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14 in this world. The depth saith to the miners that dig in it, It [is] not in me: and the sea saith to the mariners and merchants that
15 sail over it, [It is] not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold,
16 neither shall silver be weighed [for] the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Opbir, with the precious onyx,
17 or the sapphire. The gold and the chrystal cannot eqnal it: and
18 the exchange of it [shall not be for] jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of
19 wisdom [is] above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall net equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold ; no gold, gems, or
20 precious stones, can purchase this knoivledge. Whence then Cometh wisdom? and where [is] the place of understanding I where
21 sliall it be found? ivho shall show it us? Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air;
22 seeing the most soaring geniuses arc quite ignorant of it. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears; there are discoveries of the divine wisdom in the invisible state, which cannot be known in this; yet they are as far short of the whole of the divine cowisel,as an imfierfect rumour is from
23 certain knowledge. God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof; God's counsels are only known to
34 himself; For he looketh to the ends of the earth, [and] seeth under the whole heaven ; hit tmderstanding is infinite, he sees all
25 creatures; To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure ; he directs where, and how strong the winds shall blow, and determines how much water shall fall,
26 and lie ufion the earth. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder; when he appointed the course of the rain and lightning, and established the several
27 laws of the air and other elements; Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out; these were first established, and their regular course settled by his unerri'g wisdom; God knew them perfectly, and communicates to us what
28 he thinks fit. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding; this is the great discovery he hath made to men, that practical religion is the true wisdom, and that in which we are most concerned. Man was made, ?ist to censure, but to adore that divine wisdom he cannot comprehend, and to pursue that which he can attain; and this God said to man, or, as in the original, 'a Adam : it is a law as old as the creation, and of universal importance.
\. rp ii E wisdom and goodness of God, in furnishing the JL bowels of the earth with such treasures, and in giving men wisdom and industry to get them out, claim our veneration, and thankfulness. The metals and minerals, the coals and the clay, are all useful and serviceable to human life. God has lodged them in their different recesses, and different kinds in different parts of the earth, to quicken men's industry, and promote a circulation of money and exchange of valuable commodities. He has ordained so many difficulties in procuring them, that multitudes may be employed about then). All this cometh from the Lord of hosts, whs is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.
2. Let us remember that the secrets of God's providence are not discoverable by us. The secret reasons of his conduct are hidden from us, and all future events; all the skill, sagacity, and application of men, cannot discover them. But there is a world beyond the grave where they are better known, though even there not perfectly. Let us not tire ourselves in the search of what we cannot understand, and what God never intended we should understand; but content ourselves with firmly believing (as we have the greatest reason to do) that all things are well and wisely ordered; and that all things shall work together for good to them that love God.
3. Let us attend with the greatest care to what is plain, obvious and important. The distinction of good and evil, the immutable and indispensable obligations we are under to fear the Lord and defiart from evil: these are very evident, and most momentous. This is spoken of by Moses, David, Solomon, Job, and Christ himself, as the one thing needful. To man God hath said this in all ages. It is better to get this wisdom than gold; it is more easily obtained; the possession is more secure; the consequence more happy. This is the wisdom which God requires of man ; and by this alone he can attain to eternal happiness. It lies open to the poor as well as the riclv, to him that digs for jewels, as well as to him that wears them. Let this be our concern, for unto us God says, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is, wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.
Job here reminds his friends of his former firos/ierity and honour; tacitly refiroving them for attending no more to what he said, which was so different from the resfiect with which he was formerly treated and he interweaves solemn protestations of his innocence,
1 'lV/r OREO VER Job continued his parable, and said,
2 J.VX Oh that I were as [in] months past, as [in] the days [when] God preserved me with peculiar tenderness and care;
3 When his candle sinned upon my head, [and when] by his light I walked [through] darkness; whenlhad continued tokens ofhis
4 favour, which spread a glory around me; As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God [was] upon my tabernacle; when I had pleasing communion with God, and he seemed to
5 dwell in my house, as his tabernacle; When the Almighty [was] yet with me, showed himself gracious, and [when] my children.
