Page images
[blocks in formation]

CONTRARILY, he must be temperate: Blessed art thou, O land, when thy princes eat in time, for strength, and not for drunkenness : just and righteous, for false balances (especially in the hand of government) are an abomination to the Lord: but a perfect weight pleaseth him : A virtue beneficial, both 1. to himself (for the throne is established by justice) and 2. to the state; Justice cxalteth a nation ; than which nothing doth more bind and cheer the hearts of the people : for, IVhen the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked bears rule, the people sigh: and with truth and justice, must mercy be joined inseparably : for Mercy and truth preserve the king : and his throne shall be established, also, by mercy. And all these must have wisdom to manage them : By it princes rule, and are terrible to the ill-deserying. A wise hing scattereth the wicked, and causeth the wheel to turn over them. To all these must be added bounty : A prince, that hateth covetousness, shall prolong his days; where, contrarily, A man of gifts destroyeth his country: and, yet further, a conquest of his own passions, a princely victory: for He, that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty man; and he, that ruleth his own mind, better than he that winneth a city ; because, of all other, The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion : and what is that but the messenger of death? And if it may be, a conquest of all others, through valour. There are three things, that order well their going, yea four are comely in going : whereof the last and priucipal is, A king against whom no man dures rise up. Lastly, secrecy in determinations: The heaven in height, and earth in deepness, and the king's heart can no mun (no man should) search out : neither should it be in any hands but the Lord's; who as he knows it, so he turns it whithersoever it pleaseth him. Ec. x. 17. Pr. xi. 1. xvi, 12. xiv, 31. xxix. 2. xx. 18. viii. 16. xx. 26. xxviii. 16. xxix. 4 xvi. 3% xix. 12. XXX. 29. XXX. 31. XXV. 3. xxi. I.

SECT. 5.

1. according to the

truth of the cause. judge righteously 2. according to the common,

distress of the parHis actions special to his

ty, unpartially place : to

Cremit nercifully. His actions must suit his disposition, which must be universally holy: før It is an abomination to kings (of all other) to commit wickedness. Which helps alone is the way to all peace: When the ways of a man please the Lord, he will make his enemies at peace with him : Peculiarly to his place; he must first judge his people: A king, that sitieth in the throne of judgment, chaseth away all evil with his eyes; and by this he maintains his country: and while he doth sit there, A divine sentence must be in the lips of the king, and his mouth may not transgress in judgment. For, king that judgeth the poor in truth, his throne shuil be established for ever : Neither may his ear be partially open: which disposition shall be sure to be fed with reports: for, of a prince that hearkeneth to lies, all his servants are wicked : nor his mouth shut, especially in cases of distress : Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all the children of destruction : open thy mouth, judge righteously, and judge the afflicted and the poor : yet not with so much regard to the estate of persons, as the truth of the cause ; for, Surely it is not good to condemn the just in whatever condi. tion; nor that princes should smite such for equity : wherein he shall wisely search into all difficulties. The glory of God is to pass by infirmities, but the king's honour is to search out a thing; yet so, as he is not seldom merciful in execution, Delivering them that are drawn to death, and preserving them that are drawn to be slain. These observed, it cannot be, that man should rule over man to his hurt. Pr. xvi. 12. xvi. 7. XX. 8. xxix. 4. xvi. 10. xxix. 14. xix. 12. xxxi. 8. xxxi. 9. xvii. 26. xxv. 2. xxiv. 11. Ec. viii. 9.


SECT, 6.

The Necessity of it.

For the given :

The Quality, righteous,


How received.

For the State. As where no sovereignty, so where no counsel is, the people fall; an, contrarily, where inany counsellors are, there is healih ; and,

more than health, stedfastness : Counsel for the soul, Where no vision is, the people perish : which requires both holiness and wisdom: The fruit of the righteous is as a tree of life; and he, that winneth souls, is wise ; and the more wise the preacher (is) the more he teacheth the people knowledge, and causeth them to hear, and searcheth forth, and prepareth many parables : and not only an upright writing (and speaking) even the word of truth; but pleasant words also, so that the sweetness of the lips encreaseth doctrine; and not more delightful, than effectual : for, The words of the wise are like goads and nails fastened by the masters of the as. semblies, that are given by one pastor: which again of every hearer challenge due reverence and regard ; who must take heed to his foot, when he entereth into the house of God: and be more near to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools : for, He, that despiseth the word, shall be destroyed; but he, that feareth the commandment, shall be rewarded. Pr. xi. 14. xxiv. 6. xv. 22. xxix. 18. xi. 30. Ec. xxii. 9. xii. 10. Pr. xvi. 21. Ec. xii. 11. iv. 17. Pr. xiii. 13,

SECT. 7.

Discussing of causes, Wisdom, Providence, and working

according to knowledge. In a counsellor of state,

Piety, or magistrate, is required,

Justice, and freedom (Partiality,
from ..


