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served before ; and the last word, (ketzeph), wrath, somebody else, and those not his children, nor his denotes the highest commotion of that sort. For kindred, but a mere stranger perhaps, who either in being applied to the sea, it signifies such a boiling his life-time, or after he is dead) devours all that he rage as makes it foam. There is another word, in- hath saved. What can be more senseless than this? deed, which we render hot displeasure ; but this is Nay, what sorer plague can infest mankind ? See Anjoined with it, (Psal. xxxvii. 1.), as equivalent to not. [b] it, or the effect of it.

Ver. 3. 1 If a man beget an hundred children, and [p] From all which he concludes this chapter, as he live many years, so that the days of his year's be mony,

had done his discourse upon the foregoing subjects, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have with this meditation, (which some call sententia in no burial, I say, that an untimely birth is better than be.] tercalaris), that the greatest blessing a man can en- & Unless it be this, that one of this sort of men, being joy in this life, is to have an heart to use what blessed also with abundance of children, and with an God hath given him for his own honest pleasure, exceeding long life, yet thereby is made only so much with due acknowledgements to God, and charity the more, and so much the longer miserable ; being to others, ver. 18. 19. 20. Where (ver. 19.) there so solicitous for posterity, that he hath no heart to take are two words to express abundance of worldly the comfort of anything he possesses at present, no, nor good, as I have paraphrased them. The last of so much as to take order for his decent funeral, when them, nekasin, is larger than the former, compre- he is dead ; but he goes out of the world without any hending all manner of goods, (cattle and all), which notice that he hath lived in it. Of such an one I proa man gathers together. For it seems, by a trans nounce, That an abortive, which came into the world position of letters, to be derived from kanas, to col. before its time, is not so despicable as he. See Anlect or gather, chap. ii. 8. from which comes the not. [c] Latin word census, the revenues which a man is Ver. 4. For he cometh in with vanity, and parteth in esteemed to have, and accordingly is rated, and darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.] pays subsidies.

For though in this they are both alike, that they come into the world to no purpose, and go out of it so ob

scurely, that nobody minds their departure, and leave CH A P. VI.

no memory behind them that they have been in it;

See Annot. [d] THE ARGUMENT.-The first ten verses, at least, of this



Moreover be hath not seen the sun, nor known chapter, are a continuation of the same argument he

any thing : this hath more rest than the ctber.] Yet handled in the latter part of the same foregoing, in this they differ, that an abortive, having never seen and therefore ought to be connected with it. For the light of the sun, much less been acquainted with they set forth the vanity of riches in the possession any thing in this world, had no desire to enjoy that of a covetous wretch, who only increases the of which it was perfectly ignorant, and was as utter. number of unhappy men in this world, being never ly insensible of grief and pain, as it was of joy and the better for any thing he enjoys, as he shews in pleasure ; whereas this man's insatiable desires, carthe conclusion of the chapter.

rying him after every thing he sees, torment his soul

with anxious thoughts, care and labour, which not Ver. 1. THERE is an evil which I bave seen under only make him pine away with grief for what he

the sun, and it is common among men ;] cannot get, but deprive him of the comfort of what But alas ! this divine benefit, though above all others, he hath. And how much better is it, never to live is coveted by very few; for I have observed this at all, than to live only to disquiet a man's self with most wretched, miserable humour, reigning among restless solicitude of mind, and toilsome pains of bomankind, which, though it be the greatest mischief, dy, for that which he can neither keep, nor part is grown so common, that it hath overspread the face withal, with any contentment? of the wbole earth. See Annot. [a]

