Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

b 13:8.

Deut. 10:17. 2 Chr. 3. Jer. 16:17. 17:10. 32:19. 19:7. Acts 10:34. Rom. 2:11. Am. 9:8. Gal. 2:6. Eph. 6:9. Col. 3:k Ps. 139:11,12. Is. 29:15. Jer. 25. 1 Pet. 1:17. 23:24. Am. 9:2,3. 1 Cor. 4:5. Heb. 4:13. Rev. 6:16. 13:5. 24:17. Is. 9:2. m 31:3. Ps. 5:5. Prov. 10:29. Matt. 7:23. Luke 13:27.

e 12:19,21. Ps. 2:2-4. Ec. 5: 8. Is. 3:14.

d 36:19. Ps. 49:6,7. Jam. 2:5. e 31:15. Prov. 14:31. 22:2.

f Ps. 73:19. Is. 30:13. 37:38. Dan. 5:30. Luke 12:20. Acts 12:23. 1 Thes. 5:2. 2 Pet. 2:3. g Ex. 12:29. Is. 37:36. Matt. 25:6. Luke 17:26-29.

n 10-12. 11:6. Ezra 9:13. Ps.
119:137. Dan. 9:7-9.

o 9:32,33. 16:21. 23:7. Jer. 2:5.
Rom. 9:20.

† Heb. go.

Heb. they shall take away p 19:2. Ps. 2:9. 72:4. 94:5. Jer.
the mighty.

h1 Sam. 25:37-39. 26:10. Is.
10:16-19. 30:30-33. Dan. 2:
34,44,45. Zech. 4:6.
i 31:4.

9.

Gen. 16:13. 2 Chr. 16:
Ps. 34:15. Prov. 5:21. 15:

51:20-23. Dan. 2:34,35,44,

45.

Heb. searching out.

q 1 Sam. 2:30-36. 15:28. 1
Kings 14:7,8,14. Ps. 113:7,3.
Dan. 5:28-31.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

i Ex. 14:30. Deut. 13:9-11.
21:21. 2 Sam. 12:11,12. Ps.
58:10,11. Is. 66:24. 1 Tim. 5:
20. Rev. 18:9,10,20.

Heb. place of beholders.
u1 Sam. 15:12. Ps. 125:5.
Zeph. 1:6. Luke 17:31,32.
Acts 15.33. 2 Tim. 4:10. Heb.
10:39.

¶ Heb. from after him.

x Ps. 28:5. 107:43. Is. 1.3, 5:
12. Hag, 2:15-19.

y 22:9,10. 24:12. 29:12,13. 31:
19,20, 35:9. Ex. 2:23,24. 3:7,
9. Ps. 12:5. Is. 5:7. Jam. 5:

. 8. 26:3, 32:17. John 14:27. hom, 8:31-34. Phil. 4:7.

b 23:8,9, Ps. 13:1. 27:9. 30:7, 143:7.

c 12:14, 23:13.

d 2 Kings 13:9-12. 2 Chr. 36: 14-17. Jer. 27:3.

e 21. 1 Kings 12:28-30. 2 Kings 21:9. Ps. 12:8. Ec. 9: 18. Hos. 5:11. 13:11. Mic. 6: 16. 2 Thes. 2:4-11. Rev. 13: 3,4,11-14.

f 33:27. 40:3-5, 42:6. Lev. 26: 41. Ezra 9:13,14. Neh. 9:33 -38. Jer. 31:18,19. Dan. 9:714. Mic. 7:9.

scourged or executed publicly: especially apostates, or impious persons, or hypocrites; who by their oppression of the poor, caused them to cry and pray unto him, and he heard and avenged them. (Notes, 22:5—14. 24:2—12. 31:16—23, 38-40.) In short, if he were pleased to give outward prosperity or inward peace, none could interrupt it: but if he in anger withdrew his pro

