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Now, sir, in opposition to this strange assertion, I shall shew you, not only that the prophets gave the Jews an idea of a divine person to appear in the character of the Messiah, and that accordingly they expected such an one, but that even our first parents must have formed a much higher notion of that “seed of the woman which was to bruise the serpent's head,” than that of a mere man, " like themselves.” Ín proof of this, I shall not produce the expression of Eve upon the birth of Cain, whom it is highly probable she thought to be that seed, though according to the Hebrew it is I have gotten the man, the Jehovah. But I shall go upon surer grounds than any particular expression can afford. I shall argue from facts and from the reason of the case. However unwilling you may be to allow it, it is nevertheless, as we have already seen in the former part of this work, an unquestionable truth that the Logos, the Word, who was in the beginning with God and was God;" was the immediate maker of our first parents, of that beautiful world in which he placed them, and of all the creatures over which he set them, nay, and of all things visible and invisible. Now can we suppose that Adam, who, as he came out of the hands of his maker, had such knowledge, that at first sight he gave names to all the creatures, as they passed in review before him, and names perfectly descriptive of their natures; can we suppose, I say, that he did not know who was his creator, and the creator of all these creatures he had named ? Certainly we cannot. But if he knew who was his creator, he could hardly be ignorant who would be his redeemer. For considering the holy and happy state he and his partner had been in before
their fall, the serenity of their minds, the vigour of their bodies, and the beauty and fertility of the blissful spot where their bounteous Lord had placed them; and considering the sad change that had now taken place, the dreadful ruin they had brought on themselves and their posterity by their transgression ; considering their crime it. self with its awful retinue, shame, the curse, sorrow, toil, death, and corruption; it was reasonable surely to think, that the repairer of the breach, the restorer of a ruined world, would be that divine person, by whom it was created. Thus when we see an exquisite piece of mechanism capitally injured in all its parts, we reasonably conclude, that none can completely mend it, but the maker, or an artist who equals him in skill.
Nor was it unreasonable for our first parents to think that their redeemer would be he, whom St. Paul calls the Lord from heaven : for, he who made and married them, who gave them the garden of Eden, and warned them not to eat of the forbidden fruit; he, who came to them “walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and from whose presence they hid themselves when they heard his voice;" he, who after he had convicted them, and had passed sentence of death upon them, so kindly saved them from despair, by the unexpected promise of a deliverer; he who already carried his merciful condescension so far as to strip them of their fig-leaves, to make them coats of skins, and to clothe them with needful and decent apparel ; he might, in some future period, condescend to unite himself some how or other, to the woman's seed, and become the destroyer of death and the serpent,
The reasonableness of this hope is evident, if he taught our first parents, (as it is highly probable he did) to offer in sacrifice the beasts, of whose skins he made them coats, and thus already shewed himself our passover, the lamb of God, typically slain from the
foundation of the world. Nor can we more reasonably account for the original notion and the universal custom of expiatory and propitiatory sacrifices than by the supposition, that mankind were led to this part of divine worship by a peculiar revelation, or by a positive command of that divine person, who familiarly conversed with Adam, and who is called God, or LORD God, twenty-six times, in the second and third chapters of Genesis.
The same scriptures which inform us, that “no man hath seen God,” the Father, "at any time, but that “ the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared him," (John i. 18,) teach us nevertheless, that God appeared to several of the patriarchs, and sometimes even in a human shape. Hence it follows, that we must either reject St. John's declaration above quoted, or admit, that he, who thus appeared, is the Son, the Logos, who was in the beginning with God, and was God.”
The truth of this conclusion will appear more clearly, if we take a view of the design and circumstances of these ancient manifestations, these preparatory and transient incarnations, (if I may so call them) OF THE WORD, who in a fixed period was to be really and lastingly manifested in the flesh.
Whether we consider his expostulating with Cain, about the murder of Abel, his trying and condemning that murderer, as he had done Adam, and his setting a mark upon the guilty vagaband, lest any finding him should kill him; or, whether we take notice of the manner in which he directed Noah to build his ark, made him enter into it, shut him in, saved him and his family from the flood, and then “speaking unto him, said, go forth out of the ark,” &c. Whether we advert to the friendly manner in which he appeared to, and conversed with Abraham, in his various stations and journies ; or whether we attend to the familiarity with which, accompanied by two of his angels, he came to that patriarch in a human shape, condescended to eat with that friend of God, as he ate with Simon, and worshipped and invoked by him, as THE JUDGE OF ALL the earth, who claimed the absolute right of sparing Lot, and destroying Sodom, as he had spared Noah, and destroyed the whole world by water; and 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 accutsed town: whether, I say, we consider these, or any other of the Lord's appearances, he is represented as Jehovah, coming to do before hand the work of the Messiah.
As supreme prophet, he leads Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, opens the eyes of Agur, instructs Mo ses 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. As Lord of hosts, or captain of the Lord's host, he overthrows five kings before Abraham; Pharoah, before Moses ; the kings of Canaan before Joshua, and the Philistines beibre Dargid. As angel of the covenant, Ire
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 eternal power and glory, he shews that, with his Father, he is the first and the last," and declares their common name, “I am that I
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 a 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 Corinthians, “Let us not tempt CARIST, as some of them," the children of Israel, “ also tempted him,"and were