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which are given to thee under the sun, all 9 He that removeth stones, shall be hurt the time of thy vanity for this is thy por-by them and he that cutteth trees, shall tion in life, and in thy labour wherewith be wounded by them. thou labourest under the sun.

10 If the iron be blunt, and be not as be10 Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, fore, but be made blunt, with much labour do it earnestly: for neither work, nor rea- it shall be sharpened: and after industry son, nor wisdom, nor knowledge, shall be shall follow wisdom. in hell, whither thou art hastening.

11 I turned me to another thing; and saw that under the sun, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the learn ed, nor favour to the skilful: but time and chance in all.

14 A fool multiplieth words. A man can

12 Man knoweth not his own end: but as fishes are taken with the hook, and as birds are caught with the snare, so men are not tell what hath been before him and taken in the evil time, when it shall sudden- what shall be after him, who can tell him? ly come upon them.

15 The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not how to go to the city.

13 This wisdom also I have seen under the sun, and it seemed to me to be very great:

16 Wo to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and when thy princes eat in the

14 A little city, and few men in it: there morning. came against it a great king, and invested 17 Blessed is the land, whose king is noit, and built bulwarks round about it; and ble, and whose princes eat in due season the siege was perfect. for refreshment, and not for riotousness. 15 Now there was found in it a man poor 18 By slothfulness a building shall be and wise, and he delivered the city by his brought down: and through the weakness wisdom and no man afterwards remem- of hands, the house shall drop through. bered that poor man. 19 For laughter they make bread, and


things obey money.

16 And I said that wisdom is better than wine that the living may feast: and all strength: how then is the wisdom of the poor man slighted, and his words not heard? 20 Detract not the king, no not in thy 17 The words of the wise are heard in thought; and speak not evil of the rich man silence, more than the cry of a prince among in thy private chamber: because even the fools. birds of the air will carry thy voice, and he

18 Better is wisdom, than weapons of that hath wings will tell what thou hast war: and he that shall offend in one, shall said. lose many good things.


Observations on wisdom and folly, ambition and detraction.

YING flies spoil the sweetness of the precious than a small and short-lived folly. 2 The heart of a wise man is in his right hand and the heart of a fool is in his left hand.


3 Yea and the fool when he walketh in the way, whereas he himself is a fool, esteemeth all men fools.

4 If the spirit of him that hath power, ascend upon thee, leave not thy place: because care will make the greatest sins to


5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were by an error proceeding from the face of the prince :

11 If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that backbiteth secretly.

12 The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace: but the lips of a fool shall throw him down headlong.

13 The beginning of his words is folly: and the end of his talk is a mischievous error.

6 A fool set in high dignity, and the rich sitting beneath.

7 I have seen servants upon horses; and princes walking on the ground as servants. 8 He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it and he that breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.


Exhortation to works of mercy, while we have time, to diligence in good, and to the remembrance of death and judgment :

thy bread the waters:

CAST After a long time thou shalt find it again.

2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight: for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

3 if the clouds be full, they will pour out rain upon the earth. If the tree fall* to the south or to the north, in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be.

* If the tree fall, &c. The state of the soul is unchangeable when once she comes to heaven or hell: and a soul that departs this life in a state of grace, shall never fall from grace; as on the other side, a soul that dies out of the state of grace, shall never come to it. But this does not exclude a place of temporal punishments for such souls as die in the state of grace; yet not so as to be entirely pure: and therefore they shall be saved, indeed, yet so as by fire. 1 Cor. Jiii. 13, 14, 15.

4 He that observeth the wind, shall not tremble, and the strong men shall stagger, sow and he that considereth the clouds, and the grinders shall be idle in a small shall never reap. number, and they that look through the

5 As thou knowest not what is the way holes shall be darkened: of the spirit, nor how the bones are joined 4 And they shall shut the doors in the together in the womb of her that is with street, when the grinder's voice shall be child: so thou knowest not the works of low, and they shall rise up at the voice of God, who is the maker of all. the bird, and all the daughters of music shall grow deaf.

6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening let not thy cease: for thou knowest not which may rather spring up, this or that: and if both together, it shall be the better.

