Ecclesiastes 12* A description of the infirmities of age. (1-7) All is vanity:also a warning of the judgment to come. (8-14)1-7 We should remember our sins against our Creator, repent,and seek forgiveness. We should remember our duties, and setabout them, looking to him for grace and strength. This shouldbe done early, while the body is strong, and the spirits active.When a man has the pain of reviewing a misspent life, his nothaving given up sin and worldly vanities till he is forced tosay, I have no pleasure in them, renders his sincerity veryquestionable. Then follows a figurative description of old ageand its infirmities, which has some difficulties; but themeaning is plain, to show how uncomfortable, generally, the daysof old age are. As the four verses, #2-5|, are a figurativedescription of the infirmities that usually accompany old age,ver. #6| notices the circumstances which take place in the hourof death. If sin had not entered into the world, theseinfirmities would not have been known. Surely then the agedshould reflect on the evil of sin. 8-14 Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL ISVANITY. These are the words of one that could speak bydear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, which can donothing to ease men of the burden of sin. As he considered theworth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spake and wrote;words of truth will always be acceptable words. The truths ofGod are as goads to such as are dull and draw back, and nails tosuch as are wandering and draw aside; means to establish theheart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be takenfrom it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom.Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him.The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, theSon of God. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what mannerof time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when ittestified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glorythat should follow. To write many books was not suited to theshortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer,and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it isnow. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led tothis conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, isthe whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all theaffections of the soul towards him, which are produced by theHoly Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay,where there is hatred. But this is different from the graciousfear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fearof God, is often put for the whole of true religion in theheart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let usattend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as amerciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, whenhe will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest thecounsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, thatALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to ourruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven inall our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this isall that concerns man.
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