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The Wisdom of King Solomon

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

Lessons in Life from King Solomon

Every man will readily enough confess, that his own condition discontents him; and that he has not yet been able, with all his labour, to make happiness, or with all his enquiries, to find it. But he still thinks, it is somewhere to be found, or by some means to be procured.

His envy sometimes persuades him to imagine, that others possess it; and his ambition points the way, by which he supposes, that he shall reach, at last, the station to which it is annexed.

Every one wants something to happiness, and when he has gained what he first wanted, he wants something else; he wears out life in efforts and pursuits, and perhaps dies, regretting that he must leave the world, when he is about to enjoy it.

When we see the restlessness of the young, and the peevishness of the old; when we find the daring and the active combating misery, and the calm and humble lamenting it; when the vigorous are exhausting themselves, in struggles with their own condition, and the old and wise retiring from the contest, in weariness and despondency; we may be content at last to conclude, that if happiness had been to be found, some would have found it, and that it is vain to search longer for what all have missed.

But though our obstinacy should hold out, against common experience and common authority, it might at least give way to the declaration of Solomon, who has left this testimony to succeeding ages; that all human pursuits and labours are vanity.

"KING SOLOMON AND THE QUEEN OF SHEBA" AS PAINTED BY GIOVANNI DEMIN IN 1824

"KING SOLOMON AND THE QUEEN OF SHEBA" AS PAINTED BY GIOVANNI DEMIN IN 1824

Solomon: The Wisest Man in History

The character of Solomon leaves no room for subterfuge; he did not judge of what he did not know. He had in his possession, whatever power and riches, and, what is still more, whatever wisdom and knowledge could confer.

There is no doubt, but he had taken a survey of all the gradations of human life, from the throne of the prince, to the shepherd's cottage. He had in his hand, all the instruments of happiness, and in his mind, the skill to apply them. Every power of delight which others possessed, he had authority to summon, or wealth to purchase.

If power be grateful, he was king; if there be pleasure in knowledge, he was the wisest of mankind; if wealth can purchase happiness, he had so much gold, that silver was little regarded. Over all these advantages, presided a mind, in the highest degree disposed to magnificence.

After every other price had been bid for happiness, religion and virtue were brought to the sale. But after the anxiety of his enquiries, the weariness of his labours, and the loss of his innocence, he obtained only this conclusion: "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity." This result of Solomon's experience was thus solemnly bequeathed by him to all generations.

The event of all human endeavors is uncertain. He that plants, may gather no fruit; he that sows, may reap no harvest. Even the most simple operations are liable to miscarriage, from causes we cannot foresee; and if we could foresee them, cannot prevent.

What can be more vain, than the confidence of man, when the annual provision made for the support of life is not only exposed to the uncertainty of the weather, and the variation of the sky, but lies at the mercy of the reptiles of the earth, or the insects of the air?

The wind and the rain, he cannot command; the caterpillar he cannot destroy, and the locust he cannot drive away. The history of mankind is little else than a narrative of designs which have failed, and hopes that have been disappointed.

"JUDGMENT OF KING SOLOMON" ENGRAVING FROM 1858 BY GUSTAVE DORE'

"JUDGMENT OF KING SOLOMON" ENGRAVING FROM 1858 BY GUSTAVE DORE'

All Is Vanity

To find examples of disappointment and uncertainty, we need not raise our thoughts to the interests of nations, nor follow the warrior to the field, or the statesmen to the council. The little transactions of private families are entangled with perplexities; and the hourly occurrences of common life are filling the world with discontent and complaint.

Every man hopes for kindness from his friends, and obedience from his children. Yet friends are often unfaithful and children rebellious.

The labours of man are not only uncertain, but imperfect. If we perform what we designed, we yet do not obtain what we expected. What appeared great when we desired it seems little when it is attained. Discontent and doubt are always pursuing us. This uncertainty and imperfection is the lot which our Creator has appointed for us.

Human actions may be distinguished into various classes. Some are actions of duty, which can never be in vain, because God will reward them.

