History of Job.
History of Job,
language adapted to children.
Author of the Prep of Day, Line Upon Line, &c.
J. Hatchard and son, 187, Piccadilly;
and J. Harris, St. Paul’s Churchyard.
The object of this little work is the same as that of its predecessors, to obtain an audience for its Divine Master.
The book of Job, especially the didactic parts, contains many difficulties, which might discourage a child from reading it—yet, if these were removed, even a child might find much in it to interest the mind and heart. For children are born into a world of trouble, and should be early made acquainted with the highest human example of patience, and the most wonderful instance of God’s restoring mercy to a mere man. Those, indeed, whose minds have been debilitated by readingB 6B1v 6 ing fairy tales and infantine novels, may be indifferent to a history at once so simple and so solemn. But there are others, who, nursed in the lap of a praying mother, early taught to kneel beside her, accustomed to listen to her pious remarks, and to behold her holy example—will accept with pleasure from her hand this little gift,—read it, while seated by her side, with attention, and afterwards commit it to the nursery, or schoolroom shelf—entreating to be allowed to look at that sacred original, of which this work is a feeble outline.
Such are the hopes with which this imperfect production is presented to the parents of the rising generation—a generation, on which the eyes of the present are fixed, expecting to behold in it, when sinking themselves into the grave, the first-fruits of their humble labours.
History of Job.
Chapter I. The first trial of Job’s patience.
I am now going to relate the history of a man named Job, who lived a long while ago. I am sure that he lived after Noah, and I think he lived after Abraham, but not long after. He did not live in the land of Canaan; he lived in a land called Uz, which is somewhere near the great river called Euphrates.
Job was the richest man in the land of Uz. In those days rich men had a great many animals: Job had seven thousand B 3 10B3v 10 sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, (that is one thousand, for two oxen go in one yoke,) and five hundred asses. His oxen went in a yoke when they ploughed his fields, and his asses were for riding.
Job was not only the richest man in Uz, he was something much better than rich; he was good. Rich people often do not think of God; but Job feared him, and hated sin. He was upright in his behaviour to man, and his heart was sincere in God’s sight.
He had also a wife, seven sons, and three daughters. I believe his children were grown up, for his sons had houses of their own. There was a custom among Job’s sons which showed that they loved each other. They used each to give a feast to the others by turns, on particular days that they fixed upon; and they always invited their sisters to come and dine with them. I do not know whether they invited their friends to come also, but I suppose they did. I think that Job did not go to these feasts, for he was a man that spent his time 11B4vr 11 chiefly in doing good to the poor, and in judging the people, and in prayer; and he had not much time for feasting. It is not wrong to go to some kinds of feasts, for the Lord Jesus went to feasts sometimes. Job wished very much for his children to be good. He was afraid lest, when they were at their feasts, they should commit sin, even in their hearts, by not thanking God for his goodness: so this was what Job did. After they had each given a feast, he rose up early in the morning and sent for his children, and prepared them for offering sacrifices for their sins. I suppose he spoke to them of their sins, and of their need of God’s pardon. Job sent and sanctified them. i.5. Then he offered ten sacrifices of sheep, and some other animal, and prayed to God for his children. What a good father he was! He loved his children’s souls: he feared lest they should be lost for ever. Perhaps, my dear children, your parents pray with you sometimes, and often pray for you with many tears when they are alone.12B4v 12
Do you not think that such a good man as Job must have been very happy? And so he was. He knew that God loved him, O that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; when his candle shined upon my head. … When the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; when the Almightly was yet with me. xxix.2—4. and he thought that he should always be happy. Then I said I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand. xxix.18 But O what sad afflictions came upon him! You shall hear why Job was at last so much afflicted.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord. Do you wish to know who the sons of God were? I think they were the angels, for angels are called the sons of God. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. xxxviii.7. But now you will be surprised at what I am going to tell you. Among the angels Satan came. He is an angel too, a wicked angel. But might Satan come into heaven? No —he can never go there, but God is everywhere; and Satan might come before 4 13B5r 13 God without going into heaven. And the Lord spoke to Satan and said, Where do you come from? Then Satan answered, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
You know why Satan walks up and down on the earth. To tempt men, and bring them, if he can, to be with him in hell. Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter v.8. And the Lord asked Satan whether he had seen Job, and whether there were any man as good as Job in all the earth? Satan does not like people to be good. He does not like God to love people. He is envious of good people. Satan could not bear to hear God praise Job, The accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before God day and night. Rev.xii.10. and he said that Job obeyed God only for what he could get. Have you not taken so much care of him and of his things? but only just hurt his things, and he will curse thee to thy face. Satan said that Job was a hypocrite, but we know that he was not; for God said that he was the best man in all the earth.14B5v 14
Would God let Job be hurt? Yes, he would, that Satan might see, and that all people might see, that Job really loved him. So God allowed Satan to hurt all the things that Job had; but not at first to hurt Job himself.
How glad Satan must have been when God allowed him to afflict Job, for Satan is full of hatred and malice!
Now we shall hear what Satan did. One of those joyful days came when Job’s children feasted together. This time they were all in the house of their eldest brother. Job had not gone to the feast. But even when fathers are at home, and their children are out, they are pleased to think their children are happy. Job little thought what sorrow he was going soon to feel.
