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moderate heat of them, on the other ;-but that we may at all times see it, as it is, and as it was designed by its blessed Founder, as the most rational, sober and consistent institution that could have been given to the fons of men,
Now to God, etc.
ECCLESIASTES xii. 13. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter,
-Fear God, and keep his commandments : for this is the whole duty of man.
THE wise man, in the beginning of this
1 book, had proposed it as a grand query to be discussed,—To find out what was good for the fons of men, which they should do under the heavens, all the days of their lives?_That is, what was the fittest employment, and the chief and proper business, which they should apply themselves to in this world.--And here, in the text, after a fair discussion of the question, he asserts it to be the business of religion,—the fearing God, and keeping his commandments.—This was the conclusion of the whole matter,—and the natural result of all his debates and enquiries.—And I am persuaded, the more observations we make upon the Thort life of man, the more we experience,
and the longer trials we have of the world, and the several pretensions it offers to our happiness,—the more we shall be engaged to think like him,—that we can never find what we look for in any other thing which we do under the heavens, except in that of duty and obedience to God.-In the course of the wise man's examination of this point,-we find a great many beautiful reflections upon human affairs, all tending to illustrate the conclusion he draws; and as they are such as are apt to offer themselves to the thoughts of every serious and considerate man,-I cannot do better than renew the impressions,--by retouching the principal arguments of his discourse,--before I proceed to the general use and applicaon of the whole.
In the former part of his book he had taken into his consideration those several states of life to which men usually apply themselves for happiness ;--first, learning, --wisdom;next, —-mirth, jollity and pleasure ; – then power and greatness,-riches and possessions, --All of which are so far from answering the end for which they were at first pursued,