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93 plished and brought to a good issue. A man hath joy by the

answer of his mouth : and a word (spoken) in due season, how 24 good [is it,] both to himself and others! The way of life [is]

above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath, though an up hill road and difficult, yet this balances all, that it fireserves a man from hell ( as some understand it ;) or rather, the way of

life, or true religion, leads a man's thoughts upwards, to an holy 25 and heavenly conversation. The LORD will destroy the house of

the proud, who trample on the poor : but he will establish the 26 border of the widow, who is afflicted and oppressed. The thoughts

of the wicked (are) an abomination to the LORD, who sees and hates them : but (the words) of the pure [are) pleasant words,

that is, pleasing 10 God. Let us therefore guard our thoughts and 97 maintain good and usejiul discourse. He that is greedy of gain,

or eager in the pursuit of it, troubleth his own house ; throws them into a continual hurry, will not allow their proper sleep or relaxation, is a burden to children and servants, and brings the curse of God upon them: but he that hateth gifts shall live ;

he who hateth bribery, dishonesty, and all mean tricks, shall live in 28 reputation and comfort. The heart of the righteous studieth to

answer ; he thinks before he speaks, and studies what may be use

ful : but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things, with79 out any consideration of the consequences. The LORD [is] far

from the wicked ; and thus what was his crime is his punishment: there will be a time when every man will desire that God

may be near him : but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. 30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart, gives pleasure and

vigour to the body : [and] a good report maketh the bones fat.

This should teach us to be thankful if God continues the light of 31 our eyes, and the brighiness of our refulation. The ear that

heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise ; he is admit

ted into their company as a teachable person, though he cannot bear 32 a part in the conversation. He that refuseth instruction despis

eth his own soul ; is not sufficiently sensible of his rational, im

mortal nature, and prefers the body to it ; but he that heartth 33 reproof getteth understanding, and so preserveth his soul. The

fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom ; the most im. portant precept of wisdom ; and before honour [is] humility. Learn this, that the true, the sure, and the readiest way to be wise and honourable, is to be devout and humble.


THE preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of

1 the tongue (is) from the Lord; it depends on him wheihrs they shall speak with such clocution or success as they intended. 2 All the ways of a man (are] clean in his own eyes; but the Lord

weigheth the spirits ; God has as ferfect a knowledge of men's designs as they have of those things which they weigh in the 3 balance with the grealest exactness. Commit thy works unto

the LORD, ask his direction, and seek a blessing from him, and

thy thoughts shall be established, without distressing cares or 4 fears. The Lord hath made all (things) for himself; yea,

even the wicked for the day of evil; he has made all things to answer the purposes of his providence and glory, and even wicked men to be executioners of his vengeance ; or rather, the Lord hath made all things suited to each o:her, and proportioned the punish

ment of the wicked to their crimes ; he hath established the connec5 tion between vice and misery in the future world. Every one

without exception, (that is proud in heart, (is) an abomination to

the Lord, though he may admire and applaud himself : (though] 6 hand sioin) in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and

truth iniquity is purged ; fidelity and charity are the ready way to avert the wrath of God : and by the fear of the LORD (men]

depart from evil; where true religion is there will be reformation. 7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his ene· mies to be at peace with him ; he can calm their spirits and dis8 arm their resentment. Better [is] a little with righteousness

than great revenues without rignt ; it is more lasting and more 9 satisfying. A man's heart deviseth his way : but after all the

