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affirms; difpute, what he determines; appeal from his decifions, and, even after God has given ev. idence, reject all doctrines, that are beyond his capacity. Enter into thy nothingnefs, mortal creature! What madnefs animates thee? How dareft thou pretend; thou, who art but a point; thou, whofe effence is but an an atom; to measure thyself with the Supreme Being; with him, who fills heaven and earth; with Him, whom heaven, the heaven of heavens cannot contain? Canft thou by fearching find out God? Canft thou find out the Almighty to perfection? High as heaven, what canft thou do? Deeper than hell, what canft thou
For the Panoplist.
CHRIST, THE ANGEL OF GOD'S PRESENCE.
"The Angel of his prefence faved them." Ifa. lxiii. 9. THESE words are part of a paffage, in which the prophet recalls to mind the "great goodness of God toward the houfe of Ifrael," in their redemption and preferva. tion. They appear to be a key to the interpretation of the divine appearances, recorded in the old Teftament. From a careful examination of the paffages of fcripture, relative to the fubject, it is evident that there was a glorious perfon, here called the angel or meffenger of God's prefence, who was the medium of the divine manifeftations. It is our defign to show, that this glorious perfon was CHRIST, by whom all the affairs of the church were ordered from the beginning, and by whom the revelations of God the Father were made, according to what is implied John i. 18. "No man hath feen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the
bofom of the Father, he hath declared him."
When Jacob bleffed the children of Jofeph, these were his words:"God, before whom my fathers, Abraham and Ifaac did walk, the God, which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel, which redeemed me from all evil, blefs the lads." Here the God of Abraham and Ifaac is exprefsly called the Angel. No one, it is prefumed, will deny, that the God, here mentioned, is the fame, who appeared to Jacob, and to his anceitors, and who in feveral other places in Genefis is ftyled both God and the Angel (or Mef= fenger) of the Lord. To whom are both thefe titles applicable except Chrift, who is called the Meffenger of the covenant? (Mal. iii. 1.) "The Lord, whom ye feek fhall fuddenly come to his temple, even the meisenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in."
When Manoah asked the name of the Angel of the Lord, who appeared to him, he replied, "Why afkeft thou thus after my name, feeing it is fecret," or wonderful; the word in the original being the fame, that is tranflated Wonderful and applied to Chrift in the remarkable prophecy. (Ifa. ix. 6,) "Unto us a child is born, unto us a fon is given, and the government fhall be upon his fhoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful," &c. We may here remark, that names in the Old Teftament are characteristick of the perfons, to whom they were given. The anfwer of the Angel therefore implies, that he was a wonderful, or incomprehenfible perfon. Of whom can this be faid with fo much propriety, as of our bleifed Saviour?
In the vii. chap. of Acts, (ver. 34, 38,) Stephen, fpeaking of Moies, fays, that God fent him "to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel, which appeared to him in the bufh;"-and that "this (i. e. Moles) was he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the Angel, which spake to him in the Mount Sinai." In Exod. xiii. 21, it is faid, that the Lord, (in the original Jehovah) went before the Ifraelites "by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light." In the next chapter this fame glorious Being is styled "the Angel of God which went before the camp." In Exod. xxiii. 20-24, it is written, "Behold I fend an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place, which I have prepared. Mine Angel fhall go before thee." If this whole paffage be compared with the paffages quoted above, with that in Jofhua 5, 13, to 6,3, where the appearance of the glorious perfon, called the captain of the Lord's hoft, is recorded, and with the account of the divine appearances to Mofes in the bufh and on mount Sinai; it must be acknowledged, that it was the fame glorious Being who is mentioned in all thofe paffages, and who is called in feveral places both the Angel of God and JEHOVAH. Who can this exalted perfon be, but CHRIST?
murmured against God, and againft his fervant Moles; and did he not often feverely punish them for their tranfgreffions? One inftance of punishment was, when fiery ferpents were fent among them, and "much people of 1rael died." Of this event mention is thus made by the apostle, 1 Cor. x. 9. "Neither let us tempt Chrift, as fome of them alío tempted and were deftroyed of ferpents." This text certainly implies, that it was Chrift whom the Ifraelites tempted in the wildernefs.
