But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?…
Two things are prominently developed in this chapter — Man's power and his weakness; his power to supply the material necessities of his nature, and his weakness to supply his mental cravings.
I. EVERY INQUIRING INTELLECT HAS DIFFICULTIES WHICH IT IS ANXIOUS TO REMOVE. Two classes of intellectual difficulties — those connected with the physical realm of being, and those connected with the moral. The former class are pressing upon scientific men. The latter class by those who think on moral subjects. The difficulties in the moral department press far more heavily and fearfully on the heart of man than those in the physical.
II. THAT THE PRINCIPLE WHICH REMOVES THOSE DIFFICULTIES CAN NEITHER BE PURCHASED BY WEALTH NOR ATTAINED BY INVESTIGATION. A search for it in the domain of inanimate nature would be useless. So would a search for it in the domain of life, or in the domain of departed souls. (Death, Sheol.)
III. THE HEART OF PRACTICAL PIETY YIELDS A SATISFACTORY SOLUTION OF ALL PAINFUL, INTELLECTUAL DUTIES.
1. This is asserted by one who understands what wisdom is.
2. This is proved by the nature of the case.
(1) By sustaining in the mind an unshaken and cheerful trust in the great Disposer of all things.
(2) By sustaining the consciousness that what we understand not now, we shall know hereafter.
(3) By clearing away from the mind those feelings which prevent the intellect from understanding spiritual things.
(4) By giving the soul a ruling sentiment kindred to the primary impulse of God. Piety, then, is the Wisdom, the solvent principle.
Parallel VersesKJV: But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?