it is necessary for every man to consider for himself the journey
his soul will have to make, how terrible it will be when death comes,
and separates the kinsmen who once were joined: the soul and the
body. After that, there will be a long time in which the soul receives
from God himself either torment or glory, depending on exactly what
its earthly enclosure has earned for it earlier on, in the world.
spirit will come, crying out in its misery, every seventh night
the soul will find the body that it had worn for so long, it will
keep coming for three hundred years, unless almighty God, the king
of nations and lord of hosts, means before then to put an end to
it calls out sadly with a cold voice, the soul speaks harshly to
the dust: 'So, you bloodstained clod,
what did you torment me for? Earthly filth, all shrivelled up, effigy
of clay, little did you remember what the state of your soul would
come to, once it had been taken out of the body. What can you blame
me for, damned thing?
So, food for worms, you certainly didn't think much, while you were
following all your terrible pleasures, about how you will have to
be a banquet for the worms, in the earth. See, in the world before
you little thought how long it will be here, like this. And look,
it was the angel who sent you your soul, by his own hand from heaven
above, it was the almighty Ruler in his majesty,
and he paid the price for you with his holy blood - and you bound
me with a fierce hunger, made me a slave in the torments of hell.
inside you, I could not get out of you, I was enclosed in flesh,
and your sinful pleasures oppressed me, so that very often it seemed
to me that it was going to be thirty thousand years till the day
you died. I waited all the time, with difficulty, for our separation.
Certainly the end of it is not so good now! You were puffed up with
your feasting and full of wine, you raved in your power; and I was
thirsty for God's body, the soul's drink. So you never considered,
here in this life, never since I had to live in you in the world,
that you had been conceived violently by flesh and by sinful pleasures,
but that you were upheld by me - and I was the spirit sent into
you by God. You never saved me from these cruel torments of hell,
because of the pleasure of your desires.
will have to suffer shame at my humiliation
on that great day when the only-begotten summons all the human race.
You are no more popular as a companion to any living man, to your
mother or your father or any of your relatives, than the black raven
is, not since I went away out of you, alone, by the hand of him
by whom I had been sent. Your red ornaments cannot get you out of
here now, nor gold nor silver nor any of your goods, not your wife's
ring nor your rich house nor any of the goods that you once possessed.
But here your stripped bones will have to wait, their sinews torn
off; and your soul will often have to seek you out - against my
own will - and say foul things to you, just as you did them to me.
you are deaf and dumb, your pleasures are nothing. Just the same
I must needs visit you at night, pained by sins, but quickly turn
away from you again, at cockcrow, when the holy men sing lauds to
the living God, so that I can seek the home to which you destined
me here, the place where people live in disgrace. And here many
mould-worms will chew at you, the black creatures will tear painfully
at you, avid and greedy. Your possessions, which here on earth you
could show off to men, mean nothing. So it would have been a great
deal better for you than all the wealth of the world would have
been (unless you had donated it to the Lord himself), if you had
been from the beginning a bird, or a fish in the sea, or if you
had been an ox and foraged for your food on the ground, like cattle
that wander mindlessly in the fields; or that you had been, if God
had wished it so, the worst of the wild beasts in the wilderness,
even though you had been the fiercest of all the species of snakes,
if God had wished it so:
it would have been better for you than that you had ever become
a man on earth, or that you had ever had to receive baptism.