Editor's note: Evan's statement on Christ's power over death. - "But Job's Redeemer has conquered death. He made an attack upon death in the house of one Jairus, when death had just killed his prey; and on the street of Nain, where he was like a lion taking his plunder home: and in Bethany, where he had actually taken his booty to his den. Death could not stand before the Son of Mary, but yielded up his spoil immediately."
The Faith of Job in A Living Redeemer
By Christmas Evans
Early Welsh Baptist Minister
Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and laid in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the later 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. - Job 19th Chap. 23-27 Verses.
The general opinion of the teamed divines is, that Job was a Prince in some part of Arabia, commonly known at that time by the name of Us. It seems that Eliphaz was the prince of Ternan, Bildad the prince of Shuan, and Zophar the prince of Naamatha; and that Elihu, a very pious and gifted young man, accompanied them, on this solemn occasion. The cause of their visit was, the apparent providential judgments of God upon Job. There was a very long controversy between them and Job. They argued that these temporal judgments by which he was visited, evidently proved him the greatest
hyprocrite that ever existed; while Job on the contrary contended, that he was not an hypocrite; but that the root of the matter, was found in him; - that all these afflictions, and the grievous events of divine providence, were designed only to prove him, and that he would come forth from the furnace like gold purified in the fire. The Lord God Jehovah himself, from the cloud, settled the dispute, and the verdict was given in favor of Job; his three friends were obliged to offer up a sacrifice for their faults and Job must pray for them; then the wheel turned round for his comfort and joy. Job and his friends had an experimental knowledge of the evil of sin and hypocrisy, of the value and importance of godliness, or the fear of God, - of his ways and providential dealings with mankind; and it is evident that they were well acquainted with the way to draw near to God by sacrifice offered upon an altar; and of the promised Messiah.
We shall offer a few general observations on the faith of Job in a living Redeemer. And
I. In the first place, our minds are struck with wonder and gratification, in beholding the Patriarchs and Prophets, moved by the Spirit of God to search, diligently to search, for the person and grace of the Messiah, like miners beginning to open an entrance to the great treasure that was to redeem them from bondage. Job had no reference here to any temporal deliverer, nor any oth. er less than the Messiah himself; of whom he stood in need, he evidently saw when he was speaking of the Daysman the Umpire, one that should argue and settle the case between him and God, that might lay his hand on God on one side, and on sinful worms of a day on the other side. By the eye of faith he could see the Messiah, with one foot on the continent of eternity, and the other on the sea of human misery, raising up his hand, and saying, time and eternity are mine, and hereby reconciling
God and man. Elihu also is speaking of the same person under the name of a Messenger, an Interpreter, one of a thousand, that could speak both to God and man, on the important subject of righteousness, and the atonement; sufficient for delivering man from going down to the pit of eternal destruction. The knowledge of the Redeemer descended down, in the church, from the first promise in Eden, like a box, containing the precious balm of life; conveyed from the house of Adam to the house of Seth, from there to the house of Noah, and then to the family of Abraham; and carried in it treasures and riches unsearchable, sufficient to bless all the nations of the earth with salvation. These Patriarchs who were removed by death from the confines of this world, received from this box of the ointment of life, what was necessary to take them safe to the family above in the city of our God; but they left the box of the promise behind them, for the benefit of others, who died in the faith of the Messiah to come, according to the promise. The living Redeemer of Job was no other than the seed of the woman promised to Adam, Jacob's Lion, stooping down to the new grave that was hewn out of the rock, making his aim at death, and leaping, he rushed on the king of terrors, on the morning of the third day, and became death to death, and the plague and destruction of the grave. This living Redeemer was Abraham's Jehovah Jire - the I Am who appeared to Moses in the bush - the child born and the mighty God of Isaiah - Jeremiah's Jehovah, our righteousness - the branch and fountain of Zachariah,the shepherd, the Stone of Israel - the Shilo, to whom the gathering of the people should be, the Governor of Bethlehem, Malachi's sun of righteousness - the captain of our salvation, by whose sufferings and death many sons were brought to glory. He opened a Tunnel for them to go home to his Father's
palace where there are many mansions, under the rivers of sufferings, the seas of afflictions, and under the depth of the abyss of death, and all at the expense of his own sufferings and death. Here is Peter's Prince of life, who was slain on the tree; and this is John's word, that was in the beginning with the Father, equal with him in nature and essence, was made flesh and dwelt among us; the true God and eternal life, and the man Christ Jesus.
