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though he saw these two things (a real Job and a dramatic representation of bim) so reconcilable, that he supposed both; yet will not allow the book of Job to be later than Ezekiel, because that Prophet mentions Job *. Which argument, to have any strength, must suppose Job to be unknown until this Book was written; consequently that his Person was fictitious; contrary to his own supposition, that there was a real Job living in the time of Moses t. After this, it is no wonder, that the Author of the Archæologia Philosophica, whose talent was not critical acumen, should have reasoned so grossly on the saine fallacious principle 1. These learned men, we see, would infer a visionary Job froin a visionary History. Nor is the mistake of another celebrated Writer less gross, who would, on the contrary, infer a real history from a real Job. Ezekiel and St. James (says Dr. Middleton, in his Essay on the Creation and Fall of Man) refer to the BOOK OF Job in the same manner as if it were a real history. Whereas the truth is, they do not reter to the BOOK OF Job at all.

II. The second question to be considered, is in what Age this book was composed.

1. First then we say in general, that it was written some time under the Mosaic Dispensation. But to this it is objected, that, if it were composed in those Times, it is very strange that not a single word of the Mosaic Law, nor any distant allusion to the Rites or Ceremonies of it, nor any historical circumstance under it, nor any species of idolatry in use during its period, should be found in it ş.

Chap. xiv. ver. 14: + Vid. Grotii Præf. in Librum Job.

See note [1] at the end of this volume. και Jobus Arabs πολυκλειτος και πολυμαθής, in cujus historia muita occurrunt antiquæ sapientiæ vestigia, antiquior habetur Mose. Idque multis patet indiciis : Primo, quòd nullibi meminerit reruin

à Muse

: I apprehend the objection rests on one or other of these suppositions, Either that the book is not a Work of the dramatic kind; or that the Hero of the Piece is fictitious. But both these suppositions have been shewn to be erroneous; so that the objection falls with them. For to observe DECORUM is one of the most essential rules of dramatic writing. He there fore who takes a real Personage for the subject of his poem will be obliged to shew him in the customs and sentiments of his proper Age and Country; unmixed with the manners of the Writer's later Time and Place. Nature and the reason of the thing so evidently demand this conduct, and the neglect of it has so ungracious an effect, that the polite Roman Historian thought the Greek tragic Writers were to blame even for mentioning the more modern name of Thessaly, in their pieces of the Trojan War. And he gives this good reason for his censure, Nihil enim er Persona Poëta, sed omnia sub eorum, qui illo tempore vixerunt, direrunt *.

But to lay no greater stress on this argument than it will bear; I confess ingenuously, that were there not (as the objection supposes) the least distant relation or allusion to the Jewish Law or History through out the whole book, it might reasonably create some suspicion that the Author lived before those times. For

though Mose gestarum, sive in Ægypto, sive in exitu, sive in deserto.Secundo, quòd, cùm vir pius & veri numinis cultor fuerit, legi Mosaicæ contraiyerit, in sacrificiis faciendis.--Tertio, ex ætatis & vitæ suæ mensura, in tertio, plus minus, à Diluvio sxculo eollocandus esse videtur: vixit enim ultra ducentos annos.--Cùm de Idololatria loquitur, memorat primum ipsius genus Solis & Lunæ adorationem.--Neque Sabbathi neque ullius legis factitiæ meminit.--His omnibus adducor ut credam, Mosi Jobum tempore anteisse. Archæol. Philos. pp. 205, 266. See note [K] at the end of this yolune..

X ?

though this rule of decorum be so essential to dramatic writing, yet, as the greatest Masters in that art frequently betrayed their own Times and Country in their fictitious Works *, we can hardly suppose a Jewish Writer more exact in what only concerned the critical perfection of his Piece. But as Decorum is one of the plainest and simplest principles of Composition, we cannot suppose a good writer ignorant of it; and so are not to look for such glaring absurdities as are to be found in the dramatic writings of late barbarous ages; but such only as might easily escape the most exact and best instructed Writer.

