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intelligence. We have reason to bless God for the art of writing, for the convenience of posts, and such easy conveyance of intelli.

sence from our absent friends ; especially for good news from 26 heaven. A righteous man falling down before the wicked,

being oppressed and trampled upon by him, [is as] a troubled 27 fountain, and a corrupt spring, a public calamity. [It is] not

good to eat much honey though very pleasant : so (for men) to search their own glory (is not] glory ; to hunt after applause is

dishonourable, it counterbalances and lessens all the other beauties of 28 a man's characier. He that Chath] no rule over his own spirit,

that cannot bear affronts and provocations with meekness, and af. frictions wich patience, [is like) a city (that is] broken down, [and] without walls ; he is liable to every surprize, is very contemptible, and is exposed to innumerable mischiefs. Let us labour afler the government of ourselves ; and learn of Christ, who was meek and lowly in heart ; so shall we find honour, security, and peace to our souls.

CHAP. XXVI.

i A S snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, which prevent

A reaping and gathering in the fruits of the earth, so honour is not seemly for a fool ; though he may look grand, he knows not how to use it, and does mischief with it. As the bird by wan. dering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come ; a man is in no more danger from the causeless

curse of others, than from the Aying of a bird over his head ; 3 il fires no where except upon him that ultered it. A whip

for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's

back ; a foolish wicked man must be taught and restrained by sea 4 vere methods ; no others will do. Answer not a fool according to 5 his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool accord.

ing to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit ; do not an. swer every impertinent speech or accusation of a clamorous fool; it is the better way to despise him : but if he should grow in80lent from your silence, a wise man may condescend to mortify him. A person must judge for himself which is most proper ; but it is

best in general to be silent, there is no surer way to mortify a fool. 6 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool, cutteth off

the feet, [and] drinketh damage; such a messenger will make lame

work of his message, and bring inconveniences on him that employs 7 him. The legs of the lame are not cqual, which gives a man a

disagreeable air, especially if he affecis agility : so (is) a parable in the mouth of fools.; 80 ridiculous is it for wicked men 10 an

filaud and recommend virtue ; it only makes their own wicked8 ness the more conspicuous. As he that bindetb a stone in a sling,

which is presently thrown out, so [is] he that giveth honour to a 9 foot ; it will not continue with him. (As) a thorn goeth up into

the hand of a drunkard, so [is] a parable in the mouth of fools ; a drunkard when stumbling catcheth hold of a thorn to support him, which wounds him. Thus wicked men, when they talk of religion, meddle to their hurt. A wicked man thinks to support him.

self by it ; but he only hurts his character the more, though his 10 parable be ever so fine. The great (God) that formed all (things]

both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors, though he il may suffer them to go on a great while. As a dog returneth to

his vomit, [so) a fool returneth to his folly ; he commits the same

errors for which he formerly smarted and professed to repent of, 12 and so becomes odious 10 God and man. Seest thou a man wise

in his own conceit? (there is) more hope of a fool than of

him, that is, of one that has hardly common sense ; he is a fool i3 of God's making, the other makes himself so. The slothful (man)

saith ; [There is a lion in the way, a lion (is) in the streets: thus idle people frighten themselves from business ; raise imaginary

difficulties and aggravate real ones. Many of these lions stand in 14 the way on the Lord's day. [as] the door turneth upon his 15 binges, so [doth] the slothful upon his bed. The slothful bid

eth his hand in (his] bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. A beautiful gradation; he does not care to stir or rise out of his bed : when he is up, he does not care 10 streich out his hand to feed himself, and would be glad to eat by proxy.