A messenger came suddenly to Job and said, The oxen were ploughing, and the asses were feeding near, when the Sabeans came and took them all away, and killed all the servants with the sword, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
The Sabeans were robbers, who went 15B6r 15 about the country stealing cattle. Job must have been sorry to hear his cattle were stolen, but much more to hear that the poor ploughmen were all murdered. But before that messenger had done speaking, another came, and brought still worse news. He said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and has burned up the sheep and the servants, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
This fire, I suppose, was a thunderbolt that sometimes comes from heaven, when there is a terrible storm. What a storm this must have been! The oxen and the asses had not only been stolen, but the sheep had been burned, and the poor shepherds with them.
Was there anything left to Job? Yes. Were there not his camels? But before the second messenger had done speaking, a third man arrived, and said, The Chaldeans came in three bands, (a little army of soldiers,) and fell upon the camels, and carried them away, and killed the servants with the sword, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.16B6v 16
Now Job had no animals left. He still had a house, but he was not a rich man any longer. His ploughmen, his shepherds, and his camel-drivers, were all dead. But there was greater trouble still to come. While the third messenger was yet speaking, a fourth arrived, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, when there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and I alone am escaped to tell thee.
Now everything dreadful had happened to Job. His daughters were dead, as well as his sons, and only his wife was left him. Will Job now curse God, as Satan had said? Listen, and I will tell you what Job did.
He rose up and he tore his cloak that he wore, and shaved his head, and he threw himself down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said I had no clothes, and nothing at all when I was first born, and I shall take nothing with me when I die. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; 17C1r 17 blessed be the name of the Lord. Thus, you see, Job blessed God instead of cursing him. He was, indeed, very, very unhappy; and he showed his unhappiness (as people did in those days) by tearing his cloak and shaving his head. But he did not say that God was unkind. He did not know why God had let these troubles come upon him, yet he knew that God might do what He pleased; for God gave him everything at first, and might take them all back again when He saw fit. Ah! my dear children, when your parents punish you, do you behave in this way? Are you not sometimes angry with them, because they will not let you have what you want? Grown-up people sometimes feel displeased with what God does to them. There is one thing which we ought to remember in all our troubles. It is this short sentence, God is love.
Job knew this, and he loved God even when God afflicted him.C
Chapter II. The second trial of Job’s patience.
Job ii. and iii.
We have heard how Job became quite a poor man, and how he lost all his children. He bore these afflictions very patiently.
Would Satan still say that Job was a hypocrite, and only pretended to love God?
Again there was a day when the sons of God came before the Lord, and Satan came with them. And God said to Satan, Where do you come from? And Satan answered, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
And the Lord asked him again whether he had seen Job, and had observed how, in all his troubles, he went on worshipping the Lord. But Satan said that Job had not been hurt himself; and that he would care more if his body were hurt than for anything else. Touch his bones and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.19C2r 19
And the Lord allowed Satan to hurt him; only not to kill him.
Would not Satan be much pleased to be allowed to hurt Job?
He sent Job a very dreadful disease. Boils covered his whole body from the top of his head to the sole of his feet. Now boils give a great deal of pain. They also make a person look very frightful, and seem very unpleasant.
How unhappy poor Job now felt! He could not be comfortable for one moment; nor could he lie down, or sit, or stand. There was no part of him that was well and sound. He clothed himself in sackcloth, I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin. xvi.15. and sat down among some ashes, to show his grief; and he took a piece of a broken basin to scrape himself with, though by doing so he made his sore places worse than they were before.
Now, while he was sitting there, his wife spoke to him. Perhaps you think she came to comfort him. Not so. She came to tempt him. I do not think she was a godly woman;20C2v 20 man; for she asked Job to curse God, and die. I suppose she thought that if he cursed God, he would be struck dead by God. What wicked advice this was! I am not surprised that she was unhappy, for she had lost her riches and children (though she was not sick,) but I am surprised she could advise Job to be so wicked.
But Job would not mind what she said. He answered, You speak like a foolish (a wicked) woman. Shall we recieve good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not recieve evil? O how grateful Job was to God! He remembered how many things God had once given him, and how well he had felt day after day; and though now he was in such pain, he still loved God.
I asked you before, my dear children, whether you do not sometimes think your parents unkind when they punish you? Do you not forget how many kind things they have done to you? If you were grateful, you would never forget their kindness. Grownup people sometimes are angry with God, when he lets them be unhappy, and they murmur against Him.21C3r 21
You see that Job’s wife did not comfort him; but Job had three friends who lived in places a great way off, and who heard of his great trouble, and they came to comfort him. They were very old men, and were thought to be very wise. Elisha said, I am young and ye are old. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. xxxii.6,7. Before they came to the place where Job sat, they looked up, and saw him; and they were so much shocked to see him in such a dreadful state, that they all began to weep aloud; for they would not have known him, had they not heard what had happened to him. They tore their cloaks, and threw dust in the air over their heads, to show their grief. Then they sat down near Job for seven days and seven nights, and never spoke to him all that time, because they saw he was very unhappy; for when people are very unhappy indeed, it is best not to speak to them, but only to sit with them and weep. It must have been a little comfort to Job to see that his friends had not forsaken him. They did C 3 22C3v 22 not sit by Job without leaving their places at all for a whole week; for they ate and drank, and slept, part of the time; and Job also sometimes lay on his bed, and tried to sleep. When I say, My bed shall comfort me; my couch shall ease my complaint, then thou scarest me with dreams. vii.13,14.
