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The Folly, Danger, and Cure

of Impatience.

Jo B ii. 9. 19.
Then said his Wife unto bim, Dost thox

still retain ibine Integrity? Curse God

and die.
But he said unto her, tbox speakest as

one of the foolish Women speaketh :
What ? Shall we receive Good at the
Hand of God, and shall we not receive
Evil ?

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HIS Chapter is a continuation of the

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Faith and Constancy under them. And the
Connection it bears to the foregoing Chapter,
will engage us to look back a little into the
Argument and Discourse of that; where we


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V. 19.

read that God gave a Commission to Satan to afflict this Righteous Man ; only with this Reserye, that he should not put forth his Hand upon himself

. This was joyful News to that restless and malicious Spirit, who immediateh

ly puts it in Execution; firft by letting in the Chap. 1. Sabeans and Chaldeans, who flew his Cattle,

and his Servants with the Edge of the Sword; v. 16. then by sending a Fire from Heaven to con- of

sume the Remainder, and last of all by raising a great Wind from the Wilderness, which be smote the four Corners of the House, where el his Sons, and his Daughters were gathered C together, and buried them all in the Ruins of hi it. Severe Trials these! But, tho' they did

something astonish the good Man, yet did Chap 1. they not remove him from his Integrity. He arole, and rent bis Mantle, and shaved bis

Head, and fell down upon the Ground and worshipped. And the Suin of his Devotion was this hum- lo

ble Recognition of the Justice of the Divine a *. 21. Providence. Naked cane I out of my Mother's

Womb ; and naked shall I return;
Lord gave, and the Lord bath taken away.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Satan finding himself baffled in this Attempt, moves God in this Chapter, that he would renew and enlarge his Commission, that whereas, what was done beforė, touched him only in his Family and 'Estate, if he would now Tuffer him to afflict him in his Person; he

would openly renounce and deny his ProviChap 2. dence. Skin for Sking and all that can


V. 20.

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batb will be give for his Life: But put forth v. so thine Hand, and touch bis Bone and his Fleshi, and be will curse thee to thy Face. To which the Divine Majesty (knowing the Fidelity of his Servant Job yields; he suffers him to smite him with fore Boils from the Sole of his Foot to his Crown ; in which not only the Smart, but the Stench and noisom Filthinefs of the Disease,, added very much to his Mifery. : As if it had not been enough to have been left to the Merciless and unrelenting Cruelty of the Devil; his nearest Friend and Companion, the Wife of his Bosom, tempts him to Impatience and Atheism, to dispair of Mercy, and to discard God. Then said bis Wife unto him, dost thou still retain thine Integrity ? Curse God and die. This, tho' doubtdels it struck him to the very Heart; yet without being transported into the Indecency of a Passion; he piously reproves her Folly and Rashness, Thou speakest as one of the foolisis Women Speaketh. What? fall we receive Good at the Hand of God, and fball we not Feceive Evil ?

I find some small Difference amongst Expositors and Learned Men, concerning the Sense of these Words of Job's Wife. Some would have them to be a naked Interrogation, without any Sting going along with them

i as if she had only dispassionately reasoned the Case with him, what Good his Piety had done him; why he might not as well save his Labour, and cease to be religious, since


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it brought him nothing but Poverty and Affli&tion. Others would have them to be an Interrogation , joined with a virulent and reflecting Sarcasm ; a scornful and reproachful Irony : As if she had said, do, go on, still worship God and die for thy Pains ; 'tis an excellent Incouragement, a goodly Reward of thy Piety, when all that thou getteft by it, is to give him Thanks and Perifh. To all which he answered. Thou speakest as one of the foolish Women Speaketh. In which Reprehension, 'tis probable Job had regard to the prophane Custom of the Idumean Women ; who, should seem, were wont to curse and rail at their Gods when any Misfortune befel them. But he calls upon her to entertain more reverend and awful Thoughts of the Divine Providence; to consider that this world is made up of a Mixture of Good and Evil; and that both proceed from a Wise and Righteous God: -Shall we receive Good at the Hand of God, and shall we not receive Evil?

In the Words there are three Things worthy our Notice; and which I think easily of _fer themselves to our Confideration.

as it

1. The Proneness of Human Nature to Im

patience, Discontent, and Prophane Murmurings under the affli&ing Hand of God. Dost thou fill retain thine Integrity ? Curse God and die.

II. The

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II. The Folly, the Danger, and the Impie

ty of it. Thou speakest as one of the

foolish Women Speaketh. III. The Wisdom and Security of Resigna

tion to the Divine Appointments; because the Good we enjoy, and the Evil we suffer are both from the Hand of God. Shall we receive Good at the Hand of God, and shall we not receive Evil.

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I begin with the First of these, viz.

1. The Proneness of Human Nature to Impatience, Discontent, and Prophane Murnurings under the affliding Hand of God. Doft thou still retain thine Integrity ? Curse God and die. We are all of us cloathed with natural Resentments and Passions; we have a very quick Sense of Pain and Grief: The Conforts and Blessings of this Life have so far engaged our Affe&tions to them; by their Conveniency and Use, they are fo fuited, and made familiar to our present State, that whenever we are deprived of any of them, it creates fome Disturbance to our Spirits, and that breaks out in our Words and in our Actions; presently we vex and complain, and betray a mighty Impotence of Nature ; we set no Bounds to our Grief; we immoderately indulge our Refentments; and we will listen to no Advice; we expose the Dignity of our Beings; and the Honour of our Religion ;

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