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6 Honest poverty has God's blessing. Jesus Christ chose poverty that he might for ever sanctify it.

Be

7 Bad children bring shame. thou wise! so shalt thou bring joy and honour to thy parents.

They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. * Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich. "Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father. He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession. The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out. When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden. 13 He

The prayer of him who continues in wickedness is indeed an awful defiance of the Almighty.

13 What availeth it to cover our sins? God seeth them. Better confess and forsake them, and so gain pardon.

that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days. A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him. Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once. 19 He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough. 20 A faithful

19 Industry gives independence both of means and of spirit. It is grovelling work to depend upon the caprices of others.

20 When a man hasteth to be rich, he is easily led into temptation. (ver. 22.)

man shall abound with blessings but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. 23 He that re- 23 A sincere friend speaketh the

buketh a man afterwards shall truth, though it cause pain. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer. He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. 28 When 28 The laws soon cease to be a prothe wicked rise, men hide tection, when evil men rise into themselves but when they power. perish, the righteous increase.

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EVENING. ECCLESIASTES iv.

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1 Indications these, that man is born to trouble; and that there are sorrows, to which no human aid can give comfort.

no comforter; and on the side power; but they had no com

2 Death passeth the righteous to their rest, and to them is therefore better than a life of care and misery.

3 Better is he who, having never had existence, feels neither what the living endure, nor what the dead

have suffered.

1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had of their oppressors there was forter. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. 3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh. Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 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?

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Suppose a man to be alone in the world, with none other to be anxious for; he shall not escape trouble. Perhaps he heapeth up riches; yet cannot he tell who shall gather them. Men who seem free from the oppressive cares of a family, or the disquietudes of society, will still find trouble from some or other quarter. Since none therefore can escape his trouble, let each bear it patiently.

9 Mutual society tends to promote man's happiness.

This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor. 15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead. 16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them; they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

12 Unity is strength. Witness friends and brothers, who dwell together in unity. They diminish sorrows by sharing them; and they increase joys by contributing each his share.

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14 So changeful is this world, that sometimes the lowest rise even "from prison," or troubles, as the term to the highest honours, whilst exiled kings become poor.

means

15 Still more striking is the change when the crown and its influence is wrested by the second in birth; so the order of inheritance is perverted, and grievous troubles follow.

16 These and suchlike changes characterise the several generations of men; proving that all is vanity.

St. John the Evangelist's Bay.

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MORNING. ECCLESIASTES V.

KEEP thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words. 'When thou vowest a vow

1 Regulate thine affections: for they are to the soul what feet are to the body; leading us to evil or to good. fools: for they consider not that 2 Think not to prevail by the mere formality of long prayers and vain repetitions. (Matt. vi. 7.)

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is in heaven, and thou upon 3 An unrestrained tongue indicates an imagination as vain as the dreamy visions of the night.

4 Hast thou, in sickness and sorrow,

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neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities but fear thou God. * If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth ; and there be higher than

8 If princes oppress, and their wicked counsellors bring evil upon the people, do not despair. Omnipotence will at last controul them.

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9 Kings cannot feed upon gold and silver. They, as well as the poor who till the soil, are sustained by the fruits thereof.

they. Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. When goods increase, they are increased that eat them and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

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12 Honest labour earns for the religious poor, sweet sleep and a rest undisturbed by the fear of evil.

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 a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. But those riches perish by evil travail : and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 15 As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. evil, that in all points as he came, so profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 7 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much 13 Behold that which

15 Let the proud remember that they are dust; and the rich that they can take nothing with them when they die; and the ambitious, that a few feet of earth will one day suffice for them. Thus each may learn wisdom.

ness.

And this also is a sore shall he go and what

17 The difference between holiness and irreligion is never so striking as in scenes of sickness and distress. sorrow and wrath with his sick18 Worldly benefits are gifts from

I have seen it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

God, to be enjoyed gratefully, and used for the benefit of others.

EVENING.

THERE is an evil which I have common among men: 2 a man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour,

ECCLESIASTES Vi.

seen under the sun, and it is 2 So is it with those who are greedy of gain and miserly of heart. The misery of a grudging spirit is judicial.

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

a

it is an evil disease.
's If
man beget an hundred chil-
dren, and live many years,
so that the days of his years

be

3 Where life has passed without holiness, and death without honour, so base and wretched is their state, that the still-born child, who never drew breath, is better than they.

many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he. For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other. Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place? All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. For

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what hath the wise more than
the fool? what hath the poor,
that knoweth to walk before
the living?
Better is the
sight of the eyes than the
wandering of the desire: this
is also vanity and vexation
of spirit. That which hath

8 The wise and the unlearned, even though they know how to conduct themselves suitably before men and according to their condition, are all mortal, and must at last come together to their end.

9 It is better to be contented with what God has revealed to us of his ways; than, dissatisfied, to be always seeking for more.

been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he. Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better.

12 For who knoweth

12 None can tell this but the Al

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