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EPITOME OF THE MORAL PRECEPTS OF THE BIBLE.
SELECTIONS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT.
1 EVEN as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
2 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
3 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
4 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
5 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
6 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her and happy is every one that retaineth her.
7 Receive my instruction, and not silver: and knowledge rather than choice gold: for wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
8 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thy hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor, go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee.
9 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou
arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that walketh uprightly walketh surely but he that perverteth his ways shall be known. The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
10 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
11 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh; for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Who hath wo? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
12 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
13 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
14 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it and received instruction.
15 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no tale bearer, the strife ceaseth:
16 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches: feed me with food convenient for me.
17 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships;
she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
18 She layeth her hand to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She maketh fine linen and selleth it; she openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
19 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eateth little or much.
20 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
21 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
22 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
23 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
24. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
25 Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
26 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
EXTRACTS FROM THE WISDOM OF JESUS, THE SON OF SIRACH.
1 MY son, help thy father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he liveth. And if his understanding fail, have patience with him, and despise him not when thou art in thy full strength.
2 Add not more trouble to a heart that is vexed, and defer not to give to him that is in need. Be not as a lion in thy house, nor frantic among thy servants. Sweet language will multiply friends, and a fair speaking tongue will increase kind greetings.
3 Do no evil, so shall no harm.come unto thee. Be not slow to visit the sick for that shall make thee to be beloved. Reproach not a man that turneth from sin, but remember that we are all worthy of punishment.
4 When a rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue; and look what he saith, they extol it to the clouds: but if the poor man speak, they say, what fellow is this? and if he stumble, they will help to overthrow him.
5 Blessed is he whose conscience has not condemned him. My son, hast thou sinned? do so no more, but ask pardon for thy former sins. 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
6 Be faithful unto thy neighbor in his poverty, that thou mayest 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.
7 If thou hast gathered nothing in thy youth, how canst thou find any thing in thine age?
8 Lend to thy neighbour in time of his need, and pay thou thy neighbor again in due season. Keep thy word faithfully with him, and thou shalt 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. Till he hath received he will kiss a man's hand: and for his neighbor'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.
9 Many therefore have refused to lend for other men's ill
dealing, fearing to be defrauded. Yet have patience with a man in poor estate, and delay not to show him mercy. Forget not the friendship of thy surety; for he hath given his life for thee.
SELECTIONS FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT.
Instructions of Jesus Christ.
1 BLESSED are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
2 Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
3 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black: but let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
4 Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
5 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine
6 But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that you, and curse you, do good to them that hate for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.
7 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have salute ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye