This is Job's reply to Zophar's discourse, in which he complains less
of his own miseries than he had done in his former discourses (finding
that his friends were not moved by his complaints to pity him in the
least), and comes closer to the general question that was in dispute
between him and them, Whether outward prosperity, and the continuance
of it, were a mark of the true church and the true members of it, so
that the ruin of a man's prosperity is sufficient to prove him a
hypocrite, though no other evidence appear against him: this they
asserted, but Job denied.
I. His preface here is designed for the moving of their affections,
that he might gain their attention,
II. His discourse is designed for the convincing of their judgments and
the rectifying of their mistakes. He owns that God does sometimes hang
up a wicked man as it were in chains, in terrorem--as a terror
to others, by some visible remarkable judgment in this life, but denies
that he always does so; nay, he maintains that commonly he does
otherwise, suffering even the worst of sinners to live all their days
in prosperity and to go out of the world without any visible mark of
his wrath upon them.
1. He describes the great prosperity of wicked people,
2. He shows their great impiety, in which they are hardened by their
3. He foretels their ruin at length, but after a long reprieve,
4. He observes a very great variety in the ways of God's providence
towards men, even towards bad men,
5. He overthrows the ground of their severe censures of him, by showing
that the destruction of the wicked is reserved for the other world, and
that they often escape to the last in this world
and in this Job was clearly in the right.
|The Reply of Job to Zophar.
||B. C. 1520.|
1 But Job answered and said,
2 Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.
3 Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken,
4 As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why
should not my spirit be troubled?
5 Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your
6 Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold
on my flesh.
Job here recommends himself, both his case and his discourse, both what
he suffered and what he said, to the compassionate consideration of his
1. That which he entreats of them is very fair, that they would suffer
him to speak
and not break in upon him, as Zophar had done, in the midst of his
discourse. Losers, of all men, may have leave to speak; and, if those
that are accused and censured are not allowed to speak for themselves,
they are wronged without remedy, and have no way to come at their
right. He entreats that they would hear diligently his speech
as those that were willing to understand him, and, if they were under a
mistake, to have it rectified; and that they would mark him
for we may as well not hear as not heed and observe what we hear.
2. That which he urges for this is very reasonable.
(1.) They came to comfort him. "No," says he, "let this be your
if you have no other comforts to administer to me, yet deny me not
this; be so kind, so just, as to give me a patient hearing, and that
shall pass for your consolations of me." Nay, they could not know how
to comfort him if they would not give him leave to open his case and
tell his own story. Or, "It will be a consolation to yourselves, in
reflection, to have dealt tenderly with your afflicted friend, and not
(2.) He would hear them speak when it came to their turn. "After I have
spoken you may go on with what you have to say, and I will not hinder
you, no, though you go on to mock me." Those that engage in controversy
must reckon upon having hard words given them, and resolve to bear
reproach patiently; for, generally, those that mock will mock on,
whatever is said to them.
(3.) He hoped to convince them. "If you will but give me a fair
hearing, mock on if you can, but I believe I shall say that which will
change your note and make you pity me rather than mock me."
(4.) They were not his judges
"Is my complaint to man? No, if it were I see it would be to
little purpose to complain. But my complaint is to God, and to him do I
appeal. Let him be Judge between you and me. Before him we stand upon
even terms, and therefore I have the privilege of being heard as well
as you. If my complaint were to men, my spirit would be troubled, for
they would not regard me, nor rightly understand me; but my complaint
is to God, who will suffer me to speak, though you will not." It would
be sad if God should deal as unkindly with us as our friends sometimes
(5.) There was that in his case which was very surprising and
astonishing, and therefore both needed and deserved their most serious
consideration. It was not a common case, but a very extraordinary one.
[1.] He himself was amazed at it, at the troubles God had laid upon him
and the censures of his friends concerning him
"When I remember that terrible day in which I was on a sudden
stripped of all my comforts, that day in which I was stricken with sore
boils,--when I remember all the hard speeches with which you have
grieved me,--I confess I am afraid, and trembling takes hold of my
flesh, especially when I compare this with the prosperous condition
of many wicked people, and the applauses of their neighbours, with
which they pass through the world." Note, The providences of God, in
the government of the world, are sometimes very astonishing even to
wise and good men, and bring them to their wits' end.
