He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
"A man is known by the company that he keeps." The proverb is illustrated by the experience of all ages.
I. OF NECESSARY INTERCOURSE WITH THE WICKED.
1. In society and trade. Conversation is permitted in buying, selling, and following out ordinary commercial transactions.
2. We may have intercourse with others for their good. Christ Jesus conversed with sinners to gain them.
II. AVOID UNNECESSARY FAMILIARITY. Avoid the sins of the ungodly. If impelled by position, connection, or business to associate, beware of compliance in sin. The nearest tie cannot sanction participation in sin. Many reasons dissuade from undue familiarity. You cannot be familiar and escape contagion. The conversation of the wicked has more power to corrupt than the conversation of the good to ameliorate. These observations are peculiarly addressed to the young whose habits are, forming, whose character is moulding.
III. SOME CLASSES OF DANGEROUS CHARACTERS TO BE AVOIDED BY THE YOUNG MAN.
1. Beware of the idle. Idleness exposes to all forms of temptation.
2. Beware of the selfish and covetous. There is grave danger that you be affected with this spirit, and your sole determination be by all means to get wealth. Covetousness is a deceitful sin. It leads to innumerable evils.
3. Beware of the loose and erroneous. Those who are neglecting religion. The Sabbath-breaker. Those naturally disposed to error.
4. Beware of those who frequent suspicious places. Choose for companions persons of moral worth, those who fear the Lord.
Parallel VersesKJV: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.