II. Redeemer, Goel in the original, which is translated kinsman in the book of Ruth, one that has a right to redeem. The Redeemer is our near kinsman; for he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. A brother to certain individuals in this country, returned from the East Indies so exceedingly rich, that he made all his relations independently rich. To us also there was a brother born against the day of adversity, who is rich enough to make us eternally rich. You do not know what hardships your brother endured in the East, while gathering the property which you now enjoy ; but we know that our brother became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. It was not lawful in Israel, that land in debt shouid be sold to another tribe. It was redeemed by next of kin. But the tribe of mankind have entirely lost their inheritance in Eden; it was arrested and forfeited to the government; but in the second Adam we found an infinite rich brother, who stood for and instead of the first, who gave ample and full satisfaction for trespasses, that we might receive the promise of our eternal inheritance. When Naomi returned from the land of Moab, Elimelech, her husband, was dead, and the inheritance greatly in debt. According to the law of the tribes, the next kinsman to the deceased debtor was to marry his widow, pay his debt, and keep the inheritance in that tribe. The purchaser
was sought after in the land of Bethlehem; there was one found that was rich enough, but he was not willing, he chose rather to take off his own shoes publicly at the gate of the city, in the presence of the elders, than to stand in the shoes of the deceased debtor; but it was done, however, by another person of the name of Boaz. But who will stand in the room of rebels, who have forfeited every claim to their inheritance, and deserve eternal punishment. Let heaven and earth meet in council on the subject, and see who is the most likely to do it. Earth is ready to reply, there is no such person residing here, who is able and willing to do the work. Gabriel and all the angels, around the throne in heaven, answer that there is not one in the celestial city, who can or will undertake the important work. Let us search the streets of the holy city of Palestine, and the garden of Gethsemane, and let us enquire on Calvary, who is willing to die for sinners to-day? there is the tree! there is the man with hammer and nails in his hands! who will offer himself a sacrifice on that cross to redeem sinful man? None but Jesus None but Jesus was able to do it - None but Jesus was willing to do it. None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good. None but Jesus said Here am I, if ye seek me, let these go away! And without the gates of Jerusalem he honoured the law, spoiled principalities and redeemed his people. Having suffered the curse of the law, stood in the sinner's shoes, he swallowed up all its plagues in himself. As your Representative, he endured all the agony, the torture, the shame, and the curse you justly deserved. And when you by faith stand in his shoes you shall be made the righteousness of God in him, and dealt with, not as you deserve, but according to his merits. He was humbled, that yon may be exalted, - he became poor, that you may be made rich; - he was bound that you may be made free;
he was punished, that you may be spared; - he was made a curse, that you may be made a blessing in him; - he was wounded, that you may be healed; he was condemned, that you may be justified; - yes, he died that you may live.
3. A living Redeemer. The living one - one that has life in himself, and gives life to the dead. The first woman was called Eve, because she was the mother of all living, or the Mother of the living, one; which was fulfilled in one of her daughters - a Virgin - that brought forth a Son, whose name is Jesus Emmanuel, God with us = the living God - the true God, and life eternal. He is our life. Because I live, ye shall live also. He is the Lord of life. With the flame of one candle you can light many candles, and the light of the whole of them is of the same nature. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. When the flame of life touched the old bones, there was a most wonderful agitation through the whole valley. Is that all? No, they must be touched with the flame of life again, and behold sinews and flesh are laid on them, and these are covered with skin; breath is put in them, and they shall live. Christ is the life of nature, grace, and glory. He is the bread of life; he that cometh to him shall never hunger, and he that believeth on him, shall never thirst. He is the resurrection and the life, he that believeth on him, though he were dead, yet he shall live. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. The Apostle says that our life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then we shall also appear with him in glory.
4. This living Redeemer of Job was to appear in this world. When a poor family is travelling and have nothing to pay their way, the wife draws upon her husband and when he comes that way, he pays up the whole debt.
