I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
These words may signify a preference for immediate death, but they are capable of a modified and Christian sense; that this life would be undesirable if it were perpetual; that it would be better to die than to live here always. We have no sympathy with that sour, repining, self-torturing, mood, that selects and combines all that is dark and sad and discouraging in the present existence, and calls it a picture of human life. That is an unchristian mood. It is a false view. This world is full of beneficence to all creatures that inhabit it. Man cannot move or think but he experiences the arrangements of the Divine love. True, we meet with much to dishearten and sadden us. If our anxieties and sorrows were all brought together in one view, and it were forgotten how many alleviations and respites there were, how many mercies mingled with sorrows, what strength given for the occasion, what kind remembrance of our frames, and what tempering of the wind to the shorn lamb, the picture would be a black one indeed. But when we further reflect on the end of these chastenings, the wise purposes they serve in our moral education, the blessed results they accomplish for our minds and hearts, then we can bow contentedly to the appointments of God's love. If good was not educed out of evil, evil would be a problem beyond our power to solve. Though troubled, then, by earthly ills, they shall not extinguish our love of life, or make us murmur under its wholesome corrections, its blessed ministries and teachings. Though we would not live alway, it is not because life's cup has no sweetness to delight us, nor is it because it has in it bitterness and tears. The hopes, friendships, and privileges of existence are great, substantial, and noble things. They yield pure, elevated, and entrancing enjoyments. We would live for what of good and fair and affectionate and true there is in the present lot. And, on the other hand, we would live also for its purifying afflictions, its humbling reverses, its spiritualising bereavements, and healthy, though severe discipline. But though we would live, and live contentedly and joyfully, yet would we not live alway here. The whole arrangement of things, and the whole constitution of man, show that this world could not be a final home for us — that we could not endure to be immortal below. Even the most worldly would tire of the world, if they believed that they must abide in it always. The body, too, — exquisite in its construction, but frail, feeble, fatigued, — this could not be immortal here. We would not live alway, for friends have left us, and gone hence. From the bright and holy scenes of the upper world, from mansions of rest and glory, from bowers of beauty and bliss, they bend to invite us to ascend and dwell with them. That the future state is to be a social state, there can be no doubt. Moreover, our intellectual nature demands a finer culture, a wider range, and fewer lets and hindrances than it has here. With must of us the intellectual possibilities largely remain uncultivated. We wish, for ourselves and for the race, in the good time of our Father's will, a removal to a condition better fitted than this to refine, unfold, and exalt our mental powers, in accordance with the manifest design of their Author, and their own ceaseless aspirations. Then again, we seek a nearer communion with Jesus and with God, higher excellence and virtue, a greater expansion of the moral and spiritual part of our nature. Much may be done, indeed, in this state. Our higher nature, with all its powers and aspirations, will be called into a new and happy exercise, of which the most blessed moments on earth have given us hardly any idea There is a faith that plucks out the sting of death, a resurrection that brings life and immortality to light.
(A. A. Livermore.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.