Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

giving figns to his asociates, that they may execute their 31 wicked projects. The hoary head [is] a crown of glory,

[if] it be found in the way of righteousness; it is an honourable thing to be an aged saint ; such should be reverenced, and young people should be engaged to be good be

times, that they may have this honour if they fould live to 32 be old. (He that is] flow to anger, not easily put into

pasion, nor resents a provocation, [is] better than the mighty: and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city; some of the most glorious conquerors amidst the greatest success and triumph have been, thro' the violence of

their own pasions, the objects of pity to all who read their 33 history; as Alexander, and others. The lot is cast into

the lap: but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD; his providence determines the most casual events, therefore we should be reconciled to our condition, and patient and contented in every state.

[merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

quietness therewith, than an house full of facrifices [with] strife; than the greatest feast upon the remains of the most costly sacrifices: all families, especially the poor, should cultivate

peace, and thus secure the most valuable en2 joyment of life. A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame: and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren; a wise fervant often gets

money sufficient to buy the estate which foolish children are 3 obliged to sell. The fining pot [is] for silver, and the

furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts ; 4 affli&tions discover the dross, and prove what is good. A

wicked doer giveth heed to false lips ; it is a sign of a wicked disposition to give credit to every malicious story raised

and spread: [and] a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue; 5 liars love to strengthen and justify one another. Whoso

mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker who made him So, who has taken the poor under his protection, and will punish the reproachers : [and] he that is glad at calamities E 4


6 shall not go unpunished. Children's children (are) the

crown of old men; it is an honour to live to be old and see many descendants: and the glory of children (are) their

fathers; it is an honour for children to be descended from 7 worthy parents. Exceilent speech becometh not a fool;

his manners contradict it: much less do lying lips a prince. 8 A gift [is as] a precious stone in the eyes of him that

hath it, Scattering its rays from every fide, is sparkling and beautiful : whithersoever it turneth, it profpereth. This intimates the unhappy influence which interest has

to make men act against reason, conscience, and the pub, 9 lick good. He that covereth a transgression, maketh the

best of every thing, seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter, and probably aggravates it, separateth (very) friends ; such talebearers as these are very pernicious per

fons, and should be checked by those who are friends to peace 10 and love. A reproof entereth more into a wise man,

maketh a greater impresion upon him, than an hundred 11 stripes into a fool. An evil (man) seeketh only rebel

lion, or mischief: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. This is a warning not to entertain sedi

tious councils and designs, left the prince should send an exe12 cutioner, as was customary in the east. Let a bear rob.

bed of her whelps, the most mischievous animal in enraged circumstances, meet a man rather than a fool in his folly;

rather than a man under the influence of strong and vicious 13 pasions. Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not

depart from his house; it may be punished in the next 14 generation. The beginning of strife (is as] when one let

teth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with ; a beautiful allusion to a well known fact, when a breach is once made in a dam no one can tell where

it will stop, it will grow wider and larger, therefore let us 15 not meddle with it at all. He that justifieth the wicked,

treating him as, and pronouncing him to be righteous, and he that condemneth the just, censures and condemns those

who are sincere and upright for some little indiscretions, even 16 they both [are] abomination to the Lord. Wherefore

[is there] à price in the hand of a fool, an opportunity and advantage to get wisdom, feeing (he hath] no heart, 19 neither skill, resolution, nor desire [to it?] A friend loveth


at all times, and a brother is born for adversity; they

only are true friends who stick to us and help us in adversity. 18 A man void of understanding striketh hands, [and]

becometh furety in the presence of his friend, who is 19 able to answer for himself. He loveth transgression that

loveth strife, that is, brawling, contentions, law suits, and disputes in religion :'[and] he that exalteth his gate feeketh destruction; he who affe&ts grandeur and magnificence, his substance and his estate all run out at his pompous gate,

and make way for destruction to enter in: this is the ruin of 20 multitudes of young people. He that hath a froward heart,

a perverse, fretful disposition, findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue, a deceitful, illnatured tongue,

falleth into mischief, brings it upon himself by his own per21 verseness. He that begetteth a fool, a wicked son, [doeth

it] to his forrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy in any thing else. Such parents are greatly to be pitied; and

in order to prevent this, they cannot be too careful in the 32 education of their children. A merry heart, that is, a

cheerful temper, doeth good slike] a medicine: but a

broken spirit drieth the bones; weakens the strength, and 23 consumes the vital parts. A wicked [man] taketh, or

accepteth, a gift out of the bosom of the giver, he does it 24 secretly, to pervert the ways of judgment. Wisdom [is]

before him that hath understanding; he has his thoughts about him, looks before him, and confiders the consequences of things : but the eyes of a fool [are) in the ends of the earth; he hath a roving, disipated Spirit, meddling with

things that he hath no concern in, and that are of no impor25 tance.

