Verse 1: There is great hope of those that reverence their parents. There is little hope of any who will not hear those that deal faithfully with them. (2). By our words we must be justified or condemned, (Mt 12:37). (3). He that thinks before he speaks, that suppresses evil if he have thought it, keeps his soul from a great deal both of guilt and grief. Many a one is ruined by an ungoverned tongue. (4). The slothful desire the gains the diligent get, but hate the pains the diligent take; therefore they have nothing. This is especially true as to the soul. (5). Where sin reigns, the man is loathsome. If his conscience were awake, he would abhor himself, and repent in dust and ashes. (6). An honest desire to do right, preserves a man from fatal mistakes, better than a thousand fine-drawn distinctions. (7). Some who are really poor, trade and spend as if they were rich: this is sin, and will be shame, and it will end accordingly. Some that are really rich, would be thought to be poor: in this there is want of gratitude to God, want of justice and charity to others. There are many hypocrites, empty of grace, who will not be convinced of their poverty. There are many fearing Christians, who are spiritually rich, yet think themselves poor; by their doubts, and complaints, and griefs, they make themselves poor. (8). Great riches often tempt to violence against those that possess them; but the poor are free from such perils. (9). The light of the righteous is as that of the sun, which may be eclipsed and clouded, but will continue: the Spirit is their Light, he gives a fulness of joy: that of the wicked is as a lamp of their own kindling, easily put out. (10). All contentions, whether between private persons, families, churches, or nations, are begun and carried forward by pride. Disputes would be easily prevented or ended, if it were not for pride. (11). Wealth gotten by dishonesty or vice, has a secret curse, which will speedily waste it. (12). The delay of what is anxiously hoped for, is very painful to the mind; obtaining it is very pleasant. But spiritual blessings are chiefly intended. (13). He that stands in awe of God, and reverences his word, shall escape destruction, and be rewarded for his godly fear. (14). The rule by which the wise regulate their conduct, is a fountain yielding life and happiness. (15). The way of sinners is hard upon others, and hard to the sinner himself. The service of sin is slavery; the road to hell is strewed with the thorns and thistles that followed the curse. (16). It is folly to talk of things of which we know nothing, and to undertake what we are no way fit for. (17). Those that are wicked, and false to Christ and to the souls of men, do mischief, and fall into mischief; but those that are faithful, find sound words healing to others and to themselves. (18). He that scorns to be taught, will certainly be brought down. (19). There are in man strong desires after happiness; but never let those expect any thing truly sweet to their souls, who will not be persuaded to leave their sins. (20). Multitudes are brought to ruin by bad company. And all that make themselves wicked will be destroyed. (21). When God pursues sinners he is sure to overtake them; and he will reward the righteous. (22). The servant of God who is not anxious about riches, takes the best method of providing for his children. (23). The poor, yet industrious, thrive, though in a homely manner, while those who have great riches are often brought to poverty for want of judgment. (24). He acts as if he hated his child, who, by false indulgence, permits sinful habits to gather strength, which will bring sorrow here, and misery hereafter. (25). It is the misery of the wicked, that even their sensual appetites are always craving. The righteous feeds on the word and ordinances, to the satisfying of his soul with the promises of the gospel, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Bread of life.
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