It is our duty to admonish the vicious, to instruct the ignorant, and relieve the poor; and our admonitions will, sometimes, produce anger, instead of amendment; our instructions will be sometimes bestowed upon the perverse, the stupid, and the inattentive; and our charity will be sometimes misapplied, by those that receive it.

There are likewise actions of necessity; these are often in vain and vexatious; but such is the order of the world. It is appointed, that life should be sustained by labour; and we must not sink down into sullen idleness. We must still prosecute our business, confess our imbecility, and turn our eyes upon him, whose mercy is over all his works, and who, though he humbles our pride, will succour our necessities.

THE TEMPLE OF KING SOLOMON

THE TEMPLE OF KING SOLOMON

Samuel Johnson on King Solomon

Works of absolute necessity are few and simple; a very great part of human diligence is laid out, in accommodations of ease, or the refinements of pleasure; and the further we pass beyond the boundaries of necessity, the more we lose ourselves in the regions of vanity, and the more we expose ourselves to vexation of spirit. As we extend our pleasures we multiply our wants.

The pain of hunger is easily appeased, but to surmount the disgust of appetite vitiated by indulgence, all arts of luxury are required, and all are often in vain. When to the enjoyments of sense, are superadded the delights of fancy, we form a scheme of happiness that can never be complete, for we can always imagine more than we possess.

All social pleasures put us more or less in the powers of others, who sometimes cannot, and sometimes will not, please us. Conversations of argument often end in bitterness of controversy, and conversations of mirth, in petulance and folly. Friendship is violated by interest, or broken by passion, and benevolence finds its kindness bestowed on the worthless and ungrateful.

But most certain is the disappointment of him, who places his happiness in comparative good, and considers, not what he himself wants, but what others have.

The delight of eminence must, by its own nature, be rare, because he that is eminent, must have many below him, and therefore if we suppose such desires general, as very general as they are, the happiness of a few must arise from the misery of many.

He that places his delight in the extent of his renown, is, in some degree, at the mercy of every tongue; not only malevolence, but indifference, may disturb him; and he may be pained, not only by those who speak ill but by those likewise that say nothing.

SAMUEL JOHNSON

SAMUEL JOHNSON

Life Is Precious

What pleasure is granted to man, beyond the gross gratifications of sense, common to him with other animals? Such is the constitution of things, since that whatever can give pleasure, can likewise cause uneasiness; there is little hope that uneasiness will be long escaped.

What then is the influence which the conviction of this unwelcome truth ought to have upon our conduct? It ought to teach us humility, patience, and diffidence.

When we consider how little we know of the distant consequences of our own actions, how little the greatest personal qualities can protect us from misfortune, how much all our importance depends upon the favour of others, how uncertainly that a favor is bestowed, and how easily it is lost, we shall find, that we have very little reason to be proud.

That which is most apt to elate the thoughts, height of place, and greatness of power, is the gift of others. No man can, by any natural or intrinsic faculties, maintain himself in a state of superiority; he is exalted to his place, whatever it may be, by the concurrence of others, those who are for a time content to be counted his inferiors. If dependence be a state of humiliation, every man has reason to be humble, for every man is dependent.

But however unpleasing these considerations may be, however unequal our condition is to all our wishes or conceptions, we are not to admit impatience into our bosoms, or increase the evils of life, by vain throbs of discontent. To live in a world where all is vanity, has been decreed by our Creator to be the lot of man, a lot which we cannot alter by murmuring, but may soften by submission.

The full persuasion that all earthly good is uncertain in the attainment, and unstable in the possession, and the frequent recollection of the slender supports on which we rest, and the dangers which are always hanging over us, will dictate inoffensive modesty, and mild benevolence. He does not rashly treat another with contempt, who doubts the duration of his own superiority; he will not refuse assistance to the distressed, who supposes that he may quickly need it himself.

As his hopes are moderate, his endeavors will be calm. He will not fix his hopes upon things which he knows to be vanity, but will enjoy this world, as one who knows he does not possess it.

