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edst me from the evil time: therefore will I give thanks, and praise thee, and bless thy name, O Lord. When I was yet young, or ever I went abroad, I desired wisdom openly in my prayer. I prayed for her before the temple, and will seek her out even to the end. Even from the flower till the grape was ripe hath my heart delighted in her: my foot went the right way, from my youth up sought I after her. I bowed down mine ear a little, and received her, and gat much learning. I profited therein, therefore will I ascribe the glory unto him that giveth me wisdom. For I purposed to do after her, and earnestly I followed that which is good ; so shall I not be confounded. My soul hath wrestled with her, and in my doings I was exact: I stretched forth my hands to the heaven above, and bewailed my ignorances of her. I directed my soul unto her, and I found her in
pureness : I have had my heart joined with her from the beginning, therefore shall I not be forsaken. My heart was troubled in seeking her: therefore have I gotten a good possession. The Lord hath given me a tongue for my reward, and I will praise him therewith. Draw near untó me, ye unlearned, and dwell in the house of learning. Wherefore are ye slow, and what say ye of these things, seeing your souls are very thirsty ? I opened my mouth, and said, Buy her for yourselves without money. Put your neck under the yoke, and let your soul receive instruction : she is hard at hand to find. Behold with your eyes, how that I have had but little labour, and have gotten unto me much rest. Get learning with a great sum of money, and get much gold by her. Let your
soul rejoice in his mercy, and be not ashamed of his praise. Work your work betimes, and in his time he will give you your reward.
From the I'rayer of Agur, Proverbs, 30.
All thy words, O God, are pure: thou art a shield to them that put their trust in thee. Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die. Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient for me : lest I be full and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord ? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name, of my God in vain.
From the Prayer of Judith, Judith, 9.
O God, O my God, hear me also a widow. For, behold, the Assyrians are multiplied in their power; they are exalted with horse and man; they glory in the strength of their footmen; they trust in shield, and spear, and bow, and sling; and know not that thou art the Lord that breakest the battles: the Lord is thy name. Throw down their strength in thy power, and bring down their force in thy wrath : for they have purposed to defile thy sanctuary, and to pollute the tabernacle where thy glorious name resteth, and to cast down with sword the horn of thy altar. Behold their pride, and send thy wrath upon their heads: give into mine hand, which am a widow, the power that I have conceived. For thy power standeth not in multitude, nor thy might in strong men: for thou art a God of the afflicted, an helper of the oppressed, an upholder of the weak, a protector of the forlorn, a saviour of them that are without hope. I pray thee, I pray thee, O God of my father, and God of the inheritance of Israel, Lord of the heavens and earth, creator of the waters, king of every creature, hear thou my prayer: and make every nation and tribe acknowledge that thou
art the God of all power and might, and there is none other that protecteth the people of Israel but thou.
From the Song of Judith, Judith, 16.
Begin unto my God with timbrels, sing unto any Lurd with cymbals : tune unto him a new psalm : exalt him, and call
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. I will sing unto the Lord a new song : 0 Lord, thou art great and glorious, wonderful in strength, and invincible. 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. For the mountains shall be moved from their foundations with the waters, the rocks shall melt a wax at thy presence: yet thou art merciful to them that fear thee. 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.
From the Prayer of Esther, Esther Ap. 14.
O my Lord, thou only art our King: help me, desolate woman, which have no helper but thee: for my danger is in mine hand. From my youth up I have heard in the tribe of my family, that thou, O Lord, tookest Israel from among all people, and our fathers from all their predecessors, for a perpetual inheritance, and thou hast performed whatsoever thou didst promise them. And now we have sinned before thee : therefore hast thou given us into the hands of our enemies. O Lord, give not thy sceptre unto them that be nothing, and let them not laugh at our fall; but turn their device
themselves, and make him an example that hath begun this against us. Remember, O Lord, make thyself known in time of our affliction, and give me boldness, O king of the nations, and Lord of all power. Give me eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion: turn his heart to hate him that fighteth against us, that there may be an end of him, and of all that are likeminded to him : but deliver us with thine hand, and help me that am desolate, and which have no other helper but thee. O thou mighty God above all,