Ecclesiastes 11

* Exhortation to liberality. (1-6) An admonition to prepare for

death, and to young persons to be religious. (7-10)

1-6 Solomon presses the rich to do good to others. Give freely,

though it may seem thrown away and lost. Give to many. Excuse

not thyself with the good thou hast done, from the good thou

hast further to do. It is not lost, but well laid out. We have

reason to expect evil, for we are born to trouble; it is wisdom

to do good in the day of prosperity. Riches cannot profit us, if

we do not benefit others. Every man must labour to be a blessing

to that place where the providence of God casts him. Wherever we

are, we may find good work to do, if we have but hearts to do

it. If we magnify every little difficulty, start objections, and

fancy hardships, we shall never go on, much less go through with

our work. Winds and clouds of tribulation are, in God's hands,

designed to try us. God's work shall agree with his word,

whether we see it or not. And we may well trust God to provide

for us, without our anxious, disquieting cares. Be not weary in

well-doing, for in due season, in God's time, you shall reap,

#Ga 6:9|.
7-10 Life is sweet to bad men, because they have their portion

in this life; it is sweet to good men, because it is the time of

preparation for a better; it is sweet to all. Here is a caution

to think of death, even when life is most sweet. Solomon makes

an effecting address to young persons. They would desire

opportunity to pursue every pleasure. Then follow your desires,

but be assured that God will call you into judgment. How many

give loose to every appetite, and rush into every vicious

pleasure! But God registers every one of their sinful thoughts

and desires, their idle words and wicked words. If they would

avoid remorse and terror, if they would have hope and comfort on

a dying bed, if they would escape misery here and hereafter, let

them remember the vanity of youthful pleasures. That Solomon

means to condemn the pleasures of sin is evident. His object is

to draw the young to purer and more lasting joys. This is not

the language of one grudging youthful pleasures, because he can

no longer partake of them; but of one who has, by a miracle of

mercy, been brought back in safety. He would persuade the young

from trying a course whence so few return. If the young would

live a life of true happiness, if they would secure happiness

hereafter, let them remember their Creator in the days of their

youth.
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