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to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as oue brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him: rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my dea liglats were with the sons of men. Now there fore hearken unto me, Oye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Ilear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death,

Ecclesiasticus.

All wisdom cometh from the Lord, and is with him for ever. Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of eternity? Who can find out the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the deep, and wisdom? Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting. The word of God most high is the fountain of wisdom; and her ways are everlasting commandments. To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed ? or who hath known her wise counsels? Unto whom hath the knowledge of wisdom been made manifest ? and who hath understood her great experience? There is one wise and greatly to be feared, the Lord sitting upon his throne. He created her, and saw her, and numbered her, and poured her out upon all his works. She is with all flesh according to his gift, and he hath given her to them that love him.

From the same.

My son, gather instruction from thy youth up: so shalt thou find wisdom till thine old age. Come unto her as one that ploweth and soweth, and wait for her good fruits: for thou shalt not toil much in labouring about her, but thou shalt eat of her fruits right soon. She is very unpleasant to the unlearned: he that is without understanding will not remain with her. She will lie upon him as a mighty stone of trial: and he will cast her from him ere it be long. For wisdum is ac. cording to her name, and she is not manifest unto many. Give ear, my son, receive my advice, and refuse not my counsel, and put thy feet into

her fetters, and thy neck into her chain. Bow down thy shoulder, and bear her, and be not grieved with her bonds. Come unto her with thy whole heart, and keep her ways with all thy power. Search, and seek, and she shall be made known unto thee: and when thou hast got hold of her, let her not go. For at the last thou shalt. find her rest, and that shall be turned to thy joy. Then shall her fetters be a strong defence for thee, and her chains a robe of glory. For there is a golden ornament upon her, and her bands are purple lace, Thou shalt put her on as a robe of honour, and shalt put her about thee as a crown of joy. My son, if thou wilt, thou shalt. be taught: and if thou wilt apply thy mind, thou shalt be prudent. If thou love to hear, thou shalt receive understanding: and if thou bow thine ear, thou shalt be wise. Stand in the multitude of the elders; and cleave unto him that is wise. Be willing to hear every good discourse ; and let not the parables of understanding escape thee. And if thou seest a man of understanding, get thee betimes unto him, and let thy foot wear the steps of his door. Let thy mind be upon the ordinances of the Lord, and mediate continu ally in his commandments: he sball establish: thine heart, and give thee wisdom at thine own desire. The fear of the Lord is the first step to be accepted of him, and wisdom obtaineth his love.

From the same.

Wisdom shall praise herself, and shall glory in the midst of her people. In the congregation of the Most High shall she open her mouth, and triumph before his power. I came out of the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth as a cloud. I dwelt in high places, and my throne is in a cloudy pillar. I alone compassed the circuit of heaven, and walked in the bottom of the deep. In the waves of the sea, and in all the earth, and in every people and nation, I got a possession. With all these I sought rest : and in whose inheritance shall I abide ? So the Creator of all things gave me a commandment, and he that made me caused

my

tabernacle to rest, and said, Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thine inherit. ance in Israel. He created me from the beginning before the world, and I shall never fail. In the holy tabernacle I served before him; and so was I established in Sion. Likewise in the beloved city he gave me rest, and in Jerusalem was my power. And I took root in an honourable people, even in the portion of the Lord's inherit.

ance.

I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree upon the mountains of Hermon, I was exalted like a palm tree in Engaddi, and as a rose plant in Jericho, as a fair olive tree in a pleasant field, and grew up as a plane tree by the water. As the turpentine tree I stretched out my branches, and my branches are the branches of honour and grace. As the vine brought I forth pleasant savour, and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and fear, and knowledge, and holy hope: I therefore, being eternal, am given to all my children which are named of him. Come unto me, all ye that be desirous of me, and fill yourselves with my fruits. For my memorial is sweeter than honey, and mine inheritance than the honeycomb. They that eat me shall yet be hungry, and they that drink me shall yet be thirsty. He that obeyeth me shall never be confounded, and they that work by me shall not do amiss. All these things are the book of the covenant of the most high God, even the law which Moses commanded for an heritage unto the con. gregations of Jacob. Faint not to be strong in the Lord ; that he may

cleave unte him. He filleth all things with his wisdom, as Phison and as Tigris in the time of the new fruits. He maketh the understanding to abound like Eu.

confirm

you,

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