[2.] He would have them wonder at it
"Mark me, and be astonished. Instead of expounding my troubles,
you should awfully adore the unsearchable mysteries of Providence in
afflicting one thus of whom you know no evil; you should therefore
lay your hand upon your mouth, silently wait the issue, and
judge nothing before the time. God's way is in the sea, and his
path in the great waters. When we cannot account for what he does,
in suffering the wicked to prosper and the godly to be afflicted, nor
fathom the depth of those proceedings, it becomes us to sit down and
admire them. Upright men shall be astonished at this,
Be you so."
|Prosperity of the Wicked; Abuse of Earthly Prosperity.
||B. C. 1520.|
7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in
8 Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their
offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of
God upon them.
10 Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth,
and casteth not her calf.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their
12 They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of
13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to
14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire
not the knowledge of thy ways.
15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what
profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
16 Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the
wicked is far from me.
All Job's three friends, in their last discourses, had been very
copious in describing the miserable condition of a wicked man in this
world. "It is true," says Job, "remarkable judgments are sometimes
brought upon notorious sinners, but not always; for we have many
instances of the great and long prosperity of those that are openly and
avowedly wicked; though they are hardened in their wickedness by their
prosperity, yet they are still suffered to prosper."
I. He here describes their prosperity in the height, and breadth, and
length of it. "If this be true, as you say, pray tell me wherefore
do the wicked live?"
1. The matter of fact is taken for granted, for we see instances of it
(1.) They live, and are not suddenly cut off by the strokes of divine
vengeance. Those yet speak who have set their mouths against the
heavens. Those yet act who have stretched out their hands against God.
Not only they live (that is, they are reprieved), but they live in
1 Samuel 25:6.
(2.) They become old; they have the honour, satisfaction, and
advantage of living long, long enough to raise their families and
estates. We read of a sinner a hundred years old,
But this is not all.
(3.) They are mighty in power, are preferred to places of
authority and trust, and not only make a great figure, but bear a great
sway. Vivit imo, et in senatum venit--He not only lives, but
appears in the senate. Now wherefore is it so? Note, It is worth
while to enquire into the reasons of the outward prosperity of wicked
people. It is not because God has forsaken the earth, because he does
not see, or does not hate, or cannot punish their wickedness; but it is
because the measure of their iniquities is not full. This is the day of
God's patience, and, in some way or other, he makes use of them and
their prosperity to serve his own counsels, while it ripens them for
ruin; but the chief reason is because he will make it to appear there
is another world which is the world of retribution, and not this.
2. The prosperity of the wicked is here described to be,
(1.) Complete and consummate.
[1.] They are multiplied, and their family is built up, and they have
the satisfaction of seeing it
Their seed is established in their sight. This is put first, as
that which gives both a pleasant enjoyment and a pleasing prospect.
[2.] They are easy and quiet,
Whereas Zophar had spoken of their continual frights and terrors, Job
says, Their houses are safe both from danger and from the fear
and so far are they from the killing wounds of God's sword or arrows
that they do not feel the smart of so much as the rod of God upon
[3.] They are rich and thrive in their estates. Of this he gives only
Their cattle increase, and they meet with no disappointment in them;
not so much as a cow casts her calf, and then their much must needs
grow more. This is promised,
[4.] They are merry and live a jovial life
They send forth their little ones abroad among their neighbours,
like a flock, in great numbers, to sport themselves. They have
their balls and music-meetings, at which their children dance;
and dancing is fittest for children, who know not better how to spend
their time and whose innocency guards them against the mischiefs that
commonly attend it. Though the parents are not so very youthful and
frolicsome as to dance themselves, yet they take the timbrel and
harp; they pipe, and their children dance after their pipe, and
they know no grief to put their instruments out of tune or to withhold
their hearts from any joy. Some observe that this is an instance of
their vanity, as well as of their prosperity. Here is none of that care
taken of their children which Abraham took of his, to teach them the
way of the Lord,
Their children do not pray, or say their catechism, but dance, and
sing, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. Sensual pleasures
are all the delights of carnal people, and as men are themselves so
they breed their children.
