But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities…
And how often does a leaf fade sooner than it falls! And is it not so with man? If spared, how soon does he begin to discover infirmities! But to enable us to judge properly in this case, and to vindicate the Divine perfections and providence, let us remember —
1. That this state of frailty and vanity was not the original state of man, but the consequence of transgression.
2. That it is not his only state. There is another life to which the present is introductory, and in connection with which it should always be considered.
3. The vanity and brevity of the present life, if wisely improved, is advantageous with regard to the future. It furnishes us with no inconsiderable proof of a world to come.
4. This frail life, too, is continually guarded by a wise and tender Providence. Reflections: If life be like a fading leaf, let us regard it accordingly. Let it prevent despair. If life be short, thy troubles cannot, O Christian, be long. Let us also repress fear. It is little the most powerful can do, and before they strike they may fall.
Parallel VersesKJV: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.