Puslapio vaizdai

the churches which he has planted, and especially to set his college in order. So he returns to Goa. Here he finds all relating to the missions prospering beyond hope. He now devotes himself to a considerable re-organization of all ecclesiastical and collegiate matters there. He gives himself up entirely for a while to the care of the surrounding churches, which have become multiplied considerably by the labors of the missionaries which he has sent out. He also lectures occasionally at the college to the missionary students and the clergy of Goa, and when the time of his departure is at hand, takes most affectionate leave of them all, and leaves them a legacy of counsel which contains passages of exceeding wisdom and very singular beauty.

has a premonition of death. He goes on board the ship used as the hospital of the town, that he may die as the meanest of his brethren; but finding his devotions hindered more here than elsewhere, he begs to be set on shore again. And there on the sands he now lies dying in the open eye of heaven, uncared for by those whom his own hands had fed, untended by those whom he had ministered to as a slave. A sailor takes him to a shed which he makes with poles and tarpauling. And so in that crazy hut, on the shores of the Chinese waters, amid the howling winds of December, and in communion only with his Maker, with imperfect utterance of the lips, but most eloquent expression of the eye, might you have heard the last words of Francis Xavier: In thee, O Lord, have I trusted; let not me be confounded forever. And there lay his corpse for months-in Chinese fashion buried—in a large chest of unslacked lime, sweetly smiling as in life; a memento to the thoughtless, a mystery to the thoughtful; until it was carried with pomp and loud weeping to receive the solemn rites of Christian burial in the church and college of that city which owed all its spiritual life to his Christian sanctity and zeal.

But Xavier was a Romanist and a Jesuit. He was; but I believe that the love of God and of his neighbor constrained him to do what he did, and that in taking up his cross daily he meant to follow Christ; and I also believe that being and doing thus-thus loving God and follow

Xavier sets sail for Malacca in the spring of 1552. On landing he finds it visited with a plague. Here that knowledge of medicine you remember he was acquiring before he left Europe is of signal service. He ministers to the sick as laboriously as a slave, as affectionately as a brother; and is preserved from all harm himself, by his courage, perhaps, as much as by his skill. As soon as the sickness abates he is engaged in a scheme of a commercial embassy, which it is arranged he shall accompany. After tedious waiting this scheme fails; but not so the zeal of Xavier. He will trust no more to diplomacy; he will go on in his old way. So he sets sail for the island of Sancian, | which lies over against Macao, where the Portuguese are allowed to trade with China. Here he seeks for some meansing Christ, thus blessing his brethren and of passage to the Chinese shore; but all think the danger of so doing so great to himself, and, what is of more consequence, to their trade, that he cannot get any one to allow him to go over in their ship. At length, after many fruitless efforts, he engages at an exorbitant price a ship with a small crew; to do what, do you think? to land him on some desolate part of the Chinese coast, and there leave him, taking themselves back again. The Portuguese of Sancian hear of it, and thwart even this. His interpreter, too, deserts him; and now he is utterly helpless. He falls sick. On his recovery he hears that the King of Siam is going to send an embassy to China; he attempts to accompany the embassador, as one of his suit; but the whole thing fails. His fever returns; he

disciplining himself-his heavenly Master is able to raise him up and make him stand, albeit he be Romanist or more. And believing as I do believe all this, I feel no hesitation in regarding him as a man who, despite all his lamentable errors of belief and all his distressing infirmities of superstition, is one whom we should ever speak of with reverence, and find fault with only when obliged. Let the man who has Xavier's sanctity and self-devotion, let him, if he will, fling stones at his statue. But let him who has neither, who cares little for his own soul and less for his neighbor's, let that man hold his peace. Let him, too, who is willing to subscribe with his hand to a purer creed, and is not willing to confess with his life the same holy cause; who is ready with

any homage of the lips, but with no service of the spirit, let him hold his peace. Ay, let every one of us be dumb who live in ceiled houses comfortably while Xavier wandered about houseless and homeless to preach Christ to the heathen; we who deny ourselves but little at most, and have no real hardships to bear arising from our profession of Christ's faith, while Xavier hazarded his life daily for the name of the Lord Jesus; we who live in the midst of all we love, and have friends and relatives on this side and on that, while Xavier, noble by birth, and educated a scholar, gives up all that was dear to him in the world to go to the very ends of the earth, out of love to his Invisible Benefactor and zeal for the salvation of his brethren. It is not for us, or such as us, to speak slightingly of Xavier. They only who have Xavier's zeal for the Gospel are qualified to judge him for his want of knowledge of it; all others should only the rather be admonished by Xavier's story to take heed to themselves, lest it should be found hereafter that he is less beloved by his Master who knows his will adequately and does it tardily, than he who knows it less perfectly and does it readily; he who slumbers or stands idle in the sunshine than he who works in a twilight in which no other man would work.




sacred record. Peter's assertion relative to the writings of the apostle Paul, "in which," says he, "are some things hard to be understood," is eminently true of the book of Job.

The difficulty arises from various causes; among which may be mentioned the fact that it was written in a language which has long since ceased to be a vehicle of thought among the nations of the earth. Hence the very great difficulty of translating it with accuracy. In all translations, too, as is well known, much of the spirit of the original necessarily evaporates. It is impossible to bend the idiom of one language in the precise direction of another. From its great antiquity, too, it is not strange that we here meet with allusions to customs and opinions the memory of which has long since perished. These allusions, we may suppose, were once perfectly plain; although now they are enigmatic and obscure. Added to this, the mental process, the trains of thought of those, for whose benefit the book was first written, were very different from our own; to such an extent that it is impossible even for the imagination to lift the vail, the dark vail of thirty centuries, and place ourselves in the midst of these Idumean Arabs, and think, and talk, and feel as they thought, and felt, and spoke. The light in the midst of which we livea light which has been steadily rising in the moral firmament, and increasing in brightness, serves but to render the twilight of that age the more palpable and obscure.

Then, again, in answer to an objection

OUR course with reference to, plain and sometimes urged, 1 remark it was never

easy. We left him in the ash-heap; victorious there, with the language of rejoicing upon his lips. In poverty, bereft of his children, friendless, diseased, we heard his calm reply to the unfeeling language of his wife, and that reply completely baffled the Tempter's malice. One blow after another fell upon his unsheltered head. He bore it

"Like an unmoved rock, Not shaken, but made firmer by the shock."

In all this did not Job sin with his lips. But our present task is more difficult. Before entering upon it let me make two or three remarks that may remove what is a stumbling-block in the way of many. mean the obscurity of some parts of the


the intention of the Almighty to make the entire record of his revealed will so perfectly plain as to require from man no thought-no study. While there are parts of the Bible level to the lowest capacity, and the most ignorant may gather thence instruction enough to sanctify the soul; there is room for the patient investigation of the most profound intellect. As in the book of nature spread open before us, there are incomprehensible mysteries, so may we expect to meet them in the book of revelation proceeding from the same God. It is HIS direction to us all-the high and the low, the ignorant and the educated— "Search the Scriptures."

I proceed with the history. Since the close of our last essay, which left the


would be easy to quote against you these truisms, to torture you with charges of hypocrisy, and to shake mine head; to insinuate, even more than I dare utter in words. But ye are forgers of lies; ye are all physicians of no value; ye pervert the truth to sustain your arguments.

