Jesus Christ: ‘The Witness’

What do we know about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ?

We live in the age of science. We live a life that is made comfortable by this science and we test every claim to truth on the anvil of science. We cherish the ideal of truth and in realizing this ideal we are dependant on reason. Anything, any claim to truth, that rebels with our reason is not acceptable to us. The edifice of science is built on the foundation of this reason.

In pursuit of this ideal of truth, we make inquiries and rely on the tool of science. In the process of making inquiries in a scientific manner, we collect data, analyse its contents, draw conclusions and make up our mind about the veracity of an alleged claim to truth.

And, in this regard, the claims made in Bible – and as a corollary, the claims ascribed to the words spoken by Jesus Christ as described in this holy book – are no exception.

The rational world realizes that a large part of the claims made in this book and ascribed to Jesus Christ are ex facie untrue since these claims contradict our sense of reason and elemantory knowledge of science.

The unfortunate result of this ‘reason’s rebellion against Bible’ is that a large number of educated and rational people in almost all the developed countries are deserting Christianity in droves.

However, the Evangelical Church and its theological institutions are highly organized, financially colossus and politically connected global forces. They find the worldly benefits in continuing with their Evangelical pursuit. Unconcerned with this unfortunate dichotomy between ‘Bible and Reason’, and the calamity that such dichotomy brings to their religion, they remain motivated with a zeal.

But all these advantages are rendered insignificant and unable to check the desertion of their flock. In the true sense of Biblical zeal, the Christian Fathers and Cardinals are leaving no stones unturned to keep their flock intact though without much success.

Therefore, to compensate the loss they look to the new pastures elsewhere and cultivate new grounds for recruitment. This is their strategy to check the tide against Jesus Christ.

All these petty maneuvers of the Evangelists to save the ‘Word of God’ from falling in the estimation of people in this 21st century compel one to raise many questions. When Bible is opened in the light of scientific scrutiny, do we find any part of it sustainable in our scrutiny? Is the entire Bible right? Is the entire Bible wrong? Is a part of Bible right and a part wrong? Is it possible to separate the wrong part from the right one, to salvage the right one? Was there ever a holy individual named Jesus Christ? If he was so, did he speak all the words ascribed to him in Bible? Or, could there be some words spoken by him and some other words – ascribed to him in Bible – not spoken by him, but inserted by others in his name? Is there any other source of information about the life and works of Jesus Christ?

These are some of the questions that confront and baffle the rational people who love and admire the holy personage of Christ.

Jesus Christ is a historical person and our current calender testifies to this truth. He was a holy person and this fact is also testified by the fact there is this book – Bible – extant for the last two thousand years, which speaks of God and Divine.

But if this person – Jesus Christ – was a holy and divine person and if there is truth – even on the scientific scrutiny – in the divinity of a holy person like Jesus Christ, then how come ‘some words of Bible’ ascribed to him be untrue on the anvil of science? But, surely, some words of Bible are untrue on the anvil of science. This circumstance opens the strong possibility that some words in Bible ascribed to Jesus Christ were interpolated by some vested interests at some time in the historical past.

We may contrast this situation with some other holy books of the similar ancient origin as Bible (like Dhammapada – words spoken by Gautama Buddha and Gita – words spoken by Sri Krishna, a Hindu avatar of God) and try to find out whether those books too stand in contradiction to science and reason. One does not find any statement in those similarly old holy book that contradicts reason or science, although many mysterious things are said in those books, just like Bible.

The well-known historian H. G. Wells has indicated towards the possibility of corruption by addition and / or editting of Bible at the first Christian ‘Council of Nicaea ‘ during the reign of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in 274 to 337 AD – H.G. Wells,The Outline of History, Vol. I, pages 462-463, says: It (the Council of Nicaea) marks the definite entry upon the stage of human affairs of the Christian Church and of Christianity as it is generally understood in the world to-day. It marks the exact definition of Christian teaching by the Nicene Creed and then in the Nicene Council when the last version of Bible was accepted and all further amendment were closed by the Evangelical authorities. Another well-known historian Edward Gibbon in his work ‘Fall and Decline of Roman Empire’ (page 250 Wordsworth edition) has also indicated the turbulent circumstances after the death of Jesus Christ, which indicate that there were several versions of what Christ had said and that the adherents of these different versions disputed with each other. This dispute went on till Constantine the great ( 274 to 337 AD) vigorously intervened in this dispute, directed the then popular cardinal authorities to get together and agree in the interests  of consolidation of his rule on a single version of what Christ had said.

Who was this Roman Emperor Constantine? What did he do to temper with the words of Christ as they might had been originally spoken and preserved by the ancient -pagan – Christians, till the final amendments made therein under this Roman Emperor?

In fact, Constantine was the first Pope of Christianity. He was born on Feb. 27, 280 AD as Flavius Valerius  Constantius, son of the commander Constantius Chlorus (later Constantius I) and his wife Helena (a prostitute and Balkan barmaid) at Nis, what is today Serbia. At that time, Christianity was growing by leaps and bounds. The Christians were outstanding citizens but the Emperor saw them as a threat for one reason: They refused to acknowledge the divinity of the Emperor. During the early days of Rome, the people hated kings and Rome was a republic. Egyptian rulers were considered gods by their subjects and when Julius Ceasar conquered Egypt, he brought this idea of divinity back to Rome. Emperor Diocletian, who reigned from 284 to 305, began the last great pagan (early Christians) persecution in 303 AD, in which the history of early Christianity was destroyed.  Beginning in the year 303, the Roman Empire launched a persecution against Christianity, which lasted 10 years and is known in history as the era of the martyrs. During this time the books written by pagan authors were destroyed because they would reveal a lot about the real doctrines and practices of the Christianity.  Rome was systematically destroying Christian doctrines and history so that the next generation would have no idea what Christ had taught.

Then came Constantius who became co-emperor in 305 and with him the rescue of Christians began. But it was at the cost of defiling the original teachings of Christ!

Emperor Constantine defeated his rival Maxentius in 312 at the ‘Battle of Milvian Bridge’ outside Rome. He built his triumphal arch but this arch mentions nothing about Christ and only ascribes his victory to ‘The Divinity’!

The words on this arch, translated from Latin, say,”To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the greatest, pious, and blessed  August: Because he, inspired by the divine, and by the greatness of his mind, has delivered the state from the tyrant and all of his followers at the same time, with his army and just force of arms, the Senate and People of Rome have dedicated this arch, decorated with triumphs.”

With his victory over Maxentius – Roman Emperor in the West – he began to merge the ‘Pagan Christianity’, the original and the then prevalent Christianity, with his own peculiar ideas of a new Christianity dedicated to the service of his mental conviction of his own divinity.

This new Christianity is what has come to us today.

By consolidating his power with the strength of his arms and a religion of his liking, he decided to shift the capital of the Roman Empire to the ancient Greek city called Byzantium situated at the Black Sea, which was later renamed as Constantinople. Today the city is called Istanbul. He was the first Pope of Christianity.

But no priest or Cardinal can ever have the capacity to compile, edit and replace the words of a holy person like Jesus Christ; and it is not because of the lack of faith or honesty in the editor but his lack of spiritual power of the holy person. In fact, the world has lost to the large extant the original words spoken by Jesus Christ.

Then, what is the way out?

Do we have an alternative source of information about the life and works of Jesus Christ other than the Biblical ecclestial editors or historians?

Yes, we do have such alternative source in the discovery of Nicolas Notovitch, which is available in his book ‘The Unknown Years of Jesus Christ’ published in 1887. In the preface of this work, the author thus writes:

“After the close of the Turko-Russian War (1877- 1878) I undertook a series of extended journeys through the Orient. Having visited all points of interest in the Balkan Peninsula, I crossed the Caucasian Mountains into Central Asia and Persia, and finally, in 1887, made an excursion into India, the most admired country of the dreams of my childhood. …… Wandering without any settled course from one locality to another, I at last came to mountainous Afghanistan, whence I reached India through the picturesque passes of Bolan and Guernai’. I then followed the Indus to Rawal-Pindi, traveled through the Punjab — the country of five rivers — visited the golden temple of Amritsir, the tomb of Randjid Singh, king of the Punjab, near Lahore, and proceeded toward Kashmir, the ” vale of eternal happiness.” There I began my peregrinations as fancy or curiosity guided or dictated, until I reached the Ladak, where I intended to make a somewhat lengthy stay before returning to Russia through Eastern Turkestan and Karakorum.

“In the course of one of my visits to a Buddhist convent, I learned from the chief Lama that there existed very ancient memoirs, treating of the life of Christ and of the nations of the Occident, in the archives of Lassa, and that a few of the larger monasteries possessed copies and translations of these precious chronicles. …….

“During my sojourn in Leh, the capital of Ladak, I visited Himis, a large convent in the outskirts of the city, where I was informed by the Lama that the monastic libraries contained a few copies of the manuscript in question. …….

“An unfortunate accident, whereby my leg was fractured, furnished me with a totally unexpected pretext to enter the monastery, where I received excellent care and nursing; and I took advantage of my short stay among these monks to obtain the privilege of seeing the manuscripts relating to Christ.

