« PreviousContinue »
siah, and therefore not allowing his supernatural pri- , with thee before the world was." So decisive is this ority of existence to Abraham, chose to consider his passage, that, as Dr. Harwood says, “Were there no inwords in a signification merely human. ' Then said timation in the whole New Testament of the pre-existthe Jews unto him, Thou art not fifty years old, and ence of Christ, this single passage would irrefragably hast thou seen Abraham ? But what does our Saviour demonstrate and establish it. Our Saviour, here in a reply to this low and gross comment upon his intima- solemn act of devotion, declares to the Almighty that he tion? Does he retract it by warping his language to had glory with him before the world was, and fervently their poor perverseness, and so waiving his pretensions supplicates that he would be graciously pleased to reto the assumed dignity? No! to have so acted, would instate him in his former felicity. The language is have been derogatory to his dignity, and injurious to plain and clear. Every word has great moment and their interests. He actually repeats his claim to the emphasis :— Glorijy thou me with that glory which I character. He actually enforces his pretensions to a enjoyed in thy presence, before the world was. Upon supernatural priority of existence. He even heightens this single text I lay my finger. Here I posit my sysboth. He mounts up far beyond Abraham. He as- tem, And if plain words be designedly employed to cends beyond all the orders of creation. And he places convey any determinate meaning,---if the modes of hihimself with God, at the head of the universe. He man speech have any precision, I am convinced, that thus arrogates to himself all that high pitch of dignity, this plain declaration of our Lord, in an act of devotion, which the Jews expected their Messiah to assume. exhibits a great and important truth, which can never This he does too in the most energetic manner, that be subverted or invalidated by any accurate and satishis simplicity of language, so natural to inherent great factory criticism.”(5) ness, would possibly admit. He also introduces what
Whatever, therefore, the true nature of our Lord Jehe says with much solemnity in the form, and with sus Christ may be, we have at least discovered from more in the repetition. “Verily, verily, I say unto you,' the plainest possible testimonies,-testimonies which no he cries, ' BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS, I AM.! He says not criticism, and no unlicensed and paraphrastic comof himself, as he says of Abraham, Before he was, I ments have been able to shake or to obscure, that he was. This, indeed, would have been sufficient to af- had an existence previous to his incarnation, and prefirm his existence previous to Abraham. But it ald vious to the very * foundation of the world.” If then not have been sufficient to declare what he now meant we find that the same titles and works which are asto assert, his full claim to the majesty of the Messiah. cribed to him in the New Testament, and ascribed He therefore drops all forms of language that could to a Divine Person in the Old, who is yet represented be accommodated to the mere creatures of God. He as distinct from God the Father, and especially to one arrests one, that was appropriate to the Godhead itself. who was to come into the world to fulfil the very of* Before Abraham was, or, still more properly, · Before fices which our Lord has actually fulfilled, we shall Abraham was MADE," he says, 'I am. He thus gives have obtained another step in this inquiry, and shall himself the signature of uncreated and continual ex- have exhibited lofty proof, not only of the pre-existence istence, in direct opposition to contingent and created. of Christ, but also of his Divinity. This will be the He says of himself,
subject of the next chapter. That an eternal now for ever lasts with him. He attaches to himself that very stamp of eternity, which God appropriates to his Godhead in the
CHAPTER XI. Old Testament; and from which an apostle afterward describes · Jesus Christ' expressly, to be the same TRINITY.-Jesus Christ the Jehovah of the Old yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. Nor did the Jews
Testament. pretend to misunderstand him now. They could not. In reading the Scriptures of the Old Testament, it is They heard him directly and decisively vindicating the impossible not to mark, with serious attention, the frenoblest rights of their Messiah, and the highest honours quent visible appearances of God to the patriarchs and of their God to himself. They considered him as a prophets; and, what is still more singular, his visible mere pretender to those. They therefore looked upon residence in a cloud of glory, both among the Jews him as a blasphemous arrogator of these. "Then took in the wilderness and in their sacred tabernacle and they up stones to cast at him’ as a blasphemer; as temple. what indeed he was in his pretensions to be God, if he The fact of such appearances cannot be disputed ; had not been in reality their Messiah and their God in they are allowed by all, and in order to point out the one. But he instantly proved himself to their very bearing of this fact upon the point at issue, the Divisenises to be both; by exerting the energetic powers of nity of Christ, it is necessary, his Godhead upon them. For he • hid himself; and 1. To show that the person who made these appearwent out of the temple, going through the midst of ances was truly a Divine person. them; and so passed by.""
