Page images
PDF
EPUB

parables. He shall serve among great men, and appear before princes: he will travel through strange counti ies; for he hath tried the good and the evil among men. He will give his heart to* rcsort early to the Lord that made him, and will pray before the Most High, and will open hismouth in prayer, and make supplication for hi* sins. Winn the great Lord will, he shall be filled with the spirit of understanding: he shall pour out wise sentences, and give thanks unto the Lord in his prayer. He shall direct his counsel and knowledge, and in his secret shall he meditate. He shall shew forth that which he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. Many shall commend his understanding; and so long as the world endureth, it shall not be blotted out; his memorial shall not depart away, and his name shall live from generation to generation. Nations shall shew forth his wisdom, and the congregation shall declare his praise. If he die, he shall leave a greater name than a thousand: and if he live, he shall increase it.

From the same.

Wisdom lifteth up the head of him that is of low degree, and maketh him to sit among great men. Wisdom exalteth her children, and Iaveth hold of them that seek her. He that loveth her loveth life; and they that seek to her early shall be filled with joy. He that holdeth her fast shall inherit glory; and wheresoever she entereth, the Lord will bless. They that serve her, shall minister to the Holy One: and them that love her the Lord doth love. Whoso giveth ear unto her shall judge the nations: and he that attendeth unto her shall dwell securely. She shall exalt him above his neighbours, and in the midst of the congregation shall she open his mouth. If a man commit himself unto her, he shall inherit her: and his generation shall hold her in possession. For at the first she will walk with him by crooked ways, and bring fear and dread upon him, and torment him with her discipline, until she may trust his soul, aud try him by her laws. Then will she return the strait way unto him, and comfort him, aud shew him her secrets. But if he go wrong, she will forsake him, and give him over to his own ruin. Foolish men shall notattain unto her, and sinners shall not see her.

For she is far from pride, and men that are liars cannot remember her. He that considereth her ways in his heart, shall also have understanding in her secrets. 'He shall be stayed upon her, and shall not be moved; and shall rely upon her, and shall not be confounded. He shall find joy and a crown of gladness, and she shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

Book of Wisdom.

Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away: yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her. She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them. Who seeketh her early shall have no great travail: for he shall find her sitting at his doors. To think therefore upon her is perfection of wisdom: and whoso watcheth for her shall quiclky be without care. For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth herself favourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought. For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline:-and the care of discipline is love; and love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption; and incorruption maketh us near unto Godtherefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to a kingdom. If your delight be then in thrones and sceptres, O ye kings of the people, honour wisdom, that ye may reign for evermore.

From the same.

Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things. In that she is conversant with God, she magnified her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things himself loved her. For in her is an understanding spirit, holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do g(5od, kind to man, •tedfast, sure, free from care, having all power overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtil, spirits. For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness. For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty r therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the

VOL. I. T

power of God, and the image of his goodness. And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets. For God loyeth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it. For after this cometh night: but vice shall not prevail against wisdom.

From the same.

I myself also am a mortal man like to all, and the offspring of him that was first made of the earth, and when I was born I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth which is of like nature, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do. I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and that with cares. For there is no king that had any other beginning of birth. For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out. Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. For in his

« PreviousContinue »