Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

utters is of weight and worth: the heart of the wicked [is]

little worth, consequently his speech is so, even when he has 21 studied what to say. The lips of the righteous feed

many, make others wise: but fools die for want of wif

dom; they lose their very lives and their eternal happiness 22 too. The blessing of the LORD on the hand of the diligent,

it maketh rich, and he addeth no forrow with it; ill gotten riches are attended with regret, cares, and discontent,

an evil conscience, and fear of discovery and a future reckon23 ing.. [It is] as sport to a fool to do mischief; it is a

pleasure to him, he does it with a gay air and without reflection : but a man of understanding hath wisdom ; or, so

is wisdom to a man of understanding, he taketh pleasure in 24

it. The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him ; he hath his fears, but not more than he has reason for; let his imagination be ever so lively, all that he fears shall come upon him : but the desire of the righteous shall be grant

ed, that is, his grand, leading desire, the favour of God 25 and eternal happiness. As the whirlwind passeth, so, [is]

the wicked no [more;] tho' he may for a while make a great bustle, like a whirlwind: but the righteous [is] an

everlasting foundation; his hope and happiness is in the 26 divine righteousness and faithfulness. As vinegar to the

teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, which is troublesome and painful, so [is] the sluggard to them that fend him; he

neither delivers his mejage faithfully, performs his business 27 exa£tly, nor haftens back again. The fear of the Lord

prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be 28 shortened, naturally and judicially. The hope of the

righteous (shall be] gladness; shall be answered, and occasion joy: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish;

Shall be disappointed, and give so much the more forrow on 29 that account. The way of the Lord [is] strength to

the upright, that goes on securely and courageously; his

work is easy and delightful: but destruction [shall be] to 30 the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be

removed; his foul shall be kept in peace, and his happiness

be secure: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. 31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the 32 froward tongue shall be cut out, or cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable; he knows the proper time and manner of speaking, what is acceptable to men, and not displeasing to God; he studies to please as far as is consistent with truth and friendship: but the mouth of the wicked [speaketh] frowardness; he loves to vent his own spleen, tho' very distasteful to others.--Let us avoid this, and remember, that these several maxims relating to the government of the tongue, low its importance, and how carefully it should be attended to.

1

A

c H A P. XI. FALSE balance [is] abomination to the LORD;

it is peculiarly abominable, as it is cheating under a pretence of doing right: but a just weight [is] his delight. 2 (When) pride cometh, then cometh shame, being Mame

ful in itself, and exposes them to shame: but with the lowly

[is] wisdom; which is pleasing to God and man, and makes 3 them easy and comfortable in themselves. The integrity of

the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them: if a man comes to a re. solution to preserve striet integrity, that will direEt him, and make his way plain; it is easy to determine what is fair and honourable. But when the question is, What mean, dishonourable things may be done without discovery? a scene is

open for perplexity; and men of great subtlety and refinement 4 are oftenest entangled, exposed, and ruined. Riches profit

not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth, .

from death; from second death, and makes the first com5 fortable. The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way, so as to bring all his designs and endeavours to a

happy issue : but the wicked shall fall by his own wick6 edness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver

them out of that sin and misery they might fall into : but

transgreffors shall be taken in [their own) naughtiness, 7 and irrecoverably destroyed. When a wicked man dieth,

[his] expectation shall perish ; all his hope of pleasure and happiness in temporal things, and his expeétation of escaping eternal misery: and the hope of unjust [men] perisheth,

while the expectation of a good man is answered and outdone. 8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the

wicked cometh in his stead, to that mi fery he had formerly 9 occafioned to the righteous. An hypocrite with [his]

mouth destroyeth his neighbour, by flattering and de

ceiving him: but through knowledge, or prudence, shall 10 the just be delivered from his fnares. When it goeth well

with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, [there is) shouting; men have such a regard

for their own intereft, and such a sense of what is decent and right, that they rejoice both in the one and in the other. 11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted; by

their prayers, counsels, and admonitions : but it is over.