DR SAMUEL JOHNSON

DR SAMUEL JOHNSON

Man and God

When the present state of man is considered, when an estimate is made of his hopes, his pleasures, and his possessions; when his hopes appear to be deceitful, his labours ineffectual, his pleasures unsatisfactory, and his possessions fugitive, it is natural to wish for an abiding city, for a state more constant and permanent, of which the objects may be more proportioned to our wishes, and the enjoyments to our capacities; and from this wish it is reasonable to infer, that such a state is designed for us by that infinite wisdom, which, as it does nothing in vain, has not created minds with comprehensions never to be filled.

When revelation is consulted, it appears that such a state is really promised, and that, by the contempt of worldly pleasures, it is to be obtained.

We then find, that instead of lamenting the imperfection of earthly things, we have reason to pour out thanks to him who orders all for our good, that he has made the world, such as often deceives, and often afflicts us; that the charms of interest are not such, as our frailty is unable to resist, but that we have such interruptions of our pursuits, and such languour in our enjoyments, such pains of body and anxieties of mind, as repress desire, and weaken temptation; and happy will it be, if we follow the gracious directions of Providence, and determine, that no degree of earthly felicity shall be purchased with a crime: if we resolve no longer to bear the chains of sin, to employ all our endeavors upon transitory and imperfect pleasures, or to divide our thoughts between the world and heaven; but to bid farewell to sublunary vanities, to endure no longer an unprofitable vexation of spirit, but with pure heart and steady faith to fear God, and to keep his commandments, and remember that this is the whole of man.

"DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE" BY SAMUEL JOHNSON IN 1755

"DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE" BY SAMUEL JOHNSON IN 1755

Samuel Johnson Sermon Based on the Wisdom of King Solomon

The above are excerpts from a sermon written by Dr. Samuel Johnson over 250 years ago. Dr. Johnson was not a preacher. He was a writer whose crowning achievement was the Dictionary of the English Language. Samuel Johnson was occasionally hired to write sermons.

This sermon is based on the words of King Solomon from Ecclesiastes 1:14 "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit."

Comments

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 05, 2012:

tammyswallow— Thank you ever much for taking the time to come by and read this Hub. I surely agree with you that the lessons of King Solomon can be applied to life today. As he said, way back then, "There is nothing new under the sun." (By which of course he did not mean technology but human nature.) :D

I am well pleased with your laudatory remarks. It makes me happy to know that you like my articles. Thank you for coming by and offering an inspiring word for me.

Tammy from North Carolina on September 03, 2012:

It is funny how the lessons in King Solomon apply to life today. Sadly so many fall every day due to greed and lust. So many people risk everything every single day to obtain more and more and for the temporary thrill of lust. You could apply this lesson to Bill Clinton for sure. I really love the fact that in all your hubs you remain steadfast to your convictions. You have so many great hubs.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 10, 2011:

angie ashbourne— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D

angie ashbourne on September 09, 2011:

Hi! James I enjoyed reading your amazing hub. God Bless Angie

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 18, 2011:

Whidbeywriter— Great to see you here! You are welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read one of my favorite works. There is indeed much to learn from King David and King Solomon. I appreciate the visit and your comments. :D

Mary Gaines from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington on February 17, 2011:

Hi James and thanks for this amazing hub! I loved it especially the part on King Solomon who is one of my favorite biblical characters, besides his father King David. So much wisdom here - I need to take it all in - cheers!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 07, 2010:

Michelle Callis— It is a meaty message, alright. I love Dr. Johnson's writings about God. And other topics as well. Thank you very much for your kind compliments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

Michelle Callis from USA on July 07, 2010:

Wow! Will certainly point people in your direction on this topic! All "meat" and no "fluff"! Love it!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 13, 2010:

Joshua Kell— I am so glad that you enjoyed it. You are welcome. Thank you for leaving your kind compliments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

Levi Joshua Kell from Arizona on April 12, 2010:

I really enjoyed your hub. It was very insightful and spiritually stimulating. Thank you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 27, 2010:

Cathi Sutton— Thank you so much for the wonderful compliments. I am glad that you enjoyed this Hub. It is one of my favorites. You are surely welcome as well.

