« ForrigeFortsett »
“ tance; to restrain us from our vicious courses, which had brough “ us to the very brink of the grave ; and to raise us once more to a “perfe&t state of peace and tranquility.
“ Weigh well, O Job, what I have hitherto faid; for it may “ prove a concern to you of the last importance; and if I find you “ are disposed to listen with attention to what I have to add on the " topick before us, I will gladly give you some farther instructions, “ Or, in case you have any material objection to raise against what I “ have advanced, I shall very readily give you a hearing. Speak “ freely; I will by no means interrupt you ; for I should rejoice, is “ you can duly acquit yourself, and demonstrate you are that inno “ cent and faultless person you have so often asserted yourself to be. • But, on the other hand, if you have no exception to what I have “ said, and you still imagine, that there is any force or weight in “ my arguments, still lend me an attentive ear, and I will endea“ vour to improve your knowledge.”
MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS on CHAP. XXXIII.
“ ELIHU proceeds with caution in this delicate affair. He now addresseth himself 66 to Job, and solicits his candid attention by several engaging motives. Is this the “manner of a vain presumptuous speaker ?
WHY DOST THOU STRIVE AGAINST HIM? FOR HE GIVETH NOT
ACCOUNT OF ANY OF HIS MATTERS,
“ JOB's extravagant justification of himself and murmurs against providence are 66 what Elihu juftly calls striving against God. The Almighty passes the same fen. « tence upon them, chap. xi. 2. To convince Tob how wrong and culpable this be“ haviour is ; Elihu argues, first, that it is irreve:ent, and fruitless : God says he, 66 will never stoop to defend liis measures against murmurers, nor will communicate 66 the reasons of them to those who cavil at his dispensations. For he giveth not ac"count of any of his matters.-- In the subsequent verses. He alledges another argu
« ment against striving with God. There is no just cause for it. God has sufficiently “ manifested his goodness and care of human kind, by the methods which he takes to “ Thew them their duty, to recover them from their wanderings, and thereby to save “ them from destruction. One method is, to reveal his will to them in a dream. “ By mentioning this, and dwelling upon it, he seems tacity to reprove Job, for not " having paid regard to the dream of Eliphaz, chap. iv. 12, &c. That old gentle" man could not fail of being pleased with this piece of respect shewn to him. Scott.
VERSES XV. XVI. IN A DREAM, IN A VISION OF THE NIGHT WHEN DEEP SLEEP
FALLETH UPON MEN, IN SLUMBRINGS UPON THE BED: THEN
“ IN midnight shade, when sleep on mortal eyes
“ The heathens, somehow or other, came to the knowledge of God's revealing his “ will to men in this way.- Agamennon's dream, in the second book of the Iliad, " is a good proof of the high antiquity of the notion among them. Scott,
We shall subjoin the following translation from Mr. Popee
« Now pleasing sleep had seald each mortal eye,
" Fly hence deluding dream ! and light as air,
“ Swift as the world the vain illusion fled,
“ Canst thou, with all a monarch's cares oppreft,
“The phantom faid; then vanilh'd from his fight,
“Resolves to air, and mixes with the night." The whole action of the dream is beautifully natural, and agreeable to philosophy. It perches on his head, to intiinate that part to be the seat of the soul : it is circumfused about him, to express the total possesion of the senses which fancy has during our fceps. It takes the figure of the person who was deareft to Agamemnon; as whatever we think of most when awake, is the common object of our dreams, and just at the instant of its vanishing, it leaves an impression that the voice seems still to found in his ear. No description can be more exact or lively.
Pope's OBSERVATIONS ON ILIAD, Book II.
VERSE XIX. HE IS CHASTNED ALSO WITH PAIN UPON HIS BED, &c. • HE pafreth now to another method used by the goodness of God for healing “ moral disorder in his human offspring; namely, the discipline of bodily affliction. “ This comes home to the circumstances Job was in. The painting is strong,
s and the whole description highly graphical and affecting. It does honour to the Le powers of Elibu, or rather of the poet.
his grace commissions fierce diseafe
? The languid stomach turns, with fick’ning hate,
“ Fly, health to yonder bow'r,
DESIRE TO JUSTIFY THEE.
“IT will be a pleasure to me to find you innocent of arraigning the goodness of ** God. These expressions of Elihu discover a candour and ingenuity too seldom to cobbe met with in religious disputes.”
CHA P. XXXIV. NOTWITHSTANDING ELIHU, IN THE PRECEDING CHAPTER, HAD
INVITED JOB TO RAISE ANY OBJECTIONS THAT HE THOUGHT PROPER TO WHAT HE HAD ADVANCED, YET HE STILL OBSERVES A STRICT SILENCE, AS BEING CONSCIOUS THAT THIS YOUNG MAN HAD SAID NOTHING BUT WHAT WAS CONSISTENT WITH TRUTH, AND HAD POINTED OUT THE VERY ARTICLE WHEREIN HE WAS DEFICIENT. WHEREUPON 'ELIHU PROCEEDS IN HIS CHARGE, AND REPRIMANDS JOB MORE SEVERELY THAN BEFORE, FOR INDULGING HIMSELF IN SUCH EXPRESSIONS AS WERE UNWARRANTABLE, AND SOUNDED VERY HARSH AND UNGRATEFUL; FOR, THROUGH HIS IMPATIENCE, AND THE ANXIETY OF HIS MIND, HE HAD COMPLAINED MORE THAN ONCE, THAT THE ALMIGHTY HAD NOT DONE HIM JUSTICE; AND THAT HE DESTROYED THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED WITHOUT MAKING ANY DISTINCTION: ALL WHICH RASH ASSERTIONS HE OVERTHROWS, FROM THE AWFUL CONVOL. III.
SIDERATION OF THE ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY, POWER, WISDOM, AND GOODNESS OF THE ALMIGHTY. AND CONCLUDES WITH REPRESENTING TO HIM THAT MANNER OF DEPORTMENT AND DISCOURSE, WHICH, IN HIS OPINION, WOULD MUCH BETTER BECOME HIM, THAN THAT WHICH HE HAD HITHER
TO USED. UJERE Elihu, made a long pause; and perceiving that Job 11 made no reply, pursued his discourse in the manner following:
« Should I presume to be the only judge in a cause of such imo portance, I am sensible, I should meet with contempt instead of " respect or applause: for which reason, I not only appeal to such “ of you here present, who are justly admired for your profound " knowledge and deep penetration, but beg of you to observe, and “ weigh well the subject matter of what I am now about to deliver:
such intelligent persons as you can with ease distinguish truth “ from falfhood : for the mind can form as adequate an idea of a “ discourse, as the palate can discover a difference between a varie« ty of meats. Let us then agree to examine the affair with strict“ ness and impartiality, in order that we may take the proper mea“ sures for forming a right judgment on Job's cause, and coming to “ a resolution whether it be good or bad : for he hath peremptorily “ declared more than once, that he is altogether guiltless, and that “ God almighty, who well knew he did not deserve the complicated “ woes he laboured under, would not do him justice ; that he never “ had advancedany fallhoods to support thecause he would defend; that
he still boldly, and peremptorily persisted in afferting that he met “ with unjust treatment, and that the wounds he received, though " they were many and fatal, were yet inflicted on him without a si cause.
" Now say, did you ever know a man so arrogant and licentious :“ as this Job? who, instead of falling prostrate before the Almighty, as would become one who profeffes so much piety and