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When it was day, Friday morning, early, Jesus, after the prayer, assembled his disciples and said to them: 'Let us sit down; for even as on this day God created man of the clay of the earth; even so will I tell you what a thing is man, if God please.'
When all were seated, Jesus said again: 'Our God, to shew to his creatures his goodness and mercy and his omnipotence, with his liberality and justice, made a composition of four things contrary the one to the other, and united them in one final object, which is man—and this is earth, air, water, and fire—in order that each one might temper its opposite. And he made of these four things a vessel, which is man's body, of flesh, bones, blood, marrow, and skin, with nerves and veins, and with all his inward parts; wherein God placed the soul and the sense, as two hands of this life: giving for lodgement to the sense every part of the body, for it diffused itself there like oil. And to the soul gave he for lodgement the heart, where, united with the sense, it should rule the whole life.
'God, having thus created man, put into him a light which is called reason, which was to unite the flesh, the sense, and the soul in a single end—to work for the service of God.
'Whereupon, he placing this work in paradise, and the reason being seduced of the sense by the operation of Satan, the flesh lost its rest, the sense lost the delight whereby it liveth, and the soul lost its beauty.
'Man having come to such a plight, the sense, which findeth not repose in labour, but seeketh delight, not being curbed by reason, followeth the light which the eyes show it; whence, the eyes not being able to see aught but vanity, it deceiveth itself, and so, choosing earthly things, sinneth.
'Thus it is necessary that by the mercy of God man's reason be enlightened afresh, to know good from evil and [to distinguish] the true delight: knowing which, the sinner is converted to penitence. Wherefore I say unto you verily, that if God our Lord enlighten not the heart of man, the reasonings of men are of no avail.'
John answered: 'Then to what end serveth the speech of men?'
Jesus replied: 'Man as man availeth naught to convert man to penitence; but man as a means which God useth converteth man; so that seeing God worketh by a secret fashion in man for man's salvation, one ought to listen to every man, in order that among all may be received him in whom God speaketh to us.'
James answered: 'O Master, if perchance there shall come a false prophet and lying teacher pretending to instruct us, what ought we to do?'