Here is the conclusion of the matter:

(Thomas Chalmers, 1826)

When I surveyed all that I had accomplished and what I had toiled to achieve — everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun!" Ecclesiastes 2:11

"This world is passing away along with its desires!" 1 John 2:17

"Whosoever drinks of this water — shall thirst again!" John 4:13

There is no delusion more prevalent
, or more difficult to dissipate from the minds of men — than the imagined power which this world possesses to confer solid good or substantial enjoyment on its votaries. Their life is one unceasing struggle for some object or attainment which lies at a distance from them. They are fighting their way to an arduous eminence of wealth or of distinction — or running with eager desire after some station of imagined delight, or imagined repose — on this side of death.

And it is the part of Christian wisdom: to mark the contrast which exists between the activity of the pursuit in the ways of human ambition — and the utter vanity of the termination; to observe how, in the career of restless and aspiring man, he is ever experiencing that to be tasteless, on which, while beyond his reach — he had lavished his fondest and most devoted energies!

When we thus see that the life of man in the world is spent in vanity — and goes out in darkness — we may say of all the wayward children of humanity, "Surely man walks in a vain show, surely he vexes himself in vain!" Psalm 39:6

But these censures on that waste of strength and of exertion, which is incurred by the mere votaries of this world, are not applicable merely to the pursuits of general humanity — they are frequently no less applicable to the pursuits of professing Christians!

"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14