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A.C.980 to 975.

2 k Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities ; all is vanity.

k Ps. xxxix.

. 4. ch.

xii. 8.

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5, 6, & Ixii... ously by different commentators. The more usual division is that of Dr. Wells,

into two general parts. The first shewing that all things relating to this world
are vain and perishing, and can afford no true or lasting happiness; the second
proving that the fear of God alone is real and permanent satisfaction and wis-
dom. Many passages in this book have been misunderstood : it has been sup:
posed to savour of irreligion and immorality. The passages, however, in ques-
tion, do not express the opinion of the king : they contain the false arguments
which he puts into the mouth of the imaginary interlocutor whose opinions he
opposes. The best analysis of this book, excepting, perhaps, that of Diodati,
which is too long to be inserted here, is that by Mr. Des Voeux, which is given
in Horne's Critical Introduction, and which I have extracted as an useful illus-
tration of its various obscurities and difficulties.

“Mr. Des Voeux," says Mr. Horne,“ reduces the whole discourse to three
propositions, every one of which, when properly reflected upon, yields a strong
proof of a state of future rewards and punishments."
Ch. i. 1. The introduction.
2, 3. THE FIRST PROPOSITION:-"No labour or tronble of

men in this world can ever be so profitable as to pro-
duce in them a lasting contentment and thorough satis

faction of mind."
4-11. Ist proof. The course of nature.
12, &c. 2d proof. Men's occupations.

16-18. 1st head. Wisdom or philosophy.
Ch. ii. 1, 2. 2d head. Pleasure.

3-10. Both jointly.
11. General conclusion of the second proof.

A review of the second proof, with special conclusions re

lating to every particular therein mentioned, viz.
12-17. 1. Wisdom.
18-23. 2. Riches.

24-26. 3. Pleasure.
Ch. iii. 1, &c. 3d proof. Inconstancy of men's will.

9. Conclusion of the third proof.

A review of the second and third proofs considered con

jointly, with special observations and corollaries.
10, 11.

1st observation. God is inculpable.
12-15. 2d observation. God is the author of whatever be-

falls us in this world.
16, 17. 1st corollary. God shall redress all grievances.
18-21. 2d corollary. God must be exalted, and man hum-

bled.
22. 3d corollary. God alloweth men to enjoy the pre-

sent.
Ch.i. 1. 4th proof. Men's neglect of proper opportunities evi-

denced in several instances, viz.
1-3. 1. Oppression:

2. Envy:

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1

3 'What profit hath a man of all his labour which he A.C.980
taketh under the sun ?

to 975.
1 ch. ii. 22. &

iii. 9.
5, 6. 3. Idleness:

7-12. 4. Avarice:
Ch.!. 13–19. 5. Misapplication of esteem and regard.

N. B. V. 1—9. is a digression, containing se

veral admonitions, in order to prevent any

misconstruction of the foregoing remarks.
11-12. 6. Expensive living.
13. THE SECOND PROPOSITION: -" Earthly goods, and

whatever we can acquire by our utmost trouble and
labour in this world, are so far from making us last-
ingly happy, that they may even be regarded as real

obstacles to our ease, quiet, and tranquillity."
14-17. 1st proof. Instability of riches.
Ch vi, 18–2. 2d proof

. Insufficiency of riches to make one happy.
-. Corollary. The fate of an abortive is preferable,

upon the whole, to that of one who lives without

enjoying life.
7–9. 3d proof. Men's insatiableness.
10, 11. General conclusion from the first and second proposition.
12. THE THIRD PROPOSITION:-"Men know not what is or

is not truly advantageous to them: because they are
either ignorant or unmindful of that which must come

to pass after they are dead."
Ch. vii. 1-3. Ist proof. Wrong estimation of things.

A digression intended (like that in ver. 1—9.) to pre

vent any misconstruction of the foregoing observa-
tions, and containing several advices, together with
a strong commendation of him who gives them, in
order to enforce the observation of the rules laid down

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by him.

3.12. Ist advice. Not to blame Providence.

13. 2d advice. Not to judge of Providence.
14, 15. 3d advice. To submit to Providence,
16–20. 4th advice. To avoid excess.
21, 22. 5th advice. Not to mind idle reports.
23–25. Commendation of the foregoing advices, from the author's

application to examine every thing, and especially
26-29. 1. Wickedness and ignorance.
Ch. viii
. 1-8. 2. Wisdom.

2d proof. Anticipated judgments.
9-14. 1. That sin shall go unpunished, because it is so in this

world.
2. That life is preferable to death.

Ist corollary. Earthly enjoy nts are not criminal.
10. 2d corollary. A proper use must be made of our fa-

culties.

