« PreviousContinue »
Selected from the Book of Wisdom, ch. 11. 12.
Thou, O God, art gracious and true, long sufe fering, 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 lo know thee is perfect righteousness : yea, to know thy power is the root of im. mortality. 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, to whom 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?
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 mayest use power when thou wilt. But 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 con. demn 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
hast mercy upon all; for thou canst do all things, and winkest at the sins of men, because they should amend. For thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which thou hast made: for never wouldest thou have made any thing, if thou hast hated it. And how could any thing have endured, if it had not been thy will ? or been preserved, if not called by thee? But thou sparest all: for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of souls.
Selected from Isaiah, ch. 63, 64.
O that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, as when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence! For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Thou
meetest him that rejoiceth, and worketh righteousness ; those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth : for we have sinned : in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags ; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy wame, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O Lord, thou art our Father: we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever. Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory. Behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. And thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer ; thy name is from everlasting
From Hosea, ch. 6.
Come, and let us return unto the Lord : for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us : in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord : his going forth is prepared as the morning: and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
From Micah, ch. 7.
· I will look unto the Lord ; I will wait for the God of my salvation : my God will hear me, Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise ; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.