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The Lije oj Scint lssc

1 The earth has trembIed and the heavens have wept because oI a great crIme whIch
has been commItted In the Iand oI sraeI.
2 Ior they have tortured and there put to death the great and just ssa, In whom
dweIt the souI oI the unIverse,
3 WhIch was Incarnate In a sImpIe mortaI In order to do good to men and to
extermInate theIr evII thoughts
4 And In order to brIng back man degraded by hIs sIns to a IIIe oI peace, Iove, and
happIness and to recaII to hIm the one and IndIvIsIbIe Creator, whose mercy Is InLnIte
and wIthout bounds.
5 Iear what the merchants Irom sraeI reIate to us on thIs subject.
1 The peopIe oI sraeI, who dweIt on a IertIIe soII gIvIng Iorth two crops a year and
who possessed Iarge Bocks, excIted by theIr sIns the anger oI God
2 Who InBIcted upon them a terrIbIe chastIsement In takIng Irom them theIr Iand,
theIr cattIe, and theIr possessIons. sraeI was reduced to sIavery by the powerIuI and
rIch pharaohs who then reIgned In gypt.
3 These treated the sraeIItes worse than anImaIs, burdenIng them wIth dImcuIt tasks
and IoadIng them wIth chaIns. They covered theIr bodIes wIth weaIs and wounds,
wIthout gIvIng them Iood or permIttIng them to dweII beneath a rooI,
4 To keep them In a state oI contInuaI terror and to deprIve them oI aII human
5 And In theIr great caIamIty, the peopIe oI sraeI remembered theIr heavenIy
protector and, addressIng themseIves to hIm, ImpIored hIs grace and mercy.
6 An IIIustrIous pharaoh then reIgned In gypt who had rendered hImseII Iamous by
hIs numerous vIctorIes, the rIches he had heaped up, and the vast paIaces whIch hIs
sIaves had erected Ior hIm wIth theIr own hands.
7 ThIs pharaoh had two sons, oI whom the younger was caIIed Mossa. Iearned
sraeIItes taught hIm dIverse scIences.
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8 And they Ioved Mossa In gypt Ior hIs goodness and the compassIon whIch he
showed to aII those who sunered.
9 SeeIng that the sraeIItes wouId not, In spIte oI the IntoIerabIe sunerIngs they were
endurIng, abandon theIr God to worshIp those made by the hand oI man, whIch were
gods oI the gyptIan natIon,
10 Mossa beIIeved In theIr InvIsIbIe God, who dId not Iet theIr IaIIIng strength gIve
11 And the sraeIItIsh preceptors excIted the ardor oI Mossa and had recourse to hIm,
prayIng hIm to Intercede wIth the pharaoh hIs Iather In Iavor oI theIr co-reIIgIonIsts.
12 WhereIore the IrInce Mossa went to hIs Iather, beggIng hIm to ameIIorate the Iate
oI these unIortunates. ut the pharaoh became angered agaInst hIm and onIy
augmented the torments endured by hIs sIaves.
13 t happened that a short tIme aIter, a great evII vIsIted gypt. The pestIIence came
to decImate there both the young and the oId, the weak and the strong, and the
pharaoh beIIeved In the resentment oI hIs own gods agaInst hIm.
14 ut the IrInce Mossa toId hIs Iather that It was the God oI hIs sIaves who was
IntercedIng In Iavor oI these unIortunates In punIshIng the gyptIans.
15 The pharaoh then gave to Mossa hIs son an order to take aII the sIaves oI the
jewIsh race, to conduct them outsIde the town, and to Iound at a great dIstance Irom
the capItaI another cIty where he shouId dweII wIth them.
16 Mossa then made known to the Iebrew sIaves that he had set them Iree In the
name oI theIr God, the God oI sraeI, and he went out wIth them Irom the cIty and
Irom the Iand oI gypt.
17 Ie Ied them Into the Iand they had Iost by theIr many sIns, he gave unto them
Iaws, and enjoIned them to pray aIways to the InvIsIbIe Creator whose goodness Is
18 On the death oI IrInce Mossa, the sraeIItes rIgorousIy observed hIs Iaws,
whereIore God recompensed them Ior the IIIs to whIch he had exposed them In gypt.
19 TheIr kIngdom became the most powerIuI oI aII the earth, theIr kIngs made
themseIves Iamous Ior theIr treasures, and a Iong peace reIgned among the peopIe oI
1 The gIory oI the rIches oI sraeI spread throughout the earth, and the neIghborIng
natIons bore them envy.
2 Ior the Most IIgh hImseII Ied the vIctorIous arms oI the Iebrews, and the pagans
dared not attack them.
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3 !nhappIIy, as man Is not aIways true to hImseII, the LdeIIty oI the sraeIItes to theIr
God dId not Iast Iong.
4 They began by IorgettIng aII the Iavors whIch he had heaped upon them, Invoked
but seIdom hIs name, and sought the protectIon oI magIcIans and sorcerers.
5 The kIngs and the captaIns substItuted theIr own Iaws Ior those whIch Mossa had
wrItten down Ior them. The tempIe oI God and the practIce oI worshIp were
abandoned. The peopIe gave themseIves up to pIeasure and Iost theIr orIgInaI purIty.
6 SeveraI centurIes had eIapsed sInce theIr departure Irom gypt when God
determIned to exercIse once more hIs chastIsements upon them.
7 Strangers began to Invade the Iand oI sraeI, devastatIng the country, ruInIng the
vIIIages, and carryIng the InhabItants Into captIvIty.
8 And there came at one tIme pagans Irom the country oI IomeIes, on the other sIde
oI the sea. They subdued the Iebrews and estabIIshed among them mIIItary Ieaders
who by deIegatIon Irom Caesar ruIed over them.
9 They destroyed the tempIes, they Iorced the InhabItants to cease worshIppIng the
InvIsIbIe God, and compeIIed them to sacrILce vIctIms to the pagan deItIes.
10 They made warrIors oI those who had been nobIes, the women were torn away
Irom theIr husbands, and the Iower cIasses, reduced to sIavery, were sent by
thousands beyond the seas.
11 As to the chIIdren, they were put to the sword. Soon In aII the Iand oI sraeI naught
was heard but groans and IamentatIons.
