Verse 1,2: Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy
mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints! (3-6). Piety and
prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise
man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and
comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The
spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual
warfare, by true wisdom. (7-9). A weak man thinks wisdom is too
high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad
to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of
sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that
strive to make others hateful, make themselves so. (10). Under
troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good
courage, and God shall strengthen thy heart. (11,12). If a man
know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding,
he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is
it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and
example may be the means of preventing it? (13,14). We are
quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the
pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are
sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that
are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto
salvation. (15,16). The sincere soul falls as a traveller may
do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and
goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be
understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin.
(17,18). The pleasure we are apt to take in the troubles of an
enemy is forbidden. (19,20). Envy not the wicked their
prosperity; be sure there is no true happiness in it. (21,22).
The godly in the land, will be quiet in the land. There may be
cause to change for the better, but have nothing to do with them
that are given change. (23-26). The wisdom God giveth, renders a
man fit for his station. Every one who finds the benefit of the
right answer, will be attached to him that gave it. (27). We
must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt.
(28,29). There are three defaults in a witness pointed out.
(30-34). See what a blessing the husbandman's calling is, and
what a wilderness this earth would be without it. See what great
difference there is in the management even of worldly affairs.
Sloth and self-indulgence are the bane of all good. When we see
fields overgrown with thorns and thistles, and the fences broken
down, we see an emblem of the far more deplorable state of many
souls. Every vile affection grows in men's hearts; yet they
compose themselves to sleep. Let us show wisdom by doubling our
diligence in every good thing.