Page images

XI. 29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind : and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. He, that is an enemy to his own thrift, and prodigally wasteth his estate, shall inherit nothing but an empty wind of applause for the time, and afterwards want and beggary; and he, that was so foolish as to mis-spend himself, shall come to be a servant, at the last, to him, that is wise to get and to keep his own.

XI. 31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth ; much more the wicked and the sinner, Behold, even the most just and holy man upon earth shall be sure of his measure of afflictions here, in the world ; how much more shall the unconscionable and ungodly man be sure to smart for his wickedness, either here or hereafter !


XII. 9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread. A man, that is mean in his own conceit, and yet hath somewhat to take unto, is better than a proud and vain braggart, that wanteth


maintenance, XII. 12 The wicked desireth the net of evil men. The wicked man affects those means of fraudulent circumvention, which he sees some crafty oppressors use to their advantage,

XII. 14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth : and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him. A good man shall, through God's merciful retribution, find much comfort and benefit, both to himself and to others, from the gra. cious words of holy counsel, which proceed from his mouth; and also from the holy works of his hands.

XII. 16 A fool's wrath is presently known : but a prudent man covereth shame. A fool cannot be angry, but he must presently shew it, and break forth into open distempers; but a wise man hides his passions, till he sees fit opportunities and means to manifest them, so, as may be most safe and advantageous to himself.

XII. 20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellers of peace shall be joy. Those, whose hearts are full of mischievous devices, do, in the end, but deceive themselves; but those, that advise or procure good unto others, shall have much joy in themselves,

XIII. 3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life. He, that looks carefully to his tongue, restraining it from many and offensive words, takes a safe course for the preserving of his life, which is ofttimes endangered by much and wild talking.

XIII. 7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing, There be some, that brag, and make ostentation of much wealth; affecting to be counted rich, when, indeed, they have little or nothing, that may be justly called theirs.

XIII. 9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. The heart of the righteous man shall be exceedingly cheered, with those true causes of joy, which God gives unto him; but the seeming and false mirth of wicked men, wherewith they vainly please themselves, shall be soon put out and end in sorrow.

XIII, 14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. The law of God, which is the matter and scope whereto all the instruction of wise teachers tendeth, is that fountain, from which spiritual and eternal life floweth, and the only means to deliver the soul from the snares of everlasting death.

XIII. 15 Good understanding giveth favour : but the way of transgressors is hard. Good insight into businesses, and discreet earriage of them, procureth thankful acceptance; but those, that take wrong courses, cause much trouble and vexation.

XII. 23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor, Even a poor man, by pains and industry, may grow rich ; and, by his laborious tillage, obtaineth a large crop.

XIV. 3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them. The tongne of a fool is a scourge, whereby his own pride and over-weening is dashed; but the lips of the wise are a safe defence for himself.

XIV. 4 Where no oren are, the crib is clean : but much increase is by the strength of the or. Where there is no husbandry, or use of the ox, there needs no labour to make the crib clean; but that neatness is accompanied with want: as, contrarily, where the oxen are employed for til.. lage, the crib may be foul, but the barns shall be fuil.

XIV. 8 But the folly of fools is deceit. The wicked man, who is indeed no better than a fool, employs all that syit he hath, to deceive others.

XIV. 9 Pools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. The wicked fool makes himself merry with his sin, and scoffs at the reproof and judgment which pertains thereunto; but the righteous hath a care so to behave himself, that he shall carry away favour both from God and men.

XIV. 10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. A man is best acquainted with his own secret sorrows; and knows where he is inwardly wrung, while the world thinks bim happy: as, contrarily, he may have hidden occasions of joy, which cannot be judged of by the lookers on.

XIV. 13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. It is often seen, that, while the face counterfeits a smile, the

heart is inwardly heavy and vexed ; and, after a feigned and forced mirth, returns to the former grief.

XIV: 14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. A man, that is froward and perverse, and that willingly falls from his former good purposes, shall be sure to bear the punishment of his own wicked courses; and a good man shall reap the comfort of his holy carriage, and enjoy the

conscience of his own integrity: XIV. 19 The evil bow before the good. God will so bless and advance the righteous man, that the wicked and unconscionable shall be glad to crouch and bow before him,

XIV. 23 But the talk of the lips tendeth only to poverty. He, that spendeth his time in idle talk, and doth nothing, shall be sure to come to poverty.

XIV. 24 The crown of the wise is their riches; but the foolishness of fools is folly. A wise man, if he have riches, is much graced and adorned thereby; but a fool, though he have wealth,, yet will be a fool still, and hath hereupon more occasion to manifest his folly.

XIV. 26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence and his children shall have a place of refuge. He, that feareth the Lord, hath reason to be strongly confident in the favour and sure protection of the Almighty; and shall find God a like powerful refuge even to his posterity after bim.

