Imágenes de páginas

tween Jehovah on the one part, and Abraham and his fasmily on the other part : so that this appearance is represent2. ed as the divine Oracle, in which Jehovah commands Abraiga ham to walk before him, and to be perfect, and promises

thereupon the blessing of his Covenant to Abraham. AbraTham receives this Oracle with religious reverence and wor. * fhip. And throughout the whole Oracle there is an exact

conformity to the character of Jehovah Elohim, as the fovereign Difpofer of the blessings of Providence, as the Au

thor of the Peculium in his family, the Covenant and SacraSoment of that Church, and the Object of their religious

worship, and obedience.'

In the xviiith chapter of Genesis, is another remarkable account of a divine appearance, where, besides the three men who came in and did eat with Abraham, it should seem as if the Divine Majesty appeared, in the usual form of the Shekinah; for Abraham stood before Jehovah, before the Divine Majesty who I had fpoken to him, discoursed with him, and in whose pre

sence he still continued. In this appearance Jehovah is represented, as the God of Abraham, who had promised to

blefs him, and would be faithful to the Covenant he had s made with him. That he is represented as the person from

whóm Abraham was to expect his blessing, who was the proper object of Abraham's worship and prayer, who was also the Lord and Judge of the whole earth; who had the fupreme power, and could by his Providence fave and deAroy all which circumstances, how ignorant foever Abraham might be of the quality of the persons, who appeared to him at the first, are very plain in the account that follows

of the appearance itself.' 3 The next appearance taken notice of by our Author, is that to Moses, in a Flame of Fire, out of the Bush. Concerning which he observes,

That it was a proper appearance of Jehovah Elohim, or that special appearance, which is called the Shekinah, in a 6 fensible manner.

136 One part of the appearance was sensible to fight by ¢ Flame of Fire in the Bush.

* Another part was sensible to the ear by the Voice of an < Oracle,

In which the person appearing stiles himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of the Hebrews, or • Israel, Jehovah Elohim, I am that I am : that is, in the 6. most natural and easy interpretation, the Eternal God; the

God of Israel in covenant with the Jews as his Church and en


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• Peculium, the Object of their hope and worship; to whose

presence direct religious worship and adoration were due.'

In the fifth fection, the appearance mentioned Exod. xili, of a Pillar of a Cloud by Day, and the Pillar of Fire by Night, is considered. The characters given to Jehovah, the per

fon appearing, are much the same with the characters men• tioned in the former appearances ; such as God, and parti

cularly the God of Israel; and they are only varied in ex• pressions, and instances of his favour and blessing, fuited to o the then particular state of the Jews and their deliverance. « Thus he is represented as giving forth the Oracle to Mofes, s and direction to the whole people ;' as promising protection

and deliverance from the power of Pharaoh and his hoft ; • with a design, as the Oracle itself expresses it, that the Egyp

tians may know that I am Jehovah. He is accordingly ac5 knowleged by Mofes and the whole people, as the proper « Object of their praise and worship, as their God, and as • the universal Lord of all." Before we mention the next appearance, we shall take leave to recommend, to those who may have read Toland's works, (in which are fome absurd remarks upon the Pillar of Smoke) The critical, historical, philosophical, and theological Remarks of Elias Benoist, upon that Author's Differtations. This Melange de Remarques, &c. is in French, and was printed at Delft, where the author was Pastor of a church, in the year 1712.

The next instance produced, is, of the appearance in Mount Sinai, « The occasion of it, the number of persons to whom

it was made, and the great solemnity with which the Oracle

was given, shew it was one of the most proper and folemn • appearances mentioned throughout the wholc Old Testa

As to the manner of it, it seems in some refpects different ¢ from any we have yet observed. We have met with an 5 audible Voice, the appearance of Men, Fire burning in a • Bush, yet not confuming it; a large Cloud, one fide dark, " and the other light : but in none have we met with Thunderrings and Lightnings, and the Voice of a Trampet exceeding

loud; such a thick Cloud, and such vehement Fire, that Mount « Sinai was altogether on a Smoke, and the Smoke ascended as the

Smoke of a furnace, and the whole Mount quaked greatly. Here then was so fearful a noise of Thunder, and appear:

ance of Lightning, such a mixture of Smoke and Fire, at6 tended with such dreadful Sounds, as shook the whole Mount, • No wonder it made the hearts of all the people to tremble, and Mofes himself exceedingly" to fear and quake.?.


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The character the person here assumes to himself, is, that of Jehovah. He ftiles himself, and is all along ftiled by Mofes,

Jehovah, and is acknowleged under that title by all the Children of Israel, He is represented as that Jehovah who.

had delivered them from the Egyptians; with whom they $ were to enter into a Covenant as their God, and who there

upon accepted them as his Peculium ; upon account of ! whose appearance they were to sanctify themselves in the & moft folemn manner; who was in particular the Author of

their Law and Religion, and in an especial mannet, of the

most sacred part of their Law, the Ten Commandments : * and Mofes afterwards mentioning the senfe which the Chil

dren of Israel had of this appearance, Deut; V. 26. ascribes

the title of Living God to him: a distinguishing character ļ of the true God among the Jews.

Finally, of this Person, who thus gave the Ten Como mandments, we are to understand the first Command: Thou Joalt have no ather Gods before me.--as the God whose Unity

was one of the firft and principal Articles of the Jewish • Faith and Religion, according to the words of Moses con cerning him, Deut. vi. 4, 5. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lard; and thou halt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy foul, and with all thy might.

