Imágenes de páginas

Worm; how much it Is our wisdom to submit to him who Ts al'mighty. He sees many sins and corruptions in us, which we see not in ourselves; and therefore we may well tremble to appear before his tribunal. Farther, let this lead us to admire and adore the divine condescension in taking notice of us; and above all to acknowledge the grace of Christ Jesus in becoming • man ol sorrows for our sake. David, speaking of the Messiah, says, Psalm xxii. 6. I am despised, a worm, and no man ; (it is the same word in the origi inal as that which is used here.) This was the most remarkable display of divine love to sinners. Let us make* such thoughts familiar to our minds, and ofteh make that reflection to which David Alludes, Lord, v>hat is man, that thou art mindful of him, ar.d the son if man, that thou visitest htohi Psalm viii. 4. '•

., »> v v ,> i . i; Tt.tof1 r t- -;r '.


Job obsei-ving- Bildad wandering from the point, derides his affectation of wisdom, and shows him that he was as capable of talking of these things as himself.

1 T)UT Job answered and said, How hast thou helped [hira

2 11 that is] without power; that is, Elifihaz, who was home down by my arguments? [how] savest thou the arm [that hath] no strength ? as if he had said, thou art a noble ally in this cause,

3 a mighty sufifiort to the argument J How hast thou counselled [him that hath] no wisdom? sutely Eli/ihaz is very unhappy to have W bad a drfmder I and [how] hast thou plentifully declared

4 the thing as it is? alluding to the shortness of his speech. To whom hast thou uttered words? am I ignorant of these things? and whose spirit came from thee ? dost thou speak by inspiration? Bildad had s/ioken of God's majesty ia the heavens; here Job in an

5 exafted strain goes on to observe other itistances of it. Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitant?

6 thtreof; great gigantic things, as vast ^fishes, and the like. Hell [is] naked before him, and destruction hath no covering; he displays his power in the unseen world; not only in the grave, but in

1 the world of separate spirits, and in hell itse{f. He stretcheth out the north, the whole expanse of heaven, over the empty place, thf abyss or chaos, [and] hangeth the earth upon nothing; support* it, and keefis it in its place, notwitlistanding its motions and revo$ lutions. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds ; as in a bag, or leather bottle, which prevents the rain from coming down violently, and cause it to distil in drops; and the cloud is not rent 9 under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, [and] spreadeth his cloud upon it ; conceals his brightest glory from 10 human e*ies, which are incapable of beholding it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end; keeps the sea in bounds as kng as the world shall stand.


II The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof; • the highest, strongest mountain; called the pillars of heaven, as the Clouds seem to rest ufion them, these tremble with earthquakes.

VI: He divideth the sea wilh his power, raiseth high waves, which loot like deefi furrows, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud, maketh it calm again ; or rather, here is an allusion to his dividing the Red sea and striking through the

13 firond; in the original it is Rahab, that is, Egypt. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens, adorned them with so many bright luminaries; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent, the con

14 stellation so callid, or the milky way* Lo, these [are] parts of his ways, the outlines or sketches of them: but how little a portion is heard of him ? his wisdom is unsearchable : but the thunder of his power who can understand ? it is as impossible to be traced or discovered, as to resist the stroke of his arm, or withstand hit thunder.


1. TT may be here observed, that useful truths may not always X be to the purpose. Bildad hath some just and noble thoughts: the premises are good, but the conclusion wrong; it was not adapted to Job's case, nor suited to comfort him. He should have set before him consolations, rather than the majesty and terror of the .Lord. It should be our care that our addresses to our friends, especially to those in affliction, may be suitable, a word spoken in season. This should be the peculiar study of ministers-; and they should pray that God would give them the tongue of the learned.

2. Let us contemplate the omniscience end majesty of God. • It is a useful and instructive subject. He sees all things, in heaven -and earth; the deep places and repositories of the dead, and therefore he can raise them. Hell is open to him. Let us reverence his, poweivwho supporteth the earth. It hath no prop but omnipotence; a man cannot hang a feather upon nothing, but God supports the earth. He formed the heavenly luminaries, he garnished them. J«et this lead our thoughts to the almighty architect; he can shake the pillars of heaven, keep the sea within bounds, and in his hand are the deep places of the earth. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be feared. His power is vast, his understanding infinite. Who would not fear thee, 0 King of nations I ,

3. We should remember and consider, that we know but little of God at best. After the most diligent inquiries, the helps of reason, scripture, history, and observations, we know but a small part, only the outlines. His wisdom is infinite; his works, and the wonders contained in them, are innumerable. Let us guard against presumption, in arraigning his proceedings, and not determine positively upon a plan which we see but little of. Let our understanding and conscience pay the highest veneration to God. The more seri

• Bp. Xhtrhci iliinki th'u it »n «l!u»ion to Sites »prev'wg in that forai to umpt Ere,


olisly we contemplate his nature and his works, the greater: .We shall have to admire and adore, and to say with the apostle, O the defith of the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God I how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways flast finding out.


