then, indeed, he stayed; but as he turned round and his face looked
upon my face, behold, I saw in his countenance shame, and remorse, and
despair; and he assayed to speak, but could not, and wrung my hand in
silence. Then waving me off that I should not any more stay him, he hasted
away, and I durst not follow him; for it was evident to me that the
prophecy of Jesus had been fulfilled, and that Simon Peter had denied our
Master.

I turned back into the throng, for my intent was to have remained standing
without, till such time as Jesus came forth. But I heard the servant of
the High Priest say to one of his acquaintance that the procurator was not
one to have his sleep broken by business at so early an hour; “Therefore,”
said he to his companion, “go home to thy house, and warm thee, if thou
wilt; for there will be naught to see these three hours.” Then it came
into my mind that the mother of Jesus, and likewise Mary Magdalene, and
the other women, were all this while in Bethany, neither knew they aught
of that which had befallen Jesus; and it was fit they should be told.
Therefore I went forth by the gate of Kidron and up the Mount of Olives
even to Bethany; and there I writ a few words, telling what had befallen,
and left it in the hand of one of the servants of the house; for to go in
myself and to tell the tale, and to look upon their sorrow, I durst not do
it. This done, I hasted back for to go down to the house of the
procurator, making sure to have arrived thither long before they had made
an end of the trial. But when I was gone but two or three hundred paces
from Bethany, one of the women ran after me with tears and lamentations,
beseeching me to return and to tell them all; and she constrained me. So I
returned and told them all; and the memory of their lamenting remaineth
with me unto this day.

Thus passed a long time, a very long time as it seemed to me; but at last
I withdrew myself from them perforce, and hasted down the mountain. But
when I was come to the palace, behold the trial was over; and I saw the
rear part of a moving throng, and one told me that they were taking the
prisoner to be crucified at Golgotha. Then my heart within me seemed to
burst; but though I was faint before with long watching and weariness, I
was not faint now, but sped after the throng. Many times did I strive to
press in amidst them, if perchance Jesus might look but once upon me, or I
might see his face, or so much as catch a sight of his garment as he
walked; and I wept and was ready to curse myself that I had gone from the
High Priest’s door before I had seen my Master’s face. For now I could not
see him, no, nor anything of him, save now and then the cross, which, as
they told me, he was carrying upon his shoulders; but I heard the men in
the crowd saying what insults had been offered to him, and how he had been
scourged and mocked and spit upon, decked with a crown of thorns and a
sceptre of reed; and I was as one distracted, in whom there is no power of
thought.

By this time we had passed out of the city through the western gate, and
the fore part of the multitude was come to the place of execution; and
they that went before me came now to a stand; and I saw the cross lifted
up for an instant, to the intent, as it seemed, that it might be laid upon
the ground; and one near me said, “Now they are making ready.” Then I
gnashed my teeth, for I could do naught else; but I was ready to curse God
(blessed is He), for I knew right well what that “making ready” meant; and
a deep silence fell on all the crowd; and I could hear the blows of the
hammer upon the nails; and every man held his breath, if perchance there
might come the sound of a shriek or a groan. But no such sound came to the
place where we stood.

Presently arose a very loud shouting from the multitude that stood before
me, and behold, the cross was reared up so that the top thereof was a
little above the heads of the people; and from afar off I could just
discern Jesus. But I saw not his face; for his head was bowed forward and
his hair, hanging over his forehead, hid his eyes. But when I thrust
myself forward to have approached nearer, I could not for the press. At
the same time there rang in upon mine ears a very storm of mocking and
reviling and cursing against Jesus from all the bystanders, yea, even from
the women and little children (with such a venom of slander had the Chief
Priests poisoned the minds of the people); insomuch that I seemed to stand
alone among a host of the children of Satan; neither could I endure any
longer to behold such a sight, amid such beholders, and to be of no avail.
Wherefore I became as one possessed; and I turned my back upon the cross
and forced my way out of the crowd; the people calling after me and
mocking me, and plucking me back by the cloak as I fled.

But even as my body fled away, my soul was drawn back unto the cross; and
I feared to go back lest I should see Jesus, and I feared to go forward
lest I should never see him. And these two fears were as two devils that
possessed me, driving me hither and thither about all the hills and
valleys of that neighbourhood for the space of two hours or more; and
during all that time the fear to go back was the stronger. But about the
eighth hour of the day, as I wandered like unto one dreaming, not knowing
whither I went, behold, I stood on the top of a certain hill; and thereon
was a flock of sheep quietly pasturing, and the shepherd‐boy piping to
them, and sunlight was all around. But casting mine eyes downward, I saw
very far off, under a dark cloud, the multitude still standing round
Jesus, and three crosses in the midst (for other two were crucified with
him); and all in so small a space that it seemed no larger than a man’s
hand.

Then came my misery back to me with a shock; and it seemed a wonderful and
an horrible thing that in a little corner of the earth the Almighty should
suffer such a one as Jesus of Nazareth to be slain on the cross: and yet,
behold, the sun shone and the shepherds piped to their sheep, and there
was peace upon the mountains, and all as if nothing strange were happening
below. But soon these and all other thoughts were swallowed up in one
remembrance, namely, that if I would see Jesus alive, not many minutes now
remained unto me; for the sun was sinking towards the west, and I knew
that he could not be suffered to remain upon the cross when the Sabbath
began; for that had been against our customs. Therefore I ran down with
exceeding speed, and came again to Golgotha about the tenth hour.

When I was now within two or three furlongs of the place, I perceived that
some of the people were already coming away; for the Passover was near at
hand, so that they must needs go to their homes. So I ran on, and came to
the place where the multitude was standing. And because the throng was
diminished, I was now able to come very much nearer to the midst of the
multitude, not more than a stone’s cast from the cross. But alas for the
sight I saw! For though I was so close, I could not discern anything of
Jesus as he once had been; because his head was bowed forward even more
than before, and moreover there was an unwonted darkness over all the
place. The people were very still, nor was there now any more sound of
cursing or mocking; for of them that still remained round the cross some
were the friends of Jesus, and others had been greatly moved (so it was
told me afterwards) by the manner in which he had borne himself upon the
cross; insomuch that even the soldiers which kept guard mocked him no
more, but stood watching in silence. But I came forward to the furthest
that I might, and placed myself where haply he might see me; and I would
fain have called unto him; but I durst not, lest I should trouble him, for
he was very still. But when I was now come so close unto him that I might
almost discern his features in spite of the darkness, behold it was as if
a trembling ran through all his limbs, and he raised his head a little,
and a voice came forth, which, whoso heard, could not forget for ever: “My
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Then there was another cry
exceeding long and loud, and a second trembling running through all the
limbs even to the neck and face; and then a stiffness as of death.

Now up to the very last I had not given up all hope that Jesus might yet
come down from the cross, shewing forth some mighty work worthy of a
Messiah; nor did I indeed know how much hope I had had, till this moment
wherein all hope perished. But now, when I turned myself to go away from
the cross and to leave Jesus for ever, all things seemed ended, and I felt
as one alone in the world; yea, I knew not whether there were a God, or
whether I myself lived, or all life were not a dream. Thus I went forward,
as one in a trance; when on a sudden I heard the voice of Hezekiah the
Scribe: “Art thou not yet convinced of thy folly? Behold, it is written
that thou shouldest not put thy trust in any child of man. For when the
breath of man goeth forth, he shall turn again to his earth, and then all
his thoughts perish; even as this thy master, the false prophet, hath
perished. But blessed is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, who
keepeth His promises for ever. But thy master, how keepeth he his
promises? Unless perchance,” and here he lowered his voice and looked
jealously at me, “unless (as is reported to us) ye Galileans hope to steal
his body from the grave and so to feign that he is risen; but that shall
not be. For though your patron Joseph of Arimathea may have his will to‐
day, yet will we take good order that we have our will to‐morrow. For the
body of a false prophet deserveth not honourable burial.”

I could endure his words no longer, but ran past him as one mad. But, when
I was now rid of his presence, passing back into the city by the western
gate, my mind ran on all such things as I had done with Jesus on the day
before, and my feet turned of themselves toward the house where we had
kept the Passover together. Thence, but still as one in a dream, scarce
knowing what I did, I bent my way towards the gate of the valley of
Kidron. Here I was musing how, but yesterday, in this very place, I had
walked by the side of Jesus, even at his right hand, and how the touch of
his arm had held me up in my stumbling; when behold, I started back as if
I had seen a spirit. For the voice of one close to me in the twilight
whispered with an hissing sound, “He is not dead.” I looked, and behold,
Judas stood before me. His face was pale and his eyes glared, and passion
so wrought his features that they moved and quivered, as if against his
will, like unto the features of one possessed by Satan. When I drew back
from him, at first he would have stayed me; but seeing that I loathed him,
he also drew back and said, “Nay, be not afraid, I cannot betray another.
But he is not dead. Hast thou not seen him?” I marvelled at him, but said
nothing, only shaking my head. Then Judas replied, “Think not that I have
slain him; he liveth: he hunteth me to death; these three times have I
seen him. I have not slain him. Why then doth he yet hunt me? But thou,
thou didst love him, be thou at peace with me.” Saying these words, he
came forward again to have taken me by the hand; but I could not. Then he
turned away and laughed such a laugh as I pray God I may never hear again.
But as he departed, he cried aloud, “Thou rememberest his words, ‘It were
better for him that he had never been born’: verily he was a prophet.”
Then he laughed again, even such another laugh as before; and he cursed
the God that had made him. With that he went his way, and I saw him no
more.

