Ver. 1. Right. He shews how the wicked brought death into the world, and expresses the sentiments of the epicureans, as in Ecclesiastes. The six first chapters are a sort of paraphrase of the nine first of Proverbs, in which the attractions of virtue and of pleasure are contrasted, &c. C.
--- Remedy. Lit. "refreshment." Sept. "healing."
--- Hell, or the grave. H.
--- They reject as fabulous, the accounts of people being raised to life by miracle. C.
--- They suppose that the soul is mortal, and that there is neither reward nor punishment after death. W.
Ver. 2. Nothing. Sept. "by chance." The epicureans imagined that the first man was produced by the conflux of atoms. Lucret. i. 5. C.
--- Smoke, or vanishes like it.
--- And speech. Budæus would substitute "a little spark."
--- Speech may be used for "thing." Our life is something like a spark. M.
--- Speech is an effect of the rational soul, as a spark comes from fire. C.
Ver. 5. Sealed, like one in the tomb. Matt. xxvii. 66. The epicureans were well convinced of the fragility of our nature: but they drew false inferences from it, pretending that we should enjoy ourselves now, as there will be no future life. This they ought to have proved. C.
Ver. 6. Come. From the disbelief of future rewards and punishments proceeds the epicure's life. W.
Ver. 7. Time. Sept. Alex. "of spring." H.
--- Youth is the spring of life. The voluptuous conclude, from the transitory nature of things, that we should make use of them. Would it not be more rational to despise them? C.
Ver. 11. Worth. Strange maxims! which few will dare to proclaim, though they act according to them. C.
Ver. 12. Just. Infidels are not content to live in riot: they also persecute the just. W.
--- This passage points out the conduct of the Jews towards our Saviour, in so striking a manner, that Grotius would assert it has been altered by some Christian. But the Fathers adduce it as a clear prediction (C.) of the Jewish malice. Matt. xxvii. 41. Mar. xiv. 53. W.
Ver. 13. Knowledge. The prophets spoke to sinners in the name of God, and many of them lost their lives in the cause. Christ appeared as a new star, to promote their welfare; yet this only serves to irritate them. C. Jo. viii. 16.
Ver. 20. Words. Or he shall be punished for what he has said. Syr. Vat. &c. Matt. xxvi. 61. C.
--- We shall hence form a judgment of his real merits, (M.) unless this be spoken ironically; as if the just had foolishly flattered himself with the divine protection. Matt. xxvii. 43. H.
Ver. 22. Secrets. The disbelief of mysteries leads to a dissolute life, and to the persecution of the just. W.
--- The pagans knew not the advantages of suffering, and even the apostles were ignorant of the mystery of the cross, till after the resurrection. C.
Ver. 24. Envy. Lucifer thought that the honour of the hypostatic union (C.) belonged to the angelic, rather than to the human nature; and this he was guilty of envy, (H.) and strove to become like the most High. Is. xiv. 14. S. Bern. ser. xvii. in Cant. Corn. A. Lap. &c.