Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 48 -
The Second Letter Of Cyrenius To Herod

HE PREFECT of Jerusalem and Herod were greatly terrified at the letter from Cyrenius, ceased their abominations and sent messengers to Tyre, who were to acquaint Cyrenius with the important reason why they were acting thus.
They described in lurid colors the legation of the anyhow slippery Persians and even claimed that they had discovered important secret leads which showed that none other than Cornelius, the brother of Cyrenius, had a part in this secret, typically Asian intrigue.
For it had been ascertained that Cornelius had taken this new king of the Jews under his protection,
and that Herod now had in mind to send messengers to Rome because of this if Cyrenius were not to grant him security.
Therefore Cyrenius was to subject Cornelius to the strictest examination - failing which the report would unfailingly be dispatched to the emperor.
This reprisal, which Cyrenius received when he had already returned to Tyre, at first made him hesitate.
But he quickly got hold of himself, led by the Spirit of God, and wrote the following lines to Herod:
'How does the secret law of Augustus read in regard to the discovery of a possible intrigue? It reads thus: If anyone discovers any manner of secret intrigue, he is to conduct himself very calmly and shall immediately and in all detail report everything to the highest state authority.
Neither a separate governor and still less a perfect shall lay hold of the sword without an explicit order from the highest state authority which first must well investigate the whole matter.
For nowhere can an untimely attack effect greater damage against the state than in just this point,
since the conspiracy in that case retreats and hides its intrigue with still more artful cunning and effectively comes into the open with it under more favorable circumstances when it can be certain of attaining its end.
'This is the most wise emperor's law from his own mouth in this ever so important consideration.
Did you act in accordance with it? - My brother Cornelius acted in accordance with it! He quickly took possession of the supposed new king of the Jews,
then delivered him into my hands, and I have long given orders for his most just disposal according to the power vested in me over Asia and Egypt.
My brother made representations to you regarding all that - but he spoke to deaf ears.
As actual rebels you have undertaken the murder of the children against all representations of my brother and on top of that have impudently called upon me to support you! Is that what you call administering the imperial law?
'I now tell you: the emperor has already been informed of the whole matter and has empowered me to depose the prefect of Jerusalem, although he is related to me, and to impose on Herod a fine of ten thousand pounds in gold.
The deposed prefect is to appear before me within five days and Herod is to settle his fine here in at most thirty days in full, failing which his right of tenure will be declared forfeit. Fiat! Cyrenius, vice Augusti.'