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▸ Behold, O Lord, thou haft made our Days as an Hand-breadth; and our Age is as nothing before thee.
All Flesh is as Grafs, and all the Glory of Man as the Flower of Grafs. The Grafs withereth, and the Flower thereof falleth away. As for Man, his Days are as Grafs: As a Flower of the Field, fo he flourisheth; for the Wind paffeth over it, and it is gone, and the Place thereof fhall know it no more. We all do fade as a Leaf.
• Man fleeth alfo as a Shadow, and continueth not; his Days are like a Shadow that declineth; and there is none abiding.
• Our Days are fwifter than a Poft. They are paffed away as the fwift Ships. We spend our Years as a Tale that is told.
Here we have no continuing City, but are Strangers and Sojourners before the Lord, as were all our Fathers. For what is our Life? It is even a Vapour that appeareth for a little Time, and then vanifheth away.
• We dwell in Houfes of Clay, whofe Foundation is in the Duft, which are crushed before the Moth. There is but a Step between us and Death.
* Man affo knoweth not his Time; but as the Fifhes that are taken in an evil Net, and as the Birds that are caught in the Snare, fo are the Sons of Men fnared in an evil Time, when it falleth fuddenly upon them.
Pfal. 39. 5.
91 Pet. 1. 24. Pfal. 105. 15, 16. Ifa. Job 14. 2. Pfal. 102. 11. 1 Chron. 29. 15.
Pfal. 90. 9.
Job 9. 25, 26. 29. 15. James 4. 14. Ecclef. 9. 12.
Heb. 13. 14.
1 Cor. Sam. 29. 3°
* One dieth in his full Strength, being wholly at Eafe and Quiet; his Breafts are full of Milk, and his Bones are moiflened with Marrow. Another dieth in the Bitterness of his Soul, and never eateth with Pleasure; his Days are spent without Hope, and the Number of his Months is cut off in the midft. And another faith to his Soul, Soul, thou haft much Goods laid up for many Years, take thine Eafe, eat, drink, and be merry; and yet that very Night his Soul fhall be required of him.
Y All Flefh fhall perifh together. In a Moment fhall they die; and the Mighty fhall be taken away without Hand.
Lord, make us to know our End, and the Measure of our Days, what it is; that we may know how frail we are.
The PAIN and TROUBLE he is fubject to. Man is born unto Trouble, as the Sparks fly upwards.
Though the Days of Man are few, yet they are full of Trouble. Few and evil are the Days of the Years of our Pilgrimage.
All the Days of Man åre Sorrows, and his Travail Grief, His Flesh upon him fhall have Pain, and his Soul within him shall mourn.
Many Evils and Troubles continually befal him. He is liable to all Manner of Sicknefs, and all manner of Difeafes; and through Fear of Death, he is all his Life-time fubject to Bondage.
All Things are full of Labour, Man cannot utter it. And fore is the Travail which God hath given to the Sons of Men, to be exercifed therewith.
The whole Creation groaneth and travaileth in Pain together until now; and we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the Redemption of our Body: For we are not yet come to the Reft, and to the Inheritance which the Lord our God giveth us.
The VANITY of HUMAN CONDITION.
Who knoweth what is good for Man in this. Life, all the Days of his vain Life, which he fpendeth as a Shadow ?
Surely every Man walketh in a vain Shew; furely they are difquieted in vain.
* Men of low Degree are Vanity, and Men of high Degree are a Lie. Verily, every Man at his beft State is altogether Vanity.
The Thoughts of Men are Vanity.,
Our Converfation received by Tradition from our Fathers, is vain.
m And what Profit hath a Man of all his Labour which he taketh, and of the Vexation of his Heart wherein he hath laboured under the Sun ? " He laboureth in vain, he fpendeth his Strength for nought."
• Though we have made us great Works, and built us Houses, and planted Vineyards, and made Gardens and Orchards, and planted Trees in them of all Kind of Fruit: And though we have gotten great Poffeffions of great and fmall Cattle; and have gathered alfo Silver and Gold, and the peculiar Treasure of Kings and of Provinces; and have gotten Men-fingers and Women-fingers, and the Delights of the Sons of Men, as mufical Inftruments, and that of all Sorts. And though whatsoever our Eyes defired we have not kept from them, and have not withheld our Hearts from any Joy; yet when we look on all the Works that our Hands have wrought, and on the Labour that we have laboured to do, behold all is Vanity and Vexation of Spirit, and there is no Profit under the Sun.
And if we prove our Hearts with Mirth, and fay to them, Enjoy Pleafure; we fhall fay of Laughter, It is mad; and of Mirth, What doth it?
If we apply our Hearts to know Wisdom, and to fee the Bufinefs that is done upon the Earth; we shall perceive that this alfo is Vexation of Spirit: For in much Wisdom is much Grief, and he that increaseth Knowledge, increafeth Sorrow.
Neither can a Man find out the Work that is done under the Sun. Because though a Man labour to feek it out, yet he fhall not find it; yea, though a wife Man think to know it, yet fhall he not be able to find it.
• Moreover of making many Books there is no End; and much Study is a Weariness to the Flesh.
↑ And how dieth the wife Man? As the Fool. For there is ro Remembrance of the wife Man more than of the Fool for ever.
"If a Man beget an hundred Children, and live many Years, and his Labour is in Wifdom, and in Knowledge, and in Equity; who knoweth whether the Man that shall be after him, unto whom he shall leave all his Labour which he hath taken, fhall be a wife Man or a Fool? Yet shall he have Rule over all the Labour wherein he hath laboured, and wherein he hath fhewed himself wife under the Sun. This is also Vanity.
* Wifdom excelleth Folly, as far as Light excelleth Darkness; yet is Folly oftentimes fet in great Dignity, and the Rich fet in low Place.
* Wisdom is better than Strength; neverthelefs the poor Man's Wifdom is defpifed, and his Words are not heard.
y Again, I confidered all Travail, and every right Work; that for this a Man is envied of his Neighbour. This is alfo Vanity and Vexation of Spirit.
2 Labour not to be rich; for Riches certainly make themfelves Wings and fly away. Why then shouldst thou fet thine Eyes upon that which is not? For the Sun is no fooner rifen with a burning Heat, but it withereth the Grafs, and the Flower thereof faileth, and the Grace of the
t Ecclef. 2. 16.
* Ecclef. 6. 3.
Ecclef. 2. 21, 19, 18.
w Ecclef. 2. 13. Ecclef. 10. 6. x Ecclef. 9. 16. y Ecclef. 4.4. z Prov. 23. 4, 5; James I. II.