(2.) Continuing and constant
They spend their days, all their days, in wealth, and
never know what it is to want--in mirth, and never know what sadness
means; and at last, without any previous alarms to frighten them,
without any anguish or agony, in a moment they go down to the
grave, and there are no bands in their death. If there were not
another life after this, it were most desirable to die by the quickest
shortest strokes of death. Since we must go down to the grave,
if that were the furthest of our journey, we should wish to go down
in a moment, to swallow the bitter pill, and not chew it.
II. He shows how they abuse their prosperity and are confirmed and
hardened by it in their impiety,
1. Their gold and silver serve to steel them, to make them more
insolent, and more impudent, in their wickedness. Now he mentions this
(1.) To increase the difficulty. It is strange that any wicked people
should prosper thus, but especially that those should prosper who have
arrived at such a pitch of wickedness as openly to bid defiance to God
himself, and tell him to his face that they care not for him; nay, and
that their prosperity should be continued, though they bear up
themselves upon that, in their opposition to God; with that weapon they
fight against him, and yet are not disarmed. Or,
(2.) To lessen the difficulty. God suffers them to prosper; but let us
not wonder at it, for the prosperity of fools destroys them, by
hardening them in sin,
Prov. i. 32; Ps. lxxiii. 7-9.
2. See how light these prospering sinners make of God and religion, as
if because they have so much of this world they had no need to look
(1.) See how ill affected they are to God and religion; they abandon
them, and cast off the thoughts of them.
[1.] They dread the presence of God; they say unto him, "Depart from
us; let us never be troubled with the apprehension of our being
under God's eye nor be restrained by the fear of him." Or they bid him
depart as one they do not need, nor have any occasion to make use of.
The world is the portion they have chosen, and take up with, and think
themselves happy in; while they have that they can live without God.
Justly will God say Depart
to those who have bidden him depart; and justly does he now take them
at their word.
[2.] They dread the knowledge of God, and of his will, and of their
duty to him: We desire not the knowledge of thy ways. Those that
are resolved not to walk in God's ways desire not to know them, because
their knowledge will be a continual reproach to their disobedience,
(2.) See how they argue against God and religion
What is the Almighty? Strange that ever creatures should speak
so insolently, that ever reasonable creatures should speak so absurdly
and unreasonably. The two great bonds by which we are drawn and held to
religion are those of duty and interest; now they here endeavour to
break both these bonds asunder.
[1.] They will not believe it is their duty to be religious: What is
the Almighty, that we should serve him? Like Pharaoh
Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice? Observe,
First, How slightly they speak of God: What is the
Almighty? As if he were a mere name, a mere cipher, or one they
have nothing to do with and that has nothing to do with them.
Secondly, How hardly they speak of religion. They call it a
service, and mean a hard service. Is it not enough, they think,
to keep up a fair correspondence with the Almighty, but they must serve
him, which they look upon as a task and drudgery. Thirdly, How
highly they speak of themselves: "That we should serve him; we
who are rich and mighty in power, shall we be subject and accountable
to him? No, we are lords,"
[2.] They will not believe it is their interest to be religious:
What profit shall we have if we pray unto him? All the world are
for what they can get, and therefore wisdom's merchandise is
neglected, because they think there is nothing to be got by it. It
is vain to serve God,
Praying will not pay debts nor portion children; nay, perhaps serious
godliness may hinder a man's preferment and expose him to losses; and
what then? Is nothing to be called gain but the wealth and honour of
this world? If we obtain the favour of God, and spiritual and eternal
blessings, we have no reason to complain of losing by our religion.
But, if we have not profit by prayer, it is our own fault
it is because we ask amiss,
Religion itself is not a vain thing; if it be so to us, we may thank
ourselves for resting in the outside of it,
III. He shows their folly herein, and utterly disclaims all concurrence
Lo, their good is not in their hand, that is, they did not get
it without God, and therefore they are very ungrateful to slight him
thus. It was not their might, nor the power of their hand, that
got them this wealth, and therefore they ought to remember God who gave
it them. Nor can they keep it without God, and therefore they are very
unwise to lose their interest in him and bid him to depart from them.
