Chapter 39

How Truth Instructs us in Silence

THE DISCIPLE. `Speak, Lord, for Your servant listens.'(I Sam 3:9) `I am Your servant; grant me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies.'(Ps.119:125) `Incline my heart to the words of Your mouth;(Ps. 128:1) let Your speech descend on me like the dew.'(Deut.32:2) The people of Israel of old time said to Moses, `Speak with us and we will hear: let not God speak with us, lest we die.'( Ex. 20:19) But I do not pray thus, O Lord; but with the Prophet Samuel, I humbly and earnestly beg, `Speak, Lord, for your servant listens.' Let not Moses or any of the Prophets speal to me, but rather do You speak, O Lord God, who inspire and enlighten the Prophets. You alone can perfectly instruc me without their aid, but without You they can do nothing.

The Prophets can preach the word, but they cannot bestow the Spirit. They speak most eloquently, but if You are silent, they cannot fire the heart. They instruct in the letter, but You open the understanding. They set forth the mysteries, but You reveal the meaning of all secrets. They teach your commandments, but You help us to observe them. They point the way, but You grant us strength to follow it. Their action is external; You instruct and en. lighten the heart. They water the seed; You make it fruitful.(I Cor. 3:7) They proclaim the words, but You impart understanding to the mind.

Therefore, let not Moses speak to me, but You, O Lord my God, the Everlasting Truth, lest I die and bear no frui if I am but warned in word, and not kindled at heart; lest it turn to my condemnation, if I hear Your word, but do no obey it; know it, but do not love it; believe it, but do nokeep it. Therefore, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening. `You have the words of eternal life.'(John 6:68) Speak to me, Lord, and comfort my soul: order my life to Your praise, glory, and eternal honour.

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