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Chapter 15 1 But thou, O God, art gracious and true, longsuffering, and in mercy ordering all things,2 For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy power: but we will not sin, knowing that we are counted thine.3 For to know thee is perfect righteousness: yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality.4 For neither did the mischievous invention of men deceive us, nor an image spotted with divers colours, the painter's fruitless labour;5 The sight whereof enticeth fools to lust after it, and so they desire the form of a dead image, that hath no breath.6 Both they that make them, they that desire them, and they that worship them, are lovers of evil things, and are worthy to have such things to trust upon.7 For the potter, tempering soft earth, fashioneth every vessel with much labour for our service: yea, of the same clay he maketh both the vessels that serve for clean uses, and likewise also all such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of either sort, the potter himself is the judge.8 And employing his labours lewdly, he maketh a vain god of the same clay, even he which a little before was made of earth himself, and within a little while after returneth to the same, out when his life which was lent him shall be demanded.9 Notwithstanding his care is, not that he shall have much labour, nor that his life is short: but striveth to excel goldsmiths and silversmiths, and endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it his glory to make counterfeit things.10 His heart is ashes, his hope is more vile than earth, and his life of less value than clay:11 Forasmuch as he knew not his Maker, and him that inspired into him an active soul, and breathed in a living spirit.12 But they counted our life a pastime, and our time here a market for gain: for, say they, we must be getting every way, though it be by evil means.13 For this man, that of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels and graven images, knoweth himself to offend above all others.14 And all the enemies of thy people, that hold them in subjection, are most foolish, and are more miserable than very babes.15 For they counted all the idols of the heathen to be gods: which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle; and as for their feet, they are slow to go.16 For man made them, and he that borrowed his own spirit fashioned them: but no man can make a god like unto himself.17 For being mortal, he worketh a dead thing with wicked hands: for he himself is better than the things which he worshippeth: whereas he lived once, but they never.18 Yea, they worshipped those beasts also that are most hateful: for being compared together, some are worse than others.19 Neither are they beautiful, so much as to be desired in respect of beasts: but they went without the praise of God and his blessing.

Chapter 16 1 Therefore by the like were they punished worthily, and by the multitude of beasts tormented.2 Instead 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:3 To 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.4 For 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.5 For when the horrible fierceness of beasts came upon these, and they perished with the stings of crooked serpents, thy wrath endured not for ever:6 But 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.