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3. for their use: The lips of the wise shall preserve them, and their tongue is health, and with health, pleasure: Fair words are as a honey-comb; sweetness to the soul, and health to the bones. Pr. xvi. 20. xvi. 23. xiv. 15. Ec. iii. 1. iii. 2. iii. 3, 4. iii. 8. Pr. xxiv. 5. xiv, 24. xiii, 15. xv. 2. X. 13. X. 12. xxv. 11. xxv. 23. xx. 15. xiv. 3. xii. 18. xvi. 24.
Who he is :
What kinds (The mere fool,
of Fools; The wicked fool.
Here are two extremes: On the right hand; Make not thyself over-wise : wherefore shouldest thou be desolate? On the left: Nei ther be foolish : why shouldest thou perish, not in thy time? The fool, is that man that wandereth out of the way of wisdom, which hath none heart, that is, is destitute of understanding, either to conceive, or to do as he ought: Of which sort is, 1. The mere fool;
That fool who when he goeth by the way, his heart faileth ; whose folly is foolishness, in whose hand there is a price in vain to get wise dom, which is too high for him to attain; in whom are not the lips of knowledge. 2. The rash fool, that is hasty in his matters, that poureth out all his mind at once: which the wise man keeps in, till afterward ; that hasteth with his feet, and therefore sinneth. There is more hope of the other fool than of him. 3. The wicked fool; That despiseth wisdom and instruction, that maketh a mock of sin to whom it is an abomination to depart from evil; to whom foolishness is joy; yea, it is his pastime to do wickedly; and his practice to spread abroad folly. And this man is obstinate in his courses ; for though thou bray a fool in a mortar among wheat, brayed with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him: and though it seem to depart, yet as a dog turneth again to his vomit, so returns he to his foolishness. Spare thy labour therefore: speak not in the ears of a fool; for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. To these saith Wisdom, Oye foolish, how long will ye love foolishness, and the scornful take pleasure in scorning, and fools hate knowledge! Turn you at my correction. Lo, I will pour out my mind unto you, and make you understand my words. Because I have called, and ye refused ; I have stretched out my hand, and none would regard; but ye have despised all my counsel and would none of my correction; I will also laugh at your destruction, and mock when your fear cometh, like sudden desolation ; and your destruction shall come like a whirl-wind; when apliction and anguish shall come upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer : they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of my counsel, but despised all my correction; therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices: and what is that fruit but sorrow? Even in laughing their heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness: and like the noise of thorns under a pot, so (short and vain) is the laughter of fools : what but stripes? A rod shall be for the buck of him that is destitute of understanding: yea, it is proper to him: To the horse belongeth a whip, to the ass a bridle, and a rod to the fool's back : wherewith not only himself shall be beaten, but the companion of fools shall be afflicted. Lastly, what but death? Fools shall die for want of wit, and remain in the congregation of the dead: yea the mouth of the fool is present destruction ; and, The lips of a fool shall devour himself, and that which should seem to preserve him, very ease slayeth the foolish, and the prosperity of fools destroyeth them. Ec. vii. 19. Pr. xxi. 16. xvii
. 16. xv. 2. xiv, 24. xvii. 16. xxiv. 7. xxix. 20. xxix. 11. xix. 2. xxix. 20. ii. 7. xiv. 9. xiii, 19. xv. 21. X. 23. xiii. 16. xxvii. 22. xxvi. 11. xxii. 9. i. 22. i. 23. i. 24. i. 25. i. 26. i. 37. i. 28. i. 29. i. 30. i. 21. xiv. 13. Ec, vii. 8. Pri x. 13. xxvi. 3. X. 8, 10. xiii. 20. 'x, 21. xxi. 16, x. 14. i. 32.
In words. Justicegives To God and Man Truth to each his
(In dealings. own:
(To Man only,
Ext to prudence, is Justice. A man of understanding walketh uprightly : the just man, therefore, is he that walketh in his inte
* Honour and obedience are indeed mixed duties of justice both to God and man: but because as they belong to man, they are politic virtues and there han. dled; here we consider them only as due to God.
grity; and whose path is to decline from evil; and, briefly, he that deals truly in giving each his own. Pr. xv. 21. xx. 7. xvi. 17. xii. 22.
