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These all died in faith* We can say nothing higher than this, of the apostles and martyrs under the New Testament. They died, not trusting in themselves that they were righteous, not rejoicing in the works of their own hands, but they died, like the thief upon the cross, in faith, resting all their hope upon him, who, by his obedience unto death, is the end of the law for righteousness unto every one that believeth ut. We have greater advantages, in point of light and liberty, than those of old. The prophecies concerning MESSIAH, which, at the time of delivery, were obscure, are, to us, infallibly interpreted by their accomplishment. And we know that the great atonement, typically pointed out by their sacrifices, has been actually made; that the Lamb of God has, by the one offering of himself, put away sin. But as to the ground and substance, their faith and hope, were the same with ours. Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Chrijt ; and aged Jacob foon after he had said, I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord, died, with the same composure and willingness, as Simeon did, who saw it with his own eyes. Job, * Heb. xi. 13. + Rom. X. 4. John viii. 56. ·
who was, perhaps, contemporary with Jacob, whoat leait, is, with great probability, thought to have lived before Mofes, gives us, in this paffage, a strong and clear testimony of bis faith. And it forms a beautiful and well chosen introduction to the third part of the Mefjiah, the principal subject of which is, the present privileges and future prospects, of those who believe in the Saviour's name.
The learned are far from being agreed, either in the translation, or in the explanation, of this text. The words worms and body, being printed, in Italics, in our version, will apprize the attentive English reader, that there are no words, answerable to them, in the Hebrew. If you omit these words, fomething will be evidently wanting to make a complete sense. This want different writers have supplied, according to their different judgments, and from hence, chiefly, has arisen, the variety of versions and interpretations. But it would be very improper for me, in this place, to take up your time, and to draw off your attention from the great concerns which should fill cur minds, when we meet in the house of God, by giving you a detail of controverfies and criticisms, which, after all, are much more uncertain than important. We need not dispute, whether Job, in this passage, professes his assurance of the incarnation of MESSIAH, or of his resurrection, or of his final appearance to judge the world; or whether he is only declaring his own personal faith and hope in him. These several senses are not so discordant, that if we determine for one, we must exclude the reft. I shall content myself with the words as I find them. And I hope, that if we Thould miss some of the precise ideas, which Job might have when he spoke, we shall not greatly mistake his general meaning, nor wander far wide from the scope of the text.
Four things are observable,
· I. The title. There is no name of MESSIAH more significant, comprehensive, or endearing, than the name REDEEMER. The name of Saviour expresses what he does for finners. He saves them from guilt and wrath, from sin, from the present evil world, from the powers of darkness, and from all their enemies. He saves them with an ever. Jasting falvation. But the word Redeemer, intimates, likewise, the manner in which he faves them. For it is not merely by the word of his power, as he saved his disciples when in jeopardy upon the lake, by saying to the winds and the seas, Peace, be fill: and there was a great calm *; but by price, by paying a ransom for them, and pouring out the blood of his heart, as an atonement for their fins. The Hebrew word for Redeemer, Goel, primarily signifies, a near kinsman, or the next of kin. He with whom the right of redemption layot; and who, by virtue of his nearness of relation, was the legal avenger of blood. Thus MESSIAH took upon him our nature, and by assuming our flesh and blood, became nearly related to us, that he might redeem our forfeited inheritance,.restore us to liberty, and avenge our cause against Satan, the enemy, and murderer of our souls. But thus he made himself also Tesponsible for us, to pay our debts, and to answer the demands of the justice and law of
God, on our behalf. He fulfilled his engagement. He suffered, and he died on this account. But our Redeemer who was once dead, is now alive, and liveth for evermore, and bas the keys of death, and of hades *. This is he of whom Job faith, I know that he liveth (was then living) though he was not to stand upon the earth, until the latter day. He is the living One, having life in himself, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever of: Such was his own language to the Jews, Before Abraham was, I am I. Therefore, the Redeemer is mighty, and his redemption is sure. He is able to save to the uttermost. His power is unlimited, and his official authority, as Mediator, is founded in a covenant, ratified by his own blood, and by the oath of the unchangeable God ll.
II. But Job uses the language of appropriation. He says, My Redeemer. And all that we know, or hear or speak of him, will avail us but little, unless we are really and personally interested in him, as Our Redeemer. A cold speculative knowledge of the gospel, such as a lawyer has of a will, or a deed, which he reads, with no farther de
* Rev. i. 18. Heb. xiii. 8. I John viii. 58. 1 Pl. cx. 4.