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CXIV: Mine eyes are cheered, O my God, when I contemplate ...


Mine eyes are cheered, O my God, when I contemplate the tribulations that descend upon me from the heaven of Thy decree, and which have encompassed me on every side according to what Thy pen hath irrevocably established. I swear by Thy Self! Whatsoever is of Thee is well pleasing unto me, though it involve the bitterness of mine own death.


He Who was Thy Spirit (Jesus), O my God, withdrew all alone in the darkness of the night preceding His last day on earth, and falling on His face to the ground besought Thee saying: "If it be Thy will, O my Lord, my Well-Beloved, let this cup, through Thy grace and bounty, pass from me."


By Thy beauty, O Thou Who art the Lord of all names and the Creator of the heavens! I can smell the fragrance of the words which, in His love for Thee, His lips have uttered, and can feel the glow of the fire that had inflamed His soul in its longing to behold Thy face and in its yearning after the Day-Spring of the light of Thy oneness, and the Dawning-Place of Thy transcendent unity.


As to me--and to this Thou art Thyself my witness --I call upon Thee saying: "I have no will of mine own, O my Lord, and my Master and my Ruler, before the indications of Thy will, and can have no purpose in the face of the revelation of Thy purpose. I swear by Thy glory! I wish only what Thou wishest, and cherish only what Thou cherishest. What I have chosen for myself is what Thou hast Thyself chosen for me, O Thou the Possessor of my soul!" Nay, I find myself to be altogether nothing when face to face with the manifold revelations of Thy names, how much less when confronted with the effulgent splendors of the light of Thine own Self. O miserable me! Were I to attempt merely to describe Thee, such an attempt would itself be an evidence of my impiety, and would attest my heedlessness in the face of the clear and resplendent tokens of Thy oneness. Who else except Thee can claim to be worthy of any notice in the face of Thine own revelation, and who is he that can be deemed sufficiently qualified to adequately praise Thee, or to pride himself on having befittingly described Thy glory? Nay--and to this Thou dost Thyself bear witness-- it hath incontrovertibly been made evident that Thou art the one God, the Incomparable, Whose help is implored by all men. From everlasting Thou wert alone, with none to describe Thee, and wilt abide for ever the same with no one else to equal or rival Thee. Were the existence of any co-equal with Thee to be recognized, how could it then be maintained that Thou art the Incomparable, or that Thy Godhead is immeasurably exalted above all peers or likeness? The contemplation of the highest minds that have recognized Thy unity failed to attain unto the comprehension of the One Thou hast created through the word of Thy commandment, how much more must it be powerless to soar into the atmosphere of the knowledge of Thine own Being. Every praise which any tongue or pen can recount, every imagination which any heart can devise, is debarred from the station which Thy most exalted Pen hath ordained, how much more must it fall short of the heights which Thou hast Thyself immensely exalted above the conception and the description of any creature. For the attempt of the evanescent to conceive the signs of the Uncreated is as the stirring of the drop before the tumult of Thy billowing oceans. Nay, forbid it, O my God, that I should thus venture to describe Thee, for every similitude and comparison must pertain to what is essentially created by Thee. How can then such similitude and comparison ever befit Thee, or reach up unto Thy Self?


By Thy glory, O my God! Though I recognize and firmly believe that no description which any except Thyself can give of Thee can beseem Thy grandeur, and that no glory ascribed to Thee by any save Thyself can ever ascend into the atmosphere of Thy presence, yet were I to hold my peace, and cease to glorify Thee and to recount Thy wondrous glory, my heart would be consumed, and my soul would melt away.


My remembrance of Thee, O my God, quencheth my thirst, and quieteth my heart. My soul delighteth in its communion with Thee, as the sucking child delighteth itself in the breasts of Thy mercy; and my heart panteth after Thee even as one sore athirst panteth after the living waters of Thy bounty, O Thou Who art the God of mercy, in Whose hand is the lordship of all things!


I give thanks to Thee, O my God, that Thou hast suffered me to remember Thee. What else but remembrance of Thee can give delight to my soul or gladness to my heart? Communion with Thee enableth me to dispense with the remembrance of all Thy creatures, and my love for Thee empowereth me to endure the harm which my oppressors inflict upon me.


Send, therefore, unto my loved ones, O my God, what will cheer their hearts, and illumine their faces, and delight their souls. Thou knowest, O my Lord, that their joy is to behold the exaltation of Thy Cause and the glorification of Thy word. Do Thou unveil, therefore, O my God, what will gladden their eyes, and ordain for them the good of this world and of the world which is to come.


Thou art, verily, the God of power, of strength and of bounty.

Prayers and Meditations
pages 192-196

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