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stranger obtaining possession of them; for he himself only eateth of them, but the other eateth them. The former denotes care, moderation, prospective regard to futurity ; the latter is expressive of cruelty and prodigality, without pity, and without measure.—“ This is vanity and an evil disease.” Not only a fruitless event, but a very grievous trouble, when a person, by sordid thoughts, baseness of spirit, unquiet and incessant cares, greedy desires, distrustful jealousies, anxious fears, and thronging employments, denies himself of any real comfort from his abundance, and pierces himself through with many sorrows, 1 Tim. vi. 10.
3. If a man beget an hundred children, and live inany years, so that the days of his years be 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.
He spake before of one who had none to succeed him in his estate but a stranger ; here he shews the misery of a covetous person to be as great, notwithstanding he has many children, and lives many years. These are great blessings in themselves, Ps. cxxvii. 3, 4, 5 : there. fore children were called the glory of their pa
rents, Hos. ix. 11; Job v. 25, 26; Ps. cxxviii. 6; but covetousness takes away the comfort of them.-" An hundred children:” very many; a certain number for an uncertain, as 1 Cor. xiv. 19; Prov. xvii. 10; 1 Sam. xviii. 7.-" So that the days of his years be many.” He seems to correct himself in speaking of long life, and calls it rather many days, than many years, so Gen. xlvii. 9.-" And his soul be not filled with good,” or “ satisfied with good ;” owing either to his own insatiable desires, or to some curse of God, mixing it with bitterness, as ch. v. 10; Job ix. 2–5. By“ his soul” is meant, TÒ Ene Suuntàr, his appetite and desires, as Gen. xxiv. 8; 1 Sam. xx. 4. Others understand it of the vanity of children and old age without riches ; when a man is so poor that he has nothing to satisfy nature whilst he lives, and cannot leave sufficient to bury him when he is dead." And also that he hath no burial ;" either through the cruelty of murderers and spoilers, or through the neglect of heirs and successors, who deny him an honourable interment. It is a part of human misery to be without burial, Deut. xxviii. 26; 1 Kings xiii. 11, 13; 2 Kings ix. 37; Isai. xiv. 20; Jer. viii. 2; xvi. 4; and xxii. 12; 2 Chron. xxi. 19." I that an untimely birth is better than he;" as to outward circumstances : better never to have felt good or evil, nor to have been born at all, or to be born and die at once, than to live long unhappily, and then to die without love or honour. The base condition of such a person is here strongly marked, as being worse than an untimely birth, which has not partook of the ordinary comfort of the meanest living creatures, to see the sun, Job iii. 10, 11, 12, 16; Ps. lviii. 8.
4. For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness,
“For he cometh in with vanity;" i. e. is born to no purpose. That which never comes to perfection, but melteth and vanishes away as soon as it cometh into the world, is born in vain. “ And departeth in darkness ;” or into darkness, or obscurely, without any notice. A periphrasis of death, Eccles. xi. 8.—“ His name shall be covered with darkness ;" shall utterly be forgotten; there shall never be any
mention or memorial of him.
5. Moreover, he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing : this hath more rest than the other.
The one has not felt any worldly delight, and, therefore, is not affected with the loss of it; nor has he enjoyed any use of sense or reason, and so cannot compare the evil of loss with the good of fruition: but the other spends a toilsome and unquiet life, and then parts with all reluctantly, and enters into the condi. tion of the abortive.
6. Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
If it be objected, that the one has lived a long life, and that that alone is a blessing, and therefore in this respect he is to be preferred to an untimely birth; he replies, that long life, without seeing good, only increases our misery. It is not the life, but the good, which makes a solid difference, Ps. xxxiv. 12; otherwise the evil of the day, Mat. vi. 34. renders day and life itself undesirable, Job üi. 20—23 ; ch. vii. 1, 2.-"Do not all go to one place?” he that lives longest, as well as he that never saw the sun; and though the one never saw the sun, yet if the other never saw good, but only wearies himself with sorrows and vanities, and goes to the same dust, what difference is there between them?
7. All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
“ For his mouth,” i.e. for his bodily subsistence, and for the services of life. Here is first a metonymy of the subject; the mouth, for the nourishment which is put into it: and then a synecdoche, of a part for the whole; food, though the principal, yet being only one part of man's necessary provision: all which the apostle comprises in food and rainent, 1 Tim. vi. 3. The entire fruit that any one can reap of all his worldly labours, is to have his daily bread, the bread of his allowance, or food convenient for him, Prov. xxx. 8; things simply necessary for life, and things secondarily necessary for the decency of his condition, and according to his quality and degree in the world.—" And yet the appetite is not filled;" i. e. either the covetous desires of a worldling still remain insatiable ; for not being contented with his own portion, he cannot contain his heart within the limits of reason or religion ; but though he has an ample sufficiency for all his wants, yet he continues to toil as if he had nothing, ch. iv. 8: or, the soul is not filled : riches may benefit the body, and feed, and clothe, and comfort that; but they can afford no satisfaction, as they bear no proportion to the noble part of