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of the lowly. Seek not, out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength. But what is commanded thee, think thereupon with reverence; for it is not needful for thee to see with thine eyes the things that are in secret. Be not curious in unnecessary matters: for more things are shewed unto thee than men understand. For many are deceived by their own vain opinion : and an evil suspicion hath overthrown their judgement. Without eyes thou shalt want light: profess not the knowledge thereiore that thou hast not. Extol not thyself in the counsel of thine owa heart; be not overwise in doing thy business; and boast not thyself in the time of thy distress, Better is he that laboureth, and aboundeth in all things, than he that boasteth himsilt, and wanteth bread. My son, glorify thy soul in meeknes, and give it honour according to the dignity thereof. Exalt not thyself, lest thou fall, and bring dishonour upon thy soul, and so God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down in the midst of the congregation, because thou camest not in truth to the fear of the Lord, but thy heart is full of deceit. For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction; and faith and meekness are his deligh.
By humility, and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; an. before honour is humility. Surely he scorneth the scorners : but he giveth grace unto the lowly. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory is not glory. Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: for better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither, than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
On Pride, Covetousness, and Enoy.
Why is earth and ashes proud? Pride is hateful before God and man: and by both doth one commit iniquity. The beginning of pride is when one departeth from God, and his heart is turned away from his Maker. The Lord hath cast down the thrones of proud princes, and set up the meek in their stead. The Lord hath plucked up the roots of the proud nations, and planted the lowly in their place. In the punishment of the proud there is no remedy; for the plant of wickedness hath taken root in him. The envious man hath a wicked eye; he turneth away his face, and despiseth men. A covetous man's eye is not satisfied with his portion ; and the iniquity of the wicked drieth up his soul. A wicked eye envieth his bread, and he is a niggard at his table. There is not a more wicked thing than a covetous man: for such an one setteth his own soul to sale; because while he liveth he casteth away his bowels. Envy and wrath shorten the life, and carefulness bringeth age before the time. Mockery and reproach are from the proud ; but vengeance, as a lion, shall lie wait for them. Pride
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 sļeep. 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 afflicted.
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 uncom