صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

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. I 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

[ocr errors]

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 Power and Riches, and the deceitfulness 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

mong men 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? for 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 things to others, and die. Marvel not at the works of sinners; but trust in the Lord, and abide in thy labour: for it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord on the sudden to make a poor man rich. F.om the morning until the evening the time is changed, and all things are soon done before the Lord. The blessing of the Lord is in the reward of the godly, and suddenly he maketh his blessing to flourish.

From the same.

Commend not a man for his beauty; neither abhor 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

thou hast examined the truth: understand first, and then rebuke. Answer not before thou hast heard the cause: neither interrupt men in the midst of their talk. There is a sinner that hath good success in evil things; and there is a gain that turneth to loss. There is a gift that shall not profit thee; and there is a gift whose recompence is double. There is an abasement because of glory; and there is that lifteth up his head from a low estate. There is that buyeth much for a little, and repayeth it sevenfold. There is one that laboureth, and taketh pains, and maketh haste, and is so much the more behind. Again, there is another that is slow, and hath need of help, wanting ability, and full of poverty; yet the eye of the Lord looked upon him for good, and set him up from his low estate, and lifted up his head from misery; so that many that saw it marvelled at him. Say not, What profit is there of my service? and what good things shall I have hereafter? Again, say not, I have enough, and possess many things, and what evil can come to me hereafter? In the day of prosperity there is a forgetfulness of affliction: and in the day of affliction there is no more remembrance of prosperity. For it is an easy thing unto the Lord in the day of death to reward a man according to his ways. The affliction of an hour maketh a

man forget pleasure: and in his end his deeds shall be discovered. Judge none blessed before his death for a man shall be known in his children.


I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. There was a little city, and few men within it and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

The self-deception of concealment from the eye of man whilst the eye of Providence is upon all our works.


A man that breaketh wedlock, saying thus in his heart, Who seeth me? I am compassed about

« السابقةمتابعة »