1 Wine [yayin] is a mocker, strong drink is raging [a brawler]: and whosoever is deceived [seduced to be led astray] thereby is not wise.
The effects of too much wine leading to a drunken state are well illustrated (23: 29 -35)
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? who hath babbling?Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine...
At the last it biteth like a serpent,
And stingeth like an adder.
2 The fear of a king [wrath of a melech] is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul [nefesh].
The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: But a wise man will pacify it (16: 14)
3 It is an honour [kavod] for a man [ish] to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling [any fool can start a quarrel].
Bro Thomas in the course of excavating the truth was forced into constant strife with orthodoxy and in particular the so-called revivalist movement he referred to as Cambellism. The opposition he encountered compelled him into deeper study in order to search out the scripture and for this opposition he was therefore grateful. As a result there are many pages in the Herald magazine given over to friction arising from his growing opposition to Cambellite false doctrines.
Once he found and established the True faith in its entirety he dispensed with Cambellism. Now was a time for the establishing of the faith and enlightening the people.
There is plenty of contention to be had with quasi Christadelphians. Our time is limited and should be used profitably. Debate can easily become a waste of time and not fruit producing - quite the opposite. Efforts of persuasion based on reasoned argument for our hope are a duty and privilege (Jude 23). Protracted arguments often become rooted in fleshly pride.
Fighting 'error from within' is not the scriptural way. This is a great mistake bringing uneccessary distraction, grief and suffering to those who become enmeshed. The counsel of wisdom is 'to cease from strife'.
'Therefore leave off contention' (Prov 17: 14)
The apostle Paul is both our example and instructor, for our own benefit, and for the welfare of the ecclesias. He exhorts us as follows -
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth (2 Tim 2: 25)
If they are self-willed, wise in their own conceits, and refuse to comply with plain scriptural teaching the instruction is clear
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject (Tit 3: 10)The first and second admonition! This precludes weeks, months, even years of quarreling. The sooner the canker is removed the less likely it is to infect other parts of the body.
The smooth, oily words, flattering lips, and charismatic personalities of the errorists are a danger because they can beguile the unwary who fail to detect the deception (2 Cor 11: 3).
4 The sluggard [atzel (sluggard, lazy one)] will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest [katzir], and have nothing.
Nothing comes of nothing...the lazy stay in bed and neglect the necessities of life. They come to poverty and destruction. The exhortation in proverbs is to dilligence, especially in seeking for and applying wisdom. This is the main purpose of life. As Bro Roberts once said, a man's life is only TRUELY useful when made the means of gaining the life to come.
As the door turneth upon his hinges,
So doth the slothful upon his bed. (16: 14)
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing:
But the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. (13: 4)
5 Counsel [Etzah] in the heart of man [lev ish] is like deep water [mayim]; but a man of understanding [ish tevunah] will draw it out.
6 Most men [Rav adam] will proclaim every one his own goodness [chesed]: but a faithful man [an ish emunim] who can find [one]?
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. (27: 2)
I have always found that wherever the Bible is clearly understood and fervently appreciated, as such themes are to be appreciated both by the nature of things and the express injunction of scripture, that there Dr. Thomas is loved and esteemed.
This result is quite apart from the personal peculiarities of the man.What mortal is without blemish? But what covers blemish like intelligent attachment to divine things? Who could surpass Dr. Thomas in his towering reverence for the oracles of God and his uncompromising loyalty to their authority as opposed to all tradition?
Some had become haters of him through his brusque treatment of crotchets. I had, myself, by and by, an opportunity of feeling the weight and sharpness of that steely executive mind which qualified him for the part he performed in tearing aside the webs of error woven by merely human sympathy; but that I could be separated from him was impossible with the discernment I had of his mastery of divine truth and his faithfulness to Christ in all its bearings.
My days and my ways Ch 19
9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean [ lev pure], I am pure [tahor] from my sin? [chattat?] there is no man that sinneth not (1 Kin 8: 46)
Bro Thomas described the heart of man as comprised of intellect, sentiment (morality) and propensities (inclinations of the flesh [desires or lusts]).
In our Lord Yahoshua anointed the intellect and sentiment were at one with his heavenly father - he being the word made flesh. And he also felt the full force of the propensities or lusts of the flesh when perturbed. But he governed them decisively in favour of his father's will.
Our own success or otherwise depends upon how rigorous we are in the regulation of our fleshly inclinations. And so the apostle Paul commented on this agonising internal conflict
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Rom 7: 24)
...if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (1 Cor 11:31)
Therefore let us confess our sins in prayer. Let us think back on our lives and pray for forgiveness now so those sins might be blotted out and not held against us in the day of judgment (24: 16; Psa 130: 4). And let us remember to pray for sins of ignorance.