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honors are given to him, we infer that there is a ground of distinction in the divine nature, on which a reciprocal relationship subsists; covenant engagements are ratified; different offices are sustained; and different works are performed. This distinction was perceived by the ancient Jews; but it was more clearly seen under the Gospel.
“Philo makes all the appearances, which we meet with in the books of Moses, to belong to the Word; and the latter Cabalists, since Christ's time, not only do the same, but deny that the Father ever appeared, saying, it was the 10you only that manifested himself to their fathers, whose proper name is Elohim. He (Philo) expressly affirms of the Angel, that delivered Jacob from all evil, that he was the Aoyoo. And so does Onkelos in his Chaldee paraphrase, translating the words of Jacob, simply as they lie in the text, without any addition.” The Jews after Christ's time retained the same sentiment. (See Allix' Judgment of the Ancient Jewish Church. When Abraham received the promise that his seed should be as the stars of heaven, it was the word of the Lord, that came unto him, and made him this promise, Gen. 15. As the promise which the word of the Lord made to Abraham is similar to that, which the Angel of the Lord made to Hagar, it is probable that the Word and the Angel are the same. It is evident that the Word was an agent, because he came to Abraham, spake to him; told him that he was his shield, his exceeding great reward. But if the word of the Lord meant no more than his declarations and commands, it seems improper to represent it in this manner.
Besides the appearance of the Angel, who is called Jehovah, who did what divine power only could do; and received, without prohibition, divine honors, there is recorded in the Scriptures, the appearance of many angels. Two angels appeared unto Lot, in Sodom, and brought him out of that corrupt place. But they did not call themselves by divine names; they did not perform divine works; nor did they receive divine honors. An angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah and his wife; and assured them that they should have a son, who should be a Nazarite unto God. But he refused to accept an offering at their hands; and told them expressly, that if they would offer a burnt offering, they must offer it unto the Lord. This implied that he was not the Lord. David saw an angel with his hand stretched out over Jerusalem to destroy it. But the Lord stayed his hand. This angel bore no marks of divinity. David did not sacrifice to him, but to the Lord. It is recorded in the Scriptures that an angel appeared to Joseph and to Mary, and made known to them important things concerning the chil Jesus. Angels ministered unto Christ, when he was upon earth. Two angels were seen in his tomb after he had risen from the dead.
But there are visible marks of distinction, between the appearance of these angels and the appearance of that Angel, who redeemed Israel. The latter gave evidence that he was God, while the former gave equal evidence that they were created beings. Because God employs angels as ministering servants in the affairs of this lower world, it does not follow that the Angel of the covenant belongs to that class of beings. Because they are both called by the name angel, to denote that they are sent, it does not follow, that they possess the same nature; do the same works; or are entitled to the same honors. Each will be viewed and esteemed according to their distinguishing traits of character.
In the New Testament God is more clearly revealed; a distinction in the divine nature is more clearly marked out, and he, who under the Jewish dispensation, occasionally assumed a human appearance, under the Gospel dispensation, actually took human nature into union with his own. We find só exact correspondence between Jesus Christ and the Angel of the covenant, who redeemed Israel, that we infer that they are one and the same. It was prophesied by Malachi, “Be
hold 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 (or Angel) of the covenant, whom ye delight in,” Mal. 3:1. The Evangelists apply this prophecy to Christ and to his precursor. St. Mark, speaking of the Son of God, says, “As it is written in the prophets, behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” He then adds a prophecy from Isaiah. “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”' The prophet Malachi foretels that a messenger would be sent before the Lord; and the Lord he represents to be even the Angel of the covenant. The Evangelists apply this prediction of the messenger to John the baptist; and the prediction of the Angel of the covenant to Jesus Christ. The conclusion then is, that the Angel and Christ are one and the same.
When God promised to send the Angel before Israel, he said, my name is in him. Christ speaks of himself to the same effect. "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in in me,” John 14:10,11. Of the Angel it was implied that he could forgive sin. Christ actually exercised this power and authority. The apostle Paul expresses the same sentiment, “God was in Christ," 2 Cor. 5:19. The name Emmanuel, signifying God with us, which was given to the holy Child of Mary, implied that God was in him. These texts clearly evince that the union of God with Christ is similar to the union of God with the Angel; and such a union between God and any other being, is not exhibited in the sacred scriptures. There is strong evidence therefore, that the Angel and Christ are the same.
The apostle Paul, speaking of the privileges and of the sins of the Israelites in the wilderness, says, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents," 1 Cor. 10:9.
The apostle alludes to the Israelites, when they journeyed from mount Hor, by the way of the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way; and the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water," Numb. 21:4,5. The God, against whom they spake, was he, who brought them up out of Egypt; but it was the Angel, who led them from Egypt and guided them in the wilderness; it was the Angel then, whom they tempted. But the apostle Paul gives us to understand that it was Christ, whom they tempted. Therefore the Angel was Christ.
It was the opinion of the ancient Jews, that the Angel, who was called Jehovah, and led and redeemed Israel, was not a created Angel, who personated God. They believed generally that he was the Word. Philo is explicit on this point. “In general, he asserts that it was the Word that appeared to Adam, Jacob and Moses; although in the books of Moses, it is only an Angel that is spoken of.” It was the Word, that appeared to Abraham, (Gen. 18:1,) according to Philo
; for he saith, it was the Word, that promised Sarah a son in her old age, and that enabled her to conceive and bring forth. It was the Word, that appeared to Abraham as an Angel, and that called to him not to hurt his son, when he was about to sacrifice him. It was the Word that appeared to Hagar. It was the Word that appeared so many times to Jacob, although he be called the Angel that delivered him out of all his trouble. It was the image of God, which in other places is the same with the Word, that appeared to Moses in the bush. It was God that called to him
* at the same time, even the Word, whom Moses de
sired to see. It was the Word, who led Israel through 1 the wilderness, Exod. 33: He was the Angel, in whom God placed his name. This. Angel was he, that appeared to Moses, and the elders of Israel on mount Sinai, Exod. 24: It was the Word, whom those Jews rejected that said, “let us make a captain and return into Egypt,” Numb. 14:4.
The appearances of the Angel recorded in the Old Testament, were frequently in the form of a man. Once he appeared in a burning bush; once on Sinai in fire and smoke; at other times in a pillar of cloud. These were similitudes, (Numb. 12:8,) or vehicles in which the Angel appeared. But the Israelites did : not see the Angel himself
. He was a Spirit, and of · course, he was not visible. “No man hath seen God at any time.
He dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” It
that ever since the apostasy, God the Father has holden 5 intercourse with this world, through a Mediator.
“There is one God, and one Mediator, between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus,” 1 Tim. 2:5. Christ officiated as Mediator between God and
man, before his incarnation. He spoke to our first parents in Eden, after they had rebelled; and began to unfold the second, or the new covenant, the covenant of grace. He often spoke to the fathers; and communicated to them the divine will. He was the Angel of the covenant; the Angel, who communicated to this world the covenant of grace. “His goings forth have been from of old; from everlasting," Mic. 5:2.
Christ has employed agents, or subordinate mediators between himself and this fallen world. Moses was a mediator between the Angel and Israel. The
priests, who officiated at the altar were mediators 3
between the Lord and the people. But the prime Mediator, the Mediator of the covenant, is the Son of