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Prayers to God Creator in "Harmonies of the World"

1619

Accordingly let this do for our envoi concerning the work of God the Creator. It now remains that at last, with my eyes and hands removed from the tablet of demonstrations and lifted up towards the heavens, I should pray, devout and supplicating, to the Father of lights: O Thou Who dost by the light of nature promote in us the desire for the light of grace, that by its means Thou mayest transport us into the light of glory, I give thanks to Thee, O Lord Creator, Who hast delighted me with Thy makings and in the works of Thy hands have I exulted. Behold! now, I have completed the work of my profession, having employed as much power of mind as Thou didst give to me; to the men who are going to read those demonstrations I have made manifest the glory of Thy works, as much of its infinity as the narrows of my intellect could apprehend. My mind has been given over to philosophizing most correctly: if there is anything unworthy of Thy designs brought forth by me—a worm born and nourished in a wallowing place of sins—breathe into me also that which Thou dost wish men to know, that I may make the correction: If I have been allured into rashness by the wonderful beauty of Thy works, or if I have loved my own glory among men, while I am advancing in the work destined for Thy glory, be gentle and merciful and pardon me; and finally deign graciously to effect that these demonstrations give way to Thy glory and the salvation of souls and nowhere be an obstacle to that.

[...] Purposely I break off the dream and the very vast speculation, merely crying out with the royal Psalmist: Great is our Lord and great His virtue and of His wisdom there is no number: praise Him, ye heavens, praise Him, ye sun, moon, and planets, use every sense for perceiving, every tongue for declaring your Creator. Praise Him, ye celestial harmonies, praise Him, ye judges of the harmonies uncovered (and you before all, old happy Mastlin, for you used to animate these cares with words of hope): and thou my soul, praise the Lord thy Creator, as long as I shall be: for out of Him and through Him and in Him are all things, [both the sensible and the intelligible]; for both whose whereof we are utterly ignorant and those which we know are the least part of them; because there is still more beyond. To Him be praise, honour, and glory, world without end. Amen.

 

Original Latin text:

Hactenus igitur de Dei Creatoris opere nobis. Restat nunc, ut vel tandem oculis et manibus de tabulâ demonstrationum ablatis, inque coelum sublatis, Patrem luminum devotus et supplex comprecer: O qui lumine Naturae desiderium in nobis promoves luminis Gratiae, ut per id transferas nos in lumen Gloriae; gratias ago tibi Creator Domine, quia delectasti me in facturâ tuâ, et in operibus manuum tuarum exultavi: En nunc opus consummavi professionis meae, tantis usus ingenii viribus, quantas mihi dedisti; manifestavi gloriam operum tuorum hominibus, istas demonstrationes lecturis, quantum de illius infinitate capere potuerunt angustiae Mentis meae; promptus mihi fuit animus ad emendatissime philosophandum: si quid indignum tuis consiliis prolatum a me, vermiculo, in volutabro peccatorum nato et innutrito, quod scire velis homines: id quoque inspires, ut emendem: si tuorum operum admirabili pulchritudine in temeritatem prolectus sum, aut si gloriam propriam apud homines amavi, dam progredior in opere tuae gloriae destinato; mitis et misericors condona: denique ut demonstrationes istae tuae gloriae et Animarum saluti cedant, nec ei ullatenus obsint, propitius efficere digneris. […] Magnus Dominus noster, et magna virtus eius et Sapientiae eius non est numerus: laudate eum coeli, laudate eum Sol, Luna et Planetae, quocunque sensu ad percipiendum, quacunque linguâ ad eloquendum Creatorem vestrum utamini: Laudate eum Harmoniae coelestes, laudate cum vos Harmoniarum detectarum arbitri: lauda et tu anima mea Dominum Creatorem tuum, quamdiu fuero: namque ex ipso et per ipsum et in ipso sunt omnia, καί τά αισθητά, καί τά υοερά; tam ea quae ignoramus penitus, quam ea quae scimus, minima illorum pars; quia adhuc plus ultra est. Ipsi laus, honor et gloria in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

J. Kepler, Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and Harmonies of the World, translated by C. Glenn Wallis, Prometeus Books, New York, 1995, Book V, ch. 9, p. 240 and ch. 10, p. 245.

For the original Latin text: J. Kepler, Harmonices Mundi Libri V, lib. V, ch. IX and X, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. VI, Munchen 1940, pp. 362-363 and 368.