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not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge; 21/ refer to thy own judgment and discretion; That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of tnith ; that thou migntest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? be useful to those that consult thee or em/iloy thee in any business; this is one great advantage of wisdom, that it Jits men for useful

22 services in life. Rob not the poor, because he [is] poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate, that га, in the court of justice t let him not be overthrown or injured because he wants money to

23 defend his cause: For the Lord, Me supreme judge, will plead

24 their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man

25 thou shan not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul; lett his fiassions provske thine; or legt his exam

2€ file corrupt thee, and lead thee into sin. Be not thou [one] of them that strike hands, [or] of them that are sureties for debts.

27 If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee? It is firudmt to avoid being bound for others, Irst the creditor in the rage of his disappointment go beyond what the law allows, and reduce thee to great extremity thror^h thy own

23 folly. Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers

29 have set,./br the distinction of one inheritance from another. Seest thou a man diligent in his business, a man that looks about him, is active and diligent in hia own proper work, he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [men ;] he is likely to rise and be advanced in life. If we desire to stand before the King of kings, and to be numbered among hi» favourites, let us not be slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.

CHAP. XXIII.

1 T-T7HEN thou sittest to eat with a ruler, or any person of

VV superior rank or quality, consider diligently what [is] before thee, and how easily thou mayest be drawn into e.rcrss:

2 And put aknifu to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite; uer any violence tvith thyself rather than fall into intemper

3 anee. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they [are] deceitful meat; fierions by visiting lho-че above their rank get an habit of high living, which often /irovea a snare to them ; plain Jare is lest expensive, more nourishing, and free from the lemptafions which

4 attend dainty meats. Labour not to be rich ; fatigue not thyself; make not a slavery of business; set bounds to I hu contrivances; do not place thy happiness in riches, nor seek them too eagerly: cease from thine own wisdom, which man prompt thee to such a

5 dangerous and destructive conduct. Wilt thou set thine eyee upon that which is not? for [riches] certainly make themselve? wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Solomon, though a rich man, speaks of tithes in a very contemptuous manner here, as if they had no real existence. They are often lost through such an excessive desire of more, as sets men upon hazardous enterfirises, which, if they do not succeed, lessen their former gain i while hoarding them up is but letting their wings grow, wluch make* $ them more readily fly away. Eat thou not the bread of [him that hath] an evil eye, a man of a covetous temper, who grudgeth thee every thing thou eatest; neither desire thou his dainty meats:

7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee ; but his heart [is] not with thee i he is to be judged of by his disposition, and not by his compliments; whatever he saysf

8 he has no real regard for thee. The morsel [which] thou hast eaten shalt thou wish to vomit up, and lose thy sweet words;

9 repent of ail thy compliments and thanks. Speak not in the ears

10 of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. Remove not the old land mark; and enter not into the fields of the

11 fatherless, who are not able to right themselves. For their Redeemer [is] mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee ; if they have no near relation, kinsman, or friend to avenge their wrong,

12 God will do it. Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine

13 ears to the words of knowledge. Withhold not correction from the child out of foolish pity: for [if] thou beatest him with the

14 rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell ; save him from those sinful course*

15 that might lead him to destruction. My son, if thine heart be

16 wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things, and nothing that savours

17 of impiety to God or undutifulness to me. Let not thine heart envy sinners: but [be thou] in the fear of the Lord all the day long; this will preserve thee from all corrupt affections and irreg

18 ular passions. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off; tl.ou wilt not upon the whole lose by thy

19 religion, but have h glorious reward here and hereafter. Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way

20 which I firescribe to thee. Be not among wine bibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh; avoid the society of gluttons and drunk

21 ards: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags; an idle, trifling, sleepy habit, will make men neglect their business, and expose them

22 to want and infamy. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old, for her age is an

23 additional argument for thy dutiful regards to her. Buy the truth at any price, and sell [it] not upon any consideration whatever, for thou wilt surely lose by the bargain; [als.-i] wisdom, and in

24 siruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise [child] shall have

25 joy of him, in the virtue and regularity of his behaviour. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice ; all her pains in thy birth and education shall be abundantly

26 repaid. My Sod, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways; do not only look grave and attentive, but set thine heart and affections on what I say,, and see that thou actest on the rules

27 I have given thee, and after the example I have set thee. For a whore [is] a deep ditch; and a strange woman [is] a narrow pit; a man may easily slide into them, but it may be difficult if not

28 impossible to get out. She also lieth in wait as [for] a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men; whatever professions of love she might make, she draws multitudes into sin and ruin.

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow ? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath

30 redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek. mixed wine. This shows the mischief of drunkenness, that it hurts the body, the character, the comfort of life, the peace of

31 society, and the good order of the world. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, [when] it moveth itself aright. A most lively and beautiful passage, in which the wine is compared to a wicked woman, who puts on her

32 most graceful and attractive airs to allure the unwary. At the . last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder; it will be rank poison in thy veins, destroy thy peace and ruin thy soul.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things; thy lustful desires will be inflamed, and thine heart or tongue utter filthy, scurrilous, blasphimous words,

34 without prudence, and witltout decency. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lietn down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast, who fails asleep where he was set to watch; he is liable to be tossed off every moment, and perish without remedy,

35 yet thinks himself secure, and sleeps soundly. They have stricken me, [shalt thou say, and] I was not sick; they have beaten me, [and] I felt [it] not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again; notwithstanding all the dangers which the sot runs through, and the indignities and injuries he suffers in his drink, no sooner doth he awake but he runs the same round of folly and extravagance. This beautifully expresses the confidence and obsticacy of drunkards, whose senses and understanding are so stupifled that they fear no danger. An awful warning to us all, to take heed, lest at any time our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness ; for we may soon go from bad to worse, aiid nei'er be roused, till we fall into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death, and winch the word of God assures us shall be the portion of all drunkards; therefore let us staiid in awe and sin not.

