Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly.…
I. WHAT ARE THOSE FOLLIES IN SPECULATION AND FANCY WHICH ARE JOY TO THE MAN WITHOUT WISDOM?
1. I may advert to the absurd opinions set forth by extravagant theorists, who have exulted in them as solving difficulties in political and moral science which have perplexed the wise for ages, and as leading to the most valuable improvements in the condition and character of man.
2. Under this head, romantic imaginations may be specified, or all those gay expectations of prosperity and happiness which are suggested by a vain conceit of a man's own powers, by the dictates of a sanguine temper, and by false ideas of the world.
3. The reveries of enthusiasm may also be classed among these follies of fancy.
4. I shall only mention further the delusions of the self-righteous man, who cherishes the presumptuous conceit of his own merit, and disregards the righteousness of Christ. This delusion deserves a worse name than folly, for it rejects the noblest gift of heaven, and pours contempt on the precious blood of Jesus.
II. I proceed now to call your attention to those FOLLIES IN CONVERSATION which you ought to avoid.
1. It is not my intention to speak of the grosset offences in conversation, since for these folly is too gentle a name. Nor do I mean to comprehend under this epithet all those sallies of humour which enliven social intercourse by their pleasantry. I wish to repress only what the apostle calls "foolish talkings and jestings which are not convenient."
2. How much idle talking is there about amusements and fashions, and the family concerns of others.
3. I add that they are chargeable with folly in conversation whose lips are filled with vain boasting. Such persons are always heard with disgust.
III. I proceed now to specify some of those FOLLIES IN CONDUCT against which you ought to guard.
1. The first that I mention is imprudent connections. Much of our comfort and success in life depends on the alliances which we form.
2. Improper habits should be carefully avoided. Indolence. Profusion. Procrastination. Rashness. Changeableness.
3. Pernicious amusements.
IV. I shall now suggest SOME MEANS BY WHICH YOU MAY BE PRESERVED FROM THE FOLLIES AGAINST WHICH I HAVE WARNED YOU.
1. Meditate frequently on the laws of God which forbid them (Psalm 85:8; Proverbs 9:6; Ephesians 5:15, 16).
2. Meditate frequently on the punishment which God threatens to inflict on those who indulge in folly (Proverbs 1:32; Proverbs 19:29; Proverbs 3:35; Proverbs 10:21).
3. Cherish a taste for wisdom.
4. Implore the influences of Divine grace to keep you from folly, and to guide you in the ways of true wisdom (James 1:5, 6).
5. Often reflect on the shortness and uncertainty of life. Have we time for folly? What if death should find us forming senseless projects, instead of preparing for eternity?
Parallel VersesKJV: Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.