These Lectures were delivered on the Lord’s day morning, in the ordinary course of his ministry. They were commenced in the close of 1838, and finished in January 1844. The works of Arnot and Bridges on Proverbs may seem to have diminished the interest these Lectures might have received but they have their peculiar characteristics, differing widely from either of the works referred to, both in style of thought and mode of illustration; and they may to some present attractions which the others fail to afford.
Of wisdom, as it occurs in the eighth chapter and some other parts of this Book, a different view is adopted from that usually held, at which some will, no doubt, be surprised; though all acquainted with the Author’s character will be ready to admit, that it was not adopted hastily, and still less from love of singularity. To the ordinary interpretation he long clung. “All my predilections,” he writes, “were in favour of that interpretation; I was reluctant to abandon it, and would gladly have kept by it could I have done so consistently with sound principles of exegesis. Should others be disposed still to adhere to it I should not be inclined to argue the point keenly with them.”
The Reverend Ralph Wardlaw, D.D. (22 December 1779 – 15 December 1853) was a Scottish Presbyterian clergyman and writer