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who actually destroyed that wicked city by raining, as Jehovah, fire from Jehovah upon it, when the two angels, who accompanied him, had made Lot, and his daughters, escape out of that accursed town : Whether, I say, we consider these or any other of the Lord's appearances, he is represented as Jehovah, coming to do beforehand the work of the Messiah.
As supreme Prophet, he leads Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, opens the eyes of Agar, instructs Moses and all the Prophets, Bazaleel and all the ingenious artists. As supreme High Priest, he directs Abraham and Aaron how to offer up proper sacrifices. A3 ' Lord of Hosts,' or ' Captain of the Lord's Host,' he overthrows five Kings before Abraham; Pharaoh, before Moses; the Kings of Canaan before Joshua, and the Philistines before David. As Angel of the covenant, he strengthens, wrestles with, and blesses Jacob; he visits, directs, and animates Gideon; he assumes a human shape to promise a son to Abraham, and to Manoah: And as he said to the Jews, 'Before Abraham was, I am ;' so speaking to Moses from the burning, unconsumed bush, which was an emblem of his eterdal power and glory, he shews that, with his father, he is ' the First and the Last,' and declares their commou name, 'I am that I am.'
These manifestations of Jehovah's glory had circumstances characteristic of the Son's person, as appears by the accounts handed down to us in the sacred writings. When 'Moses, Aaron, and seventy-two of the elders of Israel went up, and saw the God of Israel,' it is said,' there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness : And that upon these nobles he laid not his hand.' He appeared therefore as a man, since he had 'feet and hands,'which it cannot be shewn the Father ever did.
Accordingly the Apostle, speaking of the preference, which Moses's faith gave to the God of Israel, over the idols and riches of the Egyptians, says that ' Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than
the treasures in Egypt,' (Heb. xi. 26,) the Israelites being then as much reproached by the Egyptians for worshipping the God of Israel,' as we are by you, Sir, for worshipping the Logos. And St. Paul, alluding to these words of Moses, • The children of Israel tempted Jehovah, saying, Is Jehovah among us or not ?' (Exod. xvii. 7 ;) says to the Coriuthians, ' Let us not tempt Christ, as some of them (the children of Israel] also tempted [him] and were destroyed of . serpents 5 (1 Cor. x. 9;) which shews the Apostle believed, that Jehovah, Leader of Israel through the wilderness, was the very Logos, who sustained openly the office of Messiah, when he was at length manifested in human flesh.
And as the scriptures shew, that these transient manifestations of Jehovah are in general to be understood of Christ in his divine nature, or in his 'form of God' (see Phil. ii. 6,) your own Reason, Sir, prejudiced as it is, must see the propriety of this doctrine. For if there be, in union with the. Father's Godhead, a Word, a Son, 'whose goings out are from everlasting,' who was in the beginning with God [the Father] and was God,' insomuch that he can say, as • the only begotten Son of the Father, I and my Father are one,' in a sense which can be true only with respect to him who is the proper Son, and the express image' of the Father, (see Rom. viii. 32, in the original, and Heb. i. 3,)-if there be, I say, such a Being, whom St. John calls the Logos, and whom the Father names his “ well beloved Son ;'--and if the scriptures testify, that the Father sent this Son to redeem mankind, and to bless all nations ; is it not more reasonable to believe, that the Father occasionally sent him first to redeem the Israelites from the Egyptian captivity, and to bless that favoured people, than to believe that the Father, who never personally appeared, no not for the redemption of all mankind, appeared nevertheless sometimes as a Man, and sometimes as an Angel, for the redemption of the children of Israel from their house of bondage !
A Son, even the proper Son of God, may, with the greatest propriety, be sent by his Father, to do works worthy of omnipotence, such as the redemption of a world, or the deliverance of a favourite people ; but to suppose the Father personally to appear as a partial Saviour in a cloud or in a flame, on a mountain or in a temple ; to suppose him to shew himself sometimes as an Angel, and sometimes as a Man, is contrary both to the analogy of faith and the dictates of reason.
Besides, the scriptures inform us, that by faith Moses endured as seeing him who is invisible,' because 'he dwells in the light, which no man can approach upto, whom no mau hath scen, nor cau see.' (Heb. xi. 27, and 1 Tim. vi. 16.) And they declare, that if the Father be visible, it is in his Son. (John xiv. 9.) From these rational and scriptural premises, I conclude, that Jehovah, who appeared to Moses, and to the seventytwo elders, and who said to the people of Israel, I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the house of bondage,' is that 'express image of the Father,' that “ Prince of life,' who said, ' He that hath seen me hath seen the Father: I and the Father are one.'
The Reviewers* have proved to you, Sir, that this was the opinion of Justin, one of the most ancient and respectable Fathers, who had the honour of sealing the truth of the gospel with his blood, 130 years after our Lord. And Bp. Bull confirms the proofs brought against you, where he writes, “ That the Son of God was he, who appeared to Moses in the bush, and said, 'I am the existent Being,' Justin, in his dialogue with Trypho, eagerly contends. The case is this. That description of God, in Moses, I AM, equally agrees to the
Monthiy Review for January, 1784, p. 61—« To prove (say these gentlemen) beyond the possibility of dispute or evasion, that by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Justin meant Christ, we refer the reader to his celebrated Apology to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, (p. 93, 94,) in which this expression is not only applied to Christ, but even vindicated as his own appropriate and distinct character.
Father and the Son, as to one God; always saving the distinction of persons: Which is excellently explained by Justin, after this manner :-God the Father is [o ww] the Existent, as always existing of himself ; God the Son is [o cv] the Existent, as existing with the Father, and eternally begotten of him.” (BULL by Grabe, vol. i. p. 347.)
Meaning to resume the important subject the first opportunity, I now release you, and subscribe myself
Your sincere Friend,
And obedient Servant, in the
Word made flesh,
The Subject of the former Letter continued.
Should you deny that Jehovah who appeared to Abraham' iu the plains of Mamre, accompanied by two angels, was the Logos, we prove our assertion thus. The scriptures no where speak of any transieut incarnation of the Father ; it is therefore unscriptural to suppose, that the person who did eat of the butter, milk, and cakes,' which Abraham did set before him, and who kindly inquired after Sarah, was the - Father. Nevertheless that he was God, is evident for he is called eight times Jehovah in the context And therefore, the analogy of faith requires us believe that it was Jehovah the Son, who already con descended to quit his ' form of God, and to appear in the form of a servant, that he might receive sinner
aud eat with them :' Compare Gen. xviii. 8, with Luke xv. 2, and John xxi, 12.
The same reasons prove that the Divine Person, who stood above the mysterious ladder which Jacob saw in Bethel, was, “Jehovah the Son. “Behold,' saith the historian, · Jehovah stood above it, and said, I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; behold I am with thee in all places whither thou goest, and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And Jacob waking out of his sleep said, Surely Jehovah is in this place, and I kuew it not: It is none other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven.' (Gen. xxviii. 13–17.) Now, the God, who appeared to Abraham, (Gen. xxii. 1,) to Isaac, (Gen. xxvi. 24,) to Jacob, (Gen. xxviii. 13,) and to Moses, (Exod. iii. 6,) is again and again called the Angel of Jehovah, or rather Jehovah the Angel, as appears from Gen. xxii. 11, 12, 18, Exod.iii. 2, and Mal. iii. 1. Now that this Jehovah, Angel both of the Jewish and of the Christian covenaut, is the Son,' appears from these three reasous. (1.) The Father pever sustained the part of an Angel, a Messenger, or an Envoy. Who should send him ? (2.) The Son, who can with propriety be sent by the Father, is frequently said to have been delegated on errands worthy of redeeming lore. And (3.) The Scriptures expressly declare, that Jehovah, Angel of the covenant, is our Lord Jesus Christ. (Compare Mal. iii. 1, &c. with Mark i. 1, &c.)
Nor will it avail to say that the Jews, not having the New Testament, could not find out the truth I assert : For, as has been observed in the former part, the Old Testament clearly indicates, that, in the Deity, there ka mysterious distinction of interlocutors and agents, though without any division. The Jews who, as we have seen, had this ke given them at the very begin. aing of their revelation, could not but take notice, that although each of these interlocutors is called Jehovah, et oue of them is Jehovah the Envoy, the Ambassador the Angel. And they might as well deny the veraof Moses, as deny that Jehovah who appeared to