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vi The Wisdom of Business and the Wisdom of Leisure

The wisdom of the scribe cometh by opportunity of leisure; and he that hath little business shall become wise. How shall he become wise that holdeth the plow, that glorieth in the shaft of the goad, that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labours, and whose discourse is of the stock of bulls? He will set his heart upon turning his furrows; and his wakefulness is to give his heifers their fodder. So is every artificer and workmaster, that passeth his time by night as by day; they that cut gravings of signets, and his diligence is to make great variety; he will set his heart to preserve likeness in his portraiture, and will be wakeful to finish his work. So is the smith sitting by the anvil, and considering the unwrought iron; the vapour of the fire will waste his flesh, and in the heat of the furnace will he wrestle with his work; the noise of the hammer will be ever in his ear, and his eyes are upon the pattern of the vessel; he will set his heart upon perfecting his works, and he will be wakeful to adorn them perfectly. So is the potter sitting at his work, and turning the wheel about with his feet, who is alway anxiously set at his work, and all his handywork is by number; he will fashion the clay with his arm, and will bend its strength in front of his feet; he will apply his heart to finish the glazing, and he will be wakeful to make clean the furnace. All these put their trust in their hands; and each becometh wise in his own work. Without these shall not a city be inhabited, and men shall not sojourn nor walk up and down therein. They shall not be sought for in the council of the people, and in the assembly they shall not mount on high, they shall not sit on the seat of the judge, and they shall not understand the covenant of judgement; neither shall they declare instruction and judgement, and where parables are they shall not be found. But they will maintain the fabric of the world; and in the handywork of their craft is their prayer.

Not so he that hath applied his soul, and meditateth in the law of the Most High. He will seek out the wisdom of all of the ancients, and will be occupied in prophecies. He will keep the discourse of the men of renown, and will enter in amidst the subtilties of parables. He will seek out the hidden meaning of proverbs, and be conversant in the dark sayings of parables. He will serve among great men, and appear before him that ruleth. He will travel through the land of strange nations; for he hath tried good things and evil among men. He will apply his heart to resort early to the Lord that made him, and will make supplication before the Most High, and will open his mouth in prayer, and will make supplication for his sins. If the great Lord will, he shall be filled with the spirit of understanding: he shall pour forth the words of his wisdom, and in prayer give thanks unto the Lord. He shall direct his counsel and knowledge, and in his secrets shall he meditate. He shall shew forth the instruction which he hath been taught, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. Many shall commend his understanding, and so long as the world endureth, it shall not be blotted out; his memorial shall not depart, and his name shall live from generation to generation; nations shall declare his wisdom, and the congregation shall tell out his praise. If he continue, he shall leave a greater name than a thousand: and if he die, he addeth thereto.

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