All this time, Job remained in great pain and agony. His clothes stuck to his flesh, By the great force of my disease is my garment changed; it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. xxx.18. and his skin was almost black with the heat of his blood; My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. xxx.30. his face was covered with tears; My face is foul with weeping. xvi.16. his flesh with clods of dust. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust. vii.5. He could get no rest night or day, for when he lay down he tossed from side to side, and said, When will the night be gone? When I lie down I say, When shall I arise, and the nights be gone? And I am full of tossings to and fro, unto the dawning of the day. vii.4. 23C4r 23 And while he ate his food, he sighed, and even cried out with pain. My sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. iii.24 At last he opened his mouth, and began to speak. He did not curse his God, but he did curse the day on which he was born. This was wrong; for God had let him be born that he might at last live for ever in heaven. But Job was in such pain that he spoke what he ought not. He said, Let that day be darkness. He wished there never had been such a day at all. Then he wished that he had died when he was a little baby.
Job was not so patient as the blessed Lord Jesus was when he was in the garden and on the cross; yet he was more patient than any wicked man could have been. We cannot tell how much pain Job felt. If we did know, we should not wonder at what he said.
Chapter III. The greatest trial of Job’s patience.
The names of Job’s friends were El-i-phaz, Bil-dad, and Zo-phar.
Now was the time for them to comfort Job; but instead of comforting him, they began to speak unkindly to him.
While they had been watching by him, they had been thinking in their hearts that Job must have done some very wicked things secretly, for which God was now punishing him. Is not thy wickedness great, and thine iniquities infinite? For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee; thou sayest, How doth God know? Can He judge through the dark cloud? xxii. 5—13.
But this was not true. Job was good— but God let him have troubles to try him.
One of the friends, called Eliphaz, answered Job; and he told Job, that if he were good, God would help him. Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being ininnocent? iv.7. I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause. v.8, to the end.25C5r 25
When Job found his friends did not feel for him, he was still more unhappy, To him that is afflicted, pity should be showed from his friend. vi.14 and wished that God would make him die. O that God would grant me the thing that I long for, even that it would please God to destroy me. vii.8,9.
When Job had answered Eliphaz, then Bildad spoke, and advised Job to repent of his wickedness; and told him, God would then help him. If thou wouldest seek unto God, and make thy supplication unto the Almighty; if thou wert pure, and upright, surely he would not awake for thee. viii.5,6. Poor Job then answered Bildad Then Zophar spoke the most unkindly of all; Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed>? xi.3. and Job answered him. In this way the three friends went on speaking to Job. They spoke by turns; and Job answered each of them after he had spoken.
They were no comfort to Job—so that he cried out, Miserable comforters are ye all.
These friends were wise, but they made one great mistake. It was this. They 26C5v 26 thought that God only afflicted wicked people; and that if He did sometimes punish the righteous for their sins, He made them happy again, as soon as ever they confessed their fault. Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers. viii.20. Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. iv.8. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up. Then shalt thou lay upon gold as dust. xxii. 23,24.
Job knew that this was not true. He said that God afflicted righteous people, as well as wicked people. This is one thing, therefore I said it; He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. ix.22—24. This was true. Job knew, that though he was righteous, yet God had afflicted him.
You must not suppose that Job was so proud as to think he was not a sinner. He knew that he had committed many sins, Thou makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth. xiii.26. but still he felt that he really loved God, and wished to serve him. He shall also be my salvation, for an hypocrite shall not come before him. xiii.16. My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death; not for any injustice in my hands; also my prayer is pure. xvi. 16,17. It hurt him very 27C6r 27 much to hear his friends say that he had been unkind to poor people, taking away their clothes, not giving water to the thirsty, or bread to the hungry; and treating widows and fatherless children very cruelly. Job xxiii.6—9. Job knew he had not done any of these things. He felt so grieved that once he cried out, Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me. Another time he said, My friends scorn me, but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
But it was not his three friends only that behaved unkindly to him. His relations and acquaintance would not speak to him, and even the maids in his house behaved to him as if they did not know him. When he called his servant, he gave him no answer, not even when he begged him to listen: but worse than all, his wife would not come 28C6v 28 near him. Job xix.13—17. Why did they all treat him in this manner? They believed he was wicked, because he was afflicted.
There were some children who laughed at him, and even dared to spit in his face. These children had been brought up by very wicked fathers, who had been driven for their wickedness to live among the bushes in the wilderness. Once these children would have been afraid of Job, knowing that they deserved to be punished, but now they were so mean as to mock him in his misery. Children of fools, yea, children of base men; they were viler than the earth. And now I am their song, yea, I am their byword. They abhor me; they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face &c. Job xxx. Poor Job longed to be alone, away from wicked people; and to be a brother to the dragons who live in desert places, and a companion to owls, who hide themselves in the trees. I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. xxx.29.
Job thought of the days that were past. He remembered the time when his children 29D1r 29 were around him; when he was anointed with oil from his olive-trees, that grew on the rocks,—when he sat in the high seats in the city where judges sat. He remembered what respect people paid to him then, —how the bad young men hid themselves, and how the old men stood up, as he went by,—how the ears of poor people were pleased to hear his voice, and how their eyes rejoiced to see him, because he had helped them in distress.
Job said, I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor. I made the widow’s heart to sing for joy. For Job had been kind to the blind, and lame, and poor. When he sat in the judgement-seat, every one listened to him; they liked to hear him speak, because he was wise and good; they were not tired of listening, but longed for his words, as for rain in a hot day. How pleased they were, if Job looked kindly on them; and how ready they were to follow all his advice! xxix. The whole. If I laughed on them, they believed it not. I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army. 24,25.D 30D1v 30
And now every one was turned against Job. His friends had left off loving him, They whom I loved are turned against me xix.19. and the wicked struck him in the face, and abused him.
