Theological Institutes

Part Second - Doctrines of the Holy Scriptures

By Richard Watson

Chapter 11

TRINITY.-JESUS Christ the Jehovah of the Old Testament.

IN reading thee Scriptures of the Old Testament, it is impossible not to mark with serious attention the frequent visible appearances of God to the patriarchs and prophets; and, what is still more singular, his visible residence in a cloud of glory, both among time Jews in the wilderness and in their sacred tabernacle and temple.

The fact of such appearances cannot be disputed; they are allowed by all, and in order to point out the bearing of this fact upon the point at issue, the Divinity of Christ, it is necessary,

1. To show that the person who made these appearances, was truly a Divine person.

The proofs of this are, that he bears the names of Jehovah, God, and other Divine appellations; and that he dwelt among the Israelites as the object of their supreme worship; the worship of a people, time first precept of whose law was, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." The proofs are copious, but quotations shall not be needlessly multiplied.

When the Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness, "she called the name of Jehovah that spake to her, Thou God seest mane."- JEHOVAH appeared unto Abraham in the plains of Mamre. Abraham lifted up his eyes, and three men, three persons in human form, "stood by him." One of the three is called Jehovah. And JEHOVAH said, "Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do?" Two of the three depart, but he to whom this high appellation is given remains, "but Abraham stood yet before Jehovah." This Jehovah is called by Abra­ham in the conversation which followed, "the Judge of all the earth;" and the account of the solemn interview is thus closed by time historian, "the Lord (Jehovah) went his way as soon as he had left commun­ing with Abraham." Appearances of the same personage occur to Isaac and to Jacob, under the name of " the God of Abraham, and of Isaac." After one of these manifestations, Jacob says, "I have seen God face to face;" and at another, "Surely the Lord (Jehovah) is in this place." the same Jehovah was made visible to Moses, and gave him his commission, and God said, "I Am THAT I Am; thou shalt say to the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." The same JEHOVAH went before the Israelites by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire; and by him the law was given amidst terrible displays of power and majesty from Mount Sinai. "I am the Lord (JEHOVAH) thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, thou shalt have no other Gods before me, &c. Did ever people hear time voice of God, speaking out of the midst of the fire as thou hast heard and live?" This same personage com-mantled the Israelites to build him a sanctuary, that he might reside among them; and when it was erected he took possession of it in a visible form, which was called "the glory of the Lord." There the Shechinah, the visible token of the presence of Jehovah, rested above the ark; there he was consulted on all occasions, and there he received their worship from age to age. Sacrifices were offered; sin was con­fessed and pardoned by him; and the book of Psalms is a collection of the hymns which were sung to his honour in the tabernacle and temple services, where lie is constantly celebrated as JEHOVAH the God of Israel; tine "Jehovah, God of their fathers;" amid the object of their own exclusive hope and trust: all tine works of creation are in those sub­lime compositions ascribed to him; and he is honoured and adored as the governor of all nations, and the sole ruler among the children of men. In a word, to mark his Divinity in the strongest possible manner, all blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, "light and defence, grace and glory," are sought at his hands.

Thus the same glorious being, bearing the appellation of JEHOVAH, is seen as the object of the worship and trust of ages, and that under a visible manifestation; displaying attributes, caigaged in operations, and assuming dignities and honours, which unequivocally array him with the majesty of absolute Divinity.

To this the objections which have been made, admit of a most satis­factory answer.

The first is, that this personage is also called "the Angel of the Lord." This is true; but if that Angel of the Lord is the same person as he who is called Jehovah; the same as he who gave the law in his own name, then it is clear that time term "Angel" does not indicate a created being, and is a designation not of nature, but of office, which will be just now accounted for, and is not at all inconsistent with his true tend proper Divinity.

The collation of a few passages, or of the different parts of time same passages of Scripture, will show that Jehovah and "the Angel of the Lord," when used in this eminent sense, are the same person. Jacob says of Bethel, where he had exclaimed, "Surely Jehovah is in this place:" The Angel of God appeared to me in a dream, saying, I am the God of Bethel. Upon his death bed he gives the names of God and Angel to this same person. "The God which fed me all many life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads.' So in Hosea, xii, 2, 5, it is said, "By his strength he had power with God, yea he had power over the Angel and prevailed." "We found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us, even the Lord God of hosts, the Lord is his memorial." Here the same person has the names God, Angel, and Lord God of hosts. "The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, by myself have  sworn saith the Lord, (Jehovah,) that since thou hast done this thing, in blessing I will bless thee." The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire; but this same Angel of time Lord "called to him out of the bush, and said, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and time God of Jacob, and Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God." 'To omit many other pas­sages, St. Stephen, in alluding to this part of the history of Moses, in his speech before the council, says, "There appeared to Moses in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, An angel of the Lord in a flame of fire," showing that that phraseology was in use among the Jews jut his day, and that this Angel and Jehovah were regarded as the same being, for he adds, "Moses was in time Church in the wilderness with time Angel which spoke unto him in Mount Sinai." There is one part of time his­tory of the Jews in the wilderness, which so fully shows that they dis­tinguished this Angel of Jehovah from all created angels, as to deserve particular attention. In Exodus xxiii, 20, God makes this promise to Moses and the Israelites, "Behold I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into 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." Of this Angel let it be observed, that he is here represented as the guide and protector of the Israelites; to him they were to owe their conquests and their settlement in the promised land, which are in other places often attributed to the immediate agency of God-that they are cautioned to "beware of him," to reverence and stand in dread of him-that the pardoning of transgressions belongs to him-finally, "that time name of God was in him." This name must be understood of God's own peculiar name. Jehovah, I am, which he assumed as his distinctive appellation at his first appearing to Moses; and as the names of God are indicative of his nature, he wino had a right to bear the peculiar name of God, must also have his essence. This view is put beyond all doubt by the fact, that Moses and time Jews so understood the promise; for afterward when their sins had provoked God to threaten not to go up with them himself, but to commit them to "an Angel who should drive out the Canaanite, &c," the people mourned over this as a great calamity, and Moses betook himself to special intercession, and rested not until he obtained the repeal of the threat, and the renewed promise, "my presence shall go with thee and I will give thee rest." Nothing, therefore, can be more clear than that Moses and the Israelites considered the promise of the Angel, in whom was "the name of God," as a promise that God him self would go with them. With this uncreated Angel, this presence of the Lord, they were satisfied, but not with "an angel" indefinitely, with an angel, not so by office only, as was the appearing Angel of the Old Testament, but who was by nature of that order of beings usually so called, and therefore a created being. At the news of God's determination not to go up with them, Moses hastens to the tabernacle to make his intercessions, and refuses an inferior conductor. "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence."[1]

