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NPNF1-03. On the Holy Trinity; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises
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10. Scripture saith, “Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord.”17801780    James v. 11 When we read what great trials Job endured, it makes one shudder, it makes one shrink, it makes one quake. And what did he receive? The double of what he had lost. Let not a man therefore with an eye to temporal rewards be willing to have patience, and say to himself, “Let me endure loss, God will give me back sons twice as many; Job received double of all, and begat as many sons as he had buried.” Then is this not the double? Yes, precisely the double, because the former sons still lived. Let none say, “Let me bear evils, and God will repay me as He repaid Job:” that it be now no longer patience but avarice. For if it was not patience which that Saint had, nor a brave enduring of all that came upon him; the testimony which the Lord gave, whence should he have it? “Hast thou observed,” saith the Lord, “my servant Job? For there is not like him any on the earth, a man without fault,17811781    Querela true worshipper of God.” What a testimony, my brethren, did this holy man deserve of the Lord! And yet him a bad woman sought by her persuasion to deceive, she too representing that serpent, who, like as in Paradise he deceived the man whom God first made, so likewise here by suggesting blasphemy thought to be able to deceive a man who pleased God. What things he suffered, my brethren! Who can have so much to suffer in his estate, his house, his sons, his flesh, yea in his very wife who was left to be his tempter! But even her who was left, the devil would have taken away long ago, but that he kept her to be his helper: because by Eve he had mastered the first man, therefore had he kept an Eve. What things, then, he suffered! He lost all that he had; his house fell; would that were all! it crushed his sons also. And, to see that patience had great place in him, hear what he answered; “The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away; as it pleased the Lord, so hath it been done;17821782    Lat. from LXX. blessed be the name of the Lord.”17831783    Job i. 21 He hath taken what He gave, is He lost Who gave? He hath taken what He gave. As if he should say, He hath taken away all, let Him take all, send me away naked, and let me keep Him. What shall I lack if I have God? or what is the good of all else to me, if I have not God? Then it came to his flesh, he was stricken with a wound from head to foot; he was one running sore, one mass of crawling worms: and showed himself immovable in his God, stood fixed. The woman wanted, devil’s helper as she was not husband’s comforter, to put him up to blaspheme God. “How long,” said she, “dost thou suffer” so and so; “speak some word against the Lord,17841784    Lat. from LXX. and die.”17851785    Job ii. 9 So then, because he had been brought low, he was to be exalted. And this the Lord did, in order to show it to men; as for His servant, He kept greater things for him in heaven. So then Job who was brought low, He exalted; the devil who was lifted up, He brought low: for “He putteth down one and setteth up another.”17861786    Ps. lxxv. 7 But let not any man, my beloved brethren, when he suffers any such-like tribulations, look for a reward here: for instance, if he suffer any losses, let him not peradventure say, “The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away; as it pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord;” only with the mind to receive twice as much again. Let patience praise God, not avarice. If what thou hast lost thou seekest to receive back twofold, and therefore praisest God, it is of covetousness thou praisest, not of love. Do not imagine this to be the example of that holy man; thou deceivest thyself. When Job was enduring all, he was not hoping for to have twice as much again. Both in his first confession when he bore up under his losses, and bore out to the grave the dead bodies of his sons, and in the second when he was now suffering torments of sores in his flesh, ye may observe what I am saying. Of his former confession the words run thus: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.”17871787    Job i. xxi He might have said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; He that took away can once more give; can bring back more than He took.” He said not this, but, “As it pleased the Lord,” said he, “so is it done:” because it pleases Him, let it please me: let not that which hath pleased the good Lord misplease His submissive servant; what pleased the Physician, not misplease the sick man. Hear his other confession: “Thou hast spoken,” said he to his wife, “like one of the foolish women. If we have received good at the hand of the Lord, why shall we not bear evil?”17881788    Job ii. 10 He did not add, what, if he had said it, would have been true. “The Lord is able both to bring back my flesh into its former condition, and that which He hath taken away from us, to make manifold more:” lest he should seem to have endured in hope of this. This was not what he said, not what he hoped. But, that we might be taught, did the Lord that for him, not hoping for it, by which we should be taught, that God was with him: because if He had not also restored to him those things, there was the crown indeed, but hidden, and we could not see it. And therefore what says the divine Scripture in exhorting to patience and hope of things future, not reward of things present? “Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord.” Why is it, “the patience of Job,” and not, Ye have seen the end of Job himself? Thou wouldest open thy mouth for the “twice as much;” wouldest say, “Thanks be to God; let me bear up: I receive twice as much again, like Job.” “Patience of Job, end of the Lord.” The patience of Job we know, and the end of the Lord we know.17891789    Ps. xxii. 1 What end of the Lord? “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” They are the words of the Lord hanging on the cross. He did as it were leave Him for present felicity, not leave Him for eternal immortality. In this is “the end of the Lord.” The Jews hold Him, the Jews insult, the Jews bind Him, crown Him with thorns, dishonor Him with spitting, scourge Him, overwhelm Him with revilings, hang Him upon the tree, pierce Him with a spear, last of all bury Him. He was as it were left: but by whom? By those insulting ones. Therefore thou shall but to this end have patience, that thou mayest rise again and not die, that is, never die, even as Christ. For so we read, “Christ rising from the dead henceforth dieth not.”17901790    Rom. vi. 9. The Article of the descent into Hell appears not to have been included in this Creed.


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