Ecclesiastes 10

* To preserve a character for wisdom. (1-3) Respecting subjects

and rulers. (4-10) Of foolish talk. (11-15) Duties of rulers and

subjects. (16-20)

1-3 Those especially who make a profession of religion, should

keep from all appearances of evil. A wise man has great

advantage over a fool, who is always at a loss when he has

anything to do. Sin is the reproach of sinners, wherever they

go, and shows their folly.
4-10 Solomon appears to caution men not to seek redress in a

hasty manner, nor to yield to pride and revenge. Do not, in a

passion, quit thy post of duty; wait awhile, and thou wilt find

that yielding pacifies great offences. Men are not preferred

according to their merit. And those are often most forward to

offer help, who are least aware of the difficulties, or the

consequences. The same remark is applied to the church, or the

body of Christ, that all the members should have the same care

one for another.
11-15 There is a practice in the East, of charming serpents by

music. The babbler's tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly

poison; and contradiction only makes it the more violent. We

must find the way to keep him gentle. But by rash, unprincipled,

or slanderous talk, he brings open or secret vengeance upon

himself. Would we duly consider our own ignorance as to future

events, it would cut off many idle words which we foolishly

multiply. Fools toil a great deal to no purpose. They do not

understand the plainest things, such as the entrance into a

great city. But it is the excellency of the way to the heavenly

city, that it is a high-way, in which the simplest wayfaring men

shall not err, #Isa 25:8|. But sinful folly makes men miss that

only way to happiness.
16-20 The happiness of a land depends on the character of its

rulers. The people cannot be happy when their princes are

childish, and lovers of pleasure. Slothfulness is of ill

consequence both to private and public affairs. Money, of

itself, will neither feed nor clothe, though it answers the

occasions of this present life, as what is to be had, may

generally be had for money. But the soul, as it is not redeemed,

so it is not maintained with corruptible things, as silver and

gold. God sees what men do, and hears what they say in secret;

and, when he pleases, brings it to light by strange and

unsuspected ways. If there be hazard in secret thoughts and

whispers against earthly rulers, what must be the peril from

every deed, word, or thought of rebellion against the King of

kings, and Lord of lords! He seeth in secret. His ear is ever

open. Sinner! curse not THIS KING in thy inmost thought. Your

curses cannot affect Him; but his curse, coming down upon you,

will sink you to the lowest hell.
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