V. 16-19. In the next place Elihu appealed punish none above their deserts, nor use his to Job himself, who was reputed to be a man of power to oppress, that any one should have just understanding. Could he suppose that the great cause to institute a process against him. But God resembled those earthly princes, who hate whilst he crushed the mightiest without number, right, and abuse their authority, and who are (or search, as if he must take time to examine evunfit to rule, being the scourges of mankind? If idences.) and exalted others to their stations; he he abhorred that idea, would he allow God to be knew all their secret sins, and therefore destroymost just, and yet condemn his conduct in afflicted them at once. Many he thus openly punishing him? It would be highly criminal, and ex-ed, for an example to others, as malefactors are tremely imprudent, to revile an earthly monarch as a tyrant, or even his nobles as iniquitous and oppressive: or even, to charge blame upon them, without cause. How impious and infatuated must it then be to accuse the almighty God in such a manner, whose justice is as absolute as his authority; and who in perfect impartiality regards the poor as much as the rich, having formed both as his creatures, and made the one poor||tecting or comforting presence, none could oband the other rich, in his providence! (Notes, Ex. 23:6-9. Prov. 22:2. Acts 10:34,35. Jam.2:1-7.) V. 20-30. Men respect the great, from dread of their resentment, as well as desire of their favor; but God could have no inducement of this kind. If then he saw good to inflict vengeance, he was able to cut off the most powerful, by a sudden and irresistible stroke: as earthquakes or other calamities sometimes in a moment overwhelmed whole multitudes, at midnight, when asleep or most secure; at once they were troubled and destroyed, even the mightiest of them, without any human concurrence. (Notes, Gen. 19:24,25. Ex. 12:29,30. 14:24-31. 2 Kings 19: 35-37. Ps. 73:18-22.) His omnipresence and omniscience could not be evaded, nor his omnipotence resisted; (Marg. Ref. i-l.) yet he would

tain the benefit or enjoyment of it; and whole nations were as liable to these changes as individuals. Indeed, one great design of all these dispensations was, to deprive ambitious hypocrites of the authority, which they sought by iniquitous means, and abused to bad purposes; ensnaring, corrupting, oppressing, or fatally prejudicing the people, over whom they aspired to reign.-Even Elihu seems to have had some suspicions, that Job was a dissembler; and spake as if he was at a loss how to reconcile his calam ities with his character for piety; and thought the case would have been plain, if he had been a hypocrite, advanced to authority, but now depressed, lest he should lead the people into sin and misery. Yet he did not venture to condemn him, but hoped the best.

32 That which I see not, teach thou || me, and let a wise man hearken unto me: if I have done iniquity, I will do me.

no more.

35 Job hath spoken without knowl33 Should it be according to thy edge, and his words were without wismind?he will recompense it, whether dom.

m

thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and 36 My desire is that Job may be not I: therefore speak what thou know-° tried unto the end, because of his answers for wicked men.

est.

[blocks in formation]

When he giveth, &c. (29) Or, "If he impart peace, who can condemn a man as wicked?" (Notes, Rom. 5:1,2. 8:28-34.)

[blocks in formation]

address men, as endued with wisdom and piety, we cogently admonish them to act consistently with their character: nor should we withhold this V. 31-37. Elihu maintained, that it behoved tribute of respect from any, because we deem Job to speak and act in a far different manner them in some respects mistaken.-An appeal under his afflictions: it was meet that any man, may safely be made to the plainest person, whose in his situation, should express himself with humble understanding is enlightened, and whose heart is resignation to the will of God; should consider his sanctified, by the Spirit of God, and who is well afflictions as a chastisement, and a call to repent versed in the Scriptures, how far such and such of his sins; and should purpose and promise sentiments, expressions, tempers, and actions, greater watchfulness against them. He ought accord with the Christian character: and he will to entreat the Lord to teach him what he did not readily decide a case, when impartially stated, know, and to convince him of those sins which with more accuracy, than the most sagacious of he did not recollect; determining by divine grace those, who are wise in this world, and "lean to to repent and forsake them. But could Job sup- their own understanding." For he chooses to pose, that things would be ordered according to himself the oracles of God as his standard; and his mind, while he continued so rebellious? Did by experience, observation, and conference with he expect that God would change his plan to his brethren, he has his "senses exercised to displease him? No; he would certainly recompense cern good and evil," and to know, approve, and him for his harsh and rash speeches, and his other savor that which is good. (Notes, Phil. 1:9-11. sins, whether he rebelled against the correction, Heb. 5:11-14.)-It is discordant in the ears of a or submitted to it. This was the Lord's doing, spiritual man, to hear persons intent on justifynot Elihu's; though he warned him, and advised ing themselves; or reflecting on the dealings of him to retract his words, and humble himself be- God, as unjust or unkind; or supposing that they fore God. Let him, however, give the best suffer without remedy, or transgression. He lisreasons for his conduct, that he was able; for tens to their words with distress and astonishhitherto any wise man would determine Job's ment, and is apt to suspect them of pride, and words to have been very erroneous. He desired contempt of God. He thinks, that they imitate therefore that his conduct might be fully inves- the example, and join themselves to the compatigated, nay, that his heavy trials might continue ny, of evil doers, and he is ready to infer, that till he was humbled, and brought to retract his they consider religion itself as unprofitable. This confident self-justification: for he had in fact jealousy for the honor of God, and deep acquaintmade an excuse for wicked men, as if their con- ance with the depravity of man, will indeed duct was not so ruinous and hateful as it really sometimes render pious persons too suspicious; So that rebellion against Providence was and too severe in censuring such as vindicate added to his other sins: yea, he had concluded themselves from unjust aspersions, in an unguardhis protestation of innocence, with an air of in-ed manner: and thus they will fail of making due sulting triumph over his opponents; and had multiplied his words against God himself. (Note, 31:35-40.)-Job had given some ground for these charges: but Elihu evidently made the worst of his expressions, and criminated hin much more than the Lord afterwards did. (Notes, 38:2. 40:1-8. 42:1-9.)-Several of the clauses in these verses are to us very difficult, and consequently are differently interpreted. That which appeared the most satisfactory interpretation has been chosen. Bishop Patrick paraphrases the thirty-third verse thus: 'Hast thou addressed thyself to God in this manner? Answer 'me that question; for God will recompense it, if 'thou dost despise such good counsel; which per'haps thou wilt choose to do; but so would not I. 'Speak therefore what thy opinion is.'

was.

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

V. 1-15.

It is generally prudent to conciliate the affections of all, whose benefit we seek, or whose help we want, by acknowledging in them the good which they really possess; and when well

allowance for circumstances of peculiar tempta
tion and difficulty. But the believer, when con-
vinced that his reprover means well, and when
conscious of having deserved censure, will, on
calm reflection, submit to those rebukes which
are too rigorous, rather than engage in minute
exculpation.-All pious men have ever agreed,
that it is delightful and profitable to serve God;
they all abhor the thought of charging him with
injustice; they are satisfied that his moral perfec-
tions are underived, absolute, and unchangeable,
as well as his power and authority; they know that
he readily could, and justly might, consign the bod-
ies of all the millions of the human species to the
dust, and their souls to destruction; and it ap
pears to them madness to provoke him "in whom
our breath is, and whose are all our ways."
while life and hope remain, they cannot deliber
ately allow, that a sinner can have cause to mur-
mur, but are sure that he must have great cause
to be thankful.

V. 16-37.

And

It is evident, that it must be immensely more dangerous and atrocious to arraign the conduct

CHAP. XXXV.

Elihu further reproves Job's words in justifying himself; and

shews, that the effects of man's conduct extend to man alone,

and not to God, 1-8. He observes, that if God hear not the ery of the oppressed, it is because they do not address him aright, 9-13. He exhorts Job to patience and trust in God, 14-16.