Not unlike the former instance, is that of the Cloud, or Glory of Jehovah, entering the Mishan, Habitation or Tabernacle, for the residence of the Shekinah, Exod. xl. The next remarkable appearance is, the entrance of the Shekinah, or Glory of Jehovah, into Solomon's Temple, 1 Kings viji. This was an establifhed building, or fixed temple in the capital city, Jerusalem ; whereas the Tabernacle, as a fort of tent, was a moveable dwelling. It is so much the same with

the former, that if there was no other reason, we might thence fafely conclude it was a proper divine appear

ance of the Shekinahi? From Solomon's address to this God, he appears to have been the God of Ifrael, the only true God, to whom there is none like in heaven above, or on earth beneath,

Our Author having brought down the appearances to the full settlement of the Jewish Church, and the state of Religion and Worship under the Temple, proceeds, in the next place, to consider the prophetic representations of the fame divine Appearance after this first Temple was destroyed, and while the fecond Temple wanted the Shekinah, until the most glorious of all Shekinahs appeared in the presence of the King


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Meffias. He begins with the vision of Isaiah vi. 1 5." I saw also the Lard fitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the Temple. Above it, as surrounding the Shekinah seated on the throne, 1tood the Seraphim, the angels, ministers, and attendants on the Divine Presence; and one cried unto another and said: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his Glory. And the posts of the door moved or shook at the voice of him that cried, and the whole house was filled with smoke. “Our Author is very unwilling to admit the appearance of Adonai or Jehovah here, in a bodily shape, or human form. By the smoke it fhould seem to have been the Shekinah, but there is no mention of fire; and the voice is not said to come out of the smoke: nor does the expression of seeing the Lord sitting upon a throne agree with his notion of the Shekinah. He is also unwilling to admit the Divine Appearance in a human shape, Jerem. i. where it is said, Jehovah put forth his hand and touched my mouth. But supposing both these places not to mean any thing like the appearance of Jehovah in a human form, what shall we say concerning him who is called a man, Gen. xxxii. 24. and afterwards God, Elohim, who wrestled with Jacob: The name of the place Peniel, which signifies the appearance of God, and the reason of that name, for I have seen God face to face; and the circumstance that follows, of his life being preserved, notwithstanding he had seen God, are great difficulties in our Author's scheme, who makes the dread the Jews were under, of dying at the appearance of the Lord, a proof that the perfon who appeared was Jehovah himself, the one and only God. Surely he ought not to have passed over this instance as he has done, in dead silence, especially as, in consequence of this memorable transaction, the Jews never eat of that finew which is upon the hollow of the thigh, because

Jacob's thigh was put out, or wrenched. Not that the finew shrank, nor is ir raid to have shrank in the original, but the word that signifies that sinew, is derived from one that signifies to fhrink. It is the name of the sinew, and that is all that is expreffed in the original text. Some have thought the man who wrestled with Jacob, to have been Esau, or one sent from him, for it was in the night they wrestled, and he came not till Jacob was alone: nor is there any other reason for an appearance, but

the change of the name of Jacob into Israel. As to the word Elohim, here translated God, it is known to fignify Angels, and Magistrates. But the authority to change the name of Jacob; his acknowleging the appearance of the Lord, by saying he had feen God, and yet his life was preserved; the name he gave the place; the custom of the


Ifraelites not to eat the finew of the thigh, and their reason for it; all.weigh strongly against the supposing this appearance not to have been that of the Lord: but leaving this to the determination of our Readers, we now return to Mr. Lowman ; who proceeds to consider the Vision of Ezekiel by the river, of Chebar. Chap. i miris

Here also is the likeness of a throne, and the likeness as the appearance of a man, which our Author says, was not so the

Ihape and form of an human body, but that from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, the Prophet saw as it were, the

appearance of fire, and it had 'brightness round about." But did the brightness, or the appearance of fire, destroy the appearance of a man? Could not the shape and form of a human body be preserved under the brightest appearance ! 'Are not the loins of a man expressly mentioned, and is not the whole figure said to have been the likeness as the appearance

a man sitting on a throne? This figure representing the Lord fhews the absurdity of supposing the Cherubim who were beneath the throne, to be a representation of the Trinity. By their situation, and by the perpetual use of the word in Scripture, it should seem to signify no other than a guard; as we observed in our account of Mr. Taylor's Hebrew.Concordance. See Review for July 1756.

We come now to the visions of Daniel, vii. g. Here also mention is made of hair, and head, and feet, and a garment like snow; and this person who sits on the throne of Judg. ment is manifestly diftinguished from the Son of Man, who came to the ancient of days, and was brought near before him, and received from him, dominion, glory, and a kingdom. Hence our Author concludes, that the old Shekinah could not have

. been the appearance of representing his Father, or appearing in the person or character of the one and only God of Israel. But then he would have the appearance of the Son of Man, to be a signification of the future Shekinah of the lecond Temple; which is not confirmed by any words implying a Shekinah in the manner in which the Son of Man is said to approach the ancient of Days.

The last appearance our Author takes notice of in the Old Testament, is that in Zech. i. 8. his interpretation of it is as follows.. 2. The Prophet saw some considerable Angel, attended with

others, as horsemen, among myrtle trees in a bottom, as if • refreshing themselves in a Thady valley, or myrtle grove. • Besides these there was another. Angel, who came nearer to


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