7 The light is sweet, and it is delightful for the eyes to see the sun.

8 If a man live many years, and have rejoiced in them all, he must remember the darksome time, and the many days: which the golden fillet shrink back, and the pitchwhen they shall come, the things passed er be crushed at the fountain, and the wheel shall be accused of vanity. be broken upon the cistern,

9 Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth and let thy heart be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes and know that for all these God will bring thee into judgment.

10 Remove anger from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh. For youth and pleasure are vain.


The Creator is to be remembered in the days of our youth all worldly things are vain we should fear God, and keep his commandments.

5 And they shall fear high things, and they shall be afraid in the way; the almond tree shall flourish; the locust shall be made fat; and the caper-tree shall be destroyed: because man shall go into the house of his eternity, and the mourners shall go round about in the street.

6 Before the silver cord be broken, and

7 And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit return to God, who gave it.

8 Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all things are vanity.

9 And whereas Ecclesiastes was very wise, he taught the people, and declared the things that he had done: and seeking out, he set forth many parables.

10 He sought profitable words, and wrote words most right, and full of truth.

11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened in, which by the counsel of masters are given from one shepherd.

EMEMBER thy Creator in the

Rthy youth, before the time of affliction of making many books there is no end:


than these, my son, require not.

Before the sun, &c. That is, before old age: the effects of which upon all the senses and faculties are described in the following verses, under a variety of figures.

come, and the years draw nigh of which and much study is an affliction of the flesh. thou shalt say: They please me not: 13 Let us all hear together the conclu

2 Before the sun,* and the light, and the||sion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep moon, and the stars be darkened, and the his commandments: for this is all man.† clouds return after the rain:

3 When the keepers of the house shall

14 And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for every error, whether it be good or evil.

All man. The whole business and duty of man. ‡ Error. Or hidden and secret thing.



This book is called the CanticlE OF CAN-||
TICLES, that is to say, the most excellent of
all Canticles: because it is full of high
mysteries, relating to the happy union of
Christ and his spouse: which is here begun
by love, and is to be eternal in heaven. The The
SPOUSE of Christ is the church: more es-

pecially as to the happiest part of it, viz.
perfect souls, every one of which is his be-
loved; but, above all others, the immacu-
late and ever-blessed virgin mother.

spouse aspires to an union with Christ their mutual love for one another.

ET him kiss me* with the kiss of his
mouth for thy breasts are better than



2 Smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured out; therefore young maidens have loved thee.

10 We will make thee chains of gold, inlaid with silver.

11 While the king was at his repose, my spikenard sent forth the odour thereof.

12 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me: he shall abide between my breasts. 13 A cluster of cypress my love is to me, in the vineyards of Engaddi.

3 Draw met we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments. The king hath brought me into his store-rooms: we will 14 Behold, thou art fair, O my love: bebe glad and rejoice in thee, remembering hold, thou art fair; thy eyes are as those of thy breasts more than wine: the righteous doves.

love thee.

15 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, and I am black but beautiful,+ O ye daugh-comely. Our bed is flourishing. ters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as 16 The beams of our houses are of cethe curtains of Solomon. dar, our rafters of cypress trees. CHAP. II.

5 Do not consider me that I am brown, because the sun hath altered my colour:Christ caresses his spouse: he invites her to the sons of my mother have fought against him. me: they have made me the keeper in the vineyards: my vineyard I have not kept.

2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

3 As the apple-tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the

6 Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou liest in the mid-day, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of thy companions. 7 If thou know not thyself,§ O fairest sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom among women, go forth, and follow after I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my the steps of the flocks, and feed thy kids palate. beside the tents of the shepherds.

AM the flower of the field, and the lily of vallies.

4 He brought me into the cellar of wine:

8 To my company of horsemen, in Pha-he set in order charity in me. rao's chariots, have I likened thee, O my love. 5 Stay me up with flowers; compass me 9 Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtle about with apples: because I languish dove's; thy neck as jewels. with love.

6 His left hand is under my head; and his right hand shall embrace me.

7 I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jeru

Let him kiss me. The Church the spouse of Christ prays, that he may love and have peace with her, which the spouse salem, by the roes, and the harts of the prefers to every thing howsoever delicious: fields, that you stir not up, nor make the beand therefore expresses (ver. 2) that young loved to awake, till she please. maidens, that is, the souls of the faithful, 8 The voice of my beloved;¶ behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skip

have loved thee.

