Obrazy na stronie

as Philo says; and that Eliphas also the Themanite', one of Job's friends, which came to comfort him as he sat on Job ii. the dunghill, dwelled in this city Theman, and thereof was called the Themanite': and well it may be so; for in his counsellings and comforting of Job he speaks oft more worldly than godly, although wittily and wisely. The latter end of the verse some read, “Every one of the hill Esau;” some, “the noble men,” as the Targum reads; but both well enough. For Isch signifies both every one, and also isch. a man, but such one as is noble. Therefore I join them together, and say, “every noble man;” and so I express both their meanings. So here is plainly taught, that neither wisdom nor strength can prevail against the Lord. All glorying, cracking, rejoicing or boasting, that any man has of himself, or any thing beside God, is vain and wicked: for this must always be afore us, “He that glories, let him glory in the Lord ;” and Cyprian says well, “We must glory in nothing, because nothing is ours: we have received all from God, and therefore all praise must be given to him, that gives all’.” “What hast thou,” says St Paul, “that Cor. iv. thou hast not received of God? and if thou have received it, why crackest thou on it, as though thou had not received it?” What a proud soul is he that will be proud of his borrowed coat, or painted sheath ! God clothes us, and covers our filthy nakedness with his godly gifts: what unthankful treason is it then, to take the praise from him to ourself, and not render due thanks to him for them Mark here the difference betwixt true wisdom and bold-oo: ness, and earthly worldly wit and power. When danger comes, the godly-wise man will commit himself wholly to God, looking for help and deliverance at his hands; or else patiently bear it without any dismaying, whatsoever God lays on him : for he knows well that things are not ruled by fortune, nor that any thing can fall on him without the good will of his good God and loving Father. But the worldly

[* Old edition, the Aminites. Ed.]

[* In proprias laudes odiosa jactatio est; quamvis non jactatum possit esse, sed gratum, quicquid non virtuti hominis ascribitur, sed de Dei munere praedicatur. * * * Dei est, inquam, Dei omne quod possumus. De Gratia Dei, ad Donatum. Pag. 2. Oxon. 1700. Ep.]

Jer. xvii. Psal. iii. Deut. xxviii.

xxxii. [30.]

Josh. ii.

Josh. ix.

1 Sam. xvii.

One wicked

plagues another.

wise man, when he sees worldly wit, power and polity fail, he thinks all the world fails, and things be without recovery: he trusteth not in God, and therefore no marvel if he be left desolate. Of the good man's fear in the time of adversity writes Jeremy: “Blessed is he that trusts in the Lord, for he shall be a tree planted by the waters, and in the drought he shall not be careful, nor cease to bear fruit.” And David also says, “Thou shall not be afraid of fear in the night, &c.” The wicked contrariwise shall be afraid at the fall of a leaf: one shall chase a thousand, and [two) ten thousand, as God threatens in Deuteronomy by Moses. He will lie, flatter, swear, and what ye will have him to do, rather than lose his profit. The like says Jeremy of them too : “They shall be a reed shaken of the wind. They shall dwell in dry wilderness, in a salt ground.” The people which dwelt in the land promised to the Israelites, when they heard tell what wonders God wrought in the wilderness and the Red Sea for his people, and seeing them come near unto them, and hearing the victories they had against the kings, See and Og, their hearts melted in their bodies like wax, as Rahab confessed to the spies which Josue sent; but Rahab herself she plucked up her heart, trusted in God, and was delivered where the other perished. So the good Gabaonites that feared God yielded themselves to Josue, and were saved: the other that trusted in their own strength, and would try it with the sword, for all their brag were faint hearted and overcome. So the Philistines, seeing Goliath their grand captain slain of David, being but a child in comparison of him, fled away post; where the Israelites afore were so afraid that they durst not stir. Thus God turns the course of things when pleases him, that those which afore were dismayed, pluck up their courage and win the victory; and those that were stout, bragging of themselves afore, now be made cowards, run away and fly, thinking the dangers greater than they be indeed. It does evidently appear here also, how the Lord raises up one wicked to plague and throw down another. These Edomites had joined themselves with their neighbours to trouble poor Jacob's seed and his people: but now the matter is so turned, that one wicked persecutes, destroys and plagues another, and Nabuchodonozor destroys Edom. Wicked

Jehu was raised to throw down cruel Jesabel: and all the * Kingsix.
kings of Israel, called the ten tribes, being all evil, every one
murdered his predecessor, and was killed of his successor.
How many popes have used the same practice in poisoning one
another, that they might come aloft, it were more long and
tedious to tell, than hard to find. In twelve year space under
one emperor were eight popes, whereof every one almost persecu-
ted another, being dead and digged up out of the earth, and be-
headed them, as Formosus, Stephanus, &c. Some other reigned
but a month, and poisoned one another, as Crantz' writes.

