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but a man of understanding a sound judgment is strength and knoweth when he slippeth. safety. He that buildeth his house with other men's money is like one that gathereth himself stones for the tomb of his burial. The congregation of the wicked is like tow wrapped together : and the end of them is a flame of
10 “ Wide is the gate and broad is fire to destroy them. 1° The the way that leadeth to destruction." way of sinners is made plain The descent of evil is easy and fatal. with stones, but at the end thereof is the pit of hell. He that keepeth the law of the Lord getteth the understanding thereof: and the perfection of the fear 12 All such wisdom of the world as of the Lord is wisdom. 12 He is confined to worldly gain, is foolthat is not wise will not be ishness with God. taught: but there is a wisdom which multiplieth bitterness. The knowledge of a wise man shall abound like a flood : and his counsel is like a pure 14 The very heart of a fool despiseth fountain of life. " The inner knowledge : whereas wisdom is alparts of a fool are like a broken ways welcome to a prudent man. vessel, and he will hold no knowledge as long as he liveth. If a skilful man hear a wise word, he will commend it, and add unto it : but as soon as one of no understanding heareth it, it displeaseth him, and he casteth it behind his back. The talking of a fool is like a burden in the way: but grace shall be found in the lips of the wise. They enquire at the mouth of the wise man in the congregation, and they shall ponder his words in their heart. As is a house that is destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool: and the knowledge of the unwise is as talk without sense. Doctrine unto fools is as fetters on the feet, and like manacles on the right hand. A fool lifteth up his voice with laughter ; but a wise man doth scarce smile a little. Learning is unto a wise man as an ornament of gold, and like a bracelet upon his right arm. A foolish man's foot is soon in his (neighbour's] house: but a man of experience is ashamed of him. 3 A fool 33 The Christian ever regards courwill peep in at the door into teousness and good manners. 1 Pet. the house : but he that is iii. 8, and ii, 17. well nurtured will stand without. It is the rudeness of a man to hearken at the door : but a wise man will be grieved at the disgrace. The lips of talkers will be telling such things as pertain not unto them : but the words of such as have understanding are weighed in the balance. The heart of fools is in their mouth : but the mouth of the wise is in their heart. 27 When the ungodly curseth
27 As often as wicked men condemn Satan, he curseth his own sin, they condemn themselves.
soul. A whisperer defileth 28 A whisperer may for a time his own soul, and is hated please those whom he flatters, by wheresoever he dwelleth.
lowering the character of others;
but when once he be found out, shame and just hatred will pursue him.
EVENING. ECCLESIASTICUS xxii.
A SLOTHFUL man is com
1 Sloth is so mean and sordid a pared to a filthy stone, and habit, that no comparison is too low every one will hiss him out to express the contempt in which it
is held. of his disgrace. A slothful man is compared to the filth of a dunghill : every man that takes it up will shake his 3 Good children are an honour to hand. 3 An evilnurtured son their parents : bad children, alas ! is the dishonour of his father are their shame. that begat him : and a [foolish] daughter is born to his loss. A wise daughter shall bring an inheritance to her husband : but she that liveth dishonestly is her father's heaviness.
She that is bold dishonoureth both her father and her husband, but they both shall despise her. 6 Music in the day of sorrow is * A tale out of season [is as] misplaced-merrimentmocksmournmusic in mourning : but ing *. stripes and correction of wisdom are never out of time. Whoso teacheth a fool is as one that glueth a potsherd together, and as he that waketh one from a sound sleep. He that telleth a tale to a fool speaketh to one in a slumber: when he hath told his tale, he will say, 9 Virtue ennobles the lowliest born; What is the matter ? If and vice degrades men of the highest children live honestly, and degree. have wherewithal, they shall cover the baseness of their parents. But children, be
10 Those who are of noble birth ing haughty, through disdain have but to add noble conduct, to and want of nurture do stain win the honour due to them. They the nobility of their kindred. need not the false exaltation of a
Weep for the dead, for be haughty demeanor. hath lost the light: and weep he is emphatically called
11 The wicked man-or the fool, as for the fool, for he wanteth living death. As therefore we mourn understanding : make little the dead who are passed to their weeping for the dead, for he rest, how much more should we is at rest : but the life of the
mourn those who are dead in tres.
passes, sin, and misery. fool is worse than death. Seven days do men mourn for him that is dead; but for a fool
Hence the unfeeling taunt of Babylon to her captives; requiring of them a song in their heariness.—“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
and an ungodly man all the days of his life. Talk not much with a fool, and go not to him that hath no understanding : beware of him, lest thou have trouble, and thou shalt never be defiled with his fooleries : depart from him, and thou shalt find rest, and never be disquieted with madness. What is heavier than lead ? and what is the name thereof, but a fool ? Sand, and salt, and a mass
15 Religion gives stability to conof iron, is easier to bear, than duct, as a good foundation ensures a man without understanding. strength to a building. Matt. vi. 26. As timber girt and bound together in a building cannot be loosed with shaking : so the heart that is stablished by advised counsel shall fear at no time. A heart settled upon a thought of understanding is as a fair plaistering on the wall of a gallery. Pales set on an high place will never stand against the wind : so a fearful heart in the imagination of a fool cannot stand against any fear. 19 He 19 Because, painful as reproof may that pricketh the eye will be, even as a sword that pierceth the make tears to fall : and he heart ; faithful are the wounds of a that pricketh the heart mak- friend—they are for our benefit. eth it to sbew her knowledge. Whoso casteth a stone at the birds frayeth them away: and he that upbraideth his friend breaketh friendship. Though thou drawest a sword at thy friend, yet despair not : for there may be a returning (to favour]. If thou hast opened thy mouth against thy friend, fear not ; for there may
be a reconciliation : except for upbraiding, or pride, or disclosing of secrets, .or a treacherous wound: for for these things every 23 True religion scorns to forsake a friend will depart.
