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tained in the sublimest style of utterance, is evidently thus contrived to interest and impress in the highest degree.

Those of our objectors who ascribe the date of the poem to the period of the captivity, cannot refuse to admit that the writer possessed whatever knowledge the Jewish nation had with respect to a Messiah and a future state.

The writings of Moses and the former prophets, and the greater part of the works of the latter prophets, and the books grouped with the Psalms, were, at this time, the accredited scriptures of the Jews : and few will be so hardy as to affirm that no intimations occur in those writings of the doctrines which constituted the hope and consolation of Israel. On this (in my opinion, untenable) hypothesis, it would appear highly credible that some very distinct reference to those doctrines would enter materially into the structure of the work.

2. The alleged inconsistency between these expressions of triumphant confidence, as we understand them, and the gloominess and despondency generally prevalent in the speeches of Job, presses equally on our opponents, who confine the passage to the expectation of restored prosperity in the present life. It lies even more against them, for Job, not only before, but in his very last speech,* evidently despaired of a restoration to temporal felicity. But, on either hypothesis, there is no inconsistency. A man must have little judgment and less taste, who does not perceive in these alternations of faith and diffidence, despair and hope, a picture exquisitely just and touching, of the huinan mind, under the influence of the most agitating conflict between religious principle resting on the belief of invisible existences, and, on the other hand, the dictates of sense, the pressure of misery, and the violence of temptations.

* See chap. xxx. 16–23.

3. But we are not disposed to grant either of the assumptions before mentioned. We have better evidence than the dicta of German“ antisupernaturalists,” or the opinions of English refiners upon theology, that the patriarchs from whom the tradition of divine truths had descended to Job, “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and desired a better country, that is, a heavenly.”+ Nor is it credible that the promise of a Messiah was totally unknown to the true worshippers of Jehovah in Arabia, allied to the family of Abraham, and in the habit of reverentially cherishing the remains of primeval truth. And, besides the possession of the patriarchal religion, what is there to prevent any but a deist from conceiving that God might INSPIRE his faithful and afflicted servant with the knowledge and the joyful confidence which he expresses ? Is not such a supposition consonant with all the known scheme and principles of the

* See Note [B] at the end of this Section. + See Heb. xi. 5-16.

divine dispensations ? Was not the occasion worthy of the interposition? Has it not always been the faith of the Jewish and of the Christian church, that the ultimate sentiments which it is the design of the book of Job to support and illustrate, and which, in the sequel of the book, receive the stamp of divine approbation, form a part of the body of REVEALED TRUTH? There are also many passages in the book which may be rationally urged as recognitions of a future state.*

4. The assertion that the terms of the passage do not import so much as is usually attributed to them, may be fairly enough mét by asserting the contrary. To the unlearned reader, as well as to the critical scholar, the means of judging for himself are industriously presented, in the close version given above, and in the remarks and references subjoined. The words are as plain as, in any instance, the language of prophecy can be expected to be. It appears to me strictly rational, probable, and in harmony with the great plan of a progressive revelation, to regard this remarkable passage as dictated by the SPIRIT of prophecy, who “ in many portions, and in many modes,t spoke to the fathers."

After employing the utmost force and beauty of language to stamp importance upon the words which he was about to utter, and to ensure for

* See Note [C] at the end of this Section. + Πολυμερώς και πολυτρόπως. Ηeb. 1. 1.

them a never-dying attention, the patriarch protests his confidence that the LIVING God, the eternal, independent, and unchanging One, would be his VINDICATOR from injustice, and his ReDEEMER from all his sorrows; and would restore him from the state of death, to a new life of supreme happiness in the favour and enjoyment of God.*

It is not necessary to suppose that Job understood the full import and extent of what he was “moved by the Holy Spirit to speak.” The general belief, on the divine testimony, of a future Saviour from sin and its consequent evils, would place him on a level with other saints, in his own and many succeeding ages, who “died in faith, not receiving the promises” in their clearest developement, 66 but SEEING

THEM AFAR OFF." Even when those promises had received many accessions of successive revelations, the Jewish prophets did not apprehend the exact design and meaning of their own predictions; for they inquired and searched diligently-what or what kind of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.” Our inquiry is, therefore, not so much what the patriarch actually understood,t as what the Author of inspiration intended ; since it was “not unto themselves, but unto us,” that the patriarchs and prophets “ ministered those things.” “ No prophecy of

* See Note [D] at the end of this Section. + See Note [E] at the end of this Section.

scripture is of self-solution ;"* but is made gradually plainer by new communications from the same omniscient source, and by the light of events.

Upon this principle, it is proper for us to compare the language of this passage, with the character and declarations of Him to whom “ all the prophets gave witness.” He, in the fulness of the times, was manifested, as the REDEEMER from Sin and death, the First and the Last, and the Living ONE, the RESURRECTION and the LIFE; who, in the appointed season, “ is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see him; whose voice the dead shall hear, and hearing shall live.”+

If, then, the evidence which we can attain in this case, be sufficient to satisfy an impartial judgment, that the passage before us was “ given by inspiration of God," as a prophecy of the second coming of the only Redeemer and Judge of mankind; it is no less evidence in point to our present investigation, on the PERSON of the Great Deliverer, than if it directly regarded his first advent :-and it unequivocally designates Him by the highest titles and attributes, of Deity.

* -'idías 'eteltoews. 2 Pet. i. 20. I cannot but request the reader who is studious of scriptural knowledge, to peruse Bishop Horsley's Sermons on this text.

+ Tit. ii. 14. Rev. i. 17, 18. Joh. v. 25.

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