Sirach 16

1 Be thou not glad in wickid sones, if thei ben multiplied; nether delite thou on hem, if the drede of God is not in hem.

2 Bileue thou not to the lijf of hem, and biholde thou not in to the trauels of hem.

3 For whi betere is oon dredynge God, than a thousynde wickid sones.

4 And it is more profitable to die with out sones, than to leeue wickid sones.

5 A cuntrei shal be enhabitid of o witti man; and it schal be maad desert of thre wickid men.

6 Myn iye siy many othere thingis, and myn eere herde strongere thingis than these.

7 Fier schal brenne an hiy in the synagoge of synneris, and yre schal brenne an hiy in a folk vnbileuful.

8 Elde giauntis that weren distried, tristynge on her vertu, preieden not for her synnes;

9 and God sparide not the pilgrymage of hem, but he killide hem, and curside hem, for the pride of her word.

10 He hadde not merci on hem, and he loste al the folk enhaunsynge hem silf in her synnes.

11 And as he killide sixe hundrid thousynde of foot men, that weren gaderid togidere in the hardnesse of her herte; and if oon hadde be hard nollid, wondur if he hadde be giltles.

12 For whi merci and ire is with hym; preier is myyti, and schedynge out ire.

13 Bi his merci, so is the chastisyng of ech man; he is demyd bi hise werkis.

14 A synnere in raueyn schal not ascape; and the sufferaunce of hym that doith merci schal not tarie.

15 Al merci schal make place to ech man, aftir the merit of his werkis, and aftir the vndurstonding of his pilgrymage.

16 Seie thou not, Y schal be hid fro God; and fro the hiyeste, who schal haue mynde on me?

17 Seie thou not, Y schal not be knowun in a greet puple; for whi which is my soule in so greet a creature?

18 Lo! heuene, and the heuenes of heuenes, the greet occian, and al erthe, and tho thingis that ben in tho, schulen be mouyd in his siyt;

19 munteyns togidere, and litle hillis, and the foundementis of erthe; and whanne God biholdith tho, tho schulen be schakun togidere with tremblyng.

20 And in alle these thingis the herte is vnwijs, and ech herte is vndurstondun of hym.

21 And who vndurstondith hise weies? and `who vndurstondith a tempest, which the iye of man siy not?

22 For whi ful many werkis of hym ben `in hid thingis, but who schal telle out the werkis of his riytfulnesse, ether who schal suffre? For whi the testament is fer fro summe men; and the axyng of men is in the endyng.

23 He that is maad litil in herte, thenkith veyn thingis; and a man vnprudent and a fool thenkith fonned thingis.

24 Sone, here thou me, and lerne thou techyng of wit, and yyue thou tent to my wordis in thin herte; and Y schal seie techyng in equyte, and Y schal seke to telle out wisdom. And yyue thou tent to my wordis in thin herte;

25 and Y seie in equyte of spirit the vertues, whiche God hath set on hise werkis at the bigynnyng, and in treuthe Y telle out the kunnyng of him.

26 In the doom of God ben hise werkis fro the bigynnyng; and in the ordynaunce of tho he departyde the partis of tho, and he departide the bigynnyngis of tho in hise folkis.

27 He ournede with outen ende the werkis of hem; thei hungriden not, nether traueliden, and thei ceessiden not of her werkis.

28 Ech schal not make streit the nexte to hym, til in to with outen ende.

29 Be thou not vnbileueful to the word of him.

30 Aftir these thingis God bihelde `in to the erthe, and fillide it with hise goodis.

31 Forsothe the soule of ech lyuynge thing teld bifore his face; and thilke soule is eft the turnyng ayen of tho thinges.