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he go unto the wise, because he is determined to go on in an 13 evil way. A merry heart maketh a cheerful counte

nance: but by forrow of the heart the spirit is broken, and rendered unfit for the service of God and man. This

teaches us to cultivate an innocent cheerfulness, and not suffer 14 forrow to prey upon the mind. The heart of him that

hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness; foolish men pour out a torrent of impertinent, idle discourse, while a wise man

feeks improvement in wisdom and grace, and finds the com15 fort of it. All the days of the afflicted (are) evil: but

he that is of a merry heart (hath] a continual feast; if a poor affli&ted man be of a cheerful temper, it makes up the want of other enjoyments, and sweetens his evil days. Better [is] a little with the fear of the Lord, with a good con. Science, and serving God with it, than great treasure and trouble therewith ; than an uneasy mind and the abuse of wealth, which aggravates their future account. This is an important hint to parents to pursue religion rather than

wealth, and be inore careful that their children be religious than 17 rich. Better [is] a dinner of herbs where love is, than

a stalled ox and hatred therewith; the meanest provision

with family peace and love, is better than the greatest dainty 18 and hatred therewith. A wrathful man stirreth up strife:

but she that is] flow to anger appeaseth ftrife; a peaceable, quiet fpirit is its own reward, and of great service to the world. The way of the sothful (man is) as an hedge of thorns; he makes dificulties where there are none, and magnifies those that are: but the way of the righteous [is] made plain, easy and pleasant, notwithstanding all dif

couragements; he does not fink under but surmounts difficul. 20 ties. A wise son maketh a glad father, as he hopes he will

prove an honour to the family: but a foolish man despiseth

his mother; plainly hows he has no regard to her, who 21 perhaps has spoiled him by her indulgence. Folly [is] joy

to [him that is) destitute of wisdom; he fins with delight, and boasts of it: but a man of understanding walketh up

rightly; this affords him the highest satisfaction, and will 22 be greatly rewarded. Without counsel, purposes are dis. appointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are

established,

19

23 established, accomplished and brought to a good issue. A

man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word

[spoken] in due season, how good [is it,] both to himself 24 and others ! The way of life is) above to the wise, that

he may depart from hell beneath, thoan up hill road and difficult, yet this balances all, that it preserves a man from hell (as fome understand it); or rather, the way of life, or

true religion, leads a man's thoughts upwards, to an holy 25 and heavenly conversation. The Lord will destroy the

house of the proud, who trample on the poor : but he • will establish the border of the widow, who is afflicted 26 and oppresed. The thoughts of the wicked [are) an

abomination to the LORD, who sees and hates them: but [the words] of the pure [are] pleasant words, that is,

pleasing to God. Let us therefore guard our thoughts and 27 maintain good and useful discourse. He that is greedy of

gain, or eager in the pursuit of it, troubleth his own house; throws them into a continual hurry, will not allow them proper Neep or relaxation, is a burden to children and fervants, and brings the curse of God upon them: but he that hateth gifts shall live; he who hateth bribery, dis

honesty, and all mean tricks, Mall live in reputation and 28 comfort. The heart of the righteous studieth to answer;

he thinks before he speaks, and studies what may be useful:

but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things, 29 without any confideration of the consequences. The LORD

[is] far from the wicked; and thus what was his crime is his punishment : there will be a time when every man will

desire that God may be near him: but he heareth the 30 prayer of the righteous. The light of the eyes rejoiceth

the heart, gives pleasure and vigour to the body : [and] a good report maketh the bones fat. This pould teach us to

be thankful if God continues the light of our eyes, and the 31 brightness of our reputation. The ear that heareth the

reproof of life abideth among the wise; he is admitted into

their company as a teachable person, tho' he cannot bear a 32 part in the conversation. He that refuseth instruction

despiseth his own soul; is not sufficiently sensible of his rational, immortal nature, and prefers the body to it: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding, and to pre

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ferveth

33 ferveth his foul. The fear of the Lord [is] the instruc

tion of wisdom; the most important precept of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility.-Learn this, that the true, the sure, and the readiest way to be wise and honourable, is to be devout and humble:

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| C H A P. XVI. ITT HE preparations of the heart in man, and the