Job in this chafiter proceeds to assert his innocence J represents the doom of hypocrites, and the misery of the wicked, who are often, but not always, destroyed by signal judgments. ,

I TiyTOREO VER Job continued his parable,* and said, [As! 3 Jj/X. God liveth, [who] hath taken away my judgment; an« the Almighty, [who] hath vexed my soul; as God liveth who

3 hath afflicted me, and taken away the comforts of my life; AH the while my breath [is] m me, and the spirit of God [is] m my

4 nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue ulter deceit ; as long as I live I will not vindicate myself, ifgidlty;

$ or accuse myself, if innocent. God forbid that I should justify you, and confess the guilt with which you charge me; till I die I

$ will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach [mc] so long as I live; I am determined to maintain and defend my innocence, and never say or do any thing for which my conscience

t may ufibraid me. Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous j / can wish no greater mischief to my worst enemy, than to be wicked; and therefore I

% do not approve tf it, whatever you may think of me. For whafc [is] the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, though he grows rich and great, when God taketh Qway his soul? alas! he

9 hath no comfortable hope of hereafter. Will God hear his cry JO when trouble cometh upon him ? he cannot expect it. Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God I can he have comfort from religion, and will he persevere in it, even ] I when afflictions come? I will teach you by the hand of God: [that] which [is] with the Almighty, will 1 not conceal; by the assistemee of God, I will instruct you in s*me of the dispensations

12 of his providence. Behold, all ye yourselves have seen [it ;] why then are ye thus altogether vain? / appeal to your own experience, which makes it strange you should persist in your opinion,

13 This [is] the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, [which] they shall receive of the Almighty;

T4 this is often their portion, but not universally so. -if his children be multiplied, [it is] for the sword, either of justice, or popular tumult: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread; oth

15 ers of them shall be reduced to poverty. Those that remain of

[ocr errors]

him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep; others shall be destroyed by fiestilential diseases, so that none shall bury them; even their ?iearest relations shall not lament for them,

16 their character is to detestable. Though he heap up silver as the

17 dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; He may prepare [it,] but the just shall put [it] on, and the innocent shall divide the

18 silver; God shall transfer it to another and better family. He, buildeth his house as a moth, which is most easily destroyed, and as a booth [that] the keeper maketh, a little hut, run up in the corner of the garden or vineyard, for the keeper to watch the fruit

19 there. The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered, shall not have the honour of burial: he openeth his eyes, and

30 he [is] not, he is gone at once. Terrors take hold on him as waters, in great numbers and violence, a tempest stealeth him

21 away in the night, silenlly hurries him aivay; or The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth

22 him out of his place, in a fiublic, violent munner. For [God] shall cast upon him, and not spare ; send one plague after another, to that he shall not escape, though he would fain flee out of his

33 hand, though he often and vigorously attempts it. [Men] shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place; men shall rejoice ivhen he is dead, and Itiss him out of the place •where he hat been so much magnified. %


1. '\T7'E infer, that serious, solemn engagements to be just and V V honest, arc proper and useful. Job here b:nds himself, as it were by a solemn oath, not to lie or deceive, even where his own character and credit were concerned. In doubtful and indifferent matters it is good and safe not to be peremptory; but when sin and duty are concerned, it is necessary to lay ourselves under the strictest engagements. In this view, solemn professions in prayer, written engagements to be the Lord's, and partaking of the Lord's supper, which is a sacred oath of fidelity to God, are very useful, and ought frequently to be recollected.

1. The condition of the hypocrite is most dreadful; we could .wish even our greatest enemy no worse. They have no comfort in religion or devotion; they cannot look up to God with peace in time of distress. Religion is a task and drudgery to them, and will soon be cast off. They may gain much, may heap up silver as dust, but tvhat profit is this, when God tuketh away their soul? Let us dread this detestable character, and diligently search and try our ways, that yve may not deceive and ruin ourselves.

3. We may reflect on the contrary character, that of a good man . tnd a truly honourable and comfortable one it is. He delights himtelfin the Almighty; he always calls upon God, and can approach his throne with humble confidence in the day of evil. Though he gains little of the world, has little or no silver, yet he has an infinitely better portion; he lives honoured, and dies lamented. AVhen God takes away his soul, he takes it to himself, to be perfectly and eternally happy. And therefore,

4. Let us never remove our integrity from us, but continue upright, hold fast our righteousness, and never let it go, upon any temptation whatsoever; und be careful so to behave, that our heart may never reflroach us as long as we live.


The purport of this whole chapter is, that there arc dcfiths in the divine councils unknown to us, particularly, why God docs not inflict those punishments on all wicked men in this life that he does upon some; and that the chief wisdom of man is to be religious

1 QURELY, there is a vein for the silver, and a place for K3 gold [where] they fine [it ;] men find out precious metals

2 and refme them. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass [is] molten [out of] the stone ; they discover and prepare iron and

3 brass. He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness and the shadow of death ; he diggcth down into dark places, even into the most hidden and obscure parts of the earth, and searches them out in the most fierfect

4 manner. The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; [even the waters] forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men; they find great waters in the bowtls of the earth, which those who walk on it know not of, and by the art and labour of miners they are turned into a different channel, or

5 drained off. [ A.S for] the earth, out of, or from, it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire; su!p/.ur, coals,

6 and other fuel. The stones of it [are] the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold ; among the stones they find gems and gold.

I [Tnere is] a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eve hath not seen; a place so deep, that no sharp fighl

8 ed bird ever discovered it. The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it; lions that rove about and

9 seek solitary places never find it. He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots.

10 lie cutteth out rivers among the rocks ; and his eye seeth every precious thing; the miners cut their way through rocks,

II or blow them up, and discover precious minerals or metals. He bindeth the floods fro:n overflowing; and [the tiling that is] hid bringeth he forth to light; they dam up waters, or turn the course of rivers, to find out the treasures contained in the

12 earth. But, though he be so indefatigable and successful in then searches, yet where shall wisdom be found? and where [is] die place of understanding ? he can never penetrate the depth's of the

13 divine counsel: Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living; it cannot be possessed or fund

Vol. IV. Y

« AnteriorContinuar »