The Egyptian darkness.
1 For thy judgments, O Lord, are great, and thy words cannot be expressed: therefore undisciplined souls have erred.
Magna sunt enim judicia tua, Domine, et inenarrabilia verba tua. Propter hoc indisciplinatae animae erraverunt.
2 For while the wicked thought to be able to have dominion over the holy nation, they themselves being fettered with the bonds of darkness, and a long night, shut up in their houses, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.
Dum enim persuasum habent iniqui posse dominari nationi sanctae, vinculis tenebrarum et longae noctis compediti, inclusi sub tectis, fugitivi perpetuae providentiae jacuerunt.
3 And while they thought to lie hid in their obscure sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly afraid and troubled with exceeding great astonishment.
Et dum putant se latere in obscuris peccatis, tenebroso oblivionis velamento dispersi sunt, paventes horrende, et cum admiratione nimia perturbati.
4 For neither did the den that held them, keep them from fear: for noises coming down troubled them, and sad visions appearing to them, affrighted them.
Neque enim quae continebat illos spelunca sine timore custodiebat, quoniam sonitus descendens perturbabat illos, et personae tristes illis apparentes pavorem illis praestabant.
5 And no power of fire could give them light, neither could the bright flames of the stars enlighten that horrible night.
Et ignis quidem nulla vis poterat illis lumen praebere, nec siderum limpidae flammae illuminare poterant illam noctem horrendam.
6 But there appeared to them a sudden fire, very dreadful: and being struck with the fear of that face, which was not seen, they thought the things which they saw to be worse:
Apparebat autem illis subitaneus ignis timore plenus; et timore perculsi illius quae non videbatur faciei, aestimabant deteriora esse quae videbantur.
7 And the delusions of their magic art were put down, and their boasting of wisdom was reproachfully rebuked.
Et magicae artis appositi erant derisus, et sapientiae gloriae correptio cum contumelia.
8 For they who promised to drive away fears and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of a fear worthy to be laughed at.
Illi enim qui promittebant timores et perturbationes expellere se ab anima languente, hi cum derisu pleni timore languebant.
9 For though no terrible thing disturbed them: yet being scared with the passing by of beasts, and hissing of serpents, they died for fear: and denying that they saw the air, which could by no means be avoided.
Nam etsi nihil illos ex monstris perturbabat, transitu animalium et serpentium sibilatione commoti, tremebundi peribant, et aerem quem nulla ratione quis effugere posset, negantes se videre.
10 For whereas wickedness is fearful, it beareth witness of its condemnation: for a troubled conscience always forecasteth grievous things.
Cum sit enim timida nequitia, dat testimonium condemnationis; semper enim praesumit saeva, perturbata conscientia.
11 For fear is nothing else but a yielding up of the succours from thought.
Nihil enim est timor nisi proditio cogitationis auxiliorum.
12 And while there is less expectation from within, the greater doth it count the ignorance of that cause which bringeth the torment.
Et dum ab intus minor est exspectatio, majorem computat inscientiam ejus causae, de qua tormentum praestat.
13 But they that during that night, in which nothing could be done, and which came upon them from the lowest and deepest hell, slept the same sleep.
Illi autem qui impotentem vere noctem, et ab infimis et ab altissimis inferis supervenientem, eumdem somnum dormientes,
14 Were sometimes molested with the fear of monsters, sometimes fainted away, their soul failing them: for a sudden and unlooked for fear was come upon them.
aliquando monstrorum exagitabantur timore, aliquando animae deficiebant traductione; subitaneus enim illis et insperatus timor supervenerat.
15 Moreover if any of them had fallen down, he was kept shut up in prison without irons.
Deinde si quisquam ex illis decidisset, custodiebatur in carcere sine ferro reclusus.
16 For if any one were a husbandman, or a shepherd, or a labourer in the field, and was suddenly overtaken, he endured a necessity from which he could not fly.
Si enim rusticus quis erat, aut pastor, aut agri laborum operarius praeoccupatus esset, ineffugibilem sustinebat necessitatem;
17 For they were all bound together with one chain of darkness. Whether it were a whistling wind, or the melodious voice of birds, among the spreading branches of trees, or a fall of water running down with violence,
una enim catena tenebrarum omnes erant colligati. Sive spiritus sibilans, aut inter spissos arborum ramos avium sonus suavis, aut vis aquae decurrentis nimium,
18 Or the mighty noise of stones tumbling down, or the running that could not be seen of beasts playing together, or the roaring voice of wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the highest mountains: these things made them to swoon for fear.
aut sonus validus praecipitatarum petrarum, aut ludentium animalium cursus invisus, aut mugientium valida bestiarum vox, aut resonans de altissimis montibus echo, deficientes faciebant illos prae timore.
19 For the whole world was enlightened with a clear light, and none were hindered in their labours.
Omnis enim orbis terrarum limpido illuminabatur lumine, et non impeditis operibus continebatur.
20 But over them only was spread a heavy night, an image of that darkness which was to come upon them. But they were to themselves more grievous than the darkness.
Solis autem illis superposita erat gravis nox, imago tenebrarum quae superventura illis erat; ipsi ergo sibi erant graviores tenebris.