Chapter Sixteen

Now, when The Faith of Spirit had first started, The Priests of the temple of Tr had laughed at it.
2 "Such a foolish faith would never catch on," they laughed. Imagine, no gods! Everyone knew there were gods and that Tr was the mightiest god, the king of gods, for without Tr, there could be no rain, no livelihood of any kind.
3 He was the holder of the precious water, the keeper of the sky dams. He was the first born of the sun and the earth. His sky fire struck down any who opposed him.
4 How could these foolish people say he was nothing but a sick spirit, that thought himself a god? Surely such foolishness would quickly pass away! Had not the people of The One failed to make converts in Tr? No, this Religion was nothing. It would soon pass away.
5 But with each passing month The Priests of Tr became more concerned. In some villages almost all the people deserted their temples. In some cities almost half the tribute stopped coming. The situation was getting out of hand. These Children of Spirit and their ridiculous lies were robbing the temple of its share of goods.
6 Something had to be done! Worried priests from every temple throughout Tr wrote to The High Priest in the capitol until one day The High Priest called two of his assistants. "These Worshipers of Spirit," he said, "are getting out of hand. It is time we put an end to it. Tomorrow is Worship Day. Let us put on disguises and go to Their temple. Let us hear this Old Fox's heresy ourselves. Perhaps he will speak some form of treason, and we can take the matter before The King! If he does not, perhaps some of his followers can be persuaded to say he has.
7 The sooner we put an end to it, the better. Tr is the only lord in his kingdom. These fools will not deny his power, and rule much longer!"
8 So it was, the next Fifth Day of Worship The Priest and his assistants disguised as commoners came to The Old Fox's house and seated themselves in the back of The Temple.
9 As they were waiting for the service to begin, a rich man and his servants entered The Temple. The servants went to the front of The Temple and told the people to move back, and make room for their master. Now, this was not the custom in The Temple of Spirit, but as not to make discourse in The Temple, the people obeyed.
10 Now the service began, and the people sang The Lords Praises, and heard The Old Fox speak about two rich men who thought they could amend their wrongs by bribing the gods, and how sorrowful was their fate.
11 They came to the part of the service where The Old Fox asked if there were any in need, that desired to be prayed for, and the rich man rose. "Good priest," he commanded, "I have heard you have marvelous powers, much great magic, and that you heal the sick. So I have come here so you can heal me. For the physicians have said I am gravely ill, and will soon die. Tell these Lords of yours to heal me, and I will do for your Temple great things!"
12 The Old Fox spoke angrily. "Foolish man!" he cried, "Did you not hear any of my words? Did nothing reach your heart? Unless a man repent and turn from his evil The Lords will not help him. For if there is no spark of good in a man, The Power of The Lords cannot reach him.
13 You push your way into our Temple, demand and exalted place, then Healing? Yes, you are sick. You are dying. You will not see the coming of summer, and your first born has learned from you. He is as foolish and ignorant as yourself.
14 Within a year of your death your family will be ruined, all you own, thrown away, and your children sold into slavery. The Lords will not heal you, but They will give you some advice.
15 If you want to save your family, pay back those you have cheated, and make your youngest son your heir. He will protect your goods, and your family will prosper. This is the only mercy The Lords will give you. Now arise from our Temple and be gone! The likes of you are not welcome here!"
16 "How dare you!" screamed the rich man. "How dare you? I am rich! A councilman for The King. I could do good things for your people! How dare you treat me so?"
17 "You are rich with gold," The Old Fox answered, "but nothing shines in your heart. Begone! Get out, before I say more than I should! For The Lords know all the secrets of your houses."
18 The rich man looked startled and somewhat afraid. Gathering his servants he swiftly departed. Now those in the congregation began to murmur and talk among themselves, and The Priest of Tr leaned to the eldest of his assistants. "See how foolish this Religion is?" he whispered. "Everyone knows the rich are rich because the gods favor them, and they should be shown the most respect. This old man is a fool. He has no wisdom at all."
19 The Old Fox, who had been watching the rich man leave, turned in The Priest's direction. "And you begone, also, High Priest of Tr," he cried. "Get out of our Temple! We need none of your lies here. You favor the rich because they cover you with costly garments and give you rich meals in their houses, and their young wives take you to their beds.
20 You are an absurdity, a blasphemy, even to your own faith! Take your lies, take your falsities and get out of our Temple, you who cheat the poor and lie to the sick! Get out of The House of Truth!"
21 The Priest of Tr rose, like an angry beast. "Fool!" he screamed, "Liar! How dare you speak such of the servant of Tr? I am The Voice of Tr. I am his glory! None question my honesty!"
22 "Not all men are blind," answered The Old Fox, "not all men are fools. The poor will learn how you deceive them. They will learn the secrets of your temple. They will desert you. And the day will come when you will try to flee, but your own guards will pursue you, and administer unto you The King's Justice!"

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