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On the superintending providence of God.
Say not thou, I will hide myself from the Lord: shall any remember me from above? I shall not be remembered among so many people: for what is my soul among such an infinite number of creatures? Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, the deep, and the earth, and all that therein is, shall be moved when he shall visit. The mountains also and foundations of the earth shall be shaken with trembling, when the Lord looketh upon them. No heart can think upon these things worthily: and who is able to conceive his ways? It is a tempest which no man can see: for the most part of his works are hid. Who can declare the works of his justice? or who can endure them? for his covenant is afar off, and the trial of all things is in the end. He that wanteth understanding will think upon vain things: and a foolish man erring imagineth follies. The works of the Lord are done in iud"-ment from the beginning : and from the time he made them he disposed the parts thereof. He garnished his works for ever, and in his hand are the chief of them unto all generations: thev neither labour, nor are weary, nor cease from Vol. i. p
their works. None of them hindereth another, and they shall never disobey his word. After this the Lord looked upon the earth, and filled it with his blessings. With all manner of living things hath he covered the face thereof; and they shall return into it again. The Lord created man of the earth, and turned him into it again. He gave them few days, and a short time, and power also over the things therein. He endued them with strength by themselves, and made them according to his image, and put the fear of man upon all flesh, and gave him dominion over beasts and fowls. They received the use of the five operations of the Lord, and in the sixth place he imparted them understanding, and in the seventh speech, an interpreter of the cogitations thereof. Counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, ears, and a heart, gave he them to understand. Withal he filled them with the knowledge of understanding, and shewed them good and evil. He set his eye upon their hearts, that he might shew them the greatness of his works. He gave them to glory in his marvellous acts for ever, that they might declare his works with understanding. And the elect shall, praise his holy name. Beside this, he gave them knowledge, and the law of life for an heritage. He made an everlasting covenant with them, and shewed
them his judgments. Their eyes saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice. And he said unto them, Beware of all unrighteousness; and he gave every man commandment concerning his neighbour. Their ways are ever before him, and shall not be hid from his eyes. Therefore all their works are as the sun before him, and his eyes are continually upon their ways. None of their unrighteous deeds are hid from him, but all their sins are before the Lord. But the Lord being gracious, and knowing his workmanship, neither left nor forsook them, but spared them. The alms of a man is as a signet with him, and he will keep the good deeds of a man as the apple of the eye, and give repentance to his sons and daughters. Afterwards he will rise up and reward them, and render their recompense upon their heads. But unto them that repent, he granted them to return, and comforted those that failed in patience. His mercy is manifest to every creature; and he hath separated his light from the darkness with an adamant. He is mighty to forgive, and to pour out displeasure. As his mercy is great, so is his correction also: he judgeth a man according to his works. The sinner shall not escape with his spoils; and the patience of the godly shall not be frustrate. Make way for every work of mercy; for every man shall find according to his works. For the wisdom of the Lord is great, and he is mighty in power, and beholdeth all things: and his eyes are upon them that fear him, and he knoweth every work of man.
On the fear and love of God.
The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of rejoicing. The fear of the Lord maketh a merry heart, and giveth joy, and gladness, and a long life. Whoso feareth. the Lord, it shall go well with him at the la3t, and he shall find favour in the day of his death. To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and it was created with the faithful in the womb. She hath built an everlasting foundation with men, and she shall continue with their seed. To fear the Lord is fulness of wisdom, and filleth men with her fruits. She filleth all their house with things desirable, and the garners with her increase. The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, making peace and perfect health to flourish; both which are the gifts of God: and it enlargeth their rejoicing that love him. Wisdom raineth down skill and know
ledge of understanding, and exalteth them to honour that hold her fast. If thou desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord shall give her unto thee. The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and the branches thereof are long life. He that keepeth the law of the Lord getteth the understanding thereof: and the perfection of the fear of the Lord is wisdom. The fear of the Lord is all wisdom; and in all wisdom is the performance of the law, and the knowledge of his omnipotency. If a servant say to his master, I will not do as it pleaseth thee; though afterward he do it, he angereth him that nourisheth him. The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom, neither at any time the counsel of sinners prudence. He that hath small understanding, and feareth God, is better than one that hath much wisdom, and transgresseth the law of the Most High. Distrust not the fear of the Lord when thou art poor: and come not unto him with a double heart. The fear of the Lord driveth away sins: and where it is present, it turneth away wrath. The knowledge of the commandments of the Lord is the doctrine of of life: and they that do things that please him shall receive the fruit of the tree of immortality.