Job 29
Pulpit Commentary Homiletics


1. Friendship with God the source of happiness. (Vers. 1-5.) This is beautifully indicated in figurative expressions. He thinks of the days when God's light beamed upon his brow, by God's light he walked through the darkness; the days of his ripe and mellow age (rather than of his "youth"), when the secret, i.e. the intimacy, of the Almighty was a shelter and a blessing to his home. The word "secret" means "intimacy," confidential intercourse (see Job 19:19; Psalm 25:14; Psalm 55:15; Proverbs 3:32). God was near to him, and the next greatest blessing to that favour of God, viz. the blessing of children, was granted to him. (Compare on the blessing of children, Psalm 127:3, sqq.; Psalms 128:3.) The outward blessings of life are chiefly to be valued as signs of the deeper, the inward good; the constant nearness of God, the consciousness of his approval, the certainty of his guidance.

2. Features of outward happiness. (Vers. 6-10.)

(1) Abundance of means. Here the favourite Oriental figures are employed. He bathed his steps in butter, and the rock at his side gushed with streams of oil (comp. Deuteronomy 32:13).

(2) Respect and dignity. When he went to the gate of the city, the great public place of assembly in Oriental cities, corresponding to the agora of the Greeks, the forum of the Romans, and the market-place of Our old towns (Job 5:4; Job 31:21; Proverbs 1:21; Proverbs 8:3); when he placed his seat in the market - the wide open place close by the gates - the young men retired in reverential respect before him, and the old men rose and remained standing until he had taken his seat; while princes ceased their conversation, laying the hand upon the mouth (Job 21:5); the voice of persons of consideration was hushed, their tongue cleaving to the roof of their mouth. The possession of the respect of others is one of the noblest kinds of wealth, as the consciousness of being despised, looked down upon, scouted, and flouted is an element of the deepest misery. Out of the dark present Job looks back to those sunny days. His life is "in the sere and yellow leaf," and his is "the crown of sorrow," the "remembering happier things." "It is the pensive autumn feeling, the sensation of half-sadness that we experience when the longest day of the year is past, and every day that follows is shorter, and the light fainter, and the feebler shadows tell that Nature is hastening with gigantic footsteps to her winter grave." As Christians, we should learn to look forward, and forget the past, in so far as its recollection paralyzes or depresses (Philippians 3:13, 14). (Read F. W. Robertson's sermon on this: 'Christian Progress by Oblivion of the Past.')

"Not backward are our glances bent,
But onwards to our Father's home." The past is gone for ever; but there is a present and a future which is still our own.

II. THE SOURCE OF HAPPINESS IN GOODNESS. (Vers. 11-17.) His benevolence and his strict integrity were mediately the cause of his prosperity. For although God is the one and only Cause of all things, the gracious Author of our bliss, yet his dispensations are not arbitrary. Blessing is conditioned by faith; and faith is proved by conduct. Job's public and private life was known and seen and elicited approval from all. He was the succourer of the poor and the helpless orphan; the blessing of the forlorn and the wretched was breathed forth on his behalf. He had clothed himself with rectitude (compare for this figure, Isaiah 11:5; Isaiah 51:9; Isaiah 59:17; Psalm 132:9). It was to him like a robe and a turban. He was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame; a father to the needy. He searched out the cause of unknown men, to help them as surety or otherwise if their cause was good. He put down men of violence and oppression, and recovered their ill-gotten booty from them, as one snatches the prey from the jaws of the wild beast. Despite the mournful mood of Job, what solace is there not, even in the greatest affliction, through the memory of having been permitted to do some good and reap some reward of affection from others in the world? And, looking to the sequel of the story, let us remember that God is not unrighteous to forget the labour of love. Every cause has its effect; every act of benevolence will be followed in due time by its bright flowers of peace and joy in the conscience and the memory. Go on, then, in the work of doing good, steadfast and immovable in the work of the Lord. Be like fountains watering the earth and spreading fertility. "Subdue discord, mutiny, widespread despair by manfulness, justice, mercy, and wisdom. Chaos is dark, deep as hell; let light be, and there is instead a green, flowery world. Oh, it is great, and there is no other greatness! To make some work of God's creation a little more fruitful, better, more worthy of God; to make some human hearts a little wiser, more manful, happier, more blessed; it is a work for God!" (Carlyle).


