صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


14 in this world. The depth saith to the miners that dig in i., It [is]

not in me : and the sea saith to the mariners and merchants that 15 sail over it, [It is) not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, 16 neither shall silver be weighed (for) the price thereof. It can

not be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, 17 or the sapphire. The gold and the chrystal cannot equal it : and 18 the exchange of it (shall not be for] jewels of fine gold. No

mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls : for the price of 19 wisdom (is) above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall nct equal

it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold ; no gold, gems, or 20 precious stones, can purchase this knowledge. Whence then com

eth wisdom ? and where [is] the place of understanding ? where 21 shall it be found ? who shall show it us ? Seeing it is hid from

the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air ; 22 seeing the most soaring geniuses are quite ignorant of it.

struction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears ; there are discoveries of the divine wisdom in the invis. ible state, which cannot be known in this ; yet they are as far short

of the whole of the divine counsel, as an imperfect rumour is from 23 certain knowledge, God understandeth the way thereof, and he

knoweth the place thereof; God's counsels are only known to 24 himself ; For he looketh to the ends of the earth, (and) seeth

under the whole heaven ; his understanding is infinite, he sees all 25 creatures ; To make the weight for the winds; and he weigh.

eth the waters by measure ; he directs where, and how strong

the winds shall blow, and determines how much water shall fall, 26 and lic upon the earth. When he made a decree for the rain,

and a way for the lightning of the thunder ; when he appointed

the course of the rain and lightning, and established the several 27 laws of the air and other elements ; Tlien did he see it, and de.

clare it ; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out ; these were first established, and their regular course settled by his unerrirg

wisdom ; God knew them perfectly, and communic ites 10 us what 28 he thinks ft. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the

Lord, that [is] wisdom ; and to depart from evil [is] understanding ; this is the great discovery he hath made to men, that practical religion is the true wisdom, and that in which we are most concerned. Man was made, net to censure, but to adore that di. vine wisdom he cannot comprehend, and to pursue that which he can attain ; and this God said to man, or, as in the original, o Adam : it is a laru as old as the creation, and of universal importance.


[ocr errors]

T ,

HE wisdom and goodness of God, in furnishing the

men wisdom and industry to get them out, claim our veneration and thankfulness. The metals and minerals, the coals and the clay, are all useful and serviceable to human life.

God has lodged them in their different recesses, and different kinds in different parts of the earth, to quicken men's industry, and promote a circulation of money and exchange of valuable commodities. He has ordained so many difficulties in procuring them, that multitudes may be employed about them. All this cometh from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counse! and excellent in working.

2. Let us remember that the secrets of God's providence are not discoverable by us. The secret reasons of his conduct are hidden from us, and all future events ; all the skill, sagacity, and application of men, cannot discover them. But there is a world beyond the grave where they are better known, though even there not perfectly. Let us not tire ourselves in the search of what we cannot understand, and what God never intended we should understand ; but content ourselves with firmly believing (as we have the greatest reason to do) that all things are well and wisely ordered ; and that all things shall work together for good to them that love God.

3. Let us attend with the greatest care to what is plain, obvious and important. The distinction of good and evil, the immutable and indispensable obligations we are under 10 fear the Lord and depart from evil : these are very evident, and most momentous. This is spoken of by Moses, David, Solomon, Job, and Christ himself, as the one thing needful. To man God hath said this in all ages. It is better to get this wisdom than gold ; it is more easily obtained ; the possession is more secure ; the consequence more happy. This is the wisdom which God requires of man ; and by this alone he can attain to eternal happiness. It lies open to the poor as well as the rich, to him that digs for jewels, as well as to him that wears them. Let this be our concern, for unto us God says, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is, wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Job here reminds his friends of his former prosperity and honour ;

tacitly reproving them for attending no more to what he said, which was so different from the respect with which he was formerly treated ;; and he inter weaves solemn protestations of his innocence.

