|Chapter 219||The Great Gospel of John, Book 6|
Soul and body
1. The Roman: "We came to Memphis and took lodging which the local Roman colonel arranged for us, which was in his large palace. For the first three days we toured the city, its surrounding and the old temple and their surrounding, which of course interested us Romans very much.
2. On the third day, still quite early, I observed, that something was moving in my large bedroom. Also the servants who guarded my room, noticed this. I soon asked them what it was and what was the meaning of it. However the servants were unfamiliar with it and indicated that they never before have noticed something similar. It resembled a shadow against the wall and then again like fog which rose from the floor of the room and floated back and forth, as if moved by a soft breeze. There was nothing that could have been ignited that easily, since everything was of stone, even the tables, beds and chairs. We looked at this ostensible play of nature for some time with mute resignation, and everyone waited with a certain timidity how this would end.
3. But it did not took long, when suddenly this shadow- and fog play disappeared. Thereupon a strong noise could be heard and a very youthful, but otherwise very sad looking female figure emerged; according to the strange dress she resembled an old-Egyptian woman.
4. I took courage and asked her with my soulfulness voice who she was and what she wanted.
5. In the same moment the being stood up and said: 'I am the daughter of Sesostris', and my name is Isia. You are from the same tribe and can free me from this castle of misery and despair, in which I already stay for a long earth time. Give me news about a right and true God! He alone can free me from this long torture; but your and my gods are nothing than dead thoughts of blind people.'
6. Said I: 'Thus turn to the God of the Jews!'
7. When I finished speaking, the figure became completely white and disappeared.
8. Anything further we do have to discuss here. The appearance was this time a female person and resembled a girl of not more than twenty-three years of age. As a daughter of Sesostris she surely has once walked on this earth in the flesh, and it would take a lot if she would not have the fullest resemblance with her flesh-figure of the past.
9. But therein lies the absolute irrefutable proof that firstly every person has an immortal soul, and that she during the life on earth has dwelled in the whole body and after the loss of the body keeps exactly the same figure which she had in the former body. For more you did not ask and as such I have nothing further to say.
10. However, that the soul occupies the whole body of a person, I can prove to you by another self-experienced fact and thus listen to me!
11. I knew a person in Rome who lost a foot up to the knee in a battle and then recovered. When I asked the person if he could not feel, like a back-memorable notion, the lost foot anymore and whether it seems to him that he lacks this limb, he assures me that it feels to him, as if he never lost a foot. In such feeling it quite often happened to him, that he wanted to step on the 'lost' foot and as a result has fallen down several times.
12. From this true occurrence it again can be concluded, that the soul firstly penetrates the whole body and cannot loose as limb, even if the body would be completely mutilated, and secondly that the soul in itself is immortal and continues to live after the death of the body and develops further.
13. I am now of the opinion that I have answered your question properly. I still could tell you many such occurrences from old times and from all nations known to us; but this would not increase the truth of my answer. And therefore I also have answered this question fully and as such we can go over to the fifth question! What are you saying to this?"
14. Said the scribe: "That you have answered this fourth question quite well, we must admit. But we also admit to you that we are not able to ask you any more questions; since you are a deeply learned and with many experiences enriched man, to whom we all can go to school. What else could we asked you about?! We will pay you the hundred pounds of gold and by that the story has come to an end."
15. Said the Roman: "Very well! In the meantime we could let go of this story, since you are now convinced that we Romans are not that stupid as you used to believe such. You now have seen, that we strictly examine everything and keep what is good and true about it. But since you are now convinced about it, I ask you and say: Am I right, if I accuse you of the greatest foolishness, that you do not want to recognize this God-man over there, what He undeniably is according to my appraisal?
16. Said the pharisees: "Dear and truly quite wise friend! We want to do this and secretly we are already convinced, that this Galilean can and is the promised Messiah; however, here we can also tell you an old proverb of yours, which says: Ultra posse nemo tenetur (One should not demand more from anyone as what he is capable of). And thus it stand with us. We cannot do it because of our office which we unfortunately occupy. For if we openly acknowledge to be His disciples, we will be relentlessly cursed and expelled by the temple. To where should we go, and what are we going to do then, and who will give us shelter and food?
17. Yes, if one could live like the birds in the air, it then would be quite easy to accept a teaching, which in itself is full of the purest truth, what however is the complete opposite of our current Jewish believe! We can thus accept and believe it for us personally in all secrecy. However, openly we have to be against the matter, because otherwise we could not live anywhere else. Who considers this will recognize what we are able to do or not to do."
18. Said the Roman: "This your excuse is so futile and empty as a blown out egg and does not contains in itself the slightest reason, which could prevent you from accepting the truth. Since you now know and must recognize who this God-person is, you can impossibly asked what you will eat, with what you are going to clothe yourself and where are you going to live. If the highest spirit of God dwells in Him, who has created heaven and earth and maintains and governs everything, and by whom depends every breath and every pulse, He will also be able to give to those who believe and love Him, what they require for maintaining their lives.
19. Look at the crowd of people here! They eat and drink and are dressed quite well. Even when having clothes before, they did not enjoy the food which they get here. Also you enjoy the wine which never before was in a tube and eat bread which never was in a backer's oven. If you are convinced about it just like us Romans, how can you come with such empty excuses?
20. To what use is finally your current office and bodily provision? Will this assure you the everlasting life? Who will one day provide for your souls, if you turn your backs on Him, who alone can do such for you, as He Himself explained it loudly to you this morning in the temple, that he who believes in Him, will not in eternity see, nor feel, nor taste death?! If you now according to your statement recognize, that He is the great Promised, there exists for you and for nobody any lasting reason, not to believe in Him openly before all people and to live according to His teaching. - Am I right or not?"
21. Said all present: "Yes, you high Roman are right in everything; it is so and forever not otherwise! Good for everybody who now has the fortune, to see the Lord and to hear His divine teaching, as we all enjoy such fortune, which we are not worthy in the slightest way!"
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