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ter their Lufts to their own Deftruction: So he concludes, Ver. 22. He goeth after her ftraitway, as an Ox goeth to the Slaughter, as ftupidly and inconfiderately, till a Dart Strike through his Liver; as a Bird hafteth to the Snare, and knoweth not that it is for his Life. This is the Wisdom of the Men of Pleasure.

5thly and lastly, There remains but One. Thing more to be confidered, which is Human Learning and Knowledge; and how far they are fufficient to make us Happy.

Now as to Learning and Scholaftick Knowledge, it is certainly a great Advantage, and the nobleft of all Natural Improvements that the Mind is capable of in this Life: It is a Bleffing that may be apply'd to excellent Ufes both Human and Divine, and that both for ourselves and Others. But when it is not so apply'd, but ferves only for an Amufcment, or for Oftentation; to puff a Man up, to gratify his Curiofity, and increase his Pride and Vanity, This alfo is but another Cor. iii. Caft of the Wisdom of this World, which is 19. Foolishness with God.


Nor is it worth the Painful Pursuit, the Inceffant Toil and Labour that it costs. ter the most indefatigable Pains, Human Knowledge cannot go far; It is still confin'd within a very Narrow Compass: What we shall ever come to Know is but as Nothing in Comparison of what we fhall at last be Ignorant

Ignorant of: And of what we do Know, the greatest Part of every Man's Knowledge is altogether Ufelefs and Vain; And in fome things it is fo Uncertain, and so Imperfect in All, that there is no Satisfaction in the End: Nor any thing in it for a Foundation of true and lafting Happiness. St. Paul had got much Learning at the Feet of Gamaliel, but had perish'd with all his Learning, had he not alfo learned Chrift.

Solomon had Wisdom and Understanding Kings iv. large as the Sea-Shore, and a Knowledge of all Things, Small and Great, from the Cedars in Lebanon, even unto the Hyffop that fpringeth out of the Wall. He therefore being himself a Man of the greatest Knowledge, we may well allow him to be the best Judge of it; and he found no Satisfaction from it, nor any Foundation of Happiness in it. For when (as he tells us Ecclef. ii.) he apply'd his Heart to Wisdom, that he might fee what was That Good for the Sons of Men, which they should do under the Heavens all the Days of their Life; that is, when he was in Queft of that Chief Good, that should make Man finally and Completely Happy, He gives up This likewife as well as all other Worldly Things, as Infufficient to our Happiness; and therefore paffes the same Cenfure upon it, that This alfo is but Vanity and Vexation,Chap. i. 16. My Heart



(fays he,) had great Experience of Wisdom and Knowledge: And I gave my Heart to Know Wisdom, and I perceived that This alfo is Vexation of Spirit: For in much Wisdom is much Grief; and he that increafeth Knowledge increafeth Sorrow.

He does indeed obferve and pronounce, upon a Review and Comparative Eftimate Chap. ii. of Worldly Things, That Wisdom excelleth Folly as far as Light excelleth Darkness; And that the Wifeman carrieth His Eyes in his Head; that is, he walketh like a Wife Man, prudently and circumspectly, with his Eyes about him; But the Fool walketh in Darkness; that is, like a Blundering Fool, without Care, or Thought, or Forefight: Yet that One Event happeneth to them Both:

Both are fubject to the fame Difafters, to the fame Evils and Calamities; nay to the greatest of all Natural Evils, Diseases, and even Death itself; which the Wisest, with all their Wisdom, cannot withstand nor avoid. For we fee (fays the Pfalmift, Pfal. xlix.) that Wife Men alfo Dye and Perifh together, as well as the Ignorant and Foolish.He adds, -and leave their Riches to Others.

He could not fay,- -and leave their Learning or Wisdom to Others. These, it feems, whatever Preference they deserve in other Refpects, are more Tranfient and Perishable than any other of our Worldly Ac


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quefts. Riches and Honours, Houses and
Lands, and all other Fruits of their Worldly
Labour, Men may leave behind them, for
Friends or Children to Inherit: But Wisdom
and Knowledge are not Matter of Inheri-
tance; They Dye together with their Own-
ers. When the Breath of Man goeth forth, Pf.cxlvi.3?
he turneth again to his Earth, and all his
Thoughts perish.There is no Wisdom nor Ecclef. ix.
Knowledge in the Grave, whither thou goeft.
Death, whene'er it comes, wipes out all the
fair Ideas that had fo long been gathering in
his Brain; all the Treasures of Knowledge
and Wisdom are vanifhed in a Moment, and
their late Admir'd Owner is brought again.
to a Level, and laid down together with
the Fool. So foon as ever the Soul is once
departed, none can fee by what remains,
which was the Wife Man, and which the

This is what the Great Solomon does (methinks,) regret, and fomewhat feelingly reflects upon it, that he himself, fuch a One as He, who was the Wonder of his Age, fam'd throughout the World for his Wifdom, muft shortly be equall'd with the Fool in his Death, Ecclef. ii. Then faid I in mine Heart, as it happeneth to the Fool, fo it happeneth even to me; And why was I then more Wife? Then I faid in mine Heart, that This alfo is Vanity. For there is no Remembrance


membrance of the Wife, more than of the Fool for ever. Then he puts the Question, and How Dyeth the Wife Man?—returning this short Answer to himself,-Even as the Fool.

And as no Man's Learning nor Knowledge can fecure him from Death, so neither can they comfort nor fupport him under it. It does not appear, that the greatest Oracles of Learning that the World has had, have had. any great Satisfaction or Comfort from all their Human Learning when they came to Dye. "When Grotius, that Prodigy of

Learning, was furpriz'd upon his Journey, "(at Roftock in Germany,) with that Sick"nefs which prov'd to be his Laft, during "his Sicknefs all the Learned Men in those "Parts, of every Sect, one after another, "reforted to him, Lutherans and Calvinifts,

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Anabaptifts and Socinians, each of them "entertaining him with their Learned Dif "courfes and Arguments in their several "Ways, fuitably to his Genius as they

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thought: But Learning had no longer any "Relish with him: He gave little Heed to "them, nor any Anfwer at all to any of "them, but only This, I do not underftand you. And when he had therewith "filenc'd them, would then say, If you will "entertain me now, let it not be with Learning or Argument, but give me fuch

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