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THE FIRST BOOK.
Felicity. Ethics is a Doctrine of wisdom and knowledge to live well, and of the madness and foolishness of vice: or instruction to do wisely by justice, and judgment, and equity, and to do good in our life. The end whereof is; to see and attain that chief goodness of the children of men, which they enjoy under the sun, the whole number of the days of their life. Ec. i. 17. vii. 27. Pr. i. 3. Ec. iii. 12. ii. 3.
Not in pleasure.
ri. No satisfaction. Wherein
2. Increased expence. Felicity is not: Not in wealth :) 3. Restlessness.
for herein is 4. Want of fruition.
16. Necessity of leaving it. Which consists not in pleasure ; for I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with joy, therefore take thou pleasure in pleasant things, yea, I withdrew not my heart from any joy: for my heart rejoiced in all my labour : and who could eat, and who could haste to outward things more than I ? and, behold, this also is vanity. Eccl. ï. 1. ii. 10. ii. 25. ii. 1.
Not in riches. 1. For he, that loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with silver; and he, that loveth riches, shall be without the fruit of them : this also is vanity. 2. When riches increase, they are increased that eat them : and what good cometh to the owners thereof, but the beholding thereof with their eyes? yea much evil; for 3. whereas the sleep of him that travailleth is sweet, whether he eat
little or much ; contrarily, the satiety of the rich will not suffer him to sleep ; so there is an evil sickness, which I have seen under the sun, riches reserved to the owners thereof, for their evil, and ofter, not for their good : for 4. there is another evil, which I have seen under the sun, and it is frequent among men ; a man to whom God hath given riches, and treasures, and honour, and he wanteth nothing for his soul, of all it desireth ; but God giveth him not power to eat thereof; and if he have that, yet how long? 5. Riches remain not always, but taketh her to her wings as an eagle, and flieth to the heavens. And 6. for their owner : as he came forth of his mother's belly, he shall return naked, to go as he came, and shall bear away nothing of his labour, which he caused to pass by his hand : and this is also an evil sickness, that in all points as he came, so shall he go : and what profit hath he, that he hath travailled for the wind ? Ec. v. 9. v. 10. v. 11. y. 12. vi. 1. vi. 2. Pr. xxvii. 24. xxiii. 5. Ec. v. 14. v. 15.
Not in honour and magnificence. 1, the preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem ; and I was great, and increased above all that were before me in Jerusalem : which also I shewed in effect; for I made me great works, I built me houses, I planted me vineyards, I made me gardens, and orchards, and planted in them trees of all fruits; I made me ponds of water, to water therewith the woods that grow with trees; I got men servants, and maids, and had chil. dren born in the house ; also 1 had great possessions of beeves, and sheep, above all that were before me in Jerusalem ; I gathered to me also silver and gold, and the chief treasures of kings and provinces ; I provided men-singers, and women-singers ; and the delights of the sons of men, musical concerts of all kinds. Yea, 1, king Solomon, made myself a palace of the trees of Lebanon : I made the pillars thereof of silver, and the pavement thereof of gold; the hangings thereof of purple, whose mids was paved with the love of the daughters of Israel: then I looked on all my works that my hands had wrought, (as who is the man that will compare with the king in things which men now have done ?) and on the travail that I laboured to do; and, behold, all is vanity, and vexation of spirit ; and there is no profit under the sun. Ec. i. 12. i. 16. ii. 9. ü. 4. ij. 5. ii. 6. ii. 7. ii. s. Can. ij. 9. iii. 10. Ec. ii. 11. ii, 12. ii. 11.
Long life and ) unperfect satisfaction, issue rejected, for
remembrance and continuance
Not in long life, and plenteous issue : for if a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, and the days of his years be multiplied, and his soul be not satisfied with good things, and he be not buried, I
that an untimely fruit is better than he. For he cometh into vanity, and goeth into darkness : and his name shall be covered with darkness : also, he hath not seen the sun ; nor known it; therefore this hath more rest than the other : and if he had lived a thousand years twice told, and had seen no good ; shall not all go to one place and howsoever, the light surely is a pleasant thing, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun, yet though a man live many years, and in them all he rejoice ; if he shall remember the days of darkness, because they are many, and all that cometh, is vanity. Ec. vi. 3. vi. 4. vi. 3. vi. 6. xi. 7. xi. 1.
though better than folly ;
(imperfection. Not in learning, and human knowledge. I have given my heart to search and find out wisdom in all things that are done under the heaven, (this sore travail hath God given the sons of men to humble them thereby) yea, I thought in mine heart and said, Behold, I have anplified and increased wisdom, above all them that have been before me, in the court and university of Jerusalem, and mine heart hath seen much wisdom and knowledge : for (when I was at the wildest) my wisdom remained with me : then I saw indeed, that there is profit in wisdom more than in folly, as the light is more excellent than darkness : for the wise-man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walketh in darkness : but yet, I know that the same condition falleth to them all. Then I thought in mine heart, it befalleth to me as it befalleth to the fool ; why therefore do I labour to be more wise? For what hath the wise-man more than the fool? There shall be no remembrance of the
wise, nor of the fool for ever : for that, that now is, in the days to come shall be forgotten; and how dieth the wise-man? as doth the fool: Besides the imperfection of the best knowledge ; for the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing : I thought I would be wise, but it went far from me: it is far off, what may it be? and it is a profound deepness, who can find it? yea, so far is it from giving contentment, that in the multitude of wisdom is much grief; and he, that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow. Ec. i. 13. i. 16. ii. 9. ii. 13. ii. 14. ii. 15. vi. 8. ii. 16. i. 8. vii. 25. i. 18.
Lastly, not in any human thing: for I have considered all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and veration of spirit. Ec. i. 14.
Long Life, &c. WHEREIN then doth it consist? Let us hear the end of all, Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole of man, the whole duty, the whole scope, the whole happiness; for Life is in the way of righteousness, and in that path there is no death; and attending thereon; all blessings are upon the head of the righteous. Wouldest thou have favour? A good man getteth favour of the Lord. Joy? The righteous shall sing and rejoice; and surely to a man that is good in his sight, God giveth wisdom and knowledge and joy; so that the light of the righteous rejoiceth, but the candle of the wicked shall be put out. Preservation and deliverance ? Lo, the righteous is an everlasting foundation ; for the way of the Lord is strength to the upright man, so as the righteous shall never be removed; and if he be in trouble; Riches avail not in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivereth from death, so the righteous shall come out of adversity, and escape out of trouble, and the wicked shall come in his stead : thus every way righteousness preserveth the upright in heart. Prosperity and wealth? The house of the righteous shall have much treasure, and his tabernacle shall flourish. Long life? The fear of the Lord encreaseth the days; and not only himself, but his house shall stand. And though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and God prolong his days, yet know I that it shall be well to them that fear the Lord, and do reverence before him., And, lastly, whatsoever good? God will grant the desire of the righteous; and he, that kcepeth the Law, is blessed. Ec. xii. 13. Pr. xii. 24. xi. 19. x. 6. xü, 2. xxix. 6. Ec. ii. 26. Pr. xiii. 9. x. 25. X. 29. x. 30. xi. 4. xii. 13. xi. 8. xiii. 6. XV. 6. xiv. 11. x. 27. xii. 7. Ec. viii. 12. Pr. x. 3, 4. xxix. 18.