Welcome Words
Proverbs 25:11
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

But what are -


1. Words that travel; "words upon wheels" (literally). They are words that do not "fall to the ground like water which cannot be gathered up again;" but words which are not allowed "to fall to the ground," which pass from lip to lip, from soul to soul, from land to land, from age to age.

2. Words that are level with our human understanding; which do not require special learning, or profundity, or experience to be appreciated, but which make their appeal to the common intelligence of mankind.

3. Words that meet our spiritual necessities; that direct us in doubt, that comfort us in sorrow, that strengthen us in weakness, that nerve us in duty, that calm us in excitement, that sustain us in disappointment, that give us hope in death.

II. THEIR COMMENDATION. They are like golden apples in silver caskets; i.e. they are things that excite our admiration and bring us refreshment. We do well to admire the true and wise word; the saying or the proverb, the terse, sagacious utterance which holds a little world of wisdom in its sentences, is a thing to be admired by us all. The man who first launches it is a benefactor of his people. And we do still better to appropriate and employ it; to find refreshment and even nourishment in it. Many a wise word has given needed strength to a human soul in the very crisis of its destiny.

III. THEIR CULTIVATION. How shall we learn to speak these "words upon wheels" - these fitting, wholesome, strengthening words? They come:

1. From a true heart; a heart that is true and loyal to its God and Saviour. First of all we must be right with him; only from a pure fountain will come the healing stream.

2. From a kind heart. It is love, pity, sympathy, that will prompt the right utterance. Where the learned deliverance or the brilliant bon-mot would entirely fail, the simple utterance of affection will do the truest work, will hit the mark in the very centre. Love is the best interpreter and the ablest spokesman as we make the pilgrimage and bear the burdens of our life.

3. From a thoughtful spirit. It is not the superficial talker, that discourses upon every possible topic, but rather the man who thinks, who ponders and weighs what he knows and sees, who tries to look into things, and who takes the trouble to look back and to look onward, - it is he who has something to say which it will be worth our while to listen to.

4. From practised lips. We do not acquire this sacred art of wise and helpful speech in a day or in a year; it is the happy and exquisite product of patient effort, it is a growth, it is a holy and beneficent habit, it is a thing to be cultivated; we may begin poorly enough, but by earnest eudeavour we shall succeed if we will only "continue in well doing." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

WEB: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

The Lessons of the Orange-Tree
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