feeling the misery of humanity

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O Lord, my God!
The astounding horrors of darkness were gathered around me,
   and covered me all over, and I saw no way to go forward.
I felt the depth and extent of the misery of my fellow human beings
   separated from your Divine harmony,
   and it was heavier than I could bear;
   I was crushed down beneath it.
I lifted up my hand, I stretched out my arm,
   but there was none to help me.
I looked around and was amazed.
In the depths of misery, O Lord,
I remembered that you are all powerful,
   that I had called you Father,
   and I felt that I loved you,
   and I was made quiet in my will,
   and I waited for your deliverance.
You had pity on me, when no one could help me.
I saw that meekness under suffering was shown to us
   in the most affecting example of your son,
   and you taught me to follow him,
   and I said, “Thy will, O Father, be done!”

John Woolman, 1720-1772, Quaker preacher and abolitionist

____________________

And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

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