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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 mosi 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 pieace 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 filihy, scurrilous, blasphemous words, 34 without prudence, and without decency. Yea, thou shalt be as he

that lietn down in the midst of the sea, or as he that licth upon the top of a mast, who falls asleep where he was set to watch; he

is liable to be tossed off every moment, and fierish without remely, 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 ; not withstanding 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 obstinacy of drunkards, whose senses and understanding are so stupified that they fear no danger. An awful warning 10 us all, to take heed, lest at any lime our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkennese ; for we may soon go from bad 10 worse, and never be roused, till we fall into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death, and which the word of God assures us shall be the portion of all drunkards; therefore let us stand in awe arid sin not.


I D E not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to

D be with them ; do not think them so happy as 10 wish thyself 2 in their circumstances. For their heart studieth destruction, and 3 their lips talk of mischief. Through wisdom is an house

builded ; and by understanding it is established : that is, by pru.

dence and discretion families are supported and handsomely main4 tained : And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with

all precious and pleasant riches ; all things necessary for con5 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 exposed to so many dangers and perplex6 ities as others. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war :

and in multitude of counsellors (there is] safety; it is prudent to

think of important mallers frequently and clusely, 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 vain companions, but when he comes among the judges, or to the places where wise men resort, he has nothing to say, or, if he speaks, he is treated with contempt. What an idea does this

scripture give us of a great many of those gay futtering creatures, 3 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 10

the condemnation of an heart searching God: and the scorner, "10 who operly makes a jest of ein, [is] an abomination to men. [If]

thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength [is] small; if thou sink into despair and mclancholy, and art discouraged from thy duty, it shows the mind to be weak and unfortified. Great

pains therefore should be taken to keep up the firmness of the mind, 11 and not to sink under little difficulties and troubles. If thou for

bear 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 sit?) 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 de13 struction. My son, eat thou honey, because [it is) good ; and

the honeycomb (which is) sweet to thy taste ; you are 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 hast found [it,] then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation

shall not be cut off ; it is not only delightful at firesent, but shall 15 be abundantly rewarded. Lay not wait, () wicked (man) secretly,

against the dwelling of the righteous ; spoil not his rest16 ing place : For a just (man) falleth seven times, and riseth up

again ; he falleth into troutile many times, and God delivereth him :

but the wicked shall fall into mischief, inio irrecoverable destruc17 tion. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth into a calamitcus



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

his wrath from him, and turn it upon thee, for thy malicious, 19 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 hopes shall be lost at once. My son, fear thou the

Lord and the king : [and] meddle not with them that are given 22 to change :* For their calamity shall rise suddenly, by firecifi

tate measures men may ruin themselves and those about them : and who knoweth the ruin of them both ? of those that fear not God 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 pru27 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 c booth or hut in the field, and afierward build a house ; begin low and live sparingly, and afterward build. An important maxim which few attend 10, though they see others ruined for want of regarding it. Or it may refer to pru. dence 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 materials be prepared. Be not a witness

against thy neighbour without cause ; and deceive (not) with

thy lips ; do not endeavour by crafiy insinuations 10 draw others 29 into an 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 10 injure and deceive them. Tre 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 void 31 of understanding ; these 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 see many 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 idlenc88. Then I saw,

• We are not here forbidden to attempt a change in a bad government when Providence gives an opportunity ; it is only a general intimation of the imprudence of attempting it with ut just grounds and reasonable expectation of buco. Ss.

[and] considered [it] well : I looked upon [it, and] received in. struction ; the wisest men may and ought to learn instruction from impertinent, idle, useless creatures; if we will consider their ex

ampile and conduct well, we'may learn to avoid their errors, and 83 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 practice : So shall thy poverty come

[as] one that travelleth, silently, insensibly, and unexpectedly, and thy want as an armed man ; at length it shall seize thee in a powerful, irresistible manner. We have 100 many such instances as this before our eyes : let us look upon them ; consider them well; and receive instruction: God intends that we should do so. In. dustry is a duty we owe to God, to ourselves, 10 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.

CHAP. XXV. THESE (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 life, but to inquire diligently into things, and make necessary remarks upon them, and yet maintain a prudent re4 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 estab

lished in righteousness ; remove wicked ministers, and then the 6 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 appear too splendid for one of thy rank, nor affect 7 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 consideralion,

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. De

bate thy cause with thy neighbour [himself ;] and discover not a secret to another, that is, a secret quarrel: a marim particularly to be regarded by husbands and wives if they should have any

• These were probably some prophets that Hezekiah selected out of the public schools, to attend in his court as domestic ch«plains ; they copird these proverbe out of some private collections, and published them for general instruction. A useful design, as many of them, contain as much important sense and solidity as any that were before inade public.

10 differences : Lest he that heareth [it] put thee to shame, and

thine infamy turn not away ; lest by telling the story he expose 11 thee to contempi. A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in

pictures of silver, or rather, like oranges in a basket of wrought silver,' which must look extremely beautifil. Such words as these

have a rich and valuable meaning, beside the handsome manner in 12 which they are spoken. [As) an earring of gold, and an orna

ment of fine gold, (so is) a wise reprover upon an obedient ear ;

far from thinking himself wronged or being provoked by it, he es. 13 teems it precious. As the cold of snow, or a cocling 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 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 stub, 16 born resolution. Hast thou found honey ? eat so much as is

sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it ;

this 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 100 long for that is hindering his business and thy own. There is such a thing as making ourselves 100 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 mischief, 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 uns

faithful 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 uccasion to use them. (As) he that taketh away a gar

ment in cold weather, which is very unreasonable, (and as] vine. gar upon nitre, which makes a great ferment, so [is] he that sing.

eth songs to an heavy heart ; it makes him more melancholy 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 tenderest 23 part. The north wind driveth away rain : so [doth) an an

gry countenance a backbiting tongue ; if it be proper no other way to reprove it, an angry countenance may testify our strong disa

like, and make the slanderer unwilling to vent his illnature in our 24 presence. This is applicable to hearing prophanencse, &c. (It is]

better to dwell in the corner of ihe 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, from which it is hard to get

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