Who sought after the lost sheep and the lost piece of silver? 4767 Was it not the loser? But who was the loser? Was it not he who once possessed 4768 them? Who, then, was that? Was it not he to whom they belonged? 4769 Since, then, man is the property of none other than the Creator, He possessed Him who owned him; He lost him who once possessed him; He sought him who lost him; He found him who sought him; He rejoiced who found him. Therefore the purport 4770 of neither parable has anything whatever to do with him 4771 to whom belongs neither the sheep nor the piece of silver, that is to say, man. For he lost him not, because he possessed him not; and he sought him not, because he lost him not; and he found him not, because he sought him not; and he rejoiced not, because he found him not. Therefore, to rejoice over the sinners repentance—that is, at the recovery of lost man—is the attribute of Him who long ago professed that He would rather that the sinner should repent and not die.
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