The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, by Levi H. Dowling, , at sacred-texts.com
Jesus at a feast in Jerusalem. Is grieved by the cruelties of the sacrificers. Appeals to Hillel, who sympathises with him. He remains in the temple a year.
1. The great feast of the Jews was on, and Joseph, Mary and their son, and many of their kin, went to Jerusalem. The child was ten years old.
2. And Jesus watched the butchers kill the lambs and birds and burn them on the altar in the name of God.
3. His tender heart was shocked at this display of cruelty; he asked the serving priest, What is the purpose of this slaughter of the beasts and birds? Why do you burn their flesh before the Lord?
4. The priest replied, This is our sacrifice for sin. God has commanded us to do these things, and said that in these sacrifices all our sins are blotted out.
5. And Jesus said, Will you be kind enough to tell when God proclaimed that sins are blotted out by sacrifice of any kind?
6. Did not David say that God requires a sacrifice for sin? that it is a sin itself to bring before his face burnt offerings, as offerings for sin? Did not Isaiah say the same?
7. The priest replied, My child you are beside yourself. Do you know more about the laws of God than all the priests of Israel? This is no place for boys to show their wit.
8. But Jesus heeded not his taunts; he went to Hillel, chief of the Sanhedrim, and he said to him,
9. Rabboni, I would like to talk with you; I am disturbed about this service of the pascal feast. I thought the temple was the house of God where love and kindness dwell.
10. Do you not hear the bleating of those lambs, the pleading of those doves that men are killing over there? Do you not smell that awful stench that comes from burning flesh?
11. Can man be kind and just, and still be filled with cruelty?
12. A God that takes delight in sacrifice, in blood and burning flesh, is not my Father-God.
13. I want to find a God of love, and you, my master, you are wise, and surely you can tell me where to find the God of love.
14. But Hillel could not give an answer to the child. His heart was stirred with sympathy. He called the child to him; he laid his hand upon his head and wept.
15. He said, There is a God of love, and you shall come with me; and hand in hand we will go forth and find the God of love.
16. And Jesus said, Why need we go? I thought that God was everywhere. Can we not purify our hearts and drive out cruelty, and every wicked thought, and make within, a temple where the God of love can dwell?
17. The master of the great Sanhedrim felt as though he was himself the child, and that before him stood Rabboni, master of the higher law.
18. He said within himself, This child is surely prophet sent from God.
19. Then Hillel sought the parents of the child, and asked that Jesus might abide with them, and learn the precepts of the law, and all the lessons of the temple priests.
20. His parents gave consent, and Jesus did abide within the holy temple in Jerusalem, and Hillel taught him every day.
21. And every day the master learned from Jesus many lessons of the higher life.
22. The child remained with Hillel in the temple for a year, and then returned unto his home in Nazareth; and there he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.