Page images
PDF
EPUB

men and bring them to death and ruin : but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them, by warning and exhorting those who are assaulted by dangerous persons and principles, and by vindical

ing their character. The wicked are overthrown, and (are) not to 8 be found : but the house of the righteous shall stand. A

man shall be commended according to his wisdom : but he that 9 is of a perverse heart shall be despised as a crafly knave. (He

that is despised, or overlooked, and hath a servant, [is better than he that honoureth bimself, and lacketh bread ; or rather, Better is he that lives meanly, and is servant lo himself, than he that appears in a great deal of grandeur, and has not wherewith to support it. This is a common case ; many who make a great figure in the world, would not have broad to eat, if their debts were

paid. It is prudent 10 set out in life plainly, and be servants to 10 ourselves. A righteous [man] regardeth the life of his beast,

that it be not used cruelly, but be moderately worked, and have proper food and rest, as a sensitive creature and a creature of God:

but the tender mercies of the wicked (arej cruel ; they have lost 11 the natural compassion of men, and delighi in cruelty. He that

tilleth his land, who minds his business, does his work himsey, not trusting 10 servants, shall be satisfied with bread : but he that followeth vain [persons is! void of understanding ; he wio loves

company and rambling about, who mukes frequent and long visite, 12 and neglects lris business is a fool. The wicked desireth the net

of evil [men ;) longs to practise the arts by which other wicked men draw their neighbours and acqucintance into snares, and there by enrich themselves : but the root of the righteous yieldeth

[fruit ;] the righteous have enough, and are comfortable without 13 such unjust courses. The wicked is snared by the transgression

of his lips ; culs his throat with his own tongue, brings upun hin"

self troubles and law suits : but the just man shall come out of 14 trouble, by his prudent speeches and conduct. A man shall be

satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth : and the recompense of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him ; his good

words, and much more his good acrions, shall be remembered 15 and rewarded. The way of a fool (is) right in his own eyes ; he

is confident and asks no advice : but he that hearkeneth unto

counsel, who does not rely entirely upon his own judgment, [is] 16 wise. A fool's wrath is presently known ; he fires immediately,

which shows his folly : but a prudent (man] overcometh shame;

he curbs his passions, and his resentment of the greatest injuries, 17 (He that) speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness ; he who .

is used 10 speak truth in common conversation, will do it in public 18 as a witness ; but a false witness deceit. There is that speaketh

like the piercings of a sword; the cut throat, or common assassin, is not more pernicious than the man who makes it his business 10 wound his neighbour's reputation and sorv discord among them :

but the tongue of the wise [is] health, or healing, it promon's 19 peace and love. The lip of truth shall be established for ever : but a

sying longue [is] but for a moment ; he loses his credit, and is POUR

20 believed when he speaks truth. Deceit [is] in the heart of them

that imagine evil ; they deceive themselves, and bring mischief on their own heads : but to the counsellors of peace [is] joy ; it is

a comfortable reflection, that they have always taken the mildest side, 2l have endeavoured to make peace, and not firomote discord. There

shall no real evil happen to the just : but the wicked shall be

filled with mischief, even when filled with sensual gratifications. 22 Lying lips (are) abomination to the LORD ; he abhors all kind

and degree of falsehood : but they that deal truly, as well as speak truly, (are) his delight ; and this circumstance of being loved or

haled of God, will turn the balance as to all present advantages. 23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge ; does not make a pomp or

show of it, but knows when to be silent : but the heart of fools pro

claimieth foolishness ; while they want to show their knowledge 24 they only proclaim their ignorance and folly. The hand of the

diligent shall bear rule ; shall have wealth and power : but the

slothsul shall be under tribute ; will always be in straits, and de25 pendant upon others. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it

stoop, therefore those who are sorrowful and low spirited should not pore on their sorrows, but pursue their business, and get into friendly and cheerful company : but a good word maketh it glad,

Therefore others should be ready to comfort them. This is especially 36 applicable to the promises of God's word. The righteous [is]

more excellent than his neighbour in every respect, and particu.

larly as he does not delude himself with vain hopes : but the way 27 of the wicked seduceth them ; they do ill for themselves. The

slothful (man) roasteth not that which he took in hunting; does not make the best of his circumstances, like a man who has taken the trouble of hunting, and through mere sloth will not dress his game, but suffers it to spoil by him : but the substance of a

diligent man [is] precious; he makes the best of it, and it gives 28 him comfort. In the way of righteousness [is] life ; and in the

pathway (thereof there is) no death ; it is a sure way to hapni. ness here, and to immortal life hereafier. We see from hence of what importance humility, diligence, and the wise government and use of the tongue are to our prosperity for both worlds. Let us habitually practise the government of the thoughts, in order to ob. tain the government of the tongue ; and as a grand motive to this, remember that in the way of righteousness is life, and that in the pathway thereof there is no death.'