Ch. i 15-6.

m Ps. civ. 5. & cxix. 90.

eth,

n Job xxxviii.
10. Ps. civ. 8,
9.

A.C.980 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation "I me to 975.

cometh : " but the earth abideth for ever.

5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and Heb. pant. * hasteth to his place where he arose.

6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north ; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

7 * All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full;

unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they Heb. return + return again.

8 All things are full of labour ; man cannot utter it :

is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with

hearing.
o ch. il, 15. 9 . The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;

and that which is done is that which shall be done : and
there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any whereof it may be said, See, this is new?
it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

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16.

Ch. xi. 1115. 3d proof. Judgments that are seemingly right, yet truly

false.
16, &c. 4th proof. Little regard paid to wisdom.

1. Past services are forgotten.
Ch. X.

17-4. 2. The least fault is taken notice of.
5-19. 3. Favour gets what is due to merit.
20. A caution, to prevent the abuse of the foregoing re-

marks.

PRACTICAL INFERENCES.

Ch. xi. 144. 1. From the first proposition: We must give unto earthly

goods that stability which they are capable of.
5, 6. 2. From the first and second proposition: We must, in

our conduct, conform to the design of Providence

concerning us, and leave the success to God.
7–10. 3. From the three propositions ; but especially from the
xii. 1-8. third: we must seek for happiness beyond the grave.
9-12. Commendation of the work, from several considera-

tions.
13, 14. THE CONCLUSION of the whole :--That there must be a

state of true and solid happiness for men in a future
state.-In other words, the fear of God, and keeping
his commandments, is the whole of man, that is, his
chief good, his whole interest, privilege, honour, and
happiness, as well as duty: for, after this vain life is
past, another scene will succeed, and men shall be
judged and recompensed according to their conduct,
secret as well as open, and whether it may have been

good or evil.
Vide Horne's Crit. Introd. vol. ii. p. 185, &c.

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11 There is no remembrance of former things ; neither A.C. 980
shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come
with those that shall come after.
12 Ş I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wis-
dom concerning all things that are done under heaven : this
sore travail hath God given to the sons of men * to be ex- Or, to afflict
ercised therewith.

14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun;
and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

15 ? That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and p ch. vii. 13.
that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

+ Heb. defect,
16 I communed with my own heart, saying, Lo, I am
come to great estate, and have gotten 4 more wisdom than 91 Kings iii.
all they that have been before me in Jerusalem : yea, my 30 * 1.7, 23.
heart I had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

17 ' And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know seen much.
madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of & vii. 23, 25.
spint.

18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that in-
creaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

ECCLESIASTES II,
1 The vanity of human courses in the works of pleasure. 12 Though the wise be
better than the fool, yet both have one event. 18 The vanity of human labour, in
leaving it they know not to whom. 24 Nothing better than joy in our labour ;
but that is God's gift.
1 I said in mine heart, Go to now,

I will
prove

thee with
mirth

, therefore enjoy pleasure : and, behold, this also is
vanity.

2 I said of laughter, It is mad : and of mirth, What doeth
it?

3 ' I sought in mine heart $ to give myself unto wine, s ch.1. 17.
yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold my ste ho dorant
on folly

, til I might see what was that good for the sons of
men, which they should do under the heaven || all the days | Heh. the
of their life.

4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted ië.
me vineyards:

5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits :

6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees :

7 I got me servants and maidens, and had * servants born * Hch. sons of in my house ; also I had great possessions of great and small my house. cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me :

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A.C. 980 to 975.

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28. & x. 10,
21, &c.
* Heb. musi-
cal instrument
and instru-
ments.

my labour.

X ch. i. 17. & vii. 25.

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cellency in

8.4 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar

treasure of kings and of the provinces : 1 gat me men singers 11 Kings ix. and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as

* musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem : also my wisdom remained with me.

10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour : and this was my portion of all

11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had

wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, uch. i. 3,14. behold, all was " vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was

no profit under the sun.

12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, * and mad

ness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after Or, in those the king ? + even that which hath been already done.

13 Then I saw I that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

14 y The wise man's eyes are in his head ; but the fool wisdom more walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one

event happeneth to them all.

15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, Heb. hap. so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more peneth tome, wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

16 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 wise man? as the fool.

17 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.

18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken Ps. xlix. 10. under the sun : because ? I should leave it unto the man

that shall be after me.

19 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.

20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in

knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not la* Heb. give. boured therein shall hê * leave it for his portion. This also

is vanity and a great evil.

&c. y Prov. xvii. 24. ch. viii, 1.

|| Heb. labour.

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