The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
I. THE GOOD ARE RULED BY LAW — "The law of the wise." What is law? The clearest and most general idea I have of it is — rule of motion. In this sense all things are under law, for all things are in motion. The material universe is in motion, and there is the law that regulates it. The spiritual universe is in motion, and law presides over it. "Of law," says Hooker, "there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world. All things do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power; both angels and men, and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy." But what is the law of the good — that which rules them in all their activities? Supreme love to the supremely good.
II. THE LAW THAT RULES THE GOOD IS BENEFICENT. "The law of the wise is a fountain of life to depart from the snares of death."
1. This law delivers from death. The word death here must not be regarded as the separation of body from soul, but as the separation of the soul from God. This is the awfullest death, and supreme love to God is a guarantee against this.
2. This law secures an abundance of life. "The law of the wise is a fountain of life"; a fountain gives the idea of activity, plenitude, perennialness. The law of the good is happiness. The happiness of the true soul is not something then and yonder, but it is something in the law that controls him. In the midst of his privations and dangers John Howard, England's illustrious philanthropist, wrote from Riga these words — "I hope I have sources of enjoyment that depend not on the particular spot I inhabit. A rightly cultivated mind, under the power of religion, and the exercise of beneficent dispositions, affords a ground of satisfaction little affected by 'heres' and 'theres.'"
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.