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and cometh to shame. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Abstain from strife, and thou shalt diminish thy sins for a furious man will kindle strife. A sinful man disquieteth friends, and maketh debate among them that be at peace. As the matter of the fire is, so it burneth and as a man's strength is, so is his wrath; and according to his riches his anger riseth; and the stronger they are which contend, the more they will be inflamed. An hasty contention kindleth a fire: and an hasty fighting sheddeth blood. If thou blow the spark, it shall burn if thou spit upon it, it shall be quenched and both these come out of thy mouth. A furious man cannot be justified; for the sway of his fury shall be his destruction.
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with. Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. A froward man soweth strife and a whisperer separateth chief friends. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass. A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. A soft an
swer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words! there is more hope of a fool than of him. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life; but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. It is an honour for a man to cease from strife; but every fool will be meddling. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit, exalteth folly. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty: and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. The discretion of a man deferreth his anger, and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
He that revengeth shall find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely keep his sin in remembrance. Forgive thy neighbour the hurt that he hath done unto thee, so shall thy sins also be forgiven when thou prayest. One man beareth hatred against another, and doth he seek pardon from the Lord? He sheweth no mercy to a man, which is like himself; and doth he ask
forgiveness of his own sins? If he that is but flesh nourish hatred, who will entreat for pardon of his sins? Remember thy end, and let enmity cease; remember corruption and death, and abide in the commandments. Remember the commandments, and bear no malice to thy neighbour: remember the covenant of the Highest, and wink at ignorance. Bear not hatred to thy neighbour for every wrong; and do nothing at all by injurious practice.
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth; and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth; if thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee. Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me; I will render to the man according to his work. Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.
On Slander, Swearing, &c.
A backbiting tongue hath disquieted many, and driven them from nation to nation: strong cities hath it pulled down, and overthrown the houses of great men. A backbiting tongue hath cast out virtuous women, and deprived them of their labours. Whoso hearkeneth unto it shall never find rest, and never dwell quietly. The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh : but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones. Many have fallen by the edge of the sword: but not so many as have fallen by the tongue. Well is he that is defended from it, and hath not passed through the venom thereof; who hath not drawn the yoke thereof, nor hath been bound in her bands. For the yoke thereof is a yoke of iron, and the bands thereof are bands of brass. The dcath thereof is an evil death, the grave were better than it. It shall not have rule over them that fear God, neither shall they be burned with the flame thereof. Such as forsake the Lord shall fall into it; and it shall burn in them, and not be quenched; it shall be sent upon them as a lion, and devour them as a leopard. A good life