Morgan Llwyd (1619-1659), the nephew of a professional soldier and magician, was a Roundhead, a millenialist, a chaplain in the army of Oliver Cromwell, and later a civil servant of the commonwealth in Wales.
His famous religious allegory, A Book of Three Birds, is considered the most important Welsh book of the Seventeenth Century, and an enduring masterpiece of Welsh prose. Morgan Llwyd wrote three other Welsh-language tracts, of which ‘A Cry in Wales Against Every Conscience,’ published in 1653, is translated here.
‘A Cry in Wales Against Every Conscience’
by Morgan Llwyd, translated by Rob Mimpriss
The life of the spirit is not in paper or ink, nor in opinions and words, but in the spirit of the living God (who is the root of a man, and the strength of light within) who also cries loudly in the depths of the mind. When the sound of the flesh is not silenced, it is hard for some to say, or others to hear, much in a few words; but it is easy to say and hear much of little use, like the Pharisees who lacked God’s authority in them. There is a time to cast stones, and a time to gather them, and this too is emptiness and a vexation of spirit. *
But to what shall we compare this generation? If the truth is spoken, it is mocked; if it is written down, it is distorted; if it is acted out, it is ignored. * Yet in spite of this, the children of day love the Light, and nothing can hinder them from testing all things, or from cleaving to whatever is good, * and despite the multitudinous howling of the flesh, and the reasonings of the self, some still heed the voice of the Shepherd from within.
O People of Wales! To you I lift my voice; O Dwellers of Gwynedd and the South, to you I cry. Dawn has broken, and the sun is rising upon you. The birds are singing: awake, oh Welshman, awake; and if you will not believe words, believe deeds. Look about you and see – behold, the world and its pillars are shaking. The earth is in tumult; thunder and lightning are in the minds of the peoples. Behold, the hearts of many are quaking (because they have not confessed) to look upon the things that are coming. The great day of the Lord is searching and testing every secret thought; many are seeking a place to hide in the thickets of the self, and under the aprons of the old Adam; * the wise have lost their senses, and the strong can no longer stand; the eloquent swallow their words, and those who are crafty are biting their tongues; dear friends are accusing one other, and every close man is dividing within himself. The great houses are split in two, and the small houses are in splinters. The old churches fall, and the new are in confusion; Judas is selling his master, and Peter is denying him; many have come out of Egypt, but few are reaching Canaan, for to pass through the narrow gate, they must be as small as children. Now the secrets of the chambers are spoken on the streets, and words whispered in the ear are heard by all in public. * The agitation of the peoples is as though the Princes of the Air (the Fallen Angels) have swarmed like gnats into this part of the world, and the forces of darkness are more active and fervent than before, since the time of their winter is at hand. The life and time of every man is running like a weaver’s shuttle, * and the great eternal world is drawing close to all, and also to you who are reading or listening to this. For this reason it is high time for you to awake from your sleep, and to search for the narrow path, and to acknowledge the truth and to follow it carefully.
Oh you, the seed and descendent of the ancient Britons, listen to the story of your ancestors, and remember what things were, so that you can understand what they are, so that you can know what things will be, and prepare yourself.
After the Lord Jesus had suffered and risen again for us, his spirit quickly sent the good news amongst the Britons, and many among them believed, and died to themselves and came alive to God in His spiritual service. But when the monasteries came without, and the Spirit of the Antichrist arose like smoke within, night came in place of day, and their souls fell from their first love, and God removed His candlestick from amongst our forebears. *
And ever since then until recent times, the darkness has ruled, and the Latin Mass has deceived us, and the Book of Common Prayer has dulled us, and the hope of ignorance has lulled us to sleep: along with this the tithes and taxes have burdened us, and wars and uproar have stupefied us. Likewise the dumb priests and the puffed-up preachers have plundered us. There is not one man of God to be found even among four hundred. The blind have led the blind, and all have fallen into the pit. *
They were teachers of the works of men, and not of the works of the Spirit of God, and so many have been turned out of office like owls, and yet more will be so.
The word was not in them as a hammer to break stones or as a fire to consume flesh, nor as wheat to feed the conscience, but as chaff and dreams, as vain, light sermons. Because of this you, oh Welshman, even today have not been healed, and so you neglect even the little light that some show you, and you shut your eyes so as not to see or acknowledge the break of day.
