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Chapter 10


The Second Dispensation - - Benevolence (part I)

Heavenly Father returns to Terralee – Noaeya, the son of Kishkah – “Who is this man which plays so well such melodies?” – Noaeya receives an invitation from the magistrate – Noaeya brings the poor and common to the feast – Noaeya’s grace and humility is noticed – The magistrate: “What manner of man are you?” – Noaeya reveals himself – The magistrate questions Noaeya’s credibility – Noaeya suggests a contest of sorts – The question: What power is greatest in making people good? – The arm of man and the rule of law – Noaeya responds to the answers given – “No goodness can be rooted in fear” – The question remains

 

1  In the lands of Komoru, where the waters gently sing, there came a man of humble birth, which many came to love; for he was good and deeply wise, bearing in his soul that deeper knowledge which all could feel, having in his eyes a certain light which all could plainly see.

2  For on the world of Terralee did there pass some two thousand years since the coming of Adamilus and Evelah, causing that God should come forth himself to establish well the second dispensation; for there had sprung up already the beginnings of the city-state.

3  Causing that in the minds of a great many had the teachings of Adamilus and Evelah become corrupted or forgotten, having busied themselves with many cares, believing in their minds that knowledge was preferable to wisdom, and that power more to be sought than goodness.

4  Yet did many others still hold fast to the stories of Adamilus and Evelah, believing with all their might that in wisdom and goodness could be found the surest path to God, being themselves ever watchful for the day when the man of God might reveal himself.

5  For among those which still believed, even among these did there arise contentions and disputations, being in their soft affections most easily offended because of pride and hurtful egos.

6  Thus did the Heavenly Father come forth unto the earth, being himself born as any man, yet being from his youth most precocious and filled with joy, becoming by his own election the friend of every man and every woman; having his heart and mind made broad and wide through gentle approbations, being in his person without boundaries or limitations.

7  Now there entered the city of Komoru a good and gracious man, being called himself, Noaeya the son of Kishkah; and all which came to know him found in him a man of love and gentle laughter, being in his soul touched by a deep and happy calm.

8  And sitting in the market place, he would play the flute and all which heard were pleased and oft would stop their labors perchance to hear, for in the melody of the flute was there a sweet but haunting sound; and every day did Noaeya sit in the market place, greeting all who passed by with a kind and gentle word.

9  Thus, by and by, the seasons passed and there were many people within the city which came to have regard for him; and daily would they gather to hear, for Noaeya was a teller of stories and a speaker of parables.

10  Now on a certain day there chanced by a certain magistrate of the city, and hearing for himself the music of the flute, he stopped to listen, and there in the center of the market did he see Noaeya.

11  And being intrigued, he asked of those nearby, saying: “Tell me, good neighbor, who is this man which plays so well such strange and haunting melodies?”

12  Then did one answer the magistrate, saying: “This man is but the player of the flute, and a teller of stories, only this and nothing more.”

13  But yet did another answer, saying: “This man is a good and holy teacher sent by God to reveal in our soul the mystery of hidden things.”

14  Yet to all this did a woman speak in answer to the magistrate, saying: “This very man is Noaeya, a wise and holy man; and I perceive in his countenance and manner the coming again of our first and ancient father, Adamilus.”

15  When the magistrate heard these things, he was determined to examine Noaeya before the rulers of the city; for he saw in him the rising up of a new power, for all those which were poor and common did find joy in the hearing of him.

16  Thus, on a certain day the magistrate sent unto Noaeya a messenger, saying: “Good Master, this day would the chief magistrate of the city honor you, and even now would bid you come to the feast which he has prepared for your honor.”

17  And Noaeya spoke to the messenger, saying: “Go and tell your master that I have many children, and it is not good that the father should eat while the children are without.”

18  Now hearing this the messenger rushed to the magistrate and he told him all which Noaeya said; and he sent again unto Noaeya, saying: “Good Master, the magistrate commands that even you should bring the children whereby they might also sup; for the feast is ready, and there is food and drink in abundance.”

19  Then did Noaeya go forth unto the banquet, and there went with him even all the poor and common; and seeing the approach of so many, the magistrate gave a quick command unto all his many servants, saying:

20  “Go you quickly unto the suppliers of the city, and bring food sufficient that all might eat; for this man has brought to my very doors, even the whole city together.” And immediately the servants rushed forth to obey.

21  Now seeing that Noaeya had brought with him the multitudes, the magistrate thought himself much advantaged, for he would examine Noaeya before the whole city and not just the rulers only; and if he should prove Noaeya false or common, then would the city see the magistrate as the protector of the public good.

22  But if Noaeya should prove himself a wise and holy man, then would the magistrate also be benefited before the people; for he proved himself the first which would honor Noaeya before the whole city in the giving of the feast.

23  Thus did there begin the great feast, and Noaeya became himself the servant of all, bending before the grace of his own soul in the serving of others.

24  And seeing the grace and humility of Noaeya, and seeing also how the people loved him, reaching out with eager hands to touch and receive from him, even the magistrate and all the rulers also did go forth to serve.

25  And there was had by all a great and pleasing time; for when Noaeya and the rulers of the city had finished serving, then did Noaeya entreat that the magistrate and all the rulers should likewise sit and eat, and these also did Noaeya serve.

26  Thus did the whole city together feast while Noaeya began to play, drawing from the flute a strange and pleasing tune, weaving in the souls of all a deep and happy calm filled with rich contentment, ever building through his songs the communion of every heart;

27  Causing that there should spring up within that soft and kindred spirit which would make as one the family of man, being bound together through feasting and rejoicing.

28  For the music of the flute and the joy of Noaeya’s soul did bring down the barriers which would separate one man from another, causing that every man and every woman and children also should rejoice in each their neighbor, becoming all in one and one in all.

29  Now the hours passed and when it was evening tide, the magistrate came and sat himself before Noaeya, and with him came the rulers of the city, each according to their place and rank; and the people, perceiving that the elders would examine Noaeya, even they gathered round about to witness.

30  And the magistrate spoke kindly unto Noaeya, saying: “Tell us good sir: What manner of man are you? For we have witnessed for ourselves the gift of all your grace, how that you do always give of yourself to the people, while yet you would take so little in return. What manner of man are you then, and by what means would you profit yourself?”

31  When the magistrate spoke all these things, there fell upon the whole assembly a great hush, for every man and every woman desired to hear the words of Noaeya; and Noaeya spoke, saying:

32  “I am a man like all men, having in my form flesh and blood and bone, being myself subject to life even as you are subject to life; yet in my soul am I before you, being myself the very seed from which all men have come.

33  For this I tell you for your learning, that you might know deeply the things of God, that before the days of all your fathers, even I did go before them, being myself found in every dream and hopeful prayer, ever whispering in the heart of things both great and dear.

34  Know then that I am the teacher which comes from God, being in my soul most anxious to give to those who seek that portion which comes from above; for every teacher which comes from Heaven draws forth from all his treasury things both old and new; and to whomsoever would receive, even to that one will I give in abundance.

35  For I tell you truly that in the body of Noaeya is Adamilus come alive to walk again among you, being in himself and myself together the ancient father of which your own fathers spoke midst anxious breath, being themselves ever hopeful and filled with prayers that even they might live to see this day.”

36  So spoke Noaeya before all the people, and hearing the boldness of his words, even every man and every woman was filled with amazement; and the magistrate inquired of Noaeya, saying:

37  “How can we know if these things be true? For we have seen your goodness, how that you are gracious to the great and small alike. By what means shall we know that you are truly come from God, and that you have not come to seek some power over us?”

38  And Noaeya answered, saying: “I would likewise ask of you a question, and if you answer rightly, then am I deceived and shall stand myself exposed to a just but hurtful ridicule.

39  But if you answer not rightly, and in my speaking the people should find agreement, then must you consent that I am Adamilus come forth again unto the children of men, being myself the Ancient of Days.

40  For you are the rulers of the city, being in yourselves wise and just and good. Yet in Father Adamilus was there found the greatest wisdom of all.

41  Let us then begin with happy hearts to find the truth of who I am; for in your place is there found already some great advantage, for you are many and I am one.

42  How say you then; shall we contest with each the other upon the soul of all our knowing, that perchance the people might perceive for themselves the place where wisdom lies?

43  And if the greater wisdom be found with you, then am I false indeed, having deceived my own self; for all men know already that the wisdom of God cannot prove less than that of mortal men.

