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“ God says, 'save his life,' because he intended to make Job a monument of mercy as well as of suffering. A godly man is never in such a situation but God has some use of his life; and life and death are in the hand of God. Precious in his sight is the death of his saints.
“ From this we may consider and admire the wonderful love of God to us in Christ, when he was sent into the world to save sinners. He was put into the hands of Satan and his instruments; and as if his Father had said,
aflict him as thou wilt ; persecute him in his cradle; slander, revile, and crown him with thorns ; but save his life. No, this bound is not set to the malice of Satan and the rage of men; they are allowed to take life and all. But little did Satan think that he was thereby to destroy himself. Lo Verse 7. ·So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils, from the sole of his foot unto his crown.'
“ The word for boils signifies a burning, an inflaming ulcer; and if it is painful to have one inflamed boil, what must Job have felt, when covered all over with the very worst kind of boils ; and, to add to his distress, it was so sudden and so vehement a stroke, as gave him reason to think that it came from the hand of God.
“ As to trust in means is to despise God, so to neglect means is to tempt him. Doubtless Job neither trusted in nor neglected means. But his disease was of that kind that are called the physician's reproach. They could neither discover a natural cause, nor prescribe any cure
FROM CARYL ON JOB.
for it ; in this case physicians were of no vam lue, and, therefore, either to show that all means had proved in vain, or that none durst undertake the cure, it is said,
.66 Verse 8. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal ; and he sat down among the ashes.
“ What a sad reverse. This poor man, lately the greatest man of the east, and enjoying health and prosperity, now not only sick and sore, but left without any attendant to minister either medicine or cordials to him, so that he may say, as Ps. cxli. 4. No man careth for my soul.' Although care and attention would not have cured him, yet means might have been used to alleviate his sufferings, or by their sympathy to have shown him that respect and attention which is calculated to comfort the distressed. When a man is sick and full of sores, a clean and soft bed may give some temporary repose. But instead of this he sat down among the ashes, which shows what a sad and mournful condition he was come to. For to sit in ashes is an emblem of extreme sorrow, and only used in times of greatest calamity; from which observe, That our humiliation ought to correspond with our troubles, and this is one way of accepting the punishment of our iniquities, and improving present evils for our everlasting good.
« 2. That when permitted, Satan can suddenly afflict the body with diseases, and bind it with a spirit of infirmity as with a chain. ..“ 3. That the children of God need not think it strange, when they are brought into
extreme distress, to be forsaken and left by those from whom they expected assistance when they need it most.
“ 4. That health and strength is a very great blessing, which we should improve, by seeking an interest in and fellowship with him who will never leave nor forsake them that trust in him in any distress.
“ Verse 9. “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.'
“ It is probable that Joh did not smart so much when Satan smote both flesh and bone, as now, when his wife smote him. And from this we see the reason why Satan spared his wife; and also why he left him the use of his tongue. It appears that it was that it might be the instrument of cursing God. His wife's question is the same words as verse 3. But God speaks them in honour of Job ; she speaks them in contempt; and, therefore, turns them into a question, upbraiding and reproaching him, from which, observe, 1st, That those things that commend us most to God render us contemptible before the world. 2d, It is common for Satan and his agents to allege that a profession of holiness is vain and unprofitable. 3d, That from outward troubles, and want of success, he tries to discourage God's people in holy duties, and to dissuade them from them. But a good man hath his fruit in holiness; and, therefore, though he receives no outward or immediate fruit, he still holds fast his integrity, whereas
a hypocrite delights in God no longer than while he gives him wordly favours. She next 'counsels him to curse God and die Beza reads, bless God, that is, confess thy sin and prepare to die. But Job's reply confutes this. As Peter acted Satan's part, though unwittingly, yet he got his name by it, get thee behind me, Satan; it was Peter's tongue, but Satan 'tuned it. So Job's wife might be a good woman, though misled by Satan.
« To desire to live is natural, but to be willing to live because God wills it is an act of grace. To die is an act of nature, but to die because God wills it is from grace. Christ is said to be obedient unto death, because he died according to God's decree, and in conformity to his pleasure. To die thus is the duty of a Christian, and the crown of all his obedience. To wish for death because our lives are full of trouble is certainly sinful. God has as much use of our lives in our troubles as in our comforts; passive obedience brings as much glory to God as active doth.
« Precious are the wounds of a friend when he wounds with holy reproof; but when a friend wounds by sinful counsel, or solicitation to sin, they are pernicious wounds. When that which should be our comfort is turned into sorrow, how great is our sorrow?
“ One act is enough to assimilate, but it is not enough to denominate. Job doth not call his wife a foolish and wicked woman, but only that she spake as one of the foolish women.
- Verse 10. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.' · « Job rebukes his wife, but it is in the spirit of meekness. He speaks comparatively, he doth not charge the whole sex. He labours to convince of folly, which is the readiest way to make one wise. Though there was sharpness in the reproof to search the wound, yet there was none to exasperate the person. It was an exact compound of love and anger, zeal and knowledge.
“ Job's question refers to the manner of receiving; we shall receive evil whether we will or not, but we ought to receive it as cheerfully as we receive good. Both good and evil comes to us often at the second hand; but we should take all as from the first, and this will make every good better, and every evil we feel not so bad. Afflictions coming from the creature are as the rod of Moses upon the ground, a biting serpent, but, considered in the hand of God, they are like the serpent in the band of Moses, a rod to correct and a staff to support us.
“ To look on evil as coming from God will enable to bear it quietly.Note on Eccles. vii. 14.. - Consider that as the day of prosperity was from God, so is the day of adversity, for it follows God hath also set the one over against the other.' So we should bear the one as ra: tiently as we receive the other joyfully. Es