+ Draw me. That is, with thy grace; ping over the hills. otherwise I should not be able to come to 9 My beloved is like a roe, or a young thee. This metaphor shews that we can-hart. Behold, he standeth behind our wall, not of ourselves come to Christ our Lord, looking through the windows, looking unless he draws us by his grace, which is through the lattices. laid up in his store-rooms: that is, in the mysteries of Faith, which God in his goodness and love for mankind hath revealed, first by his servant Moses in the Old Law in figure only, and afterwards in reality by his only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

10 Behold, my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.

11 For winter is now past: the rain is over and gone.

12 The flowers have appeared in our land; the time of pruning is come: the

I am black but beautiful. That is, the Church of Christ, founded in humility, ap-voice of the turtle is heard in our land: pearing outwardly afflicted and as it were 13 The fig-tree hath put forth her green black and contemptible; but inwardly, that figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet is, in its doctrine and morality, fair and beautiful.

I am the flower of the field. Christ pro

§ If thou know not thyself, &c. Christ en- fesses himself the flower of mankind, yea, courages his spouse to follow and watch her the Lord of all creatures and ver. 2. deflock; and though she know not entirely clares the excellence of his spouse, the true the power at hand to assist her, he tells her, Church, above all other societies, which are ver. 8. my company of horsemen, that is, his to be considered as thorns.

Angels, are always watching and protecting The voice of my beloved: that is, the her. And in the following verses he re- preaching of the Gospel surmounting diffiminds her of the virtues and gifts with culties, figuratively here expressed by mounwhich he has endowed her. tains and little hills.

and come :

smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one,|| 10 The pillars thereof he made of silver, the seat of gold, the going up of purple : 14 My dove in the clifts of the rock, in the midst he covered with charity for the the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy daughters of Jerusalem. face; let thy voice sound in my ears: for 11 Go forth, ye daughters of Sion; and thy voice is sweet and thy face comely. see king Solomon in the diadem, wherewith 15 Catch us the little foxes* that destroy his mother crowned him in the day of his the vines for our vineyard hath flourished. espousals, and in the day of the joy of his 16 My beloved to me, and I to him, who heart.



feedeth among the lilies,

17 Till the day break, and the shadows Christ sets forth the graces of his spouse: retire. Return: be like, my beloved, to a and declares his love for her. art thou, my love, how

ree, or to a young hart upon the mountains H beautiful art thou! thy eyes are doves'

of Bether.

eyes, besides what is hid within. Thy hair is as flocks of goats, which come up from mount Galaad.


The spouse seeks Christ. The glory of his
N my bed by night† I sought him whom
my soul loveth: I sought him, and found


him not.

2 I will rise, and will go about the city in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him and I found him not.

3 The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him whom my soul loveth?

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4 Thy neck is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of va

4 When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth; I held liant men. him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother's house, and into the that are twins, which feed among the lilies. chamber of her that bore me.

5 Thy two breasts like two young roes

6 Till the day break, and the shadows retire, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

5 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the harts of the fields, that you stir not up, nor awake my beloved, till|| she please.

7 Thou art all fair, O my love; and there is not a spot in thee.

6 Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer?

8 Come from Libanus, my spouse; come from Libanus, come: thou shalt be crowned from the top of Amana, from the top of Sanir, and Hermon, from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards.

7 Behold, threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel, surround the bed of Solomon.

9 Thou hast wounded my heart, my sis ter, my spouse: thou hast wounded my

8 All holding swords, and most expert in heart with one of thy eyes, and with one war: every man's sword upon his thigh, because of fears in the night.

hair of thy neck.

9 King Solomon hath made him a litter of the wood of Libanus:

10 How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! thy breasts are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments above all aromatical spices.

Catch us the little foxes. Christ commands his pastors to catch false teachers, by holding forth their fallacy and erroneous doctrine, which like foxes would bite and destroy the vines.

