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Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 2 GGJ02-155 Chapter

Chapter 155 - The zeal of love

155,1. Says the Centurion: 'Lord, this I comprehend very well now, and yet I can recall a case in my life where the full measure of love was unable to achieve anything; and the case was as follows: among the many soldiers under my command there was a young, colossally powerful Illyrian. His sword weighed fifty pounds, yet was a feather in his hand. This paid warrior, carrying armour and shield, accomplished more in battle than a hundred other warriors; hence he was useful in war, - but not so in peace, where he was perfidious; and not a week passed without him creating some new ruckus. I always treated him with indulgence, whilst showing him and rebuking the wickedness and shamefulness of his wilful annoyance. Whereupon he always promised complete mending of his ways, and also kept sober and unassuming for a few days. But this never lasted more than ten days, after which complaints came in from eery quarter, and we had to, of course make good the damage. - If asked why in the world he was doing this, he always replied: ‗I must drill my martial arts, and here I can spare nothing but man, and my sword has to be tried on diverse objects!‘

155,2. Such martial art practice however not seldom drove him to pay a sit to some hereof oxen, bulls, cows and calves to chop their heads off in one blow. On one occasion he beheaded a herd of fully one hundred oxen, afterwards boasting of such his heroic prowess, which cost us damage worth one thousand heavy silver pieces! Here in the end I became so furious with this person that I could have myself torn in to shreds.

155,3. Whereupon I had him shackled to a tree with heavy chains, binding his feet and hands with heavy ropes, and had him flogged for an hour and into utter feebleness. I then arranged treatment for him, which fully restored him in twenty days. And behold, this brought about the most complete change in this man, on whom the uttermost love had no effect. He thereupon became the most composed and humble person, whom a year later I promoted to second in command, and he still thanks me today for this exemplary chastisement, without which he would never have become deputy. Yet love would never have been able to move me to such punishment, only a fair measure of rage over this person. And thus I opine that a proper measure of anger sometimes benefits mankind more than ever so fervent love!'

155,4. Say I: 'Oh, indeed, but that is then not anger actuality but only an exceptional zeal of love within the heart, which is imbued with curative power. I too act with this where necessary. If love did not poses such zeal then infinity would still be bereft of creatures; it is only the intense zeal of God‘s love which all Creation can thank its existence.

155,5. And thus, what prompted your heart towards proper punishment of that mischievous mercenary was not anger, and thirst for revenge stemming therefrom, but a certain zeal of your love towards yonder mercenary, who was dear to your heart owning to his prowess. For had you been in a rage toward that person then you would have put him to death. But love‘s zeal counted the stripes necessary, and you permitted his flogging only to what you thought he could tolerate.

155,6. Thus you can also proceed with those societies if necessary; however, the first attempt nevertheless must take place by pure love and by proper education. If people get to recognize that one only give them sharp laws for their own benefit and adds a relentless judicial office, they will tolerate this; however, if the sharp laws appear only as tyrannical arbitrariness of the rulers, they better nobody and finally even turn the angels of the society into devils, who will do nothing else then to seek revenge on him who constantly torments them for nothing and without end and without any apparent reason. - Do you understand this?'

155,7. Says the Centurion: 'Yes Lord, this now is as clear as the sun in broad daylight, and I shall even to-day despatch a messenger with order to the deputy there, and tomorrow these municipalities shall be made to comply. Therefore I should like to go over to my people for a few moments to have it put into effect.'

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