1. "Just man," said to him the disguised spies of the Governor of Jerusalem, "tell us if we must continue to do the will of Cæsar, or expect our near deliverance?"
2. And Issa, who recognized the questioners as the apostate spies sent to follow him, replied to them: "I have not told you that you would be delivered from Cæsar; it is the soul sunk in error which will gain its deliverance.
3. "There cannot be a family without a head, and there cannot be order in a people
without a Cæsar, whom ye should implicitly obey, as he will be held to answer for his acts before the Supreme Tribunal."
4. "Does Cæsar possess a divine right?" the spies asked him again; "and is he the best of mortals?"
5. "There is no one 'the best' among human beings; but there are many bad, who--even as the sick need physicians--require the care of those chosen for that mission, in which must be used the means given by the sacred law of our Heavenly Father;
6. "Mercy and justice are the high prerogatives of Cæsar, and his name will be illustrious if he exercises them.
7. "But he who acts otherwise, who transcends the limits of power he has over those under his rule, and even goes so far as to put their lives in danger, offends the great Judge
and derogates from his own dignity in the eyes of men."
8. Upon this, an old woman who had approached the group, to better hear Issa, was pushed aside by one of the disguised men, who placed himself before her.
9. Then said Issa: "It is not good for a son to push away his mother, that he may occupy the place which belongs to her. Whoso doth not respect his mother--the most sacred being after his God--is unworthy of the name of son.
10. "Hearken to what I say to you: Respect woman; for in her we see the mother of the universe, and all the truth of divine creation is to come through her.
12. "She is the fount of everything good and beautiful, as she is also the germ of life and death. Upon her man depends in all his
existence, for she is his moral and natural support in his labors.
12. "In pain and suffering she brings you forth; in the sweat of her brow she watches over your growth, and until her death you cause her greatest anxieties. Bless her and adore her, for she is your only friend and support on earth.
13. "Respect her; defend her. In so doing you will gain for yourself her love; you will find favor before God, and for her sake many sins will be remitted to you.
14. "Love your wives and respect them, for they will be the mothers of to-morrow and later the grandmothers of a whole nation.
"Be submissive to the wife; her love ennobles man, softens his hardened heart,
tames the wild beast in him and changes it to a lamb.
16. "Wife and mother are the priceless treasures which God has given to you. They are the most beautiful ornaments of the universe, and from them will be born all who will inhabit the world.
17. "Even as the Lord of Hosts separated the light from the darkness, and the dry land from the waters, so does woman possess the divine gift of calling forth out of man's evil nature all the good that is in him.
18. "Therefore I say unto you, after God, to woman must belong your best thoughts, for she is the divine temple where you will most easily obtain perfect happiness.
19. "Draw from this temple your moral force. There you will forget your sorrows
and your failures, and recover the love necessary to aid your fellow-men.
20. "Suffer her not to be humiliated, for by humiliating her you humiliate yourselves, and lose the sentiment of love, without which nothing can exist here on earth.
21. "Protect your wife, that she may protect you--you and all your household. All that you do for your mothers, your wives, for a widow, or for any other woman in distress, you will do for your God."
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