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Chapter 171 - ENOCH PREPARES THE SACRIFICE
171,1. Thereupon Enoch set to work, placing the purest cedar wood crosswise on the altar, all the time praying during this task.
171,2. As he was thus working, some men from the midday region joined him and asked what it meant that the wood was already now placed on the altar when it was the custom to do it in the evening.
171,3. And Enoch responded with a question: "Why does that worry you? Am I then doing this arbitrarily?
171,4. "Or has my action become a lie to you because you do not comprehend it?
171,5. "Oh yes, many a thing is a lie to the blind; for whatever you tell them is for them as good as a lie because they are blind.
171,6. "What use is to the blind the bright light of the sun? Why should one endeavor to explain the sunlight to him, why lie to him? For to the blind the sun is black, and he sticks to that. For this reason a shining sun must be a lie to him, for if something foreign is added to a person's treasure, what is that to his own treasure? Nothing but a lie since it is not like his own treasure, though lying with it, but something foreign or something which practically does not exist for the one for whom it does not bear the visible marks characteristic of him.
171,7. "Therefore you are asking me in vain, for today I am less than ever inclined to lie to you. For the one who belongs to truth all falsehood has sunk into eternal nothingness; but what could the actual holy truth be to him who in his heart is still full of falsehood, which he regards as the truth? Nothing but a lie.
171,8. "What is the inner light of the spirit to him who seeks the light of the world? Nothing but a lie, a downright darkness. For how could that be a light to a person by which he reaches out further than he sees?
171,9. "So leave me alone! You cannot as yet comprehend the Lord's ways, for this night has struck your hearts with darkness, and as a result you no longer know that true love for God is not bound to any rule, but is completely free and so is the offering love is bringing Him If you love your wives freely and do not bind yourselves to any time and hour, - why should the love for God be measured?
171,10. "Therefore go and think better of this! Amen."
171,11. When Enoch had dealt with the inquisitive midday-people in this for them most appropriate way, they began to grumble among themselves, for they were extremely annoyed at Enoch's peculiar answer to their question, since it had not been asked with evil intent as they felt in their hearts
171,12. "One of them said to the others: "Listen, brothers, I know Enoch well enough and so far as I have yesterday noticed from a distance, I think the fathers have commissioned him to perform the sacrifice. Since he has always been peculiar in all his words and actions it will be the case also with this particular business.
171,13. "But I am of the opinion that the old customary devout method of sacrificing according to the way of Abel, which was pleasing to God, should not be so easily left to the discretion of one individual, but if there was to be some change, this should have been decided by the assembly of all the children. Or if this is not so, what then are we as men of equal rank?
171,14. "If the sacrifice is also by us to be regarded as valid, it must bear some elements of our counsel too. But as it is it bears nothing but our opposition and therefore is not effective for us.
171,15. "How can, how should we accept this, especially since formerly we were always consulted in purely divine matters?
171,16. “Therefore I think that Sethlahem as the oldest and most experienced of us should once more go to Enoch and ask him with stern earnest what this early placing of wood on the altar meant."
171,17. Sethlahem who was also among these men said to the annoyed one: "Listen, I do not like this idea at all; for yesterday I learnt to know Enoch in a way, - I tell you, in quite an extraordinarily strange way.
171,18. "I saw him endowed with a might which, when I think of it, still today makes me shudder.
171,19. "This night was gruesome. The elements were raging terribly, as you all know, so that we fled to the height where we lay in great fear on the shaking ground of the earth while the storm was raging. Great as this fear was, it could not banish from my heart what I had seen and heard and what I yesterday discovered about Enoch.
171,20. "You all know that when some of us felt a desire to go down to the lowland, a mighty tiger stood in our way and made us retrace our steps in a hurry when demonstrating its strength by killing a giant bull
171,21. "Listen, the same tiger, which I clearly recognized, yesterday submitted to Enoch like a lamb and obeyed his every sign. But not only did this huge beast obey Enoch absolutely, but, - and this is something unheard of - it even had to speak and uttered to all of us clearly comprehensible words full of wisdom.
171,22. "This you could not have noticed, for you were lying on the ground near your huts at a considerable distance. But I was right in front, and I shall not forget what I have seen and heard.
171,23. "You can imagine that I was most impressed by Enoch and sought the first opportunity to talk to him.
171,24. "But when I began to talk with him and even wanted to become his disciple, he told me a parable about the beholding of a distant mountain range and explained to me so graphically the difference between your own view and one described to you that I felt with all my wisdom compared to him as if I had only just left my mother's womb.
171,25. "And it appeared to me that all the fathers - even Adam not excepted - were subject to him in the word and he alone was leading them all with his words.
171,26. "In view of this I tell you: Let the one who, after the way he dealt with our untimely curiosity, still wishes to ask him another even more untimely question try to do so, but leave me out of it!
171,27. "I am convinced that also for you a battle with him will look most ridiculous, - not much different from one between a mouse and a lion. I do not think it needs a great prophet to tell in advance who will be victorious.
171,28. "But if you still want to address your stern and earnest question to him, I wish you much luck and a bright sun on top of it I just want to add one thing to all I told you, namely, that those who are in any way close to God must never be trifled with. We should rather take serious note of their actions instead of questioning them, for the great God's ways are unfathomable and His decrees inscrutable.
171,29. "Do remember this well before you dare take any steps!"
171,30. When the angry ones had heard this from Sethlahem they desisted from their plan and acquiesced in Sethlahem's wise advice.
171,31. But Enoch, following an inner inspiration, called Sethlahem back and said to him:
171,32. "Sethlahem, I commend you! Behold, you have now acted with true wisdom straightening out these weak ones who without your help would have unfailingly plunged into a deep abyss as in their blindness they cannot see what the ground under their feet is like.
171,33. "But you shall from now on not leave my side until you too will be seeing what your mortal eyes have not yet seen and hearing what your mortal ears have not yet heard.
171,34. "Has it not struck you what a bright and pleasant day it is that has followed the night of terror?
171,35. "And if you have watched the course of the storm and how it suddenly abated, tell me, has it not struck you as unusual?"
171,36. And Sethlahem answered: "O Enoch, who should not have noticed that? But what use is to the likes of us the noticing? For I do not understand anything of all that is happening and for my consolation think by myself:
171,37. "The Lord Jehovah will certainly know well why this or that has to happen. Those to whom Jehovah is closer than to me will know how to find out more; but to Him my gratitude that He has assigned peace to me. I am sufficiently satisfied with that
171,38. "What do you think, dear Enoch? Is that not right?"
171,39. And Enoch replied: "O Sethlahem, you have a good ground. And if the seed will fall into your soil it will bear a thousand fold fruit.
171,40. "Listen, today you will see a stranger in our midst. Go to this stranger and He will tell you more with one word than I in thousands of years. Yes, I tell you, He will quicken you through and through.
171,41. "But no more for now; I see Him already approach!"
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