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§ 4. Now this angel at Bethel calls himself Jehovah the God of Abraham and of Isaac. He assumes the incommunicable attribute of omnipresence, "I will be with thee;" and of almighty power," I will increase and multiply." No created angel but devils only would do so. Jacob must have believed him to be the true God, else he would have been guilty of idolatry. To what has been said we may add the remarkable saying of the patriarch Jacob at the time of his death, concerning the self-same angel, recorded Gen. 48: 15, 16, “ And he blessed Joseph and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads." From these words it appears indeed that it was an angel that had appeared and spoken to him at Bethel ; but if he considered him as a mere creature, instead of being a saint, he would have been a gross idolater; for he not only gave this angel his faith and worship, but ascribed the whole of his salvavation, both temporal and eternal, to him as God, trusting in him and praying to him for all blessings when performing his last duty to his children. Further : if Jacob was an idolater in worshiping this angel, our fathers Abraham and Isaac were the same, for he declared that this angel was the God before whom they walked, an expression which includes the most solemn religious acts of piety, worship and devotedness to God. Hence Enoch and Noah are charac. terized by this expression. Gen. 5:22; 6:9. Nay, he solemnly transmitted this idolatry to his posterity. Now in this case can we justify God from the charge of enticing his servants to idolatry, by allowing a messenger of his, a mere creature, to address them in such language that they could not consider him any other than God? Nay, on this supposition, can we give any credit to the Scriptures as a divine revelation, since these men are still exhibited as true worshipers ?
5. We proceed to the remarkable appearances of this angel to Moses, recorded in Exod. 3. Here, my dear Ben jamin, you will observe that the person who appeared to Moses in the burning bush is called the angel Jehovah, ver. 2; the same person calls himself “ I am that I am," 14; gives Moses his commission to go to the children of Israel, and to say unto them,
“ The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me unto you : this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations: Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me." Ver. 15, 16. And the same person commissions him to go with the elders of Israel and say unto them, “ The Lord God of the Hebrews has met with us, and now let us go.” Ver. 18. That he who appeared in the bush, and he who spoke to Moses, was the self-same person, is further evident from chap. 4:1, 5: "For they will say, the Lord has not appeared unto thee that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared unto thee.” To this angel Moses gave divine worship; for when he blessed the tribe of Joseph with the divine blessing and favor of God, he calls it the "good will of him that dwelt in the bush.” Deut. 3:16. Now, my dear Benjamin, does it not appear to you most clearly from the whole context, and especially by his saying “I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham," &c. &c. that this angel was not a creature? The angels never speak that language in Scripture, but “I am sent from God,” and “ I am thy fellow-servant,” &c. &c. It is a vain pretence to say that the angel, as God's ambassador, speaks in God's name and person; for what ambassador of any king in the world did ever speak thus: “I am the king," &c. ? Ministers are God's ambassadors; but if any of them should say,
“ I am the Lord,” they would be guilty of blasphemy; and so would any created angel too, for the same
$ 6. The next appearance to which I would call the attention of my dear Benjamin, is that to Joshua the son of Nun, the first time near Jericho, Joshua, 5:13–15; this person calls himself the captain, or rather prince of the Lord's host, and makes use of the same words as the angel did to Moses: “ Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon thou standest is holy;" and receives divine worship, and ascribes to himself the government of the world: “I have given into thy hands Jericho," &c.; secondly, he appeared unto him at Bochim, saying, " I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.” Judges, 2: 1. Here you will observe again, that this angel claims the covenant with Abraham to be his covenant ; that it was he that made the promises to the fathers, and confirmed them by an oath; that he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and led them to the land of Canaan, and reproved them for not obeying his voice; which makes it evident that it was he that was promised to be their leader, saying, “Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way and to bring thee unto the place which I have prepared: beware of him and obey his voice; provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him." Exod. 23:20, 21.
$ 7. The same angel Jehovah appeared to Gideon, according to Judges, 6: 11-24. Here again he is called the angel Jehovah, and also Jehovah. He claims the honor of sending Gideon. He promises to him his own presence, and by a mere look he communicates strength to him. Gi. deon addresses him as the object of prayer, and the sign he received is the same as the prophet Elijah asked to convince the worshipers of Baal of the nature and presence of Jehovah, 1 Kings, 18: 24, and by this sign Gideon became convinced that it was not a created angel, but Jehovah himself that spoke to him, and hence he was afraid he should die.
Ø 8. The last of these appearances I shall name, is that lo Manoah and his wife. Judges, 13:2–22.
That they understood that he who spoke to them was Jehovah is evident, for they, like Gideon, were afraid that they should die because they had seen God. This angel says that his name is Wonderful, the same name which is given to the Messiah by the prophet Isaiah, 9: 6, and it was doubtless to this angel they offered a sacrifice.
§ 9. These different manifestations of the Angel Jehovah are beautifully summed up by the learned Eusebius in the following manner: "I will here explain myself upon the fundamental point of Christ's divinity and humanity, so as to silence those adversaries who call the Christian religion a new and upstart institution. They are, town,
e, desired to understand that its Author's nature and substarice is of an existence ineffably eternal; for 'who shall declare his generation ? Noone has known the Father but the Son, and no one the Son but the Father;' with whom and from whom he subsisted from everlasting, the glorious minister of his will; by whom, as he created, so he governs all things, his only begotten Son, truly God: for in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him was nothing made.' Accordingly Moses assures us that the Father communicated with him his counsel of creating
• Let us make man after our image.' To the same effect the Psalmist: He spake and they were made, he commanded and they were created.' The Father pronounced his pleasure, which the Son administered. This is he whom the patriarchs and the prophets, both before and
man, where he
after Moses, beheld frequently exhibited before their eyes, and as frequently received with adorations. This is the Lord God that appeared to Abraham in a human shape, before whom he kneeled, and to whom he addressed him. self in these words : Shall not the Lord of all the earth judge righteously?' The Scripture cannot lie, nor the Godhead become a human body; so that unless by the 'Lord of the whole earth' in this place is meant the first begotten cause of things, which it cannot be, it must signify the Logos, or Word; concerning whom the Psalmist says, 'He sent out his Word and healed them, and they were saved from their destruction. This is that Lord that rained fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord out of heaven;' that God who wrestled with Jacob, and from whom he called the place where they strove, .The vision of God, because he had seen him face to face. Nor were these the appearance of angels; the Scripture ascribing them not, as at other times. to angels, but to God. Thus again, when he presented is cself in the form of a man before Joshua, he tells him the place is sanctified by his presence; at which Joshua falls upon his knees and acknowledges him Captain of the host of the Lord.' So we find the place where he talked with Moses consecrated by his presence; for he was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Wisdom of God before the foundations of the world,' that pitched his tabernacle with prudence, and called to him knowledge and understanding; by whom princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth;whom the Lord created in the begin. ning of his ways, before his works of old. That it pleased the divine goodness to manifest itself, till the world being prepared for the entertainment of his divine truths, the Son of God came incarnate to perform, to teach and to suffer whatever the prophets had foretold concerning him; and lastly to receive that kingdom, that universal, everlasting dominion, which the prophet Daniel represents him invested