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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 bchave 80 to us.


I D ETTER [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than

D (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 gel rich by his artifices. Also, [that] the

soul (be) without knowledge, [it is) not good ; The want of un. derstanding and deliberalion piroves an occasion of great mischief: and he that hasteih with [his] feet sinneth ; if a man of good

sense runs rashly and inconsidera cly on, it will be as fatal to him 3 as the want of understanding. The foolishness of man pervert.

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

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

cumstances; 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 speakech 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 him and whose temper inclinos him to be libera

al. What a strong arzument is this to seek the divine friendship ! 7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him as a disgrace and bur. den 10 ihein : how much more do his friends go far from him, that is, those who professed themselves such ? he pursueth (them

withi) words, he entreats them and purs them in mind of formos & promises, (yet) they [are) wanting (to him.) He that getteth

wisdom loveth his own soul : he that keepeth understanding, 9 who conduci8 his life by prulen' counsel, shall find good. A false

witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh 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

prosperity ; he useth the deliyhis of life to dishonour God, and for his otun 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 Il on mankind. The discretion of a man deferreth his anger till he

is coul, and has considered the matter : 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

roarin, of a lion; but his favour [is] as dew upon the grass,

13 This is designed to promote loyalty. A foolish son [is] the calam:

ity of his father : and the contentions of a wise (are] a continual dropping ; make the house uncomfortable and unfit to be inhab. ited, and so tempe 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 fathers : and a prua

dent wife [isfrom the LORD, she does not come by hereditary

right ; 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 unft for busines8 ; and an idle soul 16 shall suffer hunger ; shall be reluced 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

own inclination and the 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 libera 18 ality. Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul

spare for his crying ; it should be rather rendered, "Do not lift

up thy soul to his destruction, that is, correct him, but not immodé 19 erately.' A man of great wrath shall suffer punishinent; he

will have a deal of perplexity and uneasiness, quarrels, and law 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 per: 20 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 to 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 gives good evidence of a kind, benevolent dispod sition, is more esteemed and respected than a liar, that is, than a rich man who makes grea: professions and promises, and does not

answer them, has nothing at the service of his friends but compli13 ments. The fear of the LORD stendeth] to life : and she that

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

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

again ; when sloth prevails it makcs a man unwilling to do the mosé 95 necessary things. Smite a scorner, a profligate sinner, and the

simple will beware; if it does him no good, it may be a warning 10 others : and reprove one that hath understanding, [and] he

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

[is]a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach to his parents 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 would prejudice you 28 against religion or weaken your regard to it. An ungodly wit

ness scorneth judgment, that is, reason, equity, 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 otiportunity 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 cerlainly 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.


W I NE [is] a mocker, strong drink (is) raging : and

VV whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise ; it makes & man abusive and quarrelsonie, leads him to say and do foolish things. Let him have ever so much sense, he reduceth himself to a level with an idiot ; yca, with a brute. It 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, cauriously 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 rea.

son 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 indus6 try finds methods to fetch water out of the earth. Most men will

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

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

integrity: his children Care) blessed after him; he entails a

blessing on his posterity ; 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 us be humble before God, 10 and not expect perfection in others. Divers weights, [and] divers

measures, both of them (are) alike abomination to the LORD ; they are very detestable to him, though men may think it a small mata

ter to use them : it is in vain to pretend to devotion, where there il is not common honesty. Even a child is known by his doings,

whether his work (be] pure, and whether [it be] right ; you may easily guess whether he will prove modest and honest, or lewd

and knavish ; therefore parents should restrain every thing that 12 looks bad in children, and encourage every thing promising. The

hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them ; this is true also of the faculties of the mind ; therefore

we should not be proud of them, but use them for God's glory. 13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, rise

early to thy business, [and] thou shalt be satisfied with bread. 14 [It is) naught, [it is) naught, saith the buyer : but when he

is gone his way, then he boasteth. Thus men impose upon one

another, and act contrary to the golden rule of doing as they would 15 be done by. There is gold and a multitude of rubies : but the

