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3 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

intreat him to take some course for thy safety by paying the
4 debt, or getting some other security. Give not sleep to
5 thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thy-

self as a roe from the hand [of the hunter,) and as a
bird from the hand of the fowler, for thou mayest be ar.

rested and ruined, when thou dost not expeEt it.
6 Go to the ant, thou suggard ; consider her ways,
7 and be wise: Which having no guide to direEt it, overseer
8 to enaEt law, or ruler to punis 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 to do, than the 9 ants, therefore How long wilt thou sleep, O fluggard ? 10 when wilt thou arise out of thy Reep? 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

little more, unwilling to rise and apply thyself to thy proper Il business: So shall thy poverty come as one that travel.

leth step by step, so that thou canst 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 mouth; maintains himself by lies, flattery, and 13 Nander. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with

his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; he has private : Signs to instruet his accomplices how they are to play their 14 part; Frowardness [is] in his heart, he deviseth mif.

chief continually; he soweth discord in families and na. 15 tions, hoping to find his account in it. Therefore shall

his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be

broken without remedy. 16 These fix (things] doth the Lord hate : yea, seven 17 sare] an abomination unto him: A proud look, a 18 ]ying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An

heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, to gratify his

appetites, his covetousness, or revenge, feet that be swift 19 in running to mischief, A false witness in judgment

[that]

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[that] speaketh lies, that is, perjures himself, and him that soweth discord among brethren; between near rela.

tions, where there ought to be mutual affection. 20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and for21 fake not the law of thy mother : Bind them continually

upon thine heart, [and] tie them about thy neck; frix

them on thy mind, keep them continually before thine eyes, 22 and thou wilt find constant benefit by it. When thou goeit,

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 companion,

and suggest proper and comfortable meditations to thee in the 23 night. For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the

law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction Care] the

way of life; they will direet thee in every circumstance of 24 life: and will be particularly of use To keep thee from the

evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman, which a prudent education, and even moral pre

cepts, are not always able to do. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart ; neither let

her take thee with her eyelids; talk not of her smiles and 26 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 not only destroys the estate, 27. but health and life itself. Can a man take fire in his

bosom, and his clothes not be burned ?. at least blacken. 28 ed, 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; it will bring guilt, hame, and for. 30 row 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, but rather 31 pity and forgive him: But [if] he be found, he shall re

store sevenfold, that is, many fold, he shall give all the

substance of his house rather than be exposed to publick 32 prosecution. [But] whoso committeth adultery with a

woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it de. 33 stroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away; C 3

adultery

adultery is much more infamous than theft; it is an everlast.. ing brand of disgrace, besides the fatal consequences which 34 attend the jealousy of the husband. For jealousy [is] the

rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of 35 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.

REFLECTION.

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U E may observe, that this chapter contains abun

V dance of excellent 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 fickness, and old age. But they are most in danger from fleshly 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 company, 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 to put fire into his bofom, 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. Şuch remarks as these cannot be closed without lamenting

over this wicked land of ours. Instead of pitying, and dealing gently with a thief, he is transported, or hanged; while adulterers and adulteresses, whom 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 publick 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 make void thy law.

CHA P. VII. Solomon here renews his cautions to all, especially to his young

readers, against fleshly lufts, with regard to which they need

line upon line. INAY fon, keep my words, and lay up my commanda 2 IVI ments with thee, as thy best treasure. Keep my

commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye, that is, with the greatest care; as if he had said,

Thou hadst better lose thine eyes, and live in darkness, than 3 that thy mind should be without wisdom. Bind them upon thy

fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart; have 4 them always ready for use. Say unto wisdom, Thou (art] my sister; and call understanding [thy] kinswoman; grow

into such an intimate acquaintance and friendship with them, 5 as persons usually have with their near relations. That

they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger (which] flattereth with her words; to comply with whose solicitations there might be great temptations amidst the luxury of Solomon's reign. To enforce the caution

he relates an account of a thoughtless young man, who was 6 seduced and ruined by a wicked woman. For at the win. 7 dow of my house I looked through my casement, And

beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the

youths, a young man void of understanding, a giddy, 8 unexperienced young fellow, Passing through the street 9 near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark C4 .

night; ,

night; it was in the twilight that I saw it, but to him it 10 proved a black and dark night : And, behold, there met

him a woman [with] the attire of an harlot, a gay, airy

dress, not used by modest women, and subtile of heart. 11 (She [is] loud, talks and laughs loud ; a pretty sure mark

of an immodejt, at least of a weak mind; and stubborn, The will not be advised and controuled; her feet abide not

in her house; she loves gadding abroad, and any thing but 12 family business: Now [is she] without, now in the 13 streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she

caught him, and kissed him, [and] with an impudent 14 face said unto him, [I have] peace offerings with me; 15 this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I

forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I 16 have found thee. I have decked my bed with cover

ings of tapestry, with carved (works,] with fine linen 17 of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, 18 and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until 19 the morning: let us solace 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 20 danger of his discovering it. He hath taken a bag

of money with him, [and] will come home at the 21 day appointed. With her much fair speech she

caused him to yield; with the flattering of her lips she

forced him, notwithstanding some reluctance from his own 22 conscience. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox

goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of 23 the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a

bird hafteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it [is] 24 for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, Oye child.

ren, d It is generally understood by this verse, that the kept up some forms of religion. But 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.

• What wę render, as a fool to the correction of the Rocks, a learned critic would render, as the deer Skippeth into the toil, which

the

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