Was ever any man so much afflicted as he was? Yet he still kept on believing in God. He said several things which showed his faith.
He said—Though God slay me, yet will I trust in Him. They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me on the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me. God hath delivered me to the ungodly. xvi.10,11.
He said that he knew God was trying him like gold, which the goldsmith puts in the fire, to make it bright. xiii.15.
And again he said, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand in the latter day upon the earth; and that though worms destroy this body, I shall see him, (with my own eyes.) xxiii.10. Job believed that he should rise again when the Lord comes from heaven. xix.25—27.31D2r 31
Job tried to persuade his friends that he had not been a wicked man. He confessed that he had committed many sins; but he declared that he had not lived a wicked life. He mentioned some of the chief things that he had done right.
He had been kind to his servants, for he had remembered that the same God had made them who had made him. xxxi.13—15.
He had not eaten his dinner alone; he had sent some to the fatherless, and he had given the fleeces of his sheep to warm poor people who were old. xxxi.17—20.
He had not loved his gold, and been proud of it. xxxi.24,25.
He had not worshipped the sun or moon, by kissing his hand in secret to them. xxxi.26—28.
If a person had offended him, he had not wished him to be hurt. xxxi.29,39.
He had not let strangers lie in the street at night, but had opened his doors to them.32D2v 32
Neither had he hidden his sins like Adam, but had confessed them to God. xxxi.33.
Neither had he refused to pay the wages of the men who worked in his fields. xxxi.38,39. If I have done so, said Job, let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley.
When Job had done speaking, his friends did not know what to answer, for they found they could not make Job own that he was a wicked man. They had been very cruel to Job in speaking as they had done. It was time for them to leave off tormenting him.
Chapter IV. How Great God Is In All His Works.
But there were some other people there besides the three friends. One of them was named Elihu. He had listened to all that 33D3r 33 Job and his friends had said, and he had not liked what he had heard. He thought that Job had spoken too much of his own goodness, and that he had not praised God; and he thought the friends had spoken too much against Job. Still he had not chosen to speak, because he was young, and the three friends were very old; but when they could not answer anymore, then he began to speak. See Frontispiece.
Elihu did not say that Job was wicked, as the friends had done, but he told Job that he had boasted too much.
He said to him, I heard you say that you had no sin. I am clean without transgression, I am innocent, neither is there any iniquity in me. xxxiii.9. Had Job said that? No, he had not said that he had no sin at all, for many times since he had been sick he had confessed his sins. Elihu should not have accused Job of saying what he had not said. Yet Elihu gave good advice, but in an unkind manner. He ought to have pitied Job. We ought to be very kind to D 3 34D3v 34 people who are sick; we ought not to be sharp in marking what they say wrong. Elihu could not tell what great pain Job had been feeling all the time he had been speaking.
Elihu said many unkind things to Job: he said, Job has not spoken wisely; he has spoken against God; therefore God is angry with him. Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom. (He) mulipliethmultiplieth his words against God. xxxiv.37. God hath visited in his anger. xxxv.15. Then Elihu spoke of the greatness of God, God is greater than man. xxxiii.12. and told Job he ought to humble himself before God, Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more. xxxiv.31. and that God would then comfort him. Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place. xxxvi.16.
But while Elihu was speaking, a terrible thunder-storm came on. Elihu called the thunder the voice of God, and said that it showed how great God was. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. xxxvii.5. At last some 35D4r 335 brightness appeared among the clouds, and this light showed how great God was. Now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds; but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them. Fair weather cometh out of the north; (or is brought by the north wind;) with God is terrible majesty. xxxvii.22.
Elihu’s heart had trembled at the thunder, At this (or the thunder) also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. xxxvii.1. but he could not know that a greater voice would soon be heard. When Elihu had done speaking, the voice of God was heard out of the whirlwind. xxxviii.1. God spoke to Job, and asked him why he had said so many unwise things. How frightened all the persons must have been who heard this voice! Zophar, one of the friends, had wished that God would speak, O that God would speak, and open his lips against thee. xi.5. and Job had wished it too; Behold my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me. xxxi.35. and now God did speak. He asked Job some questions, to show Job how little he knew. His first question was about the 36D4v 36 earth. Most children know that the earth is like a round ball, and that it hangs in the air, as the moon does, and that it is fastened to nothing. God said to Job, Where were you when I began to make the earth, and when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? xxxiv.4—7. Who saw God make the earth? The angels, and they were glad, because the earth shows forth the glory of their God.
Could Job answer this question? He was not born when God made the earth.
God next asked Job where he was when the great sea was shut up in the deep place that God made for it. For the sea is almost as great as the dry land, and it is always tossing itself, as if it wanted to get out of the deep place where it is; but it cannot get out, for God has said, Come so far, but no farther. xxxiv.8—11.
God asked Job whether he had made it light every morning— Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days? xxxviii.12. whether he had seen 37D5r 37 the great caves in the bottom of the sea, where the precious stones are hid— Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? 16. whether he knew where the darkness came from, As for darkness, where is the place thereof? 19. and where the snow and hail were kept that came down in such quantities on the earth; Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow, or hast thou entered into the treasures of the hail? 22. whether he could make the stars shine in winter or in summer in the sky, Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou find Arcututus with his sons? or send out the lightnings, Canst thou send out lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are? 35. or count the clouds, or stop the rain from falling. Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven? 37. Could Job do any of these things?