The proofs of this are, that he bears the names of JeThe last passage which I shall quote, may properly, hovah, God, and other Divine appellations; and that he both from its dignity and explicitness, close the whole. dwelt among the Israelites as the object of their suJohn xvii. 5, “ And now, O Father, glorify thou me with preme worship; the worship of a people, the first prethine own self, with the glory which I had with thee be- cept of whose law was, “thou shalt have no other fore the world was.” Whatever this glory was, it was Gods before me." The proofs are copious, but quotapossessed by Christ before the world was; or, as he af- tions shall not be needlessly multiplied. terward expresses it, “ before the foundation of the
When the angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilworld.” That question is, therefore, not to be con- derness, “she called the name of JEHOVAH that spake founded with the main point which determines the pre- to her, Thou, God, seest me.”-JEHOVAH appeared unto existence of our Lord; for if he was with the Father, Abraham in the plains of Mamre. Abraham lifted up and had a glory with him before the world was, and of his eyes, and three men, three persons in human form, which “ he emptied himself” when he became man, " stood by him.” One of the three is called Jehovah. then he had an existence, not only before his incarna- And JEHOVAH said, “Shall I hide from Abraham the tion, but before the very“ foundation of the world." The thing that I do, ?" Two of the three depart, but he to Socinian gloss is," the glory which I had with thee in whom this high appellation is given remains, “ but thy immutable decree, before the world was; or which Abraham stood yet before JEHOVAH.” This Jehovah is thou didst decree before the world was, to give me." But called by Abraham in the conversation which followed, n Elxov Wapa ool, “ which I had with thee,” cannot bear “the Judge of all the earth;” and the account of the any such sense. The occasion was too peculiar to ad- solemn interview is thus closed by the historian," the mit of any mystical, forced, or parabolic modes of'speech. Lord (Jehovah) went his way as soon as he had left off It was in the hearing of his disciples, just before he communing with Abraham.” Appearances of the went out into the garden, that these words were
same personage occur to Isaac and to Jacob, under the spoken; and, as it has been well observed, it is remark- name of “the God of Abraham, and of Isaac.” After able that he introduces the mention of this glory, one of these manifestations, Jacob says, “ I have seen when it was not necessary to complete the sense of God face to face ;” and at another, “Surely the Lord any proposition. And yet, as if on purpose to prevent (JEHOVAH) is in this place.” The same Jehovah was the apostles, who heard his prayer, from supposing that made visible to Moses, and gave him his commission, he was asking that which he had not possessed in any former period, he adds, “ with the glory which I had
(5) Socinian Scheme.
and God said, “I AM THAT I AM; thou shalt say to the the Israelites, “Behold I send an Angel before thee to children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.” The keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place same Jehovah went before the Israelites by day in a which I have prepared; beware of him, and obey his pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire; and by voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your him the law was given amid terrible displays of power transgressions, for my name is in him.” Of this angel and majesty from Mount Sinai. "I am the Lord (JE- | let it be observed, that he is here represented as the HOVAH) thy God, which have brought thee out of the guide and protector of the Israelites; to him they were land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, thou shalt to owe their conquests and their settlement in the prohave no other Gods before me, &c. Did ever people mised land, which are in other places often attributed hear the voice of God, speaking out of the midst of the to the immediate agency of God—that they are caufire, as thou hast heard, and live ?" This same person- tioned to “ beware of him,” to reverence and stand in age commanded the Israelites to build him a sanctuary, dread of him—that the pardoning of transgressions bethat he might reside among them; and when it was longs to him-finally, that the name of God was in erected he took possession of it in a visible form, which him.” This name must be understood of God's own was called “ the glory of the Lord.” There the SCHE- peculiar name, JEHOVAH, I AM, which he assumed as CHINAH, the visible token of the presence of Jehovah, his distinctive appellation at his first appearing to Morested, above the ark; there he was consulted on all ses; and as the names of God are indicative of his naoccasions, and there he received their worship from ture, he who had a right to bear the peculiar name of age to age. Sacrifices were offered ; sin was confessed God, must also have his essence. This view is put beand pardoned by him; and the book of Psalms is a col- yond all doubt by the fact, that Moses and the Jews so lection of the hymns which were sung to his honour understood the promise; for afterward, when their in the tabernacle and temple services, where he is con- sins had provoked God to threaten not to go up with there stantly celebrated as JEHOVAH the God of Israel; the himself, but to commit them to "an Angel who should “Jehovah God of their fathers ;” and the object of their drive out the Canaanite, &c.," the people mourned over own exclusive hope and trust: All the works of crea- this as a great calamity, and Moses betook himself to tion are in those sublime compositions ascribed to him; special intercession, and rested not until he obtained and he is honoured and adored as the governor of all the repeal of the threat, and the renewed promise, “ my nations, and the sole ruler among the children of men. presence shall go with thee and I will give thee rest." In a word, to mark his divinity in the strongest possi. Nothing, therefore, can be more clear than that Moses ble manner, all blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eter- and the Israelites considered the promise of the Angel, nal, “ light and defence, grace and glory," are sought at in whom was “the name of God," as a promise that his hands.
God himself would go with them. With this uncreThus the same glorious being, bearing the appella- ated Angel, this presence of the Lord, they were satistion of JEHOVAH, is seen as the object of the worship fied, but not with“ an angel” indefinitely-with an anand trust of ages, and that under a visible manifestation; gel, not so by office only, as was the appearing Angel displaying attributes, engaged in operations, and assum- of the Old Testament, but who was by nature of that ing dignities and honours, which unequivocally array order of beings usually so called, and therefore a created him with the majesty of absolute Divinity.
being. At the news of God's determination not to go To this the objections which have been made admit up with them, Moses hastens to the tabernacle to make of a most satisfactory answer.
his intercessions, and refuses an inferior conductor. The first is, that this personage is also called “the “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up Angel of the Lord.” This is true; but if that Angel hence."(6) of the Lord is the same person as he who is called Je- That the angel of Jehovah is constantly represented hovah; the same as he who gave the Law in his own as Jehovah himself, and therefore as a Divine person, is name, then it is clear that the term “ Angel" does not so manifest, that the means resorted to, to evade the indicate a created being, and is a designation not of na- force of the argument which so immediately flashes ture, but of office, which will be just now accounted from it, acknowledge the fact. Those who deny the for, and is not at all inconsistent with his true and pro- Divinity of our Lord, however, endeavour to elude the per divinity.
consequence according to their respective creeds.
The The collation of a few passages, or of the different Arians, who think the appearing angel to have been parts of the same passages of Seripture, will show that Christ, but who yet deny him to be Jehovah himself, Jehovah and “the Angel of the Lord,” when used in assume that this glorious but created being personated this eminent sense, are the same person. Jacob says of the Deity, and as his ambassador and representative, Bethel, where he had exclaimed, “Surely Jehovah is in spoke by his authority, and took his name. Thus a this place :" “ The Angel of God appeared to me in a modern Arian observes, “The Angel takes the name dream, saying, I am the God of Bethel." Upon his of Jehovah because it is a common maxim, loquitur ledeathbed he gives the names of God and Angel to this gatus sermone mittentis eum, as an ambassador in the same person. “The God which fed me all my life long name of his King, or the fecialis when he denounced unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all war in the name of the Roman people; and what is evil, bless the lads." So in Hosea xii. 2. 5, it is said, done by the angel is said to be done by God, according “By his strength he had power with
yea, he ha
to another maxim, qui facit per alium, facit per se."(7) power over the Angel and prevailed.” “We found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us, even the Lord (6) From this remarkable passage it appears to me God of Hosts, the Lord is his memorial.” Here the very clear, that the Messenger or Angel of God, whom same person has the names God, Angel, and Lord God he here promises to be the Leader of his people, is not a of Hosts. “The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham creature, much less Moses or Joshua, but an uncreated a second time from heaven, and said, By myself have Angel. For, 1, the clause, He will not pardon your I sworn, saith the Lord (Jehovah), that since thou hast sins, is not applicable to any created being, whether done this thing, in blessing I will bless thee.” The An- Angel or man : 2, The next words, my name is in him, gel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire ; cannot be explained to signify, he shall act in my name, but this same angel of the Lord "called to him out of that is, under my command or by authority received the bush, and said, I am the God of thy fathers, the God from me, for in that case another word, he will act, or of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and he will speak, or the like, would have been added : 3, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.” The same conclusion is established by a comparison of To omit many other passages, St. Stephen, in alluding to this passage with chap. xxxii. 34 (and xxxii. 2), where this part of the history of Moses, in his speech before the God expresses his indignation against the Israelites for council, says, there appeared to Moses, in the wilderness their idolatry, by declaring that not himself, but an anof Mount Sinai, an Angel of the Lord in a flame of fire,” gel, should be henceforth their guide: but this the peoshowing that that phraseology was in use among the ple and Moses most earnestly deprecate (as a calamity Jews in his day, and that this angel and Jehovah were and a judgment, whereas the present instance is a proregarded as the same being, for he adds, “Moses was in mise of favour and mercy, and is so acknowledged in the church in the wilderness with the Angel which Is. Ixii. 8). “That angel, therefore, is perfectly differspoke unto him in Mount Sinai.” There is one part of the ent from him who is spoken of in this passage before history of the Jews in the wilderness, which so fully us, who is the same that appeared to Moses, chap. iii. shows that they distinguished this angel of Jehovah from 2, and there likewise both speaks and acts as God him all created angels, as to deserve particular attention. In self.”--Dathii Pentateuchus. Exodus xxiii. 20, God makes this pronise to Moses and (7) TAYLOR, Ben Mordecai,