Cathi Sutton on March 27, 2010:

First of all, I would like to compliment your writing style. (Your thoughts as you write must be very organized and deeply felt). Your writing flows with a sure and determined purpose. I enjoyed this Hub very much, even though for some reason it left me a tad bit sad. That being said, I will always be back to read more! Thank you for making you excellent Hubs available!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 20, 2010:

Timely--- Truth does stand the test of time for the truth is timeless. Thank you for coming and leaving your excellent comments. It's great to hear from you.

Timely from United States on March 19, 2010:

It's amazing how time tests the truth of a message. A great hub. I agree with the others, should be read today by all. Maybe front page material if an editor could find the fortitude to be so bold!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2010:

CPT Mahand--- I have prayed for you just now that the Lord will protect you and speak to you in your heart; as well as your comfort and wisdom. Thank you for visiting my Hub. Thank you for your service to our country.

CPT Mahand on March 01, 2010:

After being reminded of how wise King Soloman was and reading the excerpts of Dr. Samuel Johnson, it encourages me to relish in the Love of God. I truly believe that geniune Love give us the state of happiness. I ask that you pray for me, as I prepare for my transition back to the states from Iraq.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

The Rope--- I'll tell you, I love my four Dr. Johnson Hubs even though I just copied them from a collection of his writings. They are not on the net--that's why I did it. I have read them over and over again and I am dazzled by the sheer wisdom and his use of the English language. Only one of the four was a "hit" Hub for me ("This Life Is Short"). But I was compelled to share them.

The Rope from SE US on February 01, 2010:

James, our humble friend...it may be "excerpts from a sermon written by Dr. Samuel Johnson over 250 years ago" but you saw the value and brought it to us today. You constantly astonish us. As always, thank you for an amazing read

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 26, 2010:

derekmaxmarketing--- Hello! Thank you. I have not heard of that book until you have been kind enough to tell me about it. I'll surely take a look at it. I am well pleased that you appreciated this article. You are most welcome, as well.

derekmaxmarketing on January 26, 2010:

Hi, James! Well done article! Have you read Steven K. Scott's book, "The Richest Man That Ever Lived?" The Author, has created such a masterpiece with a combination of his own personal experiments and the proverbs of King Solomon. It is a must read. Great Article, James! Thanks so much!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 05, 2010:

PaulaK— Thank you very much. I am well pleased that you enjoyed it and you are welcome. :-)

Paula Kirchner from Austin. Texas on January 04, 2010:

A very good read. Thanks for the insight!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

poetlorraine— Yes, Solomon was a ladies man, alright. It seems harems are out of style these days, especially in the United States. Thank you for your precious compliments.

poetlorraine on December 01, 2009:

a striving after the wind indeed, what a ladies man Solomon was too....... you are so gifted with the diversity of your writing...... well done you

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

prettydarkhorse— Hello, Maita. You are one of my favorite Hubbers. I simply love your attitude. Yes, Solomon had everything and was wise. And I agree—our politicians need this Hub in a bad way. Thank you for your compliments.

prettydarkhorse from US on December 01, 2009:

King Solomon is indeed wise, and has everything, I hope politicians canread this one, great hub I say!

good job in creating this hub Mr James, have a good day! Maita

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 02, 2009:

SoftCornHippo— Interesting handle there! Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I agree with you that Dr. Johnson was and is a great teacher. Thank you for coming by and leaving your remarks. I appreciate it.

SoftCornHippo on November 02, 2009:

"But most certain is the disappointment of him, who places his happiness in comparative good, and considers, not what he himself wants, but what others have" Earlier tonight I was writing about Christmas and how I know now that it's up to me to make it better. basically. But this says it all! Johnson was a great teacher without soundin preachy!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 02, 2009:

Madame X— Indeed! Dr. Johnson is a master teacher in my book. I so appreciate this visit. And your comments.

