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It is written in the Injeel, or Gospel, stating: “O son of man, if I bestow riches upon you, you will be more intent upon your property than upon me, and if I leave you in poverty you will sit down dejected; how then can you feel a relish to praise, or a zeal to worship me?”—(Proverbs xxx. 7, 8, 9.) In the day of plenty thou art proud and negligent; in the time of want, full of sorrow and dejected; since in prosperity and adversity such is thy condition, it were difficult to state when thou wouldst voluntarily do thy duty.
The pleasure of Him, or God, who has no equal hurls one man from a throne of sovereignty, and another he preserves in a fish’s belly:—Happy proceeds his time who is enraptured with thy praise, though, like Jonah, he even may pass it in the belly of a fish!
Were the Almighty to unsheath the sword of his wrath, prophets and patriarchs would draw in their heads; and were he to deign a glimpse of his benevolence, it would reach the wicked along with the good:—Were he on the day of judgment to call us to a strict account, even the prophets would have no room for excuse. Say, withdraw the veil from the face of thy compassion, that sinners may entertain hopes of pardon.
Whoever is not to be brought into the path of righteousness by the punishments of this life shall be overtaken with the punishments of that to come:—“Verily, I will cause them to taste the lesser punishment over and above the greater punishment":—(Koran xxxii. Sale ii. 258.) Princes, in chastising, admonish, and then confine; when they admonish, and thou listenest not, they throw thee into prison.
Men of auspicious fortune would rather take warning from the precepts and examples of their predecessors than that the rising generation should take warning from their acts:—The bird will not approach the grain that is spread about, where it sees another bird a captive in the snare. Take warning by the mischance of others, that others may not take warning by thine.
How can he help himself who was born deaf, if he cannot hear; and what can he do whose thread of fortune is dragging him on that he may not proceed:—The dark night of such as are beloved of God is serene and light as the bright day; but this good fortune results not from thine own strength of arm, till God in his mercy deign to bestow it. To whom shall I complain of thee? for there is no judge else, nor is any arm mightier than thine. Him whom thou directest none can lead astray, and him whom thou bewilderest none can direct upon his way.