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through thou hast passed, and of things from which thou canst not be separated; and yet canst thou give me no answer of them.

10 He said moreover unto me, Thine own things, and such as are grown up with thee, canst thou not know;

11 How should thy vessel then be able to comprehend the way of the Highest, and, the world being now outwardly corrupted, to understand the corruption that is evident in my sight?

12 Then said I unto him, It were better that we were not at all, than that we should live still in wickedness, and to suffer, and not to know wherefore.

13 He answered me, and said, I went into a forest in a plain, and the trees took counsel,

14 And said, Come, let us go and make war against the sea, that it may depart away before us, and that we may make us more woods.

15 The floods of the sea also in like manner took counsel, and said, Come, let us go up and subdue the woods of the

plain, that there also we may make us another country.

16 The thought of the wood was in vain, for the fire came and consumed it.

17 The thought of the floods of the sea came likewise to nought, for the sand stood up and stopped them.

18 If thou wert judge now betwixt these two, whom wouldest thou begin to justify? or whom wouldest thou condemn?

19 I answered and said, Verily it is a foolish thought that they both have devised, for the ground is given unto the wood, and the sea also hath his place to bear his floods.

20 Then answered he me, and said, Thou hast given a rightjudgement, but whyjudgest thou not thyself also?

21 For like as the ground is given unto the wood, and the sea to his floods, even so they that dwell upon the earth may understand nothing but that which is upon the earth and he that dwelleth upon the heavens may only understand the things that are above the height of the heavens.

SECTION V.-Frailty of Man.


GREAT travail is created for every man, and an heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother's womb, till the day that they return to the mother of all things.

2 Their imagination of things

to come, and the day of death, trouble their thoughts, and cause fear of heart;

3 From him that sitteth on a throne of glory, unto him that is humbled in earth and ashes;

4 From him that weareth purple and a crown, unto him that is clothed with a linen frock.

5 Wrath, and envy, trouble, and unquietness, fear of death, and anger, and strife, and, in the time of rest upon his bed, his night-sleep, do change his knowledge.

6 A little or nothing is his rest, and afterward he is in his sleep, as in a day of keeping watch, troubled in the vision of his heart, as if he were escaped out of a battle.

7 When allis safe, he awaketh, and marvelleth that the fear was nothing.

8 Such things happen unto all flesh, both man and beast; and that is sevenfold more upon


9 When a man hath done, then he beginneth; and when he leaveth off, then he shall be doubtful.

10 What is man, and where

to serveth he? what is his good, and what is his evil?

11 The number of a man's days at the most are an hundred years.

12 As a drop of water unto the sea, and a gravelstone in comparison of the sand; so are a thousand years to the days of eternity.

13 Therefore is God patient with them, and poureth forth his mercy upon them.

14 He vieweth the power of the height of heaven; and all men are but earth and ashes.

15 He saw and perceived their end to be evil; therefore he multiplied his compassion.

16 The mercy of man is toward his neighbour; but the mercy of the Lord is upon all flesh he reproveth, and nurtureth, and teacheth, and bringeth again, as a shepherd his flock.



O DEATH, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions, unto the man that hath nothing to vex him, and that hath prosperity in all things: yea, unto him that is yet able to receive meat!

2 O Death, acceptable is thy sentence unto the needy, and unto him whose strength faileth, that is now in the last age, and is vexed with all things, and to him that despaireth, and hath lost patience!

death, remember them that have been before thee, and that come after; for this is the sentence of the Lord over all flesh.

4 And why art thou against the pleasure of the Most High? there is no inquisition in the grave, whether thou have lived ten, or an hundred, or a thousand years.

5 When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance rest; and be comforted for him, when his spirit is departed from him.

6 The mourning of men is about their bodies: but an ill name of sinners shall be blotted

3 Fear not the sentence of out.

7 Have regard to thy name; for that shall continue with thee above a thousand great treasures of gold.

8 A good life hath but few


days but a good name endureth for ever.

¶9 My son, according to thy ability do good to thyself, and give the Lord his due offering.

10 Remember that death will not be long in coming, and that the covenant of the grave is not shewed unto thee.

11 Do good unto thy friend before thou die, and according to thy ability stretch out thy hand and give to him.

12 Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good desire overpass thee.

13 Shalt thou not leave thy travails unto another? and thy labours to be divided by lot?

14 Give, and take, and sanctify thy soul; for there is no seeking of dainties in the grave.

15 Who shall praise the Most High in the grave, instead of them which live and give thanks?

16 Thanksgiving perisheth from the dead, as from one that is not the living and sound in heart shall praise the Lord.

17 O Lord, look down from thine holy house, and consider us: bow down thine ear, O Lord, to hear us.

18 Open thine eyes and behold; for the dead that are in the graves, whose souls are taken from their bodies, will give unto the Lord neither praise nor righteousness:

19 But the soul that is great

ly vexed, which goeth stooping and feeble, and the eyes that fail, and the hungry soul, will give thee praise and righteousness, O Lord.