Then God spoke of the beasts, and birds, and of the care he took of them.
I will describe to you some of these beasts and birds of which God spoke to Job, and I will tell you some things about them that are not written in the Bible.38D5v 38
1. The Lion.—He is called the king of beasts, because he has so terrible a look; and has such enormous strength, that he can break a horse’s leg with his tail. All the beasts of the forest are alarmed at the sound of his roaring when he is hungry. He lives upon the flesh of animals, and he prefers the flesh of man to that of any other animal. He dwells in dark dens in secret places in the woods, and comes out of them at night to seek for food. Often in the day he lies hid among the bushes, and bursts out upon people who pass by. They couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait.
God spoke of this terrible lion to Job, and asked him whether he could provide food for the young lions. Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions? 39.
2. The Raven.— This bird is black like a crow, but is much larger. It is a fierce bird, and feeds upon chickens, and rabbits, and other small animals. It brings them home to its young ones in their nest, which 39D6r 39 is built in the hole of a rock, or in a high tree. These young ones make much noise when in their nest, to show their hunger.
God asked Job whether he knew who provided food for the ravens when they cried out for hunger. Who provideth for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God? 41.
3. The wild goats.—Numbers of goats live on the tops of high mountains, and leap from rock to rock. They are fond of the grass and plants that grow there; but when they can they break into the corn-fields, and get fat and strong upon the nice food they find there.
God spoke to Job of these goats, who bring up their little ones without any one to help them. Their young ones are in good liking; they grow up with corn; they go forth., and return not unto them. xxxix.4.
4. The wild ass.—Every child knows that the tame ass is a patient, stupid, slow animal; but the wild ass is quite different. Wild asses live in the deserts, and like best 40D6v 40 salt plants, and to drink salt water. Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bonds of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land (a salt place) his dwelling. As many as twenty asses live in a flock toge— ther; and one of them watches to see whether any one is coming near. If the ass on the watch sees a man coming, he runs to the other asses, and they all set off in a very fast gallop; and so fast can they gallop, that no horse can overtake them; indeed they will sometimes stop to let a man on horseback get almost up to them, and then set off with more swiftness than before. If any one does come near a wild ass, the animal begins to bite and kick in such a furious manner than he is soon killed. It is therefore very difficult to catch wild asses. Sometimes, however, they are caught either by many hunters, who come round them on all sides, and throw nooses over their heads, or in pits dug for them, into which they fall. When they are caught, they are exceedingly fierce, and try to wound the people who facing 40 facing 41 An engraving of a rhinoceros standing on a grassy bank by a body of water 41E1r 41 seize hold of them. But all animals can be tamed, and therefore the wild ass can be made to draw a load, and to bear a rider on his back.
God spoke to Job of the wild ass that lived in troops near his dwelling.
5. The Unicorn.—This is a very large animal, that has one horn between his eyes. The name now given to it is the Rhi-no-ce- ros. It is the strongest beast in the world, and the largest except one. The skin of its back and sides is so hard that nothing can pierce it; so that it can run quickly through the woods without being hurt by the thorns and great boughs. It does not eat other animals, but lives upon plants. None dare to attack it, for even the tiger is soon pierced through by its sharp strong horn. It is hard to tame such an animal, Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or to abide by thy crib? xxxix.9. or to trust it even when it is tame, for it is sometimes in a fury, and turns upon its masters, and destroysE 42E1v 42 stroys them. Wilt thou trust him because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? 11. How useful it would be if ifit were like the ox, and would draw the plough to prepare for the seed being sown; or draw the harrow to cover up the seed after it is sown; or draw the wagon to take the seed home to the barn! Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou believe bimhim, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? 10—12. But the unicorn, or rhinoceros, cannot be trusted to do these useful services.
6. The Peacock.—God then spoke of the beautiful wings he had given to the peacock; that splendid bird whose feathers, when they are spread out like a fan, shine with purple, and green, and gold. Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacock? 13.
7. The Ostrich.—This is the largest of birds, and it is taller than the tallest man. With its wings it cannot fly, but it stretches them out, when it runs, to catch the wind, and then the swiftest horse could not over An engraving of an ostrich in the desert with an egg behind it facing 42 facing 43 43E2r 43 take it. What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider. 18. The feathers of its tail are very beautiful. They are long and white, and are used by princesses and great ladies to adorn their heads. Gavest thou wings and feathers unto the ostrich? 13. Hunters pursue the ostriches for the sake of its feathers; but they would never be able to catch it, were it not that the bird is so silly that it runs crooked, first on one side and then on the other, so that the hunters, who take care to run straight, after some days can overtake it; then the foolish bird often hides its head in the sand, and thinks that no one can see it. The ostrich puts me in mind of those foolish people who think God cannot see them, because they cannot see God. But the ostrich shows its folly chiefly in the little care it takes of its eggs; for instead of making a nest in some secret place, like other birds, it digs a hole in the sand, and lays them in it, just covering them over with sand. She leaves them in the day-time, trusting the sun to warm them while she 44E2v 44 is gone, forgetting that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. It is true that the ostriches sit upon their nests in the night, and often in the day, in order to hatch them: but they ought to be watching the eggs, for when they are away, not only do beasts tread on them, but black men often come to rob the nests, and feast upon the eggs, which are very large and good to eat. But God has not given the ostrich so much sense as he has given to most other birds. Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush, or that the wild beast may break them? She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers, because God hath deprived her of wisdom; neither hath he imparted to her understanding. 14—16.
