Ecclesiastes 8* Commendations of wisdom. (1-5) To prepare for sudden evils anddeath. (6-8) It shall be well with the righteous, and ill withthe wicked. (9-13) Mysteries of Providence. (14-17)1-5 None of the rich, the powerful, the honourable, or theaccomplished of the sons of men, are so excellent, useful, orhappy, as the wise man. Who else can interpret the words of God,or teach aright from his truths and dispensations? What madnessmust it be for weak and dependent creatures to rebel against theAlmighty! What numbers form wrong judgments, and bring misery onthemselves, in this life and that to come! 6-8 God has, in wisdom, kept away from us the knowledge offuture events, that we may be always ready for changes. We mustall die, no flight or hiding-place can save us, nor are thereany weapons of effectual resistance. Ninety thousand die everyday, upwards of sixty every minute, and one every moment. Howsolemn the thought! Oh that men were wise, that they understoodthese things, that they would consider their latter end! Thebeliever alone is prepared to meet the solemn summons.Wickedness, by which men often escape human justice, cannotsecure from death. 9-13 Solomon observed, that many a time one man rules overanother to his hurt, and that prosperity hardens them in theirwickedness. Sinners herein deceive themselves. Vengeance comesslowly, but it comes surely. A good man's days have somesubstance; he lives to a good purpose: a wicked man's days areall as a shadow, empty and worthless. Let us pray that we mayview eternal things as near, real, and all-important. 14-17 Faith alone can establish the heart in this mixed scene,where the righteous often suffer, and the wicked prosper.Solomon commended joy, and holy security of mind, arising fromconfidence in God, because a man has no better thing under thesun, though a good man has much better things above the sun,than soberly and thankfully to use the things of this lifeaccording to his rank. He would not have us try to give a reasonfor what God does. But, leaving the Lord to clear up alldifficulties in his own time, we may cheerfully enjoy thecomforts, and bear up under the trials of life; while peace ofconscience and joy in the Holy Ghost will abide in us throughall outward changes, and when flesh and heart shall fail.
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