For a while I stood where I was, as if in a trance, almost expecting that
the words of Judas should prove true, and that Jesus should come forth to
me out of the air around me. Then I passed through the gate of Kidron;
and, crossing the brook, I began to go out by the way which leadeth to
Bethany. But ever as I went up the mountain, I pondered over the words of
Judas, “He is not dead, I have seen him:” for I could not forget them, nor
put them away from my mind. And behold, whithersoever I looked in the
twilight, all things bore witness unto Jesus and seemed to say the same
words, “We have seen him. He is not dead.” For if I looked back at the
city gates, then I remembered how Jesus had lately passed through them in
triumph; and if I looked on the road before me, then every tree and rock
seemed to testify that Jesus had but now been there again and again, in
his passing between Bethany and the city; and at one place he had spoken a
certain parable: at another, he had sat down and rested; or at a third, we
had asked him certain questions and he had answered them. Thus the whole
of the mountain and all things thereon seemed to cry aloud with one
consent, “He is not dead”; but my heart cried back again, “Nay, but he is
dead indeed.”

When at last I came in my wanderings nigh to the top of the mount, even to
the stone whereon Jesus had sat down in the midst of the disciples and had
prophesied of his coming, then could I no longer refrain myself; but I
threw myself on the ground in a passion of tears and sobbings, beating my
breast and rending my garments. And when I desired to cry unto the Lord in
my agony, behold, the words of Jesus on the cross came into my mouth; and
if I tried to fashion some other prayer, no other words would come to me,
but I could do naught but repeat them over and over again, crying unto the
Lord and saying, “Why hast Thou forsaken him? Why hast Thou forsaken him?”
So speaking, I scarce refrained from doing even as Judas had done, so as
to curse the day wherein I was born; and I became again as one distraught.
But after a time (but how long a time I know not) a darkness came down
upon mine eyes, and all things swam around me, and I fell to the ground as
one without life.

When I came to myself, behold, I lay upon my back and looked upward, and
the moon was shining high in the heavens above me. So I thought how the
same moon had shone down with the same brightness yesternight upon my
Master in Gethsemane. “And now where is he?” I ceased from that thought,
and went back in my mind to thoughts of the past. Then I remembered what a
splendour, even such as I now saw, had shone upon our Master’s face when
he came down from Mount Hermon, and when he came up from Jericho to
Bethany, and also when of late he gave us the bread and wine at our last
supper together. Also there came into my mind the words that he had
spoken, when this brightness had been upon his countenance: how he had
then prophesied, and more than once, that he should be slain; but we had
never believed him. Yet his words had come to pass. Then I asked within
myself how it was that Jesus had foreseen his own death and prophesied it
so oft, yet had never been dismayed nor even disturbed by the thought
thereof; and I remembered that whensoever he had spoken of his death, he
had spoken also of a certain rising again, or coming: and I said aloud,
“If Jesus prophesied his death truly, why might he not also prophesy truly
concerning his coming again?”

But against this hope there set themselves those last words which had come
from the mouth of Jesus on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me?” Now these words are the first words, and as it were the
prelude, of one of our psalms. So I began to repeat to myself the words of
the psalm; which beginneth with sadness, yea even from the depths of
sorrow, but these words follow afterwards: “I will declare thy name unto
my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. For he
hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither
hath he hid his face from him, but when he cried unto him he heard.” So I
wondered whether Jesus, in speaking those last words, had in his mind all
the words of the psalm, and “Perchance,” I said, “in saying the first
words, he signified (in his sore weakness when the breath was departing
from him) that he desired to say the whole; for the first words are but as
a title to the whole. Wherefore, perchance, beneath the sense of the
forsaking, there was a deeper sense that God did not despise the
affliction of the afflicted.” Then I mused again concerning the words of
the Psalm, and especially on these, “When he cried unto him, he heard.”
And I looked up to the moon and the stars in heaven, which are the work of
the hand of God, and I asked whether it was possible that the Maker of so
beautiful an order in heaven should suffer disorder to prevail upon the
earth; and my heart said that it could not prevail for ever. “Therefore,”
said I, “God must needs have heard Jesus of Nazareth when he cried unto
Him. Yea, though He seemed not to hear, yet must He have heard indeed.
Yea, even though Jesus be dead, yea, even though Jesus be not the Messiah,
yet surely the Lord must have heard Jesus; for not to have heard him,
would have been not to be God.”

Then rose I up and stood and stretched out my hands in prayer unto the
Lord with whom all things are possible, that He would shew forth His mercy
upon me; and behold, when I tried to pray, my lips would shape forth no
other prayer, but that He would bring back Jesus unto us, even though it
were for a moment of time, that we might look upon him and know that he
still lived. And at one moment I rebuked myself because the thing seemed
impossible; but the next moment that prayer rose up again, and no other.
But when I had prayed, I lay down again, for I was very weary; and because
I was now more at peace within myself, there came upon me a sweet sleep.

In my sleep I dreamed; and the Lord sent unto me a vision of the night,
whereof the former part was like unto the vision which I had had the night
before, but the latter part was different. For again, methought, I saw
Jesus standing on the top of a mountain in great glory; and albeit his
face was like the face of him that hath passed through much tribulation,
yet did the glory prevail over the sorrow, and he rejoiced as one
triumphing over Satan and Death. As I looked, methought Jesus was lifted
up in a chariot from the mountain towards the clouds, and angels
accompanied him as he rode upward; and a sound of solemn music came down
from above to greet him. The heavens opened, yea, even to the seventh
heaven, and there appeared the likeness of a throne on the right hand of
the Majesty on high; and ten thousands of thousands of saints were about
the throne, with palms in their hands, singing hosannas unto the Son of
David. But even as the chariot rose higher and higher, the music waxed
louder and fuller; till at the last, when the chariot was now nigh unto
the throne, behold all the harps in heaven rang out hosannas with such a
peal of praise as made me start out of my vision; and I awoke, and it was
a dream.



                               CHAPTER XXX


When I awoke, it was now hard upon the third hour of the day, and the sun
from behind Mount Olivet was shining brightly down upon the city. All
things below were full of beauty and glory, nor would a stranger have
known that the stain of innocent blood was upon the place; so fair shone
all the city rejoicing in the Sabbath sun. When I looked thereon, the
memory of my dream vanished, even as the mists which I saw rolling upward
from the side of the mountain and vanishing into the pure air. My misery
returned upon me again; and I felt once more alone and without God in the
world. But I resolved to go up straightway to Bethany, if perchance I
might there find the apostles in the house of Mary and Martha. When I was
come thither, I found them all, save Judas; and I entered in and sat with
them in silence; and for a long time we neither prayed nor spake together,
nor so much as lamented aloud; but there we sat speechless and
comfortless; for the hand of the Lord was heavy upon us.

At the last spake certain of the women, saying that they had brought
spices, such as are used in the embalming of bodies, and that they
purposed to go early on the morrow for to embalm the body of Jesus. Then I
asked where he was buried; and they told me, “in a garden of Joseph of
Arimathea, nigh unto the place of crucifixion.” After that, I asked
whether any had stood near, and in view of the cross while he was
suffering; for I had been thrust away by the crowd. Then John the son of
Zebedee answered and said that he had been nigh, and that Jesus had borne
all the anguish with a marvellous constancy. He told me also of certain
other words which Jesus had spoken while he was on the cross, and that a
soldier, after his death, had wounded his side with a spear; but when I
asked him whether he had heard Jesus speak also those words which I had
myself heard, namely that God had forsaken him, then John said nothing,
but only moved his head as if to say that it was so; and the rest also
were silent, for we feared to think on those words.