OREOVER Job continued his parable, and said, 2

(when) God preserved me with peculiar tenderness and care ; 3 When his candle shined upon my head, (and when] by his light

I walked (through) darkness ; when I had continued tokens of his 4 favour, which spread a glory around me; As I was in the days

of my youth, when the secret of God (was) upon my taberna

cle ; when I had pleasing communion with God, and he seemed 10 5 dwell in my house, as his tabernacle ; When the Almighty (was]

yet with me, showed himself gracious, and (when) my children

(were] about me, offering me their asststance and services; 6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me

out rivers of oil ; when he blessed me with such prosperity that I 7 had butter and oil as plentiful as water ; When I went out to the

gate through the city, (when] I prepared my seat in the street! 8 when I went out to the place of judicature. The young men

saw me and hid themselves, ashamed to be surprized in any ir

regulur behaviour : and the aged arose, [and] stood up to show 9 me reverence. The princes refrained talking, and laid (their)

hand on their mouth; there was a general silence waiting for 10 what I had to say. The nobles held their peace, and their

tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth ; there was profound Il attention of princes and nobles to my words. When the ear

heard [me,] then it blessed me ; and when the eye saw [me,] it gave witness to me ; I was so far from being a tyrant, as you suggest, that I was a public favourile; when my name was men.

tioned every body guas ready to give me n good word, and their very 12 looks discovered their esteem: Because I delivered the poor that

cried, and the fatherless, and [him that had) none to help him, 13 from their enemies. The blessing of him that was ready to

perish came upon me : and I caused the widow's heart to sing

for joy ; I had the prayers and blessings of those whose lives and 14 esic!e's I had preserved. I put on righteousness, and it clothed

me : my judgment (was] as a robe and a diaciem ; my wisdom

and equily in administering justice, were more conspicuous and 15 ornamental than my robes and ensigns of honour. I was eyes lo

the blind, and feet (was) I to the lame; I direcied the ignorant 16 and perplexed, and helped the weak and the feeble. I was) a

father to the poor : and the cause (which] I knew not I searched out ; I was not only a patron, but a father to the poor, providing

for him, as well as protecting him ; and avas unwearied in search. 17 ing out the merits of his cause to do him justice. And I brake

the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth ;

I prinished the wickes, and made ihem restore what they had un18 justly gotlen. Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall

multiply (my] days as the sand ; I thought I should continue

firosperous and die honourably in my house, and not be driven like a 19 bird from his nest. My root (was] spreach out by the waters,

and the dew lay all night upon my branch; like a tree by the 20 rivers, I thought I should never wither. My glory (was] fresh

in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand ; my esteem and

reputation were growing, and my power to defend my fortune and 21 dignity continued and increased. Unto me [inen) gave ear, and 22 waited, and kept silence at my counsel. After my words they

spake not again ; and my speech dropped upon them ; all were attention ; my words were a law ; I was the oracle of the country;

my strech distilled and insinuated into their hearts, like showers 23 of snott'. And they waited for me as for the rain, and they

opened their mouth wide, [as] for the latter rain, they waited 34 imfatiently for my opinion, and received it with eagerness. [If] I laughed on them, they believed [it] not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down ; if I laid aside my gravity, and condescended to be cheerful and familiar among them, they could

scarce believe themselves ; yet this did not breed contempi, they 25 still kept up their reverence for me. I chose out their way, and

sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army ; I could do as much by my influence, as if I had been a monarch, or a general of an army ; yet I did not abuse my authority, but was as one [that] comforteth the mourners ; I treated all about me with as much humanity and tenderness, as a person does a dear friend who is in distress.




O W little do young people know what is before them in

be in such circumstances, as to wish for the days and months past. Let them set out with moderate desires, and not expect too much from this world ; but cultivate an humble and contented spirit. The less we expect, the less grievous will be our disappointments.

