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CONTINUATION OF BISHOP MARTIN'S SERMON. DIFFERENT LIVING CONDITIONS ON THE SUN AND ON THE EARTH.
173,1. (Bishop Martin): "Your world is a sun for us, without which we would not have any life at all, because it gives us light and warmth. You who live on it, however, know neither night nor winter.
173,2. Do you actually know what a sun is? With all your wisdom you, its inhabitants, hardly know what a sun is.
173,3. You are hardly aware of the privileges of being an inhabitant of a sun. When I was still crawling around like a worm on my wretched planet, I did not know that either. But now I do know it, and I, as a spirit who has now become a bit wiser have trouble finding the right words to describe to you what a privilege you enjoy. Compared with you, a dweller on my earth has a miserable existence in all the circumstances of his natural life. Those are only fleeting moments of which he can say that he enjoyed them.
173,4. The considerable hardness and poorness of the soil on earth compels the poor mortal to earn his livelihood by the sweat of his brow. Men of a weaker nature, who do not relish such labor, resort to begging. Or, if they have enough power, they may rob the more active ones of their produce to use it for themselves.
173,5. Eventually, such men may hire a great number of like-minded who no longer work, but who live from robberies. They will oppress the industrious workers in many different ways. Using a lot of pretexts that give their actions a tinge of legality, they will demand payment of certain taxes, but will still look down on the workers who pay them as inferior.
173,6. Gradually, these shirkers become mighty tyrants who rule over the workers and bread producers, and they do with them just as they please. In addition, they give the workers law upon law which, usually, are for the benefit of those who give them. Therefore, any infringement of such laws is punished severely, making the hard life of such a bread producer even more wretched.
173,7. When the oppression of the workers goes too far, the workers often rebel, band together in great numbers, and march, enraged, against their oppressors - often killing many of them, but usually losing also their own lives.
173,8. Such furious movements are called 'wars' on earth. Once a war is started, it usually continues until one of the parties involved has been completely annihilated or until the weaker one has realized during the killing that it is useless to war against a more powerful enemy, and so surrenders unconditionally, after which there is once more peace.
173,9. But what a peace! It is a hellish peace, not a heavenly one! The conquered become slaves and often have to submit to laws that will not only keep their poor, war-mangled bodies in heavy chains, but also keep their minds enslaved.
173,10. Such a state may last for even thousands of earth years, but the nature of the earth does not change, and night is always soon followed by a miserable day of suffering, a freezing cold winter by a hot summer.
173,11. Lack of food causes pain in the stomach , which we call hunger. In years with bad harvests, many die from this.
173,12. Oh friends, compare this life of yours with theirs, and tell me whether your wisdom can find words with which to express how great the privileges are that you enjoy. You say: 'That cannot be called a life, but only a terrible torment! How can men exist like that and still praise their Creator?'
173,13. Although your question is justified, I assure you that there are very many human beings who love and praise their Creator all the more the worse they have to suffer. What do you think about that?
173,14. You say: 'Friend, that is impossible! How can a kind Creator give His creatures such a bad deal and then still expect them to praise and love Him? Surely the poor earth-dwellers have never got to know their true Creator. Or, if they do know Him, they are fools to thank Him for such a life, let alone love Him!'
173,15. Considering your so enormously privileged life, also this question is justified. But what will you say to this: that the Creator has made it quite clear to the humans on my planet that if, notwithstanding the hardships of their lives on earth, they do not love Him above everything, bless their enemies and tormentors, and pray for those who curse them, they have to expect the most severe, everlasting punishment in the fires of hell? And that they must thank God, the Creator, with all their heart for whatever He sends them, be it blessings or suffering? Tell me, what do you think about that?
173,16. How do you like the fact that on that planet the Lord sends the greatest sufferings to those who love Him with all their hearts? And that those who scorn Him most, usually live in the best circumstances - that is, what you can call 'good' on earth?