12 n thIs extreme dIstress, the peopIe remembered theIr great God. They ImpIored
hIs grace and besought hIm to IorgIve them, and our Iather, In hIs InexhaustIbIe
mercy, heard theIr prayer.
1 At thIs tIme came the moment when the aII-mercIIuI judge eIected to become
Incarnate In a human beIng.
2 And the ternaI SpIrIt, dweIIIng In a state oI compIete InactIon and oI supreme
beatItude, awoke and detached ItseII Ior an IndeLnIte perIod Irom the ternaI eIng,
3 So as to show Iorth In the guIse oI humanIty the means oI seII-IdentILcatIon wIth
IvInIty and oI attaInIng to eternaI IeIIcIty,
4 And to demonstrate by exampIe how man may attaIn moraI purIty and, by
separatIng hIs souI Irom Its mortaI coII, the degree oI perIectIon necessary to enter
Into the kIngdom oI heaven, whIch Is unchangeabIe and where happIness reIgns
5 Soon aIter, a marveIous chIId was born In the Iand oI sraeI, God hImseII speakIng
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by the mouth oI thIs InIant oI the IraIIty oI the body and the grandeur oI the souI.
6 The parents oI the newborn chIId were poor peopIe, beIongIng by bIrth to a IamIIy
oI noted pIety, who, IorgettIng theIr ancIent grandeur on earth, praIsed the name oI
the Creator and thanked hIm Ior the IIIs wIth whIch he saw Lt to prove them.
7 To reward them Ior not turnIng asIde Irom the way oI truth, God bIessed the
Lrstborn oI thIs IamIIy. Ie chose hIm Ior hIs eIect and sent hIm to heIp those who had
IaIIen Into evII and to cure those who sunered.
8 The dIvIne chIId, to whom was gIven the name oI ssa, began Irom hIs earIIest years
to speak oI the one and IndIvIsIbIe God, exhortIng the souIs oI those gone astray to
repentance and the purILcatIon oI the sIns oI whIch they were cuIpabIe.
9 IeopIe came Irom aII parts to hear hIm, and they marveIed at the dIscourses
proceedIng Irom hIs chIIdIsh mouth. AII the sraeIItes were oI one accord In sayIng
that the ternaI SpIrIt dweIt In thIs chIId.
10 When ssa had attaIned the age oI thIrteen years, the epoch when an sraeIIte
shouId take a wIIe,
11 The house where hIs parents earned theIr IIvIng by carryIng on a modest trade
began to be a pIace oI meetIng Ior rIch and nobIe peopIe, desIrous oI havIng Ior a
son-In-Iaw the young ssa, aIready Iamous Ior hIs edIIyIng dIscourses In the name oI
the AImIghty.
12 Then It was that ssa IeIt the parentaI house In secret, departed Irom jerusaIem,
and wIth the merchants set out towards SInd,
13 WIth the object oI perIectIng hImseII In the IvIne Word and oI studyIng the Iaws
oI the great uddhas.
1 n the course oI hIs Iourteenth year, the young ssa, bIessed oI God, came on thIs
sIde oI SInd and estabIIshed hImseII among the Aryas In the Iand beIoved oI God.
2 Iame spread the reputatIon oI thIs marveIous chIId throughout the Iength oI
northern SInd, and when he crossed the country oI the Lve rIvers and the Iajputana,
the devotees oI the god jaIne prayed hIm to dweII among them.
3 ut he IeIt the errIng worshIppers oI jaIne and went to juggernaut In the country oI
OrIssa, where repose the mortaI remaIns oI Vyasa-KrIshna and where the whIte
prIests oI rahma made hIm a joyous weIcome.
4 They taught hIm to read and understand the Vedas, to cure by aId oI prayer, to
teach, to expIaIn the hoIy scrIptures to the peopIe, and to drIve out evII spIrIts Irom
the bodIes oI men, restorIng unto them theIr sanIty.
5 Ie passed sIx years at juggernaut, at IajagrIha, at enares, and In the other hoIy
cItIes. veryone Ioved hIm, Ior ssa IIved In peace wIth the VaIsyas and the Sudras,
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whom he Instructed In the hoIy scrIptures.
6 ut the rahmans and the KshatrIyas toId hIm that they were IorbIdden by the great
Iara-rahma to come near to those whom he had created Irom hIs sIde and hIs Ieet,
7 That the VaIsyas were onIy authorIzed to hear the readIng oI the Vedas, and thIs on
IestIvaI days onIy,
8 That the Sudras were IorbIdden not onIy to assIst at the readIng oI the Vedas, but
aIso Irom contempIatIng them, Ior theIr condItIon was to serve In perpetuIty as sIaves
to the rahmans, the KshatrIyas, and even the VaIsyas.
9 "'eath onIy can set them Iree Irom theIr servItude' has saId Iara-rahma. Ieave
them then and come and worshIp wIth us the gods, who wIII become Incensed agaInst
thee II thou cost dIsobey them."
10 ut ssa IIstened not to theIr dIscourses and betook hIm to the Sudras, preachIng
agaInst the rahmans and the KshatrIyas.
11 Ie InveIghed agaInst the act oI a man arrogatIng to hImseII the power to deprIve
hIs IeIIow beIngs oI theIr rIghts oI humanIty, "Ior," saId he, "God the Iather makes no
dInerence between hIs chIIdren, aII to hIm are equaIIy dear."
12 ssa denIed the dIvIne orIgIn oI the Vedas* and the Iuranas. "Ior," taught he to hIs
IoIIowers, "a Iaw has aIready been gIven to man to guIde hIm In hIs actIons,
13 "Iear thy God, bend the knee beIore hIm onIy, and brIng to hIm aIone the onerIngs
whIch proceed Irom thy gaIns."
14 ssa denIed the TrImurtI and the IncarnatIon oI Iara-rahma In VIshnu, SIva, and
other gods, Ior saId he.
15 "The judge ternaI, the ternaI SpIrIt, comprehends the one and IndIvIsIbIe souI oI
the unIverse, whIch aIone creates, contaIns, and vIvILes aII. *nasmuch as jesus'
cIosest dIscIpIe, john, begIns hIs GospeI wIth a quote Irom the Vedas, "n the
begInnIng was the Word . . . ," the authentIcIty oI thIs passage may be questIoned. See
p. 393 Ior dIscussIon.
