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Chapter IX

1. WHEN God's visit was ended, and the hosts notified, the Lord gave a banquet that lasted two days and nights, during which the angels sang and danced and trumpeted before God. After that God and his hosts embarked on the ship in readiness to proceed on the journey; and the Lord went up to the ship to take leave, and his host went with him.

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2. God said: When dan approacheth we shall meet again. May Jehovih prosper thy harvests till then!

3. The Lord said: That is another hundred years! O God, I almost live in a wilderness. I have not ten millions of souls, mortals and spirits!

4. God said: Thy kingdom shall be mighty when I come again. May it glorify Jehovih!

5. They embraced and separated! Each gave the sign of Jehovih's name. Upward raised the ship of God, with banners outstretched, and new ornamented by the Lord's angels. And now, taking course still west, sped on above the mountain tops, like a meteor hurled from heaven. Meanwhile the trumpeters gave forth the gladly solemn sound of the march of God.

6. But ere the ship had made half its journey, an approaching light came forth from the far west, radiant and laden with hosts from the Lord of Dis, and the Lord of the earth also.

7. When the ships drew near and halted, God called with a loud voice, saying: In Jehovih's name, all hail! I know my Lord cometh.

8. And thereupon the Lord answered: Hail to thee, O God, Son of Jehovih! And they turned the Lord's ship and lashed the twain together even as they sped on.

9. Now after they had all exchanged welcome and good wishes, the Lord said: Ere we go to my central throne let us survey the continent over which thy servant is Lord of land and water.

10. And God answered: Thy will be done, O Lord. And so they journeyed for many days, oft descending to the earth in places where the Lord's angels had begun colonies with mortals, impressing man with words of speech, and to live in villages.

11. And God saw that all he saw was good and well done. So they came to the throne of the Lord and halted and sojourned for sixty days.

12. And God and his hosts and the Lord and his ashars and asaphs were together in general reunion, praying, singing and dancing and reasoning on the endless works of Jehovih. But one book could not contain all that was said and done, and of the excursions made, and the visits over the plains and mountains, where in thousands of years hence man should live and build cities, and go to war and destroy them.

13. And the mathematicians foretold the great cities and nations that would rise up; how this one and that one would move to battle; how their great cities would fall in ruins and be covered up by falling nebulæ, and by denuding mountains washing down upon them, so that even their remembrance should be lost. And yet, further on, the mathematicians foretold the coming of kosmon when the ruined cities would be discovered and their histories deciphered by the su'is of man in Great Jehovih's hand.

14. And now when all these things were estimated, the prophets and mathematicians went before God according to the commandments of the Lord, and they spake before God, Son of Jehovih, telling all these wonders.

15. When they had finished, God said: What is our service on the earth, O Lord? A few centuries at most, and we will have risen up from the earth, taking our hosts with us to dwell in higher realms. But there shall be other Gods and Lords after us, to deal with mortals and spirits newly born. After awhile there shall be great warriors and great cities and nations; and they shall have Gods and Lords of their times who will dwell many a weary year, aye, century, in the darkness with man. After that again, even the Gods and Lords will be forgotten. And man will turn against Great Jehovih, putting to death his adherents, preferring idols of stone and metal, and spirits born of woman.

16. The Lord said: And yet further on, a brighter light adorneth the way: Great Jehovih's hand sendeth the traveling worlds into the light of kosmon, and new prophets arise gathering up the histories lost, and glorious plan of the Great Spirit over all. Yea, even thy labor and my ships will be seen by mortals of that day.

17. Thus they discoursed, reading the past and the future, and weighing the present; whilst angels less informed, gathered around to learn how worlds are peopled, and nations and cities destroyed; the far-off, and the near at hand, being as nothing in Jehovih's vast universe.

18. But the time came for God's departure, and he and his traveling host embarked, and the Lord and his angels drew around to receive God's prayer ere he left. And so after they had embraced and parted, God said:

19. Though I go away, my love abideth with you all. And now, O Jehovih, bless these my fellow-laborers, and make them strong to endure their great trials. Thine is the power and glory, O Father! Amen!

20. The ship rose up and the trumpeters gave forth: Glory to Thee, O Jehovih, forever and ever!

Next: Chapter X