This shows the vanity of carnal mirth, and proves what Solomon said of laughter, that it is mad; for, 1. There is sadness under it. Sometimes when sinners are under convictions, or some great trouble, they dissemble their grief by a forced mirth, and put a good face on it, because they will not seem to yield: they cry not when he binds them. Nay, when men really are merry, yet at the same time there is some alloy or other to their mirth, something that casts a damp upon it, which all their gaiety cannot keep from their heart. Their consciences tell them they have no reason to be merry (Hos. 9:1); they cannot but see the vanity of it. Spiritual joy is seated in the soul; the joy of the hypocrite is but from the teeth outward. See John 16:22; 2 Cor. 6:10. 2. There is worse after it: The end of that mirth is heaviness. It is soon over, like the crackling of thorns under a pot; and, if the conscience be awake, all sinful and profane mirth will be reflected upon with bitterness; if not, the heaviness will be so much the greater when for all these things God shall bring the sinner into judgment. The sorrows of the saints will end in everlasting joys (Ps. 126:5), but the laughter of fools will end in endless weeping and wailing.
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