But now the time has come to reveal your innermost thoughts. The day of salvation is shining upon you from the heights.
But, you say, where is this light? How can I be sure of the way? I see only continual darkness. What can I do to please God, and to save my unhappy soul?
Oh man, God has shown you what is good. *
He has placed a candle within you to show you the way.
First listen to your own conscience within you.
What is it trying to say to you?
Whoever you are, a bell is ringing within you. Will you not listen to the voice from within, however you listen to advice from without?
Your conscience says that it is wrong to be proud, surly, envious; that it is wrong to be lazy, languorous, laggardly, covetous and craving: it shows you that you are such things, and that from the same evil come blasphemy, hypocrisy, and calumny, and wantonness, and drunkenness, and idleness, and duplicity, and falsity and all such things. You can know with ease who their Father is, and that the heart is the mother and wet-nurse of such things; yet in spite of this the raging heart turns against the conscience, and so the conscience will be your witness and judge and remorse.
It is not others who judge you, but your conscience within; because of this at times you enrage yourself; many stifle their own conscience, and so shut the gate to life.
If a man does the least thing against his light, he is poisoning himself. Where is the man who is filled with hatred of every evil, and who follows every good that he knows? Such a man would receive greater blessing.
If you say you have not the strength in you, seek, and you will see that you are not doing all that you can. And no doubt the damned in hell know they they did not do what they could while on earth, and although they could not be born again of their own strength (any more than an animal can make itself a man) they could have reached and groped for God more than they did.
This is damnation, that a man is careless of his salvation.
Observe, therefore: already there is a kind of judgement day within a man, although it is not yet the end of all things. The flesh is the defendant, and the conscience is a witness, and the fleshly reason is an advocate for sin, but God, like a flame of fire, is a judge in the soul.
How can your spirit sleep in comfort, and feed merrily on dust, when God the judge has taken His seat within you, and the summons has already gone out?
The house within is already aflame, and the final judgement approaches.
The flesh is in uproar because Christ is rising within it. Your flesh killed Christ – and the Lord, the spirit within, is a mighty foe of your flesh and mine.
The mind also bolts like a wild animal over the bulwarks of the conscience and the earthworks of folly. And once a man has put a bone of his conscience out of joint, seeking to gratify others, there is no companion that will soothe him.
Look, and see: there is the Angel with his foot in the sea, and the land is burning like pillars of fire! There is the little book lying open in his hand, that is the secret of God with us, the Immanuel. *
Behold his face like the sun scattering the mists of the mind; heed his voice like the voice of a lion terrifying every beast of the flesh.
Behold, he comes upon you like a thief. Blessed is the one who sees and keeps his garments about him. * Oh my brother and neighbour, this is no time to sleep!
Do you not see every creature shaking, and all flesh burning?
Every face turns pale, and the groaning of death surrounds us.
How long will you indulge your thoughts on things that are not, and will never be, even unto the world eternal?
Oh, how much is contained in that little word, eternal, that the flesh cares so little to think of!
How long will the flesh think and say and rule, and do as it will?
Fleshly desire is death to the mind, and the fleshly mind is dead. Woe to us now, and woe to you later. Some who tremble now will have rest, and others who rest now will tremble. There is need for the child Jesus to rise within and come forth.
Why does the soul forever put off setting Him free to rise, without once consulting the murmuring conscience?
God and the conscience are the worst of enemies. God and the conscience are the best of companions.
And when the Lord wells up in the spirit, you will no longer be like a dark cellar, but like a bright room for God.
Let us ask each other now (in the dark of the storm, and yet in love) what the judge will ask at the hearing on the day to come.
How will we give account for every vain word or idle thought, and every illicit act?
Who will plead for us against our own consciences?
How can we know the way to cleanse our consciences to the dregs?
If your conscience accuses you, God is greater than your conscience.
Oh that your eye could sometimes look on that candle which burns within, the way you look on the eternal sun! It is hard for some to hear that it gains a man nothing to proclaim the excellence of Christ unless the lusts are dead.
Oh that Christ would cause your flesh to suffer along with Him, and your spirit to rise in Him, and He in you also, for you are yet mortal flesh. He who is in Christ, he is a new creation.
He who is within does not love or fear anything but God himself.
And for this new creature only is happiness to be found. You seek a good name on the earth, but we know in ourselves that a man is no better for having a good name on the earth, while his sins are written in heaven, and his spirit burns in hell.
What does it profit a man that some speak of him with respect?
What is gained from praise on the lips of mortal men, when the great God condemns sin?
What does it profit a man to indulge the itching lusts of the mind for a little moment, and then lie down in the fetid darkness of eternal woe?
Oh, how treacherous are the paths of man since Adam slipped! and oh, how hard it is to come from the flesh to the spirit, and from this natural world to eternal life!
When the poor spirit seeks to rise towards God and fly towards paradise, the world like a great stone on the wings of the spirit quickly drags it downward.
And oh, how importunate are the thoughts of man! How false is the heart! How venomous is sin!
How busy is the enemy, how easy it is to forfeit salvation, and how hard to endure being lost!
May the God who fashioned the minds of man awaken the soul in time, and establish it in Christ.
Now we see clearly by the light of day that a great many of those of who profess, and of the Protestants and every other opinion, are lost, for they cannot and will not and dare not grasp hold of life, although the Son of God is the priest who pacifies the conscience, the king who subdues the will, and a prophet who lights up the mind.
These three appear in those who are saved, and in these forms the Son of God lives His own life through them. But other souls forever long to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and enquire into natural things, and leave the tree of life in God’s paradise untasted, not seeing the dark pit of nature in which their souls reside, or their lusts like flies which consume their thoughts, day and night.
Oh that we might now, without delay, rise up to the breast of God, hearing the voice of life calling to our poor souls, since other voices seek to keep hold on us: between the two voices the mind bargains, as it were, in this life. And as well as this, the soul is full of wicked beasts; look within and see: there the crafty serpent slithers between hypocrisy and guile in the thoughts; there the wanton animal makes its lair in the lusts of the flesh; there the Bulls of Bashan bellow in the contumacy of the will; there dogs howl in the unquiet conscience; there wolves rend every good thought; there malicious dragons and evil thoughts lurk like hornets in their nests. There multitudinous reasons lord it over us, until the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, rises up to rule, and drives them away, and then the poor mind finds peace under the easy yoke of the Holy Spirit. *
Many speak of the Beast in the City of Rome, and of the Prostitute, the church, on its back, and in truth they are real. But that Beast, and that Prostitute, are also in the flesh of every man, and in the forests of their thoughts. *
And for that reason Ashdod and Babel emerge from their lips, * and where the Holy Spirit speaks two words within, the flesh speaks ten.
Yes, the serpent has learnt to speak fair words, to her own destruction. The dissembler within also prays for good things, so that through them it can indulge its pleasures, and its pride, and its vainglory. *
I have seen the flesh of one in fear of the spirit of another, and the flesh of another in fear of the spirit within himself, and this was also hypocrisy, and from the beast. And therefore the cunning serpent has learnt both silence and speech, since there is a chalk kiln burning within, and since a man fears of the light of God in his brother and neighbour. *
If he is silent, he dissembles; if he speaks sensibly, he is proud, like someone who sang a fine song; if he fails to parablise well, he blushes, for fear that shame will fall upon him. Whatever he does, all is in him and to himself. The fox of the mind is hard to catch, although it can be tracked by its scent and its cunning. * And until a man denies himself, it lurks in its dark lair within. When a man begins to love the service of God, Esau often tries to rush out ahead of Jacob. * And if shame of lust breaks out, it will want to stay out while it can, until the strength of the Cross takes hold of it and destroys it. He seeks the pleasures of the flesh, or toils for the coin, and for a piece of gold. He fishes for respect and honour among men, and hunts for a good name and the praise of Christians. He thinks ill of others, but secretly treasures the highest opinion of himself. He knows more ill of himself than of anyone else, no matter who that is, and yet he speaks more ill of others than of himself. He cannot abide for others to speak ill of him, and yet it delights him sometimes to hear them speak the worst of each other. He cannot sell a penn’orth without some remark, but he will sell himself to the devil silently and with ease. He thinks chiefly of food and clothing, and quotes scriptures to hide his avarice. He grumbles at the evil to be seen in one place, while his dearest vice, like a lapwing’s nest, is in another. That is the unreasoning animal, that is the brutish hypocrite. Take hold of him and destroy him; oh, cunning enemy, when will you be slain? Oh, wolf of the mind, when will the sheep have peace from you?