Ver. 6. 1 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice Ver. 2. A man to whom God bath given riches, wealth, told, yet hatb be seen no good; do not all go to one and honour, so that be wantelb nothing for bis soul of place?] | Men are so fond of life, indeed, that because all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat the one lives long, and the other not at all, they ima. thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it gine the former to be incomparably more happy: but is an evil disease. ] When a man is blessed by God, let us suppose this covetous wretch to live more than as with such abundance of money and goods, and height long again as the oldest man that ever was, what is he of honour, that he need not, unless he will, want the better for it, when his greedy desires, not suffering any thing which his largest desires can wish should him to enjoy his goods, multiply his miseries equally to administer to his pleasure ; yet so great is his ingrati- his years? which will expire also at last ; and then, tude to God, and his uncharitableness to men, that what are his riches able to do for him ? can they prifor these, and other sins, God denies him the power vilege him from going down into the grave, and rotto enjoy these gifts of his bounty; to which he is a ting there like the abortive ? Sce Annot. [e] slave, rather than their master : for he possesses them Ver. 7. All the labour of man is for his mouth, and as if they were not his own, but kept by him for yet the appetite is not filled.] And while he lives, to

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what purpose is his restless labour ? Seeing, if he de- possessions, which he leaves belrini him, when he de. sire only what is necessary, it is easily provided, and parts out of this world.

parts out of this world. See Annot. Li] having food and raiment, a man may be contented : and if he extend his desires farther, they are infinite,

ANNOTATIONS. and therefore can never meet with any satisfaction.

Ver. 8. For what hath the wise more than the [c] Ver. 1. Common.] Covetous wretches, it seems, fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before were no rare creatures in those days ; but the nathe living ?] For let a man be otherwise never so tion of the Jews abounded with them, being of the wise as well as rich, yet if he bridle not his desires, same humour they are now, scraping up riches by he is little better than a fool ; and he that is poor, right or wrong, which they scarce ever enjoy. But but hath so much understanding, as to know how to I have expressed also the other sense of the word behave himself among men suitably to his condition, rabba, which signifies great, (Gen. vi. 5.), as well and to be contented there with, is incomparably the as many or frequent. wiser and the happier man. See Annot. [f]

[b] Ver. 2. Riches, &c.] He describes in this verse Ver. 9. q Better is the sight of the eyes, than the wan. the ridiculousness, as well as the misery, of this dering of the desire : this is also vanity and vexation of penurious humour, by the example of a man who spirit.] It being much better to enjoy what a man wants nothing, and yet wants all that he hath, being hath at present, than to live upon the hopes of that like one that stands up to the chin in water, but which his ravenous desires continually pursue ; which fears to take a sip to quench his thirst. For to sure is a very foolish thing, and another great part those two words, riches and wealth, (mentioned in of the miseries of human life ; that men are still cra. the 19th verse of the foregoing chapter), he here ving more, when they know not how to use what adds a third, to express the greatest plenty, viz. they have already, and neglecting what they possess, glory. Which is more comprehensive than the wish for that which perhaps they cannot get, or if other, including in it all those goodly things which they do, can give them no more satisfaction than may do a man credit, and raise him to a splendid what they possess. See Annot. [f]

condition in this world. For so Laban's sons call Ver. 10. That which hath been, is named already, the ample possessions which Jacob had got in their and it is known that it is man; neither may he contend father's service, “all this glory,” (Gen.xxxi. 1.), or ' with him that is mightier than he.] And what if a substance, as some render it; which made him man have already arrived at great renown, (as well (as we now speak) a substantial man, for it denotes as riches), still it is notorious, that he is but a man, any thing that hath weight in it, and makes a man made out of the dust ; and therefore weak and frail, to be valued. and subject to many disastrous events, which it is Evil disease.] That which was called raa choleh, a not possible for him, by his most anxious cares, to sore evil, chap. v. 13. 16. is here called choli ra, an prevent, or by his power and wealth to throw off evil disease, sad sickness, or grievous torment. when he pleases. See Annot. [8]