After we had all thus sat silent for a while, one of the women began to
speak again and to say that all things had happened according to the words
of Jesus; for he had said that he should be slain; and he had blessed
Mary, in that she had anointed his body for the burial. Then another of
the women began to bring to our mind how Jesus had long ago prophesied
that the time should come when we should desire to see one of the days of
the Son of man, and should not find it. And another spake how, at another
time, when we were in the country round about Hermon, he had prophesied
that he should be slain; therefore, said she, he was a true prophet. But
Thomas made mention of the saying of Hosea, whereof Jesus had oftentimes
been used to speak, “Come and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath
torn and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After
two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we
shall live in his sight.” Then said Thomas, “A part of the sayings of
Jesus hath indeed come to pass”; and he added no more. But all we that
were in that chamber sitting together, knew what Thomas had in his mind to
say (for it was in our minds also), namely, that the rest of the words of
Jesus were not to be fulfilled. So again we sat silent; for indeed our
souls were wholly given up to meditating on those words of Jesus, “after
two days he will revive us”; and each knew that the others were meditating
on the same; yet durst none of us say so much as a word, nor so much as
confess to himself that the words could import anything now; for about
that matter we feared even to hope.

But by degrees our tongues were loosed, and we began to speak more freely
concerning the goodness of Jesus, how exceeding gentle he was at all times
to the young and simple, and to the poor and oppressed; how full of peace
and cheerfulness; how thoughtful for others, how forgetful of himself.
Then we spake of his marvellous power in the forgiving of sins, and in the
healing of diseases, and in the casting out of unclean spirits. And one
said that with all these faculties he joined a marvellous grace of modesty
and humility, so that no child could carry himself with less of pride or
ostentation. “Yea,” said another, “and yet withal, though he were never so
simple and humble, he ever spake of himself, none the less, as the haven
and refuge for men, saying such words as these unto us, ‘Come unto me, and
I will give you rest,’ and again, ‘Take my yoke upon you:’ moreover he
bade us take his voice as our Law in the stead of the Law of Moses,
saying, ‘It was said to them of old, do this, but I say unto you, do
that.’ Therefore are we of all men most miserable in that, having received
from God the very source of light and life, now we are deprived thereof.”
Then Peter said, “Yea, verily we have none else to whom we can go, for
Jesus alone hath the words of eternal life; and without him we have no
life.” But said another, “If God be good, how could it be that He should
have forsaken Jesus, so that he cried aloud, ‘My God, my God, why hast
thou forsaken me?’” Then Nathanael spake and said (the very thought that
was in my heart also) that perchance Jesus used those words, desiring
briefly to pour forth all the trouble and all the trust of his heart; for,
said he, “These words are as it were the title of the psalm, and the psalm
beginneth with trouble, but it endeth with trust.” To this the rest agreed
that it might be so; but we all felt within ourselves that this was small
comfort: for we needed not only to think that it might be so, but to know
that it was so.

Then one said that the Kingdom of God and the Redemption of Sion were now
as far off as ever. But Mary of Magdala said with great vehemency, “that
she mourned not for the Redemption of Sion, but because the breath of life
was taken out of the world, for without Jesus there was no more truth nor
righteousness. He trusted in God, would not God deliver him? Was he not
the Son of the living God? If, therefore, the Father live, how can the Son
be dead?” She added yet other words still more passionate, as if God were
no God unless Jesus were restored to life. We chid her, and would have
stayed her speech: for, though she did indeed express the very feelings of
our hearts, yet were we afraid to see them put into plain words, and
besides, we dreaded the pain of new hopes. For to hope that we should look
again on Jesus, and afterwards to fail of that hope, had been to have had
Jesus snatched from us a second time.

By this time the sun had set, and the women began to make ready the spices
for the embalming. But I (because it had been reported to certain of the
disciples that the chief priests purposed to set a guard round the tomb)
determined to go down that I might see whether the tomb were beset with
guards or no, and whether the women could have easy access to it. I easily
found the place in the light of the moon, and it was even as the women had
said; for the garden of Joseph lay not more than three stones’ cast from
the place where Jesus had been crucified. So I stood for a while looking
on the stone, which was at the mouth of the tomb, and no man else was in
the garden. But while I stood near the tomb, very nigh unto the mouth
thereof, I heard a sound on my right hand; and when I turned round,
behold, a light; and the lights grew many as I looked, and I perceived
that there were torches approaching. So I went back some distance, and
still the torches came nearer; and the men were, as it seemed to me,
servants of the chief priests, but I discerned also the face of Hezekiah
the Scribe; and they all stood round the tomb, and I also stood and
watched them from afar off, to see what they would do. But I could not
remain; for they sent out watchers on all sides calling to one another in
a circle, like unto men keeping sentinel, for to spy whether any one were
near. Then I fled perforce and in haste; and though I fled straightway,
yet could I not contrive but the watchers perceived me and chased after me
and went near to take me. But I escaped out of their hands, and went up to
Bethany to bear word unto the women. And when the women heard these things
they were sore distressed. Howbeit they resolved that in any case they
would go forth to the tomb very early on the morrow.

But before we lay down to rest that night, we spake again of Jesus, and
concerning all that he had said and done; and we continued our discourse
late into the night, and were loth to break off; for while we discoursed
together of former times, we seemed to have Jesus again in the midst of
us. But at the end, when we were now ceasing, the Spirit of the Lord fell
upon Mary of Magdala, and she lifted up her voice and sang as the Lord
moved her, and the words were even from the psalm whereof we had been but
now speaking, while discoursing concerning the forsaking of Jesus by God.
Now the song describeth the suffering of the Messiah. Therefore when she
came in her singing to these words, “They pierced my hands and my feet; I
may tell all my bones; they stand staring and looking upon me. They part
my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture”: then we wept,
remembering the sufferings of Jesus. But when she sang the next words,
“But be not thou far from me, O Lord. Thou art my succour, haste thee to
help me. Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling also from the power of
the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth: Thou hast heard me from among the
horns of the unicorns. I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the
midst of the congregation will I praise thee. For he hath not despised,
nor abhorred the low estate of the poor; he hath not hid his face from
him; but when he called unto him he heard him”: then we wept no longer,
but we marvelled while we looked on her, and while we hearkened to the
words of her singing: for she sang as one taught of God, so that we durst
not stay her; yet we thought in our hearts, “Notwithstanding when Jesus
called unto Him, He heard him not.” And when we thought on this we
besought her that she would cease.

Howbeit she ceased not, but began to sing yet another psalm, a part of the
great Hallel; even the very words that Jesus himself had sung to us on the
night before he suffered. And the other women joined with her, and they
sang so that the sound thereof pierced to our very souls. Then could we
endure it no longer, but covered our faces with our hands. But they
continued singing, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of
the Lord. The Lord hath chastened and corrected me, but he hath not given
me over unto death. Thou art my God, and I will thank thee; thou art my
God, and I will praise thee.”

Now while they were singing, I had closed mine eyes; and lo, there rose up
before me a vision of the upper room where we had supped together with
Jesus on the night that he was betrayed: and I seemed to see the face of
Jesus himself; yea, though I was not asleep nor in a trance, yet did I see
Jesus himself sitting again as if at meat with us. Therefore was I loth to
open mine eyes; for I feared that, when I opened them, I should no longer
see what I saw. But when the women had made an end of singing, then opened
I mine eyes, half expecting that it might prove no vision, and that Jesus
would be sitting before me in the midst of us. But I saw nothing; nor were
the women any longer with us, for they were gone forth into another
chamber to finish their preparations for the embalming. For they desired
to visit the sepulchre very early in the morning, and it was by this time
the third watch of the night. About the space of an hour, I remained in
the chamber with the rest: then I heard the footsteps of the women as they
passed forth from the house. I tried to sleep, but could not; for ever in
my mind was present the thought of Jesus in the tomb, waiting the approach
of the women to embalm him. So my heart went forth with the women upon
their errand, and I reckoned over the time and said ever and anon, “Now
they are come down from the mountain; by this time they are nigh to
Golgotha; now they are in the garden; now they are at the tomb.” Then I
saw before mine eyes the women embracing the dead limbs of our Master.
“And now,” said I, “the stone is rolled away and they have entered in:
they weep, but he answereth not, neither heareth; his eyes move not nor
make any answer to their eyes; they clasp his hands, but his hands clasp
not theirs again.”

When I thought on these things I arose in sore extremity nigh unto
despair, and went up to the house‐top. Above the mountains of Moab, to the
east, there was a faint token of dawn. I thought of the coming day, and I
loathed it; for without Jesus the light seemed unto me as darkness.
Moreover when I strove to pray, Satan tempted me very sorely, so that I
could not pray: for I said, “Behold I am without Jesus: but God without
Jesus is to me as no God.” Then fell I flat upon my face and wrestled with
Satan in prayer, and I besought the Lord again and again that He would
give Jesus back to us, yea, though it were but to look on him for one
moment, that we might be assured that all was well with him. How long I
prayed I know not, but it seemed to me many hours; and sometimes I stood
in my praying and watched the dawn growing brighter; and even as the dawn
grew, my fears and doubts grew with it; but at other times I lay prostrate
and shut out the light. So at last the sky began to brighten towards
sunrise; and still I was crying unto the Lord from the depths, according
as it is written, “I wait for the Lord; my soul doth wait, and in his word
do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the
morning, more, I say, than they that watch for the morning.”

