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forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [Phil. iii.]
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. [Phil. iv.] For the memorial of virtue is immortal : because it is known with God, and with men. When it is present, men take example at it; and when it is gone, they desire it: it weareth a crown, and triumpheth for ever, having gotten the victory, striving for undefiled rewards. [Wisdom iv.]
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter : fear God, and keep his commandments : for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. [Eccl. xii.]
WISDOM AND WORTH.
Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? [2 Sam. iii.] For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counsellor, and the cun
ning artificer, and the eloquent orator. [ Isa. iii.] In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. [.Job xxxiv.] There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. [Ps. xxxiii.] All
that are about him, bemoan him, and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod! (.Jer. xlviii.]
And David lamented with this lamentation : The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places : how are the mighty fallen! Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon youi, nor fields of offerings : for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished ! [ 2 Sam. i.]
Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning. Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies : leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent in their instructions : such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing : rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations : all these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises
might be reported. And some there be, which have no memorial ; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them. But th merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten. With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their children are within the covenant. Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes. Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.
The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise. [Ecclus. xliv.]
Moreover Job continued his parable, and said : When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street, the young men saw me, and hid themselves, and the aged arose, and stood up. The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. When the ear heard me, then it blessed me: and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor : and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. Then I said, I shall die in
I was eyes to
my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand. My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand. Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel. After my words they spake not again ; and my speech dropped upon them. And they waited for me as for the rain ; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. If I laughed on them, they believed it not: and the light of my countenance they cast not down. I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners. [.Job xxix.]
Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his : and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding : he revealeth the deep and secret things : he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. [Dan. ii.]
He that giveth his mind to the law of the Most High, and is occupied in the meditation thereof, will seek out the wisdom of all the ancient, and be occupied in prophecies. He will keep the sayings of the renowned men: and where subtile parables are, he will be there also. He will seek out the secrets of grave sentences, and be conversant in dark parables. He shall serve among great men, and appear before princes: he will travel through strange countries; for he hath tried the good and the evil among men.
He will give his heart to resort early to the Lord that made him, and will pray before the Most
High, and will open his mouth in prayer, and make supplication for his sins. When the great Lord will, he shall be filled with the spirit of understanding : he shall pour out wise sentences, and give thanks unto the Lord in his prayer. He shall direct his counsel and knowledge, and in his secrets shall he meditate. He shall shew forth that which he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. Many shall commend his understanding; and so long as the world endureth, it shall not be blotted out; his memorial shall not depart away, and his name shall live froni generation to generation. Nations shall shew forth his wisdom, and the congregation shall declare his praise. If he die, he shall leave a greater name than a thousand: and if he live, he shall increase it. [Ecclus. xxxix.]
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom : and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. [Prov. ix.] And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding [.Job xxviii.]
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. 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. My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion : so shall they be life unto