That the Angel of Jehovah is constantly represented as Jehovah him­self, and therefore as a Divine person, is so manifest, that the means re­sorted to, to evade the force of the argument which so immediately flashes from it, acknowledge the fact. Those who deny the Divinity of our Lord, however, endeavour to elude the consequence according to their respective creeds. The Arians, who think the appearing angel to have been Christ, but who yet deny him to be Jehovah himself, assume that this glorious but created being personated the Deity, and as his ambas­sador and representative spoke by his authority, and took his name. Thus a modern Arian observes, "The Angel takes the name of Jehovah because it is a common maxim, loquitur legatus sermone mittentis earn, as an ambassador in the name of his king, or the fecialis when he denounced war in the name of the Roman people; and what is done by the Angel is said to be done by God, according to another maxim, qui facit per alium, facil per se." (Taylor, Ben Mordecai.) The answer to this is, that though ambassadors speak in the name of their masters, they do not apply the names and titles of their masters to themselves,[2]_that the unquestionably created angels, mentioned in Scripture as ap­pearing to men, declare that they were Sent by God, and never personate him,-that the prophets uniformly declare their commission to be from God,-that God himself declares, "Jehovah is my name, and my glory will I not give to another,"-and yet that the appearing Angel calls him­self, as we have seen, by this incommunicable name in almost innumerable instances, and that though the object of the Mosaic dispensation was to preserve men from idolatry, yet this Angel claims and receives the exclusive worship both of the patriarchs to whom he occasionally appeared, and the Jews among whom he visibly resided for ages. It is therefore a proposition too monstrous to be for a moment sustained, that a created being of any kind should thus allure men into idolatry, by act­ing the Deity, assuming his name, and attributing to himself God's pe­culiar and incommunicable perfections and honour.[3] The Arian hypothesis on this subject is well answered by even a Socinian writer. "The whole transaction on Mount Sinai shows that Jehovah was present, and acted, and not another for him. It is the God that had de­livered them out of Egypt, with whom they were to enter into covenant as their God, and who thereupon accepted them as his people, who was the author of their religion and laws, and who himself delivered to them those ten commands, the most sacred part. There is nothing to lead us to imagine that the person, who was their God, did not speak in his own name; not the least intimation that here was another representing him." (Lindsey's Apology.)

The author of "the Essay on Spirit" attempts to meet this by alleging that "the Hebrews were far from being explicit and accurate in their style, and that it was customary for prophets and angels to speak in the name and character of God." The reply of Dr. Randolph is able and decisive, and as this is a point of great importance, its introduction will not appear unnecessary.

"Some, to evade these strong proofs of our Lord's Divinity, have as­serted that this was only a created angel appearing in the name or person of the Father; it being customary in Scripture for one person to sustain the character, and act and speak in the name of another. But these assertions want proof. I find no instances of one person acting and speaking in the name of another, without first declaring in whose name he acts and speaks. The instances usually alleged are nothing to the purpose. If we sometimes find an angel in the book of Revelation speaking in the name of God, vet from the context it will be easy to show that this angel was the great Angel, the Angel of the Covenant. But if there should be some instances, in the poetical or prophetical parts of Scripture, of an abrupt change of persons, where the person speaking is not particularly specified, this will by no means come up to the case before us. Here is a person sustaining the name and character of the most high God, from one end of the Bible to the other; bearing his glorious and fearful name, the incommunicable name Jehovah, expressive of his necessary existence; sitting in the throne of God; dwelling amid presiding in his temple ; delivering laws in his name; giving out oracles hearing prayers; forgiving sins. And yet these writers would persuade us that this was only a tutelary angel; that a creature was the God of Israel, and that to this creature all their service and worship was directed; that the great God, 'whose name is Jealous,' was pleased to give his glory, his worship, his throne to a creature. What is this but to make the law of God himself introductory of the same idolatry that was practised by all the nations of the heathen'? But we are told that bold figures of speech are common in the Hebrew language, which is not to be tied down in its interpretation to the severer rules of modern criticism. We may be assured that these opinions are indefensible, which cannot be supported without charging the word of God with want of propriety or perspicuity. Such pretences might be borne with, if the question were about a phrase or two in the poetical or prophetical parts of Scripture. But this, if it be a figure, is a figure which runs through the whole Scripture. And a bold interpreter must he be, who supposes that such figures are perpetually and uniformly made use of in a point of such importance, without any meaning at all. This is to confound the use of language, to make time Holy Scripture a mysterious unintelligible book, sufficient to prove nothing, or rather to prove any thing, which a wild imagination shall suggest." (Randolph's Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity.)

