2 Kings 20:1-19
In those days was Hezekiah sick to death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, Thus said the LORD…
The young man, till thirty, never feels practically that he is mortal. He knows it, indeed, and, if need were, he could preach a homily on the fragility of life; but he brings it not home to himself, any more than in a hot June we can appropriate to our imagination the freezing days of December. But now, shall I confess a truth? I feel these audits but too powerfully; I begin to count the probabilities of my duration, and to grudge at the expenditure of moments and shortest periods like miser's farthings. In proportion as the years both lessen and shorten I set more count upon their periods, and would fain lay my ineffectual finger upon the spoke of the great wheel. I am not content to pass away "like a weaver's shuttle." Those metaphors solace me not, nor sweeten the unpalatable draught of mortality. I care not to be carried with the tide that smoothly bears human life to eternity, and rebel at the inevitable course of destiny. I am in love with this green earth, the face of town and country, the unspeakable rural solitudes, and the sweet security of streets. I would set up my tabernacle here; I am content to stand still at the age to which I am arrived, to be no younger, no richer, no handsomer. I do not want to be weaned by age, or drop, like mellow fruit, as they say, into the grave! Any alteration on this earth of mine, in diet or in lodging, puzzles and discomposes me. My household goods plant a terribly fixed foot, and are not rooted up without blood. They do not willingly seek Lavinian shores. A new state of being staggers me; sun and sky, and breezes and solitary walks, and summer holidays, and the greenness of fields, and the juices of meats and fishes, and society, and the cheerful glass, and candlelight, and firelight conversations, and jests and irony — do not these things go out with life? Can a ghost laugh, or shake his gaunt sides when you are pleasant with him?
Parallel VersesKJV: In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.