by George H. Morrison

The Fault of Over-Prudence
George H. Morrison
Ecclesiastes 11:4

The language in which this proverb is couched is taken from the harvest-field and is therefore peculiarly applicable at this season,1 "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." That does not mean, of course, that the way to succeed in farming is entirely to disregard the weather. There are climatic conditions in which if a man harvested, he would instantly write himself down a madman. But it means that if a farmer will not work save when all the conditions for his work are perfect; if he is always doubting and fearing and forecasting rain, worrying and fretting instead of making the best of things; then probably he will neither sow nor reap and is little likely to make a successful farmer. Constituted as this world is, one must be instant in season and out of season. Just as a man may fail through too much zeal, so may a man fail through too much prudence. And it is upon that fault of over-prudence, as crystallized in the proverb of our text, that I wish to speak a word or two this evening.

In the first place, I like to apply our text to the important matter of our bodily health. If a man is always thinking of his health, the chances are he will have a sorry harvest. That we must be reasonably careful of our bodies, we all know; it is one of the plainest of our Christian duties. By the coming of the Son of God in our flesh and by making the body the temple of the Spirit, by the great doctrine of the resurrection when what is sown in weakness shall be raised in glory, the Gospel of Christ has glorified the body in a way that even the Greeks had never dreamed of. But I am not speaking just now of reasonable care; I am speaking of morbid and worrying anxiety. Why, you can hardly drink a glass of milk today but some newspaper will warn you that you may be poisoned. And what I want you to feel is that that alarmist attitude, which will scarce allow y ...

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