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it? O Siva, has it come to this ?” and she wept aloud. Then the watchman asked, " Who are you ?" To which she replied, “I am the wife of the king Ara-Chandran : we lost our kingdom ; I was sold to a Brahmin ; this our child was bitten by a serpent, and is dead.” He then said,
He then said, “For my reward, the rice, I mind not, but the cloth and the money I must have. Go to your master, and procure them, and you shall then burn the body.” Accordingly she departed; and when she came near the house of her master, the evil genius had sent a fiend to strangle the child of the king of Kāsi, and place it in her way. On seeing the dead body, she took it in her arms, from an idea that it might be her own. At that crisis, the soldiers of the king of Kāsi, who were in search of the murderer of the child, came, and seeing her in that condition, concluded she was the culprit. They took her and the corpse to their master, who immediately said, “ Take her to the place of burning, and order the Pariah who is stationed there to strike off her head.” She was taken to the place, and just as the watchman was about to despatch her, the god Siva came and seized the sword. At that instant the evil genius also appeared, and said to the watchman, “O AraChandran, forgive me all the evil I have done to you. I return your fortress, your riches, your dominions, and all the merit of your penance.” Then Siva was delighted : he restored to life the child which had been bitten by a serpent, also the child of the king of Kāsi, and said to Ara-Chandran and his queen, “ Return to your dominions, and there reign till you come to me." But the king replied, “ My wife has been the slave of a Brahmin; I have been the slave of a Pariah: how can we return? All will treat us with disrespect.” The god rejoined, “ I was the Brahmin who bought your wife; I was the Pariah who purchased you: therefore there is no dishonour. Go rule your kingdom.” They then praised Siva, and joyfully returned to their own country.
Whatever may be the origin of this Indian story, it is worthy of notice, that in this, as well as in the history of Job, the subject was a PERFECT man; that in both cases he was very rich; that his character had occupied the attention of the sons of God,” the “ adversary,” and the Lord, or the king of heaven, the assembled gods and evil genii; that “burnt offerings” were connected with the beginning of Job's sufferings, and also with those of Ara-Chandran; that an evil spirit and a malignant dwarf were the instruments employed in the trial; that both Job and Ara-Chandran lost all their earthly possessions; that they had both much personal suffering; that in both cases the wife was concerned (though in different ways); that as the troublers of Job had to propitiate him, so the evil genius had the same to do to Ara-Chandran ; that both were restored to their former prosperity; and lastly, the Supreme, in both instances, was the source from whom their blessings
10.—“Hast not thou made an hedge about him ?”
(Chap. iii. 23.) It is said of a man who cannot be injured, “Why attempt to hurt him? is there not a hedge about him ?” not get at the fellow, he has a strong hedge about him.” “Yes, yes; the Modeliar has become his hedge."
66 You can
II. 7.—" Satan smote Job with sore boils from
the sole of his foot unto his crown.” Respectable people have the greatest possible dread and disgust at boils, and all cutaneous diseases. Here, then, we see the princely Job the victim of a loathsome disorder, sitting amongst the ashes and broken earthen vessels, the impure refuse of the kitchen and other places. See the poor neglected object who is labouring under similar diseases at this day, from the head to the foot; he is covered with scales and blotches, around his loins is a scanty rag, he wanders from one lonely place to another, and when he sees you stretches out a hand towards you, and another to his sores, and piteously implores help.
9. — “ Curse God, and die." Some suppose this ought to be bless God and die; but Job would not have reproved his wife for such advice, except she meant it ironically. It is a fact, that when the heathen have to pass through much suffering, they often ask, “Shall we make an offering to the gods for this ? " i. e. Shall we offer our devotions, our gratitude, for afflictions?
Job was a servant of the true God, but his wife might have been a heathen; and then the advice, in its most literal acceptation, would be perfectly in character. Nothing is more common than for the heathen, under certain circumstances, to curse their gods. Hear the man who has made expensive offerings to his deity in hope of gaining some great blessing, and who has been disappointed, and he will pour out all his imprecations on the god whose good offices have (as he believes) been prevented by some superior deity. A man in reduced circumstances says, “ Yes, yes; my god has lost his eyes; they are put out; he cannot look after my affairs.” “ Yes,” said an extremely rich devotee (V. Chetty), of the supreme god Siva, after he had lost his property; “shall I serve him any more? What ! make offerings to him? No, no; he is the lowest of all gods.” With these facts before us, it is not difficult to believe that Job's wife actually meant what she said.
10. — “ Thou speakest as one of the foolish women
speaketh.” It is not easy to know to whom Job alludes by “the foolish women;" but in all parts of the East, females are spoken of as being much inferior to man in wisdom; and nearly all their sages have proudly descanted on the ignorance of women.
In the Hindoo book called the Kurral, it is said, “ All women are ignorant.” In other works it is said, “ Ignorance is a woman's jewel.” “Female wisdom is from the evil one." “ The feminine qualities are four; ignorance, fear, shame,
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woman disclose not a secret." “ Talk not to me in that way; it is all female wisdom.”
11.-" Now when Job's three friends heard of all this
evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place - for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him,
and to comfort him.” Has a man fallen into some great calamity, his friends immediately go to his house to comfort him. Thus, to the house of mourning for the dead may be seen numbers of people going daily, studying to find out some source of comfort for their afflicted friend. “ Whither are you going ?”
“ As a comforter to my friend in sorrow." his distress! he will not listen to the voice of the comforters.”
6 How great is
12. — “ They - sprinkled dust upon their heads
toward heaven." In this way, also, do men and women act when they are in deep sorrow, or when they participate in that of others. See on Joshua vii. 6.
13. — “ They sat down with him upon the ground
seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him, for they saw that his grief was very
Those who go to sympathise with the afflicted, are often silent for hours together. As there were seven days for mourning in the Scriptures*, so here; and the seventh is always the greatest. The chief mourner, during the whole of these days, will never speak, except when it is absolutely necessary. When a visiter comes in, he simply looks and bows down his head.
* Gen. I. 10.; 1 Sam. xxxi, 13.; 1 Chron. x. 12. A wedding, also, has seven days of festivity.
III. 3. “ Let the day perish wherein I was born, and
the night in which it was said, There is a man
child conceived." Dr. Boothroyd prefers, “ Perish the day in which I was born ; the night it was said, Lo! a man child.” Dr. A. Clarke thinks the word conceive, “should be taken in the sense of being born ; " and the Tamul translation takes the same view.
When a male child is born, the midwife goes outside the house, and says aloud three times, “ A male child, a male child, a male child is born!”
“ Dig for it more than for hid treasures." We are constantly hearing of treasures which have been, or are about to be, discovered. Sometimes you may see a large space of ground which has been completely turned up, or an old foundation, or ruin, entirely demolished, in hopes of finding the hidden gold. A man has found a small coin, has heard a tradition, or has had a dream, and off he goes to his toil. Perhaps he has been seen on the spot, or he has consulted a soothsayer; the report gets out; and then come the needy, the old, and the young, a motley group, all full of anxiety to join in the spoil. Some have iron instruments, others have sticks, and some use their fingers to scratch up
the ground. At last some of them begin to look at each other with considerable suspicion, as if all were not right, and each seems to wish he had not come on so foolish an errand, and then steal off as quietly as they can.
I once knew a deep tank made completely dry (by immense labour), in the hope of finding great treasures, which were said to have been cast in during the ancient wars. Passing near one day, when they had nearly finished their work, and their hopes had considerably moderated, I went up to the sanguine owner (whose face immediately began to show its chagrin), and enquired, “Why are you taking so much trouble to empty that tank?” He replied, as calmly as he could,