The Sinking Fishing-Boat a Symbol of the Ruinous Tendency of Abounding Prosperity
Luke 5:6-11
And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net broke.…

When is a man most likely to go wrong morally? When he is in suffering? Hardly so. Prosperity puts him to a far severer test. On the ground nobody gets giddy and falls, but on a pinnacle many a one, having lost the steady nerve and firm foothold, has trembled, reeled, and rolled down. How few can bear success t Let a man steal a march on his fellows, outstrip them in the boisterous race for riches, "get on in the world," as we phrase it, and the chances are that he will deteriorate. Noble exceptions there are to the rule, never more than in our own day. Many rise in character as they rise in circumstances. But, alas I numbers do the exact opposite: as they go up in possessions, they go down in mind, down in heart, down in conscience. Gray, in his charming Elegy, speaks of "chill penury" freezing "the genial current of the soul." It may do, but the pleasant, soothing zephyr of wealth certainly tends to relax manly vigour and induce baneful lethargy. There are certain fish which flourish best when lowest in the sea; severe pressure is evidently, in some way, adapted to their nature; when raised near the surface they invariably degenerate. It is so, too often, with men; when raised, they descend. Alexander the Great was all right as long as he had to cope with his enemies; difficulty did not daunt but develop him. On he went from strength to strength, carrying everything before him. But the day that saw his final obstacle removed beheld the first step taken in a retrograde direction. Conquest surrounded him with luxuries; all the elaborate appliances of civilization were placed within his reach; he had but to lift his hand, and the prolific, varied resources of distant and neighbouring lands were at his command. The enervating influences of these things were, however, only too speedily manifested. The Macedonian hero dwarfed into the effeminate ben vivant; Spartan simplicity gave way to requirements as multitudinous as they were vicious, and to make his ruin complete, the world's conqueror died from the effects of a disgraceful drunken brawl!

(T. R. Stevenson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

WEB: When they had done this, they caught a great multitude of fish, and their net was breaking.

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