Which is only an inversion of the words, the same Ver, 11. | Seeing there be many things that increase sense being still preserved. vanity, what is man ihe better?] And since there are [c] Ver. 3. Days of his years, &c.] He seems to reso many things, and of great consideration, that add

present in this verse an higher degree of that evil to the natural uncertainty which attends all worldly disease, by the example of one, who hath not only enjoyments, what can a man promise himself from

great store of money, and lands, and honour, but all his cares? And how frivolous are his hopes ! also abundance of children, and such firm health, and how senseless are they, when they will not suffer that he lives to a great age. Which is expressed him to enjoy any thing, for fear of diminishing that by two phrases, which we translate thus, * Live heap which they would fain increase. See Annet. many years, so that the days of his years be many;" [h]

but to avoid another tautology, the latter clause Ver. 12. For who knoweth what is good for man in should be thus translated, “. And the days of his this life, all the days of his life which he spendeth as a years be abundantly sufficient;” so many, that he shadow ? for who can tell a man what shall be after him cannot reasonably expect or desire more. For under the sun'] For (beside all that hath been said) thus rab signifies in many places, where we tran. there is this great mischief will still remain, that if slate it enough, Gen. xxiv. 25. “straw and prohe should attain his hopes, he cannot tell, whether it vender enough ;" Gen. xxxiii. 11. “I have enough, would not have been better for him to have been dis my brother.” And yet this man, thus abundantly appointed; for, alas! what man is there that hath

provided for a long happiness, doth no good, either kill enough to know, whether that eminent station to others or to himself, with what he possesses; but (for instance) to which he aspires, will prove so good grudges even the expences of a funeral, after he for him as the private condition wherein he is and can hold his riches no longer. So I understand the same doubt may be made of all other things these words, " he have no burial.” Which are gen which he desires in this short life; which passes a nerally understood, I confess, of lying neglected, way insensibly, but very swiftly, and ends in the like without any interment; which the Hebrews uncertainty, what shall become of a man's family and (every one knows) look upon as a great judgement,

latter part

(see Jer. xxii. 19.); and so Anton. Coranus glosses I have given of the beginning of this verse (taking upon these words : “ By the just judgement of the first word for an interrogation, and name for God, such wretches, who would not feed the poor renown, as is common in scripture) seems to me while they lived, become the food of dogs, or

to be the most simple, and most agreeable to the crows, when they are dead."

whole discourse. And, it is that which Melatica [d] Ver. 4. He cometh in.] Is born.

thon hath expressed in these words: “ Although a With vanity. ] Or in vain, to no purpose. Which man grow famous, yet it is known that he is but

some refer to the covetous wretch, others to the a man, and he cannot contend with that which is abortive before named; but I have referred to stronger than himself;" that is, he cannot gcboth. For this makes the clearest sense, if in the vern events. But I shall mention two other internext verse (ver. 5.) we suppose that he compares pretations, which some give of it. One is this: these two together, and prefers the latter before As he was made at first, so his name was given

the former, as he plainly doth in the conclusion of it. him, i. e. the name of Adam, signifying that he [e] Ver. 6. Sees no good.] To see, is to enjoy, as was taken out of the earth, and therefore mortal.

the phrase is used in many places; particularly The other is this, He that hath been, his name is Lev. xx. 17. John, xvii. 24. And the sense of called already ; that is, his memory is abolished this verse is, That the life of a covetous man is so together with himself. This is Maldonate's sense, far from making him happier than he who never but is not agreeable to the Hebrew phrase, His lives at all, that if he should live as long again as name is called, for that in the scripture signifies Methusalem, he would only be so much the more rather the contrary, viz. fame, and honourable wretchedly miserable. For when he hath tired mention, as I have expressed it word for word out himself with labour, he hath not taken one step

of the Hebrew, in the paraphrase. The common towards satisfaction; which he might have had interpretation may be found in all commentators, with less pains, if he had taken the right course

which is this, That God hath appeinted what every to it, ver. 7.

man shall be, whether rich or poor, &c. and [f] Ver. 8. What hath.] There is so great a diffi therefore it is in vain for them to contrive, as they

culty in this verse, that I did not know how to do, to be other than what they are. For it is to connect it with the foregoing, but by taking the endeavour to alter that which is immutably settled

