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PROVERBS. 1.1 The Proverbs of Solomon. The grave, wise, proverbial sentences of Solomon.
I. 2 To know wisdom and instruction, The use whereof is, to give true, moral, and spiritual wisdom and instruction to those, that do carefully read or hear them.
I. 8 Forsake not the law of thy mother. Do not take advantage by the weakness of that sex, to think it safe for thee, to slight that charge which thy mother shall lay upon thee.
1. 17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. Well might the foolish bird be warned and kept off, by the sight of the net, which is spread for her ; but she, being intent upon her food, minds not her danger, and so is heedlessly caught so shall it be with thee, my son, if thou, in a desire of wicked gain, shalt suffer thyself to be enticed by lewd men.
I. 18 And they lay wait for their own blood ; they lurk privily for their own lives. While they think they lay wait for the blood of others, alas, they lay wait for their own; and go closely to work to betray and destroy their own souls.
I. 19 Gain, which taketh away the life of the owners thereof. Evil gain brings destruction upon the getter of it ; so as he loseth himself, while he vainly thinks to win these outward things.
I. 20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets. He, that is the Eternal, and Uncreated Wisdom of the Father, useth all means to draw men unto God, both by his works and by his word, he inviteth all men to the knowledge and love of the truth.
I. 23 I will pour out my spirit unto you. I will make known my I offer unto you, both my word outwardly to your ears, and a plentiful measure of my Spirit, inwardly to your hearts, to make that word effectual unto you.
I. 26 I also will laugh at your calamity. As you have slighted and disregarded me and my word, so will I, you, in the day of your extremity : I will not care that you are plagued ; yea, it shall be a pleasure to me to see your just smart.
I. 32 The prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Foolish sinners are hardened in their wicked courses by the sense of their continuing prosperity ; and are thereupon carried on to their destruction.
words unto you.
II. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous. To those, that are true and upright of heart, he will, in his good time, reveal true and saving knowledge; and that sound spiritual wisdom, which shall make them eternally happy.
II. 19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
So powerful are her enticements, and her infection so deadly, that it is a great wonder, if any of those, who are miscarried by her lustful and wanton baits, do ever recover themselves again, and return to the paths of life.
III. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee : bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. Lay thou fast hold on the everlasting mercy and truth of God, so as no evil occurrence may slacken thy confidence thereon ; and, withal, be not thou removed from the exercise of mercy and truth, towards thy brethren; make much of these, and keep them close to thee, as thine own soul.
III. 27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Withhold not good from them, to whom it ought to be given or done, whether upon their deserving or upon their need, when God gives thee the power to perform it.
IV. 16, 17 Their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. As the natural sleep arises from the vapours sent up out of the stomach, so doth the rest of these wicked men: when they have eaten wickedness as bread, and poured in violence and oppression as wine, then can they tepose themselves, in a false quietness and contentment,
IV, 23 For out of it are the issues of life. For, as the heart is the fountain of the natural life, so it is of the spiritual : there is the seat of grace and holiness : from thence fiow's either the happiness or misery of man. . IV. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, &c. Let neither thine eyes nor thine other senses be drawn aside, either to the right hand or to the left ; but let them be directed aright, according to the law of thy God.
V. 3 The lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb. The lips of a harlot are full of sweet enticements.
V. 15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Enjoy thou the lawful pleasures and contentments of thine own wife; and let her chaste love be as some clear and pure waters out of thine own well, to refresh and satisfy thee.
V. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. Those streams of a happy and comfortable issue, which shall be derived from thee, let them be only thine own, deduced from the chaste and holy marriage-bed : let not the adulterous womb or loins have any share in them.
VI. 3 Make sure thy friend, &c. Use all seasonable importunity unto that friend, to whom thou art engaged ; and make all means for a discharge from that friend, for
whom thou art engaged; that so, by this earnest solicitation of both parts, thou mayest be freed.
VI. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers. The lewd man composeth all his parts to deceit : every gesture of his tendeth to fraud : the very motion of his eyes, of his feet, of his fingers, is voeal and significant; and expresseth some secret intimation of guile.
VI. 30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; Theft is an odious sin ; yet, if we would compare the thief with the adulterer, we shall find much difference in the heinousness of the offence : men are not wont to be inexorably cruel against him, that steals out of his pure need ;
VI. 31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But if he be found, how dear soever he pay for his fault, by way of satisfaction or mulct, the sum is yet accepted of the party wronged. But whoso committeth adultery, &c.
VII. 4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister. Be thou so familiar with wisdom, as if she were thy own natural sister.