fallen and afflicted friend : nay, his faithful to thy neighbour in poverty and distress endear him to his poverty, that thou mayest
us the more. rejoice in his prosperity : abide stedfast unto him in the time of his trouble, that thou mayest be heir with him in his heritage : for a mean estate is not always to be contemned: nor the rich that is foolish to be had in admiration. As the vapour and smoke of a furnace goeth before the fire ; so reviling before blood. I will not be ashamed to defend a friend; neither will I hide myself from him. And if any evil happen unto me by him, every one that heareth it will beware of him. 27 Who shall set a 27 A wise wish ! and an attainable watch before my mouth, and wish ; if we seek the Spirit of God, a seal of wisdom upon my
to set that watch-to sanctify and lips, that I fall not suddenly direct, to counsel and to comfort us. by them, and that my tongue destroy me not.
St. Bartholomew the Apostle.
MORNING. ECCLESIASTICUS xxiv. Wisdom shall praise herself,
1 Divine wisdom, or religion, fears and shall glory in the midst not to avow her superiority over all of her people. In the con
the learning and wisdom of which
the heathen world so much boasted. gregation of the most High shall she open her mouth, and triumph before his power. I came out of the mouth of the most High, and covered the earth as a cloud. I dwelt in high places, and my throne is in a cloudy pillar. I alone compassed the circuit of heaven, and walked in the bottom of the deep. In the waves of the sea, and in all the earth, and in every people and nation, I got a possession. With all these I sought rest: and in whose inheritance shall I abide ? So the Creator of all things gave me a commandment, and he that made me caused my tabernacle to rest, and said, Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thin inheritance in Israel. He created me from the beginning before the world, and I shall never fail. In the holy tabernacle I served before him ; and so was I established in Sion. Likewise in the beloved city he gave me rest, and in Jerusalem was my power. And I took root in an honourable people, even in the portion of the Lord's inheritance.
13 All these comparisons indicate exalted like a cedar in Liba
the high excellencies of religious
wisdom over every other wisdom, of nus, and as a cypress tree whatever kind it be. No vain boast upon the mountains of Her- this ! for it has the promise not only I was exalted like a of the life that now is, but of that
which is to come-even life eternal. palm tree in En-gaddi, and as a rose plant in Jericho, as a fair olive tree in a pleasant field, and grew up as a plane tree by the water. I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon and aspalathus, and I yielded a pleasant odour like the best myrrh, as galbanum, and onyx, and sweet storax, and as the fume of frankincense in the tabernacle. As the turpentine tree I stretched out my
branches, and my branches are the branches of honour and grace. As the vine brought I forth pleasant savour,
flowers are the fruit of honour and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and fear, and knowledge, and holy hope: I, therefore, being eternal, am given to all my children which are named of him, Come unto me, all ye
19 This wisdom is free to all. The be desirous of me, and fill
Gospel is the light of the world, to yourselves with my fruits. send forth afar its guiding and its
3 I was
For my memorial is sweeter cheering ray.
“ Come unto me, all than honey, and mine inheri- ye that are weary and heavy laden,
and I will refresh you." tance than the honeycomb. They that eat me shall yet be hungry, and they that drink me shall yet be thirsty. He that obeyeth me shall never be confounded, and they that work by me shall not do amiss. 23 All these things are the 23 This wisdom is found in the word book of the covenant of the of God. most high God, even the law which Moses commanded for an heritage unto the congrega- 24 Joy to the soul! Its Saviour tions of Jacob. 24 Faint not is its God; even the Lord God Alto be strong in the Lord; mighty, Well may we rejoice in the that he may confirm
strength of our salvation.
you, cleave unto him : for the Lord Almighty is God alone, and beside him there is no other Saviour. He filleth all things with his wisdom, as Phison and as Tigris in the time of the new fruits. He maketh the understanding to abound like Euphrates, and as Jordan in the time of the harvest. He maketh the doctrine of knowledge appear as the light, and as Geon in the time of vintage. The first man knew her not perfectly: no more shall the last find her out. For her thoughts are more than the sea, and her counsels profounder than the great deep. I also came out as a brook from a river, and as a conduit into a garden. 31 I said, I will
31 God's grace, though“ more than water my best garden, and the sea, and profounder than the will water abundantly my great deep,” yet watereth the little garden bed : and, lo, my by its streams the lowly valleys. By
hills with its showers, and fertilizes brook became a river, and
the continual dew of its blessing, it so my river became a sea. I nurtureth the heart of the contrite, will yet make doctrine to that even the lowliest may flourish to
the honour of their God. shine as the morning, and will send forth her light afar off. I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy, and leave it to all
Behold that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all them that seek wisdom.
EVENING. ECCLESIASTICUs xxix. He that is merciful will lend
1 We are said to “strengthen the unto his neighbour ; and he hand of our neighbour” when we rethat strengtheneth his hand lieve him in his distress. keepeth the commandments. ? Honesty towards man is duty to
wards God, ? Lend to thy neighbour in time of his need, and pay thou thy neighbour again in due season. Keep thy word, and deal faithfully with him, and thou shalt