Proverbs 1** The subject of this book may be thus stated by an enlargementon the opening verses. 1. The Proverbs of Solomon, the son ofDavid, king of Israel. 2. Which treat of the knowledge ofwisdom, of piety towards God, of instruction and moraldiscipline, of the understanding wise and prudent counsels. 3.Which treat of the attainment of instruction in wisdom, whichwisdom is to be shown in the conduct of life, and consists inrighteousness with regard to our fellow-creatures. 4. Whichtreat of the giving to the simple sagacity to discover what isright, by supplying them with just principles, and correct viewsof virtue and vice; and to the young man knowledge, so that heneed not err through ignorance; and discretion, so that bypondering well these precepts, he may not err through obstinacy.Take the proverbs of other nations, and we shall find greatnumbers founded upon selfishness, cunning, pride, injustice,national contempt, and animosities. The principles of theProverbs of Solomon are piety, charity, justice, benevolence,and true prudence. Their universal purity proves that they arethe word of God. * The use of the Proverbs. (1-6) Exhortations to fear God andobey parents. (7-9) To avoid the enticings of sinners. (10-19)The address of Wisdom to sinners. (20-33)1-6 The lessons here given are plain, and likely to benefitthose who feel their own ignorance, and their need to be taught.If young people take heed to their ways, according to Solomon'sProverbs, they will gain knowledge and discretion. Solomonspeaks of the most important points of truth, and a greater thanSolomon is here. Christ speaks by his word and by his Spirit.Christ is the Word and the Wisdom of God, and he is made to uswisdom. 7-9 Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow theirown devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God.Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them whatthey must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt andwilful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law.Let Divine truths and commands be to us most honourable; let usvalue them, and then they shall be so to us. 10-19 Wicked people are zealous in seducing others into thepaths of the destroyer: sinners love company in sin. But theyhave so much the more to answer for. How cautious young peopleshould be! "Consent thou not." Do not say as they say, nor do asthey do, or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them.Who could think that it should be a pleasure to one man todestroy another! See their idea of worldly wealth; but it isneither substance, nor precious. It is the ruinous mistake ofthousands, that they overvalue the wealth of this world. Menpromise themselves in vain that sin will turn to theiradvantage. The way of sin is down-hill; men cannot stopthemselves. Would young people shun temporal and eternal ruin,let them refuse to take one step in these destructive paths.Men's greediness of gain hurries them upon practices which willnot suffer them or others to live out half their days. What is aman profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life?much less if he lose his soul? 20-33 Solomon, having showed how dangerous it is to hearken tothe temptations of Satan, here declares how dangerous it is notto hearken to the calls of God. Christ himself is Wisdom, isWisdoms. Three sorts of persons are here called by Him: 1.Simple ones. Sinners are fond of their simple notions of goodand evil, their simple prejudices against the ways of God, andflatter themselves in their wickedness. 2. Scorners. Proud,jovial people, that make a jest of every thing. Scoffers atreligion, that run down every thing sacred and serious. 3.Fools. Those are the worst of fools that hate to be taught, andhave a rooted dislike to serious godliness. The precept isplain; Turn you at my reproof. We do not make a right use ofreproofs, if we do not turn from evil to that which is good. Thepromises are very encouraging. Men cannot turn by any power oftheir own; but God answers, Behold, I will pour out my Spiritunto you. Special grace is needful to sincere conversion. Butthat grace shall never be denied to any who seek it. The love ofChrist, and the promises mingled with his reproofs, surelyshould have the attention of every one. It may well be asked,how long men mean to proceed in such a perilous path, when theuncertainty of life and the consequences of dying without Christare considered? Now sinners live at ease, and set sorrow atdefiance; but their calamity will come. Now God is ready to heartheir prayers; but then they shall cry in vain. Are we yetdespisers of wisdom? Let us hearken diligently, and obey theLord Jesus, that we may enjoy peace of conscience and confidencein God; be free from evil, in life, in death, and for ever.
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