Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/380

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358
SPINOZA.

"Oh, yes; and I am not vexed at all."

"Each one stick to his creed," said Klaas, "and he who is brave and upright may be saved by any faith; all men are God's children."

"But you are a child of the devil," said little Albert, who had been listening quietly to Spinoza; "you have crucified our Saviour, and will go to hell."

Klaas stretched across the table and would have boxed the boy's ears; Frau Gertrui and Spinoza prevented him.

"Stupid child!" said the former; "this gentleman did not do it; others did it who have had their reward long ago."

Spinoza took the struggling boy on his knee and explained to him that it was no sin to be a Jew, since Christ and his apostles were Jews. The Jews had certainly not done right to slay Christ on the cross, but things had gone ill enough with them, and men cannot do penance forever for a fault.

"By your leave," said Klaas, "you have not quite the right view of it. Our Saviour was obliged to die on the cross because it was foreordained of God the Father, and he could only become our Saviour by so doing."

"Even according to this Calvinistic view," replied Spinoza, "the Jews were still more innocent. You must never believe, dear Albert, that God would damn a man forever."