Thus habits of idleness grow : the less a man doth, the less he is 16 disposed to do. The sluggard [is] wiser in his own conceit

than seven men that can render a reason ; as stupid a creature

as he is, he has a great conceit of his own abilities, though he has 17 nothing to say in defence of his opinions or practices. He that

passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife (belonging] not to him,

[is like] one that taketh a dog by the cars ; he gets the displeas. 18 ure of both parties, and is often hurt in the quarrel. As a mad 19 (man) who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So [is] the man

(that) deceiveth his neighbour, who leads him into sin or improses upon him, and saith, Am not ļ in sport? pretends that he means no harm, only to make himself and others merry; while vice

is thus encouraged, guilt contracted, and great mischief is done, 20 Where no wood is, (there) the fire goeth out: so where [there

is) no talebearer, the strife ceaseth, therefore when you mert 21 with such persons frown upon them. [As) coals (are) to burning

coals, and wood to fire, kindling one another, so [is] a contentious

man to kindle strife ; he is easily inflamed kimself and quickly 72 kindles others. The words of a talebearer (are) as wounds, and

they go down into the innermost parts of the belly, do secret, 23 yet deep, and incurable injury. Burning lips and a wicked

heart, ill natured, salyrical terms, especially when used 10 erpose what is virtuous and good, and to countenance vice, (are like) a potsberd, or piece of broken prot or crucible covered with silver dross, in which silver has been melted, and is spread over it ; so contemptible is wicked wit. Many of the satyrical productions of 94 our celebrated poets are of this nature. He that hateth disser

bleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him ; he ina

tends a man's ruin when he makes a profession of friendship; 35 When he speaketh fair, believe him not ; for (there are seven

abominations in his heart; when you have once discovered a man

to be of that disposition, you have need of the greatest caution in 76 dealing with him; he is a most dangerous enemy. [Whose] hatred

is covered by deceit, bis wickedness shall be showed before the [whole] congregation ; he will probably be exposed to mankind,

and become universally contemptible ; and certainly be exposed to 27 the view of the whole world at the judgment day. Whoso diggeth

a pit, with an evil design, shall fall therein : and he that rolleth

a stone, to injure others, it will return upon him, and hurt 28 himself. A lying tongue hateth (those that are afflicted by it ;

it is hard for those who have done an injury to respect the pe: son wronged; they still go on to do more ; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin ; persons by being courted and applauded are ofieri ruined. Hence we see what mischief deceit, falsehood, and flattery do in the world, and bring on those who practise them. Let it then be our ambition to be christians indeed, in whom there is no guile.

CHAP. XXVII.

I DOAST not thyself of tomorrow, what thou wilt do, or ex.

D peciest to receive ; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth ; it may render fruilless all thy designs and ex: 2 pectations ; death, or a thousand accidents, may do it. Let ano

ther man praise thee, and not thine own mouth ; a stranger, and not thine own lips; to praise thyself is indecent and impru.

dent ; it disposc8 others to undervalue thee, and defraud thee of 3 thy just commendation. A stone [is] heavy, and the sand weigh

ty ; but a fool's wrath [is] heavier than them both; he can nei: ther correct it himself, nor can another restrain it by any rational considerations, till it break out in the most insatiable cruelty. 4 Wrath [is] cruel, and anger [is] outrageous ; but who [is] able

to stand before envy ? Aman can better guard against the effects

of anger than envy, as that works secretly to do another an injury. 5 Open reboke [is] better that secret love ; a friend u ho reproves

is better than one roho may have an equal degree of love, but doil not show it that way. Faithful [are) the wounds of a friend ; sharp reproofs therefore ought to be thankfully received ; but the kisses of an enemy (are] deceitful; compliments and flattering en die 7 pressions ought therefore 1o de suspected. The full soul Icatheih

an honeycomb ; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is

sweet : this shows the advantage of poverty, and the vamıyla $ riches. As a bird that wandereth from her nest, and leaves hier

€558 lo be broken or her young ones to be destroyed, so [is] a max.

that wandereth from his place, who forsakes the station in which Providence hath placed him. When heads of families are need lessly absent from home, their domestic affairs take a bad turn, and

the love of pleasure and of sadding abroad often exposes young peoa 9 ple 10 temptation and ruin. Ointment and perfume rejoice the

heart: so [doth] the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty 10 counsel. Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, whom thou

and he have found sincere, forsake not ; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity : [for] better [is] a neighbour (that is) near, than a brother far off; we often meet with more kindness in trouble from friends than from near rela

tions, therefore be friendly, get and keep good friends, and show il some regard to the ancient friendships of the family. My son, be

wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that re

proacheth me,and charges thy miscarriages upon my want of care in 12 ihy education. A prudent (man) foreseeth the evil of sin and future

