And the rain descended, and the floods came
Such builders, and such a building, cannot stand against the violent rain of Satan's temptations, the floods of the world's persecutions, the stream and rapid torrent of their own heart's lusts, nor the blowing winds of heresy and false doctrine, and much less the storms of divine wrath and vengeance. They are in a most dangerous condition; they cannot support themselves; they must fall, and great will be their fall; their destruction is inevitable, their ruin is irrecoverable. The Jews make use of some similes, which are pretty much like these of Christ's.
``R. Eliezer ben Azariah used to say F26, he whose wisdom is greater than his works, to what is he like? to a tree, whose branches are many, and its roots few, "and the wind comes", and roots it up, and overturns it; as it is said, ( Jeremiah 17:6 ) but he whose works are greater than his wisdom, to what is he like? to a tree, whose branches are few, and its roots many, "against which, if all the winds in the world were to come and blow", they could not move it out of its place: as it is said, ( Jeremiah 17:8 ) .''Again F1,
``Elisha ben Abuijah used to say, a man who hath good works, and learns the law much, to what is he like? to a man that "builds with stones below", and afterwards with bricks; and though (hbrh Mym Myab) , "many waters come", and stand at their side, they cannot remove them out of their place; but a man who hath no good works, and learns the law, to what is he like? to a man that "builds with bricks first", and afterwards with stones; and though few waters come, they immediately overturn them.''The same used to say,
``a man who hath good works, and learns the law much, to what is he like? to mortar spread upon bricks; and though (Mymvg wyle Nydrwy) , "the rains descend upon it", they cannot remove it out of its place: a man that hath no good works, and learns the law much, to what is he like? to mortar thrown upon bricks; and though but a small rain descends upon it, it is immediately dissolved, and "falls".''
F26 Pirke Abot, c. 3. sect. 17. & Abot R. Nathan, c. 22. fol. 6. 1, 2.
F1 Abot R. Nathan, c. 24. fol. 6. 2.