And Job answered and said,…
Now in these verses Job asserts his moral manhood, he rises from the pressure of his sufferings and the loads of sophistry and implied calumny which his friends had laid upon his spirit, speaks out with the heart of a true man. We have an illustration of independency of thought in religion, and this shall be our subject. A man though crushed in every respect, like Job, should not surrender this.
I. FROM THE CAPACITY OF THE SOUL.
1. Man has a capacity to form conceptions of the cardinal principles of religion. He can think of God, the soul, duty, moral obligation, Christ, immortality, etc.
2. Man has a capacity to realise the practical force of these conceptions. He can turn them into emotions to fire his soul; he can embody — them as principles in his life.
II. FROM THE DESPOTISM OF CORRUPT RELIGION. Corrupt religion, whether Pagan or Christian, Papal or Protestant, always seeks to crush this independency in the individual soul.
III. FROM THE NECESSARY MEANS OF PERSONAL RELIGION. Religion in the soul begins in individual thinking.
IV. FROM THE CONDITIONS OF MORAL USEFULNESS. Every man is bound to be spiritually useful, but he cannot be so without knowledge, and knowledge implies independent study and conviction.
V. FROM THE TEACHINGS OF THE BIBLE. The very existence of the Bible implies our power and obligation in this matter.
VI. FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE JUDGMENT. In the great day of God men will have to give an account of their thoughts and words as well as deeds. Let us, therefore, have the spirit of Job, and when amongst bigots who seek to impose their views on us and override our judgment, let us say, "No doubt ye are the people, end wisdom shall die with you; but I have understanding as well as you."
Parallel VersesKJV: And Job answered and said,
WEB: Then Job answered,