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SOLOMON considers man through the several stages
and conditions of life ; and concludes in generals that we are all miserable. He reflects more parti . cularly upon the trouble and uncertainty of greatness and power ; gives fome instances thereof from ADAM down to himself; and still concludes that all is VANITY. He reasons again upon life; death, and a future being ; finds human wisdom- too imperfect. to resolve his doubts ; has recourse to religion ; is informed by an angel, what fball happen to himself his family, and his kingdom, till the redemption of ISRAEL : and, upon the whole, resolves to submit his inquiries and anxieties to the will of his Crias tor.
TEXTS chiefly alluded to in this BOOK. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the
pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the whcel broken at the cistern,
Ecclefiaftes, Chap, XII. ver. 6. The fun ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and haltech to his place
where he arose. Chap. 1, ver. s. The wind goeth towards the South, and turncth about uato the North.
It whirleth about continually; and the wind returneth again, accordo
ing to his circuits, All the rivers son into the sea, yet the fea is not fult. Unto the place
from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.. ver. 7. Then fall the dust return to the carth, as it was ; and the spirit fall
return unto God who gave it. Chap XII ver. 7. Now when Solomon had made an end-of praying, the Gre came dowo
from heaven, and consumed the burnt-offering, and the facrifices ; and the glory of the Lord filled the house, II. Chronicles, Chap. VII,
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down: yes, we wept, when we
remembered Sion, &c, Psalm CXXXVII, ver. 1. I laid of laughter, it is mad; and of mirth, what doeth it ? Ecclefiaftesı
Chap. I]. ver. 200 No man can find out the work that God maketh, from the beginning
to the end, Chap. III, ver. 11. Whatsoever God docth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to
it, nor any thing taken from it ; and God docth it, that men should
tear before him. ver, 14, Let us hear the conclu@on of the whole matter ;. fcar. God, and keep
his commandments ; for this is the whole duty of man. Chag. XII. ver. 13•
HOME then, my fool: I call thee by that name,
Thou busy thing from whence I know I am ;
For knowing that I am, I know thou art :
Since that must needs exift, which can impart,
But how thou cam'ft to be, or whence thy spring :-
For various of thee priests and poets fing.
Hear'lt thou fubmiffive, but a lowly birth,
Some fep'rate particles of finer earth,
A plain effeet which nature must beget,
As motion orders, and as atoms meet ;
Companion of the body's good or ill;
From force of instinct more than choice of will:
Conscious of fear or valour, joy or pain,..
As the wild courfes of the blood ordain ;
Who as degrees of heat and cold prevail,
In youth doft flourish, and with age doit fail ;
'Till mingi'd with thy partner's latest breath
Thou fly't diffolv'd in air, and lost in death.
Or if thy great existence would aspire
To causes more sublime; of heav'nly fire
Wert thou a spark ftruck off, a fep'rate tay,
Ordain'd to mingle with terrestrial day ;
With it condemn'd for certain years to dwell,
To grieve its frailties, and its pains to feel ;
To teach it good and ill, disgrace or fame ;
Pale it with rage, or redden it with shame :
To guide its actions with informing care,
In peace to judge, to conquer in the war :
Render it agile, witty, valiant, fage,
As fits the various course of human age;
'Till as the earthly part decays and falls,
The captive breaks her prison's mould’ring walls ;
Hovers a while upon the fad remains,
Which now the pile, or fepulchre contains ;
And thence with liberty unbounded flies,
Impatient to regain her native skies.
Whate'er thou art, where e'er ordain'd to go
(Points which we rather may dispute, than know)
Come on, thou little inmate of this breast,
Which for thy fake from paffions I diveft:
For these, thou fay'ft, raise all the stormy strife,
Which hinder thy repose, and trouble life.
Be the fair level of thy actions laid,
As temp’rance wills, and prudence may persuade :
Be thy affections undifturb'd and clear,
Guided to what may great or good appear;
And try if life be worth the liver's care.
Amass'd in man there jully is beheld
What thro' the whole creation has excell'd :
The life and growth of plants, of beasts the sense,
The angel's forecast and intelligence :
Say from these glorious seeds, what harvest flows :
Recount our blessings, and compare our woes.
In its true light let clearest reason fee
The man dragg'd out to act, and forc'd to be ;
Helpless and naked on a woman's knees
To be expos'd or rear'd as she may please ;
Feel her neglect, and pine from her disease.
His.tender eye by too direct a ray
Wounded, and flying from unpractis'd day ;.
His heart assaulted by invading air,
And beating fervent to the vital war;
To his sense how various forms appear :
That strike his wonder and excite his fear?:
By his distortions he reveals his pains ;
He-by his tears, and by his fighs complains ;,
'Till time and use allist the infant wretch,
By broken words, and rudiments of speech,
His wants in plainer characters to show,
And paint more perfect figures of his woe,
Condemn'd to sacrifice his childish years
To babling ign'rance, and to empty fears ;
To pass the riper period of his age,
Acting his part upon a crowded stage;
To lasting toils expos’d, and endless cares,
To open dangers, and to secret snares;
To malice which the vengeful foe intends,
And the more dangerous love of seeming friends.
His deeds examin'd by the people's will,
Prone to forget the good, and blame the ill :
Or fadly.censur’d in their curst debate,
Who in the scomer's or the judge's seat
Dare to condemn the virtue which they hate.
Or would he raiher have this frantic scene ;
And trees and beasts prefer to courts and men