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Then said Lazarus: 'Master, verily I say unto thee, I cannot conceive the penalty of which he is worthy who time after time seeth the dead borne to the tomb and feareth not God our creator. Such an one for the things of this world, which he ought entirely to forsake, offendeth his creator who hath given him all.'
Then said Jesus to his disciples: 'Ye call me Master, and ye do well, seeing that God teacheth you by my mouth. But how will ye call Lazarus? Verily he is here master of all the masters that teach doctrine in this world. I indeed have taught you how ye ought to live well, but Lazarus will teach you how to die well. As God liveth, he hath received the gift of prophecy; listen therefore to his words, which are truth. And so much the more ought ye to listen to him, as good living is vain if one die badly.'
Said Lazarus: 'O master, I thank thee that thou makest the truth to be prized; therefore will God give thee great merit.'
Then said he who writeth this: 'O master, how speaketh Lazarus the truth in saying to thee "Thou shalt have merit," whereas thou saidst to Nicodemus that man meriteth nought but punishment? Shalt thou accordingly be punished of God?'
Jesus answered: 'May it please God that I receive punishment of God in this world, because I have not served him so faithfully as I was bound to do.
'But God hath so loved me, by his mercy, that every punishment is withdrawn from me, in so much that I shall only be tormented in another person. For punishment was fitting for me, for that men have called me God; but since I have confessed, not only that I am not God, as is the truth, but have confessed also that I am not the Messiah, therefore God hath taken away the punishment from me, and will cause a wicked one to suffer it in my name, so that the shame alone shall be mine. Wherefore I say to thee, my Barnabas, that when a man speaketh of what God shall give to his neighbour let him say that his neighbour meriteth it: but let him look to it that, when he speaketh of what God shall give to himself, he say: "God will give me." And let him look to it that he say not, "I have merit," because God is pleased to grant his mercy to his servants when they confess that they merit hell for their sins.