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Spirit,' must be distinctly pointed out. To preach against sin in general, without descending to particulars, may lead many to complain of the evil of their hearts, while, at the same time, they are wholly inattentive to the evil of their CONDUCT.”
In constructing the following chapters, the author has relied mainly on the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, but not exclusively. Ethical writers, ancient sages and modern poets have recorded striking thoughts on the themes herein discussed, and their affirmations are regarded as none the less pertinent and valuable because they did not enslave themselves to a sect, nor serve limited circles as bigoted dogmatists. The best impressions of the best minds in every age and clime can be, and ought to be, subor. dinated to the illustration and enforcement of the great doctrines which relate to man's temporal and eternal weal.
PROVERBS FOR THE PEOPLE.
THE WISE PREACHER.
“ THE preacher set in order many proverbs,” Eccl. 12: 9. Solomon wrote this text at the close of his mission as an inspired teacher, and while under the greatest solicitude to do good. He had profited by critical and comprehensive observation, as well as by profound reflection, and had learned much from experience good and bad. Feeling the vanity of earthly enjoyments, and the inefficiency of human wisdom, he devoutly seeks to draw his readers to heavenly sources, and would imprint on their mind divine precepts.
In subsequent chapters, it will be our purpose to expound a number of the wise preacher's proverbs; at present, as introductory to the series, we will consider their general character, as being pleasing, practical, ennobling, and salutary.
First, the Proverbs of Solomon are pleasing to refined taste. The wise man himself gave the happiest definition of the sententious aphorisms and parables of wisdom he had sought out and set in order, when he said they were like apples of gold in pictures of silver,--substantial worth symmetrically embodied and elegantly adorned. He was a preacher accustomed to employ acceptable words full of pungent and profitable instruction. No man ever excelled him in the happy