“With the aid of my interpreter, who translated from the Thibetan tongue, I carefully transcribed the verses as they were read by the Lama.

“Entertaining no doubt of the authenticity of this narrative, written with the utmost precision by Brahmin historians and Buddhists of India and Nepal, my intention was to publish the translation on my return to Europe.

“With this object in view, I addressed myself to several well-known ecclesiastics, requesting them to revise my notes and tell me what they thought of the matter.

“Monseigneur Platon, the celebrated archbishop of Kiew, believed my discovery to be of great importance; but he earnestly tried to dissuade me from giving the memoirs publicity, declaring it would be against my own interests to do so.

“Why? This the venerable prelate refused to explain………..

“A year later I chanced to be in Rome. Here I submitted the manuscript to a cardinal standing high in the estimation of the Holy Father. “Why should you print this?” he said, didactically; ‘ nobody will attach much importance to it, and you will create numberless enemies thereby. You are still young, however. If you need money, I can obtain some compensation for these notes, enough to remunerate you for your loss of time and expenditure.” Naturally enough, I refused the offer.

“In Paris I laid my project before Cardinal Rotelli, whom I had met in Constantinople. He also opposed the publication of my work, under pretext that it would be premature. ” The church,” he added, “suffers too deeply from this new current of atheistic ideas; and you would only furnish new food to the calumniators and detractors of the evangelical doctrine. I tell you this in the interest of all Christian churches.”

“I then called on M. Jules Simon, who found my communication most interesting, and advised me to consult M. Kenan in regard to the best means of publishing these memoirs. The very next day I found myself seated in the study of the great philosopher. At the end of the interview M. Renan proposed that I should intrust him with the memoirs in question, that he might make a report on them to the Academy.

“This proposition, as the reader will understand, was most seductive and nattering; yet I took away the work with me, saying I wished to revise it once more —the fact being that I feared if I accepted this association I would only receive the bare honor of discovering the chronicles, while the illustrious author of the ” Life of Jesus’ would reap the glory of the publication and of the commentaries. …..

“I therefore prepared my notes, and now publish them, reserving the right to attest the authenticity of these chronicles. In my commentaries I carefully develop the arguments which prove the good faith and sincerity of the Buddhist compilers.

“It only remains for me to add that before criticising my work scientific societies can, without much expense, organize an expedition whose mission it will be to study these manuscripts in the locality in which they are to be found, and thus verify their historical value. Nicolas Notovitch.”

In the last part of his narrative in “The Unknown Years of Jesus Christ “ Notovitch writes under the heading ‘Epitome’ thus:

“In reading the life of Issa (Jesus Christ), we are at first struck by the similarity between some of its principal passages and the biblical narrative; while, on the other hand, we also find equally remarkable contradictions, which constitute the difference between the Buddhist version and that found in the Old and New Testaments.

“To explain this singularity, we must take into account the periods in which the facts were recorded. In childhood, we were taught to believe that the Pentateuch was written by Moses himself; but the careful investigations of co-temporary savants have conclusively demonstrated, that in the days of Moses, and even long after him, there existed no writings in those countries bathed by the Mediterranean, save the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the cuneiform inscriptions still found in the excavations of Babylon.

“But we know, to the contrary, that the alphabet and parchment were known and used in China and India long before Moses.

“Of this we have ample proof.

“The sacred books of the ‘ ‘ religion of the wise men,” teaches us that the alphabet was invented in China, in 2800 B. C, by Fou-si, who was the first Chinese emperor to embrace that religion. It was he who also arranged the ritual and outward ceremonies. Yaou, the fourth Chinese emperor who adopted the same faith, published moral and civil laws, and, in the year 2228 B. C, prepared a penal code. On his accession to the throne, Soune, the fifth emperor, proclaimed the “religion of the wise men” as the religion of state; and in 2282, he enacted new penal laws. These laws, modified by the Emperor Woo-Wang, who was the founder of the Chow dynasty in 1122, are now known under the name of the “Changes.”

“Moreover, the doctrine of Buddha-Fo, whose real name was Cakya-Mouni, was written on parchment. Foism began to spread through China about the year 260 B. C; in 206, an emperor of the Tsine dynasty, who desired to study Buddhism, sent to India for the Buddhist Silifan; while the Emperor Ming-Ti, of the Han dynasty, one year before Christ, procured the sacred books written by Cakya-Mouni, the founder of Buddhism, who lived about the year 1200 before Christ.

“The doctrine of Buddha Gaouthama, or Gautama, who lived six hundred years before Christ, was written on parchment in the Pali language. At this epoch, there already existed in India about eighty-four thousand Buddhist manuscripts, the compiling of which must have required a considerable number of years.

“While the Chinese and Hindoos already possessed a rich collection of written literature, the less fortunate, or more ignorant nations, who had no alphabet, transmitted orally, from generation to generation, what came to pass.

“Owing to the unreliability of the human memory, and its relative incapacity, not to speak of oriental embellishments, historical facts soon degenerated into fabulous legends, which, later, were gathered by unknown compilers and given to the world under the title of the “Five Books of Moses.”

“The legend also attributes a truly extraordinary divine power to this Hebrew legislator, and credits him with a series of miracles performed in the presence of Pharaoh; might it not be equally mistaken in declaring that he was an Israelite by birth?

“The Hindoo chroniclers, on the contrary, thanks to the invention of the alphabet, were enabled to preserve, not fabulous legends, but a concise narrative of recent events accomplished in their midst, as well as of the reports received from the merchants who had just visited foreign lands.

“It is necessary to remark here that during this period of antiquity, as in our own days, oriental public life was concentrated in the bazaars, where the events of the day and the news from foreign nations were propagated by caravans of merchants, who were usually followed by a number of dervises who readily told all they had seen and heard on their journey, in exchange for food. In fact, this was their sole means of subsistence.

“The commerce of India with Egypt, and later with Europe, was carried on through Jerusalem, where, even as early as the reign of Solomon, Hindoo caravans brought precious metals and all that was necessary for the construction of the temple. From Europe, the merchandise came to Jerusalem bv sea, and was unloaded in the harbor where Jaffa now stands.

“The chronicles in question were written before, during, and after Christ; although no attention was paid to Jesus during his sojourn in India, where he came as a simple pilgrim to study the Brahman and Buddhist laws.

“But later, when the events which had aroused Israel were related in India, these chroniclers – after having committed to writing all they had just heard concerning the prophet Issa, whom an oppressed nation had followed and who had been executed by the order of Pilate – remembered that this same Issa had recently lived among them and studied in their midst, and that he had then returned to his own country.

“A deep interest was immediately aroused concerning this man who had so rapidly grown in importance in their eyes, and they at once began an investigation into his birth, his past, and every detail of his existence.

“The two manuscripts read to me by the lama of the Himis Convent, were compiled from divers copies written in the Thibetan tongue, translated from rolls belonging to the Lassa library and brought from India, Nepal, and Maghada two hundred years after Christ.

“These were placed in a convent standing on Mount Marbour, near Lassa, where the Dalai-Lama now resides.

“These rolls were written in the Pali tongue, which certain lamas study carefully that they may translate the sacred writings from that language into the Thibetan dialect. The chroniclers were Buddhists belonging to the sect of Buddha Gautama.

“The information contained about Christ is oddly mixed, without relation or coherence with other events of that period. Without preliminary details or explanation, the manuscript begins by announcing that, in the very year of the death of Christ, a few merchants just returned from Judea have brought back the information that a just man named Issa, an Israelite, after having been twice acquitted by his judges – as was the man of God – was finally put to death at the instigation of the Pagan Governor, Pilate, who feared that Jesus would take advantage of his popularity to re-establish the Kingdom of Israel and expel its conquerors from the land.

“Then comes the somewhat incoherent tale of Jesus preaching among the Guebers and other pagans, evidently written in the year following the death of Christ, in whom there is a growing interest.

“In one of these the merchants relate what is known of the origin of Jesus and of his family, while another gives the story of the expulsion of his partisans and the bitter persecutions they endured.

“It is not until the end of the second volume is reached, that we find the first categorical affirmation of the chronicler where he declares that Issa is blessed by God and the best of all men; that he is the chosen one of the great Brahma, the man in whom is incarnated the spirit detached from the Supreme Being at a period determined by fate.

“Having explained that Issa was the son of poor parents and of Israelite extraction, the chronicler makes a slight digression with the object of telling us who were the children of Israel.

“These fragments of the life of Issa, I have disposed of in chronological order, endeavoring to give them a character of unity totally wanting in the original form.

“I leave to savants, philosophers, and theologians, the task of searching the cause of contradictions that may be found between the “Unknown Life of Issa, ‘ which I make public, and the story told by the Evangelists.

“But I am inclined to believe that nobody will hesitate to acknowledge that this version, recorded within three or four years after the death of Christ from the testimonies of eye witnesses, is more likely to bear the stamp of truth than the narratives of the Evangelists, who wrote at divers epochs, and so long a time after these events took place, that we can not be astonished if the facts have been altered or distorted. ……”

The author throws an open challenge to go to Leh in Ladakh, which is not on some another planet, and to find out the Rolls about Issa or Christ, and replace them as the authentic Bible.

