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p. 62


When He lays the table of its food before the creature, He provides a fare more ample than the eater's needs; life and days and daily food come to all from Him; happiness and fortune are from Him. He supplies the daily bread of each, nor seals the door of the

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storehouse; infidel and true believer, wretched and prosperous, to all their daily food and life renewed. While the Hâ of necessity is still in their throat, the Jîm of His munificence has given His creatures their sustenance. Except by bread we cannot live, and appetite is our only relish; He shuns not His servants when they turn to Him,--He has given the relish, He will give the bread too.

Thy bread and life are in the treasury of God; thou dost not hold, according to His word, that it is He. If thy daily bread be in China, thy horse of acquisition is ready saddled to bear thee speedily to it, or to bring it to thee whilst thou art sleeping. Has He not said to thee, I am thy Sustainer, the Knower of what is hidden and the Knower of what is manifest; I gave life, I give the means of livelihood; whatsoever thou askest, I give forthwith? Know that, like the day, the matter of thy daily bread is well assured, for thy daily bread is a present which the day brings with it; forasmuch as the kindness of God is on thee, thou boldest thy life as a pledge for thy food. Take thought for thy life, and thou hast done the same for thy bread; loaf succeeds loaf as far as the edge of the grave. Hold firmly to this pledge, and eat thy bread; and when the pledge passes from thee, still shalt thou eat the food of Life. Life without bread God gave to none, for life endures through bread; and when life quits the body, know for a certainty that now indeed sustenance has reached thee.

The ignoble fear for their daily bread; the generous man does not eat his food warmed up a second time. The lion eats not his prey

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alone; when he is satisfied, he abandons the rest. It is for women to hoard up the old; to men new sustenance with the new day. Thy daily bread is a charge on the All-knowing and All-powerful,--be not angry against prince or minister; it comes from God's door, and not by teeth or throat or pipe.

The lordship of a house is a lordship with sorrow, especially for him who has no wealth or treasure; the lordship of a house is all sorrow and desire,--leave aside the house, and God is sufficient for thee. Let thy trust at all times be on God, rather than on mill and sack; for if the clouds give thee no water for a year, I foresee that thy affairs will be altogether ruined.

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