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dying. Then they will mourn ; and none will mourn more bitter. ly than the children of good parents, who have been both instructed and reproved. They will then remember the instructions they before neglected, and the reproofs they before despised ; and will wish that they had acted otherwise. If therefore it is our desire to remove evil from our flesh, and sorrow from our heart, let us ponder the path of our feet, and choose the way of life.
3. Let this chapter be a warning to all, and especially to young people, against the lusts of the flesh. Many are watching for your destruction, both artful women, and wicked men, who would tempt you to impurity, by smooth speeches and fair promises. Their lips drop as the honeycomb, tut there is poison in them : and if you are seduced, you are likely to lose your health, your substanee, your credit, your peace, and your souls. As the best antidote against their artifices, remember v, 21. the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereih all his goings ; no darkness can hide them; and however light men may make of such crimes, (which it seems to be the design of most modern plays and romances, al least to palliate) the eternal and almighty God hath declared, that whoremongers and adulterers he will judge ; and that they shall all have their portion in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. Therefore, dearly beloved, I beseech you as pilgrims and strangers, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.
IMTY son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast
I T stricken thy hand with a stranger, art bound for him to his 2 creditors, Thou art shared with the words of thy mouth, thou art
taken with the words of thy mouth; hast brought thyself into 3 trouble, and art wretchedly hampered. Do this now, my son, and
deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend ; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend ; earnestly entreat
him to take some course for thy safety by paying the debt, or getting 4 some other security. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber 5 to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand [of the hunter,) and as a bird from the hand of the fowler, for thou may
est be arrested and ruined, when thou dost not expect it. 6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard ; consider her ways, and be wise : 7 Which having no guide to direct it, overseer to enact law, or 8 ruler to punish idleness, Provideth her meat in the summer, [and]
gathereth her food in the harvest, and lays it up secure against
winter. Thou hast nobler capacities, and much greater business 9 to do, than the anis, therefore How long wilt thou sleep, 0 slug10 gard? when wilt thou arise ont of thy sleep? saying, (Yet) a
little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep ;
wanting to indulge thyself a little more, and yet a litile more, unI willing to rise and apply thyself 10 thy proper business : So shall thy poverty come as one that travelléth step by step, so that thou const scarce perceive him move, and thy want, when it arrives, will seize thee as an armed man, against whom thou canst make
no resistance. 12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward 13 mouth ; maintains himself by lies, pattery and slander. He wink
eth with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with
his fingers ; he has private signs to instruct his accomplices how 14 they are to play their part ; Frowardness [is] in his heart, he
deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord in families and 15 nations, hoping to find his account in it. Therefore shall his ca.
lamity come suddenly ; suddenly shall he be broken without
remedy. 16 These six (things] doth the LORD hate : yea, seven (are) an 17 abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands 18 that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imagi
nations, to gratify his appetites, his covetousness, or revenge, feet 19 that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness in judgment
[that] speaketh lies, that is, perjures himself, and him that soweth discord among brethren ; between near relations, where there
ought to be mutual affection. 20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the 21 law of thy mother : Bind them continually upon thine heart,
[and] tie them about thy neck; fix them on thy mind, keep them
continually before thine eyes, and thou wilt find constant benefit by 22 it. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest,
it shall keep thee; and (when) thou awakest, it shall talk with thee ; true religion will be a guide, a guard, and a pleasant com
panion, and suggest proper and comfortable meditations to thee in 23 the night. For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is]
light; and reproofs of instruction Care] the way of life ; they
will direct thee in every circumstance of life: and will be particu. 24 larly of use To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flat
tery of the tongue of a strange woman, which a prudent educa.
tion, and even moral precepis, are not always able to do. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart ; neither let her take 26 thee with her eyelids ; talk not of her smiles and charms; For by
means of a whorish woman [a man is brought] to a piece of
bread; and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life ; she 27 not only desiroys the estate, but health and life itself. Can a man
take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned ? at least 28 blackened, which a wise man would not choose. Can one go upon 29 hot coals, and his feet not be burned ? So he that goeth in to his
neighbour's wife ; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent; 30 it will bring guilt, shame and sorrow upon him. (Men) do not
despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry ;
he is not reckoned so infamous, nor do men rigorously punish him, 31 but rather pity and forgive him : But [if] he be found, he shall
restore seven fold, that is, many fuld, he shall give all the substance of his house rather than be exposed to public prosecution. VOL. V.
32 [But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lackech under 33 standing : he (that) docth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound
and dishonour shall he get ; and his reproach shall not be wiped away ; adultery is much more infamous than theft : it is an ever.'
lasting brand of disgrace, beside the fatal consequences which al34 tend the jealousy of the husband. For jealousy (is) the rage of a 35 man : therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He
will not regard any ransom ; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts; he will prosecute the adulterer even unto death, (as by the law of Moses he might) and no pecuniary recompense will satisfy him.
W E may observe, that this chapter contains abundance of ex:
VV cellent cautions to young people, against the errors into which they are prone to fall. Let them avoid entering into bonds and promises for others. In some cases it may be an act of justice or charity ; but persons should be cautious who they engage for ; and not engage for more than they are willing to pay, and can pay without injury to their families. But prudence will generally require young people to avoid such engagements. Idleness is another temptation to which they are exposed, and the want of forecast and frugality. Being provided for by their parents, they are apt to be extravagant ; forgetting that the time of youth and strength, is the time to make provision for families, for sickness, and old age. But they are most in danger from feshly lusts. They are ready to imagine that they are secure from gross acts of vice; but are often led into them before they are aware. They think they may keep compariy, at least stay a while with men and women of vicious characters, without danger ; but this is as ridiculous and absurd, as it would be for a man 10 put fire into his bosom, or go upon hot coals, v. 27, 28. When once men have brought themselves into straits by idleness, extravagance, or impurity, then they are tempted to lying, doing mischief, sowing discord, perjury, and all those things that the Lord hates. Now to prevent all these, the grand direction is to be ruled by the law of God; the study of it and meditation upon it, are at once the best security against vice and a source of the noblest pleasures. Such remarks as these cannot be closed without lamenting over this wicked land of ours. Instead of pity. ing, and dealing gently with a thief, he is transported, or hanged ; while adulterers and adulteresses, whoin the law of God commands to be surely put to death, are not only spared, and go unpunished, but are scarce reckoned infamous ; are put on the same level, in places of public resort, with the chaste and virtuous ; yea, if the truth is reported, in many of our gay assemblies, are treated more respectfully than they. Such is our politeness, wisdom, and piety! It is time, O Lord, for thee to work, for men makc void thy law.
Solomon here renews his cautions to all, especially to his young readers, against fleshly lusts, with regard to which they need line upon line.
Y son, keep my words, "and lay up my commandments. 2 IVT with thee, as 'thy best treasure. Keep my command.