8. The horse.—God next spoke of one of the most beautiful and glorious of animals. The horse is both gentle and brave. He will obey his master, and yet he will venture into the battle. Indeed, the war-horse delights in the sound of the trumpet, He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha. He smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting. 25. and 45E3r 45 rushes into the field, not afraid of the sword, or of the spear. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted, neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear, and the shield. 22,23. The horse does not behave as the unicorn often does, who grows furious in the battle, and sometimes kills his own master, but he bears his rider in the midst of the enemy, till he falls down dead upon the field.
How sad to think that men should fight so fiercely against their fellow-creatures! They even did so in the days of Job, and they have done so ever since. But when all men love the Lord, they will turn the sword into the share of the plough, which makes furrows in the ground, and the spear into a sharp hook with which to prune the vine and the trees of the orchard. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isa. ii.4. What pleasant times will those be! But God did not E 3 46E3v 46 speak of those times to Job, but of the times of war and bloodshed.
9. The Hawk.—There are some hawks that like to live in a very hot country in winter. The country which Job lived in was hot, but not so hot as some others. The hawk is so wise that it knows when the winter is coming, and which way to go through the air to find a hotter country. Did Job make the hawk so wise, and teach it where to fly? Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings towards the earth? xxxix.26.
10. The Eagle.—Though it is not so large as the ostrich, it is a much braver, and stronger, and wiser bird. There is no bird whose wings are so strong, therefore none can fly so high or so fast. It does not build its nest on the sand, but on the very high trees, or the rocks, and sometimes in places where no creature can come. Doth the eagle mount up by thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth upon the rock, and the strong place. xxxix.27,28. Its nest is made of strong boughs, like a floor; and they facing 46 An engraving of an eagle bringing a lamb to its nest, which is on a crag and has two eggs inside. facing 47 47E4r 47 are placed like a bridge between two rocks, or two branches. The eagle feeds its young ones with lambs and kids, for it is so strong that it can carry them in its claws to these very high places. The eagle has sharpsighted eyes, so that when she is flying so high in the air that she looks only like a little black speck, she can see the beasts below in the meadow, and she can pounce suddenly upon them, and carry them off before they are aware, From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. 29. Her young ones also suck up blood. 39 to feed her young ones upon their blood. When a battle has been fought, and the field is strewed with dead bodies, the eagles see them very far off, and fly to the spot to feed upon the flesh. Where the slain are, there is she. 39. Of this strong and brave bird the Lord spoke to Job.
Then the Lord asked Job whether he could answer him—for Job had said he could—and that he wished God to speak to him.48E4v 48
Job now felt, more than he had ever done before, how great that God was, who had made all these wonderful creatures, and taught them all their different ways, and this was the answer he made to God. Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer. Yea, twice; but (I will say no more.)
This was the humble way in which Job now spoke; for he felt that though he was not a hypocrite as his friends had suspected, yet that he was a great sinner in the eyes of the high and holy God.
Chapter V. How Good God was to Job.
But God had still more wonderful things to speak of; and He bade Job listen again to Him.
I. God spoke of Be-he-moth. What ani An engraving of a "behemoth" (resembles the elephant) standing on a grassy bank drinking from a body of water, vegitation in background facing 48 facing 49 49E5r 49 mal is that? It is a beast stronger than any other, He is the chief of the ways of God. xl.10. whose bones are like bars of iron, His bones are like bars of iron. 18. and whose tail is like a cedar-tree. He moveth his tail like a cedar. 17. Yet this enormous beast eats grass and plants, which grow upon the mountains, where the deer and the goats play. Surely the mountains bring forth food, where all the beasts of the field do play. 20. It likes to lie under shady trees, or in the damp places where the seeds grow by the river-side, and it drinks such large draughts from the river, that it seems as if it would drink it all up. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reeds and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not; he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. 21—23. What animal can this be? Is it the largest of beasts that we call the elephant? But then the elephant has not a tail like the cedar-tree, but a very small one. Then it may be some beast, even 50E5v 50 larger than the elephant, that we have not seen. The Mammoth, was, perhaps, intended. Some of its bones have been found, and show that it was more than twice as large as the elephant. If this animal had been preserved upon the earth, many other animals must have been destroyed to give it room; for this reason, perhaps, it was permitted to perish, while its bones remain to show forth its Creator’s power.
II. Last of all, the Lord spoke of an animal called Levi-a-than.
This animal lives in the sea, so we suppose it must be a fish. It is so large that, when it swims near the top of the sea, it seems to make it to boil. He maketh the deep to boil like a pot. xli.31. It has large bright eyes, His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. and it has a wide mouth that opens like doors, and is full of great teeth. Who can open the doors of his face? His teeth are terrible round about. 14. It is covered all over with hard pieces, closely joined together, called scales; and these are so strong that darts can no more pierce it than straws. Nor can it be hurt when it lies down on the sharp stones at 51E6r 51 the bottom of the sea. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. One is so near to another that no air can come between them. He esteemeth iron as straw. Darts are counted as stubble; sharp stones are under him; he spreadeth sharp-pointed things upon the mire. 15,16, 27,30. There is no creature on the earth like Leviathan Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. And who is Leviathan? Is it the great whale? No; for the whale has no scales, and no great teeth, nor fiery eyes. It must then be some animal that men do not know of now. Some have supposed the crocodile was intended, but that animal neither is found in the sea, nor makes a path after it in the water.
