« السابقةمتابعة »
fashion us in the womb? If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; or hare erfen my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (for from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb ;) if I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; if his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; if I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate; then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; if I rejoiced because
my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand ; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge : for I should have denied the God that is above. If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him : neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wish
If I co
ing a curse to his soul. The stranger did not lodge in the street ; but I opened my doors to the traveller. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? vered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: if my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain ; if I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life : let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Jos are ended.
From the sieme.
I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou Preserver of men ? I know
at thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can he withholden from thee. How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin. Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: 'and cause me to understand wherein I have crred. I have borne chastisement, I will
not offend any more.
That which I see not teach thou me : if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.
From the same.
I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause. O that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! Will he plead against me with his great power?. No; but he would put strength in me. Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him : he hidesh himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: but he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I
back from the commandment of his lips: I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
From the same.
Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gare, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. He also shall be my salvation : for an hypocrite shall not come before him. As God liveth, who hath taken away my judginent: and the Almighty who hath vexed my soul; all the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue uiter deceit. Till I die I will not remove my integrity from me. liy righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: iny heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth : and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God : whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Selected from the Book of Wisdom, ch. 11. 12.
Thou, O God, art gracious and true, long sufe fering, and in mercy ordering all things. For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy power: but we will not sin, knowing that we are counted thine. For to know thee is perfect righteousness : yea, to know thy power is the root of im. mortality. For thine incorruptible spirit is in all things. Therefore chastenest thou them by little and little that offend, and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that leaving their wickedness, they may believe on thee, O Lord. Who shall say, What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall accuse thee for the na. tions that perish, whom thou hast made? or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous mer? For neither is there any
God but thou that carest for all, to whom thou mightest shew that thy judgment is not unright. Neither shall king nor tyrant be able to set his face against thee for any
whom thou hast punished. For thou canst shew thy great strength at all times when thou wilt; and who may withstand the power of thine arm?