Now while I lay grovelling in the very deepest of the depths, beseeching
the Lord to destroy me if I might not have peace, behold, a sound as of
many feet below, without the house, and then a knocking, exceeding loud;
and one asked from within, “Who is there?” And the answer came piercing
the air, “HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN! JESUS IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!” Now at
first I thought that the voice was the voice of an angel; but when I
considered, and heard how answer was made, and the door forthwith opened,
and a sound as of feet entering, then straightway I knew that it was the
voice of one of the women come back from the sepulchre. Immediately,
therefore, going down, I found all the household stirring, and the women
returned, and all the disciples gathered together, and standing round the
women, questioning them, and listening to their words.

Then the women told us how they had gone down to Golgotha, even to the
tomb; and when Mary of Magdala was now nigh, even at the mouth of the tomb
(for she walked somewhat before the rest), behold, the great stone at the
mouth of the tomb was rolled away. Then she called aloud for despair, and
her companions hasted to her; but when they were now come to her, as she
was even now adventuring to enter into the tomb, of a sudden Mary cried
out again, saying, “Behold, an angel of the Lord!” And lo, there appeared
to them (even to all the women and not to Mary only) an angel clothed in
white; and they all heard a voice which said, “He is not here, but is
risen.” And, said Mary Magdalene, the voice added that we were to return
to Galilee, and there we should see him; but another of the women said
that the voice seemed to her also to speak of Galilee, but she heard not
those other words which Mary heard.(12) Also some of the women had seen
two angels, but others only one. But as concerning this at least, all the
women were agreed, namely, that they had seen a vision of angels, and that
they had heard a voice which cried out, “He is not here, he is risen.”

Now when we had spent much time in questioning and hearing the women, I
desired to go down forthwith to the sepulchre, for to see it with mine own
eyes: but the women stayed me, and said, “It were better to wait; for
Peter and John are already gone down.” So I waited, but in sore trouble of
mind; for at one time I believed, but at another time I doubted. For as
concerning the tomb, it came into my mind that it was like enough that the
servants of the chief priests (whom I had seen in the garden during the
night) might haply have broken open the tomb and stolen away the body; but
then on the other side there was the vision of the angels and the voice;
and besides, it was being borne in upon my mind, and upon the minds of
most of us, that Jesus must indeed arise from the dead, for thus should
both the words of the prophets be fulfilled, and his own words also; but
otherwise they could not be fulfilled. So I waited till John and Peter
should return.

But while I was still waiting and marvelling that they tarried so long,
there came in certain of the disciples; these were not Galileans, but
abode in Jerusalem, and they asked us whether we had seen aught that
night. We said “No.” Then said one of them to us, “Last night, in
returning from beholding that which came to pass at Golgotha, about two
hours after sunset, Miriam, my sister’s daughter, saw her father (who hath
now been buried these six weeks) risen from the grave and standing wrapped
in the grave‐clothes near her bed; moreover two other women of mine
acquaintance saw the bodies of their little children, fresh and blooming
as if they were verily alive; and another, a certain young man named
Mattathias (but he is not known to me), is said to have seen his brother,
who hath been buried more than a year, standing as if alive, so that he
even approached him and called him by name. And other wonderful sights
have appeared to very many.” And his companions confirmed all his words,
saying, “The like also we ourselves have heard.”

While we marvelled at their words, the two disciples, Peter and John, came
into the chamber. But they had seen nothing; only the stone rolled away,
even as the women had said, and the tomb void of the body. Then one of the
disciples brought again to our minds how that Jesus, even before his
death, had bidden us go into Galilee, saying that he would there manifest
himself unto us; and when we questioned Mary of Magdala, she constantly
affirmed that the voice of the angels was to the same effect. Therefore I
resolved that I would set forth that very day to go to Capernaum. For a
hope was now waxing strong within me that I should after all see Jesus
again. So I set out without delay, with certain other of the disciples;
howbeit the greater part would stay in Jerusalem yet a few days.



                               CHAPTER XXXI


When we came to Capernaum, on the evening of the third day, we spent the
rest of that day in praying and praising God; and we fasted and besought
the Lord that we might see Jesus according to His promise. And so we spent
the next day likewise. But on the morrow, which was the fifth day of the
week, it being now a full week from the time when Jesus had broken bread
with us on the night when he was betrayed, we determined that we also
would break bread together, even as he had commanded us, in memory of him.
And about the sixth hour of the day, when we were seated together in an
upper room praying to the Lord, there came in Peter and James and other of
the disciples, but now returned from Jerusalem. And Peter related how the
Lord Jesus himself had appeared to him; and James said that he also had
seen the Lord Jesus. Now at first I feared lest it might be the will of
the Lord that Jesus should reveal himself to none save the Twelve; but I
understood that Mary of Magdala also had seen him.

Then two other of the disciples, and they not of the number of the Twelve,
related to me how Jesus had appeared to them also, at the breaking of
bread. For they had walked forth together conversing much about Jesus of
Nazareth, and about the hopes which they had had that he should have
redeemed Israel. “And so it was,” said one of them (for I will set down
the story as it was told me by one of the disciples, whose name was
Cleophas), “that we had just made mention between ourselves of the voice
and the vision of angels; making mention thereof as of an idle tale. And
it was the hour of prayer. And because of the extremity of our sorrow we
both fell on our faces, and poured out all our desire before the Lord,
beseeching Him for the Redemption of Israel. Then the Lord Jesus had
compassion on us and came to us. For when we rose up from praying, we
heard a voice from the Lord Jesus himself, chiding us for our folly and
slowness of heart in not believing all that the prophets had spoken; for
that it was needful that Christ should have suffered these things, and
thus to enter into his glory: and lo, at an instant the whole of the truth
of the Scriptures lay before our eyes, and all the meaning of the words of
the Lord Jesus withal.

“As we went forward, our hearts burned within us while the Lord revealed
unto us the Scriptures and all the meaning of his prophecies; but still
our eyes were not opened to discern that he himself was present with us;
yet we perceived that there was a divine presence near us. But when the
sun was setting and we drew nigh unto the village whither we were going,
our hearts became faint and dull, as if the presence were departing from
us. Therefore we knelt down once more and besought the Lord that he would
continue to us the strength of his presence. Notwithstanding even now our
eyes were not opened that we should discern him.

“But in the evening, it being now late, when we were sat down to eat bread
together, our hearts being full of the presence of Jesus, we brake the
bread and blessed it, even as Jesus had broken and blessed, and then we
said aloud, according to his word, ‘Behold, the body of the Lord;’ and lo,
at that word the cloud was removed from our eyes, and first my companion,
and then I also, discerned Jesus on the other side of the table, reclining
as if at meat (even as he reclined when he last brake bread with us), and
with his hands stretched out as if in the breaking and blessing of bread.
Now for a while (but I knew not how long, except that it was not very
long), Jesus remained with his hands still outstretched as at the first,
looking at us with a very loving countenance, but saying naught; and we
sat upright as men astonied and speechless, and not able to move for
astonishment; but when we rose up for to have embraced him, straightway
Jesus vanished out of our sight.”

All we that were in the chamber rejoiced when we heard Cleophas saying
these things. Only Thomas believed not; for the thing seemed unto him too
beautiful to be verily true, and he said, “If I believe that Jesus is
risen from the dead, and afterwards find that it is not so, then shall my
misery be increased twofold: therefore will I believe not.” And he added
moreover, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put
my finger in the print of the nails and thrust my hand into his side, I
will not believe.” We were grieved at the words of Thomas: howbeit none
rebuked him, for we knew that he spake out of his exceeding love of Jesus.
But we besought him to break bread with us that evening, according to the
commandment of Jesus.

So about one hour after sunset, we were assembled all together in the
upper room (it was a room in the house of Peter, wherein Jesus was wont to
sit at meat with us in past times), and Thomas also was with us. But the
door was shut and made fast for fear of spies; whom the Scribes in
Capernaum had begun to set over us for to watch us. When all things were
now ready, first we sang a psalm, even the same psalm that Jesus had sung
on the same night in the week before, when we kept the Passover together.
Then Simon Peter offered up prayers and praises to God, and made mention
of the comfortable words of the Lord Jesus, how he had said that he would
never leave us nor forsake us, but that wheresoever two or three were
gathered together in his name, there would he be present among them. Last
of all he spake of the testament of the Lord Jesus, how he had bidden us
break bread and drink wine in memory of him, that we might partake of his
body and his blood. Then began Simon Peter to break bread and to reach it
to each of us, and at the same time he said, “This is the body of the
Lord.” But behold, in the midst of his giving of the bread, Peter made a
sudden pause and was silent, and his eyes were fixed, and he gazed
steadfastly upon the place which had been left empty at the table; for
Jesus had been wont to sit there in times past, wherefore in that place
durst no man sit. Then I turned round hastily to look, and behold, Jesus
was there; as clear to view as ever I had seen him in this life, only very
pale, and there were the nail‐prints in his hands, and methought there was
a wound in his side; and the brightness of his love and compassion passed
sensibly forth from his eyes to mine, and all my soul went out to him as I
looked; but I could in no wise speak, nor did I desire to speak; for I had
thoughts deeper than all words.

