Abbildungen der Seite

his nobles for equity is most horrible, because it is discouraging them from doing good when in their flower, and weakening his own

27 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, fur to be calm, dispassionate, and not easily firovoked, isa mark vf 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 thertr fore be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.


1 r I THROUGH desire a man, having separated himself, seek

-I- eth [and] intermeddleth with all wisdom; or rather, a man of retirement seeketh after his desire, and intermeddleth with

2 all -ivisdom. Retiremtnt is of great use to improve the mind. A fool hath no delight in understanding, in its real use, enlyfarontenlation or amusement, but that his heart may discover itself;

3 all his delight is to vent his own folly and wickedness. When the wicked cometh, [then] cometh also contempt upon God and religion, and every tiring valuable; and with ignominy reproach, reproachful language concerning o'hers: if a man speaks reproachfully and contemptibly of others, mark him for a wicked man.

A 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

5 haustible spring of entertainment and improvement. [It is] not good to accept, to favour or justify, the person of the wicked, in

6 order to overthrow the righteous in judgment. A fool's lips enter into contention, he uses passionate and provoking language, and his mouth calleth for strokes; he brings sorrow and punish

7 ment 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 shall be justified, ami

8 by our words we shall 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, though true, the words of such [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly ; the wounds are mortal though silent, and destroy the reputation and interest of the persons

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

10 er; they are both criminal, and both 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; the re he seeks for protection by faith and prayer, and thrre he finds

11 it, together ivith 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 dunger can come near him,forgetling his dependence upon God; but it is only in his own conceit, and he finds his high walla thrown down by a

12 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 rf any of his endowments and possessions, he has need to be alarmed, as it is an intimation that he is in.

13 danger of being deprived of them. He that answereth a matter before he hearerh [it,] who thinks to show his quickness of apprehension, and pronounces dogmatically without hearing bo'h sides,

14 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 therefire should be taken to gox'crn the passions, and keep the spirits

15 calm, in order to 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 improving in knowledge, both by study and conversation, is a sign of true wis

16 dom. A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. This ancient custom of bringing presents when

17 they wait upon their superiors, is still retained in . the east. [He that is] first in his own cause [seemeth] just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him ; one story is good till another is told, therefore we should not be rash and hasty in our determina

18 tions, but hear both sides. The lot causcth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty. Solomon here advises to refer troublesome matters to lot, and to sit down contented with the event;

19 this may be very useful still, if not superstitiovsly performed. A brother offended [is harder to be won] than a strong city: and [their] contentions [are] like the bars of a castle: the nearness of the relation heightens the provocation, therefore we should be careful

20 not to offend or despise ournear relations orfriendo. A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; [and] with the increase of his lips shall he be filled; he shall have pleasure or un

21 easiness, as he speaks well or ill. Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue; a great deal of gocd or evil is done by it, and they that love it, that love life, and give conversation a ivise

22 turn, shall eat the fruit thereof. [Whoso] findcth a wife, or fa, some ancient versions render it) a good wife, findeth a good [thing,] and obtaineth favour of the Lord, and he ought to acknowtedge the goodness of God in giving him a suitable companion.

23 The poor useth entreaties, are forced to moke submissions and use entreaties, even for what is their due; but the rich answereth roughly; riches are a temptation to haughtiness and arrogance,

"i which very much lessen the value of them. A man [that hath] friends must show himself friendly : and there is a friend [that] Sticketh closer than a brother ; friends are worth keeping, and may in many circumstances be more useful to us than near relations; therefore they must be used well, we must love and serve them, and behave friendly to them, if we desire they should behave so to us.


1 "OETTER [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than JL) [he that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool; an honest pour man is more honourable, easy, and secure, than a sly wicked

2 man, though he may get rich by his artifices. Also, [that] the soul [be] without knowledge, [it is] not good ; ihe want of understanding and deliberation firovrs an occasion of great mischiefs and he that hasteth with [his] feet sinncth ; if a man of good sens" runs rashhj and inconsidera'ely on, it will be as fatal to him

3 as the want of understanding. The foolishness of man perverteth his way, brings him into troubles and straits: and his heart fretteth against the Lonn; he lays the blame ufion Providence.

4 Wealth makelh many friends, if not to his person, yet to his circums'ances; but the poor is separated from his neighbour; is

5 neglected by those who should help him. A fidse witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall not escape; he who sfieaketh lies pnvately, though not confirmed by an oath,

6 shall not escape the divine judgment. Maty will entreat the favour of the prince, because great things are in his power: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts; to a man whose circumstances enable him and whose temper inclines him to be liberal. What a strong argument is this to seek the divine friendship!

7 All the brethren of the poor do. hate him as a disgrace and burden to them ' how much more do his friends go-far from him, that is, those who professed themselves such? he pursucth [them. with] words, he entreats them and puts them in mind offorimr.