1. Everything in that happy period pointed with seeming prophetic power to a long life to a blessed old age. He thought within himself that he should end his days in his nest. in the besom of his family, in peace and security; and like the sand (or the days of the phoenix) would be their number. If the word be taken as denoting the phoenix, then the allusion is to the legend of the bird living five hundred years, then burning in its nest, and rising from the ashes. Peace and prosperity bred in his mind great hopes. Like a well-watered tree, he thought his life would spread, the refreshing dew resting by night upon its branches, and that his honour would ever freshly remain with him; that his bow - the symbol of lusty manhood and strength (1 Samuel 2:4; Psalm 46:9; Psalm 76:3; Jeremiah 49:35; Jeremiah 51:56) - would renew itself in his hand. We learn here, in passing, the lesson not to build on the constancy of earthly things, not to lay up treasures of hope here. If it be well with us now, let us be prepared for reverses (Sirach 11:25). This lesson comes back to us from many a saying of the ancient world, mixed no doubt with much of superstition, and ignorance of the nature of God, but still in the main expressed with the truth of experience. "There is nothing secure in the world, no glory, no prosperity. The gods toss all life into confusion, mix everything with its reverse, that all of us, from our ignorance and uncertainty, may pay them the more worship and reverence" (Euripides, 'Hec.,' 957). "God hath power to change the lowly for the lofty; he weakens the distinguished, he brings the obscure to the light; Fortune with shrill sound here removes the towering crest, and here she sets it up" (Horace, 'Od.,' 1:35). The brief sum of life's days forbids us to cherish a long hope (ibid., 1:4). We must learn in a Christian sense to "pluck the day, and have the smallest confidence in what is to come" (ibid., 1:11). What the morrow may bring we should shun to inquire, and count as a gain every day that may be given us (ibid., 1:9). "Too late is the life of to-morrow; live to-day!" (Martial).

2. A further picture of the social esteem and respect in which his past days had been spent. The members of his tribe or clan all looked up to him, listened in silence to his address, and had nothing to add alter he had spoken. His speech fell upon them like the refreshing rain for which the thirsty pastures long - the late rain which in March or April blesses the ripening crops (comp. Deuteronomy 11:14; Jeremiah 3:3; Jeremiah 5:24; Joel 2:23; Hosea 6:3). His cheerful smile dismissed men's rising fears, the light of his countenance was like the sun dispelling the clouds of doubt or alarm. He sat in the midst of the assembly of his tribe, guiding, commanding, directing, like a king in the midst of his battle-host; or, as if this picture were too warlike and remote from the peaceful scenes of the patriarch's life, he sat among them as a general consoler, a comforter of the mourners. Thus -

"Remembrance wakes with all her busy train,
Sucks at his breast, and turns the past to pain? But we have a power over this "bosom-spring," and may cheer or sadden ourselves with retrospect, according as we take the golden key of faith or the iron key of despondency wherewith to unlock the door of the past. Do not these bright memories of a well-spent past afford solace to the afflicted hero, though they also touch the nerves to pain? Let it be ours so to use memory that it still yield instructive joy and hope. As we turn over her mixed records, let us say to ourselves, "The joys we have possessed are ever ours - out of the reach of chance and change. Let past years, so far as they are marked with the greatness of God, with acts of piety, works of love, breed in us perpetual benedictions." - J.

Job had lived in honour and great respect. He was "the greatest of all the men of the East." The Divine testimony concerning him was, "There is none like him in the earth." Job's was an enviable condition, and his own words indicate how sensible he was of it. In his mournful utterance, made as he looks back upon a dead past, we see wherein consisted his happiness; and we learn what arc the elemental conditions of the highest felicity in human life - at least at that period of the world's history. Nor can we think of loftier conditions to-day. The conditions of happiness on the loss of which Job mournfully reflected are -

I. THE ASSURED FAVOUR OF JEHOVAH. The proof of this to Job was in his abounding prosperity.

II. DOMESTIC FELICITY. If the joy of home be destroyed, all joy must wither.

III. THE RESPECT OF SURROUNDING SOCIETY. It is always painful to a right-minded man not to be held in respect by his fellow-men; and although it may minister to pride in the unwary, it is to the prudent a source of the greatest satisfaction, especially when it is subordinated to the honour that cometh from God only.

