121For thine incorruptible Spirit is in all things.
2Therefore chastenest thou them by little and little that offend, and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that leaving their wickedness they may believe on thee, O Lord.
3For it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our fathers both those old inhabitants of thy holy land,
4Whom thou hatedst for doing most odious works of witchcrafts, and wicked sacrifices;
5And also those merciless murderers of children, and devourers of man’s flesh, and the feasts of blood,
6With their priests out of the midst of their idolatrous crew, and the parents, that killed with their own hands souls destitute of help:
7That the land, which thou esteemedst above all other, might receive a worthy colony of God’s children.
8Nevertheless even those thou sparedst as men, and didst send wasps, forerunners of thine host, to destroy them by little and little.
9Not that thou wast unable to bring the ungodly under the hand of the righteous in battle, or to destroy them at once with cruel beasts, or with one rough word:
10But executing thy judgments upon them by little and little, thou gavest them place of repentance, not being ignorant that they were a naughty generation, and that their malice was bred in them, and that their cogitation would never be changed.
11For it was a cursed seed from the beginning; neither didst thou for fear of any man give them pardon for those things wherein they sinned.
12For who shall say, What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou made? or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous men?
13For neither is there any God but thou that careth for all, to whom thou mightest shew that thy judgment is not unright.
14Neither shall king or tyrant be able to set his face against thee for any whom thou hast punished.
15Forsomuch then as thou art righteous thyself, thou orderest all things righteously: thinking it not agreeable with thy power to condemn him that hath not deserved to be punished.
16For thy power is the beginning of righteousness, and because thou art the Lord of all, it maketh thee to be gracious unto all.
17For when men will not believe that thou art of a full power, thou shewest thy strength, and among them that know it thou makest their boldness manifest.
18But thou, mastering thy power, judgest with equity, and orderest us with great favour: for thou mayest use power when thou wilt.
19But by such works hast thou taught thy people that the just man should be merciful, and hast made thy children to be of a good hope that thou givest repentance for sins.
20For if thou didst punish the enemies of thy children, and the condemned to death, with such deliberation, giving them time and place, whereby they might be delivered from their malice:
21With how great circumspection didst thou judge thine own sons, unto whose fathers thou hast sworn, and made covenants of good promises?
22Therefore, whereas thou dost chasten us, thou scourgest our enemies a thousand times more, to the intent that, when we judge, we should carefully think of thy goodness, and when we ourselves are judged, we should look for mercy.
23Wherefore, whereas men have lived dissolutely and unrighteously, thou hast tormented them with their own abominations.
24For they went astray very far in the ways of error, and held them for gods, which even among the beasts of their enemies were despised, being deceived, as children of no understanding.
25Therefore unto them, as to children without the use of reason, thou didst send a judgment to mock them.
26But they that would not be reformed by that correction, wherein he dallied with them, shall feel a judgment worthy of God.
27For, look, for what things they grudged, when they were punished, that is, for them whom they thought to be gods; now being punished in them, when they saw it, they acknowledged him to be the true God, whom before they denied to know: and therefore came extreme damnation upon them.
131Surely vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things that are seen know him that is: neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the workmaster;
2But deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world.
3With whose beauty if they being delighted took them to be gods; let them know how much better the Lord of them is: for the first author of beauty hath created them.
4But if they were astonished at their power and virtue, let them understand by them, how much mightier he is that made them.
5For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionably the maker of them is seen.
6But yet for this they are the less to be blamed: for they peradventure err, seeking God, and desirous to find him.
7For being conversant in his works they search him diligently, and believe their sight: because the things are beautiful that are seen.
8Howbeit neither are they to be pardoned.
9For if they were able to know so much, that they could aim at the world; how did they not sooner find out the Lord thereof?
10But miserable are they, and in dead things is their hope, who call them gods, which are the works of men’s hands, gold and silver, to shew art in, and resemblances of beasts, or a stone good for nothing, the work of an ancient hand.
