Page images
PDF
EPUB

ingacurse to his soul. The stranger did not lodge in the street; but I opened my doors to the traveller. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: if my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; if I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life : let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

From the same.

I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou Preserver of men? I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can he withholden from thee. How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin. Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more. That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

From the same.

I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause. O that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me. Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideih himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: but he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips: I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

From the same.

Shall we receive good at the handofGod, and shall we not receive evil? Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Though he slay me,-yet will I trust in him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him. As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment: and the Almighty who hath vexed my soul; all the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. Till I die I will not remove my integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Selected from the Book of Wisdom, ch. II. 12. 15. 16.

Thou, O God, art gracious and true, long suffering, and in mercy ordering all things. For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy power: but we will not sin, knowing that we are counted thine. For to know thee is perfect righteousness: yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality. For thine incorruptible spirit is in all things. Therefore chastenest thou them by little and little that offend, and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that leaving their wickedness, they may believe on thee, O Lord. Who shall say, What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou hast made? or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous men? For neither is there any God but thou that carest for all, lowbom thou mightest shew that thy judgment is not unright. Neither shall king nor tyrant be able to set his face against thee for any whom thou hast punished. For thou canst shew thy great strength at all times when thou wilt; and who may withstand the power of thine arm?

VOL. I. i

For the whole world before thee is as a little grain of the balance, yea, as a drop of the morning dew that falleth down upon the earth. When men will not believe that thou art of a full power, thou shewest thy strength, and among them that know it thou makest their boldness manifest. But thou, mastering thy power, judgest with equity, and orderest us with great favour: for thou mayestuse power when thou wilt. Bat by such works hast thou taught thy people that the just man should be merciful, and hast made thy children to be of a good hope that thou givest repentance for sins. That thy children, O Lord, whom thou lovest, might know, that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth man: but it is thy word, which preserveth them that put their trust in thee. For that which was not destroyed of the fire, being warmed by a little sun beam, soon melted away: that it might be known, that we must prevent the sun to give thee thanks, and at the dayspring pray unto thee. Forsomuch then as thou art righteous thyself, thou orderest all things righteously: thinking it not agreeable with thy power to condemn him that hath not deserved to be punish ed. For thy power is the beginning of righteousness, and because thou art the Lord of all, it maketh thee to be gracious unto all. Thou

« PreviousContinue »