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puny strength against the iron muscles and brutal ferocity

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"When the king heard this, he became as one dumb. He said, `Who then are these men that live a life better than ours?' `All,' said the chief-counsellor `who prefer the eternal to the temporal.' Again, when the king desired to know what the eternal might be the other replied, `A kingdom that knoweth no succession, a life that is not subject unto death, riches that dread no poverty: joy and gladness that have no share of grief and vexation; perpetual peace free from all hatred and love of strife. Blessed, thrice blessed are they that are found worthy of these enjoyments! Free from pain and free from toil is the life that they shall live for ever, enjoying without labour all the sweets and pleasaunee of the kingdom of God, and reigning with Christ world without end.'

puny strength against the iron muscles and brutal ferocity

"'And who is worthy to obtain this?' asked the king. The other answered, `All they that hold on the road that leadeth thither; for none forbiddeth entrance, if a man but will.'

puny strength against the iron muscles and brutal ferocity

"Said the king, `And what is the way that beareth thither?' That bright spirit answered, `To know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son, and the Holy and quickening Spirit.'

puny strength against the iron muscles and brutal ferocity

"The king, endowed with understanding worthy of the purple, said unto him, `What hath hindered thee until now from doing me to wit of these things? For they appear to me too good to be put off or passed over, if they indeed be true; and, if they be doubtful, I must search diligently, until I find the truth without shadow of doubt.'

"The chief counsellor said, `It was not from negligence or indifference that I delayed to make this known unto thee, for it is true and beyond question, but `twas because I reverenced the excellency of thy majesty, lest thou mightest think me a meddler. If therefore thou bid thy servant put thee in mind of these things for the future, I shall obey thy behest.' `Yea,' said the king, `not every day only, but every hour, renew in me the remembrance thereof: for it behoveth us not to turn our mind inattentively to these things, but with very fervent zeal.'

"We have heard," said Barlaam, "that this king lived, for the time to come, a godly life, and, having brought his days without tempest to an end, failed not to gain the felicity of the world to come. If then at a convenient season one shall call these things to thy father's mind also, peradventure he shall understand and know the dire evil in which he is held, and turn therefrom and choose the good; since, for the present at least, 'he is blind and cannot see afar off,' having deprived himself of the true light and being a deserter of his own accord to the darkness of ungodliness."

Ioasaph said unto him, "The Lord undertake my father's matters, as he ordereth! For, even as thou sayest, the things that are impossible with men, are possible with him. But for myself, thanks to thine unsurpassable speech, I renounce the vanity of things present, and am resolved to withdraw from them altogether, and to spend the rest of my life with thee, lest, by means of these transitory and fleeting things, I lose the enjoyment of the eternal and incorruptible."

The elder answered him, "This do, and thou shalt be like unto a youth of great understanding of whom I have heard tell, that was born of rich and distinguished parents. For him his father sought in marriage the exceeding fair young daughter of a man of high rank and wealth. But when he communed with his son concerning the espousals, and informed him of his plans, the son thought it strange and ill-sounding, and cast it off, and left his father and went into exile. On his journey he found entertainment in the house of a poor old man, where he rested awhile during the heat of the day.