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went through deserts wherein there was no path, but as for the way of the Lord, we knew it not.
What hath pride profited us? Or what advantage have riches and vaunting brought us ? All those things are passed away like a shadow, and as a post that hasteth by. But the righteous live for evermore; their reward also is in the Lord, and the care of them is with the Highest.
WISDOM v. 1-16 (selections).
§ 15. Wisdom is soon Found. Wisdom is radiant and fadeth not; easily is she seen of them that love her, and found of them that seek her. She forestalleth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them; whoso seeketh her early shall have no travail, for he shall find her sitting at his gates. To think upon her is perfect understanding, and whoso watcheth for her shall quickly be without care, because she goeth about seeking such as are worthy, showing herself favourably unto them in their ways, and meeteth them in every purpose. Her truest beginning is the desire of discipline, and concern for discipline is love of her; and love of her is the keeping of her laws, and giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption; and incorruption draweth us near unto God.
WISDOM vi. 12-19
§ 16. The Nature of Wisdom. Wisdom is a breath of the power of God, and a pure effulgence from the glory of the Almighty:
therefore can nothing that is defiled enter into her. For she is a gleam of the everlasting light, and an unspotted mirror of the operation of God, and an image of his goodness. And, being one, she can do all things; and, remaining in herself, she maketh all things new; and, in all ages, entering into holy souls, she maketh men friends of God and prophets; for God loveth nothing but him that dwelleth with wisdom.
WISDOM vii. 25-27.
§ 17. Apart from God we can do Nothing. What man is he that can know the counsel of God ? or who can think what the will of the Lord is ? For the thoughts of mortals are full of fear, and our devices are ready to fall. For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and this earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. And hardly do we guess aright the things that are on earth, and the things that are before us we find with labour: but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out ? And thy counsel who hath divined, except thou gavest wisdom, and sentest thy holy spirit from above?
WISDOM ix, 13-17.
§ 18. God and the World. The whole world before thee is as a grain in the balance, yea, as a drop of the morning dew that falleth upon the earth. But thou hast mercy upon all men, because thou canst do all things, and passest by the sins of men to the end that they should repent. For thou lovest all things that are, and abhorrest nothing that thou hast made: for never wouldst thou have created anything if thou hadst hated it. And how could anything have endured, except thou hadst willed it ? or been preserved, if not called into being by thee? Howbeit thou sparest all: for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of men's souls.
WISDOM xi. 22-26.
§ 19. Patience in Time of Trial. My son, if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for trial; set thy heart aright and constantly endure, and make not haste in time of trouble. Cleave unto him and depart not, that thou mayest be increased at the last. Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou passest through affliction. For as gold is tried in the fire, so are acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation. Trust in the Lord, and he will help thee; order thy way aright and hope in him.
Look at the generations of old, and see: did ever any trust in the Lord and was confounded, or abide in his fear and was forsaken ? or whom did he ever despise that called upon him ? For the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, and forgiveth sins, and saveth in time of affliction.
They that fear the Lord will not disobey his word, and they that love him will keep his ways. They that fear the Lord will seek that which is well pleasing unto him, and they that love him shall be satisfied with his law. They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and humble their souls in his sight, saying, We will fall into the hands of the Lord and not into the hands of men; for as his majesty is, so also is his mercy.
ECCLESIASTICUS ii. 1, 6, 10-11, 15-18.
§ 20. Truth. Speak not against the truth, and be abashed for the error of thine ignorance. Strive for the truth unto death, and the Lord God shall fight for thee.
ECCLESIASTICUS iy. 26, 28.
§ 21. Of Presumption. Follow not thine own mind and thine own strength, to walk in the desires of thy heart; and say not, Who shall have control over me ? for the Lord will surely revenge thy pride. Say not, I have sinned, and what mischief happened unto me? For though the Lord is long-suffering, he will in no wise let thee go.
Make no tarrying to turn unto the Lord, and put not off from day to day; for suddenly shall the wrath of the Lord be revealed, and thou shalt perish in the day of vengeance.
ECCLESIASTICUS V. 2-7.
§ 22. Of Superstition. The hopes of a man void of understanding are vain and false, and dreams lend wings to fools. Whoso regardeth dreams is like him that catcheth at a shadow, and followeth after the wind.
ECCLESIASTICUS xxxiv. 1, 2.
§ 23. Be ready to listen to the Wise. My son, if thou wilt, thou shall be taught; and if thou apply thy heart, thou shalt be prudent. If thou love to hear, thou shalt receive understanding; and if thou incline thine ear, thou shalt be wise. Stand in the multitude of the elders; and whoso is wise, cleave thou unto him. Be willing to hear every godly discourse, and let not the proverbs of understanding escape thee. If thou seest a man of understanding, get thee betimes unto him, and let thy foot wear away the steps of his door. Let thy mind dwell upon the ordinances of the Lord, and meditate continually in his commandments; he shall establish thine heart, and thy desire of wisdom shall be vouchsafed thee.
ECCLESIASTICUS xi. 32-37.
§ 24. Divers Exhortations and Proverbs. My son, sow not upon the furrows of unrighteousness, and thou shalt not reap them sevenfold,
Laugh no man to scorn in the bitterness of his soul, for there is one that humbleth and exalteth.
Open not thine heart to every man, lest he requite thee with a shrewd turn.
Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him; as new wine, so is a new friend: when it is old thou shalt drink it with pleasure.
As is the governor of his people, so are his ministers; and what manner of man the ruler of the city is, even such are they that dwell therein.