If the Arian account of the Angel of Jehovah be untenable, the Socinian notion will be found equally unsupported, and indeed ridiculous. Dr. Priestley assumes the marvellous doctrine of "occasional person­ality," and thinks that "in some cases angels were nothing more than temporary appearances, and no permanent beings; the inure organs of the Deity, assumed for the purpose of making himself known." He speaks therefore of" a power occasionally emitted, and then taken hack again into its source;" of this power being vested wit h a temporary personality, and thinks this possible! Little cause had the doctor and his adherents to talk of time mystery and absurdity of the doctrine of three persons in one Godhead, who can make a person out of a power, emitted and then drawn back again to its source; a temporary person, without individual subsistence! The wildness of this fiction is its own refutation; but that the Angel of Jehovah was not this temporary occasional person, produced or "emitted" for the occasion of these appearances, is made certain by Abraham's " walking before this Angel of the Lord," that is, ordering his life and conversation in his sight all the days of his life; by Jacob calling him time Angel of the Lord who had "fed him all his life long;" and by this also, that the same person who was called by him self and by the Jews "the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob," was the God of the chosen people in all their generations. Mr. Lindsey says "that the outward token of the presence of God is what is generally meant by time Angel of God, when not particularly specified and appro­priated otherwise; that which manifested his appearance, whatever it was ;" and this opinion commonly obtains among the Socinians. "The Angel of the Lord was time visible symbol of the Divine presence." (Belsham.) This notion, however, involves a whole train of absurdities. The term, the "Angel of Jehovah' is not at all accounted for by a visible symbol of clouds, light, fire, &c, unless that symbol be considered as distinct from Jehovah. We have then the name Jehovah given to a cloud, a light, a fire, &c; the fire is time Angel of the Lord, and yet the Angel of the Lord calls to Moses out of the fire. This visible symbol says to Abraham, "By MYSELF I have sworn," for these are said to be time words of the Angel of Jehovah; and this Angel, the visible symbol, spake to Moses on Mount Sinai: such are the absurdities which flow from error! Most clearly therefore is it determined on the testimony of several scriptures, and a necessary induction from the circumstances attending the numerous appearances' of the Angel of Jehovah in the Old Testament, that the person thus manifesting himself, and thus receiving supreme worship, was not a created angel as the Arians would have it, nor a meteor, an atmospheric appearance, the worthy theory of modem Socinians, but that he was a DIVINE PERSON.

2. It will be necessary to show that this Divine person was not God the Father.

The following argument has been adopted in proof of this: "No man hath seen God at army time. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time nor seen his shape. Not that any man bath seen the Father. It is however said in the Old Testament, that God frequently appeared' under time patriarchal and Levitical dispensations, and therefore we must conclude that the Cod who appeared was God the Son."

Plausible as this argument is, it cannot he depended upon; for that the Father never manifested himself to men, as distinct from the Son, is Contradicted by two express testimonies. We have seen that the Angel, in whom was time name of God, promised as the conductor of the Israelites through the wilderness, was a Divine person. But he who promised to "send him," must be a different, person to the angel sent, and that person could be no other than the Father. "Behold, I send an angel before thee," &c. On this occasion, therefore, Moses heard the voice of the Father. Again, at the baptism of Jesus the voice of the Father was heard, declaring, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The above passages must be therefore interpreted to accord with these facts. They express time pure spirituality and invisibility of God, amid can no more be argued against a sensible manifestation of God by audible sounds, and appearances, than the declaration to Moses, "No man can see my face and live." There was an important sense in which Moses neither did nor could see God; and yet it is equally true, that he both saw him and heard him. He saw the "backward parts," but not the "face of God."[4]

The manifestation of the Father was however very rare; as appears from by far the greater part of these Divine appearances being expressly called appearances of the Angel of the Lord. The Jehovah who appeared to Abram in the case of Sodom was an angel. The Jehovah who appeared to Hagar, is said also to be "the Angel of the Lord." It was "the Angel of Jehovah from heaven" who sware by himself to Abraham, "In blessing I will bless thee." Jacob calls the "God, of Bethel," that is, the God who appeared to him there, and to whom he vowed his vows, "the Angel of God." In blessing Joseph, he calls the God "in whose presence my fathers, Abraham and Isaac have walked," the Angel who had redeemed him from all evil. "I AM THAT I AM," when he spoke to Moses out of the bush, is termed the Angel of Jehovah. The God who spake these words and said, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," is called the Angel who spake to Moses in the Mount Sinai. The Being who dwelt in a fiery cloud, the visible token of the presence of God, and took up his residence over the ark, in the holiest place, and there received the constant worship of the Jews, is called the Angel of the Lord; and so in many other instances.

Nor is there any reason for stretching the point to exclude in all case the visible or audible agency of the Father, from the Old Testament; no advantage in the least is gained by it, and it cannot be maintained without sanctioning by example the conduct of the opposers of truth, in giving forced and unnatural expositions to several passages of Scripture. This ought to be avoided, and a consistency of fair honest interpretation be maintained throughout. It is amply sufficient for the important argu­ment with which we are now concerned, to prove, not that the Father was never manifested in his own person; but that the Angel of the Lord, whose appearances are so often recorded, is not the Father. This s clear from his appellation angel, with respect to which there can be but two interpretations. It is either a name descriptive of nature or of office. In the first view it is generally employed in the sacred Scriptures to designate one of an order of intelligences superior to man, and often employed in the service of man as the ministers of God, but still beings finite and created. We have however already proved that the Angel of the Lord is not a creature, and he is not therefore called an angel with reference to his nature. The term must then be considered as a term of office. He is called the Angel of time Lord, because he was the messenger of the Lord; because he was sent to execute his will, and to be his visible image and representative. His office therefore under this appellation was ministerial; but ministration is never attributed to the Father. He who was sent must be a distinct person from him by whom he was sent; the messenger from him whose message he brought, and whose will he performed. The Angel of Jehovah is therefore a different person from the Jehovah whose messenger he was, and yet the Angel himself is Jehovah, and, as we have proved, truly Divine. Thus does the Old Testament most clearly reveal to us, in the case of Jehovah and the Angel of Jehovah, two Divine persons, while it still maintains its great fundamental principle, that there is but one God.

