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and that which is done, is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun; because I should leave it unto the man that 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 shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun. 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 shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity, and a great evil. For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? All his days he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness. For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. Seeing there be many things that Vol. i. v
increase vanity, what is man the better? I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man, to be exercised therewith. For in much wisdom is -much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Because no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea, further, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it. That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out? I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.
From the same.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with .silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. When goods increase they are increased that eat them : and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? Moreover the profit of the earth is for ail; the king himself is served by the field. The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: a man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease. There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? this is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. All this have I proved by wisdom. 1 the preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem: I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than allthey that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great. experience of wisdom 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 Tower and Riches, and the deceitfulncss 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 mongmen 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? lor 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 ihings to others, and die. MarTel not at ihe works of sinners; but trust in the Lord, and abide in thy labour: tor it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord on the sudden to make a poor man rich. Fiom the morning until the evening the time is changed, and all things are soon done before the Lord. The ble,sii,g of the Lord is in the reward of the godh , and suddenly he maketh his blessing to flourish.
From the same*
Commend not a man for his beauty; neither
abnor 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