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Lectures on Proverbs Chapters 9 and 10

Lectures on Proverbs Chapters 9 and 10

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Published by glennpease
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: glennpease on Aug 17, 2013
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LECTURES O PROVERBS CHAPTERS 9 AD 10BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.
EDITED BY HIS SO,THE REV. J. S. WARDLAW, A.M.
LECTURE XVIII.Pkov. IX. 1— IS.
" Wisdom hath builded her house, she liath hewn out lier seven pilhirs ; shehath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished hertable: she hath sent forth her maidens; she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wantethunderstanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and diink of the wineAvhicli I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. lie that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame; and hethat rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Eeprove not a scorner, lesthe hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instraction to awise man, and he will be yet wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase inlearning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; and the knowledgeof the Holy is understanding: for by me thy days shall be multiplied, and theyears of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thy-self: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. A foolish woman is clamor-ous; she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of herhouse, on a seat in the high places of the city, to call passengers who go righton their ways: Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him thatwanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and breadeaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there ; andthat her guests are m the depths of hell."
In tliis chapter Wisdom appears under an aspect entirely-new. In the style of Eastern imagery, she is here broughtbefore us, as erecting a house for the reception and enter-tainment of strangers, and inviting all to become her guests,and freely to partake of her royal provision — " Wisdom hath
 
builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars."The frequency with which the number seven occurs, inspecial connexions, in Scripture, and the variety of the cir-cumstances of its occurrence — from the seven days of the208 LECTURE XVII Lwoek, ill the first recorded division of time in tiic beginningof Genesis, to the seven living creatures, tlie seven spirits of God, the seven candlesticks, the seven clmrches, the sevenvials, the seven trumpets, the seven last plagues, of the Book of Eevelation, have procured for it the common designationof the number' of perfection. Of what, or whether of anything, the number may be specially symboHcal, it would bequite out of place at present to inquire. All we need say is,that it is frequently used as a definite for an indefinite, con-veying the notion of excellence and completeness. Thus it isevidently used here.Of the "house" reared by Avisdom, the "seven pillars,hewn out" and decorated, evidently represent sjxiciousness,elegance, grandeur, stability. I have no doubt, that thosevdio are fond of the system of spiritualizing, would find tliodistinct mystic symbol of something spiritual in each one of the pillars, and bring out of the seven a whole body of divin-ity. This, however, would not bo exposition, but the mereplay of a conjecturing fancy; and how excellent soever thetruths exhibited, they would be educed from that which theHoly Spirit never meant to contain them. In wliich case, if the ingenuity that eUcited them made hearers or readersmarvel, the wonder should be, not at the wisdom but thefolly of the discovery : — for ingenuity and wisdom arc farfrom being always synonymous.The house is evidently not a temple, (a common imagefor the Church, taken natiu-ally from the temple at Jerusa-lem,) but a place of entertainment or festivity. This is cleai-.
 
The second verse shows it — "She hath killed her beasts;she hath mingled her wine; she hath also fiu-nished liertable."The blessings of rehgion — the great and precious blessingsto which divine Wisdom specially invites, — are frequentlyset forth under the image of a feast, of which God himself isthe free provider.* These blessings of religion — or, if you vdll,(for it is the same thing in effect) the blessings of God's sal-*Isa. XXV. G: Matt. x>i.i. 1—3: Luke xiv. IG, 17: Rev. xix. 'J.PROVERBS IX. 1—18. 209ration, have been, in all ages, substantially tlie same, — thesame in nature, the same in excellence, the same in enjoy-ment to the renewed and spiritual mind ; they have, there-fore, been always, with equal propriety, represented under thesame emblems. That by the feast which di^dne Wisdomprovides, these blessings are here intended, will not admitof a doubt in the minds of any accustomed to "comparespiritual things with spiiituaL" They are blessings compre-hending all that sinners of mankind can need to makethem truly and for ever happy. AYhat are they? — Pardonof sin; "a new heart;" acceptance with God; peace of conscience; "joy in the Holy Ghost;" "good hope throughgrace;" all requisite supplies of divine influence; victoryover death; resurrection from the grave; acquittal in judg-ment ; and the full fruition of God for ever in knowledge,holiness, love, and joy; — these are the blessings to whichmen are by divine Wisdom invited.In the words which follow, Wisdom is represented as joining her own inviting voice with that of her servants; just as God and Christ are represented as doing in otherparts of Scripture : — verses 3 — 5. " She hath sent forth hermaidens; she crieth upon the highest places of the city,"Whoso is simple, let him tiu'n in hither: as for him that

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