Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/157

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135
THE TREATY OF PEACE.

Everywhere joy and merrymaking prevailed, in church and tavern as well as in the family circle, for peace was spread over the whole of Christendom. Peace to all religions. Peace in heaven, and peace on earth.

Only on the town-wall one soul mourned over vanished peace, that no treaty made by earthly potentates could restore, for the covenant of Heaven, the Law of Moses lay torn before him. In the library of the School of the Crown of the Law Baruch Spinoza sat alone. Before him was Ebn Esra's Commentary on the five Books of Moses, of the difficulties and obscurities of which study his teacher had often warned him. There were two passages the solution of which had long occupied him. On the history of the waters of strife (Numbers xxix.) that were drawn from the rock he found this commentary: "I will here point out what appears to me to be the right explanation. Understand, if the part knows the whole he comprehends it, and thereby can do miracles." The passage (Numbers xiii.) "I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord," he explains thus: "The creature cannot alter the work of the Creator or his law; the mystery is, a part cannot alter the other part, but only the law of the whole can alter that of a part. I can penetrate this mystery no further for it is deep; at any rate the she-ass spoke. When you have found out the secret of the angels