« PreviousContinue »
me. Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off. I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry. Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee : thou saidst, Fear not. 0 Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life. O Lord, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause.
Selected from the Book of Job, passim.
O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! Mine eye is dim by reasun of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow. I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself; I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innucent. Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged ; and though I forbear, what am I eased ? But now he hath made me weary : thou
hast made desolate all my company.
And thou hast filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.
When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions; so that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway : let me alone ; for my days are vanity. Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; which long for death but it cometh not : and dig for it more than for hid treasure. My days are past, my purposes are broken off; even the thoughts of my heart. When I looked for good, then evil came unto me; and when I waited for light, then came darkness. What is my strength, that I should hope ? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass ? Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me? And where now is my hope ? yet all the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.
From the same.
Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth ? are not his days also like the day of an hireling? As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work; so am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust ; my skin is broken and become loathsome. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope. They are passed away as the swift ship, as the eagle that hasteth to the prey. O remember that my life is wind : mine eye shall no more see good. The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away; so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. Therefore I will not refrain my mouth ; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit ; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. My breath is
corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me. If I wait, the grave is mine house : I have made my bed in the darkness. I have said to corruption, Thou art my father : to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
From the same.
Even to day is my complaint bitter; my stroke is heavier than my groaning. The things that my
soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came. My face is foul with weeping, and on mine eyelids is the shadow of death ; not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure.
0 earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place. Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me; but mine eye poureth out tears unto God. O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour !
When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death ; a land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness. There the wicked cease from troubling: and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
From the same.
My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me. Deliver me from the enemies' hand : redeem me from the hand of the mighty. Thou knowest that I am not wicked ; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand. Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about'; yet thou dost destroy me. Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and