Whether to God; unto whom justice challengeth Piety : which comprebends, first, the fear of the Lord; and this fear of the Lord is to hate evil, as pride, arrogancy, and the evil way; and in all our ways to acknowledge God; that he may direct our ways : so that, he, that walketh in his righteousness, feareth the Lord; but he, that is lead in his ways, despiseth him : which grace, as it is the beginning of knowledge, and the very instruction of wisdom, so in some respect knowledge is the beginning of it; for if thou callest after knozzledge, and criest for understanding; if thou seekost her as silver, and searchest for her as treasures ; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God: and this fear gives both 1. contentment; Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith ; and 2. future hope. , Fear the Lord continually : for surely there is an end, and thy hope shall not be cut off. In which regard, this fear of the Lord is an assured strength, to depend upon; because his children shall have hope, yea and present health and joy. Fear the Lord, and depart from evil
, so health shall be to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones : and with health, life eternal. The fear of the Lord leadeth to life, yea is a well-spring thereof, and he that is filled therewith, shall continut, and shall not be visited with evil ; so that blessed is the man that feareth alway: whereas, on the contrary, he, that hardeneth his heart, and denies God, and saith, IVho is the Lord ? shall fall into evil. Eccles. viii. 13. Pr. iii. 6. xiv. 2. i. 7. xv. 33. i. 7. xv. 33. ï. 3. ii. 4. ii. 5. xv. 16. xxiii. 18. xiv. 26. jii. 7. iii. 8. xix. 23. xiv. 27. xviii, 14. XXX. 9. xxviii. 14.
In attending on his will.
In performing it. Secondly, Honour and respect; both from the best things : honour the Lord with thy riches, and the first-fruits of all thy increase ; so shall thy barns be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall burst with new wine : and in our best .times; Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth ; while the evil days come not, nor the years approach, wherein thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Prov. wi. 9. iji. !0. Ec. xii. 1.
Thirdly, Obedience. He, that obeyeth me, shall dwell safely (saith Wisdom) and be quiet from fear of evil: whether in attendance to the will of God; My son, hearken to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings; let them not depart from thine eyes, but keep'them in the midst of thine heart: for, He, that regardeih instruction, is in the way of life ; whereas he, that turneth away his ear from it, his very prayer shall be abominable ; or in executing of it: He, that keepeth the commandment, is a child of understanding ; yea he is blessed, and thereby keepeth his own soul : where they, that forsake the Law, praise the wicked : and he, that despiseth his ways, shall die. Pr. i. 33. iv, 20, iv. 21. x. 17. xxviji. 9. xxviii. 7. xxvii. 4. xix. 16,
In faithful reproof. OR whether to God and man. 1. Fidelity : both, first in performing that we have undertaken: If thou have vowed a vow to God, de. fer not to pay it ; for he delighteth not in fools; pay therefore that thou hast vowed ; It is better that thou shouldest not vow; than that thou shouldest vow, and not pay it : Suffer not thy mouth to make thy flesh to sin ; Neither say before the angel, that this is ignorance : Wherefore shall God be angry by thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands ? For, It is destruction to a man, to devour that which is sanctified, and after the vows to enquire. Neither this to God only, but to man: They, that deal truly, are his delight ; and the upright shall inherit good things : yea, The faithful man shall abound in blessings; whereas the perfidious man, as he wrongs others (for confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble, is like a broken tooth, and a sliding foot) so he gaineth not in the end, himself: He, that rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house. Ec. v. 3. v. 4. v. 5. Pr. xx. 25. sij. 22. xxviii. 10. xxviii. 20. xxv. 19. xvii. 13. xxvii. 5.
Secondly, In a faithful reproof: Open rebuke is better than secret lore : The wounds of a lover are faithful, and the kisses of an enemy are pleasant, but false; so that he, that reproveth, shall find more thank at the last : and, however the scorner take it, yet he, that rea proveth the wise and obedient ear, is as a gold ear-ring, and an ornament of fine gold. Pr xxvii, 6. xv. 12. xxv. 12.