After speaking of the wonderful Leviathan, God left off speaking; and Job again spoke, even more humbly than before. xlii. He owned that he knew nothing, and that he had spoken what he did not understand; for now that he had seen God, he knew what a vile creature he was, and he saidI abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Yes; even good Job, the very best 52E6v 52 man on the earth, felt that he was a sinful worm in the sight of God.
What, then, dear children, are you?—You, who are not the best of all people, but who are often naughty? What must you be?
Do you think that God was angry with Job? O no; though He had taught him to be more humble, He was much pleased with the way in which he had behaved in his affliction. But God was angry with the three friends for what they had said to Job: and he told them to offer up sacrifices for their sins, and to ask Job to pray for them.
How ashamed they must now have been of their cruel speeches to Job! But they were not wicked men. They did fear God, but they were not as loving and merciful as God is. Their hearts were too hard, and they had unkind thoughts in their minds. How glad they must have been to think that God would forgive them! They took seven bullocks, and seven sheep, as God had commanded, and they asked Job to pray for them. Would Job pray for them? Would he forgive all their unkindness, and ask God to forgive them? O yes; he was 53F1r 53 like the Lord Jesus. Job prayed, and the Lord heard his prayers for his friends. What a happy thing it is to have good friends to pray for us when we have sinned! We ought to ask our good friends to pray for us, as God will hear righteous men. Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much. James v.16. And we ought to pray for ourselves too.
But do you not long to know whether poor Job got well? Yes; for the Lord had now taken him from Satan, The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends. 10. who had made the dreadful boils to break out over his body.
All Job’s friends and relations came to see him. They ate bread in his house, and they pitied him, and comforted him. They knew how poor he was, and they each brought him a present of some money. No doubt the friends had heard that God had spoken to Job, and had been pleased with him; so no one could think that God had sent these troubles because he was angry with Job.
Job soon grew rich again, for with the F 54F1v 54 money he would buy sheep and oxen, camels and asses, and God made the flocks and herds to grow larger and larger, till at last Job had twice as many animals as he had before his afflictions.
But Job had lost his children. God gave him as many children as he had before. He had seven sons and three daughters. The names of the daughters were Jemima, which means Days upon days; Kezia, or Cassia, a sweet-smelling plant; and Keren-happuch, or the horn of plenty. These daughters were the fairest in all the land, and Job gave them some of his riches. Job lived long enough to see his children grown up and married, and to see his grandchildren, and even to see their children, who were his great-grandchildren. I do not know how old Job was when he died, but I know that he lived one hundred and forty years after his troubles had been taken away; and when he died he was very old indeed, and was like a shock of corn fully ripe, and fit to be carried into the barn. Thou shalt come to the grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season. v.26.55F2r 55
Who was ever afflicted so much as Job? Not one, except the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet we see that he was delivered out of his afflictions. All people in trouble should think of Job, and hope that God will deliver them. God does not like to let troubles come; He is so kind that he would rather be always doing us good; and when he does send afflictions, he longs to make us happy again. Ought we not, therefore, to be patient, trusting the Lord to help us? Take, my brethren, the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering, affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure; ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James v.10,11.
My little children, if you live you will have troubles, but I cannot tell you of what sort; perhaps you will have troubles of all sorts. You may, perhaps, lose your things, as Job lost his cattle. Thieves may steal your money, or storms may destroy your corn, or the fire may consume your house.
Perhaps you may lose your friends. You may have a kind wife, or husband, or some 56F2v 56 sweet little children, that may be taken off by a fever quite suddenly.
Perhaps you may lose your health. You may be obliged to lie upon a sofa, or in a bed year after year, even while you are young.
Perhaps you may lose your character. Unkind people may think you have done wicked things, which you have not done, and may speak against you, and laugh at you.
I have read of people who have had many afflictions come upon them quite suddenly. I heard of a man who lost all his property, and almost all his family, in one night. This man was wakened in the night by the flames; he escaped through a door at the top of the house with a child or two in his arms: but his wife and four older boys, who were trying to come after him, were suffocated by the smoke in a moment. This poor man was afterwards almost mad with grief. These calamities happened to a bookbinder in London, in 1840-05May, 1840. I cannot tell you whether he knew where to go for comfort. Whatever afflictions you may have, 57F3r 57 dear children, I hope you will go to the Lord Jesus for comfort, because he was afflicted in every way, and He knows how to feel for those who are in any sort of trouble.
Jesus lost all He had, for He left his throne to be very poor.
Jesus lost his friends, for they left Him alone in his distress.
Jesus had no strength, for sorrow made Him so weak, that He could not carry his cross up the hill.
Jesus was spoken against by all, though He had done no sin.
Jesus remembers how He felt when He was in trouble, and He can feel for us more than any one else can; and He alone can always comfort us. We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. iv.15.
Go to Him, now, dear little ones, in all your little troubles. Ask Him to help you out of them, and to forgive your sins, and to take F 3 58F3v 58 you at length to that place where no trouble ever comes, (because no sin is there,) that sweet place where God will wipe away all tears from all eyes, and where there is no death, neither sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain. Rev. xxi.4.
The Mysterious Glass.
An Allegory.60F4v 61F5r
The Mysterious Glass. An Allegory.
When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God. Ps. lxxiii. 16,17.
What is that glass you’re looking through?
O let me look as well as you;
I see you smile, and then you weep,—
Dear mother, let me have a peep.
Have patience, little Emmeline,
And you shall see the sights within;
This is the glass that shows us how
God treats his children here below,62F5v 62
Before He takes them to his rest
To render them completely blest.
