The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
I. RELIGION IS ELEVATED IN PRINCIPLE. The motive or ground of action with the sincere but truly pious is far more elevated than that which prompts the conduct of the irreligious and the merely nominal Christian.
1. It is elevated above the maxims of worldly prudence. Such prudence is really nothing more than a selfish and time-serving policy.
2. It is elevated above the standard of worldly morality. The defect of that scheme of morality which is current in the world is its utter disregard of the character of motives.
II. THE WISE ARE ELEVATED IN TASTE. There is, in Scriptural religion, everything to purify and chasten, to elevate and refine the faculties of the mind. It gives a quickness to discern and a sensibility to feel the beauties and deformities of objects, especially those of a moral character. The dim glitter of earthly splendour has no attraction for them. They are elevated above the craving desire of human applause.
III. THE WISE ARE ELEVATED IN THEIR PURSUITS. The worldly occupation of good men is much the same as that of other men. The way of life is above to the wise, with respect to religion itself. He seeks more after holiness than happiness. The pursuit of heaven is not any actual dereliction of the best good which this world has to afford. Its richest blessings are poured upon those who keep the world beneath their feet. Learn —
1. That pure religion is vastly more elevated and holy than is generally supposed.
2. The religion of Scripture is above the conception of worldly minds. Its sublime principles are too lofty for their comprehension.
Parallel VersesKJV: The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.