His prayer and sentiments upon certain virtues and vices.
1 The words of Gatherer the son of Vomiter. The vision which the man spoke with whom God is, and who being strengthened by God, abiding with him, said: 2 I am the most foolish of men, and the wisdom of men is not with me. 3 I have not learned wisdom, and have not known the science of saints. 4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? who hath held the wind in his hands? who hath bound up the waters together as in a garment? who hath raised up all the borders of the earth? what is his name, and what is the name of his son, if thou knowest? 5 Every word of God is fire tried: he is a buckler to them that hope in him.
6 Add not any thing to his words, lest thou be reproved, and found a liar: 7 Two things I have asked of thee, deny them not to me before I die. 8 Remove far from me vanity, and lying words. Give me neither beggary, nor riches: give me only the necessaries of life: 9 Lest perhaps being filled, I should be tempted to deny, and say: Who is the Lord? or being compelled by poverty, I should steal, and forswear the name of my God. 10 Accuse not a servant to his master, lest he curse thee, and thou fall.
11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. 12 A generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet are not washed from their filthiness. 13 A generation, whose eyes are lofty, and their eyelids lifted up on high. 14 A generation, that for teeth hath swords, and grindeth with their jaw teeth, to devour the needy from off the earth, and the poor from among men. 15 The horseleech hath two daughters that say: Bring, bring. There are three things that never are satisfied, and the fourth never saith: It is enough.
16 Hell, and the mouth of the womb, and the earth which is not satisfied with water: and the fire never saith: It is enough. 17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and that despiseth the labour of his mother in bearing him, let the ravens of the brooks pick it out, and the young eagles eat it. 18 Three things are hard to me, and the fourth I am utterly ignorant of. 19 The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man in youth. 20 Such is also the way of an adulterous woman, who eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith: I have done no evil.
21 By three things the earth is disturbed, and the fourth it cannot bear: 22 By a slave when he reigneth: by a fool when he is filled with meat: 23 By an odious woman when she is married: and by a bondwoman when she is heir to her mistress. 24 There are four very little things of the earth, and they are wiser than the wise: 25 The ants, a feeble people, which provide themselves food in the harvest:
26 The rabbit, a weak people, which maketh its bed in the rock: 27 The locust hath no king, yet they all go out by their bands. 28 The stellio supporteth itself on hands, and dwelleth in kings’ houses. 29 There are three things, which go well, and the fourth that walketh happily: 30 A lion, the strongest of beasts, who hath no fear of any thing he meeteth:
31 A cock girded about the loins: and a ram: and a king, whom none can resist. 32 There is that hath appeared a fool after he was lifted up on high: for if he had understood, he would have laid his hand upon his mouth. 33 And he that strongly squeezeth the paps to bring out milk, straineth out butter: and he that violently bloweth his nose, bringeth out blood: and he that provoketh wrath bringeth forth strife.
Commentary “Gatherer”: Or, as it is in the Latin, Congregans the son of Vomens. The Latin interpreter has given us in this place the signification of the Hebrew names, instead of the names themselves, which are in the Hebrew, Agur the son of Jakeh. But whether this Agur be the same person as Solomon, as many think, or a different person, whose doctrine was adopted by Solomon, and inserted among his parables or proverbs, is uncertain.  “Is fire tried”: That is, most pure, like gold purified by fire.  “The horseleech”: Concupiscence, which hath two daughters that are never satisfied, viz., lust and avarice.  “The stellio”: A kind of house lizard marked with spots like stars, from whence it has its name.
To advance in your spiritual reform, kindly consider the profound meditations and pious lessons from the book:
TITLE: St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori on How to accept and love the will of God and his Divine Providence Includes quotations from St. John, Isaias, the Song of Songs, St. Bernard, etc.
AUTHOR: St. Alphonsus Liguori
EDITOR: Pablo Claret
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