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his nobles for equity is most horrible, because it is discouraging

them from doing good when in their power, and weakening his own 27 hands. He that hath knowledge spareth his words, is not fond

of talking, speaks only when it is fit and may be useful : [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit, or rather, a cool spirit, as in the margin of our bibles, for to be calm, dispassionate,

and not easily provoked, is a mark of wisdom and an excellent spirit. 28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise : [and]

he that shutteth his lips is esteemed] a man of understanding ; che concealment of folly is wisdom, and sometimes wisdom uttered is folly ; men's abilities are chiefly discovered by their discourse, and talkative persons proclaim their own folly. Let every man there. fore be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.

CHAP. XVIII. I THROUGH desire a man, having separated hinaself, seek.

1 eth [and] intermeddleth with all wisdom; or rather, a man of retirement seeketh after his desire, and intermeddleth wirke 2 all quisdom. Retirement is of great use to improve the mind. A

fool hath no delight in understanding, in its real use, only for os

tentation or amusement, but that his heart may discover itself ; 3 all his delight is 10 vent his own folly and wickedness. When the wicked cometh, (then) cometh also contempt upon God and religion, and every thing valuable ; and with ignominy reproach, reproachful language concerning o'hers : if a man speaks reproach.

fully and contemptibly of others, mark him for a wicked man. 4 The words of a wise man's mouth (are as] deep waters, [and]

the well spring of wisdom (as) a flowing brook ; it is an inex5 haustible spring of entertainment and improvement. [It is] not

good to accept, to favour or justify, the person of the wicked, in 6 order to overthrow the righteous in judgment. A fool's lips en

ter into contention, he uses passionate and provoking language,

and his mouth calleth for strokes“; he brings sorrow and punis! 7 ment upon himself. A fool's mouth [is] his destruction, and his

lips (are) the snare of his soul ; it will especially appear to be 80

at the judgment day, when by our words we shall be justified, and 8 by our words we shall be condemned. The words of a talebearer,

who picks up stories, pries into secrets, and carries them from house to house, who relates fulsehoods, who misrepresents things, or whispers about things which should not be spoken of, though true, the words of such sare] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly ; the wounds are mortal though

silent, and destroy the reputation and interest of the persons 9 spoken of, and the love of those spoken to. He also that is

slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great wast10 er ; they are both criminal, and both come to poverty. The

name of the LORD, his power, goodness, and promises, [is] a strong tower : the righteous runneth into it, and is safe ; there he seeks for protection by faith and prayer, and there he finds 11 it, together with a rich supply of all his wants. The rich man's

wealth [is] his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit ; he thinks himself securely intrenched, so that no danger can come near him, forgetting his dependence upon God; but it is only

in his own conceit, and he finds his high walls thrown down by a 12 variety of accidents. Before destruction the heart of man is

haughty, and before honour [is] humility ; when 4 man fində himself disposed to be proud of any of his endowments and po8868

sions, he has need to be alarmed, as it is an intimation that he is in 13 danger of being deprived of them. He that answereth a matter

before he heareth [it] who thinks to show his quickness of appre

hersion, and fironounces dogmatically without hearing bo!h sides, 14 it (is) folly and shame unto him. The spirit of a man will sus

tain his infirmity, bear up under dangers and troubles ; but a wounded spirit who can bear? What hath a man to comfort and uphold him, if he has not the reason of his own mind, the testimony of his conscience, and a sense of God's favour? Great care there.

fure should be taken to govern the passions, and keep the spirits 15 calm, in order to prevent such a dreadful crisis. The heart of the

prudent getteth knowledge ; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge ; a diligent applicution to the means of improving in

knowledge, both by study and conversation, is a sign of true wis16 dom. A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him be.

