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(man) looketh well to his going ; considers and observes it, ea see that he has good ground for what he does. Policy without picty has too much of cunning to be good ; piety without policy is too, simple to be safe. The great secret is to maintain an easy air with

those with whom we converse ; but resolutely to maintain such a 16 reserve as shall not put us into the power of any. A wise (man)

feareth, and departeth from evil; keeps out of harm's way and avoids the appearance of evil : but the fool rageth, and is confi.

dent; runs rashly on, and, confident he shall do right, despises and 17 resents the kindest and mildest cautions. He that is soon angry,

of a hasty, passionate spirit, dealeth foolishly : and a man of .

wicked devices is hated ; a deliberate villain is universally detested. 18 The simple, giddy, extravagant people, inherit folly, and will

quickly have nothing else to inherit : but the prudent are crown,

ed with knowledge ; it is both their ornament and support. 19 The evil bow before the good ; and the wicked at the gates,

of the righteous ; therefore they should not despise and in. 20 sult them in their prosperity. The poor is hated even of his ową

neighbour : but the rich (hath] many friends, who hope to get

something by them. This is a motive io frugality and diligence." 21 He that despiseth his neighbour, because he is low or mean, and

will not relieve him, sinneth ; a remarkable phrase, intimating, that if we considered the digrity of the rational nature, we should do our ulmost to relieve others : but he that hath mercy on the

poor, happy [is] he, both in the benevolence of his temper, (which 22 affords the greatest pleasure and in the approbation of God. Da

they not err that devise evil ? but mercy and truth (shall be]

to them that devise good ; divine mercy shall be their security, 23 their portion, and their joy. In all labour there is profit : but

the talk of the lips (tendeth] only to penury : a man had better employ himself in the meanest labours, than go talking about, wasting his own time and that of others in impertinence and folly.

Some men of natural good sense and wit thus prove fools in cona 24 duct, and by these means bring their families to poverty. The

crown of the wisę [is] their riches; as they have great honour, and advantages for doing good : [but] the foolishness of fools

[is] folly ; when riches fall into the hands of a fool, he only dis25 plays his folly the more ; so that wisdom is better than riches. A

true witness delivereth souls, lives and reputations : but a deceit..

ful (witness] speaketh lies in judicial causes, and therefore does 26 great mischief. In the fear of the LORD (is) strong confidence,

in the greatest danger : and his children, the children of those who fear God, shall have a place of refuge. How great an ena couragement is it to real piety, that it entails a blessing upon our

families ! and how comfortable a thing to be the children of good 27 men ! The fear of the Lord [is] a fountain of life, to depart

from the spares of death ; it gives continual refreshment, and 28 secures from the greatest dangers. In the multitude of people

[is] the king's honour : but in the want of people [is] the destruction of the prince : this should teach princes not to consume.

them by war, or drive them out by persecution and oppression, 29 (He that is slow to wrath [is] of great understanding : but

(he that is) hasty of spirit exalteth folly ; lifle it up as a stand30 ard, and teaches every body 10 despise him. A sound heart, a

quiet, gentle, contented mind, [is] the life of the flesh : but

envy the rottenness of the bones; it is its own punishment, wasi. 31 ing the spirits and consuming the strength. He that oppresseth

the poor reproacheth his Maker for making him poor; he cone

temns God's promises, and forgets his commands; but he that 32 honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. The wicked is driven

away in his wickedness ; in the midst of it, sometimes in the very - act ; he is driven away against his will in agony and confusion :

but the righteous hath hope in his death ; hope of a better statc 33 beyond this. Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath un,

derstanding ; he knows when 10 conceal it ; but (that which is

in the midst of fools is made known ; there is no concealing of a 34 fool; the abundance of his loquacity shows his emptiness. Right.

eousness exalteth a nation, by its natural consequences securing 95 the divine blessing : but sin (is) a reproach to any people. The

king's favour [is] toward a wise servant : but his wrath is [against] him that causeth shame ; he shall be disgraced and banished the court. We may observe from hence, that Solomon eva ery where estimates the understanding by prudence and meekness, çaution and circumspection, not by learning or wit. May we be ambitious to act upon these maxims, as they are necessary to our happiness in both worlds.

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I A SOFT, a mild and submissive answer turneth away wrath:

1 but grievous words stir up anger ; raise passion where 2 there was none, and heighten it where there was. The tongue

of the wise useth knowledge aright ; sets it off by a proper mana ner of introducing it : but the mouth of fools poureth out fool.

ishness, some silly stuf, or some good thoughts in a confused, ostena 3 tatious manner. The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, 4 beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue [is] a

tree of life ; the tongue which speaks comfort and heals breaches, is the greatest blessing to those it converses with ; but perversea ness therein [is] a breach in the spirit ; lying, calumny, and ill natured language, tend to grieve and break the heart ; the one

cheers a broken spirit, the other makes a breach in one that is sound. 3 A fool despiseth his father's instruction : but he that regardeth 6 reproof is prudent ; is in the way to improve in knowledge. In

the house of the righteous [is] much treasure, though but little wealth, because he has content and joy : but in the large revenues

of the wicked is trouble ; he has no comfort in them, his bad pas. 7 sions spoil all. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, scaller

it wide, like seed : but the heart of the foolish [doeth] not so ; 3 he has neither ability nor inclination to do good. The most costly

sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the Lord: but the 9 prayer of the upright [is] his delight : and the reason is, The way of the wicked [is] an abomination unto the Lord : but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness ; who is sincere in

the pursuit of righteousness, who hungers and thirsts afier it. 10 Correction (is) grievous unto him that forsaketh the way of re

ligion : [and] he that hateth reproof shall die. We here see why

many hate refiroof; but, to die for want of attending to it, is infi. 11 nitely worse than any present mortification. Hell and destruction,

the grave and the invisible world, Care] before the LORD : how 12 much more then the hearts of the children of men ? A scorner

loveth not one that reproveth him : neither will he go into the 13 wise, because he is determined to go on in an evil way. A merry

heart maketh a cheerful countenance : but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken, and rendered unfit for the service of

God and man. This teaches us to cultivate an innocent cheerful. 14 ness, and not suffer sorrow to prey upon the mind. The heart of

him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness ; foolish men pour out a torrent of

impertinent, idle discourse, while a wise man seeks improvement in 15 wisdom and grace, and finds the comfort of it. All the days of the

afflicted (are] evil : but he that is of a merry heart (hath] a continual feast ; if a poor afflicted man be of a cheerful temper, it

makes up the want of other enjoyments, and sweetens his evil days. 16 Better [is] a little with the fear of the Lord, with a good con.

science, and serving God with it, than great treasure and trouble therewith ; than an uneasy mind and the abuse of wealth, which aggravates their future account. This is an important hint to

parents to pursue religion rather than wealth, and be more careful 17 that their children be religious than rich. Better [is] a dinner of

herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith ;

the meanest provision with family peace and love, is better than the 18 greatest dain!y and hatred therewith. A wrathful man stirreth

up strife : but [he that is) slow to anger appeaseth strife ;

a peaceable, quiet spirit is its own reward, and of great service to 19 the world. The way of the slothful sman is) as an hedge of

thorns ; he makes difficulties where there are none, and magnifies those that are : but the way of the righteous [is] made plain,

easy and pleasant, not withstanding all discouragements ; he does 20 not sink under but surmounts difficulties. A wise son maketh a

glad father, as lig hopes he will prove an honour to the family : but a foolish man despiseth his mother; plainly shorus he has no

regard to her, who perhaps has spoiled him by her indulgence. 21 Folly [is] joy to [him that is) destitute of wisdom ; he sins wiih

delight, and boasts of il : but a man of understanding walketh

uprightly ; this affords him the highest satisfaction, and will be 22 greatly rewarded. Without counsel purposes are disappointed :

but in the multitude of counsellors they are established, accana 33 plished and brought to a good issue. A man hath joy by the

answer of his mouth : and a word (spoken) in due season, how 24 good [is it,) both to himself and others! The way of life [is]

above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath, though an un hill road and difficult, yet this balances all, that it preserves a man from hell ( as some understand it ;) or rather, the way of

life, or true religion, leads a man's thoughts upwards, to an holy 25 and heavenly conversation. The LORD will destroy the house of

the proud, who trample on the poor : but he will establish the 26 border of the widow, who is afflicted and oppressed. The thoughts

of the wicked (are) an abomination to the LORD, who secs and hates them : but (the words] of the pare [are] pleasant words,