Come, look, and tell what you espy
To little Charles, who’s standing by.
Emmy will tell you all she sees.
Behold a man upon his knees,
Lab’ring to fill a bag with gold
As full as ever it will hold:
He’s weary, now, and falls asleep,
But none are near a watch to keep.
Lo! now an aged man appears,
And in his hand a pair of shears.
He has a pallid, haggard look,
And wears a scanty, tatter’d cloak;
He pierces the great bag with holes,—
The gold through every opening rolls;
But while the pieces lie about,
Such pretty wings begin to sprout!
Their wings they spread, they mount, they fly,
Like stars they glitter in the sky—
Of golden fishes I have heard,
But never saw a golden bird.63F6r 63
Oh! now the sleeping man awakes,
Alas! what piteous moans he makes!
And when his children call for bread,
What bitter tears I see him shed!
His empty bag he bids them feel,
Nor ask him for their evening meal.
O joy! an angel form descends,
And over him she gently bends;
Shows him a scroll, and lets him read,
Thy shepherd shall supply thy need.
He scarce has wip’d away his tears,
When, lo! a raven troop appears,
Some bearing flesh, and others bread,
Which on the grass they quickly spread,—
Then feed each child with tender care,
As angels kind, though not as fair.
But now I can no more discern,
For shades of night o’er all return;
O tell me what the things may mean,
That in the glass I just have seen.
That aged man you saw appear,
Is Poverty, whom all men fear;64F6v 64
Yet oft, when left without a crust,
The Christian learns in God to trust;
For in his sorrow, Mercy shows
The promises, which give repose.
Tis now my little Charlie’s turn;
Come, darling, what do you discern?
I think the man that I behold,
Is he who lately lost his gold;
His little children, full of mirth,
Are sitting round his cottage hearth;
Their father looks so very glad!
But now, a man, in armour clad,
Roughly bursts through the cottage-door,
And loudly stamps upon the floor;
Then takes a child within his grasp;
It’s father’s neck it tries to clasp;
The warrior seizes every one,
And leaves the father all alone.
At first, he can no comfort take;
It seems as though his heart would break,
When, through an opening in the sky,
He sees his children all on high,65G1r 65
Who, by their looks appear to say,
O come, dear father, come away.
Beside them is an empty place;—
How chang’d is now the father’s face!
Is it for him that place they keep,
That he so soon has ceased to weep?
Yes, Jesus keeps a place above
For all the people of his love,
And often lets Bereavement come
To make them love that better home;
I need no more explain to you.
Let little Emmeline look through.
I see him o’er his Bible bent,
Then looking up with calm content;
I see a figure ghastly grim,—
Its bony hand now presses him;
His skin is shrivelled by the touch,
He throws himself upon a couch,
He seems to feel tormenting pain,
When suddenly he smiles again;G 66G1v 66
A tender hand him pillow smoothes,
A gentle voice his anguish soothes.
Is it an angel hovers near?
Is it an angel’s voice I hear?
My child, remember Jesus said,
He will in sickness make our bed.
Now, sister, let me look once more;
I see the man I saw before,
Poor and bereav’d, and racked with pain,
No earthly joys to him remain.
Yes, one; his friends sit round his bed,
And tears of sweet compassion shed,
And tell him that they gladly will
Attend him while he lies so ill.
Now some one softly opens the door,
His velvet slippers press the floor,
His face his hid within a hood,—
O tell me, mother, is he good?
Lo! from his mouth comes burning smoke,
And just beneath his velvet cloak67G2r 67
A snaky curl is peeping out.
How cunningly he goes about,
Whispering in every person’s ear
Something which turns him pale with fear;
All look at the sick man with scorn,
And leave him on his bed forlorn.
O, mother, how I do detest
That wicked one in velvet drest!
Yes, Slander hate, whose fatal breath
Inflicts a wound more deep than death.
But every grief that we can feel,
The Saviour has the power to heal.
O yes, now joy lights up his eye,
He sees an open book on high,
With countless names in letters bright,
Written on leaves of purest white.
He gazes on its pages fair,
And sees his name, Ben-oni, Child of sorrow. there,68G2v 68
Then cries, My name on earth despis’d,
O is it by my Saviour prized?
Though now bereav’d, diseas’d, forlorn,
I bless my God that I was born.
Mother, the glass has grown so bright,
I can no longer bear the sight.
He now has left this world of sin
For one where foes ne’er enter in.
God could have given him back his wealth,
His children, character, and health;
(For often when his people pray,
God gives them all He took away:)
But what if he had done all this?
On earth there is no perfect bliss.
Beneath an ever-changing sky
The leaves of spring in autumn die,
But O! there is a heavenly shore,
Where leaves are seen that fade no more;
Through all the troubles of the way,
Be thou, my God, my children’s stay.
Children, when I lie in my grave,
Remember how the Lord can save.69G3r 69
Whatever enemies assail,
There is an arm can never fail,
A bosom where my lambs may rest;
It is the blessed Saviour’s breast.
printed by G. J. Palmer,, Savoy Street, Strand.
Works By the same Author.
The History of a Young Jew; A True History, Adapted to Children and to Village Libraries. Price 1s.
The Peep of Day; Or, a Series of the Earliest Instructions the Infant Mind is Capable of Recieving. Seventh Edition. Price 3s. cloth.
Line Upon Line; Or, a Second Series of the Earliest Religious Instructions the Infant Mind is Capable of Recieving. In Two Volumes. Fourth Edition, Price 5s. cloth.