I am taking a moment to express thoughts and feelings about a project, a screenplay I wrote based on the book The Occult Life of Jesus of Nazareth. The seed for this project was planted in my consciousness perhaps 20 or 25 years ago and only started to germinate in the past two years with the commencement of this project. My first step was to learn about the process of writing a screenplay and then my work began. Several times during this process of writing I thought to myself, “I am in about a million miles over my head” but always, with a little time and patience on my part, the problems that were unsolvable were easily resolved.
Often I would go to bed thinking I had come to the end with a problem I was not capable of solving, and upon waking the next morning the solution was there right in front of my face. Now I am looking at a completion of sorts in that I have a script, an actual screenplay that is the foundation from which to continue to work. I struggle for words as I write this, to express how I really feel. For the first time in my life I feel a true sense of accomplishment, that I have done something that was helpful to me and may be of help to others. I gave of my time freely with no thought of remuneration. In posting this work here it is my hope that others will benefit. I will conclude by mentioning that this is in no way a completed project; that it may be re-written several times in the coming months. But I do believe that I have captured the essence of the life of Jesus and those closely involved with him in the spirit of that time, all contained in the screenplay.
They Called Him José
1. Introduction of Alexander Smyth, Saul of Tarsus and Judas.
INT - OFFICE STUDY - NIGHT
Create a montage for Smyth
It is the late eighteenth century as Alexander Smyth leans
back, closes his eyes and relaxes while seated in his study. A
mental dream experience ensues as he hears sweet, playful
notes from the shepherd's pipe and as though coming from a
distant field visualizes two men approaching.
Who calls me?
I am the spirit of one, who, like you
in nature, once inhabited the earth as
mortal man, far back in the history of nations.
Make known your name, prove your
identity, and then communicate your wishes.
The one that addresses you is Saul of
Tarsus, or better known to the
inhabitants of earth as Paul the
Apostle. My companion is Judas
Iscariot. I presume you have read of
us both, in that book called the New
Testament. If so, I beg of you not to
form any idea of us from that book,
for it does not contain an item of
truth relating to our true character or histories.
How shall I know or believe what you
say to be the truth?
Friend Alexander you may believe what
my friend Saul says to you, for he is
quite a different person to what he
was when on earth. It is true, that
then, he was one of the worst men, as
a hypocrite, liar, and murderer. I
also was not the most innocent and
harmless of men; but since then, there
has been a great lapse of time. Indeed
friend Alexander, we are spirits of a
much improved nature, since we acted
our wicked parts upon the earth. There
is but one other task we have to
achieve, before we shall be entitled
to take our positions among the
exalted. My companion, Saul, will
inform you what that is.
We are requested, as an act of
atonement for our past wicked
deeds, for the benefit of mankind,
that we should descend to
the earth, and seek out a man to act
as our agent and to
him make known our misdeeds as
connected with the conspiracy
and death of Jesus of Nazareth; to
make known to the world the
true history of that good man who was
the victim of our
wickedness; to inform the world of the
lies, errors and
follies to which they render their
faith and homage.
Why have you selected me to be your
medium and agent on earth?
Could you not find a man more
befitting the office than I?
When our spiritual supervisors imposed
upon us the task, they
requested that the man we should
select for our medium should
be one who had lived half a century at
least, and that he
should possess certain qualities,
which I will not name.
Sometime afterward, Judas and I were
holding a consultation as
to what we should do, we discovered a
little boy reading the Bible to
his mother, while she worked with her
needle in her chair.
As the boy read, the subject seemed to
shock his sense of truth, for he left
off reading and asked
his mother if that which he read was
true. The mother felt
shocked that her child seemed to doubt
what she considered to
be the word of God. She accordingly
told the child that it was
true. The boy with great energy,
replied, Mother, I cannot
believe it! That is a noble boy! I
observed to Judas; his love
and just sense of truth prevents him
giving credence to the
fables and lies of that old book,
though his fond mother tells
him it is truth itself. That little
boy, friend Alexander, was you.
Ah! I exclaimed, I do remember the incident. I was
then about nine years of age. I was in the daily practice of
reading the Bible to my mother at her request. I remember the
chapter and verse, and from that day, I doubted the truth of the old book.
2. It's the sixteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
Pontius Pilate is Governor of Judea. At the home of Lazarus
in the town of Bethany, with his daughters Martha and Mary
INT - LARGE HOUSE - DAY
It’s the sixteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar;
Pontius Pilate is Governor of Judea. At the home of Lazarus in
the town of Bethany, with his daughters Martha and Mary
(Arriving home from work)
Good news, daughters! Good news! Good
news, my daughters!
Good news for me, father, you say?
Yes, my dear, good news for you, for
Martha and me, and I know not how many more.
0! What can it be? Do tell us quick,
I have found a man who will bring joy
to your hearts and peace to this house.
Who, who is he? Speak, father, quickly!
Daughters, I have found your old
acquaintance and companion of your
youth, José of Nazareth!
Our long lost José?
Mary faints falling into a chair
0! Father, father! Mary has fainted!
José arrives at the home of Lazarus
Peace to all in this house!
Welcome to the home of Lazarus and his
family. Welcome to this house and all
that is in it. My daughter Martha.
Martha, dearest friend, friend of my
youthful days, do you know me?
José! José! My long lost friend!
Praise be to the God of our Fathers
for the pleasure of once more seeing you!
The blessing of God be upon you
Martha. In friendship and brotherly
love I salute you.
Behold my younger daughter Mary. She
lies in a swoon.The emotions called up
by a knowledge of your unexpected
return were too powerful for her
sensitive nature to control. 0! Help
her, José, if you can.
Ah! My Mary! Be not distressed, friend
Lazarus. Your daughter shall soon
recover to embrace you.
José kneeling beside Mary and gently massaging her. Mary opens
Do I dream, or is it real what I see?
It is all reality, my child.
Yes, Mary, my dear sister it is a
happy reality. Look up, Mary, and see
if you can recognize this friend.
Yes, yes, my long lost José! My long
lost friend and companion of my childhood.
3. Jose and Mary declare themselves to each other.
EXT - GARDEN SETTING - NIGHT
Hand in hand two lovers emerge from the dwelling of Lazarus,
cross the enclosed yard, and enter the garden nearby. One is a
man of tall, commanding figure and majestic mien; the other a
female much less in stature, of delicate form, whose sparkling
eyes tell a tale of love and present happiness. Both are
enveloped in their mantles which cover their heads and
shoulders as a means of guarding against the night dew. They
stroll through the garden as they talk.
Oh Mary look at this scene of great
beauty that Mother Nature presents to us tonight!
Ah! How great is the change this day
and night since you have returned to
me, José! Now all things seem bright and smiling.
Ah! José, my heart is now overflowing
with happiness so exquisite and sweet!
Mary, there is a Being greater than I
who ought to command your attention
and share your love before me; a Being
who is the source or fountain of all
love under whatever form it is
manifested on earth.
Do you mean the God of our Fathers, José?
I mean the God of the Universe, Mary.
I have been taught to believe in one
great God, Jehovah by name, who made
this world and all mankind; who
selected the Children of Israel as a
choice and favored people; who sent
his servant Moses to lead them from
the bondage of Egypt, and then gave to
him a table of laws, by which they
should be governed.
The great God of Nature, is a much
different being to the Jehovah of Moses.
Compare the might of this great God
with the absurd and ridiculous
representation of the great Jehovah as
given by our forefathers who waged a
petty warfare with an Egyptian King to
obtain the release of our forefathers
from bondage. Consider how the great
Jehovah entered into a contest with
the Egyptian jugglers to see who could
work the greatest feat. After all the
display of his mighty
powers he could not bend the Egyptian
King to his wishes, so he caused the
Children of Israel to flee by night.
Then he induced them to wander in the
deserts for many years searching for a
home where they suffered all kinds of
deprivations and miseries. On the top
of Mount Sinai he declares himself to
his people, giving to them the
Decalogue which he had inscribed on
two tablets of stone; and though it is
said he made the earth and whole
universe in six days yet it took him
forty to make the inscribed tablets.
Under the guidance of this God and his
servant Moses our poor ignorant
forefathers wandered and suffered for
forty years, when at last they were
enabled to seize some land where to
establish a home by murdering and
robbing the Canaanites.
José, I now perceive that my education
has been one of error. I now begin to
comprehend some of the startling
truths which you have endeavored to
impress upon me.
0! José, when I look upon your noble
person, hear the music of your voice
and consider the wisdom of your words,
it seems to me that I am in the
presence of one far greater than
human. I feel a spell come over me
filling me with mingled love,
admiration and reverence.
0! Mary, pure and innocent as you are,
you are worthy of the love of your
Maker, and as such are capable of
understanding his nature. Yes, Mary,
the great God I am endeavoring to
bring to your notice is the father of
us all as well as the life spring of the universe.
Is the love that is felt in the human
breast anything akin to the love of
this divine Father?
It is. It springs from the same
source, modified to suit every
sentient being of the earth.
Mary is looking deep into José's eyes, her eyes expressive of
her deep love and admiration for him
Oh, José! Dearest José!
José, pardon me if I do or say
anything unseemly in your sight, for
the subtle powers of my nature are now beyond control.
Eagerly have I listened to the wisdom
of your words, in bringing to my mind
a knowledge of the true God. Yes,
José, for years has this subtle
mysterious passion been nestling and
growing within this breast of mine.
From day to day and year to year has
it been increasing in strength and
purity, praying for the happy moment
when it should burst from its
concealment, and declare itself to the
object of its adoration. That moment
is now, José. I am compelled to
declare that it is you, José, who are
the object of my love. Will you accept
my love, José?
Mary, the time has come when the ties
that bind our hearts together should
be defined and understood. Our hearts,
though separated by distance, have
communed with each other, and our two
souls have mingled into one, like
commingling dew drops on a flower. Our
desires, our hopes and aspirations
have reflected each others image. Our
hearts have beaten in unison, and our
spirits spoken with the same tongue.
In all this there has been a rapture
too deep, heartfelt and abiding in
this mysterious mutual feeling, to be
expressed by the cold word of
friendship. What then is it but love?
Then you do love me, José?
With a pure and holy love I love thee,
Mary. Mary, long have I anticipated
this happy moment and long have I
feasted in imaginary bliss that I
should enjoy when our mutual love
should be made known to each other.
Oh Mary, you are worthy of all the joy
of which the human heart is
susceptible. This I can declare in
truth that ever since we parted at
Nazareth your image has ever been
present to me. Three objects have
influenced and impelled me during my
wanderings in foreign countries, which
I have ever considered as so many
sacred duties. One was to investigate
and inquire as far as man possibly
could into the nature of the Deity.
Another was to render myself worthy of
his love; and the other was to render
myself worthy of my Mary's love. With
knowledge of God, possessing his love
in heaven, with my Mary's love on
earth, I thought I should be extremely blessed.
4. John the Baptist baptizes José.
EXT - RIVER JORDAN - DAY
A large crowd is gathered along the river bank at an area
called Bethabara with some being baptized. Saul and Judas are
present, carefully observing the proceeding. José and his
companion John arrive at the scene, the multitude making way for them.
Brother John, it seems to me from the
deportment of the people towards me,
that there is something more than an
ordinary salutation or courtesy shown.
I hope you have not failed in the
promise you have made me.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Master, the restriction you have
placed upon me has sorely tried me,
but I have endeavored to fulfill your wishes.
If you have been prudent, it is well.
But now, dear brother, let us proceed
to the performance of this holy
ceremony; for, as I judge from the
appearance of the heavens, it will not
be long before we shall have a storm.
Let me acquaint you with our younger
brother. His name is the same as
yours: John the son of Zebedee of
Galilee, an old acquaintance of mine.
José enters the water to be baptized
JOHN THE BAPTIST
All mankind are liable to temptations
and frailty; therefore a decided
renunciation of the world and all its
contaminates is necessary to insure
salvation by baptism; for without a
consciousness of our weakness and a
desire of purity of heart, baptism
would be of no effect; therefore,
baptism is to be considered as a
glorious symbol, that we have defeated
the machinations of Satan, and
accepted the mercy and will of God. I
therefore name you Jesus. Be the light
of a new dispensation which will bring
man to a knowledge of his God.
John takes water in the palm of his hand and pours it over the
head of José (Jesus). At that moment lightening streaks across
the sky from heavy thunder clouds.
The sun breaks through the clouds.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Glory! Glory! Glory to the great
Jehovah! Great is God! He is great and
true, for this day has he fulfilled
his promises as given through the
mouths of his prophets. Glory to God!
He promised us a Messiah, and this day
has he made true his words. Behold, 0
Israel behold, my children, your
Messiah! Why should we be afraid to
speak? Why should we keep it hidden?
Has not the Lord declared to us in a
voice of thunder that this is the
chosen one to redeem Israel? In the
words of thunder I heard him declare,
saying: This is my Son; and now behold
the spirit of the Lord descending to
confirm his words!
John, you have broken faith with me,
and by so doing you have sorely
grieved me. I pity you and blame you
not, but henceforth you must not seek
me. Peace be with you.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Master, be not angry with me, for the
Lord has willed it so. I do his
bidding, which has been foretold by
Judas, I want to call your attention
to that man who was the last to
receive baptism at the hands of that
crazy John the Baptist, Jesus, as he
is newly named. What so you think of him?
I think that he is the most beautiful
specimen of perfect manhood I ever
saw; and if his interior is as noble
as his exterior indicates he must be
too good for this world.
Your estimation, I think, is a very
correct one. I never saw a man that
has aroused within me so great an
admiration. I think he must be
destined for an important career in
this life, and under such a belief I
wish to join my career with his,
whether it shall prove to my praise or
shame. Now, Judas, the private
services I wish you to render me are
now to commence according to the
agreement we have made between us.
In what way can I serve you? Speak and
I will obey.
You must follow that man, and endeavor
to find out his abode.
Then you must beg to be admitted into
his service, or allowed to be one of
his followers, for he intends to be a
religious instructor of the people,
giving them some new doctrines
concerning matters which they and
everybody else know nothing about.
Present this bag of money to him and
tell him it is all the wealth you
possess, that you desire to make it
common stock, if he will allow you to
follow him to listen to the wisdom of
his words. As soon as you have gained
all the information you can obtain,
before he can put any plan in
operation, you must come to me and
learn my further wishes.
