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not continue to press upon him by his afflictions till he had cut him quite down. For he was not like a tree, which, when cut down, shoots forth at the root again.
“ Some think, that by this comparison Job expresses of the resurrection, and then the words are a similitude. As a tree cut down sprouts again, so though man dies, he shall revive and rise again.
" Verse 8. · Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground.'
“ This is a supposition of still greater improbability than the former.
“ 'Tis much that a tree cut down should grow much more if the stock wax old, &c.
6. The death of corn in the ground is not total, for if the seminal life were quite extinguished, it could not yield either blade or ear; yet because the corruption or alteration of it is à kind of death, therefore it is used as an illustration of Christ's resurrection, and also of ours from a total death; so the root of a tree dying in this sense buds and brings forth,
as, Yet through the scent of water it will bud and bring forth boughs like a plant.'
“ This is an elegant metaphor, as if a tree smelled the water as soon as it came near; give it water and you shall soon perceive a growth.
“ How doth this shame man, who has not only the scent of water, but has abundance of holy doctrine; and yet how little does he grow, yea, and some continues in a winter of ignorance and unbelief, and brings forth no fruit
- Verse 9.
meet for repentance, or for the hope of eternal life, even when they enjoy such privileges.
“ Hence observe, that the grass and trees will condemn those who are often watered with the word of grace, but do not profit by it.
« Verse 10. But man dieth and wasteth away, yea man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?'
“ The Hebrew is strong and powerful, man dieth ; wasting and dying are but antecedents to giving up the ghost. Man decays and wastes, yea, dies every day; as Paul, speaking of his outward troubles saith, “I die daily ;' but he does not give up the ghost every day, that is the last act. The question, and where is he? seems to carry a negation in it, that is, Man is no where; he is a wasting, dying creature, while he lives, and when he gives up the ghost, himself and all his glory are gone, and that for ever out of this world. He and his riches, honour, and wisdom, are now separated. What is become of all his
designs, devices, counsels, and thoughts ? Trust not in princes nor any of the children of men, their breath is in their nostrils, they die, and then all their contrivances perish, the similitude follows.
- Verse 11. As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up.'
“ When natural moisture decays in nian, he fails, and can no more revive himself than a river can recover its streams when it is cut off from these secret supplies and springs which it formerly received. Thus the similitude is
applied in the following verse. But Sir R. Blackmore makes this also to be a dissimilitude.
A flowing river or a standing lake
“ Verse 12. "So man lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake nor be raised out of their sleep.
“ Death is here compared to sleep, and the resurrection to awaking. When man is laid in the grave, he shall not arise till the times of restitution of all things, when the heavens shall pass away, &c. And since they are to be so completely changed, it is no wonder that all things in this world are constantly changing. The peace and prosperity of kingdoms, and even the beauty and purity of churches, suon decay and pass away.
- When the heavens shall be no more, there shall be a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust. They who have done evil shall receive their wages, and they who have improved their talents shall enter into the joy of the Lord.
“ Job was so full of this hope, that he seems in haste to go to bed, and petitions for a grave.
He is an earnest and humble suitor for that which nature least desires, yea, for that which it abhors. He petitions for the grave, as if there were some beauty in darkness, or loveliness in that king of terrors.
“ Verse 13. · 0 that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that thou wouldst keep me secret until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time and remember me ! 6. The original intimates, hide me as a trea
The bodies of believers are treasures as well as their souls. A secret place may be said to be the grave of a living man.
“ It is said, that Obadiah hid the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave ; this cave was like graves to these men though alive. Some think that Job did not so much desire death, but only to be hid alive, out of the reach of these troubles which annoyed him; and this view is favoured by these words, And keep me secret. How long ? Until thy wrath be past. That is, the effects of wrath. The original is, thy nostril ; because the breath of the Lord is nothing else but his wrath, which, like a stream of brimstone, kindles the fiery Tophet. Job desires the Lord to let this breath
and then he is willing to be kept no longer secret. We have much more need to be hid while the wrath of God passeth by, than Moses had to be put into the cleft of the rock, and covered with his hand while his glory passed by. As God hides his people from the wrath of men, Ps. xxvii. So also from his own wrath. Our only refuge from the wrath of God is God
himself, whose name is a strong tower where the righteous find safety.
“ A good man is more sensible of Divine displeasure, and fears the appearance of wrath more than the feeling of bodily pain. Jeremiah says,
• Correct me, O Lord, but not in thine anger. Let me but see and know that thou lovest me, and then smite me if thou wilt. But it is the rod of God, and not the wrath of God, that makes an unbeliever smart,
“ It is not the breathing of grace but of sorrow that made him pray, That thou wilt appoint me a set time. A distressed soul often makes distracted prayers, and makes him desire more that his own will may be done than the will of God. It is the sole prerogative of God to set and appoint times. My times are in thy hand, my time of joy and sorrow, of honour and reproach, when I shall fall into, or be delivered from affliction, how long I shall live, &c. Hence note, That we should not only be content, but rejoice that our times are in the hand of God; and we should esteem it a privilege, as well as a duty, to refer all the circumstances of our petitions to the will of God.
“ As our remembrance of God is the sum of our duty to him; sa God's remembrance of
is the sum of all his mercies to us. So there is nothing more desirable than to be remembered of God, and it is the accomplishment of all our lawful desires to be so remembered of him.
“ The thief said, ' Lord remember me,' &c,