XIV. 30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but &c. A heart, that is clearly free from envy and all vicious affections, is a comfortable preserver of the body; but &c.

XV. 4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life : 'but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. A well-governed, holy, and discreet tongue, preserveth a man safe from dangers, and yieldeth spiritual nourishment unto others; but perverseness therein is like a blustering wind among the boughs of the trees, rending and tearing the life and spirit of a man's self, and others.

XV. 11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of inen? Even the devouring grave, and the lowest depths of the earth, lie open to the eyes of the Lord : how much more doth he behold the bottom of man's heart!

XV. 19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns. Every thing seems difficult to a slothful man: he is as unwilling to go about his business, as a man would be to tread upon a hedge of thorns,

XV. 24 The way of life is above to the wise. He, that is truly wise, bath his affections and conversation above; and, in the holy way of obedience, walketh on to eternal life.

XV. 30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart, and a good report maketh the bones fat. Both the eye and the ear yield much comfort and refreshing to the soul : 'the eye is pleased with lightsome and pleasant objects; the ear, with hearing of a good report, concerning ourselves; wherein we take so much contentment, as that hereby we are fed and fattened.

his ways.

XVI. 1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. Let it be yielded, that a man hạth power of his own thoughts, so as he can digest and prepare what he means to speak, and put all his words in due order ; yet, when he shall come to utter them, God hath the disposing of his tongue; so as a man shall speak, not what himself" hath contrived, but what God hath predetermined.

XVI. 2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Every man is apt to think the best of his own actions, and to justify himself in his own courses; but the Lord judgeth and examineth the soul and spirit of man, and, according to the truth of bis inward dispositions, so doth he pașs sentence upon him and

XVÍ. 4 The LORD hath made all things for himself : yea, ever the wicked for the day of evil. The Lord hath, in all his works of creation and providence, had a just eye to his own glory; insomuch as the most wicked men, which might seem to be most exempted from the regard and preordination of God, yet are not out of the compass of his holy and just decree; in that, out of their evil he hath-decreed to bring good, and to glorify himself in their just punishment.

XVI. 6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged. It is not an outward sacrifice that God regards, in his remission of the punishment of our sin; but where he finds mercy to the poor, and uprightness of heart towards himself and men, there he is graciously pleased to forbear his judgments; inasmuch as these graces, being wrought in us, by his Spirit, cannot but proceed from a true faith, whereby our sins are purged,

XVI. 10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king : his mouth transgresseth not in judgment. As God raiseth princes above other men, so he endueth them with excellent graces, answerable to their high callings: he puts therefore divine sentences into their mouths, which meaner men could not have attained unto; and giveth their tongues, even in doubtful and hidden causes, to pass a wise and just judgment.

XVI. 26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself ; for his mouth craveth it of him. A man needs no other inducement to labour, but his own profit, yea his own necessity; for it is that, whereby he must sustain himself, and uphold nature, which craveth it of him.

XVI. 27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. An ungodly man, if he cannot find opportunities of doing mischief, will busily search for them; and, as his heart is ill employed, so his tongue is worse, for that is as a burning firebrand, to set all the world in combustion.

XVI. 31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. old age, and the sign thereof, grey hairs, are a great ornament to a man, that lives justly and uprightly in the world.

XVI. 33 The lot is cast into ihe lap; but the whole disposition thereof is of the LORD. The lots are thrown at random, and at peradventure; but there is an overruling hand of God, that disposeth of them, how they shall light; and hath certainly determined that, which carries a show of casualty,

XVII. 7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool : much less do lying lips a prince. Men use to speak, as they are: a high, deep, pbilosophical discourse sounds ill from the mouth of a fool; a moral and grave discourse of virtue and good behaviour, ill becomes a debauched and vicious man; but, of all, it is most misbecoming a prince, to utter lies and falsehood.

XVII. 8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. Secret gifts are wont to win favour, and much acceptation to the party that brings them; and if they fall into the hands of corrupt judges, have power to draw them into either part, and to sway any cause whatsoever.

XVII. 9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. He, that concealeth within himself an offence done to him by, his friend, takes a course to maintain love and friendship; but he, that will be calling every light unkindness into question, and expostulates upon every occasion, shall be sure to lose his friends.

XVII. 14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water. As it is with water, when it is dammed up, if the smallest hole be made for a passage, it violently rusheth in, and beareth down all those clods which were laid to keep it in; so it is with contention : if the least way be given to it, it enlargeth itself, and groweth furious and strong by opposition.

XVII. 16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of the fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart ? A wealthy fool doth in vain hope by all his bags to purchase wise dom, since he hath not a heart that is capable of it.

XVII. 19 He that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. The proud man, that builds his gate too high, for the offence or overlooking of his neighbour, may endanger himself the sorer fall therefrom; and therefore works peril and hurt to himself.

XVII. 24 Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. He, that hath understanding, fixeth his eyes upon wisdom, and

« PreviousContinue »