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2 my body. Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound
[that] goeth out of his mouth; he calls upon Job to hearken at. 3 tentively to it while it rumbled at a distance. He directeth it un
der the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the 4 earth ; sound and light spread wide. After it a voice roareth ;
after the lightning the thunder is heard: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his
voice is heard: it should be rendered, " and it cannot be searched 5 out when it is heard.” God thundereth marvellously with his
voice ; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend ;
we cannot give a clear account of these nor many other marvellous 6 effects of his power. For he saith to the snow, Be thou [on]
the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength ; the snow, the small gentle rain, and the violeni tem
pestuous rain, all come at his command, and go when he direcis. 7 He sealeth up the hand of every man ; that all men may know
his work ; by frost he seals up men's hands, and the earth and
many materials, that men, by diversity of seasons, may have their 3 thoughts led to God, and have leisure to consider them. Then the
beasts go into dens, and remain in their places; the cold is so in9 tense, that the wild beasts cannot stand before it. Out of the
south cometh the whirlwind : and cold out of the north ; differ10 eni winds bring different weather, kot and cold. By the breath
of God frost is given : and the breadth of the waters is straitIl ened ; water is congenled by the sharp frost. Also by watering
he wearieth the thick cloud : he scattereth his bright cloud ; 4 beautiful figure, intimating the excessive quantities of rain with which the clouds are loaded, end the continued violence with which
they are discharged till they are quite exhausted, then the brighi. 12 er and lighter clouds are scattered by the wind and sun : And it
is turned round about by his counsels : that they may do
whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in 13 the earth; the clouds are turned by him where he pleaseth. He
causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy ; cither to correct a sinful country, by the excess or want
of it, to make the land fruitful, or to occasion extraordinary and 14 uncommon plenty. Hearken unto this, O Job : stand still, and
consider the wondrous works of God; he demands Job's attens
tion, that he might learn from these mysteries of nature, how unfit 15 il is to censure the providence of God. Dost thou know when
God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine ? 16 when he formed these meteors, and how he directs them? Dost
thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge? how the clouds, so full of
water, are suspended in the empty air ? and others of his won17 drous works, who is perfect in knowledge ? How thy garments
[are] warm, or, warm thee, when he quieteth the earth by the
south (wind ?] when he takes away the storms and sends heat ? 18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, (which is) strong, (and) 19 as a molten looking glass, firm, elear, and bright? Teach us
what we shall say unto him ; (for) we cannot order (our speech] by reason of darkness ; teach us to celebrate his excellencies in a worthy manner, for we are greatly ignorant ; the clouds and dark. ness that surround him, throw me into speechless confusion. Shal! it be told him that I speak? is what I have said worthy his hear, ing ? is it a meritorious service thus to plead for him ? if a man
speak, surely he shall be swallowed up; he who attempts to de. 21 scribe his glory, is quite dazzled and confounded. And now (men)
see not the bright light which [is] in the clouds ; but the wind
passeth and cleanseth them ; even now the clouds hide the sun, 22 but the wind shall drive them away. Fair weather cometh out of
the north ; the north wind, which clears the face of the heavens :
with God [is] terrible majesty ; all these effects and revolutions 23 are proofs of his terrible majesty. [Touching] the Almighty, we
cannot find him out : (he is] excellent in power, and in judg: ment, and in plenty of justice : he will not afflict ; after all, we must acknowledge that God is unsearchable, almighty, righteous in
his judgments, rigorous in justice, but will not afflict willingly, nor , 24 without just cause. Men do therefore fear him, as they certain.
ly ought to do; for he respecteth not any that are] wise of heart; who are proud and conceited of their own wisdom, whick he knows to be trifling and inconsiderable,
1. THE changes of weather and the revolution of seasons dis
1 play the majesty and power of God. Thunder is his voice, and ought to be heard with seriousness and awe. The weather and seasons, wet and dry, hot and cold, are the subject of every day's discourse ; and should be thought and spoken of as the won.. derful works of God. Let us remember our necessary dependence upon him; and own his hand in seasonable and unseasonable, in comfortable and uncomfortable weather. To fret against the weath. er, is to fret against God. '
2. It is our duty to consider the wonderful works of God, as they display his almighty power and perfect knowledge. They deserve to be considered ; and they are so interesting, that they need to be considered. It is an agreeable and useful employment to study them and search them out. But we cannot comprehend them, phr losophy is soon puzzled. This should reconcile us to the darkest dispensations of providence, and teach us, instead of censuring, to adore the conduct of God, and to humble ourselves under his mighty hand.