ments, and live ; and my law as the apple of thine eye, that is, with the grealest care ; as if he had said, Thou hadst better loose
thine eyes, and live in darkness, than that thy mind should be with. 3 out wisdom. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the 4 table of thine heart ; have them always ready for use. Say unto
visdom, Thou (art) my sister ; and call understanding (thy) kinswoman ; grow into such an intimate acquaintance and friend
ship with them, as persons usually have with their near relations. 5 That they may keep thee from the 'strange woman, from the
stranger. [which] frattereth with her words ; to comply with whose solicitations there might be great templations amidst the luxury of Solomon's reign. To enforce the caution, he relates an
account of a thoughtless young man, who was seduced and ruined 6 by a wicked woman. For at the window of my house I looked 7 through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I
discerned among the youths, a young man void of understand8 ing, a giddy, unexperienced young fellow, Passing through the 9 street near her corner ; and he went the way to her house, In
the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night ; it
was in the twilight that I saw it, but to him it proved a black and 10 dark night : And, behold, there met him a woman [with] the
attire of an harlot, a gay, airy dre88, not used by modest women, il and subtile of heart (She [is] loud, talks and laughs loud ; a,
pretty sure mark of an immodest, at least of a weak mind ; and stubborn, she will not be advised and controled; her feet abide
not in her house ; she loves gadding abroad, and any thing bụt 12 family busines8 : Now [is she) without, now in the streets, and 13 lieth in wait at every corner.) So, she caught him, and kissed 14 him, [and] with an impudent face said unto him, (I have] peace 15 offerings with me ; this day have I payed my vows.* There-
fore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and 16 I have found thee. I bave decked my bed with coverings of 17 tapestry, with carved (works,) with fine linen of Egypt. I have 18 perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come,
let us take our fill of love until the morning : let us solace 19 ourselves with loves. For the good man [is] not. at home ;
acknowledging herself to be a married woman, but making light of that ; she does not call him her husband, but the good man, or the man of the house, whom they call my husband ; he is gone a. long journey, and will stay a long time, therefore there is no danger
• It is generally understood by this verse, that she kept up some forms of religion. Bet as part of the peace offerings were to be eaten at home, it may only intimate, that she had a. great deal of good provisions in her house.
20 of his discovering it. He hath taken a bag of money with him, 21 [and] will come home at the day appointed. With her much
fair speech she caused him to yield; with the fattering of her
lips she forced him, notwithstanding some reluctance from his own 22 conscience. He goeth after her straigbtway, as an ox gocth to 23 the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks ; Till
a dart strike through his liver ; as a bird hasteth to the snare, 24 and knoweth not that it [is] for his life.* Hearken unto me now
therefore, 0 ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. 29 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her
paths ; do not show any inclination to go near her ; do not hearken 26 to her, but check the first rising of temptation. For she hath cast
down many wounded : yea, many strong (men) have been slain
by her ; there are many melancholy instances of this in Lot, Sam27 son, David, and others, which are intended for our warning. Her
house, however it may be decked with ornaments, [is] the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death, that is, to the grave and everlasting destruction.t.
W E may hence learn, the regard we should show to wis.
VV dom, namely, to keep it as the most valuable treasure, to have its dictates familiar to our minds, and, by frequent medita. tion, ready for our use. A superficial knowledge of divine things, à general acquaintance with them only, will not be sufficient : by this alone we shall not perceive their beauty and excellence, whatever degrees of religious knowledge we have gained. May we keer it as the apple of the eye ; be very tender of it, that vothing may injure it or deprive us of it: this is the way to be secure against temptation. They are those who are void of undersianding that are corrupted and destroyed : whereas, to keep the commandments of God, is the way to live comfortably and to secure everlasting life.
2. How desirable is it for all, especially the young, to consider the conséquences of their actions ! when any pleasures solicit them, to consider how they will end. When the temptation is proposed, every thing looks charming and pleasant ; but if they would only consider the dart which will strike them through, that anguish of conscience which forbidden pleasures will bring ; and that place of torment to which they keed, they would not comply. Oh let our young friends therefore be cautious, not high minded, but fear : let
• What we render, as a fool to the correction of sick, a learned critic would render. as the deer skippreh into the tot, which the huet man settetl: in entrar hiin. There is a beau. tiful gradation in the motion of the three ani cils here meltioned; the ox, the deer, and ibe bird ; each oes swifter than the other, and it represcits the increasing pwed with which the young siwner is hurried on to his ruin, til he feeis himself nioitally wounded, and it is too late to go back.
+ Mr. Henry observes, that this story wonkl serve the licentious ports and playwriters of our age to make a comedy on. The larlot, with them would be the heroine, and the audience would be much diverted with her method of decoying the young squire ; and those who saw ir actrd, wouid go away and be glad to be so pirkadun. Thus fools make a mock at sin. But Soloinon tells it, and all wise men will read and beat it as a very melancholy story, and what Bould excite their caution.