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The couple and the lying spirit
1. You should not be surprised if your eyes are going to be challenged somewhat this time, for we are moving north, to where it becomes increasingly darker. However we will nonetheless have sufficient light for ourselves, so that nothing will escape us.
2. Do you not yet hear something in the distance? You say: We indeed hear something, but it is much different from a human voice; it rather sounds like the rattling of wagons in the distance. It also sounds like the thunderous noise of a great, distant waterfall. You ask what this means. Let us follow our couple, then we'll soon get to the bottom of it.
3. Can you not yet discern something vaguely reddish, a glimmer, like from a softly glowing iron? Look in that direction, for there an important scene is awaiting us.
4. Listen, it is coming closer and the peculiar noisy rattling is changing more into natural and raw human voices. But now we shall stand still, for the multitude is moving right up here, and as you see, our greatly loving vanguard has come to a standstill as well.
5. Look how fearful he is because of what is coming and retreats in his great anxiety and fear. She grabs him by the arm, though, and pleads to him with all that is dear to her, to only listen and stay with her this one time, for this is exactly the fortune she has predicted, which he needs to get acquainted with, to convince himself whether she is right or wrong.
6. He asks her what even is approaching them that seems so horrible. She says to him: What it is, what it is?! Many deep thinking people they are, whom you will soon clearly see with your own eyes and clearly hear with your own ears.
7. And now look, he is content with this and awaits the approaching, deep thinking group. See, the great company is almost here. Our couple approaches them out of decency. We should do the same as well, even if it is not out of decency, but for another purpose.
8. Look, they now meet and greet each other with the greatest possible courtesy, so we will go closer too so we don't miss anything.
9. As you can see, from the middle of the group a gaunt and emaciated manly figure closes in on our couple. The wife receives him with exceptional tenderness and benevolence. The husband bows deeply before this manly figure as well.
10. The manly figure says: Highly esteemed lady, it pleases me greatly that the special fortune of calling you one of us has befallen me once more, for with your mind and your exceptionally amiable demeanor, you are greatly honoring our company and indeed give us the most beautiful adornment. Well, my dear lady, if you have anything on your ever so tender mind, it would be the greatest bliss if you would entrust such a sweet concern of your heart to me.
11. She says: My highly appreciated and above all honored friend, you see, this man here at my side, is my tenderly beloved earthly spouse. He has acted exceptionally just, good and profitable in every way upon earth , that I can say in all earnest that our marriage was truly an ecstatic one. After all, what more can a woman ask for in her marriage, than to have a husband that fulfills all the desires of the female heart? In this regard, I would, with the exception of a few trifle things, have no objections.
12. But now comes an important issue, something we could never reach a compromise over and because of which there was often discord between the two of us. I will explain to you the reason for this discord as well as a woman can, and you, my above all honored friend, would certainly be so kind as to whisper a few words to my husband, which would surely completely heal him.
13. The figure says: Oh please, please, my highly esteemed lady, you are much too kind! I give you the assurance that it would be a great honor and bliss to me if I could tell myself that yours truly had been able to serve such a fair lady. Therefore, I ask you to entrust the issue that has been on your mind to me. She says: Oh, my greatly appreciated friend, you are much too good and modest, this is exactly what inspires so much trust in me, that I will withhold nothing from you; and so, be so kind and listen to me.
14. See, regarding this fatal issue I can candidly say that my otherwise good and loveable husband is a Bible-fanatic, and as such a Christ-fanatic as well. The reason however, why he had thrown himself into the arms of this laughable sect, is because he grew up poor. As such this old beggar's philosophy was ingrained into him since the crib, as it is usually the case with the poor class. But how difficult it becomes over time to remove this nonsense, which was nursed into him with the mother's milk and thus became his own flesh, you greatly honored friend, surely know even better than I do. With this beggar's philosophy my otherwise greatly-appreciated husband has also ended up here in this kingdom where the primordial powers of nature rule, as you have kindly explained to us multiple times already, but it just doesn't get through to him! He is still attached to his Christ and even wants to pry himself off of me in order to search for this surely nowhere-to-be-found Christ. Now, my learned and highly honored friend, I have briefly presented my problem to you, and for that reason I ask you, in this regard, to kindly take care of my poor husband!
15. The figure says: Oh, if it is nothing else, we will easily and quickly take care of it in this realm of the utterly naked truth. Now the figure turns to the husband, offers him a hand and says: But dear friend, are you serious about what your lovely spouse has just bemoaned to me about?
16. The husband says: My highly esteemed friend, I must honestly admit that I truly do not believe that we will ever find a consensus regarding this subject, no matter how dear my spouse is to me, for no matter how things will go, I am firmly resolute to cling to my faith in Christ forever! I am also absolutely convinced that this Name has often given me much consolation and still is my infallible and lucky guiding star. If I Have ever set foot on a wrong track, it was solely because I did not hold on to Christ with steadfastness. However, once I had turned again towards Christ I wasn't rarely helped through an almighty stroke of magic!
