It is in the realm of ideas, in fact, that the saying is most manifestly verified. Man must work according to certain laws. Are we to withhold the seed, or to sow it? The right seed appears to be this alone: teaching in its history and its connections the fact that "Jesus Christ is the Saviour of sinners." What is the measure of a scholar's blindness who will read the word "Give," here as, "Invest your money"? The ship we send forth with trembling, that is never reported from any foreign port, that is never spoken with by a passing sail, that sends no message in sealed bottle on the waves, that is frozen fast in abysses of frost and darkness, shall nevertheless return, bringing treasure beyond all ivory, pearls, or gold. One great part of this sowing to the Spirit consists in our conduct towards God, the other in our conduct towards one another. God acts not by any man’s plans, but leaves it to us to say, “Thou knowest not the works of God.”. Vanity is the key word of … We cannot but have seen, times without number, what depraved habits are contracted by the children of the poor when playing about the streets or lanes of a town without control. You, with your religious assemblies, your faith in God, your love to our Lord Jesus Christ, your hope in heaven--you are proofs that seed cast upon the waters may be found “after many days.” Oh, then, go on: future ages shall call you blessed; and the glorious results of your labour shall be found in that day, when “they shall come from the east, and the west,” etc. From the very first it brought to them an immediate return in soul-satisfaction. Ecclesiastes 11:4. “Though one cast his bread upon the surface of a stream, he may, though long after, find it again.” That is, an investment, whether of toil, of benevolent giving, or good doing, which shows little promise of being. With the words; for he doth not barely mention. Now it is true that a lot of corrupt translations and paraphrases are available; but all of them put together do not have one tenth of the authority of the three standard versions of the Holy Bible just cited. ), There are in this book aspects of truth that we are very apt to forget, an emphasis put upon certain out-of-the-way duties that are as essential to a proper, natural, and religious life as those doctrines and principles that we bring to the forefront of our evangelical preaching. With the design and scope of the place, which is to persuade men to be liberal and charitable, notwithstanding the discouragements which they meet with in so doing, of which see the next clause, and the next verse. Only from the lips of Christ and from those whose utterances were instinct with the light of Christ's own Spirit do we obtain those gleanings of precious and suggestive thought which God will vitalise and make the seeds of heaven. No. On celestial cliffs we shall hail argosies that we fitted out and sent over stormy seas. In the morning sow thy seed and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou canst not tell whether shall prosper, this or that, or whether, since all rests at last with the great, big-hearted, loving God, both alike, beyond your very utmost dreams and hopes, shall be prosperous. When our Henry III (an oppressing prince) had sent a load of frieze (b) to the friar minors to clothe them, they returned the same with this message, that he ought not to give alms of what he had rent from the poor, neither would they accept of that abominable gift. II. We are to do good, notwithstanding discouraging appearances in Providence. Nothing more easy than to stir men and women to start well in life; the job is to keep them going on. Alms must not be given, said a martyr, (a) until it have sweat in a man’s hand. It is evident that we might apply the words to every endeavour to benefit our fellow-men by imparting to them that bread which came down from heaven. the thinness, the weakness, and the poverty-stricken character of that goodness that comes in gushes, and then steps in fragments, in shreds and patches! Ecclesiastes 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. 2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. Young men are exhorted in the midst of their delights to think of the day of judgment, Ecclesiastes 11:9,10. Peterson wrote that the passage, "Advises the undertaking of business ventures. That which is to be parted with is not “seed” merely, but “bread,” i.e. ].”, To Infant Schools, for the promotion of which I now more immediately address you, the text is peculiarly applicable; since nothing can be supposed more hopeless than any attempt to benefit the rising generation, from the ages of two to five or six. ].” Now this refers to the publication of the Gospel in every place, however untoward the circumstances, or hopeless the appearance. We are not to forget that “God gives the increase,” and that man alone, like the cypher alone, is nothing. Remember that at the beginning of the book he said that life is frustrating. If the husbandman would have increase he must sow again in faith, and commit himself to a watchful Providence. By saying thy bread, he cautions us that we give away only that which is our own, and not that which is another’s; as they do who give either what they get from others by fraud or power, or what they owe to others, and are unable to pay, and so exercise charity to the hinderance of justice, or of the payment of their just debts). I. Just because we do not have the complete picture is no excuse for inactivity. The winds of circumstance may float and scatter the thistledown of sin; but the hand of intelligence and piety must sow the seed of truth. Solomon having discovered divers vanities, and amongst others the vanity of heaping up riches, he now teacheth us that it is our interest as well as duty, not so much to lay them up, as to lay them out in pious and charitable uses; and having taught us the true and best use of worldly things, for our present comfort and benefit, which is to enjoy them with a cheerful and contented mind, he now directs us to the best improvement of them, for our future and greater advantage; and having acquainted us with our duty towards our superiors, he now directs us in our carriage towards our inferiors, and especially to such of them as are poor. Now we can all understand that to sow to the Spirit is a thing which requires great patience. This sense agrees much better, 1. Fuller.). It is a conclusive denial of the hopelessness of earlier sayings in the book. What strong foundations they laid! ), There can be nothing clearer from the Bible than that, though man can deserve nothing from the Creator, so that his best actions, if tried by their own worth, would procure him only wrath, nevertheless he will be tried by his works, and receive a recompense of which those works shall determine the extent. But is it nothing, to prevent the soil being overrun with briars and thorns, and to have it improved by the infusion of moral principles? Late or soon it is sure to come to all who are earnest and unselfish. No work done in Christ’s name is ever in vain. So is it also in connection with benevolence: in His own good time the Lord restores that which may have been given to sufferers for His name's sake. The impending ills that threaten us. ], I beg leave, then, to recommend to your support this important institution—. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be. “Now, the seed is the Word of God.” Christ supplies it. The near approach of death, when all our opportunities will be for ever at an end. [Note: Delitzsch, pp391-92.]. So you must be content to wait for it with patience, as the husbandman doth for the fruits of the earth. He listened to the din of noisy festivals; he beheld obscene and lascivious rites; he saw the effect of the whole system of worship on the wretched people by whom he was surrounded; but he cast in the seed; and has it not been found “after many days”? God will cause thee afterwards to receive it with abundant increase. II. The image is borrowed from sea-trading. xii., p. 343; J. Hamilton, The Royal Preacher, p. 197. How could it be but that you should be weary many a day? 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. III. 3. We must be content to work when our work is unacknowledged, unrequited--nay, when it is despised. 9:6ff; Galatians 6:7ff). From the instability of human happiness, he draws the lesson that we ought to enjoy freely such happiness as life affords, yet with a temperate and chastened joy, and mindful of the account we shall have to render. Everything Is Meaningless - The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! So houses are built less solidly, but more showily. (A. Waddey, a very dependable and discerning scholar stresses this.[11]. Surely every person ought to bear testimony to the worth and excellence of such designs; and to give them, the beat tribute of applause, their active concurrence, and their most liberal support. Ecclesiastes 11 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Ecc 11:9 You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. It may well be spoken humbly, cautiously, reluctantly, gently; if not, it will lose its influence, and will be wrong in you. The text teaches the lesson of obedience to present duty and of patience as to the future result.—There is a sowing which is done by each one of us for himself: a sowing to the flesh or else a sowing to the Spirit; and according as our sowing is of the one kind or the other, so will our harvest be one of happiness or of misery. Every gain of time has been used up right away m new wants--none of it saved for those quieter uses and higher uses which would be the seed of a nobler, fuller future. 1. God never loses sight of our “work of faith.”, 2. For the sake of doing good we should deny ourselves. All rights reserved worldwide. (R. Watson, M. And we can bear witness to the truth of the prophet’s observation: for in many places, and on many hearts, where there has been as little prospect of success as could well be conceived, God has given efficacy to the word of his grace; and the handful of corn sown upon the top of the mountains has sprung up, so that the fruit thereof has shaken like the woods of Lebanon; and those of the city where it has been cast have flourished like the piles of grass upon the earth [Note: Psalms 72:16. And it should lead us, in every case in which there seems to be no result from our labours, to examine whether we have faithfully complied with its precept; whether there have been diligence in casting the bread; and whether it has really been bread that we have east. Let your comfort be in every time of hope deferred the animating and stirring exhortation on which we have dwelt: "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.—R. Ecclesiastes 11:1. All this marvellous advancement of our age should have given people--even the hardest-worked and busiest--a little more leisure for simple, happy living--living for its own sake. Indiscrete faciendum bene. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.". Give, do good while you have the opportunity! The charge is, “Cast thy bread upon the waters!”, 1. The idea seems to be that our good deeds will eventually come back to us, what we sow we will eventually reap (Revelation 14:13). The prospect of evil has always been a motive for exertion to good men. God worketh all. Much of the highest, painfulest service wrought for the good of men--work of brain and heart--is least appreciated. 1. Solomon reverts to the sentiment in Ecclesiastes 9:4. II. III. in an anticipative and inclusive sense. 1. The “bread” passes from sight and reach swiftly, and apparently beyond recovery, like our hard tack not soaking and falling apart readily, and may be sometimes recovered far down the stream. Or take another illustration, in the houses which are everywhere being built about our cities, for the housing of this hand-to-mouth generation. Aye, a man has got to be good; he has to speak the truth to-day, to-morrow, the day after, the week after that, and on and on, if he is going to form within himself such a mass of light and honourableness that men may speak as if some great and noble monument had fallen: “That man’s word was better than his bond; that man never spoke a dishonest, untruthful word.” Oh, the power of momentum! ), Bowing on the waters; or, the reward of unselfish beneficence. proverb from Diez' Denkwürdigkeiten von Asien (Souvenirs of Asia), II 106: “Do good; cast thy bread into the water: thou shalt be repaid some day.” See also the proverb in Goethe's Westöst. 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And my Old Bible have the same significance that follows it be.... Taken from the produce of which bread is made, have a frightful facility of ;... Which has separated man from man tenor of all dealings building of good... Exactly this same metaphor for benevolence in 2 Corinthians 9:6-20 silver, apes and.! The exhortation shows itself to be Cast upon the earth with fruit beauty! A contradiction to the law ” stand in that noble emphasis at best... Have thought that it may produce a good crop produce a good turn to poor. Be a subject for Missions, this naturally leads to our religion against impatience and despondency chest justice! Out the parents ’ strength and joy 5 ) let us aim to look to the children?! ” part of this to the future, even for ourselves, is way. To “ Cast ” the seed from which it is a conclusive denial of the....

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