3. The third step in this argument is, that the Divine person, called so often the Angel of Jehovah in the Old Testament, was the promised and future Christ, and consequently Jesus, the Lord and Saviour of the Christian Church.

We have seen, that it was the Angel of Jehovah who gave the law to the Israelites, and that in his own name, though still aim angel, a messenger in the transaction; being at once servant and Lord, angel and Jehovah, circumstances which can only be explained on the hypothesis of his Divinity, and for which neither Arianism nor Socinianism can give any solution. He therefore was the person who made the covenant, usually called the Mosaic, with the children of Israel. The Prophet Jeremiah however expressly says, that the new covenant with Israel was to be made by the same person who had made the old. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt." The Angel of Jehovah, who led the Israelites out of Egypt and gave them their law, is here plainly introduced as the author of the new covenant. If then, as we learn from the Apostle Paul, this new covenant predicted by Jeremiah is time Chris­tian dispensation, and Christ be its author; the Christ of the New Testament, and time Angel of Jehovah of the Old, are the same person.

Equally striking is the celebrated prediction in Malachi, the last of the prophets. "Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare my 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; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts."

The characters under which the person who is the subject of this prophecy is described, are, the Lord, a sovereign Ruler,[5] the owner of the temple, and therefore a Divine prince or governor, he "shall come to his temple." "The temple," says Bishop Horsley, "in the writings of a Jewish prophet, cannot be otherwise understood, according to the literal meaning, than of the temple at Jerusalem. Of this tem~, therefore, the person to come is here expressly called the Lord. The lord of any temple, in the language of all writers, and in the natural meaning of the phrase, is the divinity to whose worship it is consecrated To no other divinity the temple of Jerusalem was consecrated than the true and everlasting God, the Lord Jehovah, the Maker of heaven and earth. Here, then, we have the express testimony of Malachi, that the Christ, the Deliverer, whose coming he announces, was no other than the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Jehovah had delivered the Israelite's from the Egyptian bondage; and the same Jehovah was to come in person to his temple, to effect the greater and more general delive a of which the former was but an imperfect type."

He bears also the same title, angel or messenger, as he whose appearances in the Old Testament have been enumerated.

"The Messenger of the Covenant, therefore, is Jehovah's messenger; -if his messenger, his servant; for a message is a service: it imp a person sending, and a person sent. In the person who sendeth there must be authority to send,-submission to that authority in the person sent. The Messenger, therefore, of the Covenant, is the servant of the Lord Jehovah: but the same person who is the Messenger, is the Lord, Jehovah himself, not the same person with the sender, but bearing the same name; because united in that mysterious nature and undivided substance which the name imports. The same person, therefore, is servant and Lord; and, by uniting these characters in the same person, what does the prophet but describe that great mystery of the Gospel, the union of the nature which governs, and the nature which serves,-the union of the Divine and human nature in the person of the Christ "(Horsley's Sermons.)

Now this prophecy is expressly applied to Christ by St. Mark.- "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall pre pare thy way before thee." It follows from this, that Jesus is the Lord, the Lord of the temple, the Messenger of the Covenant mentioned in the prophecy; and bearing these exact characters of the appearing Angel Jehovah of the Old Testament, who was the King of the Jews; whose temple was HIS, because he resided in it, and so was called "the house of the Lord ;" and who was "the Messenger" of their Covenant; the identity of the persons cannot be mistaken. One coincidence is singularly striking. It has been proved that the Angel Jehovah had his residence in the Jewish tabernacle and temple, and that he took possession, or came suddenly to both, at their dedication, and filled them with his glory. On one occasion Jesus himself, though in his state of humiliation, comes in public procession to the temple at Jerusalem, and calls g "his own," thus at once declaring that he was the ancient and rightful Lord of the temple, and appropriating to himself this eminent prophecy. Bishop Horshey has introduced this circumstance in his usual striking and convincing manner:--