11Now a carpenter that felleth timber, after he hath sawn down a tree meet for the purpose, and taken off all the bark skilfully round about, and hath wrought it handsomely, and made a vessel thereof fit for the service of man’s life;
12And after spending the refuse of his work to dress his meat, hath filled himself;
13And taking the very refuse among those which served to no use, being a crooked piece of wood, and full of knots, hath carved it diligently, when he had nothing else to do, and formed it by the skill of his understanding, and fashioned it to the image of a man;
14Or made it like some vile beast, laying it over with vermilion, and with paint colouring it red, and covering every spot therein;
15And when he had made a convenient room for it, set it in a wall, and made it fast with iron:
16For he provided for it that it might not fall, knowing that it was unable to help itself; for it is an image, and hath need of help:
17Then maketh he prayer for his goods, for his wife and children, and is not ashamed to speak to that which hath no life.
18For health he calleth upon that which is weak: for life prayeth to that which is dead; for aid humbly beseecheth that which hath least means to help: and for a good journey he asketh of that which cannot set a foot forward:
19And for gaining and getting, and for good success of his hands, asketh ability to do of him, that is most unable to do any thing.
141Again, one preparing himself to sail, and about to pass through the raging waves, calleth upon a piece of wood more rotten than the vessel that carrieth him.
2For verily desire of gain devised that, and the workman built it by his skill.
3But thy providence, O Father, governeth it: for thou hast made a way in the sea, and a safe path in the waves;
4Shewing that thou canst save from all danger: yea, though a man went to sea without art.
5Nevertheless thou wouldest not that the works of thy wisdom should be idle, and therefore do men commit their lives to a small piece of wood, and passing the rough sea in a weak vessel are saved.
6For in the old time also, when the proud giants perished, the hope of the world governed by thy hand escaped in a weak vessel, and left to all ages a seed of generation.
7For blessed is the wood whereby righteousness cometh.
8But that which is made with hands is cursed, as well it, as he that made it: he, because he made it; and it, because, being corruptible, it was called god.
9For the ungodly and his ungodliness are both alike hateful unto God.
10For that which is made shall be punished together with him that made it.
11Therefore even upon the idols of the Gentiles shall there be a visitation: because in the creature of God they are become an abomination, and stumblingblocks to the souls of men, and a snare to the feet of the unwise.
12For the devising of idols was the beginning of spiritual fornication, and the invention of them the corruption of life.
13For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever.
14For by the vain glory of men they entered into the world, and therefore shall they come shortly to an end.
15For a father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath made an image of his child soon taken away, now honoured him as a god, which was then a dead man, and delivered to those that were under him ceremonies and sacrifices.
16Thus in process of time an ungodly custom grown strong was kept as a law, and graven images were worshipped by the commandments of kings.
17Whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt far off, they took the counterfeit of his visage from far, and made an express image of a king whom they honoured, to the end that by this their forwardness they might flatter him that was absent, as if he were present.
18Also the singular diligence of the artificer did help to set forward the ignorant to more superstition.
19For he, peradventure willing to please one in authority, forced all his skill to make the resemblance of the best fashion.
20And so the multitude, allured by the grace of the work, took him now for a god, which a little before was but honoured.
21And this was an occasion to deceive the world: for men, serving either calamity or tyranny, did ascribe unto stones and stocks the incommunicable name.
22Moreover this was not enough for them, that they erred in the knowledge of God; but whereas they lived in the great war of ignorance, those so great plagues called they peace.
23For whilst they slew their children in sacrifices, or used secret ceremonies, or made revellings of strange rites;
24They kept neither lives nor marriages any longer undefiled: but either one slew another traiterously, or grieved him by adultery.
25So that there reigned in all men without exception blood, manslaughter, theft, and dissimulation, corruption, unfaithfulness, tumults, perjury,
26Disquieting of good men, forgetfulness of good turns, defiling of souls, changing of kind, disorder in marriages, adultery, and shameless uncleanness.
27For the worshipping of idols not to be named is the beginning, the cause, and the end, of all evil.
28For either they are mad when they be merry, or prophesy lies, or live unjustly, or else lightly forswear themselves.
29For insomuch as their trust is in idols, which have no life; though they swear falsely, yet they look not to be hurt.
30Howbeit for both causes shall they be justly punished: both because they thought not well of God, giving heed unto idols, and also unjustly swore in deceit, despising holiness.
31For it is not the power of them by whom they swear: but it is the just vengeance of sinners, that punisheth always the offence of the ungodly.