5. Judas arrives at Saul's apartment to discuss recent events
and implement a plan of action.
INT - SAUL'S CHAMBER - NIGHT
Saul is resting in his spacious and well decorated apartment
in a public inn in Jerusalem.
Knocking at the door, Judas arrives
Most welcome, dear Judas. Tell me,
Judas, if you have succeeded in the
request I made of you.
I have traveled from the White
Mountains near Jericho, sir, since the
sun has dipped into its watery bed:
the road was dusty and hard, and I
feel much fatigued, therefore you must
not think of receiving much
information from me until a goblet of
your wine shall loosen this parched tongue of mine.
Saul fills two goblets of wine
Well, sir, according to your orders I
followed the young man that John the
Baptist had just baptized and given
the name of Jesus; I traced him into
the white mountains, and came up with
him just as he and his young companion
were about entering their grotto. He
has a small dwelling built of stone on
the plateau of the mountain being a
fit retreat for a student or a
recluse. I accosted him in the most
humble and respectful manner, which he
returned and invited me into his dwelling.
I then proceeded to inform him that
his person and character, so far as I
had seen and heard, had aroused within
me the greatest admiration and
reverence, so that I had determined to
attach myself to his person and
fortune, if he were willing to receive
me as a servant, a follower, or a
disciple, as I understood he was going
to travel about the country, and teach
the people the nature of true piety
and the true God. I then threw my bag
of money at his feet and begged him to
receive it in support of the common
welfare. He, after a slight
deliberation with his young companion,
whose name is John, agreed to receive
me as one of his followers, and
appointed me on the spot, custodian
and steward over all affairs of buying
and selling. The bag he returned to my charge.
Judas, my friend, you have acted
discreetly in this matter. Now let us
take a little more wine, and then you
can tell me any discoveries you have
made concerning your new master,
Jesus, as he is now named.
As regards the character of the man,
from what little I have seen of him I
will vouch that he is everything that
his noble person indicates him to be.
He is simple, plain and unaffected in his discourse.
He has a well stored mind, and is a
great admirer of everything that is
beautiful and true in nature, and
there is no doubt that all his
principles are founded in honesty,
truth, justice and charity in all
their phases. He does not speak of God
as a person, or in connection with our
people's history, but simply as the
Great Power of universal nature. This
makes me think that his God is not the
same our priesthood call the Great Jehovah.
I will open my mind clearly and
distinctly to you, that there may be
no misunderstanding between us. This
Jesus is about to mingle among the
people to teach them better morals,
better views of religion, and a more
rational conception of God. Now as far
as I understand this man, I think he
is quite capable of doing all he
proposes. Now comes the important
point to which I wish you to pay
attention, Judas. John the Baptist has
taken it into his crazy head that this
Jesus is the true Messiah as spoken of
by the prophets, and that he is
commissioned to prepare the way before
him. Now, although we know that this
idea of John's is no more than
nonsense, yet it is the very point on
which hinges all my wishes and
designs. The idea that Jesus is the
true Messiah and the real son of God,
I wish to be disseminated among the
people, for I wish them to believe it.
I begin to perceive the part you wish
me to perform. If I understand you
rightly, you wish me in the first
place to follow this Jesus wherever he
may go; then to construe and
misconstrue his doctrines so as to
make them seem evident to the people
that he is something more than a
mortal man; in fact, that he is
nothing less than the Messiah.
That is it precisely. With regard to
our mutual interests and secrets, I
think we understand each other.
I think we do.
Before you take your departure, Judas,
there is another subject on which I
wish to consult you. I understand that
somewhere in the neighborhood of the
city there is a wise woman or Sybil,
who is capable of foretelling future
events. Are you acquainted with such a
woman, and would you advise me to task her skill?
I have heard that there is a
soothsaying woman somewhere in the
environs of the city, but I know not where.
Will you find out this woman's abode
tomorrow? Then we will visit her together.
I will do so.
6. Judas meets with Cosbi at an inn in Jerusalem.
INT - JUDAS CHAMBER - NIGHT
Judas is resting in his private room at an inn in the poor
side of town in Jerusalem. He observes Cosbi arriving on
horseback and greets him at the door.
My dear friend Judas.
Come, let us take some wine and be
seated, and then we can talk at our ease.
Judas pours wine for both
Ah! That wine is good.
Tell me how you like your office as
page to the Seeress.
Ah, my dear Judas. I have learned more
of human nature and the secrets of
persons than I ever knew before, since
I have been in her service.
I have pried into the philosophies,
religion, morals and ambitions of all
classes of men, and found them all to
be hollow and false, from which I have
constructed a philosophy of my own to
suit myself. To speak in confidence to
you, my dear Judas, the system of
foretelling future events, which is
followed by my amiable mistress, is no
more than a system of cunning imposition.
Such I always judged to be the case.
Though such is the case, my mistress
does not follow it like others, for
the sake of the shekels of gold and
silver. She has some secret design in
it that I cannot understand, and a
secret grief that I cannot fathom.
Speaking of the secrets we acquire of
persons I will tell you how we get
hold of them. I mingle among families
and persons of note under different
disguises, learning their histories,
relations, offices and pretensions,
which are recorded in a book.
Then the questioner by the nature of
his question points out the object of
his ambition or desires, which when
added to the knowledge we have of him
in the book, will enable us to give an
answer with some degree of
probability, if not altogether truth.
The man, to whom I was lately a
bondman, has made me his agent to
carry out in part his designs.
Part of my service will be to travel
with another person, a very
extraordinary man of great beauty,
talents and virtue, who designs to
teach the people of Judea and other
countries, with the view of producing
a general moral reformation. In
filling this office I shall want
somebody to follow me at a small
distance, whose services I can call in
as occasions shall require to fill the
part assigned to me; and I know of no
one more capable, as I think, of doing
what I need than yourself.
What is the nature of the duties or
the part I should have to play?
I have heard you say, that you have
been in the habit of disguising
yourself and assuming various
characters. I presume you are good at mimicry.
There is no character or person that I
cannot imitate, from the beggar to the High Priest.
It is well, but the persons and
characters required by us will be
easier to imitate: such as blind, deaf
and dumb men, cripples and madmen.
What a noble cast of characters you
give me to perform and their costumes
The more simple the character and less
expensive the costume, the better. But
now you understand the task assigned
to the office, will you accept? You
shall be well paid for your labor and trouble.
Before I answer you, I will ask you a few questions.
In the first place, this new master of
yours, is going to preach to the
people with the view of reforming them.
Yes, that is the idea he entertains.
But my dear Judas, what does this
reformer intend to do with the blind,
deaf and dumb, the cripples and
madmen? I do not understand this part
of his reform.
This is an arrangement between my late
master and me, the design of which is
to give this new master of mine a
greater confidence in his powers, and
to spread his fame among the people as
one who possesses superhuman power.
I cannot see how that is to be done.
In this wise. This extraordinary man
possesses a mysterious power by which
he can cure a great many diseases, but
that goes only to a certain extent.
Now I wish to make the people believe
that this power is unlimited; that, in
fact, he can cure the blind, lame,
deaf and dumb. Now if you should
impersonate a lame man, and my master
should say to you walk, it will be
easy for you to do so; and if you
shall impersonate a blind man, and he
shall say to you receive your sight,
it will be easy for you to do so.
Oh! I see! I see! Why, Judas, you have
cast the scales from my eyes. I was
blind, but now I see. 0 what a
brilliant idea! I need scarcely say,
my dear Judas, that I accept your offer.
Stay yet a few minutes, Cosbi. I have
been so interested in our discourse
that I had almost forgotten the
principal business, concerning which I
wished to see you.
Let us once more partake of the wine,
and then I will inform you what it is.
My master has asked me to inquire
about a Seeress who can answer his
questions; therefore, Cosbi, I sent
for you to make arrangements for my
master's reception by your mistress,
as he intends visiting her this night.
My dear Judas, I understand your
wishes. In the name of my mistress I
say we will be ready to receive your
master at the fifth hour tonight, and
accord to him that mystic intelligence
of future days, which as yet is not
conceived in the womb of time.
7. Saul has interview with the Seeress of Scopus
INT - MANSION OF THE SEERESS OF SCOPUS - NIGHT
The Seeress is resting on a couch in her mansion located at
the foot of a hill in the valley of Jehoshaphat, outside of Jerusalem.
Sweet mistress, the worthy citizen of
whom I spoke to you has come. He
desires an audience, if it will meet your pleasure.
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Let him be admitted, Cosbi, and be in attendance.
Cosbi introduces Saul
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Stranger, what would you with the
Seeress of Scopus?
Are you a prophetess, and know not who
I am, and what my business?
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Do the supernal powers take notice of
mortals before they declare themselves
and their wishes? Presumptuous man,
this much I know of you without
questioning the supernal powers: You
are rude and uncourteous to those from
whom you would ask favors. You judge
others according to the measure of
sincerity and virtue you see in your
own mind and heart. Your ancestor and
namesake of the tribe of Benjamin, of
which you are, was more humble and
courteous to the witch of Endor when
he sought the information preceding
the battle that sealed his fate.
0 Woman favored by the Gods, pardon my
temerity. Not from ill will did I thus
speak or desire to be uncourteous, but
from the prudent motive of testing
your genuineness, the veracity of your
wisdom, and medium powers between the
Gods and men.
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Enough! Now state your wishes, and if
my powers can aid or satisfy you, I will.
I have designed and entered upon a
grand enterprise which will procure me
all the excitement and occupation so
necessary to my nature. I wish to
acquire of you a little information to
the few questions I shall propound. In
the first place, shall I succeed in
the enterprise I undertake? Will my
works and character gain the
approbation of posterity? Will my
renown extend far into posterity?
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
It is not in my power to answer you
unaided. I must bring you in
connection with the supernal powers.
Gaze upon that gem with all the
intensity of your vision: and at the
same time, call up in your mind in
successive order the various parts of
your grand enterprise which you design
to enact and establish, accompanied
with the questions you would have solved.
The task is done.
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Saul of Tarsus, You will succeed in
your enterprise to a certain extent.
The seed of your enterprise will be
sown, and you will live to gather a
part of its fruits.
As regards your second question, the
answer is thus: Posterity will receive
the institutions founded by your
labors, with greater reverence and
esteem than of worth.
Posterity will also highly esteem your
character as given to them, on which
they will pay great praise. But your
true character will not be known by
them. As to your third question, the
answer is thus: Great will be your
renown through many ages of posterity.
Millions now unborn will eulogize you
in singing your praise. Institutions
founded on your doctrines and labors
will extend through many countries,
even to nations not now in existence.
Some centuries will elapse, and still
you and your works will impress the
world. But as all institutions
established by men, however great, are
doomed to eternal change, so the time
will come when yours will pass away
and be forgotten.
Great and noble woman! You have given
me new strength and confidence in my
undertaking. Let me as a testimony of
my thanks and satisfaction, lay this at your feet.
Saul leaves a bag of money and exits
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Did you know of this man personally,
and of his ambitious designs?
I know a little by report, but nothing definitely.
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
What is that little you do know? Let
me have it, Cosbi.
My dear mistress, I must declare all
to you, though it distresses me to do
so. That man who has departed just now
has an agent in his employ, with whom
I have engaged to travel and to serve.
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
For what reason do you desert me? Tell
me what there is in my service that
You know, my dear mistress that I am
of a joyous nature, endeavoring to
make myself happy and all others
around me. I have imparted to you all
my secrets, and you in return have
given me general confidence; yet there
is one secret you will not impart to
me, the cause of your continued grief.
I cannot remain here any longer to see
you suffer a pang that I cannot assuage.
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Cosbi, I believe you are justified in
wishing to leave me, though I must
confess I much regret that it must be
so. But as you are determined, a
thought has struck me that you
possibly may do me a service, and at
the same time pursue your own happy course.
Any service that I can render my
beloved mistress will only enhance my pleasure.
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Look upon this bracelet, Cosbi mark
well the jewels with which it is set,
and the workmanship. Some years ago
there was a person on whom all my
affections were concentrated. I loved
that individual with as pure and
ardent a love as a mother could love a
child. Circumstances became such that
my beloved object was parted from me,
and in his possession was the fellow
bracelet of this, the precise
counterpart to the one I now wear, and
never have I seen the person or the
bracelet since. As a last resource I
adopted the art of soothsaying, and
assumed the character of a Seeress,
thinking that by acquiring the secrets
of the wealthy I should be enabled to
discover a clue to my lost beloved
one. Do you think, Cosbi, you could
recognize the counterpart of this
bracelet if you were to see it?
COSBI nods in the affirmative
SEERESS OF SCOPUS
Should you make any such discovery
then you must communicate the same to
me, and possibly I may discover the
person for whom I grieve, or ascertain his fate.
(Nodding in agreement)
Yes my dear mistress!
8. Jesus arrives at the spring of Nazareth.
EXT - VILLAGE OF NAZARETH - DAY
Jesus arrives at the spring of Nazareth
Tell me of what family you are in the village.
Sir, there is no family in the village
I can claim as mine, for I am a poor orphan.
With who do you live, then?
I am living, sir, with the matron
Mary, the widow of Joseph the Carpenter.
Ah! She lives, then? She is well, I hope?
Alas! Sir, my kind mistress is far
from being well; she has been sick for
several days, and now it is thought
she is on the couch of death.
Hasten to your home, and I will follow you there.
Jesus follows the maiden to Mary's home
A Rabbi and several neighbors present
Rabbi, one reason I have for your
presence here, is to commit to your
charge and safe-keeping some documents
and a relic which are to be placed in
the hands of my long lost boy, José,
should he ever return to his native
village. Tell him, if you see him, to
pardon me for not making the
communication before. Tell him that I
have done all for his happiness, as I
thought, and that I could not die in
peace unless I should declare all the
truth to him at last. Rabbi, will you
promise to fulfill my request?
Dear sister, I solemnly promise to do
all you wish me, if he ever returns to
this village during my life.
I am grateful, Rabbi. Now I am more at
ease; but I could wish, had it pleased
God, to see my dear José once more before I die.
Mother! Dearest mother! It is I!
José grabs his mother’s hand in his. She awakens, looks into
his eyes, lets out a shriek and dies.
It would be presumptuous in me to
check or disapprove of the natural
outpouring of sympathy and pure love
which your tears demonstrate,tears of
regret at the departure of a near and
dear relative. My friend, just before
your appearance your mother confided
to me a trust, which I solemnly
promised to guard and fulfill. She
gave me this casket to keep in safety,
with strict injunctions that if ever
you should return to your native
village, I should place it in your
hands. It contains something of
importance, of which she has kept you
in ignorance. She begs of you to
forgive her for what she has done, as
she said she did what she thought best
for your happiness. I now acquit
myself of my trust.
9. The village of Bethsaida, present is Simon, his brother
Andrew and the fishing crew.
EXT - LAKE GENESARETH - DAY
The village of Bethsaida, present is Simon, his brother Andrew
and the fishing crew, drinking wine after a day of fishing on the lake
By the God of Moses! Here comes old
Zebedee! Come, father Zebedee, take
this cup of wine before you speak one
word. I am sure this sultry day must
have parched your tongue. Come! You
are welcome. Now, old father, tell us
the news; but first of all, have you
heard of your son John?
Well, worthy Simon, I have news from
Nazareth of a most wonderful nature.
Oh! What is it?
You all remember that some time ago
John the Baptist was in this
neighborhood preaching. Well, this old
John preached many strange doctrines.
He said there was somebody coming
after him greater than he was. My son
John had a long talk with John the
Baptist before he left, and two or
three days after, my son John ran away
from me. At last I heard he had been
seen in the company of a man that John
the Baptist baptized and named Jesus.
The approach of Zebedee’s two sons in the company of two
strangers is observed.
Thanks be to God! I shall once more
behold my darling boy John; and
possibly one of these strangers will
prove to be the much talked of Jesus.
Zebedee hugging John on his approach
0! My son! How could you leave thy old father?
Dear father, please be silent for a
moment and I will explain all to you.
I must now introduce my new master,
Jesus, to Simon.
John introduces Jesus and Judas to Simon
Most worthy and learned sir, the fame
of your wisdom and most wonderful
powers have outstripped your speed of
traveling this way. I have heard of
you, praise be to God! I consider
myself happy in living that I can
testify my respect to you. Be pleased,
then, to accept the use of my house,
for all therein is at your command,
and I will be your servant.
I thank you, my friend, for your
hospitable reception. There is
something in your face that tells me
you have a good heart. The name Simon,
I like it not, it is not expressive
enough of your character, it is too
passive. I see something in your
nature upon which I would like to lay
the foundation of my hopes, firm and
steadfast as a rock. Ah! If you were
one of my followers, I would like to call you Cephas.
Worthy sir, if in the course of events
I should become one of your followers;
my name shall be as you say.
(Turning to Zebedee)
Then you are the father of my much
I am, worthy sir, and of James, the
elder, two of the finest boys that
ever called a man father.
You are blessed, Zebedee, in your
children, but are you willing to part
with them that they may follow me?
Worthy sir, though I love my children
dearly, and it will grieve me to part
with them, yet having confidence in
you, and for their benefit do I freely
commit them to your charge. But when
you shall be at the height of your
eminence, which is your destiny, do
not forget the children of old
Zebedee. Let them share with you your
prosperity and exaltation.
Doubt not, Zebedee. Whatever may be my
adventurous career in this world, your
sons shall not be forgotten, but shall
receive all the benefit and exaltation that I can confer.
Jesus accepts a cup of wine from Simon
I would advise you to throw up your
old profession for one more worthy and
more exalting. Instead of being a
fisherman, you shall be a fisher-of-men.
Sir, I will take a little while to
consider of it, and give you an answer
before you leave.
Will you take a cup of my wine, sir?
It is the best on this side of the
mountains. Come, let us be social, and
without ceremony make each others
acquaintance. How do you like this wine?
I think your wine very agreeable.
Your master made a remark to me that I
What was it?
He was advising me to leave off my
profession as fisherman for one more
worthy of me, when he said: If you
will join me, I will make you a fisher-of-men.
That expression of my master's,
fisher-of-men means simply this: A
fisherman is one who catches fish,
therefore, a fisher-of-men must mean
one who catches men.
Well, what does your master mean that
I should do with men, when I get them
into my power?
My master's principles are of an
extremely benevolent nature. He wishes
to exercise an influence over his
fellow men to their benefit; to cure
them of their vices and diseases; give
them enlightenment, and make them
improved, refined and happy mortals.
I think that the fisher-of-men would
not receive much benefit from his
toil, if he carried out your master's principles.
That is exactly my view of it. Now,
worthy Simon, suppose a man carries
out my master's figure of speech in
all its particulars, how would you like it?
You must explain, sir.
Well, then, Simon, suppose we were
partners in interest, and I should say
to you, Simon, I have a man in my
power whom I wish to hold and guide in
a certain manner, until I shall
accomplish a certain end. I wish to
have your assistance to that end in
view. If you will give it, I will
insure you fifty shekels of gold. What
would be your answer, worthy Simon?
Why, in that case, worthy Judas, if
you were in earnest, I should say I am
your humble servant.
I am in earnest, and the proposals I
have just supposed shall be in
reality. Let us pledge ourselves in
another cup of wine to be true to each other.
10. Jesus addresses a great multitude assembled at Genesareth.
EXT - GENESARETH - DAY
Large crowd of villagers gathered to hear Jesus address them
My Friends and Brethren, let me
impress you with a few observations
pertaining to you individually. You
must remember under all circumstances,
that your bodies are not yourselves.
The divine spirit which God has given
you to cultivate is the man, and not the body.
The body is but the vehicle in which
you live, and have connection with the
external world. All necessary food
must be supplied to it in due time and
proper portion, giving sufficient to
satisfy hunger and no more, choosing
the most simple and wholesome,
remembering that you eat to live, and
not live to eat; for if you eat and
drink more than its nature demands,
you will engender bad habits, which
will engender disease and misery.
Regular exercise is also necessary to
insure tone, soundness and strength,
the development of all its parts and functions.
Secondly, are the duties incumbent
upon us in relation to our families.
The most sacred obligation of a man on
earth is the relation between himself
and family. It is God's desire that
man and woman shall enter upon
conjugal love to procreate their kind.
Thus it is that he has implanted in
man and woman those divine instincts
and moral obligations to induce them
to take care of their offspring, and
he rewards them in part for their
toils by giving them ineffable
pleasure in performing their tasks.
Thirdly, - To your parent's you ought
to be obedient if you are under the
years of manhood, and deferential and
respectful even after you are your own
masters; taking care of them in their
old age and soothing them under all
the vexations of life, and leading
them with as much gentleness as
possible as they go down to the grave.
And then there are, perhaps brothers
and sisters who require your tender
solicitude, love and assistance; to
them you ought to administer all the
tender and useful offices that are in
your power, being kind and
affectionate, slow and acting with
them in all things for the family's
welfare. Fourthly, - My friends, are
your duties to yourselves, which will
embrace several points. The duties to
your bodies I have already spoken on;
the next is your duty to your
understanding or mind, which is one of
the most important dependent upon your
care. It will become you to gain an
intelligence of all things pertaining
to your intended calling and
circumstances in life that you may
prove capable of undertaking all
necessary matters of common
occupations, acquainting yourselves
with some of the beauties of nature's
phenomena. By thus acting you will
enlarge your minds, gain your own
self-esteem and the admiration of all
good and wise men. Your next duties to
yourselves will be to care after your
worldly interests, for, though it is
not good for a man to be greedy after
wealth, yet it is necessary for
everyone to seek after the honest
means of support. Secure to yourselves
some honest occupation as a means of
gaining your daily dependence for
bread, then pursue it with
perseverance and be prudent in your
expenditures, that your out-goings be
not greater than your in-comings; and
if possible, save a little against
times of sickness or accidental misfortune.
Thus you will render yourselves
independent of others, and avoid many
evils that others encounter. Fifth, -
Are our duties to our neighbors. All
men as neighbors ought to be treated
on social grounds with perfect
equality of rights. Whatever we expect
they shall concede to us, we ought to
be ready to concede to them. There are
many other ways by which a man can do
good to his neighbors, and the best
criterion by which he should judge how
to do so, is to take the Golden Rule,
Do unto others as you would they
should do unto you.
Sixth, - Our duties to our government,
they are conditional, and very simple
in their nature. If the government be
a just one, founded on rational and
just principles of mutual protection
of the people, their rights,
privileges, lives and property, and in
which the people have a voice in the
selection of their rulers, then it
becomes our imperative duty to
implicitly obey all its laws, and
respect its rulers; and should an
enemy invade the country, then it will
be the duty of every man when called
upon to go forth to repel the foe; but
on the other hand, should the
government be one of tyranny, and the
laws and rulers be oppressive and
unjust, no man is morally bound to
obey the one or the other. If he
betray such a government he is no
traitor; or if he fight against it he
is no enemy to his country, but a
patriot who wishes to abolish a bad
government with the view and hopes of
establishing a just one in its stead.
Seventh, - Are our duties to mankind at large.
All nations of people are the children
of our heavenly Father, wherever found
or under what circumstances. Though
there is some difference in their
natures and appearances, no doubt, God
created them with the same motives as
he did us. They are born upon the same
earth; the same sun shines upon them
by day and the same moon by night;
therefore they have an equal light to
live and enjoy this life that we have.
Like us they are susceptible of pain
and pleasure; like us they have the
same motives and interests in life;
and though their colors are different,
and their habits, customs, language
and ideas also, yet they are our
brethren; they are entitled to the
same sympathies, the same love and
assistance we have one for the other.
Eighth, - Our duties to our enemies
are but few, yet we have some to
perform even to them. When a
difference or dispute shall arise
among nations our first duty is to
keep cool, to prevent our nature from
being aroused to a state of anger or
irritability; for if we allow anger to
overcome us it will prevent our seeing
the difference in a just light. Our
next duty will be to invite our
enemies to an argument on the points
of dispute, and then with prudence,
circumspection and just principles,
investigate the matter. If we find our
party to be wrong, then concede so
much in their favor; and if we find
that they (the enemies) are in the
wrong, we will draw a line, and say,
Thus far will we go and no farther; we
will not war with you, but we will
stand to our point.
If you attack us, we will resist and
defend ourselves, and the blood of the
battle will be upon your heads. If war
becomes inevitable then we can fight
with a good heart in a good cause.
Ninth, - Are our obligations to
conform to our passionate natures. My
brethren, many have told you to
suppress or extinguish certain
passions or principles within your
nature. My doctrine is that you do
nothing of the kind, for God never
made man with any passions or
principles useless or destructive to
him. When a man is excited with
pleasing emotions or ludicrous ideas,
he laughs; then let him laugh, it will
do him good. When a man is hurt in
body or mind he may shed tears; then
let him weep for his tears will ease
his pain, or if he is excited to tears
of sympathy at the distress of
another, let them not be suppressed,
for they will move him to good offices
of charity and benevolence towards the
distressed one. If your brother or
neighbor offend you and you become
excited to anger, give vent to your
anger; but first turn aside and take
two stones, then beat one upon the
other until your anger be subdued. It
will be better for you to beat the
stones to powder, than to smite your
brother upon the cheek; but you must
not suppress your anger, for it will
generate hatred and the desire for revenge.
If the development of your nature is
such that the conjugal passion is
dominant, then with prudence and
circumspection seek for yourselves
partners in your love, and give vent
in a chaste and proper manner to your
natural desires; but seek not to
suppress them by celibacy, for it is
an error entailing a thousand horrors.
Tenth and last - Is our acknowledgment
and love for our heavenly Father. When
we investigate our own mortal bodies,
we cannot help seeing how beautiful
and wonderful they are made, and we
cannot help inferring the wisdom and
power of the maker. We know,
therefore, that there is a supreme
wise power in the universe above all
other things; and when we understand
that this body of ours is only the
representative of the spirit within,
how much more beautiful and wisely
constructed must that spirit be. We,
therefore, infer that this great Power
has some great design in bringing us
into existence, and though we know not
what that design is precisely, yet we
have reason to believe that it is a
good one. We, therefore, hail this
great Power as our heavenly Father,
the true God of the Universe. The
wisdom and magnificence of his works
as displayed all around us. Our
ancestor, Moses, presented to his
brethren Ten Commandments, which he
told them he had received from the God
Jehovah at Mount Sinai for the
government of the people. He was the
first to break those commandments, for
he dashed them to the ground, and slew
three thousand of the people before he
had made them acquainted with the nature of them.
I also present you with Ten
Commandments, not coming from Moses or
the God Jehovah; but mine is founded
upon the principles of truth and
wisdom, in conformity with the
principles of nature. You will compare
them, and decide for yourselves which
is the best and most capable of adding
to man's happiness.
The people shout with joy as Peter announces to bring the sick forward
0, Master! For the love of God, do
something for me, for I believe you can.
Master, this poor creature has come a
great distance to see you, to obtain
the benefit of your powers. His
friends have brought him here in all hope.
But, Judas, I am afraid that my power
will not extend so far as to enable me
to relieve this poor man.
Master, you know not the extent of
your power, neither do I, yet it may
be greater than we think. Let us hope
in this case that God will extend his
power to you for the benefit of this
poor man. Try, dear Master.
Well, Judas, as you say, I can but try.
Jesus lays on his hands and after a few moments Cosbi leaps
into the air and shouts for joy while running a short distance away
O, Cosbi! Cosbi! You have nearly
killed me. Had the farce been carried
out five minutes longer I should have
died with suppressed laughter.
Oh! God of Moses! What fun! Now the
simple multitude will have enough to
excite them for a month, and call into
play their faculties of wonder.
You have performed your part well,
Cosbi, but you must now hasten away
and get rid of this disguise, and then
follow me, for I shall have more use for you.
11. Judas arrives at Saul's apartment in Jerusalem to report
all activities to Saul and to discuss further plans.
INT - SAUL'S CHAMBER - NIGHT
Saul and Judas working out the plot against Jesus
Loud knocking at the door
Welcome, Judas, my skillful and trusty
agent. You are in time to join me in
my last cup of wine, before I retire to rest.
Come, take this and I will get another
for myself. Come, drink, and relate your adventures.
This wine is good, but not of so fine
a flavor as that made down by the Lake of Genesareth.
