1 But Thou, O God, art gracious and true, long-suffering, and in mercy ordering all things.
2 For if we sin we are Thine, knowing Thy power; but we will not sin, knowing that we are accounted Thine.
3 For to know Thee is perfect righteousness; yea, to know Thy power is the root of immortality.
4 For neither did the evil invention of men deceive us, nor an image spotted with divers colors, the painter's fruitless labor,
5 the sight whereof enticeth fools to lust after it; and so they desire the form of a dead image, that hath no breath.
6 Both 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.
7 For the potter, tempering soft earth, fashioneth every vessel with much labor 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.
8 And employing his labors wickedly, he maketh a vain god of the same clay--even he that a little before was made of earth himself, and within a little while after returneth to the same out of which he was taken, when his life which was lent him shall be demanded.
9 Notwithstanding, his care is not that he shall have much labor, nor that his life is short, but he striveth to excel goldsmiths and silversmiths, and endeavoreth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it his glory to make counterfeit things.
10 His heart is ashes, his hope is more vile than earth, and his life of less value than clay,
11 inasmuch as he knew not his Maker, and Him that inspired into him an active soul, and breathed in a living spirit.
12 But they counted our life a pastime, and our time here a market for gain. "For," say they, "we must be getting in every way, though it be by evil means."
13 For this man, that of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels and graven images, knoweth himself to offend above all others.
14 And all the enemies of Thy people, who hold them in subjection, are most foolish and are more miserable than very babes.
15 For 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 on hands to handle; and as for their feet, they are slow to go.Œ
16 For man made them, and he that borrowed his own spirit fashioned them; but no man can make a god like unto himself.
17 For, being mortal, he worketh a dead thing with wicked hands; for he himself is better than the things which he worshipeth, whereas he lived once, but they never.
18 Yea, they worshiped those beasts also that are most hateful; for being compared together, some are worse than others.
19 Neither are they beautiful, so much as to be desired in respect to beasts; but they went without the praise of God and His blessing.