44  But if the greater wisdom should be in me revealed for all to see, then must you agree that I am truly come from God, and will yourselves permit that I should teach to all these people the things which come from God; for in this very moment stands the beginning of the second dispensation. How say you then?”

45  Then did all the people shout as one, saying: “Agree! Agree!” And the magistrate did smile and all the rulers also; for they thought themselves advantaged, holding in themselves, altogether, the greater wisdom.

46  And the magistrate, standing before all the people whereby he might quiet them, spoke unto Noaeya, saying: “We are in agreement. Speak to us the question and we shall answer straight and true.”

47  And Noaeya, seeing that even the multitude was most attentive and anxious to hear, he spoke to the rulers of the city, saying: “Tell me true and hold not back: What power is greatest in making people good?”

48  Then did a woman answer from among the rulers, saying: “It is the rulers of the city which make the people good, for it is appointed that we should judge the right and the wrong; that in this city there might be peace and sweet accord between every man and every woman their neighbor.”

49  When Noaeya heard these things he smiled, and turning to the people he asked of them, saying: “Is there no power greater than the arm of man which would make the people good? Shall we think that these who rule are made the only power which would compel that you be good?”

50  And turning to the magistrate, Noaeya asked with tender voice, saying: “Come, my good and faithful son, and of yourself answer rightly: Is there no power greater than yourselves which would compel that you judge rightly and not amiss?”

51  Then did the magistrate take a long but thoughtful pause, and rousing himself he spoke unto Noaeya, saying: “There is a power greater than every man, which power compels that all men and all women should comport themselves as good and faithful citizens.

52  Know then, good Master, that it is the law, which we ourselves administer, that would compel that we judge rightly and not amiss; for under the rule of law is every man and every woman compelled to be good and not evil.

53  Therefore, let it stand that the law is by its nature greater than any ruler which would judge rightly in the affairs of men, being itself the greatest power, while we which sit in judgment are but its humble servants.”

54  Now when the magistrate had said these things, both the rulers and the people did stand in agreement together, believing in themselves, even as the magistrate had spoken, that in the law was there found the greatest power which would make every man and every woman good.

55  But Noaeya sat himself quietly still, and when all was hushed, he spoke to the magistrate, saying: “It is a weighty thing which you have spoken, being of itself worthy of some deeper thought; for if the law be the greatest power, and you but prove yourself the servant only, then from whence came the law? Who is its father and its mother?”

56  And the magistrate answered, saying: “It is we who have made the law, having first inherited it from our fathers which did build this very city; and with each generation do we add to the law, whereby all might be benefited.

57  See then how the law is made the greatest power in the affairs of men, being in its form and manner the means by which we are compelled to do good, for it is certain that without the law, the people will not live in peace, each beside their neighbor, for fear of the law and punishment causes that even all should act rightly.”

58  So spoke the magistrate, but Noaeya answered him again, saying: “If you then be the makers of the law, and your fathers before you also, then how will you say that you are its servant, seeing that the law is made to come from out of the very midst of you?

59  For by your own words have you made the law the child of man. How then will you say it is your master, or that the law is the greatest power in the affairs of men?

60  For it is not given that the children should rule over the parent, whereby they might compel that the parents should act rightly; but that the parents should rule over the children, guiding them with most tender affection in the way which they should go.

61  Yet, my children, is there not some greater power beyond the rule of law which would cause that a man should act rightly in the affairs of all his life, being rooted not in the fear of punishment, but in the joy of something greater still?

62  Know then that no goodness can be rooted in fear, for fear is a bitter soil which gives seed to all manner of noxious weeds, bearing as its only fruit the hurt of guilt and shame, placing in the heart of those afflicted a dreadful hate filled with scorn.

63  Consider, therefore, and answer well. Is there no power greater than the rule of law, which would make all people good, being itself beyond every man and every woman; yet being of itself always present and most happily eager to turn the heart to goodness?

64  Being itself within and without, being beyond the taint of lesser things, yet always drawing near; becoming of itself the crown upon the head and the path beneath our feet, in whose very light all joy and goodness are made as real, to stride itself upon the earth, to fill the soul of man with peace and calm regard.

65  Can you not reveal to me this power which is, of itself, greater than the rule of law, or greater still than every man together?”

66  And hearing this, the magistrate turned eagerly to the rulers round about, to take counsel of his peers; and there fell upon the whole assembly a great hush filled with expectation.

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