Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

22 habit of injustice as to sell his integrity for a dinner. He

that hafteth to be rich (hath] 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 moftof all the beft way to thrive, yet in faƐt he does not, because

he doth not fecure the blesing of heaven by generous and 23 charitable actions. He that rebuketh a man, tho' he may

displease him at first, afterwards shall find more favour

than he that flattereth with the tongue; we ought to con24 sider how men will look upon us at last.

Whofo robbeth his father or his mother, and faith, [It is] no transgression; the fame [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 law

ful that will make it fo: it is our duty to examine and consider. 25 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, Mall live comfortably; while nothing makes a man's life

more miserable than strife, and living in contention with his 26 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 27 advice, he 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 left he should be obliged to

relieve them, shall have many a curse; men will censure 28 him, and God will punish him. When the wicked rise to

power and dignity, men hide themselves, that they may not suffer injury by them : but when they perish, the righteous 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 earnestly we should pray that all who are in authority may be just, ruling in the fear of the Lord.


[ocr errors]


È that being often reproved by good men, perhaps

corre&ted by God himself, but obstinately goes on in his former wicked courses, and hardeneth [his) neck, shall

suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. 2 When the righteous are in authority, the people re

joice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people

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

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

company with harlots spendeth [his] substance, and 4 grieveth his friends. The king by judgment establisheth

the land: but he that receiveth gifts to pervert judgment, 5 overthroweth it, tho it was well established before. A

man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for 6 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 righ

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

may do him justice: [but] the wicked regardeth not to

know [it:] he expeāts no advantage from it, and therefore 8 will not give himself the trouble to enquire into it. Scornful

men bring a city into a snare : but wise [men] turn

away wrath ; they divert the fury of men, which the scorner 9 enrageth. [If] a wife 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 pleased or displeaf

ed, it hath no good effe&t; the best way is to keep at a dif10 tance from such persons. The blood thirsty hate the

upright: but the just seek his soul, do him all the good 11 offices 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 afterwards; chooses the most convenient time and circumstances, and thinks before he

Speaks: a maxim which young people in particular should 12 attend to. If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants

(are] wicked; they will arm themselves with his authority 13 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 perfons of great fimplicity; and the deceitful may mean great politicians and cunning men : now whatever knowledge and sagacity they have God gives it them; he can enlighten the poor to guard

against the snares of the artful, and humble the deceitful. 14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne

shall be established for ever by the affections of his peo15 ple, and the blessing of a righteous God. The rod and re

proof give wisdom; they jould be used together; correction without reproof is very absurd: but a child left [to him

self ] bringeth his mother to shame, who by her impru16 dent fondness has probably done most to spoil him. When

the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but 17 the righteous shall see their fall. Correct thy son, and

he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto 18 thy soul, to see him reclaimed from his evil courses. Where

[there is) no vision, no publick instruction, no knowledge of religion, the people perish ; grow licentious and wicked, end so are destroyed: but he that keepeth the law, happy

[is] he; he shall remain in a prosperous, peaceful condition. 19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though

he understand he will not answer : a servant that will not

bear a reproof, or take a hint of advice, but is of a con20 ceited, fullen Spirit, is a wretched character. Seest thou

a man (that is] hasty in his words, who is rash and cone.
ceited, and will not take advice nor submit to direction?
(there is] more hope of a fool than of him; better em-

ploy a man that has scarce common sense, if he will be ruled. 21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child

shall have him become (his] Ion at the length; he who
treats servants with too much familiarity and indulgence,
will often find them become infolent and saucy, and expeet as
much as children. Where fervants are ireated with kindness,

it should be their care not to abuse it, but to be so much the 22 more solicitous to please. An angry man stirreth up strife,

and a furious man aboundeth in transgression against

God and man; therefore we should take great care to com23 mand our passions. A man's pride shall bring him low;


[merged small][ocr errors]

sball make him the contempt and derision of all: but honour

Thall uphold the humble in spirit; an obliging disposition 24 will win upon others and gain many friends. Whofo is

partner with a thief hateth his own soul; endangers both his life and everlasting salvation : he heareth curfing, and bewrayeth [it] not, that is, he hears the adjuration, yet does not discover the truth; alluding to a law that

appointed the oath of the Lord to be given to a person suspest25 ed of theft. The fear of man bringeth a snare; coward

ice and excessive complaisance lead men to do wicked things: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe ; Shall find security in the greatest dangers, tho' men should be

displeased with him for not complying with them. It is of 26 more importance to please God than men. Many seek the

ruler's favour; but every man's judgment (cometh] from the Lord, therefore it is of more importance to secure

his favour than their's, fince final judgment comes from him, 27 as well as worldly prosperity. An unjust man, tho' ever so great and powerful, [is] an abomination to the just

, and ought not to be courted or countenanced: and (he that is) upright in the way, tho' ever so excellent and useful, (is) abomination to the wicked, yet he is highly esteemed of the Lord. Therefore let us secure an interest in the friendShip of God, for his judgment is always according to truth.



HE words of Agur' the son of Jakeh, [even]

the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even 2 unto Ithiel and Ucal, Surely I (am) more brutish than

(any) man, and have not the understanding of a man ; 3 an expression of great modesty and humility. I neither

learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy; I have no great natural abilities or acquired learning, but

will Who this Agur was it is impoffible to say. Some antient versions do not read it as a proper name, and suppose the chap. ter to be part of Solomon's writings; others fuppose he was a person of eminent wisdom and piety, who lived in Hezekiah's time, and that these were his instructions to his pupils, of answers to some questions that they proposed to him,

will plainly instruct you in the precepts of a pious life. 4. Being asked, What is God? he answers, Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended ? who hath

gathered the wind in his fifts?' who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his fon's name, if thou canst tell? Who hath ascended and descended to learn his mind and declare it? Who can explain

his nature and operations? 5 Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto

them that put their trust in him; rather, have a re

gard to his revealed will, and trust in him; then you will o be guided and protected. Add thou not unto his words,

left he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar; left he take vengeance on thee as a deceiver.

Two [things] have I required of thee, deny me (them) not before I die : they enquired, What is a happy .8 life, and what they should pray for? Remove far from me

vanity and lies; immoderate desires after the world, and deceitful methods of seeking and gaining it: give me neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient for me; fix me in the middle condition of life, and if I should be vo vain as to think riches will be no fnare to me, disappoint 9 my expectations : Left I be full, and deny (thee,) and

say, Who [is]. the Lord? left I become ungodly and irreligious: or lest I bę poor, and steal, and take the name of

my God [in vain;] for swear myself to cover the theft.

Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty; make not any one un. necessarily your enemy, no not the meanest. It is kind to tell a master a servant's faults, if he does not know them; but we are not to Nander him, or accuse him falsely, left he call upon God for justice, and he punish us accordingly. They then ask, What company shall we choose? He answers,

[There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother; avoid the company of 12 disobedient, undutiful children. [There is) a generation

(that are] pure in their own eyes, and (yet) is not washed from their filthiness; who are exaži in external




« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »