Here is the rest of the Imam’s speech:
True, I’ve reached a quick-learner who couldn’t be trusted with It, who would seek to use the instrument of Religion for this world—who would try to use God’s blessings to dominate His (true) servants and His proofs to overcome His Friends. Or someone submissive to the bearers of the divine Truth (al-Haqq), but without any true Insight (basīra) into Its twists and curves, whose Heart is consumed by doubt at the first onset of some difficulty. But alas, neither this one nor that (can truly bear the Truth)! Or someone greedy for pleasures, easily led by their passions? Or someone engrossed in acquiring and accumulating (worldly possessions)? Those two are not among the guardians of Religion in any respect—the closest semblance to that sort are the grazing cattle! Thus Knowing dies with the death of those who bear it.
Yet indeed, O my God, the world is never without one upholding the Evidence for God, either outwardly and known to all, or secretly and in obscurity, so that God’s Evidences and His illuminating-manifestations may not come to nought. But how many are these, and where are they!?
By God, these (true Knowers) are the fewest in number, but the greatest of all in their rank with God! Through them God preserves His Evidences and His Illuminating-manifestations, so that these (Knowers) may entrust them to their (true) peers and sow them in the Hearts of those like them. Through (those Knowers) Knowing penetrates to the inner reality of true Insight (haqīqat al-basīra). They are in touch with the Spirit of Certainty (rūh al-yaqīn). They make clear what the lovers of comfort had obscured. They are at home with what distresses the ignorant. And their bodies keep company with this world, while their spirits are connected to the Loftiest Station.
Those are the ones who are (truly) God’s Stewards on the earth, who are calling (the people) to His Religion. Oh, how I long to see them! Go on now, Kumayl, if you want.
Surrender and Realisation: Imam ‘Ali on the Conditions for True Religious Understanding
James W. Morris, Boston College.