IV. THE HONOURABLE REGARD EVEN OF THE GREAT. The very princes and nobles held silence when he spake. He who is so highly honoured cannot but honour himself. Happy the man whose self-respect so ripens.

V. THE EXERCISE OF CHARITY, without which the heart would become selfish.

VI. THE RESPONSIVE BLESSINGS OF MEN, sweet as nard of great price.


VIII. THE EXERCISE OF HIS POWER AND WEALTH FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE NEEDY AND OPPRESSED. Every kind act leaves a fragrance on the hand of him who does it.

IX. THE POSSESSION OF HOPE. It might be said the hope of the permanence of these precious possessions.

X. A CAUSE OF BLESSING TO OTHERS. In these lies the secret of the truest happiness, but many deserve them not, and having them are not able to retain their integrity and simplicity. Hence how often are they withdrawn! The absence of these Job is called to mourn. To hold fast his integrity in the loss as truly as amidst the possession of these things marks the true greatness and goodness of the man, and ultimately brings him the highest honour. - R.G.

I. IT IS NATURAL TO LOOK BACK WITH REGRET ON THE HAPPY PAST. The memory of past joy is not wholly pleasant. If the joy is gone, the memory only adds pain to the present sense of loss. Several things contribute to give intensity to the feeling of regret.

1. Many of the best blessings are not appreciated while we possess them. We have to lose them to learn their value. This is especially true of great common blessings, such as the buoyancy of youth, health, affluence. When all goes well with us we do not consider how many gifts of God we are enjoying. The charm of summer is appreciated when dull November makes us look back on the lost days of brightness. We wake up to the value of our loved ones when they have been taken from us by the hand of death. Adversity reveals the privileges of prosperity. Declining years teach the value of youth.

2. Reflection grows with years. It has been remarked upon as a misfortune that so many of the best things in life seem to be lavished upon an age that is carelessly negligent of them. Strength, energy, health, happiness, in abundance are enjoyed in youth without a thought. When these treasures are more scarce they are carefully economized and highly valued. In later years the habit of looking backward grows upon us, and reflection takes the place of heedless activity. Thus we consider find appreciate with regret in the later years of life what we disregarded in the earlier times of possession.

3. Memory throws a delusive glamour over the past. The distant hills are beautiful; we see their purple shadows, we do not observe their stony paths. Youth is not so sunny as age paints it. Keen pains of youth are forgotten in after-years, especially if those years have brought with them the fortitude that despises such sufferings. For there is a gain in years, and this very gain leads to an over-valuation of youth. Patience and self-control are acquired by experience, and while they help us to bear much that would be intolerable to youth, they also lead us to smile at and under-estimate the wild distresses of earlier years.

IX. IT IS GOOD TO APPRECIATE THE DIVINE BLESSINGS OF THE HAPPY PAST. Job acknowledged that God had preserved him in past days. The candle of the Lord had then shone upon his head. He enjoyed God's friendship when he came to maturity.

1. This adds poignancy to the grief of regret. God has not been sufficiently appreciated. His blessings have not been acknowledged with merited gratitude. Or if no self-accusations arise on these points, still the loss of God's favour seems to accompany the loss of his gifts. The regret has deeper thoughts than those concerning earthly good things. Apparently deserted by God, the troubled man cries, with poor Cowper -

"Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus and his Word?"

2. This should really inspire hope. God is not fickle. His constancy is deeper than appearances. We may have lost hold of his goodness through our own sin or distrust. Perhaps, however, we are deluding ourselves; he is really nearer to us in adversity than he was in prosperity, only we cannot understand the mysteries of his providence. Assuredly, if God once loved and cared for his children, he will never forsake them.

3. This should urge the young to appreciate their privileges. It is not desirable that any should reflect overmuch on their present happy condition, because the charm of it is its unconscious freedom and activity. But it is only right to acknowledge the goodness of God with thankfulness; and to so use early privileges that we shall not afterwards look back with regret on a misspent youth. - W.F.A.

Job paints a glowing picture of his honoured condition in past days. Then he was more than prosperous. He was treated with great deference. Let us gather up the traits of the character that wins respect, and in order to do so let us distinguish them from false grounds of deference.


1. Power. Multitudes cringe before mere power, either in fear of giving offence or with a hope of gaining some advantage. The Oriental makes his humble salaam to the infidel whom in his heart he despises. This deference is no credit to either party.