Never mind the wine, tell me of your
adventures in that part of the world.
0, worthy Saul, there have been
glorious doings in that neighborhood,
thanks to your advising and my
performing. There is a complete
revolution among the Genesarians. Old
Moses and the Holy Priesthood are
below the usual price; fishing for
fish among the fishermen is voted
vulgar, for they have started a new
vocation which is called fishing-of-men.
The advent of the Messiah,
performing miracles, and with the
wonderful doctrines of Jesus, form the
subject of talk through all that district.
Come let us be seated, then you may
give me a more particular and
connected account of what has been done.
Before I started on the expedition of
adventures with my new master, as I
must call him, I made acquaintance
with a young man of a lively,
versatile nature, whose morals are not
in anyway objectionable to our views,
and who possessed certain talents
which I thought would be of great
assistance in accomplishing what I
have undertaken. I engaged him to
follow me in our travels, but to keep
at such a distance from me that our
connection should not be suspected. He
gladly accepted my offer, when we all
started at the time set. We went to
Bethsaida, where we organized our
future proceedings. Jesus saw it would
be necessary to have a body of
followers to act as an escort of
protection to him, with which I
agreed. We then proceeded to avail
ourselves of such as could be
obtained, whoever they might be, and
in this little fishing place we
obtained several. First, there is
young John of Galilee, who received
intimation of Jesus from John the
Baptist. Thinking that he could make
it to his advantage to serve Jesus, he
ran away from his father and joined
the former in his retreat near
Jericho. Then there is John's brother,
James. I accordingly told them that
Jesus would certainly become the King
of Judea, if not of the whole world,
for he was the true Messiah promised;
and I held out to them that they
should become princes and governors of
provinces. The next is Simon, whom
Jesus calls Peter.
This man is a merry, good-hearted
fellow in a general way, possessing
more intelligence than the rest of the
fishermen. He is generous in a certain
way, and would not stoop to do a mean,
petty thing; however, I found out that
his principles would not prevent him
from doing anything on a large scale
for the sake of gain and power. He
consented to be one of us provided his
expenses were paid while traveling;
and after Jesus should have made many
adherents among the people, and be put
aside, that he (Peter) should be
assigned the head of a portion of his
followers. I told him his interest
should be attended to in that respect.
He then became one of us.
Judas, how did you know that such were
my designs in this business? I never
told you such.
I know it, most worthy Saul. You have
told me your designs in part, the rest
I read in you.
Proceed Judas. I know you have a keen perception.
Then the next, is that ignorant,
awkward, selfish brute, Andrew, brother to Peter.
The latter assured me that he would
secure the cooperation of his brother
by certain inducements he would hold
out to him. There were two more
miserable, ignorant, sordid creatures
that we induced to join us, with very
small offers of gain. One was named
Nathaniel, and the other Philip. With
this respectable and worthy escort we
thought we would proceed to business.
Accordingly we,that is, I and Peter,
sent them all around the neighborhood
for many miles to gather the people,
telling them to say that Jesus would
address them and heal the sick. At the
time appointed a multitude of people
of about a thousand had assembled at
the plain of Genesareth, where Jesus
gave an address giving them some
excellent rules of life. After the
address the people partook of
refreshments they had brought with
them; then Jesus proceeded to exert
his mysterious power of healing the
sick. Some he cured instantly, some he
relieved, and some remained doubtful;
but the last act was one that
established his fame in spite of
himself, as a worker of great
miracles. I brought before Jesus the
young man I spoke to you about, Cosbi
by name, who performed the part of a
poor deformed man, bent almost double
and walking on all fours like a beast.
Jesus was doubtful whether he could do
anything for him, but I persuaded him
to try. He accordingly did so, when
Cosbi sprang into the air performing
all kinds of mad evolutions expressive
of his joy. The people were struck
with astonishment, and no longer
doubted that Jesus was the true Messiah.
They dispersed, wondering and
spreading far and wide what they had
seen and heard of Jesus; but I and
Peter, after leaving that spot, made
great additions to his fame.
Peter undertook to relate how the
multitude was fed at the expense of
Jesus and his followers. He said, at
first, that there were a thousand
people and five hundred loaves with
two hundred fishes for supply. Then at
another place he stated that there
were six thousand people, five loaves
and two fishes. I now thought Peter
had made the tale of feeding the
people quite marvelous enough, so I
said to him, Peter, the next time you
relate that tale, it will be well not
to reduce the number of loaves and
fishes, for the people will begin to
suspect that you are telling them one
of your big fish stories, and you know
they will not believe you in that
thing. Well, Judas, replied Peter with
a wink and a short laugh, I think you
are right in that respect, but still I
must do all I can to make my master's
works as famous as possible. So the
next time Peter related the tale of
the multitude being fed, he said there
were six thousand people, five loaves
and two small fishes; and when they
had all eaten enough, there were
twelve baskets full left.
It was an interesting adventure, and
will answer well for our end in view.
But there is one thing more that I
must acquaint thee with, worthy Saul.
On my return to this city I came
across a man who told me that John the
Baptist is in prison, sent there by
Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee.
John had given offence by using his
tongue too freely concerning Herod's
family affairs. This man informed me
also that John is coming to his right
reason; that he begins to perceive
that he has acted the fool in
considering and treating Jesus as the
Messiah. Now, Saul, you may perceive
if this John gets out of prison and
tells the people he has been mistaken
about Jesus, he will undo, in part, our good work.
In that case, it will not do to let
him come out of his prison. I will
think what is to be done in the matter.
12. In the area of the Jewish Temple Jesus and his followers
approach a large crowd celebrating the Feast of the Passover
at the Gentile Court called Solomon’s Porch.
EXT - JEWISH TEMPLE - DAY
Jesus and his followers approach a large crowd celebrating the
Feast of the Passover at the Gentile Court called Solomon’s Porch.
Friends, Countrymen and Brethren: I am
sensible the address I am about to
deliver to you is one of great hazard
and difficulty, for there are two
opposing powers of great magnitude
which I shall have to contend with.
One of the opposing powers that I
shall have to contend with will be the
authorities of certain institutions
which I shall be under the necessity
to expose and attack; the other
opposing power will be in you. As I
proceed in my exposition of matters my
views will clash with some of your old
established notions which you have
been taught to consider good, or not
to think about at all. For what has
this vast multitude of people
assembled in this city and temple
today? To celebrate the feast of the
Passover, you will say. What is the
Passover? The exodus of our ancestors
from slavery in the land of Egypt,
under the guidance of Moses. Now, my
brethren, you believe all this to be
true, and that the Lord is entitled to
your thanks and lasting gratitude for
the favor shown to our ancestors, and
this institution of the Passover is
the manner by which you wish to
express your feelings to the Lord. You
have been taught to believe that all
these statements concerning God, Moses
and our ancestors are true; you have
not been allowed to doubt them, or if
you have doubted them, you have not
been allowed to express them.
Therefore these established notions
you have are your prejudices; and if
I, in the course of my discourse,
shall endeavor to show you that these
statements are not true, but false,
your prejudices will take offence, and
you from mistaken motives will be apt
to oppose me though I am endeavoring
to do you good by giving you
enlightenment upon the matter.
My dear brethren, give to me your
minds as though you were little
children, and follow me in a course of
investigation of this matter. In the
first place, my friends, we must have
some fixed ideas of this God Jehovah
of whom Moses speaks, and then we will
take that as a criterion to judge all
other matters by. What is this God
represented to be in his principal
attributes? I think he is generally
represented to be all-powerful, all-wise,
ever-present, and all
benevolent. If this character of your
God will suit you, it will also suit
me to argue from. In the first place
we understand our ancestors were in
slavery in Egypt, and that the Lord
Jehovah was desirous that they should
be liberated, but Pharaoh, it is said,
would not let them go. The Lord is
then represented to enter into a long
contest with Pharaoh to make him give
up the children; at the same time he
hardens his heart and will not let him
do so. The Lord brings plagues and
diseases upon the Egyptians and their
cattle, punishing the people as well
as Pharaoh for not doing what he will
not allow them to do. Here we have a
tale of the greatest inconsistency and
absurdity that ever was related. After
some silly contests between the Lord
and Pharaoh’s conjurers and the Lord
killing the first-born of the
Egyptians, the Children of Israel
force their way out and cross the Red
Sea through a valley made by the waters.
And what occasion had he to take them
through the Red Sea, when he could
have taken them into the desert by
going a little further to the north?
The fact is that is the way they must
have gone into the desert. You may
then perceive, my friends, that the
history of the exodus is not a
reliable fact on which the feast of
the Passover is founded, and the God
Jehovah, if he had anything to do with
that affair, is not worthy of our
thanks, our gratitude or our notice.
Did he not say, according to history,
that he had made choice of the
Israelites as a favored people? That
he would give them a home, a land
flowing with milk and honey? Did he
not say that they should become as
numerous as the sands on the sea
shore, and become a great and powerful
people? How have his words been
verified? In not one instance have
these words been true, but quite the
reverse. Instead of getting a home
flowing with milk and honey, when they
left Egypt they wandered in the
deserts forty years, until all the
people that had left Egypt in manhood
were cut off by slaughter, famine,
thirst, plagues, scorpions, diseases
and exhaustion, even Moses, his
favorite, died before they got land to
settle upon. And how did they get land
at last? By their own individual
barbarous strength; by robbery,
bloodshed, treachery and the most
ferocious cruelty in war. One monarch
came down upon them and took away ten
of their tribes into perpetual
slavery, so that now instead of twelve
tribes we are but two.
And what are the people now? Are we
not vassals to the Romans? All these
things that I have stated are facts.
We are a miserable, weak and ignorant
people, who never had a country to
call our own. We never were a mighty,
a just or an organized people, for we
have always been living in bloody
strife, either against the rights of
others or against ourselves. What,
then, are the inferences from all
these facts that I have stated? First,
the statements of our history
concerning the exodus are not true,
and the statements concerning the God
Jehovah cannot be true. Secondly, that
the existence of such a God as Jehovah
is described, is not true, but is
nothing more than the fanciful and
lying spirit of him who wrote the
account of the exodus; therefore the
institution of the Passover feast is
not founded on true history, and is
not entitled to our gratitude and
observance. To Moses is due the credit
of releasing our people from bodily
slavery, and to him is due the
ignominy of reducing his brethren to a
mental slavery under the guidance of a
vile system of Priesthood, which has
been continued from his days to the present.
Do you think that a good and wise God
can be pleased with the greasy smoke
that ascends from yonder altar this
day, or the smell and taste of roast
flesh of several hundred thousand
slaughtered animals? The true God of
the Universe, does he stand in need of
such as this from us poor mortals? He,
who is all goodness, would he desire
or accept it from the needy mortals of
earth? No, my brethren, such a thing
cannot be possible. You are mistaken
in what is the true God who presides
over you all; you have been
worshiping the figment of your
imaginations, which has been
established in your minds by wicked
men; you have been through the whole
course of your history the mental
slaves of a wicked priesthood, whose
perversity it is my will and ambition
to expose. This institution of the
Passover I pronounce absurd, and an
abomination to the land. This
stupendous structure of the temple has
been founded upon the ignorance and
superstition of the people; the whole
is a gross imposition. The Lord God
does not reside in that chamber called
the Holy of Holies; the High Priest
does not communicate with him there,
for the whole affair is an imposition.
The roast meats are not sacrifices to
God, but the prerequisites of
gluttonous priests, who daily gorge
upon the fat of the land which the
needy people ought to have. And this
handsome porch where I now lift up my
voice, instead of being a place
devoted to disseminate learning to the
people, has become a den fit only for
thieves and money gamblers.
VOICES FROM THE CROWD
The profanation of the temple! The
traders! The money changers! Down with
the money changers!
Cosbi, club in hand, and a few ruffians upset the tables of
the moneychangers and beat them.
Come, my men, let us clear the temple
of these traders and money changers.
13. The palace of the Sanhedrin; present are Caiaphas,
Gamaliel and Saul
INT - CAIAPHAS’ CHAMBER - NIGHT
The palace of the Sanhedrin; present are Caiaphas, Gamaliel and Saul
Approach, Reverend Gamaliel.
What news, Gamaliel, from the Sanhedrin?
Most Reverend Superior, the whole city
is in confusion and terror, waging a
war of conflicting opinions concerning
the doings and doctrines of this great
Innovator they call Jesus. The same
confusion has seized the Sanhedrin.
Some went so far as to say that this
innovator is possibly what he is
represented to be, the Messiah as promised.
What! Are there such fools in the Sanhedrin?
Most Reverend Sire, the greater part
of the members in their anger would
have this Jesus arrested and brought
before them on a charge of blasphemy,
but I thought it better to arrest
their proceedings until I should know
your most sacred opinion.
Gamaliel, this is a perplexing
business. I know not what to say. What
would you advise?
Most Reverend Sire, before I suggest
anything I wish to introduce to your
sacred presence a man who is well
acquainted with this Jesus, knowing
the general tenor of his doctrines,
his power, his designs and influence
in the country. He wishes to have an
interview with your Reverence, to make
certain statements and propositions.
Do you know this man? Can you trust him?
I have known him, your Reverence from
the time that he was a little boy, for
he was a pupil of mine and an apt scholar.
He is of respectable parentage of the
tribe of Benjamin; his name is Saul,
from Tarsus in Cilicia.
Let him be introduced immediately.
Such a man as you describe is needed
to prop up our failing greatness.
Gamaliel introduces Saul
It has pleased your friend and former
tutor, our reverend brother Gamaliel,
to make report of you, which in all
things considered give you credit as
one worthy to be admitted to our
presence; I therefore make you
welcome. I beg you, sir, to speak with
all due candor and freedom, making no reserve.
In the first place this Jesus
possesses great beauty of person,
which commands the admiration of all
who set eyes upon him; then he has a
rich musical voice which he modulates
with such skill that his words seem to
personate all the characters of the
subject of his discourse. His learning
seems to be unlimited, whatever may be
the subject brought before his notice;
and no one, as yet, has been capable
of coping with him in argument. In his
nature he is mild, meek and humble in
all things pertaining to himself; full
of sympathy, of a loving and unbounded
benevolence to all men, excepting
those he deems the oppressors of the people.
