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Biblical Illustrator Proverbs 20

Biblical Illustrator Proverbs 20

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 13, 2011
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BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR PROVERBS 20CHAPTER XX.Yeb. 1. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging : and whosoever is deceivedthereby is not wise. — The evil effects of drunkenness : — I. It deadeks evert moralSEsrBiLiTT. And what is the evidence of the drunkard himself? On his owndeclaration, are the principles of virtue as vigorous in his heart now as before ?Is he as sensible of delight in contemplating the morally sublime, as much shockedwith the morally deformed, as much grieved and disgusted with the depraved andUcentious? II. It impairs evert intellectual facultt. III. It acceleratesDEATH. IV. It entails misert on families, v. It terminates in everlastinodestruction (1 Cor. vi. 10). [The Weekly Christian Teacher.) Strong drink deceptive : — The characteristic of strong drink is deceitfulness. 1. A great quantityof precious food is destroyed that strong drink may be extracted from the rubbish.2. The curative and strengthening properties of our strong drinks, which are somuch vaunted, are in reality next to nothing. 3. Strong drink deceives the nationby the vast amount of revenue that it pours into the public treasury. 4. In as faras human friendship is, in any case, dependent on artificial stimulant for thedegree of its fervency, it is a worthless counterfeit. 5. Its chief deception lies inthe silent, stealthy advances which it makes upon the unsuspecting taster, fol-lowed, when the secret approaches have been carried to a certain point, by thesure spring and deathly grip of the raging lion. (TF. Arnot, D.D.) Mischief andfolly of drunkenness : — I. The mischief. To the sinner himself. It mocks him,makes a fool of him, promises him that satisfaction which it can never give him.In reflection upon it : it rages in his conscience. It is raging in the body, puttingthe humours into a ferment. Pretending to be a sociable thing, it renders menunfit for society, for it makes them abusive with their tongues and outrageous intheir passions. II. The follt. He that is deceived thereby, that suffers himself to be drawn into this sin, when he is so plainly warned of the consequences of it,is not wise : he shows that he has no right sense or consideration of things ; andnot only so, but he renders himself incapable of getting wisdom ; for it is a sinthat infatuates and besets men and takes away their heart. {Matthew Henry.)Total abstinence : — The following story is told of General Harrison, one of thecandidates for the Presidency of the United States, in connection with a publicdirmer given him on one occasion: " At the close of the dinner one of the gentle-men drank his health. The General pledged his toast by drinking water. Anothergentleman offered a toast, and said, ' General, will you not favour me by taking aglass of wine ? ' The General, in a very gentlemanly way, begged to be excused.
He was again urged to join in a glass of wine. This was too much. He rose from502 THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR. [chap. xx.his seat and said in the most dignified manner : ' Gentlemen, I have twice refusedto partake of the wine-cup. I hope that will be sufficient. Though you press thematter ever so much, not a drop shall pass my lips. I made a resolve when Istarted in life that I would avoid strong drink. That vow I have never broken.I am one of a class of seventeen young men who graduated together. The othersixteen members of my class now fill drunkards' graves, and all from thepernicioushabit of wine-drinking. I owe all my health, my happiness, and prosperity tothat resolution. Would you urge me to break it now?'" Better sink thandrink : — A clergyman complained to the late Sir Andrew Clark of feeling low anddepressed, unable to face his work, and tempted to rely on stimulants. Su- Andrewsaw that the position was a perilous one, and that it was a crisis in the man's life.He dealt with the case, and forbade resort to stimulants, when the patient declaredthat he would be unequal to his work, and ready to sink. '"Then," said SirAndrew, "sink like a man." Abstinence favourable to health: — The workingman's capital is health, not wealth. It does not consist in landed property, but insinew and muscle ; and if he persist in the use of intoxicating Hquors they willstrike at the very root of his capital — a sound physical constitution. After this islost he becomes unfit for the workshop, for no master will employ a man whowants capital. He has then to repair to the poorhouse or infirmary. (J. Hunter.)Water the best drink: — " The best of all drinks for the athlete," says Dr. Eichard-son, " is pure water. The athletic lower animals^the racehorse, the hound, thelion, the leopard — thrive well on water, because their bodies, like our own, arewater engines, as steam engines are, and that, too, almost as simply and purely."Ver. 3. It Is an honour for a man to cease from strife. — The law of honour : — The rules of life by which men are ordinarily governed are the law of honour, thelaw of the land, and the law of God. It is the object of reUgious institutions andinstruction to uphold the last of these as the supreme and universal rule. In doingthis, it is sometimes necessary to bring the other two into a comparison with it, asstandards of duty and right. There ought to be no opposition between the law of theland and the commandment of God, and no contradiction to either of them in thesentiment of honour. The word " honour," in its original idea, signifies respect orpraise. It is that tribute of good opinion, which attends a character thought tobe commendable. It is the external expression of the respect which is conceived tobe due. The man of true honour is the man of real desert — the man who has this
sense of character because he is conscious that his integrity of purpose and upright-ness of life give him a claim to the honour which is always rendered to such acharacter. His sense of honour is sense of desert, rather than desire of reputation.Proceeding from this origin, it will appear that the characteristic ideas comprisedin the sentiment of honour are, self-respect and respect for others. Such a man,valuing himself on the dignity of his nature, which others have in common withhimself, conducts himself toward them as he desires that others should do towardhim, in the spirit of apostolic injunction, " Honour all men." He thinks himself less disgraced by its omission on their part than on his own. He is rather ready todefer to others, agreeably to the other injunction, " In honour preferring oneanother." He yields, in this spirit of mutual respect, something to his fellowsbeyond what he thinks it necessary to insist on receiving. It is thus a generousspirit : it always consults the feelings of others ; desires their happiness ; guardstheir reputation ; shuns wrong toward any one as the first disgrace ; strives forright as the chief honour. Taken in this sense, the sentiment in question is asuitable one for man, and seems to have been designed in the constitution as one of the guardians of his virtue. When thus enlisted on the side of right it becomes ahigh instinct, prompting to spontaneous rectitude, and causing an intuitiveshrinkingfrom whatever is unworthy and base. It contradicts no law of man, and is inharmony with the law of God. But, at the same time, from its intimate connec-tion with what is personal in interest and feeling, it is greatly exposed to degenerateinto a false and misguiding sentiment. And so it has, in fact, happened. Con-necting itself with the notions of character which prevail by chance in the com-munity, rather than with the rule of light and of God, it has erected a false standardof estimate, and kindled a light that leads astray. 'Thus honour comes to bear thesame relation to virtue that politeness does to kindness ; it is its representative ; itkeeps up the form and pretension when the principal is absent ; and, for all theordinary purposes of the superficial social system of the world, it is accountedquite as good as that which it stands for. This, then, is the first objectionableCHAP. XX.] PEOVERBS. 503trait in the world's law of honour as a rule of life ; it is deceptive and super-ficial ; it is a thing of appearance only, and not a reality. And from this thedescent is natural and easy, down to the next ill quality. Setting the valuewhich it does on appearance, it finds the object of right gained by seemingto be right ; then the heinousness of wrong may be avoided by concealing thewrong. The man has learned to act, not with a view to doing right, but with aview to reputation — sometimes even for the appearance of having the reputation.

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