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and assemblies, mirth and music, and all the delights of sense ; yet they forget and affront God. Such were the gentry in the days of the author of this book ; and would to God ours in the general were any better. In their families, the voice of prayer and praise is not heard ; their children are not taught devotion, humility, and in. dustry. How wretched are such families, witl. all their riches and all their mirth. Let this thought cure us of too great an attache inent to the wealth and pleasures of life ; and teach parents to train up their children to something better than getting money, singing, dancing, and the like ; and to bring them up in the nurture and ad monition of the Lord.
3. See to what heights of impiety and profaneness prosperity of een leads men ; they say unto God, Depart from us ; think they have no concern with him, and because they will not walk in his ways, do not desire the knowledge of them. They think they owe nothing to the Almighty, and therefore will not pay him homage. The language of their heart is, what signifies praying ? it will not pay debts, nor portion children; and only serves to make men mel ancholy. Thus most of the rich and the gay think; at least thus they act. But let this counsel be far from us. Let us not say as they say, nor do as they do ; let us take pleasure in serving God and praising him. Let us earnestly desire the knowledge of his ways, and resolutely walk in them. Then, whatever we lose or suffer for religion, we shall enjoy the favour of God and everlasting happi. ness ; and instead of being brought forth to execution in the day of God's wrath, we shall be brought forth to eternal life, joy and triumph.
4. The different seasons and circumstances in which men die, is a call to us to be always ready. Some die in their full strength, ini the highest degree of health, when they think least of death, and imagine they have many prosperous years to come ; others after long pain and languishing. Let us remember, that we must die. Innumerable multitudes are gone this road; all that are now alive, or shall hereafter live, must come after us. Let this engage us to anhly our hearts to wisdom, and lay up treasures in heaven, which will never decay, and secure fulness of joy and pleasures for evera more.
Eliphaz supposing that Job had accused divine providence, in suffer.
ing the wicked lo prosper and the righteous to be afflicted, vindicates the justice of God ; charges upon Job many heinous sins ; shows how such sinners have been punished ; and offers some excellent
advice. i THEN Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, Can 2 1 a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be
profitable unto himself? if thou art righteous, God is no gainer
3 by it, he is not obliged to reward thee. [Is it) any pleasure to • the Almighty, that thou art righteous ? is it any addition to his
perfect happiness? or [is it] gain [to him,] that thou makest 4 thy ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will
he enter with thee into judgment, and crush thee lest thou shouldst 5 grow too powerful for him ? (Is) not thy wickedness great ? and
are not thine iniquities infinite ? and therefore thou needesi mor 6 wonder, at thy sufferings. For thou hast taken a pledge from . thy brother for nought ; with great oppression host taken
pledge for such a trifle as is not worth contending for ; and strip
ped the naked of their clothing ; stripped those of clothing who 7 had scarce enough to cover their nakedness. Thou hast not given
water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread · from the hungry ; thou hast been cruel and unkind to the dis8 tressed. But (as for] the mighty man, he had the earth; and.
the honourable man dwelt in it; thou hast been unjust as a mag. 9 istrate, favouring the rich and great. Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken ;
thou hast weakened and oppressed there, and rendered them more 10 incapable of helping themselves than they were before. Therefore
snares (are] round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee; 11 Or darkness, [that] thou canst not see; and abundance of waters
cover thee, therefore all these calamities are come upon thee ;
darkness and confusion overwhelm thee, 80 that thou hast no com12 fort, nor any way to 'extricate thyself. [IS] not God in the
height of heaven ? and behold the height of the stars, how high 13 they are ! And thou sayest, How doth God know ? can he
judge through the dark cloud ? God is infinitely great and majes.
tic, and thou seemest to infer that he is not atle to discern ; or 14 Thick clouds [are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and
he walketh in the circuit of heaven ; he is too much taken up
with the affairs of heaven 10 take notice of what is done on earth, 15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden ?