LIHU

moreover, and said,

5 e Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.

6 If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be

E 2 Thinkest thou this, a be right, multiplied, what doest thou unto him?

b

that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God's?

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

h

7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?

[blocks in formation]

of God, than that of any earthly prince. Yet all
our murmurs, when duly investigated, will be
found to have a tendency to the blasphemous
sentiment, that the Governor of the world hates
right: they condemn him who is most just, and
are therefore pregnant with rebellion. But in-
deed his impartiality and condescension are infi-
nite; "he accepts not the persons of princes, nor
regards the rich more than the poor." When he
sees good to punish, destruction is inevitable;
and frequently comes with sudden and dreadful
surprise, upon the careless multitude, or the
haughtiest potentate. "His eyes are upon the
ways of men, and he seeth all their goings:" there
is no secret cavern, or midnight darkness, "where
the workers of iniquity can hide themselves" or
their crimes, from their omnipresent Judge; or
where they may shelter themselves from his om-
nipotent indignation. But he will never give
any man cause to appeal from his judgment, by
laying upon him more than he deserves. He
knows the works of all men, and sees far more
evil in every one of us, than we suspect: there-
fore in his most terrible judgments his justice
must be acknowledged; and even when "the
wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the na-
tions that forget God," the publishing of their
crimes will demonstrate the righteousness of their
dreadful doom. But the vengeance of the Al-
mighty, either here or hereafter, will be most
terrible against apostate professors of his holy re-transgressions against God.
ligion; those who have deliberately rejected his
authority, and his gospel; and such as have
cloked their ambitious designs under a hypocrit-
ical profession of piety. Men of these characters
will perhaps be disappointed and exposed in this
world, for a warning to others, and to prevent
the effect of their crimes. It is however certain,
that those who have the Lord for their adversary
must eventually be wretched. But, if "he be
for us, who can be against us?" If he give quiet-
ness, who "can create trouble?" The slanderer's

forsake all our sins; that "where we have done
iniquity, we may do so no more."
When we
are brought to this frame of spirit, we shall see it
unreasonable to expect that matters should be
according to our minds: we shall perceive, that
whether we refuse or choose, God will chasten
us as much and as long as he sees good; and
probably this will be, till we kiss the rod and
welcome the correction. But alas! how often
are our tempers and conduct contrary to this
reasonable state of mind!-When we have spoken
all we know, men of understanding and wisdom
will agree that we have uttered things, which
sprang from ignorance or error, or savor of pride
and ingratitude; nay, we shall often upon a re-
view be conscious of it ourselves. As far as this
emboldens wicked men in their crimes, or hard-
ens them in their prejudices, it should be openly
retracted; and all concerned should combine to
convince the offender and bring him to repent-
ance. This is an act of genuine friendship: but
we should be careful not to do it with asperity,
or to represent the words and actions of our
brethren, as worse than they are. It is, however,
desirable for us all to be tried completely; and
even to have our afflictions continued, till they
have done their work: for it is better to be se-
verely reproved and chastened, than to be left to
persevere in rebellion, to prosper in iniquity, to
triumph in error, and to multiply words and

NOTES.

CHAP. XXXV. V. 1-3. As Job attempted no answer, Elihu proceeded still further to reprove his improper language. Job had labored in this world between the righteous and the to prove, that there was no exact discrimination would be no advantage to any one, (as it had wicked; and he seemed to Elihu to assert that it been none to him,) to seek diligently to be cleansed from sin. This he thought equivalent envenomed tongue, the persecutor's cruel rage, God's:" for he did his duty; but God did not fulto saying, "that his righteousness was more than the tempter's malicious assaults, with pain, pov-fil his promises, nay, he punished him more seerty, tortures, and impending death, in vain attempt to render those miserable whom God comforts, or to separate his people from his love. This "indeed is the heritage of the servants of the LORD;" but it is also proposed to the chief of sinners: and chastenings often concur with his word in warning them "to flee from the wrath to come. It is meet, that we should address ourselves unto God, when he afflicts us, with the language of humble submission: confessing our transgressions, and praying to be further enlightened in the knowledge of his truth, and in an acquaintance with our own sinfulness; and that he would incline and enable us to repent; and to

verely than he deserved. Job had not spoken exactly these words, and certainly had no such meaning: but he had dropped some expressions capable of being thus understood; and it was proper they should be noticed, lest others should make a bad use of them. (Notes, 9:22-24. 10:4 -7. 21:7-16. 27:2-6.)

