APOCRYPHA Ecclesiasticus 38

One of Dad’s favourite quotes.

He gave me a copy years ago, and I pinned it up in my old workshop on Fork Tree Road….

The wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure: and he that hath
little business shall become wise. How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plow,
and that glorieth in the goad, that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labors,
and whose talk is of bullocks? He giveth his mind to make furrows; and is diligent
to give the kine fodder. So every carpenter and workmaster, that laboreth night
and day: and they that cut and grave seals, and are diligent to make great
variety, and give themselves to counterfeit imagery, and watch to finish a work:
the smith also sitting by the anvil, and considering the iron work, the vapor of
the fire wasteth his flesh, and he fighteth with the heat of the furnace: the noise
of the hammer and the anvil is ever in his ears, and his eyes look still upon the
pattern of the thing that he maketh; he setteth his mind to finish his work, and
watcheth to polish it perfectly: so doth the potter sitting at his work, and turning
the wheel about with his feet, who is always carefully set at his work, and
maketh all his work by number; he fashioneth the clay with his arm, and boweth
down his strength before his feet; he applieth himself to lead it over; and he is
diligent to make clean the furnace: all these trust to their hands: and every one is
wise in his work. Without these cannot a city be inhabited: and they shall not
dwell where they will, nor go up and down: they shall not be sought for in public
counsel, nor sit high in the congregation: they shall not sit on the judges’ seat,
nor understand the sentence of judgment: they cannot declare justice and
judgment; and they shall not be found where parables are spoken. But they

shall strengthen the state of the world, and their prayer shall be in the work of their craft.

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