The answer to this is, that though ambassadors speak / self introductory of the same idolatry that was pracin the name of their masters, they do not apply the tised by all the nations of the heathen ? But we are names and titles of their masters to themselves,(8) told, that bold figures of speech are common in the that the unquestionably created Angels, mentioned in Hebrew language, which is not to be tied down in its Scripture as appearing to men, declare that they were interpretation to the severer rules of modern criticism. sent by God, and never personate him,--that the pro- We may be assured that these opinions are indefenphets uniformly declare their commission to be from sible, which cannot be supported without charging the God,—that God himself declares, “ Jehovah is my name word of God with want of propriety or perspicuity. and my glory will I not give to another,"--and yet that Such pretences might be borne with, if the question the appearing Angel calls himself, as we have seen, by were about a phrase or two in the poetical or prophetithis incommunicable name in almost innumerable in- cal parts of Scripture. But this, if it be a figure, is a stances, and that though the object of the Mosaic dis- figure which runs through the whole Scripture. And pensation was to preserve men from idolatry, yet this a bold interpreter must he be, who supposes that such Angel claims and receives the exclusive worship both figures are perpetually and uniformly made use of in of the Patriarchs to whom he occasionally appeared, a point of such importance, without any meaning at all. and the Jews among whom he visibly resided for ages. This is to confound the use of language, to make the It is therefore a proposition too monstrous to be for a Holy Scripture a mysterious, unintelligible book, suffimoment sustained, that a created being of any kind cient to prove nothing, or rather to prove any thing should thus allure men into idolatry, by acting the which a wild imagination shall suggest."(2) Deity, assuming his name and attributing to himself If the Arian account of the angel of Jehovah be unGod's peculiar and incommunicable perfections and tenable, the Socinian notion will be found equally unhonour. (9) The Arian hypothesis on this subject is supported, and indeed ridiculous. Dr. Priestley aswell auswered by even a Socinian writer. “The whole sumes the marvellous doctrine of “occasional persc.2transaction on Mount Sinai shows that Jehovah was ality,” and thinks that “in some cases angels were present, and acted, and not another for him. It is the nothing more than temporary appearances, and no God that had delivered them out of Egypt, with whom permanent beings; the mere organs of the Deity, asthey were to enter into covenant as their God, and who sumed for the purpose of making himself known.” He thereupon accepted them as his people, who was the speaks, therefore, of “a power occasionally emitted, author of their religion and laws, and who himself de- and then taken back again into its source ;" of this livered to them those ten commands, the most sacred power being vested with a temporary personality, and part. There is nothing to lead us to imagine that the thinks this possible! Little cause had the doctor and person, who was their God, did not speak in his own his adherents to talk of the mystery and absurdity of name; not the least intimation that here was another the doctrine of three persons in one Godhead, who can representing him.”(1)
make a person out of a power, emitted, and then drawn The author of the Essay on Spirit" attempts to meet back again to its source; a temporary person, without this, by alleging that “the Hebrews were far from individual subsistence! The wildness of this fiction being explicit and accurate in their style, and that it is its own refutation ; but that the angel of Jehovah was cusiomary for prophets and angels to speak in the was not this temporary occasional person, produced or name and character of God.” The reply of Dr. Ran. “emitted” for the occasion of these appearances, is dolph is able and decisive, and as this is a point of made certain by Abraham's “ walking before this angel great importance, its introduction will not appear un of the Lord,” that is, ordering his life and conversation necessary.
in his sight all the days of his life; by Jacob calling “Some, to evade these strong proofs of our Lord's him the angel of the Lord, who had “ fed him all his life Divinity, have asserted that this was only a created long ;" and by this also, that the same person, who angel appearing in the name or person of the Father; was called by himself and by the Jews "the God of it being customary in Scripture for one person to sus- Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob,” was the God of the tain the character, and act and speak in the name of chosen people in all their generations. Mr. Lindsey another. But these assertions want proof. I find no says, “that the outward token of the presence of God instances of one person acting and speaking in the name is what is generally meant by the angel of God, when of another, without first declaring in whose name he not particularly specified and appropriated otherwise; acts and speaks. The instances usually alleged are that which manifested his appearance, whatever it nothing to the purpose. If we sometimes find an angel was;" and this opinion commonly obtains among the in the book of Revelations speaking in the name of Socinians. “ The angel of the Lord was the visible God, yet from the context it will be easy to show that symbol of the Divine presence."(3) This notion, howthis angel was the great angel, the angel of the cove-ever, involves a whole train of absurdities. The term nant. But if there should be some instances in the “the Angel of Jehovah" is not at all accounted for by poetical or prophetical parts of Scripture of an abrupt a visible symbol of clouds, light, fire, &c., unless that change of persons, where the person speaking is not | symbol be considered as distinct from Jehovah. We particularly specified, this will by no means come up have then the name Jehovah given to a cloud, a light, to the case before us. Here is a person sustaining the a fire, &c.; the fire is the Angel of the Lord, and yet name and character of the most high God, from one end the Angel of the Lord calls to Moses out of the fire. of the Bible to the other; bearing his glorious and This visible symbol says to Abraham, " By MYSELF I fearful name, the incommunicable name Jehovah, ex- have sworn,” for these are said to be the words of the pressive of his necessary existence; sitting in the throne Angel of Jehovah; and this Angel, the visible symbol, of God; dwelling and presiding in his temple; deliver- spake to Moses Mount Sinai : such are the absurdiing laws in his name; giving out oracles; hearing ties which flov som error! Most clearly, therefore, prayers; forgiving sins. And yet these writers would is it determined on the testimony of several Scriptures, persnade us that this was only a tutelary angel; that and by necessary induction from the circumstances ata creature was the God of Israel, and that to this crea- tending the numerous appearances of the Angel of ture all their service and worship was directed; that Jehovah in the Old Testament, that the person thus the great God, whose name is jealous,' was pleased manifesting himself, and thus receiving supreme worto give his glory, his worship, his throne, to a crea- ship, was not a created angel, as the Arians would ture. What is this but to make the law of God him- have it, nor a meteor, an atmospheric appearance, the
worthy theory of modern Socinians, but that he was a (8) “An earthly ambassador indeed represents the Divine Person. person of his prince, is supposed to be clothed with his 2. It will be necessary to show that this Divine perauthority, and speaks and acts in his name. But who son was not God the Father. ever heard of an ambassador assuming the very name The following argument has been adopted in proof of his sovereign, or being honoured with it by others? of this. “No man hath seen God at any time. Ye Would one in this character be permitted to say, I have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his George, I Louis, I Frederick ? As the idea is ridiculous, shape. Not that any man hath seen the Father. It is, the action would justly be accounted high-treason." however, said in the Old Testament, that God frequently Jamieson's Vindication.
appeared under the Patriarchal and Levitical dispensa(9) --- histrioniam exercuisse, in qua Dei nomen assumat, et ornnia, quæ Dei sunt, sibi attribuat.-Bishop (2) RANDOLPH's Vindication of the Doctrine of the BULL
Trinity (1) LINDSEY's Apol.
tions, and therefore we must conclude that the God who | vah, and as we have proved, truly Divine. Thus does appeared was God the Son."