If I be cleansed from my sin (3) nonp: "by it more than by my sin." (Marg.) This appears to be the more exact rendering. What profit 'shall I have by my righteousness more than by 'my sin?'

V. 4-8. In answer to Job and to those,

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

u 22:22-27. 27:8,9. Prov. 15:
8,29. 28:9. Ec. 5:1-3. Is. 1:
15. Jer. 11:11. Hos. 7:14. 8:
2,3. Matt. 6.7. 20:21,22. Jam.
4:3.

x 30:20. Ps. 102:17. Am. 5:22.
y 9:11. 23:3,8--10.

z 9:19. 19.7. Ps. 97:2. Is. 30:
18. 54:17. Mic. 7:7-9.

a Ps. 27:12-14. 37:5,6. 62:5,8.

Is. 50:10. Rom. 8:33,34.

b 9:14. 13:15. Num. 20:12. Luke 1:20.

That is, God.

c Ps. 89.32. Rev. 3:19.
†That is, Job.

d 4:5. 30.15,&c. Ps. 88:11-16.
Heb. 12:11,12.

e 3:1. 33:2,8-12. 34:35-37. 38:2. 42:3.

V. 14-16. Job had frequently expressed himself, as not having any hope, that the Lord would appear for his relief; but Elihu reminded him, that God set judgment before him, and always acted in wisdom, equity, and faithfulness: he would therefore certainly do him justice; and he would likewise shew him mercy, if he duly sought it; and he exhorted him to trust in him and wait his time. But as he had yielded to unbelief and impatience, the Lord had visited him in anger; and so long as he indulged the same rebellious spirit, he would not know him, or take any favorable notice of him, in his greatest extremity. Therefore he hitherto had spoken to no purpose; but had multiplied inconsiderate and sinful words, in disputing with his friends, when he ought to have been humbling himself before God.

whether present or absent, who were disposed to side with him, Elihu called his attention to the visible heavens; the very clouds of which were higher than he, out of his reach, and not in the least affected by his conduct: it must then be evident, that the infinitely glorious God could not be either a gainer or loser by any of his acitons. (Note, 22:1-4.). The most numerous and atrocious crimes, which men could perpetrate, would not interrupt the divine felicity; nor could any human righteousness profit God, or confer an obligation upon him. His government was therefore administered upon the purest principles of equity and wisdom, for the display of his own glorious perfections, and for the greatest good of the universe. And therefore, as the Lord acted upon such fixed and immutable principles; it was absurd and impious, to suppose that he deviated from rectitude, in any particu- He knoweth it not. (15) Job (marg.) knoweth lar instance, to punish those who did not deserve 'not, or doth not acknowledge, his sin; or knowit; or that piety could eventually prove unprofit-'eth not how he ought to act, though exceedingly able to the pious man himself. 'tried and afflicted.'-So many understand the clause.

