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Volume 12 - Page 52 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
"The living will lay it to heart" (7: 2); further, "Sorrow is better than laughter"
(7: 3) for the same reason, "for by the sadness of the countenance (external) the heart
(internal) is made better" (7: 3). The world thinks only of the face, the believer thinks
more of the heart. True wisdom recognizes the essential difference.
"The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning (and will be thereby made `better');
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth" (7: 4).
Association with mourners may not prove so enjoyable to the flesh as the hilarity of
feasting and mirth, but
"It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is
vanity" (7: 5, 6).
The choice of worldliness is fleeting. The brief hour of mirth is oft followed by days
of bitterness. The poor untaught world sees nothing beyond this present age, and the
majority of Christians seem to have conspired to perpetuate its blindness. Present
Christendom with its worldliness, its pleasures, its fleshly inducements, its forsaking of
the narrow path, its philosophy, its politics, all proclaim the negation of resurrection. The
Church is fast approaching the form of godliness which involves the denial of the power
of the resurrection, and with it in song and sermon sounds the hoary tradition that puts
resurrection aside, bridges the gulf between the flesh and the spirit, and seeks to improve
that which is corrupt, carnal and mortal. Eccles. 7: is sober truth.
Let us hear the rebuke of the wise, and seeing the end of all men let us lay it to heart.
The maddening effect of "oppression" and "crookedness",
but for the knowledge of God's purpose (7: 7-13).
pp. 81 - 83
The result of entering into the spirit of Eccles. 7: 1-6 must be a chastened and
humbled mind, and a frame and a temper not easily provoked. Instead of frantically
seeking to bolster up the doomed fabric of Adam's world the believer realizes that God
has reserved the honour of complete restoration to His Son. Instead of becoming a
member of this Society and of that he realized that all improvements of the flesh are
destined to end on this side of the grave. To this aspect the writer now turns.
"Surely oppression maketh the wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart . . . . . Be
not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools" (7: 7-9).
To those who do not possess the wisdom which comes from above the call of the
oppressed sometimes becomes irresistible. Many times the tyranny of oppression, the
selfish cruelty of those who have rule and authority, have stirred the old nature, and but
for grace this would have manifested itself in association with fleshly and worldly