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The Essene Gospel of Peace

And though the sun was now set, they departed not to their homes. They sat round about Jesus and asked him:

"Master, which are these laws of life? Rest with us awhile longer and teach us. We would listen to your teaching that we may be healed and become righteous."

And Jesus himself sat down in their midst and said:

"I tell you truly, none can be happy, except he do the Law."

And the others answered:

"We all do the laws of Moses, our lawgiver, even as they are written in the holy scriptures."

And Jesus answered:

"Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word*. The law is the living word of the living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the trees, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture, which is without life. God so made life and all living things that they might, by the everlasting word, teach the laws of the true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in the sunbeams, in the depths and in the heights. They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. But you shut your eyes that you may not see, and you shut your ears that you may not hear. I tell you truly, that the scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in His works? And wherefore do you study the dead scriptures which are the work of the hands of men?"

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