1. Hylomorphism
  2. Scripture
  3. Wisdom of Solomon
  4. Foolishness of Idolatry

Foolishness of Idolatry

1 Surely vaine are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things that are seene, know him that is: neither by considering the workes, did they acknowledge the worke-master;

2 But deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift aire, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heauen to be the gods which gouerne the world:

3 With whose beautie, if they being delighted, tooke them to be gods: let them know how much better the Lord of them is; for the first Author of beautie hath created them.

4 But if they were astonished at their power and vertue, let them vnderstand by them, how much mightier he is that made them.

5 For by the greatnesse and beautie of the creatures, proportionably the Maker of them is seene.

6 But yet for this they are the lesse to bee blamed: for they peraduenture erre seeking God, and desirous to finde him.

7 For being conuersant in his workes, they search him diligently, and beleeue their sight: because the things are beautifull that are seene.

8 Howbeit, neither are they to bee pardoned.

9 For if they were able to know so much, that they could aime at the world; how did they not sooner finde out the Lord thereof?

10 But miserable are they, and in dead things is their hope, who called them gods which are the workes of mens hands, golde and siluer, to shewe arte in, and resemblances of beasts, or a stone good for nothing, the worke of an ancient hand.

11 Now a carpenter that felleth timber, after hee hath sawen downe a tree meet for the purpose, and taken off all the barke skilfully round about, and hath wrought it handsomely, & made a vessell thereof fit for the seruice of mans life:

12 And after spending the refuse of his worke to dresse his meat, hath filled himselfe:

13 And taking the very refuse among those which serued to no vse (being a crooked piece of wood, and ful of knots) hath carued it diligently when hee had nothing else to doe, and formed it by the skill of his vnderstanding, and fashioned it to the image of a man:

14 Or made it like some vile beast, laying it ouer with vermilion, and with paint, colouring it red, and couering euery spot therein:

15 And when he had made a conuenient roume for it, set it in a wall, and made it fast with yron:

16 For he prouided for it, that it might not fall: knowing that it was vnable to helpe it selfe, (for it is an image and hath neede of helpe:)

17 Then maketh hee prayer for his goods, for his wife and children, and is not ashamed to speake to that which hath no life.

18 For health, hee calleth vpon that which is weake: for life, prayeth to that which is dead: for aide, humbly beseecheth that which hath least meanes to helpe: and for a good iourney, hee asketh of that which cannot set a foot forward:

19 And for gaining and getting, and for good successe of his hands, asketh abilitie to doe, of him that is most vnable to doe any thing.

Chap 14

1 Againe, one preparing himselfe to saile, and about to passe through the raging waues, calleth vpon a piece of wood more rotten then the vesell that carieth him.

2 For verely desire of gaine deuised that, and the workeman built it by his skill:

3 But thy prouidence, O Father, gouerneth it: for thou hast made a way in the Sea, and a safe path in the waues:

4 Shewing that thou canst saue from all danger: yea though a man went to Sea without arte.

5 Neuerthelesse thou wouldest not that the works of thy wisedome should be idle, and therefore doe men commit their liues to a small piece of wood, and passing the rough sea in a weake vessell, are saued.

6 For in the old time also when the proud gyants perished, the hope of the world gouerned by thy hand, escaped in a weake vessell, and left to all ages a seed of generation.

7 For blessed is the wood, whereby righteousnesse commeth.

8 But that which is made with hands, is cursed, aswell it, as hee that made it: he, because he made it, and it, because being corruptible it was called God.

9 For the vngodly and his vngodlines are both alike hatefull vnto God.

10 For that which is made, shall bee punished together with him that made it.

11 Therfore euen vpon the idoles of the Gentiles shall there be a visitation: because in the creature of God they are become an abomination and stumbling blocks to the soules of men, and a snare to the feet of the vnwise.

12 For the deuising of idoles was the beginning of spiritual fornication, and the inuention of them the corruption of life.

13 For neither were they from the beginning, neither shall they be for euer.

14 For by the vaine glory of men they entred into the world, and therefore shall they come shortly to an end.

15 For a father afflicted with vntimely mourning, when he hath made an image of his childe soone taken away, now honoured him as a god, which was then a dead man, and deliuered to those that were vnder him, ceremonies and sacrifices.

16 Thus in processe of time an vngodly custome growen strong, was kept as a law, and grauen images were worshipped by the commandements of kings,

17 Whom men could not honour in presence, because they dwelt farre off, they tooke the counterfeit of his visage from farre, and made an expresse image of a king whom they honoured, to the end that by this their forwardnes, they might flatter him that was absent, as if he were present.

18 Also the singular diligence of the artificer did helpe to set forward the ignorant to more superstition.

19 For he peraduenture willing to please one in authoritie, forced all his skill to make the resemblance of the best fashion.

20 And so the multitude allured by the grace of the worke, tooke him now for a god, which a litle before was but honoured as a man.

21 And this was an occasion to deceiue the world: for men seruing either calamitie or tyrannie, did ascribe vnto stones, and stockes, the incommunicable Name.

22 Moreouer this was not enough for them, that they erred in the knowledge of God, but whereas they liued in the great warre of ignorance, those so great plagues called they peace.

23 For whilest they slew their children in sacrifices, or vsed secret ceremonies, or made reuellings of strange rites

24 They kept neither liues nor mariages any longer vndefiled: but either one slew another traiterously, or grieued him by adulterie:

25 So that there reigned in all men without exception, blood, manslaughter, theft, and dissimulation, corruption, vnfaithfulnesse, tumults, periurie,

26 Disquieting of good men, forgetfulnesse of good turnes, defiling of soules, changing of kinde, disorder in mariages, adulterie, and shameles vncleannesse.

27 For the worshipping of idoles not to be named, is the beginning, the cause, and the end of all euill.

28 For either they are mad when they be merry, or prophesie lies, or liue vniustly, or else lightly forsweare themselues.

29 For insomuch as their trust is in idoles which haue no life, though they sweare falsly, yet they looke not to bee hurt.

30 Howbeit for both causes shal they be iustly punished: both because they thought not well of God, giuing heed vnto idols, and also vniustly swore in deceit, despising holinesse.

31 For it is not the power of them by whom they sweare: but it is the iust vengeance of sinners, that punisheth alwayes the offence of the vngodly.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

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