CHAP. XIII.

T A WISE son [heareth] his father's instruction : but a

II scorner heareth not rebuke, therefore there is no hope of 2 him, he is not likely to be wise. A man shall eat good by the

fruit of (his] mouth : but the soul of the transgressors (shall • eat] violence in the preseni life, but especially hereafter, when by our words we shall be justified, and by our words we shall be con. demned. He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life from guilt and grief : (but] he that openeth wide his lips, a slanderer or a brawler, who bolts out every thing that comes uppermosi,

shall have destruction ; shall lose his reputation, and bring ruin 4 upon himself. The soul of the sluggard, who will and will not,

has no resolution, who loves gain, but hates the exertions of the dil

igent, such an one desireth, and Chath] nothing : but the soul of 5 the diligent shall be made fat. A righteous (man] hateth lying

in himself and others ; but a wicked (man) is loathsome to God 6 and man, and cometh to shame. Righteousness keepeth shim

that is) upright in the way : but wickedness overthroweth the 7 sinner, though he foolishly seeks establishment by it. There is that

maketh himself rich, yet (hath] nothing : (there is] that maketh himself poor, yet (hath] great riches. This is applicable to the figure persons make in the world ; therefore we have need of prudence in judging of others, and in trusting them. It is equally

applicable to spiritual things, to conceited and modest persons. 8 The ransom of a man's life (are] his riches; these sometimes ex

pose men to injuries, persecutions, and false accusations, so that they are glad to part with their riches to ransom their lives : but the poor heareth not rebuke ; they are often free from these

things, men do not think it worth while to sue them, because there is 9 nothing to be got. The light of the righteous rejoiceth, like the

sun, with constant, pleasant brightness, which, though clouded or cclipsed, is not extinguished: but the lamp, the poor, glimmering

candle of the wicked shall be put out, with a disagreeable stench, 10 however bright it may have been, Only by pride cometh con

tention ; this is the chief cause of quarrels in kingdoms, churches, and families, and of the continuance of them : but with the well ad

vised [is] wisdom ; they act with prudence, yield, and study 11 peace. Wealth (gotten} by vanity, by cheating, lying, and ga.

ming, shall be diminished : but he that gathereth by labour,

Hal is, by honest industry, shall increase ; it will wear well. 12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick : but [when the desire

cometh, [it is) a tree of life ; the most desirable thing in the world. This should teach us not to raise our expectations too high, but to

expect and prepare for disappointments ; and also not 10 keef 13 others in suspense, when they expect any benefit from us. Whoso

despiseth the word, that is, good admonition from God or man, who will not study it, and be ruled by it, shall be destroyed ; but

he that feareth the commandment, who reverences the precept, 14 and feareth the penalty, shall be rewarded. The law of the wise

[is] a fountain of life, to depart from the shares of death ; it af15 fords him comfort, and preserves him from temptation. Good

understanding giveth favour ; wisdom and picty are most amia. bk and acceptable to all : but the way of transgressors [is] hard;

rough and perplexed, however pleasant and flowery at its first en16 trance. Every prudent (man) dealeth with knowledge, he un

dertakes nothing but what he understands, and proceeds cautiously, Vol. V.

is careful what he says, and whom he trusts : but a fool layeth 17 open [his) folly, by his imprudence and rasliness. A wicked mes.

senger, who is false to his trust, or trifies on his errands, falleth

into mischief : but a faithful ambassador [is] health ; is cons 18 fortable to himself and those who employ him. Poverty and shame

[shall be to] him that refuseth instruction : but he that regard19 eth reproof shall be honoured and esteemed. The desire accon)

plished, especially the frious desire, is sweet to the soul : but it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil ; and so the firospect

of future happiness cannot persuade them to quit the bad courses 20 they are wedded to. He that walketh with wise (men,) intimately

converses and forms friendships with them, shall be wise ; conver

sation with such edifies and assimilates : but a companion of fools 21 shall be destroyed. Evil pursueth sinners, and will certainly over

take them, though they think it at a distance : but to the righteous

good shall be repayed, for the good they have done, and the ill 22 they have suffered. A good (man) leaveth an inheritance to his chil.

