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I cry

(of my disease) is my garment changed : it bindeth me about

as the collar of my coat; I have such a discharge from my sores, 19 that it quite stiffens my garment, and makes it painful. He hath

cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes ;

he, or rather, it, that is, my distemper, has brought me low, and 20 trampled upon me like mire ; which aggravates all the rest.

unto thee for deliverance and the judgment of my cause, and thou

dost not hear me : I stand up, and thou regardest me (not.] 21 Thou art become cruel to me : with thy strong hand thou op

posest thyself against me ; thou actest torvard me like an impla. 22 cable enemy. Thou liftest me up to the wind : thou causest me

to ride (upon it,) and dissolvest my substance ; my health, my -23 comforts, all are carried away as with a whirlwind. For I know

(that) thou wilt bring me (to) death, and (to) the house ap

pointed for all living, I think of this, and it is my only comfort. 24 Howbeit he will not stretch out (his] hand to the grave, though

they cry in his destruction ; but yet God does not let out his hand

80 far as to bring me there, though there would be some alleviation 25 or comfort in that destruction, as the word signifies. Did I not

weep for him that was in trouble ? was (not] my soul grieved

for the poor? I do not therefore suffer for my hard heartedness. 26 When I looked for good, then evil came [unto me :) and when

I waited for light there came darkness ; my trouble was aggra27 vated, because unexpected. My bowels boiled, and rested not :

the days of my affliction prevented me; I had violent inward

commotions, which came suddenly and unexpectedly upon me., 28 I went mourning without the sun ; like a mourner I covered my

face : I stood up, [and] I cried in the congregation ; I cried for

pity to all around one, and could not help it, even in large assem29 blies. I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls ; 30 I am 80 melancholy that I could dwell even in a desert. My skin is

black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat; my 31 skin is parched, and my marrow quite exhausted. My harp also is

(turned) to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weer ; all musical instruments are laid aside, and nothing bus mourning and weeping come in their room.

REFLECTIONS.

ET not wise and good men wonder if they should be abus

ed and vilified. It is the lot of many such ; it was of Joh, and a greater than Job, even Christ ; who was despised and rejected of men, spit upon, insulted, and treated as the greatest criminal. The servant is not above his master. Let us learn of him, when reviled, not to revile again.

2. See how vain a thing popular applause is, and how little to be depended upon. Men may soon fall from the greatest height of dignity, to the lowest depth of disgrace. This should engage us to seek the honour which cometh from God; that is noble, substantial, and will be everlasting.

3. See how little reason we have to be fond of the body, and over anxious about it. How soon may it be reduced to the pitisul condition of Job's, be a heavy burden itself, and make every other burden almost insupportable. Let us look upon it as a vile body, and not pamper it ; which will only make it more liable to diseases, and less able to bear up under them.

4. Let us bless God that we are not exposed to such contempt and afflictions as those, which are here so movingly described. Job's case, and the cases of others in like circumstances, are very pitiable. We should thank God for the health, ease, and reputation we have, and consider them as talents to be improved for him.

5. It will be a great satisfaction to us, when affliction comes, to think that we have pitied and helped others under their affliction : v. 25. Job comforts himself with this thought. Unmerciful and hard hearted people will hear of their temper and conduct again from their own consciences, when they come to need pity and comfort from God at last ; for he shall have judgment without mercy, who hath showed no mercy.

6. We should think of the grave as the house appointed for all living. It is a cold disagreeable dwelling ; but thither we must remove. It is appointed for all, the rich and poor, small and great. Let us consider that it is God who brings us thither : a comfortable thought to good men, in the prospect of their awful change. And it should engage us all to prepare for our removal ; that when the body is lodged in that house, our separate spirit may be removed to the paradise above, the world of everlasting serenity, honour,

and joy.

CHAP. XXXI. 1-23.