16 "Ie aIone has wIIIed and created, he aIone has exIsted sInce aII eternIty, and hIs
exIstence wIII have no end. Ie has no equaI eIther In the heavens or on earth.
17 "The Great Creator has not shared hIs power wIth any IIvIng beIng, stIII Iess wIth
InanImate objects, as they have taught to you, Ior he aIone possesses omnIpotence.
18 "Ie wIIIed It and the worId appeared. n a dIvIne thought, he gathered together
the waters, separatIng Irom them the dry portIon oI the gIobe. Ie Is the prIncIpIe oI
the mysterIous exIstence oI man, In whom he has breathed a part oI hIs eIng.
19 "And he has subordInated to man the earth, the waters, the beasts, and aII that he
has created and that he hImseII preserves In ImmutabIe order, LxIng Ior each thIng
the Iength oI Its duratIon.
20 "The anger oI God wIII soon be Iet Ioose agaInst man, Ior he has Iorgotten hIs
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Creator, he has LIIed hIs tempIes wIth abomInatIons, and he worshIps a crowd oI
creatures whIch God has made subordInate to hIm.
21 "Ior to do honor to stones and metaIs, he sacrILces human beIngs, In whom dweIIs
a part oI the spIrIt oI the Most IIgh.
22 "Ior he humIIIates those who work by the sweat oI theIr brow to acquIre the Iavor
oI an IdIer seated at hIs sumptuous board.
23 "Those who deprIve theIr brethren oI dIvIne happIness shaII be deprIved oI It
themseIves. The rahmans and the KshatrIyas shaII become the Sudras, and wIth the
Sudras the ternaI shaII dweII everIastIngIy.
24 "ecause In the day oI the Iast judgment the Sudras and the VaIsyas wIII be
IorgIven much because oI theIr Ignorance, whIIe God, on the contrary, wIII punIsh
wIth hIs wrath those who have arrogated to themseIves hIs rIghts."
25 The VaIsyas and the Sudras were LIIed wIth great admIratIon and asked ssa how
they shouId pray so as not to Iose theIr eternaI IeIIcIty.
26 "WorshIp not the IdoIs, Ior they hear you not. IIsten not to the Vedas, Ior theIr
truth Is counterIeIt. ever put yourseII In the Lrst pIace and never humIIIate your
27 "IeIp the poor, support the weak, do III to no one, and covet not that whIch thou
hast not and whIch thou seest beIongeth to another."
1 The whIte prIests and the warrIors, becomIng acquaInted wIth the dIscourses oI ssa
addressed to the Sudras, resoIved upon hIs death and sent wIth thIs Intent theIr
servants to seek out the young prophet.
2 ut ssa, warned oI hIs danger by the Sudras, IeIt the neIghborhood oI juggernaut
by nIght, reached the mountaIn, and estabIIshed hImseII In the country oI
GautamIdes, the bIrthpIace oI the great uddha SakyamunI, In the mIdst oI a peopIe
worshIppIng the one and subIIme rahma.
3 AIter havIng perIected hImseII In the IaII Ianguage, the just ssa appIIed hImseII to
the study oI the sacred wrItIngs oI the Sutras.
4 SIx years aIter, ssa, whom the uddha had eIected to spread hIs hoIy word, had
become a perIect exposItor oI the sacred wrItIngs.
5 Then he IeIt epaI and the IImaIayan mountaIns, descended Into the vaIIey oI
Iajputana, and went towards the west, preachIng to dIverse peopIes the supreme
perIectIon oI man,
6 WhIch Is-to do good to one's neIghbor, beIng the sure means oI mergIng oneseII
rapIdIy In the ternaI SpIrIt. "Ie who shaII have regaIned hIs orIgInaI purIty," saId
ssa, "wIII dIe havIng obtaIned remIssIon Ior hIs sIns, and he wIII have the rIght to
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contempIate the majesty oI God."
7 n crossIng pagan terrItorIes, the dIvIne ssa taught that the worshIp oI vIsIbIe gods
was contrary to the Iaw oI nature.
8 "Ior man," saId he, "has not been permItted to see the Image oI God, and yet he has
made a host oI deItIes In the IIkeness oI the ternaI.
9 "Moreover, It Is IncompatIbIe wIth the human conscIence to make Iess matter oI the
grandeur oI dIvIne purIty than oI anImaIs and objects executed by the hand oI man In
stone or metaI.
10 "The ternaI IawgIver Is one, there Is no other God but he. Ie has not shared the
worId wIth anyone, neIther has he InIormed anyone oI hIs IntentIons.
11 "ven as a Iather wouId act towards hIs chIIdren, so wIII God judge men aIter theIr
deaths accordIng to the Iaws oI hIs mercy. ever wouId he so humIIIate hIs chIId as to
transmIgrate hIs souI, as In a purgatory, Into the body oI an anImaI."
12 "The heavenIy Iaw," saId the Creator by the mouth oI ssa, "Is opposed to the
ImmoIatIon oI human sacrILces to an Image or to an anImaI, Ior have consecrated to
man aII the anImaIs and aII that the earth contaIns.
13 "AII thIngs have been sacrILced to man, who Is dIrectIy and IntImateIy assocIated
wIth me hIs Iather, thereIore he who shaII have stoIen Irom me my chIId wIII be
severeIy judged and chastIsed by the dIvIne Iaw.
14 "Man Is naught beIore the ternaI judge, as the anImaI Is naught beIore man.
15 "WhereIore say unto you, Ieave your IdoIs and perIorm not rItes whIch separate
you Irom your Iather, assocIatIng you wIth the prIests Irom whom the heavens have
turned away.
16 "Ior It Is they who have Ied you Irom the true God and whose superstItIons and
crueItIes conduce to the perversIon oI your souI and the Ioss oI aII moraI sense."
1 The words oI ssa spread among the pagans In the mIdst oI the countrIes he
traversed, and the InhabItants Iorsook theIr IdoIs.
2 SeeIng whIch the prIests exacted oI hIm who gIorILed the name oI the true God,
reason In the presence oI the peopIe Ior the reproaches he made agaInst them and a
demonstratIon oI the nothIngness oI theIr IdoIs.
3 And ssa made answer to them. "I your IdoIs and your anImaIs are powerIuI and
reaIIy possessed oI supernaturaI strength, then Iet them strIke me to the earth."
