He answered me then and said, "Measure thou the time diligently in itself; and when thou seest that part of the signs have passed which I have told thee before,
then shalt thou understand that it is the very same time wherein the Highest will begin to visit the world which He made.
Therefore when there shall be seen earthquakes and uproars of the people in the world,
then shalt thou well understand that the Most High spoke of those things from the days that were before thee, even from the beginning.
For as all that is made in the world hath a beginning and an end, and the end is manifest,
even so the times also of the Highest have plain beginnings in wonders and powerful works, and endings in effects and signs.
And every one that shall be saved, and shall be able to escape by his works and by faith, whereby ye have believed,
shall be preserved from the said perils, and shall see My salvation in My land and within My borders; for I have sanctified them for Me from the beginning.
Then shall they be in a pitiful state who now have abused My ways, and they that have cast them away despitefully shall dwell in torments.
For such as in their life have received benefits and have not known Me,
and they that have loathed My law while they had yet liberty, and, when as yet a place of repentance was open unto them, understood not but despised it,
the same must know it after death by pain.
And therefore be thou not curious how the ungodly shall be punished, and when; but inquire how the righteous shall be saved, whose the world is, and for whom the world is created."
Then answered I and said,
"I have said before, and now do speak, and will speak it also hereafter: that there be many more of those who perish than of those who shall be saved,
as a wave is greater than a drop."
And He answered me, saying, "As the field is, so is also the seed; as the flowers be, such are the colors also; such as the workman is, such also is the work; and as the husbandman is himself, so is his husbandry also. For it was the time of the world.
And now when I prepared the world, which was not yet made, even for them to dwell in that now live, no man spoke against Me.
For then every one obeyed; but now the manners of them that are created in this world that is made are corrupted by a perpetual seed and, by a law which is unsearchable, destroy themselves.
So I considered the world, and behold, there was peril because of the devices that had come into it.
And I saw, and spared it greatly, and have kept Me a grape of the cluster, and a plant of a great people.
Let the multitude perish then, which was born in vain, and let My grape be kept, and my plant; for with great labor have I made it perfect.
Nevertheless, if thou wilt cease yet seven days moreÀ2ÀÀ2Àbut thou shalt not fast in them,
but go into a field of flowers where no house is built, and eat only the flowers of the field; taste no flesh, drink no wine, but eat flowers only,
and pray unto the Highest continuallyÀ2ÀÀ2Àthen will I come and talk with thee."
So I went my way into the field which is called Ardat, as He commanded me; and there I sat among the flowers, and ate of the herbs of the field, and the meat of the same satisfied me.
After seven days I sat upon the grass, and my heart was vexed within me, as before.
And I opened my mouth, and began to talk before the Most High and said,
"O Lord, Thou that showest Thyself unto us, Thou wast shown unto our fathers in the wilderness in a place where no man treadeth, in a barren place, when they came out of Egypt.
And Thou spokest saying, `Hear Me, O Israel; and mark My words, thou seed of Jacob.
For behold, I sow My law in you, and it shall bring fruit in you, and ye shall be honored in it for ever.'
But our fathers who received the law kept it not, and observed not Thy ordinances; and though the fruit of Thy law did not perish--neither could it, for it was Thine--
yet those who received it perished, because they kept not the thing that was sown in them.
And lo, it is a custom: when the ground hath received seed, or the sea a ship, or any vessel meat or drink, having perished wherein it was sown or cast into,
that thing also, which was sown or cast therein or received, doth perish and remaineth not with us; but with us it hath not happened so.
For we who have received the law perish by sin, and our heart also which received it.
Notwithstanding, the law perisheth not, but remaineth in his force."
And when I spoke these things in my heart, I looked back with mine eyes, and upon the right side I saw a woman; and behold, she mourned and wept with a loud voice, and was much grieved at heart, and her clothes were rent, and she had ashes upon her head.
Then let I my thoughts go that were in me, and turned unto her
and said unto her "Why weepest thou? Why art thou so grieved in thy mind?"
And she said unto me, "Sir, let me alone, that I may bewail myself and add unto my sorrow, for I am sore vexed in my mind and brought very low."
And I said unto her, "What aileth thee? Tell me."
She said unto me, "I, thy servant, have been barren and had no child, though I had a husband thirty years.
And those thirty years I did nothing else day and night and every hour but make my prayer to the Highest.
After thirty years God heard me, thine handmaid, looked upon my misery, considered my trouble, and gave me a son. And I was very glad for him, so was my husband also and all my neighbors; and we gave great honor unto the Almighty.
And I nourished him with great travail.
So when he grew up and came to the time that he should have a wife, I made a feast.