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

V. 9-13. Job had stated that the oppressed cry out, but are not delivered, and that the oppressors remain unpunished: (Note, 24:2-12.) and Elihu, in shewing how the wickedness of some men made others to suffer, attempted to account for this. The afflicted cried out indeed by reason of the power of their oppressors: but they did not repent, or seek comfort from God, who can fill the hearts of his servants with joy, and their mouths with songs of praise, in the darkest night of distress. (Notes, Ps. 42:6-10. Hab. 3: 17-19. Acts 16:25-28. Rom. 5:3-5.)-The Creator had endued men with a capacity of knowing more than the beasts and fowls; having formed them capable of receiving the knowledge of his being and perfections, his works, and truths, and precepts: and thus of seeking help and comfort from him, under their troubles. But those who only groaned under distresses, without repentance, faith, or prayer, did no more than the brutes, which cry out when they are pained. Therefore they receive no answer from God, when suffering under the oppression of proud tyrants; for he would not regard the vain and rebellious complaints of ungodly men. (Notes, Judg. 10:13-16. 2 Sam. 22:37-42. Prov. 1:24-31. Is. 57:13. 58:2-12. 59:1-8. John 9:27-34.) And indeed Job's complaint, that the Lord would not hear his cry, (19:7.) as Elihu supposed, originated from a similar cause: for though he might not be an ungodly man, yet he had not duly humbled himself under his afflic-all multiplied transgressions against him, and as tions and therefore he was disregarded

It is very useful to appeal to men's reason and conscience, concerning their conduct in those things, which have been evidently faulty: for many speak and do in haste, and when warmed in dispute, what they will not deliberately justify. Indeed, the expressions of men, when angry, are often worse than their meaning: and though it is unfair to condemn them for inferences which they disallow; yet it is proper to shew them, how their words may produce bad conse quences; in order that they may be humbled for their rashness, and speak more cautiously another time.-The immensity of the works of God may lead us to some feeble apprehensions of his infinite Majesty; and the consideration of his underived and unchangeable glory and felicity should convince us, that all his commandments, judgments, and dispensations result from his unchangeable perfections. He forbids and punishes that which is evil in itself, and tends to misery: he commands and delights in what is good and tends to felicity, without any possible accession to his own infinite blessedness. This is the proper display of his own glory, and demands the tribute of our adoring praise. The Judge of all the earth cannot but do what is right, though we are often incapable of discerning the reasons of his conduct: but, as we have

he cannot receive any thing from us, which be

[blocks in formation]

6 He preserveth wicked; but giveth right to the poor.

a 21:3. 33:31-33. Heb. 13:22. *Heb. there are yet words for God.

b 13:7,8. 33:6. Ex. 4:16. Jer. 15:19. Ez. 2:7. 2 Cor. 5:20. e 28:12,13,20-24. 32:3. Prov. 2.4,5. Matt. 2:1,2. 12:42. Acts 8.27,&c. Rom. 10.6-8. Jam. 1-5,17. 3:17.

d 32:2. 34:5,10-12. Deut. 32:

4.

1 Cor. 14:20. Marg. Col. 4:
12. 2 Tim. 3:16, 17.

g Ps. 49:3. Prov. 22:20,21.

h 10.3. 31:13. Ps. 22.24. 138:6.
i 9:4,19. 12:13-16. 26:12-14.
37:23. Ps. 99:4. 147:5. Jer.
10:12. 1 Cor. 1:24-23.
Heb. heart.

k 21:7-9,30. Ps. 55.23.
12:1,2. 2 Pet. 2:9.

Jer.

Ps. 11.7. 145:17. Jer. 12:1 29:12-17. Ps. 9:12. 10:14,15. 1. Dan. 9:7,14. Rom. 3:25, 72:4,12-14. 82:1-4.

[blocks in formation]

Prov.

Or, afflicted. Ex. 22:22-24.

Ps. 140:12.

