Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/31

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9
ACOSTA.

"I too abominate the teaching that led to the perplexities of Uriel—"

"Name him no more: he is damned," interrupted Chisdai; while Baruch continued:

"He has overthrown even his teachings, since it drove him to suicide. While he lived men judged him; now he is dead God alone can judge him."

The Rabbi nodded to Baruch without saying a word, being still busied with the Psalms.

"But it is written," said Chisdai defiantly (Prov. x. 7), "'The name of the wicked shall rot.'"

The three walked on for some minutes in silence, each engrossed by his own thoughts. At last the Rabbi broke the stillness, and explained that the revealed law admitted of no denial, for God had written it with His own hand, and delivered it to us all that we might live according to it.

"Whoever desires to live according to the suggestions of his reason, denies the necessity of revelation, denies its truth, and thereby mocks the laws that must rule him."

"There are men," concluded the Rabbi, "who say: 'Let each think and believe as he can answer it to himself.' They are themselves, without knowing it, fallen away. We dare not leave any one born in our faith to perdition, for it would be our perdition also. If we can bring him with discourse to repentance and penance, we sing 'Hallelujah!'