The Contentment of Love
George H. Morrison
I like to think that Solomon wrote these words as a result of personal observation. I like to think of him like that Eastern caliph, moving abroad with his tablets by his side. No man could ever have written this book of Proverbs, however instructed of the Holy Ghost, unless he had watched with all-observing eyes the lights and shadows of humanity. And the deep proof that his watching was inspired by the great Spirit which broods upon mankind is just that his wise sayings are still valid. To pierce through the seeming to the real-to penetrate from accident to essence-that is a work which calls for more than cleverness; it calls for the light of the candle of the Lord. And so one mark of an inspired Scripture is just that it rings true through all the centuries, when the men and women who first heard the oracle are turned to dust and ashes in their graves.
And so I like to think that Solomon here wrote with some concrete instance in his memory and that we have a transcript here of what he had actually seen with his own eyes. It is not easy for a king to see things as they are. There is a conspiracy to hide reality from kings. Even your sordid slum is decked and bannered when majesty is announced to pass that way. And banners hide far more than they display, and triumphal arches are a sorry business for the one triumphal arch for any king is the lowly doorway of his people's homes. So Solomon, unattended, unescorted, had gone out one evening through the city gates. And there he had seen a laborer coming home, wearied with the toiling of the day. And his little child had come running out to meet him, and his wife had given him welcome at the door. Then in the humble cottage, safe and happy, they had sat down together at their meal. Then Solomon thought of his state banquets, where the viands1 were costly and where the music played. And he thought of the envious hearts and hates and jealousies that feste ...
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