[were] about me, offering me their assistance and services s
6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; when he blessed me with such prosperity that I
7 had butter and oil ax plentiful as water; When I went out to the gate through the city, [when] I prepared my seat in the street ]
8 when I went out to the place of judicature. The young men saw me and hid themselves, ashamed to be surprized in any irregular behaviour: and the aged arose, [and] stood up to show
D me reverence. The princes refrained talking, and laid [their] hand on their mouth ; there was a general silence waiting for
10 what I had to say. The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth ; there was profound
11 attention of princes and nobles to my words. When the ear heard [mc] then it blessed me; and when the eye saw [me,] it gave witness tome ; I Was so ,/or from being a tyrant, as you suggest, that I was a fmbiic favourite; when my name was mentioned every body ivas ready to give me a good word,and their very
12 looks discovered their esteem: Because I delivered the poor that .cried, and the fatherless, and [him that had] none to help him,
13 from their enemies. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy; / had the prayers and blessings of those whose lives and
14 estates I had preserved. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment [was] as a robe and a diadem ; my wisdom and equity in administering justice, were more conspicuous and
15 ornamental than my robes and ensigns of honour. I was eyes to the blind, and feet [was] I to the lame; / directed the ignorant
16 and fier/ilcoced, and helped the weak and the feeble. I [was] a father to the poor: and the cause [which] I knew not I searched out ; / was not only a patron, but afather to the poor, providing for him, as well as prod cling him; and was unwearied in search
17 ing out the merits of his cause to do him justice. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his testh; I punished the wicked, and made them restore what they had un
18 justly gotten. Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply [my] days as the sand; / thought I should continue prosperous and die honourably in my house, and not be driven like a
19 bird from his nest. My root [was] spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch; tike,a tree by the
20 rivers, I thought I should never wither. My glory [was] fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand ; my cstcemibd reputation were growing, and my power to defend my fortune and
2\ dignity continued and increased. Unto me [men] gave ear, and
22 waited, and kept silence at my counsel. After my words they spake not again ; and my speech dropped upon them ; all were attention; my words were a law; I was the oracle of the country; my speech distilled and insinuated into their hearts, like showers
23 of snow. And they waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouth wide, [as] for the latter rain, they waited
21 impatiently for my opinion, and received it with eagerness. [If ^ I laughed on them, they believed [it] not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down; if I laid aside my gravity, and condescended to be cheerful and familiar among them, they could sca^ce believe themselves; yet this did not breed contempt, they 25 still kept up their reverence for me. I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army; I could do as much by my influence, as if I had been a monarch, or a general of an army ; yet I did not abuse my authority, but was as one [that] comforteth the mourners; / treated all about me ivith as much humanity and tenderness, as a person does a dear friend ivho is in distress.
1. TT O W little do young people know what is before them in JLJ. life! After a comfortable and prosperous youth, they may be in such circumstances, as to wish for the days and months past. Let them set out with moderate desires, and not expect too much from this world ; but cultivate an humble and contented spirit. The less we expect, the less grievous will be our disappointments.
2. Those who have wealth, power, wisdom, or any influence, should use it for valuable purposes. Job is an excellent pattern for all, especially for magistrates; let them in imitation of him, do justice, love mercy, be friends of the poor, and patrons of the oppressed; otherwise their robes, and swords, and other ensigns of honour, will be only a reproach. Let all, according to their various spheres and abilities, endeavour to do good; to be public blessings, and the favourites of the place where they live; (a most noble, honourable, and godlike character !) and they will be esteemed and reverenced; and it will be a pleasure to them, (as it was to Job) to recollect their generous and charitable actions; even when the power of repeating them is lost. It is in the power of all to pity and comfort the afflicted; and a noble act of charity it is. Let us learn to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3. Worthy, useful, and generous men, ought to be highly esteemed and revered. It is a just debt to them and will be an encouragement to the like conduct in others. Let us give every man's character its just encomium ; pay honour to whom honour is due. Where men appear to lay themselves out for the public good, they deserve public applause ; every one should attest their character, aj«l show them all that respect, which their virtue and usefulness
4. When amidst the greatest prosperity and honour, let us expect changes, and especially think of death. Men arc ready to be . confident of the continuance of their wealth and enjoyments; perhaps Job was so. Let us learn from the sad change in his circumstances, and many such changes within our own knowledge, not to be high minded, but fear. He thought of death; his prosperity did not make him forget that. Let us daily think of it, and prepare for it ; and then, whether we have praise of men or no, we shall certainly have praise of God, and be applauded before the assembled, world at the last day.
Job proceeds to describe the vileness and misery of his present condition, to move the comfiassion of his friends, especially as they tnought him so near his end.
1 T) UT now [they that are] younger than I have me in deriSJ sion, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock ; persons who durst not before look me
, in the face, and whose fathers I would not have set with the mean
2 est shepherd or sen-ant in myfamily. Yea, whereto [might] the strength of their hands [profit] me, in whom old age was perished I in their best state they were goodfor nothing, but now they
3 are wholly useless. For want and famine [they were] solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste; beggarly fellows who were glad to hide themselves in the wilderness.
4 Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots [for] their meat ; fed on any coarse herbs or roots they found there.
5 They were driven forth from among [men,] (they cried after them as [after] a thief ;) they were driven, as unworthy of human society, and they fled as if an hue and cry was after them;
6 To dwell in the cliffs of the vallies, [in] caves of the earth, and
7 [in] the rocks; they sought shelter in rocks. Among the bushes they brayed: under the nettles they were gathered together,
8 and lived like wild asses. [They were] children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth: they were descended from a scandalous crew, and were as infamous as
9 their parents. And now am I their song, yea, I am their by
10 word, their pastime. They abhor me, they flee far from me, and
11 spare not to spit in my face, they treat me insolently. Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me ; because God hath taken away my power and authority, with which I held them as with a bfiille, so they now
12 abuse me. Upon [my] right [hand] rise the youth: they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction ; a parcel of despicable villains, whose fathers or Uiemselves I had punished us a magistrate, come and insult me, and
13 charge me with tyranny and injustice in my office. They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper; they are fruitful in inventing calumnies against me, and m id nofujr
14 son's help. They came [upon mt] as a wide breaking idQbf waters :] in the desolation they rolled themselves [upon me,] like soldiers entering into a besieged city, through a wide breach.
13 Terrors are turned upon me ; they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud that is dispersed by it.
16 And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me ; / pour out many tears, and
17 my soul is faint through grief. My bones are pierced in me in the night season : and my sinews take no rest, by rea
J $ son of the violent pain I have in the night. By the great force