How beautiful art thou. Christ again praises the beauties of his Church, which

In my bed by night, &c. The Gentiles through the whole of this chapter are exas in the dark, and seeking in heathen de-emplified by a variety of metaphors, setting lusion what they could not find, the true forth her purity, her simplicity, and her staGod, until Christ revealed his doctrine to bility.

them by his watchmen (ver. 3.), that is, by Thy two breasts, &c. Mystically to be the Apostles, and teachers, by whom they understood: the love of God and the love were converted to the true faith; and of our neighbour, which are so united as holding that faith firmly, the spouse the twins which feed among the lilies; that is, Catholic Chuch declares, ver. 4. That she the love of God and of our neighbour, feeds will not let him go, till she bring him into her on the divine mysteries and the holy sacramother's house, &c. that is, till at last, the ments, left by Christ to his spouse, to feed Jews also shall find him. and nourish her children.

11 Thy lips, my spouse, are as a dropping honey-comb: honey and milk are under thy

tongue; and the smell of thy garments, as hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers the smell of frankincense. were full of the choicest myrrh.

12 My sister, my spouse, is a garden inclosed, a garden inclosed, a fountain sealed up.

6 I opened the bolt of my door to my beloved: but he had turned aside, and was 13 Thy plants are a paradise of pomegra-I sought him, and found him not: I called, gone. My soul melted, when he spoke : nates with the fruits of the orchard. Cyprus and he did not answer me. with spikenard.

14 Spikenard and saffron, sweet cane and found me: they struck me, and wounded 7 The keepers that go about the city cinnamon, with all the trees of Libanus, me: the keepers of the walls took away my myrrh and aloes, with all the chief per-veil from me. fumes.


15 The fountain of gardens: the well of if you find my beloved, that you tell him 8 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, living waters, which run with a strong that I languish with love. stream from Libanus.

Othe beloved, O thou most beautiful among 9 What manner of one is thy beloved of

16 Arise, O north wind, and come, south wind; blow through my garden; and women? what manner of one is thy belovlet the aromatical spices thereof flow. ed of the beloved, that thou hast so adjured us?


Christ calls his spouse: she languishes with love and describes him by his graces.


11 His head is as the finest gold: his

Land eat the fruit of his apple trees.

ET my beloved come into his garden,†locks as branches of palm-trees, black as a


am come into my garden, O my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh, with waters, which are washed with milk, and 12 His eyes as doves upon brooks of my aromatical spices: I have eaten the ho-sit beside the plentiful streams. ney-comb with my honey: I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends, and spices set by the perfumers. His lips are 13 His cheeks are as beds of aromatical drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved. as lilies dropping choice myrrh.

2 I sleep, and my heart watcheth: the voice of my beloved knocking: Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled for my head is full of dew, and my locks of the drops of the nights.

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands.

3 I have put off my garment: how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?

4 My beloved put his hand through the key-hole, and my bowels were moved at his touch.

5 I arose up to open to my beloved: my

Let my beloved come into his garden, &c. Garden, mystically the Church of Christ, abounding with fruit, that is, the good works of the elect.

full of hyacinths. His belly as of ivory, set 14 His hands are turned and as of gold, with sapphires.

15 His legs as pillars of marble, that are banus, excellent as the cedars. set upon bases of gold. His form as of Li

16 His throat most sweet, and he is all friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem. lovely: such is my beloved, and he is my

17 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek most beautiful among women? whither is him with thee?


My sister, &c. a garden inclosed. Figuratively the Church is inclosed, containing The spouse of Christ is but one: she is fair only the faithful. A fountain sealed up. That none can drink of its and terrible. the graces and spiritual benefits of the holy Motloved is gone down into his gar


is, sacraments, but those who are within its to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. den, aromatical spices, walls. who feedeth among the lilies. 2 I to my beloved, and my beloved to me,

3 Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet

My beloved, &c. In this and the follow

My beloved put his hand through the ing verses the Church mystically describes key-hole, &c. The spouse of Christ, his Christ to those who know him not, that is, Church, at times as it were penned up by to infidels, in order to convert them to the its persecutors, and in fears, expecting the true faith. divine assistance, here signified by his hund: and ver. 6. but he had turned aside and was Christ, pleased with the good works of his My beloved is gone down into his garden. gone, that is, Christ permitting a further holy and devout servants labouring in his trial of suffering: And again, ver. 7. The garden, is always present with them; but keepers, &c. signifying the violent and cruel the words is gone down are to be understood persecutors of the Church taking her veil,that after trying his Church by permitting despoiling the Church of its places of wor-persecution, he comes to her assistance, and ship and ornaments for the divine service, she rejoiceth at his coming.

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