and that gaining millions of years of pure, painfree loving and caressing of eternal children instead of a brief ten years or so of loving them mixed with the sorrows of this world, is a source of great happiness for believers.
S e c o n d P o i n t : One time when a man was in prison they sent one of his lovable children to him. The unhappy prisoner suffered both his own sorrows, and since he could not make the child happy, he also suffered at his pain. Then the compassionate judge sent someone to him with a message which said: “For sure the child is yours, but he is my subject and one of my people. I shall take him to a fine palace and look after him there.” The man wept in anguish. He said: “I won’t give you my child, he is my one comfort!” His friends said to him: “Your grief is meaningless. If it is the child you pity, he will go to a spacious, happy palace in place of this dirty, distressing dungeon. If you are sorry for yourself and seeking your own interests, you will suffer much distress and pain at the child’s difficulties if he remains here, in addition to the single dubious, temporary benefit you receive. If he goes there, it will be of manifold advantage for you, for he will attract the king’s mercy and will be an intercessor for you. The king will want you to see him, and he is sure not to send him to the prison, so he will release you, summon you to the palace, and allow you to meet with the child there. But on condition you have confidence in the king and you obey him!”
My dear brother, like this comparison, you must think as follows, as should other believers if their children die: the child was innocent and his Creator is All-Compassionate and All-Generous. He has taken him to His perfect grace and mercy in place of my deficient upbringing and compassion. He has released him from the grievous, calamitous, difficult prison of this world and sent him to the gardens of Paradise. How happy for the child! If he had stayed in this world, who knows how he would have grown up. Therefore, I do not pity him, I know him to be fortunate. There remains my own benefits, and I don’t pity myself in connection with them, and I am not sad and sorry. For if he had remained in the world, he would have had ten years of a child’s temporary love mixed with pains. Then if he had been righteous and if he had been capable in worldly matters, perhaps he would have helped me. But by dying, he has become a sort of intercessor who will win me ten million years of a child’s love in eternal Paradise and everlasting happiness. Certainly, a person who loses a doubtful, immediate benefit and gains a thousand certain, postponed benefits does not weep and lament, nor cry out in despair.
T h i r d P o i n t : The child who died was the creature, possession, servant, and with all his members the artefact of the Most Compassionate