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智慧篇 Wisdom
1凡不認識天主的人,都是真正的愚人,因為,他們未能從看得見的美物,去發現那自有者;注意了工程,卻不認識工程師;1The natural helplessness of men is seen in their ignorance of God. The experience of good things did not lead them to the knowledge of Him who is. They were interested in his works, but they did not recognize the author of them.
2反而認火、風、流動的空氣、運轉的星辰、洪流的巨濤、天上的光體,為統治世界的神。2Fire, wind, air, the sphere of the stars, rushing water and the lights in the sky were held as the rulers of the world.
3如果有人因這些東西的美麗而著迷,奉之為神;那麼,他們就應知道:這些美物的主宰更是美麗,因為,全是美麗的唯一根源所創造的。3If, charmed by such beauty, they took them for gods, let them know how far superior is their sovereign.
4如果有人驚奇這些東西的力量和效能,就應明白:創造這些東西的更有能力;4And if they were impressed by their power and activity, let them understand from this how much mightier is he who formed them.
5因為,從受造物的偉大和美麗,人可以推想到這些東西的創造者。5For the grandeur and beauty of creatures lead us to ponder on their Author, greater and more magnificent.
6不過,這種人的罪尚較輕微,因為,他們尋找天主,也有意找到,卻一時誤入了迷途;6No doubt these men are not to be blamed severely, for possibly they strayed though they searched for God and desired to find him.
7這或許是由於他們所見的世物實在美麗,因此在專務研究他的工程時,只追求外表;7They pondered over the created things that surrounded them and were captivated by the sight of such beauty.
8但他們仍然不能推辭無過;8Even so they are not to be excused,
9因為他們既然能知道的如此淵博,甚至能探究宇宙,為什麼不能及早發現這些東西的主宰?9for if they were able to explore the world, why did they not discover first the world's Sovereign?
10有些人真是可憐!他們竟將希望寄於死東西上,竟稱人的手工、金銀和藝術的創作、動物的肖像、或古人雕刻的無用石的為神。10But unhappy, indeed, are those people who give to man-made artifacts the title of gods! Cursed is their hope in dead things, objects worked in gold and silver, likenesses of animals, and even useless stones carved long ago!
11設想:有個木匠,鋸來一棵適用的樹木,精巧地剝淨樹皮,熟練地施展技巧,製成一件日常生活的用具;11Take a woodcutter - he fells a tree that is easy to move, expertly strips off all the bark and with the wood makes a utensil needed in daily life;
12以後用工作剩餘的碎木,煮飯充飢;12he uses the bits left over as fuel for cooking his food and he has a good meal.
13後來由那些剩下一無所用的廢木中,取出一塊彎曲多疤的木頭,在閒暇無事時,辛勤地加以雕刻,本著自己熟悉的手藝,按圖樣將它刻成一個人像,13Then he picks up an utterly useless left-over piece, all gnarled and knotted, and carves it in his leisure time, using his professional skill to give it the shape of a man or
14或做成一個卑賤的獸像,塗上丹砂,將外皮漆成紅色,遮住一切疤痕;14maybe of a worthless animal. He covers it with ochre and paints the surface red, covering all its blemishes.
15隨後,為它做一個適宜的居所,把它嵌在牆上,用釘子釘住,15He then makes a suitable niche for it in the wall and fastens it in place with iron nails.
16預先加以照顧,免得它掉下來,因為他知道:這件東西是不能自助的,不過只是偶像,需要人來扶助。16The craftsman is careful to keep it from falling, knowing that it is unable to help itself. It needs help because it is no more than an image.
17但是,他反不感羞恥地向這無靈之物禱告,祈賜財富、妻室和子嗣;17Even so, when it is a matter of his marriage, his children and his household, the man is not ashamed to pray to this lifeless object. He prays for his health to something without strength;
18向這虛弱的東西,要求健康;向這死物,要求生命;向這無能的東西,要求援助;18for life he prays to what is dead, for help he implores something insensitive, for a successful journey he has recourse to what cannot walk,
19向這有腳不能行的東西,要求旅行;向這有手而毫無動作的東西,要求發財、工作、事業成功的力量。19for his profit, his concerns and success in his craft he asks help of something that has no skill whatever in its hands.
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