Lord directeth his steps, therefore there is reason for prayer and 10 thankfulness. A divine sentence [is,) or should be, in the lips of

the king : his mouth transgresseth not in judgment, in giving orders and executing judgment ; or, if the dictates of God's word

be in his lips, a religious regard to the scripture will have a good il influence on his administration. A just weight and balance [are]

the Lord's : all the weights of the bag (are] his work, are an. pointed and commanded by him ; justice ought to be observed in the

least instances, and a regard to God will be an engagement 10 uni12 versal integrity. (It is,] that is, it should be, an abomination to

kings to commit wickedness : for the throne is established by

righteousness ; it tends to engage the affections of the fieople and 13 the favour of God, and is the surest defence of a firince. Right

eous lips Care] the delight of kings; and they love him that

speaketh right; an intimation to Solomon's subjecis what behav14 jour would please him. The wrath of a king (is as] messengers

of death, especially in such arbitrary monarchies as those in the east ; how much more drcadful is the wrath of God; but a wise

man will pacify it ; he will take the most wise and prudent time 15 and methods in doing it. In the light of the king's countenance

[is] life; there is a transport attending the smile of a prince ; and

his favour [is] as a cloud of the latter rain ; how valuable then is 16 God's favour ! How much better in every respect [is it] to get

wisdom than gold? and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver ? How foolish then is their conduct who spend

all their days in getting wealth, without improving their own or 17 their children's minds. The highway, that is, the straight and

easy path, of the upright is to depart from evil; this is his con. stant aim and endeavour : he that keepeth his way, looks well to

his actions, preserveth his soul from sorrow and destruction. 18 Pride (goeth] before destruction, in this world and in the next,

and an haughty spirit before a fall; to be firoud of any thing is 19 the way to lose ir. Better (it is to be) of an humble spirit with

the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud ; an humble man is happier in afflictions, than an haughty, insolent man in the midst of prosperity and triumfah. Here Solomon not only opposes the blessings of virtue to the rewards of vice, (that would be doa ing vice too much honour ;) but he opposes the nakı d virtue, and that the least magnificent of all others, to the advantages of the

most exalted vice; the spirit of meekness to the spoils of pride. 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good, respect and suc

cess : and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy [is] he ; true re21 ligion only can make a man happy. The wise in heart shall be

called prudent, that is, have the honour of their wisdom : and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning ; eloquence adds a new

value to it; makes it more agreeable, diffusive, and instructive. 22 Understanding (is) a wellspring of life unto him that hath it; it

streams forth for the instruction of uthers : but the instruction of

fools [is] folly ; they only betray their own folly, and no good is to 23 be got by them. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and

addeth learning to his lips; he speaks from experience, which 24 makes whai he says the more regarded. Pleasant words, such

words of wisdom as before described, (are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones, are not only pleas

ant, but wholeson.e ; like honey, they have an agreeable taste, 25 and a medicinal virtue. There is a way that seemeth right unto

a man : but the end thereof [are] the ways of death ; this is 26. repeated to teach us not 10 deceive ourselves. He that laboureth,

laboureth for himself ; for his mouth craveth it of him ; honest

industry is necessary for the preservation of life, but more necca27 sary in the concerns of the soul. An ungodly man diggeih up

evil ; is always contriving to do mischief ; with great labour and industry diving into what is secret by surmises and suspicions :

and in his lips (there is) as a burning fire ; his lying, slanderous 28 speeches are very mischievous, Afroward man soweth strife

where there is love and peace ; and a whisperer separateth chief 29 friends, by carrying tales and misrepresentations. A violent man

enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way (that is] not good; contrives to do him the greatest injury. Let us aim at

a contrary character, and attempt to draw our friends into the 30 ways of religion. He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things;

he does it with deliberation and contrivance : moving his lips he

bringeth evil to pass ; giving signs 10 his associates, that they 31 may execute their qvicked projects. The hcary head [is] a crown

of glory, [if] it be found in the way of righteousness; it is an hor.ourable thing to be an aged saint : such should be reverenced, and

young people should be engaged to be good betimes, that they may 32 have this honour if tłuy should live to be old. [He that is] slow to


anger, not easily put into a passion, nor resents a provocation, fist 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, through the violence

of their own passions, the objects of pity to all who read their his 33 tory; as Alexander, and (thers. The lot is cast into the lap :

but the whole disposing thereof (is) of the LORD ; his providence determines the inost casual events, therefore we should be reconciled to our condition, and patient and contented-in every site.


