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Proverbs 19:1 . Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, in simplicity and honesty of heart, than a fool whose tongue is perverse, and whose body is swoln with corpulency. The contrast of men’s conditions, and their diversity of moral character, suggest a world of ideas respecting the conduct and issues of life.
Proverbs 19:2 . That the soul be without knowledge, it is not good. The human mind, godlike in its powers, is worthy of culture. In the year 1780, the county of Dorset was infected with a gang of thieves; at length the gentlemen rose upon them, and hanged ten. The Ordinary procured for them ten prayer-books, and read prayers to them daily. He observed, as he states in a pamphlet, that they did not use the books! He found on enquiry that not one of them could read. This was the case with the poor Irish, drawn into rebellion in the year 1797. This was the case with the untutored French, who on the breaking out of the revolution in 1789, filled their country with bloody atrocities, and degraded its cosmography by burning two hundred and seventy three gentlemen’s seats. Now the French have established, after the example of England, forty thousand schools in the different communes. We now agree with Solomon, that “the feet of the untutored poor haste to sin.”
Proverbs 19:5 ; Proverbs 19:9 ; Proverbs 19:28 . A false witness shall not be unpunished. Our old law was that he shall lose his ears. See on Proverbs 14:5.
Proverbs 19:6 . Many will entreat the favour of the prince. A fine satire on courtiers, who fatigue the ears of princes for preferment.
Proverbs 19:11 . The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. Æsop says, when the ass brayed against the lion, Leo at first was very angry; but afterwards considering within himself that it was only an ass, he walked on.
Proverbs 19:12 . The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; against political crimes, cowardice in war, or private villanies. David swore in anger that the rich man who had seized the poor man’s ewe lamb should surely die.
Proverbs 19:17 . He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord. The earth is the Lord’s, the bread is for the people; to withhold bread from the aged, the sick, and the blind, is to rob the poor, and incur the anger of heaven. “If they cry at all to me, saith the Lord, I will avenge them.” They ask to die, as they have lived, in humble cottages. To send them in their last moments to die in a sort of state-prison, with vagrants and the sweepings of the streets, is to break their hearts.
Proverbs 19:18 . Chasten thy son while there is hope. If he steal a toy, make him carry it back; and kindly train him to duty and obedience. Such is the sentiment of St. Paul. Ephesians 6:4.
Proverbs 19:26 . He that wasteth his father, by prodigality, and chaseth away his mother, refusing her a home and bread, covers his family with shame, and brings on himself destruction. And this case is the more alarming, because it is common.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 19". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany