The Chariot-Wheel of the Soul

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Charles Bridges commenting on Proverbs 18.1 (An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs, p. 239):

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

DESIRE is the chariot-wheel of the soul, the spring of energy and delight. The man of business or science is filled with his great object, and through desire he separates himself from all lets and hindrances, that he may intermeddle with its whole range. “This one tiling”—saith the man of God—“I do.” This one thing is every thing with him. Through desire he separates himself from the entanglements of vain company, trifling amusements or studies, needless engagements, that he may seek and intermeddle with all wisdom.

John separated himself in the wilderness; Paul in Arabia, our blessed Lord in frequent abstraction, in order to greater concentration in their momentous work. Deeply does the Christian Minister feel the responsibility of this holy separation, that he may “give himself wholly to” his office. And without it—Christian—thy soul can never prosper. How canst thou intermeddle with the great wisdom of knowing thyself, if thy whole mind be full of this world’s chaff and vanity? There must be a withdrawal, to “commune with thine own heart”—to ask the question—“Where art thou? What doest thou here?” Much is there to be enquired into and pondered. Every thing here calls for our deepest, closest thoughts. We must walk with God in secret, or the enemy will walk with us, and our souls will die.

“Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.” “When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” Deal much in secrecy, if thou wouldst know “the secret of the Lord.” Like thy Divine Master—thou wilt never be less alone than when alone. There is much to be wrought, gained, and enjoyed. Thy most spiritual knowledge, thy richest experience, will be found here. Look around thee—what a world of heavenly wisdom to intermeddle with! The sight overwhelmed the Apostle with adoring astonishment. Even “the angels desire to look into it.” The redeemed will be employed throughout eternity in this delighted searching, exploring “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height,” until they “be filled with all the fulness of God.”​


Puritan Board Sophomore
An inspiring and Biblical thought. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with Proverbs 18:1. The Hebrew is tricky, but the KJV's "intermeddling" (reflecting the Hithpael of glh) clearly describes a negative trait (= "meddling", "disputing", "quarreling"). Compare the other uses in Proverbs 17:4 and 20:3, and see BDB and Holladay. Hence the better translation in CSB: "One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgment" (compare ESV, NASB, NIV and other modern translations).


Puritan Board Graduate
Early this morning (before the gears of my mind were turning properly), I saw the title of this thread, but I read it as though it had a dash instead of a hyphen: "The Chariot--Wheel of the Soul." I thought for a minute The chariot--wheel of the soul ... Just how is a chariot the wheel of the soul?

I'm thankful for the gift of caffeine that gets things working properly!

Thank you for the edifying post. I found it very insightful after a moderate use of stimulants.
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