Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

always find the thing that is necessary for thee. Many, when a thing was lent them, reckoned it to be found, and put them to trouble that helped them. 5 The selfish borrower is servile to

Till he hath received, he gain his ends, but afterwards he murwill kiss a man's hand ; and

murs if just return be required. for his neighbour's money he will speak submissly: but when he should repay, he will prolong the time, and return words of grief, and complain of the time. If he prevail, he shall hardly receive the half, and he will count as if he had found it : if not, he hath deprived him of his money, and he hath gotten him an enemy without cause : he payeth him with cursings and railings; and for honour he will pay him disgrace. Many therefore have

7 One of the evils of ingratitude is, refused to lend for other that it tends to close the hand of benemen's ill dealing, fearing to volence against others. be defrauded. Yet have thou patience with a man in poor estate, and delay not to shew

9 In how marked a manner does him mercy. 'Help the poor Almighty God make the cause of the for the commandment's sake, poor his own. (See chap. xxxv. 13.) and turn him not away because of his poverty. Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend, and let it not rust under a stone to be lost. Lay up thy treasure according to the commandments of the most High, and it shall bring thee more profit than gold. Shut up alms in thy storehouses : and it shall deliver thee from all affliction. It shall fight for thee against thine enemies better than a mighty shield and strong spear. An honest man is surety for his neighbour : but he that is impudent will forsake 15 Gratitude to benefactors is a high him. "Forget not the friend- and indispensable Christian virtue. ship of thy surety, for he hath given his life for thee. A sinner will overthrow the good estate of his surety: and he that is of an unthankful mind will leave him [in danger] that delivered him. Suretiship hath undone many of good estate, and shaken them as a wave of the sea : mighty men hath it driven from their houses, so that they wandered among strange nations. A wicked man transgressing the commandments of the Lord shall fall into suretiship: and he that undertaketh and followeth other men's business for gain shall fall into suits. Help thy neighbour according to thy power, and beware that thou thyself fall 21 The necessity both for clothing not into the same. 21 The and house was caused by man's chief thing for life is water,

shameful fall. and bread, and clothing, and an house to

cover shame.

22 Better is the life of poor

22 Godliness with contentment is man in a mean cottage, than great gain. delicate fare in another man's house. Be it little or much, hold thee contented, that thou hear not the reproach of thy house. For it is a miserable life to go from house to house : for where thou art a stranger, thou darest not open thy mouth. Thou shalt entertain, and feast, and have no thanks : moreover thou shalt hear bitter words : Come, thou stranger, and furnish a table, and feed me of that thou hast ready. Give place, thou stranger, to an honourable man: my brother cometh to be lodged, and I 28 When a man is discontented with have need of mine house. moderation at home, and seeks in a 26 These things are grievous houses of those above him, by way

vain spirit to be admitted into the to a man of understanding; of bettering his condition, he forfeits the upbraiding of house- all independence character, and room, and reproaching of the becomes at last the object of contempt lender.

and even scorn to the very persons whose society he has coveted.

St. Matthew the Apostle.

MORNING. ECCLESIASTICUS Xxxv. He that keepeth the law 1 So true it is, that “to obey is betbringeth offerings enough : ter than sacrifice.” he that taketh heed to the commandment offereth a peace offering. He that requiteth . That is, he gives the best return a good turn offereth fine flour; he can—as fine flour is the best of and he that giveth alms sacri- its kind. ficeth praise. To depart from wickedness is a thing pleasing to the Lord; and to forsake unrighteousness is a propitiation. Thou shalt not appear empty before the Lord. For all these things [are to be done] because of the commandment. The offering of the righteous maketh the altar fat, and the sweet savour thereof is before the most High. The sacrifice of a just man is acceptable, and the memorial thereof shall never be forgotten. Give the Lord his honour with a good eve, and diminish not the firstfruits of thine hands. In all thy gifts shew a cheerful countenance, and dedicate thy tithes with gladness. Give unto the 10 “ Not grudgingly or of necessity; most High according as he for God loveth a cheerful giver.” hath enriched thee; and as thou hast gotten, give with a

11 For the Lord 11 “ He that hath pity upon the

10

cheerful eye.

13 He

recompenseth, and will give poor lendeth unto the Lord ; and thee seven times as much.

that which he hath given will he pay Do not think to corrupt with him again.” (Prov. xix. 17.) gifts; for such he will not receive: and trust not to unrighteous sacrifices ; for the Lord is judge, and with him is no respect of persons.

13 How strikingly does God show us, will not accept any person that the cause of the poor and the against a poor man, but will fatherless, the widow and the helphear the prayer of the op- less, is his own. (See chap. xxix. 9.) pressed. He will not despise the supplication of the fatherless; nor the widow, when she poureth out her complaint. Do not the tears run down the widow's cheeks ? and is not her cry against him that causeth them to fall? He that serveth the Lord shall be accepted with favour, and his prayer shall reach unto the clouds. *17 The

17 Importunity in prayer may ever prayer of the humble pierceth be hopeful. (Luke xi. 5.) God will the clouds : and till it come come nigh to us ; nay, he will dwell nigh, he will not be com

in the heart of the contrite. forted; and will not depart, till the most High shall behold to judge righteously, and

18 « God is not slack, as some men execute judgment. "For the Lord will not be slack, nei- and will at last render to every man

count slackness." He is righteous, ther will the Mighty be pa- according to his deeds. tient toward them, till he have smitten in sunder the loins of the unmerciful, and repayed vengeance to the heathen ; till he have taken away the multitude of the proud, and broken the sceptre of the unrighteous ; till he have rendered to every man according to his deeds, and to the works of men according to their devices; till he have judged the cause of his people, and made them to rejoice in his mercy.

