Page images

righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." "If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?” And again, "Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight, shall no man living be justified." We can be justified only by faith in Christ Jesus: therefore let us get out of ourselves and rely wholly upon Christ. It is true we must be judged according to our works; but are not accepted with God or saved for our works. When we have done all, we must deny ourselves, and act faith on our Lord Jesus Christ. If we have been quickened and enlarged in any duty, we must be thankful and bless God; though we must not trust in it, but in Christ Jesus our Lord.



JOB XIX. 25-27.

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.

It was the desire of our loving neighbour and dear brother, Mr. Eaton, whose wearisome pilgrimage God hath graciously finished, that he might be buried amongst us, and that I would preach a sermon to the living: this his desire he expressed to me some years ago, but did not mention any particular portion of scripture which was in his thoughts as the subject of the sermon requested. I understand that he continued in this desire to his

This sermon was preached on the death of the Rev. Samuel Eaton, and is extracted from Dr. Rippon's Baptist Annual Register, vol. iv. page 559. Mr. Eaton was a Nonconformist Minister, ejected from Dukinfield, in Cheshire. "He was," says the Nonconformist Memorial, "a very holy man, a person of great learning and judgment, and an incomparable preacher." The following memorandum is prefixed to the sermon-"Denton, Jan. 22, 1694. Upon occasion of the death of Mr. Samuel Eaton, who died Jan. the 9th, and was buried Jan. the 12th; he desired this office of love from me, and appointed this text." The Nonconformist Memorial mentions Dukinfield as being in Lancashire, and Mr. Eaton as having died in 1664.

dying day, and of late singled out, and mentioned these memorable words of Job; those words which Job, in the midst of his affliction, so earnestly desired might be transmitted to posterity, that they might be written, and graven with a pen and lead in a rock, that they might abide for ever; in which he doth fully clear his own uprightness, and has left a legacy to the church. This portion of scripture he fitly pitched upon as a believer, one that had drank of Job's cup of affliction and consolation. He drank in large measure of Job's cup of affliction: he was much afflicted. in his estate in the time of the former bishops; he was so afflicted in his body, liberty, friends, good name, oft times and many ways troubled and grieved in his spirit. Among his many af flictions, I observed that two especially affected his spirits.


One, the great wrong that was done him in his good name, not by enemies but friends; he might truly say with Job, verse 19 of this chapter, They whom I loved are turned against me;" and with the best of men, and our Saviour, "False witnesses did rise up, they laid to my charge things that I knew not," Psalm xxxv. 11.

The other was the loss of his speech, whereby he was unfitted to serve God and his church as formerly; yet when the Lord had humbled him and proved him, he cleared his innocency, and restored to him some measure of usefulness. Blessed be his name, he drunk of Job's cup of consolation, he had the testimony of his conscience on his side, when he was afflicted, and accused, and reproached; he knew the grounds of his comfort, and had grace given him to apply the same, and therewith to comfort himself, as Job did, in the midst of, and above all his afflictions, as appears in the most full and comfortable profession of his faith: he did fitly pitch upon this portion of scripture to be spoken of to the church after his decease. If we consider him as a minister of the gospel, hereby he took a course that the church might be put in mind of the doctrine he preached, which he believed, professed, lived and died in, that they might be encouraged in their faith, profession, and practice of it. There are several articles of our faith included in these words, which I cannot speak of particularly in a sermon; but that which I shall propose in the general, is, to explain two main things held out in these verses.

I. Job's safe state in the midst of his afflictions.

II. His comfortable state amidst his sorrows and vexations of spirit.

1. Job's state was safe for the present, notwithstanding his sins; he was afflicted in his estate, friends, body, name; yet a safe man, for he had a Redeemer, a kinsman, an elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, who had right and power to redeem him

from sin and affliction, Psalm cxxx. 7; therefore he shall be saved. See Job xiii. 15, 16.

2. His safe state for after time; his Redeemer liveth as God, in his essence, God blessed for ever; and as man, though he died, yet he rose again, and dieth no more, Rev. i. 18, therefore he is ever a Redeemer to him.

(1.) He would be safe though death should separate soul and body, and he could live no longer than his appointed time on earth, to behold men and worship God, yet his Redeemer liveth, death could not separate him from the love of Christ, Rom. viii. 38; it could not dissolve this union; Christ would take care that his soul should enter into peace, and his body rest in the most soft, sweet, and safe bed of the grave. Isa. lvii. 1, 2.

(2.) He is safe in the grave; his Redeemer liveth to preserve the precious dust of his body, that none of it be lost. Not the least particle of the dust of his redeemed, sanctified body, (a member of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Ghost) shall be lost. 1 Cor. vi. 19.

(3.) He will be safe at the resurrection; his Redeemer liveth to raise his body out of the dust, to unite it to his own soul, and make it like to his glorious body. John vi. 39. Phil. iii. 21. ·

(4.) He will be safe in the day of judgment, safe from condemnation; his Redeemer liveth, he shall be his Judge, as God hath appointed. Acts x. 36, 42.