of the sentence ; as if Solomon had said, by the Almighty. • What comparison is there between him, (viz. [h] Ver. I 1. Seeing there be.] This verse sums up all this the man before named), and the poor that knows matter aboạt riches, or, as others will have it, the how to walk before the living ?” i. e, the poor whole foregoing discourse, concerning all those four man, who hath so much skill as to know to live things wherein men place their happiness ; whether well, is infinitely to be preferred before him, whose wisdom, pleasure, honour, or wealth, which draw wisdom still leaves him such a fool, that it doth so many and so great (for the Hebrew word in. not restrain his superfluous appetites. And this suits cludes both) inconveniencies along with them, as well with the next words, (ver. 9.), where the sufficiently demonstrate a man is still to seek for sight of the eyes being opposed to the wandering the satisfaction of his desires, if he look no farof the desire, it is reasonable to take it for the ther. fixedness of a man's mind, to rest satisfied in what And so they would have the last verse to be an introis before him, that is, in things present.

duction to the following discourse in the next chap. Or the words may admit of this

construction, (which ter; where he shews wherein that true and solid is come into my mind, since I wrote the para happiness lies, which mankind vainly pursue in the phrase), What excellence is there in the wise man fore-named enjoyments. But I have connected it (that is, in the opinion of the wretch before men with what goes before in this chapter, as the partioned, there is none) more than in a fool, espe ticle (for) in the beginning of it shews it ought to cially if he be poor, &c. That is, to all other be. miseries of the rich churls, that is cominonly added, That they are very ignorant of what is most

CHAP. VII. truly valuable, having no esteem of the wisest man in the world, no more than of a fool. Nay, THE ARGUMENT.-Having discoursed, in the forethey prefer a rich fool before a poor wise man ; going part of the book, of the courses men take to who knows how to carry himself so decently, that make themselves happy, he now seems to proceed he is not afraid to appear before any man living. to prescribe the best remedies that can be found This is a great sottishness, (ver. 9.), and breeds against that vanity to which we are subject, by setno less sorrow, to be led by blind appetites, and ting down many wise precepts for our direction and not by reason and judgement. For so the words conduct, support and comfort, in a troublesome of the oth verse may be interpreted; “Better it world. Where, it is confessed, that our happiness is to understand aright, than to follow after one's can be but imperfect ; yet so much we may attain as desires."

to be well satisfied, and not vex ourselves that we [g] Ver. 10. That which hath been.) The sense that cannot make things more certain and constant, nor

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dispose men to be more just and equal to 46 than man look sadly, whether it be for his own sins, they are.

or other men's calamities, is apt to do his soul And if we examine the following particulars, we shall good', by giving him a right understanding of God,

find they are comprehended in this general direc- and of himself, and, of all things else. See Annot.
tion, the change of our mind, thoughts, and opi- [c]
nions, which must be quite altered; for that things Ver. 4, The beart of the wise is in the bouse of
which now, look like paradoxes, must be judged the mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of
greatest wisdom. Such are all the doctrines that mirth.] Whence it is, that wise men affect to think
begin this chapter, (quite opposite to the common of such things, when they do not see them, as shew
opinions of the world), that 's a good name is to be them how, vain all our worldly enjoyments are ; but,
preferred before precious ointment, and the day of fools seek all: occasions to put by, such thoughts, and
one's death before one's birth-day; mourning-be- to divert themselves with merriment and pleasure.
fore feasting ; sadness before laughter ; rebukes be., See Armot. [d]
fore commendations; the end of 4 thing before the Ver. 5. It is better to bear the rebuke of the wise,
beginning of it; a patient suffering spirit before a, than for a man to bear the song of fools.] And he that
stout haughty mind; wisdom before riches," &c. would be in the number of these wise men, must look
These and such like are the maxims of true wisdom upon this as one of the first steps towards it, to lend
and piety, which must be learnt, in order to the set- an obedient:ear unto the reproofs of him who is truly
tlement of our minds, in peace and tranquillity, wise and virtuous; which, though never so sharp and
notwithstanding the vanity, that is in all things. rough, are to be infinitely preferred before the smooth

praises and commendations of a great many fools ;
Ver. 1.
A Good name, is better than precious ont way ought to sound more gratefully

