Ecclesiastes 10:7
I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.
Sermons
A Social Scene in Human LifeD. Thomas, D. D.Ecclesiastes 10:7
The Wholesome Influence of Wisdom and the Baneful Effects of FollyJ. Willcock Ecclesiastes 10:2-15
Social ParadoxesD. Thomas Ecclesiastes 10:5-7


The evil which the writer of Ecclesiastes here condemns is one of which the history of every nation affords many examples. Princes' favorites have too often been chosen from amongst the worthless herd who seek their own elevation and advantage by ministering to the vices of the young, profligate, and powerful. How many a reign has been marred by this mischief! How many a king has been misled, to his own and his country's harm, by the folly of choosing companions and counselors not for wisdom, sincerity, and patriotism, but because those chosen are of congenial tastes and habits, or are flatterers and parasites!

I. THE ELEVATION OF FOOLISH FAVORITES TO POWER IS INJURIOUS TO THOSE SO PROMOTED, Men who might have been respectable and useful in a lowly station are corrupted and morally debased by their elevation to posts of undeserved dignity and emolument. Their heads are turned by the giddy height to which they are raised.

II. THE ELEVATION OF FOOLISH FAVORITES TO POWER IS INJURIOUS TO THE PRINCES WHOM THEY PROFESS TO SERVE. What kings and rulers need is to be told the truth. It is important that they should know the actual state and needs of the nation. And it is important that any weakness or wrong bias, natural or acquired, should be corrected. But the fools who are set in high places make it their one great rule of conduct never to utter unpalatable truth. They assume the faultlessness of their master; they paint the condition of his subjects in glowing colors, and give the ruler all the credit for national prosperity. Their insincerity and flattery are morally injurious to the prince, who by the companionship of the wise might have been morally benefited.

III. THE ELEVATION OF FOOLISH FAVORITES TO POWER IS INJURIOUS TO THE COMMUNITY. The example of injustice thus presented is discouraging to the upright and depressing to the reflecting. The throne becomes unpopular, and the people generally are demoralized. The evil is no doubt greater in despotic than in constitutional states, for these latter afford fewer opportunities for rapacity and oppression. Yet nothing more injuriously affects the community generally than the spectacle of a court which prefers folly to wisdom, fashion to experience, vice to virtue, frivolity to piety. - T.







I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
I. THIS SOCIAL SCENE IS COMMON.

1. In the political realm. We see small-minded men occupying influential offices in the State.

2. In the ecclesiastical department.

3. In the commercial department. How often do we see little men by trickery, fraud and lucky hits become the great men of the market.

4. In the literary department.

II. THIS SOCIAL SCENE IS INCONGRUOUS.

1. It does not agree with what we might have expected under the government of a righteous God. That the race is not always to the morally swift and the battle to the morally strong is an undoubted anomaly in the government of God.

2. It does not agree with the moral feelings of humanity. Whilst there is a perversity in man which leads him to hurrah the successful and the prosperous, there is, nevertheless, down deep in the heart of all men a feeling that such a scene as that indicated in the text is something terribly incongruous, a great moral enormity.

III. THIS SOCIAL SCENE IS TEMPORARY.

1. Such a social scene does not exist in the other world. Death destroys all these adventitious distinctions and moral incongruities.

2. Such a social scene will not always exist here.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

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