thrown by the mouth of the wicked; by their blafphemy, 12 perverse opposition, and evil communications. He that is

void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour ; whatever a man thinks, it is foolish in him to speak contemptuously of his neighbour, because it is provoking him, and he may return

it: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace; if 13 he can say no good, he will say no harm. A talebearer

revealeth secrets ; pries into the secrets of families, and carries stories from one to another : but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter ; an upright man con

cealeth that which may be hurtful to another, thahe has 14 no. express charge about it. Where no counfel [ís,] the

people fall; they are influenced by private interest, and a&t

rafhly: but in the multitude of counsellors (there is) 15 safety. He that is furety for a stranger shall smart [for

it ;] he does not know his circumstances, and therefore he is

in danger: and he that hateth furetiship is fure; it is 16 most prudent to avoid it. A gracious woman retaineth

honour: and strong (men) retain riches; she is as careful of her reputation, as a strong man of his riches ; or, will

as effe&ually secure a good reputation, as a strong man his 17 wealth. The merciful man doeth good to his own soul;

while he doeth good to others, he equally does good to himself ; such is the connection between man and man; but [he that is] cruel troubleth his own flesh; his own envy and malice tear him to pieces. This may refer to the pleasure which arises from the exercise of benevolent affections, and the anguish and remor

se which are inseparable from cruelty. 18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work; that which will

deceive his expectations : but to him that soweth righteous

ness [shall be] a sure reward; tho' it may tarry, it will 19 not disappoint him. As righteousness (tendeth] to life, in

its natural consequence, so he that pursueth evil (pursueth 20 it] to his own death. They that are of a froward heart,

persons of double dealing, who are perverse and ill-natured,

(are) abomination to the Lord: but (such as are] up, 21 right in (their) way (are] his delight. [Though) hand

(join) in hand, tho they form a potent alliance, and strengthen and countenance one another, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall

be delivered from their confederacies, by the help of God 22 alone. [As) a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, which is

more taken notice of, and more despised on that account, [so is) a fair woman which is without discretion; without

taste, without judging what is right and wrong, and not 23 considering consequences. The desire of the righteous [is]

only good; either to do or get good, and it shall be granted them : [but the expectation of the wicked [is] wrath;

whatsoever happiness they promise themselves, the issue will 24 be wrath and destruction. There is that scattereth, and

yet increaseth; and (there is] that withholdeth more than is meet, not providing for their families, Sparing necessary expenses in trade, and showing a covetous temper

in every thing, but [it tendeth] to poverty ; by a strange 25 train of providences they are frequently beggared. The

liberal soul shall be made fat, comfortable and happy: and

he that watereth shall be watered also himself; it shall 26 rain upon him blessings as copiously as showers. He that

withholdeth corn in dear times, in hopes of a higher market, and will not sell it at a reasonable price, and for a moderate profit, the people shall curse him: but blessing from

God, as well as his neighbour, [shall be) upon the head 27. of him that felleth (it.] He that diligently seeketh

good, or to do good, procureth favour from God and man: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him;

he draws upon himself the evils he designed against others. 28 He that trufteth in his riches shall fall like a withered

leaf: leaf : but the righteous shall flourish as a branch; fall 29 grow stronger and stronger, and be more fruitful. He that

troubleth his own house, who ruins his family by extravagance, or makes it unhappy by ill nature, shall inherit the wind; he fall have nothing but air to live upon; or, he Mball raise a dreadful storm which shall fall upon his own head: and the fool [shall be] servant unto the wise of heart; those who are foolish, hall be brought so low, that they shall be glad to become servants to those who set out in

life with less than themselves, but by prudence and diligence 30 have risen in the world. The fruit of the righteous [is]

a tree of life, is the means of much good; and he that

winneth fouls to God and goodness, [is] wise, tho' his 31 method may not be so judicious as that of others. Behold,

the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the finner shall be corrected for their fins, in this world, or in another. - See how much religion confifts in justice, humanity, good temper, and zeal to do good. May we not only hear these things, but apply our minds to do them.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. XII.
HOSO loveth instruction loveth knowledge;

is in the way to be wife and good: but he that hateth reproof [is] brutish; wants sense as well as grace. 2 A good [man] obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man 3 of wicked devices will he condern. A man shall not

be established by wickedness : but the root of the righ

teous shall not be moved; he shall be established by righ4 teousness. A virtuous woman, a diligent, active woman,

as the word fignifies, who applies close to family business, [is] a crown to her husband, an ornament and a blessing to him: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness

in his bones; tho he does not show it publickly, it is a 5 continual and incurable vexation to him. The thoughts of

the righteous (are] right; it is his constant purpose to deal juftly with God and man: [but) the counsels of the wick. 6 ed (are) carried on by deceit. The words of the wicked

(are]

D4

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »