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to intimate, that wheresoever their bounty and mercy are placed, there they will be found again to their comfort, as a tree, on which side soever it falls, will be found there by its owner.
4. He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall
By these similitudes the wise inan prevents all those pretences and objections which car. nal hearts are apt to offer against the present season of doing good, and to defer to some fit. ter time, when they shall be more able, or shall have found more suitable objects for their benevolence. We are too much disposed to frame excuses against the performance of present duty, Hag. i. 2; Acts xxiv, 25; Prov. x, 27, 28: to remove which he suggests, He that by every wind should be deterred from sowing bis seed, lest it should be blown away, or by the appearance of every threatening cloud should be diverted from reaping, lest the weather should be unfavourable, will never accomplish his business; because there will never be wanting some discouragement or other : so he that is ever framing carnal objections against doing good, will miss the season, and neither perform his duty, nor receive his reward. We are to no.
tice the present call of God to any good work, and the present opportunity he puts into our hands, and not delay any service from the fear of future contingencies, which are not in our power, Mat. vi. 34,
5. As thou knowest not what is the
way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
From our ignorance of the works of Divine Providence, we are warned to be diligent in embracing every present opportunity of doing good, and not to defer or delay any duty, till the capacity of attending to it be taken from
This ignorance he proves a minore. If we know not things ordinary and familiar, and which happen every day, as the way of the spirit, or as Symmachus renders it, of the wind, which way it comes and goes, and how it rises and falls, John ïï. 8. or how the soul comes into the body and quickens it, ofQ T8 Tvivuatos, Sept. or “ how the bones do grow,” Ps. cxxxix. 13 --16; Job x. 10–13; much less are we able to foresee the works of Providence, which are far off and exceeding deep, ch. vii. 24. Since
therefore we are ignorant what events shall take place to-morrow, in what manner God may dispose of our life and estate, or how long he
may continue to us opportunities of usefulness, we ought not to postpone any service we can render 'to our fellow creatures, but embrace the present season, ch. ix. 10; Gal. vi. 10.
6. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the eyening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
This is an hortatory inference founded on: the former doctrine of the uncertainty of future events, to be active in doing good on all occasions, and to be assiduous in the work of our proper station, whether all our labours be or be not efficient. The Lord being sometimes pleased to frustrate the endeavours of his servants, and to defer the success they expected from them: First, to try them if they will persevere in their calling, and continue therein with God, though they do not always meet with the same degree of encouragement. Secondly, to teach them, that success depends not on the labours of man, but upon the will and blessing of the Almighty. And he persists in his former me
taphor of sowing seed, meaning, either particu. larly, works of charity and mercy to the poor, as ver. 1-4; 2 Cor. ix. 6; Ps. cxii. 9; or generally, works of compassion and righteousness in our ordinary occupations and relations, Prov. xi. 18; Hos. x. 12: hereby assuring us, that such benevolent actions do not perish, but will produce an abundant harvest of comfort and reward to those who have performed them, Gal, vi. 8.2" Sow thy seed:” do thy own work, attend to thy own calling, and intermeddle not with concerns that do not belong to thee, 2 Thess. iii. 10; 1 Thess. iv. 11. Be liberal of thy own estate, Ephes. iv. 28.-" In the morning sow,"_" and in the evening withhold not thine hand,” or let not thine hand rest and cease. Begin early, and be not weary in well doing, but continue to the end; be always do. ing good, morning and evening, the whole day, from its dawn to its close, Gen. i. 5; Dan. viii. 14; Ps. civ, 22, 23, So we are commanded to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long, Prov. xxiii. 17. It is to be understood either of the morning and evening of a person's life, which should be entirely consecrated to God, Lam. iii. 27; Eccles. xii. 1; Ps. xcii. 14; Mat. x. 22; or of the morning and evening of our prosperity: as soon as thou art proprietor of an estate, begin to do good with it, and persevere therein to the
end. The Corinthian disciples were required to lay by a part of their substance for charitable purposes on the first day of the week, i Cor. xvi. 2; Gal. vi. 9, 10. The night is excluded from the time of working; therefore while it is day, and while we have life and opportunity, we must arise and be doing, Eccles. ix. 10; John ix. 4.-“ For thou knowest not whether shall prosper,” or whether will be most right or congruous, the one or the other, &c. Thou mayest justly expect a blessing on all thy endeavours, notwithstanding the success as to the objects of thy liberality may not always be prosperous. Sometimes thy bounty may be misplaced on those that abuse it, or they may return evil for good; yet thy constancy in well doing shall not lose a divine reward; and by this largeness of heart, thou mayest entestain angels unawares, and bring down extraordinary blessings upon thy family, Mat. x. 41, 42; Heb, xiii. 2; 1 Kings xvii. 13–16.
7. Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the
By light, and beholding the sun, we are to understand the period of this present life, as is evident from the following verse, Job iii. 20.