Two Ways of Wisdom
Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.

I. IN THE CHOICE OF THE OBJECT OF PURSUIT. When men fix on that which is of real and unquestionable value to the exclusion of other things. There can be no doubt of the preference due to the soul's interests, even on the low standard of calculated good. Common sense must admit the wisdom shown in making the soul of man the object of the pursuit of men. If true of man's own soul, equally true of the souls of others. He who makes the soul the object of his pursuit, and aims at doing good to men through those means that are spiritual, finds that his benevolence is exercised under circumstances very favourable.

II. IN DETERMINING THE MANNER IN WHICH THAT OBJECT SHALL BE PURSUED. In selecting, out of many plans, that which is the most likely to succeed. Of these plans for winning souls some are of men's devising, and bear the marks of their original. There is one, and one alone, of God's ordaining. Of men's schemes there is —

1. The religion of morality, which aims at men's reformation, by addressing the reason in the form of arguments and conviction.

2. The religion of sentiment, which addresses itself to the feelings, and endeavours to win the affections by exhibitions calculated to melt and touch and soften the sensibilities of men's natures. And there is the Divine religion of the gospel, which aims at the conversion of the soul through faith. This system speaks to the heart and to the conscience; and this is the way of wisdom in winning souls.

(Henry Raikes, M.A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

WEB: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. He who is wise wins souls.

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