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not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge; 21 I refer to thy own judgment and discretion ; That I might make

thee know the certainty of the words of truth ; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? bc useful to those that consult thee or employ thee in any business ;

this is one great advantage of wisdom, that it fils men for useful 22 services in life. Rob not the poor, because he [is] poor : neither

oppress the afflicted in the gate, that is, in the court of justice ;

let him not be overthrown or injured because he wants money to 23 defend his cause : For the LORD, the supreme judge, will plead 24 their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Make

no friendship with an angry man ; and with a furious man 25 thou shalt not go : Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare

to thy soul ; lest his passions provoke thine ; or lest his exam. 26 ple corrupt thee, and lead thee into sin. Be not thou (one) of

them that strike hands, (or) of them that are sureties for debts. 27 If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed

from under thee? It is prudent to avoid being bound for others, lest the creditor in the rage of his disappointment go beyond what

the law allows, and reduce thee to great extremity through thy own 28 folly. Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers 29 have set, for the distinction of one inheritance from another. Seest

thou a man diligent in his business, a man that looks about him, is active and diligent in his own proper work, he shall stand before kings ; he shall not stand before mean (men ;] he is likely to rise and be advanced in life. If we desire to stand before the King of kings, and to be numbered among his favourites, let us not be slothful in busine88, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.

CHAP. XXIII.

1 TXTHEN thou sittest to eat with a ruler, or any person of

VV superior rank or quality, consider diligently what [is] before thee, and how easily thou mayest be drawn into exce88 : 2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appe

tite ; use any violence with thyself rather than fall into intemper3 ance. Re not desirous of his dainties : for they (are) deceitful meat ; persons by visiting those above their rank get an habit of high living, which often proves a snare to them ; plain fare is less

expensive, more nourishing, and free from the temptations which 4 attend dainty meats. Labour not to be rich; fatigue not thyself;

make not a slavery of business ; set bounds to thy contrivances ; do not place thy happiness in riches, nor seek them too eagerly :

cease from thine own wisdom, which may prompi thee 10 such a 5 dangerous and destructive conduct. Wilt thou set thine eyes

upon that which is not ? for (riches] certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Solomon, Nough a rich man, speaks of riches in a very contemptuous manner here, as if they had no real existence. They are often lost through such an excessive desire of more, as sets men ufron hazardous en. terprises, which, if they do not succeed, lessen their former gain ;

while hoarding them up is but letting their wings grow, which makes 6 them more readily fly away. Eat thou not the bread of (him that

hath] an evil eye, a man of a covetous temper, who grudgeth thee

every thing thou eatest ; neither desire thou his dainty meals : 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so sis) he: Eat and drink, saith

he to thee ; but his heart (is) not with thee; he is to be judged of

by his disposition, and not by his compliments ; whatever he says, 8 he has no real regard for thee. The morsel (which] thou hast

eaten shalt thou wish to vomit up, and lose thy sweet words ; 9 repent of all thy compliments and thanks. Speak not in the ears 10 of a fool : for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. Re

move not the old land mark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless, who are not able to right themselves. For their Rea deemer [is] mighty ; he shall plead their cause with thee ; if

they have no ncar relation, kinsman, or friend to avenge their wrong, 12 God will do it. Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine 13 ears to the words of knowledge. Withhold not correction from

the child out of foolish pity : for [if] thou beatest him with the 14 rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and

shalt deliver his soul from hell ; save him from those sinful courses 15 that might lead him to destruction. My son, if thine heart be 16 wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yea, my reins shall

rejoice, when thy lips speak right things, and nothing that savours 17 of impiety to God or undutifulness 10 me. Let not thine heart

envy sinners : but [be thou] in the fear of the LORD all the day

long ; this will preserve thee from all corrupt affections and irreg. 18 ular passions. For surely there is an end ; and thine expecta

tion shall not be cut off ; tl.ou will not upon the whole lose by thy 19 religion, but have & glorious reward here and hereafier. Hear

thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way 20 which I prescribe to thee. Be not among wine bibbers ; among

riotous eaters of flesh ; avoid the society of gluttons and drunk21 ards : For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty:

