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`In the time of the prophet Elijah it came to pass that Elijah seeing a blind man weeping, a man of good life, asked him, saying: "Why weepest thou, O brother?" The blind man answered: "I weep because I cannot see Elijah the prophet, the holy one of God."

`Then Elijah rebuked him, saying: "Cease from weeping,  O man, for in weeping thou sinnest."

`The blind man answered: "Now tell me, is it a sin to see a holy prophet of God, that raiseth the dead and maketh the fire to come down from heaven?"

`Elijah answered: "Thou speakest not the truth, for Elijah is not able to do anything of all that thou sayest, because he is a man as thou art. For all the men in the world cannot make one fly to be born."

`Said the blind man: "Thou sayest this, O man, because Elijah must have rebuked thee for some sin of thine, wherefore thou hatest him."

`Elijah answered: "May it please God that thou be speaking the truth: because, O brother, if I should hate Elijah I should love God, and the more I should hate Elijah the more I should love God."

`Hereupon was the blind man greatly angered, and said: "As God liveth, thou art an impious fellow! Can God then be loved while one hateth the prophets of God? Begone forthwith, for I will not listen to thee any longer!"

`Elijah answered: "Brother, now mayest thou see with thine intellect how evil is bodily seeing. For thou desirest sight to see Elijah, and hatest Elijah with thy soul."

`The blind man answered: "Now begone! For thou art the devil, that wouldst make me sin against the holy one of God."

`Then Elijah gave a sigh, and said with tears: "Thou hast spoken the truth, O brother, for my flesh, which thou desirest to see, separateth thee from God."

`Said the blind man: "I do not wish to see thee; nay, if I had my eyes, I would close them so as not to see thee?"

`Then said Elijah: "Know, brother, that I am Elijah!"

`The blind man answered: "Thou speakest not the truth."

`Then said the disciples of Elijah: "Brother, he verily is the prophet of God, Elijah."

`"Let him tell," said the blind man, "if he be the prophet, of what seed I am, and how I became blind?'

`Elijah answered: "Thou art of the tribe of Levi; and because thou, in entering the temple of God, lookest lewdly upon a woman, thou being near the sanctuary, our God took away thy sight."

`Then the blind man weeping said: "Pardon me, O holy prophet of God, for I have sinned in speaking with thee; for if I had seen thee I should not have sinned."

`Elijah answered: "May our God pardon thee, O brother, because as regardeth me I know that thou hast told me the truth, seeing that the more I hate myself the more I love God, and if thou sawest me thou wouldst still thy desire, which is not pleasing to God. For Elijah is not your creator, but God; whence, so far as concerneth thee, I am the devil," said Elijah weeping, "because I turn thee aside from thy creator. Weep then, O brother, because thou hast not that light which would make thee see the true from the false, for if thou hadst had that thou wouldst not have despised my doctrine. Wherefore I say unto thee, that many desire to see me and come from far to see me, who despise my words. Wherefore it were better for them, for their salvation, that they had no eyes, seeing that everyone that findeth pleasure in the creature, be he who he may, and seeketh not to find pleasure in God, hath made an idol in his heart, and forsaken God."'

Then said Jesus, sighing: `Have ye understood all that Elijah said?'

The disciples answered:  `In sooth, we have understood, and we are beside ourselves at the knowledge that here on earth there are very few that are not idolaters.'

Taken from: The Gospel of Barnabas, Chapters 116, 117

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