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ii. 16. Enjoy pleasures, but be not intoxicated
sharply does the Lord deride the pride and folly of young men in their career of lust and vanity, and give them over to their own hearts' desire, Prov. i. 24–28 ; Rom, i. 28.-" But know thou.” Though thou endeavour to blind thy eyes with sensual delights, to smother thy conscience, and to baffle those principles of fear and restraint which God has implanted within thee; though thou wouldest not see, yet thou shalt see and know to thy cost, Isai. xxvi. 11; 1 Kings xxii. 25; 2 Pet. iii. 5.
" That for all these things;" for all the sins, vanities, and excesses of thy youth, for all those pleasures which are now so grateful to thy senses, but which, alas! will, ere long, gnaw and sting thy conscience, Job xiii. 26; Ps. xxv. 7.-“God,” whose word and fear thou now despisest, from whose eye thou canst not conceal thy sins, from whose tribunal thou canst not withdraw thy conscience,_" will bring thee," by force, whether thou wilt or not, when it will be in vain to call on the moun. tains and rocks to hide thee, Rev. vi. 16; Luke xxiii. 30.-“ into judgment;" the judgment of
great day,” Jude, ver. 6. called “ the terror of the Lord,” 2 Cor. v. 10; Acts xvii. 13; the consideration of which should abate the heat of lust, and cause the heart of young men to tremble at the wrath to come.
10. Therefore remove sorrow froin thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh : for childhood and youth are vanity.
This advice is not to be understood ironically (as the former part of the verse preceding); but seriously, as a seasonable precept to the young, who, on account of the warmth of their blooil, are most subject to passions and to pleasures, the one seated in the heart, the other in the flesh; from both which they are here forewarned." Remove sorrow,” or anger and indignation, “ from thy heart.” If we read it “ sorrow," then all those sinful pleasures are intended, which, through the deceitfulness of sin, are viewed as the ground of joy, but which will at last fill the mind with sorrow, Prov. xiv. 14. If we render it“ anger,” or “indig. nation," then the meaning is, That the person addressed should restrain all inordinate passions and perturbations, especially should take heed of swelling or storming at the will and ways of God, or at any serious counsel to this purpose, James i. 19; Job vi. 24.-" And put away evil,” i. e. sintul lusts, “ from thy flesh ;" from thy bodily members, Rom. vi. 13; 1 Cor. vi. 15; 2 Cor. vii. 1; 1 Pet. ii, 11; 2 Tim. ii. 22: and some understand the word flesh in the sense in which it is used Ezek. xvi. 26. and xxii. 20; 2 Pet. ii. 10; Jude, ver. 23.-" For childhood and youth are vanity.” The reason of this advice is drawn from the vanishing condition of youth, and of its pleasures. Youth is but as the aurora of early morning, of a day quickly gliding away from its dawn to its close : care should, therefore, be taken to spend it in such a manner as that we may gather abiding fruit, and secure lasting pleasure, which will not vanish with the years which were consumed in the pursuit of it.
Tue wise man prosecutes the demonstration of the vanity of youth and old age, which both rapidly run into death, and then concludes the whole book. Having, by an emphatical irony, deterred young persons from those inordinate passions and sensual pleasures to which that slippery period of life is most subject; and being sensible, that that age, of all others, is most apt to put the evil day far from them, and to view death and judgment at a great distance, as the wicked are accustomed to do, Ezek. xii. 27; 2 Pet. iii. 3; Amos vi. 3, 5; he endeavours to guard against that error. Young men might be disposed to alledge. The things to which you excite us are good, but we shall have time enough, before judgment come, to think upon them: old age will be a suitable season to detach ourselves from the world, and to draw nigh to God. In order, therefore, to persuade them from so dangerous a resolution, he here shews, ver. 1. the necessity of seeking and serving God in our youth, since it will be very unfit