Proverbs 10:11
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Streams in the DesertChristian TreasuryProverbs 10:11
The Service of Speech, EtcW. Clarkson Proverbs 10:8, 10, 11, 14, 18-21, 31, 32
A Fourfold OppositionE. Johnson Proverbs 10:11-14


1. The speech of the wise and good is sound, "seasoned with salt;" that of the wicked is hollow or else poisonous.

2. The former edifies, builds up and strengthens the good principle in the minds of those who convene with him; the bluer destroys the good, and sows evil in its stead.

II. QUARRELSOMENESS AND AMIABILITY. (Ver. 12; see on Proverbs 6:14.) The former begets evil, increases that already existing, inflames wounds lets nothing pass that may serve as fuel to its fire. The latter puts an end to much evil, prevents the rise of more, soothes every wound, and mitigates every mischief. The former is ever dividing, the latter reconciling. They undo one another's work; but love in the end prevails (Proverbs 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4; James 5:20; 1 Peter 4:8).

III. THE GRACE OF WISDOM AND THE DISGRACE OF FOLLY. (Ver. 13.) The pure eloquence of the good man attracts admiration and wins confidence; while the fallacies of the pretender, the spurious rhetoric of the insincere certain to be exposed and castigated. The life of the, House of Commons, or of any great assembly, furnishes constant illustrations.

IV. PRUDENT RESERVE AND PERNICIOUS LOQUACITY. (Ver. 14.) There is a time end place for silence, the wise man knows - both for the recovery of his own thoughts, and for the opportunity of watching others. By a bold figure of speech, it may often be that silence is the greatest eloquence. In many instances we think we have produced no effect, have not committed ourselves to the expression of opinion; on the contrary, our reserve has spoken. In all this lies a science and art of living. The fool does not see this; he is too self-absorbed to see anything that passes in others' minds, or too unsympathetic to feel; and hence blurts out things that had better have been left unsaid, hurts sensibilities, blackens reputations, causes false positions for himself and others.

1. The heart must be watched. There is no other source of pleasing, gentle manners, nor of sound behaviour in society. Reserve and unreserve of the right kind are simply the government of the tongue by charity.

2. The tongue must be watched. And regulated by good models of Conversation. Never must it be forgotten how much we learn by imitation. - J.

The mouth of the righteous is a well of life.
Christian Treasury.
A man who receives, professes, and obeys the truth, is like a well of water; while a man who retains the form of religion, but denies its power, is like a waterless well.

I. THE TRUE BELIEVER IS LIKE A WELL. The likeness between the natural and the spiritual may be thus traced.

1. In the manner of its flow. It is an overflow. When the well flows for the benefit of others, itself is full. Itself is satisfied, and out of its abundance it flows over to satisfy the wants of others. When a Christian has not much for himself, he has nothing for his neighbours. As the full well must run over, so the satisfied soul must make known in some form the Saviour's love.

2. In the effects of its overflow. It refreshes and fertilises the surrounding barrenness. Travellers always take special notice of the effects produced by springs on certain spots in the desert. They make oases. So the neighbourhood feels the effect of the presence of Christians. There cannot be a lively Christian in a godless family, or a lively Church in a godless neighbourhood, without some spiritual commotion among those who are near.

3. As to source whence the well gets its supply. Though the water springs up from beneath, the supply has come down from above. So the Christian says, "All my springs are in Thee." The facts in nature are well known. For Christians, all depends on the supply they get from a covenant God. The Spirit poured out reaches by hidden paths the veins of the heart, and fills it — then it can overflow in blessing. This truth is taught as a doctrine (John 7:37-39), and manifested in the experience of the disciples (Luke 9:54).

II. A HYPOCRITE IS LIKE A WELL WITHOUT WATER. He who has neither the profession nor the power, is not a well at all. He who has the profession but not the power is a well, but there is no water in it. Counterfeit Christians are not simply useless, they are destroyers (compare Jude 1:12: "Clouds without water"). Christian professors need to see well to it that they are not deceiving and destroying their neighbours. Their profession constitutes them wells, but what if they are wells without water? When God finds us dry, we have cause to fear lest He visit us in judgment, and cut off from us our own supply. Practical lessons:

1. Some wells are not empty, and yet are as useless as if they were. They are filled with bitter water. Some professing Christians with knowledge and correct principles, nevertheless are of an angry, biting, censorious, malicious, proud, selfish spirit. Let Christians imitate the gentleness as well as the faithfulness of Christ.

2. Some wells are not empty, and yet are as useless as if they were. They are filled, or nearly filled, with stagnant water. The water is stagnant, for none has found its way in for a long time from the secret channels, and none has run out over the brim. Secret, earnest, constant getting of the fulness that is hid in Christ is the only sure way of being blessed yourself and becoming s blessing to others.

(Christian Treasury.)

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