Proverbs 19:4
Wealth attracts many friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
Sermons
Friends Sought Far MoneyProverbs 19:4
Friendship of the WorldH. G. Salter.Proverbs 19:4
Poverty, Riches, and Social SelfishnessHomilistProverbs 19:4
The Rich and the PoorG. R. Van de Water.Proverbs 19:4
The Lowly and Gentle LifeE. Johnson Proverbs 19:1-7
We have -

I. GOD'S RIGHTEOUS WAY. The way in which God intended man to walk was that way of wisdom, all of whose paths are peace. This divinely appointed way is that of holy service. Man, like every other being above him, and every other creature below him in the universe, was created to serve. We were created to serve our God and out kind; and in this double service we should find our rest and our heritage. This, which is God's way, should have been our way also.

II. MAN'S PERVERTED WAY. Man, in his sin and his folly, has "perverted his way;" he has attempted another path, a short cut to happiness and success. He has turned out of the high road of holy service into the by-path of selfishness; he has sought his satisfaction and his portion in following his own will, in giving himself up to worldly ambitions, in indulging in unholy pleasure, in living for mere enjoyment, in making himself the master, and his own good the end and aim of his life.

III. HIS CONSEQUENT DISQUIETUDE. When anything is in its wrong place, there is certain to be unrest. If in the mechanism of the human body, or in the machinery of an engine, or in the working of some organization, anything (or anyone) is misplaced, disorder and disquietude invariably ensue. And when man puts his will above or against that of his Divine Creator, that of his heavenly Father, there is a displacement and reversal such as may well bring about disturbance. And it does. It is hardly saying too much to say that all the violence, disease, strife, misery, poverty, death, we see around us arise from this disastrous perversion - from man trying to turn God's way of blessedness into his own way. Man's method has been utterly wrong and mistaken, and the penalty of his folly is heartache, wretchedness, ruin.

IV. HIS VAIN AND GUILTY COMPLAINT. He "fretteth against the Lord." Instead of smiting himself, he complains of God. He falls to see that the source of his unrest is in his own heart; he ascribes it to his circumstances, and he imputes these to his Creator. So, either secretly or openly, he complains of God; he thinks, and perhaps says, that God has dealt hardly with him, has denied to him what he has given to others; in the dark depths of his soul is a guilty rebelliousness.

V. THE ONE WAY OF REST. This is to return unto the Lord in free and full submission.

1. To recognize God's righteous claim upon us, as our Creator, Preserver, Redeemer.

2. To acknowledge to ourselves and to confess to him that we have guiltily withheld ourselves from him, and sinfully complained of his holy will.

3. To ask his mercy in Jesus Christ our Saviour, and offer our hearts to himself and our lives to his service. This is the one way of rest and joy; it is "the path of life." - C.







Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
Nothing upon earth is so powerful as money. It is a force before which everything bows. Wealth is such a mighty power, that one possessing it does not feel his dependence as other men do. Being more easily spoiled than other men, his salvation is more difficult. This accounts for everything the gospel has to say about rich men. In speaking of wealth, we are very apt to make the mistake of supposing that only very rich men are wealthy. The Bible accounts that man wealthy who, free from debt, has anything left after making provision for actual necessities of life. Poverty is isolation. When we become poor we become lonely. Either friends withdraw from us or we with- draw from them. When one gets really poor he is pretty much left by his brethren. They may not mean to shun him, but they let him pretty severely alone. The poor are the material we Christians are to work upon. To these we are to let our light shine. It is our holiest work to stop this separation of the poor from his neighbours. The poor are here by Divine intention. The poor help to save our souls. We are not to relieve them only; we are to help them. Giving is not enough to fulfil our Christian duty towards them. Helping the poor to help themselves is the most Christlike thing you can do. Machinery in religious life is to be avoided. It is of use only as it helps to concentrate energy.

(G. R. Van de Water.)

Homilist.
I. THE TRIALS OF POVERTY.

1. Degradation. "The poor useth entreaties." To beg of a fellow-man is a degradation; it is that from which our manhood revolts. "The poor useth entreaties." They have to mortify the natural independence of their spirit. They are subjected to —

2. Insolent treatment. "The rich answereth roughly."

3. Social desertion. "The poor is separated from his neighbour." Who in this selfish world will make friends with the poor, however superior in intellect or excellent in character? When the wealthy man with his large circle of friends becomes poor the poles of his magnet are reversed, and his old friends feel the repulsion.

II. THE TEMPTATIONS OF WEALTH.

1. Upon the mind of its possessor. It tends to promote haughtiness and insolence. "The rich answereth roughly." The temptation of wealth is revealed —

2. Upon the mind of the wealthy man's circle. "Wealth maketh many friends."

III. THE SELFISHNESS OF SOCIETY. "Every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts."

(Homilist.)

When I see leaves drop from their trees in the beginning of autumn, just such, think I, is the friendship of the world; just such are the comforts and joys of this life. While the sap of maintenance lasts my friends will swarm in abundance, my joys and comforts will abide with me; but when the sap ceases, the spring which supplies them fails; in the winter of my need they leave me naked.

(H. G. Salter.)

In Dr. Guthrie's "Autobiography" there is a good illustration of the unhappy state of cynicism into which the rich are prone to fall. There he relates how, in a winter of extraordinary severity, he made an appeal to a lady who had succeeded to a prodigious fortune, on behalf of the starving poor of his parish. In doing so he had no very sanguine hope of success. On being ushered into her room, she turned round, and showing her thin, spare figure, and a face that looked as if it had been cut out of mahogany, grinned and said, "I am sorry to see ye. What do you want? I suppose you are here seeking siller." "The very thing I am here for," was the Doctor's frank reply. Her next remark demonstrated how little power her riches had of conferring happiness; and with all her wealth of flatterers, what a poor, lonely, desolate, miserable creature this possessor of more than a million sterling was. "Ah," she said, "there is nobody comes to see me or seek me; but it's the money, the money they are after." We are glad to be able to relate that this rich old lady gave to Dr. Guthrie fifty pounds for the poor — an act which we hope shed a gleam of sunshine into her dark life.

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