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51

God's works are wonderful: we must serve him, and not our lusts.

[1] He that liveth for ever created all things together. God only shall be justified, and he remaineth an invincible king for ever. [2] Who is able to declare his works? [3] For who shall search out his glorious acts? [4] And who shall shew forth the power of his majesty? or who shall be able to declare his mercy? [5] Nothing may be taken away, nor added, neither is it possible to find out the glorious works of God:

[6] When a man hath done, then shall he begin: and when he leaveth off, he shall be at a loss. [7] What is man, and what is his grace? and what is his good, or what is his evil? [8] The number of the days of men at the most are a hundred years: as a drop of water of the sea are they esteemed: and as a pebble of the sand, so are a few years compared to eternity. [9] Therefore God is patient in them, and poureth forth his mercy upon them. [10] He hath seen the presumption of their heart that it is wicked, and hath known their end that it is evil.

[6] Then shall he begin: God is so great and incomprehensible, that when man has done all that he can to find out his greatness and boundless perfections, he is still to begin: for what he has found out, is but a mere nothing in comparison with his infinity.

[11] Therefore hath he filled up his mercy in their favour, and hath shewn them the way of justice. [12] The compassion of man is toward his neighbour: but the mercy of God is upon all flesh. [13] He hath mercy, and teacheth, and correcteth, as a shepherd doth his flock. [14] He hath mercy on him that receiveth the discipline of mercy, and that maketh haste in his judgments. [15] My son, in thy good deeds, make no complaint, and when thou givest any thing, add not grief by an evil word.

[16] Shall not the dew assuage the heat? so also the good word is better than the gift. [17] Lo, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a justified man. [18] A fool will upbraid bitterly: and a gift of one ill taught consumeth the eyes. [19] Before judgment prepare thee justice, and learn before thou speak. [20] Before sickness take a medicine, and before judgment examine thyself, and thou shalt find mercy in the sight of God.

[21] Humble thyself before thou art sick, and in the time of sickness shew thy conversation. [22] Let nothing hinder thee from praying always, and be not afraid to be justified even to death: for the reward of God continueth for ever. [23] Before prayer prepare thy soul: and be not as a man that tempteth God. [24] Remember the wrath that shall be at the last day, and the time of repaying when he shall turn away his face. [25] Remember poverty is the time of abundance, and the necessities of poverty in the day of riches.

[26] From the morning until the evening the time shall be changed, and all these are swift in the eyes of God. [27] A wise man will fear in every thing, and in the days of sins will beware of sloth. [28] Every man of understanding knoweth wisdom, and will give praise to him that findeth her. [29] They that were of good understanding in words, have also done wisely themselves: and have understood truth and justice, and have poured forth proverbs and judgments. [30] Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will.

[31] If thou give to thy soul her desires, she will make thee a joy to thy enemies. [32] Take no pleasure in riotous assemblies, be they ever so small: for their concertation is continual. [33] Make not thyself poor by borrowing to contribute to feasts when thou hast nothing in thy purse: for thou shalt be an enemy to thy own life.

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