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XXXI. 3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. Suffer not thyself so to be besotted with the beauty of women, as that thou shouldest yield unto them the strength of thy body, and the best of thy thoughts; neither give thyself to those wanton courses, which have been the bane of many great princes.
XXXI. 4 It is not for kings, 0 Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine ; nor for princes strong drink. It is not fit for kings, O Solomon, to give themselves to excessive or pleasurable drinking of wine, and to pouring in of strong intoxicating liquors.
XXXI. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish. Give rather strong drink to the man, that is dejected in spirits, and near to perishing, through extremity of affliction.
XXXI. 8 Open thou thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Speak thou for them, that are not able to speak for themselves; and plead thou for them, who are undeservedly designed to destruction. .
XXXI. 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Whosoever finds a wise, virtuous, modest wife, let him know how to value her: let him esteem her worth above all the precious ru, bies and diamonds of the world.
XXXI. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Her husband may safely rely upon her trust and care, for the maintenance and enriching of his family ; so as he shall have no need to depend upon the spoil of enemies, for the enhancing of his wealth.
XXXI. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She provideth all necessaries for her family, at the best hand; and after the manner of merchants, sendeth far for a good pennyworth.
XXXI. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength. She addresseth herself to go roundly and heartily about her business.
XXXI. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good : her candle goeth not out by night. She findeth such sweetness and benefit in her careful endeavours, that she is encouraged to add vigilancy to her painfulness; and, as if the day were not long enough, she borrows of the night.
XXXI. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her houshold : for all her houshold are clothed with scarlet. She knows those of her family need not take care for the cold of winter ; for she hath made both warm and rich provision of clothes for them; not only for necessary use, but for ornament also.
XXXI. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the city. Her husband, sitting in the gates of the city amongst other of the
rulers, is easily known from all the rest, by the cost and neatness of that attire, which she hath provided for him, above his fellows.
XXXI. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing. She so demeans berself, as that all her actions and carriages are full of honour, and bewray a masculine strength and fortitude.
XXXI. 28, 29 He praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou ercellest them all. Her husband shall extol her worth and virtue above all other women, saying, Other wives have done and deserved well, but thou surpassest them all.
XXXI. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain : but a woman that feareth the LORD, shall be praised. It is no trusting, either to outward favour, or to plausibleness of disposition: as for beauty, it is fading and transitory; but the true fear of God is that, the comfort whereof will stick by us always; the woman that is endued therewith shall be ever praised.
XXXI. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. Let her have that due praise, which she hath deserved; and let her own works, as they have merited, procure her a public applause in the world.
ECCLESIASTES. I. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. All these earthly things, all that a man can either do or attain, is utterly vain and ineffectual, in respect of any true and perfect contentment or happiness, which it can yield to the soul; since it is both fickle in the continuance, and unsatisfying in the nature and worth thereof.
I. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun ? So far is all the labour of man, which he takes here on earth, unable to make him truly happy, as that it yieldeth him no during profit at all : both he and it are swept away by death, as if they had never been.
I. 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh : but the earth abideth for ever. There is no stability here: one generation of men goeth, another comes, none stayeth; while yet the earth, the basest of all elements, and that from whence we received this corruptible substance, continueth in her wonted estate, and abides to the end of the world.
I. 5, 6 The sun also ariseth, &c. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirlcth, Xc. All things are in motion : the sun and the wind whirl about the earth, and return around, after their circuition, to the very place whence they began their course.
1. 7 All the rivers run into the sea ; yet the sea is not full ; unto the place whence the rivers come, thither they return again. So do the waters also keep the same course of motion; for all rivers run into the sea, which again empties itself, by secret conveyances, through the channels of the earth, into those springs whereof the rivers arise ; so as there is a continued circle in the movings and interchanges of these creatures; but man passeth away at once, and appeareth no more.
1. 8 All things are full of labour' ; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with sucing, nor the ear filled with hearing. All these creatures do, as it were, toil themselves in their motion; and all the world, wherein they are, is full of trouble and vexation: it is not in the power of man to express the particulars; no, the very eye of man can never have seen enough, the ear of man can never have heard enough, of the miserable vanities and irk, some conditions of this earthly life of ours.
