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and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom : out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous; he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgement, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgement, and equity; yea, every good path.
My son, prove thy soul in thy life, and see what is evil for it, and give not that unto it. Remember that death will not be long in coming, and that the covenant of the grave is not shewed unto thee. Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good desire overpass thee. Do no evil, so shall no harm conie, unto thee. Depart from the unjust, and iniquity shall turn away from thee. As near as thou canst guess at thy neighbour, and consult with the wise. Let thy talk be with the wise, and all thy communication in the law of the Most High. Let just men eat and drink with thee; and let thy glorying be in the fear of the Lord. Be stedfast in thy covenant, and be conversant therein, and wax old in thy work. Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent: for if thou comest too near it, it will bite thee: the teeth thereof are as the teeth of a lion, slaying the souls of men. All iniquity is as a two-edged sword, the wounds whereof cannot be healed. Say not thou, It is through the Lord that I fell away: for thou oughtest not to do the things that he hateth. Say not thou, He hath caused me to err: for he hath no need of the sinful man. The Lord hateth all abomination ; and they that fear God love it not. He himself made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his counsel; if thou wilt, to keep the commandments, and to perform acceptable faithfulness. He hath set fire and water before thee : stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt. Before man is life and death ;' and whether him liketh shall be given him. Who will pity a charmer that is bitten with a serpent, or any such as come nigh wild beasts? So one that goeth to a sinner, and is defiled, with him in his sins, who will pity? If thou followest righteousness thou shalt obtain her, and put her on as a glorious long robe. The birds will resort unto their like; so will truth return unto them who practise in her.
From the same.
Honour a physician with the honour due unto him for the uses which ye may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. For of the Most High cometh healing, and he 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 will not abhor them. Was 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. My son, in thy sickness be not negligent: but pray unto the Lord, and he will make thee whole. Leave off from sin, and order thine hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from all wickedness. 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
For they shall also pray unto the Lord, that he would prosper that, which they give for ease and remedy to prolong life.
From the same.
Burden not thyself above thy power while thou livest; and have no fellowship with one that is mightier and richer than thyself: for how agree the kettle and the earthen pot together? for if the one be smitten against the other, it shall be broken. The rich man hath done
and yet he threateneth withal; the poor is wronged, and he must intreat also. If thou be for his profit, he will use thee: but if thou have nothing, he will forsake thee. If thou have any thing, he will live with thee: yea, he will make thee bare, and will not be sorry for it. If he have need of thee, he will deceive thee, and smile upon thee, and put thee in hope: he will speak thee fair, and say, What wantest thou? And he will shame thee by his meats, until he have drawn thee dry twice or thrice, and at the last he will laugh thee to scorn: afterward, when he seeth thee, he will forsake thee, and shake his head at thee. Beware that thou be not deceived, and
brought down in thy jollity. If thou be invited of a mighty man, withdraw thyself, and so much the more will he invite thee. Better is the life of a poor man in a mean cottage, than 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 have need of mine house. These things are grievous to a man of understanding; the upbraiding of house room, and reproaching of the lender. Make not thyself an underling to a foolish man; neither accept the person of the mighty. Strive not with a mighty man, lest thou fall into his hands. Lend not unto him that is mightier than thyself; for if thou lendest him, count it but lost. Be not surety above thy power: for if thou be surety, take care to pay it. Forget not the friend. 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 unthinking