Ecclesiastes 9* Good and bad men fare alike as to this world. (1-3) All menmust die, Their portion as to this life. (4-10) Disappointmentscommon. (11,12) Benefits of wisdom. (13-18)1-3 We are not to think our searching into the word or works ofGod useless, because we cannot explain all difficulties. We maylearn many things good for ourselves and useful to others. Butman cannot always decide who are objects of God's special love,or under his wrath; and God will certainly put a differencebetween the precious and the vile, in the other world. Thedifference as to present happiness, arises from the inwardsupports and consolations the righteous enjoy, and the benefitthey derive from varied trials and mercies. As far as the sonsof men are left to themselves, their hearts are full of evil;and prosperity in sin, causes them even to set God at defianceby daring wickedness. Though, on this side death, the righteousand the wicked may often seem to fare alike, on the other sidethere will be a vast difference between them. 4-10 The most despicable living man's state, is preferable tothat of the most noble who have died impenitent. Solomon exhortsthe wise and pious to cheerful confidence in God, whatever theircondition in life. The meanest morsel, coming from theirFather's love, in answer to prayer, will have a peculiar relish.Not that we may set our hearts upon the delights of sense, butwhat God has given us we may use with wisdom. The joy heredescribed, is the gladness of heart that springs from a sense ofthe Divine favour. This is the world of service, that to come isthe world of recompence. All in their stations, may find somework to do. And above all, sinners have the salvation of theirsouls to seek after, believers have to prove their faith, adornthe gospel, glorify God, and serve their generation. 11,12 Men's success seldom equals their expectations. We mustuse means, but not trust to them: if we succeed, we must giveGod the praise; if crossed, we must submit to his will. Thosewho put off the great concerns of their souls, are caught inSatan's net, which he baits with some worldly object, for whichthey reject or neglect the gospel, and go on in sin till theysuddenly fall into destruction. 13-18 A man may, by his wisdom, bring to pass that which hecould never do by his strength. If God be for us, who can beagainst us, or stand before us? Solomon observes the power ofwisdom, though it may labour under outward disadvantages. Howforcible are right words! But wise and good men must oftencontent themselves with the satisfaction of having done good,or, at least, endeavoured to do it, when they cannot do the goodthey would, nor have the praise they should. How many of thegood gifts, both of nature and Providence, does one sinnerdestroy and make waste! He who destroys his own soul destroysmuch good. One sinner may draw many into his destroying ways.See who are the friends and enemies of a kingdom or a family, ifone saint does much good, and one sinner destroys much good.
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