Do we need to salvage the holy words of Jesus Christ by replacing the words spoken by Christ as described in the Leh Rolls?

Or, are the vested petty worldly interests of the holy clergy too heavy to allow this salvage?

 Let us see what this Buddhist Bible says!

(To the reader: Here is the re-production of these “Leh Rolls”, wherein we have put Chapters One, Two and Three after Chapter Fourteen for sequential and historical reasons. Also, we of our own highlighted the portions that are the essence of what Issa – Jesus Christ – had preached.)

Chapter Four:

1. And now the time had come, which the Supreme Judge, in his boundless clemency, had chosen to incarnate himself in a human being. 2. And the Eternal Spirit, which dwelt in a state of complete inertness and supreme beatitude, awakened and detached itself from the Eternal Being for an indefinite period, 3. In order to indicate, in assuming the human form, the means of identifying ourselves with the Divinity and of attaining eternal felicity. 4. And to teach us, by his example, how we may reach a state of moral purity and separate the soul from its gross envelope, that it may attain the perfection necessary to enter the Kingdom of Heaven which is immutable and where eternal happiness reigns. 5. Soon after, a wonderful child was born in the land of Israel; God himself, through the mouth of this child, spoke of the nothingness of the body and of the grandeur of the soul. 6. The parents of this new-born child were poor people, belonging by birth to a family of exalted piety, which disregarded its former worldly greatness to magnify the name of the Creator and thank him for the misfortunes with which he was pleased to try them. 7. To reward them for their perseverance in the path of truth, God blessed the first-born of this family; he chose him as his elect, and sent him forth to raise those that had fallen into evil, and to heal them that suffered. 8. The divine child, to whom was given the name of Issa, commenced even in his most tender years to speak of the one and indivisible God, exhorting the people that had strayed from the path of righteousness to repent and purify themselves of the sins they had committed. 9. People came from all parts to listen and marvel at the words of wisdom that fell from his infant lips; all the Israelites united in proclaiming that the Eternal Spirit dwelt within this child. 10. When Issa had attained the age of thirteen, when an Israelite should take a wife. 11. The house in which his parents dwelt and earned their livelihood in modest labor, became a meeting place for the rich and noble, who desired to gain for a son-in-law the young Issa, already celebrated for his edifying discourses in the name of the Almighty. 12. It was then that Issa clandestinely left his father’s house, went out of Jerusalem, and, in company with some merchants, traveled toward Sindh 13. That he might perfect himself in the divine word and study the laws of the great Buddhas.

Chapter Five:.

1. In the course of his fourteenth year, young Issa, blessed by God, journeyed beyond the Sindh and settled among the Aryas in the beloved country of God. 2. The fame of his name spread along the Northern Sindh. When he passed through the country of the five rivers and the Radjipoutan, the worshipers of the god Djaine begged him to remain in their midst. 3. But he left the misguided admirers of Dja’ine and visited Juggernaut, in the province of Orsis, where the remains of Viassa-Krichna rest, and where he received a joyous welcome from the white priests of Brahma. 4. They taught him to read and understand the Vedas, to heal by prayer, to teach and explain the Holy Scripture, to cast out evil spirits from the body of man and give him back human semblance. 5. He spent six years in Juggernaut, Rajegriha, Benares, and the other holy cities; all loved him, for Issa lived in peace with the Vaisyas and the Soudras, to whom he taught the Holy Scripture. 6. But the Brahmans and the Kshatriyas declared that the Great Para- Brahma forbade them to approach those whom he had created from his entrails and from his feet : 7. That the Vaisyas were authorized to listen only to the reading of the Vedas, and that never save on feast days. 8. That the Soudras were not only forbidden to attend the reading of the Vedas, but to gaze upon them even; for their condition was to perpetually serve and act as slaves to the Brahmans, the Kshatriyas, and even to the Vaisyas. 9. “Death alone can free them from servitude,'” said Para-Brahma. “Leave them, therefore, and worship with us the gods who will show their anger against you if you disobey them.” 10. But Issa would not heed them; and going to the Soudras, preached against the Brahmans and the Kshatriyas. 11. He strongly denounced the men who robbed their fellow-beings of their rights as men, saying: ” God the Father establishes no difference between his children, who are all equally dear to him.” 12. Issa denied the divine origin of the Vedas and the Pouranas, declaring to his followers that one law had been given to men to guide them in their actions. 13. ” Fear thy God, bow down the knee before Him only, and to Him only must thy offerings be made.” 14. Issa denied the Trimourti and the incarnation of Para-Brahma in Vishnou, Siva, and other gods, saying: 15. “The Eternal Judge, the Eternal Spirit, composes the one and indivisible soul of the universe, which alone creates, contains, and animates the whole.” 16. “He alone has willed and created, he alone has existed from eternity and will exist without end ; he has no equal neither in the heavens nor on this earth.” 17. “The Great Creator shares his power with no one, still less with inanimate objects as you have been taught, for he alone possesses supreme power.” 18. “He willed it, and the world appeared; by one divine thought, he united the waters and separated them from the dry portion of the globe. He is the cause of the mysterious life of man, in whom he has breathed a part of his being.” 19. “And he has subordinated to man, the land, the waters, the animals, and all that he has created, and which he maintains in immutable order by fixing the duration of each.” 20. ” The wrath of God shall soon be let loose on man, for he has forgotten his Creator and filled his temples with abominations, and he adores a host of creatures which God has subordinated to him.” 21. For, to be pleasing to stones and metals, he sacrifices human beings in whom dwells a part of the spirit of the Most High.” 22. ” For he humiliates them that labor by the sweat of their brow to gain the favor of an idler who is seated at a sumptuously spread table. ‘ : 23. “They that deprive their brothers of divine happiness shall themselves be deprived of it, and the Brahmans and the Kshatriyas shall become the Soudras of the Soudras with whom the Eternal shall dwell eternally.” 24. “For on the day of the Last Judgment, the Soudras and the Vaisyas shall be forgotten because of their ignorance, while God shall visit his wrath on them that have arrogated his rights.” 25. The Vaisyas and the Soudras were struck with admiration, and demanded of Issa how they should pray to secure their happiness. 26. “Do not worship idols, for they do not hear you; do not listen to the Vedas, where the truth is perverted; do not believe yourself first in all things, and do not humiliate your neighbor.” 27. “Help the poor, assist the weak, harm no one, do not covet what you have not and what you see in the possession of others.”

Chapter Six:

1. The white priests and the warriors becoming cognizant of the discourse addressed by Issa to the Soudras, resolved upon his death and sent their servants for this purpose in search of the young prophet. 2. But Issa, warned of this danger by the Soudras, fled in the night from Juggernaut, gained the mountains, and took refuge in the Gothamide Country, the birth-place of the great Buddha Cakya-Mouni, among the people who adored the only and sublime Brahma. 3. Having perfectly learned the Pali tongue, the just Issa applied himself to the study of the sacred rolls of Soutras. 4. Six years later, Issa, whom the Buddha had chosen to spread his holy word, could perfectly explain the sacred rolls. 5. He then left Nepal and the Himalaya Mountains, descended into the valley of Rajipoutan and went westward, preaching to divers people of the supreme perfection of man, 6. And of the good we must do unto others, which is the surest means of quickly merging ourselves in the Eternal Spirit. ” He who shall have recovered his primitive purity at death,” said Issa, ” shall have obtained the forgiveness of his sins, and shall have the right to contemplate the majestic figure of God.” 7. In traversing the pagan territories, the divine Issa taught the people that the adoration of visible gods was contrary to the laws of nature. 8. ” For man,” said he, “has not been favored with the sight of the image of God nor the ability to construct a host of divinities resembling the Eternal.” 9. “Furthermore, it is incompatible with the human conscience to think less of the grandeur of divine purity than of animals; or of works made by the hand of man from stone or metal.” 10. “The Eternal Legislator is one; there is no God but him; he has shared the world with no one, neither has he confided his intentions to anyone.” 11. “Just as a father may deal toward his children, so shall God judge men after death according to his merciful laws; never will he humiliate his child by causing his soul to emigrate, as in a purgatory, into the body of an animal.” 12. “The heavenly law,” said the Creator through the lips of Issa, “is averse to the sacrifice of human victims to a statue or animal; for I have sacrificed to man all the animals and everything the world contains.” 13. ”Everything has been sacrificed to man, who is directly and closely linked to Me, his Father; therefore, he that shall have robbed Me of My child shall be severely judged and punished according to the divine law. 14. “Man is as nothing before the Eternal Judge, to the same degree that the animal is before man.” 15. “Therefore, I say to you, abandon your idols and perform no ceremonies that separate you from your Father and bind you to priests from whom the face of heaven is turned away.” 16. “For it is they who have allured you from the true God, and whose superstitions and cruelty are leading you to perversion of the intellect and the loss of all moral sense.”

