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argument, it may be conquered by emotion, and
"One impulse from the vernal woods
The purport of Jehovah's speech is to inspire
Of course the speech is ancient, not modern, in its tone and tenor. Men in the time of Job had but a very superficial knowledge of natural phenomena. They had attained to no general conceptions such as those of law, force, consciousness, life. They had but little appreciation for the beauty of natural scenery. It was the unusual that chiefly attracted their attention. It is curious that the first half of Jehovah's speech produces less effect upon Job than the second. He is silenced by the mention of light and dew and rain, the instinct of birds and the gentler phases of nature; hit he is not subdued. It is the description of the hippopotamus and the crocodile which bends his haughty spirit. A modern poet would of course have omitted the
second half of the speech and amplified the first. He would have pointed out how the conflicting forces of the external world work together for the production of harmonious and desirable results. He would have drawn attention to some of the innumerable instances of beneficent adaptation with which nature teems. Above all, he would have laid stress upon the fact that she is at times so passing fair, and that her beauty makes us conscious of
'' A presence that disturbs us with the joy
But the aim of the modern poet would have been the same—viz., to give a deeper insight into the wonderfulness of nature.
The Book of Job has frequently been compared to Goethe's 'Faust,' and to the 'Prometheus' of iEschylus. And no doubt there are interesting analogies between them. But understood as I believe it ought to be understood,—regarded as the history of a soul, the poem which most closely resembles it is Lewis Morris's "Evensong." There the poet, like poor Job, passes through all phases of doubt and despair, and, like Job, he eventually attains to faith. The concluding verses of "Evensong" seem to me to be the best paraphrase of the conclusion of the poem we have been engaged in studying:—
"And through all the clear spaces above — 0 wonder! 0
glory of Light!— Came forth myriads on myriads of worlds, the shining host
of the night,—
The vast forces and fires that know the same sun and centre
as we; The faint planets which roll in vast orbits round suns we
shall never see;
The rays which had sped from the first, with the awful swiftness of light,
To reach only then, it might be, the confines of mortal sight.
0 wonder of Cosmical Order! 0 Maker and Ruler of
all, Before whose infinite greatness in silence we worship and
Could I doubt that the will which keeps this great universe
steadfast and sure, Can be less than His creatures thought, full of goodness,
Could I dream that the Power which keeps those great suns
circling around, Takes no thought for the humblest life which flutters and
falls to the ground?
0 Faith! thou art higher than all. — Then I turned from
the glories above, And from every casement new-lit there shone a soft radiance
Young mothers were teaching their children to fold little
hands in prayer; Strong fathers were resting from toil, 'mid the hush of the
Peasant lovers strolled through the lanes, shy and diffident.
each with each, Yet knit by some subtle union too fine for their halting
Humble lives, to low thought, and low; but linked to the
thinker's eye, By a bond that is stronger than death, with the lights of the
Here as there, the great drama of life rolled on, and a jubilant voice
Thrilled through me ineffable, vast, and bade me exult and rejoice:
'Exult and rejoice, 0 soul!' sang my being to a mystical hymn,
As I passed by the cool bright wolds, as I threaded my pinewoods dim;
'Rejoice and be sure!' as I passed to my fair home under the
hill, Wrapt round with a happy content,—And The World And
MY SOUL WERE STILL."
TX7HEN we were considering the Book of Job, we omitted altogether the speech of Elihu, which is manifestly an interpolation. It interferes with the unity and natural development of the poem. It throws no light upon Job's mental experiences, which all the rest of the work is devoted to unfolding. It attempts a logical solution of some of the difficulties Job had started, and a logical solution is altogether alien to the spirit of the poem itself.
It is curious to notice the different opinions which have prevailed among commentators as to the worth or worthlessness of Elihu's remarks. One, for example, calls him a pert and braggart boy, of weak and rambling speech; while another believes that his teaching is too wise and authoritative for merely human lips, and so supposes