dren's children, by firudence, diligence, justice, and charity : and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just ; it is frequently by

the providence of God transferred to pious families, who will make 23 a good use of it. Much food [is in] the tillage of the poor, that

is, in a little improved by industry : if a man has but lille he should be so much the more diligent and frugal: but there is (that is] destroyed for want of judgment ; large estates are often lost by idleness and extravagance, ly over living, by keeping great lables and many servants : in other instances by out trading their capi.

tal, being bound for others, and the like ; all which show a want of 24 judgment,' He that spareth his rod, if no other method will do,

hateth his son : but he that loveth bim chasteneth him betimes,

before ill habits are contracted. Parents who do not keep their 25 children under strict discipline, are really cruel to them. The

righteous cateth to the satisfying of his soul ; a little serves him, he does not desire dainiies and elegancies ; but the belly of the wicked shall want ; some of them ruin themselves by debauchery, others fine away through covelousnes8 ; worldly men are never satisfied. On the whole, we see that godliness is profilable for all things, having the foromise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.

CHAP. XIV.

[ocr errors]

PVERY wise woman buildeth her house ; by firudence and

U good manugement, she firomotes the order, prosperity, and credit of the family, which is a mark of true wisdom : but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands ; by her pride, firodigal

ity, and idleness, she contributes to the ruin of it, agreeable to our % proverb, a man must ask his quifi's leave to grow rich,' He that

walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD, proves that he does 30 : but (he that is] perverse in his ways, unjust, intemperate,

and irregular, despiseth him, whatever pretensions he makes 3 to devotion. In the mouth of the foolish [is] a rod of pride ;

they often bring upon themselves deserved correction : but the lips of the wise shall preserve them; their prudent, peaceable,

and pleasing words, conciliate the friendship of others, and fireserve 4 them from danger. It is true, Where no oxen (are,] the crib

[is] clean : but much increase [is] by the strength of the ox ; and one must be set over against the other. Persons should not be averse to the fatigues and the meanest labours that a life of busia 9:48$ exposes men to. There is a good equivalent in the increase of their substance. Guard therefore against that excessive deli.

cacy, which makes men neglect their proper duty because of some 5 inconveniences. A faithful witness will not lie : but a false wit

ness will utter lies ; when we know a man's general character, we 6 may know how far to credit what he says. A scorner, one that is

critical, and cavils at instructions, seeketh wisdom, and [findeth

it] not : but knowledge [is] easy unto him that understandeth ; 7 to a well disposed, kumble, and teachable mind. Go from the

presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not (in him)

the lips of knowledge ; if he has no relish for pious and useful 8 discourse, leave him, and seek better company. The wisdom of

the prudent, the best and most usefal wisdom, [is] to understand his way; what course he must take to be truly happy : but the

folly of fools [is] deceit ; to play the knave is the greatest folly. 9 Fools make a mock at sin ; it is one of the surest marks of wicked

ness, to make light of sin, or speak of it in a trifling manner : but among the righteous (there is] favour, charity and compassion

to the souls of others, and they are favoured of God and man. 10 The heart knoweth his cwn bitterness : and a stranger doth not

intermeddle with his joy ; we are not 10 judge of persons entirely by external circumstances, without examining their tempers and

passions. Others little know either the sorrow of a penitent, or 11 the joy of a believer : we are not to judge rashly. The finest,

firmest house of the wicked shali be overthrown : but the taber

nacle, or little tent, of the upright shall flourish : who would not 12 then choose it, as a much more desirable habitation ! There is a

way which seemeth right unto a man, he may think his opinion and practice right and good, but the end thereof (are) the ways of

death. Let us therefore be cautious, since ignorance will not always 13 excuse a man for ill behaviour. Even in laughter the heart is

sorrowful; there is oftentimes inward pain under the appearance

of cheerfulness ; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness ; this 14. is true of all vain and sensual mirth. The backslider in leart,

who declines his duty from the fear of danger, shall be filled with his own ways, he shall have trouble and sorrow enough, yea, everlasting terror and torment : and a good man (shall be satisfied]

from himself ; shall have present satisfaction and an abundant 15 reward. The simple believeth every word ; credits every com-.

mon report, and trusts every man's promises : but the prudens

« EelmineJätka »