Some give this sense of it: "Their good is in their barns and their
bags, hoarded up there; it is not in their hand, to do good to others
with it; and then what good does it do them?" "Therefore," says Job,
"the counsel of the wicked is far from me. Far be it from me
that I should be of their mind, say as they say, do as they do, and
take my measures from them. Their posterity approve their
sayings, though their way be their folly
Ps. xlix. 13);
but I know better things than to walk in their counsel."
|Certain Punishments of the Wicked; Divine Sovereignty.
||B. C. 1520.|
17 How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft
cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in
18 They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the
storm carrieth away.
19 God layeth up his iniquity for his children: he rewardeth
him, and he shall know it.
20 His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of
the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the
number of his months is cut off in the midst?
22 Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those
that are high.
23 One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and
24 His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened
25 And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never
eateth with pleasure.
26 They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall
Job had largely described the prosperity of wicked people; now, in
I. He opposes this to what his friends had maintained concerning their
certain ruin in this life. "Tell me how often do you see the
candle of the wicked put out? Do you not as often see it burnt down
to the socket, until it goes out of itself?
How often do you see their destruction come upon them, or God
distributing sorrows in his anger among them? Do you not as often
see their mirth and prosperity continuing to the last?" Perhaps there
are as many instances of notorious sinners ending their days in pomp as
ending them in misery, which observation is sufficient to invalidate
their arguments against Job and to show that no certain judgment can be
made of men's character by their outward condition.
II. He reconciles this to the holiness and justice of God. Though
wicked people prosper thus all their days, yet we are not therefore to
think that God will let their wickedness always go unpunished. No,
1. Even while they prosper thus they are as stubble and chaff
before the stormy wind,
They are light and worthless, and of no account either with God or with
wise and good men. They are fitted to destruction, and continually lie
exposed to it, and in the height of their pomp and power there is but a
step between them and ruin.
2. Though they spend all their days in wealth God is laying up
their iniquity for their children
and he will visit it upon their posterity when they are gone. The
oppressor lays up his goods for his children, to make them gentlemen,
but God lays up his iniquity for them, to make them beggars. He keeps
an exact account of the fathers' sins, seals them up among his
and will justly punish the children, while the riches, to which the
curse cleaves, are found as assets in their hands.
3. Though they prosper in this world, yet they shall be reckoned with
in another world. God rewards him according to his deeds at last
though the sentence passed against his evil works be not executed
speedily. Perhaps he may not now be made to fear the wrath to come,
but he may flatter himself with hopes that he shall have peace though
he go on; but he shall be made to feel it in the day of the revelation
of the righteous judgment of God. He shall know it
His eyes shall see his destruction which he would not be
persuaded to believe. They will not see, but they shall see,
The eyes that have been wilfully shut against the grace of God shall be
opened to see his destruction. He shall drink of the wrath of the
Almighty; that shall be the portion of his cup. Compare
The misery of damned sinners is here set forth in a few words, but very
terrible ones. They lie under the wrath of an Almighty God, who, in
their destruction, both shows his wrath and makes known his power; and,
if this will be his condition in the other world, what good will his
prosperity in this world do him? What pleasure has he in his house
Our Saviour has let us know how little pleasure the rich man in hell
had in his house after him, when the remembrance of the good things he
had received in his life-time would not cool his tongue, but added much
to his misery, as did also the sorrow he was in lest his five brethren,
whom he left in his house after him, should follow him to that place of
So little will the gain of the world profit him that has lost his
III. He resolves this difference which Providence makes between one
wicked man and another into the wisdom and sovereignty of God
Shall any pretend to teach God knowledge? Dare we arraign God's
proceedings or blame his conduct? Shall we take upon us to tell God how
he should govern the world, what sinner he should spare and whom he
should punish? He has both authority and ability to judge those that
are high. Angels in heaven, princes and magistrates on earth, are
accountable to God, and must receive their doom from him. He manages
them, and makes what use he pleases of them. Shall he then be
accountable to us, or receive advice from us? He is the Judge of all
the earth, and therefore no doubt he will do right
and those proceedings of his providence which seem to contradict one
another he can make, not only mutually to agree, but jointly to serve
his own purposes. The little difference there is between one wicked
man's dying so in pain and misery, when both will at last meet in hell,
he illustrates by the little difference there is between one man's
dying suddenly and another's dying slowly, when they will both meet
shortly in the grave. So vast is the disproportion between time and
eternity that, if hell be the lot of every sinner at last, it makes
little difference if one goes singing thither and another sighing.
