2 For whither can any of us flee from his mighty hand? Or what world shall receive any of those who run away from him?

3 For thus saith the Scripture in a certain place, [*12] Whither shall I flee from thy Spirit, or where shall I hide myself from thy presence?

4 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I shall go to the utmost part of the earth, there is thy right hand: If I shall make my bed in the deep, thy Spirit is there.

5 Whither then shall any one go; or whither shall he run from him that comprehends all things?

6 Let us therefore come to him with holiness of [*13] heart, lifting up chaste and undefiled hands unto him; loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us [*14] to partake of his election.

7 For so it is written, [*15] When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations, according to the number of his angels; [*16] his people

[p. 126]

[paragraph continues] Jacob became the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of his inheritance.

8 And in another place he saith, [*1] Behold the Lord taketh unto himself a nation, out of the midst of the nations, as a man taketh the first-fruits of his flower; [*2] the Most Holy shall come out of that nation.

CHAP. XIV.

How we must live that we may please God.

WHEREFORE we being a part of the Holy One, let us do all those things that pertain unto holiness:

2 Fleeing all evil-speaking against one another; all filthy and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, youthful lusts, abominable concupiscences, detestable adultery, and execrable pride.

3 [*3] For God, saith he, resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.

4 Let us therefore hold fast to those to whom [*4] God has given His grace.

5 And let us put on concord, being humble, temperate; free from all whispering and detraction; and justified by our [*5] actions, not our words.

6 For he saith, [*6] Doth he that speaketh and heareth many things, and that is of a ready tongue, suppose that he is righteous? [*7] Blessed is he that is born of a woman, that liveth but a few days: [*8] use not therefore much speech.

7 Let our praise be of God, not of ourselves; for God hateth those that [*9] commend themselves.

8 Let the witness of our good actions be given to us of others, as it was given to the holy men that went before us.

9 Rashness, and arrogance, and confidence, belong to them who are accursed of God: but equity, and humility, and mildness, to such as are blessed by him.

10 Let us then lay hold of his blessing, and let us [*10] consider what are the ways by which we may attain unto it.

11 Let us [*11] look back upon those things that have happened from the beginning.

12 For what was our father Abraham blessed? Was it not because that through faith he wrought righteousness and truth?

13 Isaac being [*12] fully persuaded of what he knew was to come, cheerfully yielded himself up for a sacrifice. Jacob with humility departed out of his own country, fleeing from his brother, and went unto Laban and served him; and so the sceptre of the twelve tribes of Israel was given unto him.

14 Now what the greatness of [*13] this Gift was, will plainly appear, if we shall take the pains distinctly to consider all the parts of it.

15 For from him came the priests and Levites, who all ministered at the altar of God.

16 From him came our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

17 From him came the kings, and princes, and rulers in Judah.

18 Nor were the rest of his

[p. 127]

[paragraph continues] [*1] tribes in any small glory: God having promised that [*2] thy seed (says he) shall be as the stars of heaven.

19 They were all therefore [*3] greatly glorified, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness that they themselves wrought, but through his will.

20 And we also being called by the same will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, neither by our own wisdom, or knowledge, or piety, or the works which we have done [*4] in the holiness of our hearts:

21 But by that faith by which God Almighty has justified all men from the beginning; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

CHAP. XV.

We are justified by faith; yet this must not lessen our care to live well, nor our pleasure in it.

WHAT shall we do therefore, brethren? Shall we be slothful in well-doing, and lay aside our charity? God forbid that any such thing should be done by us.

2 But rather let us hasten with all earnestness and readiness of mind, to perfect every good work. For even the Creator and Lord of all things himself rejoices in his own works.

3 By his [*5] Almighty power he fixed the heavens, and by his incomprehensible wisdom he adorned them.

4 He also divided the earth from the water, with which it is encompassed; and fixed it as a secure tower, upon the foundation of his own will.

5 He also by his appointment, commanded all the living creatures that are upon it, to exist.

6 So likewise the sea, and all the creatures that are in it; having first created them, he enclosed them therein by his power.

7 And above all, he with his holy and pure hands, formed man, the most excellent, and, as to his understanding, truly the greatest of all other creatures, the character of his own image.

8 For so God says, [*6] Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness So God created man, male and female created he them.

9 And having thus finished all these things, he commended all that he had made, and blessed them, and said, [*7] increase and multiply.

10 We see how all righteous men have been adorned with good works: Wherefore even the Lord himself, having adorned himself with his works, rejoiced.

11 Having therefore [*8] such an example, let us without delay, [*9] fulfil his will; and with all our strength, work the work of righteousness.

CHAP. XVI.

This enforced from the examples of the holy angels, and from the exceeding greatness of that reward which God has prepared for us.

THE good workman with confidence receives the bread of his [*10] labour; but the sluggish and lazy cannot look him in the face that set him on work.

2 We must therefore be ready and forward in well doing; for from him are all things.

3 And thus he foretells us, [*11] behold the Lord cometh, and

[p. 128]

his reward is with him, even before his face, to render to every one according to his work.

4 He warns us therefore beforehand, with all his heart to this end, that we should not be slothful and negligent in [*1] well doing.

5 Let our boasting, therefore, and our confidence be in [*2] God: let us submit ourselves to his will. Let us consider the whole multitude of his angels, how ready they stand to minister unto his will.

