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sold ourselves for nought, and we are redeemed without money:" “ We are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,—but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot : who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world."* To accomplish this beneficent purpose, and to show how strictly the ancient office was the subject of his own spiritual appropriation, in the fulness of time he assumed our nature, and announced himself as our kinsman, our brother. “Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren ; saying, I will declare thy nameunto my brethren ; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.—Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. -In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”+ At once you will perceive with what propriety and force the Mediator between God and man is invested with the name ofour“ Redeemer.”
The Mediator was unquestionably the revealed and acknowledged object of faith and hope in patriarchal ages. We possess evidence which it is not possible to controvert, that from the earliest times there was an expectation, grounded on the divine promise, of the great Deliverer. He was discerned by Abel in the sacrifice by which he “ yet speaketh ;” he was set forth by Enoch and by Noah; Abraham desired to see his day, and he saw it, and was glad ; his immediate descendants were the subjects of the same prophetic excitation; nor can we, understanding the system of the divine dispensations, and the connexion and union of all with the work of the Messiah, justly pronounce any of those to have been ignorant of him, whether Jews or not, who rendered enlightened adoration and honour to the living and true God. Much indeed of mystery beclouded their path. They knew not the full glory of Him who was to come; and when some spake in prophecy concerning him, they were not always aware of the entire import and application of the terms they were prompted to employ : but they were yet adequately and gratefully acquainted with the grand truths respecting him which are essential to acceptance and salvation; they were justified by faith, and recognized as the foundation of their
* i Peter i 18.-20. + Hebrews ii. 11–17.
peace, , that which can be the only basis of ours, -redemption by atonement for sin.
The future Messiah was the being now contemplated by Job, when he spoke of a “ Re
deemer.” To him the promise had been conveyed, and in him the faith had been excited. The Spirit of the Lord had opened his eyes,
and placed before him the visions of mercy; and although “ he saw afar off,” and indistinctly, through the haze and mist of centuries, he could distinguish the form, and did expect the gracious interference, of One who would reverse the trials beneath which he was then oppressed, secure the interests of his soul, and at last crown his hopes with the visions and the glories of heaven,
We cannot compare our own circumstances with those of primitive believers, without deducing a weighty practical lesson. While they were shadowed in obscurity, and had to " search diligently what the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,"* we have but to look on the testimony, and at a glance we behold all the discoveries of grace and truth. In the meridian light of the glorious gospel, we can contemplate the Saviour, in the dignity of his character, the purpose of his advent, the perfection of his work, and the sufficiency of his merits, “ Blessed are our eyes, for they see ; and our ears, for they hear!” It does indeed become us to estimate and improve the high advantages of the position we occupy. Indulged with privileges of such surpassing value, ought not our gratitude to be lively, and ought not our faith to be un
*.1 Peter i. 11.
wavering? ought we not to be ambitious eminently to live unto the Redeemer, and ought we not to be earnest in cultivating that powerful devotion which shall enable us to appropriate him as our own ?
II. The language of the patriarch leads us to consider, THE IMPORTANT TRUTHS HE STATES.
These truths particularly respect the Redeemer contemplated; they are, that “ he liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”
As to the first of these, referring to the actual state of the Redeemer ;-he “ liveth,” or, he “ is now living.” It was truly the fact, that he was in positive existence when Job spake concerning him. To his being, no commencement, however remote, can be assigned. He was “ in the beginning with God;" “ his goings forth have been from everlasting;" he is “ the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”* We conceive that the patriarch was now rendering a specific ascription to him, as essentially “ the living One," and was acknowledging him in that attribute of absolute eternity, which furnishes so immovable a basis for the confidence and joy of the saints throughout every period of the world. Testimonies to the Redeemer's existence and glory were not unfrequently afforded to early believers by visible personal manifestations and appearances ; they saw and communed with him as “ the angel of the covenant,
* John i. 1. Micah v. 2. Rev. i. 8.
!_“ the angel of Jehovah's présence ;” and thus they were conclusively assured that he was then actually engaged in superintending and guarding the welfare of his church, and was then actually conducting towards its ordained accomplishment, the work of deliverance and salvation. The sense of these delightful facts was present to the mind, and prompted the proclamation, of Job; and strong indeed, amidst his unparalleled sorrows, must have been the consolation derived from the knowledge of a living Redeemer.
Since the times of the fathers, wondrous mediatorial events have occurred in the existence of the Son of God. The dispensations of prophecy and shadows have been terminated. He to whom prophets and types bore witness, has made that assumption of human nature which was necessary
for the verification of his character, and the execution of his work as the “ Redeemer.” He has offered that all-sufficient atonement for sin, which early sacrifices prefigured, and on which early saints reposed,—the grand and only provision for justification and salvation. He has risen again from the dead, and has ascended to the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, there to remain until the restitu