THE BOOKS CALLED APOCRYPHA
WISDOM OF SOLOMON
WISDOM OF SOLOMON 15
1: But thou, O God, art gracious and true, longsuffering, and in mercy ordering all things,
2: For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy power: but we will not sin, knowing that we are counted thine.
3: For to know thee is perfect righteousness: yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality.
4: For neither did the mischievous invention of men deceive us, nor an image spotted with divers colours, the painter's fruitless labour;
5: The sight whereof enticeth fools to lust after it, and so they desire the form of a dead image, that hath no breath.
6: Both they that make them, they that desire them, and they that worship them, are lovers of evil things, and are worthy to have such things to trust upon.
7: For the potter, tempering soft earth, fashioneth every vessel with much labour for our service: yea, of the same clay he maketh both the vessels that serve for clean uses, and likewise also all such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of either sort, the potter himself is the judge.
8: And employing his labours lewdly, he maketh a vain god of the same clay, even he which a little before was made of earth himself, and within a little while after returneth to the same, out when his life which was lent him shall be demanded.
9: Notwithstanding his care is, not that he shall have much labour, nor that his life is short: but striveth to excel goldsmiths and silversmiths, and endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it his glory to make counterfeit things.
10: His heart is ashes, his hope is more vile than earth, and his life of less value than clay:
11: Forasmuch as he knew not his Maker, and him that inspired into him an active soul, and breathed in a living spirit.
12: But they counted our life a pastime, and our time here a market for gain: for, say they, we must be getting every way, though it be by evil means.
13: For this man, that of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels and graven images, knoweth himself to offend above all others.
14: And all the enemies of thy people, that hold them in subjection, are most foolish, and are more miserable than very babes.
15: For they counted all the idols of the heathen to be gods: which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle; and as for their feet, they are slow to go.
16: For man made them, and he that borrowed his own spirit fashioned them: but no man can make a god like unto himself.
17: For being mortal, he worketh a dead thing with wicked hands: for he himself is better than the things which he worshippeth: whereas he lived once, but they never.
18: Yea, they worshipped those beasts also that are most hateful: for being compared together, some are worse than others.
19: Neither are they beautiful, so much as to be desired in respect of beasts: but they went without the praise of God and his blessing.