The Early History of Jesus
by Saul of Tarsus channeled by Alexander Smyth
Friend Alexander, I will not insult your intellect by supposing that you believe there is any truth in the vile and ridiculous account that Luke and I concocted when we wrote the history of Jesus, concerning Mary, the virgin mother–the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove, acting as a proxy for the God of Heaven, in begetting a son who was to be equal to himself, and had existed through all time before he was begotten. I will not insult your reason, by supposing you to believe any part of these silly lies; but I will give you the true account of his youthful days as far as I received it from Jesus himself.
A short time after I had passed into the spirit world, being exiled from all society, in dreary exclusion, I received a visit from the spirit of the much injured Jesus, whom I had caused to be sacrificed to the hatred of the Jewish priests. I quailed before his benign and noble presence, feeling myself unworthy to meet his gaze. He gently rebuked me for the many evils I had done him, saying that he was informed of all by Judas, whom I had sent to the spirit world the same night that Jesus died. He told me that he forgave me for all my wickedness in regard to him, and then he spoke in sympathizing tones of my suffering condition. He said he could not mitigate my agonies, or he would, advising me to repent, aspire after righteousness, and strive to renew my nature for the better; that my wretched exclusion would be terminated in course of time, and I then would be allowed to mingle with the blessed. He then spoke of many parts of his history, enlightening me on many points I knew not before.
As regards his early days, he said that Joseph the carpenter, and his wife, Mary, moved into Nazareth when he was not many days old. Nobody knew from whence they had come. They settled there, and gained the esteem of their neighbors as honest, prudent, working people. He never heard his parents speak of any mysterious or miraculous event in connection with his birth, yet as he grew up he perceived that there was some mystery or doubt concerning him, whispered among the neighbors. Some doubted his being the son of Joseph and Mary. Some went so far as to say that Mary never had a child; for little Jose, as Jesus was called in his youth, had been nourished on goat’s milk, and the breast of Mary had never suckled a child, nor did she give any other indications of having become a mother. There were other instances the folks cited, as proof that Jose was not the son of Joseph and Mary. He bore no resemblance in person, disposition or character to them. Whose son was he, then? Nobody knew, if Joseph and Mary were not his parents. However, the child grew in health, strength and great beauty of person. He did not take pleasure in the ordinary mischievous freaks and follies of children, the characteristics of his disposition being mildness, general amiability, and susceptibility to all grave and pious impressions. He was sent to school at the ordinary age to the synagogue of the village, where, as soon as he had mastered the rudiments of the language, he studied with great avidity the subjects of morals, metaphysics and religion, as then taught in the schools. He seemed to possess great intellectual capacity and comprehension, for at the age of fifteen he was pronounced the most intelligent youth and greatest disputer in the synagogue of the village and neighborhood.
As he approached manhood he became acquainted with a youth about his own age, whose name was John, who was the son of a priest, being educated for one of the priesthood. this youth was of a restless, erratic and visionary disposition, not content with the ordinary routine and views of things, for his mind was directed to a series of changes, innovations and reforms, which he was continually suggesting and advocating with the greatest of energy and confidence in his illusions.
The two youths–though very different in dispositions–became inseparable companions, for they found great pleasure in each other’s company–not so much because their views in general assimilated, but they found an intense interest in contrasting their dissimilar ideas. They took long rambles together, sometimes being so interested in their discourses that they did not know whither they were going or where they were. Mount Tabor and its environments were frequently the scenes of their disputes and rambles.
One day they were taking a ramble as usual and they discoursed upon certain moral subjects which were extremely exciting. They had been walking for hours without heeding their course. At length having made a pause they discovered that they were completely lost. They looked around them to discover indications of their whereabouts, but nothing could they see that they knew. The scene presented a grassy vale, along which meandered a small stream. At a short distance, at the foot of a hill, they perceived a small hut constructed of logs, the roof of which being covered with branches, rushes and soil. In front of this building they perceived a human being sitting on a rock. To him they directed their steps, with the view of inquiring their way back to their village. When they arrived at the spot they found the person to be a hoary-headed old man, enveloped in a long black robe, bare-headed, and feet without sandals. They soon came to the conclusion that they had fallen in the way of a recluse.
Having greeted the old man and stated their case, he, with a pleasing smile upon his countenance, gave the desired information, telling them that their case was not an uncommon one, for he had once been a youth himself, and had frequently lost his way, and the sight of realities around him in the pleasing contemplation of airy visions. He then invited them into his habitation, and set before them some food, telling them to rest and refresh themselves. He also invited them to tarry with him the night, as the day was far spent. The young men expressed their sense of his kindness, and gratefully accepted the hospitable invitation. The recluse then replenished his fire with sticks, which was burning in the centre of the hut, and when the day was passed, they all three lounged around it, passing some hours in discourse. The old man seemed to be possessed of a great mind. Whether it came from experience, learning or supernal inspirations, they knew not; but most of his ideas were perfectly new to them, being of the most profound, philosophic nature, giving explanations and revelations of things, which to them had hitherto been as so many mysteries. He spoke of the great mysterious power pervading all nature under the name of god; of the multitude and magnitude of created things; of the different races of men; of their past and present errors; of the gradual progress and capacity of the human mind, and the probability that in course of time mankind will arrive at comparative perfection.
The two young men listened attentively to the old man’s discourse, they never before having heard the like. Jose saw clearly that the recluse had got his ideas through experience and deep reflection, while John concluded that no man could speak as he had done unless he was supernaturally inspired. He said to himself, “Certainly this man is a prophet! I will question him, concerning myself.”
