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the end CH A P. II. lit this chapter are further experiments, how far happiness is to

be found in earthly things. IT SÄID in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove

1 thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure ; come on, indulge all lawful delights, and try every agreeable scene : 2 and, behold, this allo [is] vanity. I said of laughter,

[It is) mad; it transports men beyond the bounds of reason,

prudence, and fobriety: and of mirth, What doeth it? 3 it is foon over, and leaves a man unsatisfied. I fought in

mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and, to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life; I fought for happiness in entertainments and banquets, yet kept myself within the bounds of fobriety; but

here I met with so much disappointment, that I hate to dwell 4 any longer upon the mention of it. I made me great

works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: 5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees 6 in them of all skind of fruits: I made me pools of

water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth 7 trees: I got (me] servants and maidens, and had fer..

vants born in my house, whom I could educate as I

pleased; also I had great possessions of great and small 8 cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I

gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces : I gat me men fingers and women fingers, and the delights of the fons of men, fas) musical instruments, and that of all

sorts ; I in a manner drained the kingdoms and provinces, 9. fubje&t to me of all their curiosities So I was great, and

increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me; my genius enabled me to carry these things to greater perfeftion, than a person

of equal substance but not equal abilities could have done. 10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my

heart

heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour ; it is true I found entertainment in these things; the forming of plans, and seeing their rising beauties, gave me some pleasure; but this was all my por

tion, the pleasure ceased with the novelty, and I quickly 11 wanted some fresh obječt. Then I looked on all the

works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all (was) vanity and vexation of spirit, and [there was) no profit

under the sun. 12 And I turned myself to behoid wisdomn, and mad

ness, and folly; I returned to the examination of wisdom and its opposites, particularly as applied to worldly business; and no man can try the experiment more fully-than I have done ; for what (can] the man [do] that cometh after

the king ? [even] that which hath been already done. 13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light - excelleth darkness : the result was, that a discreet, pru.

dent, regular conduet for this world has greatly the advan14 tage of its contrary. The wise man's eyes [are) in his

head, where they best serve him to look about him, to fee his danger, and guide his way; but the fool walketh in

darkness; rah, imprudent men blunder on into mischief and ... vexation: and I myself perceived also, that one event 15 happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As

it happeneth unto the fool, so it happeneth even to me; we are subjeet to the same painful events; and why was I

then [more] wise? Then I said in my heart, that this 16 also [is] vanity. For (there is) no remembrance of the

wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now [is] in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wife [man?] as the fool. The wise die as well as fools, and each are quickly forgotten: he must

be a perfon of extraordinary chara&ter that is talked of for 17 ages. * Therefore yo far from finding satisfaEtion, I hated

life; because the work that is wrought under the sun ; [is] grievous unto me: for all [is] vanity and vexation

of spirit. 18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under

the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that

19 shall be after me. And who knoweth whether he shall

be a wise (man) or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This [is] also vanity. Rehoboam, who was forty years old when his father

died, so that he must have seen his weakness and folly, is 20 doubtless here referred to. Therefore I went about to

cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun; instead of pursuing former schemes, I gave

them up, as one utterly tired with them; nor is this pecu21 liar to me, it is often seen in lower circumstances. For

there is a man whose labour [is] in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein, to a man whose chara&ter is just the re

verse of his own, shall he leave it (for] his portion. This 22 also [is] vanity and a great evil. For what hath man,

such a man as above described, of all his labour, and of

the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured 23 under the sun ? For all his days, or, altho all his days,

[are] sorrows, and his travail grief, yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night; tho' he hath obtained what he has with so much care, labour, and fatigue, yet it must be

left to he knows not who. This is also vanity. 24 [There is nothing better for a man, (than) that he

fhould eat and drink, and [that] he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that

it was] from the hand of God: the best way therefore . is not to engage in many schemes, and perplex himself with

much business; but contentedly to sit down and enjoy the good

things God has given him with pleasure and thankfulness: 25 but this is not in a man's own power; For who can eat,

or who else can haften [hereunto,] more than I ? or, : as it may be better rendered, who can eat or hasten" there

unto without him?' This depends on the divine blefing, and

the turn he gives to the mind, tho' the materials may be in a 26 man's own posesion. For (God) giveth to a man that fis]

good in his fight, that is, to a pious man, wisdom and knowledge to make a good use of his substance, and joy in the using of it: but to the finner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to [him that is ]

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good before God, he gives up the wicked to an insatiable, difcontented Spirit, so that they afflict themselves with many cares and forrows, to heap up what in the course of his providence he often gives to the righteous. This also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.

felves, and othence, diligendable, and faxo their religion, he

REFLECTIONS. 3. W E here see the vanity of expecting happiness in

VV mirth and pleasure, grandeur and luxury. In spite of all Solomon's reasoning and experience, the prefent age is trying the experiment over again; but they will at last join in his conclusion. It is a dangerous experiment; for few can make it and yet their wisdom remain with them. Therefore it is better to defift and take Solomon's word. Remember that these things cannot quiet a guilty conscience, comfort a drooping spirit, eafe a dying body, or save an immortal soul.

2. There are many things which are excellent in them. felves, and of great use in life, that will not make a man happy. Prudence, diligence, and regularity in business, are things highly commendable, and favourable to men's worldly interest, therefore many place all their religion in them, but they are not the one thing needful. Let us be careful that we are not mistaken; and while we study the arts of prudence and economy, forget the weightier matters of the law, and continue destitute of the love of God.”

3. We are here taught the importance and necessity of true religion to make a man comfortable even in this world. Men may slave and toil ever so much, gain ever such abundance by fagacity, diligence, and frugality, it will not prolong their lives or their memories ; it will not insure them a worthy heir ; 'nor even a comfortable use of their own substance. The cheerful enjoyment of what we have must come from God. It is therefore to be fought by fervent prayer; and is generally given to good men ; and this they may have with a little. So that upon the whole; Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

* , C H AP.

CHA PIII. Solomon here proceeds to describe the vanity of human wisdom; it

is confined to a certain time of asting, which if we miss, eur

contrivances are vain, and the opportunity over. in every thing there is] a season, and a time to

every purpose under the heaven, out of which no human wisdom can produce the events God hath affixed to 2 them: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to

plant, and a time to pluck up (that which is] planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break 4 down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a

time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather

stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to re6 frain from embracing ; A time to get, and a time to y lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time

to rend, and as time to few; a time to keep filence, and 8 a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate,

that is, to break off friendsbip; a time of war, and a 9 time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in

that wherein he laboureth out of the proper season, or 10 even in it, since there are so many changes? I have seen

the travail which God hath given to the fons of men to Be exercised in it; minding the business of life, obferving

the proper seasons, and submitting when disappointed 11 He hath made every [thing) beautiful in his time;

there is beauty in this variety: also he hath set the world
in their heart, so that no man can find out the work
that God maketh from the beginning to the end, there
is a vast variety of things, as objekts of their pursuits'and.

ftudies: and God hath set it in their hearts to examine all his 12 works, except what is above their understanding. I know

that [there is] no good in them, that is, in worldly* things, but for (a man] to rejoice, and to good in his

life; • Some understand the passage as referring to the influence the world has upon men to make them neglect prudent considera. tion; others refer it to their continuance in the world; as if he had said, A man that lives so faort a time cannot judge of the whole of God's works.

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