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like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high-priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people'. The passage then in the poem relates, so far as its phraseology is concerned, to the statute in the Law : Job therefore professes his belief in one, who should be the living God, whom his eyes should hereafter behold in a visible form, and who as his near kinsman according to the flesh should legally act as his Redeemer. Hence, still with the same reference to the shadowy ceremonial Law, he declares, that, in beholding this kinsman-redeemer, he should not behold a stranger or foreigner; but that he should look upon one, who was bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. In thus professing his belief, he is likewise, in apt allusion to the literal history, made to profess his full assurance, that, miserably lacerated as his body might now be, yet hereafter, pointing to his excoriated frame, the renovated cuticles of his skin should encompass this, and that from his own flesh he should see his incarnate God: that God whose advent was too hastily expected by Eve at the nativity of her first-born. His reins now indeed might be consumed within him: but this did not diminish his full confidence in the promise made to the woman. · The doctrine of the resurrection of the body,
· Heb. ii. 16, 17.
thus taught by the great legislator of Israel, tallies with and explains his account of the translation of Enoch. If that patriarch were translated to heaven, both soul and body; it were reasonable to argue from such an event, not only a future state, but a resurrection of the corporeal frame itself. Here, accordingly, in its proper place, with whatever scantiness the doctrine might be taught in the Pentateuch, Moses says enough on the subject for the information and consolation of each more spiritual believer. · Perhaps it may be objected, that, according to the tenor of the argument as severally conducted by Job and his three friends, the confession of a Redeemer ought to have been put in their mouth rather than in his : because their reasoning directly tends to establish the necessity of a Redeemer, while his reasoning would go to prove that man requires not any extrinsic aid to justify him in the presence of God.
To this I reply, that however inconsistent it may be, nothing is more common than to unite a high notion of human merit with a full belief in a Redeemer: so common indeed is it, that such a paralogism constitutes the very basis of the entire Romish creed. We are to recollect, that the argument of the poem is the confutation and conviction of a self-righteous moralist, who is aptly personated by the strictly upright Job. In the prosecution of this design, the hero is made to contest every inch of his ground. First, he roundly maintains his own meritorious integrity, though he is sometimes compelled a little to qualify the strength of his language. Next, he confesses his belief in a Redeemer who should cause his body to rise again from the dead; though he still refuses to give up the fond persuasion of his own unsullied integrity. And at length be fully acknowledges his vileness; though his prejudice is so obstinate, that it yields to nothing save to the imme. diate teaching of God himself. It is in the se: cond of these mental states that he is exhibited, when he utters the memorable words which we have been considering; and, accordingly, we find him in immediate consecution telling his friends, that they ought to say; Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in him? The import of such a monition is perfectly obvious : nor can any thing be more exactly in character. Since I believe in a Redeemer as much as you can do, and, since I expect a resurrection from the dead through his agency; why need you persecute me with this wearisome dispute respecting man's entire sinfulness? The root of the matter is found in me, because I hold the grand tenet of the Patriarchal Church : what signifies it then, if I happen to differ from you as to the extent of human corruption?: isi: .. . .
Job therefore is now brought to confess a Redeemer and a future state through him, while yet he clings to the notion of his own meritorious dignity. Hence his friends continue to argue as before against the error which he still maintains, without adverting to the fully acknowledged doctrine of a Saviour; which, as they had injudiciously omitted to touch upon it before, would now of course be quite beside the mark of their reasoning'.: Neitsis ja e n
On this principle, Zophar to whose turn the conducting of the debate now falls, urges, that the triumphing of the wicked is but short-lived. He may for a time appear to be successful : but, ever since man was placed upon the earth, iniquity sooner or later is sure to be followed by condign punishment avec :: Hesse os se's nevertini
In reply, Job admits the truth of his remark; but contends, that it is wholly irrelevant to his own case: because, as he throughout maintains, "he himself was a strictly holy man. How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood or inconclusive reasoning? - Eliphaz now, losing his temper at the obstinacy of Job, quits the broad ground of man's inherent corruption; and breaks forth into personal abuse, alike false and indecorous. Though Job, like all the children of Adam, laboured under a taint of original depravity whichi rendered it impossible for him to be just before God; still he had led a very moral and creditable life, and had never been guilty of those
enormities which the angry controversialist so rashly and offensively lays to his charge. But this, in the heat of dispute, Eliphaz wholly forgets or overlooks : and, as he had failed to convince Job by alleging what was true, he now strangely attempts to make a convert of him by alleging what was absolutely false'.
Job, disgusted by his indecent acrimony, appeals from the judgement of man to the judge. ment of God: but, while he allows that the wicked are soon cast down from their prosperity; he stoutly denies that any such character belongs to him, and therefore still continues to justify himself as much as ever he did. God knoweth the way that I take : when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps: his ways have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips: I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food”.
Perceiving the error of Eliphaz, Bildad prudently abstains from all gross personalities; and contents himself with briefly restating the position, which his ally had twice already advanced in two of his former speeches. How CAN MAN BE JUSTIFIED WITH GOD: OR HOW CAN HE, THAT IS WOMAN-BORN, BĘ CLEAN ? BEHOLD, EVEN TO THE MOON; AND IT SHINETH NOT: YEA, THE STARS ARE NOT PURE IN HIS SIGHT.
2 Job xxiii. xxiv.