Why should the fool have money in his hand with no intention of buying wisdom?
I. MONEY USELESS WITHOUT SENSE. (Ver. 16.) The true view of money is that of means to ends. But if the ends are not seen, or, being seen, are not earnestly desired, of what avail the means? If our heart be set upon the right objects of life, opportunities will always present themselves. If blind to life's meaning, no advantages wilt seem to be advantages.
II. THE BEAUTY OF FRIENDSHIP. (Ver. 17.)
1. In general. It is constant; it is unvarying; it is adapted to all the various states and vicissitudes of life.
2. In particular. It takes new life out of sorrow. In distress, the friend is developed into the "brother," and is taken close to the heart. True friendship gladdens at the opportunity of self-devotion for the beloved one's good. It is the distress of our sin which makes us acquainted with him "that sticketh closer than a brother." But thank God for all those who are newborn to us in the freshly revealed grace and goodness of their hearts amidst the scenes of suffering.
III. THE STRICT DUTY OF CAUTION IN REFERENCE TO RESPONSIBILITY. (Ver. 18.) The consequences of becoming bail for a defaulter were in ancient life very terrible. Nowadays there are prudent men who will never set their hand to an acceptance. Although all moral duties are not equally amiable in their aspect, it must be remembered that the ability to do good to others rests upon strict prudence with reference to one's self. We may be maimed or destroyed by imprudence.
IV. RESISTANCE TO THE BEGINNINGS OF EVIL. (Ver. 19.) Contention or tempers and passion in general leads on to graver sin. Open the way to one sin, and others will immediately troop forward in its rear. Again, contentiousness and pride are in close connection; the latter is generally the spring of the former. And both are ruinous in their tendency. High towers invite the lightning; but he that does not soar too loftily will suffer the less by a fall. A modest way of life, within our means, is the only truly Christian life.
V. THE TRUE HEART AND THE GUILELESS TONGUE. (Ver. 20.) There is no health, no salvation for self or others, in the false heart and the tongue that flickers and wavers between opposing impulses. Old Homer has the sentiment that he who speaks one thing and thinks another in his heart is hateful as the gates of hell.
1. There is no true light in the head without love in the heart.
2. There is no dualism in our moral character.
3. There is a correspondence between our outward lot and our inward choice. - J.
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
(H. Ward Beecher.)
1. A man of good natural faculties and endowments of mind may be said to have the price of wisdom in his hand, when he hath no heart to it.
2. This price may be understood of the schools of good education and learning. Those who are brought up in such places often act the part of fools.
3. Riches are in many respects the price of wisdom, in that they enable their owners to buy books, to hire teachers, and to be at leisure to spend their time in the study of useful learning.
4. Men of great power and authority have the price of wisdom in their hands.
5. We have a noble price put into our hands to get wisdom, in the ordinances of religion and means of grace we enjoy. These advantages are the portion of every Christian. But these opportunities are sadly often in the hands of those who have no heart to make use of them. This appears —
(1) (2) (W. Reading, M. A.)
(2) (W. Reading, M. A.)
(W. Reading, M. A.)
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