3. Since God is so great, he is greatly to be feared. But he is not only awful and powerful, but gracious; he does not afflict in rigorous justice, but with a tender hand and with kind designs, Let us therefore stand in awe, and not offend so great, so gracious, and good a Being ; but sancrify him in our hearis, and honour hin with our lips and in our lives.
In the former chapter the poet represented thunder, storms, and whirl.
winds, as ushering in the appearance of Jehovah ; here he is described as making his appearance, and addressing Job out of the whirla wind, with a voice loud as thunder, and challenging him to explain the most common and cbvious works of nature,*
I THEN the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, 2 1 and said, Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words
without knowledge ? who dishonours my counsels by his ignorant 3 discourses about them? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I
will demand of thee, and answer thou me ; if thou thinkest thy.
self equal to the debate, answer these questions ; alluding 10 Job's 4 80 often desiring that he might argue the matter with God. Where
wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if
thou hast understanding ; were you present when the foundations 5 of the earth were laid? how was it done ? Who hath laid the
measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the 6 line upon it? who formed it with so much exactness ? Whereup,
on are the foundations thereof fastened ; or who laid the corner
stone thereof? on what centre doth it rest? and how are its parts 7 united? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons
of God shouted for joy? where wast thou when the angels ex.
pressed their joy at the new made creation, and celebrated the 8 praises of their Creator ? Or (who] shut up the sea with doors,
when it brake forth, [as if] it had issued out of the womb ?
when it came from chaos or the abyss, like an infant from the 9 womb ? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick
darkness a swaddling band for it, confined it as easily as a nurse . 10 swathes a new born child? And brake up for it my decreed
(place,) fixed it in its proper place, and set bars and doors, 'so
that if it is ever so much tossed, it still keeps within it channel, !! And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further : and here 12 shall thy proud waves be stayed ? Hast thou commanded the
morning since thy days? [and] caused the day spring to know
his place; hast thou appointed where the sun shall rise and set i 13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked
might be shaken out of it ? that it may shine to the ends of the
earth, and that the wicked, who love darkness, may be detected ? 14 It is turned as clay [to) the seal ; and they stand as a garment;
the earth is transformed by light, receives the impression of it, as
clay or war does that of the scal; it spreads over all its face, and 35 covers it as a lucid garment, And from the wicked their light is
withholden, and the high arm shall be broken; the security they
• The poet having worked up bis drama with the most admirable skill, in this chapter represents the Deity as interrogaring Job, in the loftiest stile, and the boldest images. A celebrated ancient writer, in a Treatise on the Sublime, shows how much interrogations contribute to it: This speech of the Almighty is made up of them; and indeed it seems to be the proper stile of incensed majesty. His who asks the guilty a proper question, snakes, him in effect pass sentence upon himself.
promised themselves shall be lost, and their insolent power destroy16 ed. Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou
walked in the search of the depth ? hast thou been at the bottom
of the sca, to know what it contains, and searched out the springs 17 that rise there? Have the gates of death been opened unto thee?
or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? have its
dark caverns been opened to thee? hast thou gone down to its cen. 18 ter ? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth ? declare if 19 thou knowest it all, the number of acres it contains. Where (is)
the way (where] light dwelleth ? and (as for] darkness, where
[is] the place thereof; what becomes of light when the sun goeth 20 down, and of darkness when it ariseth? That thou shouldst take
it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldst know the paths
(to) the house thereof? canst thou direct either as thou pleasest, 21 and fix it where thou wilt? Knowest thou (it,] because thou wast
then born ; or (because] the number of thy days [is] great ?