A foolish son [is] a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him: this is a maxin that Solomon often repeats; probably he had his own fon Rehoboam

in his eye. It is of great importance for parents and children 26 to attend to it. Also to punish the just [is] not good,

[nor] to strike princes for equity; it is a crime in a magistrate to punish the just, but for a king to punish his nobles for equity is most horrible, because it is discouraging

them from doing good when in their power, and weakening 27 his own hands. He that hath knowledge spareth his words, is not fond of talking, speaks only when it is fit and may be useful: [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit, or rather, a cool spirit, as in the margin of our bibles, for to be calm, dispasionate, and not easily


provoked, is a mark of wisdom and an excellent spirit. 28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted

wise: [and] he that shutteth his lips [is esteemed] a man of understanding; the concealment of folly is wisdom, and sometimes wisdom uttered is folly; men's abilities are chiefly discovered by their discourse, and talkative persons proclaim their own folly. Let every man therefore be swift to hear, how to speak, and now to wrath.

[ocr errors]


HROUGH desire a man, having separated

himself, seeketh [and] intermeddleth with all wisdom; or rather, a man of retirement seeketh after his

defire, and intermeddleth with all wisdom. Retirement is of 2 great use to improve the mind. A fool hath no delight in

understanding, in its real use, only for oftentation or amuse

ment, but that his heart may discover itself; all his delight 3 is to vent his own folly and wickedness. When the wicked

cometh, (then) cometh also contempt upon God and re-
ligion, and every thing valuable ; and with ignominy re-
proach, reproachful language concerning others : if a man

Speaks reproachfully and contemptibly of others, mark him 4 for a wicked man. The words of a wise man's mouth

(are as] deep waters, (and) the well-spring of wisdom

(as) a flowing brook; it is an inexhaustible spring of en. 5 tertainment and improvement. [It is) not good to accept,

to favour or justify, the person of the wicked, in order to 6 overthrow the righteous in judgment. A fool's lips

enter into contention, he uses pasionate and provoking

language, and his mouth calleth for strokes; he brings 7 sorrow and punishment upon himself. A fool's mouth [is]

his destruction, and his lips (are] the snare of his soul; it will especially appear to be so at the judgment day, when by our words we Mall be justified, and by our words we Mall


[ocr errors][merged small]

8 be condemned. The words of a talebearer, who picks up

stories, pries into secrets, and carries them from house to house, who relates falsehoods, who misrepresents things, or whispers about things which should not be spoken of, tho' true, the words of such [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly; the wounds are mortal thofilent, and destroy the reputation and interest

of the persons Spoken of, and the love of those spoken to. 9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him

that is a great waster; they are both criminal, and both 10 come to poverty. The name of the Lord, his power,

goodness, and promises, [is] a strong tower : the righteous runneth into it, and is safe; there he seeks for pro

tečtion by faith and prayer, and there he finds it, together 11 with a rich supply of all his wants. The rich man's wealth

[is] his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit; he thinks himself securely intrenched, so that no danger can come near him, forgetting his dependance upon God; but

it is only in his own conceit, and he finds his high walls 12 thrown down by a variety of accidents. Before destruction

the heart of man is haughty, and before honour [is] humility; when a man finds himself disposed to be proud of any of his endowments and posisions, he has need to be

alarmed, as it is an intimation that he is in danger of being 13 deprived of them. He that answereth a matter before he

heareth [it] who thinks to show his quickness of appre

henfion, and pronounces dogmatically without hearing both 14 sides, it [is] folly and shame unto him. The spirit of

a man will sustain his infirmity, bear up under dangers and troubles; but a wounded spirit who can bear? What hath a man to comfort and uphold him, if he has not the reason of his own mind, the testimony of his conscience, and a sense of God's favour ? Great care therefore should be taken

to govern the pasions, and keep the spirits calm, in order to 15 prevent such a dreadful crisis. The heart of the prudent

getteth knowledge ; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge; a diligent application to the means of improv

ing in knowledge, both by study and conversation, is a sign 16 of true wisdom. A man's gift maketh room for him, and þringeth him before great men. This antient custom of bring

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »