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of Moses. The history of the book was probably this : Job wrote the narrative himself, for no one could tell the story of his sufferings so well as himself. And then there are so many particulars, so much in detail, so much that no one could know as he knew it, that it is probable he was the author, and that Moses obtained it while in the land of Midian : and perhaps used it to comfort and encourage the children of Israel. This will account for the readiness with which the Jews received it as a sacred book. It was always a part of the Jewish scriptures. “The encouragement,” says Horne, “which this book holds out, that every good man suffering patiently will finally be rewarded, rendered it a work peculiarly calculated to minister mingled comfort and rebuke to the discontented Israelites, and might, therefore, well have been employed by Moses for this purpose.” All commentators and critics agree that this book is the most ancient work extant; but the time, place and author are of far less import to us than the lessons it imparts. It is enough for us that it is a true narrative of the life and unparalleled sufferings
f a good man, and that it has been received by the pious of all ages as a book of divine authority. It was written for our instruction and comfort, and we do well to study its contents and learn its lessons.
What are the lessons it teaches ? “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable," and was written for our instruction that we may understand more of the ways of God toward man.
The Pentateuch gives the only reliable account of the origin of the human race, the establishment and government of the Jewish nation, their laws and forms of worship; the historical books narrate the political and religious events in their history; the poetical are replete with sound morality and piety, written in strains of sublime eloquence and grandeur; the prophetical predict the future of the Jews and also that of other nations, and foretell the advent, life, work, teaching, sufferings and death of the great REDEEMER. But what are the lessons of this book?
One of them is the momentous doctrine of the retributive justice of God, proving beyond a doubt that the wicked shall not go unpunished. This doctrine was the basis of the severe censures and accusations of Job's friends. They believed God was just and would by no means clear the guilty. But they falsely supposed that retribution for wicked deeds was meted out in this world, and that the afflictions sent upon Job were proofs of great wickedness. They could not understand how a just, holy and benevolent Being could ever permit such terrible calamities to fall upon one of his faithful and obedient children. Though their views of the government of God were dark, yet they teach the doctrine of final retribution. They show that the principle of retributive justice is a universal belief; that it is impressed upon the mind of man, even without the revelation God has made in his Word; that it commends itself to the conscience and sober judgment of all created intelligences,—a most conclusive proof of its truth. Hence the belief among the heathen, that, beyond the narrow bounds of life, there is a state of reward and punishment for the deeds done in the body. It also teaches that the afflictions of this life are not meted out to man according to his wickedness; that this life is not the time of retribution, and consequently sustains the idea that final retribution is in a future state. It is still a somewhat popular idea that men are punished and rewarded here; that all sin is punished in this life, and that all afflictions and calamities that fall upon any one, are punishments for personal sins. This narrative illustrates a very different doctrine. Here is a man pre-eminent in goodness, one who is spoken of by the Almighty as a perfect man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil. There is no mistaking his character. It is described by God himself. This man is afflicted as no other man
And why? What has he done? Is this the reward of his goodness? If these terrible sufferings were the punishment for his sins, what will be the end of those that revel in wickedness every day? The doctrine suggested by this narrative is clearly taught in other parts of the volume of inspiration. Jesus says, “Suppose ye that the men on whom the tower of Siloam fell were greater sinners than all they that dwelt in Jerusalem ? I tell you, nay.' If this life is not the time when men receive a full retribution for all they do, the doctrine of future punishment is true. The case may be stated thus: God is a righteous moral governor of
the universe, and will reward every man according to his works. This impartial administration of justice is not seen in this life. Consequently there must be a future day of retribution in which God will vindicate his character as a righteous moral governor. It teaches, further, that conscious integrity and a firm reliance upon God will sustain the soul in the deepest affliction. Job's calamity was great,--stripped at once of his wealth, bereaved of all his children in one day, smitten with a sore and loathsome disease, falsely accused by his pretended friends,—his cup of sorrow was full. It only wanted one more element to complete his misery and drive him to despair—the pangs of conscious guilt. From this he was free. His conscience did not accuse him.
