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The Whole Duty of Man

The Whole Duty of Man

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Published by glennpease
BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.



OF MAKING MANY BOOKS THERE IS NO END, AND
MUCH STUDY IS A WEARINESS OF THE FLESH. LET
US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER:
FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS; FOR
THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN.

EccLES. xii. 12, 13.
BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.



OF MAKING MANY BOOKS THERE IS NO END, AND
MUCH STUDY IS A WEARINESS OF THE FLESH. LET
US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER:
FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS; FOR
THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN.

EccLES. xii. 12, 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 15, 2013
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THE WHOLE DUTY OF MABEJAMI JOWETT, M.A.OF MAKIG MAY BOOKS THERE IS O ED, ADMUCH STUDY IS A WEARIESS OF THE FLESH. LETUS HEAR THE COCLUSIO OF THE WHOLE MATTER:FEAR GOD AD KEEP HIS COMMADMETS; FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MA.EccLES. xii. 12, 13.These two verses breathe the double spirit of that strange book in which we are taught that * allis vanity/ and yet that ' God will bring every wordand thought into judgment.' The writer is wearyof himself and of all human things : he is seekingfor a truth beyond these, which he can hardly, if atall, see. The first of these two spirits is what inour own days has been called ' Pessimism.' But thisview of the preacher reaches further and is moresearching than that of any modern writer on thesame subject. Man has nothing; knows nothing;is nothing. Yet from this negation of hope andgood, in which all the idols of this world are laidlow, there springs up at last the conviction that todo rightly is the final end of life, and that thoughall things in heaven and earth should disappear, thetrue rock remains, not so much as a belief, but asa necessity of human nature.^ Preached at Balliol, January, 1885.184 COLLEGE SERMOS [xi.I do not propose to consider how much of this
 
high argument is applicable to our own day. odoubt there are persons among ourselves who areanxious to do rightly and keep the commandmentsof God, who yet feel themselves to be standing ona very narrow ledge of religious belief or know-ledge. Into that application of the argument I amnot going to enter, but only to draw your attentionto the first verse of the text : ' Of making manybooks there is no end, and much study is a weari-ness to the flesh.' Does not the note which theyutter at times find an echo in our inmost hearts ?We fancy that they are more applicable to our ownage than to any which has preceded. There is somuch excitement in the world ; such a Babel of voices ; so many winds blowing from all quartersof the heavens, that we can hardly be ourselves, orpossess our souls in patience. And sometimes weare disposed to ask whether our forefathers werenot happier than we are in their comparative fixityof opinions, in their narrowness and simplicity, livingin the country or in small towns, with few books andan occasional review or newspaper : whether what wehave gained in knowledge we may not have lost inforce of character ? And the writers of books cannotavoid making a similar reflection. To what end hasbeen all this strain and effort of mind ? For a longwork involves a great deal of anxiety, far greaterthan the author of the work ever dreamed of when'¦^'^%mr
 
XI.] WRITERS AD THEIR TRIALS 185'J I,he first conceived the idea of it. How shall heexpress himself so that he may be understood?How will his work be received by the public ? Howlong- will his labours live ? Will he ever be freedfrom the chain which drags upon him ? Such arethe thoughts which are often recurring to his mind.More than thirty years ago I remember meeting onthe Surrey downs a remarkable looking man : onewho has been thought to be, as perhaps he was,a great teacher of this and a former generation.Shall I tell you his name ? It was Thomas Carlyle.He said to me, *I am wearied out with the burdenof writing, and I am just come to spend a day ortwo walking about among the hills.' And to anotherperson he said, * I only want to lay my head on thepillow and be at rest.' And I have no doubt thathe, if any one, would have found in the words of 

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