Imágenes de páginas

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

the love of pleasure and of sadding abroad often exposes young peo9 pile to 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, sorsake 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 11 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 thy 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 pleas15 ing huris 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 underlake 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 more. 17 Iron sharpeneth iron ; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of

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

wise friends whet one anothers minds, and increase each others 18 piety und usefulness. Whoso keepeth the figtree shall eat the

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

ter'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 great resemblance runs through human nature;

by knowing one's own heart, we may make a good guess at 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, that is,

the desires of a worldly man after worldly things, are never satisfi21 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 intoxicured with it, but a mun of a truly worthy and valuable character will not be so ; he will direct all to God, make allowances for the partiality of his 22 friends, and use it with caution. Though thou shouldst bray a

fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, (yet) will not his foolishness depart from him ; though you should use the most violent 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 to servants. 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 to a 26 good accouni. The lambs Care] for thy clothing, and the goats

Care] the price of the field, to pay the rent, yea, by good manage. 27 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, Thai as in husbandry men must look to their affairs, attend to the proper season of doing business, sowing, reaping, shearing, &c. 80 must all others be diligent 10 know the state of their affairs, pru. dent in the management of them, and punciual 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.


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

1 science makes men cowards : but the righteous are bold as a lion ; they proceed 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 governa ment, 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 to 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 refreshing them. They that forsake the law, praise the wicked ; sinners keen one anothar in countenance : but such as keep the law VOL. V.

contend with them : it is a sign of real piety to oppose the wicke 5 ed. Evil men understand not judgment; their minds are de

praved, and they cannot judge between right and wrong : but they

that seek the LORD understand all [things ;] they that seek di6 rection from his word and spirit will not err. Better [is] the poor

that walketh in his uprightness, than she that is] perverse (in his] ways, though he [be] rich ; who gains his riches by dishon

est practices, or by shuffling ways, which is the proper sense of the 7 word. Whoso keepeth the law, who observes the rules of sobrie

ty, temperance and other virtues, ris] a wise son, and his parents have honour and comfort in him: but he that is a companion of

riotous [men shameth his father, who ought to have restrained 8 him and taught him better. He that by usury and unjust gain

increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity 9 the poor, who will exercise the charity he has neglected. He that

turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer

[shall be] abomination, instead of making up the deficiency of his 10 actions. Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil

way, who altempts to seduce upright men into dangerous practices, he shall fall himself into his own pit : but the upright shall have

good [things] in possession ; the peculiar reward of that virtue, Il which triumphs over the snares of a seducing world. The rich

man [is] wise in his own proud conceit; but the poor that hath

understanding searcheth him out ; in his discourse he finds him to 12 be but a fool. When righteous [men] do rejoice, [there is]

great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden; men 13 are glad to conceal themselves for fear of ill usage: He that cov.

ereth his sins, who excuses or lessens them, shall not prosper: but

whoso confesseth and forsaketh (them) shall have mercy ; con14 fession and reformation must go together. Happy [is] the man

that feareth alway; who has an habitual awe and reverence of the

divine Being and his own conscience : but he that hardeneth his 15 heart shall fall into mischief. rAs] a roaring lion, and a range ·

ing bear ; [so is] a wicked ruler over the poor people, who are 16 not able to resist his power. The prince that wanteth under

standing [is] also a great oppressor : [but] he that hateth cov

etousness shall prolong [his] days ; a marim applicable to prie 17 vate as well as public life. A man that doeth violence to the

blood of any person shall flee to the pit ; let no man stay him ; he shall be so universally abhorred that his neighbours shall not endeavour to save him. It is wrong to intercede for such per

sons, and it is the glory of a king not to pardon them, though of the 18 highest rank. Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved : but

