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He even declares him to be "God"

[The same person whom he calls "his Redeemer," he afterwards calls "God." And in this he is supported by numberless other testimonies of holy writ. The Evangelical prophet tells us that the very same person who was 66 a child born, and a son given, was also the Mighty God;"d and the New Testament assures us that He was "Emmanuel, God with us, even God manifest in the flesh." Job was accused of ignorance by his friends; but it is to be feared that they had not by any means such exalted views of Christ as he here exhibits.]

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This holy man yet further confesses Christ as "his Redeemer"

[The word Goel imports the nearest of kin, in whom the right of redeeming any estate that had been sold was vested. Behold then the depths of divine truths which had been revealed to Job! He sees his God incarnate; and himself as (( a member of Christ's body, even of his flesh and of his bones." He sees Christ redeeming his soul from death and hell; redeeming him at no less a price than his own blood; or to use the words of an apostle, he sees "God purchasing the church with his own blood."]

Nor does he view him only as incarnate, or as dying for the redemption of man, but as coming again to judge the world

[The words used by Job might be applied to the incarnation and resurrection of Christ; but they seem rather to designate his appearance in the last day to judge the world. This office is "committed to Christ because he is the Son of man;" and when he shall execute it, "he will come from heaven in like manner as he ascended up to heaven:" He will not indeed any longer be seen in a state of weakness and humiliation, but "in all the glory of his Father and his holy angels:" nevertheless, He will then appear " as a lamb that has been slain;" and will summon all those who pierced him to his tribunal.]

But that which gives inexpressible dignity to this confession, is, the full assurance it expresses of his rising from the grave in that day to behold and enjoy Christ

1

[He does not seem to have had any hope of restoration to temporal prosperity; but speaks in the most confident manner of his resurrection to eternal happiness. The destruction of his mortal frame by worms was not in his eyes any bar to its

d Isai. ix. 6. e Matt. i. 23. 1 Tim. iii. 16. * Heb. ii. 11, 14, 15. Eph. v. 30.5

f Lev. xxv. 25. bActs xx. 28.

renovation in the last day. He knew that what was sown in corruption, weakness, and dishonour should be raised in incorruption, power, and glory; that his vile body should be changed like unto Christ's glorious body:i and that when his earthly tabernacle should be dissolved, he had an house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. He knew that, having awaked up after his Redeemer's likeness, he should behold him, not as now through a glass darkly, but face to face, and dwell for ever in his presence where is fulness of joy. This re-union of his soul and body, together with the beatific vision of his glorified Redeemer, was the one object of his most earnest desires, and most assured hopes. And he was determined, notwithstanding all the accusations of his friends, to maintain "this rejoicing of his hope firm unto the end."]

We shall endeavour to improve this subject by consi dering

II. The lessons to be learned from it

Whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning: and this confession in particular suggests to us that

1. A full assurance of hope is attainable in this world

[Job's assurance seems to have been remarkably strong: he not only calls Jesus, his Redeemer, but proclaims his confident expectation of dwelling with him for ever: he speaks of this, not as a thing which he surmised, or hoped, but as what he "knew" for certain. Now was this a privilege pe culiar to Job? Had not Paul also the same delightful confidence, when he said "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day;" and again, when he professed that "henceforth there was laid up for him a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge should give him?" And has not the same apostle bidden us all to shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end? Why then should we rest satisfied without attaining this blessed hope?: Would it not serve as an anchor of the soul both sure and stedfast," amidst all the storms and billows of this tempestuous world? Would it not be an effectual antidote to the poisonous breath of calumny, which will ever strive to blast the fairest characters? Will not the testimony of a good conscience fill us with joy even when we are loaded with the bitterest accusations? Shall we not say with St.

k 2 Cor. v. 1.
John iii. 2. Ps. xvà 11. and xvii. 15.
• Heb. vi. 11.

n 2 Tim. iv. 8.
42 Cor. i. 12.

i 1 Cor. xv. 42, 43. Phil. iii. 21.
11 Cor. xiii. 12. 1
m 2 Tim. i. 12.

P Heb. iv. 19.

Paul, "It is a small matter with me to be judged of you or of man's judgment, yea, I judge not mine own self, but he that judgeth me is the Lord?" Seek then to "know your election of God;" strive to make it sure and evident to yourselves; and be continually "living a life of faith on the Son of God," that you may be able to say, "He has loved me, and given himself for me. e."]

