Sacred-Texts Islam
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'God is so immeasurable that I tremble to describe him. But it is necessary that I make unto you a proposition. I tell you, then, that the heavens are nine and that they are distant from one another even as the first heaven is distant from the earth, which is distant from the earth five hundred years' journey. Wherefore the earth is distant from the highest heaven four thousand and five hundred years' journey. I tell you, accordingly, that [the earth] is in proportion to the first heaven as the point of a needle, and the first heaven in like manner is in proportion to the second as a point, and similarly all the heavens are inferior each one to the next. But all the size of the earth with that of all the heavens is in proportion to paradise as a point, nay, as a grain of sand. Is this greatness immeasurable?'

The disciples answered: 'Yea, surely.'

Then said Jesus: 'As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth, the universe before God is small as a grain of sand, and God is as many times greater [than it] as it would take grains of sand to fill all the heavens and paradise, and more. Now consider ye if God hath any proportion with man, who is a little piece of clay that standeth upon the earth. Beware, then, that ye take the sense and not the bare words, if ye wish to have eternal life.'

The disciples answered: 'God alone can know himself, and truly it is as said Isaiah the prophet: "He is hidden from human senses."'

Jesus answered: 'So is it true; wherefore, when we are in paradise we shall know God, as here one knoweth the sea from a drop of salt water.

'Returning to my discourse, I tell you that for sin alone one ought to weep, because by sinning man forsaketh his Creator. But how shall he weep who attendeth at revellings and feasts? He will weep even as ice will give fire! Ye needs must turn revellings into fasts if ye will have lordship over your senses, because even so hath our God lordship.'

Said Thaddaeus: 'So then, God hath sense over which to have lordship.'

Jesus answered: 'Go ye back to saying, "God hath this," "God is such"? Tell me, hath man sense?'

'Yes,' answered the disciples.

Said Jesus: 'Can a man be found who hath life in him, yet in him sense worketh not?'

'No,' said the disciples.

'Ye deceive yourselves,' said Jesus. 'for he that is blind, deaf, dumb, and mutilated—where is his sense? And when a man is in a swoon?'

Then were the disciples perplexed; when Jesus said: 'Three things there are that make up man: that is, the soul and the sense and the flesh, each one of itself separate. Our God created the soul and the body as ye have heard, but ye have not yet heard how he created the sense. Therefore to-morrow, if God please. I will tell you all.'

And having said this Jesus gave thanks to God, and prayed for the salvation of our people, every one of us saying:'Amen.'