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Virtue and vice contrasted.
Book of Wisdom.
Glorious is the fruit of good labours: and the mot of wisdomn shall never fall away. Though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest. For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the
gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age. He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living amongst sinners he was translated. Yea, speedily he was taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul. He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: for his soul pleased the Lord, therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked. This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, That his grace and mercy is with his saists, and that he hath a respect unto his chosen. Thus the right ous that is dead shall conde nn the ungodly which are living; and youth that is soon perfected the many years and old age of the unrighteous. For they shall see the end of the wise, and shall not ceive his discipline; and they that seek him early shall find favour. There shall no evil happen
unto him that feareth the Lord; but in temptation even again he will deliver him. The spirit of those that fear the Lord shall live; for their hope is in him that saveth them. Whoso feareth the Lord shall not fear nor be afraid
; for he is his hope. Blessed is the soul of him that feareth the Lord : to whom doth he look? and who is his strength ? For the eyes of the Lord are upon them that love him, he is their mighty protection and strong stay, a defence from heat, and a cover from the sun at noon, a preservation from stumbling, and an help from falling. He raiseth up the soul, and lighteneth the eyes: he giveth health, life, and blessing. Love the Lord all thy life, and call upon him for thy salvation.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding. The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. The fear of man bringth a snare : but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence ; and his children shall have a place of refuge.
On righteousness, and the happiness of the righteous.
Blessed is the man that hath not slipped with his mouth, and is not pricked with the multitude of sins. Blessed is he whose conscience hath not condemned him, and who is not fallen from his hope in the Lord. Blessed is the man that doth meditate good things in wisdom, and that reasoneth of holy things by his understanding.
Book of Wisdom.
Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth; think of the Lord with a good heart, and in simplicity of heart serk him. For lie will be found of them that tempt hiin not: aud sheweth himself unto such as do not distrust him. For froward thoughts separate from God ; and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise. For into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter : nor divell in the body that is subject unto sin. For the holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when righteousness cometh in. And if a man love righteousness, her labours are virtues : for she teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude : which are such things, as men can have nothing more profitable in their life.
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth : therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty : for he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles : yea, in seven, there shall no evil touch thee. In famine he shall redeem thee from death : and in war froin the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh : neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. And thou shalt know that thy tabcrnacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin. Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine oilspring as the grass of the earth. Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in, in bis season.
Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy goou.
Ile that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly ; he that despiseth the gain of oppress: ions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth big ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks : bread shall be given him ; his waters shall be sure. Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice : for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it;