In his dealings and decisions he is
scrupulous, exact, impartial and
strictly just. He is learned in all
the theology of the Jewish
institutions and the Holy Order of the
Priesthood; and where he sees error,
imposition, oppression and injustice,
he is indefatigable and bold in
denouncing these errors, and speaking
the truth to the people.
God of our Fathers. Is this the man
against whom you would conspire? I
never knew a man of so perfect a
character as you have given this one.
Most Reverend Sire, I came not here to
speak otherwise of this man than to
represent his true character, and in
so doing I think your Holy Order will
have greater cause to dread him than
if I were to vilify him.
Well, I believe you are right. What
think you, reverend brother?
I think, most Reverend Sire, that this
Jesus is a dangerous man to our Holy
Order, and that we ought to proceed
against him, if for no other cause,
even to smiting him to death.
There are great reports of wonderful
cures of diseases that this Jesus has
performed. What know you on that head, worthy Saul?
This much, Reverend Sire. These
reports are true in part and false in
part. It is true that he possesses a
power to cure in certain diseases and
to a certain extent over some others,
when upon others he cannot make any
favorable impressions. The people have
exaggerated by converting them into
great miracles; and when they take
into account the hints and assertions
of that crazy John the Baptist; they
firmly believe that this Jesus must be
the Messiah of whom the Prophets have spoken.
My worthy friend Saul, it would be
folly in me if I did not acknowledge
the truth and wisdom of your remarks.
We would that you should suggest the
means by which this Jesus can be
arrested in his progress without
danger to our Order, and yet be so
effective that we shall not fear him hereafter.
There are no means to prevent the
propagation of his doctrines and his
influence over the people except by
removing him entirely from the scene of his actions.
How is that to be done unless by
death? Let this Jesus go on his own
way for a time without receiving any
notice or molestation from the
Sanhedrin; let there be spies around
him to record all his actions and
words; and then it will be an easy
matter so to entangle and enmesh him
that he will commit some offence
against our Roman Rule; or others can
be made to do so in his name. When
this critical time shall arrive then
the Sanhedrin may proceed against him;
then with the charges against him of a
political nature he can be handed over
to the Roman Governor, so that between
the two tribunals and other influences
brought to bear upon him he may be made away with.
Your suggestions, Saul, have the
wisdom of a god, and the machinations
of a bold man who is devoted to the
welfare of our Order. But who is to
accomplish and execute this deep laid
scheme? Can you suggest that, also?
I am the man. Let that office be mine,
and I will engage that in a reasonable
time all these measures shall be
accomplished. This work I have set my
mind upon, and if you promise that the
Sanhedrin shall not interfere until I
will it, the thing shall be done.
Caiaphas and Gamaliel step aside to talk privately
What think you of your friend in this
affair. Is he not a bold and desperate man?
He is. That he is so is good for our cause.
What can be his enmity against this Jesus?
I am not aware that he has any enmity
against him. Saul does not act from
the impulses of common men; it is more
probable that he admires the man
against whom he is about to act.
Caiaphas and Gamaliel re-engage Saul in conversation
It is well. I give my consent.
Reverend Sir, all your requests and
wishes shall be complied with.
14. Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at the water well, outside
the walled city of Sychar, which forms part of the dominion's
of Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee.
EXT - SYCHAR, COMPOUND OF HEROD ANTIPAS - NIGHT
Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at the water well.
Good woman, will you give me to drink?
How is this, sir? You art a stranger
to me, yet from your appearance I take
you to be a Jew. If I am right you
know it is forbidden by the Samaritans
to eat or drink in company of Jews.
You are right, woman, as far as the
customs of your people restrict and
command you; but have you not
understanding enough to perceive that
such customs are wicked prejudices,
unjust and inhuman? Would you refuse
your brother a drink if he should ask you?
In the name of our father Jacob, take
the vessel, sir, and drink, for you
know I dare not give it to you. But
tell me sir, what mean you by saying,
would you refuse your brother a drink
if he should ask you?
I mean that we are all children of the
same God, therefore I am your brother.
The God that formed this beautiful
world, the sun, the moon and the
stars, is the same power that brought
us into being as men and women;
therefore we are all the offspring of his parental care.
Thus we ought to treat each other with
as much love and kindness as though we
were brothers and sisters of the same earthly parents.
Your views seem to have reason in
them, and your words sound pleasantly
upon my ears, suggesting to me
thoughts and feelings which I have
often experienced in my dreams of
happiness, but never realized.
Kind and learned sir, will you come
and tarry with us in our town? My
husband, who is the custodian of the
prison, will be delighted to see you,
and make you welcome.
You say your husband is custodian of
the prison. Can you tell me what
prisoners he has under his charge?
There is an old looking man who was
lately brought from the fortress of
Mareschaeus, whose name is John the
Baptist, he having offended our Lord
in some way not known to me.
Would you do me a service if I ask it of you?
All that is in my power to do, I will
do to serve so good a man as you.
Well, then go to your husband and
prevail upon him to give me an
interview with this John the Baptist in his cell.
It is strictly forbidden that any one
shall be admitted to see this
prisoner, John; but sometimes things
are done contrary to the commands of
our Lord. Be you at this well about
the fifth hour of night; at that time
all will be still and quiet in the
town, then I will send a messenger to
you, who will inform you if I succeed
to your desire.
The fifth hour of the night
Are you the man who wishes to see John the prisoner?
Then follow me.
Husband, this is the good man I have
been speaking to you about.
I know not who you are or what is your
object in wishing to see the prisoner
John, unless it be the promptings of
humanity and friendship, which I
admire in those, who seek an interest
in the unfortunate.
The custodian and Jesus enter the prison
0 John! John! Is it thus I see you?
JOHN THE BAPTIST
My God, I thank you! Master, glad am I
that you are come, for this
imprisonment bears sorely upon me. I
fain would be released from this
dungeon to go upon the world once more
to do my duty to you, and fulfill the
words of the prophets, by proclaiming
your name and office to the lost people of Israel.
John! John! Let me hear no more of
this strain of talking. I should have
thought that your misfortunes would
have banished your former delusions of
mind. 0 John, how have I reasoned with
you,and even begged of you to banish
these foolish ideas! But all my
endeavors to bring you to right reason
have proven in vain, for your mind is
still under the same delusion.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Is it possible, that I have been under
a delusion? Are you really not the
Messiah come to release me from his prison?
Have I not always denied being such,
and you would not believe me? How,
then, can I convince you? You know
that I have always loved you, and
would do anything that I could for
your benefit. If it were in my power,
would I not release from prison the man I love?
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Great God! Have pity on me, for I am a
miserable man. I now perceive that my
life has been one of complete
delusion. Say no more, my dear José. I
must call you by that name, now my
delusion is past. That name brings to
my mind the fond reminiscences of our
youthful friendship, and the many
pleasing incidents of our happy young
days. That name is suggestive of all
that is innocent and blissful in my youthful career.
My friends, you must part instantly.
0, John the Baptist, pardon me for
making the announcement, for I must do
my official duty. There is an order
received that John the Baptist be
executed at the hour of six.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Then indeed is the delusion of this
world over, and the reality of the next begins.
15. Jesus, accompanied by several of his followers, returns to
the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary.
INT - HOME OF LAZARUS - NIGHT
Jesus arrives at the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary in tears
Why this sorrow, dear sister?
0, brother, dearest brother, our
father, Lazarus, is dead!
0, my beloved, had you been here my
father would not have died!
Jesus examines the body of Lazarus
0, Lazarus! Lazarus! My much beloved
friend, have you departed from us and
become released from your mortal
tenement of clay? Do you hover in the
spirit form on the verge of this
terrestrial sphere, looking upon us
with glances of love and sympathy?
Mutual love was the tie, by which you
were united to us in heart when on
earth, and still that love exists,
though your presence has departed from
us, and when the time shall come for
us to leave this mortal state it shall
again unite us. 0, Lazarus, you were a
kind father, a good neighbor and
sincere friend. Your domestic virtues
made all around you happy. Your just
appreciation and dispensation of
virtue, justice, and truth, render you
worthy of being exalted in the realm
of spirits. Accept, then, our tears as
pledges of our love, rather than of
regret at your departure to a better
home. My friends, Lazarus, though dead
in the body yet lives in the spirit.
Yes, there is another life after this.
The divine soul within us scatters
abroad its seeds of love, truth,
justice, charity and sympathy in this
world, but we find it difficult to
cultivate them here and bring them to
maturity. How then, do they die? No!
They mature in some degree here, but
they come to perfection in the next
world, and are there harvested. Man is
the greatest of God's works, not in
size or bulk, but in the combination
of all the elements of the universe,
the wisdom displayed in his
construction, the quality of the
materials, and the exalted end to
which he is destined.
All these superior Excellencies exist
in the soul of man. For what is all
this extra labor, time and wisdom
expended in the construction of man?
It cannot be for this life, for the
pure soul is never at home here. It
must be, then, for another life to
come, that one which begins when the
body ceases at death. Then the perfect
soul will receive its true
inheritance. God will be rejoiced to
see his work perfected. Then to say
that man ceases at death, will be to
rob God of the triumph and glory which
belong to him. Yes, my friends, though
the mortal part of Lazarus be dead,
yet his spirit lives. He has passed
the shades of death, which is only a
transition from this world to another
of greater beauty and perfection,
where all our pure and noble
affections and desires will become
realized and perfected. His virtues
and noble principles will buoy him up
beyond the earth's attraction, so that
he will not be held to it longer than
he chooses. Blessed be his name, and
long may it live in remembrance.
Lazarus stirs, begins to show signs of physical life
Father of Heaven! Lazarus lives in the
body! He is not dead!
Lazarus, my dear friend.
My dear children, have I been ill or
sleeping? I know not what all this means.
Dear father, you have been very ill.
I must have been sleeping, child, for
I had a beautiful dream.
16. Multitude of people present in the portico of the Court of
Israel; Jesus discourses with Nicodemus.
EXT - JEWISH TEMPLE - DAY
Multitude of people present; Jesus discourses with Nicodemus
Master, all Judea has heard of your
wisdom and wondrous works. Pardon me
if I am presumptuous in asking you a question.
Proceed my friend and brother.
With all my studies and experience in
life, I am not satisfied, nor have I
decided what course is the best to
pursue or believe in to insure an
immortal life hereafter; therefore, my
question is this: what ought a man to
do to insure eternal life?
He must renew himself; he must be born again.
Be born again! How can that be? You do
not mean so literally, for such a thing is impossible.
The language I use is but a figure of
speech, and of course not to be taken
in its literal sense, yet it is very
expressive of my meaning. The idea I
wish to convey is this: A man who
wishes to inherit immortal life among
the angels after death, must so
examine and purge his spiritual part
of the vices, errors and sins of this
life that he shall be in soul as pure
as the babe just born. That I consider
is equal to being born again.
Your explanation is quite clear but
still I do not perceive how the soul
of a man can divest itself of the
errors, vices and sins that man has
acquired during life, so as to be
enabled to return to its original purity.
It is possible, nevertheless. Look
around you, Nicodemus, at this
magnificent structure, the Temple, the
greatest and most beautiful work of
art ever produced by man, in which all
the wisdom, skill and energy of our
people have been combined in its
construction. What was the design of
this unparalleled structure? Was it
not a place destined to worship the
Great Jehovah in, in honor, purity and
truth? And what is it now? You know as
well as I do that it is full of
corruption and error. How came it so?
It is in this wise: The people are the soul of the temple.
They have been led astray, blinded and
kept in ignorance, until they have
become vicious and sinful; the
proceedings in the temple, then,
correspond to their corrupt nature.
But is it not possible that the people
may become enlightened so as to be
enabled to see their errors, vices and
sins? I think it possible. Then when
they shall have reformed the temple
will be purged of its corruptions and
restored to its purity of use for
which it was designed. Now let us
apply this to the individual man: A
man is composed of body and soul. The
soul in its original pure state has an
intuitive knowledge of its own divine
principles or nature, but when it
comes into the world at the birth of
the babe it finds itself in total
ignorance of all eternal things. It
then begins to gather up impressions
of the external world, and those
impressions constitute the mind. Now
the constitution of the mind may be
good or bad in reference to the nature
of the soul; if good, the mind, soul
and body will unite harmoniously; and
if bad, the soul and body will become
corrupted; then the mind and body will
enter into an alliance and mutual
dependence, regardless of the rights
and welfare of the soul. The soul at
length becomes completely subdued; its
voice is smothered, and its presence
confined to the deepest recesses of
the bodily temple where it carries on
the offices of life unknown, unsought
and uncared for; while the mind and
the body, assuming to be the man,
pursues a wild, erroneous, sinful and
reckless life, in ignorance of its most important part.
But as the man passes on in the course
of life, wandering in error, vice and
sin, the soul gains a knowledge of
external things, it then cries with a
louder voice, and exerts all its
efforts to arrest the man in his
course of destruction. Perhaps some
dreadful calamity brought on by his
reckless career, has prostrated his
body or his mind, reducing him to a
state of serious self-inspection; then
the soul takes courage, and once more
sends forth its voice pointing out
some of the errors of his course and
the necessity of reform. Should the
man arrest his evil course at this
point, there will be hope, but should
he disregard his inward monitor, he
will inevitably go on to his
destruction. At this standpoint there
will be a great struggle between the
spiritual and carnal parts of the man.
The mind will be wavering, concluding
to throw its influence first on one
side and then on the other. The body,
by its dilapidated state, announces to
the mind that the course they have
been pursuing is not the correct one;
the mind perceives it, and confirms it
by its experience. Then the soul
speaks in thrilling strains regarding
its original purity, petitioning to be
released from the road of error, vice
and sin by which it is bound down. The
whole man becomes aroused and
conscious of his miserable and
degenerate state. He sheds tears of
agony and remorse, and at length
awakens to the necessity of repentance and reform.
Master, your words are wisdom itself,
and your eloquence surpasses that of
all other men I have heard speak. I,
Nicodemus, a ruler and teacher of high
rank among the people, would be proud
to be counted worthy of that new
birth, which your wisdom and eloquence
have so beautifully made clear.
17. Jesus and his disciples are present at the home of
Lazarus. Martha and Mary are preparing a dinner feast.
