Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
Elihu also proceeded, and said,Job 36:3
To gain a true view we must take into account all varied forms of contemporary experience, and all the experiences of different ages. He will best see the whole, and each part in relation to the whole most truly, who has the widest and best proportioned knowledge founded on the experience of others, and at the same time controls all by his own experience.
—Dr. Hort, Hulsean Lectures, pp. 172,173.
'It struck me,' says Carlyle, 'that Sterling's was not intrinsically, nor had ever been in the highest or chief degree, a devotional mind. Of course all excellence in man, and worship as the supreme excellence, was part of the inheritance of this gifted man: but if called to define him, I should say, artist not Saint was the real bent of his being. He had sudden admiration, but intrinsically rather a deficiency of reverence in comparison. Fear, with its corollaries, on the religious side, he appeared to have none, nor ever to have had any.' Earlier in the memoir, he makes a similar criticism. 'An eye to discern the divineness of the Heaven's splendours and lightnings, the insatiable wish to revel in their godlike radiances and brilliances; but no heart to front the scathing terrors of them, which is the first condition of your conquering an abiding place there.' Yet, at the close of the biography, Carlyle tells how, on his deathbed, Sterling was wont to murmur, 'God is great, God is great'.
We may confidently trust that we have over us a Being thoroughly robust and grandly magnanimous, in distinction from the Infinite Invalid bred in the studies of sickly monomaniacs, who corresponds to a very common human type, but makes us blush for him when we contrast him with a truly noble man, such as most of us have had the privilege of knowing both in public and in private life.
—O. W. Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table (x.). Strong Son of God, Immortal Love.
Reference.—XXXVI. 5.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxiii. No. 1379.
'It is a very melancholy Reflection,' Steele observes in The Spectator (No. 312), 'that Men are usually so weak, that it is absolutely necessary for them to know Sorrow and Pain to be in their right senses.'
The weakness of the will begins, when the individual would be something of himself. All reform aims, in some one particular, to let the soul have its way through us; in other words, to engage us to obey.
—Emerson on The Oversoul.
In his paper on 'Madame Sand and the New Apocalypse' in The Paris Sketch-Booh, Thackeray bursts out with the indignant cry: 'O awful, awful name of God! Light unbearable! Mystery unfathomable! Vastness immeasurable!—Who are these who come forward to explain the mystery, and gaze unblinking into the depths of the light, and measure the immeasurable vastness to a hair? Oh name, that God's people of old did fear to utter! Oh light, that God's prophet would have perished had he seen! Who are these that are now so familiar with it? Women, truly; for the most part weak women—weak in intellect, weak mayhap in spelling and grammar, but marvellously strong in faith: women, who step down to the people with stately step and voice of authority, and deliver their twopenny tablets as if there were some Divine authority for the wretched nonsense recorded there.'
Reference.—XXXVII. 6.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii. p. 6.
Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.
I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.
Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.
He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.
He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.
And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;
Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.
If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.
But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.
They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.
He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.
Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.
But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.
Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.
Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.
Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.
Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?
Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?
Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.
Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off.
Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.
For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:
Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.
Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?
Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.
For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.
With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.
The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.