PROVERBS CHAPTER 19REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.Prov. xix. 1 - 3.
- Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse inhis lips, and is a fool. Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good ;and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. The foolishness of man pervertethhis way; and his heart fretteth against the Lord."The fool, being here opposed, not only to him " that walkethin his integrity," but to "the poor" that so walketh, - is evi-dently intended to be regarded as occupying a superior sta-tion - as wealthy. The sentiment, then, is, that the piousand upright poor man "is better" than the perverse andfoolish rich man.
1. He "is better" - as a man. He is so, because moretruly estimable and honourable. It should be a settled max -im - and with all that are wise it is - that character isthe true dignity of man, and the want of it his true dis-grace. He is to be estimated, not by what he has, but bywhat he is. That which is merely extraneous is not theman. Moral and spiritual excellence dignifies human na-ture, and ennobles the possessor of it, with whatever externalcondition it be found in union. An enlightened mind and arenewed heart are the true glory of our nature - "the best styleof man:" - and the poorest, with these, is "better," in realrespectability and solid worth, than the richest without them.He " is better," also as a man, because more truly happy.He carries the constituent elements of happiness within him.They are, as it were, a part of himself. They cannot, there-fore, be alienated. They are like the "treasures in heaven,"216 LECTURE LIII.