"A third time Jesus came still more remarkably as the Lord to his temple, when he came up from Galilee to celebrate the last passover, and made that public entry at Jerusalem which is described by all the evangelists. It will be necessary to enlarge upon the particulars of this interesting story: for the right understanding of our Saviour's conduct upon this occasion depends so much upon seeing certain leading circum. stances in a proper light,-upon a recollection of ancient prophecies, and an attention to the customs of the Jewish people,-that I am apt to suspect, few now-a-days discern in this extraordinary transaction what was clearly seen in it at the time by our Lord's disciples, and in some measure understood by his enemies. I shall present you with an orderly detail of the story, and comment upon the particulars as they arise: and I doubt not but that by Cod's assistance I shall teach you to perceive in this public entry of Jesus of Nazareth, (if you have not perceived it before,) a conspicuous advent of the great Jehovah to his temple.- Jesus, on his last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, stops at the foot of Mount Olivet, and sends two of his disciples to a neighbouring village to provide an ass's colt to convey him from that place to the city, distant not more than half a mile. The colt is brought, and Jesus is seated upon it. This first circumstance must be well considered; it is the key to the whole mystery of the story. What could he his meaning in choosing this singular conveyance? It could not be that the fatigue of the short journey which remained was likely to be too much for him afoot; and that no better animal was to be procured. Nor was the ass in these days (thought it had been in earlier ages an animal in high esteem in the east) used for travelling or for state by persons of the first condition,-that this conveyance should be chosen for the grandeur or Propriety of the appearance. Strange as it may seem, the coming to Jerusalem upon an ass's colt was one of the prophetical characters of the Messiah; and the great singularity of it had perhaps been the reason that this character had been more generally attended to than any other: so that there was no Jew who was not apprized that the Messiah was to come to the holy city in that manner. 'Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion! shout, 0 daughter of Jerusalem!' saith Zechariah; 'Behold, thy King cometh unto thee! lie is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, even a colt, the foal of an ass!' And this prophecy the Jews never understood of any other person than the Messiah. Jesus, therefore, by seating himself upon the ass's colt in order to go to Jerusalem, without any possible inducement either of grandeur or con­venience, openly declared himself to be that King who was to come, and at whose coming in that manner Zion was to rejoice. And so the dis­ciples, if we may judge from what immediately followed, understood this proceeding; for no sooner did they see their master seated on the colt, than they broke out into transports of the highest joy, as if in this great sight they had the full contentment of their utmost wishes; con­ceiving, as it should seem, the sanguine hope that the kingdom was this instant to be restored to Israel. They strewed the way which Jesus was to pass with tine green branches of the trees which grew beside it; a mark of honour in the east, never paid but to the greatest emperors on occasions of tine highest pomp. They proclaimed him the long expected heir of David's throne,-the Blessed One coming in the name of the Lord; that is, in the language of Malachi, the Messenger of the Covenant: and they rent the skies with the exulting exclamation of 'Hosanna in the highest!' On their way to Jerusalem, they are met by a great multitude from the city, whom the tidings had no sooner reached than they ran out in eager joy to join his triumph. When they reached Jerusalem, 'the whole city,' says the blessed evangelist, 'was moved.' Here recollect, that it was now the season of the passover. The passover was the highest festival of the Jewish nation, the anni­versary of that memorable night when Jehovah led his armies out of Egypt with a high hand and an extended arm,-' a night much to be remembered to the Lord of the children of Israel in their generations;' and much indeed it was remembered. The devout Jews flocked at this season to Jerusalem, not only from every corner of Judea, but from the remotest countries whither God had scattered them; and the numbers of the strangers that were annually collected in Jerusalem during this festival are beyond imagination. These strangers, who living at a dis­tance knew little of what had been passing in Judea since their last visit, were they who were moved (as well they might be) with wonder and astonishment, when Jesus, so humble in his equipage, so honoured in his numerous attendants, appeared within the city gates; and every one asks his neighbour, 'Who is this?' It was replied by some of the natives of Judea,-but as I conceive, by none of the disciples; for any of them at this time would have given another answer,-it was replied, 'This is the Nazarene, the great prophet from Galilee.' Through the throng of these astonished spectators the procession passed by the public streets of Jerusalem to the temple, where immediately the sacred porticoes resound with the continued hosannas of the multitudes. The chief priests and scribes are astonished and alarmed: they request Jesus himself to silence his followers. Jesus, in the early part of his ministry, had always been cautious of any public display of personal consequence; lest the malice of his enemies should be too soon provoked, or the un advised zeal of his friends should raise civil commotions. But now that his work on earth was finished in all but tine last painful part of it,-now that he had firmly laid tine foundations of God's kingdom in the hearts of his disciples,-now that the apostles were prepared and instructed for their office,-now that tine days of vengeance on the Jewish nation were at hand, and it mattered not how soon they should incur the displeasure of the Romans their masters,-Jesus lays aside a reserve which could be no longer useful; and, instead of checking tine zeal of his followers, he gives a new alarm to the chief priests arid scribes, by a direct and firm assertion of his right to the honours that were so largely shown to him. 'If these,' says he, 'were silent, the stones of this building would be endued with a voice to proclaim my titles:' and then, as on a former occasion, he drove out the traders; but with a Higher tone of authority, calling it his own house, and saying, 'My house is the house of prayer, hut ye have made it a den of thieves.' You have now the story, in all its circumstances, faithfully collected from the four evangelists; nothing exaggerated, but set in order, and perhaps somewhat illustrated by an application of old prophecies, and a recollection of Jewish customs. Judge for yourselves whether this was not an advent of the Lord Jehovah taking personal possession of his temple." (Horsley.)

But it is not only in these passages that tine name Jehovah, the appellation of the appearing Angel of the Old Testament, and other titles of Divinity, are given to Messiah; amid if Jesus be Messiah, then are they his titles and as trimly mark his Divinity.

" The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, (Jehovah,) make straight inn tine desert a high way for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain shall be made low ; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain, amid the glory of the Lord (Jehovah) shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." This being spoken of him of whom John the Baptist was to be the forerunner; and the application having been afterward expressly made by the Baptist to our Lord, it is evident that HE is tine person "to whom the prophet attributes the incommunicable name of Jehovah and styles him 'our God.' "-(Wogan.)

"Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall conceive, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name EMANUEL, which being interpreted is God with us." Here another prediction of Isaiah is expressly applied to Jesus. "Thou shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus, and he shall be great, and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever and ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." These are the words of the angel to Mary, and obviously apply to our Lord the words of Isaiah, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and power there shall be no end, upon the throne of David to order and establish it for ever." It is unnecessary at present to quote more of those numerous passages which speak of the future Messiah under Divine titles, and which are applied to Jesus as that Messiah actually manifested. They do not in so many words connect the Angel of Jehovah with Jesus as the same person; but, taken with the passages above adduced, they present evidence of a very weighty character in favour of that position. A plurality of persons in the one Godhead is mentioned in the Jewish Scriptures; this plurality is restricted to three; one of them appears as the "acting God" of the patriarchal and Mosaic age; the prophets speak of a Divine person to come as the Messiah, bearing precisely the same titles; no one supposes this to be the Holy Ghost; it cannot be the Father, seeing that Messiah is God's servant and God's messenger; and the only conclusion is, that the' Messiah predicted is he who is known under the titles, Angel, Son of God, Word of God, in the Old Testament and if Jesus be that Messiah, he is that Son, that Word, that Servant, that Messenger; and bear­ing the same Divine characters as the Angel of Jehovah, is that Angel himself, and is entitled in the Christian Church to all the homage and worship which was paid to him in the Jewish.

There are, however, a few passages which in a still more distinct manner than any which have been introduced, except that from the prophecy of Jeremiah, identify Jesus Christ with the Angel of Jehovah in the patriarchal and Levitical dispensations; and a brief consideration of them will leave this important point completely established.

Let it then be recollected, that he who dwelt in the Jewish tabernacle, between the cherubim, was the Angel Jehovah. In Psalm lxviii, which was written on the removal of the ark to Mount Zion, he is expressly addressed. "This is the hill which God desireth to dwelt in;" and again, "They have seen thy goings, O God; my King, in thy sanctuary." But the Apostle Paul, Eph. iv, 8, applies this psalm to Christ, and considers this very ascent of the Angel Jehovah to Mount Zion as a prophetic type of the ascent of Jesus to the celestial Zion.- "Wherefore he saith, when he ascended on high, he led captivity captive," &c. The conclusion, therefore, is, that the Angel Jehovah who is addressed in the psalm, and Christ, are the same person. This is marked with equal strength in verse 29. The psalm, let it be observed, is determined by apostolical authority to be a prophecy of Christ, as indeed its terms intimate; and with reference to the future conquests of Messiah, the prophet exclaims, "Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee." The future Christ is spoken of as one having then a temple at Jerusalem.

It was the glory of the Angel Jehovah, the resident God of the temple, which Isaiah saw in the vision recorded in the sixth chapter of his prophecy before adduced; but the Evangelist John expressly declares that on that occasion the prophet saw the glory of Christ and spake of him. Christ therefore was the Lord of hosts whose glory filled the temple.

St. Peter calls the Spirit of Jehovah, by which the prophets "prophesied of the grace that should come, the Spirit of Christ." He also informs us that "Christ was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing."- Now whatever may be the full meaning of this difficult passage, Christ is clearly represented as preaching by his Spirit in the days of Noah, that is, inspiring Noah to preach. Let this be collated with the decla­ration of Jehovah before the flood, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he is flesh, yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years," during which period of delay and long suffering, Noah was made by him, from whom alone inspiration can come, a preacher of righteousness; and it is clear that Christ, and the appearing Jehovah of the antediluvian world, are supposed by St. Peter to have been the Same person. In the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews, Moses is said to have esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the trea­sures of Egypt; a passage of easy interpretation, when it is admitted that the Jehovah of the Israelites, whose name and worship Moses professed, and Christ, were the same person. For this worship he was reproached by the Egyptians, who preferred their own idolatry, and treated, as all apostates do, the true religion, the pure worship of former ages from which they had departed, with contempt. To be reproached for the sake of Jehovah, and to be reproached for Christ, were convertible phrases with the apostle, because he considered Jehovah and Christ to be the same person.

"In St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, we read, 'Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them (that is, the Jews in the wilderness) also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents,' x, 9. The pronoun him auton, must be understood after 'tempted,' and it is found in some MSS., though not sufficiently numerous to warrant its insertion in the text. It is, however, necessarily implied, and refers to Christ just before mentioned. The Jews in the wilderness here are said to have tempted some person; and to understand by that person any other than Christ, who is just before named, is against all grammar, which never allows without absolute necessity any other accusative to be understood by the verb than that of some person or thing before mentioned in the same sentence. The conjunction kai, also establishes this interpretation beyond doubt: 'Neither let us tempt CHRIST as some of them ALSO tempted'-tempted whom? The answer clearly is, as they also tempted Christ. If Christ then was the person whom the Israelites tempted in the wilderness, he unavoidably becomes the Jehovah of the Old Testament."[6]

This is rendered the more striking, when the passage to which the apostle refers is given at length. "Ye shall not tempt time Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah." Now what could lead the apostle to substitute Christ, in the place of the Lord your God? "Neither let us tempt Christ, as soane of them also tempted" Christ, for that is the accusative which must be supplied. Nothing certainly but that the idea was familiar to him, that Christ, and the Angel Jehovah, who conducted and governed the Israelites, were the same person.

Heb. xii, 25, 26: "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. Whose voice then shook the earth, but now he hath promised," &c.

This passage also is decisive as a proof that the Angel of Jehovah, and our Lord, are the same person. "Him that speaketh from heaven," the context determines to be Christ; "him that spake on earth," is probably Moses. The "voice" that then "shook the earth," was the voice of him that gave the law, at the sound of which the mountain trembled and shook. He who gave the law we have already proved, from the authority of Scripture, to have been the Angel of Jehovah. and the apostle declares that the same person now speaks to us "from heaven," in the Gospel, and is therefore the Lord Christ. Dr. Mac Knight says, that it was not the Son's voice which shook the earth, because it was not the Son who gave the law. In this he is clearly contradicted by St. Stephen, and the whole Jewish history. The proto-martyr in his defence, expressly says, that it was "the Angel" who spake with Moses in the mount; and here the Apostle Paul declares, that it was the voice of Christ which then shook the earth. Nothing can more certainly prove than this collation of Scriptures, that the Son gave the law, and that "the Angel" who spake to Moses, and Christ, are the same person.