afflicted one triumphantly trusting in God, a week has elapsed; three of his friends, by mutual agreement, have paid him a visit. They are affected to tears at the sight of his sufferings. They lift up their voice and weep. For seven days and nights they sat down by him upon the ground, | and no word was uttered, for they saw that In accounting for this change of conhis grief was very great. At length Job duct on the part of Job, this style of lanhimself opened his mouth; but very differ- guage so different, so totally at variance ent is his language from what it was a with the humility and submissive resignaweek ago. The man seems to be totally tion evinced by him in the first week of changed. He is now querulous, bitter, his trials, it is not enough to advert to the harsh. He curses the day of his birth; unfeeling course pursued by those who he is severely sarcastic upon those who called themselves his friends. That they came to condole with him; he prides him- were wrong is unquestionable, but their self upon his integrity, his righteousness, wrong does not justify Job in his equally and boasts of it. Let the day perish when harsh retaliation; much less in the severe I was born let that day be darkness; reflections in which he seems to question neither let the light shine upon it, because the justice of God, and to have forgotten it hid not sorrow from mine eyes. his own noble sentiment: Shall we rewhy, he continues in the same bitter strain, ceive good at the hand of the Lord, and why did I not die in infancy? For now shall we not receive evil? The fact is, should I have lain still, and been quiet in that not till now did the afflicted one enter the grave. There the wicked cease from into the deep waters of his trials. Hithertroubling, and there the weary be at rest. to the machinations of the enemy had been The small and the great are there, and the directed against his property, his family, servant is free from his master. He seems and his health. He bore up manfully to reproach his Maker for continuing his against all these privations; but now a existence. Wherefore is light given to horror of thick darkness falls upon his soul. him that is in misery, and life unto the Satan appears to have access to his mind, bitter in soul who long for death, but it to fill it with doubt, and distrust, and fear. cometh not. He entreats the Almighty It is the spiritual conflict, the wrestling, to cut short the thread of his existence : not with flesh and blood, but with princiO that I might have my request, and that palities, and powers, and the rulers of the God would grant me the thing that I long darkness of this world. 'Tis a fearful for! even that it would please God to de- conflict, showing in vivid colors the weakstroy me, that he would loose his hand ness of the strongest, and attesting to all and cut me off. The harsh language of men in all generations that in the assaults his professed friends he retorts with in- of the grand adversary upon the soul, uncreasing bitterness. In reply to their ex- aided man at his best estate is altogether hortations, founded as they were upon the vanity. For a time, too, and for wise erroneous supposition that Job was now purposes, as we shall see, the light of receiving punishment for his sins, he ex- God's countenance appears to have been claims in the severest irony: No doubt withdrawn from his afflicted servant, and but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die in this extremity he answers the descripwith you; that is, all wisdom is concentra- tion of the prophet: Who is among you ted in you; and when ye die, wisdom shall that feareth the Lord; that obeyeth the utterly perish from the earth. Alluding voice of his servant; that walketh in darkto the wise proverbs they had adduced, ness and hath no light? He feared the bearing upon God's general government Lord and obeyed his commandments, and of the world, he says: I have heard many yet was permitted a while to walk in darksuch things; miserable comforters are ye ness and have no light. And was it not all. I also could speak as ye do; if your even so with the spotless Son of God? soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap We hear him exclaim, This is your hour up words against you, and shake mine head and the power of darkness; my soul is exat you, that is, if ye were the afflicted, and ceeding sorrowful, even unto death; my I had health and prosperity as you have, it | God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Let us listen to the wailing lamentations of Job, when he was, as the apostle has it, in heaviness through manifold temptations. O, says he, that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! for now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit; the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. What a tremendous figure— the arrows of the Almighty-poisoned arrows-they drink up my spirit. Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye, my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me. Referring to his former state, and contrasting the darkness in which he was now groping with the light that once beamed upon his path, he exclaims, O that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me, when his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle, when the Almighty was yet with me. Here we have the secret of that surprising fortitude which Job evinced in the time of his calamity, an answer to the question how was he enabled to endure with such submissive patience the loss of property, of children, and of health. God's candle shone upon his head, the secret of the Lord was upon his tabernacle, the Almighty was with him. But now, says he, I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me; I stand up, and thou regardest me not. In what vivid colors, too, does he paint his anxious groping after that God who was once with him by his sustaining grace and cheering presence. Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him; on the left hand where he doth work, but I cannot behold him; he hideth himself on the right hand, but I cannot perceive him; that is, in whatever direction I turn, forward or backward, to the right or to the left, I cannot find my God. With all my efforts I bring not back the consolations of his grace. The most melancholy part of Job's lamentation, his darkest hour, seems to have been when, reflecting upon the insufficiency of his own righteousness, he feels the need of an intercessor between himself and a God of infinite purity. If I wash myself with snow water and make my hands never so clean; that is, if by my own efforts I

purify myself, and aim to keep the law, and watch and pray, and fancy that now indeed I have gained my object and am clean-then shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, reveal unto me my innate vileness, and my own clothes shall abhor me. For, he continues, He is not a man as I am, that I should answer him, and that we should come together in judgment; neither is there any days-man betwixt us that might lay his hands upon us both.

