He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
I. THE GRAND FELLOWSHIP IN LIFE'S PATH. Though fools crowd the path of life, there are many "wise men" here and there. Who are the wise men?
1. The men who aim at the highest end of existence. What is the highest end? Not wealth, pleasure, fame, etc. The highest end of man, the only worthy end, is eternal perfection of character, spiritual assimilation to God's perfection. Who are the wise men?
2. The men who employ the best means to reach that end. Who are the wise men?
3. The men who devote the best time in the employment of those means.
II. THE GLORIOUS ASSIMILATION IN LIFE'S PATH. "Shall be wise."
1. There is a transforming power in the ideas of the truly wise. The ideas of "wise men" are like the rays of the sun — warm, bright, touching all into life. In the Bible you have these ideas in their mightiest form.
2. There is a transforming power in the sympathies of the truly wise. Sympathy is a mighty power. Even a touch of it in the dropping tear, the faltering voice, the quivering lip, will often move a soul to its centre. The sympathies of the wise man are deep, spiritual, genuine, Christlike. They are morally electric.
3. There is a transforming power in the example of the truly wise. All moral character is formed on the principle of imitation. But we imitate only what we love and admire; and the character of the wise man has in it what alone can command the highest love and admiration of the soul. It has moral beauty — the beauty of the Lord.From this subject we learn —
1. That the choice of companions is the most important step in life.
2. That godly literature has an inestimable value.
3. That the Church institution is a most beneficent appointment.
Parallel VersesKJV: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.