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INTRODUCTION TO THE MATTER OF WISE ORDERING OF ONE’S AFFAIRS:  ECCLESIASTES 8:1

 

            Wisdom is here commended as that thing which gives us credit and esteem with our fellows and which give us true confidence and boldness.  Wisdom is thus at the heart of any wise ordering of one’s life.

 

TEXT:

 

Ecclesiastes 8:1:  Who is as the wise man? and who knows the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom makes his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.

 

COMMENTARY:

 

            The fifth part or branch of true wisdom, direction and perfection of right judgment in the wise ordering of himself and affairs.  This virtue is

            Summarily expressed and commended.  First, in the nature of it, Who is as a wise man?  None to be compared to a wise man: And who is he?  The next words expound wherein this wisdom is, who )viz., the wise man( knows the interpretation of a thing? Who can discern and truly judge of all affairs and their nature and circumstances, what must be done, what avoided.  This to know oneself, and interpret unto others, is a point of that wisdom which makes us happy. 

            Secondly, in the effect of it, which are two:

            )1( Credit and esteem, a man’s wisdom makes his face shine, this is a metaphor which means:  brings his person in admiration, makes him lovely65, beautiful, and amiable or venerable, awful, and reverend as Moses, Steven, or, )sed q.( cheerful, without frowning sullenness.

            )2(  True confidence and security, the boldness of his countenance shall be changed,  from impudent and presumptuous overdaring and fool-hardiness to true confidence and resolution, or shall be doubled, made very firm and assured.  He that walks wisely hath a truely secure heart and bold face; he discovers no fears, because he foresees and prepares for evils; not yet shame, he commits no fault whereat he should blush, & c., verse 1.


65  Kiss the lips of him that speaks, & c.