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“ He destroys the hope of man, and disappoints the vain hopes, even of good men. Yet the hope of the saints endure for ever, for they shall never be ashamed of Christ their hope. But when they vainly hope for happiness in any worldly enjoyment, the Lord, in mercy, blasts their hopes, and shows how weak and withering the creature is, that they may hope in, and depend for happiness on God alone. If the matter upon which our hopes are fixed be perishing, our hopes must perish, and if our hopes are overcome, we are undone for ever, as Job concludes in the next verse.
“ Verse 20. - Thou prevailest for ever against him, and He passeth ; thou changest his countenance and sendest him away.
- When God breaks down, man cannot build up, and if he wound, no man can heal ; both breach and wound must remain for ever, unless the same hand that made them make them up again.
" What is weakness to omnipotence? What is folly to wisdom? What is mortal and changeable, to eternal and unchangeable? that man should hinder God to prevail.
or And he passeth. That is he dieth, so the word is used, chap. x. 21. Man must pass away, whenever God gives him an order to depart.
* Death defaces the beauty, and blasts the comeliness of man.
“ How absurd and foolish must it be for a mortal man to glory in that, which a fit of sickness can so easily eclipse, and which death
will so soon, totally destroy. Man only waits a dispatch from God, and he dies. Ah! alas, how soon he dies. However many changes he may experience, as he passes through this world, he must soon change from life into the state of the dead. Happy, and only happy are those who are daily and duly preparing for that last change.
“ Verse 21. · His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not, and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.'
“ This is a description of a Father, ignorant, or insensible of the preferment of his sons ; and as he knows not the good which they come to, so neither does he know the evil which comes on them, they are diminished in number, but few are left; or they are made low and poor. There is little left to them, yet he perceiveth it not. That is, he is not grieved at it. For a dead man hath no knowledge of what is doing amongst the living; and as they have no knowledge of, so neither have they any affection for this world. They neither rejoice with, nor mourn over their nearest relations, on account of what befals them in this life.
« Let this admonish parents to commit their children to the Lord for support and protection, and beware of taking inordinate and immoderate care, by right or wrong means, to promote their children to wealth or honour. Some live miserably, that their children may live in affluence; yea, it is to be feared, that not a few have ruined their own souls, by the means they have taken to obtain wealth, to ag
grandize their families. But, Oh! what a pitiful delusion is it!
• Who can tell how many children have reason to curse their parents, for thus putting it into their power to dishonour God, and ruin themselves ?
“ Men act like atheists, when they say, The living know they shall die ; not from a certainty of knowledge, causing them to prepare for death, but from a careless indifference, causing them to slight death ; as if they said, death befalls all, and therefore should not trouble any.
“ This is the way that many amuse, and deceive themselves with their knowledge of the certainty of death ; as if it were sufficient to say, they know they shall die, without making the least preparation for that important event.
“ Oh! that our knowledge of the certainty of our own death, would lead us out to a habi. tual faith in, and love to our Lord Jesus Christ.
“ Verse 22. · But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.'
“ It may be rendered, While his flesh, &c. while his soul is within him, he shall mourn. He shall be in pain and misery, as long as he lives, especially while he lives as a sick man doth, on the borders and confines of death. This is not mere speculation, but Job's own experience. He felt and endured, what he spake to others.
Job's three friends having severally attacked him, to which he has made a distinct
answer. And thus he finishes his reply to the first charge of all the three.
66 Hé that is first in his own cause seemeth just, but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him." ;