« AnteriorContinuar »
are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." "And again, Behold, I, and the children which God has given me. Forasmuch then as children are partakers of flesh and blood," and it is this that constitutes them children of the same parent, " He also took part of the same."
I quote these passages to show the truth of the hope of Job, as thus understood. ' It will, I know, seem to some, on their plan of exposition, that this knowledge of the person of his future Deliverer is too clear and definite for the remote age of Job. But how does this appear upon the face of the sacred record? Our first fathers were told, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." Again, it was foretold, " Behold the Lord cometh, with his holy myriads, to execute judgment," &c. Is it improbable, supposing they knew no more than what is recorded, that, putting these prophecies together, they would conclude that "the woman's seed," and " the Lord from heaven," were the same person? Tins would make Job's Incarnate God, God btconiu his kinsman, or Redeemer, " flesh of his flesh."
Nor does the hope of the dying Jacob, who lived in an age, though later, yet not very distant from that of Job, discover less distinctness of knowledge respecting the person of his Redeemer. '' And he blessed Joseph, and said, God the Elohim,* before whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, did walk -r- the God that fed me all my life long unto this day—the Angel which redeemed mef from all evil, bless the lads," £ &c. Here it
* D-nbun. f "fun- I Gen. xlviii. 15.
appears that Jacob, no less than Job, had been taught to regard the God whom he worshipped in the character of his Goel, or kinsman: for that he means no created angel is manifest, both from the construction of the passage, and because he blesses in his name. Angel, however, it is granted, is a very extraordinary epithet of Deity!—one sent by another. But the Scripture explains itself. He who is " God with God,"—" the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father,"—who, as his essentinl Word, made every manifestation of the invisible Godhead that ever was made to the creature, — he, even before his incarnation, in virtue of the office which in the eternal counsels he had undertaken for man, declared himself in the character of One Sent as "the Angel of the divine presence" —" the Angel of the covenant." In him, therefore, who was afterwards to be made flesh,— "whom the Father consecrated, and sent into the world to be the Apostle of our profession,"—we recognise " the woman's seed," the Lord from heaven, Jacob's redeeming angel, and Job's kinsman-God.
Our subject, however, calls upon us to remark, that these ancient believers had, by these prophecies, expectations given them concerning the Redeemer, which only his second coming in his glorious majesty could realize. The prophecy of his heel being bruised in the conflict with the serpent, we now know symbolizes the passion of a first advent. We know, moreover, that sacrificial rites, and rites of holy purifying, were divine institutions of the patriarchal church , so that it is abundantly evident, that church was not ignorant of the propitiatory medium of their reconciliation to God, "through the blood-shedding" of the holy appointed victim, and through sanctirication in him by the eternal Spirit: but it is possible that this was, to the ancient professors, somewhat more involved in mystery than the glorious appearing of the SaviourGod at the last day; we seem warranted, at least, to say of many of the Old Testament saints, this glorious appearing made the stronger impression upon their minds.
INTIMATIONS OF THE GLORIOUS EPIPHANY IN THE PROMISES MADE TO ABRAHAM.
In consulting the divine oracles, in the order in which they have been delivered to mankind, we may justly reckon a new series to commence with the call of Abraham. This was a remarkable epocha in the history of the divine dispensations. The patriarchal era I reckon to have ended with Job. The book of Job may be justly considered as the most valuable remains of the patriarchal times. *
In searching what the members of the patriarchal church knew concerning the advent of Christ, we have seen that they were taught to expect, in the " seed of the woman," the conqueror of Satan. They were told, that "the Lord" would come, with " his holy myriads," to judge a wicked race, which should be upon the earth in the latter days — they were encouraged to look upon this expected Lord in the character of their Redeemer, their protecting kinsman — and to believe, that on his standing upon the earth, they should arise from the dead, and see the consummation of all their hope, and of all their desires, in beholding the incarnate Deity, God of their flesh.
Abraham, called out from the midst of a world " refusing to retain God in their knowledge," and fast lapsing into idolatry, is now * made the depository of new promises, and is destined to be the progenitor of a family and nation, among whom we are henceforth to look for all the divine revelations vouchsafed to mankind — a nation, with whose history and destinies we shall find all future deliverances to be accomplished by the expected Redeemer, involved and intimately connected: henceforth, to use these terms by way of anticipation, '' Salvation is of the Jews." And this we shall discover, as we proceed, is not only true with respect to their instrumentality at the first advent; but also with respect to some mysterious connexion between the latter scenes of their history and the coming of the Redeemer in his glory. We must, therefore, always keep in view what befals, and what is expected to befal, the Abrahamic family; and perhaps we must add, whatever concerns that remarkable district of the globe which is appointed to them as the lot of their inheritance.
* See Mr. Good's Preface to his Book of Job.
"Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."f
"And the Lord said to Abraham, after that Lot had separated from him: Lift up thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. For all the land that thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the
* According to the common chronology, 1921 B. C.
Dr. Hales — 2078 B. C.
t Gen.xii. 1 — 3.