Page images

mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. A scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it unt: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. A reproof entereth more into a wise man than a hundred stripes into a fool. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will yet be wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The wise shall inherit glory, but shanie shall be the promotion of fuols.


The discourse of a godly man is always with wisdom'; but a fool changeth as the moon. The discourse of fools is irksome, and their sport is the wantonness of sin. A wise man will. hold his tongue till he see opportunity : but a babbler and a fool will regard no time. A wise man by his words maketh himself beloved: but the graces of fools shall be poured: out. The gift of a fool shall-do thee no good when thou hast it: neither yet of the envious for his necessity: for he looketh to receive many things for one. · He giveth little, and upbraideth

much; he openeth his mouth like a crier; to-day he lendeth, and to morrow will he ask it again : such an one is to be hated of God and man. The fool saith, I have no friends, I have no ibank for all my good deeds, and they that eat my bread speak evil of me. How oft, and of how many shall he be laughed to scorn! for he knoweth not aright what it is to have; and it is all one unto him as if he had it not. An unseasonablc tale will always be in the mouth of the unwise. A wise sentence shall be rejected when it cometh out of a fool's mouth; for he will not speak it in due season. A wise man will fear in every thing, and in the day of sinning he will beware of offence: but a fool will not observe time. Every man of understanding knoweth wisdom, and will give praise unto him that found her. They that were of understanding in sayings became also wise themselves, and poured forth exquisite parables. The heart of the prudent will understand a parable ; and an attentive ear is the desire of a wise man. A wise man shall promote himself to honour with his words: and he that hath understanding will please great men. He that is not wise will not be taught: but there is a wisdom which multiplieth bitterness. The knowledge of a wise man shall abound like 2 flood; and his counsel is like a pure fountain of 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 un. derstanding 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



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; VOL. I.


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;

« PreviousContinue »