THE BOOKS CALLED APOCRYPHA
WISDOM OF SOLOMON
WISDOM OF SOLOMON 17
1: For great are thy judgments, and cannot be expressed: therefore unnurtured souls have erred.
2: For when unrighteous men thought to oppress the holy nation; they being shut up in their houses, the prisoners of darkness, and fettered with the bonds of a long night, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.
3: For while they supposed to lie hid in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly astonished, and troubled with strange apparitions.
4: For neither might the corner that held them keep them from fear: but noises as of waters falling down sounded about them, and sad visions appeared unto them with heavy countenances.
5: No power of the fire might give them light: neither could the bright flames of the stars endure to lighten that horrible night.
6: Only there appeared unto them a fire kindled of itself, very dreadful: for being much terrified, they thought the things which they saw to be worse than the sight they saw not.
7: As for the illusions of art magick, they were put down, and their vaunting in wisdom was reproved with disgrace.
8: For they, that promised to drive away terrors and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, worthy to be laughed at.
9: For though no terrible thing did fear them; yet being scared with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents,
10: They died for fear, denying that they saw the air, which could of no side be avoided.
11: For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth grievous things.
12: For fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours which reason offereth.
13: And the expectation from within, being less, counteth the ignorance more than the cause which bringeth the torment.
14: But they sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of inevitable hell,
15: Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted, their heart failing them: for a sudden fear, and not looked for, came upon them.
16: So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up in a prison without iron bars,
17: For whether he were husbandman, or shepherd, or a labourer in the field, he was overtaken, and endured that necessity, which could not be avoided: for they were all bound with one chain of darkness.
18: Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running violently,
19: Or a terrible sound of stones cast down, or a running that could not be seen of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains; these things made them to swoon for fear.
20: For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were hindered in their labour:
21: Over them only was spread an heavy night, an image of that darkness which should afterward receive them: but yet were they unto themselves more grievous than the darkness.