fore great men. This ancient custom of bringing presents when 17 they wait upon their superiors, is still retained in the east. (He

that is] first in his own cause (seemeth] just ; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him ; one story is good till another is

told, therefore we should not be rash and hasty in our determina18 tions, but hear both sides. The lot causeth contentions to cease,

and parteth between the mighty. Solomon here advises to refer

troublesome matters 10 lot, and to sit down contented with the event ; 19 this may be very useful still, if not superstitiously performed. A

brother offended [is harder to be won] than a strong city : and (their) contentions Care] like the bars of a castle: the nearness of

the relation heightens the provocation, therefore we should be careful 20 not to offend or despise our near relations or friends. A man's belly

shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth ; [and] with the

increase of his lips shall he be filled ; he shall have pleasure or un21 easiness, as he speaks well or ill. Death and life [are) in the

power of the tongue ; a great deal of good or evil is done by it,

and they that love it, that love life, and give conversation a wise 22 turn, shall eat the fruit thereof. (Whoso] findeth a wise, or (as

some ancient versions render il) a good wife, findeth a good [thing,) and obtaineth favour of the Lord, and he ought to ac

knowledge the goodness of God in giving him a suitable companion. 23 The poor useth entreaties, are forced to make submissions and

use entreaties, even for what is their due ; but the rich answereth

roughly ; riches are a temptation 10 haughliness and arrogance, 24 which very much lessen the value of them. A man [that hath] friends must show himself friendly : and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother ; friends are worth keeping, and may in many circumstances be more useful to us than near rela: tions; therefore they must be used well, we must love and serve them, and behave friendly to them, if we desire they should behave 80 to us.


1 PETTER [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than

U (he that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool ; an honest pour man is more honourable, easy, and secure, than a sly wicked 2 man, though he may get rich by his artifices. Also, [that] the

soul (be) without knowledge, [it is) not good ; i he want of understanding and deliberation firoves an occasion of great mischief: and he that hastethi with his feet sinneth ; if a man of good

senso runs rashly and inconsidera'ely on, it will be as fatal to him 3 as the quant of understanding. The foolishness of man pervert.

eth his way, brings him into troubles and struits : and his heart

fretteth against the LORD ; he lays the blame upon Providence. 4 Wealth makeih many friends, if not to his person, yet to his cir

cums'ances; but the poor is separated from his neighbour ; is 5 neglected by those who should help him. A false witness shall not

be unpunished, and she that] speaketh lies shall not escape ;

he who sfieaketh lies privately, though not confirmed by an oath, 6 shall not escape the divine judgment. Many will entreat the fa.

vour of the prince, because great things are in his power : and every man (is) a friend to him that giveth gifts; 10 a man whose circumstances enable hiin and whose lemper inclines him to be liber,

al. What a strong argument is this to seek the divine friendship! 7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him as a disgrace and bur-,

den to them : how much more do his friends go. far from him, that is, those who professed themselves such ? he pursueth (them with] words, he entreals them and puts them in mind of formir. & promises, (yet) they [are] wanting (to him.] He that getteth

wisdom loveth his own soul : he that keepeth understanding, 9 who conducts his life by prudent counsel, shall find good. A false

witness shall not be unpunished, and she that] speakeih lies shall

perish ; this is repeated because it is an important maxim, see v. 5. 10 Delight is not seemly for a fool; he knows not how to behave in

pirosperity ; he uscth the delights of life 10 dishonour God, and for his own mischief ; much less for a servant to have rule over prin

ces ; is such an one be in power, he is intolerable, and a judgment 11 on mankind. The discretion of a man deferreth his anger vill he

is cool, and has considered the inalter : and [it is] his glory to

pass over a transgression, not to revenge it ; though the perverse 12 judgment of the world is contrary. The king's wrath (is) as the

roaring of a lion; but his favour [is] as dew upon the grass, 13 This is de signed to promote loyalty. A foolish son [is] the calam:

ity of his father : and the contentions of a wife (are) a continual dropping ; make the house uncomfortable and unfit to be inhab. ited, and so tempi a man to extravagance abroad. A wicked son

and a scolding wife, are two of the saddest plagues in a family. 14 House and riches [are] the inheritance of father's : and a prije

dent wife [is] from the LORD, she does not come by hereditary

righi ; his providence therefore should be acknowledged in this 15 favour. Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep ; it has a stupify

ing faculty, and makes men unfit for business ; and an idle sout 16 shall suffer hunger ; shall be reduced to poverty and want. He .

