Imágenes de páginas


While Job's three friends, with an uncharitable fpirit, thus ftrove to depress him, and made ufe of many acute and weighty arguments to fupport their propofitions ; he, on the other hand, deferved cenfure for giving way, in the bitterness of his foul, to an unwarrantable impatience, and dropping now and then expreffions that feemed to upbraid the Almighty with chastising him more feverely than his faults demanded.

The contest was, however, at length put an end to, by the interference of Elihu, the fon of Barachel the Buzite, another of Job's friends, who had liftened to the whole of the arguments which had been advanced during it.-Displeased with the conduct of both parties, he blamed Job, because he juftified himself rather than God; and repri- . manded his three opponents, because, notwithstanding they had given no fatisfactory answer to Job's affertions, yet they had condemned him.

At last the Almighty is fuppofed to interfere, and, from a whirlwind, to bring the drama to a conclufion, by convincing Job of his ignorance and inability to reafon on his difpenfations:-upon which Job fub

mits, and, repenting of what he had advanced, thus exclaims-"I have uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not."

But the wrath of the Lord was kindled against Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, "Because they had not spoken of him the thing that was right, as Job had." Moreover, to fhew in what fuperior estimation he held Job, he commanded the offending trio (left he should deal with them after their folly) to appease his displeasure by a burnt-offering, which he promised to accept at the interceffion of their more righteous friend.

Now alfo, as a compenfation for the fufferings and fevere trial Job had undergone at the instigation of the great feducer of mankind, the Lord gave him twice as much as he had been poffeffed of before his downfal. Through the valuable prefents made him by his relations, who came to confole and affitt him, he was enabled to recruit his broken fortunes. So that the Lord bleffed the latter end of Job more than his beginning; for his flocks and herds increafed in a two-fold degree; he found himfelf, at length, poffeffed of fourteen thousand fheep, fix thoufand

D 3

thousand camels, a thoufand yoke of oxen, and a thousand fhe-affes. He had alfo born unto him seven fons and three daughters; and died at a good old age, leaving this memento to fucceeding to fucceeding generations, That though neither riches, power, nor worth, can fecure from adverfity, yet a juft and upright man has room to hope for a return of profperity.




Far diftant from her native home,
Should beauty ere be call'd to roam,
If worth is with her charms combin'd,
A fure protection will she find.

[ocr errors]

S Thomfon has conftituted his beautiful Tale of Palemon and Lavinia, fo well known, and fo juftly admired, on the Hiftory of RUTH, in the Sacred Writings; and as it affords a pleafing inftance of the mutability of fortune, we flatter ourselves it will not be deemed unworthy a place here.

During the period in which the judges ruled over the children of Ifrael, there was a grievous famine in the land. Among great numbers who left their habitations to feek for bread in other countries, a certain

*Book of Ruth-and Jofephus, book v. chap. II.

[blocks in formation]

man of Bethlehem-Judah, named Elimelech, went to fojourn in the country of Moab, He took with him his wife, whose name was Naomi, and his two fons; and foon after their arrival, the two young men married two Moabitifh women, the name of one of whom was Orpah, and of the other Ruth,

After a refidence of ten years, during which time Naomi buried her husband and her two fons, the determined to return to her own country. But, concluding it would not be agreeable to her two daughters-in-law to leave the place of their nativity, and follow her into a ftrange land, the defired them, just before her departure, to return each to her mother's houfe; "And may the Lord deal kindly with you," faid the good old woman, as ye have dealt with the dead and me!"-She then tenderly embraced them.

Affected by this regardful behaviour of their mother-in-law, Orpah and Ruth both wept, and faid, " Surely we will return with thee unto thy people." But Naomi continuing to diffuade them, Orpah was at length prevailed on to remain with her mother.


« AnteriorContinuar »