« PreviousContinue »
THE FOURTH BOOK.
TEMPERANCE AND FORTITUDE.
Sin diet ; Sobriety.
The temperate in diet, is he, that refraineth his appetite, that looks not on the wine when it is red, that puts his knife to his throat when he sits with a ruler; that when he finds honey, eats but that which is sufficient for him, lest he should be over-full. It is true, that a man eateth and drinketk, and seeth the commodity of all his labour; this is the gift of God: yea, this I have seen good, that it is comely to eat and to drink, and to take pleasure in all his labour wherein he travailleth under the sun, the whole number of the days of his life which God giveth him, for this is his portion: God allows us to eat our bread with joy, and drink our wine with a cheerful heart, and there is nothing better than this; yea, there is no profit but this : But not that a man should be given to his appetite, that he should seek in his heart to draw his flesh to wine: or that whatsoever his eyes desire, he should not withhold it from them: Such a man when he is full, despiseth a honey-comb: whereas to the hungry, every bitter thing is sweet : and in his excess is outrageous: One of the three things, yea four, for which the earth is moved and cannot sustain itself, is a
fool when he is filled with meat. Neither doth this prosper with himself. For his body: The satiety of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. To whom is woe? to whom is sorrow ? to whom is murmuring? to whom are wounds without cause ? and to whom is the redness of the eyes ? even to them, that tarry long at the wine : to them, that go and seek mixed wine. For his soul: Look not on the wine when it is red, and sheweth his colour in the cup, or goeth down pleasantly. In the end thereof, it will bite like a serpent, and hurt like a cockatrice : Thine eyes shall look upon the strange woman, and thy lips shall speak lewd things, and thou shalt be as one that sleepeth in the midst of the sea, and as he that sleepeth in the top of the mast : they have stricken me (shalt thou say, but I was not sick ; they have beaten me, but I knew not when I awoke, therefore will I seek it yet still. For his estate: He is like a city which is broken down, and without walls: Keep not company therefore with drunkards, nor with gluttons : for the glutton and drunkard shall be poor, and the sleeper shall be clothed with rags; and, in all these, wine is a mocker, and strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Pr. xxv. 28. xxiii. 31. xxiii. 2. xxiii. 1. xxv. 16. Ec. iii. 13. v. 17. ix. 7. iii. 22. ii. 24. Pr. xxi. 2. Ec. ii. 3. ii. 10. Pr. xxvii. 7. xxx. 21. xxx. 22. Ec. v. 11. Pr. xxiii. 29. xxiii. 30. xxiii. 31. xxiii. 32. xxiii. 33. xxiii. 34. xxiii. 35. XXV, 28. xxiii. 20. xx. 1.
(In words, what it profits, 1 gives safety.
be seasonable. Modesty, What it profits. Sargues wisdom,
(Loquacity, Contrary to it, Ill speech,
The modest (for words) is a man of a precious spirit, that refraineth his lips, and spareth his words. The words of a modest man are like deep waters, and the well-spring of wisdom like a flowing river: but when he doth speak, it is to purpose: for The mouth of the just shall be fruitful in wisdom; and the lips of the righteous do feed many, yea himself. A man shall be satiate with good things by the fruit of his mouth ; and with the fruit of a man's mouth his belly shall be satisfied : but still he speaketh sparingly: A wise man conceuleth knowledge, and a man of understanding will keep silence, which as it argues him wise, (for even a fool, when he holdeth his peace is counted wise; and he, that stoppeth his lips, as prudent) so it gives him much safety: He, that keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from affliction; yea, he keepeth his life: where, contrarily, the mouth of the fool is in the multitude of words : t babbleth out foolishness; as it is fed with it: neither hath he any delight in understanding, but that which his heart discovereth; and while he bewrayeth it, the heart of fools publisheth his foolishness : And as he multiplyeth words, so in many words there cannot want iniquity: his mouth (still) babbleth evil things, for either he speaketh froward things, or how to lie in wait for blood, or in the mouth of the foolish is the rod of pride; and what is the issue of it? He, that openeth his mouth, destruction shall be to him. And he, that hath a naughty tongue, shall fall into evil; for, both it shall be cut out, and the frowardness of it is the breaking of the heart. Lastly, a fool's mouth is his own destruction, and his lips are a snare for his soul. Pr. xvii. 27. 8. 19. xvii. 27. xviii. 4. X. 31. X. 21. xii. 14. xiii. 2. xvii. 20. xii. 23. xi. 12. 8. 19. xvii. 28. xxi. 23. xiii. 3. Ec. v. 2. Pr. xv. 2. xv. 14. xviii. 2. xii. 23. Ee. x. 14. Pr. x, 19. xi. 28. xv. 32. xii. 6. xiv. 3. xiji. 3. xxvii. 20. x. 31. xv. 4. xviii. 7.
For actions: The modest shall have honour: And though we need not say, Of laughter, thou art mad; and of joy, what is this thos doest : yet Anger is better than laughter: for by a sad look tie heart is made better. The heart of the wise therefore is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. Rejoice then, () young man in thy youth, and let thine heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know, that for all these things God will bring thee to judgment. Pr. xi. 16. Ec. ji. 2. vii. 5. vii. 6. xi. 9.
I have man, and in spirit.
