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“ sorrow? who hath contentions? who “ hath babbling? who hath wounds without “ cause ? who hath redness of eyes? They " that tarry long at the wine, they that go " to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon “ the 'wine when it is red, when it giveth his “ colour in the cup, when it moveth itself

aright. At the last it biteth like a ser“ pent, and stingeth like an adders.” Such is the picture of excess in drinking, which the Scriptures afford. Is this drinking wine with a merry heart?

Not better in his enjoyments than the drunkard, is the glutton, or the dainty epi

Each of these impair their health, and debilitate their minds. Man wants but little food to support nature.

Luxurious livers, like green house plants, enjoy a forced health ; a limited existence. To fare sumptuously every day, affords no real pleasure. Nor do the enjoyments which the world calls pleasures, deserve the name. They are abuses of God's goodness, perversions of his gifts; and as such, prevent those who indulge in them from eating their bread and drinking their wine with a merry


f Prov. xxiii. 29–32.

heart. Fond anticipation of these pleasures, when they are yet to be enjoyed; galling disappointment or yawning lassitude when they have been enjoyed, destroy cheerful

There is too much bustle and noise in worldly pleasures, for real cheerfulness. They hurry the spirits, they jade the mind.


“Whom call we gay? 'That honour has been long
The boast of mere pretendery to the name.
The innocent are gay! the lark is gay,
That dries bis feathers, saturate with dew,
Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
or dayspring overshoot his humble nest.
The peasant too, a witness of his song,
Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
But save me from the gayety of those,
Whose head-aches nail them to a noon-day bed;
And save me too from their's, whose haggard eyes
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
For property, stripp'd off by cruel chance;
From gayety that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with wo,"

The wise man's first direction, therefore, to believers, to manifest their confidence in God's government, can only be fulfilled in their prosecution of a lawful calling, and in the temperate use of God's bounties; using the world as not abusing it ; letting their

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with a merry

moderation be visible to all. This is to eat their bread with joy, and drink their wine

heart. 2. The next direction which the wise man gives to a believer, to manifest his confidence in the government of God, is, “ Let “ thy garments be always white; and let “ thy head lack no ointment."

As the former direction related to the support and comfort of animal life, so this relates to the dress and ornaments of the body. They must be of such a nature as comport with the character and temper of a believer, who has confidence in God's


White garments and ointment were both used in ancient times, on occasions of rejoicing. They are here recommended for general use, in opposition to sorrowful or indecorous clothing, because both are inconsistent with the duty of a believer. A proper attention to dress is his duty; but he ought not to make it his idol at any time. Dress is a standing badge of our subjection to sin; a sad memorial of our apostacy from God. They who trust that they have tasted the graciousness of the

Lord, ought especially to guard against a love of dress. They ought to be moderate and decorous in this respect. Slovenliness, singularity, pomp, and a dress disproportionate to our circumstances, ought ever to be avoided. Cleanliness of attire is a duty, as also a decent respect to the customs of that part of society, who fear God and keep his commandments. The direction of the wise man is, “ Let thy garments be always " white.”

White is emblematic of innocence, and of propriety. Both these ought to govern the conduct of believers, in relation to dress and ornament. Whatever tends to make them an object of remark or of censure in this respect, ought to be avoided. Propriety of conduct in this, as well as in every other matter, is inexpressibly beautiful. It is the offspring of modesty, and intimately connected with purity, as well as a regard to our condition.

The wise man adds, “ Let thy head lack no ointment." From the use of oil formerly, to refresh and restore to health those who were weary, together with those who were sick, as also to invigorate the healthy,

the direction comprehends the care of our health, as well as of our persons. It is not sufficient to wear decent and suitable garments; garments such as suit us in our stations, both in quality and in ornament, but we must also guard over the state of our bodies, that they be not unnecessarily injured. Health is a talent committed to our trust, as well as riches, or any other gift of God; for the use or abuse of which we are answerable. It qualifies us for attending to our duties, and discharging them aright.. We ought, therefore, carefully to keep the body clean, and to guard against every thing which might impair its powers; and whenever we are attacked by disease, diligently to use such means as are calculated to restore our health. With this carefulness, however, must be connected an entire resignation to the will of God; otherwise it is no proof of acquiescence in his government.

The second direction of the wise man to believers, to manifest their“ confidence in providence, requires then propriety in dress, and watchfulness over health. This is to

vol. i.

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