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MARTIN'S CLEVER REPLY TO SATAN. SATAN'S ARROGANT ANSWER TO MARTIN'S PROPOSITION.
192,1. (Says Martin): "You poor wretch, as I have listened to you patiently before all these dear friends and witnesses, I now expect you to listen patiently to me. I tell you in the name of the Lord that we have actually come to either help you or to judge you forever.
192,2. You spoke a lot about your most unfortunate position in which you have been for aeons of great cycles of creation, but since I am not a credulous type, I tell you honestly that I do not believe even a third of what you have said.
192,3. That you are miserable - sometimes even inconceivably wretched - I well believe. As for the reasons for your great misery, I do not believe them at all! I am too well acquainted with the Lord's endless kindness, love, patience, meekness, and His inconceivable affability to us, His created beings. How, then, could I believe that He created you for the worst misery in all infinity, when there is not a being anywhere who could accuse Him of such terrible harshness?
192,4. When I arrived in this world, I was most miserable, and I suffered hunger and thirst and was plagued by the most terrible boredom which turned minutes into millennia. But all that was only meant to arouse me and prepare me for the kingdom of the eternal glory of God. In this kingdom, I realize more and more how all these apparent states of misery were nothing but an expression of the Lord's great love, and only served to purify me and make it possible for me to absorb that love of the Father in its fullness.
192,5. Things would have improved much quicker for me if I had shed my bishop's arrogance sooner. I could have easily done it, as I now realize, but I was stubborn and held on to it, for it stimulated me and my extreme sensuousness. And, as a result, I had to suffer -not due to the Lord's will, but solely to my own. For that I shall not ever hold you responsible, and even less the Lord's will.
192,6. Thus, I am firmly convinced that none but you yourself is responsible for your misery. If at this moment you were prepared to return to the Lord as a truly repentant son to your holy, eternal Father, I am willing to be in your stead the most wretched being in all infinity if He did not come immediately to meet you with loving embrace to welcome you as His beloved son with the greatest festivities in all the heavens.
192,7. Do that, my poorest brother, and your misery will come to an end in a moment! I also ask your forgiveness for often being harsh and making you responsible for all my sins. I now take the full responsibility and shall be your everlasting friend if you will accept my proposition and act accordingly.
192,8. I admit my unworthiness to make such a proposition to you, the first and greatest spirit from God, knowing that even now in your judgment, you possess endlessly more wisdom and strength than I, a sheer nothing compared with you, will ever be able to comprehend. But, because I respect you so much in your greatness as God's first created, I wish, like all the heavens, that you would at last return to God, your Father.
192,9. Eternities have passed during which you used all means at the disposal of your profound wisdom and immense might to outdo the eternal, almighty God; however, you not only failed, but your efforts only made you more miserable, weaker, and poorer. You gained nothing but everincreasing, consuming wrath against God.
192,10. Doubtlessly you have had countless propositions like mine and probably better ones, but they were fruitless because of your incomprehensible obstinacy. But, never has a more insignificant messenger stood before you with this plea; therefore, make an exception this time and turn back with me!"
192,11. (Says Satan): "You have now really spoken very nicely, and I, therefore, forgive you all your rudeness and harshness towards me. However, as concerns your plea, which is only too familiar to me by now, I shall only be able to answer that when in all the infinite spaces neither a sun nor a hard earth will be holding my being in fetters.
192,12. My ego is the immense universe, and this is under judgment. How can I free myself from the judgment in my entirety? What you see here before you is only the innermost living core of my - for your understanding - endless being. If you can give me back what I have lost, then I shall follow you immediately."
192,13. (Martin stares at Satan for a while, then says earnestly): "Yes, all of it for sure, you poor, firstcreated of God,so follow me!"
192,14. (Says Satan): "What guarantee can you give me for the truth of your promise?"
192,15. (Says Martin): "The endless love of God, your Father! Isn't that sufficient for you?"
192,16. (Says Satan): "Friend Martin, you mean well in accordance with your limited notions, and your guarantee is good and acceptable for spirits who, like you, are transient and limited. But whether this guarantee can suffice me who am an infinite spirit like God - even if from God - that is quite a different question.
192,17. It would be easy enough to find food for a gnat, not so easy for an elephant, and much harder for the huge leviathan who needs mountain-size morsels to satisfy its hunger.
192,18. Thus, God's for you boundless love is more than sufficient to satisfy finite beings forever. But for an infinite spirit who is equal to God, it could only suffice if it had to satisfy him exclusively.
192,19. But to satisfy an infinite number of beings, each of which will eventually need an infinite amount of love, there, even the boundless love of the Godhead must have its limits, for how could it maintain two infinities out of its one infinity? That would be simply impossible!
192,20. I even now need still a lot, physically and morally, throughout the universe which is a hard prison for me. How much more I would need after having regained my freedom.
192,21. I assure you, and all those present here. For your sake I do not return; for when I do, all of you will perish. I alone know how great God is, what He possesses, and what He can give. I realize that it is impossible for Him to keep me and you simultaneously. Therefore, I prefer to remain in this miserable state so that you, as my children, can enjoy the glory that is due to me alone, but which I sincerely do not begrudge you.
192,22. I do realize that God is endlessly kind; but it is that endless kindness that makes Him too extravagant. If out of love for you, my children, I would not check Him or limit Him in His extravagant magnanimity, He soon might have to return to the earth to find a livelihood among His callous creatures.
192,23. So you see that God's endless love cannot serve me as an acceptable guarantee. You will have to give me another more suitable than that!"
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