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men and bring them to death and ruin: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them, by warning and exhorting those who are assaulted by dangerous persons and principles, and by vindicat ing their character. The wicked are overthrown, and [are] not to 8 be found but the house of the righteous shall stand. A
man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that 9 is of a perverse heart shall be despised as a crafty knave. [He that is] despised, or overlooked, and hath a servant, [is] better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread; or rather, Better is he that lives meanly, and is servant to himself, than he that appears in a great deal of grandeur, and has not wherewith to support it. This is a common case; many who make a great figure in the world, would not have bread to eat, if their debts were paid. It is prudent to set out in life plainly, and be servants to 10 ourselves. A righteous [man] regardeth the life of his beast,
that it be not used cruelly, but be moderately worked, and have proper food and rest, as a sensitive creature and a creature of God? but the tender mercies of the wicked [are] cruel; they have lost 11 the natural compassion of men, and delight in cruelty. He that tilleth his land, who minds his business, does his work himself, not trusting to servants, shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain [persons is] void of understanding; he who loves company and rambling about, who makes frequent and long visite, 12 and neglects his business is a fool. The wicked desireth the net of evil [men ;] longs to practise the arts by which other wicked men draw their neighbours and acquaintance into snares, and thereby enrich themselves: but the root of the righteous yieldeth [fruit ;] the righteous have enough, and are comfortable without 13 such unjust courses. The wicked is snared by the transgression
of his lips; cuts his throat with his own tongue, brings upon him self troubles and law suits: but the just man shall come out of 14 trouble, by his prudent speeches and conduct. A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of [his] mouth and the recom pense of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him; his good words, and much more his good actions, shall be remembered 15 and rewarded. The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes; he is confident and asks no advice: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel, who does not rely entirely upon his own judgment, [is] 16 wise. A fool's wrath is presently known; he fires immediately,
which shows his folly: but a prudent [man] overcometh shame; he curbs his passions, and his resentment of the greatest injuries. 17 [He that] speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness; he who
is used to speak truth in common conversation, will do it in public 18 as a witness; but a false witness deceit. There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword; the cut throat, or common assassin, is not more pernicious than the man who makes it his business to wound his neighbour's reputation and sow discord among them : but the tongue of the wise [is] health, or healing, it promotes 19 peace and love. The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue [is] but for a moment; he loses his credit, and is not
20 believed when he speaks truth. Deceit [is] in the heart of them that imagine evil; they deceive themselves, and bring mischief on their own heads: but to the counsellors of peace [is] joy; it is a comfortable reflection, that they have always taken the mildest side, 21 have endeavoured to make peace, and not promote discord. There
shall no real evil happen to the just but the wicked shall be filled with mischief, even when filled with sensual gratifications. 22 Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD; he abhors all kind and degree of falsehood: but they that deal truly, as well as speak truly, [are] his delight; and this circumstance of being loved or hated of God, will turn the balance as to all present advantages. 23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge; does not make a pomp or
show of it, but knows when to be silent: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness; while they want to show their knowledge 24 they only proclaim their ignorance and folly. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule; shall have wealth and power: but the slothful shall be under tribute; will always be in straits, and de25 pendant upon others. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, therefore those who are sorrowful and low spirited should not pore on their sorrows, but pursue their business, and get into friendly and cheerful company: but a good word maketh it glad, therefore others should be ready to comfort them. This is especially 36 applicable to the promises of God's word. The righteous [is]
more excellent than his neighbour in every respect, and particularly as he does not delude himself with vain hopes but the way 27 of the wicked seduceth them; they do ill for themselves. The slothful [man] roasteth not that which he took in hunting; does not make the best of his circumstances, like a man who has taken the trouble of hunting, and through mere sloth will not dress his game, but suffers it to spoil by him: but the substance of a diligent man [is] precious; he makes the best of it, and it gives 28 him comfort. In the way of righteousness [is] life; and in the pathway [thereof there is] no death; it is a sure way to happiness here, and to immortal life hereaf.er. We see from hence of what importance humility, diligence, and the wise government and use of the tongue are to our prosperity for both worlds. Let us habitually practise the government of the thoughts, in order to obtain the government of the tongue; and as a grand motive to this, remember that in the way of righteousness is life, and that in the pathway thereof there is no death.
WISE son [heareth] his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke, therefore there is no hope of 2 him, he is not likely to be wise. A man shall eat good by the fruit of [his] mouth but the soul of the transgressors [shall eat] violence in the present life, but especially hereafter, when by
our words we shall be justified, and by our words we shall be con. demned. He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life from guilt and grief: [but] he that openeth wide his lips, a slanderer or a brawler, who bolts out every thing that comes uppermost, shall have destruction; shall lose his reputation, and bring ruin 4 upon himself. The soul of the sluggard, who will and will not, has no resolution, who loves gain, but hates the exertions of the diligent, such an one desireth, and [hath] nothing but the soul of 5 the diligent shall be made fat. A righteous [man] hateth lying in himself and others; but a wicked [man] is loathsome to God 6 and man, and cometh to shame. Righteousness keepeth [him
that is] upright in the way but wickedness overthroweth the 7 sinner, though he foolishly seeks establishment by it. There is that maketh himself rich, yet [hath] nothing: [there is] that maketh himself poor, yet [hath] great riches. This is applicable to the figure persons make in the world; therefore we have need of prudence in judging of others, and in trusting them. It is equally applicable to spiritual things, to conceited and modest persons. 8 The ransom of a man's life [are] his riches; these sometimes expose men to injuries, persecutions, and false accusations, so that they are glad to part with their riches to ransom their lives: but the poor heareth not rebuke; they are often free from these things, men do not think it worth while to sue them, because there is 9 nothing to be got. The light of the righteous rejoiceth, like the sun, with constant, pleasant brightness, which, though clouded or eclipsed, is not extinguished: but the lamp, the poor, glimmering candle of the wicked shall be put out, with a disagreeable stench, 10 however bright it may have been. Only by pride cometh contention; this is the chief cause of quarrels in kingdoms, churches, and families, and of the continuance of them: but with the well advised [is] wisdom; they act with prudence, yield, and study 11 peace. Wealth [gotten] by vanity, by cheating, lying, and gaming, shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour, that is, by honest industry, shall increase; it will wear well. 12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life; the most desirable thing in the world. This should teach us not to raise our expectations too high, but to expect and prepare for disappointments; and also not to keep 13 others in suspense, when they expect any benefit from us. Whoso despiseth the word, that is, good admonition from God or man, who will not study it, and be ruled by it, shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment, who reverences the precept, 14 and feareth the penalty, shall be rewarded. The law of the wise [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death; it af15 fords him comfort, and preserves him from temptation. Good understanding giveth favour; wisdom and piety are most amiable and acceptable to all: but the way of transgressors [is] hard; rough and perplexed, however pleasant and flowery at its first en16 trance. Every prudent [man] dealeth with knowledge, he undertakes nothing but what he understands, and proceeds cautiously, VOL. V.
is careful what he says, and whom he trusts: but a fool layeth 17 open [his] folly, by his imprudence and rashness. A wicked mes senger, who is false to his trust, or trifles on his errands, falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador [is] health ; is com18 fortable to himself and those who employ him. Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regard19 eth reproof shall be honoured and esteemed. The desire accomplished, especially the pious desire, is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil; and so the prospect of future happiness cannot persuade them to quit the bad courses 20 they are wedded to. He that walketh with wise [men,] intimately
converses and forms friendships with them, shall be wise; conversation with such edifies and assimilates: but a companion of fools 21 shall be destroyed. Evil pursueth sinners, and will certainly overtake them, though they think it at a distance: but to the righteous good shall be repayed, for the good they have done, and the ill 22 they have suffered. A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children's children, by prudence, diligence, justice, and charity : and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just; it is frequently by the providence of God transferred to pious families, who will make 23 a good use of it. Much food [is in] the tillage of the poor, that
is, in a little improved by industry: if a man has but little he should be so much the more diligent and frugal: but there is [that is] destroyed for want of judgment; large estates are often lost by idleness and extravagance, by over living, by keeping great tables and many servants: in other instances by out trading their capital, being bound for others, and the like; all which show a want of 24 judgment. He that spareth his rod, if no other method will do,
hateth his son but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes, before ill habits are contracted. Parents who do not keep their 25 children under strict discipline, are really cruel to them. The righteous cateth to the satisfying of his soul; a little serves him, he does not desire dainties and elegancies: but the belly of the wicked shall want; some of them ruin themselves by debauchery, others pine away through covetousness; worldly men are never satisfied. On the whole, we see that godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.
order, prosperity, and
OVERY wise woman buildeth her house; by prudence and credit of the family, which is a mark of true wisdom: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands; by her pride, prodigality, and idleness, she contributes to the ruin of it, agreeable to our 2 proverb, a man must ask his wife's leave to grow rich.' He that
walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD, proves that he does
so: but [he that is] perverse in his ways, unjust, intemperate, and irregular, despiseth him, whatever pretensions he makes 3 to devotion. In the mouth of the foolish [is] a rod of pride; they often bring upon themselves deserved correction: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them; their prudent, peaceable, and pleasing words, conciliate the friendship of others, and fireserve 4 them from danger. It is true, Where no oxen [are,] the crib [is] clean but much increase [is] by the strength of the ox; and one must be set over against the other. Persons should not be averse to the fatigues and the meanest labours that a life of business exposes men to. There is a good equivalent in the increase of their substance. Guard therefore against that excessive delicacy, which makes men neglect their proper duty because of some 5 inconveniences. A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies; when we know a man's general character, we 6 may know how far to credit what he says. A scorner, one that is critical, and cavils at instructions, seeketh wisdom, and [findeth it] not but knowledge [is] casy unto him that understandeth; 7 to a well disposed, kumble, and teachable mind. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not [in him] the lips of knowledge; if he has no relish for pious and useful 8 discourse, leave him, and seek better company. The wisdom of the prudent, the best and most useful wisdom, [is] to understand his way; what course he must take to be truly happy: but the folly of fools [is] deceit; to play the knave is the greatest folly. 9 Fools make a mock at sin; it is one of the surest marks of wickedness, to make light of sin, or speak of it in a trifling manner : but among the righteous [there is] favour, charity and compassion to the souls of others, and they are favoured of God and man. 10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy; we are not to judge of persons entirely by external circumstances, without examining their tempers and passions. Others little know either the sorrow of a penitent, or 11 the joy of a believer: we are not to judge rashly. The finest, firmest house of the wicked shall be overthrown but the tabernacle, or little tent, of the upright shall flourish: who would not 12 then choose it, as a much more desirable habitation! There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, he may think his opinion and practice right and good, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. Let us therefore be cautious, since ignorance will not always 13 excuse a man for ill behaviour. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; there is oftentimes inward pain under the appearance of cheerfulness; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness; this is true of all vain and sensual mirth. The backslider in Leart, who declines his duty from the fear of danger, shall be filled with his own ways, he shall have trouble and sorrow enough, yea, everlasting terror and torment: and a good man [shall be satisfied] from himself; shall have present satisfaction and an abundant 15 reward. The simple believeth every word; credits every com-. mon report, and trusts every man's promises: but the prudent