The Ifraelites were commanded to beware of the Angel, who was fent before them, to obey his voice, and to provoke him not; it is added, "for he will not pardon your tranfgreflions." Did not the Ifraelites difobey and provoke this glorious perfon, when they were guilty of idolatry and fornication, and when they repeatedly
Light may alfo be thrown on the fubject by confidering what is added, as a farther reafon, why the children of Ifrael fhould beware and not provoke the exalted perfon, who conducted them in their way to the promised land. The reafon is this, "for my name is in him." The name of God is no where in fcripture faid to be in men, nor in angels; but his name is in Chrift, in a fenfe in which it cannot be in any of his creatures. Chrift was called Immanuel, God with us ; and there is this prophecy of him, Jer. xxxiii. 5, 6, "Behold the days come, faith the Lord, that I will raife unto David a righteous branch, and a king fhall reign and profper, and fhall execute judgment and juftice in the earth; and this is his name, the Lord (in the original Jehovah) our Rightcoufness." Our bleffed Saviour has exprefsly declared the intimate, the infeparable union, there is, between himself and the Father. "I and my Father are one. The Father is in me and I in him." (John x. 30, 38.)
It appears from feveral paffages, that the patriarchs and Mofes worthipped the glorious perfon who appeared to them; and we
are exprefsly told that Jofhua, when the captain of the Lord's hoft appeared to him, "fell on his face to the earth and did worfhip." Does not this prove, that he was fuperangelick? For angels refufe to receive worship, as appears from the following paf figes; (Rev. xix. 10.) I [John] fell at his feet to worship him, and he said unto me fee thou do it not; worship God." Again (Rev. xxii. 8, 9.) "I John faw these things and heard them; and when I had heard and feen, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel, which fhowed me these things; he faith unto me, fee thou do it not; worship God."
If we compare the paffages, where the Angel of the Lord is faid to be worshipped, in the Old Teftament with thofe, where Chrift is faid to be worshipped in the New, we cannot eafily avoid the conclufion, that Chrift was the glorious perfon, who appeared under the title of the Angel or Meffenger of the Lord. Befide
there feems to be the fame wonderful connexion between that glorious perfon, who was the medium of the divine manifestations, and God in the Old Teftament, that there is between Chrift and the Father in the New. That exalted Being was frequently called God; fo was Chrift. He spake with authority, as God; fo did Chrift. He was worshipped; and fo was Christ. Ifthen that glorious perfon were not Chrift, how fhall we account for this remarkable fimilarity of character? On any other fuppofition what perfon could he be ? If he were fimply an angel, would he have received religious worship, or would he have been called JEHOVAH ?
To the foregoing the EDITORS
Vol. I. No. 3.
fubjoin the following pertinent remarks, copied from a manufcript of the late Reverend Dr. JOSEPH BELLAMY.*
THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST.
"And the Lord appeared to Abraham, and faid, Unto thy feed," will I give this land and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him."
Queft. 1. Who is this Lord that appeared, &c. ?
Anf. Some fay, it was not GoD, i. e. the Most High God; for no man bath feen God at any time; John i. 18: But it was another being, inferior to the Moft High God, who was fent by the Most High, to appear, to speak, to act, in the name of the Most High; to perfonate him; and who therefore is called the Angel of the Lord. To which it may be objected.
Obj. 1. That, in fact, he speaks in his own name. "Unto thy feed will I give this land," not anoth er God; but I, myself, "I will give."
Obj. 2. Abram believed him to be in his own perfon, the Most High God; for he paid that worfhip to him which is peculiar to the Most High God. "He builded an altar unto the Lord who appeared unto him." But it is written, Exodus xxii. 20. "He that facrificeth to any god, fave unto the Lord only, he thall be utterly deftroyed." Was Abram idolater? Were not his facrifices accepted by the Lord who appeared?
Obj. 3. This fame Jehovah who appeared uuto Abram, didafterward appeared unto Mofes, faying, "Go, tell Pharaoh, Thus faith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may
ferve me;" Exod. ix. 1. And on Mount Sinai, Exod. xx. “I am" (I myself am) "the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the houfe of bondage. Thou fhalt have no other Gods before me." Was not this exprefsly to claim to be the Moft High God? even the one only true and living God? Was not this claim made expreffly in his own name ?
Obj. 4. This very fame God, who appeared to Abram, was in faft worthipped as the Moft High God, by Abram's pofterity in all fucceeding generations, as is evident from the 9th chapter of Nehemiah, throughout, as well as from a thousand other texts.
Queft. 2. Who was the Angel of the Lord that appeared to Mofes in the burning bush? Exod. iii. 3.
Anf. The very fame God who had before appeared to Abram, to Ifaac, and to Jacob, as is acknowledged by all; and even the Angel of the Lord exof the Lord exprefsly declares it to be fo; Exod. iii. 6-18. See alfo, Gen. xxviii. 13-22, and xxxi. 13.
Queft. 3. If the Angel of the Lord was the Most High God, who was the Lord of the Angel?
