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thou hast examined the truth: understand first, and then rebuke. Answer not before thou hast heard the cause: neither interrupt men in the midst of their talk. There is a sinner that hath good success in evil things; and there is a gain that turneth to loss. There is a gift that shall not profit thee; and there is a gift whose recompence is double. There is an abasement because of glory; and there is that lifteth up his head from a low estate. There is that buyeth much for a little, and repayeth it sevenfold. There is one that laboureth, and taketh pains, and maketh haste, and is so much the more behind. Again, there is another that is slow, and hath need of help, wanting ability, and full of poverty; yet the eye of the Lord looked upon him for good, and set him up from his low estate, and lifted up his head from misery; so that many that saw it marvelled at him. Say not, What profit is there of my service? and what good things shall I have hereafter? Again, say not, I have enough, and possess many things, and what evil can come to me hereafter? In the day of prosperity there is a forgetfulness of affliction: and in the day of affliction there is no more remembrance of prosperity. For it is an easy thing unto the Lord in the day of death to reward a man according to his ways. The affliction of an hour maketh a
man forget pleasure: and in his end his deeds shall be discovered. Judge none blessed before his death for a man shall be known in his children.
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. There was a little city, and few men within it and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
The self-deception of concealment from the eye of man whilst the eye of Providence is upon all our works.
A man that breaketh wedlock, saying thus in his heart, Who seeth me? I am compassed about
with darkness, the walls cover me, and nobody seeth me; what n ed I to fear? the Most High will not remember my sins: such a man only feareth the eyes of men, and knoweth not that the eyes of the Lord are ten thousand times brighter than the sun, beholding all the ways of men, and considering the most secret parts He knew all things erever they were created; so also after they were perfected he looked upon
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good; for the ways of man are before the Lord and he pondereth all his goings.
The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
He that serveth the Lord shall be accepted with favour, and his prayer shall reach unto the clouds. The sacrifice of a just man is acceptable, and the memorial thereof shall never be forgotten. Be not fainthearted when thou makest thy prayer, and neglect not to give alms. Before thou prayest, prepare thyself; and be not as one that tempteth the Lord. Use not many words in a multitude of elders, and make not much babbling when thou prayest. To depart from wickedness is a thing pleasing to the Lord; and to forsake unrighteousness is a propitiation. He that keepeth the law bringeth offerings enough he that taketh heed to the commandment offereth a peace offering. The Lord is judge, and with him is no respect of persons. He will not accept any person against a poor man, but will hear the prayer of the oppressed. 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? The prayer of the humble pierceth the clouds: and till it come
nigh, he will not be comforted; and will not depart, till the Most High shall behold to judge righteously and execute judgement.
On patience in affliction, and reliance on God.
My son, 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.