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Chapter XXVIII

1. ON the following day the Gods departed, with due ceremonies, after the manner they came, and returned to their kingdoms, and thence down to the earth, each one to his own division.

2. And each of the three Gods went to his own chosen mortal (who had power to see and hear spiritual things). And the Gods possessed them by their presence, and inspired them to write the words of Anuhasaj, alias the Lord God, word for word; and they were so written, alike and like, in the three great divisions of the earth. And copies of them were made and filed in the libraries, and in the houses of philosophy of mortals.

3. But when these matters were thus entered, in answer to the queries of mortals, as to the origin of man and his destiny, they were not deemed sufficient by the learned men. Many of them said: The Lord God hath evaded our questions.

4. Then satan came to each of the three Gods who had the matter in charge, and he said unto them: Consult with one another as to what shall be done. So Osiris sent messengers to Te-in and to Sudga, asking them to come to Agho'aden, his heavenly place, for consultation. And, in due course of time, Te-in and Sudga came to Osiris, to his throne, where they were received in great honor and glory. And presently Osiris' marshals cleared the place, so the interview was private, for even the marshals stood afar off.

5. Osiris said: What shall we do without a Creator in fact? I know not if my judgment be beside itself, for it is said they that lose their reason are the last to discover it. The time was when De'yus, our much-loved Lord God, said: Whilst ye labor on the earth for me and my kingdoms, behold, I will reciprocate in all things. Neither shall ye ask for aught but it shall be granted unto you.

6. Hear me then, O my brothers, in my complaint; mortals have asked us, to know the origin of man, and his destination; and to know the cause of good and evil. These things I submitted unto our Lord God, in Hored, to learn his will and decree.

7. Thereupon he sent messengers to me announcing a feast, on which occasion he would answer the questions of mortals satisfactorily. Ye and I went to the feast, and De'yus hath furnished us with something, which is nothing. For mortals can also perceive that what the Lord God hath said is one and the same thing that was said by the Gods through Zarathustra; and, moreover, that the questions are still unanswered.

8. De'yus is my friend, and I desire not to press him further on the subject; and so I have called you, to learn of you how ye managed the same issues?

9. Te-in said: Before our heavenly kingdoms were confederated, Anuhasaj professed that he would announce himself the head and front of all created creations. Shall we say his courage is less? And so excuse him?

10. Sudga said: When he should have said: I created man in mine own image, behold, he hath weakly said: LET US MAKE MAN! Is it not clear, then, p. 408 that he shirketh from the responsibility, and desireth ourselves commingled in the pitiful story? Hear me, then, my brothers; I am asked how I have answered the issues with mine own division, and I say unto you, I have been in the same quandry, and have not answered them at all.

11. Te-in said: Neither have I. But that we may be justified in so doing, behold, the Lord God said unto us: I bind you not to my words, nor limit you, save that that I have spoken shall be the foundation. Now, it is clear, that if we admit that sin is in the world, we must find a way to justify the Lord God, whose servants we are. If he be not justified, then is sin justified.

12. For mortals perceive good and evil understandingly; but to justify a good God for permitting evil is not an easy matter. For in the breath we praise him, we must praise his works; of which sin is apparent; and in the same breath that we condemn sin, how shall we glorify De'yus? For have we not proclaimed him the foundation of all things; the head and front, before creation was created? Was not this our battle-cry, to urge our angel warriors on to overthrow Jehovih? And hath not our loud-praised Lord God said: LET US MAKE MAN! A child should have more courage than this!

13. Sudga said: It is plain we all understand these issues, and perceive, also, what is required of us. For since De'yus hath left us liberty to add to his doctrines, according to our own judgment, is it not well that we agree upon a doctrine, even as De'yus professed prior to the confederacy? And thus give it to mortals?

14. Osiris said: This is wisdom, O my brothers. To make our Lord God the Creator, we must account unto him all things, both good and evil. Wherefore we shall give two masters to man, the one being the serpent, the earth, the lowest inspirer; and the other the voice of our Lord God.

15. Sudga said: My brother hath spoken wisely. And yet, is the term two masters the wisest term? For in declaring the Lord God the highest, we must make him master over the earth also.

16. Te-in said: Why shall we not adopt the E'O'LIN of the ancients, substituting the words Lord God? And make a commandment over man, forbidding him hearkening to the serpent, lest he be led away from the Lord God, and throw the cause of sin upon man, for violating the Lord God's commandment.

17. Osiris said: Most wisely spoken, my brothers. For by accusing man, through the serpent, we clear the Lord God unscathed.

Next: Chapter XXIX