He that walks uprightly walks surely: but he that perverts his ways shall be known.
The supreme aim of men is to secure that which they esteem their chief interest, and to pursue it upon the surest grounds. Man's ultimate end is happiness.
I. EXPLAIN THE WORDS OF THE TEXT. Walking signifies the course of our lives. Walking honestly or deceitfully, walking in light, in darkness, anal the like, is nothing else but living righteously or wickedly, behaving a man's self honestly or deceitfully in the world. Uprightly signifies in perfection, or with integrity; it denotes honesty and sincerity of intention. Ha who lives uprightly is he who in the general course of his life beam a constant regard to God and His commandments. To walk surely is to be in a safe condition; to be out of danger of falling into any extreme calamity. The sum of the wise man's assertion is this: He that in the whole course of his life acts sincerely and justly, with a continual respect to the reason of things, and to the law of God; that carries on all his undertakings by fair and equitable means, avoiding all frauds and deceits, all base and unworthy practices — this man takes the wisest and surest course to succeed in all his designs, respecting either his present or his future happiness.
II. PROVE THE TRUTH OF THE ASSERTION.
1. The upright man begins to act, or sets out, upon the best and surest grounds. To the undertaking and prosecuting any design upon good grounds, it is requisite —
(1) That the reasons upon which a man undertakes it, be firm and stable, and such as will not change.
(2) That he be well assured that the way he intends to go will lead him right to the end.
(3) That he be sure not to mistake the way.
2. In the continuance and whole course of his affairs he has the greatest probability not to fall into any considerable disappointment or calamity. And this for two reasons.
(1) Because the way of uprightness is in itself freest from danger, and according to the natural constitution of things, least liable to misfortunes and disappointments.
(2) Because it is guarded and protected by she peculiar favour and providence of God.
3. In the end and last issue of things the upright man has the utmost security, whatever disappointments he may before meet withal, that his designs shall then be crowned with the most perfect success. It is the event and final issue of things that determines the wisdom or folly of any action. The upright man will at the end appear to have chosen the wiser course —
(1) Upon account of that peace of conscience which will attend him at the hour of death;
(2) of the happiness which will attend him after death — a state of joy unspeakable and full of glory. What the upright man has done shall then be vindicated and approved, and what he has suffered shall be abundantly made good.
(S. Clarke, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.