Proverbs 11* An exhortation to king Lemuel to take heed of sin, and to doduties. (1-9) The description of a virtuous woman. (10-31)1-9 When children are under the mother's eye, she has anopportunity of fashioning their minds aright. Those who aregrown up, should often call to mind the good teaching theyreceived when children. The many awful instances of promisingcharacters who have been ruined by vile women, and love of wine,should warn every one to avoid these evils. Wine is to be usedfor want or medicine. Every creature of God is good, and wine,though abused, has its use. By the same rule, due praise andconsolation should be used as cordials to the dejected andtempted, not administered to the confident and self-sufficient.All in authority should be more carefully temperate even thanother men; and should be protectors of those who are unable orafraid to plead their own cause. Our blessed Lord did notdecline the bitterest dregs of the cup of sorrow put into hishands; but he puts the cup of consolation into the hands of hispeople, and causes those to rejoice who are in the deepestdistress. 10-31 This is the description of a virtuous woman of thosedays, but the general outlines equally suit every age andnation. She is very careful to recommend herself to herhusband's esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willingthat he rule over her. 1. She can be trusted, and he will leavesuch a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makesit her constant business to do him good. 2. She is one thattakes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She iscareful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. Sheapplies herself to the business proper for her, to women'sbusiness. She does what she does, with all her power, andtrifles not. 3. She makes what she does turn to good account byprudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, withoutconsidering whether they can afford it. She provides well forher house. She lays up for hereafter. 4. She looks well to theways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their dutyto God and one another, as well as to her. 5. She is intent upongiving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully. 6.She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows shegoverns herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takesprudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others.The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and showsitself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, evenwhen her hands are most busy about this world. 7. Above all, shefears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it anyproof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man whomade his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning inthe heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever. 8. Shehas firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. Sheshall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that shewas not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a worldto come. She is a great blessing to her relations. If the fruitbe good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it toher own works to praise her. Every one ought to desire thishonour that cometh from God; and according to this standard weall ought to regulate our judgments. This description let allwomen daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected,useful and honourable. This passage is to be applied toindividuals, but may it not also be applied to the church ofGod, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his gracehas formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, topossess all the excellences here described.
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