the Old Testament most clearly reveal to us in the Plausible as this argument is, it cannot be depended case of Jehovah and the angel of Jehovah, two Divine upon; for that the Father never manifested himself to Persons, while it still maintains its great fundamenmen, as distinct from the Son, is contradicted by two tal principle, that there is but one God. express testimonies. We have seen that the angel in 3. The third step in this argument is, that the Divine whom was the name of God, promised as the conductor Person, called so often the Angel of Jehovah, in the Old of the Israelites through the wilderness, was a Divine Testament, was the promised and future Christ, and person. But he who promised to “send him," must consequently Jesus, the Lord and Saviour of the Chrisbe a different person to the angel sent, and that person tian church. could be no other than the Father. “Behold, I send an We have seen that it was the Angel of Jehovah who angel before thee,” &c. On this occasion, therefore, gave the law to the Israelites, and that in his own Moses heard the voice of the Father. Again, at the name, though still an angel, a messenger in the transbaptism of Jesus, the voice of the Father was heard, action; being at once servant and Lord, Angel and Jedeclaring, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am hovah, circumstances which can only be explained on well pleased.” The above passages must be therefore the hypothesis of his Divinity, and for which neither interpreted to accord with these facts. They express Arianism nor Socinianism can give any solution. He the pure spirituality and invisibility of God, and can therefore was the person who made the covenant usuno more be argued against a sensible manifestation of ally called the Mosaic with the children of Israel. The God by audible sounds and appearances, than the decla- prophet Jeremiah, however, expressly says, that the ration to Moses, “No man can see my face and live." new covenant with Israel was to be made by the same There was an important sense in which Moses neither person who had made the old. “ Behold, the days did nor could see God; and yet it is equally true, that come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant he both saw him and heard him. He saw the “ back with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; ward parts,” but not the "face of God.”(4)
not according to the covenant that I made with their The manifestation of the Father was however very fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring rare; as appears from by far the greater part of these them out of the land of Egypt.” The angel of Jehovah, Divine appearances being expressly called appearances who led the Israelites out of Egypt and gave them of the Angel of the Lord. The Jehovah who appeared their law, is here plainly introduced as the author of to Abram in the case of Sodom, was an angel. The the new covenant. If, then, as we learn from the Jehovah who appeared to Hagar is said also to be “the Apostle Paul, this new covenant predicted by Jeremiah Angel of the Lord.” It was "the Angel of Jehovah is the Christian dispensation, and Christ be its author, from heaven” who sware by himself to Abraham, “ In the Christ of the New Testament, and the Angel of Jeblessing I will bless thee.” Jacob calls the “ God of hovah of the Old, are the same person. Bethel,” that is, the God who appeared to him there, Equally striking is the celebrated prediction in Malaand to whom he vowed his vows, " the Angel of God.” chi, the last of the prophets. “Behold, I will send my In blessing Joseph, he calls the God “in whose pre messenger, and he shall prepare my way before me; sence my Fathers, Abraham and Isaac, have walked," and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his the Angel who had redeemed him from all evil. “I temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye AM THAT I AM,” when he spoke to Moses out of the delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of bush, is termed the Angel of Jehovah. The God who Hosts." spake these words, and said, “ Thou shalt have no other The characters under which the person who is the Gods before me,” is called the Angel who spake to subject of this prophecy is described, are, the Lord, a Moses in the Mount Sinai. The Being who dwelt in a Sovereign ruler,(5) the owner of the temple, and therefiery cloud, the visible token of the presence of God, fore a Divine prince or governor, be “shall come to his and took up his residence over the ark, in the holiest temple.” “The temple,” says Bishop Horsley, “in place, and ihere received the constant worship of the the writings of a Jewish prophet, cannot be otherwise Jews, is called the Angel of the Lord; and so in many understood, according to the literal meaning, than of other instances.
the temple at Jerusalem. Of this temple, therefore, Nor is there any reason for stretching the point, to the person to come is here expressly called the Lord. exclude in all cases the visible or audible agency of the The lord of any temple, in the language of all writers, Father from the Old Testament; no advantage in the and in the natural meaning of the phrase, is the divileast is gained by it, and it cannot be maintained with- nity to whose worship it is consecrated. To no other out sanctioning by example the conduct of the oppo- divinity the temple of Jerusalem was consecrated than sers of truth, in giving forced and unnatural exposi- the true and everlasting God, the Lord Jehovah, the tions to several passages of Scripture. This ought to Maker of heaven and earth. Here, then, we have the be avoided, and a consistency of fair, honest interpreta- express testimony of Malachi, that the Christ, the