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James answered: 'And how shall the prophets teach us if they are dead; and how shall he be taught who hath not knowledge of the prophets?'
Jesus answered: 'Their doctrine is written down, so that it ought to be studied, for [the writing] is to thee for a prophet. Verily, verily, I say unto thee that he who despiseth the prophecy despiseth not only the prophet, but despiseth also God who hath sent the prophet. But concerning such as know not the prophet, as are the nations, I tell you that if there shall live in those regions any man who liveth as his heart shall show him, not doing to others that which he would not receive from others, and giving to his neighbor that which he would receive from others, such a man shall not be forsaken of the mercy of God. Wherefore at death, if not sooner, God will show him and give him his law with mercy. Perchance ye think that God hath given the law for love of the law? Assuredly this is not true, but rather hath God given his law in order that man might work good for love of God. And so if God shall find a man who for love of him worketh good, shall he perchance despise him? Nay, surely, but rather will he love him more than those to whom he hath given the law. I tell you for an example: There was a man who had great possessions; and in his territory he had desert land that only bore unfruitful things. And so, as he was walking out one day through such desert land, he found among such unfruitful plants a plant that had delicate fruits. Whereupon this man said: "Now how doth this plant here bear these so delicate fruits? Assuredly I will not that it be cut down and put on the fire with the rest." And having called his servants he made them dig it up and set it in his garden. Even so, I tell you, that our God shall preserve from the flames of hell those who work righteousness wheresoever they be.'