6 As saith the scripture, [*3] thousands of thousands stood before him and ten thousand times ten thousand ministered unto him. [*4] And they cried, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Sabaoth: [*5] The whole earth is full of his glory.

7 Wherefore let us also, being conscientiously gathered together in concord with one another; as it were with one mouth, cry earnestly unto him, that he would make us partakers of his great and glorious promises.

8 For he saith, [*6] Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that wait for him.

CHAP. XVII.

1 We must attain unto this reward by faith and obedience, which we must carry on in an orderly pursuing of the duties of our several stations, without envy or contention. 24 The necessity of different orders among men. 33 We have none of us anything but what we received of God: whom therefore we ought in every condition thankfully to obey.

HOW blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God.

2 Life in immortality! brightness in righteousness! truth in full assurance! faith in confidence! temperance in holiness!

3 And all this has [*7] God subjected to our understandings:

4 What therefore shall those things be which he has prepared for them that wait for him? [*8]

5 The Creator and Father of spirits, the Most Holy; he only knows both the [*9] greatness and beauty of them.

6 Let us therefore strive with all earnestness, that we may be found in the number of those that wait for him, that so we may receive the [*10] reward which he has promised.

7 But how, beloved, shall we do this? [*11] We must fix our minds by faith towards God, and seek those things that are pleasing and acceptable unto him.

8 We must [*12] act conformably to his holy will; and follow the way of truth, casting off from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, together with all covetousness, strife, evil manners, deceit, whispering, detractions; all hatred of God, pride and boasting; vainglory and ambition;

9 For they that do these things are odious to God; and not only they that do them, but also [*13] all such as approve of those that do them.

10 For thus saith the Scripture, [*14] But unto the wicked, God said, What hast thou to do to declare my statute, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in the mouth? Seeing that thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.

11 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him; and hast been partaker with adulterers.

[p. 129]

Click to enlarge
CHRIST IN THE PRAeTORIUM AND MOCKED, AND HIS DESCENT INTO HELL. FROM INTAGLIOS IN A BOX OF ROCK CRYSTAL, BY AN EARLY VENETIAN ARTIST.

[paragraph continues] Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.

12 These things hast thou done and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

13 Now consider this ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

14 Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me: and to him that disposeth his way aright, will I shew the salvation of God.

15 This is the way, beloved, in which we may find [*1] our Saviour, even Jesus Christ the high-priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our weakness.

16 By him we look up to the [*2] highest heavens; and behold, as in a glass, his spotless and most excellent visage.

17 By him are the eyes of our hearts opened; by him our foolish and darkened understanding rejoiceth to behold his wonderful light.

18 By him would God have us to taste the knowledge of immortality: [*3] who being the brightness of his glory, is by so much greater than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

19 For so it is written, [*4] who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire:

20 But to his son, thus saith the Lord, [*5] Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.

21 [*6] Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

22 And again he saith unto him, [*7] Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies my footstool.

23 But who are his enemies? even the wicked, and such who oppose their own wills to the will of God.

24 Let us therefore [*8] march on, men and brethren, with all earnestness in his holy laws.

25 Let us consider those who fight under our earthly governors: How orderly, how readily, and with what exact obedience they perform those things that are commanded them.

26 All are not [*9] generals, nor [*10] colonels, nor [*11] captains, nor [*12] inferior officers:

27 But every one in his respective rank does what is commanded him by the king, and those who have the authority over him.

28 They who are great, cannot subsist without those that are little; nor the little without the great.

29 But there must be a mixture in all things, and then there will be use and profit too.

30 Let us, [*13] for example, take our body: the head without the feet is nothing, neither the feet without the head.

31 And even the smallest members of our body are yet both necessary and useful to the whole body.

32 But all conspire together, and [*14] are subject to one common

[p. 130]

use, namely, the preservation of the whole [*1] body.

33 Let therefore our whole body be saved in Christ Jesus; and let every one be subject to his neighbour, [*2] according to the order in which he is placed by the [*3] gift of God.

34 Let not the strong man despise the weak; and let the weak see that he reverence the strong.

35 Let the rich man distribute to the necessity of the poor: and let the poor bless God, that he has given one unto him, by whom his want may be supplied.

36 Let the wise man shew forth his wisdom, not in words, but in good works.

37 Let him that is humble, not bear witness to himself, but let him leave it to another to bear witness of him.

38 Let him that is pure in the flesh, not grow proud of it, knowing that it was [*4] from another that he received the gift of continence.

39 Let us consider therefore, brethren, [*5] whereof we are made; who, and what kind of men we came into the world, as it were out of a sepulchre, and from outer darkness.

40 He that made us, and formed us, brought us into his own world; having [*6] presented us with his benefits, even before we were born.

41 Wherefore, having received all these things from him, we ought in everything to give thanks unto him; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

CHAP. XVIII.

From whence he exhorts them to do everything orderly in the Church, as the only way to please God.

FOOLISH and unwise men [*7] who have neither prudence nor learning may mock and deride us; being willing to set up themselves in their own conceits;

2 [*8] But what can a mortal man do? Or what strength is there in him that is made out of the dust?

3 For it is written, there was no shape before mine eyes; only I heard a [*9] sound and a voice.

4 [*10] For what? Shall man be pure before the Lord? Shall he be blameless in his works?

5 Behold, he trusteth not in his servants; and his angels he chargeth with folly.

«- Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 | View All | Next -»

CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.