CHAP. XXIV.

1 XJ E not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to JJ be with them i do not think them so happy as to wish tltyself

2 in their circumstances. For their heart studieth destruction, and

3 thtir lips talk of mischief. Through wisdom is an house builded ; and by understanding it is established: that is, by prudence and discretion families are sufifiorted and handsomely main

4 tained: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches ; all things necessary for con

5 venience and ornament. A wise man [is] strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength; he knows how to defend and secure himself, and is not exfiosed M so many dangers and perplex

ities as others. For by wise counsel thou shah make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors [there is] safety; it is prudent to think of important matters frequently and closely, and to take the

7 advice of others. Wisdom [is] too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate; he may be loud and noisy enough among his x-ain companions, but when he comes among the judges, or to the places where wise men resort, fie has nothing to say, or, if he speaks, he is treated with contemfit. What an idea does this scripture give us of a great many of those gay fluttering creatures,

8 who think themselves so very considerable ! He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person ; a malignant wretch, who breaks in upon the comforts of human life, and shall become

9 odious and hateful to mankind. The thought of foolishness [is] sin ; it is sinful to harbour evil thoughts, and will expose men to the condemnation of an heart searching God: and the scorner,

10 who openly makes a jest of sin, [is] an abomination to men. [If] thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength [is] small ; if thou sink into despair and melancholy, and art discouraged from thy duty, it shows the mind to be weak and unfortified. Great puins therefore should be taken to keep up the firmness of the mind,

11 and not to sink under little difficulties and troubles. If thou forbear to do thy utmost to deliver [them that are] drawn unto death, and [those that are] ready to be slain, who are unjustly

12 condemned, or violently assaulted; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not, either his danger, or innocence, or the way to deliver him; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider [it ?] and he that keepeth, or preserveth, thy soul, doth [not] he know [it ?] how far thy excuses and reasons are well grounded: and shall [not] he render to [every] man according to his works? Sins of omission are charged to our account, especially a neglect of doing good to others, and much more of delivering their souls from de

13 struction. My son, eat thou honey, because [it is] good ; and the honeycomb [which is] sweet to thy taste ; you arc determined

14 in your choice of diet, by its being agreeable to your taste: So [shall] the knowledge of wisdom [be] unto thy soul: when thou bast found [it,] then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut ofF; it is not only delightful at present, but shall

15 be abundantly rewarded. Lay not wait, O wicked [man,] secretly, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not openly his rest

16 ing place: For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again ; he falleth mto trouble many times, and God delivereth him: but the wicked shall fall into mischief, into irrecoverable destrue

17 tion. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth into a calamitous Vol. V. H

condition, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth i 18 Lest the Lord see [it,] and it displease him, and he turn away

his wrath from him, and turn it ufion thee, for thy malicious, )9 wicked joy. Fret not thyself because of evil [men,] neither be

20 thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil [man ;] the candle of the wicked shall be put out; all his

21 comfort and hofies shall be lost at once. My son, fear thoti the Lord and the king: [and] meddle not with them that are given

22 to change :• For their calamity shall rise suddenly, by precipitate measures men may ruin themselves and those about them; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? of those that fear not God

23 and the king. These [things] also [belong] to the wise, who may receive further instruction. [It is] not good to have respect of persons in judgment; it is enormously wicked to consider their relation,- wealth, greatness, friendship, connections, or any thing but

24 the merits of the case. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou [art] righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall.abhor him; his countrymen and other nations that hear of his crime, shall

25 abhor him: But to them that rebuke [him] shall be delight, a faithful reprover shall be honoured, and a good blessing, the bless-' ing of a good man, or the blessing of the wicked who become good,

26 shall come upon them. [Every man] shall kiss [his] lips that giveth a right answer; he will be greatly esteemed for his pru

27 dence and good understanding. Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterward build thine house; this is capable of two senses, and both very important. Prepare for thy work a booth or hut in the field) and afterward build a house; begin low and live sparingly, and afterward build. An important maxim which few attend to, though they see others ruined for want of regarding it. Or it may refer to prudence in undertaking any great work, and be a caution not to begin a great, expensive undertaking, till there be substance to complete

28 it, and the necessary matesials be prepared. Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive [not] with thy lips; do not endeavour by crafty insinuations to draw others

29 into nn ill opinion of him, though he has injured thee. Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work; our having been injured or deceived by others, gives us no toleration to injure and dtceive them. The

30 rest of the chapter is a beautiful and instructive parable. I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man vokl

31 of understanding; theie are synonimous terms; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, [and] nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down : we sec Otq.ii/ people's fields and gardens in this condition, and we often see the like within doors as well as without; many persons are in a

32 continual litter and confusion through mere idleness. Then I saw,

• We are not here f»irbin\!-n to artempt a chnnge in a bit! government when Providence vives An opportunity ; it is only A general mtimation of the imprudenco of attcaaptwig it withtut iust grohndi Aiw re^cnable expectation of sutc.ss.

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