1. FROM Ze-wing'e, God raised up prophets for seven generations. Ze'wing'e begat Do Tse, who begat Yin, who begat Hi Ne, who begat Lan Se'ang, who begat Dhi Hsotch'e, who begat Ho Lon, who begat Po, who was an iesu in birth.
2. When Po was yet very young, the voice of God came to him, saying: Be steadfast in the doctrines of thy forefathers, eating neither fish nor flesh; thy God will not only preserve thee alive, but thou shalt gather together the scattered tribes of Zarathustrians, the Faithists, and re-establish them in this great land.
3. In those days many of the Zarathustrians p. 315b were celibates; and the king saw his people being reduced by war, and he made a law against celibacy, commanding all men to marry, and all women to bring forth children, or be put to death.
4. When Po was grown up, God said to him: Behold, thou canst not fulfill the law, for thou art iesu-born. But I will fetch thee a wife like unto thee, who is also barren, but ye twain shall be blessed with three children, and thou shalt call them Wan-le, Toghan, and Tse Loo.
5. And it came to pass that a woman of Hong Ge, with three adopted children, escaped from the tyranny of Dhi'wan, fleeing for the southern tribes of HiSeeGua and Yo, and Gwan Goon; and with her, Po wed, and he named his wife Ah T'dowh Jee.
6. Po was twenty years old when he married, and he went with his wife and three children to the country of Heng'a Di, which name signified brother land, and he labored at scutching flax and hemp.
7. And God came to Po, saying: What is the extent of thy fidelity to the All Highest Light?
8. Po said: I will obey him in all things.
9. God said: Wouldst thou sacrifice thy three sons, if commanded by thy Creator?
10. Po said: They are the Creator's, not mine. How dare I sacrifice that which is another's?
11. God said: Thou art wise; thou knowest the Ormazdian law.
12. Then Po asked: Who art thou? Who is this that cometh upon me silently, asking questions?
13. God said: Go thou, visit Hi Seiang, the philosopher, and question him.
14. Hi Seiang was governor of the south province of Heng'a Di, and was, withal, a man of great learning.
15. Po came to him and questioned him, saying: What is this that asketh us questions? Why do we question and answer ourselves all day long?
16. Hi Seiang answered: Are we not two selfs? Do we not discourse within ourselves like two selfs?
17. Po said: Which, sayest thou, is the superior self, that which questioneth within us forever, or that which is forever answering?
18. The governor said: That which asketh questions must be the superior self.
19. Po said: Who is it?
20. Hi said: It is nothing, it is something. Po answered him, saying: It appeareth to me, these two selfs are two different persons; one belongeth to the flesh, the other to the Creator. Because this questioning self is the same one that seeth and heareth Gods and angels.
21. Hi said: What sayest thou? God and angels?
22. Po replied: God and angels.
23. To which the governor took exception, saying: Dost thou too defy the law?
24. Po said: What I see I see, what I hear I hear. Something external to ourselves made us, and ruleth over us.
25. The governor asked: Have we not rid the world of superstition? Why dealest thou with doctrines that were in the dark ages? I tell thee there are two things only in all the universe; the unseen firmament, and the corporeal worlds that float therein. Their action and reaction on each other produce what we call life, which is but an effervescence that cometh and goeth, and there is the end. The laws are right. Han hath done a good thing in abolishing the doctrines of the ancients.
26. Whilst they were yet talking, God sent a blaze of fire into a bush standing nearby, and a voice spake out of the flame, saying: Who, then, sayest thou I am? For verily I am!
27. The governor saw the light, and beheld that the bush was not burnt; and he also heard the voice. But God suffered him to be hard of heart, and Hi said: Behold, thou comest to me, knowing I am a philosopher, and thou castest thy spell in the bush, like a magician. I am master of a thousand books, and am registered as a man of great learning. Thou hast offended me.
28. Po said: Why accusest thou me? For is it not just for me to accuse thee of casting the spell? I cast it not.
29. Again did God appear and speak, saying: Accuse thou not this, my son, Po. Thou shalt labor with him. Behold, I give into thy keeping the country of Feh; for even this hour hath died Moo Gwon. The tribes of Ghan shall be gathered together in Feh and Heng'a Di.
30. Hi Seiang, the governor, was astonished at the words of the Light; p. 317b and he sent a servant, to ascertain if Moo Gwon was dead; and it turned out to be true, though the distance was a day's journey each way.
Next: God's First Book: Chapter IV