2. Those who have wealth, power, wisdom, or any influence, should use it for valuable purposes. Job is an excellent pattern for all

, especially for magistrates ; let them in imitation of him, do justice, love mercy, be friends of the poor, and patrons of the oppressed; otherwise their robes, and swords, and other ensigns of honour, will be only a reproach. Let all, according to their various spheres and abilities, endeavour to do good ; to be public blessings, and the favourites of the place where they live ; (a most noble, honourable, and godlike character !) and they will be esteemed and reverenced ; and it will be a pleasure to them, (as it was lo Job) to recollect their generous and charitable actions ; even when the power of repeating them is lost. It is in the power of all to pity and comfort the afflicted ; and a noble act of charity it is. Let us learn to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

3. Worthy, useful, and generous men, ought to be highly esteemed and revered. It is a just debt to them and will be an encouragement to the like conduct in others. Let us give every man's character its just encomium ; fay honour to whom honour is due. Where men appear to lay themselves out for the public good, they deserve public applause ; every one shoald attest their character, and show them all that respect, which their virtue and usefulness claim.

4. When amidst the greatest prosperity and honour, let us expect changes, and especially think of death. Men are ready to be confident of the continuance of their wealth and enjoyments ; perhaps Job was so. Let us learn from the sad change in his circumstances, and many such changes within our own knowledge, not to be high minded, but fear. He thought of death ; his prosperity did not make him forget that. Let us daily think of it, and prepare for it ; and then, whether we have praise of men or no, we shall certainly hare praise of God, and be applauded before the assembled world at the last day,


Job proceeds to describe the vileness and misery of his present condi

tion, 10 move the compassion of his friends, especially as they thought him so near his end. 1 UT now (they that are) younger than I have me in deri

with the dogs of my flock; persons who durst not before look me

in the face, and whose fathers I would not have set with the mean2 est shepherd or servant in my family. Yea, whereto (might) the

strength of their hands (profit] me, in whom old age was per

ished ? in their best state they were good for nothing, but now they 3 are wholly useless. For want and famine (they were] solitary ;

fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste ;

beygarly fellows who were glad to hide themselves in the wilderness. 4. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots (for)

their meat ; fed on any coarse herbs or roots they found there. 5 They were driven forth from among (men,] (they cried after

them as (after) a thief ;) they were driven, as unworthy of hu.

man society, and they fled as if an hue and cry was after them ; 6 To dwell in the cliffs of the vallies, (in] caves of the earth, and 7 (in) the rocks ; they sought shelter in rocks. Among the bushes

they brayed ; under the nettles they were gathered together, 8 and lived like wild asses. (They were] children of fools, yea,

children of base men : they were viler than the earth : they

were descended from a scandalous crew, and were as infamous as 9 their parents. And now am I their song, yea, I am their by. 10 word, their pastime. They abhor me, they flee far from me, and Il spare not to spit in my face, they treat me insolently. Because

he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me ; because God hath taken away my power

and authority, with which I held them as avith a bridle, 80 they now 12 abuse me. Upon (my) right (hand) rise the youth : they push

away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of iheir destruction ; a parcel of despicable villains, whose fathers or them.

selves I had punished as a magistrale, come and insult me, and 13 charge me with tyranny and injustice in my office. They mar my

path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper ; they

are fruitful in inventing calumnies against me, and need no puer14 son's helf. They came [upon me) as a wide breaking id Dof

waters : ) in the desolation they rolled themselves (upon me,]

like soldiers entering into a besieged city, through a wide breach. 15 Terrors are turned upon me : they pursue my soul as the wind :

and my welfare passeth away as a cloud that is dispersed by it. 16 And now my soul is poured out upon me ; the days of afsiic

tion have taken hold upon me ; I pour out many tears, and 17 my soul is fuint through grirf. My bones are pierced in

me in the night season : and my sinews take no rest, by rea18 son of the vicient pain I have in the night. By the great force

« السابقةمتابعة »