Chapter Seven:

1. The words of Issa spread among the pagans, in the countries through which he traveled, and the inhabitants abandoned their idols. 2. Seeing which, the priests demanded from him who glorified the name of the true God, proofs of the accusations he brought against them and demonstration of the worthlessness of idols in the presence of the people. 3. And Issa replied to them : “If your idols and your animals are mighty, and really possess a supernatural power, let them annihilate me on the spot ! 4. “Perform a miracle,” retorted the priests, “and let thy God confound our own, if they are loathsome to him.” 5. But Issa then said: “The miracles of our God began when the universe was created; they occur each day, each instant; whosoever does not see them is deprived of one of the most beautiful gifts of life.” 6. “And it is not against pieces of inanimate stone, metal, or wood, that the wrath of God shall find free vent, but it shall fall upon man, who, in order to be saved, should destroy all the idols they have raised.” 7. “Just as a stone and a grain of sand, worthless in themselves to man, await with resignation the moment when he shall take and make them into something useful.” 8. ” So should man await the great favor to be granted him by God in honoring him with a decision.” 9. “But woe be to you, adversary of man, if it be not a favor that you await, but rather the wrath of Divinity; woe be to you if you await until it attests its power through miracles ! 10. “For it is not the idols that shall be annihilated in His wrath, but those that have raised them ; their hearts shall be the prey of everlasting fire, and their lacerated bodies shall serve as food for wild beasts.” 11. “God shall drive away the contaminated ones of his flocks, but shall take back to himself those that have strayed because they misconceived the heavenly atom which dwelt in them.” 12. Seeing the powerlessness of their priests, the pagans believed the words of Issa, and fearing the wrath of the Divinity, broke their idols into fragments; as to the priests, they tied to escape the vengeance of the people. 13. And Issa also taught the pagans not to strive to see the Eternal Spirit with their own eyes, but to endeavor to feel it in their hearts, and, by a truly pure soul, to make themselves worthy of its favors. 14. “Not only must you desist from offering human sacrifices,” said he, ” but you must immolate no animal to which life has been given, for all things have been created for the benefit of man.” 15. ” Do not take what belongs to others, for it would be robbing your neighbor of the goods he has acquired by the sweat of his brow.” : 16. “Deceive no one, that you may not yourself be deceived; strive to justify yourself before the last judgment, for it will then be too late.’ 17. “Do not give yourself up to debauchery, for it is a violation of the laws of God.” : 18. “You shall attain supreme beatitude, not only by purifying yourself, but also by leading others into the path that shall permit them to regain primitive perfection.”

Chapter Eight:

1. The fame of Issa’s sermons spread to the neighboring countries, and, when he reached Persia, the priests were terrified and forbade the inhabitants to listen to him. 2. But when they saw that all the villages welcomed him with joy, and eagerly listened to his preaching, they caused his arrest and brought him before the high-priest, where he was submitted to the following interrogatory: 3. “Who is this new God of whom thou speaketh ? Dost thou not know, unhappy man that thou art, that Saint Zoroaster is the only just one admitted to the honor of receiving communications from the Supreme Being, 4. “Who has commanded the angels to draw up in writing the word of God, laws that were given to Zoroaster in paradise 5. “Who then art thou that darest to blaspheme our God and sow doubt in the hearts of believers ?” 6. And Issa replied: ” It is not of a new god that I speak, but of our heavenly Father, who existed before the beginning and will still be after the eternal end.” 7. “ It was of him I spoke to the people, who, even as an innocent child, can not yet understand God by the mere strength of their intelligence and penetrate his spiritual and divine sublimity.” 8. “But, as a new-born child recognizes the maternal breast even in obscurity, so your people, induced in error by your erroneous doctrines and religious ceremonies, have instinctively recognized their Father in the Father of whom I am the prophet.” 9. “The Eternal Being says to your people through the intermediary of my mouth : “You shall not adore the sun, for it is only a part of the world I have created for man.” 10. ” The sun rises that it may warm you during your labor; it sets that it may give you the hours of rest I have myself fixed. ” 11. ” It is to Me, and to Me only, that you owe all you possess, all that is around you, whether above or beneath you.” 12. “But,” interjected the priests, ” how could a nation live according to the laws of justice, if it possessed no preceptors ?” 13. Then Issa replied : “As long as the people had no priests, they were governed by the law of nature and retained their candor of soul.” 14. “Their souls were in God, and to communicate with the Father, they had recourse to the intermediary of no idol or animal, nor to fire, as you practice here.” 15. ” You claim that we must worship the sun, the genius of Good and that of Evil; well, your doctrine is an abomination, I say to you, the sun acts not spontaneously, but by the will of the Invisible Creator who has given it existence, 16. “And who has willed that this orb should light the day and warm the labor and the crops of man.” 17. “The Eternal Spirit is the soul of all that is animated; you commit a grievous sin in dividing it into the spirit of Evil and the spirit of Good, for there is no God save that of good, 18. “Who, like the father of a family, does good only to his children, forgiving all their faults if they repent of them.” 19. “And the spirit of Evil dwells on this earth, in the heart of men who turn the children of God from the right path.” 20. “Therefore I say to you, beware of the day of judgment, for God will inflict a terrible punishment on all who have turned his children from the right path and filled them with superstitions and prejudices,” 21. “On them that have blinded the seeing, transmitted contagion to the sound of health, and taught the adoration of things which God has subjected to man for his own good and to aid him in his labor.” 22. “Your doctrine is therefore the fruit of your errors, for, in desiring to approach the God of Truth, you have created false gods.” 23. After listening to him, the wise men resolved to do him no harm. In the night, while the city was wrapped in slumber, they conducted him outside the walls and left him on the highway, hoping that he might soon become the prey of wild beasts. 24. But, being protected by the Lord our God, Saint Issa continued his way unmolested.

Chapter Nine:

1. Issa, whom the Creator had chosen to recall the true God to the people that were plunged in depravities, was twenty-nine years of age when he arrived in the land of Israel. 2. Since the departure of Issa, the pagans had heaped still more atrocious sufferings on the Israelites, and the latter were a prey to the deepest gloom. 3. Many among them had already begun to desert the laws of their God and those of Mossa, in the hope of softening their harsh conquerors. 4. In the presence of this situation, Issa exhorted his compatriots not to despair, because the day of the redemption of sins was near, and he confirmed their belief in the God of their fathers. 5. ” Children, do not yield to despair,” said the Heavenly Father through the mouth of Issa, “for I have heard your voices, and your cries have ascended to me.” 6. “Weep not, O my beloved, for your sobs have touched the heart of your Father, and he has forgiven you as he forgave your ancestors.” 7. “ Do not abandon your families to plunge into debauchery, do not lose the nobility of your sentiments and worship idols that will remain deaf to your voices.” 8. “ Fill my temple with your hopes and your patience, and do not abjure the religion of your fathers, for I alone have guided them and heaped blessings upon them.” 9. ” Raise them that have fallen, feed them that are hungry, and help them that are sick, that you may all be pure and just on the day of the last judgment that I am preparing for you.” 10. The Israelites flocked to hear the words of Issa, asking him where they should thank the Heavenly Father, since their enemies had razed their temples and laid violent hands on their sacred vessels. 11. Issa replied to them that God did not speak of temples built by the hands of men, but that he meant thereby the human heart, which is the true temple of God. 12. “Enter into your temple, into your own heart, illuminate it with good thoughts, patience, and the unflinching confidence you should place in your Father.” 13. “ And your sacred vessels are your hands and your eyes; look and do what is agreeable to God, for, in doing good to your neighbor, you perform a rite that embellishes the temple in which dwells the One who has given you life.” 14. “For God has created you in his image; innocent, pure of soul, with a heart filled with kindness, and destined, not to the conception of evil projects, but to be the sanctuary of love and justice. 15. “Do not therefore sully your hearts, I say to you, for the Eternal Being dwells there always.” 16. “If you wish to accomplish works stamped with love and piety, do them with an open heart, and let not your actions be inspired by the hope of gain or by thought of profit.” 17. “For such deeds would not contribute to your salvation, and you would then fall into a state of moral degradation in which theft, falsehood, and murder, seem like generous actions.”

