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Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Ecclesiastes
Book: Ecclesiastes
Chapter: 11

Exhortation to liberality. (1-6) An admonition to prepare for
Death, and to young persons to be religious. (7-10)

1-6 Solomon presses the rich to do good to others. Give freely,
though it may seem thrown away and lost. Give to many. Excuse
not thyself with the good thou hast done, from the good thou
hast further to do. It is not lost, but Well laid out. We have
reason to expect evil, for we are born to trouble; it is Wisdom
to do good in the Day of prosperity. Riches cannot profit us, if
we do not benefit others. Every Man must labour to be a blessing
to that place where the Providence of God casts him. Wherever we
are, we may find good work to do, if we have but hearts to do
it. If we magnify every little difficulty, start objections, and
fancy hardships, we shall never go On, much less go through with
our work. Winds and clouds of Tribulation are, in God's hands,
designed to try us. God's work shall agree with his Word,
whether we see it or not. And we may Well trust God to provide
for us, without our anxious, disquieting cares. Be not weary in
Well-doing, for in due season, in God's time, you shall reap,

Ga 6:9.

7-10 Life is sweet to bad men, because they have their portion
in this Life; it is sweet to good men, because it is the time of
preparation for a better; it is sweet to all. Here is a caution
to think of Death, even when Life is most sweet. Solomon makes
an effecting address to young persons. They would desire
opportunity to pursue every pleasure. Then follow your desires,
but be assured that God will Call you into Judgment. How many
give loose to every appetite, and Rush into every vicious
pleasure! But God registers every one of their sinful thoughts
and desires, their idle words and wicked words. If they would
avoid remorse and terror, if they would have Hope and comfort On
a dying Bed, if they would escape misery here and hereafter, let
them remember the vanity of youthful pleasures. That Solomon
means to condemn the pleasures of Sin is evident. His object is
to draw the young to purer and more lasting joys. This is not
the language of one grudging youthful pleasures, because he can
No longer partake of them; but of one who has, By a Miracle of
Mercy, been brought back in safety. He would persuade the young
from trying a course whence So few return. If the young would
live a Life of true happiness, if they would secure happiness
hereafter, let them remember their Creator in the days of their