He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
By "wisdom" is meant "religion."
I. HE THAT WALKS WITH RELIGIOUS MEN WILL BECOME RELIGIOUS. The term "walk" signifies a continued course of conduct, or a manner of living, in which men persevere till it becomes habitual. The place to which every religious person is travelling is heaven. All who would walk with them must make heaven the object of their pursuit. The only way to heaven is Jesus Christ. All who walk with religious persons must agree in assenting to this truth.
1. The fact that a person chooses to associate with religious characters, in religious pursuits, proves that he is already the subject of serious impressions.
2. He who walks with religious persons, will see and hear many things which powerfully tend to increase and perpetuate those serious impressions.
3. One who walks with religious men must be the subject of serious impressions for many years successively. He who continues to walk with religious men to the end of his life will become religious.
II. A COMPANION OF SINNERS SHALL BE DESTROYED. That is, one who chooses for his associates persons who are regardless of religion.
1. Such an one is the subject of no religious impressions; he has few, if any, serious thoughts.
2. Such an one takes the most effectual way to prevent any serious impressions ever being made on his mind.
3. Such an one takes the most effectual way to banish those serious thoughts that do come.
4. Such an one gets confirmed in habits and feelings opposed to his ever becoming religious.
(E. Payson, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.