Chapter Ten:

1 . Saint Issa went from place to place strengthening, by the word of God, the courage of the Israelites, who were ready to succumb under the weight of their despair, and thousands followed him to hear his preaching. 2. But the rulers of the cities feared him, and word was sent to the Governor, who resided in Jerusalem, that a man named Issa had come into the country, that his sermons excited the people against the authorities, that the crowd listened to him assiduously and neglected their duties to the State, claiming that soon they would be rid of their intruding rulers. 3. Then Pilate, the Governor of Jerusalem, ordered that the preacher Issa be arrested, brought to the city and conducted before the judges; not to arouse the dissatisfaction of the people, however, Pilate commanded the priests and the learned men, old men of Hebrew origin, to judge him in the temple. 4. Meanwhile, Issa, still continuing to preach, arrived in Jerusalem; having heard of his coming all the inhabitants, who already knew him by reputation, came to meet him. 5. They greeted him respectfully and threw open the doors of their temple that they might hear from his lips what he had said in the other cities of Israel. 6. And Issa said to them : “ The human race is perishing because of its want of faith, for the gloom and the tempest have bewildered the human flock, and they have lost their shepherd.” 7. “ But tempests do not last forever, and the clouds will not hide the eternal light, the heavens shall soon be serene again, the celestial light shall spread throughout the world, and the strayed sheep shall gather around their shepherd. ” 8. “Do not strive to seek direct roads in the obscurity for fear of stumbling into the ditch, but gather your remaining strength, sustain one another, place your entire trust in God, and wait till a streak of light appears.” 9. ” He that upholds his neighbor upholds himself, and whosoever protects his family protects his race and his country.” 10. “For rest assured that the day of your deliverance from darkness is near; you shall gather together in one single family, and your enemy – he who knows nothing of the favor of the Great God – will tremble in fear.” 11. The priests and the old men that listened to him, full of admiration at this language, asked of him if it were true that he had attempted to arouse the people against the authorities of the country, as had been reported to the Governor, Pilate. 12. ” Is it possible to arise against misled men from whom the obscurity has hidden their path and their door?” returned Issa. “I have only warned these unfortunate people, as I warn them in this temple, that they may not advance further on their dark paths, for an abyss is yawning beneath their feet.” 13. “ Worldly power is not of long duration, and it is subject to innumerable changes. It would be of no use to a man to rebel against it, for one power always succeeds another power, and it shall be thus until the extinction of human existence.” 14. ” Do you not see, on the contrary, that the rich and the powerful are sowing among the children of Israel a spirit of rebellion against the eternal power of heaven?” 15. And the learned men then said: “Who art thou, and from what country hast thou come into our own? We had never heard of thee, and do not even know thy name.” 16. “I am an Israelite,” responded Issa, ” and, on the very day of my birth, I saw the walls of Jerusalem, and I heard the weeping of my brothers reduced to slavery, and the moans of my sisters carried away by pagans into captivity.” 17. ” And my soul was painfully grieved when 1 saw that my brothers had forgotten the true God; while yet a child, I left my father’ s house to go among other nations.” 18. “But hearing that my brothers were enduring still greater tortures, I returned to the land in which my parents dwelt, that I might recall to my brothers the faith of their ancestors, which teaches us patience in this world that we may obtain perfect and sublime happiness on High.” 19. And the learned old men asked him this question : ” It is claimed that you deny the laws of Mossa and teach the people to desert the tern pie of God?” 20. And Issa said: “We can not demolish what has been given by our Heavenly Father and what has been destroyed by sinners; but I have recommended the purification of all stain from the heart, for that is the veritable temple of God.” 21. ” As to the laws of Mossa, I have striven to re-establish them in the heart of men; and I say to you, that you are in ignorance of their true meaning, for it is not vengeance, but forgiveness that they teach; but the sense of these laws have been perverted.”

Chapter Eleven:

1. Having heard Issa, the priests and learned men decided among themselves that they would not judge him, for he was doing no one harm, and having presented themselves before Pilate, made Governor of Jerusalem by the pagan king of the land of Romeles, they spoke to him thus: 2. “We have seen the man whom thou accusest of inciting our people to rebellion, we have heard his preaching and know that he is of our people.” 3. “But the rulers of the towns have sent thee false reports, for he is a just man who teaches the people the word of God. After interrogating him, we dismissed him that he might go in peace.” 4. The Governor overcome with passion sent disguised servants to Issa, that they might watch all his actions and report to the authorities every word he addressed to the people. 5. Nevertheless Issa continued to visit the neighboring towns and preach the true ways of the Creator, exhorting the Hebrews to patience and promising them a speedy deliverance. 6. And during all this time, a multitude followed wherever he went, many never leaving him and acting as servants. 7. And Issa said to them: “Do not believe in miracles performed by the hands of man, for He who dominates nature is alone capable of doing supernatural things, while man is powerless to soften the violence of the wind and bestow rain.” 8. “Nevertheless, there is a miracle which it is possible for man to accomplish; it is when, full of a sincere faith, he resolves to tear from his heart all evil thought and, to attain his end, shuns the paths of iniquity.” 9. “And all things which are done without God are but gross errors, seductions, and illusions, which only demonstrate to what point the soul of the man who practices this art is filled with deceit, falsehood, and impurity.” 10. “Put no faith in oracles, God alone knows the future; he that has recourse to sorcerers defiles the temple within his heart and gives proof of distrust toward his Creator.” 11. “Faith in sorcerers and their oracles destroys the innate simplicity and child -like purity in man; a diabolical power takes possession of him and forces him to commit all sorts of crimes and to adore idols.” 12. “While the Lord our God, who has not his equal, is one, all-powerful, omniscient, and omnipresent; it is he who possesses all wisdom and all light.” 13. ” It is to him you must have recourse to be comforted in your sorrows, assisted in your toils, healed in your sickness; whosoever shall have recourse to him shall not be refused.” 14. “The secret of nature is in the hands of God; for the world before appearing, existed in the depth of the divine mind; it became material and visible by the will of the Most High.” 15. “ When you wish to address him, become as children once more, for you know neither the past, nor the present, nor the future, and God is the master of time.”

Chapter Twelve:

1. “O just man,” said the disguised servants of the Governor of Jerusalem, “ tell us should we do the will of our Caesar or await our near deliverance?” 2. And Issa, having recognized in his questioners the spies sent to watch him, said to them: “I have not said that you should be delivered from Caesar; it is the soul plunged in error which shall have its deliverance.” 3. ” There can be no family without a head, and there would be no order in a nation without a Caesar, who must be blindly obeyed, for he alone shall answer for his actions before the supreme tribunal.” 4. “Does Caesar possess a divine right,” again questioned the spies, and is he the best of mortals?” 5. ” There is no perfection among men, but there are also some that are sick whom the men elected and intrusted with this mission must care for, by using the means that are conferred upon them by the sacred law of our Heavenly Father.” 6. “ Clemency and justice, these are the highest gifts granted to Caesar; his name will be illustrious if he abides thereby.” 7. “But he who acts otherwise, who goes beyond the limit of his power over his subject, even to placing his life in danger, offends the great Judge and lowers his dignity in the sight of men.” 8. At this point, an aged woman, who had approached the group that she might better hear Issa, was pushed aside by one of the men in disguise who placed himself before her. 9. Issa then said : ” It is not meet that a son should push aside his mother to occupy the first place which should be hers. Whosoever respecteth not his mother, the most sacred being next to God, is unworthy the name of son.” 10. “Listen, therefore, to what I am about to say: ” Respect woman, for she is the mother of the universe and all the truth of divine creation dwells within her.” 11. “She is the basis of all that is good and beautiful, as she is also the germ of life and death. On her depends the entire existence of man, for she is his moral and natural support in all his works.” 12. “She gives you birth amid sufferings; by the sweat of her brow she watches over your growth, and until her death you cause her the most intense anguish. Bless her and adore her, for she is your only friend and support upon earth.” 13. ”Respect her, protect her; in doing this, you will win her love and her heart, and you will be pleasing to God; for this shall many of your sins be remitted.” 14. “Therefore, love your wives and respect them, for to-morrow they shall be mothers, and later grandmothers of a whole nation.” 15. “ Be submissive toward your wife; her love ennobles man, softens his hardened heart, tames the beast and makes of it a lamb. ” 16. “The wife and the mother, inestimable treasures bestowed on you by God; they are the most beautiful ornaments of the universe, and from them shall be born all that shall inhabit the world.” 17. ” Just as the God of armies separated day from night and the land from the waters, so woman possesses the divine talent of separating good intentions from evil thoughts in men.” 18. Therefore I say to you: “After God, your best thoughts should belong to women and to wives; woman being to you the divine temple wherein you shall most easily obtain perfect happiness.” 19. ” Draw your moral strength from this temple; there you will forget your sorrows and failures, you will recover the wasted forces necessary to help your neighbor.” 20. “Do not expose her to humiliation; you would thereby humiliate yourself and lose the sentiment of love, without which nothing exists here below.” 21. “Protect your wife, that she may protect you and all your family; all that you shall do for your mother, your wife, for a widow, or another woman in distress, you shall have done for God.”

Chapter Thirteen:

1. Saint Issa thus taught the people of Israel for three years in every city, in every village, on the roadways, and in the fields, and all that he had predicted came to pass. 2. During all this time, the disguised servants of the Governor Pilate observed him closely, but without hearing anything that resembled the reports hitherto sent by the rulers of the cities concerning Issa. 3. But the Governor Pilate, becoming alarmed at the too great popularity of Saint Issa, who, according to his enemies, wanted to incite the people and be made king, ordered one of his spies to accuse him. 4. Soldiers were then sent to arrest him, and lie was cast into a dungeon where he was made to suffer various tortures that he might be forced to accuse himself, which would permit them to put him to death. 5. Thinking of the perfect beatitude of his brothers only, the saint endured these sufferings in the name of his Creator. 6. The servants of Pilate continued to torture him and reduced him to a state of extreme weakness; but God was with him and did not suffer him to die. 7. Hearing of the sufferings and tortures inflicted on their saint, the principal priests and learned elders begged the Governor to liberate Issa on the occasion of an approaching great feast. 8. But the Governor met them with a decided refusal. They then begged him to bring Issa before the tribunal of the Ancients, that he might be condemned or acquitted before the feast, to which Pilate consented. 9. On the morrow the Governor called together the chief rulers, priests, elders, and law-givers, with the object of making them pass judgment on Issa. 10. The saint was brought from his prison, and he was seated before the Governor between two thieves that were to be tried with him, to show the people that he was not the only one to be condemned. 11. And Pilate, addressing Issa, said: ” O, man! is it true that thou hast incited the people to rebel against the authorities that thou mayest become king of Israel ? ” 12. “None can become king by his own will,” replied Issa, “and they that have said that I incited the people have spoken falsely. I have never spoken but of the King of Heaven, whom I taught the people to adore.” 13. “For the sons of Israel have lost their original purity, and if they have not recourse to the true God, they shall be sacrificed and their temple shall fall in ruins.” 14. “Temporal power maintains order in a country; I therefore taught them not to forget it; I said to them: ” ‘Live in conformity to your position and fortune, that you may not disturb public order;’ and I exhorted them also to remember that disorder reigned in their hearts and minds.” 15. “ Therefore the King of Heaven has punished them and suppressed their national kings; nevertheless, I said to them, if you resign yourself to your fate, the kingdom of heaven shall be reserved for you as a reward.” 16. At this moment, witnesses were introduced; one of them testified as follows: “Thou hast said to the people that temporal power was nothing to that of the King that shall free the Israelites from the pagan yoke.” 17. ” Blessed be thou,” said Issa, ” for having spoken the truth; the King of Heaven is more powerful and great than terrestrial laws, and his kingdom surpasses all the kingdoms here below.” 18. ” And the time is not far when, in conformity with the divine will, the people of Israel will purify themselves of their sins; for it is said that a precursor shall come to announce the deliverance of the nation and unite it in one family.” 19. And addressing himself to the judges, the Governor said: “Hear you this? The Israelite Issa admits the crime of which he is accused. Judge him according to your laws and sentence him to capital punishment. 20. “We can not condemn him,” replied the priests and the ancients; “ thou hast thyself heard that he made allusion to the King of Heaven, and that he has preached nothing to the people which constitutes insubordination against the law.'” 21. The Governor then summoned the witness who, at the instigation of his master, Pilate, had betrayed Issa; and when this man came he addressed Issa thus: “Didst thou not claim to be the king of Israel in saying that the Lord of heaven had sent thee to prepare his people?” 22. And Issa having blessed him, said: “Thou shalt be forgiven, for what thou sayest cometh not of thee ! ” Then turning to the Governor, he continued: “Why lower thy dignity and teach thy inferiors to live in falsehood, since, even without this, thou hast the power to condemn an innocent man?” 23. At these words, the Governor became violently enraged and ordered the death of Issa, while he discharged the two thieves. 24. The judges, having deliberated among themselves, said to Pilate: “We will not take upon our heads the great sin of condemning an innocent man and of acquitting two thieves, a thing contrary to our laws.” 25. “Do therefore as thou pleases.” Having thus spoken, the priests and wise men went out and washed their hands in a sacred vessel, saying: “ We are innocent of the death of a just man.”

Chapter Fourteen:

1. By order of the Governor, the soldiers seized upon Issa and the two thieves whom they conducted to the place of torture, where they nailed them to the crosses they had erected. 2. All that day, the bodies of Issa and of the two thieves remained suspended, dripping with blood, under the guard of soldiers; the people stood around about them, while the parents of the crucified men wept and prayed. 3. At sunset, the agony of Issa came to an end. He lost consciousness, and the soul of this just man detached itself from his body to become part of the Divinity. 4. Thus ended the terrestrial existence of the reflection of the Eternal Spirit, under the form of a man who had saved hardened sinners and endured so much suffering. 5. Pilate, however, becoming alarmed at his own actions, gave up the body of the holy man to his relations, who buried him near the place of his execution; the multitude then came to pray over his tomb and filled the air with weeping and wailing. 6. Three days later the Governor sent his soldiers to take up the body of Issa and bury it elsewhere, fearing a general uprising of the people. 7. The following day the sepulcher was found open and empty by the multitude; and the rumor immediately spread that the Supreme Judge had sent his angels to take away the mortal remains of the saint in whom dwelt on earth a part of the Divine Spirit. 8. When this report came to the ears of Pilate he fell into a rage and forbade everyone, under penalty of perpetual slavery, to ever utter the name of Issa and to pray to the Lord for him. 9. But the people continued to weep and praise their master aloud; therefore many were placed in captivity, subjected to torture, and put to death. 10. And the disciples of Saint Issa left the land of Israel and went in all directions among the pagans, telling them that they must abandon their gross errors, think of the salvation of their souls, and of the perfect felicity in store for men in the enlightened and immaterial world where, in repose and in all his purity, dwells the great Creator in perfect majesty. 11. The pagans, their kings and soldiers, listened to these preachers, abandoned their absurd beliefs, deserted their priests and their idols to sing the praises of the all-wise Creator of the universe, the King of kings, whose heart is filled with infinite mercy.

(Note: To make out a sequential sense, we are reproducing Chapter One after the end of Chapter Fourteen. The Leh Rolls make it explicit that the news of the death of Issa was brought to the Buddhist compilers of these Rolls by merchants. Chapter Two and Three also are given here as they relate to the history of Mossa, that is much before Issa)

Chapter One:

1. The earth has trembled and the heavens have wept, because of the great crime just committed in the land of Israel. 2. For they have put to torture and executed the great just Issa, in whom dwelt the spirit of the world. 3. Which was incarnated in a simple mortal, that men might be benefited and evil thoughts exterminated thereby. 4. And that it might bring back to a life of peace, of love, and happiness, man degraded by sin, and recall to him the only and indivisible Creator whose mercy is boundless and infinite. 5. This is what is related on this subject by the merchants who have come from Israel.

Chapter Two:

1. The people of Israel, who inhabited a most fertile land, yielding two crops a year, and who possessed immense flocks, excited the wrath of God through their sins. 2. And he inflicted upon them a terrible punishment by taking away their land, their flocks, and all they possessed; and Israel was reduced to slavery by the rich and powerful Pharaohs who then reigned in Egypt. 3. The latter treated the Israelites more cruelly than animals, loading them with chains and putting them to the roughest labor; they covered their bodies with bruises and wounds, and denied them food and shelter, 4. That they might be kept in a state of continual terror and robbed of all semblance of humanity; 5. And in their dire distress, the children of Israel, remembering their heavenly protector, addressed their prayers to him and implored his assistance and mercy. 6. An illustrious Pharaoh then reigned in Egypt, who had become celebrated for his numerous victories, the great riches he had amassed, and the vast palaces which his slaves had erected with their own hands. 7. This Pharaoh had two sons, the younger of whom was called Mossa; and the learned Israelites taught him divers sciences. 8. And Mossa was beloved throughout the land of Egypt for his goodness and the compassion he displayed for them that suffered. 9. Seeing that, notwithstanding the intolerable sufferings they endured, the Israelites refused to abandon their God to worship those created by the hands of man and which were the gods of the Egyptians. 10. Mossa believed in their indivisible God,who did not allow their nagging strength to falter. 11. And the Israelite preceptors encouraged Mossa’ s ardor and had recourse to him, begging him to intercede with Pharaoh, his father, in favor of his co-religionists. 12. Prince Mossa pleaded with his father to soften the lot of these unhappy people, but Pharaoh became angry with him and only imposed more hardships upon his slaves. 13. It came to pass, not long after, that a great calamity fell upon Egypt; the plague decimated the young and the old, the strong and the sick; and Pharaoh believed he had incurred the wrath of his own gods against him; 14. But the prince Mossa declared to his father, that it was the God of his slaves who was interfering in favor of his unhappy people and punishing the Egyptians; 15. Pharaoh commanded Mossa, his son, to gather all the slaves of Jewish race, to lead them away to a great distance from the capital and found another city, where he should remain with them. 16. Mossa announced to the Hebrew slaves that he had delivered them in the name of their God, the God of Israel; and he went with them out of the city and of the land of Egypt. 17. He therefore led them into the land they had lost through their many sins; he gave them laws and enjoined them to always pray to the invisible Creator whose goodness is infinite. 18. At the death of the prince Mossa, the Israelites rigorously observed his laws, and God recompensed them for the wrongs they had suffered in Egypt. 19. Their kingdom became the most powerful in all the world, their kings gained renown for their treasures, and a long period of peace prevailed among the children of Israel.

