See here, 1. Who are the men that are dangerous to the public—scornful men. When such are employed in the business of the state they do things with precipitation, because they scorn to deliberate, and will not take time for consideration and consultation; they do things illegal and unjustifiable, because they scorn to be hampered by laws and constitutions; they break their faith, because they scorn to be bound by their word, and provoke the people, because they scorn to please them. Thus they bring a city into a snare by their ill conduct, or (as the margin reads it) they set a city on fire; they sow discord among the citizens and run them into confusion. Those are scornful men that mock at religion, the obligations of conscience, the fears of another world, and every thing that is sacred and serious. Such men are the plagues of their generation; they bring God’s judgments upon a land, set men together by the ears, and so bring all to confusion. 2. Who are the men that are the blessings of a land—the wise men who by promoting religion, which is true wisdom, turn away the wrath of God, and who, by prudent counsels, reconcile contending parties and prevent the mischievous consequences of divisions. Proud and foolish men kindle the fires which wise and good men must extinguish.
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