disappointment; James i. 26. “ If any man seein to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, that man's religion is vain;' that is, he will be disappoinied; he deceiveth him elf. Thus the world is a cheat and a deceiver,

7. All is vanity; the word imports folly; Job xi. 12. 6. Vain man would be wise, though he be born like the wild, ass's colt." All is vanity, all is folly. “ He that followeth vain persons, is void of understanding.”

8. All is vanity; it imports frailty and inconsistency; vanishing away as {moke: “ The world palleth away, and the lusts thereof, 1 John ii. 17. All flesh is grais; and all the goodness thereof as a flower of the field ; the grass withereth and the flower fadeth; surely the people is grass,” Isa, xl. 6,-9.

2dly, We proposed next to enquire into the emphasis of the phrafe, “ Vanity of vanities, vanity of vanities.” Why, this phrase, and the repetition of it, imports these fix things..

1. Tire excessiveness of the vanity of these worldly things. Vanity implies, that they are not only vain, but exceedingly vain; as vain as vanity itself. “Vanity of vanities,” is, in the Hebrew, a fuperlative form of speech, to set forth the highest vanity : as the “ Song of songs;" i. e. the most excellent fong; the “ King of kings;'' i. e, the most excellent king. So “ Vanity of vanity;' i. e. the greatest vanity.

2. It imports the multitude and variety of vanities that, are heaped up in earthly things; as Sampson speaks in another cale, “ Heaps upon heaps," Judges xv. 16. There are vanities upon vanities; one heap upon the top of another.

3.-It imports the strangeness of these vanities; he speaks by way of admiration, to thew the wonderful and strange vanity of these things ; 0 vanity of vanities ! He breaketh forth into this exclamation.

4. It importeth the inexpreslibleness of it; it cannot be uttered with words : and therefore the same words must be uttered again and again; to shew what we cannot sufficiently comprehend, or express, the vanity of things below. 5. It imports the fertility of these vanities of the world;




one vanity begets another: one piece of vanity brings on another; therefore called, “ Vanity of vanities :"> fuch vanity as is the cause of other vanities.

6. It imports the certainty of the vanity of worldly things, and what impresion it mould have opon us, when vanity is five times repeated in this one short text: these repeated strokes should make impression upon us, to affect us with the certainty of tiie thing. Surely all is vanity,

III. We proceed to the third thing proposed, viz. To offer some arguments to prove that all is vain and empty; or to prove the vanity and emptiness of the world.

1. The world is treacherous; it betrays both the hopes and the souls of men at once. How big is man with expectations of remote distant enjoyments! Like a man looking at a picture, or statue, at a dillance; but coming near to it, and taking a close view, he fees it but a cheat, a dead lifeless thing : so, when a man comes to the enjoyment of the world, he falls infinitely short of his expectations. Like children that think the cloud is just touching fuch a hill, and if they were at it, they would be just in the cloud; and when they go there; they find the cloud removed away to another hill. Yea, the world betrays the foul, as well as the hopes; it betrays a man's soul to ruin : like sweet poison, that goes down pleasanily, but kills presently. The filken cords of the world have taken away a prisoner; and they have proven their fetters, which they could never break again. As Judas laid of our blessed Lord, “Whomsoever I kils, take him, hold him faft:” So the world being the devil's agent, says, “Whomsoever I kiss and embrace, and " embraceth me mutually, and setteth his heart upon

me; take him, hold him fast.” So the creature betrays the soul as well as the hope of the man.

2. The world is vanity, because it is vexatious; for, “. All is vanity and vexation of spirit,'' Eccl. i. 14. You cannot grasp the thorn of this world but you must be hurt.--The world is vexation in the purchase of it. A man spends night and day for a conquest : he sits up late and rises early; fets his invention upon the rack,


how to conquer such a fortune, how to make such a purchase.—The world is vexation in the possession of it : when a man hath it, what cares, what fears, what solicitude about the keeping of it! He knows not how to secure it. If but a tyle or slate falls off his house, he thinks the whole fabric will be down next. If he takes but a penny out of a large sun, he thinks it will melt and diminish away to nothing. He is vext in keeping it.--And again, the world is vexation in the loss of it, When the man loses it, he cries, “ Alas! they have 66 taken away my gods, and what have I more?» My « hope is gone, my all is gone, my portion is gone."