Chapter Three:

1. The fame of the riches of Israel spread over all the world, and the neighboring nations envied them. 2. But the victorious arms of the Hebrews were directed by the Most High himself, and the pagans dared not attack them. 3. Unhappily as man does not always obey even his own will, the fidelity of the Israelites to their God was not of long duration. 4. They began by forgetting all the favors he had showered upon them, invoked his name on rare occasions only, and begged protection of magicians and wizards; 5. The kings and rulers substituted their own laws for those that Mossa had prepared; the temple of God and the practice of religion were abandoned, the nation gave itself up to pleasures and lost its original purity. 6. Many centuries had elapsed since their departure from Egypt, when God again resolved to punish them. 7. Strangers began to invade the land of Israel, devastating the fields, destroying the villages, and taking the inhabitants into captivity. 8. A throng of pagans came from over the sea, from the country of Romeles; they subjected the Hebrews, and the commanders of the army governed them by authority of Caesar. 9. The temples were destroyed, the people were forced to abandon their worship of the invisible God and to sacrifice victims to pagan idols. 10. Warriors were made of the nobles; the women were ravished from their husbands; the lower classes, reduced to slavery, were sent by thousands beyond the seas. 11. As to the children, all were put to the sword; soon, through all the land of Israel, nothing was heard but weeping and wailing. 12. In this dire distress the people remembered their powerful God; they implored his mercy and besought him to forgive them; our Father, in his inexhaustible goodness, heeded their prayers.

Here ends this Buddhist Bible.

After reading this authentic Buddhist Bible, let us see what the traditional Bible (which is unfortunately devoted much to bringing other people – uninitiated in this religion – to Christianity) says on the subject of spiritual truth. This Issa – Jesus Christ – of this Buddhist Bible has nowhere preached that human soul is sinful – he simply said human heart is an abode of evil thoughts and that this heart should be turned towards Divine. He never preached that human soul needs salvation from any kind of sin – he simply said that we humans, and all other living beings, are the part of the Eternal Being but because of our evil thoughts in our heart we become engrossed in body and this world and that we need to turn our heart towards Divine, like a child is turned towards his mother. he never preached that to meet that Eternal Being – for salvation of one’s soul – a person shall have to come to his fold, Christianity, else he cannot be “saved” or meet with that Eternal Being – he simply said that there is no need of an “intermediary” between human and that Eternal Being and that one has to “purify” his heart oneself. Issa – Jesus Christ – remained in India or considerable time, for short time in Persia and in Israel till his Crucifixion. He never ever encouraged to form an organization of those who had faith in him or come to his fold; he emphasized on “self-help” in the matter Divine. What Christianity is doing today – conversion of people in the name of spreading his word – is just contrary to what that Issa – Buddhist Jesus Christ – had taught throughout his life.

Despite much corruption – brought by the vested interests in the historical past – this traditional Bible still retains some faint light here and there. Let us try to find the traces of that light.

Saint Matthew, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, informs us in his Gospel of the wonderful spiritual experience that Jesus had. Saint Matthew says: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

  Saint Mark also reports of this wonderful spiritual experience of Jesus Christ in his Gospel in these words: “And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.”

  Another disciple of Jesus Christ, Saint Luke speaks of this experience of Christ thus:  “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son: in thee I am well pleased.”

  This is an experience of descending Supreme Being into the human consciousness and it of the highest order that persons completely devoted to Divine get when Divine’s grace is there. It is impossible to describe this experience in human language, for it is beyond all normal experiences of ordinary human beings. However, over the ages attempts to describe the same for the benefit of mankind have been made by those who have had such light. Very many images and similes have been coined in their efforts of expression. One of them is an image of the descending of something like a dove from above into the receiving person’s consciousness. The peace, complete assurance in the form of an enlightenment, happiness in the form of a bliss and answer  to all questions or doubts one may entertain (before this experience), which are brought by this supreme experience are beyond the capacity of words to convey. We shall refer to historical records of some other persons who have had similar spiritual experience.

  Now, as we know, the experience of Supreme Being is not an easy thing. It takes a greatly long cycle of time on the path of creation and according to the scheme of things that is supreme secret of Nature. The period of one human life is flicker of moment in these matters and the secret scheme is unfolded over a period of time spanning very many human lives.

  From the relative point of view of the Divine working, happenings are determined beforehand and still, from the relative point of view of earthly world, things do not happen until there is determination of the highest order on the part of the individual concerned. This determination of the individual is always sought to be shattered by the fountain of evil forces, namely, Satan, Mara or Asura.

  Like Mahavira, Buddha and countless other divine people from prehistoric times to modern times, who had to combat and defeat the Evil Head, Jesus Christ was also confronted with the anti-divine and was sought to be threatened and then allured by enchanting promises. But he spurned the allurements and held fast in his determination to tread the divine path.

  Saint Matthew, the disciple of Jesus Christ, informs us how Satan tried to allure Jesus Christ in these words:  “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, (6) And saith 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.

  “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

  “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

  “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

  Saint Mark in his Gospel tells us that when Jesus Christ saw heaven opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove, and a voice coming from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, he was immediately driven into the wilderness. St. Mark says:  “And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.”

  Saint Luke, the disciple of Jesus Christ, describes the Satan’s demeanors against Jesus thus:  “Being (in wilderness) forty days tempted of the devil And in those days he did eat nothing; and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil, taking him ups into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whosoever I will give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

  But Jesus Christ rebuked the Satan for his threat and refused his allurement. Jesus held fast to his determination to serve the Divine and to none else.

  The whole creation is divided into two opposite elements: the forces that serve Divine and the forces that serve all that that is opposed to Divine. On the path of communion with Divine, the march is not easy. It is climbing up. It is struggle with oneself also. There are elements with us also that serve the anti-Divine. In the steep climbing there is struggle all around: within oneself and struggle with the forces of anti-Divine that are there outside in the world. There are allurements, if these measures fail, and then there are threats; and threats of all sorts. In this path of onward journey there is only one protection: protection provided by Divine. Nothing else works here. This protection is provided to those who surrender to Divine. And, this exercise calls for complete sincerity on our part. This is the secret and this is the key. Throughout the history of spiritual development of mankind, or the evolution of her consciousness, we consistently find this secret and key in operation. It has been with Lord Jesus Christ, it has been so with Lord Buddha, it has been so with all other pioneers of mankind’s civilization.

  When an individual is opened up to Divine and comes into His communion, he no more remains fixed with the frame of reference of human being; he no longer sees things from the point of view of human beings. He, then, knows the secret of all secrets; he knows what human being knows and also that which the human being does not know and, till he remains what he is, cannot know.

  The greatest problem confronting a human being who has got communion with Divine is this: he knows the secret of secrets; he has compassion on those who do not know; he is moved by that compassion to inform that secret to all those who are ignorant of the same and  need to know it. But he is put to the task of finding the suitable means to convey the secret, the message. It simply cannot be conveyed through mere language. Then, Divine visionaries, prophets, seers and sages try to communicate the message through examples, parables, paradoxes, personal conduct and the story of their own life. We find so in the case Lord Jesus Christ also.

    Saint Matthew informs us of Lord Jesus having said thus:  “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke he not unto them.”

   He further says thus:   “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying. I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundations of the world. Matthew And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not: and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

  Lord Jesus Christ was in with communion with Divine and he always spoke as a person of authority who himself had seen the reality and knew the secret of secrets. He spoke as he was commanded to speak by Divine.

  Saint Matthew speaks of the Lord thus:  “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astounded at his doctrine; For he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.”

  A human being in body and flesh has several limitations and constraints; he is not only limited in knowledge of things around him but he is rigidly stationed in a specific time-frame. He lives and acts with the events and circumstances that are placed readymade before him.

  He has no escape from this severe limitation. And, even an individual who has communion with Divine, though living in the knowledge of infinite and the secret of secrets, is made to accept by Divine the limitation of dealing with the events, personalities and circumstances of his particular times. Though such person knows the purpose and fate of his life, he knowingly and willingly completes his part of the cosmic play.

  Things in our mysterious universe are predetermined in their nature in the ultimate analysis, and yet they do not seem to us to happen that way. Though the unfolding of universe is a cosmic play, of which plot and theme are made out beforehand by Divine left only to be acted upon, nonetheless this play has to be acted upon by its actors with all the seriousness that could be there. The only difference here is that the ignorant ordinary human being (and all life) conducts his part knowingly and the prophet conducts his part with full knowledge. Lord Jesus Christ, the prophet of mankind, spoke of the eternal truth and the words in which this eternal truth was conveyed thus: “Matthew: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

  Given the hard facts that the contents and nature of the message that prophets intend to communicate to the ordinary and ignorant laymen are the secret foundations of universe and that this subject for its conveyance to public admits only a language couched in parables and indirect indications, the task of prophets becomes doubly difficult.

  On the one hand, they are constrained to employ  parables  and examples to make things clear and unambiguous, on the other they have no alternative but to use contemporary circumstances, events and personalities, even though they the message they convey in this manner is immortal and applicable to all times that are yet to come and that have passed.

  For the ignorant and ordinary people who live in the times of a prophet, and therefore are aware of the context of the peculiar circumstances then prevailing, it may not be too difficult to grasp the inner truth of the message. But it is not so simple for the people in later ages.

  These succeeding generations find themselves placed in distance not only of time but of circumstances and contexts. These later generations of people are apt by natural human tendency to take those words that were used thousands of years ago and in different circumstances in their literal sense. The depth of the intent sought to be conveyed by symbolic parables is rendered shallow by over simplification.

