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Though the wise man, with all his wisdom, search, and labour, could not
find out the causes and reasons of divine Providence, in the branches
and methods of it; yet some things he did find out, and observe, in
making this inquiry, and which he declares; as that good and wise men,
more especially their persons and their affairs, were in the hand of
God, under his guidance, government, and direction; and that an
interest in his love and hatred was not to be known by the outward
estate of men, \\#Ec 9:1\\; That the same events happen to good and bad
men, who are variously described; that the hearts of wicked men are
full of sin and madness as long as they live, and that they all must
and do die, \\#Ec 9:2,3\\; and then the state of such dead is described,
as being without hope, knowledge, reward, or memory; and without love,
hatred, or envy, or any portion in the things of this life, \\#Ec 9:4-6\\.
Wherefore good men are advised to live cheerfully, in a view of
acceptance with God, both of persons and services; and eat and drink,
and clothe well, according to their circumstances, and enjoy their
friends and families; since nothing of this kind can be done in the
grave, \\#Ec 9:7-10\\. Then the wise man observes another vanity; that
success in undertakings is not always to persons who bid fair, and
might hope for it, but looks like the effect of chance, \\#Ec 9:11\\; which
want of success is often owing to their ignorance of the proper time of
doing things, and to their want of foresight, thought, and care, to
prevent evils; for which reason they are compared to fishes and birds,
taken in a net or snare, \\#Ec 9:12\\. And concludes with a commendation of
wisdom, illustrated by an example of it, in a certain person that
delivered a city by it, \\#Ec 9:13-15\\; and though the man's wisdom was
despised, yet it is preferable to strength, or weapons of war, or the
noise of a foolish ruler, who destroys much good, \\#Ec 9:16-18\\.