Now not a hand moved, not a word was spoken: and there was such a silence
as if one could hear and count the footsteps of time; neither could I turn
mine eyes from Jesus till I heard Thomas weeping beside me; but he threw
himself on the ground, stretching out his hands to Jesus, and reproaching
himself for his faithlessness; and at the same time, pressing the bread,
even the body of the Lord which he held in his hand, he cried out saying,
“My hand hath touched; yea I have touched; I believe, I believe.” But
neither he nor any of us durst adventure to go to that part of the table
where Jesus sat; but when I looked again, behold his hand was stretched
out (even as the two disciples had described their vision of Jesus) as if
he brake and blessed the bread that was his body; and Thomas also heard a
voice (but I heard not the voice) saying that he was to touch with his
hand, according to his own saying, and to be no more faithless, but
believing. After this Jesus vanished from our eyes, and neither in his
coming nor in his departing was the door opened, but it remained shut
fast; whereat we all marvelled.

From henceforth old things seemed to pass away, and all things became new
unto us. For whithersoever we went, and whatsoever we did, we knew that we
had the presence of Jesus with us, even when we saw him not. But
oftentimes he revealed himself to us, and we saw him plainly; and this too
not only in the house and sitting at meat (albeit he oftentimes, and
methinks most times, revealed himself to us in the house), but sometimes
also abroad in the fields, or even on the lake. Yea I myself was once
present when a storm came down upon us on the lake, and the winds sent up
such waves as were like to have covered our boat, and we cried unto Jesus
in our terror; and behold, the storm ceased, and the clouds parted
asunder, and we saw Jesus walking on the waves and stilling them under his
feet. And to others of the disciples he appeared at another time, when
they had been toiling the night long at fishing, and had caught nothing;
and he gave unto them a draught of fishes exceeding any that they had ever
before taken.

But the most of the manifestations of Jesus were vouchsafed to us when we
brake bread together; after which manner also he revealed himself unto
James, as I have heard. For James had taken an oath that he would neither
eat nor drink until he had seen Jesus risen from the dead. Therefore on
the night after the vision of angels which had been seen by the women,
James was in the house at Bethany with Simon Peter and John, and the table
was spread for supper; but James would not eat. Then suddenly Jesus was
seen sitting in the midst of them, breaking bread and blessing it, and
bidding James to partake thereof.(13) But, as I have said, Jesus appeared
to us at other times and in other places, and not merely in the breaking
of bread; and sometimes in visions without a voice, but at other times in
a voice without any vision, and sometimes also, as it has been reported
unto me, by signs and tokens (without either voice or vision), and even in
the guise of strangers; and all this for the space of little less than a
year, insomuch that, if any one should adventure to set forth all the
manifestations of Jesus, and the time and place and manner of each, I
suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that should be
written. Therefore passing over these, I will relate how Jesus appeared in
Galilee on a certain mountain to more than five hundred of the brethren at
one time.

It was on this wise. A year, or not much less, had passed away since the
rising of Jesus from the dead; and we were still tarrying in Galilee, and
the Passover was at hand. Now during that year the number of the disciples
had been increasing, but not much; for we had not at that time been moved
to proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus. But as the Passover drew nigh,
Jesus began to manifest himself less often to us; and he made known to us
by the mouth of Peter and of other of the disciples that the time was at
hand when he should ascend up to heaven. Then there arose a questioning
among us whether we should go up to the Passover or not; for some said
that Jerusalem was an accursed city (because the doom of our Lord had gone
forth upon it), and that we should not go up; but others said that we
should go up; for the Lord would there reveal his will to us. Then it
seemed good that the disciples should meet together on a certain mountain
in Galilee, whereto Jesus had often resorted aforetime; and there we were
to consider of these matters and to ask counsel of the Lord. Now when we
were assembled to the number of five hundred in all, women and men
together, behold, as we were all offering up prayers with one consent in
the name of the Lord Jesus, there was a cry, “Behold him.” And Jesus
appeared unto us, of the same aspect as before, but fainter, and as it
seemed standing at a distance from us; insomuch that some that had not
before seen Jesus risen from the dead, were in doubt; and others said they
saw nothing. But when we prayed more earnestly, behold, Jesus came closer
to us, so that all, or almost all, could discern him; and he waved with
the hand as if bidding us go southward. Afterwards the Lord spake by the
mouth of Peter, saying that we were verily to go to Jerusalem. And so it
was determined.

Now in the meantime, while we were waiting till the Feast of the Passover
should come round, our hearts began to burn within us as if something
great must surely come to pass, and the time must be at hand when we
should go forth to preach Jesus to the world. For words may not describe
with how great a joy we lived during those days one with another, and what
a passion of love knit our hearts together; and it seemed a sin that so
much joy and happiness should not be imparted to others besides ourselves
only. For at this time we, the disciples of Jesus, were as it were in
Paradise, and joy went ever with us. For if we sailed upon the lake in our
fishing‐boats, Jesus was there; or if we remained in Capernaum, working in
the gardens, or on the quay, or about the booths, or went out into the
fields, Jesus was there; and when we met together in the evenings to break
bread in memory of him, or in the early dawn on the first day of the week,
to renew the remembrance of his rising again, then verily Jesus was not
only there, but also often visibly there; insomuch that while we touched
his body with our hands, and while we drank of the blood from his side, we
were able at the same time to feast our eyes upon the brightness of his
countenance. Yet with all our joy we were not yet moved to go forth to
preach the Good News. For it seemed sufficient for that present time that
we should take delight in the presence of Jesus, and suck in strength from
often beholding him visibly present among us.

Howbeit, though we were still as children clinging to the mother, and not
yet able to walk alone, notwithstanding day by day we were learning some
new thing concerning the will of the Lord: and the teaching of Jesus,
which had in times past been hid from us, began now to appear more clear,
and our eyes were being opened also to understand the Law and the
prophets; and we all now understood that it had been the will of God from
the first that Jesus should die upon the cross and give his life as a
ransom for many. Moreover, we began to perceive that a time might be at
hand when the Lord Jesus would depart from us, and seem to leave us alone
upon the earth to preach the Kingdom of God: and we no longer feared to be
alone, for we knew now that the Lord Jesus could never really leave us.

So we came up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass on the day of the Feast of
the Passover, Jesus once more revealed himself visibly to us; and by the
mouth of Peter he spake concerning that which was to come, and said that
he must now be lifted up from among us: howbeit his Spirit should abide
with us, and thence we should receive the power of forgiving sins. Some
also said that they saw Jesus open his lips like unto one breathing forth
breath upon another; as if he then breathed upon us the spirit of
forgiveness: but this I saw not, nor anything that Jesus did, save that he
blessed and brake bread, after his wont.

Now after the Passover we waited patiently at Jerusalem for nigh forty
days; and all that time Jesus revealed himself not to any one of us,
neither by sight nor by voice: and we questioned much among ourselves
whether we ought to delay longer, for our hearts were desirous to preach
Jesus. But when the feast of Pentecost was now at hand the word of the
Lord Jesus came to us, saying that we should go forth to Mount Olivet,
even to Bethany. And we went forth even as the Lord led us: yet he spake
no word more to us; and it was now the tenth hour of the day. And after
that we had walked for some while this way and that way upon the uplands
of that mountain (even where our Master had walked in times past), and
when we had spoken much together concerning all that he had said and done
in these same places, behold, we came unto a hollow cleft in the mountain,
whither no path led, nor was any habitation of men nigh unto it. Now by
this time it wanted but a little of sunset: yet were we loth to go back to
Jerusalem till we should have understood what the will of the Lord might
be. So Peter said, “Sit we down here, and let us pray that the Lord may
reveal his will unto us.”

So we sat down and prayed; but we saw nothing, neither did the Lord speak
by the voice of any of us. So we waited yet longer; but nothing came,
vision nor voice nor sign; and by this time the sun had set.
Notwithstanding it was not yet dark, for there was a wondrous brightness
in the west, and behold, all the clouds and air above us were filled with
a glorious appearance as of amber, and sapphire, and gold, and flames of
fire. Then Peter stood up and stretched out his hands unto the Lord Jesus,
and looked up to the heaven and said, “Thou, O Lord, didst promise that
wheresoever two or three were gathered together in thy name, there wouldst
thou be in the midst of them. Therefore, O Lord, be present now, we
entreat thee.” Now before the words had well passed from his lips, he
ceased on a sudden, and his eyes were fixed, and his hand pointed to the
sky, and John also cried out, saying, “He goeth up: lo, I see the Lord
Jesus going up to heaven.” Then I looked where John pointed, and lo, I
also saw the Lord. But his face was no longer pale as before, nor were the
prints of nails any more to be seen in his hands and feet, neither could I
now discern his features so clearly as was usual: for his whole form
seemed robed in a vesture of glory, and a crown of light about his head,
and he sat upon a throne of sapphire. For the space of a minute or more we
all gazed fixed in wonder; but then the throne rose slowly upwards, and
with it rose likewise the angels, like unto flames of fire, round the
sapphire throne; and so the glory grew fainter and more distant, and at
the last a cloud or a darkness passed over it, and received it out of our
sight.

