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Sunday Afternoon, Sept. 30, 1804. . . Joass, has been reading through Job ; as she is to read her Bible through, and draw her own observations, and her own judgment from what she reads. But as she wished, if it was the will of the Lord, to answer Mr. Maudesley's letter, she desired it to be read again, to see if the Lord would be pleased to answer it.—“Now, Joanna, I shall answer this letter after thou hast drawn thy judgment upon the Book of Job: and when thou hast drawn thy judgment, I shall answer thee again.” Now Joanna's judgment upon the Book of Job is very different to what it ever was before. When we come to weigh the 1st chapter, and the 8th verse—The Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered iny servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a PERFEct and . trflight man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil? Here the Lord justifieth Job's conduct, as being an upright and good man; but Satan goes on to condemn him ; and the Lord gave Satan leave every way to try him; and when Job's trial was Put to the utmost, and his wife condemned him, in op. ii. 9; but Job reproves her in verse 10–Thou *Peakest as one of the foolish women: shall we re
ceive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil In chap. i. 21. he saith—The Lord
gave, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.—In all this Job sinned not, nor chałed God foolishly. Yet, in chap. iii, we hear Joss complaining, and wishing the day to be dark, wherein he had been born. After his complaining o his friends reproved him. But no man, without experience, can be a judge of Job in this case. Consider the affliction he lay in, when his grief seemed more than he could bear. He might have this sorrow of heart without murmuring against God. This is my judgment drawn from experience; for though I had never Job's afflictions in a manner like him; yet a similar case was mine in 1792, when I judged myself visited by the Lord, and the powers of darkness broke in upon me, and every friend was entirely against me. This made me miserable and unhappy, fearing I might do wrong, and not knowing how to do right; having the threatenings of the Lord on the one hand, if I did not obey; and Men and Devils tormenting me on the other hand, of the fatal destruction I should meet with, if I did obey. This has often made me wish, with Job, that I had died in my cradle; or that I had been drowned, when an infant that I fell into the river *; and yet at the sank time, Heaven is my witness, I had not one thought to murmur against God; and only thought I was a short-sighted creature, fearing I might act wrong; therefore, I wished sooner never to see life, than to live to offend the LoRD ; which in that confusion and difficulty I was afraid I might offend him. And this appears to me the case of Job; but when I come to Job's friends, it appeareth to me, Satan worked strongly in them. to try to persuade Job to acknowledge he had been 2 very wicked man, which Job refused to do. This appeareth to me to be the arts of the Devil, to make * See the Answer to the Disputes with the Powers of Darkness, p. 70. conceRNING Jos. * , 99
God the liar, when the Lord had justified Job: and by Job's words he affirms the TRUTH of what the Lord had said concerning him. Hear what Job says, chap. xxix. to chap. xxxii. . But hear what answer Elihu made him ; and how he goes on to chap. xxxviii. Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. In the last chap. 7th verse, the anger of the Lord was kindled against his friends : for he said, “They have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” Now, to: Job's friends were, as he said, cruel tormentors and miserable comforters; yet they did not speak against God : yet by their judgment they denied the Lord, lite the Devil, that when the Lord justified Job, Satan rondemned him; and when Job justified himself, his friends condemned him; they told lies to him; and wanted Job to affirm they were true. See shap. xx. 19. what they upbraid Job with ; and how false was their accusation; therefore, though they justified God, and condemned Job for justifying imself, yet they did not justify the truth of the words of the Lord, that he had spoken of Job, as Joe by justifying himself did. This is my judgment in reading the Book of Job. Wherein I err I trust the Lord will forgive me, as I am ordered to draw my own judgment, and cannot deceive the Lord with the thoughts of my heart,
THE ANSWER OF THE LORD.
“Now I will answer thy thoughts of Job. I shall not blame thy judgment that thou hast drawn: for though I bid thee draw thy own judgment, yet thy ideas come from Me 3 and it is I that work then in thee. And now I tell thee of Job's friends: Satan worked strong in them to make Job confess himself guilty of crimes he had never committed ; then Satan might accuse ME, out of Job's own mouth. Therefore Job contended with men as I con
tended with the Devil; and Job justified himself." - * I justified him.—So
Here's a mystery deep of Jos,
Would wish thee for to condemn, -
And Satan work'd the same.