Ecclesiastes 11The waters - Freely and liberally bestow it upon the waters; upon those poor creatures, on whom it may seem to be as utterly lost, as the seed which a man casts into the sea or river. Find it - It shall certainly be restored to thee, either by God or men. This is added to prevent an objection, and to quicken us to the duty enjoyned. After - The return may be slow, but it is sure, and will be so much the more plentiful. Give - A part of thy estate or provisions. He alludes to the ancient custom, whereby the master of the feast distributed several parts to each guest, and withal sent portions to the poor. To eight - To as many as thou art able. For - Great calamities may come whereby thou mayest be brought to poverty, and so disabled from doing good. The clouds - Learn, O man, the practice of liberality from the very lifeless creatures, from the clouds; which when they are filled with water, do not hoard it up, but plentifully pour it forth for the refreshment both of the fruitful field and the barren wilderness. Therefore, let us just not bring forth the fruits of righteousness, because death will shortly cut us down, and we shall then be determined to unchangeable happiness or misery, according as our works have been. He - He who neglects the necessary works of sowing and reaping, because the weather is not exactly suitable to his desires will lose his harvest. Whereby he intimates, that men will never do good here, which is expressed by sowing, and consequently not receive good hereafter, which is called reaping, if they be discouraged from it by every doubt and difficulty. The spirit - Of the soul of man, how it comes into the child in the womb; or how it is united with the body; or how and whether it goes out of the body. The works - What God is doing and will do with thee or others; the counsels and methods of God's providence. Therefore use the present opportunity. In the morning - Early and late, in all seasons and occasions; do it speedily and continually, be not weary of it. Sow - Do all good works. With - hold not - From working or giving. Truly - It cannot be denied that life is in itself desirable. Rejoice - Enjoy all the comforts, and escape all the embitterments of human life, all his days. Darkness - Of death, or of the state of the dead. Many - Far more than the days of this short life. All - All things which befall any man belonging only to this life, are but vain, because they are short and transitory. Rejoice - Indulge thy humour, and take thy fill of delights. And walk - Whatsoever thine eye or heart lusteth after, deny it not to them. But know - But in the midst of thy jollity consider thy reckoning. Sorrow - Sensual and disorderly lusts, which he elegantly calls sorrow, to intimate, that although such practices at present gratify mens senses, yet they will shortly bring them to intolerable sorrows. Evil - All evil desires, tho' now they seem good to thee. Vanity - Most vain. The time of youth is vanishing and transitory, and old age and death will speedily come, against which every wise man will take care to lay in solid provisions and comforts.
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