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and knowledge. I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
On the instability of Power and Riches, and the deceitfulness of Appearances.
Boast not of thy cloathing and raiment, and exalt not thyself in the day of honour: for the works of the Lord are wonderful, and his works
mong men are hidden. Set not thy heart upon thy goods; and say not, I have enough for my life. Follow not thine own mind and thy strength, to walk in the ways of thy heart: and say not, Who shall controul me for my works? for the Lord will surely revenge thy pride. Many kings have sat down upon the ground; and one that was never thought of hath worn the crown. Many mighty men have been greatly disgraced; and the honour ble delivered into other men's hands. Because of unrighteous dealings, injuries, and riches got by deceit, the king
dom is translated from one people to another. The power of the earth is in the hand of the Lord; in the hand of God is the prosperity of man; and he that is to-day a king to-morrow shall die. For when a man is dead, he shall inherit creeping things, beasts, and worms. There is that waxeth rich by his wariness and pinching, and this is the portion of his reward: whereas he saith, I have found rest, and now will eat continually of my goods; and yet he knoweth not what time shall come upon him, and that he must leave those things to others, and die. Marvel not at the works of sinners; but trust in the Lord, and abide in thy labour: for it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord on the sudden to make a poor man rich. F.om the morning until the evening the time is changed, and all things
are soon done before the Lord.
The blessing of
the Lord is in the reward of the godly, and suddenly he maketh his blessing to flourish.
From the same.
Commend not a man for his beauty; neither abhor a man for his outward appearance. The bee is little among such as fly; but her fruit is the chief of sweet things. Blame not before
life. The inner parts of a fool are like a broken vessel, and he will hold no knowledge as long as he liveth. There is one that is wise and teacheth many, and yet is unprofitable to himself. There is one that sheweth wisdom in words, and is hated; he shall be destitute of all food. For grace is not given him from the Lord; because he is deprived of all wisdom. Another is wise to himself; and the fruits of understanding are commendable in his mouth. A wise man instructeth his people; and the fruits of his understanding fail not. A wise man shall be filled with blessing; and all they that see him shall count him happy. A wise man shall inherit glory among his people, and his name shall be perpetual.
On the vanity and insufficiency of all worldly possessions.
Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun: and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure; and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought 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 made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits; I made the pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees; I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small 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; *T 6
I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not mine heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 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. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about toward the north: it whirleth about continually; and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full : unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, is that which shall be;