But when the glory had now quite departed, we remained a long while
steadfastly looking up to heaven, yea, even to the darkness of heaven, if
perchance the glory might yet return to us. For we knew that we were now
bidding farewell to the Lord Jesus for ever. But at the last Peter spake
to us and said, “Be not sad, brethren, because Jesus is gone from us: for
I heard the word of the Lord coming unto me, even from the angels about
the throne of Jesus, and the message of the Lord unto us is this, ‘Why
stand ye gating up unto heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you
into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into
heaven.’”

Then we returned thanks to God, praising and magnifying Him whose mercy
endureth for ever; and we returned to Jerusalem rejoicing and singing
songs of praise. But in the evening, when we sat together at meat, Simon
Peter said that it behoved us, while we returned thanks to God for the
gift of the Law (for it is a custom of our nation to do this on the
evening before the morning of Pentecost), to return thanks yet more for
the gift of the grace of Jesus; and he also besought the Lord to give us
his grace even more abundantly, that the law of Jesus might be written on
our hearts. So we sat late into that night conversing together and praying
and singing praises unto God.

On the morrow we rose up very early and assembled ourselves together again
to pray: and there were with us many disciples of several nations, devout
men; not Galileans only, but also Alexandrines, and men of Cyrene, and
some of Mesopotamia and Cappadocia, who all believed in Jesus. When we
were now all assembled together and the door had been made fast, then
Peter stood up, and thanked the Lord for that He had given to us His Holy
One, Jesus of Nazareth, whom He had now taken to Himself; and he besought
the Lord that, as He had taken up Jesus to heaven after the manner of
Elias, so, after the same manner, He would send down some portion of His
power upon us (even as Elias had sent down power upon his disciples) to
the intent that all the people might know that the Lord had sent us to
preach His word to Israel.

Then did the Lord hear us and answer us from heaven, even as He answered
Elias by fire in the former days. For behold the Spirit from above fell
upon us, and there was a sound as of many voices, even as the roar of many
waters; and as the Lord touched the mouth of the prophet Esaias with fire,
even so did He give unto us the Spirit of fire upon us, according to the
saying of John the son of Zachariah, so that our hearts were all a‐glow,
and our faces kindling; and we prophesied as the Spirit gave us utterance,
according to the saying of the prophet Jeremiah, “Behold I will make my
words in thy mouth as fire.” But herein was a great marvel; for we sang no
psalms, nor did we speak in Scriptures, nor even in any articulate words;
but we uttered strange sounds, whereof we felt the sense, but knew not of
what language they were; for our tongues moved as the Spirit bade us. But
behold, certain of the disciples that had not been moved by the Spirit to
speak in tongues, were moved by the same Spirit to understand the meaning
of our words; and one came up to me and said, “Thou speakest the language
of Mesopotamia, even as I heard it in my childhood; and I verily
understand thee, for thou speakest the very thoughts of my heart, thanking
God for that He hath chosen us forth to be the servants of His son and to
proclaim His Gospel to all the world.” Then came another, a man of Cyrene,
and he said the like, namely, that I spake in his own language, which was
not the language of Mesopotamia, but the Punic tongue. Now while we all
marvelled hereat, and knew not what to think, Peter stood up and said that
the purpose of the Lord was that, in the times to come, all men upon the
face of the earth should be of one language and of one family. “And to
this end,” said he, “God hath this day sent unto you this sign and token.
For this day is fulfilled among you the saying of the prophets: And it
shall come to pass that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. For the
time is at hand when all men shall know the Lord from the least to the
greatest. For men shall no longer be taught of priests saying, Know the
Lord; nor shall the knowledge of Him be given only to the rich and to them
that have leisure; but upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those
days will the Lord pour out His Spirit.”

Then did we all rejoice with an exceeding joy, and we went forth openly
into the temple for to magnify the Lord therein. And as I went, my heart
leaping up and dancing within me for the fervour of my gladness, there
came into my mind how, about three years ago, Philo the Alexandrine had
spoken to me of a certain _enthousiasmos_ that should fall upon the
righteous: but his _enthousiasmos_ was I knew not what, a passion for
“mere existence,” or for “that which is”; and I could not attain to
apprehend so much as the meaning of it. But now I had indeed attained to
the true _enthousiasmos_, which uplifteth and ennobleth and comforteth the
soul, and stirreth to action, and purifieth the thought, and pervadeth
every corner of the life of man, and includeth all things create and
uncreate; so that my heart went out in love to all the creatures of God,
and to all men without distinction, Gentiles as well as Jews, tax‐
gatherers as well as Scribes; yea, even to the Romans did my heart now go
forth in love.

But when we were come together to the temple, the Pharisees and the chief
priests and all the people marvelled at our boldness. For we were as
changed men in their sight; because we no longer feared them as of old;
neither, on the other hand, did we hate them, nor desire to revenge
ourselves on them for that they had slain Jesus. But we pitied them; yea,
we felt an exceeding compassion and love for them, as for them that
wandered in darkness, while we sat in a great light. Therefore were we
exceeding bold; and as for fear, we had forgotten what it meant: but we
desired to pour out the good news of Christ before all men. For our hearts
could not contain themselves for the abundance of joy and gladness and
peace which the Lord had vouchsafed to us. So the people gathered
themselves together around us. But when the Holy Spirit fell upon us, some
men mocked, and called us drunkards; but the more part gave heed when
Peter spake to them.

So Simon Peter spake in the ears of all the people, and said to them, even
as he had said to us, that this out‐pouring was for a sign to men, because
the Lord was to pour out His Spirit upon the face of the earth. Moreover
he added that Jesus was indeed the Christ, and that the Lord had raised
him from the dead (whereof we were witnesses), to the intent that he
should come again to judge the world in power; for he should assuredly
prevail, and cast down all his enemies beneath his feet. When the people
heard these words, they believed in Jesus; for a power went forth from the
mouth of Peter and from the mouths of the other disciples, so that their
words pierced into the very souls of such as should be saved. And we
purified them (for we also baptized, even as John the son of Zachariah had
baptized his disciples) and baptized them in the brook of Kidron. Then was
fulfilled the word of Jesus of Nazareth, which he spake unto the apostles,
saying that he would make them “fishers of men;” for on that day the net
of the Gospel was indeed cast, and great was the draught of the fishes, so
that there were added unto the Lord three thousand of them that believed.



                              CHAPTER XXXII


Here must this history have an end. But I marvel how smoothly and easily
the relation seemeth to have ascended from Jesus on earth to Jesus in
heaven, as if by some ladder of easy ascent, and as though there were not
seven heavens between. And perchance men would marvel the more, if I had
been able to set down exactly the image of Jesus as he appeared to me at
the first in my mother’s house at Sepphoris, or when he sat with us in the
fishing‐boat on the lake; so that the image of Jesus as he seemed then,
might be compared with the image of Jesus as he seemeth now. But I know
that I have not been able to do this. For my pen hath still outrun the
story: and in adventuring to describe Jesus as he appeared to me on earth,
I have often failed of my intent, and have described him, not as he
appeared to me on earth, but as he was hereafter to appear to me from
heaven.

Oftentimes, musing on the difference between Jesus, as he was in deed and
in truth, and Jesus, as we in Galilee supposed him to be, I have
questioned myself and said, “Whence this waste of the life of the Lord
Jesus? For if it be good for us to know him, and if the knowledge of him
be eternal life, as we believe; then how much better had it been that we
should have known him while he was alive, and not to have tarried for the
knowledge till death had taken him from us?”

Now, looking back, I seem to discern a reason for our ignorance, or, at
the least, a certain wholesome fruit springing therefrom. For methinks,
had we known the Lord Jesus as he was, and all his greatness and glory,
and all that was to betide him, and his resurrection, and his ascension,
even then when he sat with us at meat, and went in and out with us
throughout the villages of Galilee; I say, had we known even then that
Jesus was to be raised from the dead, and to sit at the right hand of God,
methinks we could not have loved him so dearly, nor have spoken with him
so familiarly, nor have questioned him so freely, revealing unto him all
our infirmities, and trusting him as a friend, yea, loving him as a very
son of man, even one of ourselves.

