(from Day 14 Evening Prayer)
Quam bonus Israel!
- TRULY God is loving unto Israel: even unto such as are of a clean heart.
- Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone: my treadings had well-nigh slipt.
- And why? I was grieved at the wicked: I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
- For they are in no peril of death: but are lusty and strong.
- They come in no misfortune like other folk: neither are they plagued like other men.
- And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride: and overwhelmed with cruelty.
- Their eyes swell with fatness: and they do even what they lust.
- They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy: their talking is against the most High.
- For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven: and their tongue goeth through the world.
- Therefore fall the people unto them: and thereout suck they no small advantage.
- Tush, say they, how should God perceive it: is there knowledge in the most High?
- Lo, these are the ungodly, these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession: and I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain, and washed mine hands in innocency.
- All the day long have I been punished: and chastened every morning.
- Yea, and I had almost said even as they: but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.
- Then thought I to understand this: but it was too hard for me,
- Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I the end of these men;
- Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places: and castest them down, and destroyest them.
- O how suddenly do they consume: perish, and come to a fearful end!
- Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh: so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
- Thus my heart was grieved: and it went even through my reins.
- So foolish was I, and ignorant: even as it were a beast before thee.
- Nevertheless, I am alway by thee: for thou hast holden me by my right hand.
- Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel: and after that receive me with glory.
- Whom have I in heaven but thee: and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.
- My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
- For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that commit fornication against thee.
- But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God: and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.