INT - HOUSE OF LAZARUS - NIGHT
Disciples and followers of Jesus present
Mary and Martha are preparing a huge feast
Mary, my dear sister, we have
forgotten the flowers! What shall we do?
The flowers! Why we must have them.
Get the vases ready and I will hasten
to the garden and gather some
directly. They are the silent
offerings of my affection, which I
will place before the man I love. I
would rather forget anything else than that.
Mary in the garden gathering flowers overhears Peter and Judas
Tell me, Judas, what part you expect
me to perform this night, for the
whole affair is so complicated I
cannot see clearly through it.
Peter, you are rather dull of
comprehension this evening. I think if
you had the goat-skin bottle here it
would sharpen your wit. Now mark well,
Peter, what I say. It matters not much
what subjects may be discussed
tonight, provided one thing be agreed
on; we must persuade him to make one
more visit to the city, to take leave
of his friends and address them for
the last time. If it is possible we
must make him go tomorrow, for
everything is being prepared for his
reception, and the banquet to be given
at night; then our work will be
finished. Now do you understand, Peter?
(After the meal)
What would you, my dear Mary?
I wish for your blessing, and
permission to testify my regard for you.
You shall have both.
Mary anoints Jesus with oil
What means this indelicate intrusion?
Judas there needs no rebuke in this
matter. Mary comes here with an
innocent and kind intent, to testify
her regard for me and gain my good
will. She is the daughter of our host,
and as such is privileged above all others.
I think she had better have saved her
money for another purpose, or given it
to the poor, than to have bought that
Cease, I command you. Your words are
impudent and ill-timed.
(Whispering in Jesus’ ear)
Beware of traitors in this company. Go
not to Jerusalem.
(Pondering to himself)
What can it mean? Whom does she mean?
Will the Master please to inform the
brethren what the purpose is of our assembling?
My dear brethren and fellow associates:
The great body of the
priesthood, the Sanhedrin, is at last
aroused. They perceive that a light
has been shed over all Judea and
Galilee by which the people have been
enabled to see the gross ignorance and
mental slavery to which they have been
bound by their priestly rulers.
Thousands of the people have already
shook off the trammels of priestly
superstition. Thousands of new-born
aspirants to truth hail the prospect
of a general emancipation from the
mental slavery imposed upon them by
their barbarous ancestors. This, then,
is the cause why our enemies are up
and opposed to us, endeavoring to
thwart our proceedings. They think to
destroy our good cause and work by
aiming their shafts of enmity at me,
aiming at my destruction. From the
commencement of my labors I resolved
to devote all my energies, time and
worldly goods to the cause I uphold,
and now, I am willing to sacrifice my
life if it be necessary. No, my
brethren, if I have a fear, it is for
you and the good cause of our labors.
Should our enemies prevail over me
they will assuredly extend the same
persecution to you, and perhaps to the
many thousands who have shaken off
their priestly yokes. I can see but
two courses to choose from; for
neither of which will I express any
preference. The first is: We may
depart for a distant country where we
may labor in our cause free from the
molestations of our present enemies.
The other is: We may abandon our
labors in the good cause, and separate
for the present, everyone to his home
or to some place of retirement, until
the times and circumstances shall be
more favorable to our endeavors. One
of these two courses we must adopt.
Brethren and fellow-workers, the
question is, shall we continue our
accustomed course of labors in some
other country, or shall we break up
and retire? I feel no hesitation in
saying that we ought to do the latter.
We have been following our beloved
Master near upon three years, and what
have we accomplished to our benefit? I
doubt not that every one of you, like
myself, have been disappointed in your
expectations. It is true the people
have received much benefit, and in
course of time the world at large may
be much bettered; but I think it not
natural or just that the laborers, who
undergo all the toil to do all the
good, should not have a remuneration
for their services. Now what have we
received for our toils and sweats but
insults and deprivations? And we are
now in danger of losing our liberties
and our lives. I do not speak in this
manner with the intent of attaching
any blame to our beloved master, for
if there be any to blame it must be
ourselves in entertaining expectations
that cannot be realized in conformity
with our master’s principles. No; our
master is everything he professes to
be, and no words that I could utter
would speak his full merit.
Peter, if you love me, you will not
speak of me in that strain.
Did you doubt, 0 my master, the love
of honest Peter?
Jesus covers his eyes with his hands
God of my Fathers! Have I lived to
this day, to have my love and loyalty
doubted by the very man I love the
most? 0, my beloved master, you know I
love you! If you cannot believe the
words of honest Peter, look to his
acts. See what I have sacrificed to
follow you. Was I not a wealthy
fisherman by the beautiful waters of
Genesareth, and the principal man in
the whole village of Bethsaida, until
you made me a fisher-of-men? Have I
not forsaken that beautiful lake, that
neat little village, my three boats,
my nets and fishing hooks? Have I not
forsaken all to follow you? And yet
you doubt whether I love you.
Lazarus introduces a messenger from Caiaphas
Peter read that letter to the company,
that we may form some opinion of its
contents, and be enabled to send an answer.
My dear master, I never read or wrote
a letter in my life. I have always
been employed in catching fish or
catching men, that I have had no time
to catch the meaning of these
hieroglyphics. There is Brother
Matthew; he is a great scholar, for he
always has his ink horn and reed in
his girdle. He can read the letter, no doubt.
Palace of the Sanhedrin.
Caiaphas to the man called Jesus.
This comes greeting. Brother in the flesh,
peace be unto you and to all under
your command, in the name of the Lord
Jehovah. Certain rumors have come to
my ears that you, from misconception
or from some other cause unknown to
me, have been preaching certain
doctrines in the precincts of our Holy
Temple, which transgress the Mosaical
law, and hold up to ridicule and
contempt the sacred rites and
ceremonies of our sacred institutions.
And furthermore, that you have
inveighed against and scandalized our
Sacred Order of Priesthood. These
direful transgressions have been borne
with for a long time by the Sacred
Council of the Sanhedrin, without
proceeding against you in any manner,
thinking that with time, you would be
enabled to see the error of your ways.
But now the Council is much
exasperated against you, and
determined to arrest your course by
punishing you according to the powers they possess.
Therefore, as I wish to be lenient to
you, and enable you to avoid the
penalty of your conduct, I send you
this letter, proposing to shield you
from all harm if you will pledge your
word of truth that you will cease your
teachings in the temple, and withdraw
from the neighborhood of the city.
Send me your word of truth to this
effect, then you and your followers
shall be free of any arrest within or
without the city for the time of ten
days, which will be allowed you and
your followers, if you and they should
wish to pass to and fro on matters of
business, or to take a farewell of
your friends. Let this be a compact
between us, and may God speed you in all just ways.
What is your opinion of this letter
and our action thereon?
As my master honors me by asking me
the first for an opinion, I will give
it with all sincerity. It is this. I
think all of us ought to accept the
favorable terms his Reverence has
thought proper to offer us.
(Addressing the messenger)
Tell Caiaphas, the High Priest, that
I, Jesus, having taken counsel with my
followers, have agreed to accept of
the proposals contained in the letter,
and that we give our solemn word of
truth to conform thereto, according to
the requests made therein.
If my worthy Master please, I will now
propose, that in three days from the
present our brethren here present
shall assemble at this house to escort
our master to the city, where his
friends and disciples will be ready to
receive him, and testify their
admiration and gratitude for his
inestimable services. Our ovation
shall then terminate at night by a
feast, to which none but the most
prominent friends shall be admitted.
After that I shall proceed to render
an account of my stewardship, and
divide the remainder of our joint
stock of money among the brethren. I
am happy to inform my brethren that
not long since I received a donation
of a hundred shekels of silver; thus
the amount to be distributed is
greater than would be generally supposed.
My dear brethren, I have before
expressed to you this evening that all
measures discussed and adopted by you
at this meeting, I shall assent and
conform to. How these measures are to
be accomplished I must refer you to
Judas, for he will know best how to
achieve what he has proposed.
18. Most of the village people of Bethany assembled; Jesus and
his followers to visit Jerusalem for the last time.
EXT - BETHANY THE HOME OF LAZARUS - DAY
Most of the village people assembled; Jesus and his followers
My dearest José, I have never opposed
your wishes before, for I always
deferred to your superior wisdom; but
in this case I feel strong in my
convictions that if you go to the city
this day, you will meet with treachery
and destruction. Was not the
traitorous conversation I heard
enough? Why, then, will you
voluntarily throw yourself into the
arms of your enemies?
If it were possible, dear Mary, I
would comply with your wishes. No
earthly influence could be greater
with me than your sweet endearing
voice. But, Mary, if I fail to perform
my duty and promises this day, I shall
sacrifice all the good reputation I
have gained among my people, and I
shall fail giving support to that
cause for which I have labored.
What dependence have you to do
anything of your own wish, when you
are surrounded by wicked men who will
make you do another? What confidence
or trust is there to be placed in traitors?
It is possible, Mary, that when you
did hear Judas and Peter say that if
they could persuade me to consent to
this measure, that their task would be
finished, they had reference to the
dissolution of our brotherhood; but as
you did not hear all that was said, It
seemed a traitorous design to you.
I know not what they had reference to,
dear José, but I feel convinced from
that and other instances, that they
are conspirators and traitors to you.
If they have not already betrayed you
to your enemies, some unaccountable
presentiment tells me they will do it.
Therefore, my beloved José, if you
value the love of your Mary, that love
which was engendered in my heart from
the days of my early childhood, and
which has been cherished and expanded
to an intensely holy passion for
you—0! By this holy tie which unites
our hearts in tender sympathies, I
beseech you to comply with my request,
and forbear this intended visit to the city today.
0, Mary! Mary! The love of my earthly
affections, spare me from complying
with your request. You know that of
all things on earth whereon a man
could look for happiness, all my
hopes, dependence and love are
centered in you. My love for you is
without measure, making me subservient
to your will in nearly all respects;
yet there is a love and duty which I
must acknowledge is of more paramount
importance than the earthly love which
unites us in heart. I mean my duty to
God and my fellow men. Let us comfort
ourselves with the pleasing
anticipation that when this last duty
shall be performed we shall be enabled
to become to each other what we both
have so long ardently desired.
Then be it so since it is your wish
and you say, your duty, I will not
tempt you any longer to disregard
them. But mark me, José; these eyes of
mine will know no sleep until I know
the termination of your day’s
adventure. When the shades of evening
come upon us I will repair to the
Garden of Gethsemane. Between the
hours of five and six, if all go well
with you, send a message to me at that
place, and if any danger menace you, I
conjure you to flee and come yourself
to that spot, there you will find one
heart at least to shield you. Promise
me this much, and I will endeavor to
keep from despair.
Mary, I promise you.
The caravan approaches the entrance gate to Jerusalem
Who are you, that come to this city
followed by a multitude. Are you a
friend or foe to its rulers?
We come as friends, with peace and
good will to all men, having nothing
less in our intents than obedience to its rulers.
Will you be responsible for the peace
and good order of this multitude?
I and my followers will do our best to
keep the peace and promote good order.
Then you may pass.
Cosbi is seen leading a group of insurgents carrying high a
banner proclaiming Jesus King of the Jews.
Come on, my braves. Let us make him
King; Jesus shall be King of the Jews.
Jesus directs the Roman Officer to seize the banner and stop
Friends and Brethren, I come with
motives of brotherly love and social
good feelings, to make known to you
that I am resolves to retire from my
labors. Such is the motive of my
visit. Some of you are mistaken in the
nature of my doctrines and the cause I
advocate, if you think they sanction
turbulent and unlawful proceedings of
a political nature. If you are weak
and cannot govern yourselves, quarrel
not with your rulers, because they are
stronger than you; a government
requires strength, and any government
is better than anarchy and confusion.
Some of you are mistaken in my
character in supposing that I would
interfere in political strife. Some
pretended friends have shouted, Let us
make him King. No, my friends, my
kingdom is not of this world. Live a
life of peace, harmony and justice,
and attend to the cultivation of that
immortal principle within you. Then
you will progress in all that is good
from day to day and age to age, until
you will arrive at that degree of
perfection when you will know what is
true government, and how to govern yourselves.
19. Followers and disciples of Jesus assembled in the house of
Simeon; Jesus is betrayed
INT - HOUSE OF SIMEON - NIGHT
Followers and disciples of Jesus assembled; Jesus is betrayed
All are seated at a long rectangular table partaking of food
and wine. The meal has ended and Jesus stands to address the attendees.
My beloved friends and brethren, the
hour has at length come in which the
sorrowful task compels me to address
you for the last time and bid you
farewell, and then tear myself from
you, perhaps forever. You who are
parents can judge of the pangs of the
father when separated from his
children. You, therefore, can judge of
the agony which at present rends my
breast, for I view you all as my
children. In my early youth I was
educated under the same institutions
and influences that others are in our
country. The same measure of false and
vicious notions were meted out to me
that others received.
I did not cast them away from any
preconceived opposing view, but threw
them into the sieve of my reason,
sifted them thoroughly, and then I
perceived that nearly all fell
through, and after further casting out
all that were imperfect and worthless
there was but little worth preserving.
I said nothing, but continued my
investigations. At length the time
came when I was enabled to travel, and
I availed myself of the opportunity.
My mind became gradually freed from
all the erroneous notions which were
given me as so many truths by my early
instructors, and which were replaced
with facts that I gained in the course of my travels.
I observed that man had no general
conception of what is good or evil,
but every one decided it to be so,
whether it suited or not his end in
view; and that all the moral qualities
varied with men as their situations
differed in life; for what was good
and virtuous in one man’s estimation,
was bad or vicious in that of another.
I perceived that mankind had no true
conception of the true God of the
Universe, though nearly all men
believed in Gods. Having arrived at
these inferences of the human mind
through my investigations and
experience, I felt a deep sorrow
continually oppressing me, in
contemplating man’s imperfect moral
nature. But after further
investigation and mature reflection I
perceived it to be man’s inevitable
destiny to gain perfection and
intelligence through his worldly
experience; not the experience of a
lifetime or an age, but in the course
of a succession of ages. Then I said
to myself, is it possible for a man
who is endowed with the light of truth
to enlighten his fellow men,to banish
from their minds their errors and
misconceptions of things, replacing
them with a knowledge of facts? This I
concluded to be possible. I then
determined to devote my time and
exertions to accomplish that desired
end. Such, my friends, are the ideas
which initiated me into the course I
have of late pursued. When I entered
upon my labors, I found two great
obstacles to contend with.
