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Chapter 93 - The visit to the holy grove. The destruction of the idols.
93,1. When we walked along the streets of the town, naturally there was no shortage of all kind of curios people, who gawked at us from all sides and busily asked, who we were. The doctor, the tax collector and his accompanying children, especially the son Jorab (‘Jorab’ is the abbreviated version of ‘Jorabe’) awakened from death, had to endure a lot from the questioners, since the people could not understand how he, who was ill for seven years and has died yesterday as it was said, was now walking around healthy. The questioners were friendly dealt with, by telling them that they will learn about everything during the next few days, with which they were fully content.
93,2. At the end of a long lane we met three priests of Apollo, and also a Zeus- and a Minerva priest in their quite adventurously and very magical looking priest outfit.
93,3. They came to a halt before us and one Apollo-priest was asking us if we as foreigners wanted to visit the holy grove, in which for the foremost and highest three godheads a congregational temple was built. If this was our intention, they would guide us there and in return for a small fee to appease the three gods, show us everything miraculous and worth seeing.
93,4. Thereupon the tax collector Jored, who was only too well known to the priests, said: “These are my guests; I will pay for them, and thus you can show us the temple and its noteworthiness!”
93,5. With that the priests were quite content and guided us very friendly to the grove, where in the centre on a small hill a round temple of a considerable size was standing. Half of the temple was open and its roof was resting on ten pillars; the other half was a closed up wall and formed a semicircle. On this wall the marble statues of the above mentioned idols were fixed. In the middle, sitting on a throne, was Zeus, on his right was standing Minerva in her war armament and to his left Apollo, but just with a small harp; for an Apollo with a sun carriage and horses would be too expensive for this little town.
93,6. When we arrived at the temple the Zeus-priest said: “Would the gentlemen like for one of the three gods to speak, then I kindly ask you to entrust me with a question!”
93,7. Said I: “Friend, this truly is not necessary for us; since as very experienced people we know about all these setups and know precisely the manner in which these statues can speak. Therefore leave it at that and spare yourself the trouble! But since nobody will come today anymore to ask these gods for advice, free the three speakers behind the idols so that they as otherwise quite honest people can join us!”
93,8. Here the priest was taken aback and said with a certain magical priestlike pathos: “Friend, you are a foreigner; therefore I friendly advise you, to not trespass towards the serious gods, so that nothing bad will happen to you! For I say to you, that no mortal is sitting behind the gods and answers the questions on behalf of them.”
93,9. Said I: “Since you do not know Me, I forgive you the lie; but I nevertheless have to convince you that only I have the fullest right to the truth, and not you! See, I want that these three idols should vanish in this very moment and the three poor speakers can become free and join us!”
93,10. Said the priest: “If you are able to do this, we will kneel before you and will worship you as a God of all gods and people!”
93,11. Said I: “This I do not need but nevertheless you should thereby learn about another glory of the power of the true God in connection with the power of the human spirit, and I now say: I want it and it is!”
93,12. As soon as I have finished speaking, not even the slightest trace was left of the three idols and the three speakers crouching in the narrow niches became visible and crept completely frightened and amazed out of their dark hiding places into the bright daylight.
93,13. When the five priests saw this they became very sad and the most courageous among them, said to the others: “Brothers, against the almighty will of a God-person it is of no use to pull the sword, and the best thing here to do, is to submit to his will! We of course have suddenly lost our jobs and thus also became breadless; but what should we do? We always have represented this office with all dignity and by this little devout deception we never have harmed anyone, and except for the fee we never have pressed someone for a sacrifice, we always have taught the people well and have set a good example for them. And as such I hope with confidence that this truly almighty God-person will not expel us entirely if we ask him for it.”
93,14. Said the others: “This would be alright; but what will the people say who, to the largest part, still considers our three gods as important, if they come here and do not find their old loyal gods? What are we going to tell the people?”
93,15. Said the one: “Also this we will leave to this almighty God-person, because then also for this a good excuse will be found, and this will be even easier to accomplish since at this extraordinary occurrence our highest chairman Jored was present. The only concern now is, what we should do in this very moment.”
93,16. Said I: “Above all, get rid of those ridiculous clothes and dress yourselves as ordinary people! Then come back to us and we will deliberate this point a little further!”
93,17. Hereupon the five quickly went into their dwelling which was built immediately behind the temple, changed and soon returned to us with their wives and children. The wives and children however, lamented a lot when finding the temple completely empty and asked about Me who dumped them into such big misfortune.
93,18. I then went to them and said: “I am, whom you are searching for! Don’t you rather want to feed yourselves with the works of truth than these works of deception and the most loose lie?”
93,19. And the wives said: “We would rather do this; but who will give us anything for the works of truth?! For a long time already we know that there is nothing to our gods anymore. But to what use is this to us?! From where should we take something better and more truthful? These untrue gods have nevertheless fed us; how will the true gods feed us if we do not have them?”
93,20. Said I: “About this you women do not have to worry; your husbands will take of this, once they become instead of idol priests, priests and servants of the living word of God!”
93,21. Said the women: “And who will give it to them?”
93,22. Said I: “Also this should not concern you! But I say to you silly women: Just go with your children from where you have come from, otherwise I will be obliged to force you to do this; since you still have sufficiently to eat and to drink! If you have nothing left, it will be provided for you that you and your children will not starve! Just go out to your fields, gardens and pastures and work a little! It will be more useful to you than making and washing gods from clay and wax.”
93,23. Hereupon the five priests pushed their wives and children back to their dwellings; but they themselves soon returned full of friendliness to us.
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