[blocks in formation]

10 He openeth also their ear to dis" commandeth that they cipline, and return from iniquity.

11 If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures:

12 But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.

13 But the hypocrites in heart heap

m 2 Chr. 16:9. Ps. 33:18. 34:1 48:3,17. 50:5. Acts 16:14.
15. Zeph. 3:17. 1 Pet. 3:12. u Prov. 1:22,23. 8:4,5. 9:4—6.
Is. 1:16-20. 55:6,7. Jer. 4.3,
4. 7:3-7. Ez. 18:30,31. Hos.
14:1. Matt. 3:8. Acts 3.19. 17:
30.

n 1:3. 42:12. Gen. 23:6. 41:40.
1 Sam. 2:8. Esth. 10:3. Ps.
78:70-72. 113:7,8.

o 2 Sam. 7:13-16. Ps. 112:7-
10. 2 Thes 3:3.

p 13:27. 196. 33:18,19. Ps. 18:
5. 107:10. 116:3. Lam. 3:9.
q Prov. 5:22.

r 10:2. Deut. 4:21.22. 2 Chr.
33:11-13. Ps. 94:12. 119:67,
71. Lam. 3:39,40. Luke 15:17
-19. 1 Cor. 11:32.

s Ps. 5:10. Is. 59:12. Ez. 18:
28-31. Rom. 5:20. 1 Tim.
1:15.

t 15. 33:16-23. Ps. 40:6. Is.

Jam. 4:8.

[blocks in formation]

In all

has not first given unto us, we can have no cause ishment of their obstinate wickedness, even from to complain of hard measure when afflicted: and the hands of oppressors more wicked than themas our Judge is now, as a Savior, on a mercy-selves.-If pious persons are betrayed into any seat, we can have no reason to conclude, that it degree of a similar spirit, and delay to humble would be in vain for us to repent, to seek for- themselves under the afflicting hand of God, or giveness, and to cleanse ourselves from our in- to seek all their help and comfort from him; they iquities: and when impatience, pride, and unbe- may expect that their trials will be continued, lief suggest such conclusions, we associate our- till they are reduced to a better temper. selves for the time with the workers of iniquity, these things "the LORD is a God of judgment, and expose ourselves to just reproofs.-Whilst a and by him actions are weighed." All his works righteous man becomes a public blessing, in pro-are in wisdom and justice; and he shews mercy portion to his station in society, the exalted op- to those who humbly trust in him. But when his pressor multiplies iniquities and miseries: and corrections excite obstinacy, impatience, and though the oppressed, through their own crimi- unbelief, he will infuse more anger into the bitnality, may fail of finding redress; or though God ter cup; he will withhold comfort, and appear to may leave them for a time under this trial for disregard the extremities, to which even his peotheir good; yet he will certainly at length pun- ple are reduced. Then their rebellious murmurs ish the haughty oppressor. But how few of the only add to their guilt and vexation, and they afflicted, who groan under their miseries, inquire multiply words without knowledge, in attemptafter God and trust in his name! The most, even ing to excuse themselves. Let us not then, unof the wretched, disregard their obligations and der affliction, prolong our own misery, by keepaccountableness to him, and refuse to repent and ing at a distance from the throne of grace, standhumble themselves for their sins, and to seeking in our own vindication, expecting help from forgiveness and comfort from him. But to humble believers he causes light to arise in the darkness; and he fills their mouths with songs of deliverance, in the midnight season of tribulation.-God our Creator having formed us after his own likeness, has made us far more capable of knowledge than the brute creation: but alas! sin has rendered us more stupid in many things than they; and, except we partake of renewing grace, we are prone to murmur under our sufferings, without inquiring after the cause or the remedy. These howlings of distress are not acceptable to God: they are vain, selfish, and consistent with the grossest impiety and enmity: and therefore we need not wonder, that impenitent sufferers are left, without succor, to endure the just pun

other quarters, or despairing of help from God: but let us call upon him in our troubles, and he will hear us, and we shall praise him.

NOTES.

CHAP. XXXVI. V. 1-4. As Job still received Elihu's reproofs in humble silence, Elihu again demanded his attention: indeed, he supposed that he was entitled to it, as he was speaking in the cause of God, and to vindicate his righteousness, which had been apparently denied. He had some arguments to adduce, which had not occurred to the other speakers, and which were brought from afar, or originally derived from divine revelation: he promised that he would admit of no flattery, calumny, or soph

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »