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ADVICE, ADMONITIONS, &c.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be wary of his correction: for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. If thou feint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honey-comb, which is sweet to thy taste: so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
From the same.
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thoo not. If they say, Come with us, cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: my son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh fro
ward things; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the way of darkness; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he; eat and drink, saith he to thee, but his heart is not with thee. Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge; that thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. Fear thou the Lord and the king; and meddle not with them that are given to change: for their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who kuoweth the ruin of them both? Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house ; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. Debate thy cause withthy neighbour himself, and discover not a secret to another; lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest, yea heshall.give delight unto thy
soul. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
From the same.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left; remove thy foot from evil. Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in the latter end. Bow down, thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after kaowledge,
and lift est up thy voice for understanding; if thou seckest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He Jayeth up sound wisdom for the righteous; he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgement, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgement, and equity; yea, every good path.
My son, prove thy soul in thy life, aud see what is evil for it, and give not that unto it. Remember that death will not be long in coming, and that the covenant of the grave is not shewed unto thee. Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good desire overpass thee. Do no evil,- so shall no harm come unto thee. Depart from the unjust, and iniquity shall turn away from thee. As near as thou canst guess at thy neighbour, and consult with the wise. Let thy talk be with the wise, and all thy communication in the law of the Most High. L*C