3. The vanity and emptiness of the world appears in this, that a little cross will inbitter all the pleasures and enjoyments of time. Solomon faith, “ That the dead fly makes all the box of the apothecary's ointment to stink,” Eccl. x. I. So the whole box of the world's greatest enjoyments, one small cross, such as a tooth-ach, a touch of the stone, of the cholic or gout, will imbitter all, and make all to stink. We have an eminent instance of this in Haman, Esther v. 11. 13. If any man in the world might have promised himself satisfaction from the world, Haman now might have done it: he was raised from, a low degree to the highest pinacle and dignity of a fubject; being the chief ininister of state to one of the greatest kings on earth. If a nan be born to a great estate, it turns, as it were, natural to him; it never. increases, never elevates him: but promotion from a low estate to an high, doth enhance the value of the estate, and gives a relish to the enjoyment, if we may speak fo. Well, Haman had all riches; he had a numerous fainily, plenty of children; he was the greatest favourite of the king, and reckoned himfelf a favourite of the queen also; and yet, “ All this avails me nothing,”!. saith he: Why? what is the business, inan? What hath poisoned your box of ointment? There is a wretched Jew, faith he, an ill-natured, ill-mannered fellow, that will not. give me a hat, when I go in to the court, and come out again. And that marred all his happiness, becauss a poor man would not yield him obeisance. A little cross will imbitter the greatest enjoyments.


4. The

4. The world's emptiness and vanity appears in this, that it is so changeable, and of such a short duration. It is compared in scripture to the motion of an eagle; “ Riches take wings, they fly away as an eagle toward heaven,” Prov. xxiii. 5. When they fly away, they will not fly like a tame bird, to return to you again; they go away like an eagle out of sight. Many a man thinks, by his good rights and security, by his heritable bonds, and the like, he will clip the wings of the world, that it shall not fly away from him : but for all that, it will take the wings of the morning, whose wings cannot be clipt. The world is compared to the moon, Rev, xii. 1. which is sometimes full, and shining brightly ; but inftantly it changes again. Men are ready to say, in a worldly sense, as David in a spiritual, “ My mountain ftandeth strong;” and, behold! instead of health we have fickness; instead of reputation, we have disgrace; instead of ease we will have pain; instead of riches, we have poverty.

5. The vanity and emptiness of the world appears in this, that it will never be of service to you in a day of need. . Are you in sickness? All the riches of the world will not heal you ; it will not cure you of a gout or a gravel : make an experiment of it, lay your head on a pillow of gold, see if that will make you slecp found, Nay, all the enjoyments of time will not ease you of the pain of a cholic. And then, in the day of death, when death says, “ I am coming; I am at the door; the tri“ bunal is fixing to judge you :” what will the world avail you! Nay, it cannot secure you from the wrath of God, from a hell, from a tribunal.

IV. The fourth thing proposed in the general method, was, To give some reasons of the vanity and emptiness of the world, and unsatisfactoriness thereof, Why,

1. God alone is the centre of a man's foul; Christ alone is the bread of life, the folid food of the soul, God is the centre of the intellectual world, the centre of fpirits; and no rest shall spirits, fouls, have till they centre in him; and the soul that never centres in him, shall never find reft to eternity. Every body hath, its centre; the stone goes downward, and the fire goes


upward. Every body is, as it were, in motion, or hath a tendency to motion, if obstacles were out of the way, till it comes to its centre: now, God alone being the centre of the soul, the creature can never give relt to the soul; the Toul is still in disquiet, till it come to a God in Christ, which is the true rest ; “ Return to thy relt, O my soul,” Pral, cxvi. 7. The covetous man, if he has riches, will say, “ Return to thy rest, O my soul : Soul, thou hast goods laid up for many years.” But he was mistaken of his centre; for he had no rest at all: he was disinherited that night, and sent out of the world. No quiarters for the soul in the creature; there is no suitableness to the soul in the crea. ture. Why? The soul is a spirit; the creature is a body: the soul hath vast infinite desires; the creature is finite: the soul is eternal and immortal; the creature is but of yesterday, and perisheth to-morrow: and so there is no suitableness between the soul and the creature. It is only between God and the soul that there is a suitable. ness; and therefore the creature is empty and vain, and cannot satisfy the vast and immense desires of the im. mortal soul. But then,

2: There is the curse upon the creature, a manifold curse; a curse by Adam's fall, a curse after Cain's murder, a curse after the deluge, a curse upon every enjoyment of every wicked man: He is cursed in his basket and his store; cursed in his children, cursed in his table, cursed in all his comforts. How then can the creature, and worldly things, be any other than vanity and emptiness to us, seeing the curse is lying upon them since the fall! Gen. iii. 17.

3. All is vanity, becaule of the end for which God made them; they were made for us, not we for them. The Lord never designed the things of the world for the use that men would turn them to, namely, to be a god, a portion, a happiness to them; and therefore they shall never find an happiness in them. And so,

4. Because they feek happiness in the creature, there. fore they shall never find it in the creature: because they put confidence in it, therefore God will blast that confidence; “ The Lord hath rejected thy confidences;


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