Virtue Essential to National Prosperity
Proverbs 14:34
Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Trade is a fluctuating thing; it passed from Tyre to Alexandria, from Alexandria to Venice, from Venice to Antwerp, from Antwerp to Amsterdam and London, the English rivalling the Dutch, as the French are now rivalling both. All nations almost are wisely applying themselves to trade, and it behoves those who are in possession of it, to take the greatest care that they do not lose it. It is a plant of tender growth, it requires sun and soil and fine seasons to make it thrive and flourish. It will not grow like the palm-tree, which, with the more weight and pressure, rises the more. Liberty is a friend to that, as that is a friend to liberty. But the greatest enemy to both, is licentiousness which tramples upon all law and lawful authority, encourages riots and tumults, promotes drunkenness and debauchery, sticks at nothing to support its extravagance, practises every art of illicit gain, ruins credit, ruins trade, and will in the end ruin liberty itself. Neither kingdoms nor commonwealths, neither public companies nor private persons, can long carry on a beneficial and flourishing trade without virtue, and what virtue teacheth — sobriety, industry, frugality, modesty, honesty, punctuality, humanity, charity, the love of our country, and the fear of God.

(Bishop Newton.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

WEB: Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

The Strength and the Reproach of Nations
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