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Lectures on Proverbs Chapters 17 Thru 19

Lectures on Proverbs Chapters 17 Thru 19

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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 CHAPTERS 17 THRU 19BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.EDITED BY HIS SO,THE REV. J. S. WARDLAW, A.M.LECTURE XLVPnov. xvn. 1 — 7.
" Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacri-fices with strife. A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame,and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. Tlie fining pot isfor silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts. A wickeddoer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. Who-so mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker; and he that is glad at calamitiesshall not be unpunished. Children's children are the crown of old men ; andthe glory of children are their fathers. Excellent speech becometh not a fool ;much less do lying lips a prince."
This chapter, you perceive, commences with a proverb muchthe same as others that have been already under our no-tice:* — "Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith,than an house full of sacrifices with strife." The word"sacrifices" has reference to the practice of feasting on theflesh of the slain victims, when they were not holocausts — to be entirely consumed on the altar.t The preposition"with" is supplementary. The words have been rendered" sacrifices of strife ; " that is, such as, in the appropriationand consumption of them, occasion contention and brawls.On the margin the proper sense of the word, in such a con-nexion, is evidently given — "a house full of good cheer withstrife." I do not dwell now on the sentiment — the supe-
 
riority of the feast of love — the feast of souls, to the banquetof royal dainties, where there is no heart. But let all feelits truth. Let the poor especially feel it, when called to par-* See chap. xv. 16, 17. f Compare 1 Sam. ix. 12, 13, 22—24.122 LECTURE XLV.take of their frugal and necessarily stinted meals. If theysit down to these in the smiling cordiality of domestic love,and with the supplicated blessing of Him who "feeds theravens" and "clothes the lilies of the field," — they are hap-pier far than those whose houses are full of good cheer;but full, along with it, of the bitterness of contention. Lovesweetens the stinted portion; hatred embitters the full one.Verse 2. " A wise servant shall have rule over a son thatcause th shame, and shall have part of the inheritance amongthe brethren." The general maxim here is, that wisdom — true godly discretion — the exercise of genuine principle insteady fidelity, prudence, diligence, and general propriety of conduct, — tends to advancement — to elevate to higher sta-tion, and to secure approbation and reward. A servantwhose character has been long tried and proved, will behighly respected and valued, and will obtain the most im-portant trusts. Even the care of a refractory and waywardchild may be committed to such a domestic, as one in whosefidelity and prudence the most entire confidence can be re-posed. Or the phrase, "shall have rule over the son whocauseth shame" may only signify his becoming the superiorof such a son and heir, in the amount of his influence andweight in all domestic arrangements. Such a servant is atreasure in the family to which he or she belongs. And inmany instances, with great propriety, have such servantsfound a place among the legatees of their masters; — obtain-ing, as their reward, and their testimonial of grateful appro-bation, a portion of the family patrimony. This was thecase of old, in a special manner, with servants who had been
 
born and brought up in the family, or on the estate, and hadworn out the vigour of their youth and manhood in ttely strikes us,incon-gruity. To use the comparison of Solomon on another sub- ject, it is "like a jewel of gold in a swine's snout." Wewonder where the man can have got what he utters. "Weare quite sure it is not his own. He gets no credit for it.The surprise we feel in hearing it, only awakens our atten-tion the more to his folly and wickedness. The latter arethe more strongly and loathingly impressed by the power of contrast. There is superadded to former impressions of hischaracter, the further one of hypocrisy ; and the suspicion of a mask assumed for some selfish end.2. There is a total want of force, or weight, in such say-ings from such lips. You all know and feel the nativepower of name and character. The sayings of one whosereputation is justly high for wisdom and goodness, are indanger at times of being received even too hastily. What-ever bears the "image and superscription" of such a man,we are ready to accept without testing or looking at it, asmint coin. On the contrary, and from the converse influ-ence of the same principle, we suspect the sayings of thefoolish. We shake our heads and say, We must think again,before we put our seal of acceptance on anything that comesfrom such a quarter. We must examine it ; we must testit, especially before we venture to act upon it. The say-ings sound well; they seem good; but they are so very un-like the man, we fear there must be more surface than solidity.3. Hence arises want of influence. When a fool utters awise, or a wicked man a good, advice, he to whom it is giventhinks himself, by the very circumstance of its coming fromsuch a person, at liberty to disregard it. The advice hav-ing no worth of character to support and recommend it,goes for nothing, — falls lifeless and pithless to the ground.It well becomes the public teachers of religion to lay thesethoughts to heart. ]\Iore "excellent speech" cannot be ut-tered than the doctrines and precepts, the counsels and

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