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The Book of Wisdom

(excluded from most "bibles of men")

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Chapter 14

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)

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      Again, another man purposing to sail, and beginning to take his journey through the raging sea, calleth for help unto a stock that is far weaker, than the tree that beareth him. For as for it, covetousness of money hath found it out, and the craftsman made it with his conning. But thy providence, O' Father, governeth all things from the beginning: for thou hast made a way in the sea, and a sure path in the midst of the waves: declaring thereby, that thou hast power to help in all things, ye though a man went to sea without a ship. Nevertheless, the works of thy wisdom should not be vain, thou hast caused an ark to be made: and therefore do men commit their lives to a small piece of wood, passing over the sea in a ship, and are saved.
      For in the old time also, when the proud giants perished, he ( in whom the hope was left to increase the world ) went into the ship, which was governed through thy hand, and so left seed behind him unto the world. For happy is the tree where through righteousness cometh: but cursed is the image of wood, that is made with hands, yee both it and he that made it. He, because he made it: and it because it was called God, where as it is but a frail thing. For the ungodly and his ungodliness are both like abominable unto God. Even so the work and he that made it also shall be punished together. Therefore shall there a plague come upon the images of the Heathen: for out of the creature of God they are become an abomination, a temptation unto the souls of men, and a snare for the feet of the unwise. And why the seeking out of images is the beginning of whoredom, and the bringing up of them is the destruction of life. For they were not from the beginning, neither shall they continue forever. The wealthy idleness of men hath found them out upon the earth, therefore shall they come shortly to an end.
      For a father mourned for his son that was taken away from him, he made an image ( in all the hast ) of his dead son: and so began to worship him as God, which was but a dead man, and *ordained his servants to offer unto him. Thus by process of time and through long custom, this error was kept as a law, and tyrants compelled men by violence to honor images. As for those that were so far off, that men might not worship them presently, their picture was brought from far, like the image of a King whom they would honor, to the intent that with great diligence they might worship him which was far off, as though he had been present. Again, the singular conning of the craftsman gave the ignorant also a great occasion to worship images. For the workman willing to do him a pleasure that set him a work, labored with all his conning to make the image of the best fashion. And so ( through the beauty of the work ) the common people was deceived, in so much that they took him now for a God, which alittle afore was honored as a man. And this was the error of mans life, when men ( either for to serve their own affection, or to do some pleasure unto Kings ) ascribed unto stones and stocks the name of God, which ought to be given unto no man.
      Moreover, this was not enough for them that they erred in the knowledge of God: but where as they lived in the great wars of ignorance, those many and great plagues called they peace. For either they slew their own children, and offered them, or did sacrifice in the night season, or else held unreasonable watches: so that they kept neither life ner marriage clean: but either one slew another to death maliciously or else grieved his neighbor with *advoutry. And thus were all things mixed together: blood manslaughter, theft, dissimulation, corruption, unfaithfulness, sedition, perjury, disquietness of good men, unthankfulness, defiling of souls, changing of birth, unsteadfastness of marriage, misorder of *advoutry and uncleanness. And why? the honoring of abominable images is the cause, the beginning and end of all evil. For they worship Idols, either they are mad when they be merry, or prophesy lies, or live ungodly, or else lightly foreswear themselves. For in so much as their trust is in the Idols ( which have neither souls ner understanding ) though they swear falsely, yet they think it shall not hurt them.
      Therefore cometh a great plague upon them, and that worthily: for they have an evil opinion of God, giving heed unto Idols, swearing unjustly to deceive, and despising righteousness. For their swearing is no virtue, but a plague of them that sin, and goeth ever with the offense of the ungodly.


*ordened: ordained (ordered).
*advoutry: prefix "a" meaning not or without, devout: devotion; plain hearted to God, being devoted to something or some one else. see James 2 for adultery

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