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stant aim and endeavour : he that keepeth his way, looks well to

his actions, preserveth his soul from sorrow and destruction. 18 Pride (goeth] before destruction, in this world and in the next,

and an haughty spirit before a fall; to be proud of any thing is. 19 the way to lose it. Better (it is to be) of an humble spirit with

the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud ; an humble man is happier in afflictions, than an haughty, insolent man in the midst of prosperity and triumfih. Here Solomon not only opposes the blessings of virtue to the rewards of vice, that would be do. ing vice too much honour ;) but he opposes the nakıd virtue, and that the least magnificent of all others, to the advantages of the

most exalted vice; the spirit of meekness to the spoils of pride. 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good, respect and suc

cess : and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy [is] he ; true re21 ligion only can make a man happy. The wise in heart shall be

called prudent, that is, have the honour of their wisdom : and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning ; eloquence adds a new

value to it ; makes it more agreeable, diffusive, and instructive. 22 Understanding (is) a wellspring of life unto him that hath it ; it

streams forth for the instruction of uthers : but the instruction of

fools [is] folly ; they only betray their own folly, and no good is to 23 be got by them. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and

addeth learning to his lips ; he speaks from experience, which 24 makes whai he says the more regarded. Pleasant words, such

words of wisdom as before described, [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones, are not only pleas

ant, but wholesome ; like honey, they have an agreeable taste, 25 and a medicinal virtue. There is a way that seemeth right unto

a man : but the end thereof (are] the ways of death ; this is 26 repeated to teach us not to deceive ourselves. He that laboureth,

laboureth for himself ; for his mouth craveth it of him ; honest

industry is necessary for the preservation of life, but more neces27 sary in the concerns of the soul. An ungodly man diggeih up

evil ; is always contriving to do mischief ; with great labour and industry diving into what is secret by surmises and suspicions :·

and in his lips (there is) as a burning fire ; his dying, slanderous 28 speeches are very mischievous. A froward man soweth strife

where there is love and peace ; and a whisperer separateth chief 29 friends, by carrying tales and misrepresentations. A violent man

ehticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way (that is] not good ; contrives to do him the greatest injury. Let us aim at

a contrary character, anil attempt to draw our friends into the 30 ways of religion. He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things;

he does it with deliberation and contrivance : moving his lips he

bringeth evil to pass ; giving signs to his associates, that they 31 may execute their wicked projects. The hcary head [is] a crown

of glory, [if] it be found in the way of righteousness; it is an honourable thing 10 be an aged saint : such should be reverenced, ani!

young people should be engaged to be good betimes, that they may 32 have this honour if they should live to be oldi (He that is] slow to

Vol. V.

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anger, not easily put into a passion, nor resents a provocation, [is] better than the mighty : and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city ; some of the most glorious conquerors amidst the greatest success and triumph, have been, through the violence

of their own passions, the objects of pity to all who read their his33 tory; as Alexander, and others. The lot is cast into the lap:

but the whole disposing thereof (is) of the LORD; his firovidence determines the most casual events, therefore we should be reconciled to our condition, and patient and contented in every state.


I DETTER [is] a dry morsel, a dry crust, and quietness there

D with, than an house full of sacrifices (with) strife ; than the greatest feast upon the remains of the most costly sacrifices : all fami:

lies, especially the poor, should cultivate peace, and thus secure the 2 most valuable enjoyment of life. A wise servant shall have rule over

a son that causeth shame: and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren; a wise servant often gets money sufficient 10 3 buy the estate which foolish children are obliged to sell. The fining

pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold : but the LORD trieth

the hearts ; afflictions discover the dross, and prove what is good. 4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; it is a sign of a wicked

disposition to give credit to every malicious story raised and

spread : [and] a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue ; liars love 5 to strengthen and justify one another. Whoso mocketh the poor

reproacheth his Maker who made him so, who has taken the poor

under his protection, and will punish the reproachers : [and] he 6 that is glad at calamities shall not go unpunished. Children's

children (are) the crown of old men; it is an honour to live to be old and see many descendants : and the glory of children (are]

their fathers ; it is an honour for children 1o be deseended from a worthy fiarents. Excellent speech becometh not a fool ; his 8 manners contradict it : much less do lying lips a prince. A

gift (is as] a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath il, scaitering its rays from every side, is sparkling and beautiful : whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. This intimates the unhappy

