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say, brethren, the time is short; it remaineth, that they that rejoice, be as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy as though they possessed not; and they that use this world as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away".
Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house; thou, and the Levite and the stranger that is among you. Behold, that which I have seen; it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun, all the days of his life, which God giveth him; for it is his portion*. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. 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 an evil disease. Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Live joyfully with thy wife whom thou lovest; for that is thy portion in this life'. Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared; for the joy of the Lord is your strength".
SECT. 2. But excess in the use of these benefits is criminal and dangerous.
I the preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem'. I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure. I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, (yet acquainting mine
b 1 Cor. vii. 29,30,31. • Eccles. vi. 1, 2. § 2. Eccles. i. 12.
• Deut. xxvi. 11.
d Eccles. v. 18, 19. Neh. viii. 10.
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 heavens. I made me great works; I builded me houses, I planted me vineyards. And whatsoever mine eyes desired, I kept not from them; I withheld not mine heart from any joy. 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. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts. Wo to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning. Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of pobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength and not for drunkenness. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man; he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich". A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry'; even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. Who hath wo? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine, they that go to seek mixt wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eye shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things'.
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: and put a knife in thy throat if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties; for they are deceitful meat". Eat
thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he; Eat, and drink, saith he to thee, but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words". Be not amongst wine-bibbers; amongst riotous eaters of flesh. For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son; but he that is a companion of riotous men, shameth his father”.
SECT. 4. Various woes are denounced against intemperance.
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city; and they shall say unto the elders, This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he is a glutton and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones that he die; so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear and fear. Wo unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that continue until night till wine inflame them. And the harp, and the viol, the tabret and pipe, and wine are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Wo unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink. Wo unto him that giveth his neighbour drink; that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also. Thou art filled with shame for glory. Wo to them that are at ease in Zion; that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music like David; that drink wine in bowls,
Prov. xxiii. 6, 7, 8.
§ 4. Deut. xxi. 18—21. Hab. ii. 15, 16.,
• Prov. xxiii. 20, 21.
P Prov. xxviii. 7.
e Isa. v. 22.
and anoint themselves with the chief ointment; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. And they have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink'. Wo to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under feet. They have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine; they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment". Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink, and to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant'; I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine own heart, to add drunkennesss to thirst*. In that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth; and behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine; let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die. And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord God of hosts'. For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry And I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their doings; for they shall eat and not have enough. Whoredom and wine, and new wine, take away the heart". Ye eat, Ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink. Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it is cut off from your mouth'. And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs
Isa. xxviii. 1, 3.
into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head.
SECT. 5. Sobriety and watchfulness are enjoined by our Lord.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you. And seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind". Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching. But if that servant say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the men servants, and the maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares'. Wo unto you that are rich; for ye have received your consolation. Wo unto you that are full; for ye shall hunger. Wo unto you that laugh now; for ye shall mourn and weep. Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh; lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch".
SECT. 6. Awful warnings against gluttony and drunkenness.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators,