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Il and in the other. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted; by their prayers, counsels, and admonitions: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked; by their blasphemy, 12 perverse opposition, and evil communications. He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour; whatever a man thinks, it is foolish in him to speak contemptuously of his neighbour, because it is provoking him, and he may return it: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace; if he can say no good, he will say no 13 harm. A talebearer revealeth secrets; pries into the secrets of families, and carries stories from one to another: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter; an upright man concealeth that which may be hurtful to another, though he has no express 14 charge about it. Where no counsel [is,] the people fall; they are influenced by private interest, and act rashly: but in the 15 multitude of counsellors [there is] safety. He that is surety

for a stranger shall smart [for it ;] he does not know his circumstances, and therefore he is in danger: and he that hateth sureti16 ship is sure; it is most prudent to avoid it. A gracious woman retaineth honour and strong [men] retain riches; she is as careful of her reputation, as a strong man of his riches; or, will as effectually secure a good reputation, as a strong man his wealth. 17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul; while he doeth good to others, he equally does good to himself; such is the connection between man and man: but [he that is] cruel troubleth his own flesh; his own envy and malice tear him to pieces, This may refer to the pleasure which arises from the exercise of benevolent affections, and the anguish and remorse which are inseparable from 18 cruelty. The wicked worketh a deceitful work; that which will deceive his expectations: but to him that soweth righteousness [shall be] a sure reward; though it may tarry it will not disap19 point him. As righteousness [tendeth] to life, in its natural consequence, so he that pursueth evil [pursueth it] to his own death. 20 They that are of a froward heart, persons of double dealing, who are herverse and ill natured, [are] abomination to the LORD: but [such as are] upright in [their] way [are] his delight. 21 [Though] hand [join] in hand, though they forma potent alliance, and strengthen and countenance one another, the wicked shall not be unpunished but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered 22 from their confederacies, by the help of God alone, [As] a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, which is more taken notice of, and more despised on that account, [so is] a fair woman which is without discretion; without taste, without judging what is right and 23 wrong, and not considering consequences, The desire of the righteous [is] only good; either to do or get good, and it shall be granted them: [but] the expectation of the wicked [is] wrath; whatsoever happiness they promise themselves, the issue will be 24 wrath and destruction. There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and [there is] that withholdeth more than is meet, not providing for their families, sparing necessary expenses in trade, and showing a covetous temper in every thing, but [it tend

eth] to poverty; by a strange train of providences they are fre 25 quently beggared. The liberal soul shall be made fat, comforta ble and happy: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself; it shall rain upon him blessings as copiously as shorvers. 26 He that withholdeth corn in dear times, in hopes of a higher mar ket, and will not sell it at a reasonable price, and for a moderate profit, the people shall curse him: but blessing from God, as well as his neighbour, [shall be] upon the head of him that sell 27 eth [it.] He that diligently seeketh good, or to do good, procureth favour from God and man: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him; he draws upon himself the evils he de 28 signed against others. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall like a withered leaf: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch ; 29 shall grow stronger and stronger, and be more fruitful. He that troubleth his own house, who ruins his family by extravagance, or makes it unhappy by ill nature, shall inherit the wind; he shall have nothing but air to live upon; or, he shall raise a dreadful storm which shall fall upon his own head; and the fool [shall be] servant unto the wise of heart; those who are foolish, shall be brought so low, that they shall be glad to become servants to those who set out in life with less than themselves, but by prudence and 30 diligence have risen in the world. The fruit of the righteous [is] a tree of life, is the means of much good; and he that winneth souls to God and goodness, [is] wise, though his method way not be so 31 judicious as that of others. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner shall be corrected for their sins, in this world, or in another. See how much religion consists in justice, humanity, good temper, and zeal to do good. May we not only hear these things, but apply

our minds to do them.

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CHAP. XII.

HOSO loveth instruction loveth knowledge; is in the way to be wise and good but he that hateth reproof 2 [is] brutish; wants sense as well as grace. A good [man] obs taineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will 3 he condemn. A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved; he shall be 4 established by righteousness. A virtuous woman, a diligent, active woman, as the word signifies, who applies close to family business, [is] a crown to her husband, an ornament and a blessing to him: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones; though he does not show it publicly, it is a continual and incurable 5 vexation to him. The thoughts of the righteous [are] right; it is his constant purpose to dral justly with God and man: [but] 6 the counsels of the wicked [are] carried on by deceit. The words of the wicked [are] to lie in wait for blood; to corrufiz

men and bring them to death and ruin : but the mouth of the up right shall deliver them, by warning and exhorting those who are assaulted by dangerous persons and principles, and by vindicat 7 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 visits, 12 and neglects his business is a fool. The wicked desire th 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 himself troubles and law suits: but the just man shall come out of 14 trouble, by his prudent specches and conduct. A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of [his] mouth and the recompense 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 26 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 dclude 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 hereafter. 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.

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CHAP. XIII.

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 con3 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 ɓ 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. 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 amicble 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 cautious!, VOL. V.

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