161Therefore by the like were they punished worthily, and by the multitude of beasts tormented.
2Instead of which punishment, dealing graciously with thine own people, thou preparedst for them meat of a strange taste, even quails to stir up their appetite:
3To the end that they, desiring food, might for the ugly sight of the beasts sent among them lothe even that, which they must needs desire; but these, suffering penury for a short space, might be made partakers of a strange taste.
4For it was requisite, that upon them exercising tyranny should come penury, which they could not avoid: but to these it should only be shewed how their enemies were tormented.
5For when the horrible fierceness of beasts came upon these, and they perished with the stings of crooked serpents, thy wrath endured not for ever:
6But they were troubled for a small season, that they might be admonished, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of thy law.
7For he that turned himself toward it was not saved by the thing that he saw, but by thee, that art the Saviour of all.
8And in this thou madest thine enemies confess, that it is thou who deliverest from all evil:
9For them the bitings of grasshoppers and flies killed, neither was there found any remedy for their life: for they were worthy to be punished by such.
10But thy sons not the very teeth of venomous dragons overcame: for thy mercy was ever by them, and healed them.
11For they were pricked, that they should remember thy words; and were quickly saved, that not falling into deep forgetfulness, they might be continually mindful of thy goodness.
12For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaister, that restored them to health: but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things.
13For thou hast power of life and death: thou leadest to the gates of hell, and bringest up again.
14A man indeed killeth through his malice: and the spirit, when it is gone forth, returneth not; neither the soul received up cometh again.
15But it is not possible to escape thine hand.
16For the ungodly, that denied to know thee, were scourged by the strength of thine arm: with strange rains, hails, and showers, were they persecuted, that they could not avoid, and through fire were they consumed.
17For, which is most to be wondered at, the fire had more force in the water, that quencheth all things: for the world fighteth for the righteous.
18For sometime the flame was mitigated, that it might not burn up the beasts that were sent against the ungodly; but themselves might see and perceive that they were persecuted with the judgment of God.
19And at another time it burneth even in the midst of water above the power of fire, that it might destroy the fruits of an unjust land.
20Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angels’ food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without their labour, able to content every man’s delight, and agreeing to every taste.
21For thy sustenance declared thy sweetness unto thy children, and serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man’s liking.
22But snow and ice endured the fire, and melted not, that they might know that fire burning in the hail, and sparkling in the rain, did destroy the fruits of the enemies.
23But this again did even forget his own strength, that the righteous might be nourished.
24For the creature that serveth thee, who art the Maker increaseth his strength against the unrighteous for their punishment, and abateth his strength for the benefit of such as put their trust in thee.
25Therefore even then was it altered into all fashions, and was obedient to thy grace, that nourisheth all things, according to the desire of them that had need:
26That thy children, O Lord, whom thou lovest, might know, that it is not the growing of fruits that nourisheth man: but that it is thy word, which preserveth them that put their trust in thee.
27For that which was not destroyed of the fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam, soon melted away:
28That it might be known, that we must prevent the sun to give thee thanks, and at the dayspring pray unto thee.
29For the hope of the unthankful shall melt away as the winter’s hoar frost, and shall run away as unprofitable water.
171For great are thy judgments, and cannot be expressed: therefore unnurtured souls have erred.
2For 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.
3For 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.
4For 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.
5No power of the fire might give them light: neither could the bright flames of the stars endure to lighten that horrible night.
6Only 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.
7As for the illusions of art magick, they were put down, and their vaunting in wisdom was reproved with disgrace.
8For they, that promised to drive away terrors and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, worthy to be laughed at.
9For though no terrible thing did fear them; yet being scared with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents,
10They died for fear, denying that they saw the air, which could of no side be avoided.
11For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth grievous things.
12For fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours which reason offereth.
13And the expectation from within, being less, counteth the ignorance more than the cause which bringeth the torment.
14But they sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of inevitable hell,
15Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted, their heart failing them: for a sudden fear, and not looked for, came upon them.
16So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up in a prison without iron bars,
17For 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.
18Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running violently,
19Or 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.
20For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were hindered in their labour:
21Over 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.
181Nevertheless thy saints had a very great light, whose voice they hearing, and not seeing their shape, because they also had not suffered the same things, they counted them happy.
2But for that they did not hurt them now, of whom they had been wronged before, they thanked them, and besought them pardon for that they had been enemies.
3Instead whereof thou gavest them a burning pillar of fire, both to be a guide of the unknown journey, and an harmless sun to entertain them honourably.
4For they were worthy to be deprived of light and imprisoned in darkness, who had kept thy sons shut up, by whom the uncorrupt light of the law was to be given unto the world.
5And when they had determined to slay the babes of the saints, one child being cast forth, and saved, to reprove them, thou tookest away the multitude of their children, and destroyedst them altogether in a mighty water.
6Of that night were our fathers certified afore, that assuredly knowing unto what oaths they had given credence, they might afterwards be of good cheer.
7So of thy people was accepted both the salvation of the righteous, and destruction of the enemies.
8For wherewith thou didst punish our adversaries, by the same thou didst glorify us, whom thou hadst called.
9For the righteous children of good men did sacrifice secretly, and with one consent made a holy law, that the saints should be like partakers of the same good and evil, the fathers now singing out the songs of praise.
10But on the other side there sounded an ill according cry of the enemies, and a lamentable noise was carried abroad for children that were bewailed.
11The master and the servant were punished after one manner; and like as the king, so suffered the common person.
12So they all together had innumerable dead with one kind of death; neither were the living sufficient to bury them: for in one moment the noblest offspring of them was destroyed.
13For whereas they would not believe any thing by reason of the enchantments; upon the destruction of the firstborn, they acknowledged this people to be the sons of God.
14For while all things were in quiet silence, and that night was in the midst of her swift course,
15Thine Almighty word leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into the midst of a land of destruction,
16And brought thine unfeigned commandment as a sharp sword, and standing up filled all things with death; and it touched the heaven, but it stood upon the earth.
17Then suddenly visions of horrible dreams troubled them sore, and terrors came upon them unlooked for.
18And one thrown here, and another there, half dead, shewed the cause of his death.
19For the dreams that troubled them did foreshew this, lest they should perish, and not know why they were afflicted.
20Yea, the tasting of death touched the righteous also, and there was a destruction of the multitude in the wilderness: but the wrath endured not long.
21For then the blameless man made haste, and stood forth to defend them; and bringing the shield of his proper ministry, even prayer, and the propitiation of incense, set himself against the wrath, and so brought the calamity to an end, declaring that he was thy servant.
22So he overcame the destroyer, not with strength of body, nor force of arms, but with a word subdued him that punished, alleging the oaths and covenants made with the fathers.
23For when the dead were now fallen down by heaps one upon another, standing between, he stayed the wrath, and parted the way to the living.
24For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head.
25Unto these the destroyer gave place, and was afraid of them: for it was enough that they only tasted of the wrath.