1. Issa--whom the Creator had selected to recall to the worship of the true God, men
sunk in sin--was twenty-nine years old when he arrived in the land of Israel.
2. Since the departure therefrom of Issa, the Pagans had caused the Israelites to endure more atrocious sufferings than before, and they were filled with despair.
3. Many among them had begun to neglect the laws of their God and those of Mossa, in the hope of winning the favor of their brutal conquerors.
4. But Issa, notwithstanding their unhappy condition, exhorted his countrymen not to despair, because the day of their redemption from the yoke of sin was near, and he himself, by his example, confirmed their faith in the God of their fathers.
5. "Children, yield not yourselves to despair," said the celestial Father to them, through the mouth of Issa, "for I have heard
your lamentations, and your cries have reached my cars.
6. "Weep not, oh, my beloved sons! for your griefs have touched the heart of your Father and He has forgiven you, as He forgave your ancestors.
7. "Forsake not your families to plunge into debauchery; stain not the nobility of your souls; adore not idols which cannot but remain deaf to your supplications.
8. "Fill my temple with your hope and your patience, and do not adjure the religion of your forefathers, for I have guided them and bestowed upon them of my beneficence.
9. "Lift up those who are fallen; feed the hungry and help the sick, that ye may be altogether pure and just in the day of the last judgment which I prepare for you."
10. The Israelites came in multitudes to
listen to Issa's words; and they asked him where they should thank their Heavenly Father, since their enemies had demolished their temples and robbed them of their sacred vessels.
11. Issa told them that God cared not for temples erected by human hands, but that human hearts were the true temples of God.
12. "Enter into your temple, into your heart; illuminate it with good thoughts, with patience and the unshakeable faith which you owe to your Father.
13. "And your sacred vessels! they are your hands and your eyes. Look to do that which is agreeable to God, for in doing good to your fellow-men, you perform a ceremony that embellishes the temple wherein abideth Him who has created you.
14. "For God has created you in His own image, innocent, with pure souls, and hearts' filled with kindness and not made for the planning of evil, but to be the sanctuaries of love and justice.
15. "Therefore, I say unto you, soil not your hearts with evil, for in them the Eternal Being abides.
16. "When ye do works of devotion and love, let them be with full hearts, and see that the motives of your actions be not hopes of gain or self-interest;
17. For actions, so impelled, will not bring you nearer to salvation, but lead to a state of moral degradation wherein theft, lying and murder pass for generous deeds."
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