In the fulness of the time appointed God was manifested im the flesh, to clear the debt of all that believe in him, many of whom were gone home to glory on credit. He did not pay this debt by instalments, but all at once. He offered himself once, only one payment for old Testament saints, as well as those under the New Testament and to the end of time. There were pipes on each side of the altar of the burnt offering, to convey the Wood to great basins, till they were full. I imagine that one of those basins might bo said to belong to the Old Testament saints to which the merits of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross ran through the pipe of God's appointment back as far as Abel and Adam till they were full of salvation; and the other basin so far from Calvary as the end of time receiving the efficacy of the same atonement through the golden pipes of gospel ordinances.
Who is yonder in the garden in such an agony of mind, praying most earnestly, sweating the blood in large drops to the ground? The living Redeemer of Job. Is there any black register in his conscience, written against the plaster of the wall of his heart, with the eternal hand and eternal pen, something similar to what you havs experienced? No, he has not one sin to confess, there was no iniquity found in him, no guile in his mouth. He is brought as a Lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Hear the Prophet Isaiah exclaiming! Who is he? Is there no one to read his pedigree, who shall declare his generation? who can give us a short sketch of his life? who will give him a character? Will not any of the angels of heaven, ring the air of Golgotha today, personating the Redeemer nailed to the cross, in the language of divine inspiration? "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning of his way, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought
And that is the reason that I am here to-day, nailed to the cross.
forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there : when he set a compass upon the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he. strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the Sons of men," - 5. The living Redeemer of Job was to deliver him from the power of death, Job could foresee an enemy before him, who should want his skin to be food for worms.
The Sabeans had taken away the oxen and the asses and had slain the servants with the edge of the swords. A remarkable great fire from heaven had burnt up the sheep and the shepherds. The Chaldeans had robbed him of his Camels, and murdered his domestics. His sons and his daughters were killed by the wind felling the house upon them. Job is covered with sore boils from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet. His wife tempted him to curse God and die; and his best friends turned against him. But death was another enemy that was about to make an attack upon his body. But Job's Redeemer has conquered death. He made an attack upon death in the house of one Jairus, when death had just killed his prey; and on the street of Nain, where he was like a lion taking his plunder home: and in Bethany, where he had actually taken his booty to his den. Death could not stand before the Son of Mary, but
yielded up his spoil immediately. The deaf and the dumb devils of Judea trembled before him. Thus he sailed on the open channel like a man of war delivering the eons of death from the hands of the pale giant, to the great joy and astonishment of the people from Samaria to the borders of Tyre and Sidon. But on a certain day, ever to be remembered, as he was drawing nigh the rampart of Sinai, he was shot at until he sweated the very blood. He was in the fire all that night; and the artillery playing upon him most violently, particularly the old cannon of Eden. Dying thou shall die. About three o'clock the following day, when he had taken his stand between his friends and the balls, he received the mortal blow, and crying out my God, my God why hast thou forsaken me, he hung down his head and gave up the ghost. Devils are grinning, Zion is weeping, and the whole creation is trembling, the rocks are rending, the graves are opening, and the sun refusing her light to behold the melancholy scene. He was swallowed up in the horrible abyss of death, but suddenly, to the terror and dismay of millions, he rose again, opened the prison door of death, and released the prisoners from the prison. With the dawning of the third day, the earth has another fit of trembling, the gulph of death is boiling to the very bottom, when the Redeemer is raising from the dead. The life of his people, the cable of faith, the anchor of hope, and the sails of love ascended with him from the deep, and never will go down any more. I am alive forevermore, says the risen Saviour, and have the keys of hell and of death.
6. The period when Job's Redeemer was to appear. And that he should stand at the latter day upon the earth. There are two periods referred to in the scripture called the end. The end of the Jewish dispensation, and the end of the world. The Redeemer appeared at
the end of the types and shadows, he finished transgression, sealed sins and brought in everlasting righteousness; he blotted out iniquities by the offering of himself and finished the accounts of Sinai.