VII. 14 I have peace offerings with me ; this day have I paid my vows. I have plentiful provision of cheer ; and, besides, I can handsomely veil our meeting under a fair pretence of devotion, so as thou mayest boldly and cheerfully resort unto my house.
VII. 23 Till a dart strike through his liver ; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Thus he yieldeth to her lust, until the revenging husband, out of his just jealousy, give a deadly stroke to his adulterous rival; or till the just judgment of God seize upon body and soul ; being thus heedlessly drawn in, as a bird is into the snare, not considering, that, under the shew of a little chaff or straw, her life is laid for.
VII. 26 For she hath cast down many wounded : yea, many strong men have been slain by her. For she hath first wounded, and after vanquished and slain many ; yea, not only of the meaner and baser sort, but many, that have been most famous for valour, strength, wisdom, have been foiled and undone by her.
VIII. 2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. Thus doth the harlot, by her secret whisperings, allure men to their destruction ; but the pure, holy, heavenly wisdom of the glorious and everliving God, doth openly invite all men to her gracious counsel, to her most chaste and happy embracements. She therefore standeth forth in the most frequent and conspicuous
places of the city, and earnestly solicits all passengers, to give car unto her for their own salvation.,
VIII. 10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. Make no comparison of my instruction with silver and gold : alas, these are base and corruptible metals, not worthy to come into mention with those heavenly treasures, which are contained in and conveyed by my divine counsels,
VIII. 12 I wisdom dwell with prudence. True judgment and skill how to manage all affairs, doth proceed from me, and is inseparable from me; so as men have reason, for their own good, to listen unto me.
VIII. 17 I love them that love me, Those, that affect me, shall be sure not to lose their love and recompence; for, as I have embraced them with an everlasting love, so will I make it known to them, by my manifold blessings and mercies concerning this life and the future.
VIII. 22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 1, the Uncreated Wisdom of God, was with the Father, from all eternity; neither was there any time, wherein. I was not: I was with him, and in hiin, before any of the works of his creation had any being
VIII. 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him : and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him. Then was I present by him, as one that was coeternal with him ; and in whom we did mutually and infinitely solace each other, from everlasting
IX. i Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars : The Son of God, who is the Eternal Wisdom of the Father, hath built his house, the Church of God : he hath laid sure foundations of it, and hath hewn out all the pillars thereof, in a seemly and exquisite perfection:
IX. 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine ; she hath also furnished her table. He hath instituted and addressed all his holy ordinances, whereby he may feed up the souls of men to everlasting life.
IX.'3 She hath sent forth her maidens : she crieth upon the highest places of the city. He hath sent forth his holy and zealous messengers, to invite men to the participation of his sacred mysteries; and they do accordingly use all holy importunity to this good purpose.
IX. 12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself. If thou be wise, thou thyself shalt reap the comfort and benefit of that wisdom of thine : others may be profited by it; but the greatest advantage shall be thine own.
IX. 18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there ; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
He considereth not, that they are but dead men, which give way to her lustful enticements; and that those, with whom she hath prevailed, are in the state of everlasting perdition.
X. 10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow : but a prating fool shall fall. The double dealing and dissembling person causeth much sorrow at the last, both to bimself, and to those that have been deceived by him; buć a prating fool, that utters all his heart, procures stripes to himself without further danger to others.
X. 11 Violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. There is nothing in the mouth of the wicked, but violent and cruel designs.
X. 18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. Both he, that smothereth his secret rancour under fair and plausible words, and he, that uttereth it in slanderous speeches, is a fool.
XI. 9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour : but through knowledge shall the just be delivered. A dissenibling friend, with fair and false words and semblances, draweth his neighbour into some dangerous inconvenience; but a wise and just man will soon perceive bis fraud, and avoid him, and the mischief plotted by him.
XI. 12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour : but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. A foolish man speaks spitefully and scornfully of his neighbour; but be, that is wise, concealeth his thoughts, and will not utter ought to the reproach of another.
XI. 17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul : but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. The merciful man, while he doth good to others, doth most good to bis own soul, which shall reap the comfort of all his beneficence; but he, that is cruel to others, is, in that very disposition, the greatest enemy to himself.
XI. 21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished Though wicked men conspire, and join all their forces together, yet all their combination and power shall not free them from just punishment.
XI. 22 As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Beauty is no more an ornament to a foolish, undiscreet, ungoverned woman, than a golden jewel is to a swine's snout ; both are equally misplaced ; both are equally misbeseeming,
XI. 24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth. The liberal man, that scattereth'abroad his goods in a free bountiful largition, so much more grows in wealth, through the blessing of God, by how much more frankly he bestows it.