v. 10. For the ciolence toward thy brother Jacob, shame shall "“” confound thee, and thou shalt be destroyed for ever. 11. In that day did thou stand against him, even in that day when strangers did take his goods, and when strangers entered his gates, and when they cast lot for Jerusalem, thou also wast one of them. 12. Thou shalt not look in the day of thy brother, nor in | the day when strange things shall happen him; nor thou shalt not rejoice against the children of Juda in the day of their destruction, nor thou shalt not open thy mouth boastingly in the day of their trouble. 13. Thou shalt not enter the gates of my people in the day of their destruction; nor thou shalt not look on their trouble in the day of their misery; nor thou shalt not stretch out thyself upon his goods in the day of his destruction. 14. Nor thou shalt not stand in the cross ways to kill them that flee; nor thou shalt hem them that be left in the day of their trouble. 15. For the day of the Lord over all people is at hand: as thou hast done, they shall do unto thee; like punishment shall fall upon thine own head. 16. As ye have drunken upon my holy hill, so shall all people drink continually: they shall drink and swallow up, and shall be as though they were not.

Now follows the declaration of the causes of God's anger and heavy displeasure against Edom, lest any man should

[* Albert Crantz, or Krantz, a celebrated historian of the 15th century. Ed.]

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think God unjust in his doings, or too sharp in his punishings. Some would think a less punishment might have sufficed to have corrected them withal: but when they shall consider how great and grievous the sins of them were, it shall be judged too little a punishment for so many faults. The first verse contains generally that which the verses following declare by particulars. The pride, violence, injuries, wrongs and robberies, that they shewed toward their brother Jacob, be the causes of this their destruction. Jacob and Edom are not here taken for the two brethren, the sons of Isaac ; but for the whole seed, stock, posterity, children, and issue born of them both : so that, as hatred began in Esau against Jacob in their father's life, yea, in their mother's womb, insomuch that Esau persecuted his brother Jacob to death so sore, that Jacob was caused to flee to his uncle Laban; so the hatred, persecution and enmity did continue in their children unto this time was fulfilled that the prophet speaks of here, when the posterity of Esau was utterly destroyed. And this is comfortable both for the long-suffering of God afore he do extremely punish, and also a true proof of his justice, that although he do defer his punishing long, yet he is a righteous judge, and will come at the length, and be avenged on his enemies, and deliver his children that have been so long oppressed under their enemies. Therefore, as the good need not to be discouraged, as though their God cared not for them ; so the wicked shall not triumph, as though they might do what they list, and God would not call them to account. They had thus persecuted Jacob and his posterity above a thousand years, and that continually, afore they were destroyed, and could never be satisfied of their cruelty: therefore, partly to stop their raging, and bring them to the knowledge both of God and themselves, and partly to fear other for following the like example, if they should be unpunished, but specially for the crying of the poor oppressed people, whom God takes into his custody to be their tutor, the Lord will rise to shew himself glorious, mighty, and merciful, pull down his enemies, deliver his oppressed, as David says, “For the misery of the poor, and the sighing of the wretched, I will rise, says the Lord,” &c. Why should God's

people then be dismayed when they be persecuted, seeing they
have so mighty a judge, that can and will deliver them when
it shall be meetest for his glory and their comfort? “Refer
the vengeance to me, says the Lord, and I will revenge it.”
Let us therefore submit ourselves under his hands, and pa-
tiently look for his coming ; for no doubt he will come.
When Moses led the people through the wilderness, and came
near the bounds of Edom, he asked licence to pass through
their country, keeping the highways, hurting them in no be-
half, insomuch that they would pay for the water that they
drank; but they, more like no men than cousins, coming of the
same stock and father, being not content with this churlish-
ness, to deny them passage, threatens them further, that if
they would not pass by all their country, and not once be
so bold as to enter within their coasts, they would by and
bye fight against them with all their power. So Moses, to
keep peace, led the people by a great compass round about;
and what said God to this? did he bid destroy them? No;
but clean contrary, he bade them not to fight against them ;
not only them, but he says unto them, “Thou shalt not harm
Edom, because he is thy brother.”
Note here the patience and long suffering of God's peo-
ple, that would not once attempt to revenge such displeasures,
unkindness and injuries done unto them. And again note
the churlishness of feigned friends, hypocrites and dissem-
blers, which will shew no gentleness to God's people, though
they may do it without their hurt or displeasure of any man.
Is not the world full of such unthankful, unkind, and un-
natural folk at this day? St Paul complains of such as
cast off all natural affection, that should be among men:
as when they which be all of one house, stock and kindred,
coming of one great grandfather or ancestors, be so cruel
one against another, that nature, which works in brute
beasts, has no place in them, one to love or help another:
he calls them sine affectu ; as though he should say, if
nature can not work or move them, which move stones,
trees, herbs, and beasts, what hope is there that the gos-
pel, which is so far above and contrary to nature, should
take any place in them? So St Paul calls them which do
not provide for them and theirs, “worse than infidels.”


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