winking his eyes, speaking with his feet, and pointing with his fingers.
I. THE SPITEFUL MAN DEFINED GENERALLY. (Ver. 12.) He is "naughty," the old English word being expressive; otherwise "a thing of naught," a "slight man" (Shakespeare); in German heilloss, "unsound," "unworthy," and so worthless. Gather up the sense and force of these adjectives, and we get the idea comprehensively of badness, the sensuous counterpart of which is rottenness, corruption.
II. HIS CHARACTERISTICS. (Vers. 13, 14)
1. In mien and gesture and language. His mouth is twisted to a false expression, and utters false things. There is an obliquity and uncertainty in his glance (comp. Proverbs 10:10). He is full of shy tricks and hints - the thrust of the foot, nudges and signs with his fingers. "The shrug, the 'hum!' the 'ha!' those petty brands that calumny doth use" (Shakespeare).
2. In spirit perverse. It is a nature awry, inwardly deformed. Busily inventive, scheming mischief, breeding quarrels (comp. on Proverbs 3:29). It is a mind naturally active and curious, which, disabled from good, swings inevitably to the other extreme.
III. HIS DESTINY. An overthrow, sudden, utter, irremediable.
1. This is described constantly as the common doom of all kinds of wickedness.
2. The Bible makes sharp distinctions, and opposes characters in an absolute manner. Fine distinctions would run into the infinite. But we must make them in every particular case.
3. The doom ever stands in the relation of correspondence to the guilt. - J.
He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers.
1. In general. There is a faculty in all the members, some way or other to express the thoughts of the heart, though not so clear as in the tongue. Men use these faculties when they are ashamed to speak what they would have, or would be understood only by their partners in evil, to whom they give particular known tokens.
2. In particular. Men by the eyes give signs of wantonness. Men wink for flattery, as conniving at, or tacitly commending what others say or do. Or for derision, as intimating secretly to a friend that another man's words or actions are ridiculous. Or for secret solicitation to another, to do some evil, as to strike or wound a man.
II. A WICKED MAN'S FEET CAN SPEAK. They speak —
1. Rage and anger, as when men stamp with their feet.
2. Murder, when they go apace to take occasion to kill.
3. Wantonness. So the treading on the toe is commonly interpreted by wantons.
III. A WICKED MAN'S FINGERS TEACH FOLLY.
1. Anger. Men hold out the finger by way of threatening.
2. Derision. We can mock with our fingers.
3. Mischief. By lifting up the finger giving a sign to hurt others.
(Francis Taylor, B. D.)
I. EYES. "He winketh with his eyes." How much of the character the eye expresses! There is the open, clear, intelligent look that speaks volumes. There is the low, cunning look, the guilty, stealthy look of the criminal—well known and easily detected by experts. The eye speaks all the motions of the mind. It can command, entreat, repel, invite, subdue. Emerson says, "The eye obeys exactly the action of the mind."
II. FEET EXPRESS THE CHARACTER. Compare the firm step of the business man and the shuffling wriggle of the loafer. How much of bad character is expressed in the word "tramp"! The Bible often designates the whole character of a man by the word "walk."
III. HANDS HAVE A LANGUAGE. The wave of the hand, the use of the hands in public address, the sign or signal between two persons. The dumb talk together with their hands. Learn —
1. If you would be received as a worthy person, you must be worthy at heart.
2. If you would be known as upright, you must be such at heart.
3. If you aspire to rank in the community as a lady or gentleman, you must be such in every fibre of your being. Character always carries its own certificate with it.
(George H. Smyth.)
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