¶ A Psalm of Asaph.O How loving is God unto Israel, to such as are of a clean heart? Nevertheless my feet were almost gone, my treadings had well nye slipped. And why? I was grieved at the wicked, to see the ungodly in such prosperity. For they are in no peril of death, but stond fast like a palace. They come in no misfortune like other folk, neither are they plagued like other men. And this is the cause that they be so puffed up in pride, and overwhelmed with cruelty and unrighteousness. Their eyes swell for fatness, they do even what they list. Corrupt are they, and speak blasphemies maliciously, proud and presumptuous are their words. They stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven, and their tongue goeth thorow the world. Therefore fall the people unto them, and there out suck they no small advantage. Tush (say they) How should God perceive it? is there knowledge in the most highest? Lo, these are the ungodly, these prosper in the world, these have riches in possession. Should I then cleanse my heart in vain, (thought I) and wash my hands in innocency? Wherefore should I be then punished daily, and be chastened every morning?
¶ Yea I had almost also said even as they do: but lo, then should I have condemned the generation of thy children. Then thought I to understand this, but it was too hard for me. Until I went into the Sanctuary of God, and considered the end of these men. Namely how thou hast set them in a slippery place, that thou mayest cast them down headlong and destroy them. O how suddenly do they consume, perish and come to a fearful end. Yea even like as a dream when one awaketh, so makest thou their image to vanish out of the city.
¶ Thus my heart was grieved, and it went even thorow my reins. So foolish was I and ignorant, and as it were a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am alway by thee, thou holdest me by my right hand. Thou leadest me with thy counsel, and afterward receivest me unto glory. O what is there prepared for me in heaven? there is no thing upon earth, that I desire in comparison of thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish: thou destroyest all them that commit fornication against thee. But it is good for me, to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord GOD, and to speak of all thy works.