תמונות בעמוד

so as to be a weight for the winds, in order that they may not be BROKEN down, and he gives out his water “by meaSURE !” But, what has Jehovah done ?

He has BALANCED this ponderous earth on which we live, and all the glorious orbs of heaven; he has placed his MOUNDS, as barriers against the mighty ocean; and he sends forth the water of his CLOUDS to the whole earth “by MEASURE.” The works of man (v. 26.) may be destroyed, but God has “ made a DECREE for the RAIN," it cannot destroy HIS EVERLASTING MOUNDS; and he has made a PATH, for the gleaming lightnings of his thunder.

Looking, therefore, at the account of the lake Mæris, as given by Herodotus, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, M. Savary, and others; at its vast extent, which led it to be called the sea which man hath made;" at its use to irrigate the lands; at the “ rivulets,” the “ canals,” the “ rocks,” and “ mountains," that were cut through; at the mountains and mounds by which the waters were retained: viewing also the astonishing lake or reservoir of Saba, its situation in Arabia ! its breaking down the mounds, its sweeping away the inhabitants in the night, as described by Mahomet! by Bishop Lowth, Dean Prideaux, Sir William Jones, and the authors of the Universal History: looking also at the mighty works of the same description of India and Ceylon as noticed by Bishop Heber, by Captain C. of the engineers, by Dr. Davy, by Bertolacci, and many others : reflecting also on the mountains! thus excavated and joined together; at the rocks that were separated, and at the precious stones that were found (that being their true geognostic situation) at the aqueducts and rivers; at the various allusions of Holy Writ to such mighty achievements; at the residence of Job, Arabia; at Saba! and the Sabeans, who killed his servants; at his almost certain knowledge of the lake Mæris in Egypt; at the flood which “ breaketh out from the inhabitant;” at the stones of the mound being the place of sapphires;” at the “ path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen :” at man, who to form these gigantic structures puts “ his hand upon the rock," and who “overturneth the mountains by the roots," and who cuts out his “ rivers among the rocks,” and thus sees the "precious thing ;” at his skill in thus binding the floods with his mounds so that they cannot overflow; at the bold interrogation of Job, in view of these performances, “ Where shall wisdom be found?” at his reference to the works of Jehovah — His mounds for “a weight for the winds,” His giving forth the waters of his clouds“ by measure,” His decree for the rain," and His path ! for the lightnings ! of His thunder! we see a delightful and self-evident illustration of this sublime chapter of the holy and eloquent Job. And with him we gladly join in his pious conclusion — “ Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ; and to depart from evil is understanding."

XXIX. 4. — “ As I was in the days of my youth,

when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle." (Psalm xxv. 14. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. Proverbs iii. 32. His secret

is with the righteous.) Job was reverting to the time of his prosperity, as is seen in the preceding verse, “ when his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness ;” “ when my children were about me, when I washed my steps with butter.” The Psalmist also is speaking of the prosperity of those who fear the Lord. To say

the secret of the king is with such a person, is a strong way of describing the intimacy which exists betwixt them. 66 Take care how you accuse him to the great man, because his secret is with him.” “ Friendly! yes, indeed : why, his secret is with him.” “Alas ! alas ! his secret is no longer with me; his lamp no longer shines in my heart.”

6. — “ When I washed my steps with butter.” (Psalm

Ixv. 11, ?2. Thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness.)

These are figurative expressions to denote great prosperity. 6. The man is so rich, he washes himself with ney," i. e. clarified butter. “ Oh, the charitable man, milk and honey accompany his feet.

So great was the profusion, " the honey caused the feet to slip” (in the paths), the creepers danced, the trees nodded their heads, and milk, from the dwellings of the cattle, flowed in streams through the streets. Scanda Purāna.