Anf The Most High God; for it is written, Deut. vi. 4. "Hear, O Ifrael, the Lord our God is one Lord. Joh. x. 30. "I and my Father are one." Joh. xiv. 9. "He that hath feen me, hath feen the Father." And because the Father fent the Son, therefore he is called the Angel of the Lord; and becaufe God the Son is God, even one God with the Father, therefore he faid, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me; and because God the Father is God, even one God with the Son, therefore God the Father is
called the God of Abram, A&s iii. 13.; for according to fcripture, there is but one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, in whofe name all chriftians are baptized.
Exod. xxiv. 9, 10. "Then went up Mofes and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and feventy of the elders of Ifrael: and they faw the God of Ifrael."
Queft. 4. If it is true, as is afferted in Joh. i. 18. "No man hath feen God at any time;" what meaneth thefe words, " And they saw the God of Ifrael?"
Anf. The only begotten Son appeared, exhibited the invifible Godhead, which no eye hath feen. He appeared then as God, af terward in the likeness of man, Phil. ii. 6, 7.
N. B. The God who (Gen. i. 1.) in the beginning created the heaven and the earth (a careful reading of the following chapters will convince any candid man,) is the fame God who appeared to Adam, before the fall, and after the fall; to Cain, before he flew his brother, and after he flew his brother; to Noah, before the flood, and after the flood; to Abram, before he came into the land of Canaan, and after he came into the land of Canaan; and who appeared at all other times to Ifaac, to Jacob, to Mofes, to Jofhua, &c.; and who was known as the God and King of Ifrael; for, by the only begotten Son of God were all things made that were made; and by him hath the invifible Godhead been revealed to mankind, in all the divine works, fince the creation; and perhaps for this reafon he is called, the Word of God." No man hath feen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bofom of the Father, he hath revealed him."
1805.] The evil of attaching ludicrous ideas to passages of Scripture. 115
Gen. xiv. 22. Abram faid, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the Moft High God, the poffeflor of heaven and earth.
ing to him texts out of the Old Teftament, which were originally meant of the God of Ifrael. Compare Gen. i. 1. with Joh. i. 1, 2, 3, 10.; and Pfal. lxviii. 17, 18, with Eph, iv. 8, 9, 10. ; and Pfal. xcvii. 1-7, with Heb. i. 6.; and Pfal. cii. 26, with Heb. i. 10. ; and Ifai. vi. 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, with Joh. xii. 40, 41.; and If. xl. 32 with Luke i. 76. Luke iii, 4. &c. &c.
Queft. 5. Was not this Jehovah, the fame Jehovah who appeared to Abram Gen. xii. 7. where we read, that he builded an altar unto the Lord who appeared unto him? Or, did he build an altar to one Jehovah (an inferior God,) and fware by another Jehovah, who was the MOST HIGH GOD?
N. B. If God the Son was he who appeared to Abram, and who was in fact the God and King of Ifrael, the Evangelifts and other infpired writers of the New Teftament, may be justified in apply
Queft. 6. May I lawfully deny the OMNIPRESENCE of God, because I can neither understand nor explain it, nor folve difficulties relative to it? Anf. By no means. The ap plication is eafy."
From the Chriftian Obferver. WHATEVER is injurious to piety, must be a proper subject of animadverfion. Thofe, indeed, who act in open hoftility to chriftianity, are not likely to be checked by any obfervation, which may come from fuch a quarter; but the fiend of chriftianity will furely not be offended if it is fuggefted to him, that he may poffibly have injured the caufe, which it is his earneft defire to fupport, by countenancing a practice which, though highly injurious, is not uncommon: I mean the practice of telling anecdotes of mistakes which have been made in reading the fcriptures at church. The most folemn parts of the word of God are, by thefe means, connected with fome ludicrous idea; an idea which, perhaps can never be erafed from the mind, and which effectually prevents the impreflion that thefe paffages are calculated to make; for fuppofe it will be
granted, that a ferious and a ludicrous impreffion cannot be made at the fame time. This being the cafe, we can hardly imagine that the greatest enemy to religion could have hit upon a better expedient to promote his defigns, than the practice here alluded to. In order to perceive its full effect, we have only to fuppofe that all the moft ftriking parts of fcripture, had fome ridiculous ftory connected with them.
I was lately in a large company at a friend's houfe, when the converfation took the turn in queftion. Several clergymen were prefent of great learning and pie. ty, between whom much useful converfation had previously pass- ́ ed. One of them happening to tell a ftory of a strange blunder made by a parish clerk, it was immediately followed by another, till the whole company catching the contagion, almost every one had fome laughable ftory of the