There is a trap and snare which the Son of God has laid for you under His own cross, and when you pass that way, as pass you must, you will be taken and destroyed. You cannot escape, more than He escaped death on the cross. Oh, death, then you will die; oh, evil nature, then you will be destroyed.
Advance, but you will be hindered; attack, but you will be judged: you cannot leave the thoughts of man in peace, day or night. And a man does not know where half his thoughts are, nor to what market you are dragging them. Even so, a man’s thoughts are his treasures, and his eternal companions; therefore let a man watch where they are running: but what will become of you, and of the poor soul in whom you are working?
Oh, Welshman, my brother and neighbour, you are in part your own worst enemy. No one can hurt you, unless you hurt yourself, for who can offend a gentle spirit, if it is master within? Who can deceive the spirit of God?
But one part of your own self seeks to destroy the other, and sometimes, when you are alone, your conscience suffers torments like the torments of a woman in labour. Your conscience accuses and condones; yet still you do not know your thoughts, nor remember your words, nor straighten your actions, but day after day you waste on vanities, and burn the candle of your life to the rejoicing of the enemy, and you let that heavy night come upon you without warning, not knowing yourself moving in God, nor God stirring within yourself, not knowing the name of Immanuel, that great name, God with us in the flesh of the Saviour, and in us as well. Read the book that is within you, and see as things were at the beginning: the earth without form and void, and darkness on the face of the deep. So also the heart is a deep, and darkness covers it, so that you cannot see in time how empty and formless and chaotic is the world within. *
But in this there is comfort for those who wait, that God commands light to come out of the darkness, and separates night from day in the soul. With Him nothing is impossible, and for Him nothing is too hard, nor for those who believe in him and are pure in heart. *
Believe without doubt that God has placed a candle within you, and that as yet it has only burned feebly: if you oppress it within you, and it goes out, it will be smoke, and a foul smell in you forever; but if you let the Holy Spirit flame within, it will burn the whole flesh, and purify the soul for God. The spirit of a man is like a dishful of food, and if it is heavenly, God will receive it in death, to His own eternal table; but if it is fleshly, he will send it to the table of devils. Therefore, a man should see what kind of spirit is in him, by to the light that is given him.
But, you say, perhaps the conscience is blind, and though I follow the ignorant conscience, I will make no progress; I have heard of many who did wrong, in full accordance with their conscience, slumbering, seared and blind; and this letter would have all to follow the conscience, no matter what its advice.
To answer this, understand that many follow their own will, and fancy that it is the conscience that they are following; but in truth the poor conscience does not even have leave to speak its mind, let alone to be heard and obeyed. Beside that, the conscience urges every man to seek more light and knowledge to guide him, but he neglects this, defying the counsel in his own breast. And no one is yet lost, except those who have closed their ears against the voice that is within them. And although they follow that voice in some things, and suppose, for this reason, that their conscience is clear, yet they have done many things in their thoughts against their conscience. The heart is deep, and the counsel of the conscience is secret, and the sound of the thoughts and reasonings of the flesh is loud, and drowns out the small voice within. And in the end, God in judgement moves the candle and candlestick out of the soul.
But there is no need to go further, but to ask you (whoever you are, throughout Wales), have you done many things, or anything, against the conscience? Yes, more than anyone in the world knows, besides eating, and drinking, and sleeping, and talking to excess, and abusing your freedom.
Behold, Welshman, here is the cry, the lament, the trumpet from within. And unless the conscience echoes it, that cry will become your woe. But if you are awaking, and opening your eyes to look within, their your heart gives a cry as well, and shouts, ‘What must I do to be saved? How can I cleanse my corrupted conscience? Where can I flee from the wrath to come? How can I gain eternal life?’
My brother and neighbour, I know little, indeed I know nothing of myself to instruct you; but a Light burns within you, and can show the way. You have heard that two thirds of the work is to begin, and that a bad act is committed twice. Therefore, begin the work while it is called today, * and take care that the corner stone within you is properly laid.
Fall at the feet of the Lord; let Him do as He wills with you, and do not do as you will yourself. * As soon as your own will is dead, the will of God will break out through it, but while the will of man reveals itself, the will of God hides in it. Understand how Christ subdued your will in himself for God, when he said, ‘Not my will, but thy will be done.’ * Take heart, for the Redeemer has already defeated the will of the flesh.
As soon also as your senses wither, the wisdom of God will burgeon in you, and when your strength fails, strength will be given to the powerless. When all your pleasures fade, the joy of God will shine on you.