[he that is] perverse (in his] ways shall fall at once ; he

who thinks to save himself by artifice and deceit, shall sometime or 19 other fall, 80 that nothing can preserve him. He that tilleth his

land shall have plenty of bread ; prudent, frugal persons shall thrive : but he that followeth after vain [persons], frequents

idle and loose company to the neglect of his business, shall have 20 poverty enough. A faithful man, both in word and deed, shall

abound with blessings from God and man: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent ; he brings misery upon

himself: it is impossible to be very eager after riches, without vio. 21 lating integrity and a good conscience. To have respect of per

sons [is] not good; for, for a piece of bread [that] man will trans

gress ; he will get such a habit of injustice as to sell his integrity 22 for a dinner. He that hasteth to be rich Chath] an evil eye, he

envies every one that gets more than himself, and grudges every penny he parts with, especially in charity, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him : this is a paradox ; one would think that the covetous man would consider most of all the best way to thrive, yet in fact he does not, because he doth not se

cure the blessing of heaven by generous and charitable actions. 23 He that rebuketh a man, though he may displease him at first,

afterward shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the

tongue; we ought to consider how men will look upon us at last. 34 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, [It is) no

transgression ; the same [is] the companion of a destroyer ; he is as bad as any other robber. Children should be content with what their parents allow them; and parents who have it in their power should allow their children some spending money, that they may be under no temptation to steal. Let us all remember that it

is not our persuading ourselves an action is lawful that will make it 25 80: it is our duty to examine and consider. He that is of a proud

heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD ' shall be made fat, that is, shall live comfortably ; while nothing

makes a man's life more miserable than strife, and living in conten26tion with his neighbours and relations. He that trusteth in his

own heart, who relies entirely on his own judgment, is a fool : but

whoso walketh wisely, who takes and follows good advice, he 27 shall be delivered. He that giveth unto the poor, shall not lack;

he procures the blessing of God upon his substance : but he that hideth his eyes, who does not desire to know those in distress lest

he should be obliged to relieve them, shall have many a curse ; 28 men will censure irim, and God will punish him. When the wick

ed rise to power and dignity, men hide themselves, that they may not suffer injury by them : but when they perish, the right: eous increase ; they openly show themselves, and their numbers increase by their mutual example and encouragement. We here see how much need good men have to strengthen and countenance one another, and how carnestly we should pray that all who are in authority may be just, ruling in the fear of the Lord.


1 L E that being often reproved by good men, perhaps core

11 rected by God himself, but obstinately goes on in his former

wicked courses, and hardeneth (his) neck, shall suddenly be de% stroyed, and that without remedy. When the righteous are in

authority, the people rejoice : but when the wicked beareth rule,

the people mourn ; groan under their oppression, not daring per. 3 haps to speak aloud. Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father,

who is sincerely desirous of his welfare : but he that keepeth

company with harlots spendeth Chis) substance, and grieveth his 4 friends. The king by judgment establisheth the land : but he

that receiveth gifts to pervert judgment, overthroweth it, though 5 it was well established before. A man that flattereth his neigh6 bour spreadeth a net for his feet ; leads him into mischief. In

the transgression of an evil man [there is) a snare ; he finds himself undone by the means whereby he thought to ruin others : but

the righteous doth sing and rejoice under the protection of God. 7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor, that he may do

tim justice : [but] the wicked regardeth not to know [it ;] he

expects no advantage from it, and therefore will not give him8 self the trouble to inquire into it. Scornful men bring a city into

a snare; but wise (men) turn away wrath ; they divert the fury 9 of men, which the scorner enrageth. [If] a wise man contendeth

with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, [there is) no rest ; whether he dispute a matter with him, or seek to reclaim him, whether he taketh it well or ill, be pieased or displeased, it hath

no good effect; the best way is to keep at a distance from such 10 persons. The blood thirsty hate the upright: but the just seek 11 his soul, do him all the good ofices he can. A fool uttereth all

his mind; tells every thing he knows, without considering time or persons : but a wise (man) keepeth it in till afterward; chooses the most convenient time and circumstances, and thinks before he

speaks : a maxim which young people in particular should attend to. 12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants Care] wicked ; they 13 will arm themselves with his authority to injure others. The poor

and the deceitful man meet together : the LORD lighteneth both their eyes. The poor, as opposed to deceitful, may signify persons of great simplicity ; and the deceitful may mean great pol. iticians and cunning men : now whatever knowledge and sagacity

they have God gives it them; he can enlighten the poor to guard 14 against the snares of the artful, and humble the deceitful. The

king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be estab

lished for ever by the affections of his people, and the blessing of a 15 righteous God. The rod and reproof give wisdom ; they should

be used together ; correction without reproof is very absurd : but a child left (to himself] bringeth his mother to shame, who

by her imprudent fondness has probably done most to spoil him. 16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth : but

« AnteriorContinuar »