Chapter 51

On the Secret Judgements of God

THE DISCIPLE. Lord, Your judgements thunder against me. My limbs tremble and shake with fear, and my soul is horribly afraid. I stand awestruck, considering how the very heavens are not pure in Your sight. (Job 15:15) And if You found wickedness even among the Angels, (Job 4:18) and did not spare them, (2 Peter 2:4) what can be my fate? The very stars fall from Heaven; (Rev. 6:13) what then can I presume, who am but dust? Men whose deeds seemed praiseworthy have fallen into the pit, and I have seen those who had been fed with the Bread of Angels (Ps 78:75) delighted with pigs' food.

There can be no holiness, Lord, if You withdraw Yourself. No wisdom can avail, if You cease to guide. No courage can uphold, if You cease to defend. No purity is secure, if You are not guard. No watchfulness of our own can save us, unless Your holy care protects us; (Ps.127:1) for if You abandon us, we sink and perish. (Matt.8:25) But if You visit us, we are raised up and live once more. We are unstable, unless You strengthen us; we are cold and dull, unless You kindle us to fervor.

How humble and insignificant I am! If there is any good in me, it is as nothing. Lord, I submit myself in all humility to Your unfathomable judgements; (Ps.36:6) I acknowledge my utter nothingness. 0 greatness immeasurable! 0 sea that none can cross! Now I recognize myself as wholly and only nothing! Where now can pride lurk unseen? Where is now my former confidence in my virtue? All my empty conceit is overwhelmed in the depths of Your judgements upon me.

What is all flesh in Your sight? (I Cor.1:29) Can the clay boast against Him who fashions it? (Isa.45:9) Can a man whose heart is subject to God in truth be puffed up with empty boasting? (Isa.29:16;64:8) The whole world cannot exalt him whom the Truth has made subject to itself, nor can the tongues of all who flatter him move him who has fixed his whole hope in God. For even those who talk thus are all nothing; they will pass away with the sound of their own words, but the truth of the Lord stands fast for ever. (Ps. 117:2)

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