Rembrandt's ''An Angel Dictating to Saint Matthew''

In the dark two figures commune - Saint Matthew and the angel at his shoulder; two faces hold light against the darkness; the lighted manuscript lies before them. Listenm: Saint Matthew's eyes are fixed on distance, his body intent with hearing, rigid, but for his hand stroking - a gentle motion to fend off distraction - gently his beard as the proffered words come. Listenm: When, as from presence of light the angel speaks - Saint Matthew writes; yet pauses and wonders at the sounds at his ear, for subtle and sweet are the sounds he hears - Listenm: unearthly and subtle: These are the words I give you - vessels for your love; and for holding and henceforth bearing the Spirit that is not the words. For what words I shall give you shall bear truth; what they speak that is not - shall be; what they say was - has been; and what they say is - you, being mortal man, are too blind to see. But I shall tell you; only listenm.

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