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"Have you heard all?" said Jesus. The disciples answered: "Yes, Lord." Whereupon Jesus said: "Lying is indeed a sin, but murder is a greater, because the lie is a sin that appertains to him that speaks, but the murder, while it appertains to him that commits it, is such that it destroys also the dearest thing that God has here upon earth, that is, man. And lying can be remedied by saying the contrary of that which has been said; whereas murder has no remedy, seeing it is not possible to give life again to the dead. Tell me, then, did Moses the servant of God sin in slaying all whom he slew?"

The disciples answered: "God forbid; God forbid that Moses should have sinned in obeying God who commanded him!" Then Jesus said: "And I say, God forbid that that angel should have sinned who deceived Ahab's false prophets with the lie; for even as God receives the slaughter of men as sacrifice, so received he the lie for praise. Truly, truly, I say to you, that even as the child errs which causes its shoes to be made by the measure of a giant, even so errs he who would subject God to the law, as he himself as man is subject to the law. When, therefore, you shall believe that only to be sin which God wills not, you will find the truth, even as I have told you. Wherefore, because God is not composite nor changeable, so also is he unable to will and not will a single thing; for so would he have contradiction in himself, and consequently pain, and would not be infinitely blessed."

Philip answered: 'But how is that saying of the prophet Amos to be understood, that "there is not evil in the city that God has not done?" Jesus answered: 'Now here see, Philip, how great is the danger of resting in the letter, as do the Pharisees, who have invented for themselves the "predestination of God in the elect," in such wise that they come to say in fact that God is unrighteous, a deceiver and a liar and a hater of judgment (which shall fall upon them).

 Wherefore I say that here Amos the prophet of God speaks of the evil which the world calls evil: for if he had used the language of the righteous he would not have been understood by the world. For all tribulations are good, either for that they purge the evil that we have done, or are good because they restrain us from doing evil, or are good because they make man to know the condition of this life, in order that we may love and long for life eternal. Accordingly, had the prophet Amos said: "There is no good in the city but what God has wrought it," he had given occasion for despair to the afflicted, as they beheld themselves in tribulation and sinners living in prosperity. And, what is worse, many, believing Satan to have such sovereignty over man, would have feared Satan and done him service, so as not to suffer tribulation. Amos therefore did as does the Roman interpreter, who considers not his words [as one] speaking in the presence of the high-priest, but consider the will and the business of the Jew that knows not to speak the Hebrew tongue.

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