173,17. Speak, friends, and give me your opinion on that, you fortunate beings! You are silent? I will have to tell you more so that you can more easily form an opinion. So listen.
173,18. I need not stress all the time your wonderful existence in order to give you a very clear picture of the miserable status of my world. You know better than I what your world is like. So I will leave it to your sound wisdom and clear judgment to compare the conditions in my world with those in yours. Since you are already astonished at what I have so far told you, I wonder what you will say to the following?
173,19. I have mentioned to you before that my world is full of hardship, be it naturally, spiritually, or morally. Its soil can be worked only with great effort, and before such work can commence, many tools have to be made which are essential for the achievement of results.
173,20. In the course of time, the situation of men in my world has developed in such a way that only a minority still own land. The vast majority of earth-dwellers does not own anything and has to slave for the landowners for a meager reward, and often just for a slender fare.'
173,21. Many of these propertied men amass a thousand times more than they and their children could consume in centuries.
173,22. When the harsh winter comes, the rich have good, solidly-built homes in which they can get comfortably warm by means of artificial fires, and in their rooms they have warm and soft beds for resting.
173,23. But the great many poor people must live in miserable dwellings, dress in scanty clothes, and are often hungry and sick. And, even if there are times when thousands are in a desperate plight and die of starvation, the rich do not worry. They calmly look on and say: 'It is as well that the useless beggar-rabble is eliminated and does not pester us any longer.'
173,24. The same poverty and food shortage - usually caused by the rich - is used by them for their further benefit. They practice usury with the provisions they have amassed, and who does not pay what they demand, may die of starvation at their doors, yet it does not soften their hearts at all.
173,25. Notwithstanding the injustice of this, the Creator does not, so to speak, do anything about it. Every day is followed by a night; the rain falls and blesses the fields of the rich more than those of the poor who did not have the means for preparing their poor soil for the best results. The fruit trees of the rich usually abound with fruit, while those of the poor are often almost barren. The rich have plenty of everything, whereas the poor often must perish in great misery.
173,26. As already said, such a revolting and hellish state of affairs often exists for quite long periods of time, during which the Creator appears to be completely indifferent. If now and then, maybe as a result of the tearful pleas of the poor, a judgment is sent upon the earth which only seems as if it came from Him, again the victims are mostly the poor and weak. The rich usually get away unscathed, and while this judgment lasts, some of them become even richer and happier in their material life.
173,27. In a war, usually the poor have to die on the battlefields for the rich, and that for a very meager pay. But this again safeguards tne property of the rich. And those of the poor who, eventually, return from the battlefields, often crippled with the loss of limbs or scarred from their wounds, they have to go begging for a piece of bread. From the doors of the rich they are often driven away like animals with the most disgraceful abuse.
173,28. And still they are not allowed to wish their tormentors ill, but they must bless and forgive them from the depths of their hearts, or God might punish them with everlasting hell.
173,29. At all times, the poor and wretched have to suffer most, be it in war, as a judgment of God, or any other judgment, whilst the hardened rich and privileged usually escape unhurt.
173,30. Notwithstanding this, it is mostly the poor who love the Lord, have faith in Him, and pray to Him as best they can. The lucky rich have more often than not no faith at all. Their hardened hearts hold very little love for God, they pray little or not at all, and often they mock Him and His law.
173,31. Some gold, good food, and a young, voluptuous female with whom to commit the vilest lechery, they prefer a thousand times to God, Who hardly exists for them, and many thousands of times to those who sweat for them and guard their safety with their own poor lives, day and night, summer and winter.
173,32. But with all their godlessness, they are happy in their material lives, and it is never the poor, but their counterparts who sometimes rob them of their abundance. However, even when they have had bad luck, the rich are still much better off than the luckiest poor who have never had anything much except misery.
173,33. Tell me, friends, how do you like the life of human beings on the planet which you call the 'Sacred Planet'?"
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