Oppression. Without counsel, all our thoughts (even of policy and state) come to nought : but in the multitude of counsellors is stedfastness : and no less in their goodness ; In their wisdon, which alone gives strength to the owner, above ten mighty princes that are in the city; a virtue, which though it resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding, yet is known in the midst of fools. For wisdom is in the face of him that hath understanding, and in his lips: for howsoever he, that hath knowledge, spareth his words, yet the tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright; and the fool cannot open his mouth in the gale; and therefore is unfit for authority. As snow in summer, and rain in harvest ; so is honour unseenly for a fool. And, though it be given him, how ill it agrees! As the closing of a precious stone in a heap of stones, so is he that gives glory to a fool. From hence; the good justicer both care. fully heareth a cause, knowing that He, which answereth a matter before he hear it, it is folly and shame to him; and that related on both parts ; for He, that is first in his own cause, is just : then cometh his neighbour and maketh enquiry of him; and deeply sifteth it: else he loseth the truth; for The counsel of the heart of man is like deep waters : but a man, that hath uniterstanding,

will draw it out. From hence, is his providence for the common good; not only in seeing the plague, and hiding himself, but in delivering the city: and as he foreseeth, so he worketh by knowledge: and not in peace only: as The words of the wise are more heard in quietness, than the cry of him that ruleth among fools; but in war: A wise man goeth up into the city of the mighty, and casieth down the strength of the confidence thereof. For wisdom is better than strength, yea, than weapons of war: I have seen this wisdom under the sun, and it is great unto me; A little city and men in it, and a great king came against it, and compassed it about, and builded forts against it ; and there was found in it a poor and wise man, and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Pr. xv. 22. xxiv. 5. Ec. vii. 2. Pr. xiv. 33. xvji. 24. xv. 2. xxiv. 7. xxvi. 1. xxvi. 8. xviii. 17. xx. 5. xxii. 3. Ec. ix. 15. xiii. 16. Ec. ix. 17. Pr. xxi. 22. Ec. ix. 16. ix. 18. ix. 13. ix. 14. ix. 15.

Neither can there be true wisdom in any counsellor, without piety : The wise man feareth, and departs from evil; being well assured, that there is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord; and that man cannot be established by wickedness : and indeed how oft doth God so dispose of estates, that the evil shall bow before the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous! neither is this more just with God, than acceptable with men : for when the righteous rejoice, there is great glory, and when they are in authority, the people rejoice ; contrarily, when the wicked comes on, and rises up, and bears rule, the man is tried; the good hide themselves, and all the people sigh : and the righteous man falling down before the wicked, is like a troubled well, and a corrupt spring. Pr. xiv. 16. xxi. 30. xii. 3. xviii. 12. xxix. 2. xxviii. 12. xxviii. 28. xxix. 2. xxv. 26.

Neither is justice less essential than either; for to do justice and jugment, is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice : To know faces, therefore (in a judge) is not good, for that man will transgress for a piece of bread; much less to accept the person of the wicked, to cause the righteous to fall in judgment : Ile that saith to the wicked, Thou art righteous, him shall the people curse, and the multitude shall abhor him : yea, yet higher ; He, that justifieth the wicked, md condemneth the just, both are abomination to the Lord. Wherefore howsoever the wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom, to wrest the ways of judgment; and commonly, A man's gift enlargeth him, and leadeth him (with approbation) before great men : yet he knoweth, that the reward destroycth the heart; that the acceptance of it is but the robbery of the wicked; which shall destroy them, because they have refused to execute judgment : he hateth gifts, then, that he may live, and it is a joy to him to do judgment. He doth unpartially smite the scorner, yea severely punish him, that the wickedly foolish may beware and become wise. And whereas Every way of a man is right m his own eyes, and a false record will speak lies, and use deceit: he so maketh enquiry, that a false witness shall not be unpunished: and he, that speaketh lies, shall perish : Lastly, his hand is free from oppression of his in

feriors : which as it makes a wise wan mad, so the actor of it, miser: ble; for He, that oppresseth the poor, reprneth him that made him : and if the afflicted be oppressed in julgment, the Lord will defend their cause, and spoil the soul that spoileth them ; and, upon all occasions, he so determineth, that they shell kiss the lips of him that answereth upright words. Pr. xxvii. 21. xxiv. 23. xviii. 5, xxiv. 24. xvii. 15. xvii. 23. xviii. 16. Ec. vii. 9. Pr. xii. 7. xr. 27. xxi, 15. xix. 15. xxi. 1!. xxi. 2. Ec. xir. 5. Pr. xii. 17. xviii, 17. xix. 5. xix. 9. xiv. 31. xxii. 22. xxiv. 26.


SECT. 3.

Discreet, Charitable;
Must be Religious, Diligent,

Humble, (Faithful. In the light of the king's countenance is life, and his favour is as the cloud of the latter rain, or as the dew upon the grass : wbich that the Courtier may purchase, he must be, 1. Discreet: The pleasure of a king is in a wise servant, but his wrath shall be towards him that is lewd: 2. Religious, both in heart, Ile that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of the lips the king shall be his friend : and in his actions, He that sceketh good thing's goticth javour; in both which, the righteous is more excellent than his neighbour : and besides these, humble; The reward whereof is glory : for, before glory goeth humility. He dare not therefore buast himself before the king, and thrust himself over-forward in the presence of the prince, whom his eyes do see : whom he sees moved, he pacifieth by staying of anger, and by a soft answer breaketh a man of bone, not aggravating the faults of others : He, that covereth a transgression, seeketh love; but he, that repeatcth a matter, separateth the prince. To these, he is diligent, taking heeel to the mouth of the king : aud therefore worthily standeth before kings, anul not before the base sort: and withal true and faithful; when he undertakes another's suit, he lingers not, knowing that The hope, t?at is deferred, is the fainting of the heart ; and though A bribe or reward is as a stone pleasant in the eyes of them that have it, and prospere!h whither-soever it turneth, (for every man is a friend to him that giveth gilts) yet he accounteth the gathering of treasures by a deceitful tongue, to be vanity, tossed to and fro of them that seek death. Pr. xvi. 15. xix. 12. xiv. 35. xxii. il. xi. 27. xii. 26. xxii. 4. xv. 33. xxv, 6.

« PreviousContinue »