« PreviousContinue »
that which may come hereafter; and when he falleth, he shall find a stay.
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: for the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give ; when thou hast it by thee. Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Whoo stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker; but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. Whoso mocketh the poor reproat heth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. He that despiseth his neighbour sin. neth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Give of thy bread to the hungry, and of thy garments to them that are naked; give alms of thy substance; and when thou givest alıns, let not thine eye be envious, neither turn thy face from any poor, and the face of God shall not be turned away from thee, If thou hast abundance, give alms accordingly: if thou have but a little, be not afraid to give according to that little : for thou la yest up a good treasure for thyself against the day of necessity. For alms is a good gift onto all that give it in the sight of the Most Iligh.
On meelness and humilliy.
My son, go on with thy business in meekness: so shalt thou be beloved of him that is approved. The greater thou art, the more humble thyseif, and thou shalt find favour before the Lord. For the power of the Lord is great, and he is honoured of the lowly.. Seek not, out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength. But what is commanded thee, think thereupon with reverence; for it is not needful for thee to see with thine eyes the things that are in secret. Be not curious in unnecessa y matters: for more things are shewed unto thee than men understand. For many are deceived by their own vain opinion : and an evil su picion hath overthrown their judgement. Without eyes thou shalt want light: profess not the knowledge there ore that thou hast not. Extol not thy self in the counsel of thine oin heart; be not overwise in doing thy business; and boast not thyself in the time of thy distress, Better is he that laboureth, and aboundeth in all things, than he that boasteth himsi-lt, and wanteth bread. My son, glorify thy soul in meekness, and give it honour according to the dignity thereof. Exalt not thyself, lest thou fall, and bring dishonour upon thy soul, and so God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down in the midst of the congregation, because thou camest not in truth to the fear of the Lord, but thy heart is full of deceit. For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction: and faith and meekness are his deligh'.
By humility, and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; an.' before honour is humility. Surely he scorneth the scorners : but he giveth grace unto the lowly. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory is not glory. Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, aud stand not in the place of great men: for better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither, than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom.
On Pride, Covetousness, and Envy.
Why is earth and ashes proud? Pride is hateful before God and man: and by both doth one commit iniquity. The beginning of pride is when one departeth from God, and his heart is turned away from his Maker. The Lord hath cast down the thrones of proud princes, and set up the meek in their stead. The Lord hath plucked up the roots of the proud nations, and planted the lowly in their place. In the punishment of the proud there is no remedy; for the plant of wickedness hath taken root in him. The envious man hath wicked
eye; he turneth away his face, and despiseth men. A covetous man's eye is not satisfied with his portion ; and the iniquity of the wicked drieth up his soul. A wicked eye envieth his bread, and he is a niggard at his table. There is not a more wicked thing than a covetous man: for such an one setteth his own soul to sale; because while he liveth he casteth away his bowels. Envy and wrath shorten the life, and carefulness bringeth age before the time. Mockery and reproach are from the proud ; but vengeance, as a lion, shall lie wait for them. Pride