£ promises, [yet] they [are] wanting [to him.] He that g':lteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding, 9 who conducts fits life by prudent counsel, shall find good. A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall perish ; this is repeated because it is an important maxim, see v. 5. 10' Delight is not seemly for a fool; he knows not how to behave in prosperity; he useth the delights of life to dishonour. God, and for his own mischief; much less for a servant to have rule over princes ; if such an one be iii power, he is intolerable, and a judgment

11 on mankind. The discretion of a man deferreth his anger till he is cool, and has considered the matter: and [it is] his glory to pass over a transgression, not to revenge it; though the perverse

12 judgment of the world is contrary. The king's wrath [is] as the roaring of a lion; but his favour [is] as dew upoa the grass.

13 This is d1 signed to promote loyalty. A foolish son [is] the calami ity of his father: and the contentions of a wife [are] a continual dropping; make the house uncomJ'ortable and unfit to be inhabited, and so tempt a man to extravagance abroad, A wicked so* and a scolding wife, are two of the saddest plagues in a family.

14 House and riches [are] the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife [is] from the Lord, she dms not come by hereditary right ; Ais providence therefore should be acknowledged in this

15 favour. Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; it has a stupifying faculty, and makes men unfit for business; and an idle soul

16 shall suffer hunger; shall be reduced to povtrty and want , He. that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul ; secures his peace and happiness; [but] he that despiseth his ways .shall die ; he that never thinks or minds how he acts, who follows his own inclination and the fashion, goes the direct way to destruction.

\7 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord ; and that which he hath given will he pay him again; it is in a safe hand, and he shall hove good interest. A dehgh'ful thought, and of more force than a thousand volumes to recommend liberIt ality. Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying ; it should be ra. her rendered, ' Do not life up thy soul to his destruction, that is, correct him, but not immod

19 erately.' A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment; he will have a deal of pe rplexity and uneasiness, quarrels, and law suits: for if thou deliver [him,] yet thou must do it again ; he will soon bring himself into some other tcrape by his pasunn and per

20 verseness. Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in the latter end ; consider the final consequences

21 of things ; such wisdom will be wisdom indeed. [There are] many devices in a man's heart ; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand in sfiite of iht-m all. A comfortable thought

32 to a good man at all times. The desire of a man [is] his kindness; it is agreeable when persons mean well, though it is not in their power to do much: and a poor man [is] better than a liar; a poor man who giiei good ev dence of a kind, benevolent diiposition, is more esteemed and respected than a liar, that is, than a rich man who makes great professions and promises, and does not answer them, has nothing at the service of his friends but cornpli

23 ments. The fear of the Lord [tendeth] to life: and [be that hath it] shall abide satisfied ; he shall not be visited with evil,

24 with any destructive evil. A slothful [man] hidcth his hand in [his] bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again; when sloth prevails it makes a man unwilling to do the mat

25 necessary things. Smite a scorner, a profligate sinner, and the simple will beware; if it does him no giod,it may be a warnirg to '.thers: and reprove one that hath understanding, [ar.d] he will understand knowledge ; a wise man will be better fir reproof.

26 He that wasteth [his] father, [and] chascth away [his] mother, [is] a son that ciuseth shame, and bringeth peproa» h to lis par1n't tuid himself; but we very seldom tee such things in children who

27 have been wisely and religiously educated. Cease, my son, t* hear the instruction [that causeth] to err from the words of knowledge; do not hearken to any ivho ivortld fircjudice you

28 against religion or weaken your regard to it. An ungodly witness scorneth judgment, that is, reason, equity, scripture, and the judgment of God against perfidious persons : and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity; he swallows down greedily the greatest crimes, and is glad of any opportunity of committing

29 them. Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools; they are sometimes punished in this world, but thall certainly be so in another. This should engage us to seek wisdom, that we may avoid these judgments, and obtain security, peace, and everlasting hafipiness.

V V whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise; it makes a man abusive and quarrelsome, leads him to say and do foolish things. Let him have ever so much sense, he reduceth himself to a level with an idiot; yea, with a brute. It is strange that drunkenness should be the fault of so many sensible people, whom one

2 would think pride should keep from it, if they had no religion. The fear of a king, an arbitrary monarch, [is] as the roaring of a lion: [whoso] provoketh him to anger shmeth [against] his own soul,

3 exposes his life to manifest danger. [It is] an honour for a man to cease from strife, cautiously to avoid it, and be the first to give it over: but every fool will be meddling where he has no busi

4 ness, and so stir up strife. The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold; the most inconsiderable diffiadlies affright him from labour: [therefore] shall he beg in harvest, and [have]

5 nothing when others have plenty:. Counsel in the heart of man [is like] deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out by prudent discourse and diligent observation, as human indus

6 try finds mctlndt to fetch water out of the earth. Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? the generality pretend to great generosity, but it is dif

7 f.cult to find common honesty. The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him; he entails a blessing on his posterity; it is happy to be the children of such a

8 parent. A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes; a man of integrity will have a natural authority in any sufierior relation. If a king, he will exert himself as he ought; iniquity will f!y before him, and scarce

9 bear his look, for it is a cowardly thing. Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? I am free from guilt in heart and life? Therefore let us be humble bef ore God,

tQ and not expect perfection in others. Divers weights, [and] divera



strong drink [is] raging : and

« ZurückWeiter »