4 "Work then a mIracIe," repIIed the prIests, "and Iet thy God conIound our gods, II
they InspIre hIm wIth contempt."
5 ut ssa then saId. "The mIracIes oI our God have been worked sInce the Lrst day
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when the unIverse was created, they take pIace every day and at every moment.
Whosoever seeth them not Is deprIved oI one oI the IaIrest gIIts oI IIIe.
6 "And It Is not agaInst pIeces oI stone, metaI, or wood, whIch are InanImate, that the
anger oI God wIII have IuII course, but It wIII IaII on men, who, II they desIre theIr
saIvatIon, must destroy aII the IdoIs they have made.
7 "ven as a stone and a graIn oI sand, naught as they are In the sIght oI man, waIt
patIentIy the moment when he shaII take and make use oI them,
8 "So man must awaIt the great Iavor that God shaII accord hIm In hIs LnaI judgment.
9 "ut woe unto you, ye enemIes oI men, II It be not a Iavor that you awaIt but rather
the wrath oI the IvInIty-woe unto you II ye expect mIracIes to bear wItness to hIs
10 "Ior It wIII not be the IdoIs that he wIII annIhIIate In hIs anger but those who shaII
have erected them. TheIr hearts shaII be consumed wIth eternaI Lre, and theIr
Iacerated bodIes shaII go to satIate the hunger oI wIId beasts.
11 "God wIII drIve the Impure Irom among hIs Bocks, but he wIII take back to hImseII
those who shaII have gone astray through not havIng recognIzed the portIon oI
spIrItuaIIty wIthIn them."
12 SeeIng the powerIessness oI theIr prIests, the pagans had stIII greater IaIth In the
sayIngs oI ssa and, IearIng the anger oI the IvInIty, broke theIr IdoIs to pIeces. As Ior
the prIests, they Bed to escape the vengeance oI the popuIace.
13 And ssa Iurther taught the pagans not to strIve to see the ternaI SpIrIt wIth theIr
eyes but to endeavor to IeeI hIm In theIr hearts and by purIty oI souI to render
themseIves worthy oI hIs Iavors.
14 "ot onIy," saId he unto them, "abstaIn Irom consumIng human sacrILces, but
ImmoIate no creature to whom IIIe has been gIven, Ior aII thIngs that exIst have been
created Ior the proLt oI man.
15 "o not steaI the goods oI your neIghbor, Ior that wouId be to deprIve hIm oI what
he has acquIred by the sweat oI hIs brow.
16 "eceIve no one, so as not to be yourseIves deceIved. ndeavor to justIIy yourseII
beIore the Iast judgment, Ior then It wIII be too Iate.
17 "o not gIve yourseIves up to debauchery, Ior that wouId be to vIoIate the Iaws oI
18 "You shaII attaIn to supreme happIness, not onIy In purIIyIng yourseIves, but aIso In
guIdIng others In the way that shaII permIt them to gaIn orIgInaI perIectIon."
1 The neIghborIng countrIes resounded wIth the prophecIes oI ssa, and when he
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entered Into IersIa the prIests became aIarmed and Iorbade the InhabItants to IIsten
to hIm.
2 And when they saw aII the vIIIages weIcomIng hIm wIth joy and IIstenIng devoutIy to
hIs sermons, they gave orders to arrest hIm and had hIm brought beIore the hIgh
prIest, where he underwent the IoIIowIng InterrogatIon.
3 "OI what new God cost thou speak? Art thou not aware, unhappy man, that SaInt
Zoroaster Is the onIy just one admItted to the prIvIIege oI communIon wIth the
Supreme eIng,
4 "Who ordered the angeIs to put down In wrItIng the word oI God Ior the use oI hIs
peopIe, Iaws that were gIven to Zoroaster In paradIse?
5 "Who then art thou to dare here to bIaspheme our God and to sow doubt In the
hearts oI beIIevers?"
6 And ssa saId unto them. "t Is not oI a new God that speak but oI our IeavenIy
Iather, who has exIsted sInce aII tIme and who wIII stIII be aIter the end oI aII thIngs.
7 "t Is oI hIm that have dIscoursed to the peopIe, who, IIke unto Innocent chIIdren,
are not yet capabIe oI comprehendIng God by the sImpIe strength oI theIr InteIIIgence
or oI penetratIng Into hIs dIvIne and spIrItuaI subIImIty.
8 "ut even as a babe dIscovers In the darkness Its mother's breast, so even your
peopIe, who have been Ied Into error by your erroneous doctrIne and your reIIgIous
ceremonIes, have recognIzed by InstInct theIr Iather In the Iather oI whom am the
9 "The ternaI eIng has saId to your peopIe through the medIum oI my mouth. 'You
shaII not worshIp the sun, Ior It Is but a part oI the worId whIch have created Ior
10 "'The sun rIses In order to warm you durIng your work, It sets to aIIow you the
repose whIch myseII have appoInted.
11 "'t Is to me, and to me aIone, that you owe aII that you possess, aII that Is to be
Iound about you, above you, and beIow you."'
12 "ut," saId the prIests, "how couId a peopIe IIve accordIng to the ruIes oI justIce II
It had no preceptors?"
13 Then ssa answered, "So Iong as the peopIe had no prIests, the naturaI Iaw
governed them, and they preserved the candor oI theIr souIs.
14 "TheIr souIs were wIth God, and to commune wIth the Iather they had recourse to
the medIum oI no IdoI or anImaI, nor to the Lre, as Is practIced here.
15 "You contend that one must worshIp the sun, the spIrIt oI good and oI evII. WeII,
say unto you, your doctrIne Is a IaIse one, the sun actIng not spontaneousIy but
accordIng to the wIII oI the InvIsIbIe Creator who gave It bIrth
16 "And who has wIIIed It to be the star that shouId IIght the day, to warm the Iabor
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and the seedtIme oI man.
17 "The ternaI SpIrIt Is the souI oI aII that Is anImate. You commIt a great sIn In
dIvIdIng It Into a spIrIt oI evII and a spIrIt oI good, Ior there Is no God outsIde the
18 "Who, IIke unto the Iather oI a IamIIy, does but good to hIs chIIdren, IorgIvIng aII
theIr IauIts II they repent them.
19 "The spIrIt oI evII dweIIs on the earth In the hearts oI those men who turn asIde the
chIIdren oI God Irom the straIt path.
20 "WhereIore say unto you, eware oI the day oI judgment, Ior God wIII InBIct a
terrIbIe chastIsement upon aII those who shaII have Ied hIs chIIdren astray Irom the
rIght path and have LIIed them wIth superstItIons and prejudIces,
21 "Those who have bIInded them that see, conveyed contagIon to the heaIthy, and
taught the worshIp oI the thIngs that God has subordInated to man Ior hIs good and to
aId hIm In hIs work.
22 "Your doctrIne Is thereIore the IruIt oI your errors, Ior desIrIng to brIng near to you
the God oI truth, you have created Ior yourseIves IaIse gods."
23 AIter havIng IIstened to hIm, the magI determIned to do hIm no harm. ut at nIght,
when aII the town Iay sIeepIng, they conducted hIm outsIde oI the waIIs and
abandoned hIm on the hIgh road, In the hope that he wouId soon become a prey to the
wIId beasts.
24 ut, protected by the Iord our God, SaInt ssa contInued hIs way unmoIested.
1 ssa, whom the Creator had eIected to remInd a depraved humanIty oI the true God,
had reached hIs twenty-nInth year when he returned to the Iand oI sraeI.
2 SInce hIs departure the pagans had InBIcted stIII more atrocIous sunerIngs on the
sraeIItes, who were a prey to the deepest despondency.
3 Many among them had aIready begun to abandon the Iaws oI theIr God and those oI
Mossa In the hope oI appeasIng theIr savage conquerors.
4 n the Iace oI thIs evII, ssa exhorted hIs compatrIots not to despaIr because the day
oI the redemptIon oI sIns was at hand, and he conLrmed them In the beIIeI whIch they
had In the God oI theIr Iathers.
5 "ChIIdren, do not gIve yourseIves up to despaIr," saId the IeavenIy Iather by the
mouth oI ssa, "Ior have heard your voIce, and your crIes have reached me.
6 "o not weep, O my beIoved ones! Ior your grIeI has touched the heart oI your
Iather, and he has IorgIven you, even as he Iorgave your IoreIathers.
7 "o not abandon your IamIIIes to pIunge yourseIves Into debauchery, do not Iose the
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nobIIIty oI your IeeIIngs, and do not worshIp IdoIs who wIII remaIn deaI to your voIces.
8 "IIII my tempIe wIth your hope and wIth your patIence and abjure not the reIIgIon oI
your Iathers, Ior aIone have guIded them and have heaped them wIth beneLts.
9 "You shaII IIIt up those who have IaIIen, you shaII gIve Iood to the hungry, and you
shaII come to the aId oI the sIck, so as to be aII pure and just at the day oI the Iast
judgment whIch prepare Ior you."
10 The sraeIItes came In crowds at the word oI ssa, askIng hIm where they shouId
praIse the IeavenIy Iather, seeIng that the enemy had razed theIr tempIes to the
ground and IaId Iow theIr sacred vesseIs.
11 And ssa made answer to them that God had not In vIew tempIes erected by the
hands oI man, but he meant that the human heart was the true tempIe oI God.
12 "nter Into your tempIe, Into your heart. IIumIne It wIth good thoughts and the
patIence and ImmovabIe conLdence whIch you shouId have In your Iather.
13 "And your sacred vesseIs, they are your hands and your eyes. See and do that
whIch Is agreeabIe to God, Ior In doIng good to your neIghbor you accompIIsh a rIte
whIch embeIIIshes the tempIe whereIn dweIIs he who gave you IIIe.
14 "Ior God has created you In hIs own IIkeness-Innocent, wIth pure souIs and hearts
LIIed wIth goodness, destIned not Ior the conceptIon oI evII schemes but made to be
sanctuarIes oI Iove and justIce.
15 "WhereIore say unto you, suIIy not your hearts, Ior the Supreme eIng dweIIs
thereIn eternaIIy.
16 "I you wIsh to accompIIsh works marked wIth Iove or pIety, do them wIth an open
heart and Iet not your actIons be governed by caIcuIatIons or the hope oI gaIn.
17 "Ior such actIons wouId not heIp to your saIvatIon, and you wouId IaII Into that
state oI moraI degradatIon where theIt, IyIng, and murder pass Ior generous deeds."
1 SaInt ssa went Irom one town to another, strengthenIng by the word oI God the
courage oI the sraeIItes, who were ready to succumb to the weIght oI theIr despaIr,
and thousands oI men IoIIowed hIm to hear hIm preach.
2 ut the chIeIs oI the towns became aIraId oI hIm, and they made known to the
prIncIpaI governor who dweIt at jerusaIem that a man named ssa had arrIved In the
country, that he was stIrrIng up by hIs dIscourses the peopIe agaInst the authorItIes,
that the crowd IIstened to hIm wIth assIduIty, negIected the works oI the state, and
amrmed that beIore Iong It wouId be rId oI Its IntrusIve governors.
3 Then IIIate, governor oI jerusaIem, ordered that they shouId seIze the person oI the
preacher ssa, that they shouId brIng hIm Into the town and Iead hIm beIore the
judges. ut In order not to excIte the anger oI the popuIace, IIIate charged the prIests
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and the Iearned Iebrew eIders to judge hIm In the tempIe.
4 MeanwhIIe ssa, contInuIng hIs preachIngs, arrIved at jerusaIem, and, havIng Iearnt
oI hIs arrIvaI, aII the InhabItants, knowIng hIm aIready by reputatIon, went out to
meet hIm.
5 They greeted hIm respectIuIIy and opened to hIm the gates oI theIr tempIe In order
to hear Irom hIs mouth what he had saId In the other cItIes oI sraeI.
6 And ssa saId unto them. "The human race perIshes because oI Its Iack oI IaIth, Ior
the darkness and the tempest have scattered the Bocks oI humanIty and they have
Iost theIr shepherds.
7 "ut the tempest wIII not Iast Iorever, and the darkness wIII not aIways obscure the
IIght. The sky wIII become once more serene, the heavenIy IIght wIII spread ItseII over
the earth, and the Bocks gone astray wIII gather around theIr shepherd.
8 "o not strIve to Lnd straIght paths In the darkness, Iest ye IaII Into a pIt, but gather
together your remaInIng strength, support one another, pIace your conLdence In your
God, and waIt tIII IIght appears.
9 "Ie who sustaIns hIs neIghbor, sustaIns hImseII, and whosoever protects hIs IamIIy,
protects the peopIe and the state.
10 "Ior be sure that the day Is at hand when you shaII be deIIvered Irom the
darkness, you shaII be gathered together as one IamIIy, and your enemy, who Ignores
what the Iavor oI God Is, shaII trembIe wIth Iear."
11 The prIests and the eIders who were IIstenIng to hIm, LIIed wIth admIratIon at hIs
dIscourse, asked hIm II It were true that he had trIed to stIr up the peopIe agaInst the
authorItIes oI the country, as had been reported to the governor IIIate.
12 "Can one excIte to InsurrectIon men gone astray, Irom whom the obscurIty has
hIdden theIr door and theIr path?" repIIed ssa. " have onIy warned the unIortunate,
as do here In thIs tempIe, that they may not Iurther advance aIong the darkened
way, Ior an abyss Is open under theIr Ieet.
13 "arthIy power Is not oI Iong duratIon, and It Is subject to many changes. OI what
use that man shouId revoIt agaInst It, seeIng that one power aIways succeeds to
another power? And thus It wIII come to pass untII the extInctIon oI humanIty.
14 "AgaInst whIch, see you not that the mIghty and the rIch sow among the sons oI
sraeI a spIrIt oI rebeIIIon agaInst the eternaI power oI heaven?"
15 The eIders then asked. "Who art thou, and Irom what country cost thou come? We
have not heard speak oI thee beIore, and we know not even thy name."
16 " am an sraeIIte," repIIed ssa. "Irom the day oI my bIrth saw the waIIs oI
jerusaIem, and heard the weepIng oI my brothers reduced to sIavery and the
IamentatIons oI my sIsters who were carrIed away by the pagans.
17 "And my souI was LIIed wIth sadness when saw that my brethren had Iorgotten
the true God. As a chIId, IeIt my Iather's house and went to dweII among other
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18 "ut havIng heard that my brethren were sunerIng stIII greater tortures, have
come back to the country where my parents dweII to remInd my brothers oI the IaIth
oI theIr IoreIathers, whIch teaches us patIence on earth to obtaIn perIect and subIIme
happIness In heaven."
19 And the Iearned eIders put hIm thIs questIon. "t Is saId that thou denIest the Iaws
oI Mossa and that thou teaches" the peopIe to Iorsake the tempIe oI God?"
20 And ssa repIIed. "One cannot demoIIsh that whIch has been gIven by our IeavenIy
Iather, neIther that whIch has been destroyed by sInners, but have enjoIned the
purILcatIon oI the heart Irom aII bIemIsh, Ior It Is the true tempIe oI God.
21 "As to the Iaws oI Mossa, have endeavored to estabIIsh them In the hearts oI men.
And say unto you that you do not understand theIr reaI meanIng, Ior It Is not
vengeance but mercy that they teach, onIy the sense oI these Iaws has been
1 IavIng hearkened unto ssa, the prIests and the wIse eIders decIded among
themseIves not to judge hIm, Ior he dId harm to no one. And presentIng themseIves
beIore IIIate, appoInted governor oI jerusaIem by the pagan kIng oI the country oI
IomeIes, they addressed hIm thus.
2 "We have seen the man whom thou accusest oI IncItIng our peopIe to rebeIIIon, we
have heard hIs dIscourses, and we know hIm to be our compatrIot.
3 "ut the chIeIs oI the cItIes have made thee IaIse reports, Ior thIs Is a just man who
teaches the peopIe the word oI God. AIter havIng Interrogated hIm, we dIsmIssed hIm,
that he mIght go In peace."
4 The governor then became enraged and sent near to ssa hIs servants In dIsguIse,
so that they mIght watch aII hIs actIons and report to the authorItIes the Ieast word
that he shouId address to the peopIe.
5 n the meantIme, SaInt ssa contInued to vIsIt the neIghborIng towns, preachIng the
true ways oI the Creator, exhortIng the Iebrews to patIence, and promIsIng them a
speedy deIIverance.
6 And durIng aII thIs tIme, many peopIe IoIIowed hIm wherever he went, severaI never
IeavIng hIm but becomIng hIs servItors.
7 And ssa saId. "o not beIIeve In mIracIes wrought by the hand oI man, Ior he who
domInates over nature Is aIone capabIe oI doIng that whIch Is supernaturaI, whIIst
man Is powerIess to stay the anger oI the wInds or to spread the raIn.
8 "evertheIess, there Is one mIracIe whIch It Is possIbIe Ior man to accompIIsh. t Is
when, IuII oI a sIncere beIIeI, he decIdes to root out Irom hIs heart aII evII thoughts,
and when to attaIn hIs end he Iorsakes the paths oI InIquIty.
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9 "And aII the thIngs that are done wIthout God are but errors, seductIons, and
enchantments, whIch onIy demonstrate to what an extent the souI oI hIm who
practIces thIs art Is IuII oI shameIessness, IaIsehood, and ImpurIty.
10 "Iut not your IaIth In oracIes, God aIone knows the Iuture. he who has recourse to
dIvIners proIanes the tempIe whIch Is In hIs heart and gIves a prooI oI dIstrust
towards hIs Creator.
11 "IaIth In dIvIners and In theIr oracIes destroys the Innate sImpIIcIty oI man and hIs
chIIdIIke purIty. An InIernaI power takes possessIon oI hIm, IorcIng hIm to commIt aII
sorts oI crImes and to worshIp IdoIs,
12 "Whereas the Iord our God, who has no equaI, Is one, aII-mIghty, omnIscIent, and
omnIpresent. t Is he who possesses aII wIsdom and aII IIght.
13 "t Is to hIm you must address yourseIves to be consoIed In your sorrows, heIped In
your works, and cured In your sIckness. Whosoever shaII have recourse to hIm shaII
not be denIed.
14 "The secret oI nature Is In the hands oI God. Ior the worId, beIore It appeared,
exIsted In the depth oI the dIvIne thought, It became materIaI and vIsIbIe by the wIII oI
the Most IIgh.
15 "When you address yourseIves to hIm, become agaIn as chIIdren, Ior you know
neIther the past, the present, nor the Iuture, and God Is the Master oI aII tIme."
