17:1 For great are thy judgments, and cannot be expressed: therefore unnurtured souls have erred.|
17:2 For when unrighteous men thought to oppress the holy nation; they being shut up in their houses, the prisoners of darkness, and fettered with the bonds of a long night, lay 17:there exiled from the eternal providence.
17:3 For while they supposed to lie hid in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly astonished, and troubled with 17:strange apparitions.
17:4 For neither might the corner that held them keep them from fear: but noises 17:as of waters falling down sounded about them, and sad visions appeared unto them with heavy countenances.
17:5 No power of the fire might give them light: neither could the bright flames of the stars endure to lighten that horrible night.
17:6 Only there appeared unto them a fire kindled of itself, very dreadful: for being much terrified, they thought the things which they saw to be worse than the sight they saw not.
17:7 As for the illusions of art magick, they were put down, and their vaunting in wisdom was reproved with disgrace.
17:8 For they, that promised to drive away terrors and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, worthy to be laughed at.
17:9 For though no terrible thing did fear them; yet being scared with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents,
17:10 They died for fear, denying that they saw the air, which could of no side be avoided.
17:11 For wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth grievous things.
17:12 For fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours which reason offereth.
17:13 And the expectation from within, being less, counteth the ignorance more than the cause which bringeth the torment.
17:14 But they sleeping the same sleep that night, which was indeed intolerable, and which came upon them out of the bottoms of inevitable hell,
17:15 Were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted, their heart failing them: for a sudden fear, and not looked for, came upon them.
17:16 So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up in a prison without iron bars,
17:17 For whether he were husbandman, or shepherd, or a labourer in the field, he was overtaken, and endured that necessity, which could not be avoided: for they were all bound with one chain of darkness.
17:18 Whether it were a whistling wind, or a melodious noise of birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water running violently,
17:19 Or a terrible sound of stones cast down, or a running that could not be seen of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains; these things made them to swoon for fear.
17:20 For the whole world shined with clear light, and none were hindered in their labour:
17:21 Over them only was spread an heavy night, an image of that darkness which should afterward receive them: but yet were they unto themselves more grievous than the darkness.