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
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.
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