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tions, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth : and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him : for grace
is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect. But the ungodly shall be punished according to their own imaginations, which have neglected the righteous, and forsaken the Lord. For whoso despiseth wisdom and nurture, he is miserable, and their hope is vain, their labours unfruitful, and their works unprofitable. For though they live long, yet shall they be nothing regarded: and their last age
shall be without honour. Or, if they die quickly, they have no hope, neither comfort in the day of triala
From the same.
The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave. For we are born at all adventure : and we shall be hereafter, as though we had never been ; for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our
heart: which being extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish as the soft air, and our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof. For our time is a very shadow that passeth away ; and after our end there is no returning : for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again. Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth. Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments : and let no flower of the spring pass by us. Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they be withered. Let none of us go withont his part of our voluptuousness : let us leave tokens 'of our joyfulness in every place : for this is our portion, and our lot is this. Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged. Let our strength be the law of justice ; for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth. Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous : because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings : he upbraideth us with our offending the law,
and objecteth to our infamy the transgressions of our education. He professeth to have the knowledge of God : and he calleth himself the child of the Lord. He was made to reprove our thoughts. He is grievous unto us even to behold : for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits; he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness : he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father. Let us see if his words be true : and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him. For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from. the hand of his enemies. Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience. Let us condemn him with a shameful death : for by his own saying he shall be respected. Such things they did imagine, and were deceived : for their own wickedness hath blinded them. As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not : neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness : nor discerned a reward for blameless souls. For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.' Ne. vertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world : and they that do hold of his
side do find it. Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves, This was he whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach. We fools accounted his life madness; and his end to be without honour. How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints! Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us.
We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction : yea, we have gone through deserts, where there lay noway : but as for the way of the Lord, we have not known it. What hath pride profited us? or what good hath riches with our vaunting brought us? All those things are passed away like a shadow, and as a post that hasteth by ; and as a shipthat passeth over the waves of the water, which when it is gone by, the trace thereot cannot be found, neither the pathway of the keel in the waves; or as when a bird hath flown through
the air, there is no token of her way to be found, but the light air being beaten with the stroke of her wings, and parted with the violent noise and motion of them, is passed through, and therein afterwards no sign where she went is to be found : or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man cannot know where it went through. Even so we, in like manner, as soon as we were born, began to draw to our end, and had no sign of virtue to shew ; but were consumed in our own wickedness. For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind ; like a thin froth that is driven away with the storm; like as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with a tempest, and passeth away as the remenbrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day. But the righteous live for everniore; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of thein is with the Most High. Therefore shall they rcceive a glorious kingilom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord's hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them.