19. Arise, cry out in the night; in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.
19. Surge, Clama nocte principio excubiarum (custodiarum ad verbum, sed significat vigilias nocturnas;) effunde tanquam aquas cor tuum coram facie Domini; attolle ad ipsum manus tuas propter Animam parvulorum tuorum, qui deficiunt fame in capite omnium compitorum.
The Prophet now explains himself more clearly, and confirms what I have lately said, that he mentioned not the calamities of the people except for this end, that those who were almost stupid might begin to raise up their eyes to God, and also to examine their life, and willingly to condemn themselves, that thus they might escape from the wrath of God.
The Prophet then bids them to
But, as I have said, he would have the Jews not simply to cry, but after having exhorted them to
For the same purpose he adds,
"I would have men to raise up pure hands without contention."
(1 Timothy 2:8.)
God has no doubt suggested this practice to men, that they may first go beyond the whole world when they seek him; and, second]y, that they may thus stimulate themselves to entertain confidence, and also to divest themselves of all earthly desires; for except this practice were to raise up our minds, (as we are by nature inclined to superstition,) every one would seek God either at his feet or by his side. Then God has planted in men this feeling, even to raise upwards their hands, in order that they may go, as I have said, beyond the whole world, and that having thus divested themselves of all vain superstition, they may ascend above the heavens. This custom, I allow, is indeed common among the unbelieving; and thus all excuse has been taken away from them. Though, then, the unbelieving have been imbued with gross and delirious fantasies, so as to connect God with statues and pictures, yet this habit of raising up the hands to heaven ought to have been sufficient to confute all their erroneous notions. But it would not be enough to seek God beyond this world, so that no superstition should possess our minds, except our minds were also freed from all worldly desires. For we are held entangled in our lusts, and then we seek what pleases the flesh, and thus, for the most part, men strive, to subject God to themselves. Then the elevation of the hands does also shew that we are to deny ourselves, and to go forth, as it were, out of ourselves whenever we call on God. These are briefly the things which may be said of the use of this ceremony or practice.
But we must remember what I have referred to, that the Prophet designates the thing itself by an outward sign, when he bids them to
1 The simpler meaning, as stated by Gataker, is, "Rise" from thy bed; for she is exhorted to cry in the night. -- Ed.
2 Rather, "who fainted through famine;" for he refers to what had taken place. -- Ed.
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