1. 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. The eye and the ear can never come to an end of their work; for there is still an interchangeable succession of their objects: that, which hath formerly been, shall be again; and that, which nowis done, sball, in the revolution of times, come about again; and there is neither an end of old occurrences, nor a beginning of new.
1. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after them. We easily mistake the condition of all things; for those things, which have been, leave no remembrance behind them; and those things, which are now present, and those, which shall be hereafter, shall be so forgotten of our succeeding posterity, as if they had never been.
I. 15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. That, which is crooked and perverse, cannot by any human mcans be rectified and reformed: only the power of God, who made all things, can change the natural misdisposition of them ; and there are such store of defects and enormities, both in nature and practice, that they cannot be numbered.
117 I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I addicted myself moreorer to the disquisition and study of morality; and, therein, I did not only labour to know what pertained to wisdom, but also, on the contrary, to understand what belongs to folly and madness, that I might perfectly comprehend all the fashions and courses of men; and I found this to be no better than vexation of spirit.
I. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief : and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
For whosoever gets much wisdom, shall be sure to have much sorrow to boot; since, the more he knows, the more cause of grief shall he find; for both he shall still see more that he cannot know, and in that which he doth know he shall perceive so much vanity that shall pierce and humble his soul.
II. 1 I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth. From that austere search of knowledge, I thought to divert my thoughts unto mirth and pleasure.
II. 2 I said of laughter, It is mad : and of mirth, What doeth it? When I had taken a full trial of the free jollities and wild delights of men, I cast them off with scorn; and said of laughter, that it is both an effect and argument of a mad distemper of the mind; and of mirth, that it is a vain and unprofitable passion, not fit for a wise man's entertainment.
II. 3 I thought in my heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom ; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good &c. I did yet further resolve, to give myself over to the pleasures of the palate and of the belly; to take my fill of wine and delicates, for the cheering up of my dull and wearied spirits: yet so, as that I made account not to cast off the study of wisdom; but therewithal to mix an experimental knowledge of folly and debauchedness, till I might sec whether any true contentment might be found therein.
II. 7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in I bought and procured servants and maids; and had, besides, a numerous issue of those bond-servants, which were born and bred within my own family.
II. 12 For what can the man do that cometh after the king ? even that which hath been already done. If ever any man could have found out full contentment, either in wisdom or folly, certainly I should have done it; for who can have the like means that I have had, for these ends? Surely, he, that will come after me, for a further disquisition of this matter, shall find, that he can neither do nor know ought, but that, which I have done and known before him.
II. 14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. Wisdom is light, and folly is darkness; the wise man therefore walketh in this light, having the eyes of his understanding clear, whereas the fool walketh in darkness; yet, for all this difference, I perceived that events, whether good or evil, fall alike unto them both.
II. 15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I saich in my heart, that this also is yunity.
To what purpose then, should I weary myself in the pursuit of wisdom, if, in respect of the events of things, I shall speed no better than a fool? And, at last I concluded, that both this indif. ferency of events, and this use, that I was apt to make of it, is vanity.
H. 16 And how dieth the wise man? as the fool. Doth not the wise man die as well as the fool? Doth he not die with as much pain, as the fool? Is there not the same act, and manner of dissolution of both?
II. 17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me. I was therefore utterly distasted with the present life; since it yielded nothing but anguish and vexation, even from the best works that I could perform.
II. 18, 19 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? It doth not a little aggravate the vanity of these earthly content: ments, and my hatred of all my laborious and magnificent works, that, when I have done, I must leave them to a successor ; at all uncertainties: for who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?
II. 20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun. Therefore I did bend my thoughts, what I might, to put my heart out of conceit and hope of any good issue of all my earthly labours and endeavours.
II. 24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should cat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. Yet of all vanities this is the best, since the life of man is attended with so much sorrow and care; what he may to put off all grief and anxiety, to enjoy the good blessings of God, to eat and to drink, and to take all lawful pleasure and delight in the use of those good things he hath.
II. 25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I? For, is there any man living that can procure more excellent varieties of delicates, than I? Is there any, whose means will afford him opportunity of providing them with more speed or ease, than myself?
III. 1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. Both God hath predetermined, in his most wise counsel, a time and season, wherein all events shall come to pass; and hath put this wisdom into man, to make choice of the times and opportuvities for all his actions.
III. 3 A time to kill. There is a time, whether in a just war or in a peaceable execution of justice, wherein it is seasonable and warrantable to kill.