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p. 18


Whoso is fenced around by divine aid, a spider spreads its web before him; a lizard utters his praise, a serpent seeks to please him. His shoe treads the summit of the throne; his ruby lip is the world's

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fitting ornament; in his mouth poison becomes sugar; in his hand a stone becomes a jewel. Whoso lays his head on this threshold places his foot on the head of things temporal; wise reason is powerless to explain these things, for all are powerless who come not to this door. I fear that through thy ignorance and folly thou wilt one day be left helpless on Sirât; thy ignorance will deliver thee to the fire; see how it is administering the soporific lettuce and poppies to thee.

Thou hast seen how in the middle of a morsel of food that one eats there will appear a grain of wheat, which has survived the attack of locust, and bird, and beast, has seen the heat of heaven and the glow of the oven, and remained unchanged under thy millstone. Who preserved it? God, God. He is a sufficient protector for thee,--for possessions and life and breath; thou art of His creation, that is

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enough. If thou procurest dog and chain thou canst overcome the antelope of the desert, and in thy trust and sincere belief in this thou art free from anxiety as regards a maintenance and livelihood: I say to thee,--and with reason and judgment, so that thou mayst not shut the door of thine ear against my words,--Thy trust in dog and chain I see is greater than in the All-hearing and All-seeing; the light of thy faith, if standing on this foundation, is given over to destruction by a dog and a thing of iron.