The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
My son, if thy mind is to enter the Lord’s service, wait there in his presence, with honesty of purpose and with awe, and prepare thyself to be put to the test.
Submissive be thy heart, and ready to bear all; to wise advice lend a ready ear, and be never hasty when ill times befall thee.
Wait for God, cling to God and wait for him; at the end of it, thy life shall blossom anew.
Accept all that comes to thee, patient in sorrow, humiliation long enduring;
for gold and silver the crucible, it is in the furnace of humiliation men shew themselves worthy of his acceptance.
Trust in him, and he will lift thee to thy feet again; go straight on thy way, and fix in him thy hope; hold fast thy fear of him, and in that fear to old age come thou.
All you that fear the Lord, wait patiently for his mercies; lose sight of him, and you shall fall by the way.
Fear him? Ay, and trust him; you shall not miss your reward.
Fear him? Ay, and fix your hope in him; his mercy you shall find, and have great joy of it.
Fear him? Ay, and love him; your hearts shall be enlightened.
My sons, look back on the ages that are past; was ever man yet that trusted in the Lord, and was disappointed?
Held fast to his commandments, and was forsaken, prayed to him, and found the prayer unregarded?
A gracious God and a merciful; in times of affliction, he assoils us of our guilt, watches over all that with true hearts turn to him.
Out upon the false heart, the cheating lips, the hands busy with ill-doing; upon the sinner that will go two ways at once to enter the land of his desire.
Out upon the unresolved will, that trust in God has none, and from him shall have no succour.
Out upon the men who have given up hope, forsaking the right path, and to false paths betaking them;
what shift will they make when the Lord calls them to account?
Fear the Lord, and doubt his promises? Love him, and not keep true to the way he shews us?
Fear the Lord, and not study to know his will? Love him, and not find contentment in his law?
Fear God, and not keep the will alert, the heart holy in his sight?
Men who fear God keep his commandments, and wait patiently until he comes to relieve them.
Be this our thought, they say, that it is God’s power we have to reckon with, not man’s, if there is no penance done.
And he has mercy ever at his side, a God merciful as he is great.
The Holy Bible