them by telling them falsely that God will not punish them. In both body and mind, in disease and
remorse, they have already ample proof that sin brings its own punishment, and that, as 'Ali says, "The 1 sweetness of this world of thine is poisoned, therefore thou eatest not
honey but with poison."
Other men fancy that for them happiness consists in the acquisition of worldly wealth. They heap
up treasure upon treasure. The more they have, the more do they long for, and nothing ever satisfies
them. At length Death catches them in its snare and plunders them for ever of their wealth and of
all that they have laid up for themselves. Even in youth we are not sure of life for a day: the only
thing we are sure of is death.
The2 young man longeth that his friend may not die,
And yet no way is there not to die.
Stripped of all their treasures and destitute of all hope for the future, naked and hopeless, men
are compelled to journey forth from this caravansarai of transitoriness towards the dwelling of
permanence. In the dying ears of those who have put their trust in riches there ring such words as
"Go to, now, ye rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches
are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver are rusted; and their
rust shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye have laid up your
treasure in the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who mowed your fields, which is of you
kept back by fraud, crieth out: and the cries of them that reaped have entered into the ears of the
Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure; ye have nourished
your hearts in a day of slaughter."
Riches are not always gained by cruelty, fraud, and oppression, but they cannot truly satisfy man's
higher nature, however they may have been acquired, and at death no man may carry them away with
him. Death shows us things in their true colours, and enables us to perceive the worthlessness of
those things for which men strive most eagerly. The poet's words are well known:
"Everyone's1 death, my child, is of the same kind as he is himself: to the enemy
an enemy, and to the friend a friend." And again:
"Who2 in all the world that strung the bow of oppression did not become the
target for an arrow of an eternal curse? Who that in untrustworthy Time planned a method of wrong
did not himself become Time's object of warning?"
Others there are who hope to gain true happiness by the acquisition of human learning. They do
not sufficiently consider that all that man has learnt of earthly things, being based upon that
which is transitory, must itself grow antiquated and pass away. The human spirit is eternal, and can
never be rendered permanently happy by the possession of transitory knowledge, for: "To3
sharpen mind and heart is not the way: none but the broken-hearted gains the King's grace."
It has therefore well been said: "If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth
not yet as he ought to know. But if any man loveth God, the same is known of him."
Some fancy that they shall find happiness in the honour and glory and greatness of this world;
others seek it in still other ways. But all men are at one in