« AnteriorContinuar »
Jacob in Bethel, is Jehovah the Envoy. For Jacob said to Rachel and Leah, “The Angel of God appeared to ine in a dream, saying, I am the God of Bethel where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me : Now arise, get thee out from this land.' (Gen. xxxi, 11, 13.) Now the God of Bethel declared to Jacob in Bethel, that he was the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and therefore every attentive Jew could not but see that Jehovah-Envoy, or the Angel of the Jewish covenant, was the God of the Patriarchs, viz. the Logos, the Son, who, being * Jehovah, rained from Jehovah fire upon Sodom, after he had told Abraham that he could not spare that wicked city.
Christ is represented in the New Testament as the Captain of our salvation, armed with a sword : (Heb. ii. 10, and Rev. xix. 15.) And the Old Testament exhibits Jehovah - Envoy as sustaining the same charac. ter. When Joshua was by Jericho, he lift up his eyes, and behold, there stood a man over against him, with his sword drawn in his hand : And Joshua wen to him and said, Art thou for us, or for our adver saries ? And he said, Nay, but as Captain of the hos of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on hi face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the Cap tain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose th shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon tha standest is holy :' The very charge which the God Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave to Moses from ti flaming bush in Horeb. And when Joshua had obeye the man, who appeared as Captain of the Lord's hos gave him directious about the taking of Jericho, as t] God of Abraham had given directions to Moses abo the delivering his people from the Egyptian bonday These orders are thus expressed : And “Jehovah sa unto Joshua, See, I have given into thy hands Jerich Ye shall compass the city six days,' &c. (Josh. v. 1 &c. and vi. 2, &c.)
Unless we absurdly suppose, that the Captain of 1
Lord's host appeared merely to bid Joshua loose his shoes from off his feet, it follows from this narration, that the personage who appeared to Moses' successor, was Jehovah God of Abraham. This is evident, (1.) From his being called Jehovah, and (2.) From his requiring and accepting religious worship from Joshua, And that it was Jehovah the Sou, is equally plain, (1.) From his assuming the form of a servaut: (2.) From his styling himself the Captain of Jehovah's armies ; for according to the analogy of faith, the Son, Jehorah Envoy, may be called the captain of his Father's bost, but the Father can never be sent on an expedition, as Captain of his Son's armies.
That Jehovah-Envoy, so frequently styled the Envoy of Jehovah; or as we have it in our translation, “the Angel of the Lord,' was kuown to the Jews, as the 'mighty God,' whose name is Wonderful, appears from the following account:- The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, and said, Jehovah is with thee, and Jehovah looked upon him and said, Go in this thy might, [the might which 1 impart unto thee,) and thou shalt save Israel: Have I not sent thee?' And when Gideon drew back, “Jehovah [namely, the Angel Jehovah] said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. Hence the Israelites, when they fell upon the Midianites, shouted, “The sword of Jehovah, and of Gideon.' When Jehovah-Envoy, who appeared ovly as a traveller, with “a staff in his haud,' disappeared, after giving a proof of his divinity, by shewing he was God that answereth by fire, (see Judges vi. 21,) Gideon perceived the infipite dignity of the personage who had spoken to him and remembering that Jehovah had said to Moses, 'No man shall see me [in my form of God] and live, (Exod. xxxiii. 20 ;) and thinking he was to die immediately, cried out, 'Alas! O Lord God, for because I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face : . And Jehovah (as he disappeared] said unto him, Peace be unto thee, fear not, thou shalt not die: And Gideon built an altar there unto Jehovah, and called it Jeho,
vah Shalom,' that is, The God of peace. From this aecount it is evident: (1.) That the Angel, who appeared to Gideon, is the very Angel Jehovah, who appeared to Abraham on mount Moriah, to Jacob in Bethel, and to Moses in Horeb. (2.) That he is Jehovah, who answers by fire, seeing he manifested his glory to Gideon as he did to Moses and Elijah, by a supernatural fire. (3.) Avd that as the analogy of faith does not permit us to believe that God the Father ever appeared as a man with a staff in his hand, it was without doubt Jehovah Jesus, who, as the great Saviour of the Israelites, appointed saviours for the deliverance of his people, and Gideon among others; as afterwards in the days of his flesh, as the great apostle of our profession, he appointed twelve apostles to instruct mankind.
