A Lesson in Courtly Manners
Proverbs 25:6, 7
Put not forth yourself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:…

Nothing in conduct is unimportant. Fitting and graceful manners are those which become our station in life. Here the relations to our superiors are touched upon.

I. WE SHOULD KNOW OUR PLACE, AND NOT STEP OUT OF IT. (Ver. 6.) As the Arabic proverb finely says," Sit in thy place, and no man can make thee rise." "All that good manners demand," says a great writer," is composure and self-content." We may add to this "an equal willingness to allow the social claims of others as to rely upon our own." Self-respect is complemented by deference. We need a ready perception of worth and beauty in our companions. If it is folly to refuse respect to admitted external rank, much more to the native rank of the soul.

II. WE SHOULD ASSUME THE LOWEST RATHER THAN THE HIGHEST PLACE. (Ver. 7.) The lesson runs all through life, from the outward to the inward and the spiritual (see Luke 14:8-11). "Comme il faut - 'as we must be' - is the Frenchman's description of good society." The lesson is mainly against presumption in any and all of its forms, an offence hateful to man and God. To take the lowly place in religion here becomes us, and it leads to exaltation; to grasp at more than our due is to lose all and earn our condemnation. Christianity has a deep relation to manners. There is nothing so beautiful as the code of manners given in the New Testament.

"How near to good is what is fair! Which we no sooner see, But with the lines and outward air, Our senses taken be."

Parallel Verses
KJV: Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:

WEB: Don't exalt yourself in the presence of the king, or claim a place among great men;

The Removal of Wicked Men from Influential Positions
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