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Then answered John: 'Master, let us wash ourselves as God
commanded by Moses.'
Jesus said: 'Think ye that I am come to destroy the law and
the prophets? Verily I say unto you, as God liveth, I am not come to
destroy it, but rather to observe it. For every prophet hath observed
the law of God and all that God by the other prophets hath spoken.
As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth, no one that
breaketh one least precept can be pleasing to God, but shall be least
in the kingdom of God, for he shall have no part there. Moreover I
say unto you, that one syllable of the law of God cannot be broken
without the gravest sin. But I do you to wit that it is necessary to
observe that which God saith by Isaiah the prophet, with these
words: "Wash you and be clean, take away your thoughts from
'Verily I say unto you, that all the water of the sea will not wash
him who with his heart loveth iniquities. And furthermore I say unto
you, that no one will make prayer pleasing to God if he be not washed,
but will burden his soul with sin like to idolatry.
'Believe me, in sooth, that if man should make prayer to God
as is fitting, he would obtain all that he should ask. Remember
Moses the servant of God, who with his prayer scourged Egypt,
opened the Red Sea, and there drowned Pharaoh and his host.
Remember Joshua, who made the sun stand still, Samuel, who
smote with fear the innumerable host of the Philistines, Elijah, who
made the fire to rain from heaven, Elisha raised a dead man, and so
many other holy prophets, who by prayer obtained all that they
asked. But those men truly did not seek their own in their matters,
but sought only God and his honour.'