This doctrine is confirmed by the accouut we have of the manner in which Samson was raised to the office of a temporal saviour of the Israelites. A personage, who is called several times the Angel of the Lord, or the Envoy-Jehovah, appeared as a man to Manoah and his wife, to whom he promised the birth of Samson : Manoah, not knowing his dignity, asked hiin his name And the Angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret, or won. derful ? Peli, the very word afterwards used by the Prophet, who saith, His name shall be called Wonder ful, PELI. (Isa. ix. 6.) 'So Manoah took a kid, wit a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto Jeho vah; and the Angel of the Lord [or Jehovah-Envoy did wonderfully,' for shewing himself the God tha appeared in the burning bush to Moses, and accept ing the propitiatory sacrifice, which Manoah and h wife offered, 'he ascended in the flame of the altar, a they looked on, and fell on their faces to the groun Then Manoah knew that he was [Jehovah-Envoy, o the Angel of the Lord; and he said unto his wife, w shall surely die, because we have seen God: But h wife [perceiving that it was Jehovah-Shalom, the G. of Gideon, the God of Peace, who had appeared un
them) said to him, If Jehovah were pleased to kill us, he would never have received a burnt-offering at our hands.' (Judges xiii. 23.)
The same reasons which prove, that the person who appeared to Gideon is Jehovah Jesus, prove also that the person who appeared to Manoah and his wife, whom they at first called a man, and before whom they trembled, when they knew him to be God and Jehovah, is that very Emmanuel, that God manifested in the flesh, whom Christians worship as Jehovah-Shalom, coming to make peace and recovciliation. * * *
The Foundation of the Proofs of Christ's Divinity from the Writings of the Prophets, is laid in the three original Prophecies recorded by Moses, concerning the Messiah.
In the two last letters I have endeavoured to shew, both from Scripture and Reason, that the Israelites might reasonably expect a divine Messiah, and that it is most unreasonable and unscriptural to suppose, that, whereas the Son appeared on mount Calvary for the redemption of all mankind from the tyranny of Sin, Death, and Satan: God the Father appeared on Mount Horeb merely to redeem one single nation from the tyranny of Pharaoh. Coming now to the point, I shall confront your first fundamental proposition with the prophecies of the Old Testament. Speaking of the Messiah as a mere man, and repeating in your Disquisitions on Matter and Spirit, what I have already quoted from the beginning of your History of the Corruptions of Christianity, you write, (p. 331,) “Nor can it be said that any of the ancient prophecies give us the least hint of any thing farther. In direct opposition to this doctrine, I shall show
that * all the Prophetic books of the Old Testament contain strong hints or express declarations of the Messiah's Divinity; and I enter upon thiş task the more willingly, as I hope to present you with some new observations on this important subject.. . i's
The oldest book is Genesis : Moses, the writer of it, is the first Prophet of the Jews, the oldest people iu the world. And in that book we find the three original promises relative to the Messiah. The first was made immediately after the fall, in these words : * I will put enmity between thee (O Serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.' (Gen. iii, 15.) As if the Lord had said to the Tempter, “By the instrumentality of a serpent thou hast triumphed over the woman, and by her over the man, but the day, is not lost: A long and dreadful war shall be waged between thee and my church, the spiritual mother of all liviug souls, the mystical woman of whom Eve is a type: And another Eve shall one day bear a Son, the second and better Adam, whom I call the seed of the woman, because he shall be miraculously formed of the substance of a woman without the interposition of a man, as Eve was miraculously formed of the substance of Adam without the interposition of a woman. Armed with divine power, he shall enter the field against thee, and thy forces. By the help of the wicked, who are thy seed, thou shalt indeed bruise his heel, wound to death the inferior part of his wonderful person, the body which he shall assume from his mother, and by which he shall be allied to the earth. But his deadly wound shall be fatal to thee; for, shewing himself the Prince of life, even with his bruised heel' he shall bruise thy head,' he shall destroy thee and thy seed, Theu shall the woman and her seed possess the gates of their enemies; then shall the curse brought upon the earth by' the first Adam, be turned into a blessing by the Second ; and the world redeemed, instead of being full
* Had it pleased the Lord to spare Mr. Fletcher, he had purposed to do this.