2. Wealth. The worship of mammon may be less visibly cruel than the worship of Mars, and yet in some respects it is more degrading, for it calls out no heroic qualities. The deference shown to the rich simply because they are rich is one of the most unworthy characteristics of human weakness. It is not peculiar to our own age; this miserable sycophantic spirit was ridiculed by Roman satirists and reprobated by New Testament writers (e.g. James 2:2). Its sordid meanness humiliates all who are enslaved by it.

3. Self-assertion. The world is often too easy in taking men at their own valuation of themselves. Because a great claim is made it is often tacitly assented to, simply because people are too indolent or too cowardly to question it. But self-importance is not greatness.

4. Success. There is more in this when it is not merely a business matter, when it indicates sterling qualities of ability and energy. Still, good fortune may have much to do with it, and conscientious scruples may have been trampled down in the fierce determination to win it at any cost. Then the failure that would not stoop to the lower and more easy means of success is infinitely more worthy of honour.

II. THE TRUE CHARACTER THAT WINS RESPECT. it is portrayed in Job's description of his own happy past. Why was this hushed deference of old men as well as young, of princes and nobles? The answer is to be found in the conduct of Job.

1. Active benevolence. "Job delivered the poor that cried," etc. Here was more than princely generosity. It costs a man absolutely nothing to leave a big legacy to the poor, and it does not hurt him much to give freely during his lifetime out of his superfluous cash. On the contrary, the money may be profitably laid out, even from a purely worldly and selfish point of view, in the honour of standing well in subscription-lists. But the greater honour is due to those who exert themselves for the good of their brother-men. Lord Shaftesbury was a man of small means. His fame is not founded on money gifts; it rests on the more solid foundation of self-denying labours.

2. Integrity. Job put on righteousness, and it clothed him. Without this, benevolence is of little value. We must be just before we are generous. A Christian man of business should see to it that his name is without reproach in the commercial world. Truth and honesty are primary conditions of respect.

3. Wisdom. "Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel" (ver. 21). Had Job been a foolish, though a well-meaning man, deference to his counsel would have been asign of weakness on the part of others. But he proved himself to be a man of strong mental power and of true wisdom. We owe respect to the "men of light and leading" when their leading is determined by their light. - W.F.A.

I. WHY IT IS VALUABLE. We cannot but be struck with this beautiful trait in Job's autobiographical sketch. It is better than all renown. The clamours of the multitude are poor plaudits compared with the blessing of the poor. Many people may be indifferent to it. They may be satisfied if only they can grasp power, and compel the homage of the great, although their path is followed by "curses not loud, but deep." Cruel conquerors, ruthless tyrants, hard-hearted men of the world, know nothing of the blessing Job here describes. Yet it is solid and teal.

1. It springs from true appreciation. This is no superficial praise required by custom or prompted by shallow motives. It arises out of a genuine perception of goodness.

2. It is characterized by gratitude. Thus it con-talus warmer feelings than those of admiration. An element of awakening affection enters into it. Now, it is better to be loved by the obscure than to be merely honoured by the great; it is better to be loved by a few than to be applauded by a multi-rode.

3. It is accompanied by the approval of Christ. He tells us that what we do to one of the least of his brethren we do to him. He commends the good Samaritan to us as an approved example. Therefore the gratitude of the humble poor carries with it the smile of Heaven.

4. It is powerful for good. Men try to win the favour of the great who can do much for them, and selfishly disregard the opinions of the poor who seem to have power to do them but little good or harm. Yet the blessings of the helpless are prayers to the great Friend of the helpless. They bring down the blessings of God. Happy is the man who lives under these conditions!


1. By means of genuine goodness. Clamours of applause may be won by very equivocal conduct. Superficial things may excite extraordinary admiration. People rush to stare and shout after any celebrity. But they want to know more before they will bless one. This devout well-wishing and praying for a person which we call blessing can only be earned by real and solid goodness.

2. Through the exercise of sympathy. The helpless and perishing may be constrained to avail themselves of favours tossed to them from a distance by a hand of proud patronage, and perhaps even of scornful contempt, But if there is no grace in the gift there will be little gratitude in the reception of it. If we would earn the blessing of the helpless we must win their love, and in order to do that we must manifest love to them. Sympathy unlocks the fountains of the heart.

