Truly the light [is] sweet
Here begins a new subject, as most think; and some here begin the twelfth and last chapter, and not improperly. This is true of natural light, which is exceeding pleasant, useful, and beneficial; by which men discern objects, behold the things of nature with pleasure, walk in the way without stumbling, and do the work and business of life: and also of civil light or prosperity; for, as afflictions are expressed by darkness, and adversity by night; so the comforts and good things of life by light and day, which are very desirable and delectable: and here "life" itself may be meant, for light is sometimes put for life, which is the light of the living; and what sweeter and more desirable than that, especially a life attended with prosperity and peace? see ( Job 33:28 Job 33:30 ) ( 3:20 ) ( 2:4 ) ( Psalms 34:12 ) . The Targum and Jarchi interpret it of the light of the law; and which is indeed a light, and so is the whole word of God, ( Proverbs 6:23 ) ( Psalms 119:105 ) ( 2 Peter 1:19 ) ; but may be better applied unto the Gospel, which is a great and glorious light, ( Isaiah 9:2 ) ( 2 Corinthians 4:4 ) ; and a means of enlightening dark minds; not only of showing men their sinfulness, as the law does; but the insufficiency of their righteousness, of all their own goodness and good works to justify; it reveals Christ, and the glories of his person; it sets him forth evidently, as crucified and slain, for the worst of sinners; it makes manifest his fulness, ability, and willingness, as a Saviour; righteousness, peace, pardon, and salvation by him; it makes known things not to be discerned by the light of nature, even things wonderful and marvellous, as well as what is the way a man should walk in: and this light is sweet and pleasant, not to a blind and carnal man, who despises it, and reckons it foolishness, but to those who are enlightened by the Spirit of God; and to these it is very delightful, even to all their senses; it is sweet to their taste, a joyful sound to their ears, and beautiful to their sight are the feet of them that bring its good tidings. The light of grace, which appears in first conversion, and comes from God suddenly, which at first is small, but increases, is exceeding pleasant, strikes the soul with delight and wonder; it is marvellous light, ( 1 Peter 2:9 ) ; and so is the light of joy and gladness to believers, when it arises to them after a time of darkness, or the light of God's countenance, ( Psalms 4:6 Psalms 4:7 ) ; and such will be the light of the latter day glory, and more especially the light of the heavenly state; and a pleasant [thing it is] for the eyes to behold the sun;
the natural sun, shining at noon day, which is a luminous and glorious body, communicating light and heat to all the world: which is so glorious and so pleasant to behold, that Anaxagoras, the philosopher, being asked what he was born for, answered,
``to see the heavens, the sun, and the moon F20;''and Eudoxus, another philosopher, said,
``he could be content to perish, could he get so near to the sun as to learn the nature of it F21.''To "see the sun", in the language of this book, is to live in this world, and to enjoy the light of the sun, and the comforts of life; see ( Ecclesiastes 7:11 ) ; and now a life, attended with outward prosperity and inward peace, that is spent in doing and enjoying good, is a very desirable and delightful one; though such a man should not think of living always, but of death, and the days of darkness, as in ( Ecclesiastes 11:8 ) . This may he applied to Christ, the sun of righteousness, ( Psalms 84:11 ) ( Malachi 4:2 ) ; the fountain of all spiritual light and heat; the brightness of his Father's glory; and who is superior to angels and men; and is to be beheld by faith, and in his own light, as the sun is; and whom to look upon with an eye of faith is exceeding pleasant and delightful, and fills with joy unspeakable and full of glory, ( 1 Peter 1:8 ) .
F20 Laert. in Vita Anaxag. p. 95. Lactant. de Fals. Sap. l. 3. c. 9.
F21 Plutarch, vol. 2. p. 1094.