Some slight indecorums therefore we may reasonably expect to find, if the Author were indeed a Jew: and such, if I am not much mistaken, we shall find. Job, speaking of the wicked man, says, He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fuilt-Gop layeth up iniquity for his children I. And in the course of the dispute, and in the heat of altercation, this peculiar dispensation is touched upon yet inore precisely. Job, in support of his doctrine, paints at large the happy condition of prosperous wicked men; a principal circumstance of whose felicity is, that they spend their days int wealth, and in a moment go down to the graves, i.e. without sickness, or the terrors of slow-approaching death. The lot which prosperous libertines of all times, who believe no future reckoning, most ardently wish for. Now in the declining times of the Jewish Economy, pious men had always their answer ready. The prosperous wicked man (say they) shall be pu

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* Sec note [L] at the end of this volume. t Chap. xvii. ver. 5.

Chap. xxi. ver. 19. See note [M] at the end of this volume. Chap. xxi. ver. 13.


nished in his Posterity, and the afflicted good man rewarded in them. To the first part of the solution concerning the wicked, Job answers thus, God layeth up his iniquity for his children; he rewardeth him, and he shall know it * As much as to say, the evil man sees and knows nothing of the punishment; in the mean time, he feels and enjoys his own felicity, as a reward. To the second part, concerning the good, he answers thus, Ilis eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty : For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off in the midst ? t i.e. The virtuous man sees and feels nothing but his own miseries; for what pleasure can the good things reserved for his posterity afford to him who is to taste and enjoy none of it; being not only extinct long before, but cut off untimely?

In another place, Job says, That idolatry was an iniquity to be punished by the judge I Now both this and the former species of punishment were, as we have shewn, peculiar to the Mosaic Dispensation. But a Jew might naturally mistake them for a part of the general Law of God and nature: and so, while he was really describing the Econoiny, under which he lived, suppose himself to be representing the notions of more ancient times : which that it was his design to do, in the last instance at least, appears from his mentioning only the most early species of idolatry, the worship of the Sun and Moon s. Again, the language of Job with regard to a future state is the very same with the Jewish Writers. He that goeth down to the grave (says this writer) shall come up no more :-they shall not awake or be raised out of their sleep. Thus the Psalmist-In death there is no remembrance of thee. --Shall the dead arise and praise thee !-- And thus the author of Ecclesiastes, -The dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a REWARD * And we know what it was that hindered the Jews from entertaining any expectations of a future state of rewards and punishments, which was a popular doctrine amongst all their Pagan neighbours.

Chap. xxi. ver. 19. + Ver. 20, 21. 1 Chap. xxxi. ver. 28. See note (N) at the end of this volume. Ver. 26. X 3

shall See Exod. iii. 8.- xiji. 5.-- xxxii. 3. - Deut. xxxi. 20.2 Kings xviii. 32.

But there is, besides this of Customs and Opinions, another circumstance that will always betray a feigued Composition, made in an age remote from the subject : and that is, the use of later phrases. These are mote easily discovered in the modern, and even in what we call the learned languages: but less certainly, in the very ancient ones; especially in the Hebrew, of which there is only one, and that no very large Volume, remaining. And yet even here, we may detect an author of a later age. For, besides the phrases of common growth, there are others, in every language, interwoven alike into the current style, which owe their rise to some singular circumstance of time and place; and so may be easily traced up to their original : though, being long used in common speech in a general acceptation, they may well escape even an attentive Writer. Thus Zophar, speaking of the wicked man, says, He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the BROOKS OF HONEY AND BUTTER Ť. This in ordinary speech only conveyed the idea of plenty in the abstract; but seems to have been first made a proverbial saying from the descriptions of the holy Land . Again, Eliphaz says, Receive, I pray thee, THE LAW FROM HIS MOUTH, and lay up his words in * See the preceding Book, p. 178. # Chap. xx. ver. 17.


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