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Lest the misery Job had mentioned in the former chapter should be

considered as a proof of guilt, he here dwells on his behaviour in his private capacity; makes his last solemn appeal to God, and offers himself as it were to all the power of his thunder and vengeance, if it were not so. 1

MADE a covenant with mine eyes ; why then should I

think upon a maid? I watched against all occasions of unclean2 ness. For what portion of God (is there) from above? and (what)

inheritance of the Almighty from on high, for those that allow 3 themselves in that sin ? they forfeit his blessing. (Is) not destruc

tion to the wicked ? and a strange (punishment] to the work

ers of iniquity ? he exposes himself to God's curse, and to dread4. ful destruction. Doth not he see my ways, and count all my 6 steps ? he reads even my secret thoughts. If I have walked with

vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit ; if I have been fami

liar with it, or accustomed to it; if I have hasied to defraud, in 6 break my promise, or to cheat my neighbour ; Let me be weigh.

ed in an even balance, let me be impartially tried, that God may 7 know mine integrity. If my step hath turned out of the way of justice, through fear or favour, and mine heart walked after mine

eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands ; if I have been 8 covetous or taken a bribe ; (Then) let me sow, and let another

eat the corn I have sown ; yea, let my offspring be rooted out ; 9 all the trees I have planted with so much pains. If mine heart

have been deceived by a woman, or (if ] I have laid wait at my

neighbour's door ; if I have been allured by a woman, or attempia 10 ed privately to seduce my neighbour's wife ; (Then) let my wife

grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her; let my

wife be made a slave of, and let me be wronged as much as I have 11 wronged others. For this [is] an heinous crime ; yea, it [is] an

iniquity (to be punished by] the judges ; it is a capital crime, and 12 should be punished by the magistrates. For it (is) a fire [that] con

sumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase ; it

would consume my estate, any reputation, my body, and soul 100. 13 If I did despise the cause of my man servant or of my maid ser

vant, when they contended with me; though I had the power of life and drath over them, yet I treated them kindly, gave them

leave to vindicate themselves, and plead their own cause before me. 14 What then shall I do when God riseth up ? and when he visit

eth, what shall I answer him ? when God, our common master, 15 comes to call us all to account, what can I say? Did not he that

made me in the womb, make him ? and did not one fashion us in the womb ? are ihey not as nearly related to God, and as equal

ly accountable to him, as I am ? and will he not do them justice as 16 well as me ? If I have withheld the poor from (their) desire, or

have caused the eyes of the widow to fail ; if I have been cruel 10

them, or failed in giving them that relief they desired, as Elipha17 has charged me with ; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone,

and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; if I have denied them 18 food convenient ; (For froin my youth he was brought up with

me, as (with] a father, sentiments of compassion early worked up.

on me ; and I have guided her, that is, the widow, from my 19 mother's womb; from my youngest days ;) If I have seen any

perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering ; if 20 I have not suplied the poor with clothing as well as food ; If his

loins have not blessed me, and [if ) he were (not) warmed with the fleece of iny sheep ; a beautiful phrase, intimating that every

li me he put on his garments he would applaud me and pray for me ; 21. If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, to oppress, or

even threaten them, when I saw my help in the gate ; my brother

magitrates sitting in the courts of justice, ready to defend me in so 22 doing : [Then) let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and

mine arm be broken from the bone ; let that guilty arm drop off. 23 For destruction (from) God (was) a terror to me, and by rea

son of his highness I could not endure; though no man could punish me, yet the majesty of God awed me, and the fear of him made me afraid to do wrong. VOL. IV.

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REFLECTIONS.

HE general reflection from this chapter is, that it gives us

an ainiable idea of Job's character, and renders him a noble pattern for our imitation, particularly in the following instances,

1. We learn from Job's example, to avoid all the lusts of the flesh, especially uncleanness. That we may abstain from this detestable evil ; let us abstain from the appearance and occasions of it; let us make a covenant with the eyes ; and not fasten them on any object that may occasion impure imaginations ; let us not indulge unchaste fancies or desires. Those who would keep from sin, must keep from the first step to it. Remember that God sees our ways, and counts our steps. If men do not punish us for unelearness and adultery, God will. It is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and will burn to the lowest hell. Abstain therefore from Heshly lusts, which war against the soul.

