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sisted of an odious attempt to entrap him into a confession of his guilt ; and, though he avoided the snare, the jury did not fail to obey the directions which they received to convict him ; but the sentence appeared "too iniquitous to be executed, even in the eyes of Whitgift."*
The case of Udal was remarkable. He made numerous applications to those in power, and was favoured with the assistance of several distinguished persons, especially king James of Scotland and Sir Walter Raleigh, to obtain a mitigation of the sentence. He presented several forms of submission, in which he humbly conceded and openly acknow. ledged every thing consistent with justice and Christianity. His efforts were unavailing. There was neither humanity nor justice to listen to his
groans. He was required to subscribe a most odious and degrading submission, drawn up by his persecutors, containing an explicit recan. tation of his principles, and an open renunciation of what he considered the undoubted truth of God. Udal, however, remained unmoved, resolving to live and die a honest man ; and he was so far from debasing his integrity, in exchange for human favour, that he preferred the severest sufferings his enemies could inflict, rather than renounce his principles, sacrifice his conscience, and betray the cause of God. Though Fuller, the zealous churchman, denominates him a learned man, blameless in life, powerful in prayer, and no less profitable than painful in preaching; † yet his enemies were base enough to design his death, but had not sufficient courage to commit the horrid deed; he was, therefore, left to languish in close prison, where, after long confinement, he died, “ broken-hearted with sorrow,” about the close of the year 1592. Thus ended the long and arduous struggle between pious constancy and cruel intolerance; and in this awful tragedy, behold the blood-stained garments of priesthood.
ESSAYS ON THE BOOK OF JOB.-NO. X.
BY THE REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D., GLASGOW.
(Concluded from page 769.) The first part of the address of Eliphaz to Job, after he had " opened his mouth, and cursed his day," was the subject of my last communication. It was my intention, as then hinted, to have taken up the remainder of it in this, and to have subjoined some general reflections. That intention I have seen reason to change, and, after a single observation or two, to proceed to the patriarch's reply.
In the address of Eliphaz, there are very pointed and cutting allusions to Job's peculiar and overwhelming afflictions. The allusions are indirect. They are contained in the cases supposed by him for the
* Hallam's History, vol. i. p. 221.
+ Fuller's Church History, b. ix. p. 222.
illustration of his principles, and the enforcing of his argument. The commendation with which he commences is only designed (judging of the design from the actual use) to give keenness of edge to the subsequent reproofs. There is no allusion, in the form of soothing sympathy, to the extent and variety of Job's trials ; no allowance made, on that ground or any other, for the vehemence of his emotion, or of the language in which it had been uttered; he is reminded of the consolations he was wont to address to others, not to sustain and cheer him by the recollection, and thus to sweeten present bitterness, but to give point to the charge of hypocrisy and the sneer at his weakness. Without a single syllable of condolence, he hastens to the statement and defence of his principles. Let it in charity be allowed, that it was his eagerness in defence of what he conceived to be truth, that made him exemplify, so sadly and so culpably
The pitiless part
Already to sorrow resign’d."