misery, [and] hideth himself from it ; [but] the simple pass on,

[and] are punished. This is applicable to this world and another. 13 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge

of him for a strange woman ; if a man be bound for others, he

knows not who, especially persons of bad character, do not trust 14 him without good security, for he is in the way to ruin. He that

blesseth his friend with a loud voice ; rising early in the morning ; it shall be counted a curse to him ; there is an excess and

officiousness of complaisance, which instead of serving and pleas: 15 ing hurts and disobliges. A continual dropping in a very rainy

day and a contentious woman are alike ; a man cannot go abroad 16 with comfort, or stay at home with quiet. Whosoever hideth her

hideth the wind; he who would keep her tongue under government or conceal her shame, may as well undertake to keep the wind from blowing ; and the ointment of his right hand, (which] bewrayeth (itslef ;] a man may grasp a perfume in his hand, and

think thereby to conceal it, but growing warm it will smell the inore. 17 Iron sharpeneth iron ; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of

his friend ; friendship if rightly managed is of the greatest use ;

wise friends when one anothers minds, and increase each others 18 friety and usefulness. Whoso keepeih the figtree shall cat the

fruit thercof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured; he who is diligent in his business, and walcheth over his mas

lor's reputation and substance, shall be respected and rewarded. 19 As in water, face (answereth] to face, so the heart of man to

man : there is a greal 1e8enitlance runs through human nature ;

by knowing one's own heart, we may make a good guess al others ; 20 therefore let us take pains to know our own. Hell and destruc

tion, or the grave, are never full ; so the eyes of man, thai is,

the desires of a worldly man after worldly things, are never satisfi. I ed. (As) the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold, for

its trial and examination ; so [is] a man to his praise ; a man of vanity and little worth is elevated and intoxicated with it, but a man of a truly worthy and valuable character will not be so ; he

will direct all 10 God, make allowances for the partiality of hie 22 friends, and use it with caution. Though thou shouldst bray a

fool in a morlar among wheat with a pestle, (yet) will not his foolishness depart from him ; though you should use the most vio. lent methods for his reformation, and to reproof and chiding add

rebukes, and blows, yet they will have no good effect upon such an 23 obstinate creature. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy

flocks, (and) look well to thy herds. An admirable rule, not only

for husbandmen, but for all masters and mistresses : they should 24 look to their affairs themselves, and not trust 10 servanls. For

riches (are] not for ever : and doth the crown (endure] to every generation? The greatest plenty and the largest estate

may be lost for want of prudence and good economy ; even a 25 princely fortune may be sunk without care. The hay appeareth,

and the tender grass showeth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered; these grow, and there is a time for gathering them, after which they will be spoiled ; therefore make hay while the sun

shines, and gather herbs in their season, then they will turn 10 a 26 good account. The lambs (are) for thy clothing, and the goats

(are) the price of the field, to pay the rent, yea, by good manage27 ment, to purchase the estate. And (thou shalt have) goat's milk

enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and (for) the maintenance for thy maidens. The meaning of these verses is, that as in husbandry men must look to their affairs, attend to the proper season of doing business, sowing, reaping, shearing, &C. &0 must all others be diligent 10 know the state of their affairs, pru. dent in the management of them, and punctual in the dispatch of business and payment of debts ; then, with the blessing of God, they will prosper. These cautions are very necessary, since we see so many reduced to distress for want of attending to them, from whose calamities we should learn wisdom.

CHAP. XXVIII.

I THE wicked flee when no man pursueth ; an evil con.

science makes men cowards : but the righteous are bold as a lion ; they proreed with resolution in the most hazardous under.

takings ; what reason then is there to pray that our soldiers and 2 sailors may be righteous ! For the transgression of a land many

(are the princes thereof; many changes are in the govern. meni, at least in those that administer it : but by a man of understanding (and) knowledge the state (thereof] shall be prolong

ed ; one wise and upright minister may reduce every thing 10 3 order and secure its prosperity. A poor man that oppresseth

the poor [is like) a sweeping rain which leaveth no food ; like a

violent torrent destroying the fruits of the earth, instead of refresh4 ing them. They that forsake the law, praise the wicked ; sin

ners keep one anothar in countenance : but such as keep the law VOL. V.

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