For by me your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life shall be increased.
In the language of Solomon, to be wise is to be religious, and this language is at once correct and comprehensive. That alone deserves the name of wisdom which embraces all the important interests of man, and which reaches, in its effects, through the whole extent of his rational existence. True philosophy consists in a practical acquaintance with our duties and destination as rational and immortal beings, and in rendering this acquaintance subservient to the regulation of our affections and habits, so as to promote every virtuous disposition, and thus to prepare the soul for a state of purer and more dignified enjoyment. This is not only to be truly wise, but to be wise for ourselves. That is not properly a man's own for the possession of which he has no permanent security. It is the peculiar excellence of religion that whilst it detracts nothing from the virtuous satisfactions which arise from honourable labour in any sphere of life, it superadds the consciousness of Divine favour. Much has been said and written of the tendency of mere moral virtue, independently of religious hopes, to make men happy. Whatever promotes self-government and temperance, and thus restrains those excesses which are inimical to health and peace, is wise; but this is not being wise for ourselves upon the best plan. It leaves out the animating considerations which religion alone can furnish. Here lies the superiority of religious wisdom. Besides all the sources of pleasure which are common to the Christian with the man of the world, it opens others of its own by furnishing objects of research to the understanding and interest to the heart infinitely more excellent and durable than any to which mere worldly wisdom can pretend. Can he, then, be wise for himself who prefers the plan of worldly wisdom to that wisdom which is from above? What is there of life or of joy in this wretched philosophy that should gain it so many proselytes? What should we gain by following their example? We might be flattered by empty praise as being unusually wise. If you care for such honour, it is of easy acquisition. You have only to deny your God and renounce your expectations from futurity, and it is done. But if you inquire what you will get in return, there are none to answer you. Let the advocates of unbelief estimate the advantages of their system as high as they please above ours, yet will that advantage dwindle into insignificance in the eye of true wisdom when the remotest probability of future account becomes a part of the computation. And where are such advantages to be found? And what must you lose in order to gain them? But they say, "Truth is wisdom; and truth must be supported, be the consequences what they may." But is their so-called truth more than opinion? And every probability is on the side of the being of God and dependence of humanity on Him. Can there be wisdom, for ourselves or for others, in renouncing the cheering views of Christianity for the dreary systems of infidelity?
Parallel VersesKJV: For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
WEB: For by me your days will be multiplied. The years of your life will be increased.