« PreviousContinue »
ther any word is hidden from him. He hath garnished the excellent works of his wisdom, and he is from everlasting to everlasting: unto him may nothing be added, neither can he be diminished, and he hath no need of any counseller. Oh how desirable are all his works! and that a man may see even to a spark. All these' things live and remain for ever for all uses, and they are all obedient. All things are double one against another: and he hath made nothing imperfect. One thing establisheth the good of another: and who shall be filled with beholding his glory? The pride of the height, the clear firmament, the beauty of heaven, with his glorious shew; the sun when it appeareth, declaring at his rising a marvellous instrument, the -work of the Most High: at noon it parcheth the country, and who can abide the burning heat thereof? A man blowing a furnace is in works of heat, but the sun burneth the mountains three times more; breathing out fiery vapours, and sending forth bright beams, it dimmeth the eyes. Great is the Lord that made it; and at his commandment it runneth hastily. He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times, and a sign of the world. From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreaseth in her perfection. The month is called
after her name, increaseth wonderfully in her changing, being an instrument of the armies above, shining in the firmament of heaven; the beauty of heaven, the glory of the stars, an ornament giving light in the highest places of the Lord. At the commandment of the holy One they will stand in their order, and never faint in their watches. Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made it; very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof. It compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the most high have bended it. By his commandment he maketh the snow to fall apace, and sendeth swiftly the lightnings of his judgment. Through this the treasures are opened: and clouds fly forth as fowls. By his great power he maketh the clouds firm, and the hailstones are broken small. At his sight the mountains are shaken, and at his will the south wind bloweth. The noise, of the thunder maketh the earth to tremble: so doth the northern storm and the whirlwinds: as birds flying he scattereth the snow, and the falling down thereof is as the lighting of grasshoppers: the eye marvelleth at the beauty of the whiteness thereof, and the heart is astonished at the raining of it. The hoarfrost also as salt hepoureth on the earth, and being congealed, it lieth on the top of sharp stakes. When the cold north wind bloweth, and the water is congealed into ice, it abideth upon every gathering together of water, and clotheth the water as with a breast plate. Ii devoureth the mountains, and burnetii the wilderness, and consumeth the grass as fire. A present remedy of all is a mist coming speedily: a dew coming after heat refresheth. By his counsel he appeaseth the deep, and planteth islands therein. They that sail on the sea tell of the- danger thereof; and when we hear it with our cars, we marvel thereat. For therein be strange and wondrous works, variety of all kinds of beasts and whr.les created. By him the end of them hath prospeiois success, and by his word all things consist. We may speak much, and yet come short: wherefore in sum, he is all. How shall we be able to magnify him? for he is great above all his works. The Lord is terrible and very great, and marvellous in his power. When ye glorify the Lord, exalt him as much as ye can; for even yet will he far exceed: and when ye exalt him, put forth all your strength, and be not weary; for ye can never go far enough. Who hath seen him, that he might tell us? and who can magnify him as he is? There are yet hid greater things than these be, for we have seen but a lew of his works. For the Lord hath
- -J "' ■" ■ "" --.'--
made all things; and to the godly hath he given wisdom. Now therefore bless ye the God of all, which only doeth wondrous things every where, which exalteth our days from the womb, and dealetli with us according to his mercy.
From the same, ch 39.
Sing a song of praise, bless the Lord in all his works. Magnify his name, and shew forth hi* praise with the song of your lips,and with harps, and in praising him ye shall say after this manner: All the works of the Lord are exceeding good, and whatsoever he commandeth shall be accomplished in due season. And none may say, What is this? wherefore is that; for at time convenient they shall all be sought out: at his commandment the waters stood as an heap, and at the words of his mouth the receptacles of waters. At his commandment is done whatsoever pleaseth him; and none can hinder, when be will save. The works of all flesh are before him, and nothing can be hid from his eyes. He seeth from everlasting to everlasting; and there is nothing wonderful before him. A man need not to'.say, What is this? wherefore L> that? tot
he hath made all things for their uses. His blessing covered the dry land as a river, and watered it as'a flood. As he hath turned the waters into saltness: so shall the heathen inherit his wrath. As his ways are plain unto the holy, so are they stumbling blocks unto the wicked. For the good are good things created from the beginning: so evil things for sinners. All things are for good to the godly: so to the sinners they are turned into evil. All the works of the Lord are good: and he will give every needful thing in due season. So that a man cannot say, This is worse than that: for in time they shall all be well approved. And therefore praise ye the Lord with the whole heart and mouth, and bless the name of the Lord.
From Tobit, ch. 3.
O Lord, thou art just, and all thy works and all thy ways are mercy and truth, and thou judgest truly and justly for ever. Remember me, and look on me, punish me not for my sins and ignorances, and the sins of my fathers, who have sinned before thee. And now, O Lord, I set mine eyes and my face towards thee. Now