“Be it so,” said Balthasar, smiling.
And Ben-Hur said, “Be it so.” Then he went on- “But I have not yet done. From these things, not too great to be above suspicion by such as did not see them in performance as I did, let me carry you now to others infinitely greater, acknowledged since the world began to be past the power of man. Tell me, has any one to your knowledge ever reached out and taken from Death what Death has made his own? Who ever gave again the breath of a life lost? Who but- ”
“God!” said Balthasar, reverently.
“O wise Egyptian! I may not refuse the name you lend me. What would you- or you, Simonides- what would you either or both have said had you seen as I did, a man, with few words and no ceremony, without effort more than a mother’s when she speaks to wake her child asleep, undo the work of Death? It was down at Nain. We were about going into the gate, when a company came out bearing a dead man. The Nazarene stopped to let the train pass. There was a woman among them crying. I saw his face soften with pity. He spoke to her, then went and touched the bier, and said to him who lay upon it dressed for burial, ‘Young man, I say unto thee, Arise!’ And instantly the dead sat up and talked.”
“God only is so great,” said Balthasar to Simonides.
“Mark you,” Ben-Hur proceeded, “I do but tell you things of which I was a witness, together with a cloud of other men. On the way hither I saw another act still more mighty. In Bethany there was a man named Lazarus, who died and was buried; and after he had lain four days in a tomb, shut in by a great stone, the Nazarene was shown to the place. Upon rolling the stone away, we beheld the man lying inside bound and rotting. There were many people standing by, and we all heard what the Nazarene said, for he spoke in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ I cannot tell you my feelings when in answer, as it were, the man arose and came out to us with all his cerements about him. ‘Loose him,’ said the Nazarene next, ‘loose him, and let him go.’ And when the napkin was taken from the face of the resurrected, lo, my friends! the blood ran anew through the wasted body, and he was exactly as he had been in life before the sickness that took him off. He lives yet, and is hourly seen and spoken to. You may go see him to-morrow. And now, as nothing more is needed for the purpose, I ask you that which I came to ask, it being but a repetition of what you asked me O Simonides, What more than a man is this Nazarene?”