From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

robbed, stolen, wilfully sinned, given false counsel to any one, as it is here laid down in this cauldron of Hell?" He replied, "This prayer is not for me alone; I pray for the whole of Israel, for all mankind, indeed, that their sins may be forgiven them."

"What other will be benefited by thy word who has transgressed by deed?" was the reply. He broke off in the midst of the prayer and slept quietly.

"If thou prayest, doubt not," said wise Jesus Sirach; but how can a man command his doubts? And when Baruch stood in the synagogue, and the morning prayer lay before him, the tempter came to him and said, "Art thou here again at the sound of the bell? How canst thou take in thy mouth the words of David and other men spoken in their great need? Should thine own religious feelings be first awakened by the mighty words of strangers?" He resolved henceforth to pray only in forms chosen by himself, and at the times in which he felt so inclined. This did not happen for a long time, and when it did he felt that, from long disuse, he had fallen far from his Creator; he did not find him as readily as formerly. Of what use are words? he then said to himself; thought must suffice. If God is omniscient ... if he is. Alas! he no longer knew how to pray.

He felt this yet more distressingly as he sat be-