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Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 9\\

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\\.