Eternal Wisdom.--O my chosen one! now look from the very bottom of
thy heart at this lamentable misery. Where are now all those who
heretofore sat down amidst this temporal scene with tranquility
and pleasure, with tenderness and comfort of body?
them all the joys of this world which are as soon vanished on the
wings of swift time as though they had never been? How quickly
over is that carnal love for which pain must be eternally endured!
O ye senseless fools! Where is now what ye so gaily uttered:
"Hail, ye children of merriment, let us give holiday to sorrow,
let us cherish the fullness of joy!" What avail now all the
pleasures ye ever obtained?
Well may ye cry aloud with sorrowful
voice; Woe upon us that ever we were born into the world! How has
swift time deceived us! How has death stolen upon us! Is there any
one still upon the earth who could be more deceived than we have
been deceived? Or is there any one willing to take counsel from
the calamity of others? If any one were to bear all the sufferings
of all mankind for a thousand years it would only be as a moment
How very happy is that man who has never sought
after pleasures displeasing to God, who for His sake has renounced
all temporal delights! We foolish ones, we deemed such men
forsaken and forgotten of God: but see how He has embraced them in
eternity with such marks of honour before all the heavenly host.
What harm can all their sufferings and disgraces now do them,
which have turned out so much to their joy?
Meanwhile, all that we
so entirely loved, how is it vanished? Ah, misery on misery! and
it must last for ever. Oh, for ever and ever, what are thou? Oh,
end without end! Oh, dying above all dying, to be dying every
hour, and yet never to die. Oh, father and mother, and all that we
ever held dear, God bless you for ever and ever, for we shall
never see you and love you again: we must ever be separated from
you. Oh, separation, oh, everlasting separation, how grievous thou
art! Oh, wringing, oh, shrieking and howling for ever, and yet
never to be heard! Nothing but sorrow and distress must our
wretched eyes behold, our ears be filled with nothing--but alas!
nothing save only Woe is me! Oh, all hearts, let our lamentable
For ever and ever! move your compassion, let our miserable For
ever! pierce to your core.
Oh, ye mountains and valleys, why do ye
wait for us, why do ye keep us so long, why do ye bear with us,
why do ye not bury us from the lamentable sight? Oh, sufferings of
that world and sufferings of this world, how very different ye
are! Oh, time present, how blinding, how deceiving thou art, that
we should not have foreseen this in the bright days of our youth,
which we wasted so luxuriously, which will never more return! Oh,
that we had but one little hour of all those vanished years! Yet
this is denied by God's justice, and without any hope for us, ever
must be denied.
Oh, suffering, and distress, and misery, in this forgotten land,
where we must be separated from all that is dear, without solace
or hope, for ever and ever! Nothing else would we desire than that
if there was a millstone as broad as the whole earth, and in
circumference so large that it everywhere touched the heavens, and
that if there came a little bird every hundred thousand years, and
took from the stone as much as the tenth part of a grain of
millet, so as in ten hundred thousand years to peck away from the
stone as much as an entire grain of millet; we unfortunates would
desire nothing more than that, when the stone came to an end, our
torments too might terminate; and yet even this cannot be. Behold,
such is the song of woe which succeeds the joys of this world.
The Servant.--Oh, Thou severe Judge, how terrified are the
depths of my heart, how powerless sinks my soul beneath the load
of sorrow and compassion for those unhappy spirits! Who is there
in the world that hears this, and is so insane as not to tremble
at such fearful distress? Oh, Thou, my only love, forsake me not!
Oh, Thou, my only chosen consolation, do not thus separate from
me! Sooner than be thus separated from Thee, my only love, for
ever and ever (I will say nothing of the rest), oh, misery of
misery! I would prefer to be tormented a thousand times a day.
When I but think of such a separation, my heart for anguish is
like to break.
Yes, tender Father! do with me here what Thou wilt, Thou hast my
free consent, but, oh, deliver me from this woeful separation, for
I could by no means endure it.
Eternal Wisdom.--Cast away thy fear. That which is united in time
remains undivided in eternity.
The Servant.--Oh, Lord, would that all men heard this, who
still consume their days so foolishly, so that they might become
wise, and might reform their lives, before these things should
overtake them. Oh, ye senseless, obdurate men! how long will ye
protract your foolishness, sinful lives?
Be converted to God, and shield yourselves against this wretched
misery, and lamentation of eternal woe.