Imágenes de páginas


• what nature or kind scever that Spirit is supposed to be. In

this sense it can be no proof, that God did not manifest his prefence by some visible fymbols, that no man hath Jeen, or can see his proper Spiritual Nature; for in that sense, no man hath feen, or can see any fpiritual Nature at all

, ja pa • It is further remarkable in this argument, that though the Scriptures teach us, that no man bath seen God at time, yet they do also observe; that the people did hear the voice of 'Jehovah, the voice of the living God, of Jehovah their God, jo that they had seen, that God doth talk with man, and He liveth.

« These expresiions refer to that eminent appearance of the Schechinah, when. Jehovah gave his law on Mount Sinai, in

the account of which, how many expressions have we to the fame purpose? Thus Jehovah commanded the people to fanctify themselves, and to be ready the third day, on this account; for on the third day, Jebovah will come down in the Jight of all the people. And Voes brought forth the people out.

of the camp, to meet with God.' And Mount Sinai was alto.gether on a smoke, because Jehovah descended upon it, in Fire. And Jehovah came down on Mount Sinai, on the top of the Mount, and Jehovah called Moses up to the top of the Mount. ! It is further faid, That Mofes and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, 6 and seventy of the Elders of Israel, saw the God of Israel.

* The bare expresfion then, that no man hath Jeen God at any

time, can no ways infer; that because God, who is in« visible in his nature, has never been, and never can be, a

proper object of bodily sense, therefore He has never manis « fested a peculiar presence in and by fome visible symbols ; « such, for instance, as the Schechinah. For the same Scrip

tures do exprešly teach us, that there is a true, and a proper fense, in which Jehovah came down in the fight of ma

ny people, and that They had seen, that Jehovah bad talker with them from Heaven.

“This is an observation, I think, of great consequence in • the present question. For in what sense soever the Scriptures

speak of God, as invisible, they teach us to look upon the • Iymbols of the Schechinah, as a proper manifestation of « fome peculiar presence of Jehovah: For God, the living « God, Jehovah, the God of Ifrael, is said to descend, to ap

pear, to fhew his glory, to speak to all the people, to be « feen of them, and to be heard by them.'

But then our Author obferves, page 23, That the appearance of the Schechinah is ascribed to Angels, and is often called the Angel of Jehovah. Upon which he makes the following ingenious remark,

• It.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

It is the concurrent opinion of the Hebrew and Samaritan < schools, that the word Angel does not only mean a Spirit, <but fometimes also all sorts of powers, or instruments,

which God shall be pleased to use and to act by. So that < the elements of the world, Fire and Air, Winds and Storms,

in particular vifions, in the language of the Scriptures, are called Angels of the Lord, which do his will. To make this

observation more evident, we shall find, that the Scriptures themselves call a Dream, a Vifion, a Voice from Heaven, à Plague, a burning Wind, Angels of God. And whatsosoever God is pleased to do by them, is said to be done by an Angel of the Lord. For what declares God's will, or performs his pleasure, is his Angel.

In particular, the Schechinah, or material Symbol of Glory, and the Oracle from thence, may in this fense be *called the Angel of the Lord, and it is actually so called in

Scripture. Thus the Schechinah, which Moses saw in the Fire, in the Bush, and the Voice of the Oracle, which lie

heard from thence, are called the Angel of the Lord. And + the Schechinah, which conducted the Ifraelites in a pillar

of cloud, and Fire, is also called the Angel of Jehovah.
• So that the Appearance and Voice of Jehovah in the
midst of the Fire, and the Angel which fpake to Moses,
on Mount Sinai, are equivalent Expressions. And thus

in the language of the Chaldee Paraphrase, the Sche-. chinah of Jehovah, the Mimra de Adonai, are both of

them equivalent to the Voice of Jehovah, or the Voice of the Angel of the Presence, or the Divine Majesty, and Glory.

This observation, which is not a bare conjecture of Cri5 ticism, but which is founded on many concurrent and direct winter

evidences, will, I conceive, take away the force of the objec<tion before mentioned. For it appears, that the Schechinah,

and the Oracle themselves, may, in a very proper sense, be i ftiled the Angel of the Lord; though the true God himself

was the only Spirit, or intelligent Agent, who' acted upon them, and manifested himself by them: as much, as if they were acted upon by some other Spirit, whom God sent to represent him in the visible appearance of the Schechinah,

and by the audible Voice of the Oracle. The Fire, and - the Voice, were as properly Angels, in the language of Scrip- ture, as any intelligent Beings, or Spirits.'

Hence it should seem to follow, that not Mefliah, but that op the one and only God'acknowleged by the Jews, spake himself


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.. tion

Ff 3

to his people; and that the Appearances, the Voice, and material Organs made use of, are called the Angel of Jehovah,

But then our Author says, “It deserves particular observation, that of all the representations of Christ in the Jewish Dispensation, there is no one represents him more directly,

more fully, and in more important points, than the Sche6 chinah. So that almost all the accounts we have of his pers

fon, as the Word made Flesh, and of the manner of his appearance among us, in the world, are in descriptions alluding to the Schechinah, and in expressions borrowed from it ; with this only difference, that now the Word is made Fless God dwells and tabernacles among men, in a much more

proper, and eminent sense, than he ever dwelt or tabernacled in the Schechinah, or the Glory between the Cheru"bim in the most Holy Plice. So that all former appearances

of the Schechinah are to be considered as representations of < God with us, of the iVord made Flesh, and of the manner in (which the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in the Chrift. Thele really and fully answer all that the Schechinah prefis gured, and was a representation of.'