De. tion be maintained throughout. It is amply sufficient liverer, whose coming he announces, was no other for the important argument with which we are now than the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Jehovah had concerned, to prove, not that the Father was never delivered the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage; manifested in his own person; but that the Angel of and the same Jehovah was to come in person to his the Lord, whose appearances are so often recorded, is temple, to effect the greater and more general delinot the Father. This is clear from his appellation verance, of which the former was but an imperfect angel, with respect to which there can be but two in- type.” terpretations. It is either a name descriptive of nature He bears also the same title, angel or messenger, as or of office. In the first view it is generally employed he whose appearances in the Old Testament have been in the sacred Scriptures to designate one of an order of enumerated. intelligences superior to man, and often employed in “The Messenger of the Covenant, therefore, is Jehothe service of man as the ministers of God, but still vah's messenger ;--if his messenger, his servant ; for beings finite and created. We have, however, already a message is a service: it implies a person sending, and proved that the angel of the Lord is not a creature, and a person sent. In the person who sendeth there must he is not therefore called an angel with reference to be authority to send, --submission to that authority in his nature. The term must then be considered as a the person sent. The Messenger, therefore, of the term of office. He is called the Angel of the Lord, be- Covenant is the servant of the Lord Jehovah : but the cause he was the messenger of the Lord; because he same person who is the Messenger is the Lord Jehovah was sent to execute his will, and to be his visible image himself, not the same person with the sender, but bearand representative. His ofñce, therefore, under this ing the same name ; because united in that mysterious appellation, was ministerial; but ministration is never nature and undivided substance which the name imattributed to the Father. He who was sent must be a ports. The same person, therefore, is servant and distinct person from him by whom he was sent; the Lord; and, by uniting these characters in the same messenger from him whose message he brought, and person, what does the prophet but describe that great whose will he performed. The angel of Jehovah is mystery of the gospel, the union of the nature which therefore a different person from the Jehovah whose messenger he was, and yet the angel himself is Jeho- (5) The same word is often applied to magistrates,
and even fathers; but J. II. Michaelis says, that when (4) Imperscrutabilem Dei essentiam et majestatem. it occurs as in this place with the prefix, it is appropri VATABLE
I ated only to God.
governs and the nature which serves, the union of they broke out into transports of the highest joy, as if the Divine and human nature in the person of the in this great sight they had the full contentment of Christ ?"(6)
their utmost wishes; conceiving, as it should seem, Now, this prophecy is expressly applied to Christ by the sanguine hope that the kingdom was this instant St. Mark. * The beginning of the gospel of Jesus to be restored to Israel. They strewed the way which Christ, the Son of God, as it is written, Behold I send Jesus was to pass with the green branches of the trees my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy which grew beside it; a mark of honour, in the East, way before thee." It follows from this, that Jesus is never paid but to the greatest emperors on occasions of the Lord, the Lord of the Temple, the Messenger of the the highest pomp. They proclaimed him the long-exCovenant mentioned in the prophecy; and bearing these pected heir of David's throne,-the Blessed One comexact characters of the appearing Angel Jehovah of the ing in the name of the Lord; that is, in the language Old Testament, who was the King of the Jews; whose of Malachi, the Messenger of the Covenant: and they temple was his, because he resided in it, and so was rent the skies with the exulting acclamation of 'Hocalled “ the house of the Lord;" and who was "the sanna in the highest ! On their way to Jerusalem, Messenger" of their Covenant ; the identity of the per- they are met by a great multitude from the city, whom sons cannot be mistaken. One coincidence is singu- the tidings had no sooner reached than they ran out in larly striking. It has been proved, that the Angel Jeho- eager joy to join his triumph. When they reached vah had his residence in the Jewish tabernacle and | Jerusalem., 'the whole city,' says the blessed evantemple, and that he took possession, or came suddenly gelist, 'was moved.' Here recollect, that it was now to both, at their dedication, and filled them with his the season of the passover. The passover was the glory. On one occasion Jesus himself, though in his highest festival of the Jewish nation, the anniversary state of humiliation, comes in public procession to the or that memorable night when Jehovah led his armies temple at Jerusalem, and calls it “his own,” thus at out of Egypt with a high han I and an extended arm,-'a once declaring that he was the ancient and rightful night much to be remembered to the Lord of the chilLord of the Temple, and appropriating to himself this dren of Israel in their generations, and much indeed eminent prophecy. Bishop Horsley has introduced it was remembered. The devout Jews flocked at this this circumstance in his usual striking and convincing season to Jerusalem, not only from every corner of manner.