2. Let us guard against dishonest gain ; never walk with vanity, or haste to deceit. Let us not lie, or prevaricate for the sake of a good bargain, or suffer any blot to cleave to our hands. We should remember, that however we may weigh our commodities to others, God will sveigh us in an even balance; and that if we have dealt honestly and fairly, our money will be used or even lost, with comfort; and we shall have true pleasure in the reflection upon our upright conduct.

3. It is a good lesson to masters and mistresses to treat their servants with humanity and kindness ; no: to despise their cause, but be willing to hear reason, if they differ from us in judgment; and willing to hear their excuse, if they are chargeable with any fault. If they have any complaint to make, instead of bidding them hold their tongues, we should give them a patient hearing, and in every respect do what is just and equal. How forcible are the arguments to this : they are made of the same clay ; have the same relation to God, and therefore are not to be trampled upon and insulted. What shall we do when God riseth up? If he should always chide, and be angry for ever ; if he should despise cur cause, what will become of

? Let us remember, that there is a master in heaven, and that he is no respecter of persons.

4. Let us learn to guard against an uncharitable and unmerciful disposition ; be careful never to wrong the poor, the widow, and fatherless, but do them all the good we can, and furnish them with food and raiment, if it is in our power. Let us early teach our children lessons of compassion and mercy, and recommend the practice of this duty by our example. To excite us to this, let us consider the majesty of God; his wrath against the unmerciful ; and also the promises he has made to the bountiful and the charitable.

To do good and to communicate, let us not forget, for with such sacri. fices God is well pleasech

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CHAP. XXXI. 24, to the end.

24

F I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold,

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wealth, or thought it would entitle me to good, or secure me from 25 evil; If I rejoiced because my wealth (was] great, and because

mine hand had gotten much; if I immoderately rejciced in the 26 wealth left me by my ancestors, or in what I hird gotten ; If I be

held the sun when it shined, or the moon walking [in] bright

ness ; a beautiful description of the moon passing through the 27 clouds ; And my heart hath been secretly enticed to consider

them as gods, or my mouth hath kissed my hand, which was the

ancient way of worshipping them : whence comes the word ad28 oration ; This also [were) an iniquity (to be punished by] the

judge : for I should have denied the God (that is) above ; it 29 was so in Job's time. If I rejoiced at the destruction of him

that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him ; if I ev.

er wished evil to my enemy, or insulted him when it came upon 30 him ; Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a

curse to his soul; I never uttered any imprecation or curse a31 gainst him ; If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we

had of his flesh ! we cannot be satisfied ; my servants and al. tendants would have stirred me up to revenge, or would themselves

have avenged their master, with so much rage as almost to eat up 32 his enemies, but I would not permit it. The stranger did not

lodge in the street : [but] I opened my doors to the traveller; 33 my house was always open for their reception. If I covered my

transgressions, as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom;

if I concealed or excused my faults, and threw the blame upon oth34 ers, like Adam: Did I fear a great multitude, or did the con

tempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, [and] went not out of the door? I never made it an excuse for iniquity and dissimulation, ihat I was afraid of the clamour of the mob, or of' tlisobliging great familica ; I always went out to do good, and would

not keep silence when I had any opportunity of redressing griev35 ances and doing justice. Oh that one would hear me! behold,

my desire [is, that) the Almighty would answer me, and [that] mine adversary had written a book ; solemnly appealing to the

judgment of God, wishing his enemies would draw up an indict36 ment, and give him a copy of it. Surely I would take it upon my

shoulder, [and] bind it (as) a crown to me; I would prize il, as

containing matter of honour to me : because all the accusations 37 therein would be found upon trial to be false. I would declare

unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him ; instead of coming as a prisoner to the bar, I would advance as a pirince to a court or bench of justice, binding the accusation on my shoulder ; alluding 19 the custom of princes appeare ing in public with their ensigns of rank and honour borne on some

conspicuous part of their garment, that every one might see them, 38 If my land cry against me, as unjustly gotten, or violently takes

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