"Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, And fears shall be in the way,
"And the almond tree shall flourish, And the grasshopper shall be a burden, And desire shall fail:
"Because man goeth to his long home, And the mourners go about the streets:
"Or ever the silver cord be loosed, Or the golden bowl be broken, Or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the cistern.
"Then shall the dust return to the earth As it was: And the spirit shall return unto God Who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:1-7.
Not only to the youth, but to those of mature years, and to those who are descending the hill of life and facing the western sun, the life of Solomon is full of warning. We see and hear of unsteadiness in youth, the young wavering between right and wrong, and the current of evil passions proving too strong for them. In those of maturer years, we do not look for this unsteadiness and unfaithfulness; we expect the character to be established, the principles firmly rooted. But this is not always so. When Solomon should have been in character as a sturdy oak, he fell from his steadfastness under the power of temptation. When his strength should have been the firmest, he was found to be the weakest.
From such examples we should learn that in watchfulness and prayer is the only safety for both young and old. Security does not lie in exalted position and great privileges. One may for many years have enjoyed a genuine Christian experience, but he is still exposed to Satan's attacks. In the battle with inward sin and outward temptation, even the wise and powerful Solomon was vanquished. His failure teaches us that, whatever a man's intellectual qualities may be, and however faithfully he may have served God in the past, he can never with safety trust in his own wisdom and integrity.
In every generation and in every land the true foundation