Madame X on November 02, 2009:

Another hit by Dr. Sam! Ok, ok, I guess I shouldn't get too familiar with the master. Very fun read James - keep up the good work :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 01, 2009:

DeBorrah K. Ogans— AH! Those pagan women! :D

Thank you for your warm words and all around graciousness. I can tell from your comments that you fully comprehend Solomon and his words. How great it must be to have fully developed spiritual discernment as you do! God Bless You, dear. Always a joy to see your name in my inbox. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 01, 2009:

stars439— I enjoyed reading your comments. Thank you very much for writing them here. I appreciate you coming by to read my article.

DeBorrah K Ogans on November 01, 2009:

James A Watkins,

Wonderful annotations on Solomon. He is a magnificent example of one who had it ALL in every sense of the word! Power, Riches, Honor, Reputation, Favor, Knowledge, Wisdom, He had it all. I so Love His prayer upon dedicating the Temple! It was so earnest and powerful that The Glory of the Lord filled the temple… Solomon “The Teacher” Author and King reverenced God and was endowed with extraordinary wisdom. We can all learn much from Solomon in regards to life, living power and.... A right attitude towards God can help us deal with many injustices.

Solomon allowed his weakness for pagan women to override His dedication to the Lord. He astutely demonstrates to us our true purpose is ultimately found in our relationship with the Lord! He tells us “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. And yes “Wisdom is better than folly.” There are endless philosophies and opinions on life to be studied and sought after by man, scholars and those seeking alternative ways to live. When Solomon looked back over his life he realized “All is vanity!” When its all said and done Solomon tells us that we should “Fear God and Keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment , including the hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12 There is a JOY that comes from truly KNOWING GOD! Many spend a whole lifetime looking for Peace and contentment that can really only be found in an intimate personal relationship with the Lord through Jesus Christ!

Bravo! I enjoyed your inclusion of Samuel Jackson as well. Wonderful perceptive informative hub! As always well written and presented, with excellent illustrations. Blessings!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on November 01, 2009:

Vanity was my sin. Perdition, I have fallen by the way sides occassionally by saying things I never really meant to become popular. I have had my flaws and still do. I am glad there is prayer and acceptance from God concerning me. God exists. I cannot believe with all the magnificence and wonders that there would be doubts by some.

You are disciplined and a true believer in God. May God always keep you by his side. GBY

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2009:

quietnessandtrust— Can I get a CD of your music? I love to listen to music in my car. That's where I have a killer sound system.

quietnessandtrust on October 31, 2009:

Let me know when you hear of any original beautiful music from other drummers. =D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2009:

queitnessandtrust— How much I appreciate your support, my friend. I agree with your wise words posted here. Thank you.

quietnessandtrust on October 31, 2009:

Shlomo (Solomon) was a great example of the statement

"the gifts an callings of GOD are not taken back"

Once HE gives you something, you are accountable for it come what may.

Never to be taken lightly,

we must fall face down before The Holy One of Yisrael.

~Shalom

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2009:

Kebennett1— Thank you for the affirmation, dear. Samuel Johnson does rock! You are surely welcome.

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on October 31, 2009:

James, This is outstanding! I am very familiar with Soloman and the Wisdom his Stories bring. Samuel Johnson should have written many more sermons, he rocks! Thank you for sharing this with us.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2009:

Nell Rose— If you love history then I am a kindred spirit. I am not familiar with conn Igulden but I am going to Google that name and check it out. I saw in your profile that you were big on history and religion. I will be pleased to peruse your work later today. You are welcome and thank you for your comments.

Nell Rose from England on October 31, 2009:

Hi, I love history and this story is great, I will have to read it a few more times to take it all in, but it says it all, as conn Igulden the writer says, History isn't old and dusty, the people are as alive as we are, just not now. Thanks for becoming my fan, now I know you are there I will enjoy reading your other hubs thanks again Nell

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2009:

Pamela99— Thank you. :)

Humility is the path to God, to be sure. It is hard to see that speck in your neighbor's eye, and help him remove it, with a plank in your own. That is a fact. I appreciate you for sharing your wisdom here. You're welcome.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 31, 2009:

Excellent hub James. Vanity certainly is a path to misery. Humility, the act of surrender to God, is certainly the path to happiness and joy in each day. While its easy to point out the flaws of those around us and those in leadership, it is a more difficult task to look within. Thanks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

"Quill"— Thank you, sir. I am sincerely grateful for your affirmation.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

creativeone59— You are welcome. Thank you for your encouragement. It is uplifting to hear from you. :)

"Quill" on October 30, 2009:

Great Hub James...again and again I see the results of research and great writing. A blessings as always to read.

With His Word in our hearts we have everything we could ever aks for as He provides all our needs.

Many Blessings

benny Faye Douglass from Gold Canyon, Arizona on October 30, 2009:

Thanks for a great hub on King Solomomn, and King Solomon was right, when he said all is vanity, appears that we'

re all striving after the wind. thank you for you very informative hub., Godspeed. creativeone59

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

infonaturale— It is easy to get caught up in things and prestige and seats of honor at the banquet. In the end, it is the people we love who love us that represents the best part of life.

Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree with you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

Kim Garcia— It's nice to hear from you again. Thank you for your kind comments and you are welcome.

I hear you. I am in the process of conversion from maximalist to minimalist myself—involuntarily at first but growing to appreciate it. I love the Bible quotes in your remarks.

infonaturale from Nigeria on October 30, 2009:

Interesting. If people of today's world can meditate and implement the central idea of this hub, and what King Solomon said after he had it all, the world will be a much better place to live in than the kind of society we have today especially in Africa where material possessions are wrongly thought to be the ultimate achievement in life.

Kim Garcia on October 30, 2009:

Great Hub James!! One of my favorite books of the Bible is Ecclesiastes. It truly shows the wisdom of Solomon, but also his downfall, and his vulnerability at the end of his life's journey. I'm a minimalist. I only buy the necessities I need, which are usually health oriented, supplements, vitamins etc.... as my health is first and foremost. I have learned to live with far less than what I once thought was important and necessary in order to enrich my life. When I read Matthew 6:27-34; I realize I have all I need in Jesus.

I love the part where Jesus says in Matt. 6:27; "Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these." And of course the rest of Jesus' message has to do with faith. Thank you again for sharing your prolific words of wisdom. Be Blessed!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

poetlorraine— I am not sure if I KNEW it but I will say I hoped it was true and to hear you express it warms the cockles of my heart. :-)

Thank you!

poetlorraine on October 30, 2009:

your hubs are just wonderful, do you know that. They truly are. VERY WELL DONE

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

shamelabboush— Thank you for coming by and sharing your keen insights. You "see" Dr. Johnson quite well, my friend. I love reading his words. I'm glad you did, too. And you are surely welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

dusanotes— Thank you very much, Don. You are right on target about Solomon. And what a lesson that God then gave him the things he did not covet—that most men do. Amazing. I agree with you, Brother. That is exactly what we should pray for: an understanding heart.

shamelabboush on October 30, 2009:

This is a very interesting sermon! It tackled Solomon in a unique style, in a literary and philosophic style. Thanks James, that was a great addition to hubpages.

dusanotes from Windermere, FL on October 30, 2009:

James, a great and unusually literate Hub. Not for you, but for the remainder of us. Samuel Johnson had a great mind. I especially enjoyed your section on Soloman who was known for his wisdom, his wealth, and his understanding heart. I think this was the prophet who was asked what it was he most wanted and he said an understanding heart. God told him that was quite an unusual request, because most men want wisdom, wealth, position or fame. But the Lord told him that because you didn't come to me for these things, I shall give them to you anyway, plus your request of an understanding heart. I think when we pray that is what we should ask for also. Great Hub, James. It really made all of us think. Don White

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

Lisa Luv— I am so pleased that you said so! Thank you.