II. As his safe state in all his afflictions is here manifest, so his comfortable state in all his sorrows; for he knew by faith,

1. That he had a living Redeemer; he did not only know by a historical faith that there was a Messiah, (a promised seed, in whom all nations were to be blessed, typified in sacrifices, promised to Adam and Abraham, Gal. iii. 7, 8.) but he knew by a justifying faith that he was his Redeemer. As Abraham believed, Gen. xv. 6. Job believed the same promise, Job xiii. 18, his conscience told him he had accepted Christ for his Redeemer, and trusted in him, though he should slay him, ver. 15, and he knew it was sincere trust, not presumption, by the uprightness of his heart, v. 15, 16, and by the effects of it, as, (1.) It worked by love; he served God for love, and not for wages. (2.) It purified his heart, and cleansed his way, Job iii. 4; he feared God, eschewed evil. (3.) It made him the pattern of patience. (4.) It strengthened him in temptations from Satan, the world, friends; so that he kept the way of God, and was not discouraged, but held on till God finished his temptations.-Though he himself was in a dying condition, and did expect death daily, yet his comfort was, that his Redeemer did live, and should live for


2. He knew by faith that his Redeemer should stand in the

latter days upon the earth; in the days of the gospel, he should assume the nature of man, and live upon the earth, that he might obey and suffer, die and rise again, and ascend to heaven for his redemption; and at the last day he should come from heaven to judgment, when he should be justly judged, and cleared, though he was now unjustly accused, and judged to be a hypocrite, a deceiver, a wicked man, and so afflicted by God. This last judgment was prophesied of by Enoch, before Christ's time, Jude, 14, 15. Abraham also believed God to be the Judge of all the world, Gen. xviii. 25, even God the Son, who appeared to him and others in a human shape, as a forerunner of his incarnation. This was Job's comfort, that after all misjudgings and censurings were past, there should be a last judgment, and all by his Redeemer.

3. He knew by faith, that though his body at present was much worn and wasted with affliction, and nothing left but skin and bone, though after death his body should be wholly consumed within and without, yet he should be restored; his skin, flesh, bones, eyes, the self-same body that had so suffered, laid in the grave, consumed, though erelong he should be seen, censured no more, yet, when Christ comes, he should appear with him in a glorious body, in perfect health, strength, and beauty; this corruption will put on incorruption. Col. iii. 4.

4. He knew by faith, that in his body, restored and glorified, he should see his Redeemer's glorified body, even with those eyes that had seen so much affliction. What a glorious, transporting sight will that be! to see the body of his Redeemer, which suffered so much, so painful a death for him; and that with the eyes of his understanding he should see God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: he shall see him face to face, know him as he is known, have perfect knowledge of him. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. "Be blessed, and be like him,” Matt. v. 8. 1 John iii. 2.

Job was confirmed in his faith by God's translating Enoch, Gen. v. 24, and by God's preparing an ark, and shutting up Noah in it, a figure of the eternal salvation of believers signified and sealed by baptism, 1 Pet. iii. 21. This most comfortable truth of seeing God in glory, and enjoying him, the saints of old were acquainted with; the patriarchs were pilgrims here, and sought a heavenly country, Heb. xi. 9, 10, 14. Moses desired by faith to see God's glory, Exod. xxxiii.18; but God told him, that mercy was reserved for another life.

David, Psalm xv. and xxiv. describeth the man that shall ascend into God's hill, read also Ps. xvi. and xvii. This is the completion of our happiness. 1 Thess. iv. 17.

Application. We have seen the safety and comfortableness

of Job's state, in the midst of his afflictions and sorrows, clearly deduced from these verses, in which he makes a confession of his faith, which is also a profession of his integrity, and an encouragement against the false judging of his friends. Our dear brother deceased made the same profession of the same faith, in his afflictions, and desired it might be made known to the church after his decease, and by it he being dead, yet speaketh, with believing Abel, to his neighbours, friends, all in civil and spiritual relation to him, in this manner :

1. I leave you in this my last sermon, for a memorial, the sum of that doctrine I have been taught in the church of God, have believed, professed, practised, and many years preached to you, in which I have lived and died, that ye may remember it, hold it fast, live and die in it: some articles of it are these following: (1.) That all men, even the best of men, are sinful and miserable, and cannot redeem themselves, but need a Redeemer. (2.) That God, passing by fallen angels, hath provided a Redeemer for mankind, his own Son, God and man, one that is willing, for he is a Redeemer in name and office; able also, a living Redeemer, life itself, able to overcome death and bestow happiness. (3.) This Redeemer is not for all men, but for particular persons, such as have grace given them to believe, to accept of Christ, and appropriate him, conscious that they need a Redeemer. (4.) That particular believers may, in the use of God's means, in an ordinary way, attain to assurance that Christ is their Redeemer, not only to a good hope, but certainty of faith.(5.) That though the redeemed die, yet they do not perish; there is a resurrection; the same bodies which they lay down shall rise again. (6.) That Christ, the Redeemer of his people, shall come at last to judge the world. (7.) That after the resurrection, and day of judgment, the redeemed shall have a glorious and blessed sight of their Redeemer, both in body and soul.

2. You have been all baptized into this one faith; you have been taught it, have embraced it, professed it; you all agree in the substantial and saving doctrines of faith, having been partakers of the holy supper, whereby you have been confirmed in faith; see that you live in love, that you bear one another's burdens and infirmities, and fulfil the law of Christ.

3. I have gone before you in a way of patience as well as of obedience; my afflictions, with holy Job, have been many and great, some of long continuance. I have been afflicted in my estate, body, spirit, friends, name; that which hath been my support and comfort in all my afflictions, is faith in a Redeemer, that my sins are forgiven through his blood, that he hath redeemed me from the evil of all afflictions; that by him I shall be redeemed out of all sin and misery, from death and the

« PreviousContinue »