wast thou born when the light was made? or hast ihou gained this 22 knowledge and power by long life? Hast thou entered into the
treasures of snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail ?
when west thou in the clouds, to see how snow and hail were formed 23 there? Which I have reserved against the time of trouble,
against the day of battle and war ? for I need no other weapons 24 to destroy my enemics. By what way is the light parted, (which]
scattereth the east wind upon the earth ? the light of the sun is diffused through all the earth, which couscth the east wind ; a ref.
erence to the periodical winds which are common in southern cli25 mates, and precede or follow the sceming motion of the sun. Who
hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder? who hath a/jointed a channel
for the rain, and where the thunder should be heard, and the lighi. 26 ning break out? To cause it to rain on the earth (where] no
man [is ; on] the wilderness, wherein [there is) no man ; 10 supily the creatures, who have no skill 10 dig for well water, or
preserve rain water, who yet want it for their support, and to piro, 27 duce their food. To satisfy the desolate and waste (ground,] 28 and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth ? Hath
the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? 29 cansi thout 1170duce one drop of rain or dow? Out of whose womb
came the ice and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered
it ? cunst thou scaiter the hoar frost, cr bind rivers and oceans with 30 ice? The waters are hid as (with) a stone, and the face of the deep 31 is frozen. Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or 32 loose the bands of Orion ?* Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth
in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? 33 canst thou direct the southern and northern cunstellations ? Know
est thou the ordinances of heaven ? canst thou set the dominion
thereof in the earth? dost thou know, or canst thou alter their 34 laws? Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance
• The learned differ in opinion what these stars are; the meaning is, Canst thou maka. it freeze in suguner, or baw in winter ?
35 of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings, that they
may go, and say unto thee, Here we (are ?] canst thou command 36 rain, or commission the lightnings ? and will they obey thee? Who
hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? dost thou understand the nature of thy own soul ? or canst thou tell how a single thought is formed ? Who
can number the clouds in wisdom ? or who can stay the bottles 38 of heaven, When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods
cleave fast together ? canst thou number all the Aying clouds, or
restrain the showers when the earth is moist enough, and fit to re39.ceive the seed ? Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion ? or fill the
appetite of the young lions ? wilt thou find out his rest, and bring 40 him food? or durst thou do it, When they couch in (their) dens, 41 [and] abide in the covert to lie in wait? Who provideth for the
raven his food ? wilt thou do it? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat ; when the young ones, which are driven out of their nests by the old ones, cry to God, the univere sal parent.
T HIS chapter teaches us these two important lessons : 1 1. That the works of the Lord are great and wonderful. Many surprising instances are here set before us, which are too plain to need a large commentary. His works are all honourable and glorious, sought out of all those who take pleasure therein. Angels at the first forntiation adored the Creator, and it is our duty to observe those wonderful works of God; to give him the glory displayed in them; and sing his praise, who made the heavens and earth, and sea, and all that therein is.
2. Since we are so soon puzzled with the works of God, how unfit are we to dive into his counsels, and how unbecoming is ít in such short sighted creatures to censure his providence ! Go, proud man, whoever thou art that sayest God does not do right to thee, or any of his creatures; go, ask thyself some of these questions, and thou wilt quickly see reason to be humble. Here are questions enough to puzzle all the philosophets on earth ; who often only darker counsel by words without knowledge. Humble faith and sincere obedience are our duty. Let not our weakness tempt his anger. Men was not made to censure, but adore !
CHAP. XXXIX. God is here represented as frutting some further puzzling quest
ions to Job, 10 convince him of his ignorance and weakness, and
show him the absurdity of censuring his providence. TV NOWEST thou the time when the wild goats of the
1. rock bring forth ? [or] canst thou mark when the hinds 2 do calve? Canst thou number the months [that] they fulfil ? or