“My worthy host,” said John to the old man, “I must confess that I have never heard a man speak more startling truths than you have done. You certainly must possess the power of prevision and prophecy. I beg of you, if it be so, that you will try your powers upon me, and tell me what will be my career and end of life.”
“Young man,” answered the recluse, with a serious candor, “you are mistaken in your estimate of me. I candidly tell you that I do not possess the powers of which you speak; nor do I make any pretensions thereto, and all others who assume to be such I consider it impossible with any person on earth, or spirit above, to see a thing that does not exist. Future events we all know do not exist, and as such, they consequently can not be seen or foreseen. But I will tell you what it is possible to do. A man is capable of speaking of probabilities according to the knowledge he may have of the thing in question. For instance, from the insight I of you I can state some things that may probably occur to you during your lifetime.”
“What may they be?” eagerly inquired John.
“They are to this effect,” answered the recluse: “You will live a visionary life, meeting many disappointments and disgusts at what you will consider the perversity and wickedness of the world, because it does not prove to be such as you wish it or expect it to be. You will live an erratic and unsocial career, for your nature will find no pleasure in the general society of men. This disposition will lead you into many difficulties; your mind will become unhinged, and your end will be soon and unpleasant.”
“Indeed!” exclaimed John, as he reclined himself back, with an air of one disappointed and mortified. “Your estimation of my career is not very promising or flattering. However, there is one comfort; you do not give them facts, but only possibilities. But what say you of my companion?” he added, as he pointed to Jose. “Can you say something better of him?”
“With regard to your companion,” said the recluse, as he gazed into the eyes of Jose, “there may be something said of him of a very extraordinary nature.”
“If you can foresee anything that will add to my happiness or of that of my fellow men, I pray you let me hear it,” observed Jose.
“I perceive, my dear youth,” responded the old man as he continued his gaze upon Jose, at the same time feeling of his hand, fingers and wrist with some mysterious motive, “that within you lies latent a great power, which, when brought into action, will influence the minds and act upon the bodies of your fellow men, producing the most extraordinary and astounding results.”
Jose started, and tremulous emotion passed through him at this declaration of the recluse.
“I mean,” continued the latter, “that there is within you a mine of nervous power, which, when exercised upon your fellow men, will be capable of ameliorating many of their miseries, by producing the cure of their bodily diseases, and mitigating the severities of others; at the same time it will enable you to command their minds, to lead them from their errors and vices, to better conditions and understandings.”
“Oh! blessed will be the day, if that shall prove true,” exclaimed Jose as he sprang forward and seized the hand of the old man, which he pressed fervently from the impulse of his joyful excitement. “Make me acquainted with its nature, and convince me of its truth; then I shall be one of the happiest of men.”
“There is a principle or power that pervades all animated nature, by some termed life, by others, spirit,” observed the old man. “This power is not the same in all beings, especially in man. In some, it is weak; in others it is very strong. Some men who possess this power in an extraordinary degree, are capable of acting upon their weaker fellows, producing good or evil effects, as their dispositions direct them to act. The nature of the effects produced are very various; but when this power is exercised with benevolent designs, much good can be produced to our fellow men, in curing diseases, and influencing the mind in the right direction of virtue.”
“Oh, most worthy sir,” exclaimed Jose, his eyes beaming with enthusiasm and rapture, “make me sensible how I possess this power, for my delight of life is to do good to my fellow men.”
“The power, as I said, lies latent within you,” replied the recluse. “It requires some other external power to arouse it; and when once brought into action, it will continue in force during your life. I have the happiness to possess that power to a certain extent; and I think, if you give your consent, I shall be enabled to call forth that which lies latent within you.”
Jose gave his consent, when he and the recluse rose from their seats, while John regarded them in speechless surprise as he remained in his place. The recluse desired Jose to stand erect against the wall of the hut. He then removed his garments, leaving his neck and breast bare; then placing his right hand upon the top of his head and taking his left hand in his other, they remained in this position for some minutes. Then he placed his right hand upon the back of his neck, and his left upon his breast, remaining thus for some minutes. Then he placed both hands upon the sides of his head, and moved them down to the soles of his feet; this he repeated several times. Then he placed both hands upon his shoulders, and slowly moved them down his arms to his fingers, which he repeated several times. At the commencement of this process, Jose felt a sudden icy chill pass through him, which was succeeded by a glow of heat and a tingling sensation all over him externally. All his vital organs seemed to expand and acquire force; his physical and moral energy seemed to become greater.
“Now,” said the recluse, as he terminated the last mentioned actions, “let us see whether my anticipations are correct or not.”
He then told Jose to stand in front of John, to fix upon his eyes his own steadfast gaze, and to will in his own mind that John should sleep, and then he gave directions to perform certain manipulations, all of which Jose performed accordingly. The result was as the recluse anticipated. John regarded his companion with an incredulous smile, as though he doubted the theory of the recluse; but soon his eyelids drooped, the smile vanished from his lips, his countenance became pale, and the relaxed state of this muscles gave evidence that he was no longer conscious of external things.
“He sleeps,” remarked the recluse.
“Wonderful!” exclaimed Jose, as he regarded the result with astonishment, and felt for the old man a degree of profound reverence.
Excerpt from The True Life of Jesus of Nazareth: The Confessions of St. Paul
See Part II here.
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