I. THE INSTINCT IS RECOGNIZED. As it must be by all genuine teachers. It is a fact, and cannot be properly ignored; a Divine fact, and ought not to be obscured. It includes
(1) the desire to live, the sense of life's sweetness;
(2) the desire for health and happiness.
II. THE INSTINCT IS DIRECTED. It needs direction; for all instinct is in itself blind, and men, in seeking health and happiness, ignorantly and viciously purchase disease and death.
III. THERE IS NO SECRET OF SELF-PRESERVATION BUT (IN THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE SENSE) GODLINESS. This teaches the renunciation of the immediate for the further and lasting good. A paradox is here involved, a seeming contradiction containing a unity. To lose life is to gain it; to gain it, to lose it. For in true conduct there is ever a denial of the lower contained in the affirmation of the higher, and in evil conduct vice versa (compare on this section, Proverbs 3:2, 8, 13, 16; Proverbs 4:13). - J.
My son, attend to my words.
I. THE METHOD OF GAINING THEM.
1. There must be the attentive ear.
2. There must be the steadfast look.
3. There must be the enshrining heart.
II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF HAVING THEM.
1. They are life to those who find them; they are the soul-quickening elements.
2. They are health.Life without health is scarcely worth living. These principles not only give life to the soul, but they also supply the nutriment and stimulate the activities that ensure health — health of all kinds.
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
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