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lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground. And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee from thy servant. Let a little water, I pray you be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on : for therefore are ye come to your servant.And they said, $o do as thou hast said. And Abraham hasted into the tent unto Sarah, and said, make ready quickly, three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat." And after an interesting and eventful discourse, which is related, “ the men rose up from thence, and looked towards Sodom; and Abraham went with them, to bring them on the way." The destruction of Sodom was then revealed to Abraham, because in him the nations of the earth were to be blessed, because he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment;" it is evident that when they four were on the way to Sodom, that one of the three spake 'to the other two, and the one that spoke was the Lord, who said, “Shall I hide from Abraham, that thing which I do," and he said to Abraham, because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now,” &c. 6 And the men turned their faces from
thence, and went towards Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.” And there was no appearance
other character in this conversation than Abraham and the three men mentioned. And the first verse saith “the Lord appeared to” Abraham. And Abraham spake to, and besought the Lord to save the righteous of these cities, and we find in verse 23, and the following verses of this chapter. "And Abraham drew near, and said, wilt thou also destroy the righteons with the wicked ?” and at the close of the 25th verse, he says, “shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” and in verse 33, “And the Lord went his way as soon as he had left communing with Abraham : and Abraham returned unto his place.' That is, “the Lord went his way' to Sodom. We shall find one manifiestation more of this character to Abraham, in the 22d chapter, verse 15, 16—“And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord,” &c. We may remark here on this subject--this same character informed Moses that he had appeared to Abraham, by the name of the Almighty God, and that his proper name was Jehovah; and from the burning bush he
gave to Moses, his name, I am that I am.And unto Abraham he makes his appearance as Lord and God, and makes a covenant with him, and promises to be a God unto him, and his seed after him. We are informed by Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, speaking of the same character saith, “ when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.".
“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.” And that Paul refers to the passage just mentioned and quoted from Genesis, is evident, for it is the only passage we find, in which God confirmed any promise made to Abraham, by an oath. We shall do well to reflect a few moments on the character now under consideration.
At one time he appears a Lord, at another as God, and at another as an Angel. And Moses confirms his appearing to Abraham by the name of God Almighty. Paul informs us that he sware by himself, because he could sware by no greater. And yet we find the same character making his appearance to Abraham in the form of a man, and conversing with him in a familiar manner, on all the important subjects of the covenant previously made between them, and Abraham acknowledging him to be judge of all the earth.
Testimony of Joshua--and the evidences of Christ, in his pre: existent state, receiving and demanding Divine Homage.
We shall find it profitable in relation to our inquiry, to examine and attend to the testimony of Joshua. In the book of Joshua, 5th chapter, and three last verses, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lift up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him, with his sword drawn in his hand : and Joshua went unto him, and said to him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries ? And he said, Nay, but as captain of the host of the Lord am I
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship, and said unto him, what saith my
Lord unto his servant? 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. And Joshua did so.”
A few remarks on this testimony will be important. Whenever this character appears, either in the form of an Angel, in the form of a man, or in the name of God Almighty, he either receives or demands Divine homage, adoration and worship, and which it is evident the highest order in heaven always rejected.
When the angel appeared to John, and disclosed to him the wonders contained in the book of the Apocalypse, and showed him the things to come, John says, “I fell down to worship before
the feet of the Angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, see thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant" &c. “ worship God." This “captain of the Lord's host," demands of Joshua Divine honors by commanding him to loose his shoes from off his feet, declaring the place where he stood, was holy.
It is proper, perhaps here to cite one passage recorded in Malachi, 3d chapter, “Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in.” Here we find this character is called “the messenger of the covenant," and at other times the “angel of God's presence,” and some times “ a son given” as in the 9th chapter of Isaiah, verse 6, “ Unto us a son is given”_" and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” And sometimes he is called the “ shepherd of Israel," and various other names, characters, or titles he bears in Scripture : and each of them are either descriptive of his nature, character, office, or station he sustains.
One objection which may be brought against these evidences and arguments, may be here anticipated. Namely—These manifestations were all visionary, and not real. To this objection we may answer several ways, to the satisfaction, we are persuaded, of every candid mind. Let us in reference to this objection, look back to the time, when Aaron and Miriam withstood Moses, and the cloudy pillar descended, and covered the tabernacle, and the Lord appeared and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and said to Aaron and Mi.