, in aur ears

, than ment ; and the day of death than the day the most delicious music, songs, and jests, of all the of one's birth.] But though there be such uncertainty in. merry companions in the world, See Annot. [e] all other things, yet a good name, which a man gets by Ver, 6. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, 591 a virtuous life, is lasting and durable ; and as the con.. is the laughter of the fool: this also:is vanity.] These science of well doing gives a greater pleasure to the jolly fellows, indeed, make a great noise and show, as mind for the present, than the most fragrant ointment if they were the only men that enjoy this world; but, can do to the senses of voluptuous men, so the fame of alas ! their mirth and joy is but for a spurt, and then it will remain after he is dead; and he will still live ends. in heaviness.;. like the crackling of thorrs, which in a good report when all those sensual joys expire, sometimes blaze under.a. pot, as if they gaye:a-mighty like the vapour of the aintment, which is soon disper- heat, but leave the water in it as cold as they found sed and lost after, it is poured out ; and therefore, if. iti we would be happy, we ought to order our life in All their jollity, therefore, is mère, vanity. See such a manner, that death, which fools and wicked Annot. [f.] men fear, may be welcome to us, and only let us out! Ver. 7. f Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad, of the troubles into which we are brought at our; and a gift destroyeth the beart.] And there is the birth. See A. not. [a]

greater need to be well instructed, and therefore to Ver. 2. li It is better to go to the house of mourning, hearken to the wise; (ver. 5.), because there are other tban to go to the bause of feasting; for that is the end of things besides vain pleasures and flatteries to disturb all men ; and the living will lay it to his heart.] And, and unsettle our minds, if we be not well fortified: a. that it may befriend us, it is our wisdom to think. often gainst them. For the better ang man is, the more he of; it, and consequențy. chuse rather to converse with is in danger to suffer from slanderers, revilers, and all those things which will make us serious, than with sorts of injurious persons; whose violence sometimes those which will make us merry; to go, for instance, is so great, that u: less a man be provided with more into the company of those who are mourning for the than human wisdom, (and it be deeply rooted in his dead, rather than of those who are feasting for joy heart), it will not only miserably disquiet, bot even distbat a child is born into the world; for in the midst tract him. Nor is this his only danger, but that power: of those pleasures we are apt to be dissolute and to and authority which raises him above the former, may forget ourselves, but that sad., spectacle inclines us expose him to another, unless he be armed with great naturally,to be considerate, and disposes our mind to integrity; for his mind may be corrupted by gifts and humility, modesty, gentleness, sobriety, and charity; presents to do injustice unto others, which he hates when in one we see the fate of all, and we follow him should be done to himself. See Annot. [8] to his grave, who, a little while ago. perhaps was as Ver. 8. Better is the end of a thing than the beginvigorous and strong as ourselves. See Annot: [b] ning thereof : and the patient in spirit is better than the

Ver. 3. Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the proud in spirit.] And he will be the better able to resadness of the countenance the beart is made better.] sist them both, who is so wise as to look, not merely Sadness, therefore, and sorrow, is much more profit to the beginning of them, but attend to their concluable for us than mirth and jollity, (as we see in those sion; for that which seems grievous at the first appearseyere and stern rebukes which make men sorrowful ance, in the issue proves very advantageous; and, on for their faults); because that grief which makes a the contrary, that which promises fair at first hath a


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deadly farewell with it; and therefore it is much innocently defend himself from danger, so can money better to endure patiently, and humbly wait to see oft-times purchase his protection and safety ; but the issue, than to be provoked by pride and disdain, herein is the pre-eminence of wisdom, that when hastily to precipitate events; for he that scorns to neither of them can shelter a man, nor stave off the wait and attend upon the leisurely progression of calamity that invades him, it marvellously supports, things, commonly undoes himself and his affairs, by revives, and comforts the souls of those who are his fierce and violent attempts presently to compass owners of it, under all the evils which it could not his desires. See Annot. [h]

help them by honest means to avoid. See Annot. [1] Ver.

Be not basty in tby spirit to be angry: for Ver. 13.

