Sirach 18

1 He that lyueth with out bigynnyng and ende, made of nouyt alle thingis togidere; God alone schal be iustified, and he dwellith a king vnouercomun with outen ende.

2 Who schal suffice to telle out his werkis?

3 for whi who schal seke the grete thingis of hym?

4 But who schal telle out the vertu of his greetnesse? ether who schal leie to for to telle out his mercy?

5 It is not to make lesse, nether to leie to; nethir it is to fynde the grete thingis of God.

6 Whanne a man hath endid, thanne he schal bigynne; and whanne he hath restid, he schal worche.

7 What is a man, and what is the glorie of him? and what is good, ether what is the wickid thing of him?

8 The noumbre of the daies of men, that ben comynli an hundrid yeer, ben arettid as the dropis of the watir of the see; and as the stoon of grauel, so a fewe yeeris in the dai of euerlastyngnesse.

9 For this thing God is pacient in hem, and schedith out on hem his merci.

10 He siy the presumpcioun of her herte, for it was yuel; and he knew the distriyng of hem, for it was wickid.

11 Therfor he fillide his merci in hem, and schewide to hem the weie of equite.

12 The merciful doyng of man is aboute his neiybore; but the merci of the Lord is ouer ech fleisch.

13 He that hath merci, and techith, and chastisith as a scheepherde his floc,

14 do merci, takynge the techyng of merciful doyng; and he that hastith in the domes therof.

15 Sone, in goodis yyue thou not pleynt, and in ech yifte yyue thou not heuynesse of an yuel word.

16 Whether dew schal not kele heete? so and a word is betere than yifte.

17 Lo! whether a word is not aboue a good yifte? but euer ethir is with a man iustified.

18 A fool schal vpbreide scharpli; and the yifte of an vntauyt man makith iyen to faile.

19 Bifore the doom make thou redi riytfulnesse to thee; and lerne thou, bifore that thou speke.

20 Bifore sikenesse yyue thou medicyn; and bifore the doom axe thi silf, and thou schalt fynde merci in the siyt of God.

21 Bifore sikenesse make the meke, and in the tyme of sikenesse schewe thi lyuyng.

22 Be thou not lettid to preye euere, and drede thou not to be iustified til to deth; for whi the meede of God dwellith with outen ende.

23 Bifore preier make redi thi soule; and nyle thou be as a man that temptith God.

24 Haue thou mynde of ire in the dai of endyng; and make thou in lyuyng the tyme of yelding.

25 Haue thou mynde of pouert in the dai of abundaunce; and the nede of pouert in the tyme of richessis.

26 Fro the morewtid `til to the euentid the tyme schal be chaungid; and alle these thingis ben swift in the iyen of God.

27 A wise man schal drede in alle thingis; and in the daies of trespassis he schal fle fro vnkunnyng, ether slouthe.

28 Ech fel man knowith wisdom; and to hym that fyndith it, he schal yyue knouleching.

29 Witti men in wordis also thei diden wiseli, and vndurstoden treuthe, and riytfulnesse; and bisouyten prouerbis and domes.

30 Go thou not aftir thi coueitises; and be thou turned awei fro thi wille.

31 If thou yyuest to thi soule the coueitisis therof, it schal make thee in to ioie to thin enemyes.

32 Delite thou not in cumpenyes, nether in litle cumpenyes; for whi the synnyng of hem is contynuel.

33 Be thou not meene in the stryuyng of looue, and sum thing is to thee in the world; for whi thou schalt be enuyouse to thi soule.