Imatges de pÓgina

of God be removed, to humour your passions :) Job recollects himself in the nineteenth chapter, and comes again to his former mind. He begins by complaining of their cruel usage : Says, that if indeed he were in an error, his case was so deplorable that they ought rather to treat him with indulgence : that this was no season for severity: begs they would have pity on him; and then retracts what had fallen froin him in the anguish and bitterness of his soul : and lastly delivers this as his fixed sentiment, in which he was determined to abide; (and in which he had indeed acquiesced, till made impatient and desperate by the harshness of their treatment) namely, that God would at length bring the Good man out of trouble. I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVETH, &c. Which he introduces thus: Oh that my words were now written, Oh that they were printed in a book! that they were graven with an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever*! As much as to say, What I uttered just before, through the distemperature of passion, I here retract, and desire may be forgotten, and that this may be understood as my fixed and unshaken belief t. And in this sentiment, it is remarkable, he henceforward perseveres; never relapsing again into the like extravagance of passion. Which conduct agrees exactly with his general Thesis, that Providence is not equally

administered ; the Jewish People. He is the Rock, his work is perfect; For all his Ways are Judgment, Deut. xxxii. 4. The Rock of his Salvation, ver. 15.-Of the Rock that begat thee, ver. 18. Except their Rock had sold them, ver. 30. Their Rock is not as our Rock, even our Enemies themselves being Judges, ver. 31. Their Rock in webom they trusted, ver. 37. Neither is there any Rock like our God, 1 Sam. ii. 2. The Rock of Israel spake to me, 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. O Rock, thou hast established them, Heb. i. 10. and a great number of other places.

Chap. xix, ver. 23, 24. * of See note (DD) at the end of this volume,

administered; for that the Good Man is frequently unhappy, and the wicked prosperous ; yet that, at last, God will bring the Good Man out of trouble, and punish the Wicked doers.”

II. In the second place, if I have given a right interpretation of the book of Job, a temporal deliverance, and not the resurrection of the body, must needs be meant: For the moral of the dramatic piece was to assure the People, represented under the person of this venerable Patriarch, of those great temporal blessings which the three Prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, had predicted, in order to allay that tumult of mind wbich arose in every one, on seeing the extraordinary Providence, which protected their Forefathers, now just about to be withdrawn from them.

III. Thirdly and lastly, To understand these words of a resurrection of the body, expressly contradicts Job's plain declaration against any such hope, in the following words, As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down to the grave, shall come up no more *. Again-So man lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more: they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep t. And again, If a man die, shall he live aguin ? Ciarius and Drusius on the words, till the heavens be no more, say, Intellige in æternum-est sensus, nullo unquam tempore, nam cælum semper erit. It is not in human language to express a denial of the Resurrection of the body in stronger or plainer terins. So that it is no wonder the SADDUCEES should, as they always did, urge the first of these texts as the palmary argument against the Pharisees; but as an argument ad homines only, for they refused to have their opinions tried by any thing . Ch. yii. ver. 9. + Ch. xiv. ver, 12.

Ver. 14.


but the Law of Moses. However, to make it pertinent to the support of their impiety, they understood the book of Job to be an inspired relation of a real conference between the Patriarch and his friends. And give me leave to observe; that my Adversaries who have the same idea of this book will never be able to acquit the Prophet of this impious Sadducean opinion. Whereas the dramatic nature of it, here contended for, frees him entirely from the charge; which I desire may be accepted as another proof of the truth of our general interpretation of the Work. Manassah Ben Israel, who holds that Job taught the very contrary to a future State (not apprehending the nature of the Composition) has a whole chapter against the Sadducces, to shew, that this makes nothing against the reality of such a State,

I cannot better conclude what hath been here said, on this fainous passage, or better introduce what will be said on others to come next under examination, than with the judicious remark of an ancient Catholic Bishop, on this very book : IT IS FIT WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND NAMES AGREEABLY TO THE NATURE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER; AND NOT MOLD AND MODEL THE TRUTH OF THINGS ON THE ABUSIVE SIGNIFICATION OF Words* This, though a maxim of the most obvious reason, can never, in theologic matters especially, be too often inculcated, How usual is it, for instance, to have the following words of St. Paul quoted as a proof for the general resurrection of the dead, by those who (as the good Bishop says) mold the truth of things on the abusive signification of words.

“ He that raised up Christ from the dead

* Πλήν και τα ονόματα προσήκει νοείν προς την των υποκειμένων τραυμάτων πυκνότητα, και ο προς την κατάχρηση των λέξεων τ' αληση ravovištiv. Serv. in Catena Græca in Job.

" shall

* »


“ shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit " that dwelleth in you

III. But as the terms, in this passage of Job, are supposed, by me, to be metaphorical, and to allude to the restoration of a dead body to life, some have ventured to infer, that those who use such terms and make such allusions must needs have had the saving knowledge of the thing alluded, to, Resurrection of the Body: And the following observation has been repeated, by more than one Writer, with that air of complacency, which men usually have for arguments they think unanswerable--If the Scriptures speak of temporal misfortunes and deliverance, in terms of death and a Resurrection, then the doctrine of a resurrection must have been well known, or the language would have been unintelligible. And here I will lay doen this rule, All words that are used in a figurative sense, must be first understood in a literall,

This looks, at first sight, like saying something; but is indeed an empty fallacy; in which two very ditferent things are confounded with one anoiher; namely, the idea of a Resurrection, and the belief of it. I shall shew therefore that the very contrary to the first part of the learned Doctor's observation is true, and that the latter is nothing to the purpose.

I. The Messengers of God, prophesying for the people's consolation in disastrous times, frequently promise a restoration to the former days of felicity: and to obviate all distrust from unpromising appearances, they put the case even at the worst; and assure the People, in metaphorical expressions, that though the Community were as entirely dissolved as a dead body reduced to dust, yet God would raise that Community again- to life. Thus Isaiah: Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise : Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust : For thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead*. And that we may have no doubt of the Prophet's meaning, he himself explains it afterwards in the following words 7: And I will camp against thce round about, and I will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. Nothing could be more plain or simple than such a metaphoric iinage, even amongst men who had no knowledge that the natural body was indeed to rise again ; because every man knowing what it is to live and to die, every man knows what it is to revive, this being only an idea compounded of the other two : So that we see there was no occasion for the doctrine of the Resurrection to make the language intelligible.

* Rom. viii. 11.

+ Dr. Felton's two Sermons before the University of Oxford, pp. 18, 19.


Nay farther, this metaphorical expression must have there most efficacy where the doctrine of the Resurrection was unknown. For we have observed it was employed to inspire the highest sentiments of God's Omnipotency; but that always strikes the mind most forcibly which is as well new as superic;" to its comprehension. Therefore life from the dead was used, (and from the force with which a new idea strikes) it became almost proverbial in the writings of the Prophets, to express the most unlikely deliverance, by the exertion of Almighty power. * Ch. xxvi. ver. 19.

+ Ch. xxix, 3, 4.


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