1. How various the circumstances of people's dying are. There is one
way into the world, we say, but many out; yet, as some are born by
quick and easy labour, others by that which is hard and lingering, so
dying is to some much more terrible than to others; and, since the
death of the body is the birth of the soul into another world,
death-bed agonies may not unfitly be compared to child-bed throes.
Observe the difference.
(1.) One dies suddenly, in his full strength, not weakened by
age or sickness
being wholly at ease and quiet, under no apprehension at all of
the approach of death, nor in any fear of it; but, on the contrary,
because his breasts are full of milk and his bones moistened with
that is, he is healthful and vigorous, and of a good constitution (like
a milch cow that is fat and in good liking), he counts upon nothing but
to live many years in mirth and pleasure. Thus fair does he bid for
life, and yet he is cut off in a moment by the stroke of death. Note,
It is a common thing for persons to be taken away by death when they
are in their full strength, in the highest degree of health, when they
least expect death, and think themselves best armed against it, and are
ready not only to set death at a distance, but to set it at defiance.
Let us therefore never be secure; for we have known many well and dead
in the same week, the same day, the same hour, nay, perhaps, the same
minute. Let us therefore be always ready.
(2.) Another dies slowly, and with a great deal of previous pain and
in the betterness of his soul, such as poor Job was himself now
in, and never eats with pleasure, has no appetite to his food
nor any relish of it, through sickness, or age, or sorrow of mind. What
great reason have those to be thankful that are in health and always
eat with pleasure! And what little reason have those to complain who
sometimes do not eat thus, when they hear of many that never do!
2. How undiscernible this difference is in the grave. As rich and poor,
so healthful and unhealthful, meet there
They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover
them, and feed sweetly on them. Thus, if one wicked man die in a
palace and another in a dungeon, they will meet in the congregation of
the dead and damned, and the worm that dies not, and the fire that is
not quenched, will be the same to them, which makes those differences
inconsiderable and not worth perplexing ourselves about.
|Punishment of the Wicked.
||B. C. 1520.|
27 Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye
wrongfully imagine against me.
28 For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? and where
are the dwelling places of the wicked?
29 Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not
know their tokens,
30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they
shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.
31 Who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay
him what he hath done?
32 Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in
33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every
man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.
34 How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there
In these verses,
I. Job opposes the opinion of his friends, which he saw they still
adhered to, that the wicked are sure to fall into such visible and
remarkable ruin as Job had now fallen into, and none but the wicked,
upon which principle they condemned Job as a wicked man. "I know
your thoughts," says Job
"I know you will not agree with me; for your judgments are tinctured
and biassed by your piques and prejudices against me, and the
devices which you wrongfully imagine against my comfort and honour:
and how can such men be convinced?" Job's friends were ready to say, in
answer to his discourse concerning the prosperity of the wicked,
"Where is the house of the prince?
Where is Job's house, or the house of his eldest son, in which his
children were feasting? Enquire into the circumstances of Job's house
and family, and then ask, Where are the dwelling-places of the
wicked? and compare them together, and you will soon see that Job's
house is in the same predicament with the houses of tyrants and
oppressors, and may therefore conclude that doubtless he was such a
II. He lays down his own judgment to the contrary, and, for proof of
it, appeals to the sentiments and observations of all mankind. So
confident is he that he is in the right that he is willing to refer the
cause to the next man that comes by
"Have you not asked those that go by the way--any indifferent
person, any that will answer you? I say not, as Eliphaz
to which of the saints, but to which of the children of
men will you turn? Turn to which you will, and you will find them
all of my mind, that the punishment of sinners is designed more for the
other world than for this, according to the prophecy of Enoch, the
seventh from Adam,
Do you not know the tokens of this truth, which all that have
made any observations upon the providences of God concerning mankind in
this world can furnish you with?" Now,
1. What is it that Job here asserts? Two things:--
(1.) That impenitent sinners will certainly be punished in the other
world, and, usually, their punishment is put off until then.
