Ecclesiastes 1** The name of this book signifies "The Preacher." The wisdom ofGod here preaches to us, speaking by Solomon, who it is evidentwas the author. At the close of his life, being made sensible ofhis sin and folly, he recorded here his experience for thebenefit of others, as the book of his repentance; and hepronounced all earthly good to be "vanity and vexation ofspirit." It convinces us of the vanity of the world, and that itcannot make us happy; of the vileness of sin, and its certaintendency to make us miserable. It shows that no created good cansatisfy the soul, and that happiness is to be found in Godalone; and this doctrine must, under the blessed Spirit'steaching, lead the heart to Christ Jesus. * Solomon shows that all human things are vain. (1-3) Man's toiland want of satisfaction. (4-8) There is nothing new. (9-11) Thevexation in pursuit of knowledge. (12-18)1-3 Much is to be learned by comparing one part of Scripturewith another. We here behold Solomon returning from the brokenand empty cisterns of the world, to the Fountain of livingwater; recording his own folly and shame, the bitterness of hisdisappointment, and the lessons he had learned. Those that havetaken warning to turn and live, should warn others not to go onand die. He does not merely say all things are vain, but thatthey are vanity. VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. This is thetext of the preacher's sermon, of which in this book he neverloses sight. If this world, in its present state, were all, itwould not be worth living for; and the wealth and pleasure ofthis world, if we had ever so much, are not enough to make ushappy. What profit has a man of all his labour? All he gets byit will not supply the wants of the soul, nor satisfy itsdesires; will not atone for the sins of the soul, nor hinder theloss of it: what profit will the wealth of the world be to thesoul in death, in judgment, or in the everlasting state? 4-8 All things change, and never rest. Man, after all hislabour, is no nearer finding rest than the sun, the wind, or thecurrent of the river. His soul will find no rest, if he has itnot from God. The senses are soon tired, yet still craving whatis untried. 9-11 Men's hearts and their corruptions are the same now as informer times; their desires, and pursuits, and complaints, stillthe same. This should take us from expecting happiness in thecreature, and quicken us to seek eternal blessings. How manythings and persons in Solomon's day were thought very great, yetthere is no remembrance of them now! 12-18 Solomon tried all things, and found them vanity. He foundhis searches after knowledge weariness, not only to the flesh,but to the mind. The more he saw of the works done under thesun, the more he saw their vanity; and the sight often vexed hisspirit. He could neither gain that satisfaction to himself, nordo that good to others, which he expected. Even the pursuit ofknowledge and wisdom discovered man's wickedness and misery; sothat the more he knew, the more he saw cause to lament andmourn. Let us learn to hate and fear sin, the cause of all thisvanity and misery; to value Christ; to seek rest in theknowledge, love, and service of the Saviour.
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