1But thou, O God, art gracious and true, longsuffering, and in mercy ordering all things,
2For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy power: but we will not sin, knowing that we are counted thine.
3For to know thee is perfect righteousness: yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality.
4For neither did the mischievous invention of men deceive us, nor an image spotted with divers colours, the painter’s fruitless labour;
5The sight whereof enticeth fools to lust after it, and so they desire the form of a dead image, that hath no breath.
6Both they that make them, they that desire them, and they that worship them, are lovers of evil things, and are worthy to have such things to trust upon.
7For the potter, tempering soft earth, fashioneth every vessel with much labour for our service: yea, of the same clay he maketh both the vessels that serve for clean uses, and likewise also all such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of either sort, the potter himself is the judge.
8And employing his labours lewdly, he maketh a vain god of the same clay, even he which a little before was made of earth himself, and within a little while after returneth to the same, out when his life which was lent him shall be demanded.
9Notwithstanding his care is, not that he shall have much labour, nor that his life is short: but striveth to excel goldsmiths and silversmiths, and endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it his glory to make counterfeit things.
10His heart is ashes, his hope is more vile than earth, and his life of less value than clay:
11Forasmuch as he knew not his Maker, and him that inspired into him an active soul, and breathed in a living spirit.
12But they counted our life a pastime, and our time here a market for gain: for, say they, we must be getting every way, though it be by evil means.
13For this man, that of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels and graven images, knoweth himself to offend above all others.
14And all the enemies of thy people, that hold them in subjection, are most foolish, and are more miserable than very babes.
15For they counted all the idols of the heathen to be gods: which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle; and as for their feet, they are slow to go.
16For man made them, and he that borrowed his own spirit fashioned them: but no man can make a god like unto himself.
17For being mortal, he worketh a dead thing with wicked hands: for he himself is better than the things which he worshippeth: whereas he lived once, but they never.
18Yea, they worshipped those beasts also that are most hateful: for being compared together, some are worse than others.
19Neither are they beautiful, so much as to be desired in respect of beasts: but they went without the praise of God and his blessing.