Judea, but from the remotest countries whither God “A third time Jesus came still more remarkably as had scattered them; and the numbers of the strangers the Lord to his temple, when he came up from Galilee that were annually collected in Jerusalem during this to celebrate the last passover, and made that public festival are beyond imagination. These strangers, who entry at Jerusalem which is described by all the Evan- living at a distance knew little of what had been passgelists. It will be necessary to enlarge upon the par- | ing in Judea since their last visit, were they who were ticulars of this interesting story: for the right under- moved (as well they might be) with wonder and astostanding of our Saviour's conduct upon this occasion nishment, when Jesus, so humble in his equipage, so depends so much upon seeing certain leading circum- honoured'in his numerous attendants, appeared within stances in a proper light,-upon a recollection of an- the city gates, and every one asks his neighbour, cient prophecies, and an attention to the customs of the Who is this? It was replied by some of the natives Jewish people,-that I am apt to suspect, few now-a- of Judea,-but, as I conceive, by none of the disciples days discern in this extraordinary transaction what for any of them at this time would have given another was clearly seen in it at the time by our Lord's dis- answer,-- it was replied, “This is the Nazarene, the ciples, and in some measure understood by his ene- great prophet from Galilee.' Through the throng of mies. I shall present you with an ordinary detail of these astonished spectators the procession passed by the story, and comment upon the particulars as they the public streets of Jerusalem to the temple, where arise : and I doubt not but that by God's assistance I immediately the sacred porticoes resound with the conshall teach you to perceive in this public entry of Jesus tinued hosannas of the multitudes. The chief priests of Nazareth (if you have not perceived it before), a and scribes are astonished and alarmed; they request conspicuous advent of the great Jehovah to his temple. Jesus himself to silence his followers. Jesus, in the Jesus, on his last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, early part of his ministry, had always been cautious of stops at the foot of Mount Olivet, and sends two of his any public display of personal consequence; lest the disciples to a neighbouring village to provide an ass's malice of his enemies should be too soon provoked, or colt io convey him from that place to the city, distant the unadvised zeal of his friends should raise civil not more than half a mile. The colt is brought, and commotions. But now that his work on earth was Jesus is seated upon it. This first circumstance must finished in all but the last paintul part of it, -now that be well considered; it is the key to the whole mystery he had firmly laid the foundations of God's kingdom in of the story. What could be his meaning in choosing the hearts of his disciples,--now that the apostles were this singular conveyance? It could not be that the prepared and instructed for their office,-now that the fatigue of the short journey which remained was likely days of vengeance on the Jewish nation were at hand, to be too much for him a-foot; and that no better ani- and it mattered not how soon they should incur the mal was to be procured. Nor was the ass in these days displeasure of the Romans their masters,— Jesus lays (though it had been in earlier ages) an animal in high aside a reserve which could be no longer useful; and, esteem in the East, used for travelling or for state by instead of checking the zeal of his followers, he gives persons of the first condition--that this conveyance a new alarm to the chief priests and scribes, by a direct should be chosen for the grandeur or propriety of the and firm assertion of his right to the honours that were appearance. Strange as it may seem, the coming to so largely shown to him. “If these,' says he, 'were Jerusalem upon an ass's colt was one of the prophetical silent, the stones of this building would be endued with characters of the Messiah ; and the great singularity a voice to proclaim my titles :' and then, as on a former of it had perhaps been the reason that this character occasion, he drove out the traders; but with a higher had been more generally attended to than any other; tone of authority, calling it his own house, and saying, so that there was no Jew who was not apprized that My house is the house of prayer, but ye have made it the Messiah was to come to the holy city in that man- a den of thieves.' You have now the story, in all its ner. Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion! shout, o circumstances, faithfully collected from the four evandaughter of Jerusalem! saith Zechariah; “Behold thy gelists ; nothing exaggerated, but set in order, and perKing cometh unto thee! He is just, and having salva- haps somewhat illustrated by an application of old protion; lowly, and riding upon an ass, even a colt, the phecies, and a recollection of Jewish customs. Judge foal of an ass! And this prophecy the Jews never for yourselves whether this was not an advent of the understood of any other person than the Messiah. Jesus, Lord Jehovah taking personal possession of his tern therefore, by seating himself upon the ass's colt in ple."(7) order to go to Jerusalem, without any possible induce- But it is not only in these passages that the name ment either of grandeur or convenience, openly de- Jehovah, the appellation of the appearing Angel of the clared himself to be that King who was to come, and Old Testament, and other titles of divinity, are given at whose coming in that manner Zion was to rejoice. to Messiah ; and if Jesus be Messiah, then are they his And so the disciples, if we may judge from what im- titles and as truly mark his Divinity. mediately followed, understood this proceeding; for no “ The voice of him that crieth in ihe wilderness, presooner did they see their master seated on the colt, than pare ye the way of the Lord (Jehovau), make straight (6) HORSLEY's Sermons.
(7) Horsley. M