« ZurückWeiter »
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. 11. 10. and Rev. xix. 15. And the Old Testament exhibits Jehovah-envoy as sustaining the same character. “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 went to him, and said, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay, but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servants? And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon thou standest is holy." (The very charge which the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave to Moses from the flaming bush in Horeb.) And when Joshua had obeyed the man, who appeared as captain of the Lord's host, gave him directions about the taking of Jericho, as the God of Abraham had given directions to Moses about the delivering his people from their Egyptian bondage. These orders are thus expressed : And Jehovali, said unto Joshua, see, I have given into thy hands Jericho : Ye shall compass the city six days,” &c. Josh. v. 13, &c. and vi. 2, &c
Unless we absurdly suppose, that the captain of the 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 Son, is equally plain, l. From his assuming the form of a servant ; 2 from his styling himself the captain of Jehovah's armies ; for according to the analogy of faith, the Son, Jeho. vah-envoy, may be called the captain of his Father's host, but the Father can never be sent on an expedition, as captain of his Son's armies.
That Jehovah-envoy so frequently stiled the envoy of Jehovah, or as we have it in our translation the angel of the Lord, was known to the Jews as the Mighty God, whose name is wonderful, appears from the following account: 6 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 I 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, aud 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 only as a traveller, with “a staff in his hand, disappeared, after giving a proof of
his divinity, by shewing he was God, that answers šeth by fire, see Judges vi. 21. Gideon perceived įthe infinite 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 sety and thinking he was to die immediately, cried y out, “ Alas! O Lord God: for because I have
seen the angel of the Lord face to face : And Jeahovah," as he disappeared, " said unto him, Peace
be unto thee, fear not, thou shalt not die: And mi Gideon built an altar there unto Jehovah, and
called it Jehovah Shallon,” that is, the God of peace. From this account 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 supernatural fire. 3. And 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.
The doctrine is confirmed by account we have of the manner in which Sampson 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 Sampson: Manpuh, not knowing his dignity, asked him his name. And the ** angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou * 12 thus after my name, seeing it is secret, or won or derful (Peli; the very word afterwards used by the prophet, who saith, His name shall be called wonderful, Peli: Isaiah ix. 6,) “So Manoah took a kid, with a meat offering, and offered it upon af rock unto Jehovah; and the angel of the Lord,"I 3 or Jehovah-envoy,“ did wonderful for” shewing himself the God that appeared in the burning bush to Moses, and accepting the propitiatory sacrifice, which Manoah and his wife offered," he ascended in the flame of the altar, as they looked on and fell on their faces to the ground. Then Manoah knew that he was” Jehovah-envoy, or “ the angel of the Lord ; and he said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God : But his wife,” perceiving that it was Jehovah-Shalom, the God of Gideon, the God of peace, who had appeared unto them, “ said to him ; If Jehovah were pleased to kill us, he never would have received a burnt offering at our hands.” Judg. 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 Immanuel that God manifested in the flesh, whom christians worship as Jehovah Shalom, coming to make peace and reconciliation.
Remarks. From the preceding letters, there are many and convincing proofs of the positions we have taken in the preceding work, and it will be noticed we have followed much the same mode of reasoning:
We consider every candid reader from the preceding letters, must be satisfied it would be inconsistent, for God the Father to have made his appearance, in the manner pointed out, to the patriarchs, and to the Israelites; and while it is evident that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had engaged to make his appearance for the redemption of the world at large, and perceiving that these were errands worthy of redeeming love, yet far inferior to the great work of Redemption. Yet it will be observed, this character on all these errands, assumes all the titles and demands all the honors justly belonging to the Supreme Being. We very much admire the manner and power of Mr. Fletcher's and Mr. Benson's manner and stile; we think their writings very intelligent and convincing to the unprejudiced and enquiring mind ; and their direct effect is to lead the mind into the first and most important principles of christianity with a distinctness and intelligence we have not seen surpassed by any commentators; and with arguments to our mind unanswerable.