He will come again in the sight of all men, at the end of the natural world, when God shall finish his work in Mount Zion, the trumpets of the gospel silenced; the net of the gospel taken up from the sea, and the laborers in the vineyard receiving their wages, and the ungodly bound up to be cast into unquenchable fire. When the Son of Man shall come in his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats. This latter day will be a glorious and terrific day. In what splendor, glory and majesty, the Redeemer will appear on that day; accompanied with ten thousand of his saints; with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in his name. Not one of the angels, nor any of the spirits of just men made perfect, shall be left behind in the third heaven, on that day. What a glorious company! like an army with banners. Fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. His throne shall be like a fiery flame; and the wheels of his charriot as a burning furnace. The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.
When the law was given on Sinai the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, but nothing in comparison to what it will be on that day when the dead shall hear his voice as the sound of many waters, come to judgment! - come to judgment! como away! The Redeemer will not appear as a root out of dry ground, on that day, but in his own glory and tho glory of his Father, and the glory of the holy angels. - The glory of his person as God-man, and the glory of his work as Mediator will shine forth with all majesties excellencies before heaven and earth r when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up, when the sea, death and hell must deliver up their dead and all, small and great stand before the awful tribunal, to receive tha, righteous sentence from the lips of him who once was a Babe in Bethlehem - a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief condemned by Pilate mocked and ill-treated by the multitude and nailed to the cross. This was the Redeemer of Job, and all that believe on him.
7. Job's confession of faith. It is short, but very comprehensive. It may be called an abridgment of the gospel; here we have the Divinity and humanity of Christ; his victory over hell and death; the second coming of Christ; and the death and the resurrection of the body. Though the Athenians mocked when they heard of the resurrection from the dead; and the Saducees not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God, erred greatly in saying there is no resurrection; and some of the Corinthians swallowed the same poison. Yet Job firmly believed in the resurrection of the dead. He did not think it a thing incredible, that God should raise the dead; for God has knowledge sufficient to find them out, and an almighty power to gather them together and unite
[pages 104 & 105] are missing
Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower, was the testimony of David. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, is the testimony of the evangelical Prophet Isaiah. I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day, is the testimony of Paul. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren, is the testimony of John, the beloved disciple.
Permit me to caution you, by observing, that this assurance of faith, is not a mere imagination of the brain, but is based on a firm foundation. It is not founded on the notion that you are the elect, or that you either have, or wait to hear a voice from heaven, bidding you to be of good cheer, because your sins are forgiven you; but it must be founded on the testimony of divine revelation; for instance, by searching the word of truth, wo fmd that the sins of those that will repent, and be converted, shall be blotted out. Acts 3, 19.
It is the will of the Father, that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have everlasting life. That those who mortify the deeds of the body, shall live. That those who endure temptations, and continue faithful unto death, shall have the crown of life. That true believers are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works; evidencing the reality of their love to God by observing his statutes, and keeping hia commandments. Self examination is absolutely necessary; and as the subject is of so much importance, you ought to examine yourselves with the greatest diligence and impartiality; comparing your own religion with
those described in the word of God. Always distinguishing the difference between the nature and the maturity of grace in the heart. But as our hearts are so deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, we ought not to trust them, but earnestly pray for the aid of the Holy Spirit of God in this important work of self examination. Behold King David the sweet singer of Israel, praying to his God - Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, try my reins and my heart. The Holy Spirit has given a rule, by which you are to try yourselves; and he works in you, a conformity to that rule; and by his special operations on your hearts, you can read your title clear to mansions in the skies; - when the clouds are scattered, and your fears dispersed away, like darkness before the rays of the sun.
The assurance of faith is in proportion to the work of the Holy Spirit on the heart, and the full assurance of hope rises and falls in proportion to your love to Christ, his cause, and his interest in the world. Joys and comforts are in proportion to your experimental knowledge of the Redeemer. The moment you find this precious Pearl your joy will be so great, that you will most readily sell your old friends and your old carnal amusements for his sake. O for that faith that worketh by love, and purifies the heart!
Are ye destitute of property bereaved of children - tempted to evil by a near relative afflicted in body without a friend on earth to pour the balm of consolation to your troubled breast? Think of Job! how patiently he bore it all! see the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. And go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. See Dr. Lewis' Corph. Difinyddiaeth.
[From J. Davis, editor, Christmas Evans, Sermons on Various Subjects, Sermon VI, 1837, pp. 93-107. Document from Google Books. - Formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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