« AnteriorContinuar »
which cometh from God; and set a diadem on thine head of the glory of the Everlasting. 38 For God will shew thy brightness unto every country under heaven. 39 For thy name shall be called of God for ever, The peace of righteousness, and The glory of God's worship. 40 Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high, and look about toward the east, and behold thy children gathered from the west unto the east by the word of the Holy One, rejoicing in the remembrance of God. 41 For they departed from thee on foot, and were led away
of their enemies; but God bringeth them unto thee, exalted with glory, as children of the kingdom. 42 For God hath appointed that every high hill, and banks of long continuance, should be cast down, and valleys filled up, to make even the ground, that Israel may go safely in the glory of God. 43 Moreover even the woods and every sweet-smelling tree shall overshadow Israel by the commandment of God. 44 For God shall lead Israel with joy in the light of his glory, with the mercy and righteousness that cometh from him.
SECTION XX.-Vision of Esdras.
O YE heathem, that hear and understand, Look for your Shepherd, he shall give you everlasting rest; for he is nigh at hand, that shall come in the end of the world. 2 Be ready to the reward of the kingdom, for the everlasting light shall shine upon you for evermore. 3 Flee the shadow of this world, receive the joyfulness of your glory: I testify my Saviour openly. 4 O receive the gift that is given you, and be glad, giving thanks unto him that hath called you to the heavenly kingdom. 5 Arise up and stand, behold the number of those that
be sealed in the feast of the Lord; 6 Which are departed from the shadow of the world, and have received glorious garments of the Lord. 7 Take thy number, O Sion, and shut up those of thine that are clothed in white, which have fulfilled the law of the Lord. 8 The number of thy children, whom thou longedst for, is fulfilled: beseech the power of the Lord, that thy people, which have been called from the beginning, may behallowed. * 9 I, Esdras, saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. 10 And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon everyone of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. ll. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these ? 12 He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God; now are they crowned, and receive palms. 13 Then said I unto the an
gel, What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands 2 14 So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord. 15 Then the angel said unto me, Go thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God, thou hast seen.
SEctioN XXI.—Destruction of Babylon.
Woe be unto thee, Babylon, and Asia ' woe be unto thee, Egypt, and Syria! 2 Gird up yourselves with cloths of sack and hair, bewail your children, and be sorry; for your destruction is at hand. 3. A sword is sent upon you, and who may turn it back * 4. A fire is sent among you, and who may quench it 2 5 Plagues are sent unto you, and what is he that may drive them away ? 6 May any man drive away an hungry lion in the wood or may any one quench the fire in stubble, when it hath begun to burn 7 May one turn again the arrow that is shot of a strong archer 8 The mighty Lord sendeth the plagues, and who is he that can drive them away
9 A fire shall go forth from his wrath, and who is he that may quench it? 10 He shall cast lightnings, and who shall not fear he shall thunder, and who shall not be afraid P ll. The Lord shall threaten, and who shall not be utterly beaten to powder at his presence 2 12 The earth quaketh, and the foundations thereof; the sea ariseth up with waves from the deep, and the waves of it are troubled, and the fishes thereof also, before the Lord, and before the glory of his power: 13 For strong is his right hand that bendeth the bow; his arrows that he shooteth are sharp, and shall not miss, when
they begin to be shot into the
ends of the world. 14 Behold, the plagues are
sent, and shall not return again,
until they come upon the earth.
15 The fire is kindled, and shall not be put out, till it consume the foundation of the earth.
16 Like as an arrow which
is shot of a mighty archer returneth not backward: even so the plagues that shall be sent upon earth shall not return
SECTION XXII.-Song of Judith.
