Verse 27. "Lo this, we have searched it " - What I have told thee is the sum of our wisdom and experience on these important points. These are established maxims, which universal experience supports.
Know-understand, and reduce them to practice for thy good. Thus ends Eliphaz, the Temanite, "full of wise saws and ancient instances;" but he miserably perverted them in his application of them to Job's case and character. They contain, however, many wholesome truths, of which the wise in heart may make a very advantageous practical use. THE predatory excursions referred to in ver. 23 were not unfrequent among our own barbarous ancestors. An affecting picture of this kind is drawn by Shakespeare, from Holinshed's Chronicles, of the case of Macduff, whose castle was attacked in his absence by Macbeth and his wife and all his children murdered. A similar incident was the ground of the old heroic ballad of Hardicanute. When the veteran heard that a host of Norwegians had landed to pillage the country, he armed, and posted to the field to meet the invading foe. He slew the chief in battle, and routed his pillaging banditti. While this was taking place, another party took the advantage of his absence, attacked his castle, and carried off or murdered his lovely wife and family; which, being perceived on his return by the war and age-worn chief, is thus affectingly described by the unknown poet: - Loud and chill blew the westlin wind, Sair beat the heavy shower, Mirk grew the nicht eir Hardyknute Wan neir his stately tower: His tower that us'd with torches bleise To shine sae far at night, Seim'd now as black as mourning weid, Nae marvel, sair he sich'd.
"Thair's nae light in my lady's bowir, Thair's nae light in my hall; Nae blink shynes round my Fairly fair, Nor ward stands on my wall.
"What bodes it, Thomas! Robert! say?" Nae answer-speaks their dreid; "Stand back, my sons, I'll be your gyde;" But bye they pass'd with speid.
"As fast I haif sped owr Scotland's foes" There ceis'd his brag of weir.
Sair schamt to mind ocht but his dame, And maiden Fairly fair.
Black feir he felt; but what to feir He wist not yet with dreid; Sair schook his body, sair his limbs, And all the warrior fled.
The ending of this poem is lost; but we here see that the castle of Hardicanute was surprised, and his family destroyed, or carried off, while he and his sons had been employed in defeating the invading Norwegians.
Thank God! civilization, the offspring of the spread of Christianity, has put an end to these barbarous practices among us; but in the East, where Christianity is not, they flourish still. Britons! send out your Bible and your missionaries to tame these barbarians; for whom heathenism has done nothing, and the Koran next to nothing. Civilization itself, without the Bible, will do as little; for the civilized Greeks and Romans were barbarians, fell and murderous; living in envy and malice, hateful, hating one another, and offering hundreds at a time of human victims to their ruthless deities. Nothing but Christianity ever did, or even can, cure these evils.