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p. 34


A squint-eyed son asked his father, O thou whose words are as a key to the things that are locked up, why saidst thou that a squinter sees double? I see no more things than there are; if a squint-eyed person counted things crookedly, the two moons that are in the heavens would seem four.

But he who spoke thus spoke in error; for if a squinter looks at a dome, it is doubled.

I fear that on the high-road of the faith thou art like the crooked-seeing squinter, or like the fool who senselessly quarrelled with the camel because of God's handiwork. His flawless creation is the

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qibla of our understanding; His changeless nature is the ka`ba of our desire. He has exalted the soul in giving it wisdom; He has nourished His pardoning mercy on our faults. God well knows your turning to Him; His wisdom it is which prevents His answering your prayers. Though the physician hears his patient when he begs, he does not give earth to an earth-eater; and though his soul desire it, how shall He give earth through all his life to him who digs the earth? How shall His act be without a reason, or His decrees in accordance with thy weak understanding?

There are exceeding many who have drunk the cup of pure poison and have not died of it; nay, it is life's food to him who from the violence of his disease is wasted to a reed. In His wisdom and justice He has given to all more than all that is requisite; if the gnat bites the elephant's hide, tell him to flap his ears,--he has a gnat dispeller in them; if there is a louse, thou hast a finger-nail; punish the flea, when it jumps on thee; though the mountains were full of snakes, fear not,--there are stones and an antidote on the mountain too; and if thou art apprehensive of the scorpion, thou hast slipper and shoe for it. If pain abounds in the world, everyone has a thousand remedies.

In accordance with his scheme He has suspended together the sphere of intense cold and the globe of fire. The motions of the

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body are rendered equable, the coolness of the brain and the warmth of the heart are both moderated; the liver and heart, by means of the stomach and arteries, send forth water and air to the body, that through breath and blood the heart by its movement, and the liver by its quiescence, may give the body life.

There is a spiritual kingdom in the universe, and also a temporal power; above the throne light, and below darkness; both these principles He bestowed at the creation, when He spread His shadow over His handiwork. The temporal world He has given of His bounty to the body, the spiritual world as a glory to the soul; that so both inner and outer man may receive food, the body from the lord of this world, the soul from the Lord of the spirit-world; for through all His creation God keeps a benign grace for the benefit of the noble soul.

The acute thinker knows that what He does is well; it is thou who namest some things evil and some good, otherwise all that comes from Him is pure kindness. Evil comes not into existence from Him; how can evil subsist with Godhead? Only the foolish and ignorant do evil; the Doer of good Himself does no evil. If He gives poison, deem it sweet; if He shows wrath, deem it mercy. Good is the cupping-glass our mothers apply to us, and good too the dates they give.