and drowsiness shall clothe (a man) with rags ; an idle, trifling,

sleepy habit, will make men neglect their business, and expose them 22 lo want and infamy. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee,

and despise not thy mother when she is old, for her age is an 23 additional argument for thy du:iful regards to her. Buy the truth

at any price, and sell [it] not upon any consideration whatever,

for thou will surely lose by the bargain ; (also] wisdom, and in24 struction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall

greatly rejoice : and he that begeiteth a wise (child) shall have 25 joy of him, in the virtue and regulari'y of his behaviour. Thy

father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall

rejoice; all her pains in thy birth and education shall be abundantly 26 repaid. My son, gire me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways; do not only look grave and attentive, but set thine heart

and affections on what I say, and see that thou actest on the rules 27 I have given thee, and after the example I have set thee. For a

whore [is] a deep ditch ; and a strange woman [is] a narrow

pit; a man may easily slide into them, but it may be difficult if not 28 impossible to get out. She also lieth in wait as (for) a prey, and

increaseth the transgressors among men ; whatever professions

of love she might make, she draws multitudes into sin and ruin. 29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who

hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath 30 redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine ; they that

go to seek mixed wine. This shows the mischief of drunkenne88,

that it hurts the body, the character, the comfort of life, the peace of 31 society, and the good order of the world. Look not thou upon the

wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, (when] it moveth itself aright. A most lively and beautiful passage, in

which the wine is compared to a wicked woman, who puts on her 32 most graceful and attractive airs to allure the unwary. At the

last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder; it will

be rank poison in thy veins, destroy thy peace and ruin thy soul. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall

utter perverse things ; thy lustful desires will be inflamed, and

thinc heart or tongue utter filthy, scurrilous, blasphemous words, 34 without prudence, and without decency. Yea, thou shalt be as he

that lietn down in the midst of the sea, or as he that licth upon the top of a mast, who falls asleep where he was set to watch; he

is liable to be tossed off every moment, and fierish without remedy, 35 yet thinks himself secure, and sleeps soundly. They have stricken

me, (shalt thou say, and] I was not sick; they have beaten me, [and] I felt (it) not : when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again ; notwithstanding all the dangers which the sot runs through, and the indignities and injuries lie suffers in his drink, no sooner doth he awake but he runs the same round of folly and extrár'agance. This beautifully expresses the confidence and obstinacy of drunkards, whose senses und understanding are so stupified that they fear no danger. An awful warning to us all, to take heed, lest at any time our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunken. ness ; for we may soon go from bad to worse, and never be roused, till we fall into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death, and which the word of God assures us shall be the portion of all drunkards; therefore let us stand in awe and sin not.

CHAP. XXIV.

Į D E not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to

D be with them ; do not think them so happy as to wish thyself 2 in their circumstances. For their heart studieth destruction, and 3 their lips talk of mischief. Through wisdom is an house · builded ; and by understanding it is established : that is, by pru.

dence and discretion familics are supported and handsomely main4 tained : And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with

all precious and pleasant riches ; all things necessary for con. 5 venience and ornament. A wise man [is] strong ; yea, a man

of knowledge increaseth strength; he knows how to defend and

secure himself, and is not exposed w so many dangers and perplex6 ities as others. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war :

and in multitude of counsellors (there is) safety; it is prudent to

think of important matters frequently and closely, and to take the 7 advice of others. Wisdom (is) too high for a fool : he openeth

not his mouth in the gate ; he may be loud and noisy enough among his vain companions, but when he comes among the judges, or to the places where wise men resort, he has nothing to say, or, if he speaks, he is treated with contempt. What an idea does this

scripture give us of a great many of those gay fluttering creatures, 8 who think themselves so very considerable! He that deviseth to do

evil shall be called a mischievous person ; a malignant wretch,

who Sreaks in upon the comforts of human life, and shall become 9 odious and hateful !o mankind. The thought of foolishness [is]

sin ; it is sinful to harbour evil thoughts, and will expose men to

the condemnation of an heart searching God : and the scorner, 10 who openly makes a jest of sin, (is) an abomination to men. (If]

thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength [is] small; if thou sink into despair and melancholy, and art discouraged from thy duty, it shows the mind to be weak and unfortified. Great

pains therefore should be taken to keep up the firmness of the mind, 11 and not to sink under little difficulties and troubles. If thou for

bear to do thy utmost to deliver (them that are] drawn unto

death, and (those that are] ready to be slain, who are unjustly 12 condemned, or violenily ussaulied ; If thou sayest, Behold, we

knew it not, either his danger, or innocence, or the way to deliver him ; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider [it?] and he that keepeth, or preserveth, thy soul, doth (not) he know [it ?) how far thy excuses and reasons are well grounded : and shall [not] he render to [every) man according to his works? Sins of omission are charged to our account, especially a neglect of doing

good to others, and much more of delivering their souls from de13 struction. My son, eat thou honey, because [it is) good ; and

the honeycomb (which is) sweet to thy taste ; you are determined 14 in your choice of diet, by its being agreeable to your taste : So

(shall] the knowledge of wisdom [be] unto thy soul : when thou hast found [it,) then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation

shall not be cut off ; it is not only delightful at present, but shall 15 be abundantly rewarded. Lay not wait, () wicked [man,] secretly,

against the dwelling of the righteous ; spoil not openly his resi16 ing place : For a just (man) falleth seven times, and riseth up

again ; he falleth into trouble many times, and God deliverelh him :

but the wicked shall fall into mischief, into irrecoverable desiruc17 tion. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth into a calamiton &

Vol. V.

condition, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth : 18 Lest the LORD see [it,) and it displease him, and he turn away

his wrath from him, and turn it upon thee, for thy malicious, 19 wicked joy. Fret not thyself because of evil [men,) neither be 20 thou envious at the wicked ; For there shall be no reward to the

evil (man ;] the candle of the wicked shall be put out ; all his 21 comfort and hopes shall be lost at once. My son, fear thou the

LORD and the king : [and] meddle not with them that are given 22 to change :* For their calamity shall rise suddenly, by precipis

tate measures men may ruin themselves and those about them : and

who knoweth the ruin of them both ? of those that fear not God 23 and the king. These (things] also [belong] to the wise, who

may receive further instruction. [It is) not good to have respect of persons in judgment; it is enormously wicked to consider their

relation; wealth, greatness, friendship, connections, or any thing but 24 the merits of the case. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou

[art] righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall.abhor

him ; his countrymen and other nations that hear of his crime, shall 25 abhor him : But to them that rebuke [him) shall be delight, a

faithful reprover shall be honoured, and a good blessing, the bless

ing of a good man, or the blessing of the wicked who become good, 26 shall come upon them. [Every man) shall kiss (his] lips that

giveth a right answer ; he will be greatly esteemed for his pru27 dence and good understanding. Prepare thy work without, and

make it fit for thyself in the field ; and afterward build thine house ; this is capable of two senses, and both very important, Prepare for thy work a booth or hut in the field, and afierward build a house ; begin low and live sparingly, and afterward build. An important maxim which few attend to, though they see others ruined for want of regarding it. Or it may refer to pru. dence in underiaking any great work, and be a caution not to begin

a great, expensive undertaking, till there be substance to complete 28 it, and the necessary materials be prepared. Be not a witness

against thy neighbour without cause ; and deceive (not) with

thy lips ; do not endeavour by crafty insinuations to draw others 29 inio an ill opinion of him, though he has injured thee. Say not, I

will do so to him as he hath done to me : I will render to the man according to his work ; cur having been injured or deceived

by others, gives us no toleration to injure and deceive them. The 30 rest of the chapter is a beautiful and instructive parable. I went

by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void 31 of understanding; these are synonimous terms; And, lo, it was

all grown over with thorns, [and] nellles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down : we see many people's fields and gardens in this condition, and we often see

the like within doors as well as without ; many persons are in a 52 continual litter and confusion through mere idleness, Then I saw,

. We are not here forbidden to attempt a change in a bad government when Providence gives an opportunity ; it is only a general intimation of the imprudence of attempting it with. out just grounds and reasonable expectation of suec.S9.

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