View Ecclesiastes 11 in the note window.
An exhortation to works of charity, ver. 1 - 6.
An admonition to prepare betimes for death and judgment, ver. 7 - 10.
1: The 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.
2: 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.
3: 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.
4: 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.
5: 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
6: 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.
7: Truly - It cannot be denied that life is in itself desirable.
8: 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.
9: 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.
10: 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.