lips of knowledge (are) a precious jewel, much more valuable. 16 Take his garment that is surety (for) a stranger : and take a

pledge of him for a strange woman; do not trust that man with

out good security, who is ready to be bound for a person, he knows 17 not who ; especially for a wicked strumpet. Bread of deceit [is]

sweet to a man; but afterward his mouth shall be filled with gravel; as a hungry man who calching at a piece of bread, and

finds in his mouth a piece of the mill stone that ground it, so a man 18 will regret his unrighteous gains. [Every) purpose is establish

ed by counsel : and with good advice make war; do nothing

rashly, especially in war, where conduct is often better than cour19 age. He that goeth about (as) a talebearer, revealeth secrets :

therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips ; be very careful of a man that comes to you as a talebearer, and pre.

tends to know every one's secrets, for he will reveal yours likewise. 20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put

out in obscure darkness; he shall lose all his comfort and happi. 21 ness. An inheritance (may be) gotten hastily at the beginning;

but the end thereof shall not be blessed ; it shall moulder away 22 or be embittered. Say not thou, when thou hast received an in

jury, I will recompense evil, I will avenge myself in proportion to the offence ; [but] wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee ; he

shall right thy present wrongs, and defend thee from future ones. 23 Divers weights Care] an abomination unto the LORD ; and a 24 false balance (is) not good. Man's goings (are) of the LORD;

how can a man then understand his own way ? Let us therefore 25 mind our duty, and leave events to God. (It is) a snare to the

man (who] devoureth (that which is) holy, appropriates to his own use what was consecrated to God ; and after vows to

make inquiry whether it was wise and right ; that should have 26 been done first. A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bring

eth the wheel over them. This is an allusion to a king riding in his chariot, dispersing some sinners by his appearance, and driving Vol. V.

27 over and destroying others. The spirit of man [is] the candle of

the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly ; rrason and conscience are like a lamp that God hath set up in us, and by which we are capable of searching our hearts ; therefore we ought to use it carefully; and God will examine whether we have worked

or played by this light, and accordingly will doom us to everlasting 28 light or darkness. Mercy and truth preserve the king; are his

strongest guards : and his throne is upholden by mercy ; it is

the best security of his government, engaging the favour of God, 29 and the affections of his people. The glory of young men [is] their

strength i and the beauty of old men [is] the grey head ; each has its beauty, glory, and use. Young men are fitted for dif

ficult labours, and to defend their country ; old men for counsel 30 and advice, and therefore should not be slighted. The blueness of

a wound cleanseth away evil: so [do] stripes the inward parts of the belly ; those strokes which make a man black and blue, even those which are as wounds going into the belly, purge out those corrupt affections which are in the heart. This intimates, that re. proof, however disagreeable at present, may be attended with hap. py consequences. In this view, heavy afflictions from the hand of God may be extremely useful; and it becomes us to receive refiroofs with thankfulness, and afflictions with all humble submission, and carefully improve them.


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THE king's heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the

1 rivers of water : he turneth it whithersoever he will ; it is like rivulets of water, which a husbandman turns to which part

of his ground he pleaseth ; this is a reason why we should pray for 2 kings and all that are in authority. Every way of a man [is]

right in his own eyes ; but the LORD pondereth the hearts ; he

ofien sces cause to condemn what they approve, and will bring every 3 heart under a strict examination. To do justice and judgment [is]

more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice, or any other external

obscrvances. A maxim of great importance, especially to the Jews, 4 who were prone to trust in their sacrifices and ceremonies. An

high look, and a proud heart, [and] the ploughing of the wicked, [is] sin, when he does not do it with a good intention ; or rather,

as in the margin, the light of the wicked, that is, all their worldly 5 pomp and glory, is an occasion of sin unto them. The thoughts of

the diligent, that is, the firudent and active, (tend] only to plenteousness ; but of every one (that is] hasty, who acts rashly,

and undertakes more business than he can manage, only to want. 6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue [is] a vanity lossed

to and fro of them that seek death ; it is a vapour dissipated by the wind ; the treasures are lost, and destruction follows. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them, or saw them asundor,

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