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'The elder answered: "O brother, say not so, for thou despisest knowledge, which our God willeth to be prized."

'The younger replied: "Now, how shall I speak now so as not to fall into sin: for thy word is true, and mine also. I say, then, that they who know the commandments of God written in the Law ought to observe those [first] if they would afterwards learn more. And all that a man learneth, let it be to observe it, and not [merely] to know it."

'Said the elder: "O brother, tell me, with whom hast thou spoken, that thou knowest thou hast not learned all that I said?"

'The younger answered: "O brother, I speak with myself. Every day I place myself before the judgment of God, to give account of myself. And ever do I feel within myself one that excuseth my faults."

'Said the elder: "O brother, what faults hast thou, who art perfect?"

'The younger answered: "O brother, say not so, for that I stand between two great faults; the one is that I do not know myself to be the greatest of sinners, the other that I do not desire to do penance for it more than other men."

'The elder answered: "Now, how shouldst thou know thyself to be the greatest of sinners, if thou art the most perfect [of men]?"

'The younger replied: "The first word that my master said to me when I took the habit of a Pharisee was this: that I ought to consider the goodness of others and mine own iniquity for if I should do so I should perceive myself to be the greatest of sinners."

'Said the elder: "O brother, whose goodness or whose faults considerest thou on these mountains, seeing there are no men here?''

'The younger answered: "I ought to consider the obedience of the sun and the planets, for they serve their Creator better than I. But them I condemn, either because they give not light as I desire, or because their heat is too great, or there is too much or too little rain upon the ground."

'Whereupon, hearing this, the elder said: "Brother, where hast thou learned this doctrine, for I am now ninety years old, for seventy-five years whereof I have been a Pharisee?"

'The younger answered: "O brother, thou sayest this in humility, for thou art a holy one of God. Yet I answer thee that God our creator looketh not on time, but looketh on the heart: wherefore David, being fifteen years old, younger than six other his brethren, was chosen king of Israel, and became a prophet of God our Lord."'