3. In deeds of active helpfulness. If the sympathy is genuine it will lead spotaneously to such deeds. We cannot truly sympathize with a person in trouble without desiring to help him. Now, the active helpfulness will be the sign and seal of the sympathy. This it was that secured Job's place in the heart of the poor. Men have heaped honours on the head of the "Happy Warrior." The time has come when we should revive the better glories of Job's days. If we desire to win a position in the world, let us save our ambition from sordid or even wicked aims. Let him be first in love and service who would be first in honour. This is Christ's rule (Mark 9:35). - W.F.A.


1. It covers. If a man has but a good character, we can pardon much else in him. He may be weak, foolish, unfortunate. He may have failed in the world, and have come down to poverty. Yet he is not in rags. A royal robe covers him, and, in the eyes of those who can appreciate true worth, this is the one thing seen about him.

2. It protects. The garment is to keep off the chill winds and damping mists and scorching sun. Righteousness is more than a stout garment. It is a piece of armour - a breastplate, protecting the heart (Ephesians 6:14). When once a man is assured of the integrity of his cause he can look the whole world in the face; he can dare to go through fire and water; he is strong and safe where one with an evil conscience may well tremble and cower.

3. It adorns. This righteousness is not only decent and comforting, like a thick, warm, homespun garment; it is more beautiful than a king's clothing of purple and silk and gold embroidery. There is no beauty so fair as that of goodness.

4. It cannot be hidden. It is not a secret confined to the heart. It must be there first, it must spring from the heart. But it is not hidden within. Character is visible, like a garment worn in the street.

II. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH THUS CLOTHES MUST BE REAL. It is only the perversity of an erroneous theology that could ever make it necessary to utter so obvious a sentence as this. There is a way of referring to the imputed righteousness of Christ as though this dispensed with the necessity of our being ourselves righteous. Surely such a doctrine would be immoral. In what respects could this so-called robe of righteousness be distinguished from the hypocrite's cloak? If Christ's righteousness were only to hide our unrighteousness without curing it, not only would a great deception be practised, but no real good would be done. The result would be an unmitigated evil. For what is our curse and our ruin? Is it not our sin? If so, nothing can benefit us that does not destroy that sin. Therefore an attempt to cover it up and leave it unaltered will do us no good, but will injure us by drugging our conscience and giving us a false assurance. In Eastern cities an open drain runs down the middle of the street, and is not so offensive as one might think, because it is always being oxidized and purified by the fresh air. We cover over our drains, but make ventilating holes in our streets, through which gases of concentrated foulness, unmixed with pure air, are continually rising among the passers-by. Have we gained much?

III. ONLY CHRIST CAN CLOTHE US WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS. Self-righteousness is a delusion. We cannot make ourselves righteous, nor can any law put us right with God. St. Paul demonstrated this in the opening chapters of his Epistle to the Romans. But he also showed that God had given us righteousness in Christ (Romans 3:21, 22). Now, this comes first of all in forgiveness. We are then put in a right relation with God, before we have overcome all the sin that dwells within us. Christ is the promise of our future righteousness. In this way his righteousness means much to us. God cannot be taken in by any fiction. He can only regard us just as we are. But he can treat us for Christ's sake better than we deserve. So through Christ we are placed in right relations with God, and those right relations are the channels through which real righteousness comes into us. - W.F.A.

Accepting the rendering that is now adopted by most of the abler commentators - that which is given in the margin of the Revised Version - we see Job comparing himself in his earlier days to the phoenix, which, "according to the Egyptian legend, lived five hundred years, and then, setting fire to its nest, renewed its youth in the funeral pyre." Youth cannot believe in death, unless, indeed, it falls into a sentimental mood, or is startled by the ugly fact itself. Naturally, when health is unbroken, and all goes well, life seems to open up an endless vista of days to the young man. This view contains both a foolish delusion and a Divine truth.

I. THE FOOLISH DELUSION. The phoenix was only a fabulous bird; no such creature exists in nature. No one has ever found the elixir of life. The idea that life is long is a delusion of youth. It springs in part from the freshness of things, and in part from the overflowing vitality of youth. In his address to a butterfly, Wordsworth says -

Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now." Perhaps there is no reason to shatter this delusion. Why should we spoil the sunshine of youth with the shadow of coming years? The world could not go on without young enthusiasm, and hope is essential to young enthusiasm. Yet it is possible to be led into practical mistakes by this delusion. The young may think that there is plenty of time before them, and the thought may be used as an excuse for indolence, negligence, and the postponement of duty. Then a sudden awakening comes with a shock of alarm, as it is perceived only too late that the golden opportunities of youth are gone - for ever!