( Wherein it is,
Scornfulness. Next to the modest, is the humble in spirit: He saith, Surely, I am more foolish than a man, and have not the understanding of a man in me; for I have not learned wisdom, and have not attained to the knowledge of holy things. But doth he want it ere the more? No: With the lowly is wisdom, and The ear, that hearkeneth to the corrections of life, shall lodge among the wise : Better it is therefore to be of an humble mind with the lowly, than to divide the spoils with the proud: for before honour goeth humility; and he, that confesseth and forsaketh his sins, shall have mercy; yea, the humble of spirit shall enjoy glory: and the reward of humility, and the fear of God, is riches, and glory, and life. Pr. xxix. 23. xxx. 2. xxx. 3. xi. 2. xiii. 31. xvi. 19. xv. 33. xviii. 12. xxviii. 13. xxix. 13. Ec. xxii. 24.
Contrary whereto; There is a generation, whose eyes are haughty, and their eye-lids are lift up : There is a generation, that are pure in their own conceit, and yet are not washed from their filthiness. Yea, All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes : but the Lord pon
dereth the spirits; and, not so only, but Many men will boast of their goodness: but It is not good to eat much honey, so to search their own glory is not glory : Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. This overweening is commonly incident to great men. The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor, that hath understanding, can try him : Hence it is that he affects singularity; According to his desire he, that separates himself, will seek, and occupy himself in all wisdom : but seest thou a man thus wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him: yea, he is a fool in this: In the mouth of the foolish is the rod of pride : I thought, I will be wise, but it went far from me; it is fur off, what may it be? and that a wicked fool; A haughty look, and a proud heart, which is the light of the wicked, is sin: If therefore thou hast been foolish in lifting up thyself, and if thou hast thought wickedly, lay thy hand upon thy mouth, for God hateth an haughty eye, yea, he so hateth it, that all that are proud in heart are un abomination to the Lord; and though hand join in hand, they shall not be unpunished: and what punishment shall he have? The Lord will destroy the house of the proud man; and his very pride is an argument of his ruin: Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty : Pride goeth before destruction, and a high mind before the fall : Before it? yea, with it: when pride cometh, then cometh shame. Now the height of pride is scornfulness: He, that is proud and haughty, scornful is his name, who worketh in the pride of his wrath : and this man despiseth his neighbour, and therefore is destitute of understanding : when the wicked cometh, then cometh contempt; and with the vile man is reproach : but of all, him that reproves him: He, that reproveth a scorner, purchaseth to himself shame; and he, that rebuketh the wicked, getteth himself a blot: therefore judgments are prepared for the scorners, and stripes for the back of fools; so as others are hurt by his sin: for a scornful man bringeth a whole city into a snare: so they shall be likewise bettered by his judgment: when the scorner is punished, the foolish is wise. Pr. xxx. 13. xxx. 12. xvi. 2. xxi. 2. XX. 6. xxv. 27. xxvii. 2. xxviii. 11. Ec. xviii. 1. Pr. xvi. 12. xiv. 3. Ec. vii. 25. vii. 26. Pr. xxi. 4. xxx. 32. vi. 17. xvi. 5. xv. 25. xviii. 22. xvi, 18. xi. 2. xxi. 24, xi. 12. xvii. 3. ix. 7. xix. 29. xxix. 8. xxi. Il.
(Of Lust, 2..
With their Contraries.
Of the first kind, is he that drinks the waters of his own cistern; that desires not the beauty of a stranger in his heart; neither lets her take him with her eye-lids : contrarily, the incontinent is he that delights in a strange woman, and embraces the hosom of a stranger; or she that forsakes the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of God; she dieth in wait for a prey, and she increaseth the transgressors amongst men. For awhore is as a deep ditch, and a strange woman as a narrow pit: Yea, I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is as nets and mares, and whose hands as bands: he, that is good before God, shall be delivered from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. Pr. v. 15. vi. 25. 1. 20. ii. 17. xxii. 28. xxii. 27. Ee. vi. 28. See more of this vice. Oevon. sect. 2. and 3.
Of the second, is he that is slow to anger, slow to wrath; whose discretion deferreth his anger, and whose glory is to pass by an offence: which moderation as it argues him to be of great wisdon (for wise men turn away wrath ) so it makes him better than the mighty man, and procures him just hópour ; for It is the honour of a man to cease from strife; contrary to which, is he that is of a hasty spirit to be angry; which as it proves him foolish, (for anger restoth in the bosom of fools, and he that is hasty to anger, not only committetik yol ly, but exalteth it) so it makes him dangerons: Anger ni omel, and wrath eis raging; and a furious man aboundeth in transgressions : wherefore make no friendship with an angry man, best thou learn this ways, and receive destruction to thy soul. Pe. xvi. 32. xiv. 29. xix. 11. xiv. 29. xxix. 8. xvi. 23. xx. 3. Ec. vii, 11. vii. 11. Pr. xiv. 17. xiv. 29. xxvii. 4. xxix. 22. xxii. 24. xxii. 25.
(In general, Fortitude
(Confidence, (The specials of it,
(In God's afflictions, Patience
(In men's injuries.
FORTITUDE is that, whereby the spirit of a inan sustains his infirmities; which makes the righteous bold as a lion : contrarily, the weak of strength is he, that is faint in the day of adversity; whose fear bringeth a snare upon him, and that desperate: A wounded spirit who can bear? which is often caused through guiltiness: The wicked fleeth when none pursueth him. Confidence is, to trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and not to lean to thine own wisdom ; but in all thy ways to acknowledge him, and to commit thy works to the Lord, and to have hope in thy death: and though in other things, The hope, that is deferred, is the fainting of the heart; yet in this, he, that trusteth in the Lord, shall be fat; for, from hence, not only his thoughts and ways are directed, but he receiveth safety and pro.. tection: He is a shield to those that trust in him. The horse is pre. pared for the day of battle, but salvation is of the Lord, Yea, The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth to it, and