17. You, as a thinking and wise man, can therefore see for yourself that it would be quite unreasonable of me to distance myself from such a benefactor, especially now that I need Him the most, as it seems to me. Therefore, esteemed friend, do not exert any effort for my sake, for I assure you that you will achieve nothing with me. I've been a foolish slave of the charm of my wife for long enough. After her passing I have learned in Christ my Master to go on without her, and I hope that she will not influence me here anymore, especially because the marriage with my former wife has ceased to be due to the death of her body. Should she want follow me, she will nonetheless always stay valuable and beloved to me, but I will never give up Christ for her sake, even if she were to drag me down into any kind of hell with all her might! If she is content with me being around her, unhindered and together with my Christ, then I do not want to sever the old ties of love I have with her, but if she won't accept it, then I have just spoken my last words in her presence.
18. The figure says to the man: Dear friend, I have listened patiently to you from beginning to end and I can, in all earnest, say nothing else about your words than that I deplore them sorely. For you to know with whom you are dealing (here the figure is taking refuge in a lie), I tell you that I am the great teacher Melanchton, about whom you certainly must have heard something on earth! The husband says: Oh yes, but what do you want to say with that? The figure says: Esteemed friend, nothing else but the fact that I would know better what Christ is than you would, for I have worked until the very last hour of my existence, with exceptional zeal, in the so-called Christian vineyard and I would certainly have even died, if necessary, for the sake of Christ. I have not only rid the Roman teaching, but also the purer teaching of Luther of all vestigial burdens; I had lived literally according to the word of this teaching and what was the result? This, my esteemed friend, I do not need to explain to you with many words, for one glance of you at my entire being will show you the result of my faithful and quintessential Christianity. I do not need to tell you more. Let it therefore be according to the old “experyetia docet” [no substitute for experience], and I am convinced that we, if everything goes well, will meet once again after one hundred years, exactly the way we are facing each other right now. You, my friend, are still an utter novice here and do not know how one lives in the kingdom of the central primordial powers. When you will have been chased around and starved by this eternal night for a few decades, then certainly more solid and practical insights would find more room in your head, now deprived of all worldly foolishness.
19. The man says to the figure: Most esteemed friend, if you are in possession of so much well-founded knowledge on this field, let me hear it. I am not averted to listening to you, but I will nevertheless stay true to my conviction, if your stance on this subject won't convert me.
20. The figure says: Good, my friend, first I want to draw your attention to the fruits that Christianity has actually bore on earth. The Romans were a great people as long as they remained in their Godly teaching of reason and sanity. All their work was great and full of wise meaning. Their principles of justice are still the basis of all state and national judicial laws, but when Christianity sneaked in, death sneaked in together with it into the great Roman nation. And now, in place of the once greatest and most heroic nation, lazy and indolent priests, a lot of miserable rabble and a great number of thieves as well as robbers lurk along the roads with rosaries in hand, where no pedestrian has assurance to his life anymore. See, this is the fruit of the garden of Christianity! Take a journey through beautiful Spain and look at this nation of old, and then look at it again in the Christian middle ages; it would not escape your gaze how, through pure Christian blessing, thousands upon thousands have bled and yet more thousands upon thousands have burnt to ashes upon flaming stakes, taking their last breath in doubt! Look at the touching implementation of Christianity under Carl the Great, how he let thousands and again thousands jump over the cutting edge of the sword because of this blessing! Journey from there to America; look up their history and you will see countless examples of the most pitiable and sorrowful fruits of the Christian blessings that took place there! Go from there to my time and look at the blessed atrocities of the thirty-year religious war. You can go through the ancient histories of all nations and peoples, and I will be obliged to carry you in my arms forever if you are able to point out similarly gruesome scenes to me.
21. I do not want to focus your attention on the multifarious blessings of Christianity of other times, instead I would like to let you see the conditions of other current peoples that do not yet know of Christianity, like the almost eternally peaceful Chinese and other significant nations in Asia, as well as those of not yet discovered islands. You would need to blind three times over if you can't, at first glance, see the difference between Christianity and the true wisdom of the older, more experienced nations. But I tell you that all these unfortunate and harmful deficiencies of Christianity, or more so of the new Judaism could be glozed over if one would say: these historical facts are indeed all true, but Christ did not teach them, and so he cannot possibly be blamed for all the horror that the spreading of His teaching has brought with it, for His teaching was, in fact, pure and especially humane. Dear friend, this is certainly quite plausible and is indeed the reason why I was a zealous defender of Christianity during my whole life upon earth. But only here did I learn of the true poison for the nations in this teaching, and it is the obvious advertency to laziness and indolence. Man, having an inborn inclination towards laziness, finds the best defense for this inclination in this teaching, for it is clearly taught to him to do nothing other than to search for a certain spiritual kingdom, where the roasted birds would fly into his opened mouth. You see, various sages were convinced after quite a short while that nothing would come of these roasted birds. They therefore reached out to other means, namely, the trusty old sword, left the christianized people in their blindness and then served them roasted birds with sword in hand. My friend, consider this outcome as you like, you will impossibly reach another conclusion, despite all the higher, spiritual experiences one gains here, regarding Christianity, in a purified condition after the passing of many centuries, like in my case. My esteemed friend, I am done now and you can do what you want. By the way, be assured of my high esteem and my friendship; it would be my pleasure to meet you again after a few centuries. Look, he takes his leave and moves on with the whole company and our couple is left behind, alone. The effect of this 'superb speech' and the exceptionally humane instruction we will experience next time. Thus, enough for today.
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