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has resulted. It is not our intention to take a hand in the rubber. More than enough has been said and apologised for already, and we shall therefore spare our readers from any such nursing polemics.' On a future occasion it is our hope and intention to give a more detailed description of some of the many so-called systems of nursing. For the present we are content to leave the question here. It is hoped, however, that no hospital managers will henceforth hesitate boldly to take the bull by the horns when they desire to rearrange their system of nursing. With a fair amount of common sense, the right kind of matron, and some patience, they are sure to succeed in their venture, and the sooner they try the experiment under such circumstances the better for all concerned.

HENRY C. Burdett.

POSTSCRIPT.

An army in rebellion against its general in the face of the enemy is happily a rare, an almost impossible, contingency. A Ministry refusing to resign or to give up the reins of government in spite of a hostile majority in both Houses of Parliament has to be born. Yet the state of affairs at Guy's Hospital, as we write, embraces both positions, and threatens to ruin a great institution. Since last November events have been growing worse and worse. Sisters and nurses have been constantly leaving, the medical staff has been completely upset, the resident officers have for the most part taken sides one against the other, and now the students in a body, countenanced by the resident medical officers, have hissed the Treasurer when in the discharge of his duties within the hospital itself. The question may well be asked, Where are the patients, and how are they faring? Surely the time has come when an end should be put to this most regrettable controversy. We have refrained as far as possible from any allusion to these events in the foregoing paper, but the crisis of to-day is too serious for silence. The facts which are patent to outsiders are that, from whatever cause, the present administrative chief of (ruy's Hospital is unable to carry on the efficient working of the institution, or to maintain the necessary discipline. If this state of things continues, one of our greatest medical charities will be permanently discredited. The governors ought promptly to interfere, or neither patients nor first-year students, for that matter, are likely to seek admission to the walls of Guy's Hospital.

June 18, 1880.

H. C. B.

IT

THE BOOK OF JOB.

A LITERARY AND BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY.

T has been remarked by a Jewish writer' that Semitic modes of thought and expression still remain much more remote from Western comprehension than those of Aryan races. The reason which he gives for this is one not altogether creditable to students of the Bible. No doubt, the study of classical antiquity accounts partly for our sympathy with the Aryan type of culture; but considering the large space still occupied by the Bible in our thoughts and in our system of education, it seems not unreasonable to demand that almost equal sympathy should be accorded to the Semitic. It is not so, however; and we are only awaking to the truth that the Old Testament at least is worth studying as a literature, and that the Christian interpretation of it is only admissible as a superstructure reared upon (though by no means a mere derivative of) the literary and philological. Hence in order to bring the Book of Job nearer to the modern Western mind, it is necessary to compare it, on the literary side, with the loftiest modern Western poems of a moral and religious import; only then shall we discover the points in which it is distinctively ancient, Oriental, and Semitic. Our great Puritan poet, himself attracted at one time chiefly to Classical and Renaissance art and literature, seems to have had a special fondness among the Biblical writings for the Book of Job, which he calls a brief model' of that epic form, whereof the two poems of Homer, and those other two of Virgil and Tasso, are a diffuse (model),' and in the judgment of S. T. Coleridge, the poetic dialogue of Job was Milton's pattern for the general scheme of his 'Paradise Regained.' Paradise Lost,' however, has in virtue of its subject a greater affinity to the Book of Job than Paradise Regained.' Like 'Job,' it is a theodicy, though of a more complex character, and aims

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(to) assert eternal Providence,

And justify the ways of God to man.

And the author of Paradise Lost,' though not to be equalled with the founders of Biblical religion, is still distinguished from all modern poets (except Dante and Bunyan) by his singularly intense faith in the operations of the Divine Spirit. That prayer of his, beginning And chiefly Thou, O Spirit,' and a well-known parallel passage in his Reason of Church Government,' prove conclusively that he held no contracted views as to the limits of Inspiration. This, in addition to his natural gifts, explains the overpowering

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1 Dr. Goldziher, in his Ancient Hebrew Mythology.

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impression of reality produced by the visions of Milton, and in a still greater degree by those of our Puritan prose-pcet, John Bunyan. A similar faith in the divine Spirit, but more original and less affected by logical theories, was one great characteristic of the author of 'Job. He felt, like all the religious wise men' (of whom more presently), that true wisdom was beyond mortal ken, and could only be obtained by an influence from above. In the strength of this confidence he ventured, like Milton, on untrodden paths, and presumed to chronicle, in symbolic form, transactions of the spiritual world. Have we not-that is, religious people in general-reason to humble ourselves for our low thoughts of the mighty gift of the Spirit, when we see what a 'tried money-changer' this ancient Israelite was with the comparatively small talent committed to him? Without going so far as the author of Ecce Christianus,' who asserts that the Church of Christ for the last eighteen centuries has held a false notion as to the power and range of faith in Christ' (p. 86), we may and ought to admit that the bracing intellectual effects of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit are not generally felt as they ought to be, simply because they are not looked for. According unto your faith, be it unto you':-this law of the spiritual world is enforced alike by the prophets and poets of the Old Testament, by the Apostles of the New, and by the two Puritan poets of our own land.

