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Verse 33

Be not deceived - Do not impose on yourselves, and permit not others to do it.

Evil communications corrupt good manners - There are many sayings like this among the Greek poets; but this of the apostle, and which according to the best MSS. makes an Iambic verse, is generally supposed to have been taken from Menander's lost comedy of Thais.

Φθειρουσιν ηθη χρησθ ' ὁμιλιαι κακαι·

Bad company good morals doth corrupt.

There is a proverb much like this among the rabbins:

לרטיכא יכישי אוקרן רטיכא ותר יכישי אורי תרי

"There were two dry logs of wood, and one green log; but the dry logs burnt up the green log."

There is no difficulty in this saying; he who frequents the company of bad or corrupt men will soon be as they are. He may be sound in the faith, and have the life and power of godliness, and at first frequent their company only for the sake of their pleasing conversation, or their literary accomplishments: and he may think his faith proof against their infidelity; but he will soon find, by means of their glozing speeches, his faith weakened; and when once he gets under the empire of doubt, unbelief will soon prevail; his bad company will corrupt his morals; and the two dry logs will soon burn up the green one.

The same sentiment in nearly the same words is found in several of the Greek writers; Aeschylus, Sept. Theb. ver. 605: Εν παντι πραγει δ ' εσθ ' ὁμιλιας κακης κακιον ουδεν· "In every matter there is nothing more deleterious than evil communication." - Diodorus Siculus, lib. xvi. cap. 54: Ταις πονηραις ὁμιλιαις διεφθειρε τα ηθη των ανθρωπων· "With these evil communications he corrupted the morals of men."

Ταυτα μεν οὑτως ισθι· κακοισι δε μη προσομιλοπ

Ανδρασιν, αλλ ' αιει των αγαθων εχεο·

Και μετα τοισιν πινε και εσθιε, και μετα τοισιν

Ἱζε, και ἁνδανε τοις, ὡν μεγαλη δυναμις.

Εσθλων μεν γαρ απ ' εσθλα μαθησεαι· ην δε κακοισι

Συμμιχθῃς, απολεις και τον εοντα νοον.

Theogn. Sent., ver. 31-36.

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