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'The man, therefore, who hath honour, and life, and goods—when his possessions are stolen, the robber shall be hanged; when his life is taken, the murderer shall be beheaded. And this is just, for God hath so commanded. but when a neighbour's honour is taken away, why is not the robber crucified? Are goods, forsooth, better than honour? Hath God, forsooth, commanded that he who taketh goods shall be punished and he that taketh life with goods shall be punished, but he that taketh away honour shall go free? Surely not; for by reason of their murmuring our fathers entered not into the land of promise; but only their children. And for this sin the serpents slew about seventy thousand of our people.
'As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, he that stealeth honour is worthy of greater punishment than he that robbeth a man of goods and of life. And he that hearkeneth to the murmurer is likewise guilty, for the one receiveth Satan on his tongue and the other in his ears.'
The Pharisees were consumed [with rage] at hearing this, because they were not able to condemn his speech.
Then there drew nigh to Jesus a doctor, and said to him: 'Good master, tell me, wherefore God did not grant corn and fruit to our fathers? Knowing that they must needs fall, surely he should have allowed them corn, or not have suffered men to see it.'
Jesus answered: 'Man, thou callest me good, but thou errest, for God alone is good. And much more dost thou err in asking why God hath not done according to thy brain. Yet I will answer thee all. I tell thee, then, that God our creator in his working conformeth not himself to us, wherefore it is not lawful for the creature to seek his own way and convenience, but rather the honour of God his creator, in order that the creature may depend on the Creator and not the Creator on the creature. As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, if God had granted everything to man, man would not have known himself to be God's servant; and so he would have accounted himself lord of paradise. Wherefore the Creator, who is blessed for evermore, forbade him the food, in order that man might remain subject to him.
And verily I say unto you, that whoso hath the light of his eyes clear seeth everything clear, and draweth light even out of darkness itself; but the blind doeth not so. Wherefore I say that, if man had not sinned, neither I nor thou would have known the mercy of God and his righteousness. And if God had made man incapable of sin he would have been equal to God in that matter; wherefore the blessed God created man good and righteous, but free to do that which he pleaseth in regard to his own life and salvation or damnation.'
The doctor was astounded when he heard this, and departed in confusion.