« ZurückWeiter »
[and] considered [it] well: I looked upon [it, and] received instruction; the wisest men may and ought to lcam instruction from impcrtinent, idle, useless creatures; if ive will consider their examfile and conduct well, we may learn to avoid their errors, and
33 do better ourselves. [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep a little longer, and then I will put
-34 my good resolutions into firactice: So shall thy poverty come [as] one that travelleth, silently, insensibly, and unexfiectedly, and thy want as an armed man; at length it shall seize thee in a powerful, irresistible manner. We have too many such instances as this before our eyes: let us look ufion them; consider them well; and receive instruction: God intends that we should do so. Industry is a duty we owe to God, to ourselves, to our families, and to society. As we desire to secure our substance, our comfort, our credit, our usefulness, and the favour of God, let us not be slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
1 r | ""HESE [are] also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of
2 -1- Hezekiah• king of Judah copied out. [It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing, the reasons of his judgments and decrees: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter; to search
3 out secret contrivances and intricate cases. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings [is] unsearchable to vulgar minds, and prudently concealed from others. These two verses are an important lesson to princes not to indulge themselves in an idle lift, but to inquire diligently into things, and make necessary remarks upon them, and yet maintain a prudent re
4 serve. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall
5 come forth a beautiful vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked [from] before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness \ remove wicked minitters, and then the
fi public affairs will go on prosperously. Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great [men ;] do not afifiear too splendid for one of thy rank, nor affect
1 a higher place than becomes thee. For better, more honourable, [it is] that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldst be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen, which must be very mortifying, (Luke xiv.
8 9.) Go not forth hastily to strive without due consideration, either in battle, or at law, lest [thou know not] what to do in the
9 end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour [himself ;] and discover not a, secret to another, that is, a secret quarrel: a maxim parlicularly to be regarded by husbands and wives if they should have any
• These were probably sume prophets that Hezekiah selecred out of the public schools, to attend in his court as domestic chaplains ; they copied these proverbs out of Mime private collectlons, and published them for general instruction. A useful design, an nvuiy of them ttutain as «u;h important sense and solidity at any that were before made public."
10 differences: Lest he that heareth [it] put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away ; lest by telling the story he exfiose
11 thee to contempt. A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver, or ra'-her, 'like oranges in a basket of wrought silver,' which must look extremely beautiful. Such words as these hare a rich and valuable meaning, beside the handsome manner in
12 which they are spoken. [As] an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, [so is] a wise reprover upon an obedient ear; far from thinking himself wronged or being firovoked by it, he es
13 teems it firecioui. As the cold of snow, or a coding breeze, in the time of harvest, [so is] a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters, who were
14 ready to faint under the apprehension of ill success. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift, of fine compliments not answered, and fine promises not performed, [is like] clouds and wind without
15 rain, which disappoint the expectation. By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, whereas by -violent opposition he is more incensed; and a soft tongue breaketh the bone, overcomes the most stufi
16 born resolution. Hast thou found honey ? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it: tliis is applicable to all worldly delights, use them with moderation.
17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and [so] hate thee ; do not frequently press in upon him, or tarry too long, for that is hindering his business and thy own. There is such a thing as making ourselves too cheap; a caution which ministers should attend to above all other persons.
18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour [is] a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow; a complicated instrument of miichirf, it smites and bruises like a maul, it pierces like a sword, when near at hand, and at a distance it wounds like a sharp arrow,
19 so that a man is never out of its reach. Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble [is like] a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint; they are not only useless but troublesome, when there
20 is occasion to use them. [As] he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, which is very unseasonable, [and as] vinegar upon nitre, wltich makes a great ferment, so [is] hs that singeth songs to an heavy heart; it makes him more mdancholy than
21 before. If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat ; and
22 if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee; the human mind is so formed as to be won by kindness, and is as sensible of it as the body is of burning coals applied to the tendertst
23 part. The north wind driveth away rain; so [doth] an angry countenance a backbiting tongue ; if it be proper no other way to reprove it, an angry countenance may testify our strong dislike, and make the slanderer unwilling to vent his illnature in our
34 presence. This is applicable to hearing prophantness, i?c. [It is] better to dwell in the corner of the house top, than with a brawl
25 ing woman and in a wide house. [As] cold waters to a thirsty soul, so [is] good news from a far country,/ro>n which it is hard to get intelligence. We have reason to bless God for the art of writing, for the convenience of posts, and such easy conveyance of intelligence from our absent friends; especially for good news from
26 heaven. A righteous man falling down before the wicked, being ofifiressed and trampled ufion bu him, [is as] a troubled
27 fountain, and a corrupt spring, a public calamity. [It is] not good to eat much honey though very plewtant : so [for men] to search their own glory [is not] glory ; to hunt after applause is dishonourable, it counterbalances and lessens all the other beauties of
28 a man's character. He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit, that cannot bear affronts cm! provocations with meekness, and afflictions with patience, [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls; he is liable to every surfirize, is very contemptible, and is exposed to innumerable mischiefs. Let us labour after the government cf ourselves; and learn of Chris', who wax meek and lowly in heart; so shall we find honour, security, and peace to our souls.