Consider the work of God : for who can anger resteth in the bosom of fools.] It is another make that straight which he hath made crooked?] And point, therefore, of that wisdom which must make in order to it, the highest piece of wisdom is, to live in -115 happy, to repress the motions of anger that we a serious sense of the sovereign power of God; and to feel in ourselves, and not to suffer them, without consider, that as he hath settled all things in heaven great deliberation, to have any effect; for anger is an and earth in an unchangeable course, so nothing enemy to counsel and advice, and is indeed the pro comes to pass without his providence ; with which perty of fools, who out of weakness of mind, and it is in vain to struggle, when he is pleased either to shortness of thoughts, are familiarly transported cross us in any of our designs, or to send any public with it upon the slightest causes, and not easily ap- calamity, which by all our art and power we can peased again, as wise men are when they chance to be neither avoid nor remedy. See Annot. [m] incensed.

Ver. 14. In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in Ver. 10. Say not thou, Wbat is the cause that the fore the day of adversity consider : God also bath set the mer days were better than these ? for thou dost not inquire one over against the other, to the end that man should find wisely concerning this.] It is wisdom also to correct in nothing after him.] No, we ought rather to accomourselves that complaining humour, which is apt to modaie ourselves to the present state of things, and be ever finding fault with the present times, and com when we are in prosperity, to enjoy God's blessings mending the foregoing ages, as far better and happier chear fully, with thankful and charitable hearts, but than the present. For perhaps it is not true ; and so soberly also, as not forgetting that affliction may thus much is certain, that he is foolishly inconside- come ; and when it doth, let us take it patiently, rate who imagines that then there was no evil, and considering, among other things, that there may be a that now there is no good; or if it be true that there change to a better condition again : for as both the one was no good in those times, let us not murinur and and the other come from God, so he hath ordered they repine, asking why we are cast into a trouble. should have their turns in such due season, and basome age, full of oppression, (suppose), and violence, lanced the one with the other with such exactoess, and wrong, (ver. 7.), but rather submit to the that the meanest man hath no reason to complain of providence of God; considering, that there is no him, nor the greatest to fancy himself more than a age so bad as to hinder us (which is the principal man, who cannot invent any means to dispose things point of wisdom) from being good; and therefore let otherwise, much less, better than God hath done. us do our duty, believing God hath such reason for See Annot. [ñ] suffering the times to be as they are, that we have no Ver. 15. All things have I seen in the days of my reason to quarrel at them, or to call in question his vanity: there is a just man that perisbeth in his rigbwisdom, goodness, or justice. See Annot. [i] tecusness; and tbere is a wicked man that prolongetb bis

Ver. 11. | Wisdom is good with an inberitance: life in bis wickedness.] 1 know what may be objected and by it there is profit to them tbat see the sun.] | Yet to this, having all my life long made observations do not think that wisdom or virtue consists in despie upon all manner of things in this troublesome world ; sing riches, but only in using them well when we and it seems very hard that a just man's integrity have them, and in being contented without them; should not be able to preserve him, but he is therefor as we cannot be happy by riches alone without fore perhaps destroyed because he is better than others, wisdom, so we cannot be completely happy with when a wicked man escapes, nay, is countenanced wisdom alone without riches; for he hath a vast ad- and encouraged, or suffered to prolong bis days in vantage to do good every way, who is rich as well as (and perhaps by) his wickedness. See Annot. [n] wise ; it giving him an authority, even to speak Ver. 16. Be not rigbteous over-mucb, nertber make more freely than other men, and making what he thyself otherwise : uby shouldst thou destroy thyself?] speaks to be more regarded ; but of the two, wisdom But, besides other things which may be replied to and virtue must always be preferred, which can do this, (as that good men are sometimes removed from, greater things, and bestow nobler benefits upon and wicked reserved unto future evils), it must be mankind, than treasures alone can do. See Annot. noted also, that some pious men are more strict and [k]

rigid than they need be, and not so prudent as they Ver. 12. For wisdom is a defence, and money is a ought to be, but unnecessarily expose themselves to defence : but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom danger : And therefore it is good advice, in order giveth life to them that have it.] For as wisdom, for to a safe and quiet passage through this life, to be instance, contrives many ways whereby a man may temperate in thy zeal, and not to overdo, either by es

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