Mercy is seasonable in the time of as clouds of rain in the time of drought.

affliction,

EVENING. ECCLESIASTICUS Xxxviii.

1

Honour a physician with

1 Honour the physician who healeth the honour due unto him for thy body; and be grateful to God, the uses which ye may have who raiseth up to thee such a blessof him: for the Lord hath ing * created him.

For of the most High cometh healing, and he

* Be grateful to the same God who hath given his Son Jesus Christ to be the Physician of thy soul, healing all its infirmities.” (Matt. ix. 12.) shall receive honour of the king. The skill of the physician shall lift up his head: and in the sight of great men he shall be in admiration. The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth : and he that is wise 5 Thus were the bitter waters of will not abhor them. 5 Was Marah made sweet. (Exod. xv. 25.) not the water made sweet with wood, that the virtue thereof might be known? And he hath given men skill, that he might be honoured in his marvellous works. With such doth he heal [men,) and taketh away their pains. Of such doth the apothecary make a confection; and of his works there is no end; and from him is

9 Sickness is a blessed season, when peace over all the earth. 'My it is used for a heart-searching selfson, in thy sickness be not examination, a deep repentance, and negligent: but pray unto the

a perfect devotedness to the care of Lord, and he will make thee

our souls. whole. Leave off from sin, and order thine hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from all wickedness. Give a sweet savour, and a memorial of fine flour ; and make a fat offering, as not being. Then give place to the physician, for the Lord hath created him: let him not go from thee, for thou hast need of him. There is a time when in their hands there is good suc

For they shall also 14 The wise physician adds prayer pray unto the Lord, that he to skill. would prosper that, which they give for ease and remedy to prolong life. He that sin

15 Diseases and sicknesses are freneth before his Maker, let quently the natural effects of a vicious him fall into the hand of the course of life. physician. My son, let tears fall down over the dead, and begin to lament, as if thou hadst suffered great harm thyself; and then cover his body according to the custom, and neglect not his burial. Weep bitterly, and make great moan, and use lamentation, as he is worthy, and that a day or two, lest thou be evil spoken of: and then comfort thyself for thy heaviness. For of heaviness cometh death, and the heaviness of the heart breaketh strength. In af

19 The deep sorrows of the poor Aiction also sorrow remain

seem to remove blessing from his eth: and the life of the poor heart; but he drives away heaviness is the curse of the heart. by remembering, that for every paTake no heaviness to heart:

tient Lazarus there is peace at the

last. drive it away, and remember the last end. Forget it not, for there is no turning again: thou shalt not do him good, 22 The dead are supposed here to but hurt thyself. 22 Remem- speak ; and their voice reminds us,

cess.

ber my judgment : for thine that what happened to them yesteralso shall be so; yesterday day may happen to us to-day.” “ Be

thou therefore ready.". for me, and to day for thee.

23 Though mourning for the dead is * When the dead is at rest, the duty of piety, yet.

“ sorrow not let his remembrance rest; and as one without hope.” Thy fears be comforted for him, when change not their state, nor profit

thyself. his spirit is departed from

24 Thus the Church takes care that him. 24 The wisdom of a her ministers enter upon no worldly learned man cometh by op- calling. portunity of leisure: and he that hath little business shall become wise. How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, and that glorieth in the goad, that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labours, and whose talk is of bullocks ? He giveth his mind to make furrows; and is diligent to give the kine fodder. So every carpenter and workmaster, that laboureth night and day: and they that cut and grave seals, and are diligent to make great variety, and give themselves to counterfeit imagery, and watch to finish a work: the smith also sitting by the anvil, and considering the iron work, the vapour of the fire wasteth his flesh, and he fighteth with the heat of the furnace : the noise of the hammer and the anvil is ever in his ears, and his eyes look still upon the pattern of the thing that he maketh; he setteth his mind to finish his work, and watcheth to polish it perfectly : so doth the potter sitting at his work, and turning the wheel about with his feet, who is alway carefully set at his work, and maketh all his work by number; he fashioneth the clay with his arm, and boweth down his strength before his feet; he applieth himself to lead it over; and he is diligent to make clean the furnace : all these trust to their hands : and every one is wise in his work. 52 Without these cannot a city be inhabited : and

32 Religion does not confound the they shall not dwell where

order and degrees of society. Those

who are engaged in an honest worldly they will, nor go up and calling have God's favour for their down: they shall not be industry, and man's honour ; but sought for in publick coun

they are not to take to themselves

duties for which they are not fitted. sel, nor sit high in the congregation: they shall not sit on the judges' seat, nor understand the sentence of judgment: they cannot declare justice and judgment; and they shall not be found where parables are spoken. But they will maintain the state of the world, and (all] their desire is in the work of their craft.

« AnteriorContinua »