Ecclesiastes 10* To preserve a character for wisdom. (1-3) Respecting subjectsand rulers. (4-10) Of foolish talk. (11-15) Duties of rulers andsubjects. (16-20)1-3 Those especially who make a profession of religion, shouldkeep from all appearances of evil. A wise man has greatadvantage over a fool, who is always at a loss when he hasanything to do. Sin is the reproach of sinners, wherever theygo, and shows their folly. 4-10 Solomon appears to caution men not to seek redress in ahasty manner, nor to yield to pride and revenge. Do not, in apassion, quit thy post of duty; wait awhile, and thou wilt findthat yielding pacifies great offences. Men are not preferredaccording to their merit. And those are often most forward tooffer help, who are least aware of the difficulties, or theconsequences. The same remark is applied to the church, or thebody of Christ, that all the members should have the same careone for another. 11-15 There is a practice in the East, of charming serpents bymusic. The babbler's tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadlypoison; and contradiction only makes it the more violent. Wemust find the way to keep him gentle. But by rash, unprincipled,or slanderous talk, he brings open or secret vengeance uponhimself. Would we duly consider our own ignorance as to futureevents, it would cut off many idle words which we foolishlymultiply. Fools toil a great deal to no purpose. They do notunderstand the plainest things, such as the entrance into agreat city. But it is the excellency of the way to the heavenlycity, that it is a high-way, in which the simplest wayfaring menshall not err, #Isa 25:8|. But sinful folly makes men miss thatonly way to happiness. 16-20 The happiness of a land depends on the character of itsrulers. The people cannot be happy when their princes arechildish, and lovers of pleasure. Slothfulness is of illconsequence both to private and public affairs. Money, ofitself, will neither feed nor clothe, though it answers theoccasions of this present life, as what is to be had, maygenerally be had for money. But the soul, as it is not redeemed,so it is not maintained with corruptible things, as silver andgold. God sees what men do, and hears what they say in secret;and, when he pleases, brings it to light by strange andunsuspected ways. If there be hazard in secret thoughts andwhispers against earthly rulers, what must be the peril fromevery deed, word, or thought of rebellion against the King ofkings, and Lord of lords! He seeth in secret. His ear is everopen. Sinner! curse not THIS KING in thy inmost thought. Yourcurses cannot affect Him; but his curse, coming down upon you,will sink you to the lowest hell.
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