  The profoundness of the message is reduced to mere scripture. It is natural thing. It is the effect of time that is eternal on the message that is eternal.

  However, despite the ill effects of time, there still remain in the utterances made and the parables used ages ago by prophets golden keys that are capable of opening the gates of secret treasures once indicated by them. These keys are preserved intact in the parables and examples used in the language and serve as the sustaining and life giving force of the prophetic message.

  Let us try to locate these golden keys in the words of Lord Jesus Christ.

   Saint Matthew says thus: “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The field is the world; the good seed are children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one…”

  A child possesses by nature certain positively precious virtues that make him childlike. And, these virtues are acknowledged the foundations of civilization of mankind. To become childlike, a grown up person has to unlearn many things that he or she has learnt over the growing years. Lord Jesus Christ summons a child and put him in the midst of his disciples and tell them to be like him, to be like child. To properly understand the secret of this commandment, we have to appreciate two aspects of this teaching. Firstly, what virtues are there in a child, which are not found in the grown up persons and the grown up disciples are told to learn once again from child; and secondly, what is the utility and purpose of acquiring once again these virtues by tedious practice and learning.

  How old a child should be to serve the example, an infant, a child of 5 or 6 years of age or an adolescent boy? What is the guiding star to find the answer?

  There are certain virtues that are ingrained by nature in child with his or her birth and which go on eroding in child with his growth over the years. And, modern times, these virtues are systematically sought to be eroded by our education. It is really very difficult to unlearn the things that we have learnt over the years and to learn once again the things that are childlike.

  A child, not only of human beings but even a young one of animals to a great extent, is sincere in his or her approach. There is no trace of deceit in his behavior. What he or she says, he or she means it. Sincerity is the first virtue that a child possesses and grownups are made by surroundings to unlearn and substitute with deceit.

  On the path of evolutionary ascent of consciousness, or in spiritual matters, sincerity is the first requirement. Without sincerity in full measure, spiritual awakening is unthinkable. Without this virtue, all pretensions of spirituality are farce, all preaching is deceit and all claims are the service of anti-Divine.

  When Lord Jesus Christ uttered the following words, he meant this virtue of sincerity:  “Matthew: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men…. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. After this manner therefore pray ye…. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”

  The second virtue that a child possesses is that of surrender of his care and well-being to his or her parents or guardians. A child is dependent on the support offered to him or her by the guardians and there is not an iota of rebellion on his or her part against the command of the guardian.

  In evolutionary journey of human consciousness towards Divine, there is second requirement, rather imperative of the first category, of complete surrender to Divine care and protection. Just like you make an experiment in material science and get the confirmation of the supposed result (hypothesis), one can make an experiment here in this field. You be complete sincere in your efforts and then surrender to Divine with the complete sincerity (like a child does to his parents) and then compare the results of your experiment.

  You will find miracles take place; things happen that science cannot explain; you may try to explain by bringing an element of chance. But then go on repeating your experiments and get the miraculous results, till all scope of explanation by chance is eliminated. Thirdly, a child does not have many thoughts. His mind is not yet developed and mature. There are not his thoughts to intervene and oppose his sincerity and surrender. He has faith in his parents. These thoughts in grown up persons have very great authority in all matters. They come uninvited when we are called upon to be sincere, bear faith and surrender to Divine and oppose these foolish acts; they reason: it is illogical; it cannot bear fruit; the very idea of sincerity or faith or surrender is ridiculous! It is a conspiracy to dull our personality, these thoughts assert. But let one be wise.

  You should make an experiment and verify the result yourself. Uttering of Lord Jesus Christ is not vain speaking in this respect. Happenings that are deemed impossible by reason may occur even in modern times also as they happened during the life of Lord Jesus Christ, as attested by Matthew, when he says thus: “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is spirit; and they cried out of fear. But straightaway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

  But can you overrule the objections of your thoughts, tell them to wait and embark on the path of experiment? It is really difficult to unlearn many things and become childlike. Lord Jesus Christ had taught this secret to mankind ages ago, when he said:  “Matthew: Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done (……) to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”

  Why should a person be sincere, bear faith or surrender to divine? Why should he or she toil to unlearn things that he or she has learnt with great efforts and labor over the growing years? Why should he or she become childlike?

  We are not concerned here with the people who do not want to proceed further and go ahead. We are not concerned here with the people who are self-content with the present state of their existence.

  We are concerned with those who, though having everything that the world can offer them, feel that there is something lacking in life. We are concerned with them who toil tirelessly in their life, get what they wanted and then realize that all these rewards of hard work are not that satisfying as they had expected, that they would be made to leave the world still unsatisfied and without possession of these hard earned rewards. We are concerned here with evolution; moving ahead and ascending towards a plane of consciousness that is higher than what human beings presently possess.

Early Christians’ spirit of true faith:

  Historian Edward Gibbon remarks a very interesting aspect of the life of early Disciples of Christ (that is, a few hundred years after his death) that has an important spiritual significance. It was their freedom from verbal fundamentalism and sincerity of heart. Gibbon informs us thus:  “The ancient Christians were animated by contempt for their present existence, and by a just confidence of immortality, of which the doubtful and imperfect faith of modern ages cannot give us any adequate notion. … It was universally believed that the end of the world and the kingdom of Heaven were at hand. The near approach of the wonderful event had been predicted by the apostles, the tradition of it was preserved by their earliest disciples, and those who understood in their literal sense the discourses of Christ himself were obliged to expect the second and glorious coming of the Son of Man in the clouds, before the generation was totally extinguished, which had beheld his humble condition upon earth, and which might still be witness of the calamities of the Jews under Vespasian or Hadrian… The doctrine of Christ’s reign upon earth was at first treated as a profound allegory, was considered by degrees as a doubtful and useless opinion, and was at length rejected as the absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism. A mysterious prophecy, which still forms a part of the sacred canon, but which was thought to favor the exploded sentiment, has very narrowly escaped the proscription of the church.”

  He continues:  “The divine inspiration, whether it was conveyed in the form of a waking or of a sleeping vision, is described as a favor very liberally bestowed on all ranks of the faithful, on a women as on elders, on boys as well as upon bishops. When their devout minds were sufficiently prepared by a course of prayer, of fasting, and of vigils, to receive the extraordinary impulse, they were transported out of their senses, and delivered in ecstasy what was inspired, being more organs of the Holy Spirit, just as a pipe or flute is of him who blows into it. “.”

  Gibbon very rightly notices that the earliest Disciples of Christ had more devotion of heart (that is of the real worth in spiritual attainments) than skill of mind (that may make the faith look and appear more reasonable or acceptable). He says:  “It is very honorable circumstances for the morals of the primitive Christians, that even their faults, or rather errors, were derived from an excess of virtue. The bishops and doctors of the church, whose evidence attests, and whose authority might influence, the professions, the principles, and even the practice of their contemporaries, had studied the Scriptures with less skill than devotion; and they often received in the most literal sense those rigid precepts of Christ and the apostles to which the prudence of succeeding commentators has applied a looser and more figurative mode of interpretation. Ambitious to exalt the perfection of the Gospel above the wisdom of philosophy, the zealous  and of patience, to a height that it is scarcely possible to fathers have carried the duties of self-mortification, of purity, attain, and much less to preserve, in our present state of weakness and corruption.”

  A true devotee of Christ at that early period knew the value of controlling his sensual tendencies and desires in the matter of realization of divine Light and he tried to gain mastery over them. Gibbon states his keen observation in this regard thus:  “The first sensation of pleasure was marked as the first moment of their abuse. The unfeeling candidate for Heaven was instructed not only to resist the grosser allurements of the taste or smell, but also even to shut his ears against the profane harmony of sounds, and to view with indifference the most finished productions of human art. Gay apparel, magnificent houses, and elegant furniture were supposed to unite the double guilt of pride and of sensuality: a simple and mortified appearance was more suitable to the Christian who was certain of his sin and doubtful of his salvation.”

  The true followers of Christ, at that puritan period of early Christianity, knew well that the desires of human beings distract them from the path of divine pursuit. These Christians, much unlike of today, ranked the celibacy at the highest in the order of virtues. Gibbon takes notice of this conviction of early Christians when he says: “The chaste severity of the fathers, in whatever related to the commerce of the two sexes, flowed from the same principle; their abhorrence of every enjoyment which might gratify the sensual, and degrade the spiritual, nature of man. … It was their unanimous sentiment that a first marriage was adequate to all the purposes of nature and of society. The sensual connection was refined into a resemblance of the mystic union of Christ with his church, and was pronounced to be indissoluble either by divorce or by death. The practice of second nuptials was branded with the name of a legal adultery; and the persons who were guilty of so scandalous an offence against Christian purity were soon excluded from the honors, and even from the alms, of the church. Since desire was imputed as a crime, and marriage was tolerated as a defect, it was consistent with the same principle to consider a state of celibacy as the nearest approach to the divine perfection.”

This document is systematically sequential. Read NEXT here.

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