THEN Judith began to sing this thanksgiving in all Israel, and all the people sang after her this song of praise. *|2 And Judith said, Begin unto my God with timbrels, sing unto my Lord with cymbals: tune unto him a new psalm ; exalt him, and call upon his name. 3 For God breaketh the battles: for among the camps in the midst of the people he hath delivered me out of the hands of them that persecuted me. 4 Assur came out of the mountains from the north; he came with ten thousands of his army, the multitude whereof stopped the torrents, and their horsemen have covered the hills. 5 He bragged that he would burn up my borders, and kill my young men with the sword, and dash the sucking children against the ground, and make mine infants as a prey, and my virgins as a spoil. 6 But the Almighty Lord hath disappointed them by the hand of a woman. 7 For the mighty one did not fall by the young men, neither did the sons of the Titans
smite him, nor high giants set upon him : but Judith, the daughter of Merari, weakened him with the beauty of her countenance. 8 For she put off the garment of her widowhood for the exaltation of those that were oppressed in Israel, and anointed her face with ointment, and bound her hair in a tire, and took a linen garment to deceive him. 9 Her sandals ravished his eyes, her beauty took his mind prisoner, and the fauchion passed through his neck. 10 The Persians quaked at her boldness, and the Medes were daunted at her hardiIneSS. 11 Then my afflicted shouted for joy, and my weak ones cried aloud; but they were astonished: these lifted up their voices, but they were overthrown. 12 The sons of the damsels have pierced them through, and wounded them as fugitives’ children: they perished by the battle of the Lord. T13 I will sing unto the Lord a new song: O Lord, thou art great and glorious, wonderful in strength, and invincible. 14 Let all creatures serve thee: for thou spakest, and they were made, thou didst send forth thy spirit, and it created them, and there is none that can resist thy voice. 15 For the mountains shall be moved from their foundations with the waters, the rocks shall melt as wax at thy presence :
yet thou art merciful to them that fear thee. 16 For all sacrifice is too little for a sweet savour unto thee, and all the fat is not sufficient for thy burnt offering : but he that feareth the Lord is great at all times.
SECTION XXIII.-The Origin of Idolatry.
SURELY vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not, out of the good things that are seen, know him that is: neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the workmaster; 2. But deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world. 3 With whose beauty if they being delighted took them to be gods; let them know how much better the Lord of them is : for the first Author of Beauty hath created them. 4 But if they were astonished at their power and virtue; let them understand by them, how much mightier he is that made them. 5 For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionably the maker of them is seen. 6 But yet for this they are the less to be blamed: for they peradventure err, seeking God, and desirous to find him.
7 For being conversant in his works they search him diligently, and believe their sight: because the things are beautiful that are seen. 8 Howbeit neither are they to be pardoned. 9 For if they were able to know so much, that they could aim at the world; how did they not sooner find out the Lord thereof * 10 But miserable are they, and in dead things is their hope, who called them gods, which are the works of men's hands, gold and silver, to shew art in, and resemblances of beasts, or a stone good for nothing, the work of an ancient hand. 11 For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever. 12 For by the vain glory of men they entered into the world, and therefore shall they come shortly to an end. * 13 For a father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath made an image of his child soon taken away, now honoured him as a god, which was then a dead man, and delivered to those that were un
der him ceremonies and sacrifices. 14 Thus in process of time an ungodly custom grownstrong was kept as a law, and graven images were worshiped by the commandments of kings. 15 Whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt far off, they took the counterfeit of his visage from far, and made an express image of a king whom they honoured, to the end that, by this their forwardness, they might flatter him that was absent, as if he were present. 16 Also the singular diligence of the artificer did help to set forward the ignorant to more superstition. 17 For he, peradventure willing to please one in authority, forced all his skill to make the resemblance of the best fashion. 18 And so the multitude, allured by the grace of the work, took him now for a god, which a little before was but honoured aS a man. 19 And this was an occasion to deceive the world: for men, serving either calamity or tyranny, did ascribe unto stones and stocks the Incommunicable Name. "| 20 Now a carpenter that felleth timber, after he hath sawn down a tree meet for the purpose, and taken off all the bark skilfully round about, and hath wrought it handsomely, and made a vessel thereof fit for the service of man's life; 21 And after spending the
refuse of his work to dress his meat, hath filled himself; 22 And taking the very refuse among those which served to no use, being a crooked piece of wood, and full of knots, hath carved it diligently, when he had nothing else to do, and formed it by the skill of his understanding, and fashioned it to the image of a man; 23 Or made it like some vile beast, laying it over with vermilion, and with paint colouring it red, and covering every spot therein: 24 And when he had made a convenient room for it, set it in a wall, and made it fast with iron: . 25 For he provided for it that it might not fall, knowing that it was unable to help itself; for it is an image, and hath need of help : 26 Then maketh he prayer for his goods, for his wife and children, and is not ashamed to speak to that which hath no life. 27 For health, he calleth upon that which is weak: for life, prayeth to that which is dead: for aid, humbly beseecheth that which hath least means to help: and for a good journey, he asketh of that which cannot set a foot forward : 28 And for gaining and getting, and for good success of his hands, asketh ability to do of him, that is most unable to do any thing. * 29 Again, one preparing himself to sail, and about to pass through the raging waves, calleth upon a piece of wood more