No days-man betwixt us! O, then, vain indeed that thou hast been just and honorable and upright in thy dealings, that thou hast clothed the naked, and fed the hungry, and caused the heart of the widow and the fatherless to dance with joy. Snow-water cannot cleanse thee; the leprosy lies deep within. But it is not true, Job! There is a days-man, a merciful high priest, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; his blood can make the foulest clean, his blood avails for thee. With one hand he lays hold upon the great I Am, with the other he can grasp thee there in thy wretchedness, and present thee before the throne spotless, thy robe washed in his own blood. How easily, with the light that we have, might the terrors of the afflicted one have been dissipated like dew before the morning sun! How easily, had the friends who came to condole with him but known the glorious truth, how easily might they have applied balm to his wounded spirit. Ah! could he have heard from their lips the declaration of the apostle: There is one God and one Mediator between God and men ; or had some spirit from the realms of bliss whispered the question of Isaiah: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah ? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? and bade Job listen to his answer: It is I, that speak in righteousness, mighty to save: then, indeed, had the light dawned upon his darkness, and the day-star arisen in his heart. But it was not so. His friends were more ignorant than himself. In his own language they were indeed physicians of no value. Job groped on a while longer in his darkness. O, says he, O that one might plead for a man with God as a man pleadeth with his neighbor. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one. And if a man die, shall he live again? Questions, these, and intimations, dark and

distressing in that day; in ours, so irradiated with light that we can scarcely put ourselves in the position of the afflicted one who asks them. We know, but, alas! we too generally make little use of our knowledge, that one may plead with God even as a man pleadeth with his neighbor, that he invites us even thus to plead, to come boldly to his throne of grace. We know who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, and the question, If a man die, shall he live again? has been gloriously answered by Him who hath brought life and immortality to light.

In the midst of these utterances of grief and sadness, bordering at times upon the very blackness of despair, there are occasional glimmerings of a better spirit, showing us a mind shattered, but not wrecked by the fury of the storm. He is in deep water, the billows are threatening to engulf him, but even now I hear from his lips language that has been uttered from the heart of many a tempest-tossed pilgrim -cast down, but not destroyed, perplexed, but not in despair. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him, and all the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come. Till his change comes! Where did Job get that word? He spake but now of death as of an endless sleep, he seemed to doubt if man shall live again, and now he speaks the language of Christ's own blessed gospel as uttered by the very chief of the apostles in the meridian light of the Spirit's illumination-the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. Till my change come!

A little while after he gives utterance to a sentiment that has thrilled the souls of myriads who lived and died ere the fullness of time had come, that has been a talisman to the afflicted believer in every age, his watchword in the darkest hour. Job introduces it with great solemnity. O, says he, O that my words were now written! O that they were printed in a book, that they, were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever. And what is the sentiment he would have thus perpetuated? Ye have heard it a thousand times I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.

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I am not ignorant of the attempts that have been made to destroy the force and the spirituality of this language, to refer it all to Job's bodily afflictions and to an expectation of worldly prosperity. But this is trifling with the sacred record. In this case, as in many similar ones, the plain meaning of the words, the interpretation that would be put upon them by a simple-hearted, unlearned reader, is doubtless the true one. And Job's request was granted. His words have been written in a book. Aye, they have been graven with an iron pen upon the everlasting rock. Resting upon the simple assurance, I know that my Redeemer liveth, the shouts of victory have risen above the groans of agony called forth by the rack, the gibbet, and the funeral pile.

But how was it, that even after this glorious declaration Job seems still to be in heaviness-to be disposed to murmur and complain. I answer, even yet he has a lesson to learn. That lesson was the necessity of utter and entire dependence, notwithstanding all that he had done or could do, upon the infinite merits of that Redeemer whose existence was now revealed to him. Job had been upright in his dealings; he prided himself upon his integrity. He had been charitable to the poor; he gloried in his benevolence. He had endeavored to obey the commandments of God; he wrapped himself in selfrighteousness. Appealing to his Maker, he had ventured to say, Thou knowest that I am not wicked. Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. O! he exclaims, that one would hear me; behold, my desire is that the Almighty would answer me. Even yet he hopes to merit something at the hand of God; to throw into the scale his good works, and though he knew that his Redeemer lives, he seems not yet to know that he only appropriates to himself the merits of that Redeemer who casts away at once and forever every other hope, who gives up

"Every plea beside,

Lord, I have sinn'd, but thou hast died." Then God answered Job out of a whirlwind and said: Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man, and answer thou me. God is then represented, in a speech of surpassing majesty, as convincing Job of his ignorance and weakness. He reminds

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