Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

is careful what he says, and whom he trusts : but a fool layeth 17 open [his) folly, by his imprudence and rashness. A wicked mes.

senger, who is false to his trust, or trifles on his errands, falleth

into mischief : but a faithful ambassador [is] health ; is com18 fortable to himself and those who employ him. Poverty and shame

(shall be to] him that refuseth instruction : but he that regard19 eth reproof shall be honoured and esteemed. The desire accom

plished, especially the pious desire, is sweet to the soul : but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil ; and so the firosficct

of future happiness cannot persuade them to quit the bad courses 20 they are wedded to. He that walketh with wise (men,] intimately

converses and forms friendships with them, shall be wise ; conver

sation with such edifics and assimilates : but a companion of fools 21 shall be destroyed. Evil pursueth sinners, and will certainly over

take thein, though they think it at a distance : but to the righteous

good shall be repayed, for the good they have done, and the ill 22 they have suffered. A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his chil

dren's children, by forudence, diligence, justice, and charity : and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just ; it is frequently by

the providence of God transferred to pious families, who will make 23 a good use of it. Much food [is in) the tillage of the poor, that

is, in a little improved by industry : if a man has but little he should be so much the more diligent and frugal: but there is (that is) destroyed for want of judgment; large estates are often lost by idleness and extravagance, by over living, by keeping great tables and many servants : in other instances by out trading their capi

Inl, being cound for others, and the like ; all which show a want of 24 judgment. He that spareth his rod, if no other method will do,

hateth his son : but he that loveth bim chasteneth him betimes,

before i!l habits are contracted. Parents who do not keep their 25 children under strict discipline, are really crucl to them. The

righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul ; a little serves him, he does not desire dainties and elegancies : but the belly of the wicked shall want ; some of them ruin themselves by debauchery, others pine away through covetousness ; worldly men are never satisfied, On the whole, we see that godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.

CHAP. XIV.

'E

VERY wise woman buildeth her house ; by prudence and

good management, she firomotes the order, firosperity, and credit of the family, which is a mark of true quisdom : but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands ; by her pride, firodigal

ity, and idleness, she contributes to the ruin of it, agrecable to out 2 proverb, ' a man must ask his wife's leave to grow rich.' He that

walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD, firoves that he doce

60: but (he that is) perverse in his ways, unjust, intemperate,

and irregular, despiseth him, whatever pretensions he makes 3 to devotion. In the mouth of the foolish [is] a rod of pride ;

they often bring upon themselves deserved correction : but the lips of the wise shall preserve them; their prudent, peaceable,

and pleasing words, conciliate the friendship of others, and preserve 4 them from danger. It is true, Where no oxen (are,] the crib

[is] clean : but much increase [is] by the strength of the ox ; and one must be set over against the other. Persuns should not be averse to the fatigues and the meanest labours that a life of business exposes men to. There is a good equivalent in the increase of their substance. Guard therefore against that excessive deli

cały, which makes men neglect their proper duty because of some 5 inconveniences. A faithful witness will not lie : but a false wita

ness will utter lies ; when we know a man's general character, we 6 may know how far to credit what he says. A scorner, one that is

critical, and cavils at instructions, seeketh wisdom, and [findeth

it] not : but knowledge [is] easy unto him that understandeth ; 7 10 a well disposed, humble, and teachable mind. Go from the

presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not (in him)

the lips of knowledge ; if he has no relish for pious and useful % discourse, leave him, and seek better company. The wisdom of

the prudent, the best and most useful wisdom, [is] to understand his

way ; what course he must take to be truly happy : but the folly of fools (is) deceit ; to play the knave is the greatest folly. 9 Fools make a mock at sin ; it is one of the surest marks of wickede

ness, to make light of sin, or speak of it in a trifling manner : but among the righteous (there is) favour, charity and compassion

io the souls of others, and they are favoured of God and man. 10 The heart knoweth his cwn bitterness : and a stranger doth not

intermeddle with his joy ; we are not to judge of persons entirely by external circumstances, without examining their tempers and

passions. Others little know either the sorrow of a penitent, or 11 the joy of a believer : we are not to judge rashly. The finest,

