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Benefits of True Wisdom.

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THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A. Prov. ii. 10 — 12. Wlien ivisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee ; to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things ; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ivays of darkness ; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked ; ivhose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths : to deliver thee from the strange wo- mari, even from the stranger which Jlattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God : for her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life; that thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the la?id, and the perfect shall remain in it : but the wicked shall he cut ^ff f'om the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
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  BEEFITS OF TRUE WISDOM. THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Prov. ii. 10 — 12. Wlien ivisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee ; to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things ; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ivays of darkness ; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked ; ivhose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths : to deliver thee from the strange wo- mari, even from the stranger which Jlattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God : for her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. one that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life; that thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the la?id, and the perfect shall remain in it : but the wicked shall he cut ^ff f'om the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. ^XT'HETHER we regard Solomon as a saint walk- ? ^ ing with his God, or as a backsHder restored to God, we must consider him as pre-eminently qualified to give advice for the regulation of our conduct: for, as a saint, he was endued with wisdom above all the children of men ; and, as a backslider, he had a wider range for his wickedness, and a deeper experience of its folly, than any other person ever possessed. . Under the character of wisdom he here speaks of true rehgion ; which he recommends to all, but VOL. V. B especially  2 PROVERBS, II. 10 12. [441. especially to persons in early life; and, in order to impress his advice the more deeply on our minds, he sets before us, I. The benefits derived from true wisdom — When once religion is deeply rooted in the heart, it will render us the most essential services — 1. It will keep us from the society of ungodly men — [Tliere are many whose delight is in wickedness : they have departed from God themselves, and have made crooked paths for themselves; in which they proceed with all imagi- nable frowardness and perverseness. Disdaining to receive any light from God or his word, they walk in utter dark- ness, not at all knowing whither they go\ And not content with casting off all restraint themselves, and walking after their own lusts in all manner of uncleanness, they M'ish to draw all they can along with them : they deride all serious piety, and labour to the uttermost to turn aside from the way of godliness any who may be inclined to it * They rejoice to do evil: and, if they can but succeed in their ef- forts to ensnare a person who has been fleeing from sin, and to divert him from following after God, not even Satan him- self will exult more than they ow from such companions true religion will preserve us. We shall see at once how far they are from God, and how impossible it is to be happy in their society : for what fellow- ship can righteousness have with unrighteousness ; or light with darkness ; or Christ with Belial ; or he that believeth with an unbeliever*^ ? Instead of seeking their society there-  fore, we shall come out from among them, and be se])arate ^ ; and not have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of dark- ness, but rather reprove them* ] 2. It will keep us from the snares also of ungodly women — [It is lamentable to think how degraded hmnan nature is, and how assimilated to the very beasts multitudes are, who were srcinally formed in the image of their God. Females, married, as well as unmarried, forsaking the guide of their youth and the covenant of their God, will abandon them- selves to the most vicious cc-vses, soliciting the embrace of men to whom they are utter *' strangers, and practising every species of artifice, to ensnare and vitiate all who come in their way And ' ver. 13. with 1 John ii. 11. ^ 1 Pet. iv. 4, ã ' 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15. ib. vcr. 1-. 'Eph. v. 11. 441.] BEEFITS OP TRUE WISDOM. S And such is their influence over those whom they have once ensnared, that it is a miracle ahnost if even one is re- covered to a sense of his duty, and is brought back again in penitential sorrow to his God ^. Truly their ways lead down to death and to hell ; for not only do they draw men from all thoughtfulriess about their sOuls, but they bring them into ex- travagances and crimes, which not unfrequently issue in sui- cide, or death by the hands of the public executioner. But from these also will vital piety preserve us. It will lead us to use all the precautions against them, that a prudent Government employs against the infection of the plague. We shall have no communication with persons, whose very pre-  sence will endanger the life of our souls. We shall not go near their houses, or the places of their resort ^ We shall not parley with temptation when it comes in our way ; but shall flee from it, as Joseph did, saying, How shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God'? ] 3. It will guide us in the paths of righteousness and peace — [When once true religion enters into the soul, we shall take the Scriptures for our guide, and endeavour to walk in the paths which all the holy men of old have trod before us . We shall not be satisfied with following the customs of those around us, or with conforming to the standard of duty which the world approves ; we shall desire to be holy, as God is holy ; and shall determine through grace to perfect holiness in the fear of God ] Such being the effects of true wisdom, I wuU pro- ceed to point out to you, II. The vast importance of seeking after it — Both the promises and threatenings of the Mosaic law were chiefly of a temporal nature ; the people who served God faithfully being encouraged to ex- pect peace and plenty in the land of Canaan ; whilst those who were disobedient to his laws were to be visited with war, famine, pestilence, and ultimately to be driven out of that land, as the Canaanites had been before them. But under these figures truths of far higher moment were veiled : and the present and eternal states of men were shadowed forth as indissolubly connected with their moral and religious character. Hence the contrast drawn between the sentence f ver. 19. e Prov. v. 3—5. and vii. 26, 27.
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