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forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction ; and sayest,
Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
'Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us : and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
There is nothing that nature has made necessary which is more easy than death. What a shame is it, then, to stand in fear of anything so long that is over so soon! It is not death itself that is dreadful, but the fear of it that goes before it.
Why was such a one taken away in the prime of his years ? Life is to be measured by action, not by time. A man may die old at thirty; and young at fourscore. Nay, the one lives after death; and the other perished before he died. The fear of death is a continual slavery, as the contempt of it is certain liberty.
Death of a Child. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
And when the child was grown, it fell on a day that he went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to-day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath.
And she said, It shall be well. Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee. So she went and came unto the man of God to Mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunamite: run now,
pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child And she answered, It is well.
David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth; but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
And it came to pass on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead : for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead ?
But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.
Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped:
then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept : for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast ? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them : and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
A Hindu mother gave birth to a son.
When the boy was able to walk by himself, he died. The young mother carried the dead child clasped to her bosom, and went from house to house, asking if any one could give her medicine for it. Some regarded her as mad; but a wise man said: “I
cannot cure your son, but I know of one who can attend to it. You must go to him : he can give medicine.”
Then she went to him, and said, “Lord and master, do you know any medicine that will be good for my boy?” He answered, “I know of some.” She asked, “What medicine do you require?” The sage replied, “I require a handful of mustard-seed taken from a house where no son, husband, parent, or servant has died.” The mother then went about with her dead child, asking for the mustard-seed. The people said, “ Here is some mustard-seed: take it." Then she asked, “In my friend's house has there died a son, a husband, a parent, or a servant?” They replied : “What is this you say? The living are few, but the dead are many.
Then she went to other houses; but one said, “I have lost my son”; another, “I have lost my parent"; until at last she said: “This is a heavy task I have undertaken. I am not the only one whose son is dead. In the whole country, children are dying, parents are dying."
The woman went and laid her child down in the forest, and then came to the teacher. He said to her, “ Have you received the handful of mustardseed?” She answered, "I have not : the people of the village told me, The living are few, but the dead are many.” Then he said to her, “You thought that you alone had lost a son: the law of death rules all."