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27. In this chapter is clearly seen how improper is laughter in men: also the prudence of Abraham.

The disciples laughed over the madness of the old man, and stood amazed at the prudence of Abraham. But Jesus reproved them, saying: 'Ye have forgotten the words of the prophet, who saith: "Present laughter is a herald of weeping to come," and further, "Thou shalt not go where is laughter, but sit where they weep, because this life passeth in miseries."' Then said Jesus: 'In the time of Moses, know ye not that for laughing and mocking at others God turned into hideous beasts many men of Egypt: Beware that in anywise ye laugh not at anyone, for ye shall surely weep [for it].'

The disciples answered: 'We laughed over the madness of the old man.'

Then said Jesus: 'Verily I say unto you, every like loveth his like, and therein findeth pleasure. Therefore, if ye were not mad ye would not laugh at madness.'

They answered: 'May God have mercy on us.'

Said Jesus: 'So be it.'

Then said Philip: 'O master, how came it to pass that Abraham's father wished to burn his son?'

Jesus answered: 'One day, Abraham having come to the age of twelve years, his father said to him: 'To-morrow is the festival of all the gods; therefore we shall go to the great temple and bear a present to my god, great Baal. And thou shalt choose for thyself a god, for thou art of age to have a god."

'Abraham answered with guile: "Willingly, O my father." And so betimes in the morning they went before every one else to the temple. But Abraham bare beneath his tunic an axe hidden. Whereupon, having entered into the temple, as the crowd increased Abraham hid himself behind an idol in a dark part of the temple. His father, when he departed, believed that Abraham had gone home before him, wherefore he did not stay to seek him.