If a man is willing to die to himself, he will live in God; and the one who acts according to his knowledge will be given the knowledge God wants for him. And the man who does what he can for God will receive from God a limitless strength to do every good work. You must be brought to nought, before you can be weaned; you must be weaned, before you can be comforted. * First all your sparks must go out, and your candles, before your light comforts you; your sun, your moon, and your stars will be gone from sight. You will be as dead as a dry bone in the grave before Christ rises within you, and the old building must be pulled down before the new building is raised. You must leave the sight and mind of the world, and be accounted a fool, an idiot, a child, as nothing, as less than nothing, before you know anything as you should, for you do not yet understand that there is nothing which knows all things. The one who reads, let him understand the proverb in himself: for nothing which is seen is God, and that which is unseen is all in all. But there is nothing in a man which can understand this, except the nothing which includes substance, and the substance which fills the void. God fills all things, yet mixes himself with nothing, and the mind of man will never have peace until he comes out of that contamination to that which is whole and pure in eternal tranquillity. Do not try to think of God with your own mind, for the power of Christ’s cross needs to kill your own thoughts, and then you will have the mind of Christ to live in. And in place of your old self, you will have a new self, which is Christ Himself in your fleshly heart.
Two things comfort many, but the third is the foundation of all. The first is that Christ the Son of God has died for us, and paid our whole debt to God, but to speak of this is worthless unless the second follows, which is that Christ lives in us, and rules over us and through us, as light, as comfort, and as strength in the spirit’s breast. *
But neither is this enough; this is not the end of the matter, without the unity that exists between the Father and the soul, in the spirit of the Son, in the inexpressible love: that is, the same kind of unity as exists between God and His own Son. The intercessor is not the end of the matter, for Christ Himself gives up His office as soon as He bears the spirit into unity and communion with the Father, in the eternal spirit. For the new man is one with God, and that man only will be saved. Therefore take no rest (throughly fleshly faith) in this, that Christ died for you, nor in this, that Christ is rising in you, and that the signs of God’s grace have appeared in you. But understand the source of all, which is the Father in you, for your life has been hidden in God Himself with Christ, just as the life of the tree is hidden in its root during winter. That is the root of knowledge, and the sum of the eternal Gospel. Enter the secret room, which is the light of God in you. *
Do not let your thoughts run out at any creature you have ever seen. Do not try to understand these things through your own senses. Remember that the understanding of the most natural man is a beast, that can never (for all its wisdom) see God. But wait humbly for the power of God to understand it within you; yes, wait quietly in lowliness until you hear His voice. Be sober at last, and let the joy of God rule the kingdom within and without.
But, you say, I am ready to lose my mind, because the conscience is roaring, having awoken within.
And have you not also heard the voice of the blood saying better things than the blood of Abel? * And since Christ died for you, take care to put yourself to death, your spirit or your body. Your degenerate flesh gave up Christ to death on the Cross, and it is just for God to put your own nature on the cross within, to save your spirit from death and pain.
If the Accuser says that you are lost, reply that this is so, but that this is so also, that Christ came to save the lost. * The enemy cannot deny this, any more than you can deny the first; but pray, until you hear the door opening within; fast, until you gain a quiet soul; live with yourself in peace, until Christ come to you; be mindful of your first love, and embrace the good that once you hated.
Keep watch every minute lest the spirit of the flesh snatch your thoughts away like a whirlwind; if you hear that anything good has been revealed, do not fear to seek it, but always wait at home for Christ, at the fireplace of your own heart.
But you say, ‘If I knew what is bad, I would reject it utterly, but sometimes I lose faith, and doubt that it is wrong to do this or that: I cannot be sure it is wrong, and so I hesitate.’
Behold, this is the answer: if you do anything in doubt or hesitation, then you are in sin, for you are neglecting your conscience and the magistrate within. Therefore do nothing even on pain of death that you suspect to be a sin. A tender conscience is the book of God, and He delights in writing His will in it. But beware of venturing in the face of doubt, for there is no sport with sharp weapons.
If you would stand, look to it that the foundation of the matter is in you, and that you are in the eternal root. Look to it that God in Christ is dearer to you than anything else, that He is highest in your understanding, strongest in your will, most intimate in your fellowship, most rooted in your motives, and most frequent in your thoughts.
