Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding.
(a sermon to the young): —
I. WHAT THAT WISDOM IS WHICH IS HERE SO EARNESTLY RECOMMENDED. It is twofold, viz., speculative and practical, or wisdom of mind and wisdom of conduct Speculative wisdom, or wisdom of mind, consists in the knowledge of our true happiness and the way to it. Practical wisdom, or wisdom of conduct, consists in the steady pursuit of it in the right way.
II. HOW IT IS THE PRINCIPLE THING. It is that which ought in the first and principal place to be minded, secured, and preferred before everything else; the one thing needful, in comparison of which everything else has but a very inconsiderable importance.
1. Though wisdom, as now explained, be the principal thing, it is not the only thing that deserves our regard. The very term "principal thing" implies that there are other things of a subordinate consideration that ought to be minded in a proper degree. The affairs of the present life claim some of our thoughts and time.
2. Wisdom is the principal thing, so the importance of every other thing is to be measured by its connection with, or relation to it.
III. HOW WISDOM IS TO BE ATTAINED.
1. Accustom yourselves to a habit of thinking on the best things. Wisdom begins with consideration, the want of which is the source of universal folly.
2. Would you be wise, let me beseech you to consider the importance of improving the opportunities and advantages of your present education. 3.Would you be wise indeed, you must carefully inform yourselves of the will of God and every branch of your duty from the sacred Scriptures.
4. Would you be truly wise, you must not only take care to furnish your minds with a knowledge of the Christian principles in general, but of those duties and principles in particular which will best adorn that character and station wherein you may hereafter appear in the world.
5. In order to be truly wise, you must take care to know yourselves; and particularly your constitutional sins.
6. Cultivate a sense of your constant dependence on God for everything, and acknowledge that dependence daily.
7. Think often of death.
8. Earnestly pray to God to make you wise.
(John Mason, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.