(2.) That therefore we are not to think it strange if they prosper
greatly in this world and fall under no visible token of God's wrath.
Therefore they are spared now, because they are to be punished
then; therefore the workers of iniquity flourish, that they
may be destroyed for ever,
The sinner is here supposed,
[1.] To live in a great deal of power, so as to be not only the
terror of the mighty in the land of the living
but the terror of the wise and good too, whom he keeps in such awe that
none dares declare his way to his face,
None will take the liberty to reprove him, to tell him of the
wickedness of his way, and what will be in the end thereof; so that he
sins securely, and is not made to know either shame or fear. The
prosperity of fools destroys them, by setting them (in their own
conceit) above reproofs, by which they might be brought to that
repentance which alone will prevent their ruin. Those are marked for
destruction that are let alone in sin,
And, if none dares declare his way to his face, much less dare any
repay him what he has done and make him refund what he has obtained by
injustice. He is one of those great flies which break through the
cobwebs of the law, that hold only the little ones. This emboldens
sinners in their sinful ways that they can brow-beat justice and make
it afraid to meddle with them. But there is a day coming when those
shall be told of their faults who now would not bear to hear of them,
those shall have their sins set in order before them, and their way
declared to their face, to their everlasting confusion, who would not
have it done here, to their conviction, and those who would not repay
the wrongs they had done shall have them repaid to them.
[2.] To die, and be buried in a great deal of pomp and magnificence,
There is no remedy; he must die; that is the lot of all men; but every
thing you can think of shall be done to take off the reproach of death.
First, He shall have a splendid funeral--a poor thing for any
man to be proud of the prospect of; yet with some it passes for a
mighty thing. Well, he shall be brought to the grave in state,
surrounded with all the honours of the heralds' office and all the
respect his friends can then pay to his remains. The rich man died,
and was buried, but no mention is made of the poor man's burial,
Secondly, He shall have a stately monument erected over him.
He shall remain in the tomb with a Hic jacet--Here lies,
over him, and a large encomium. Perhaps it is meant of the embalming
of his body to preserve it, which was a piece of honour anciently done
by the Egyptians to their great men. He shall watch in the tomb
(so the word is), shall abide solitary and quiet there, as a watchman
in his tower. Thirdly, The clods of the valley shall be sweet to
him; there shall be as much done as can be with rich odours to take
off the noisomeness of the grave, as by lamps to set aside the darkness
of it, which perhaps was referred to in the foregoing phrase of
watching in the tomb. But it is all a jest; what is the light,
or what the perfume, to a man that is dead? Fourthly, It shall
be alleged, for the lessening of the disgrace of death, that it is the
common lot: He has only yielded to fate, and every man shall draw
after him, as there are innumerable before him. Note, Death is the
way of all the earth: when we are to cross that darksome valley we must
1. That there are innumerable before us; it is a tracked road, which
may help to take off the terror of it. To die is ire ad plures--to
go to the great majority.
2. That every man shall draw after us. As there is a plain track
before, so there is a long train behind; we are neither the first nor
the last that pass through that dark entry. Every one must go in his
own order, the order appointed of God.
2. From all this Job infers the impertinency of their discourses,
(1.) Their foundation is rotten, and they went upon a wrong hypothesis:
"In your answers there remains falsehood; what you have said
stands not only unproved but disproved, and lies under such an
imputation of falsehood as you cannot clear it from."
(2.) Their building was therefore weak and tottering: "You comfort
me in vain. All you have said gives me no relief; you tell me that
I shall prosper again if I turn to God, but you go upon this
presumption, that piety shall certainly be crowned with prosperity,
which is false; and therefore how can your inference from it yield me
any comfort?" Note, Where there is not truth there is little comfort to