If you are high born, make yourself lowly, before God brings you down to the dust; if rich, be generous, and like a poor beggar, call daily at the door of God.
If you are needy, marry the Lord Jesus, and you will have sufficiency. If debt presses on you, be diligent in obedience to your calling, and faithful, and trust in the Lord, who was willing to send His son to pay your greatest debt and think of you, someway beyond your thoughts: God and sufficiency.
If you are rejoicing, look for the sugar of sin in your joy; if sad, shun the burden of this world, and fleshly discontent.
When your thoughts are heavy within you, turn to God in prayer, and pour out your heart to his merciful breast.
Do not let unbelief frustrate you, for the gate is yet open, although it is narrow. And if you cannot pray, then sigh before God, but put aside your outward prayer book.
Remember that God is a merciful father. Do not leave Him for any reason, for in Him (with Christ) are the words of eternal life, and His blood cleanses the greatest filth. And though He lets your conscience call you a dog, and a hypocrite, cleave to Him for fragments of His mercy: God knows His time to call on you, and God’s time is the best.
Every thought will enter in its time, and not one will be born before the last day: therefore await the will of the Most High every minute of every hour, for you do not know that this is not the hour, even as you are reading or listening; neither can a man know what the day holds in its womb, or what word or thought will come next. Therefore it is good for a man to search his thoughts and to sift his words before speaking.
If you wish to live comfortably, learn to die each day: be free from the world and its distractions; make your last will at once. Do not think of living tomorrow or the day after; live as though you have not been born, and you can do this if God teaches your soul.
Your thoughts congregate within you daily; some judge the others, like men of the world; but the Spirit of God is above every judge and session of man, and silently judges all the wild, unrestrained, impure thoughts of the flesh.
Remember again what I have told you, that the day of judgement is already dawning inside you, and the mystery is being revealed in the depths of your heart. And where there is fear, there is guilt; but the one who lives in peace within fears nothing without: for that righteous one within you is brave like a lion, and humble like a child, and at peace with himself, and so can look in the face of God and men.
Men will not accompany you out of this life, but you must go that journey alone; therefore do not aim to please man, but ensure that through Christ you are at peace within yourself.
‘But,’ you say, ‘I’m afraid of death, lest the enemy (whom I’ve always served, alas) take hold of me, and my sins rise in my face.’
There is no doubt, my neighbour, that whatever a man serves will pay his wages, whichever it is, whether corruption or uncorruption.
Too many have spoken of comfort and peace, and have lightly healed the wounds of the soul, until they suppurated again. There must be a second birth and deep fundamental sobriety within. And the devil loves to play with believers who are light in their hearts.
Perhaps you will say of this warning that there is not much comfort in it: but there is too much fruitless faith that gives vain comfort in the world, and I dare not raise you in that. But this warning is given in perfect love, at an acceptable time, and in fear and trembling.
Do not think any longer of hiding your filthy flesh in the mantle of Christ, nor of stitching the leaves of your works together, to wear before the face of Almighty God: be as one not saved, but reborn, for the reborn were freely loved before. And if your conscience is washed in the blood of the Lamb, you will treasure that clean vessel within.
If you become a servant of sin again, against your conscience, behold, you are walking the road to everlasting death. But if God comes to your poor soul, and begets His son Jesus in you, and powerfully bends your will to the good (no matter how great your sins), you will trample Satan beneath your feet; yes, and the seed of God in you will crush the serpent’s head, * which is in the inner nature; and your iniquities will be remembered no more, but your mind will walk with God in the heights of Paradise.
I do not write like this as though either of us had the strength to change ourselves; but there is strength in God to change us both, and God is with us, when we listen to the word of counsel and reconciliation.
He gave His own son, the heart of His breast, to die for us by name and save us. Oh, how greatly he loves us, who are by nature his enemies!
In the end we will lay our hearts before Him, and then we will be taught by Him to live in righteousness, in sobriety and godliness in this present world.
This is my prayer; this is my cry; this is God’s will and the comfort of man: whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. Let him take time to search his conscience in secret, and let him call on God while He is nearby, and hide these words in his heart, lest the enemy steal them.
And now, at last, the Lord Jesus, who groaned and said Ephphatha to the dumb man (which means, Be opened) and made him hear and speak as well, * may the merciful Lord open your ear and your heart, to hear his voice in time for your good, and may He keep us both in His eternal arms. Amen.