hast thou ever attended to what God did to the men of the old 16 world ? Which were cut down out of time, before their time in
the course of nature was come, whose foundation was everflown 17 with a flood, whom the flood swept away. Which said unto God,
Depart from us : and what can the Almighty do for them ;
they said as the wicked do now, and yet thou sayest such persons 18- prosper. Yet 'he filled their houses with good [things,) and • therefore showed his presence and observation by his agency : but
the counsel of the wicked is far from me, I abhor the thought of 19 such imniety and ingratitude, as much as thou dost. The righteous
see [it] 'and are glad : and the innocent laugh them to scorn ; probably referring to Noah and Lot, 7oho derided their 'neighbours'
ridiculous censures of Providence, and rejoiced in the displays of the 20 divine justice. Whereas our substance is not cut down, we who are
godly are still secure, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth; 21 as the wicked of Sodom whom God utterly'consumed. Acquaint
now thyself with him, and be at peace : thereby good shall. come unto thee; therefore labour to gain a greater acquaintance
with God and his ways, and be at peace with him by true repent. 32 ance, thereby all prosperity shall come unto thee. Receivė, I
pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in
thine heart; be concerned to learn his will, to remember it, and 23 live suitably to it. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt bé
built up, and soon feel the comfortable effects of it ; thou shalt
put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles, the punishment of 24 iniquity shall be removed from thy tabernacle. Then shalt thou
lay up gold as dust, and the [gold) of Ophir as the stones of the 25 brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, to secure thy 26 wealth, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt
thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God ; instead of doubting of his care, thou shalt have
inward satisfaction in his love and favour, and lift up thy face in 27 cheerful expectation of his protection and blessing. Thou shalt
make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou * shalt pay thy vows ; God shall hear thy prayer, and thou shalt 28 have cause and a heart to be thankful on that account. Thou
shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee : and the light shall shine upon thy ways ; thou shalt be able to
* accomplish thy schemes, and have success and comfort in thy pro. 29 ceedings. When [men] are cast down, then thou shalt say, i [There is) lifting up; thou shall have courage and comfort thy.
self, and be able to encourage others; and he, that is, God, in 30 answer to thy prayer, shall saye the humble person. He shall
deliver the island of the innocent, or, the innocent shall deliver the island, that is, the whole country when in it is danger : and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands, by thy sincere prayers and holy life.*
1. T HE allsufficiency of God for his own happiness, is a very
T useful and instructive thought. He is infinitely perfect and happy. It is no gain to him that we are righteous; he can be no man's debtor. It is therefore great condescension in him to require and encourage our service ; and all his rewards must be of grace, and not of debt. He does not punish or aflict men for fear of them; we can do him no harm ; therefore he most kindly in. tends our benefit, and we ought patiently to submit.
2. How may the best of men be falsely accused ! and that not only by the bad, but by those who upon the whole are wise and good. These charges against Job are unjust ; his character was quite the reverse ; he was an upright magistrate, just and kind and pious.' This reflection is designed to teach us how common it is even for good men to think worse of one another than they de.
. This was fulfilled when Eliphaz and his friends were delivered by Job's prayers ; and so it was a prophecy which he little thought of.
serve, and to caution us against uncharitable censures. The devil is the accuser of the brethren ; let us not be like him, and imitato him in this dirty work. And when we are falsely accused, let us not revile again ; but, with Christ, commit our cause to him who judgeth righteously,
3. A sense of God's infinite grandeur and majesty, should never lead us to think he is unacquainted with us, or unconcerned about us. He is indeed in the heights of heaven, and higher than the stars. Heaven is the immediate residence of his glory, and the stars are but the pavement of his palace. This should lead us to address him with the greatest reverence ; and still remember, that he can judge through the dark cloud. It is no burden or disparagement to him to govern the world ; for all things are naked and open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
4. Those who may differ and dispute abcut some matters of religion, should join in condemning atheism and impiety. Eliphaz protests against entertaining the counsel of the wicked ; he abhor. red their sentiments and ways. There are some important princi. ples which we should still abide by, when we differ about leszer matters, such as, that God is omnipresent, righteous, and good ; that religion is reasonable and necessary. Let us appear strenuously, and join heartily in this righteous cause. This will prevent our differences from becoming irreconcileable, and our disputes uncharitable.
5. Let all of us, especially those that are in affliction, attend to and learn this useful lesson. It is excellent advice which Eliphaz here gives to Job, v. 21. Let us endeavour to acquaint ourselves with God i to know more of him, his nature, and will, by meditation and prayer, and the study of his works, his providence, and his word. Let us submit to his law; treasure it up in our memory, and regulate our tempers and lives by it. Thus shall we probably enjoy prosperity ; if not, we shall hate what is much better, delight in God, comfort in approaching him, and a well grounded hope of his favour, which will be a cordial under every affliction, a bala ance for every loss, and a source of comfort and joy even in death itself.
6. We learn, that eminentiy good men are public blessings ; of great service to society, by their prayers for it, and their sedate and cheersul deportment; by keeping up the spirits of others in trouble. some times, and their devotion and holy behaviour : this is so pleasing to God, as to engage him on that account, to send blessings on the nation or society to which they belong. As we love our. selves, our family and country, let us labour to have our hands pure, our prayers sincere and serious, and our whole conduct un. blameable, honourable, and useful. Then shall we deliver our own souls, and contribute to the deliverance and happiness of all #bout u3.
Job does not here make a direct reply to the discourse of Eliphaz, but wishes for a fair hearing ; laments that he cannot see God appeare ing for him ; comforts himself with the consciousness of his integri. ty ; but complains that God denies him the consolation of clearing
up his innocence, or of ending his afflictions by death. I T AEN Job, hearing his character still censured, and his dis2 1 course perverted, answered and said, Even to day (is) my
complaint bitter ; notwithstanding your pronuises and consola
tions, I still have reason to complain : my stroke is heavier than - S my groaning can express. Oh that I knew where I might find
him ! [that] I might come (eren) to his seat ! The name of God is omitted to increase the pathos. If he will not come down
to me, I would go up to him, and present myself before his splendid 4 throne. I would order (my) cause before bim, and fill my
mouth with arguments : this is a nilitary phrase ; I would mar.
shal my cause, have a whole army of arguments, and bring them 5 forth in a regular manner. I would know the words (which] he
would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me ; 6 I long for his judgment, and would diligently altend co it. Will
he plead against me with [his) great power? No; but he would put strength] in me ; he would not use his power to oppress, but
10 assist me, and would puss sentence according to his clemency. 7 There the righteous might dispute with him ; so should I be
delivered for ever from my judge ; there I mighe argue my
cause, and be delivered from his condemning sentence. But my 8 wishes are vain ; for Behold, I go forward, but he [is] not
[there ;) and backward, but I cannot perceive him ; Though he is every where present, yet I cannot see him appearing to plead
for me ; I am so hurried and discomposed by my affliction, that I 9 am all confusion ; I look On the left hand, where he doth
work, but I cannot behold [him :) he hideth himself on the 10 right hand, that I cannot see (him :) But he knoweth the way
that I take ; this is my comfort, that he approves the course I have walked in: (when) he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold :
my innocence shall be cleared, and my virtue shall be established by 11 the trial. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and
not declined ; I am conscious I have imitated God, being a fol12 lower of him. Neither have I gone back from the commanda
ment of his lips ; I have ruled my life by all the intimations of the divine will ; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than
my necessary [food ;) treasured them up as my richest dainties. 13 But he [is) in one (mind,) and who can turn him ? or rather,
he is the only one supreme Being, and (what) his soul desireth,
even (that) he doeth ; he governs himself by unalterable rulex, 14 and I cannot think to move him by my expostulations. For he
performeth (the thing that is] appointed for me, continues his deterniined purposes not to relieve me : and many such Ithings