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Lectures on Proverbs Chapter 2

Lectures on Proverbs Chapter 2

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.


EDITED BY HIS SON,

THE REV. J. S. WARDLAW, A.M.
BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.


EDITED BY HIS SON,

THE REV. J. S. WARDLAW, A.M.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 17, 2013
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LECTURES O PROVERBS CHAPTER 2BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.
EDITED BY HIS SO,THE REV. J. S. WARDLAW, A.M.
LECTURE V,Puov. II. 1 — 9.
"My son, if thou wilt receive iny words, and hide my commandments withthee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart tounderstanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and ht'test up thy voice forunderstanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hidtreasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of tlie Lord, and find the know-ledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom : out of his mouth cometh know-ledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous : he isa buckler to tliem that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, andpreserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt tliou understand righteousness,and judgment, and equity, yea, eveiy good path."
Is "Wisdom here to be considered as the speaker, or Solo-mon? If Wisdom, she must be understood as addressingherself to her own children; that is, those who receive hercounsels and place themselves under her tuition and guidance,her instruction and authority; as she had just finishedher solemn admonition of danger and of their final doom tothose by whom her words are unheeded and disobeyed. If Solomon, he may be understood as addressing himself eitherto Rehoboam, or to youth in general, under the designationof paternal affection, as one that felt all a father's interestin their well-being.In the passage, (verses 1 — 4,) there is an exercise re-commended, or rather, a duty enjoined, of the first import-ance and the most imperative obligation ; and it is enforced
 
by the happy results which are i^epresented as arisingfrom itPEOVEEBS II. 1—9. 53The exercise — tlie duty, is a candid, earnest, j^srseveringinquiry after Divine truth.1. The inquiry must first be candid — sincere. It is saidof "fools," that they "despise wisdom and instruction."But the children of Wisdom "receive" her words. They donot shut their ears against them. They do not slight them.They do not hastily and thoughtlessly disregard them. Theygive them, what they are entitled to, a serious and dehberateattention. They Hsten, they remember, they meditate, theyexamine, they accept, they lay up for use. — The words of divinewisdom are now in the Bible. There the voice of Wisdom, orof God, addresses you. In reading the Bible, you should con-sider yourselves as hstening to God. And it is a blessedprivilege, to have this Word in your possession, — to haveGod addressing you in it. It is the must valuable of aUdeposits that can be committed to you. But it is one of those deposits of which the value to you depends, not on thepossession but on the use. It ^vill prove, through neglectand misimprovement, a curse, instead of a blessing. !how few are duly impressed with the preciousness of a com-munication from God, — of a record of the mind and wiUof the IFIITE Being " mtli whom fchey have to do ! "If you feel the value of this privilege, you will attend to theinstructions and counsels, the admonitions, the encouragements,the commands, which in the Bible are set before you. It wiK be your sincere and cherished desire, as the children of Wisdom,to comprehend her lessons. You will " apply your heart to un-derstanding." — There are some who refuse to hear at all. Thisis unreasonable, uncandid, unmanly, and most infatuated : forif the claims of the Bible be well-founded, what can be ima-gined more important than the knowledge of its contents'?
 
There are some who do hear, or rather it should be said,seein to hear. They profess to be all attention ; but it is allpretence, — the mere result of politeness and courtesy to thespeaker, — ^the spirit of assentation in which there is no sin-cerity, no heai't : — ^like the temper of the son in the parable,v/ho said, " I go, Sir ; and went not." This is worse thannot hearing at allj inasmuch as it is the reality of neglect,54 LECTURE V.witli the guilt of hypocrisy superadded to it. You must "ap-ply your hearts to understanding," — cherishing a true andsincere desire for its attainment. And when there is this sin-cerity, you will " hide with you'^ the divine counsels and com-mands: not hiding the hook that contains them, laying itaside and allowing it to lie in safe and secluded custody,under the guardianship of lock and key ; hut hiding its con-tents in the memory, in the understanding, in the conscience,in the heart. The father of Solomon expresses in few wordsv/hat Solomon means — when he says, "Thy word have Ihid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee," Psal.cxix. 11.2. The inquiry that is thus sincere, will be an earnestinquiry — an inquiry determined on gratification, and thatspares no jj^ins for its attainment. This is the spirit of verse tliird.Divine Wisdom, as we have seen, is herself in earnest inimparting and recommending her salutary counsels. Andwliile the instructress is thus in earnest, so should the pupilbe in seeldng her instructions. That about which we reallyare in earnest, we cannot satisfy ourselves mth asking in acareless and scarcely audible whisper, as if indifferent whetherwe were heard or not — ah no ! Thus will not the awak-ened soul do Avith God. " Crying," and "lifting up the voice,"are frequently in Scriptui^e the indications of earnestness;and he who is in earnest for the right understanding of the

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