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Serm. principles, and the ways it recommends. It is VI.
the design of the undertaking in this book of Proverbs, as declared at the begining, (as it is also the design of all other like attempts,) to give knowledge to the fimple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. And in this eighth chapter : All the words, of my mouth are in righteousnelle. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. That is, the knowledge of them is easie to be attained by those who are attentive. And they who have fo much understanding, as to prise Wisdom, will soon perceive, how right and reasonable all it's rules and precepts are.
Again, in the second chapter of this book : My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto Wisdom, and apply thy beart to understanding : Yea if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for 'understanding : if thou seekest for her, as for filver, and Searchest for her, as for hid treasure : that is, if thou be sincere and diligent in feeking after wisdom, as what thou esteemeft very valuable: then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge
of God. Then fhalt thou understand righteouf- Serm. nese, and judgement, and equity, yea every
VI. good work.
They who seek knowledge and understanding, who are sincerely desirous to be informed in the principles of Wisdom, will certainly become acquainted with all the rules and precepts, which are of general importance, and suited to their rank and condition.
love and seek wisdom, j'ou will become wise, discreet and virtuous, and make it's maxims the rule of your conduct. So Solomon says in the just cited second chapter of this book: When Wisdom enters into thy heart, and knowledge is pleasant to thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding Mall keep thee : to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things: who leave the paths of uprightnele, to walk in the ways of darknese.
He who loves wisdom, and labors sincerely to be acquainted with it's principles, and perceives how right, and reasonable they are, must be disposed to observe and follow them: and will be prepared for, and fortified against the enticements of finners, and the specious
Serm. pretenses of those, who speak froward and VI.
3. Another thing included in this encouragement is, that they who love and seek wildom, Mall have the many advantages, that are annexed to the knowledge, and practise, or observation of wise rules and maxims. This must be implied in the expressions here used of Wisdom's loving them that love her, and being found of them that seek her. She will favor, prefer and advance such, and chearfully bestow upon them all the gifts and blessings, which are in her disposal, and which indeed are great and manifold.
These are oftentimes affectionatly set before men, in a variety of expressions, in order to determine their right choice : which
cannot but be much for their benefit. Prov. iii.
My son, forget not my law: but let thy beart keep my commandments. For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add unto thee. Let not mercie and truth forfake thee. Bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thy heart. So shalt thou find favour and good understanding, or acceptance, in the hght of God and man. And af terwards: Happy is the man that getteth un
derstanding. For the merchandise of it is bet- Serm. ter than the merchandise of filver, and the
VI. gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies. And all the things thou canft desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left band riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantnefse, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold of ber, and happy is every one that retaineth ber.
Again : Keep my commandments, and live. Ch. iv. 4: Get wisdom, get understanding. Forget it not, neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake ber not, and she mall preserve thee. She shall bring thee to honour, when thou shalt embrace ber. She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace. A crown of glorie shall the give unto thee. Hear, my son, and receive my sayings : and the years of thy life Shall be many.
Peace and tranquility is one great advantage, mentioned in passages already cited. Again it is said : Thou shalt walk in thy way ïi. 23. safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou lyeft down, thou shalt not be afraid : Yea thou shalt lye down, and thy sleep hall be sweet.
Pl. xxxvii. 16.
Serm. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall
And though it be true, that a little, which
virtue and discretion do also tend to secure a competence : and often add, or give, great abundance : as it is said in a place before cited : Length of days is in ber right hand, and in her left hand riches and
honour. And, Through wisdom is an house xxxiv,
builded, and by understanding it is established.
All these blessings are often, and with great
satisfaction of mind,
V. I Aal