In the course of Eliphaz's first address, indeed, there are expressions that sound like condolence and encouragement. I have never said, or meant to say, that Job's friends were entirely without feeling; but only, that their feelings were misdirected and overborne by the operation of a false principle. They felt for him. How could they but feel, with such a sight before them, unless their hearts had been framed of the nether millstone? But regarding him, as they did, with more than a suspicion of unknown guilt, their sympathy was necessarily restrained in its expression, being made to depend on what they conceived to be indispensable, free confession and penitential humiliation on the part of the sufferer. Has my reader never, after having begun to deal with a person whom he considered as meriting the severity of rebuke ; as having brought his troubles upon himself, and requiring to be firmly admonished to repentance and confession ; after having laid his faults before him with a severe fidelity, and exhorted him warmly to turn from the error of his way; has he never, in urging this, felt his heart relent into tenderness, wax warm toward the object of his expostulation, and, giving way to the immediate impulse of feeling, exchange the language of rebuke for the language of kindness and encouragement? Thus it was with Eliphaz. At one part of his address, there was a little softening :-chap. v. 17—26. But still, the encouragement is founded on the assumption of his own principle. . It is conditional. It does not retract, nor modify, the surmise of the patriarch's secret wickedness; but proceeds upon the supposition of his “confessing and forsaking." The general statements, both as to suffering being the result of sin, and of temporal good being the result of righteousness, are meant in his own sense, and intended to have a special application. Had those statements meant no more than the general tendency of piety and righteousness to insure the divine protection and blessing, as well as of impiety and wickedness to provoke his displeasure and curse, they would have been in harmony with the rest of Scripture. But Eliphaz meant more :-—and he represents the principle of the administration of providence to which we have so often adverted, as the fixed and settled sentiment of himself and friends, the result of past experience, and extensive observation, and deep research :-“Lo this, we have searched it; so it is ; hear thou it, and know it for thy good,” chap. v. 27.
In proceeding to Job's reply, I would first remark, in general, that there is one difficulty incessantly felt in the course of our exposition of this book ; the difficulty of tracing the connexion of sentiment in the different speeches, and bringing out with any certainty the views and feelings expressed, and the parts of the previous speaker's address by which they have been elicited. This, as might be anticipated, is especially the case with the speeches of Job. It would have been altogether out of nature had it been otherwise. To have made the effusions of an agitated and desperate mind, tossed by the wild turbulence of conflicting passions, regular, connected, and methodical in their arrangement, presenting any thing like a continuous and orderly succession of thought—would have been an outrage on all that was natural. Job's addresses are, in this respect, true to nature, a correct image of his mind. They are full of sudden and abrupt transitions ; just as parts of what has been said happen to strike his memory, or the recollections of the past to come over him, or his own thoughts to suggest, or the throbbing and darting agonies of his tortured frame to force upon his heart. He apologizes, argues, complains, laments, upbraids, agonizes, despairs, hopes, confesses guilt, protests innocence, pleads with God, scorns, soothes, entreats, melts into tears, bursts anew into violence, longs impatiently for death, and exults in the confidence of immortality. And these sentiments and feelings and modes of speech are frequently so blended together, his mind turning from one to another by the starts of a moment, that it is, many a time, far from easy to follow it; and of language which, by the looks and gestures and tones, and general manner of the speaker, would be perfectly well understood at the time, it is, in the absence of all such helps, difficult for us to ascertain with certainty the reference and the import.
I shall try to bring out, with as much distinctness as possible, the sentiments and feelings of the patriarch in his reply to Eliphaz, confining myself at present to the sixth chapter. I premise two things :—first, that I must pass over all critical remarks on words or phrases, and take the general tenor only of Job's language ; and secondly, that, as I do not, for the sake of room, quote the verses, it may be well for the reader to have his Bible beside him.
1. We have apology.--He seems as if sensible that the very strong language he had used might require it. And his apology is naturally drawn from the magnitude of his sufferings, verses 1–4. The last of these verses is fearfully impressive. The agonies he experienced, so various in kind and so acute in degree, from heart-rending paternal recollections, from the bitterness of a wife's unkind and ungodly reproaches, (for, whatever produced them, they did continue), from a tormented body, from the mysteriousness of the divine dispensations, and from the disappointed hopes of friendship, he represents as sharp arrows, “arrows of the Almighty," dipped in virulent poison; and not piercing only, but remaining—barbed, fixed, rankling in his vitals, the venom inflaming his blood, and “ drinking up his very spirit :" and “the terrors of God," all that was appalling in his character, and all that was fearful in his providence, investing him on every side, like a host of fierce and determined enemies. Eliphaz had never alluded to the greatness of Job's trials. He had never hinted at any mitigation, on this ground, of the blame involved in the imprecations to which he had given utterance! This was very unfeeling; and the sufferer was evidently sensibly affected by it; and most naturally does he urge for himself the plea which his friend had so ungenerously and unkindly omitted.
2. He further suggests, in self-vindication, that lamentation and complaint, in seasons of distress, are but the voice of nature. Did they expect, in such circumstances, that he was not to feel ? This is plainly the import of verse 5 : “Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass ? or loweth the ox over his fodder ?” His friends were in prosperity and fulness, and they upbraideth him because, when it was otherwise with him, he showed sensibility, “ Now it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.” Nature teaches the wild ass to bray, and the ox to low, when they are in want. And so, his language, unwarrantably strong as it might be, was still the utterance of natural feeling, for which, he reasonably thought, some allowance at least might have been made.
3. He expresses his disrelish and contempt of the speech of Eliphaz. This I take to be the meaning of verses 6, 7. In a reply of this kind, the look, and tone, and manner, of the speaker would at once show to what he intended the comparison to be applied. It expresses his opinion of the vapidness, the inappropriate and unsatisfactory character, of the address just closed, notwithstanding all the pomp of oracular authority with which it had been enunciated. Instead of the solid consolations of friendship and religion, which would have been like refreshing cordials and strengthening aliment to his afflicted spirit, what had there been presented to him which it was possible for him to relish ? destitute as it was of the salt and seasoning of truth, appropriateness, and kindness. It was false in principle ; it was unsuitable to his case ; it was unfriendly in its spirit and manner. Thus, that which, at any time, “his soul would have rejected,” was now, when of all times it could not fail to be most disrelished, made "his sorrowful meat,” meat which, instead of refreshing and invigorating, only added poignancy and feverish violence to his grief. I am aware that different views are taken of the meaning and connexion of these two verses. I think, however, the explanation of them as having reference to the speech of Eliphaz, giving the character of it in the mind of Job, as insipid and offensive, destitute of truth, and pertinence, and charity, is the most natural.
4. He again reverts to the miseries of his own condition, which deserved not to be treated as they had been. He utters vehement wishes for a close of his intolerable sufferings ; despairing of life and of all good in the present world; and complaining anew of the unreasonableness of his being still spared, and such a life being eren for a moment prolonged: verses 8—13. The style here rises again with the energy of emotion. When that which is offered to us in the form of counsel or consolation is felt by us to involve in it injurious reflections and unworthy and unfounded insinuations, or rather assumptions ; when all is thus offensive and provoking ; nothing is more natural than that, by a revulsion of feeling, we should be driven to an opposite extreme. The mention of the unsatisfactoriness of the words of Eliphaz, their utter irrelevancy and unfitness to give comfort in circumstances such as his, recalls anew the wretchedness of those circumstances ; and the very omission of all notice of it by others gives the vehemence of indignant disappointment to the renewed utterance of distress. The illustration of each verse distinctly, might confirm and enforce the general view of the whole ; but I forbear, simply remarking, that in the wish, or prayer, in the eighth and ninth verses, there seems to me to be a kind of deliberate aud determined solemnity, for the very purpose of impressing his friends with its being no mere hasty, thoughtless, inconsiderate burst of a ruffled spirit, but, how fearful and even impious soever they might consider it, a deliberate and settled desire.
5. He goes on to upbraid the hollow-heartedness and selfishness of his friends, and bitterly complains of his miserable disappointment of what he had expected from them : verses 14—20. The first clause of verse 14 has been differently rendered, “ To him who fails his friend, it is shame.” “Shame to the man that despiseth his friend !" Good. This is a “reproach amongst men,” a deep and indelible stigma. And it is, as the latter part of the verse expresses, a "departure from the fear of the Almighty.” It is treachery in the most sacred of connexions; it is contrary to every principle of true religion as well as of right social feeling. The sentiment is just in itself. The degree of its applicability to Eliphaz is another question. Eliphaz had indeed come to Job ; and, as has been said, need not be supposed to have been without feeling. But Job complains, and too justly, that, under the pervert