7.- “ When I went out to the gate through the city,

when I prepared my seat in the street.” This intimates that Job was a judge amongst his people, as the courts of justice in former times were kept in such situations. Who has not seen a great man or a saint thus having his seat prepared in the street ? There he goes under a shady tree, or under a verandah, or in a rest-house, with his servant following him, having a mat or a tiger's skin, or that of some other animal under his arm. The seat is prepared, and the cross-legged sage sits to hear and answer questions.

8, 9.-" The young men saw me and hid themselves;

and the aged arose and stood up. The princes re

frained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.” What a graphic scene is this ! When a man of rank passes a crowd, the young people and children conceal themselves behind their seniors, and the aged always arise from their seats. See the man in a court of justice, who is listening to the address of the judge, and his hand is placed on his mouth.*

15. — “I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the The man who bestows great charities is said to be the eyes of the blind, and the feet of the cripples. “ True, my lord, I am blind; but you are my eyes.” “ Ah ! sir, shall I not love my eyes ?“O king,” says the lame man, “ are you not my staff? ” “ Alas! alas!


* To place the hand on the mouth also denotes astonishment; and Major Laing says, when he was at Toma, in Africa, a woman was so much surprised at the sight of a white man, that she“ did not stir a muscle till the whole had passed, when she gave a loud halloo of astonishment, and covered her mouth with both her hands.”

have say the blind when their benefactor is dead. But when a person confides in the wisdom of another, he says, “ He is my eyes.” “I have two good eyes in the temple.”

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20. — “My bow was renewed in my hand.” This figure is much used in their poetry.

66 The bow is bent in his hand.” “ See the strong bow; it is bent to kill thee.”

22. — “ My speech dropped.” Of a man who speaks with great euphony, it is said, “His words come, tule tule yāka, i. e. drop by drop.

XXX. 2. — “ Whereto might the strength of their

hands profit me, in whom old age was perished.” The Tamul translation has this, “as the strength of the hands being gone by old age.” Of a man who has become weak in consequence of age, it is said, “ Ah! by reason of old age, the strength of his hands has departed from him.”

“ It is true he is an old man, but the strength of his hand has not perished.” But this mode of expression also refers to a man's circumstances. Thus, when a person has lost his property, it is said, “ the strength of his hands has gone.” “ Poor man ! he has not any strength in his hands."

3, 4. — “ For want and famine they were solitary; flee

ing into the wilderness. -- Who cut up mallows

oy the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.” This describes the ignoble state of the parents of those children by whom Job was now held in derision.


In the book called Sintha-Manni, there is an account of some princesses, who once had their rice, like jasmine flowers, given them on golden plates; but now they had to go with potsherds, to beg for the leaves from the hedges for their daily food.

A rich man brought to poverty sometimes asks, “ What care I? Can I not go into the desert and live on roots and leaves ?” It is a fact that numbers do thus live, especially the Vedahs, and those who have retired from men.

16. — “ The days of affliction have taken hold of me.” “ Why are you so dejected ? my friend.” Because the kettakālam, i.e. the ruinous time, has caught me.”

20. — “I stand up, and thou regardest me not.” It is extremely mortifying, when a man stands up, not to be noticed. A native gentleman had a case which he wished to bring before the notice of the king of Tanjore, and asked my advice how to act. I recommended him to go to the capital, and wait upon his majesty. On his return, he informed me he had not stated his case to the king; and, upon my blaming him, he asked “ What could I do? I went to a place where I knew he would have to pass; and when he came near, I stood up; but he regarded me not.”

22. — “ Thou listest me up to the wind.” This figure is probably taken from the custom of an angry man, who takes any light substance and throws it into the wind, saying to his antagonist, “ Thus shall it be with thee.”

27. — “ My bowels boiled, and rested not.” (Psa. xxii.

14. “ My heart is like wax; it is melted in the

midst of my bowels.”) People in great distress often say, My belly, my belly is on fire.”

“ Who will take away this fire?” In cursing each other, “ Wretch ! thou shalt soon have a fire in thy

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