Paperback: 1688 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 24, 1976)
The Idol Bel and the Dragon
From: The Catholic deuterocanonical scriptural texts
Defined by the Council of Trent
1:1 And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus of Persia received his kingdom.
1:2 And Daniel conversed with the king, and was honoured above all his friends.
1:3 Now the Babylons had an idol, called Bel, and there were spent upon him every day twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and six vessels of wine.
1:4 And the king worshipped it and went daily to adore it: but Daniel worshipped his own God. And the king said unto him, Why dost not thou worship Bel?
1:5 Who answered and said, Because I may not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, who hath created the heaven and the earth, and hath sovereignty over all flesh.
1:6 Then said the king unto him, Thinkest thou not that Bel is a living God? seest thou not how much he eateth and drinketh every day?
1:7 Then Daniel smiled, and said, O king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without, and did never eat or drink any thing.
1:8 So the king was wroth, and called for his priests, and said unto them, If ye tell me not who this is that devoureth these expences, ye shall die.
1:9 But if ye can certify me that Bel devoureth them, then Daniel shall die: for he hath spoken blasphemy against Bel. And Daniel said unto the king, Let it be according to thy word.
1:10 Now the priests of Bel were threescore and ten, beside their wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.
1:11 So Bel's priests said, Lo, we go out: but thou, O king, set on the meat, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast and seal it with thine own signet;
1:12 And to morrow when thou comest in, if thou findest not that speaketh falsely against us.
1:13 And they little regarded it: for under the table they had made a privy entrance, whereby they entered in continually, and consumed those things.
1:14 So when they were gone forth, the king set meats before Bel. Now Daniel had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they strewed throughout all the temple in the presence of the king alone: then went they out, and shut the door, and sealed it with the king's signet, and so departed.
1:15 Now in the night came the priests with their wives and children, as they were wont to do, and did eat and drinck up all.
1:16 In the morning betime the king arose, and Daniel with him.
1:17 And the king said, Daniel, are the seals whole? And he said, Yea, O king, they be whole.
1:18 And as soon as he had opened the dour, the king looked upon the table, and cried with a loud voice, Great art thou, O Bel, and with thee is no deceit at all.
1:19 Then laughed Daniel, and held the king that he should not go in, and said, Behold now the pavement, and mark well whose footsteps are these.
1:20 And the king said, I see the footsteps of men, women, and children. And then the king was angry,
1:21 And took the priests with their wives and children, who shewed him the privy doors, where they came in, and consumed such things as were upon the table.
1:22 Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, who destroyed him and his temple.
1:23 And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped.
1:24 And the king said unto Daniel, Wilt thou also say that this is of brass? lo, he liveth, he eateth and drinketh; thou canst not say that he is no living god: therefore worship him.
1:25 Then said Daniel unto the king, I will worship the Lord my God: for he is the living God.
1:26 But give me leave, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff. The king said, I give thee leave.
1:27 Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon's mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder : and Daniel said, Lo, these are the gods ye worship.
1:28 When they of Babylon heard that, they took great indignation, and conspired against the king, saying, The king is become a Jew, and he hath destroyed Bel, he hath slain the dragon, and put the priests to death.
1:29 So they came to the king, and said, Deliver us Daniel, or else we will destroy thee and thine house.
1:30 Now when the king saw that they pressed him sore, being constrained, he delivered Daniel unto them:
1:31 Who cast him into the lions' den: where he was six days.
1:32 And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given them every day two carcases, and two sheep: which then were not given to them, to the intent they might devour Daniel.
1:33 Now there was in Jewry a prophet, called Habbacuc, who had made pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl, and was going into the field, for to bring it to the reapers.
1:34 But the angel of the Lord said unto Habbacuc, Go, carry the dinner that thou hast into Babylon unto Daniel, who is in the lions' den.
1:35 And Habbacuc said, Lord, I never saw Babylon; neither do I know where the den is.
1:36 Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown, and bare him by the hair of his head, and through the vehemency of his spirit set him in Babylon over the den.
1:37 And Habbacuc cried, saying, O Daniel, Daniel, take the dinner which God hath sent thee.
1:38 And Daniel said, Thou hast remembered me, O God: neither hast thou forsaken them that seek thee and love thee.
1:39 So Daniel arose, and did eat: and the angel of the Lord set Habbacuc in his own place again immediately.
1:40 Upon the seventh day the king went to bewail Daniel: and when he came to the den, he looked in, and behold, Daniel was sitting.
1:41 Then cried the king with a loud voice, saying, Great art Lord God of Daniel, and there is none other beside thee.
1:42 And he drew him out, and cast those that were the cause of his destruction into the den: and they were devoured in a moment before his face.
Never in your long ascendancy will you lose the power to recognize your associates of former existences. Always, as you ascend inward in the scale of life, will you retain the ability to recognize and fraternize with the fellow beings of your previous and lower levels of experience. Each new translation or resurrection will add one more group of spirit beings to your vision range without in the least depriving you of the ability to recognize your friends and fellows of former estates.
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Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
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And here is mystery: The more closely man approaches God through love, the greater the reality -- actuality -- of that man. The more man withdraws from God, the more nearly he approaches nonreality -- cessation of existence. When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father's will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is.
"And do you not remember that I said to you once before that, if you had your spiritual eyes anointed, you would then see the heavens opened and behold the angels of God ascending and descending? It is by the ministry of the angels that one world may be kept in touch with other worlds, for have I not repeatedly told you that I have other sheep not of this fold?"
But we know that there dwells within the human mind a fragment of God, and that there sojourns with the human soul the Spirit of Truth; and we further know that these spirit forces conspire to enable material man to grasp the reality of spiritual values and to comprehend the philosophy of universe meanings. But even more certainly we know that these spirits of the Divine Presence are able to assist man in the spiritual appropriation of all truth contributory to the enhancement of the ever-progressing reality of personal religious experience—God-consciousness.
When you are through down here, when your course has been run in temporary form on earth, when your trial trip in the flesh is finished, when the dust that composes the mortal tabernacle "returns to the earth whence it came"; then, it is revealed, the indwelling "Spirit shall return to God who gave it." There sojourns within each moral being of this planet a fragment of God, a part and parcel of divinity. It is not yet yours by right of possession, but it is designedly intended to be one with you if you survive the mortal existence.
And the greatest of all the unfathomable mysteries of God is the phenomenon of the divine indwelling of mortal minds. The manner in which the Universal Father sojourns with the creatures of time is the most profound of all universe mysteries; the divine presence in the mind of man is the mystery of mysteries.
To every spirit being and to every mortal creature in every sphere and on every world of the universe of universes, the Universal Father reveals all of his gracious and divine self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spirit beings and by such mortal creatures. God is no respecter of persons, either spiritual or material. The divine presence which any child of the universe enjoys at any given moment is limited only by the capacity of such a creature to receive and to discern the spirit actualities of the supermaterial world.
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