I. HASTE OF TEMPER AND LONG SUFFERING. (Ver. 18.) Quarrelsomeness, irritable words (would that we could recall them!), a thousand stabs and wounds to the heart of our friend and to our own, the result of the former. For the latter, read the exquisite descriptions of the New Testament wherever the word "long suffering" occurs, and see the matchless beauty, and learn to covet the possession of that character - the impress of God in human nature - and those best gifts which belong to "the more excellent way."
II. IDLENESS AND HONESTY. (Ver. 19.) The way of the former beset with difficulty. Lazy people take the most trouble, in the affairs of the soul as in everything. The honest path is the only easy path in the long run. We must remember that it is a long run we have to pass over, and must make our choice accordingly. Life is no mere picnic or excursion. For amusement of the leisure hour we may strike into a by-path, but never lose sight of the high road of faith.
III. PARENTAL JOY AND SORROW. (Ver. 20.) On the whole, these are one of the best indices of a man's character. A truly good parent may not understand his child, as Mary misunderstood Jesus; but at the bottom of the heart, when there is filial goodness there is parental sympathy and approval.
IV. SPURIOUS JOY AND QUIET PERSISTENCE IN RIGHT. (Ver. 21.) This is a good contrast. The fool is not content with saying or doing the foolish thing; he must needs chuckle over it and make a boast of it, often gaining applause for his mere audacity. But the man of true sense is content to forego the momentary triumph, and goes on his way. Ever to forsake the way we know to be right, even in momentary hilarity, brings its after sting.
V. FAILURE AND SUCCESS IN COUNSELS. (Ver. 22.) Wild tumultuous passion causes the former; and calm deliberation, the comparison and collision of many minds, brings about sound and stable policy. To lean upon one's own weak will, to act in haste or under impulse, how seldom can a prosperous issue come of this! See how individuals rush into lawsuits, nations into war, speculators into bankruptcy, - all for want of consultation and good advice. We need the impetus of enthusiasm, not less the direction of cool prudence; if one or the other factor be omitted, disaster must ensue.
VI. SEASONABLE WORDS. (Ver. 23.) We must consider not only the matter, but the manner, of our utterances. This requires "a mind at leisure from itself" to seize the happy opportunity, to refrain from introducing the jarring note, to turn the conversation when it threatens to strike on breakers. Oh, happy art! admirable and enviable in those that possess it, but cultivable by all who have the gentle heart. We cannot conceive that the conversations of Christ were ever other than thus seasonable. - J.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
I. THE REASONABLENESS AND ADVANTAGES OF DOMESTIC UNION. Quietness under one's own roof, and quietness in our own conscience, are two substantial blessings. Abroad, we must more or less find tribulation; yet as long as our home is a secure and peaceful retreat from all the disappointments and cares of the world, we may still be tolerably happy. There cannot be a greater curse than to have those of one's own household one's greatest foes; when we neither can live happily with them, nor must think of living apart from them. Love is a tender plant; it must be kept alive by great delicacy, it must be fenced from all inclement blasts, or it will soon drop its head and die. To see a well-regulated family acting as if they were one body informed by one soul is a beautiful scene, and amiable even in the sight of that Being who maketh men to be of one mind in a house. The greatest advantage of a friendly behaviour to domestics (i.e., home people), is, that thereby we contract and cultivate that habit of benevolence which is a necessary qualification for everlasting happiness. The habitual sweetness of our temper, or the habitual badness of it, is not so much contracted by the great and considerable accidents of life, as by our behaviour in little things which befall us every day. Men of a generous education have a more refined humanity, passions more softened and civilised, than those in very low life, where rudeness, ill-manners, and brutality too often prevail. By studying to promote the happiness of those in our home circles, we mould ourselves into those habits which are productive of our own happiness, both here and hereafter.
II. SOME RULES FOR PRESERVING DOMESTIC UNION.
1. Do not delude yourselves with any visionary notions of perfection. Consider men, as they really are, with all their numerous imperfections, and not as you could fondly wish them to be. There are not many who can stand the test of a close inspection. Their virtues shine upon us at a distance. It is upon nearer approach that we descry their failings. Familiarity, though it does not beget contempt, where there is real worth, yet always takes off admiration.
2. Learn to make proper allowance, and to represent failings with all the softenings of humanity. Other men's passions are always insupportable to those that are entirely devoted to their own. The fuller of imperfections any man is, the less able is he to bear with the imperfections of his fellow-creatures.
3. There is a particular tenderness due to persons under any recent affliction, because men are more susceptible of resentment, in proportion to the greatness of their distress.
4. Be sure to observe and practise the rules of good manners. By good manners I mean an assemblage of moral virtues expressed in our outward demeanour, a combination of discretion, circumspection, and civility, submission to our superiors, condescension to our inferiors, affability to all, and a strict regard to decency in all our actions. If you have any talent for saying keen and satirical things, be superior to the talent you possess, by showing how little stress you lay upon it, when it comes into competition with your good-nature.
5. Never make any reply to a person till his passion abates, and the ferment subsides.
6. Avoid what fools call spirit, and men of sense call haughtiness. Persons of sense and virtue will seldom differ about things that are plainly essential to the happiness of the family. Be not ashamed to confess that you have been in the wrong. It is but owning that you now have more sense than you had before.
7. Religion is absolutely necessary to preserve domestic union. Be, then, seriously and solidly good yourselves. Reverence yourself, if you would have your inferiors do so.
(J. Seed, M. A.)
TopicsAnger, Angry, Appeases, Appeaseth, Blows, Calms, Contention, Discord, Dispute, Dissension, Fighting, Furious, Fury, Hot-tempered, Makes, Patient, Puts, Quarrel, Quiets, Slow, Stirreth, Stirs, Strife, Wrathful
Outline1. A gentle answer turns away wrath
Dictionary of Bible ThemesProverbs 15:18
LibraryGod, the All-Seeing One
A sermon (No. 177) delivered on Sabbath morning, February 14, 1858 At The Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens by C. H. Spurgeon. "Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?" -- Proverbs 15:11. You have often smiled at the ignorance of heathens who bow themselves before gods of wood and stone. You have quoted the words of Scripture and you have said, "Eyes have they, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not." You have therefore argued that …
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs
The Hedge of Thorns and the Plain Way
God, the All-Seeing One
How the Humble and the Haughty are to be Admonished.
And He had Also this Favour Granted Him. ...
Epistle cxxii. To Rechared, King of the visigoths .
Contention Over the Man Born Blind.
"And the Life. " How Christ is the Life.
"Now the End of the Commandment," &C.
"Thou Shall Keep Him in Perfect Peace, Whose Mind is Stayed on Thee, Because He Trusteth in Thee. "
The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures
An Exposition on the First Ten Chapters of Genesis, and Part of the Eleventh
I Will Pray with the Spirit and with the Understanding Also-
How Christ is the Way in General, "I am the Way. "
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