But the Lord so ordained it that we should come to Jesus as to a great and
good man, becoming infected with his spirit and imbued with the love of
him as of a mortal being; and then, when he had caught our hearts as it
were by guile, so that he had made himself now needful unto us even as the
very breath of our lives, then began he to say unto us, “Whom say ye that
I, the Son of man, am?” And lo, trying our hearts, we began to perceive
that this same Son of man, who had so given life to our souls, could be
none other than the very Son of the Living God.

Hence it came to pass that, when he departed from us, and when we felt a
void in our hearts, and when we questioned ourselves what it was that we
had lost, and what it was that we most loved and trusted and revered, yea
also, and what it was that we most worshipped as divine; then behold,
searching our hearts, we found that there was nothing in heaven above nor
in the earth beneath, nor in the waters under the earth, no, nor in the
host above the heavens, that could compare with Jesus of Nazareth. And so
it was that, when we worshipped him as the Son, it seemed not unto us as
if we were honouring him by calling him God; but (if I may speak as a
child) it seemed rather as though we were striving to honour God by saying
that God was one with Jesus. For saying this, seemed all one with saying
that God was Love.

Therefore if any put this question unto me, “Why believest thou not that
Romulus is God, and Liber, and Amphiaraus, and Elias, and Enoch (who all
are said to have escaped death), and yet thou believest that Jesus of
Nazareth is God?”: my answer is this, that I believe Jesus to be God,
first, because God is Love, and Jesus is Love; secondly, because God is
Might and Jesus is Might; and lastly, because, if Jesus was not indeed
divine, then must he needs have been a poor deluded creature, unfit and
unable to do any great work for the children of men. For certainly, albeit
he was the most humble and lowly of men, yet did he ever speak of himself,
not as one of many redeemers, but as the redeemer of men, the refuge of
the wretched, the forgiver of sins, the source of life and truth.

“But,” say some, “Jesus was of a surety not Might; for he came not as a
conqueror, but as one conquered.” Now, methinks, concerning them that say
such things, it was well said by Xanthias that “they are like unto the
foolish giant Polyphemus, who could not think that Ulysses could be
Ulysses indeed, for that he was not a giant like unto himself. In the same
way certain persons of gross understanding” (even of such an understanding
as I myself had, before that I had been enlightened by the spirit of
Christ) “suppose that Jesus could not have been the Messiah, for that he
did not come into the world as they themselves would have come, nor do the
works which they themselves would have done, had they been Messiahs. For
they would have come into the world, forsooth, riding on the clouds, or
borne on chariots of fire, or working signs in heaven or portents upon
earth. Now this is even such a Messiah as Polyphemus would have devised
for himself. But it was surely a much more divine thing that the Word of
God should come into the world as a poor man, and the child of the poor
(as if to shew that no estate of man is too low to be sanctified by the
Divine Word); and that he should subdue all men unto himself, not by force
nor portents, but by love, patience, and suffering; submitting himself
patiently to all the laws of the world, yea even to the law of death, and
yet triumphing over them all through the force of righteousness.”

Thus spake Xanthias, and I assent unto his words. But furthermore, if I
believed Jesus to be the Son of God when mine eyes were opened to discern
him after his resurrection, much more do I believe it now; because all the
years as they pass by, yea, and all the seventy nations of the earth, are
as so many angels of God, which do cry aloud with a clear voice and say,
“Jesus of Nazareth is our King; Jesus of Nazareth, though he be in heaven,
is ruling on earth.” For whithersoever I look throughout the Empire, I
behold the love of Christ beginning already to rule over the tribes of the
earth, though as yet it be in small beginnings. In Britain, where I now
write, in Gaul, in Spain, in Italy, in Greece, in all the parts of Asia
Minor, in Carthage and Egypt, yea even unto Babylon and the parts far
beyond the River, the Lord Jesus now hath his worshippers.

Too long were it now to recount what I beheld in Alexandria and in Rome
concerning the power of Christ and how the churches in those cities
increased and are still increasing. But thus much have I noted concerning
the law of Christ, that it differeth from all other laws, in that it is
fitted for all nations and climates and times. It is as useful for the
poor as for the rich. It loveth order and concord, and hateth disorder and
tumult. It loveth truth, righteousness, and happiness; it hateth deceits
and unrighteousness and misery. It doth not say unto all nations, “Take
unto yourselves the customs of the Greeks,” nor yet “Take unto yourselves
the laws of the Romans,” neither doth it prescribe any pattern of
government as the best: but what saith it? It saith, “Love God and thy
neighbour; and I, even I, will give thee strength to love them.” For our
law is none other than the Lord Jesus himself, dwelling with us again, and
abiding in our hearts for ever, through faith.

Therefore is the law of Jesus in the end to prevail over other laws. For
other laws are laws of fear, and they rule by constraint and hinder
growth; but the law of Jesus is a law of love, and ruleth through freedom,
causing all good things to grow, and making the heart to leap up with joy.
Other laws need addition of rewards and punishments; but the law of Jesus
assigneth fit reward, and executeth needful punishment, of itself, without
help of king or lawgiver. The laws of other lawgivers will pass away with
the passing of those needs for which the laws were made: but the law of
love will abide for ever, for the need thereof passeth not away. And when
that law shall be established, then, and not till then, shall wars cease
from the earth, and all nations shall be as one: for as Moses gave Israel
a law to knit the ten tribes into one nation, even so hath the Lord Jesus
given us a law to knit the seventy nations of the earth into one family of
God.

In this hope I rejoice, even in the midst of tribulations, for I trust
that Jesus of Nazareth reigneth. Therefore shall my heart not fail, albeit
the signs and mighty works of the Church seem now to be passing away, and
devils be not now cast out as of old; nor are the sick so often healed;
and the saints speak less oft with tongues. For if the signs of
righteousness and mercy and truth abide in the Church, those other signs
may perchance be suffered to pass away. But that which sometimes troubleth
me more, is that, as I hear in some of the churches, the saints are
overmuch given to the governing of the congregations, and the arranging of
the worship of the saints, and the observing of feasts and fasts, more
than to the waging of the war against unrighteousness. For though it be
well to follow after peace, yet can I not forget that the Lord Jesus
studied not to lead a quiet life, but spake unto us saying that he must
needs send a sword on earth. And who knoweth not how he stood up with the
sword of his mouth against the Pharisees in the Temple of the Lord? The
like of which contests and protestations against evil we hear not so oft,
methinks, as in old times: howbeit, perchance even herein the Holy Spirit
guideth us. But be this as it may, I still trust in the Lord Jesus; yea,
even though there be (as I hear there be) divisions in certain of the
churches, yet trust I in him. For I perceive that the Lord’s ways are not
as our ways; but the last are made first; and the weak become strong; and
the foolish are exalted above the wise. Therefore, even as from the fall
of Sion there seemeth to have come uprising to the Gentiles, even so
perhaps out of the divisions of the churches may arise truth for all the
world.

But as concerning the hour of the coming of the Lord, I deny not that he
tarrieth long, even past all expectation. But inasmuch as the Lord Jesus
himself said that he knew not that hour, for this cause I judge that no
man shall know it. Only this is revealed unto me, that when the Lord shall
come, it shall not be after such manner as we expect and shape forth in
our minds, but the manner thereof shall be unexpected and new: better, I
doubt not, than ever we hope or imagine, yet none the less, strange; yea,
and perchance, at the first, full of disappointment. For I perceive that
all the dealings of the Lord with men are after this fashion. He ever
prepareth some good thing for us, exceeding all that we had expected;
notwithstanding, with the good, there cometh also some wholesome pain or
temptation that we expect not. For thus the Lord dealt with Adam in
Paradise, and thus with Israel in the Promised Land; and thus also dealt
the Lord Jesus with his disciples on earth. Wherefore thus also, I doubt
not, the Lord Jesus will deal still with his disciples now that he
reigneth in heaven.

But why speak I in conjectures concerning these unknown matters, or why
yearn I thus impatiently for the hour of the Lord’s coming, seeing that
the Lord vouchsafeth to me, even on earth, his perpetual presence in mine
heart, and the signs of his presence compass me everywhere around, so that
even to live is joy? For verily to thee, O Lord, and to thy Kingdom, all
things in heaven and earth do bear witness.

The faces of all children, whom thou didst call thy little ones, give back
the brightness of thy countenance; the goodness of all good men testifieth
unto thee, the supreme pattern of all good; yea even the bad and the weak
proclaim their need of thee, O Lord our Redeemer, in whom alone is power
to create goodness in the worst, and to make the weakest strong. To thy
word the seed‐time and harvests bear witness; the flowers also do sing of
thy trustfulness and hope. If I look unto the earth, thou hast trodden and
sanctified it; if to the heaven, thou hast gone up into it and dost
possess it; if I think of the terrors of the depths beneath the earth,
behold, thou knowest them, and hast passed through them, and overcome
them, and hast broken the bars thereof; that they may no more keep captive
them that shall follow in thy footsteps, passing through the darkness of
the grave. Thus hast thou, O Eternal Word (by whom in ages past the worlds
were created) now in these last times created the universe anew for them
that love thee; so that all things do serve thee and proclaim thy Good
Tidings, and the world is become unto thee as a vesture, and the elements
are become thy servants: yea death itself thou hast subdued to be thy
minister, and sin thou shalt subdue to be thy bond‐slave.

