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'It behoveth a man to live in the city, even as the soldier liveth when he hath enemies around the fortress, defending himself against every assault and always fearing treachery on the part of the citizens. Even so, I say, let him repell every outward enticement of sin, and fear the sense, because it hath a supreme desire for things impure. But how shall he defend himself if he bridle not the eye, which is the origin of every carnal sin? As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, he who hath not bodily eyes is secure not to receive punishment save only to the third degree, while he that hath eyes receiveth it to the seventh degree.
'In the time of the prophet Elijah it came to pass that Elijah seeing a blind man weeping, a man of good life, asked him, saying: "Why weepest thou, O brother?" The blind man answered: "I weep because I cannot see Elijah the prophet, the holy one of God."
'Then Elijah rebuked him, saying: "Cease from weeping, O man, for in weeping thou sinnest."
'The blind man answered: "Now tell me, is it a sin to see a holy prophet of God, that raiseth the dead and maketh the fire to come down from heaven?"
'Elijah answered: "Thou speakest not the truth, for Elijah is not able to do anything of all that thou sayest, because he is a man as thou art. For all the men in the world cannot make one fly to be born."
'Said the blind man: "Thou sayest this, O man, because Elijah must have rebuked thee for some sin of thine, wherefore thou hatest him."
'Elijah answered: "May it please God that thou be speaking the truth; because, O brother, if I should hate Elijah I should love God, and the more I should hate Elijah the more I should love God."
'Hereupon was the blind man greatly angered, and said: "As God liveth, thou art an impious fellow! Can God then be loved while one hateth the prophets of God? Begone forthwith, for I will not listen to thee any longer!"
'Elijah answered: "Brother, now mayest thou see with thine intellect how evil is bodily seeing. For thou desirest sight to see Elijah, and hatest Elijah with thy soul."
'The blind man answered: "Now begone! For thou art the devil, that wouldst make me sin against the holy one of God."
'Then Elijah gave a sigh, and said with tears: "Thou hast spoken the truth, O brother, for my flesh, which thou desirest to see, separateth thee from God."
'Said the blind man: "I do not wish to see thee; nay, if I had my eyes, I would close them so as not to see thee?"
'Then said Elijah: Know, brother, that I am Elijah!"
'The blind man answered: "Thou speakest not the truth."
'Then said the disciples of Elijah: "Brother, he verily is the prophet of God, Elijah."
'"Let him tell me," said the blind man, "if he be the prophet, of what seed I am, and how I became blind?"