II. THE DIVINE TRUTH. Clement of Rome appealed to the phoenix as a witness for the resurrection. We smile at his credulity. But may we not appeal to the legend of the phoenix as an evidence of the instinct of immortality? Why is it so natural to us to believe that life will go on for ever? Shall we put this idea down entirely to the delusion of circumstances and of our own vitality? Does it not spring from something deeper in our nature? Be that as it may, however, Christ has come to satisfy the desire and to confirm the hope. Job confessed the foolishness of his youthful dreams, yet even he in those old-world days had occasional glimpses of the life beyond the grave, and we have a grand assurance of that life in Christ and his resurrection. The mistake is to dream of an earthly immortality. The old man who cherishes fond hopes of living a little longer is not much better off than the drowning man catching at a straw. But he who has a hold on the life eternal can afford to see the years rushing away, swifter than a weaver's shuttle. He must make the best of them while he has them; for this life is with him but once, and he will have to give an account of it hereafter; for there is a hereafter - a great day of God's eternity that knows no sunset. - W.F.A.

Among the happy circumstances of Job's sunny days of prosperity, he recalls the welcome that was accorded to his words of advice. Too often advice is more freely offered than thankfully received. Let us, then, consider the quality, the utility, and the acceptance of welcome counsel.

I. THE QUALITY OF WELCOME COUNSEL. What conditions must be fulfilled to make advice worthy of acceptation?

1. It must be full of knowledge. A glib tongue is ready enough to offer gratuitous advice, but we want to ascertain whether a full mind is inspiring it. Religious teachers must know for themselves before they can safely lead others. The doubt that is pardonable in the private person may be fatal to the public instructor.

2. It must be based on experience. Evidently Job was a man of wide experience. He spoke out of the fulness of his own observation of the world. Armchair counsellors are not much valued. An apprenticeship must be served to the affairs on which we would give advice.

3. It must be accompanied by practical wisdom. Knowledge and experience may find a man very foolish, and leave him so. We have to learn how to apply our acquisitions. We need practical tact in dealing with men and affairs.

4. It must be offered in sympathy. It is very little good to give preaching advice. We must talk to a man as a brother. We must let people see that we care for them, and that we are truly studying their good. A suspicion that the advice is not disinterested vitiates it entirely.

II. THE UTILITY OF WELCOME COUNSEL. Bushels of advice have to be thrown on one side as so much burdensome rubbish. Nevertheless, the rare value of really good advice is beyond all reckoning.

1. Right living is supremely important. Counsel deals with life rather than with opinions. It touches conduct. Now, as Matthew Arnold quaintly says, "conduct is three parts of life." Anything that really helps conduct must be valuable.

2. Right living is not easy. We are often perplexed and in uncertainty. Our prejudices and interests warp our judgments.

3. External advice brings new light. It may not be better than what we already possess; but it is an addition. The wise counsellor helps us to look at our affairs from a fresh point of view. At the same time, he comes with a certain calmness and detachment that enable him to take a fair view of the situation.


1. It needs humility to receive it. We are all ready to receive the advice that concurs with our previous opinions; but that advice is scarcely needed. The difficulty is to accept the advice that contradicts our notions or wishes. Pride resents it; yet it may be most needful to us.

2. It should be taken with discrimination. Well-meant advice may be very foolish; even wise advice is not infallible. We have to select what commends itself to our judgment.

3. It ought not to supersede independent thought and choice. We may be advised by counsellors; but we have no business to let ourselves be ruled by them. After all, it is we and not they who will be responsible for what we do. Let us, then, preserve independence of judgment, and cultivate strength of will.

4. It deserves to be treated with gratitude. For the sake of its value. Also because, if it is worth much, it must have cost our counsellor time and pains. Too often giving advice is a very thankless task. N.B. - All earthly counsel is useful only in so far as it follows the heavenly, of which it is a type. The most welcome counsel should be that which comes through the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. - W.F.A.

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