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After certain days Jesus passed near unto a city of the Samaritans; and they would not let him enter the city, nor would they sell bread to his disciples. Wherefore said James and John: Master may it please thee that we pray God that he send down fire from heaven upon these people?'

Jesus answered: 'Ye know not by what spirit ye are led, that ye so speak. Remember that God determined to destroy Nineveh because he did not find one who feared God in that city; the which was so wicked that God, having called Jonah the prophet to send him to that city, he would fain for fear of the people have fled to Tarsus, wherefore God caused him to be cast into the sea, and received by a fish and cast up nigh to Nineveh. And he preaching there, that people was converted to repentance, so that God had mercy on them.

Woe unto them that call for vengeance; for on themselves it shall come, seeing that every man hath in himself cause for the vengeance of God. Now tell me, have ye created this city with this people? O madmen that ye are, assuredly no. For all creatures united together could not create a single new fly from nothing, and this it is to create. If the blessed God who hath created this city now sustaineth it, why desire ye to destroy it? Why didst thou not say: "May it please thee, master, that we pray to the Lord our God that this people may be converted to penitence?" Assuredly this is the proper act of a disciple of mine, to pray to God for those who do evil. Thus did Abel when his brother Cain, accursed of God, slew him. Thus did Abraham for Pharaoh, who took from him his wife, and whom, therefore, the angel of God did not slay, but only struck with infirmity. Thus did Zechariah when, by decree of the impious king, he was slain in the temple. Thus did Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and David, with all the friends of God and holy prophets. Tell me, if a brother were stricken with frenzy, would you slay him because he spoke evil and struck those who came near him? Assuredly ye would not do so; but rather would ye endeavor to restore his health with medicines suitable to his infirmity.'