The Household of God
The early history of mankind
- Chapter 175 -
SETHLAHEM AND THE SEVEN MUTTERERS
And Sethlahem was ready with another question, but also there Abedam forestalled him and said:
"Sethlahem, you are not yet clean, for a great doubt oppresses your heart and makes you blind, so that you will not and cannot understand My words.
"What does it matter if what your brothers think is true or false? For you, too, have nothing as yet by which you could prove the genuineness of your treasure of wisdom.
'What is now better: to want to beat one wrong with another wrong, or to recognize the worthlessness of one's own wrong and then not to oppose the wrong of the brother for the sake of harmony and love? Then the brother who loves you will because of his love willingly follow you when you receive a true light.
"But if you as a brother with your own wrong stubbornly resist the wrong of the other which makes him angry, will he then follow you when you have received a true light?
"Behold, love is the beginning of all wisdom, but humility is a powerful lever of love as well as wisdom. When you are humble, truly, no one will try to talk you into something, for where the pugnacious sees no opposition he soon stops aggression, - and what you have within you no one will contest. Thus humility is the greatest protection for all wisdom and besides the best school for learning wisdom whose seed is love.
"Pride is the exact opposite as your own experience should have taught you long ago.
"So go now and first make your peace with your brothers and then lead them to Me and we shall see which part of the error is the most important. Do understand this! Amen."
After this speech it began to dawn on Sethlahem and he no longer dared ask further questions, but bowed deeply to Abedam and then immediately went to the seven brothers.
He was deeply moved as he came to them and although he was anxious to speak to them immediately he was quite incapable of doing so. For the recognition of Him Who had given him such lessons had so deeply stirred him that for quite some time he was unable to utter a word.
When he had spent some time among the seven, almost dumb, they began to worry, for they all greatly respected him because of his wisdom as long as he did not come with something new. He had to adhere firmly, together with them, to the old tradition about which he was allowed to prophesy as much as he wanted to, in which case he could expect to have the most attentive listeners in them. But the moment he wanted to introduce them to something new they no longer listened or even told him to be silent.
But this time, when he had been silent for quite a while, they allowed him for the first time to give forth something new if he by no means wanted to stick to the respectable old. Besides, the former spokesman admitted that he had regretted speaking to Sethlahem as he had done.
And Sethlahem's heart felt relieved, his lungs began to breathe more freely and he felt once more able to speak. And he spoke to them as follows:
"Dear brothers, allow me to speak just this once! I do not want to force anything upon you and everyone may remain with his own ideas. But this time I beg you to have patience with me and listen from beginning to end. Once you have heard it, you may judge it as you please. And so listen:
"We stick to the old because it is old, but we do not bear in mind that basically there does not exist anything old. Of course, when we look at something, which has existed beside us, and become old, we can say: This thing is old, as it has become old together with us.
"But even judging like that we are very wrong, for if we were truly old we should still look as we did five hundred years ago.
'Yet, how our appearance has changed since then! How can one call that old, which of the truly old no longer bears even a trace?
"Indeed, we have considerably changed in everything. Where is our hair? Where most of our teeth? How often our skin has already peeled off! Yes, may I ask where our entire sound and vigorous body has got?
"Where are now the trees whose fruit we used to eat as children? Where are the sheep, the goats and cows, which in our childhood supplied us with milk?
"We now eat the fruit from quite new trees and drink the milk of new animals, and we are satisfied because God's order has arranged it in this way.
"If we stand at a spring, which of us can maintain that every drop welling from it is not a new or at least renewed one? Yet it tastes very good to us despite this constant renewal.
"Have any of us ever discovered an old raindrop?
"And the always new rain pleases us for the sake of our fields.
'We prefer the new corn, for the old corn has already become stale. We long for new fruit. We, be they male or female, have always preferred newer and younger people, to the old.
"Who has not more pleasure in the rising sun than in the day-old setting sun which is always the same? Who does not find the new spring more pleasant than the old cold winter?
"Look, dear brothers, since in everything we see, the new, or at least rejuvenated, appeals more to us and is also more useful than the old which has passed long ago, and since all of us have an undeniable yearning for the new and, besides, the Lord Jehovah Zebaoth, or God, the eternal Creator of new things, keeps renewing everything before our eyes, - how can we mutter disapprovingly if by the will of Jehovah Zebaoth there is a slight change in the Sabbath-offering?
"I hereby do not wish to criticize your opinion, I just want to reassure you; for you too can have certainly quite commendable views of an opposite kind which I never would deny since you have often proved to me what a keen judgment your spirit has in many things.
"But may I add one request, namely, that you once more come with me to the altar and help me to keenly judge and recognize the stranger who is waiting there for you. For behold, his speech is so mighty and overwhelming that I almost think he is Jehovah Himself.
"I can see that my statement makes you laugh, but I tell you, do not laugh prematurely, but first investigate the matter about which you want to laugh, and you will then no doubt understand my old saying that those laugh best who laugh last.
"What would you think of a man who tells you your most hidden thoughts and speaks about divine things as if out of himself?
"How often you have already proved it to your children and their descendants that God alone knows man's innermost thoughts and that this was absolutely impossible to any man.
"I have never contradicted you in this point because I always realized how very true your proof was.
"But do come now with me and convince yourselves. And if you do not find him as I did, then you may laugh your fill at me before all the people and I shall not hold it against you.
"So if you are willing, let us go! Amen."
The seven looked at each other in amazement and were at a loss what to make of these words.
The former spokesman then remarked: "Why not? Sethlahem has already on various occasions led us to all kinds of things. Sometimes they were foolish, but often also rather wise. Since we are used to such things from him, we could as well please him this time too.
"But Sethlahem, if you show us a new folly again you may look forward to something special! Oh, how beautifully I will then pitch into you!"
And Sethlahem answered him: "Brother Kisehel, look, that does not matter. But I believe that you will become even greater in your belief than I and all the others.
"So let us now go! Amen."