The above passage, in its necessary grammatical construction, so certainly marks out Christ as the person whose voice shook the earth at the giving of the law, that the Socinians, in their New Version of the Testament, have chosen to get rid of a testimony which no criticism could evade, by daringly and wilfully corrupting the text itself; and without any authority whatever, they read, instead of "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh," "See that ye refuse not God that speaketh ;" thus introducing a new antecedent. This instance of a wilful perversion of the very text of the word of God, has received its merited reprobation from those eminent critics who have exposed the dishonesties, the ignorance, and the licentious criticisms, of what is called an "Im­proved Version" of the New Testament.

These views are confirmed by the testimonies of the early fathers, to whom the opinions of the apostles, on this subject, (one not at all affected by the controversies of the day,) would naturally descend. The opinions of the ancient Jews, which are also decidedly confirmatory, will be given in their proper place.

Justin Martyr has delivered his sentiments very freely upon the Divine appearances. "Our Christ," he says, " conversed with Moses out of the bush, in the appearance of fire. And Moses received great strength from Christ, who spake to him in the appearance of fire." Again: - "The Jews are justly reproved, for imagining that time Father of all things spake to Moses, when indeed it was the Son of God, who is called the Angel and the Messenger of the Father. lie formerly appeared in the form of fire, and without a human shape, to Moses and the other prophets: but now-being made a man of the virgin," &c.

Irenaeus says, "The Scripture is full of the Son of God's appearing: sometimes to talk and eat with Abraham, at other times to instruct Noah about flee measures of the ark; at another time to seek Adam; at an other time to bring down judgment upon Sodom; then again, to direct Jacob in tile way; and again, to converse with Moses out of time hush."

Tertullian says, "It was the Son who judged men from the beginning, destroying that lofty tower, and confounding their languages, punishing the whole world with a flood of waters, and raining fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord pouring it down from the Lord:

for he always descended to hold converse with men, from Adam even to the patriarchs and prophets, in visions, in dreams, in mirrors, in dark sentences, always preparing his way from the beginning: neither was it possible, that the God who conversed with men upon earth, could be any other than that Word which was to be made flesh."

Clemens Alexandrinus says, "The Pedagogus appeared to Abraham, to Jacob, wrestled with him, and lastly, manifested himself to Moses." Again: "Christ gave the world the law of nature, and the written law of Moses. Wherefore, the Lord deriving from one fountain both the first and second precepts which he gave, neither overlooked those who were before the law, so as to leave them without law, nor suffered those who minded not the philosophy of the barbarians to do as they pleased.

He gave to the one precepts, to the other philosophy, and concluded them in unbelief till his coming, when, whosoever believes not is with­out excuse."

Origen says, "My Lord Jesus Christ descended to the earth more than once. He came down to Esaias, to Moses, and to every one of the prophets." Again :-" That our blessed Saviour did sometimes become as an angel, we may be induced to believe, if we consider the appearances and speeches of angels, who in some texts have said, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac," &c.

Theophilus of Antioch also declares, "that it was the Son of God who appeared to Adam immediately after the fall, who, assuming the person of the Father and the Lord of all, came in paradise under person of God, and conversed with Adam."

The synod of Antioch: -" The Son," say they, "is sometimes called an Angel, and sometimes the Lord; sometimes God. For it is impious to imagine, that the God of the universe is any where called an angel. But the Messenger of the Father is the Son, who himself is Lord and God: for it is written, The Angel of the great council."

Cyprian observes, that "the Angel who appeared to the patriarch is Christ and God." And this he confirms by producing a number of those passages from the Old Testament, where it is said, that an Angel of the Lord appeared and spake in the name of God.

Hilary speaks to the same purpose: -" He who is called the Angel of God, the same is 'Lord and God. For the Son of God, according to time prophet, is the Angel of the great council. That the distinction of persons might be entire, he is called the Angel of God; for he who is God of God, the same also is the Angel (or Messenger) of God; and yet, at the same time, that due honour might be paid, he is also called Lord and God."

St. Basil says, "Who then is it that is called both an angel and God? Is it not he, whose name, we are told, is called the Angel of the great Covenant? For though it was in aftertimes that he became the Angel of the great Covenant, yet even before that, he did not disdain the title of an Angel, or Messenger." Again :-" It is manifest to every one, that where the same person is styled both an Angel and God, it must be meant of the only begotten, who manifests himself to mankind in different generations, and declares the will of the Father to his saints. Where­fore, he who, at his appealing to Moses, called himself I AM, cannot be conceived to be any other person than God, the Word who was in the beginning with God."

Other authorities may be seen in Waterland's Defence of Queries, that decidedly refutes Dr. Samuel Clarke, who pretends, in order to cover his Arianism, that the fathers represent the angel as speaking in the person of the Father.

