Verse 1: Those who have grace, will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions, are like brutes. (2). The man who covers selfish and vicious designs under a profession of religion or friendship, will be condemned. (3). Though men may advance themselves by sinful arts, they cannot settle and secure themselves. But those who by faith are rooted in Christ, are firmly fixed. (4). A wife who is pious, prudent, and looks well to the ways of her household, who makes conscience of her duty, and can bear crosses; such a one is an honour and comfort to her husband. She that is the reverse of this, preys upon him, and consumes him. (5). Thoughts are not free; they are under the Divine knowledge, therefore under the Divine command. It is a man's shame to act with deceit, with trick and design. (6). Wicked people speak mischief to their neighbours. A man may sometimes do a good work with one good word. (7). God's blessing is often continued to the families of godly men, while the wicked are overthrown. (8). The apostles showed wisdom by glorying in shame for the name of Christ. (9). He that lives in a humble state, who has no one to wait upon him, but gets bread by his own labour, is happier than he that glories in high birth or gay attire, and wants necessaries. (10). A godly man would not put even an animal to needless pain. But the wicked often speak of others as well used, when they would not endure like treatment for a single day. (11). It is men's wisdom to mind their business, and follow an honest calling. But it is folly to neglect business; and the grace of God teaches men to disdain nothing but sin. (12). When the ungodly see others prosper by sin, they wish they could act in the same way. But the root of Divine grace, in the heart of the righteous, produces other desires and purposes. (13). Many a man has paid dear in this world for the transgression of his lips. (14). When men use their tongues aright, to teach and comfort others, they enjoy acceptance through Christ Jesus; and the testimony of their conscience, that they in some measure answer the end of their being. (15). A fool, in the sense of Scripture, means a wicked man, one who acts contrary to the wisdom that is from above. His rule is, to do what is right in his own eyes. (16). A foolish man is soon angry, and is hasty in expressing it; he is ever in trouble and running into mischief. It is kindness to ourselves to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. (17). It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty. (18). Whisperings and evil surmises, like a sword, separate those that have been dear to each other. The tongue of the wise is health, making all whole. (19). If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground. (20). Deceit and falsehood bring terrors and perplexities. But those who consult the peace and happiness of others have joy in their own minds. (21). If men are sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. But they that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. (22). Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions. (23). Foolish men proclaim to all the folly and emptiness of their minds. (24). Those who will not take pains in an honest calling, living by tricks and dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly. (25). Care, fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, deprive men of vigour in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be borne. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. (26). The righteous is abundant; though not in this world's goods, yet in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, which are the true riches. Evil men vainly flatter themselves that their ways are not wrong. (27). The slothful man makes no good use of the advantages Providence puts in his way, and has no comfort in them. The substance of a diligent man, though not great, does good to him and his family. He sees that God gives it to him in answer to prayer. (28). The way of religion is a straight, plain way; it is the way of righteousness. There is not only life at the end, but life in the way; all true comfort.
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