Who is like unto thee, O most mighty Lord, for verily thy truth is on
every side. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee
from thy presence? If I climb up into heaven, thou art there. If I go down
unto the dead, thou art there also. If I take the wings of the morning and
remain in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also shall thy hand
lead me and thy right hand shall hold me. Therefore when I sleep in the
grave, I am in thy cradle; and when I shall arise up and awake, behold
around me are thy everlasting arms.



                        _THE END OF THE HISTORY_
                                  _OF_
                             _PHILOCHRISTUS._



                                POSTSCRIPT


_It had been my purpose, beloved brethren, to have continued this history
from the year after the Lord Jesus suffered (in which year I left Syria
and came to Alexandria) even to this present year, the tenth year after
the destruction of the Holy City. Herein I was minded to have set forth
how great things the Lord wrought for us in the Church of Alexandria, and
the troubles that befell us there; even to the time of my going on the
embassage unto Gaius Cæsar along with Philo the Alexandrine. Next it was
my intent to have spoken of the Church of Rome, how it grew and prospered,
and how in those days the Spirit of the Lord began to lead the saints
towards wisdom in the governing and administering of the Church; lastly,
the history would have told how I accompanied Julius Plautius the legate
hither, even to Londinium, where now I write, where the Lord had prepared
a work for me to do in building up the Church in Britain. For in this way
methinks it might have been possible __for you, my brethren, more clearly
to discern how the Lord Jesus, though he be now in heaven, still guideth
his Church upon earth._

_Notwithstanding, because I am now stricken in years (being now fourscore
and six years of age), and forasmuch as I know not whether I may have life
to complete so great a work, it seemeth best (although I have in part
already written these matters of my later life) first to make an end of
this former history, especially considering the troubles now imminent in
Britain from the barbarous people, and to defer the rest to a more
convenient season._


                               _Farewell._



                                 SCHOLIA


                                _SCHOLIA_



                                   _I_


_These words of the Lord Jesus are not indeed found in our Gospels; but
they have been handed down by tradition._(_14_)_ Nor have I been able to
find in the history of Philochristus any sayings of the Lord Jesus, save
such as have been either handed down by tradition or else recorded in our
Gospels._

_Moreover, the writer (as it seemeth to me, having diligently compared
this history with the Gospels of the holy Evangelists Matthew and Mark and
Luke) maketh mention of all such miracles as are found in all the three
Gospels (though the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the
woman with the issue be but briefly mentioned): but if any miracle is
found in one or in two Gospels only, concerning that he is silent. And
this he seemeth to do not by chance, but of set purpose, as if he were
minded to speak of those miracles only which are common to the first three
Gospels. But Anchinous the son of Alethes maketh conjecture that
Philochristus had in his mind a certain Original Gospel (whether it were a
book or tradition) of exceeding antiquity; whence also the holy
Evangelists drew that part of their several relations which is common to
the first three Gospels._



                                   _II_


_Here again the writer of this history addeth nothing to our knowledge:
for of all the words that Philo the Alexandrine uttereth to Philochristus,
there is scarce one that may not be found in the writings of Philo, such
as we now possess._

_The like observation also is to be made concerning that which
Philochristus reporteth of the sayings of the Scribes: whereof there is
scarce one but I have found it (or the like of it) among these sayings of
the Teachers of Israel which have been handed down to us even to this
day._(15)



                                  _III_


_Whereas Philochristus reporteth that a certain Scribe in his days spake
of __“__eating the Messiah,__”__ I find no such saying current in those
days. But true it is that, many years afterwards, Rabbi Hillel (but this
is not the same as Hillel the Great, who lived in the generation before
Philochristus) said these words: __“__There is no Messiah for Israel,
since they have already eaten him in the days of Hezekiah.__”_(_16_)_
Moreover the saying of Moses, how that the nobles of Israel __“__saw God
and did eat and drink,__”__ is, without doubt, explained by some of the
Teachers among the Jews to mean that the Shekinah was as meat and drink to
the nobles. But whether this saying was current in those days, or whether
Philochristus erreth here also (as elsewhere), certain it is that many of
the sayings of the Scribes reported by Philochristus were not made known
nor published till very long after; and meseemeth he hath perverted the
doctrine of the Scribes with intent to cause the reader to have them in
derision._

_But Anchinous the son of Alethes saith that, howsoever the sayings of the
Scribes (whereof Philochristus maketh mention) have not been handed down
to us as spoken in those times; yet the cause is, saith Anchinous, that
few sayings of those times have been preserved. But if they had been
preserved, then, saith he, we should have found that Philochristus
described the teaching of the Scribes with exactness; even as the Gospels
also bear witness that the Scribes in those days strained at gnats but
swallowed camels; and overmuch esteemed the tithing of mint and anise and
cummin, and the purification of pots and platters; and counted an oath
that was sworn by the gold of the Temple, as being weightier than an oath
that was sworn by the Temple itself._



                                   _IV_


_Herein it is marvellous to see with what a persistence Philochristus
cleaveth only unto that part of the first three Gospels which is common to
all the three; so that one might go near to suppose that Anchinous was
right, in that he conjectured that Philochristus doth this not by chance,
but of set purpose; having before him, perchance, some book or tradition
which contained no more than this. For whereas Philochristus saith that
the women heard some mention made of Galilee, but what it was, they agreed
not exactly among themselves: I will here set down, in order, the three
relations:—_

1 (_Saint Matthew, xxviii. 7_) “_And behold __HE GOETH BEFORE YOU INTO
GALILEE__; there shall ye see him: lo __I HAVE TOLD YOU__._”

2 (_Saint Mark, xvi. 7_) “_HE GOETH BEFORE YOU INTO GALILEE__: there shall
ye see him, as __HE SAID__ unto you._”

3 (_Saint Luke, xxiv. 6_) “_Remember how __HE SPAKE__ unto you __WHILE HE
WAS YET IN GALILEE__._”

_But as to the Gospel of the holy Apostle John, I have not been able to
find out whether any part of it were known to Philochristus. Howbeit
Anchinous saith that Philochristus, although he make no mention __of any
of the acts, nor of the long discourses, nor set dialogues of that Gospel,
nevertheless useth the doctrine of that Gospel as the foundation of the
whole of his history. Notwithstanding, saith Anchinous, Philochristus
seemeth not to attribute this doctrine to John the son of Zebedee (who
ever speaketh after a different manner, and rather as one of the Sons of
Thunder, or as the writer of the book of Revelation, than as the writer of
the Fourth Gospel), but to Nathanael and Quartus._



                                   _V_


_Here Philochristus is unlike himself. For whereas he is wont for the most
part to omit miracles, albeit the Gospels relate them, here on the other
hand he inserteth one, albeit the Gospels omit it. Howbeit, true it is
that the holy Apostle Paul seemeth, in his first epistle to the
Corinthians, to make mention of some manifestation of the Lord Jesus to
the holy Apostle James. And the same is mentioned in certain traditions._

_But it is to be noted that, in the whole relation of the Resurrection of
Jesus, Philochristus departeth from his usual course. For he reporteth
many manifestations whereof mention is not made in all the three Gospels,
nor even in two, but in one only; and he speaketh of others also
innumerable. Howbeit he maketh no mention of that manifestation wherein
the Lord partook of fish and honey with the Disciples._



               LONDON: R. CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS.



                                FOOTNOTES


    1 See Note II.

    2 See Note I.

    3 See Note I.

    4 See Note I.

    5 See Note I.

    6 See Note I.

    7 See Note I.

    8 See Note III.

    9 See Note I.

   10 See Note I.

   11 See Note IV.

   12 See Note IV.

   13 See Note V.

   14 _They belong to the twenty traditional sayings __“__which seem to
      contain, in a more or less altered form, traces of words of our
      Lord.__”_—(_Westcott’s Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, p.
      453_).

   15 _“__Sayings of the Jewish Fathers,__”__ by C. Taylor, M.A.,
      published by the Cambridge University Press._

   16 _Ibid. p. 74._



                            TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE


Variations in hyphenation (e.g. “winebibber”, “wine‐bibber”, “courtyard”,
“court‐yard”) or spelling have not been changed.

Several missing quote marks have been added silently.

Other changes, which have been made to the text:

      page 36, “waived” changed to “waved”
      page 67, “said, I” changed to “said I,”
      page 80, “Reedemer” changed to “Redeemer”
      page 103, “Nathaniel” changed to “Nathanael”
      page 205, “familar” changed to “familiar”
      page 374, comma removed after “this”
      page 378, double “be” removed after “thy will”
      page 417, period changed to comma after “led”





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Philochristus" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home