Two objections to this doctrine, taken from the Scriptures, are answered without difficulty. "God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." To those only who deny the manifestation and agency of the Father in every case in the Old Testament, this passage presents a difficulty. God the Father is cer­tainly meant by the apostle, and he is said to have spoken by the pro­phets. But this is no difficulty to those who, though they contend that the ordinary appearances of the Deity were those of the Son, yet allow the occasional manifestation of the Father. He is the fountain of inspiration. The Son is sent by the Father, but the Spirit is sent by the Father and by the Son. This is the order in the New Testament, and also, as many passages show in the Old. The Spirit sent by the Father,- qualified the prophets to speak unto "our fathers." The apostle, how­ever, says nothing more than that there was an agency of the Father in sending the prophets, which does not exclude that of the Son also; for the opposition lies in the outward visible and standing means of conveying the knowledge of the will of God to men, which under the law was by mere men, though prophets; under the Gospel, by the incarnate Son. Communication by prophets under the law, did not exclude other communications by the Son in his Divine character; and communica­tion by the Son under the Gospel, does not exclude other communica­tions by apostles, evangelists, and Christian prophets. The text is not therefore an exclusive proposition either way. it is riot clear, indeed, that any direct opposition at all is intended in the text, but a simple declaration of the equal authority of both dispensations, and the peculiar glory of the latter, whose human minister and revealer was the Son of God in our nature.

The second objection rests upon a passage in the same epistle. "If the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord ?" To understand this passage, it is to be noted, that the apostle refers to the judicial law of Moses, which had its prescribed penalty for every "transgression and disobedience." Now this law was not, like the decalogue, spoken by God himself, but by angels. For after the voice of God had spoken the ten commandments, the people entreated that God would not speak to them any more. Accordingly, Moses says, Deut. v, 22, "These words," the decalogue, " the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, with a great voice, and he added no more, and he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me." The rest, "both the judicial and the ceremonial law, was delivered, and the covenant was made, by the mediation of Moses: and therefore the apostle says, Gal. iii, 19, 'The law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator:' hence it is called the law of Moses. And tile character given of it in the Pentateuch is this,-these are the statutes, and judgments, and laws, which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in Mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses." (Randolph Prael. Theology.)

Nor does the apostle's argument respect the author of the law, for no one can suppose that angels were its authors, nor the giver of the law, for angels have no such authority; but the medium through which it was communicated, or "spoken." In the case of the decalogue, that medium was the Lord, the Angel Jehovah himself in majesty; but in the body of judicial and ceremonial laws, to which lie clearly refer, angels and Moses. The visible medium by which the Gospel was communicated, was the Son of God made flesh. That word was "spoken by the Lord," not only in his personal, but in his mediatorial character; and, by that wonderful condescension, its importance, and the danger of neglecting it, were marked in the most eminent and impressive manner.

It has now therefore been established that the Angel Jehovah, and Jesus Christ our Lord, are the same person; and this is the first great argument by which his Divinity is established. He not only existed before his incarnation, but is seen at the head of the religious institutions of his own church, up to the earliest ages. We trace the manifestations of the same person from Adam to Abraham; from Abraham to Moses; from Moses to the prophets; from the prophets to Jesus. Under every manifestation he has appeared in the form of God, never thinking it robbery to be equal with God. "Dressed in the appropriate robes of God's state, wearing God's crown, and wielding God's sceptre,' he has ever received Divine homage and honour. No name is given to the Angel Jehovah, which is not given to Jehovah Jesus; no attribute is ascribed to the one, which is not ascribed to the other; tine worship which was paid to the one by patriarchs and prophets, was paid to the other by evangelists and apostles; and the Scriptures declare them to be the same august person,-the image of time Invisible, whom no man can see and live ;-the Redeeming Angel, the Redeeming Kinsman, and the Redeeming God.

That the titles with which our Lord is invested are unequivocal declarations of absolute Divinity, will be the subject of the next chapter.


[1] From this remarkable passage it appears to me very clear, that the Mes­senger or Angel of God, whom he here promises to be the leader of his people. is not a creature, much less Moses or Joshua, but an uncreated Angel. For (1) the clause, He will not pardon your sins, is not applicable to any created be. ing, whether Angel or man: (2) The next words, My name is in him, cannot be explained to signify, he shall act in my name, that is, under my command or by authority received from me, for in that case another word, he will act or he will speak, or the like would have been added: (3) The same conclusion is establish­ed by a comparison of this passage with chapter xxxii, 34, (and xxxii, 2,) whore God expresses his indignation against the Israelites for their idolatry, by declaring that not himself, but an angel, should be henceforth their guide: but this, the people and Moses most earnestly deprecate [as a calamity and a judgment, whereas the present instance is a promise of favour and mercy, and is so acknow­ledged in Isaiah lxii, 8.] "That angel, therefore, is perfectly different from him who is spoken of in this passage before us, who is the same that appeared to Moses, chapter iii, 2, and there likewise both speaks and acts as God himself." (Dathii Pentateuchus.)

[2] "An earthly ambassador indeed represents the person of his prince, is sup-'posed to be clothed with his authority, and speaks and acts in his name. But who ever heard of an ambassador assuming the very name of his sovereign, or being honoured with it by others? Would one in this character be permitted to say, I George, I Louis, 1 Frederic? As the idea is ridiculous, the action would justly be accounted high treason." (Jamieson's Vindication.)

[3]  - histrioniam exercuisse, in qua Dei nomen assumat, et omnia, que Dei sunt, sibi attribuat. (Bishop Bull)

[4] Imperscrutabilem Dei essezdiam et majestatem. (Vatabie.)

[5] The same word is often applied to magistrates, and even fathers; but J H. Michaelis says, that when it occurs as in this place with the prefix, it is ap­propriated only to God.

[6] Holden's Testimonies. See this text, so fatal to the Socinian scheme, triumphantly established against the liberty of their criticisms, in Dr. Magee's Postscript to Appendix, p. 211, &c.