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by Joseph Sutcliffe
THE BOOK OF JOB.
This book of Job is a real history, and not composed as an example of patience under severe afflictions; for God himself has repeatedly called him by name. Ezekiel 14:0. To which the name of his country, and the number of his children are superadded, and all the consoling circumstances of his restoration. The book is written in the ancient style of flowing easy poetry, with accent, and numbers; but that was designed to embellish the history, as in the Iliad of Homer, and the Æneid of Virgil. The history therefore holds its rank, as the first of all canonical books, to which the ancients have given the palm of elegance in composition. Whether Job was descended from Esau, as some suppose, from Genesis 36:13; or from Nahor, as Huz was his country, Genesis 22:21, is much disputed. He lived early after the flood, as appears from his age, which was one hundred and forty years after his affliction. The objects of the book are, “1. To assert and explain the doctrine of a particular providence; to answer the objections which arise from the afflictions of good men; to urge submission to God’s dispensations, and to await without murmuring, the issue of every temptation. 2. To display the glory of God in his adorable perfections, his absolute sovereignty, inflexible justice, unsearchable wisdom, irresistible power, and infinite goodness: to exalt him as the Creator, Governor, and Judge of all; and to lay every mouth in the dust in silence before him. 3. To present us with an illustrious type of our Divine Saviour, first suffering, then exalted; sunk under the depths of adversity, then rising to the pinnacle of glory.” The style, eloquence, and general character of the conversations are highly finished. The author, whether Job or another, lived early; for a later author would not have kept clear of all phrases and customs peculiar to his own times. Origen ascribes this work to Moses while in the land of Midian. He transcribed it from some ancient copy. It can scarcely be doubted that Job himself was the author of the work, for the sublime apostrophes are such as really came from the heart. See Job 16:18; Job 19:23-27.
the Seventh Week after Easter