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Chapter Thirteenth.


The object of earthly trials. 1"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this : that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. ? For though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; 8there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ : whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory,-receiving the end of your faith even the salvation of your souls." 1 Jas. i, 2-4. 2 1 Pet. i, 6. 31 Cor. x, 13. 41 Pet. i, 7-9.

The afflictions of Job. 1“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and he was perfect and up


right, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. This man was the greatest of all the men of the East.—And the Lord said unto Satan : Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, -one that feareth God, and escheweth evil ?' Then Satan answered the Lord :

-Doth Job fear God for nought? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.' And the Lord said unto Satan :—Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.'--So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

And there was a day when there came a messenger unto Job, and said :

—The oxen were ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them, and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said: -The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came also another and said :•The Chaldeans fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said:

Thy sons and thy daughters were eating, and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house : and, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.'— Then Job arose, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said; “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.'-In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

266 And the Lord said unto Satan : - Hast thou considered my servant Job, still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause ?' And Satan answered the Lord, and said :— All that a man hath will he give for his life,—but put forth thine hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.' And the Lord said :—Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.' So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils, from the sole of his foot, unto his crown.

Then said his wife unto him :• Dost thou still retain thine integrity ? Curse God, and die.' But he said unto her :- What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ?'—In all this did not Job sin with his lips, 3 but said, Behold, I am vile ; 'I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.'

And the Lord accepted Job, and gave him twice as much as he had before.—So the Lord hlessed the latter end of Job more than his

beginning; and after this he lived an hundred and forty years, and died, being old and full of days. 1 Job i, 1, 3, 8-22. 2 Job ii, 3-7, 9, 10. 3 Job xl, 3, 4.

4 Job xlii, 6, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17. The trials of the righteous appointed by God. 1«The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's rone is in heaven : his eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men.—The Lord trieth the righteous. He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness. chasteneth us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

566 God is in one mind, who can turn him ? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. He performeth the thing that is appointed for me. We are the clay, and he the potter; and we all are the work of his hand. - The Lord do that which seemeth him good. He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

1 Ps. xi, 4, 5. 2 Mal. iii, 3. 3 Ps. cxii, 4. 4 Heb. xii, 10. 5 Job xxiii, 13, 14. 6 Is. Ixiv, 8. 7 2 Sam. x, 12. 8 Job xxiii, 10.

4 God

ILLUSTRATION. The trial of Abraham's faith.

1“It came to pass God did tempt Abraham, and said ; "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'

“ And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave

the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham saw the place afar off, and said unto his young men, 'Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you._?(Accounting that God was able to raise Isaac up, even from the dead.)

3“And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake and said, My father, behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?' And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb.' So they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told Abraham of; and he built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And he stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay

his son.

" And the angel of the Lord called unto him ut of heaven, and said, 'Abraham, Abraham ;' and he said, 'Here am I.' And the angel said, 'Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.'

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