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'Not only hath God created man, as I say, but he created him perfect. He hath given him the whole world; after the departure from paradise he hath given him two angels to guard him, he hath sent him the prophets, he hath granted him the law, he hath granted him the faith, every moment he delivereth him from Satan, he is fain to give him paradise; nay more, God willeth to give himself to man. Consider, then, the debt, if it is great! [a debt] to cancel which ye would need to have created man of yourselves out of nothing, to have created as many prophets as God hath sent, with a world and a paradise, nay, more, with a God great and good as is our God, and to give it all to God. So would the debt be cancelled and there would remain to you only the obligation to give thanks to God. But since ye are not able to create a single fly, and seeing there is but one God who is lord of all things, how shall ye be able to cancel your debt? Assuredly, if a man should lend you an hundred pieces of gold, ye would be obliged to restore an hundred pieces of gold.
'Accordingly, the sense of this, O brother, is that God, being lord of paradise and of everything, can say that which pleaseth him, and give whatsoever pleaseth him. Wherefore, when he said to Abraham, "I will be thy great reward," Abraham could not say: "God is my reward," but "God is my gift and my debt." So when thou discoursest to the people, O brother, thou oughtest thus to explain this passage: that God will give to man such and such things ifman worketh well.
'When God shall speak to thee, O man, and shall say: "O my servant, thou hast wrought well for love of me; what reward seekest thou from me, thy God?" answer thou: "Lord, seeing I am the work of thy hands, it is not fitting that there should be in me sin, which Satan loveth. Therefore, Lord, for thine own glory, have mercy upon the works of thy hands.
'And if God say: "I have pardoned thee, and now I would fain reward thee"; answer thou: "Lord, I merit punishment for what I have done, and for what thou hast done thou meritest to be glorified. Punish, Lord, in me what I have done, and save that which thou hast wrought."
'And if God say: "What punishment seemeth to thee fitting for thy sin?" do thou answer: "As much, O Lord, as all the reprobate shall suffer."
'And if God say: ''Wherefore seekest thou so great punishment, O my faithful servant?" answer thou: "Because every one of them, if they had received from thee as much as I have received, would have served thee more faithfully than I have done."
'And if God say: "When wilt thou receive this punishment, and for how long a time?" answer thou: "Now, and without end."
'As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth, such a man would be more pleasing to God than all his holy angels. For God loveth true humility, and hateth pride.'
Then the scribe gave thanks to Jesus, and said to him, 'Lord, let us go to the house of thy servant, for thy servant will give meat to thee and to thy disciples.'
Jesus answered: 'I will come thither when thou wilt promise to call me "Brother," and not "Lord," and shalt say thou art my brother, and not my servant.' The man promised, and Jesus went to his house.