10:9. He that removeth stones, shall be hurt by them: and he that cutteth trees, shall be wounded by them.
10:10. If the iron be blunt, and be not as before, but be made blunt, with much labour it shall be sharpened: and after industry shall follow wisdom.
10:11. If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that backbiteth secretly.
10:12. The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace: but the lips of a fool shall throw him down headlong.
10:13. The beginning of his words is folly, and the end of his talk is a mischievous error.
10:14. A fool multiplieth words. A man cannot tell what hath been before him: and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
10:15. The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not how to go to the city.
10:16. Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and when the princes eat in the morning.
10:17. Blessed is the land, whose king is noble, and whose princes eat in due season for refreshment, and not for riotousness.
10:18. By slothfulness a building shall be brought down, and through the weakness of hands, the house shall drop through.
10:19. For laughter they make bread, and wine that the living may feast: and all things obey money.
10:20. Detract not the king, no not in thy thought; and speak not evil of the rich man in thy private chamber: because even the birds of the air will carry thy voice, and he that hath wings will tell what thou hast said.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 11
Exhortation to works of mercy, while we have time, to diligence in good, and to the remembrance of death and judgment.
11:1. Cast thy bread upon the running waters: for after a long time thou shalt find it again.
11:2. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight: for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
11:3. If the clouds be full, they will pour out rain upon the earth. If the tree fall to the south, or to the north, in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be.
If the tree fall, etc... The state of the soul is unchangeable when once she comes to heaven or hell: and a soul that departs this life in the state of grace, shall never fall from grace: as on the other side, a soul that dies out of the state of grace, shall never come to it. But this does not exclude a place of temporal punishments for such souls as die in the state of grace: yet not so as to be entirely pure: and therefore they shall be saved, indeed, yet so as by fire. 1 Cor. 3.13, 14, 15.
11:4. He that observeth the wind, shall not sow: and he that considereth the clouds, shall never reap.
11:5. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones are joined together in the womb of her that is with child: so thou knowest not the works of God, who is the maker of all.
11:6. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening let not thy hand cease: for thou knowest not which may rather spring up, this or that: and if both together, it shall be the better.
11:7. The light is sweet, and it is delightful for the eyes to see the sun.
11:8. If a man live many years, and have rejoiced in them all, he must remember the darksome time, and the many days: which when they shall come, the things past shall be accused of vanity.
11:9. Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes: and know that for all these God will bring thee into judgment.
11:10. Remove anger from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh.
For youth and pleasure are vain.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 12
The Creator is to be remembered in the days of our youth: all worldly things are vain: we should fear God and keep his commandments.
12:1. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the time of affliction come, and the years draw nigh of which thou shalt say: They please me not:
12:2. Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:
Before the sun, etc... That is, before old age: the effects of which upon all the senses and faculties are described in the following verses, under a variety of figures.
12:3. When the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall stagger, and the grinders shall be idle in a small number, and they that look through the holes shall be darkened:
12:4. And they shall shut the doors in the street, when the grinder's voice shall be low, and they shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall grow deaf.
12:5. And they shall fear high things, and they shall be afraid in the way, the almond tree shall flourish, the locust shall be made fat, and the caper tree shall be destroyed: because man shall go into the house of his eternity, and the mourners shall go round about in the street.
12:6. Before the silver cord be broken, and the golden fillet shrink back, and the pitcher be crushed at the fountain, and the wheel be broken upon the cistern,
12:7. And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit return to God, who gave it.
12:8. Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all things are vanity.
12:9. And whereas Ecclesiastes was very wise, he taught the people, and declared the things that he had done: and seeking out, he set forth many parables.
12:10. He sought profitable words, and wrote words most right, and full of truth.
12:11. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened in, which by the counsel of masters are given from one shepherd.
12:12. More than these, my son, require not. Of making many books there is no end: and much study is an affliction of the flesh.
12:13. Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man:
All man... The whole business and duty of man.
12:14. And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for every error, whether it be good or evil.
Error... Or, hidden and secret thing.
SOLOMON'S CANTICLE OF CANTICLES
This Book is called the Canticle of Canticles, that is to say, the most excellent of all canticles: because it is full of high mysteries, relating to the happy union of Christ and his spouse: which is here begun by love; and is to be eternal in heaven. The spouse of Christ is the church: more especially as to the happiest part of it, viz., perfect souls, every one of which is his beloved, but, above all others, the immaculate and ever blessed virgin mother.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 1