One was, the almost impenetrable
darkness of the people’s minds; the
other was, the formidable opposition
of the priesthood, whose shafts of
wit, scorn and hatred I have defied;
but at length their vindictive malice
and temporal power have endangered and
circumscribed me in my proceedings. I
have endeavored to enlighten my
brethren in humanity, as to the nature
of the true God, and that the one they
worshiped under the name of Jehovah
was only the picture of their
barbarous ancestors. I have endeavored
to convince them that they possess
immortal souls, which emanate from
God’s own divine essence. I have
taught them a code of morals which, if
complied with, will preserve the
purity of their souls, and render them
happy on the earth. I have shown them
that death is but a transitory state
leading to a new and better life for
all those that are prepared to follow
it. I need scarcely tell you that I am
desirous of doing more, but, my
friends, I have aroused the great
Order of the Priesthood; they are up
in arms against me because they
perceive their priest craft is waning
among the people. They give me the
option to retire from my labors or
incur their dread vengeance. It is not
with regard to myself that I dread
their power and vengeance. No, my
friends, it is for your safety and the
cause I advocate that I have reason to
fear. Willingly would I sacrifice this
life of mine, if it could assure me
these dear objects of my desires and
ambitions would be saved.
But if by further opposition to their
wishes I should drive them to
hostilities against us, the sacrifice
of my life would not appease their
vindictive ire. I must, therefore,
submit to the proposals they make me;
and though the keenest of agony rends
my heart, I must resign myself to the
sorrowful separation. My friends, it
is my intention, after I separate from
you this night, to retire to domestic
privacy where I shall reflect upon my
labors and what I would further have
done, had I possessed the power and
liberty to do so.
0! My beloved Master, we wish you to
suggest some simple mode or manner by
which at certain times we may recall
to our remembrance your cherished love
and services; for we know that in the
course of natural events we cannot
have you always in our presence, but
we wish to renew your image in our
hearts and minds.
I thank our venerable friend for his
feeling address, and I thank all the
brethren, in his name, for their
expressions of love and sympathy. Call
the servants to fill your cups once
more with wine.
Servants refill the cups of wine.
In this cup, my friends, I pledge you
my sincere and undying love.
Now follow my example, and give me
your pledge, as I have given you mine;
and at every annual recurrence of this
night, do this in remembrance of me.
Beloved master, we pledge you our love!
Where is Judas? I see him not.
Judas said that some unforeseen
business compelled him to leave for a
little while. He will soon return.
He should have spoken to me. He is
lacking at the most interesting part
of our meeting.
How is this, Brother John? You have
not pledged me in your wine.
0! Master! I cannot.
Cannot! What do you mean?
Master, I am not worthy. Let me
confess before it be too late. There
is treachery among us, master.
You are betrayed! Judas has betrayed
you to the Sanhedrin. He is now gone
for the officers and guards to arrest
you. Flee master, while there is yet time!
0! Master Jesus, flee for your life
this instant! You have been betrayed.
Judas comes here with officers of the
Sanhedrin and a body of the city
guards to arrest you. A servant of
mine has just brought the information.
Flee, I beseech you,there is not a
moment to lose.
20. Jesus escapes to the Garden of Gethsemane accompanied by
Peter and Andrew.
EXT - GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE - NIGHT
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane accompanied by Peter and Andrew
Andrew we have chased our game to a
cover. We must take care that we do
not let him escape. Since he has not
made me a Governor of a Province as I
once expected, I will take up his
profession and become a master teacher
myself. Now Andrew, you must hasten to
the city and look out for Judas, who
with the officers and guards, like
bloodhounds are scenting around for
their victim. You must put them upon
the right scent, Andrew, by informing
Judas that I have him safe at the
northern grove in the garden of
Gethsemane. Now hasten you away, but
do not return, you will then escape
all suspicion of treachery.
Andrew leaves to find Judas
(Alone in the Garden)
Great God! In you have I trusted. For
you and my fellow man have I labored,
and now my recompense is treachery,
ignominy and destruction! If it be
possible with you let this persecution
cease. My principles and love are
strong in you, but the flesh is weak.
Now I am a miserable fugitive indeed,
deceived, betrayed and pursued to the
death! No one to pity me, but deserted
by all who formerly professed their
love. Even the woman of my heart,
whose love I prized above all earthly
blessings, seems to have deserted me,
for she is not here according to her
word. What shall I do? Whither shall I
flee? I am not coward enough to flee
before my pursuers like a hunted
beast. I would rather die a sacrifice
to their ire. 0, horror! Horror! More
blessed is the lot of the meanest
thing that crawls than mine at
present. I am sick of this life and of
my fellow-men. I would rather be a
jackal and nightly prowl around the
tombs feasting on the dead, than to
live on dependent and confiding in
man’s professions of love, sincerity
and gratitude; then I should not have
the agony to experience that all are
hollow-hearted, sordid-minded creatures.
Mary discovers Jesus in the Garden
There is yet one whose heart is true to you.
Mary! Dearest Mary! 0! My heart has
been sorely bruised, and my mind
driven to madness! Mary, have you
heard anything of what occurred at the banquet?
Dear José, as I entered the village I
met one of your disciples who had just
come from the city. He gave me the
fearful intelligence of your betrayal,
and the breaking up of the banquet.
But now, dear José, compose yourself,
and we will endeavor to decide what is
best to be done.
Mary, all is lost to me. I am now a
fugitive surrounded by traitors and
false friends, and dare not show my
head by day. I now repent because not
heeding your solemn warning and
advice, but my sense of duty to my
fellow men and the dignity of my own
character compelled me to disregard
all your just suspicions. In that I
have erred. Dearest lady of my heart,
since your beautiful image again
blesses my vision and your sweet voice
again impresses my ears, more than
half of my former anguish seems to
have been dispelled. 0! Sorry am I
that I should have neglected so pure
and holy a love as yours so long. Had
I devoted more attention to you, and
less to the false hearts around me the
present calamity might possibly have been avoided.
Cease, dear José, to regret the past.
I know you love me; that is
sufficient. I have waited in patience
many a long day to hear you say so,
and can wait as long again if it be
necessary for the happy day when we
shall become one in spirit and flesh.
But now, let us say no more; let us
hasten to find a place of concealment
for you until I can find the means of escape.
Mary, there is one thing more I must
say to you. It may happen that I
cannot escape, but become the victim
of my enemies; therefore, at the
present time I wish to impart to you a
secret, in case I shall not have
Proceed then, dear José; but be quick.
I wish to acquaint you, that your
former neighbors at Nazareth, known to
you as Joseph and Mary, were not my parents.
Ah! Is it possible! Who then were your parents?
That is still a mystery to me. When I
returned from my travels and revisited
my native village of Nazareth,
I found my foster mother, Mary, in her
last hour of life. When I entered her
presence she was speechless, but
sensible of her situation. She
recognized me immediately as I stooped
to embrace her. Pointing to a small
casket that was in the hands of a
Rabbi, who stood at the side of the
couch, she uttered a shriek of joy and
fell back, when her spirit departed
from her body. After the first
outpourings of my regret and grief
were over at the decease of my kind
mother, as I thought her to be, the
Rabbi placed the casket in my hands,
telling me that he had promised Mary
he would take care of it till I should
return to my native village. As soon
as convenient I opened the casket,
within which I found an article of
jewelry and a document in writing,
beside a quantity of money. The
document I immediately read, and to my
great astonishment I was informed that
the worthy Mary and her husband Joseph
were not my parents. It seems,
according to the statement, Joseph and
Mary were traveling to find a
favorable place for a settlement, when
one night as they were resting after
their day’s journey they were accosted
by a beautiful woman, who appeared to
be of high rank, and who presented me,
then an infant in arms, to them, with
a large bag of gold, desiring them to
take and rear me as one of their own children.
The unknown female then taking a
bracelet from her arm, gave it to
them, requesting that they should
never part with it excepting to myself
when I should be a man grown. I have
now revealed the secret, whose son I
am not; but whose son I am I know no
more than before. I would ask you to
take charge of this bracelet which has
been transmitted to me from one of my
mysterious parents, whoever they may
be. It is the greatest prize I retain
upon earth, and I know not any one to
whom I could entrust it better than to
you. Here it is, Mary; take it, wear
it, and keep it as long as you live,
as a memento of my undying love for you.
Dear José, your request shall be
sacredly complied with as long as I
live; but I can assure you that it
will not be long, if any fatal chance
shall deprive me of you. Now come, let
us leave this spot that we may carry
out the measures of safety to you.
Judas arrives with Roman Officers
This is the man! Seize him.
Roman Officers seize Jesus
Come sir, we arrest you through the
power of the Sanhedrin; you must go with us.
SECOND ROMAN OFFICER
We found this fellow asleep at the
lower part of the garden, and thinking
him to be one of the companions of the
agitator Jesus, we have brought him
before you to dispose of as you shall think fitting.
I will examine him. Know you that man?
No, I know him not.
Are you sure? Look again upon that
man, and tell me if you know him.
I tell you I know not the man and
never saw him before!
Know you this man, who denies all
knowledge of you?
I know something of him now, but I
knew him not before.
21. In the Palace of Antonia, present are Pontius Pilate,
Jesus, members of the Sanhedrin and Roman guards.
INT - PALACE OF ANTONIA - DAY
Present are Pontius Pilate, Jesus, members of the Sanhedrin,
Say, you Reverend Sires and Ministers
of Jehovah’s Holy Temple, why bring
you this man before me as a culprit?
What charges of evil doings have you
Your Highness, we bring him before you
to judge and condemn him on certain
offences committed against the State,
which in course of our investigations
have come to light, wherein he has
been guilty of treason against the
State, and contempt of our gracious
and august master, the Emperor.
Ah! That is a matter that must be
looked into. What are the charges
against this man of a treasonable nature?
Your Highness will please to hear read
the charges specified in this Document.
1st-This man has been heard to speak
disrespectfully and contemptuously of
our most illustrious and gracious
Emperor Tiberius Caesar, many times in
2nd-He has denied the justice and
lawfulness of paying tribute to Caesar.
3rd-He has denounced the Emperor as a
tyrant and usurper of the rights and
power of the Judean people.
4th-He has endeavored to incite the
people to rebellion against their rulers.
“5th-He has caused the standard of
Judea to be raised, and the Eagle of
the Romans to be treated with indignity.
6th-He has proclaimed himself to be
the rightful King of the Judean
people, and by many ways he has
endeavored to withdraw the people from
their allegiance to their rulers. All
these charges we have witnesses to verify.
Who are the witnesses to confirm these charges?
We have several witnesses among our
own body who can testify to the truth
of our charges.
Unfortunate man, what have you to say
in your defense to the charges these
men bring against you?
Your Highness may observe that my
enemies have taken advantage of me.
They knew I would not be prepared to
answer certain charges, of which I was
ignorant to the present time. All I
can do in the present case is to
declare my entire innocence of all
that my enemies have imputed to me.
I solemnly declare the charges against
me are false, vindictive and wicked
inventions, designed to work my destruction.
Have you no friends who can bear
testimony to the truth of that which
you have affirmed? Look around you,
for if there be anyone who can speak
in your favor, he shall have a just hearing.
My friends have all deserted me, as
they are afraid of persecution from
the same men who persecute me.
I shall now dissolve this tribunal
for the present, and in the evening
you shall have my final decision.
Present are Herod Antipas, Pilate, Jesus and members of the
Roman Guard, Palace of Antonia
I think your Highness had better take
my advice. This Caiaphas is an astute
and resolute man, quite capable of
working his ends; his political
enemies he generally finds means to
clear from his path.
I am not a man over-fastidious in what
I do, where prudence suggests, but
here is a case in which, if I comply
with the desires of these priests, I
shall not only sacrifice an innocent
man, but I shall humiliate myself. But
let us question this man. Perhaps we
may discover something to justify me
in deciding against him. Unfortunate
man, what have you done to these your
accusers, who seek with hatred to undo you?
I know that I have greatly offended
them, but that has been in fulfillment
of my office, which is the duty I owe
to God and my fellow-man. In
performing this duty, I have said and
done nothing that is not in conformity
with the eternal truth.
Truth! What mean you by truth?
Truth, as regards these, my accusers!
My accusers, who style themselves the
Most Sacred Order of Priesthood,
Ministers of the Holy Temple of the
Great Jehovah! To speak the truth
concerning them, is to strip them of
their lofty and imposing titles; to
lay open the wickedness of their
hearts; to display the meanness and
ignorance, the cunning and sophistry
of their minds; the absurdities of
their dogmas; the lying assumptions of their history.
This is the truth which has offended
them, and for which they seek to destroy me.
By the Gods! If that be the truth, it
is no wonder those priests should
endeavor to destroy you. Truth indeed!
Why, man, that is the most dangerous
thing a man can meddle with; it
generally destroys him who uses it. A
man may be forgiven for murder or
treason, but if he utters the truth of
all he knows concerning men, he will
not be forgiven, and will draw down
upon himself the hatred and hostility
of those he has offended. Unfortunate
man, you have greatly offended your
adversaries, and produced your own destruction.
What should we think and feel, my
Lord, if all the truth were spoken
concerning you and me?
It is horrible to contemplate. This
fellow must be a great disturber of
society and a great worker of vexation
among his superiors. There is no doubt
in my mind that he is guilty of all
that is charged to him. I suspect if
he were to tell the truth concerning
himself we should find that he is
ambitious to become a King, and has
been endeavoring to arrive at that
exalted station by raising the people to insurrection.
I have before stated that I have no
desires, hopes or ambition for worldly
aggrandizement. My ambition is not
founded on the things of this world,
but it points to others of a superior
nature in a more exalted state; and as
far as my influence over my fellow man
extends, I wish to guide his mind and
heart in that direction.
Your Highness may do as you please in
believing this man’s tale but the way
in which I view the case is this: That
this man is a low-born fellow with a
little learning and great ambition,
who is desirous of raising himself
from his low degree to some point of
elevation; he is, therefore, a
dangerous character, and no doubt is
guilty of all that is charged to him.
I am told that he is the son of a poor
mechanic, Joseph the carpenter. Ah!
