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As the clay is in the potter's hand, to fashion it at his pleasure, so men are in the hand of God that made them, to render unto them as liketh him best.
He hat believeth in the Lord taketh heed to the commandment, and he that trusteth in him shall suffer no want.
ECCLESIASTICUS Xxxiii. 1-5, 13, and xxxii. 24.
$ 85. A Prayer for the Congregation against
their Foes. Have mercy upon us, O Lord God of all, and behold us; and send thy fear upon all the nations that seek not after thee. Lift up thy hand against the strange nations, and let them see thy power. As thou wast sanctified in us before them, so be thou magnified in them before us; and let them know thee, even as we have known thee, that there is no God, but only thou, O God.
O Lord, have mercy upon the people that is called by thy name, and be merciful unto Jerusalem, the holy city, the place of thy rest. Reward them that wait for thee, and let thy prophets be found faithful. O Lord, hear the prayer of thy servants, that all which dwell upon the earth may know that thou art the Lord, the everlasting God.
ECCLESIASTICUS Xxxvi. 1-17 (selections).
8 86. Mourning for the Dead. Give not thine heart unto heaviness, put it far from thee, and remember the end. Forget it not, for from the grave there is no returning; the dead
thou shalt not profit, but hurt thyself. Remember the sentence upon him, for so also shall it be upon thee: “ Yesterday for me, and to-day for thee.”
ECCLESIASTICUS Xxxviii. 20-22.
§ 37. The Working Men. They shall not be sought for in the council of the people, nor sit on high in the congregation; they shall not sit on the judge's seat, nor understand the sentence of judgement; neither shall they declare instruction and judgement, and where parables are spoken they shall not be found. But they will maintain the fabric of the world, and all their thought is in the work of their craft.
ECCLESIASTICUS Xxxviii. 33, 84.
$ 38. The Wonderful Works of God. Bless the Lord in all his works, magnify his name and show forth his praise with the songs of your lips, and with harps; and in praising him ye shall say after this manner:
All the works of the Lord are exceeding good, and in due season shall every command be accomplished. And none may say, What is this? Wherefore is that? For at a time convenient they shall all be sought out.
The works of all flesh are before him, and nothing can be hid from his sight; he seeth from everlasting to everlasting, and there is nothing wonderful before him. As his ways are plain unto the holy, so are they stumbling blocks unto the
wicked. All the works of the Lord are good, and in due season he will supply every need. Therefore praise ye the Lord with the whole heart and mouth, and bless the name of the Lord.
ECCLESIASTICUS xxxix. 14-35 (selections).
§ 39. The Power of God always and every
where in Operation. I will now remember the works of the Lord, and declare the things that I have seen; through the words of God are his works. The sun that giveth light looketh upon all things, and the work of the Lord is full of his glory. He seeketh out the deep and the heart, and considereth the secrets of men; for the Lord knoweth all that may be known, and beholdeth the signs of the future. He declareth the things that are past and for to come, and revealeth the steps of hidden things. No thought escapeth him, neither is any word secret from him. He hath garnished the excellent works of his wisdom, and he is from everlasting to everlasting: unto them may nothing be added, neither can his wisdom be diminished, and he hath no need of any counsellor. How shall we be able to magnify him ? For he is great above all his works. We may speak much, and yet come short: and the conclusion of the whole matter is—HE IS ALL.
ECCLESIASTICUS xlii. 15-21, xliii. 28, 27.
$ 40. The Praise of the Fathers. Let us now praise famous men and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great
glory by them, through his greatness from of old, Such as bare rule in kingdoms, men renowned for their
power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies. Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent in their instructions. Such as devised songs for music, and recited epic tales to the sound of the harp: rich men furnished with wealth, living at ease in their habitations.
All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times. Their seed standeth fast, and their children after them; their posterity shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in
peace, but their name liveth for evermore. The peoples will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will show forth their praise.
ECCLESIASTICUS xliv. 1-7, 12-15.
§ 41. A Prayer of Jesus, the Son of Sirach. I will thank thee, O Lord and King, and praise thee, O God my Saviour; for thou art my defender and helper, and hast redeemed my body from destruction. Mine enemies compassed me every side, and there was no man to help me; I looked for the succour of men, but there was none. Then thought I upon thy mercy, and upon thine acts of old, how thou deliverest such as wait for thee, and savest them out of the hands of the enemy. Then lifted I up my supplication from the earth, and prayed for deliverance from death; I called upon the Lord that he would not leave me in the days of my trouble, and in the time of the proud when there was no help. I will praise thy name continually, and will sing thy praise with thanksgiving.
When I was yet young, or ever I went abroad, I desired wisdom openly in my prayer. Even from the flower till the grape was ripe my heart delighted in her. I bowed down mine ear awhile and received her and gat me much learning. I profited through her; therefore will I ascribe the glory unto him that giveth me wisdom.
Draw near unto me, ye unlearned, and dwell in the house of learning. Put your neck under the yoke, and let your soul receive instruction; she is nigh unto him that seeketh her, and he that yieldeth his soul doth find her.
Work your work in righteousness, and reward shall be given you in due time.
ECCLESIASTICUS li. (selections).
§ 42. The Vision of Enoch. The Holy One will come forth from his habitation, and the Eternal God will tread upon the earth, even upon Sinai, and manifest himself in the power of his might from the heaven of heavens. And all shall be smitten with fear, and the Watchers shall quake, and trembling and a great terror shall seize them unto the ends of the earth.
The high mountains shall be shaken, and the lofty hills be brought low: they shall melt like