firmest house of the wicked shall be overthrown : but the tabera

nacle, or little tent, of the upright shall flourish : who would not 12 then choose it, as a much more desirable habitation! There is a

way which seemeth right unto a man, he may think his opinion and practice right and good, but the end thereof (are) the ways of

death. Let us therefore be cautious, since ignorance will not always 13 excuse a man for ill behaviour. Even in laughter the heart is

sorrowful; there is oftentimes inward pain under the appearance

of cheerfulness ; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness ; this 14 is true of all vain and sensual mirth. The backslider in heart,

who declines his duty, from the fear of danger, shall be filled with his own ways, he shall have trouble and sorrow enough, yea, evera lasting terror and torment : and a good man (shall be satisfied]

from himself, shall have firesent satisfaction and an abundant 15 reward. The simple believeth every word ; credits every co

coma mon report, and trusts every man's promises : but the prudtud (man) looketh well to his going ; considers and observes it, to see that he has good ground for what he does. Policy without piety has too much of cunning to be good ; piety without fiolicy is too simple to be safe. The great secret is to maintain an easy air with

those with whom we converse ; but resolutely to maintain such a '16 reserve qe shall not put us into the flower of any. A wise (man]

feareth, and departeth froin evil ; keeps out of harm's way and avoids the appearance of evil : but the fool rageth, and is confi.

dent; runs rashly on, and, confident he shall do right, despises and 17 resents the kindest and mildest cautions. (He that is) soon angry,

of a hasty, passionate spirit, dealeth foolishly : and a man of

wicked devices is hated ; a deliberate villain is universally detested. 18 The simple, giddy, extravagant people, inherit folly, and will

quickly have nothing else to inherit : but the prudent are crown

ed with knowledge ; it is both their ornament and support. 19. The evil bow before the good ; and the wicked at the gates

of the righteous ; therefore they should not despise and in20 suli them in their prosperity. The poor is hated even of his own

neighbour : but the rich (hath] many friends, who hope to get

something by them. This is a motive to frugality and diligence. 21 He that despiseth his neighbour, because he is low or mean, and

will not relieve him, sinneth ; a remarkable phrase, intimating, that if we considered the digrity of the rational nature, we should do our utmost to relieve others : but he that hath mercy on the

poor, happy [is] he, both in the benevolence of his temper, (which 22 affords the greatest pleasure ) and in the approbation of God. Do

they not err that devise evil ? but mercy and truth (shall be]

to them that devise good ; divine mercy shall be their security, 23 their portion, and their joy. In all labour there is profit : but

the talk of the lips (tendeth] only to penury : a man had better employ himself in the meanest labours, than go lalking about, waste ing his own time and that of others in impertinence and folly.

Some men of natural good sense and wit thus prove fools in con24 duct, and by these means bring their families to poverty. The

crown of the wise [is] their riches; as they have great horour, and advantages for doing good : [but} the foolishness of fools

[is] folly ; when riches fa into the hands of a fool, he only dis25 plays his folly the more ; 80 that wisdom is better than riches. A

true witness deliveretb souls, lives and reputations : but a deceit

ful (witness) speaketh lies in judicial causes, and therefore does 26 great mischief. In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence,

in the greatest danger : and his children, the children of those who fear God, shall have a place of refuge. How great an couragement is it to real piety, that it entails a blessing upon our

families ! and how comfortable a thing to be the children of good 27 men ! The fear of the LORD (is) a fountain of life, to depart

from the shares of death; it gives continual refreshment, and 28 secures from the greatest dangers. In the multitude of people

[is] the king's honour : but in the want of people (is) the destruction of the prince : this should teach princes not to consume

[ocr errors]

them by war, or drive them out by persecution and oppression. 29 (He that is) slow to wrath [is] of great understanding : but

[he that is] hasty of spirit exalteth folly ; lifts it up as a stand30 ard, and teaches every body 10.despise him. A sound heart, a

quiet, gentle, contented mind, [is] the life of the flesh : but

envy the rottenness of the bones; it is its own punishment, wast31 ing the spirits and consuming the strength. He that oppresseth

the poor reproacheth his Maker for making him poor ; he con

temns God's promises, and forgets his commands : but he that 32 honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

The wicked is driven away in his wickedness ; in the midst of it, sometimes in the very act ; he is driven away against his will in agony and confusion :

but the righteous hath hope in his death ; hope of a better state 33 beyond this. Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath un

derstanding ; he knows when to conceal it : but that which is]

in the midst of fools is made known ; there is no concealing of a 34 fool, the abundance of his loquacity shows his emptiness. Right

cousness exalteth a nation, by its natural consequences securing 35 the divine blessing : but sin [is] a reproach to any people. The

king's favour [is] toward a wise servant : but his wrath is (against] him that causeth shame ; he shall be disgraced and barrished the court. Ile may observe from hence, that Solomun euery where estimates the understanding by prudence and meckness, çantion and circumspection, not by learning or wit. May we be ambitious to act upon these maxims, as they are necessary to our happiness in both worlds.

CHAP. XV.

The tongue

1 SOFT, a mild and submissive answer turneth away wrath:

but grievous words stir up anger ; raise fussion where 2 there was none, and heighten it where there was.

of the wise useth knowledge aright ; sets it off" by a proper manner of introducing it : but the mouth of fools poureth out fool

ishness, some silly stuff, or some good thoughts in a confused, osten3 tatious manner. The eyes of the Lord (are] in every place, 4 beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue [is] a

tree of life ; the tongue which speaks comfort and heals breaches, is the greatest blessing to those it converses with : but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit ; lying, calumny, and ill natured language, tend 10 grieve and break the heart ; the one

cheers a broken spirit, the other makes a breach in one that is sound. 5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction : but he that regardeth 6 reproof is prudent ; is in the way to improve in knowledge. In

the house of the righteous [is] much treasure, though but liitle wealth, because he has content and joy: but in the large revenues

of the wicked is trouble ; he has no comfort in ih. m, bis bad pas. 7 sions spoil all. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, sçailer it wide, like seed : but the heart of the foolish [doeth] not so ; & he has neither ability nor inclination to do good. The most costly

sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the Lord: but the 9 prayer of the upright [is] his delight : and the reason is, The

way of the wicked [is] an abomination unto the LORD : but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness ; who is sincere in

the pursuit of righteousness, who hungers and thirsts after it. 10 Correction (is) grievous unto him that forsaketh the way of re

ligion : [and] he that hateth reproof shall die. We here see why

many hate reproof; but, to die for want of attending to it, is infi11 nitely worse than any present mortification. Hell and destruction,

the grave and the invisible world, [are] before the Lord : how 12 much more then the hearts of the children of men ? A scorner

loveth not one that reproveth him : neither will he go unto the 13 wise, because he is determined to go on in an evil way. A merry

heart maketh a cheerful countenance : but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken, and rendered unfit for the service of God and man.

This teaches us to cultivate an innocent cheerful. 14 ness, and not suffer sorrow 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 seeks improvement in 15 wisdom and grace, and finds the comfort of it. All the days of the

afliçted (are] evil : but he that is of a merry heart [hath] a continual feast ; if a poor afticted man be of a cheerful temper, it

makes up the want of other enjoyments, and sweetens his evil days, 16 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 10

parents to pursue religion rather than wealth, and be more careful 17 tha! their children be religious than rich. Better [is] a dinner of

herbs wliere lave is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith ;

the meanest provision with family peace and love, is better than the 18 greatest dainty and hatred therewith. A wrathful man stirretha

up strife : but [he that is) slow to anger appeaseth strife ;

a peaceable, quiet spirit is its own reward, and of great service to 19 the world. The way of the slothful (man is) as an hedge of

thorns ; he makes difficulties where there are none, and magnifies those that are : but the way of the rightcous [is] made plain,

eusy and pleasant, notwithstanding all discouragements ; he does 20 not sink under but surmounts difficulties. A wise son maketh a

glad father, as he hopies he will prove an honour to the family : but a foolish man despiseth his mother; plainly shows he has no

regard to her, who perhaps has spoiled him by her indulgence. 21 Folly [is) joy to [him that is) destitute of wisdom ; he sins with

delight, and boasts of it : but a man of understanding walketh

uprightly ; this affords him the highest satisfaction, and will be 22 greatly rewarded. Without counsel purposes are disappointed :

but in the multitude of counsellors they are established, accom

« AnteriorContinuar »