He knew that he was innocent. He felt that a man's integrity would sustain him, for he knew in whom he believed, and could say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” We are also taught that the more we see of God, the humbler we shall be. Job stood up boldly to vindicate himself when censured by his friends. He knew their sentence was unjust. He would appeal at once to God. He knew God would not abandon bim in time of need.
But when God spake to him out of the whirlwind and made him see his utter unworthiness, “ Then Job answered the Lord and said, ... I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine
seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Whether Job had a vision of God as Moses had, or only more clearly understood the holiness of his character and claims, we need not inquire, (perhaps it was both,) but its effect was to humble him in the dust before his Maker.
From this book we learn that the sufferings of God's people may serve the double purpose of benefitting themselves and blessing others. Though Job was a good man, one that feared God and eschewed evil, yet his severe trial developed the remains of inbred corruption, and led him, in his earnestness, -while defending himself against the false accusations of his friends,—to speak peevishly and unadvisedly with his lips. Of this he deeply repented when God convinced him of wrong, and by this discipline he was still more purified. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12: 11.
Job's sufferings were designed to develop his integrity, to perfect his character, and at the same time give consolation and hope to the Christian in coming ages. O the depth of the riches of the goodness of God! “How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out.” His bright example of patience and faith has nerved many a tired and suffering disciple to bear submissively their far lesser trials. Could he have foreseen the good that through his sufferings would accrue to others, how he would have welcomed them! How he would have rejoiced in the privilege of thus honoring God! Suffering, afflicted Christian, God is giving you in a smaller sphere the same rich privilege of honoring him that he gave his servant Job.
ART. V.-PULPIT ELOQUENCE.
Eloquence is a duality. It has both a soul and a body. The latter is dependent upon the former for its vitality, and the former upon the latter for its manifestation. The soul is the inherent spirit of eloquence, including the thought, the emotion and the mental circumstances which beget it; the body is the mode of its expression, including style, gesture, and whatever else serves to render utterance effective.
Hence, there is no little difficulty in developing the full idea of eloquence in a simple definition. The idea itself is complex; for it includes a variety of particulars, and is found associated with diverse and opposite characteristics. Hence, the reference to different kinds or types of eloquence, even when we are perplexed to determine the varieties in degree. To take familiar examples : John B. Gough may be regarded as a representative of one class of eloquent men, and Daniel Webster as the representative of another. They are as unlike, in their relation as
public speakers, as they may well be; and yet few if any would fail to recognize many of the elements of the same idea in both. While under the spell of the former, his enthusiasm, his pathos, his dramatic attitudes which throw life into his creations of fancy and personality into his narratives of fact, his sudden and felicitous transitions of thought which never fail to leave the sympathetic emotion stirred and grateful, compel us to recognize in him a master of his art. And so, too, while listening to the latter as he was when among us in the days of his strength, one would find,-in his majestic mien, his distinct and deliberate utterance, his strong and lucid sentences, his steady and stately march forward to his object of which he never allowed himself or his hearers to lose sight, and in his crowning outbursts of strong feeling, enthusiastic or indignant,-a full proof of the power which inhabited his speech. The impression received in the two cases might be such that we should be unable to decide which of the twain ought to be regarded as the more efficient speaker. We should never-we could never-confound those two types; they would be as distinct in our view as though they were called by names entirely unlike ; and yet we could deny to neither the possession of any element essential to a high order of eloquence. Dissimilar as they are, they certainly possess something in common, and that something, whether it can be defined
is to us the grand characteristic of eloquence—its primitive and universal quality. And this quality is discerned, not so much in the man or in the manner as in the effect it produces,-in the impression it makes. Not that it is not in the man and the manner chiefly, for there it unquestionably is, but that our cognition depends mostly on its effect. And hence the difficulty of conveying to another the full idea of an eloquent effort, and the still greater difficulty of copying the peculiarities of the speaker. The only way in which a truly eloquent speech could be fully and fairly reported, would be by exhibiting our own sensibility on which it had impressed itself.
We shall here attempt to define eloquence no farther than to call it effective utterance. By its being effective, is meant that it possesses a power which enables the speaker to accomplish in a high degree the objects at which he aims. By utterance is