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vandmine car received a little thereof
. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when decp sleep falleth a ou nien, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made
bonds to shake: then a Spirit passed before my. face, the hair of my flesh stood up: I stood still
, but I could not discern the form thercof: an image coas beföre mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice saying, "Shall mortai man be more just than God,” fc* This was the character, and conduct, of the enemies of the Republic, as the Prophet Ezekiel informs us; whose words are so very apposite, that we may well think they were the original to those above in the fourth chapter of Job. Thus saith the Lord God, 18. unto the foolish Prophets that follow their own spirit and have seen nothing --They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, Thic Lord saith; and the Lord hath not sent them. ---Have ye not seen a rain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it, albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord (rod, Because.. ye have spoken vanity and seen lies, therefore behold I am against you,, saith the Lord Godt.
IV. The last Person in the Opposition is the Devil himself, Satan, the Author and Contriver of all the mischief. And now we are come to that part of the Allegory, where the fable and the moral meet, and, as it' were, concus" to throw off the Mask, and expose: the true face of the Şubject; this assault upon JOB being that very attack which, the Prophet Zechariah: tells us, Satan made, at this time, on the PEOPLE. The only difference is, that, in this poem, it is Job; in that Prophecy, it is Joshud the high priest, who, stands for the People . În all the rest, the identity
, is Bộ strongly marked, that this single circämstance alone
Chap. iv. ver. 12& seq. + Ezek. xüi. 3, & seg,
is sufficient to confirm the truth of our whole interpretation. 1
There needs only setting the two together to convince the inost Prejudiced : The His-: turian says, "Now there was a day when the sons of “God came to present themselves before the Lord, " and SATAN came also among them. And the “Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then “ Satau answered the Lord, and said, From going to “ and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Jox, that there is none like,
him in the earth, a perfect and an upright mag, one " that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan “ answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God * for nought? But put forth thine hand now, and "touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy "face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all " that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from
the presence of the Lord *.”—The Prophet's account is in these words : " Be silent, () all flesh, before "the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habi• tation. And he shewed me Joshua the high priest, "standing before the angel of the Lord, and SATAX " standing at his right hand to resist hiin. And the “ Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O
Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalern, * rebuke thee: Is not this a brand pluckt out of the <<*fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, « and stood before the angel. And he answered and
spake unto those that stood before him, saying, "Take atay the filthy garments from him. And volt him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thèe, and I will clothe thee with * Chap. i. ver. 6, & seq.
change of Raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair initre upon his head; so they set à fair mitre "upba his head, and clothed him with garments. And w the angel of the Lord stood by * ». Job's whole dramatic life lies here in its stamina. -Satan standing at † the angel's' right hand to resist Joshua is, (when drawn out more at length) his persecution of JobJoshua clothed with filthy garments, is Job amidst the Ashes—The clothing of Joshua with change of raiment, and setting a fair mitre on his head, is Job's réturnino's by, is God's literposition from the Whirlwind.
ut we lave not yet done with this Character. The finding Satan in the scene is a strong proof that . the Work was còniposed in the age we have assigned, to it. This evil Being was little known to the Jewish People tih about this time.
about this time. Their great Lawgiver, where he so frequently enumerates, and warns them to transgress the Law of God, never once mentions this Capital enemy of Heaven; yet this was an expedient whicli- the wisest Pagan Lawgivers † thought of ušé, to keep the Populace in the ways of virtue. Thús Zaleucus, in the preface to his book of Laws, speaks of an evil Demon tempting' men to mischief : And in the popular Religion there was always a FURY through the world. Nay, when the end of that sacred
2 Tocious Offenders Ilistory which Moses composed, obliged him to treat of Satan's first grand machination against mankind, he entirely hides this wicked Spirit under the Animal which he made his instrument. The reason of this, wise conduct hath been in part explained already, and
* Zech. ii. 13. Chap. iii. ver. 1,
will be moie exactly treated in the course of oun general argument*.) But, as the fulness of time drep ncar, they were made more and more acquainted with this their capital Enemy. When Ahab, for the crimes and follies of the People, was suffored to be infatuatedz, we have this account of the matter in the first book of. Kings i And, Nlicuiuhi said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his:. throm, and all the host of heaven stunding by him, oni. his right hand, and on his left. And the Lord, said, Il'ho shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Rush:Gilead? And one said on this manner, ands another said on that manner. And there came forth A SPIRIT, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him, . And the Lord said unto him, Iheres riith?. Arul he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his Prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade hiny and prevail also : Go forthy and do so, ti SATAN is not liere recorded by naine, and so we must conclude that the People were yet to. kuow little, of, his history, Ilowever; this undertaking sufficiently declared his nature. On the return from the Captivity, we find him better known ; and things: then are ascribed to him, as the immediate and proper Author, which (while divine Providence thought fit to keep back the knowledge of him) were before given in ap improper sense, to the first and uktinate Cause of all things. Thus, in the second book of Sajnuel, it is said, that God moved David to number the people, slud again, the anges of the Lord was kiudled againsta Israel, and he muced David against them to say, Ge, number, Israel and Judak. But in the first book of Ghronicles, which was written after the Captivity,
* See note (AA) at the end of this, yolume, f 1 Kings xxi, 19, & sen:
2 Sam. Axiv. 1.
Satan is said to have moved David to this folly. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked Dinid to number Israel*. For, His history having an inseparable connexion with the Redemption of Mankind, the knowledge of them was to be conveyed together : and now, their later Prophets had given less obscure descriptions of the REDEEMER and the other attendant truths.
Here let me stop a inoinent, though I anticipate nry subject, to adore the visible splendour of the divine Wisdom, in this period of God's moral Dispensation : We have observed that the fulness of time approaching, the writings of the Prophets, after the Captivity, brad given less obscure intinations of the Redemption; and that the Truths, which had a necessary connexion with it, were proportionably laid open. Two of the principal of these were the History of SATAN and the DOCTRINE OF A FUTURE STATĖ; which, soon after this time, were conveyed to their knowledge, Now, besides the use of these two truths to the general Economy, they were of great advantage to the Jewish people at those very junctures when each was first made known unto them. The history of Satan, it is evident, they were brought acquainted with in their Captivity; and nothing could better secure them from the dangerous error of the TWO PRINCIPLES, which was part of the national Religion of the Country into which they were led captive. The doctrine of a future state they learnt some sınall tiine after their thorough Re-establishment; and this being at a time when their extraordinary Providence was departed from them, was of the highest advantage and support to them, as a Nation and a People. But this, as I say, is anticipating my subject, and will be explained
i Chron. xxi, 1,
A A 3