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51

It is better to have none than many wicked children. Of the justice and mercy of God. His ways are unsearchable.

[1] Rejoice not in ungodly children, if they be multiplied: neither be delighted in them, if the fear of God be not with them. [2] Trust not to their life, and respect not their labours. [3] For better is one that feareth God, than a thousand ungodly children. [4] And it is better to die without children, than to leave ungodly children. [5] By one that is wise a country shall be inhabited, the tribe of the ungodly shall become desolate.

[6] Many such things hath my eyes seen, and greater things than these my ear hath heard. [7] In the congregation of sinners a fire shall be kindled, and in an unbelieving nation wrath shall dame out. [8] The ancient giants did not obtain pardon for their sins, who were destroyed trusting to their own strength: [9] And he spared not the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for the pride of their word. [10] He had not pity on them, destroying the whole nation that extolled themselves in their sins.

[11] So did he with the six hundred thousand footmen, who were gathered together in the hardness of their heart: and if one had been stiffnecked, it is a wonder if he had escaped unpunished: [12] For mercy and wrath are with him. He is mighty to forgive, and to pour out indignation: [13] According as his mercy is, so his correction judgeth a man according to his works. [14] The sinner shall not escape in his rapines, and the patience of him that sheweth mercy shall not be put off. [15] All mercy shall make a place for every man according to the merit of his works, and according to the wisdom of his sojournment.

[11] Six hundred thousand footmen: Viz., the children of Israel, whom he sentenced to die in the wilderness. Num. 14.

[16] Say not: I shall be hidden from God. and who shall remember me from on high? [17] In such a multitude I shall not be known: for what is my soul in such an immense creation? [18] Behold the heaven, and the heavens of heavens, the deep, and all the earth, and the things that are in them, shall be moved in his sight, [19] The mountains also, and the hills, and the foundations of the earth: when God shall look upon them, they shall be shaken with trembling. [20] And in all these things the heart is senseless: and every heart is understood by him:

[21] And his ways who shall understand, and the storm, which no eye of man see? [22] For many of his works are hidden: hut the works of his justice who shall declare? or who shall endure? for the testament is far from some, and the examination of all is in the end. [23] He that wanteth understanding thinketh vain things: and the foolish, and erring man, thinketh foolish things. [24] Hearken to me, my son, and learn the discipline of understanding, and attend to my words in thy heart. [25] And I will shew forth good doctrine in equity, and will seek to declare wisdom: and attend to my words in thy heart, whilst with equity of spirit I tell thee the virtues that God hath put upon his works from the beginning, and I shew forth in truth his knowledge.

[26] The works of God are done in judgment from the beginning, and from the making of them he distinguished their parts, and their beginnings in their generations. [27] He beautified their works for ever, they have neither hungered, nor laboured, and they have not ceased from their works. [28] Nor shall any of them straiten his neighbour at any time. [29] Be not thou incredulous to his word. [30] After this God looked upon the earth, and filled it with his goods.

[31] The soul of every living thing hath shewn forth before the face thereof, and into it they return again.

[31] shewn forth: Viz., the glory and power of God upon the earth.

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