that is, pleasing to God. Let us therefore guard our thoughts and 27 maintain good and useful discourse. He that is greedy of gain,

or cager in the pursuit of it, troubleth his own house ; throws them into a continual hurry, will not allow them proper sleep or relaxation, is a burden to children and servants, and brings the curse of God upon them : but he that hateth gifts shall live ;

he who hateth bribery, dishonesty, and all mean tricks, shall live in 28 reputation and comfort. The heart of the righteous studieth to

answer ; he thinks before he speaks, and studies what may be use

ful : but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evit. things, with. 29 out any consideration of the consequences. The LORD [is] far

from the wicked ; and thus what was his crime is his punish. ment : there will be a time when every man will desire that God

may be near him : but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. 30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart, gives pleasure and

vigour to ihe body : [and] a good report maketh the bones fat.

This should teach us to be thankful if God continues the light of 31 our eyes, and the brightness of our reputation. The ear that

heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise ; he is admil.

ted into their company as a teachable person, though he cannot bear 32 a part in the conversation. He that refuseth instruction despis

eth his own soul; is not sufficiently sensible of his rational, im

mortal nature, and prefers the body to it : but he that heareth 33 reproof getteth understanding, and so preserveth his soul. The

fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom ; the most important precept of wisdom ; and before honour [is] humility. Learn this, that the true, the sure, and the readiest way to be wise and honourable, is to be devout and humble.


H E preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of 1 the tongue [is] from the LORD; it depends on him whether they shall speak with suche elocution or success as they intended. 2 All the ways of a man (are] clean in his own eyes; but the LORD

veigheth the spirits ; God has as perfect a knowledge of men's · designs as they have of those things which they weigh in the 3 balance with the greatest exaciness. Commit thy works unto

the LORD, ask his direction, and seek a blessing from him, and thy thoughts shall be established, without distressing cares or 4 fears. The Lord hath made all (things) for himself; yea,

even the wicked for the day of evil; he has made all things to answer the purposes of his providence and glory, and even wicked men to be executioners of his vengeance ; or rather, the Lord hath made all things suited to each other, and proportioned the punish.

ment of the wicked to their crimes ; he hath established the connec5-tion between vice and misery in the future world. Every one

without exception, [that is) proud in heart, (is) an abomination to

the Lord, though he may admire and applaud himself: (though) 6 hand (join) in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and

truth iniquity is purged ; fidelity and charity are the ready way to avert the wrath of God : and by the fear of the LORD (men)

depart from evil; where true religion is there will be reformation. 7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his ene

mies to be at peace with him ; he can calm their spirits and dis8 arm their resentment. Better [is] a little with righteousness

than great revenues without right ; it is more lasting and more 9 satisfying. A man's heart deviseth his way : but afier all the

LORD directeth his steps, therefore there is reason for prayer and 30 thankfulness. A divine sentence sis,] or should be, in the lips of

the king : his mouth transgresseth not in judgment, in giving orders and executing judgment ; or, if the dictates of God's word

be in his lips, a religious regard to the scripture will have a good Il influence on his administration. A just weight and balance [are]

the Lord's : all the weights of the bag (are] his work, are appointed and commanded by him ; justice ought to be observed in the

least instances, and a regard to God will be an engagement to uni. 12 versal integrity. (It is,] that is, it should be, an abomination to

kings to commit wickedness : for the throne is established by

righteousness ; it tends to engage the affections of the people and 13 the favour of God, and is the surest defence of a prince. Right

eous lips [are] the delight of kings ; and they love him that

speaketh right; an intimation 10 Solomon's subjects what behav14 iour would please him. The wrath of a king [is as] messengers

of death, especially in such arbitrary monarchies as those in the east ; how much more dreadful is the wrath of God; but a wise

man will pacify it ; he will take the most wise and prudent time 15 and methods in doing it. In the light of the king's countenance

[is] life; there is a transport attending the smile of a prince ; and

his favour [is] as a cloud of the latter rain ; how valuable then is 16 God's favour ! How much better in every respect [is it] to get

wisdom than gold ? and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver? How foolish then is their conduct who spend

all their days in getting wealth, without imfiroving their own or 17 their children's minds. The highway, that is, the straight and

casy.path, of the upright is to depart from evil; this is his con.

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