1 "IIghteous man," saId unto hIm the spIes oI the governor oI jerusaIem, "teII us II we
shaII perIorm the wIII oI our Caesar or awaIt our speedy deIIverance. "
2 And ssa, havIng recognIzed them as peopIe appoInted to IoIIow hIm, repIIed. "
have not saId to you that you shaII be deIIvered Irom Caesar. t Is the souI pIunged In
error that shaII have Its deIIverance.
3 "As there can be no IamIIy wIthout a head, so there can be no order among a peopIe
wIthout a Caesar, to hIm ImpIIcIt obedIence shouId be gIven, he aIone beIng
answerabIe Ior hIs acts beIore the supreme trIbunaI."
4 "oes Caesar possess a dIvIne rIght?" Iurther asked oI hIm the spIes. "And Is he the
best oI mortaIs?"
5 "There shouId be no better among men, but there are aIso sunerers, whom those
eIected and charged wIth thIs mIssIon shouId care Ior, makIng use oI the means
conIerred on them by the sacred Iaw oI our IeavenIy Iather.
6 "Mercy and justIce are the hIghest attrIbutes oI a Caesar, hIs name wIII be
IIIustrIous II he adhere to them.
7 "ut he who acts otherwIse, who exceeds the IImIt oI power that he has over hIs
subordInates, goIng so Iar as to put theIr IIves In danger, onends the great judge and
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Ioses hIs dIgnIty In the sIght oI man."
8 At thIs juncture, an oId woman who had approached the group, the better to hear
ssa, was pushed asIde by one oI the spIes, who pIaced hImseII beIore her.
9 Then ssa heId Iorth. "t Is not meet that a son shouId set asIde hIs mother, takIng
her pIace. Whosoever respecteth not hIs mother, the most sacred beIng aIter hIs God,
Is unworthy oI the name oI son.
10 "IIsten, then, to what say unto you. Iespect woman, Ior she Is the mother oI the
unIverse, and aII the truth oI dIvIne creatIon IIes In her.
11 "She Is the basIs oI aII that Is good and beautIIuI, as she Is aIso the germ oI IIIe and
death. On her depends the whoIe exIstence oI man, Ior she Is hIs naturaI and moraI
12 "She gIves bIrth to you In the mIdst oI sunerIng. y the sweat oI her brow she
rears you, and untII her death you cause her the gravest anxIetIes. Iess her and
worshIp her, Ior she Is your one IrIend, your one support on earth.
13 "Iespect her, uphoId her. n actIng thus you wIII wIn her Iove and her heart. You
wIII Lnd Iavor In the sIght oI God and many sIns shaII be IorgIven you.
14 "n the same way, Iove your wIves and respect them, Ior they wIII be mothers
tomorrow, and each Iater on the ancestress oI a race.
15 "e IenIent towards woman. Ier Iove ennobIes man, soItens hIs hardened heart,
tames the brute In hIm, and makes oI hIm a Iamb.
16 "The wIIe and the mother are the InapprecIabIe treasures gIven unto you by God.
They are the IaIrest ornaments oI exIstence, and oI them shaII be born aII the
InhabItants oI the worId.
17 "ven as the God oI armIes separated oI oId the IIght Irom the darkness and the
Iand Irom the waters, woman possesses the dIvIne IacuIty oI separatIng In a man good
IntentIons Irom evII thoughts.
18 "WhereIore say unto you, aIter God your best thoughts shouId beIong to the
women and the wIves, woman beIng Ior you the tempIe whereIn you wIII obtaIn the
most easIIy perIect happIness.
19 "mbue yourseIves In thIs tempIe wIth moraI strength. Iere you wIII Iorget your
sorrows and your IaIIures, and you wIII recover the Iost energy necessary to enabIe
you to heIp your neIghbor.
20 "o not expose her to humIIIatIon. n actIng thus you wouId humIIIate yourseIves
and Iose the sentIment oI Iove, wIthout whIch nothIng exIsts here beIow.
21 "Irotect your wIIe, In order that she may protect you and aII your IamIIy. AII that
you do Ior your wIIe, your mother, Ior a wIdow or another woman In dIstress, you wIII
have done unto your God."
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1 SaInt ssa taught the peopIe oI sraeI thus Ior three years, In every town, In every
vIIIage, by the waysIdes and on the pIaIns, and aII that he had predIcted came to pass.
2 urIng aII thIs tIme the dIsguIsed servants oI IIIate watched hIm cIoseIy wIthout
hearIng anythIng saId IIke unto the reports made agaInst ssa In Iormer years by the
chIeIs oI the towns.
3 ut the governor IIIate, becomIng aIarmed at the too great popuIarIty oI SaInt ssa,
who accordIng to hIs adversarIes sought to stIr up the peopIe to procIaIm hIm kIng,
ordered one oI hIs spIes to accuse hIm.
4 Then soIdIers were commanded to proceed to hIs arrest, and they ImprIsoned hIm In
a subterranean ceII where they tortured hIm In varIous ways In the hope oI IorcIng
hIm to make a conIessIon whIch shouId permIt oI hIs beIng put to death.
5 The saInt, thInkIng onIy oI the perIect beatItude oI hIs brethren, supported aII hIs
sunerIngs In the name oI hIs Creator.
6 The servants oI IIIate contInued to torture hIm and reduced hIm to a state oI
extreme weakness, but God was wIth hIm and dId not aIIow hIm to dIe.
7 IearnIng oI the sunerIngs and the tortures whIch theIr saInt was endurIng, the hIgh
prIests and the wIse eIders went to pray the governor to set ssa at IIberty In honor oI
an approachIng IestIvaI.
8 ut the governor straIghtway reIused them thIs. They then prayed hIm to aIIow ssa
to appear beIore the trIbunaI oI the ancIents so that he mIght be condemned or
acquItted beIore the IestIvaI, and to thIs IIIate consented.
9 The next day the governor assembIed together the chIeI captaIns, prIests, wIse
eIders, and Iawyers so that they mIght judge ssa.
10 They brought hIm Irom hIs prIson and seated hIm beIore the governor between
two thIeves to be judged at the same tIme as he, In order to show unto the crowd that
he was not the onIy one to be condemned.