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'Faust' has in some respects a better right to be compared with 'Job' than Paradise Lost.' Not so much, however, in the Prologue, where the superficial resemblance is the strongest ; for Mephistopheles, the personification of critical ironry, has none of the characteristic features of his professed ancestor. But in the body of the poem there is this marked similarity to the Book of Job-that the problem treated of is a purely moral and spiritual one; the hero first loses and then recovers his peace of mind; it is the counterpart in pantheistic humanism of what St. Paul terms working out one's own salvation.' But there are great and most instructive divergences between the two writers. Observe, first, the complete want of sympathy with positive religion-with the religion from which Faust wanders-on the part of the modern poet. Next, a striking difference in the characteristics of Job and Faust respectively. Faust succumbs to his boundless love of knowledge, alternating with an unbridled sensual lust; Job is on the verge of spiritual ruin through his demand for such an absolute correspondence of circumstances to character as can only be realised in another world. The greatness of Faust lies in his intellect; that of Job (who in chap. xxviii. directly discourages speculation) in his virtue. Hence, finally, Faust requires (even from a pantheistic point of view) to be pardoned, while Job stands so high in the divine favour that others are pardoned on his account.

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A third great poem which deserves to be compared with Job' is the Divina Commedia. Dante has the same purpose of edification as the author of 'Job' and even of Faust,' though he has not been

able to fuse the didactic and narrative elements with such complete success as Goethe. Nor is he so intensely autobiographical as either Goethe or the author of Job;' his own story is almost inextricably interlaced with the fictions which he frames as the representative of the human race. He allows us to see that he has had doubts (Parad. iv. 129), and that they have yielded to the convincing power of Christianity (Purgat. iii. 34-39), but it was not a part of his plan to disclose, like the author of 'Job,' the vicissitudes of his mental history. In two points, however the width of his religious sympathies and the morning freshness of his descriptions of nature-he comes nearer to the author of Job' than Goethe or even Milton, while in the absoluteness and fervour of his faith his only modern rival is Milton.

So much for the general literary affinities of the Book of Job. It is analogous to the three great moral and religious efforts of the Western imagination, from which it differs mainly in the greater simplicity of the moral problem discussed, in the greater originality of the poet, and above all in his fuller consciousness of inspiration. For the literary form of Job' it is more difficult to find a Western parallel. Bishop Lowth, and after him Delitzsch, maintain that it is a drama, not indeed in the European style (for the Israelites had no theatre), but in its vivid presentation of several distinct characters in a tragic situation. The view that it is an epic has been rarely held, but found favour, as we have seen, with one no less than John Milton. Something is to be said for this opinion, if Milton's two great works are specimens of epic poetry. But considering the preponderance of dialogue over narrative in the former we shall do best to consider it a germinal dramatic poem, a stage or two behind the passion-plays of Persia, Tyrol, and Spain; though indeed a closer parallel will be found in the singular Makámas or Sessions' of Hariri, translated by Mr. Chenery, late Lord Almoner's Professor at Oxford.

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The next important point to be determined is the circle from which the Book of Job proceeded. The author evidently belonged to the so-called 'wise men,' or moral teachers, to whom so important a part was allotted by Providence in the religious education of their people, and who were as distinctively Jewish as the philosophers were characteristically Greek. It was the custom of the wise men' to sit in the gate or broad place,' and there to give advice to the men and women who consulted them on points of moral practice-to individuals, be it observed, and not, like the prophets, to a whole assembly. There appears to have been two classes of wise men,' just as there were two classes of prophets; and as Jeremiah calls his opponents (and could not but call them, if his own spiritual experiences were well-founded) prophets that prophesy lies' (Jer. xxiii. 26), so there was a class of wise men' who received the opprobrious title of the 'mockers,' which not improbably includes the notion of

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free-thinking. It is easy to understand how this came to pass. One characteristic of Hebrew wisdom' is its tendency to attach but little weight to religious forms in comparison with moral practice. To a really religious man this tendency might be harmless, and even positively beneficial; we see how even the prophets were compelled to accuse their countrymen of empty formalism. But to a worldlyminded man it might be extremely dangerous; who has not seen how the omission of special forms of worship speedily revenges itself on the average moral character? Even now we are told that an Arab who pretends to philosophy (or what the Hebrews would call 'wisdom') is generally three parts a free-thinker. Islam is of as little importance to him as Mosaism was to these 'mockers' in the age of the Book of Proverbs. Both classes of Israelitishwise men' agreed, however, in this, that they planted their moral teaching on the firm basis of experience; but, whereas the 'scoffers' either ignored or denied the Jehovah of the true prophets, the true wise men' (if the phrase may be used) were always respectful, and sometimes warm and hearty adherents of true religion. A great part of the Book of Proverbs may with justice be described as simply respectful to religion, but that glorious little treatise (Prov. i.-ix.), which now introduces the work, is coloured by a religious emotion, which the great prophets would not have disowned. The author of Prov. i.-ix. adopts a more free and flowing style than was customary among the 'wise men,' who indeed were not, generally speaking, literati. He addresses by preference the wealthier class, to which he seems himself to have belonged; and his favourite images are drawn from the life of the merchant.3 Evidently he lived in a prosperous age, when it was not difficult to receive the doctrine that outward prosperity attends the righteous. The exhortations to follow after Wisdom are entirely based upon the assumption that the wise (and pious) man must also be prosperous. And yet there is evidence even in Prov. i.-ix. of the ingress of scepticism, caused probably by some recent events in Israelitish history. In words which remind us of Psalms xxxvii. and lxxiii. the writer exclaims

Envy thou not the man of violence,

And have thou pleasure in none of his ways

The curse of Jehovah is in the house of the ungodly,

But the habitation of the righteous He blesseth (iii. 31-33);

and looking back from his haven of rest on the storms which had shaken the Jewish state

Truly, whom Jehovah loveth, He correcteth,

And as a father the son in whom He delighteth (iii. 12).

* See Prov. xiv. 6, xix. 25, 27, xxi. 11.

* See Prov. ii. 4, iii. 13-15, iv. 7, vii. 19, 20 (especially), viii. 10, 18-21, 'See Prov. i. 32, ii. 21, 22, iii. 1–10, ix. 11, 12, 18.

No. 607 (No. CXXVII. N. s.)

K

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