The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Wisdom
Chapter 4
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How fair a thing is the unwedded life that is nobly lived! Think not the memory of it can fade; God and man alike preserve the record;
in life how eagerly imitated, in death how long regretted, in eternity how crowned with triumph, the conquest gained in fields of honourable striving!
Let the wicked gender as they will, it shall nothing avail them; what, should those bastard slips ever strike their roots deep, base the tree firm?
Burgeon they may for a little, but the wind will shake their frail hold; root and all, the storm will carry them away.
Half-formed, the boughs will be snapped off, and their fruit go to waste, unripe, unprofitable.
And indeed, when the day of reckoning comes, needs must they should be cited as witnesses against their own parents, these, the children of their shame, by unlawful dalliance begotten.

Not so the innocent; though he should die before his time, rest shall be his.
A seniority there is that claims reverence, owing nothing to time, not measured by the lapse of years; count a man grey-haired when he is wise,
ripe of age when his life is stainless.
Divine favour, divine love banished him from a life he shared with sinners;
caught him away, before wickedness could pervert his thoughts, before wrong-doing could allure his heart;
such witchery evil has, to tarnish honour, such alchemy do the roving passions exercise even on minds that are true metal.
With him, early achievement counted for long apprenticeship;
so well the Lord loved him, from a corrupt world he would grant him swift release.

The world looks on, uncomprehending; a hard lesson it is to learn,
that God does reward, does pity his chosen friends, does grant his faithful servants deliverance.
Did they know it, the death of the just man, with its promise early achieved, is a reproach to the wicked that live yet in late old age.
But what see they? Here is a man dead, and all his wisdom could not save him. That the Lord planned all this, and for the saving of him, does not enter their minds.
What wonder if the sight fills them with contempt? And they themselves, all the while, are earning the Lord’s contempt;
they themselves, doomed to lie there dishonoured among the dead, eternally a laughing-stock! How they will stand aghast, when he pricks the bubble of their pride! Ruins they shall be, overthrown from the foundation, land for ever parched dry; bitter torment shall be theirs, and their name shall perish irrecoverably.
Alas, the long tally of their sins! Trembling they shall come forward, and the record of their misdeeds shall rise up to confront them.