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[of my disease] is my garment changed: it bindeth me^ about as the collar of my coat; / have such a discharge from my sores,
19 that it quite stiffens my garment, and ma/ces 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 ¿aw, and
20 trampled upon me ¿ike mire; which aggravates all the rest. I cry unto theeyôr deliverance and the judgment of my cause, and thpu dost not hear me: I stahd up, and thou regardes! me [not.]
21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me; thou actest toward me like an impla*
32 cable enemy. Thou liftest me up to the wind: thou causest me to ride [upon it,] and 'dissolves! 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 appointed for all living, / 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; out yet God does not let out his hand so 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? / do not therefore suffer for my hard hcartcdticse.
26 When I looked for good, then evil came [unto me :] and when I waited for light there came darkness; my trouble was aggrc.
27 vated, because unexpected. My bowels boiled, ami 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 n.y face: I stood up, [and] I cried in the congregation; / cried for pity to all around me, and could not help it, even in large assem
29 blies. I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls;
30 lam so melancholy that I could dwell even in a desert. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat; my
31 »kin is parched, and my marrow gui te exhausted. My harp also is [turned] to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep ; all musical instruments are laid aside, and nothing but mourning and weeping come in their room.
1. T ET not wise and good men wonder if they should be abus1 j ed and vilified. It is the lot of many such ; it was of Job, »nd 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, v>hcn-ri' •vilcd, 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 tngage us to eeek the honour which cometh from God; that is noble, substantial, and will be everlasting.
3. See how little reason vre have to be fond of the body, and over anxious about it. How soon may it be reduced to the pitiful 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 npt exposed to such contempt and afflictions as those, which are here so movingly described. Job's case, and the casts 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 vis, 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 grtat. 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 removtd to the paradise above, the world of everlasting serenity, honour, and joy.
CHAP. XXXI. 1—23.
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 Ms private capacity; makes his last solemn appeal to God, and offeri himself as it were .'? all the power qf his thunder and vengeance, if it were not so.
1 T MADEa covenant with mine eyes; why then should I A think upon a maid? I watched against all occasions of unclean
2 ness. For what portion of God [is there] from ubove ? and [what} inheritance of the Almighty from on high,./br those ilmt c!hv>
3 themselves in that sin ? they forfeit /rs blcxsivg. [Is] not destruction to the wicked ? and a strange [punishment] to the workers of iniquity ? he exp.osrs himself to God's curse, and to dread
4, ful destruction. Doth not he see my ways, and count all my
5 Steps? hr rendu even my secret thoughts. If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot liath hasted to deceit; it I have In eft familiar with it, or accustomed to it; if I have plaited to defraud, to
6 break my promise, or to cheat my neighbour.; Let me be weighed in an even balance, let me be impartially tried, that God may
T know mine integrity. If my step hath turned out of the way of Justice, through/ear or favour, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands ; if 1 have been
8 covflous or taken a bribe; [Then] let me sow, and let another eat the corn 1 have sown; yea, lit my offspring; be rooted out ,
9 all the trees 1 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 women, or attempt'
10 prf firivalely to seduce my neighbour's wife; [Then] let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow clown upon her; let ?ny ivi/'c be made a slave of, and let me be wronged as much as J 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] consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase ; it nuoitld consume my estate, my reputation, my body, and soul too.
13 If I did despise the cause of my man servant or of my maid servant, when they contended with me; though I had the power of lij'e and death ever them, yet I treated then: kir.dJy, gave them, leave to vindicate themselves, and plead their own cause before inc.
14 What then shall I do when God riscth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? when God, our common master,
\ 5 cnnte.i to call us all to account, what can I say? Did not lie that
made me in the womb, make him ? and did not one fashion us
in the womb? are they ?r>t us nearly related to God, and a* 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 ; ;/'/ havr been cruel to them, or failed in giving them that relief they desired, an Eliphaz
17 has charged me with; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; if I have denied thein
18 food convenient; (For from my youth he was brought up with
me, as [with] a father, sentiments of compassion early worked upon me j and I have guided her, that is, the widow, from my
19 mother's womb ; from my youngest days ;J If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering ; if
20 I have not supplied the poor with ^clo >hh:g as welt as food; If his loins have not blessed me, and [if] he were [not] warmed with the fleece of my sheep ; a beautiful phrase, intimating that every time he put on his garments he would applaud me and prayjor 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 Tnagitrat.es sitting in the courts of justice, ready to defend me in so
C'2 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 reason of his highness I could "not endure; though no man could puniih me, yet the majesty of God awed me, and the fear of him made me afraid to do wrong. Vol. IV. Z
THE general reflection from this chapter is, that it gives in an amiable 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 unclearmess. That tire may abstain from this (Ittestable evil; let trs abstain from the appearance and occasions-of it; let us make a covenant with the eyes; and not fasten thefn oa any object that may occasion impure imaginations; let us not indulge unchaste fancies or desires. Those who would keep from sin, most keep from the first step to it. Remember that God ttti our ways, and counts our stefis. If men do not punish us for UScleanness and adultery, God will. It is a fire that eonsumeth to destruction, and will burn to the lowest hell. Abstain therefore from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
2. Let us guard against dishonest gain ; never vialk with verity, or haste to deceit. Let its not lie, or prevaricate for the sake of J good bargain, or suffer any blot to cleave to our hands. We should remember, that however we may weigh our commodities to otters, God will weigh us in an even balance ) and that if we have dealt honestly and fairly, our money will be used or even lost, with Cobfort; 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 ; not to desfiise 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. Wist shall we do when God riseth u/i? If he should always chide, and it angry jor ever; if he should desfiise our cause, what will become of us? Let us remember, that there is a master in heaven, and that he is no resflecter of persons.
4. Let us learn to guard against an uncharitable and unmerciful disposition ; be careful never tp wrong the poor, the widow, and fatherless, but do them all the good we can, and furnish tliem with food and raiment, if it is in our power. Let us early teach our children lessons of compassion and mercy, and recommend the pi»c" rice of this duty by our example. To excite us to this, let us Cobsider the majesty of God ; his wrath against the unmerciful; an" also the promises he has made to the bountiful and the charitableTo do good and to communicate, let us not forget, for with such tacri
ficcs God is well ftlcascU.
r CHAP. XXXI. 24, to the end.
24 T F I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, JL [Thou art] my confidence; if I ever made an idol of my ivealth, 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 rejoiced in the
26 wealth left me by my ancestors, or in what J had gotten; If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking [in] brightness; a beautiful description of the moon passing through the
2r 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 worshi/i/iing them: whence comes the word ad
28 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 lever wished evil to my enemy, or insulted him when it came ufion
3Q him; Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul; I never uttered any imprecation or curse a
51 gainst him; If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied; my servants and attendants 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;
S3 my house was always open for their reception. If I covered my transgressions, as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom; if/concealed or excused my faults, and threw the blame upon otht 64 ers, like Adam: Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt 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, that I was afraid of the clamour of the mob, or of disobliging great families; I always went out to do good, and would not keep silence when I had any opportunity of redressing gricv
35 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 j solemnly appealing to the judgment of God, wishing Ids enemies would draw up an indict
36 merit, and give him a copy of it. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, [and] bind it [as] a crown to me; / would prize it, as containing matter of honour t» 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 prince to a court or bench of justice, binding the accusation on my ihoulder; alluding te the custom of princes appearing 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 uvjustly gotten, or violently tak.an