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Blame not before thou hast examined the truth; first understand, and then rebuke.

Honour a physician with the honour due unto him, for the Lord hath created him; because of the most High cometh healing.

Judge no man happy before his death, for by his last end shall a man be known.

The wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure, and he that hath little business shall become wise. How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, and that glorieth in the goad, that driveth oxen and is occupied in their labours, and whose talk is of bullocks ?


§ 25. “Death cometh, soon or late.” Remember that death tarrieth not, and that the doom of the grave is not shown thee. Do good unto thy friend ere thou die, and according to thine ability stretch out thy hand and give to him. Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the portion of a good desire overpass thee. Shalt thou not leave thy treasures unto another, and thy labours to be divided by lot ? Give, and take, and beguile thy soul, for there is no seeking of dainties in the grave.

Al flesh waxeth old as a garment, for the covenant from the beginning was, Thou shalt die. As of the leaves flourishing on a thick tree, some fall and some grow: so is the generation of flesh and blood; one cometh to an end, and another is born.


§ 26. The Unsearchable Works of God. Who shall declare the works of his righteousness, or who shall endure them ? for his covenant is afar off.

My son, hearken unto me and learn knowledge, and attend unto my words. I will pour forth my spirit by weight, and declare knowledge by measure. The works of the Lord are done in judgement from the beginning, and he assigned unto them their lot. He ordered his works for ever, and their rule unto their generations. They hunger not, neither are weary, nor cease they from their work. None of them hindereth another, and they shall never disobey his word.


§ 27. No Wisdom in Wickedness. The fear of the Lord is wisdom, and in all wisdom is the doing of the law. The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom, neither the counsel of sinners prudence.

Better is one that hath small understanding and feareth God than he that hath much knowledge and transgresseth the law of the most High.

My son, hast thou sinned ? sin no more, but make supplication for thy former sins. Flee from iniquity as from the face of a serpent, for if thou draw near, it will bite thee; the teeth thereof are as the teeth of a lion, slaying the souls of men. All iniquity is like a two-edged sword, the stroke whereof cannot be healed.

ECCLESIASTICUS xix. 22-end ; xxi. 1-3.

§ 28. Not Death but Folly should be mourned.

Weep for the dead, for his light hath failed; and weep for the fool, for his understanding hath failed; weep softly for the dead, for he is at rest; but the life of a fool is worse than death. Seven days do men mourn for the dead, but for a fool and an ungodly man all the days of his life.


§ 29. The Discipline of the Lips. Hear, 0 ye children, the discipline of the lips; he that keepeth it shall not be taken captive. The sinner shall be overtaken in his folly; both the railer and the proud man shall fall thereby. Accustom not thy mouth to swearing, neither use thyself to the naming of the Holy One. For as a servant that is scourged continually shall not be without a bruise, so he that sweareth and nameth God continually shall not be without sin.


§ 30. The Crown of Age. O how comely a thing is judgement for gray hairs, and for ancient men to know counsel ! O how comely is the wisdom of the aged, and thought and counsel to men of honour! Much experience is the crown of old men, and the fear of God is their glory.


§ 31. A Good Wife. Blessed is the man that hath a virtuous wife, for the number of his days shall be double. A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband, and he shall fulfil the years of his life in peace. A good wife is a goodly portion, which shall be given into the bosom of them that fear the Lord.

A silent and loving woman is a gift of the Lord, and her continent mind cannot be valued. As the sun when it ariseth in the high heaven, so is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house. As a lamp that shineth upon the holy lampstand, so is the beauty of the face in ripe age.

ECCLESIASTICUS xxvi. 1-3, 14-17.

§ 32. The Backbiter. Curse the whisperer and double-tongued, for such have destroyed many that were at peace. A backbiting tongue hath disquieted many; strong cities hath it overthrown, and pulled down the houses of great men.

The stroke of the whip maketh a mark in the flesh, but the stroke of the tongue breaketh bones. Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not so many as have fallen by the tongue. Well is he that is defended from it, and hath not passed through the rage thereof, who hath not drawn its yoke, neither hath been bound with its bands. For the yoke thereof is a yoke of iron, and the bands of it are bands of brass.

ECCLESIASTICUS xxviii. 18-20.

§ 33.
Heu misera in nimios hominum petulantia census !
Cæcus inutilium quo ruit ardor opum ?
Auri dira fames et non expleta cupido

Ferali pretio venditat omne nefas. Watching over riches consumeth the flesh, and the care thereof doth banish sleep. Watching care will not suffer a man to slumber, even as a sore disease scareth away sleep. Gold hath proved the ruin of many, and their destruction stared them in the face: it is a stumbling block to them that sacrifice unto it, and every fool will be taken therewith. Happy the rich man that is found without blemish, and that goeth not after gold. Who is he? and we shall call him blessed, for wonderful things hath he done among his people. Who hath been tried thereby, and found perfect ? Then let him boast. Who hath had it in his power to transgress, yet hath transgressed not, and to do evil, and hath not done it ? His goods shall be established, and the congregation shall declare his righteousness.


$ 34. Trust in God, and find Safety. There shall no evil happen unto him that feareth the Lord; but in temptation once and again will he deliver him.

Prepare what to say, and so thou shalt be heard; bind up instruction, and then make answer.

The heart of the foolish is like a cartwheel, and his thoughts like a rolling axle-tree.

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