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from the Apocrypha.

WISDOM iii. 1-8. The souls of the righteous are in the Handy of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction; but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded : for GoD proved them, and found them worthy for Himself

. As gold in the furnace hath He tried them, and received them as a burnt-offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.

WISDOM v. 1-16. THEN shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit, shall say within themselves, This was he whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach. We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without

honour. How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints! Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us. We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction ; yea, we have gone through deserts, where there lay no way: but as for the way of the LORD, we have not known it. What hath pride profited us ? or what good hath riches with our vaunting brought us ? All those things are passed away like a shadow, and as a post that hasteth by: and as a ship that passeth over the waves of the water, which when it is gone by, the trace thereof cannot be found, neither the pathway of the keel in the waves; or, as when à bird hath flown through the air, there is no token of her way to be found: but the light air being beaten with the stroke of her wings, and parted with the violent noise and motion of them, is passed through, and therein afterwards no sign where she went is to be found; or, like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man cannot know where it went through: even so we in like

manner, as soon as we were born, began to draw to our end, and had no sign of virtue to show ; but were consumed in our own wickedness. For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind; like a thin froth that is driven away with the storm; like as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with a tempest, and passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day. But the righteous live for evermore; their reward also is with the LORD, and the care of them is with the Most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom and a beautiful crown from the LORD's Hand : for with His right Hand shall He cover them, and with His Arm shall He protect them.


if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for temptation. Set thy heart aright, and constantly endure, and make not haste in time of trouble. Cleave unto Him, and depart not away, that thou mayest be increased at thy last end. Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate. For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity. Believe in Him, and He will help thee; order thy way aright, and trust in Him. Ye that fear the Lord, wait for His mercy; and go not aside, lest ye fall. Ye that fear the Lord, believe Him; and your reward shall not fail. Ye that fear the Lord, hope for good, and for everlasting joy and mercy. Look at the generations of old, and see: did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded ? or did any abide in His fear, and was forsaken? or whom did He ever despise, that called upon Him?

Him? For the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, long-suffering, and very pitiful, and forgiveth sins, and saveth in time of affliction. Woe be to fearful hearts, and faint hands, and the sinner that goeth two ways! Woe unto him that is faint-hearted! for he believeth not: therefore shall he not be defended. Woe unto you that have lost patience! and what will ye do when the LORD shall visit you? They that fear the Lord will not disobey His word; and they


that love Him will keep His ways. They that fear the Lord will seek that which is well-pleasing unto Him; and they that love Him shall be filled with the law. They that fear the LORD will prepare their hearts, and humble their souls in His sight, saying, We will fall into the Hands of the LORD, and not into the hands of men : for as His majesty is, so is His mercy.

ECCLESIASTICUS xiv. 11-20. My son, according to thy ability do good to thyself, and give the LORD His due offering. Remember that death will not be long in coming, and that the covenant of the grave is not showed unto thee. Do good unto thy friend before thou die, and according to thy_ability stretch out thy hand, and give to him. Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good desire overpass thee. Shalt thou not leave thy travails unto another ? and thy labours to be divided by lot ? Give, and take, and sanctify thy soul; for there is no seeking of dainties in the grave. All flesh waxeth old as a garment; for the covenant from the beginning is, Thou shalt die the death. As of the green leaves on a thick tree, some fall, and some grow; so is the generation of flesh and blood, one cometh to an end, and another is born. Every work rotteth and consumeth away, and the worker thereof shall


withal. Blessed is the man that doth meditate good things in wisdom, and that reasoneth of holy things by his understanding,


Edinburgh and London

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