Mr. Lowman then returns to the Fathers, and observes from Dr. Bull, that they considered a proper order of action,

whereby some actions were to be ascribed more immediately to the Father, and other actions to the Son. Thus they al

ferted, that the appearances were to be ascribed to the Son, • and not to the Father, because they were properly preludes • of the Son's incarnation, and because the Father being first

in the order or ceconomy, was to send, and not to be sent, According to this order the Father is said to do all things by and through the Son, and therefore to have appeared to the

Fathers by him.- We have an instance of this in the natu, iral order of our own powers of understanding or intelli

gence, of reason or wisdom, of will or action.-We may, in like manner, when we consider the infinite Mind, as Fa

ther, Word, and Spirit, conceive likewise a distinct order 6 in their actions.'

By their actions, he means, the actions of one mind; and, therefore, the Father, Word, and Spirit, will be no other than different Modes of the fame Mind, as intelligence, and reason, and will, are in man. This order and economy is no other than an ideal order or econon:y, and has its diversity not in the mind, but the manner of action: it is the same power exerted different ways. And in this sense it may be faid, the fame God or Being who, as Father, creates, reseems through the mediation of Christ, and fanctifies by his


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

power... Whether this is the Author's meaning or not, let our Readers determine, we think it is what he ought to have faid, in consequence of his notion of the Scripture doctrine of the Schechinah, mixt with what the Fathers have asserted concerning OEconomy*11:17

We now proceed to review what he has set forth in his second Tract, the Efsay on the Schechinah. And first, We observe, that this word is very improperly spelt with c; the English language well expresses the found by th, which foreigners cannot, without inserting c, and it is not right to imitate them in their defeets, And as k is nearer to Caph or Kappa than the ambiguous ch, we fhall, for the future, write Shekinah.

In our Author's Introduction to this second Tract or Efsay, he explains, more largely than he had done in his former Tract, the general meaning of the Shekinah, and the Scripture sense of the word Angel. But as we have already given his fenfe of these words, we shall not enlarge upon them here. In page 84, he confiders the Divine Appearance to our first parents in Paradise, Gen.iii. 8. They heard the Voice of the Lord God walking in the garden, in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God. ----From

The reasonings of our Author, in this first Tract, will, from the following remarks, appear to be rather specious, and plaufible, than folid, and conclufive. It was usual, in the eastern countries, for such as delivered messages from others, to speak after the fame manner as those very persons would have done, in whose names they came, and those who returned answers by messengers, spake as if those very persons were present, by whom the messengers. were sent, Thus, in Matthew viii. 5-13. , the centurion is represented as personally addressing his petition to Jesus, to heal his fick fervant; and our Saviour's answer is directed to him as if he had been personally present: whereas, from Luke vii. 1-8. it is evident, that the centurion was not personally present; but prefeted his request, and received the answers from Jesus, by the inter.' mediate agency of the messengers he employed on chat occafion. See also Judges, chap. vi. 11-18, 21, 22, 23. , where, in the history of the angelic appearance to Gideon, the fame observation is clearly illustrated.

It may also throw some further light on this subject, to take noe tice, that the angel by whose ministry Jesus Christ signified [conflaver] to his servant John, that revelation which himself had received from God the Father, Rev. i. 1. this very angel, whom Chrift employed as his Minister, affumes characters appropriate and peculiar to God, and to Jesus Chrifti See Rev. 1: 8, 11. xxi. 5. xxi. 6, 8, 13; 16.


Ff 4


Ezek. i. 24, and Jer. xi. 16, compared with Exod. ix. 28, he infers, that the voice was as mighty thunderings, v There is no mention of splendor in this pallage, but the appearance is defcribed as a voice or found approaching nearer and nearer to our first parents, under the denomination of the Presence of the Lord." . In the further account of this appearance, we h

have Jehovah Elohim represented as conversing with our firft pa

rents, calling first to Adam, and replying to his answer; • then speaking to the woman, and replying to her answer ; • speking afterwards to the Serpent, and denouncing a punish«ment suitable to the evil he had done, then pronouncing the "punishment of the woman, afterwards of the man; giving a promise, that the Seed of the


should bruise the « Serpent's head; and finally directing our first parents how (to cloath themselves. As here was an appearance of Jeho

vah Elohim, here was also a sensible appearance, and such as that by it our first parents knew it was the presence of

the Lord. Though there is no express mention of the form of • the Shekinah, whether by a visible shining Light, or other

wise, yet there was an articulate Sound, and distinct Voice or Oracle. This is all along not only spoken of as the Voice

Oracle of the Lord God, but in the discourse, or words of the Oracle there is an exact conformity to the character of Jehovah Elohim, as having given the command not to

eat of the forbidden Tree, and as punishing the transgreffi*on, and as giving the prospect and hope of tavour and bler

fing from Jehovah, whom they had so justly and so highly displeased, by their offence, in eating the forbidden fruit.

The next instance confidered is, the appearance to Abraham, Gen. xvii. Concerning which he observes,

Fift, That the person appearing was Jehovah, as in the so mei appearance to our first parents,

Secondly, That in this appearance he takes to himself the character of Almighty God; speaks all along, as the Per- fon who had the supreme authority, and government of this * world, and disposal of the several bleflings of Providence;

as the Perion who had a right and authority to direct the whole religion of Abraham, and to whom all Abraham's religion was to be directed; who entered into Cove- , nant with Abraham and his Seed, and who promised to be a God unto them, and that he would make him a Father of many

Nations, and give to him, and his Seed after him, the - land of Canaan for an everlasting poffeffion; who gives

thereupon a command for the use of the rite of Circumci& fion, as a Seal of the Covenant that was entered into, bę.

! tween

« AnteriorContinuar »