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From the same. Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down : he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass ; for there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: so man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. We are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow. One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down-alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
On charity and compassion for the afficted.
My son, defraud not the poor of his living, and make not the needy eyes to wait long. Make not a hungry soul sorrowful; neither provoke a man in his distress. Add not more trouble to an heart that is vexed; and defer not to give to him that is in need. Reject not the supplication of the afflicted ; neither turn away thy face from a poor man. Turn not away thine eye from the needy, and give him none occasion to curse thee. Let it not grieve thee to bow down thine ear to the poor, and give him a friendly answer with meekness. Deliver him that suffereth wrong from the hand of the oppressor ; and be not fainthearted when thou sittest in judgement. Be as a father unto the fatherless, and instead of an husband unto their mother: so shalt thou be as the son of the Most High, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth. Fail not to be with them that weep, and mourn with them that mourn. Be not slow to visit the sick: for that shall make thee to be beloved. Reproach not a man that turneth from sin, but remember that we are all worthy of punishment. My son, blemish not thy good deeds, neither use uncomfortable words when thou givest any thing. Shall not the dew assuage the heat ? so is a word better than a gift. Lo, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a gracious man.
From the same.
When thou wilt do good, know to whom thou doest it; so shalt thou be thanked for thy benefits. Do good to the godly man, and thou shalt find a recompence; and if not from him, yet from the Most High. Help the poor for the commandment's sake, and turn him not away because of his poverty. And stretch thine hand unto the poor, that thy blessing may be perfected. Give unto the Most High according as he hath enriched thee; and as thou hast gotten, give with a cheerful eye. For the Lord recompenseth, and will give thee seven times as much. Lay up thy treasure according to the commandments of the Most High, and it shall bring thee more profit than gold. It shall fight for thee against thine enemies better than a mighty shield and strong spear. Water will quench a flaming fire; and alms maketh an atonement for sins. And he that requiteth good turns is mindful of
that which may come hereafter; and when he falleth, he shall find a stay.
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate : for the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give ; when thou hast it by thee. Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker; but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth
unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Give of thy bread to the hungry, and of thy garments to them that are naked; give alms of thy substance; and when thou givest alms, let not thine eye be envious, neither turn thy face from any poor, and the face of God shall not be turned away from thee. If thou hast abundance, give alms accordingly: if thou have but a little, be not afraid to give according to that little : for thou layest up a good treasure for thyself against the day of necessity. For alms is a good gift unto all that give it in the sight of the Most High
My son, go on with thy business in meekness : so shalt thou be beloved of him that is approved. The greater thou art, the more humble thyself, and thou shalt find favour before the Lord. For the power of the Lord is great, and he is honoured