that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul ; secures his peace and happiness ; (but] he that despiseth his ways shall die ; he that never thinks or minds how he acts, who follows his

otun inclination and ihe fashion, goes the direct way to destruction. 17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and

that which he hath given will he pay him again ; it is in a safe hand, and he shall have good interest. A delightful thought,

and of more force than a thousand volumes to recommend liber. 18 ality. Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul

spare for his crying ; it should be ra:her rendered, "Do not life

up thy soul to his destruction, that is, correct him, but not immod19 erately.' A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment; he

will have a deal of perplexity and uneasiness, quarrels, and latu suits : for if thou deliver [him,] yet thou must do it again ; he

will soon bring himself into some other scrape by his passion and per20 verseness. Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou

mayest be wise in the latter end ; consider the final consequences 21 of things ; such wisdom will be wisdom indeed. [There are]

many devices in a man's heart ; nevertheless the counsel of the

LORD, that shall stand in spite of them all. A comfortable thought 22 10 a good man at all times. The desire of a man [is] his kind

ness ; it is agreeable when persons mean well, though it is not in their power to do much : and a poor man (is) better than a liar ; a poor man who gires good ev dence of a kind, benevolent disposition, is more esteemed and respected than a liar, that is, than a rich man who makes great professions and promises, and does not

answer them, has nothing at the service of his friends but compli23 ments. The fear of the LORD (tendeth] to life : and he that

hath it shall abide satisfied ; he shall not be visited with evil, 24 with any destructive evil. A slothful (man) bideth his hand in

(his] bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth

again ; when sloth prevails it makes a man unwilling to do the most 25 necessary things. Smite a scorner, a profligate sinner, and the

siniple will beware ; if it does him no good, it may be a warning to others : and reprove one that hath understanding, (ard] he

will understand knowledge; a wise man will be better for reproof 26 He that wasteth [his] father, (and) chaseth away [his mother,

[is] a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach to his paren's and himself ; but we very seldom see such things in children who

27 have been wisely and religiously educated. Cease, my son, to

hear the instruction (that causeth] to err from the words of

knowledge ; do not hearken to any who world firejudice you 28 against religion or weaken your regard to it. An ungodly wit

ness scorneth judgment, that is, reason, equily, scripture, and the judgment of God against perfidious persons : and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity; he swallows down greedily

the greatest crimes, and is glad of any opportunity of committing 29 them. Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for

the back of fools ; they are sometimes punished in this world, but shall certainly be so in another. This should engage us to seek wis. dom, that we may avoid these judgments, and obtain security, peace, and everlasting happiness.

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U TINE [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging : and

VV whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise ; it makes a man abusive and quarrelsome, leads him to say and do foolish things. Let him have ever so much sense, he reduceth himself to a level with an idiot ; yea, with a brute. Il is strange that drunk

enness should be the fault of so many sensible people, whom one 2 would think pride should keep from it, if they had no religion. The

fear of a king, an arbitrary monarch, [is] as the roaring of a lion:

[whoso) provoketh him to anger sinneth (against] his own soul, 3 exposes his life to manifest danger. [It is) an honour for a man

to cease from strife, cautiously to avoid it, and be the first to give

it over : but every fool will be meddling where he has no busi4 ness, and so stir up strife. The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold ; the most inconsiderable difficulties affright him

from labour : [therefore] shall he beg in harvest, and (have) 5 nothing when others have plenty. Counsel in the heart of man

[is like] deep water ; but a man of understanding will draw it

out by prudent discourse and diligent observation, as human indus. 6 try finds methods to fetch water out of the carih. Most men will

proclaim every one his own goodness : but a faithful man who

can find ? the generality pretend to great generosily, but it is dif. 7 ficult to find cominon honesty. The just [man) walketh in his

integrity: his children sare] blessed after him; he entails a

blessing on his f108terity ; it is happy to be the children of such a % parent. A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scatter

eth away all evil with his eyes ; a man of integrily will have a natural authority in any superior relation. If a king, he will ex

ert himself as he ought ; iniquity will fly before him, and scarce 9 bear his look, for it is a cowardly thing. Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin ? I am free from

guilt in heart and life? Therefore let 118 be humble before God, 10 and not expect ferfection in others. Divers weights, (and) divers

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