THE BOOKS CALLED APOCRYPHA
WISDOM OF SOLOMON
WISDOM OF SOLOMON 14
1: Again, 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.
2: For verily desire of gain devised that, and the workman built it by his skill.
3: But thy providence, O Father, governeth it: for thou hast made a way in the sea, and a safe path in the waves;
4: Shewing that thou canst save from all danger: yea, though a man went to sea without art.
5: Nevertheless 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.
6: For 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.
7: For blessed is the wood whereby righteousness cometh.
8: But 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.
9: For the ungodly and his ungodliness are both alike hateful unto God.
10: For that which is made shall be punished together with him that made it.
11: Therefore 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.
12: For the devising of idols was the beginning of spiritual fornication, and the invention of them the corruption of life.
13: For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for ever.
14: For by the vain glory of men they entered into the world, and therefore shall they come shortly to an end.
15: For 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.
16: Thus in process of time an ungodly custom grown strong was kept as a law, and graven images were worshipped by the commandments of kings.
17: Whom 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.
18: Also the singular diligence of the artificer did help to set forward the ignorant to more superstition.
19: For he, peradventure willing to please one in authority, forced all his skill to make the resemblance of the best fashion.
20: And so the multitude, allured by the grace of the work, took him now for a god, which a little before was but honoured.
21: And this was an occasion to deceive the world: for men, serving either calamity or tyranny, did ascribe unto stones and stocks the incommunicable name.
22: Moreover 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.
23: For whilst they slew their children in sacrifices, or used secret ceremonies, or made revellings of strange rites;
24: They kept neither lives nor marriages any longer undefiled: but either one slew another traiterously, or grieved him by adultery.
25: So that there reigned in all men without exception blood, manslaughter, theft, and dissimulation, corruption, unfaithfulness, tumults, perjury,
26: Disquieting of good men, forgetfulness of good turns, defiling of souls, changing of kind, disorder in marriages, adultery, and shameless uncleanness.
27: For the worshipping of idols not to be named is the beginning, the cause, and the end, of all evil.
28: For either they are mad when they be merry, or prophesy lies, or live unjustly, or else lightly forswear themselves.
29: For insomuch as their trust is in idols, which have no life; though they swear falsely, yet they look not to be hurt.
30: Howbeit 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.
31: For 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.