20 All flesh waxeth old as a garment: for the covenant from the beginning is, Thou shalt die the death.

21 As of the green leaves on a thick tree, some fall, and some grow; so is the generation of flesh and blood, one cometh to an end, and another is born.

22 Every work rotteth and consumeth away, and the worker thereof shall go withal.

23 All that are of the earth shall turn to earth again: and he that is today a king tomorrow shall die.

24 For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.

25 And the entrances of this world were made narrow, full of sorrow and travail: they are but few and evil, full of perils, and very painful.

26 And we pass away out of the world as grasshoppers, and our life is astonishment and fear, and we are not worthy to obtain mercy.

27 But if so be that we will subdue our own understanding, and reform our hearts, we shall be kept alive, and after death we shall obtain mercy.

28 For after death shall the judgement come, when we shall live again: and then shall the names of the righteous be manifest, and the works of the ungodly shall be declared.

SECTION VII.—Penitence.


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.

2 Hear my prayer, and be merciful unto thine inheritance: turn our sorrow into joy, that we may live, O Lord, and praise thy name and destroy not the mouths of them that praise thee, O Lord.

3 O Lord, I am confounded and ashamed before thy face; 4 For our sins are multiplied above our heads, and our ignorances have reached up unto heaven.

5 For ever since the time of our fathers we have been, and are, in great sin, even unto this day.

6 Behold, now are we before thee in our iniquities, for we cannot stand any longer by reason of these things before thee. 7 And all that is befallen is done unto us for our wicked works and great sins: for thou, O Lord, didst make our sins light.

8 I know, Lord, that the Most High is called merciful, in that he hath mercy upon them which are not yet come into the world, 9 And upon those also that turn to his law;

10 And that he is patient, and long suffereth those that have sinned, as his creatures;

11 And that he is bountiful, for he is ready to give where it needeth;

12 And that he is of great mercy, for he multiplieth more and more mercies to them that are present, and that are past, and also to them which are to


13 For if he shall not multiply his mercies, the world would not continue with them that inherit therein.

14 And he pardoneth; for if he did not so of his goodness, that they which have committed iniquities might be eased of them, the ten thousandth part of men should not remain living.

15 And being judge, if he should not forgive them that are cured with his word, and put out the multitude of contentions,

16 There should be very few left peradventure in an innumerable multitude.

17 But unto them that repent, he granteth them return, and comforteth those that fail in patience.

18 Return unto the Lord, and forsake thy sins, make thy prayer before his face, and offend less.

19 Turn again to the Most High, and turn away from iniquity: for he will lead thee out of darkness into the light of health.

20 How great is the lovingkindness of the Lord our God, and his compassion unto such as turn unto him in holiness!

21 He hath mercy on them that receive discipline, and that diligently seek after his judge



O LORD, thou that dwellest in everlastingness, which beholdest from above things in the heaven and in the air;

2 Whose throne is inestimable; whose glory may not be comprehended; before whom the hosts of angels stand with trembling;

3 Whose service is conversant in wind and fire; whose word is true, and sayings constant ; whose commandment is strong, and ordinance fearful;

4 Whose look drieth up the depths, and indignation maketh the mountains to melt away;

5 O hear the prayer of thy servant, and give ear to the petition of thy creature.

6 For while I live I will speak, and so long as I have understanding I will answer.

7 O look not upon the sins of thy people; but on them which serve thee in truth.

8 Regard not the wicked inventions of the heathen, but the desire of those that keep thy testimonies in afflictions.

9 Think not upon those that have walked feignedly before thee: but remember them, which according to thy will have known thy fear.

10 Let it not be thy will to destroy them which have lived like beasts; but to look upon

them that have clearly taught thy law.

11 Take thou no indignation at them which are deemed worse than beasts; but love them that alway put their trust in thy righteousness and glory.

12 For we and our fathers do languish of such diseases: but because of us sinners thou shalt be called merciful.

13 For if thou hast a desire to have mercy upon us, thou shalt be called merciful, to us namely, that have no works of righteousness.

14 For the just, which have many good works laid up with thee, shall out of their own deeds receive reward.

15 For what is man, that thou shouldest take displeasure at him? or what is a corruptible generation, that thou shouldest be so bitter toward it?

16 For in truth there is no man among them that be born, but he hath dealt wickedly; and among the faithful there is none which hath not done amiss.

17 For in this, O Lord, thy righteousness and thy goodness shall be declared, if thou be merciful unto them which have not the confidence of good works.


OLORD Almighty, God of Israel, the soul in anguish, the troubled spirit, crieth unto thee.

2 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy; for thou art merciful: and have pity upon us, because we have sinned before thee.

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