11 And IIIate, addressIng hImseII to ssa, saId unto hIm. "O man! Is It true that thou
IncItes" the peopIe agaInst the authorItIes wIth the Intent oI thyseII becomIng kIng oI
12 "One becomes not kIng at one's own wIII," repIIed ssa, "and they have IIed who
have toId thee that stIr up the peopIe to rebeIIIon. have never spoken oI other than
the KIng oI Ieaven, and It Is he teach the peopIe to worshIp.
13 "Ior the sons oI sraeI have Iost theIr orIgInaI purIty, and II they have not recourse
to the true God, they wIII be sacrILced and theIr tempIe shaII IaII Into ruIns.
14 "As temporaI power maIntaIns order In a country, teach them accordIngIy not to
Iorget It. say unto them. 'IIve conIormabIy to your statIon and your Iortune, so as
not to dIsturb the pubIIc order.' And have exhorted them aIso to remember that
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dIsorder reIgns In theIr hearts and In theIr mInds.
15 "WhereIore the KIng oI Ieaven has punIshed them and suppressed theIr natIonaI
kIngs. evertheIess, have saId unto them, 'I you become resIgned to your destInIes,
as a reward the kIngdom oI heaven shaII be reserved Ior you."'
16 At thIs moment, the wItnesses were brought Iorward, one oI whom made the
IoIIowIng deposItIon. "Thou hast saId to the peopIe that the temporaI power Is as
naught agaInst that oI the kIng who shaII soon deIIver the sraeIItes Irom the pagan
17 "Iessed art thou," saId ssa, "Ior havIng spoken the truth. The KIng oI Ieaven Is
greater and more powerIuI than the terrestrIaI Iaw, and hIs kIngdom surpasses aII the
kIngdoms oI the earth.
18 "And the tIme Is not Iar on when, conIormIng to the dIvIne wIII, the peopIe oI sraeI
shaII purIIy them oI theIr sIns, Ior It has been saId that a Iorerunner wIII come to
procIaIm the deIIverance oI the peopIe, gatherIng them Into one IoId."
19 And the governor, addressIng hImseII to the judges, saId. "oss hear? The sraeIIte
ssa conIesses to the crIme oI whIch he Is accused. judge hIm, then, accordIng to your
Iaws, and pronounce agaInst hIm capItaI punIshment."
20 "We cannot condemn hIm," repIIed the prIests and the eIders. "Thou hast just
heard thyseII that hIs aIIusIons were made regardIng the KIng oI Ieaven and that he
has preached naught to the sons oI sraeI whIch couId constItute an onense agaInst
the Iaw."
21 The governor IIIate then sent Ior the wItness who, at hIs InstIgatIon, had betrayed
ssa. The man came and addressed ssa thus. "Idst thou not pass thyseII on as the
kIng oI sraeI when thou saddest that he who reIgns In the heavens had sent thee to
prepare hIs peopIe?"
22 And ssa, havIng bIessed hIm, saId. "Thou shaIt be pardoned, Ior what thou sayest
does not come Irom thee!" Then, addressIng hImseII to the governor. "Why humIIIate
thy dIgnIty, and why teach thy InIerIors to IIve In IaIsehood, as wIthout doIng so thou
hast power to condemn the Innocent?"
23 At these words the governor became exceedIng wroth, orderIng the sentence oI
death to be passed upon ssa and the acquIttaI oI the two thIeves.
24 The judges, havIng consuIted together, saId unto IIIate. "We wIII not take upon our
heads the great sIn oI condemnIng an Innocent man and acquIttIng thIeves. That
wouId be agaInst the Iaw.
25 "o then as thou wIIt." SayIng whIch the prIests and the wIse eIders went out and
washed theIr hands In a sacred vesseI, sayIng. "We are Innocent oI the death oI thIs
just man."
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1 y the order oI the governor, the soIdIers then seIzed ssa and the two thIeves,
whom they Ied to the pIace oI executIon, where they naIIed them to crosses erected
on the ground.
2 AII the day the bodIes oI ssa and the two thIeves remaIned suspended, terrIbIe to
behoId, under the guard oI the soIdIers, the peopIe standIng aII around, the reIatIons
oI the sunerers prayIng and weepIng.
3 At sunset the sunerIngs oI ssa came to an end. Ie Iost conscIousness, and the souI
oI thIs just man IeIt hIs body to become absorbed In the IvInIty.
4 Thus ended the earthIy exIstence oI the reBectIon oI the ternaI SpIrIt under the
Iorm oI a man who had saved hardened sInners and endured many sunerIngs.
5 MeanwhIIe, IIIate became aIraId oI hIs actIon and gave the body oI the saInt to hIs
parents, who burIed It near the spot oI hIs executIon. The crowd came to pray over hIs
tomb, and the aIr was LIIed wIth groans and IamentatIons.
6 Three days aIter, the governor sent hIs soIdIers to carry away the body oI ssa to
bury It eIsewhere, IearIng otherwIse a popuIar InsurrectIon.
7 The next day the crowd Iound the tomb open and empty. At once the rumor spread
that the supreme judge had sent hIs angeIs to carry away the mortaI remaIns oI the
saInt In whom dweIt on earth a part oI the IvIne SpIrIt.
8 When thIs rumor reached the knowIedge oI IIIate, he became angered and Iorbade
anyone, under the paIn oI sIavery and death, to pronounce the name oI ssa or to pray
the Iord Ior hIm.
9 ut the peopIe contInued to weep and to gIorIIy aIoud theIr Master, whereIore many
were Ied Into captIvIty, subjected to torture, and put to death.
10 And the dIscIpIes oI SaInt ssa abandoned the Iand oI sraeI and scattered
themseIves among the heathen, preachIng that they shouId renounce theIr errors,
bethInk them oI the saIvatIon oI theIr souIs and oI the perIect IeIIcIty awaItIng
humanIty In that ImmaterIaI worId oI IIght where, In repose and In aII hIs purIty, the
Great Creator dweIIs In perIect majesty.
11 The pagans, theIr kIngs, and theIr warrIors IIstened to the preachers, abandoned
theIr absurd beIIeIs, and Iorsook theIr prIests and theIr IdoIs to ceIebrate the praIse oI
the aII-wIse Creator oI the unIverse, the KIng oI kIngs, whose heart Is LIIed wIth
InLnIte mercy.
The IIIe oI SaInt ssa http.//
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