influence which interest has to make mon act against reason, con9 science, and the public good. He that covereth a transgression, maketh the best of every thing, seeketh love ; but he that repeateth a matter, and firobably aggravates it, separateth (very ] friends ; such talebearers as these are very pernicious persons,

and should be checked by those who are friends to pieace and love, TO A reproof entereth more into a wise man, maketh a greater im

pression upon him, than an hundred stripes into a fool. An evil (man) seeketh only rebellion, or mischief : therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. This is a warning not to entertain seditious councils and designs, lest the prince shculd send 12 an executioner, as was customary in the east. Let a bear robbed

of her whelps, the most mischievous animal in enraged circum

stances, meet a man rather than a fool in his folly ; rather than a 13 man under the influence of strong and vicious passions. Whoso

rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house ; it may be punished in the next generation. The beginning of strife (is as when one letteth out water : therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with ; a beautiful allusion to a well known fact, when a breach is once madein a dam no one can tell where

it will stop, it will grow wider and larger, therefore let us not med15 dle with it at all. He that justifieth the wicked, treating him

as, and pronouncing him to be righteous, and he that condemnetli the just, censures and condemns those who are sincere and upright

for some little indiscretions, even they both [are] abomination to 16 the Lord. Wherefore [is there] a price in the hand of a fool,

an opportunily and advantage to get wisdom, seeing (he hath] 17 no heart, neither skill, resolution, nor desire (to it?] A friend

loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity ; they only 18 are true friends who stick to us and help us in adversity. A man

void of understanding striketh hands, (and] becometh surety in 19 the presence of his friend, who is able to answer for himself. He

loveth transgression that loveth strife, that is, brawling, contentions, law suits, and disputes in religion : [and] he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction ; he who affects grundeur and magnificence, his substance and his estate all run out at his pompous

gale, and make way for destruction to enter in : this is the ruin of 20 multitudes of young people. He that hath a froward heart, a per.

verse, fretful disposition, findeth no good : and he that hath a perverse tongue, a deceitful, ill natured tongue, falleth into mischief, brings it upon himself by his own perverseness. He that begetteth a fool, a wicked son, (doeth it) to his sorrow : and the fither of a fool hath no joy in any thing else. Such parents are

greatly to be pitied ; and in order to prevent this, they cannot be 22 100 careful in the education of their children. A merry heart,

that is, a cheerful temper, doeth good (like) a medicine : but a

broken spirit drieth the bones ; weakens the strengih, and cori23 sumes the vital parts. A wicked [man] taketh, or accepteth, a

gift out of the bosom of the giver, he does it secretly, to pervert 24 the ways of judgment. Wisdom [is] before him that hath un

derstanding ; he has his thoughts about him, looks before him, and considers the consequences of things : but the eyes of a fool (are) in the ends of the earth; he hath a roving, dissipated spirit, med.

dling with things that he hath no concern in, and that are of no im. 25 portance. A foolish son [is] a grief to his father, and bitterness

to her that bare him : this is a maxim that Solomon often repeais;

probably he had his own son Rehoboam in his eye. It is of great ima 26 poriance for parents and children to attend to it. Also to punish

the just [is] not good, (nor] to strike princes for equily ; it is az crime in a magistrate 10 punish the just, but for a king io punish, 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 ; the 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 therefore be swifi to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.

CHAP. XVIII. 'i THROUGH desire a man, having separated himself, seek

1 eth [and] intermeddieth with all wisdom ; or rather, å mian of retirement seeketh after his desire, and intermeddleth with 2 all ovisdom. 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 delighi 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 ofreaks refiroach.

fully and contemptibly of others, mark him for a wicked mar. 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 iner5 haustible spring of entertainmen! 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 punisti7 nent upon himself. A fool's mouth sis? his destruction, and his

lips (are] the snare of his soul ; it will especially appear to be so

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 falsehoods, who misrepresents things, or whispers about things which should not be spoken of, though true, the words of such [are) 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 persone 9 spoken of, and the love of those spoken 10. 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 promise, [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 con: ceit ; he thinks himself securely intrenched, 80 thai 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 a man finde himself disposed to be proud of any of his endowments and posses.

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.

hension, and pronounces dogmatically without hearing both 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.

fire should be taken to govern the passions, and keep the spirita 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 application 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 cistom 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 to 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 (are] 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 un, 21 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 il,

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

some ancient versions render it) 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 to haughtiness and arrogance, 24 which very much lessen the value of them. A man [that hath)

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