2. A clear knowledge of Christ in his person and offices is the best groundwork of an assured hope

[Though Job had been too ready to boast of his integrity, it was not on that that he founded his hopes of immortality and glory. He knew himself to be under the curse of God's broken law; and that Christ as his Redeemer, was his "deliverer from that curse, having himself been made a curse for him." And what other foundations of hope can we have? Are we holier than Job, who notwithstanding all his holiness exclaimed, "Behold, I am vile?" Have we not at least as much reason as he to "abhor ourselves and repent in dust and ashes?" How then shall we pretend to be just before God? Let this be firmly settled in our minds, that we must flee to Christ for redemption, before we can know him to be our Redeemer: we must be united to him by faith, before we can claim him as our nearest kinsman: we must behold his glory now as it is exhibited in the glass of the gospel, if we would behold it with joy in the great day of his appearing. Let us then seek to know Christ as he is revealed in the world: let us" search the scriptures, which testify of him," and pray for the illuminating influences of that Spirit, whose office is, to "glorify Christ, by taking of the things that are his, and shewing them unto us.' Let us be ashamed that Job, who lived before there was any written record of Christ in the world, should know more of Christ than we, who live in the meridian splendor of gospel light. And, whatever we have attained, let us seek daily to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ."

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3. There is no state, however afflictive, wherein an assurance founded on the knowledge of Christ will not support and comfort us

[It is worthy of observation that from the instant Job uttered these words he was enabled to suppress, in a considerable measure, his bitter murmurings and complaints. And what greater support can any man need than to know that he has Christ for his redeeming God, and that after a few more conflicts he shall enjoy him for ever? We do not indeed expect

Cor. iv. iii.
ii. 20.

s2 Thess. i. 4. 2 Pet. i. 10.
u Job xlii, 6.

1 Thess. iv. 17, 18.

that a person should always be so elevated by these considerations, as to soar above all sense of his afflictions. But sometimes even this may be enjoyed; and at all times we may hope to "possess our souls in patience, till patience have its perfect work and we be perfect and entire, lacking nothing." Let the sons and daughters of affliction then have recourse to this remedy: let them labour to attain a thankful sense that they have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son; and then they need not fear but that they shall be strengthened unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. Let them seek an evidence that they are Christ's: let them beg the Holy Spirit to witness to their spirit that they are children of God; and then their trials, however grievous at the time, shall only serve as a boisterous wind, to waft them more speedily to their desired harbour.]

y Col. i. 11, 12.

CLII. CHRIST SUPERSEDING THE LEGAL SACRIFICES. Heb. x. 5-10. When he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. In burnt-offerings, and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure: Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God. Above, when he said, Sacrifice, and offering, and burnt-offerings, and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein (which are offered by the law,) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

THERE is not any important truth contained in the New Testament, which was not before revealed in the Old. But we have an advantage over the Jews, in that the obscurity, which was cast over the language of prophecy, is removed by the interpretations of men divinely inspired to explain the sacred oracles. Hence we are enabled to see, what the Jews could never comprehend, though plainly and repeatedly declared to them, God's determination to abrogate the Mosaic œconomy, in order to make way for the Christian dispensation. This was declared by David, while the law was yet in full force: and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews both quotes

men are made partakers of salvation. It was not possible for any such plan to have originated with any other than God himself. When God's dealings with the fallen angels were considered, who would have imagined that man, partaking of their iniquity, should yet be rescued from their doom? Supposing that such a thought could have entered into the mind of man, who could have contrived such a way of maintaining the honour of the divine government, and of making the dis'cordant attributes of Justice and mercy to harmonize in the salvation of man? If such an expedient as the substitution of God's own Son in the place of sinners could have been devised, who could have dared to propose it to the Deity; or have prevailed upon him to acquiesce in it? The more this is considered, the more will the salvation of man appear to be totally independent of man himself (as far as respects the contriving or the meriting of it) and to be the fruit of infinite Wisdom, sovereign grace, and unbounded love. From the first laying of the foundation to the bringing forth of the top-stone, we must cry, Grace, grace unto it.9]

2. That the sacrifice of Christ is the only means whereby it is effected

[It might seem that men, under the law, were accepted on account of the sacrifices, which were offered according to the Mosaic ritual. But, not to mention the impossibility that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin," the very repetition of those sacrifices shewed their insufficiency for the removal of guilt, or for the satisfying of men's consciences." They had no effect but as they led the offerers to the Lord Jesus Christ, or expressed their faith in his all-atoning sacrifice. All who have ever found acceptance with God, whether before the law, or under it, or since its abolition, have been admitted to mercy purely" through the one offering of Jesus Christ." Nothing but that could ever satisfy divine Justice; nothing but that could ever atone for one single sin; nor can any creature, to the end of the world, ever obtain favour with God, but in consideration of that sacrifice presented to God for us, and pleaded by us as the one ground of our hope.t]

INFER

1. How vain is men's confidence in any services of their own!

[To have been baptized in our infancy, to have attended punctually the outward duties of the sabbath, and to have waited occasionally upon the Lord at his table, are deemed in

P 2 Tim. i. 9.

s Ver. 1-3. Heb. ix. 9.

9 Zech. iv. 6, 7.
Acts iv. 12. 1. Cor. iii. 11.

r Ver. 4.

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