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THE PRESENT STATE OF MAN BY NATURE.
It is appointed unto men once to die. 2 The days of man are determined; the number of his months are with the Lord; He hath appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.
3 The dust shall return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
. What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? And who shall deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? There is no man that hath power over the spirit, to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death ; and there is no discharge in that war, neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
5 The inward thought of the rich is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwellingplaces to all generations; nevertheless, man being in honour, abideth not.
6 Wise men likewise die, as well as the foolish and brutish person : and they that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem the soul of his brother : nor give to God a ransom for himself, that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
No man is sure of life ; but they that are exalted for a little while, are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn. Death
1 Heb. ix. 27.
3 Eccles. xii. 7. 4 Psal. lxxxix. 48. Eccles. viii. 8.
5 Psal. xlix. ll, I 6 Psal. xlix. 10. 6. 8, 9.
7 Job xxiv. 22. 24. Psal. xlix.
shall feed on them, and their beauty shall consume in the grave.
Man dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout out again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease, but man lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more.
* One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh. And the memory of them that are dead is forgotten; also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
* Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men : for in Adam all die.
THE SHORTNESS AND UNCERTAINTY OF HIS LIFE.
Man that is born of a woman is of few days.
Behold, O Lord, thou hast made our days as an hand-breadth ; and our age is as nothing before thee.
All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. As for man, his days are as grass : As a flower of the field, so he flourish
1 Job xiv. 10. Job vii. 10. Job xiv. 7. 12.
2 Eccles. i. 4. Eccles. ix. 5, 6. 3 Eccles. xii. 5.
4 Rom. v. 12. 1 Cor. 5 Job xiv. 1. 6 Psal. xxxix. 5.
7 1 Pet. . 24. Psal. cv. 15, 16. Isa. Ixiv. 6.
eth ; for the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and
2 the place thereof shall know it no more. We all do fade as a leaf.
Man fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not; his days are like a shadow that declineth ; and there is none abiding.
? Our days are swifter than a post. They are passed away as the swift 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 vanisheth away.
We dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth. There is but a step between us and death.
• Man also knoweth not his time; but as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
• One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet; his breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened 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 midst. And another saith to his soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry; and yet that very night his soul shall be required of him.
1 Job xiv. 2. Psal. cii. 11. I Chron. xxix. 15.
2 Job ix. 25, 26. Psal. xc. 9.
3 Heb. xiii. 14. 1 Cor. xxix. 15. James iv. 14. 4 Job iv. 19. 1 Sam. xx. 3.
5 Eccles. ix. 12. 6 Job xxi. 23, 24, 25. Job vii. 6. Job xxi. 21. Luke xii. 19, 20. 9 Eccles. vi. 12.
| All flesh shall perish together. In a moment shall they die ; and the mighty shall 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 SUBJECT TO.
3 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 are sorrows, and his travail grief. His flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.
Many evils and troubles continually befal him. He is liable to all manner of sickness, and all manner of diseases; and through fear of death, he is all his life-time subject to bondage.
All things are full of labour, man cannot utter it. And sore is the travail which God hath given to the sons of men, to be exercised 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 rest, 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
1 Job xxxiv. 15. 20.
2 Psal. xxxix. 4.
3 Job v. 7. 4 Job xiv. 1. Gen. xlvii. 9.
5 Eccles. ii. 23. Job xiv. 22. Deut. xxxi. 17. Matt. iv. 23. Heb. ii. 15.
7 Eccles. i, 8. 13. 8 Rom. viii. 22, 23. Deut. xii. 9.
life, all the days of his vain life, which he spendeth as a shadow
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew; surely they are disquieted in vain.
> Men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie. Verily, every man at his best state is altogether vanity.
si I The thoughts of men are vanity. * Our conversation received by tradition from our fathers, in vain.
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 ?
6 He laboureth in vain, he spendeth 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 possessions of great and small cattle; and have gathered also silv :r and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of provinces; and have gotten men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. And though whatsoever our eyes desired 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
And if we prove our hearts with mirth, and say
1 Psal. xxxix. 6. 2 Psal. Ixii. 9. Psal. xxxix. 5. xciv. 11. 41 Pet. i. 18.
5 Eccles. i. 3. Eccles. ii. 22. 6
Isa. xlix. 4. 7 Eccles. ii. 4, 5. 7, 8. 10, 11. 8 Eccles. ü. 1, 2.