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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.
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 hath 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 his inward dispositions, so doth he pass sentence upon him and his ways.
XVI. 4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even 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 mis
chief, 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.
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 the 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, philosophical 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 wis 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
contenteth himself with that object; whereas the eyes of a fool are inconstantly wandering every where, and his thoughts settle upon nothing that may avail to his good.
XVII. 27 A man of understanding is of an excellent (or cool) spirit.
Á man of understanding is of a well tempered spirit; not too forward in putting forth himself.
XVIII. 1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
He, that, in a fervent desire of knowledge, hath set himself apart to his continual study, laboureth to inform himself in all points of wisdom; so that he may not be a stranger in any kind of learning.
XVIII. 3 When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt. Wheresoever the wicked man cometh, he is apt to cast reproach and contempt upon every man's face.
XVIII. 4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the well-spring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
A wise man utters not all he knows; his words are like to deep waters, the bottom whereof cannot easily be fathomed; and his wisdom is as a living spring, which sends up full brooks, that are ready to overflow their banks: so plentiful is he in good discourse and wholesome counsel.
XVIII. 9 He also that is slothful in his work, is brother to him that is a great waster.
The slothful man is little better than a great spender: he equally consumes the estate, wherewith he is entrusted.
XVIII. 10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower.
The goodness, mercy, and power of the Lord, is a safe and strong refuge to all those, who trust unto it.
XVIII. 14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmities; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
A resolute and undaunted spirit is able to bear up both its own infirmities, and those of the body also; but if the heart of a man be wounded, and dejected with whatsoever cross befals unto it, what means hath a man any longer to subsist, and sustain him. self? there is no remedy, but he must droop and yield.
XVIII. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
It is a great power, which the tongue hath, whether for life or death: good words tend to life; evil, unto death, whether to ourselves or others; and according as a man would rather to improve it, so it shall speed with him either way.
XIX. 2 He that hasteth with his feet sinneth.
He, that falls rashly upon his determinations, without weighing all due circumstances, cannot but offend.
XIX. 3 The foolishness of a man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
It is through a man's own foolishness, that he miscarries in his business, and that he takes lewd courses; and, when he justly smarteth through his own fault, his heart fretteth, and his tongue muttereth against the Lord, as the author of all his harm and misery.
XIX. 14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD,
Houses and riches may be derived to us by way of inheritance from our forefathers, without our care or endeavour, but a prudent and virtuous wife is a special blessing of God's immediate choosing; and must therefore be obtained by our prayers at the hand of the giver.
XIX. 19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
A man, that is subject to often and extreme passions of anger, cannot avoid many and great inconveniences, which he brings upon himself; and if thou do, in a friendly manner, free him from some dangerous effects of his wrath, yet he will put thee to it again,
XIX. 22 The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
That, which should be the chief desire of a man, is his beneficence and kindness to others; and if a rich man promise much and perform nothing, a poor man, that is unable either to undertake or perform, is better than he,
XX. 1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging. Excess of wine beguiles a man of his wits and senses, and exposeth him to the scorn and derision of every beholder; and strong drink inflames the blood, and makes a man apt to fall into raging distempers.
XX. 5 Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep waters.
See Prov. xviii. 4.
XX. 10 Divers weights, and divers measures.
A fraudulent diversity of weights and measures, is abominable to the Lord.
XX. 11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
It is not hard, by the carriage and disposition of the childhood, to judge, what is to be hoped or feared, of a man's riper age: either good or evil begins to shew itself betimes.
XX. 12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.
There are ears that hear not, and eyes that see not; but if a man have a hearing ear and a seeing eye, he is doubly bound to God, both for his sense and the improvement of it.
XX. 15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
Men esteem much of gold and precious stones; but the man, that is furnished with learning and knowledge, deserves to be held of far greater price, than all these earthen treasures,
XX. 17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
The bread, which a man hath got by fraud and cozenage, seems sweet and pleasant, at the first taste of it; but by that time he hath chewed it a little, he shall find it to be but harsh gravel, that crasheth between his teeth, galls his jaws, and wounds his tongue, and offends his palate.
XX. 20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
Whoso curseth his parents, his comfort and help shall be sure to be taken from him, when he hath the most need of it; and he shall be left utterly miserable and disconsolate.
XX. 24 Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
It is the Lord, that disposeth of all the actions and events of man: he hath ordered them, he overrules and governs them, according to his own will: it is not in the power of man, either to know what will betide himself, or to set himself in any good way, to will or to do ought that may be pleasing unto God.
XX. 25 It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.
He entangleth his soul in the snares of death, who resumeth unto a profane use, that which is once consecrated unto God; and who, after he hath vowed ought unto the Lord, argues within himself, how to alter that holy purpose, and to defeat God of his due.
XX. 27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
The reasonable soul is as a bright candle, which God hath set up in man, which gives light unto him for the finding out of the strange secrets of nature.
XX. 30 The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.
Scourgings and woundings are the best cure of the lewd misbehaviour of wicked men only fear and smart can restrain them; even such stripes, as may pierce to the very inward parts of the body.
XXI. 4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
The wicked man hath a haughty look and a proud heart; neither are his misdispositions only sinful, but those his very actions and endeavours, which in another man would be harmless, are in him no other than sin.
XXI. 5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
The thoughts and projects of him that is truly diligent, are still to excellent purpose, and tend to the advancing and enriching of a man's estate; but the hasty and rash thoughts of him that is too eager of the world, disappoint a man, and bring him to want.