Lisa J Warner AKA Lisa Luv from Conneticut, USA on October 30, 2009:

This is excellent!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

jiberish— Vanity and narcissism are certainly running wild these days. I agree with your analysis. Thank you for reading and sharing your insights.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

Tom Whitworth— I see you have clearly discerned the message. This is the only way to fill that hole in our longings. Thank you for your succinct summary.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

Hello, hello,— I can't take any credit for this one. I only truncated it to keep it as short as possible without losing any of the key points. I am blown away by Samuel Johnson's writing and thinking. You are welcome and thank you for reading and commenting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

ArchDynamics— Antrhopogenic!? Good one. I have hung out with Senator Inhofe on a number of occasions. He is a sharp guy. And a pilot, too.

With Buckley, a dictionary is required—if one wishes to understand him, that is. :D

The New Yorker is a magazine I read with my dictionary handy. I love that!

jiberish from florida on October 30, 2009:

Vanity, one of the deadly sins, which goes hand in hand with narcissism, seems to run ramped in this society especially within the wall of this administration, it would behoove some to reread excerpts from past historians or at least some of your great hubs. Welcome Back!

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on October 30, 2009:

James my friend and brother once again you have provided the one true answer, and that answer is surrender of our will to God. Try as we might we are incapable on our own of achieving perfection.

Through the gift of The Holy Spirit we obtain the acceptance of Christ we too can be with the perfection of God the Father. This spiritual joining will bring true satisfaction and there is no other way to obtain this completion.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on October 30, 2009:

Hello, James, you really excelled yourself this time. I have to read it ten times to get it all. There is so much wisdom, advice and guidelines in your hub. I wish the people who have the power to decide would read it and learn from it. Thank you, James.

ArchDynamics on October 30, 2009:

Speaking of language ... I was reading another chat with Senator Inhofe this morning who used the term "anthropogenic" in relation to the "man-made aspects" of Global Warming.

Speaking of dictionaries, shouldn't they be de rigeur for the back of every W.F. Buckley book? I used to enjoy his fiction (the Oakes series) but found that if I could get through half-a-dozen pages without picking up Webster's, I was doing well.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

advisor4qb— I adore that story. It really shows that Solomon knew how to get to the heart of the matter. Thank you for reminding us of it. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

DancingRedFeather— Your commentary is most worthy. I very much appreciate your wise words. Thank you for posting them here. I agree with you. Augustine said there is the City of Man and there is, or will be, the City of God. The twain shall never meet.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

50 Caliber— Having a dictionary at hand is useful. I love Dr. Johnson's eloquence with the English Language. It would be awesome to be able to express oneself so well. Thank you for your kind words. It is good to be back home and back in the community. I have a lot of Hub reading to catch up on.

advisor4qb from On New Footing on October 30, 2009:

I liked the story about the two women and the baby. He really was wise.

DancingRedFeather on October 30, 2009:

If world leaders would read up on this and put it into practice then there would be no wars etc. Man knowing his life is short and once he is dead he can't do anything and either doesn't believe in God, or, mkes belief he does, or doesn't all together, or kills in the name of God.

Wars would all stop if man would take to heart that all is vanity...wars will never cease. We are sending soldiers to die as the war in Ahganistan, Irak, Jerusalem etc..will never cease. Yound men are being sent like pigs to a slaughter house.

Mohammad Atta, who slammed into the towers said, "We won't cease until we win and they kill one of us..50 others replace him."

Terroisim will never cease, murders, abductions, rapes, robberies, fraud, drug cartels, human abuse of any kind immaginable.

The United Nations was formed and all hope was in it to bring peace and security..it hasn't and it never will.

The only way peace would come if man would heed King Solomon's words that all is vanity and stop being stiff necked and return to God, then peace and security would come.

It never will because of man's greed and lust.

Excellent post.

50 Caliber from Arizona on October 30, 2009:

Excellent! I was able to glean the central message, buy I must confess that a re-read with Merriam-Webster in hand is to come. In short it made me reflect to this passage:

Ecclesiastes 1:14

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Good to see you back from your trip, I am still reading your 2 hubs of Jerusalem.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2009:

msorensson— Thank you so much. And you are welcome. You are my first visitor! What do we have for the little lady, James?

msorensson on October 30, 2009:

I love this hub..Thank you James..

So much wisdom in these pages.