« PreviousContinue »
him make use of to effect his purpose, yet never relies so much upon them or his Own Wisdom, as not to submit entirely to the Supreme, Sovereign, Commanding Wisdom that disposes all things. And thus wholly putting his Truft in God, and rightly confidering that He, who orders the issues of all Councils and Actions, knows what is best, and will beftow it on them that rely on him; and have ever in all their Actions a regard to his Commandments, let the Event be what it will, he is resolv'd to be entirely satisfy'd and content;Thus do’s he every way walk Surely, and infallibly secure a happy Event to all he undertakes: For he who has refign'd up his own Will to God's, can never be disappointed. By making God's Will his Will, he is sure His Will must be done.
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be ascribd as is most due, all Praise, Might, Majesty, and Dominion, both Now and for Evermore. Amen.
Proy. X. 24.
The Fear of the Wicked it fall
come upon him: but the Desire
Tis Obvious enough, but not unwor.
our Observation, that through this whole Book of Proverbs, the Words of
the Wisest Man bear some resemblance to the Works of the All-wise God; For look upon all the Works of the most High, and there are Two and Two, One against Another : Good is set against Evil, and Life against Death; Jo is the Godly against the Sinner, and the Sinner against the Godly, Ecclus 33. 14, 15. So observe all these sayings of Solomon and you shall generally find that in them also, as the fame Son of Sirach speaks, All things are
Double, One against Another. Ecclus 42. 24. Wisdom and Folly, Virtue and Vice, Hatred and Love, Poverty and Riches, The Lip of Truth and the Lying Tongue, the Diligent and the Sluggard, the Slow to Wrath and the Hafty of Spirit, the Refuser of Inftruction and the Hearer of Reproof, with divers others equally opposite; but more comprehensively and most frequently the Wicked and the Righteous, fet against and compar'd one with another, make up and adorn this most Admirable and Divine Collection.
And as St Austin- elegantly sets forth the Wisdom of the Creator, and the Beauty of the Creation from the well order'd Opposition of the Parts of it: So we may say of these Proverbs of Solomon, that the continual Antithesis that runs quite through them, gives both Beauty and Force to the Work, and argues the Divine Wisdom of the Writer. For laying thus at once before our Eyes the Natural differences between the Things and Persons that he describes, he makes each one shine out more clearly, by being plac'd by its contrary; as in painting Light and Shade are both made more Intense by being plac'd near one another. : And in Moral Discourses, such as this Book confifts of, wherein Mans free will and choice is cheifly exercisd, this way of
collating collating and comparing things with their Opposites, is not only, as in all other In-' stitutions, the most Enlightening and Inftructive to the Underftanding, but the most fair and impartial way of proposing things to our Will and Election; which cannot be so Juftly made, as when the two Contraries, out of which we are to choose, are at one view set forth and display'd together. Thus God himself, as the Son of Sirach informs us, dealt with Man in the beginning, when he left him in the hand of his Own Counsel; He hath set Fire and Water before thee, stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt. And thus Moses to the Israelites, I call Heaven and Earth to record this Day against you, tbat I have set before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curfing; therefore choose Life, that thou and thy Seed may Live. And thus, in imitation of God and Mofes, do's Solomon in this Book all along set two contraries together, that we may stretch forth our hands unto whether we will.
The most frequent Opposition, as I said, and to which most of the reft may be reduc'd, is between Wisdom and Folly, or which is all one in his Language, between Righteousness and Sin in the Abstract, or in the Concrete between the Wicked and Righteous,between their different Thoughts, Counsels, Actions; and confequent to those, the difference of their State and Condition,