1. IN those days when an army captured a large city, slaying the people, they carried back the spoil to So-qi, king of Oas, capital of Par'si'e, and received rewards according to the amount of plunder. The wars were between the different nations of I'huans. The sacred people, the I'hins, had nothing; they were unmolested.
2. I said: Whosoever lieth up treasures in this world, shall find no peace! But ye have built so great a city, ye hope nothing can break it down. Now I will show thee, O king: thy city shall prove the weakest of cities. I will raise up one man out of the seed of the I'hins; and, Oas, the mighty city, shall fall before his hand.
3. I'hua'Mazda, God of heaven, sent certain loo'is, highly learned angels, to look around, and afterward he called them and asked what they saw? They said: Work! Work! Ihua'Mazda said: Work it shall be! Go ye, holy masters of generations, down to mortals close around the city of Oas. And search ye out seed of the I'hin race, and by inspiration lead them to the fairest daughters of I'hua, in the city of Oas; and they shall be tempted, and anon a quickened fruit shall ripen in the city, sons and daughters. Again go ye to the I'hins, and by inspiration bring others and have them tempted by the improved fruit. And yet again repeat this method, and in the sixth generation ye shall raise up a son having the gifts of su'is and sar'gis, and ye shall call him Zarathustra.
4. The loo'is, the angels who were guardians over mortals for such purpose, went and accomplished what had been commanded by God. And the child's mother's name was Too'che, and the father's name Lo'ab. Too'che was su'is born herself, and was by Sa'moan, an angel, obsessed before she conceived, and during the time of maternity not suffered to wake from her unconscious trance. And by the loo'is, her soul was oft taken to high heaven to behold its glories, and then to return and inhabit her own body. Thus, the child was born of All Light, and in that same day the obsession fled, and Too'che proclaimed within the city that no man was father to the child, but that she conceived from p. 175b All Light, believing, because unconscious in gestation.
5. The learned men cast the horoscope, but found nothing in the stars to alarm the kings, or worthy of credence to the maiden's story. The loo'is went before God, saying: Behold, a child is born, capable of All Light. Then spake God, saying: I will come; go ye and lead the way.
6. When yet the child nursed, I'hua'Mazda spake through the child, whilst its own spirit slept. Then again came the learned men, chief of whom was Asha, son of Zista, learned in a thousand stars and all living creatures, and in the bones of animals no longer living. So Asha spake to Too'che, saying: Canst thy suckling talk? Whereupon God answered him, saying:
7. Not the child, but I, even I'hua'Mazda. Think not, O man, these small lips utter words prompted by this child's soul. I am come to stay the cruel hand of war; to make man know there is an Unseen Master. Behold, this child hath no sex! He is an Yeshuah (Iesu), a passionless birth.
8. To which Asha said: Can it be this woman hath a man hidden under her cloak, and hopes to evade the just punishment of the king! O, thou harlot! That toldest a shameful tale of conception without a man! Thy lies are now added to others to make good the first. Out of the city, wretch! or thou shalt be stoned to death, and thy child with thee!
9. Too'che made no answer, save with a flood of tears. Then spake I'hua'Mazda, saying: Hold thy hand on these lips, and perceive thou how I gesticulate with these little hands. Yea, take thou the little form in thine own arms.
10. Then Asha feared, but fain would hide his fear, and so took the child, whilst I'hua'Mazda spake, saying: O man, that thou couldst behold the spirit, and would temper thy judgment down to patience and wisdom!
11. Asha said: If it be in truth thou art the Mazda of the I'huan race, why hast thou come in so questionable weakness? What can a child do? Wieldest thou a sword with these little hands? I had hoped to see a God come in stronger shape, and in majesty of a thousand angels, winged, and in flames of fire!
12. I'hua'Mazda said: My wisdom is not man's wisdom; my weapons, not arrows and sharp swords. What is great in man's judgment is as nothing to me; what is as nothing to man, I will make great, for I shall overturn this mighty city. Because I am come in peace and love, the city shall be divided, man against man, and bloody war run riot in this walled kingdom.
13. Asha said: To what end art thou come? For if it be true thou art a God born in this questionable shape, thou hast some motive more than to overthrow the town. I charge thee, then, most precocious youth, tell me what thy purpose is, that justice may be done?
14. I'hua'Mazda said: The cities of man are as nothing in my sight; I come to teach man of other worlds, and that the souls of the righteous shall live forever; I come to deliver man from darkness into everlasting light.
15. Asha said: Thy words are wisdom, or else my sudden surprise hath unfitted my judgment. I will go now, that I may reflect on this wonder. To-morrow I will come again. Keep this matter quietly. For if it be known that I, of so high estate, have talked in temperance on spiritual things, I will be doomed to death.
Next: Book of God's Word: Chapter III