1. The countries round about were filled with the renown of Issa's preachings, and when he came unto Persia, the priests grew afraid and forbade the people hearing him;

2. Nevertheless, the villages received him with joy, and the people hearkened intently to his words, which, being seen by the priests, caused them to order that he should be arrested and brought before their High Priest, who asked him:

3. "Of what new God dost thou speak? Knowest thou not, unfortunate man that thou art! that Saint Zoroaster is the only Just

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[paragraph continues] One, to whom alone was vouchsafed the honor of receiving revelations from the Most High;

4. "By whose command the angels compiled His Word in laws for the governance of His people, which were given to Zoroaster in Paradise?

5. "Who, then, art thou, who darest utter blasphemies against our God and sow doubt in the hearts of believers?"

6. And Issa said to them: "I preach no new God, but our celestial Father, who has existed before the beginning and will exist until after the end.

7. "Of Him I have spoken to the people, who--even as innocent children--are incapable of comprehending God by their own intelligence, or fathoming the sublimity of the divine Spirit;

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8. "But, as the new-born child in the night recognizes the mother's breast, so your people, held in the darkness of error by your pernicious doctrines and religious ceremonies, have recognized instinctively their Father, in the Father whose prophet I am.

9. "The eternal Being says to your people, by my mouth, 'Ye shall not adore the sun, for it is but a part of the universe which I have created for man;

10. "It rises to warm you during your work; it sets to accord to you the rest that I have ordained.

11. "To me only ye owe all that ye possess, all that surrounds you and that is above and below you.'"

12. "But," said the priests, "how could the people live according to your rules if they had no teachers?"

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13. Whereupon Issa answered: "So long as they had no priests, they were governed by the natural law and conserved the simplicity of their souls;

14. "Their souls were in God and to commune with the Father they had not to have recourse to the intermediation of idols, or animals, or fire, as taught by you.

15. "Ye pretend that man must adore the sun, and the Genii of Good and Evil. But I say unto you that your doctrine is pernicious. The sun does not act spontaneously, but by the will of the invisible Creator, who has given to it being."

16. "Who, then, has caused that this star lights the day, warms man at his work and vivifies the seeds sown in the ground?"

17. "The eternal Spirit is the soul of everything animate, and you commit a great

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sin in dividing Him into the Spirit of Evil and the Spirit of Good, for there is no God other than the God of Good.

18. "And He, like to the father of a family, does only good to His children, to whom He forgives their transgressions if they repent of them.

19. "And the Spirit of Evil dwells upon earth, in the hearts of those who turn the children of God away from the right path.

20. "Therefore, I say unto you; Fear the day of judgment, for God will inflict a terrible chastisement upon all those who have led His children astray and beguiled them with superstitions and errors;

21. "Upon those who have blinded them who saw; who have brought contagion to the well; who have taught the worship of

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those things which God made to be subject to man, or to aid him in his works.

22. "Your doctrine is the fruit of your error in seeking to bring near to you the God of Truth, by creating for yourselves false gods."

23. When the Magi heard these words, they feared to themselves do him harm, but at night, when the whole city slept, they brought him outside the walls and left him on the highway, in the hope that he would not fail to become the prey of wild beasts.

24. But, protected by the Lord our God, Saint Issa continued on his way, without accident.

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