1 answer of the tongue [is] from the Lord; it depends on him whether they shall speak 'with such elocution 2 or success as they intended. All the ways of a man [are]

clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the
spirits; God has as per feet a knowledge of men's designs as

they have of those things which they weigh in the balance 3 with the greatest exactness. Commit thy works unto the

LORD, ask his direction, and seek a blesing from him, and

thy thoughts shall be established, without distressing cares 4 or fears. The Lord hath made all (things] for him.

self: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil; he has
made all things to answer the purposes of his providence and
glory, and even wicked men to be executioners of his ven-
geance; or rather, the Lord hath made all things suited to
each other, and proportioned the punishment of the wicked to

their crimes; he hath established the conne&tion between vice 5 and misery in the future world. Every one without excepti

on, [that is] proud in heart, [is] an abomination to the

LORD, tho' he may admire and applaud himself: (though) 6 hand join) in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By

mercy and truth iniquity is purged; fidelity and charity
are the ready way to avert the wrath of God: and by the

fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil; where true 7 religion is there will be reformation. When a man's ways

please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at

peace with him; he can calm their spirits and disarm their 8 resentment. Better [is] a little with righteousness than

great revenues without right; it is more lasting and more 9 satisfying. ' A man's heart deviseth his way: but after

all the LORD directeth his steps, therefore there is reason

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10 for prayer and thankfulness. A divine sentence [is] or

Mould be, in the lips of the king: his mouth tranfgreffeth not in judgment, in giving orders and executing judgment; or, if the dictates of God's word be in his lips,

a religious regard to the scripture will have a good influence 11 on his administration. A just weight and balance sare]

the Lord's: all the weights of the bag (are) his work, are appointed and commanded by him; justice ought to be ob

served in the least instances, and a regard to God will be an 12 engagement to universal integrity. [It is,] that is, it should

be, an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness; it tends to en.

gage the affeétions of the people and the favour of God, and 13 is the surest defence of a prince. Righteous lips [are] the

delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh

right; an intimation to Solomon's subječts what behaviour 14 would please him. The wrath of a king is as] messen.

gers of death, especially in such arbitrary monarchies as those in the east; how much more dreadful is the wrath of

God! but a wise man will pacify it; he will take the most 15 wife and prudent time and methods in doing it. In the

light of the king's countenance [is] life; there is a transport attending the smile of a prince; and his favour [is]

as a cloud of the latter rain; how valuable then is God's 16 favour! How much better in every respeet [is it] to get

wisdom than gold ? and to get understanding rather to be chosen than filver ? How foolish then is their conduet

who spend all their days in getting wealth, without improve 17 ing their own or their children's minds. The highway,

that is, the straight and easy path, of the upright is to depart from evil; this is his constant aim and endeavour: he

that keepeth his way, looks well to his actions, preserveth 18 his soul from forrow and destruction. Pride [goeth] be.

fore destruction, in this world and in the next, and an

haughty spirit before a fall; to be proud of any thing is the 19 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, infolent man in the midst of prosperity and triumph. Here Solonon not only opposes the blessings of virtue to the rewards of E 3

vice,

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vice, (that would be doing vice too much honour ;) but he op. poses the naked virtue, and that the least magnificent of all

others, to the advantages of the most exalted vice; the spirit 20 of meekness to the spoils of pride. He that handleth a mat..ter wifely shall find good, refpext and success : and whoso .. trusteth in the LORD, happy [is] he; true religion only 21 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, 22 and instructive. Understanding [is] a well-spring of life

unto him that hath it; it streams forth for the instruction of others: but the instruction of fools [is] folly; they

only betray their own folly, and no good is to be got by them, 23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth

learning to his lips; he speaks from experience, which 24 makes what 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 pleasant, but wholesome ; like honey, they have 25 an agreeable taste, 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 repeated to teach 26 us not to deceive ourselves. He that laboureth laboureth

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

dustry is necessary for the preservation of life, but more 27 necessary in the concerns of the soul. An ungodly man

diggeth 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 lying, Nanderous Speeches are very mischievous. 28 A froward man soweth strife where there is love and

peace; and a whisperer separateth chief friends, by car. 29 rying tales and misrepresentations. A violent man entice

eth 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, and attempt to draw our 30 friends into the 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;

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