1 J\ S snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, which prevent f \ reaping and gathering in the fruits of the earth, so honour is not seemly for a fool; though he may look grand, he knows
2 not how to use it, and does mischief with it. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come ; a man is in no more danger from the causeless curse of others, than from the flying of a bird over his head;
3 it fixes no where except upon him that uttered it. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back; a foolish wicked man must be taught and restrained by se
4 vere methods ; no others will do. Answer not a fool according to
5 his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit ; do not answer every impertinent speech or accusation of a clamorous fool; it is the better way to despise him: but if he should grow insolent from your silence, a wise man may condescend to mortify him. «d person mu&t judge for himself which is most proper; but it is best in general to be silent, there is no surer way to mortify a fool,
6 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool, cutteth off the feet, [and] drinketh damage; such a messenger will make lame work of his message, and bring inconveniences on him that employs
7 him. The legs of the lame are not equal, which gives a man a disagreeable air, especially if he affects agility: so [is] a parable in the mouth of fools; so ridiculous is it for wicked men to applaud and recommend virtue ; it only makes their own wicked
8 ness the more conspicuous. As he that bindcth a stone in a sling, which is presently thrown out, so [is] he that giveth honour to a
9 fool; it will not continue with him. [As] a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so [is] a parable in the mouth of fools; a drunkard token stumbling catcheth hold of a thorn to support him, which wounds him. Thus wicked men, when they talk of religion, meddle to their hurt. A wicked man thinks to sufifiorc himself by it; but he only hurts his character the more, though his
10 parable be ever safine. The great [God] that formed all [things] both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors, though he
11 may suffer them to go on a great while. As a dog returneth to his vomit, [so] a fool returneth to his folly ; he commits the same errors for which he formerly smarted and professed to repent of,
If and so becomes odious to God and man. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him, that is, of one that has hardly commmi sense; he is a fool
13 of God's making, the other makes himself so. The slothful [man] saith ; [There is] a lion in the way, a lion [is] in the streets: thus idle people frighten themselves from business; raise imaginary difficulties and aggravate real ones. Many of these lions stand in
H the way on the Lord's day. [As] the door turneth upon his
15 hinges, so [doth] the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hid: eth his hand in [his] bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. A beautiful gradation; he does not care to stir or rise out of his bed: when he is up, he does not care to stretch out his hand to feed himself, and would be glad to eat by proxy. Thus habits of idlcness grow: the less a man doth, the less he is
16 disposed to do. The sluggard [is] wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason ; as stupid a creature as he is, he has a great conceit of his own abilities, though he has
J 7 nothing to say in defence of his opinions or practices. - He that passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife [belonging] not to him, [is like] one that taketh a dog by the ears ; he gets the displeas
18 ure of both parties, and is often hurt in the quarrel. As a mad
19 [man] who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So [js] the man [that] deceivcth his neighbour, who leads him into sin or /w«« poses upon him, and saith, Am not I in sport ? pretends that he means no harm, only to make himself and others merry; while vice is thus encouraged, guilt contracted, and great mischief is done.
20 Where no wood is, [there] the fire goeth out: so where [there is] no talebearer, the strife ceaseth, therefore when you meet
21 with such persons frown upon them. [As] coals [are] to burning coals, and wood to fire, kindling one another, so [is] a contentious^ man to kindle strife ; he is easily inflamed himself and quickly
22 kindles others. The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly, do secret,
23 yet deep, and incurable injury. Burning lips and a wicked heart, ill natured, satyrical terms, especially when used to expose what is virtuous and good, and to countenance vice, [are like] a potsherd, or piece of broken pot or crucible covered with silver dross, in which silver has been melted, and is spread over it ; so contemptible is wicked wit. Many of the satyrical productions of
$4 our celebrated fioets are of this nature. He that hateth dissemblcth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him ; he in' tends a man's ruin when he makes a profession of friendship;
35 When he speaketh fair, believe him not i for [there are] seven abominations in his heart; ,when you have once discovered a man to beef that disposition, you have need of the greatest caution in
26 dealing with him ; he is a most dangerous enemy. [ Whose] hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be showed betore the [whole] congregation; he will probably be exposed to mankind, and become universally contemptible; and certainly be exposed to
37 the view of the whole world at the judgment day. Whoso diggeth a pit, with an evil design, shall fall therein: and he that rolletb. a stone, to injure others, it will return upon him, ani hurt
S3 himself. A lying tongue hateth [those that are] afflicted by it; it is hard for those who have done an injury to respect the person wronged; they still go on to do more; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin; persons by being courted and applauded are often ruined. Hence we see what mischitf deceit, falsehood, and flattery do in the world, and bring on those who practise them. Let it then be our ambition to be christians indeed} in whom there is no guile.
1 "HOAST not thyself of tomorrow, what thou wilt do, or ex-£3 pectest to receive; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth; it may render fruitless all thy designs and ex~
3 peclations; death, or a thousand accidents, may do it. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a strangeri and not thine own lips; to praise thyself is indecent and imprw dent; it disposes others to undervalue thee, and defraud thee of
3 thy just commendation. A stone [is] heavy, and the sand Weighty ; but a fool's wrath [is] heavier than them both ; he can net' ther correct it himself, nor can another restrain it by any rational considerations, till it break out in the most insatiable cruelty.
4 Wrath [is] cruel, and anger [is] outtageous ; but who [is] able to stand before envy ? A man can better guard against the effects of anger than envy, as that workfi secretly to do another an injury.
3 Open rebuke [is] better than secret love; a friend tilto reproves is bclter than one who may have an equal degree of love, but doth
6 not show it that way. Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; sharp reproofs therefore ought to be thankfully received; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful; compliments and flattering <x
7 pressions ought therefore to be suspected. The full soul katheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry scul every bitter thing is tweet: this shows the advantage of poverty, end the vanity of
t riches. As a bird that wandereth from her nest, andl-.aves her eggs to be broken or her young ones to be destroyed, so [is] a man