Ah! Such presumption in a low-born
thing like him aspiring to be a King!
He ought to be made an example of, and
warning to all others of his low station.
Herod Antipas, you do me wrong. I am
not worldly ambitious, neither am I of
lowly birth. You are mistaken in
considering me the son of a mechanic.
I have proofs to show that I am not of
low degree, but the offspring of some
great personages, though I know not
who my parents are.
It is possible, if the truth could be
known, that the blood which courses
through my heart comes from as proud
and kingly a sire as you are.
By the Eternal God Jehovah, this man
must die a felon’s death! He has
insulted my dignity, and like a
serpent suddenly springing up in my
path, by some unaccountable means he
has caused my blood to chill with
horror. Your Highness must consent to
his death, for I will join my
influence with his adversaries to
compass it, and woe be to those who thwart it.
(To the guard)
Bring the prisoner to the porch.
Jesus is escorted to the porch, members of the Sanhedrin
awaiting the verdict
Most holy and merciful Priesthood of
the Great Jehovah, behold the man for
whose blood you thirst. I give him
into your hands. Let his doom be as
you will, but I declare before the
Gods that I give my consent to his
death as a sacrifice to the peace of
the State rather than to justice. Take
him into your power.
22. Thousands gathered for procession to Golgotha.
EXT - GOLGOTHA - DAY
Thousands gathered for procession to Golgotha
Jesus addresses Mary and Martha
Weep not, Mothers and Daughters of
Jerusalem; weep not for me! Rather
weep for yourselves, your sons, your
husbands, brothers and fathers. I have
long seen the errors, the vices and
unhappiness of our people as a nation,
and I have been enabled to see the
causes thereof. My love for my country
as a whole, for your fathers, husbands
and brothers in particular and you as
my sisters, have stimulated me to do
what I have done. I knew the evils I
should have to encounter, the risk I
should run, and the probable forfeit I
should have to pay of my life in the
end; but this did not deter me from
the undertaking. I ventured upon the
task, and I have been prosperous in
sowing the seeds of reform. At length
the strong arm of political power and
superstitious hatred have put a stop
to my endeavors to do more. I am
doomed to a mortal death, by which my
enemies think to put a stop to the
object of my labors, and then they
think to triumph over me. But how
foolish and narrow are their
conceptions! Women of Jerusalem, my
enemies think when they have
sacrificed my life, that they have
destroyed me and my influence. How
grossly dark are their conceptions of
the nature of man! No, mothers and
daughters of Jerusalem, it is not so.
They cannot destroy me, but they free
me from the toils of an earthly life,
and give me admission into a spiritual
one which is full of beauty, interest and happiness.
Yes, women of Jerusalem, after I have
drank of the bitter cup of death; my
spirit goes to another world far
superior to this. Where I go my
enemies cannot come until thoroughly
reformed, now, for their gross
natures, their ignorance, vices and
wickedness so much outweigh their
virtues, that they are allied to the
grosser matter of earth. But you, my
friends, who have wept for me in pure
sympathy, who have forsaken the
darkness of Mosaical superstition, and
aspire to the true light, by following
my doctrines, this world of beauty and
bliss shall be open to you. There we
will all meet again, and embrace each
other in pure friendship and love.
Now, my dear sisters, I must bid you
adieu. Believe me, that to the last
beating of my heart, I shall be
sensible of your kindness and tender
sympathy with me, which will tend to
assuage the bitter moments of a cruel death.
Mary faints; Cosbi on observing the bracelet she is wearing
carries her to his horse and rides away with her.
23. The lost bracelet is found.
INT - HOME OF SYBIL OF SCOPUS - DAY
The lost bracelet is found
Cosbi arrives with the unconscious Mary
GLAPHIRA Seeress of Scopus
Cosbi! What means this? What maiden is
this thus insensible?
Dear mistress, give orders that your
handmaidens do their best to restore
the maiden to consciousness and
health, and then I will explain all
this seeming mystery to you.
You must remember the last night I was
in your presence, previous to my
leaving you to serve my new master.
Yes, Cosbi, I remember the night to
which you allude. What of it?
Do you remember telling me, that if in
the course of my travels, I should see
a certain bracelet like the one you
did show me, I should endeavor to
trace up the history of its owner?
Yes, yes; I did tell you so! Have you
seen it, know you anything of it? Tell me quick.
0 where is it? Tell me immediately, or I shall die.
Here is the bracelet, if I mistake
not. It now remains for you to solve
the mystery how this maiden came by it.
It is the same! Who is this maiden, Cosbi?
Where am I?
Make yourself easy, dear lady, you are
among strangers, but friends. We
sympathize with you in your sore
affliction, and will tender you all
the consolation that kind friends can impart.
Ah! Now I remember what has happened!
Yes, he is gone; by this time, his
handsome person is become a mangled
corpse, exposed to the gaze of a cruel
world and the scoff of his enemies.
Of whom does she speak?
She speaks of the man who has gained
her heart’s purest affection. The
renowned Jesus, who pays the forfeit
of his life today, for being a better
and wiser man than his enemies, was
the tender lover and affianced husband
of this afflicted maiden.
Jesus the affianced husband of this
maiden, say you?
It is even so. She is the daughter of
Lazarus, of Bethany, who formerly
resided at Nazareth in Galilee, whose
family Jesus has been intimate with
from his childhood.
And what connection is there between
this man Jesus and the bracelet this
I know not. But I perceive, dear
mistress, this subject deeply affects you.
Dear lady, you have aroused within me
a great interest concerning this
bracelet. I would wish you to tell me
from whom you did obtain it.
I received this bracelet not long
since, from one of the greatest,
wisest and best of men, the only man
that has gained my soul’s affection.
His love was pure and ardent for me,
as mine is for him. Our beings were
united by one sympathy, love, hope and
desire. In the last interview I had
with him, he confided to me a secret
concerning his supposed parentage, to
this effect: The persons we both had
been taught to consider his parents were not such.
He said he had lately discovered it,
and that he still remained ignorant
who his parents were. He said that he
had received from his foster mother a
bracelet, which had been left with him
when an infant, and was supposed to
belong to his true mother, whoever she is.
Who, then, is this man of whom you
speak? Speak quickly, I pray you.
He is the unfortunate man called
Jesus, who is now undergoing an
ignominious death at Golgotha.
Dear maiden, I must have this
bracelet. If this unfortunate man is
not deprived of life, or should there
be any delay, it is possible that I
may save him.
Glaphira takes possession of the bracelet
24. The Sybil makes the astounding revelation to Herod.
INT - PALACE OF HEROD ANTIPAS - DAY
The Sybil makes the astounding revelation to Herod
OFFICER OF HEROD ANTIPAS
My Lord, there is a woman who desires
an audience. She says her business is
of the greatest importance; that it is
a case of life and death, and does not
admit of a moment’s delay. Shall I
admit her to your presence?
A woman! A case of life or death! Know
you who she is?
OFFICER OF HEROD ANTIPAS
She is called Hester, the Sibyl of Scopus.
I have heard of that woman, but know her not.
Glaphira is admitted to Herod’s presence
Herod Antipas, there is a man of
virtue and wisdom, whose life is now
at stake, if he has not already lost
it, when a word from you could save
it, if it pleased you to do so.
Who is this man for whom you plead my interference?
He is the renowned Jesus, a man of
inestimable virtues and great wisdom.
He is about being made a sacrifice to
the hatred of his enemies. I beg you
to intercede with Pontius Pilate to
save him from the horrid fate they design him.
The renowned Jesus! What right have I
to save the life of a common
malefactor, a public agitator and
Blasphemer of the Holy Temple?
0, King! Have mercy upon this man and
save him. He is not what he is
represented to be by his enemies. His
life is not the only one dependent
upon your word of intercession, for
mine is enwrapped in his. King Herod,
save this man’s life, I beseech you;
you know not what joy it will bring to
your own breast in after times.
It is useless, woman, to plead for
this man’s life. I will not intercede
for him, for I like him not.
If he was your own son, would you not
endeavor to save him?
That would probably alter the case.
However, as that is not the case I
must tell you, woman, I like not the
man. A word of mine might have saved
him yesterday, but he, low born fellow
that he is, had the presumption to
tell me, that the blood which coursed
through his heart probably came from
as kingly a Sire as I am. For this
audacity in placing himself on an
equality with me I gave my word for
his condemnation, when I might have saved him.
Herod, that unfortunate man, when he
told you that the blood which flowed
through his heart came probably from
as kingly a source as yours, told the truth.
Woman! What mean you by this insolence?
I mean to inform you that man Jesus
whom you would not save from an
ignominious death, but gave your word
and influence to destroy, that
unfortunate man is your son!
Woman! Who are you that come here with
this damning tale? What mean you by
saying this Jesus is my son?
I mean, that you are his father, and
I, unnatural wretch that I was, am his
mother. Herod, look upon this careworn
and sorrow stricken face of mine,
and see if you can discover any relics
of the beauty that once fascinated
your lascivious nature, under the form
of the beautiful and innocent
Glaphira, the princess of Iturea.
Herod, behold in me the victim of your
lust, the unhappy mother of that
Jesus, who is the offspring of our
Yes, Herod Antipas, as true as I am
Glaphira, who once loved you and
confided in your honor and
professions, you gave life to that man
whom now you have helped to destroy.
Glaphira! Is it really you? I think I
can recognize some remains of your
former self. Ah! It now seems to me
that I have wronged you. But what is
this you tell me, that I have a son by
you, that this man Jesus whom I have
persecuted is my son? By the God of
Israel, Glaphira, this is horrid. Ah!
It cannot be true; I cannot believe
it! Say it is not true, Glaphira.
Doubt it not, Herod. Should you
require a proof that he is your son, I
have it here to give you.
Do you remember these bracelets? One
day you gave me these bracelets, and
did observe at the time, Receive these
bracelets, Glaphira, as a testimony of
my undying love for you. Should I ever
prove unfaithful or cruel to you, may
the Gods cause them to be the proof of
my faithlessness, and bring punishment
upon me in my latter days. Do you
recognize them now?
I recognize the ill-fated baubles, but
what proof are they that Jesus is my son?
The proof is certain, Herod Antipas,
but there is not time to explain the
particulars now. Let it suffice to say
the bracelet has been returned to me
in a providential manner, and I have
discovered that this Jesus is the
offspring of our united folly and sin.
Hasten, I beseech you, to the
Governor, and if there be time,
prevent this execution.
Yes! Yes, I will! I will!
Pontius Pilate arrives
What has been done with the man Jesus?
He is crucified.
Crucified! Then God’s curse and
vengeance are upon me for the
iniquities of my life, which commenced
in faithlessness and cruelty to this
woman, and now culminates in my being
a participator in the murder of my son.
Glaphira rides to Calvary and observes her son on the cross
25. Scene of deadly duel between Saul and Judas; Judas
receives his reward.
EXT - TOMBS OF JEOSHAPHAT - NIGHT
Scene of deadly duel between Saul and Judas; Judas receives
My dear Judas. I am here at your
request. What would you with me?
The nature of my business with you,
Saul, is not so difficult to imagine,
I should think. I wish for an
acknowledgement of my services and the
fulfillment of your promises,
according to the compact we made. You
know, from the nature and results of
the dark service I have rendered you,
that the greater part of the people of
the city are much excited against me,
so much so that I dare not go in
public. I must, therefore, retire into
some distant country.
I acknowledge the justice of your
claims, dear Judas, and the prudence
of your determination in leaving this
country, though I shall deeply lament
your loss and companionship, as well
as your great services. As you have
been true to me, it behooves me to be
the same to you. I have accordingly
prepared myself to fulfill your expectations.
Have you brought me money?
Yes, my friend, I have brought you two
hundred shekels; it is all I have at
command at present. I will provide you
with more hereafter, wherever you go.
Have you the bond of my servitude
which is of more consequence to me
than this bag of money?
I have it. Freely and with pleasure do
I restore to you all claims I have to
you as bondman. Here it is; take it
and examine it by the light of the
moon, to satisfy yourself that all is correct.
Saul draws his knife, attacks Judas
Saul! This last act of yours convinces
me that your heart is blacker with sin
than my long experience of your
villainies had enabled me to suppose.
My dear Judas, I must confess that
there is seeming reason in your
charge, yet it is not thus I would
speak of you. I would rather
compliment you, dear Judas, for your
shrewdness, for I did not think you
could have suspected my intentions,
and thus have prepared yourself to
thwart me in my attempt.
Monster! Demon that you are! Could you
not allow me to depart in peace and
safety after all the services I have
rendered you in the accomplishment of
your iniquitous designs? After having
made me sacrifice every noble
principle, all sense of noble manhood
and humanity, all ties of virtue,
religion and morality, making me a
base instrument to execute your black
crimes. Now you would recompense me by
taking my life like any common assassin.
Judas, you know that I am a man
resolute and unscrupulous in all
things that endanger me in the
achievement of my designs. Judas, you
or I must die this night. You wish to
leave here for a distant country. Let
it be so; but it must be for the dark
shores of death and eternal oblivion,
where your tongue will be forever at
rest and Saul will not have occasion
to fear you. Come then, Judas, let us
decide this contest with our weapons,
for we are equally armed, and we
understand each other.
In the ensuing struggle Judas stumbles over the bag of money
and receives a fatal blow
Saul, stay your arm, there is no need
of further strife; you have given me
my death wound. I fain would say a few
words to you, while I have strength to do so.
Say on, brave Judas. Your shrewd
suggestions were always welcome to me,
and will be no less so now, I doubt not.
Saul, I do not regret my fate;
considering what evil I have done, I
deserve no better. Let me tell you,
that dark conspiracy we planned and
executed against that good man, Jesus,
never met with my sincere approbation.
It was your coercive measures that
forced me to do what I have done
against him. Saul, you have been
terribly cruel and unjust to me, and
possibly the time will come when there
will be a retribution. When I served
that good man, Jesus, I listened to
his doctrines, and in spite of my will
they sank deeply within me. He
frequently spoke of the true God and
of a future state, with great wisdom
and eloquence. I now believe that all
his ideas were founded on truth and
reason. Should the doctrines of this
Jesus be true, as I firmly believe
they are, there is some possibility,
Saul that we shall meet again. Should
it prove so, Saul, then…
Tagged with: Voice of Muse