I D ETTER [is] a dry morsel, a dry crust, and quietness there

D with, than an house full of sacrifices [with] strife ; than the greatest feast upon the remains of the most costly sacrifices: all fami.

lies, especially the poor, should cultivate peace, and thus secure the 2 most valuable enjoyment 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 servant often gets money sufficient 10 3 buy the estate which foolish children are obliged to sell. The fining

po: [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold : but the LORD trielle

the hearts ; afflictions discover the dross, and prove what is good. 4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; it is a sign of a wicked

disposition to give credit 10 every malicious story raised and

spread : [and] a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue ; liars love 5 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 6 that is glad at calamities 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 father's ; it is an honour for children to be descended from 7 worthy parents. Excellent speech becometh not a fool ; his 8 manners contradict it : much less do lying lips a prince. A

gift (is as] a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it, scala tering its rays from every side, is sparkling and beautiful: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. This intimates the unhappy

influence which interest has to make mon act against reason, con9 scierice, and the public good. He that covereth a transgression,

maketh the best of every thing, seeketh love ; but he that repealeth a matter, and probably aggravates it, separateth (very] friends ; such talebrarers as these are very pernicious persons,

and should be checked by those who are friends to peace and lover 10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man, maketh a greater imIl pression upon him, than an hundred stripes into a fool. An eril

(man) seeketh only rebellion, or mischief: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. This is a warning not to

entertain seditious councils and designs, lest the prince should send 1 2 an executioner, as was customary in the east. Let a bear robbed

of her whelps, tie most mischievous animal in enraged circuma

stances, meet a man rather than a fool in his folly ; rather than a 13 man under the influence of strong and vicious passions. Whoso

rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house ; 14 it may be punished in the next generation. The beginning of

strife sis as) when one letteth out water : therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with ; a beautiful allusion 10 a will known fact, when a breachis once madein adam no one can tell where

it will stop, it will grow wider and larger, therefore let us not med15 dle with ii al 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 uprighi

for some litile indiscretions, even they both [are] abomination to 16 the Lord. Wherefore [is there) a price in the hand of a fool,

an opportunily and advantage to get wisdom, seeing (he bath) 17 no heart, neither skill, resolution, nor desire to it?] A friend

loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity ; they only 18 are true friends who stick to us and help us in adversity. A man

void of understanding striketh hands, [and] becometh surety in 19 the presence of his friend, who is able to answer for himself. He

loveth transgression that loveth strife, that is, brawling, conter:tions, law suits, and disputes in religion : [and] he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction ; he who affects grandeur and magnificence, his substance and his estate all run out at his pompous

gale, 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 fer

verse, frctful disposition, findeth no good : and he that hatlı a

perverse tongue, a deceitful, ill natured congue, falleth into mis21 chief, brings it upon himself by his own perverseness. He that

begetteth a fool, a wicked son, [doeth it) to his sorrow : and the fither 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 22 100 careful in the education of their children, A merry heart,

that is, a cheerful temper, doeth good (like) a medicine : but a,

broken spirit drieth the bones ; weakens the strength, and c01123 sumes the vital paris. A wicked [man] taketh, or accepteth, a

gift out of the bosom of the giver, he does it secretly, to pervert 24 the ways of judgment. Wisdom [is] before him that hath un

derstanding ; he has his thoughta about him, looks before him, and considers the consequences of things : but the eyes of a fool (are] in the ends of the earth; he hath a roving, dissipated spirit, med.

dling with things that he hath no concern in, and that are of no im. 25 poriance. A foolish son [is] a grief to his father, and bitterness

to her that bare him : this is a maxim that Solomon often repeats;

pirobably he had his own son Rehoboam in his eye. It is of great im. 26 portance for parents and children to attend toit. Also to punish

the just [is] not good, (nor) to strike princes for equity ; it is a crime in a magistrale to punish the just, but for a king to punish,

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