But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine…
If you wish to apply a touchstone to character, take this as the most searching — the exercise of those graces which a man is most tempted to neglect, and the eschewal of those iniquities which a man is most tempted to indulge. He who can stand this test is sterling in the sight of God. Consider —
I. SOME GREAT PRINCIPLES WHICH OUGHT TO OBTAIN IN MERCANTILE TRANSACTIONS.
1. A Christian tradesman ought to love his neighbour as himself.
2. "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." This is a code of morals condensed into a sentence.
3. You must be faithful in the little, even as in the great.
II. SOME OF THE LESS OBVIOUS DEVIATIONS FROM THESE PRINCIPLES WHICH PASS CURRENT IN THE MERCANTILE WORLD.
1. How common is it for men to defraud society by idleness and self-indulgence!
2. By selfish extravagance, or rash speculations, what numbers subject themselves to liabilities which their resources do not warrant, or plunge into debts which they have no prospect of discharging!
3. How diversified the deceptions practised in trade for the purpose of taking advantage of the purchaser!
(Hugh Stowell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
WEB: But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people: but I didn't do so, because of the fear of God.