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ed it, you will have to answer the demands of the divine justice yourselves, and on your own heads to sustain the inflictions of its wrath. And say-are you able to endure the visitations of the Omnipotent when he shall arise to adjudge and to repay ? Can you stand before his indignation? Can you abide in the fierceness of his anger? Can you dwell with the everlasting burning ?-Sinner! trifle not with thine endangered, but deathless spirit: be reckless, be rebellious no longer. Behold the Lamb of God. Look to him whom thou hast pierced and mourn; let his great sacrifice be the object of thy grateful repose; and thus, being justified by faith, thou shalt have peace with God, and be made heir according to the hope of eternal life!
-Promote the glory of the Father and the Son, by the zealous diffusion of that gospel which conveys it. Partaking yourselves of the grace that bringeth salvation, conscious of its preciousness, and able to estimate its claims, it becomes you surely to be diligent in effort and earnest in prayer, that men yet in condemnation may be brought to the blood of propitiation, and that by the attraction of new converts to the church, the
way may be opened for the advance of the final consummation. Looking forward under the guidance of prophecy, to the magnificent events from before which it has rent the veil, and dispersed the darkness, surely you will esteem it your most exalted feeling to be “ very
zealous for the Lord of hosts,” and your best employ to lift up the cross of Jesus before the perishing nations, that they may embrace it and be saved. Labour that the revelation of atoning love may be promulged widely and still more widely to mankind ; that it may chase away the blinding darkness of ignorance, demolish the fanes of superstition, and scatter to the winds the traditions of imposture; that it may give the Son the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession ; that it may restore Jehovah to his rightful honours, bend the knees of recovered millions before his shrine, and bring to his footstool the offerings of every region, till there shall resound the ascription of universal praise—“ The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God !” Be this the united and incessant aim of the church by the hour of atonement redeemed ; and let one prayer ascend, and be reiterated in restless perseverance, from all saints to the Father in heaven—“ FATHER, GLORIFY
NAME" “ THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!"
JOB xix. 25–27.
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at
the latter day upon the earth: and though, after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another ; though my reins be consumed within me.
The enlightened Christian will find it pleasing and beneficial to employ his thoughts in examining the moral circumstances of early ages of the world ; to inquire into the extent of knowledge then revealed and possessed as to the principles of religious truth ; and to collect on what it was, that they who were called the people of God placed their reliance for mercy and salvation. From such an inquiry it will appear, that there existed, from the beginning, some outline of that plan of divine grace, under the full disclosure of which it is our own happiness to live; and that the light which shines upon us in its splendour, and discovers to us the wonders of the spiritual world, shed its dawning rays around the patriarchs and prophets, and then guided the feet of men in the ways
of peace. True religion, as to principle, has been the same
in every age : the only difference is to be found in the measure of its illuminations, and the amount of its discoveries.
The book of Job is an invaluable memorial respecting the religion of primitive ages. By whom it was composed, whether by the person whose name it bears, or by one of his contemporaries, is a question of considerable obscurity ; but its title to a place in the inspired canon cannot reasonably be doubted. It is not to be regarded as an allegory, but as a narrative respecting persons who really existed, of transactions which actually occurred. Nor is it to receive a date among the later records of the divine administrations ; there appears a most decided preponderance of evidence in favour of the opinion that Job lived in patriarchal times.* As a production so ancient, and leading to a familiarity with the habits of so remote a period, it possesses a peculiar interest; and its lessons will be found such as were worthy the Spirit of God to dictate, and such as offer wise and useful instruction to every generation of man.
Amidst the many discussions which have arisen respecting this portion of the sacred institute, there has been no little dispute as to the design and scope of the passage now particularly before us. We have only to state an opinion corresponding with the great majority of those who have piously considered it,—that in these remarkable words, Job was not anticipating a mere temporal deliverance from his afflictions, but that he was expressing his confidence in a higher deliverance, connected with another state of being, and involving his immortal happiness. The latter interpretation seems alone worthy of the peculiar solemnity and emphasis with which the words are introduced, and capable of answering the construction and legitimate import of the words themselves. Adopting, and now proceeding upon, that interpretation, the propriety of which will be more fully illustrated as we advance, and desiring to render all exposition conducive to your own welfare, we propose to consider,--The glorious character the patriarch contemplates,—the important truths he states, the personal hope he indulges,—and the absolute confidence he asserts.
* The reasons for assigning such a date to the book of Job, are well stated by. Dr. Hales. Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. 55-60.
I. The language of the patriarch leads us to consider the GLORIOUS CHARACTER HE CONTEM
He contemplates a “ Redeemer.”—This name of “ Redeemer” was employed in oriental countries, when the public administration of laws was imperfect, to designate the nearest relation of a person murdered,—to whom was committed the office of revenging his death upon the mur