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ύνύματG- ο προσδέεται και έξι γας ο ων ανωνυμος. D., και εις ; ο δε εις
tion; for such, all nations had (who worshiped local tutelary deities) before their communication with Egypt. But, after that, (as appears from the place of Herodotus quoted above, concerning the Pelasgi) they decorated their Gods with distinguished Titles, indicative of their specific office and attributes. A NAME was so peculiar an adjunct to a local tutelary Deity, that we see by a passage quoted by Lactantius from the spurious books of Trifmegist, (which however abounded with Egyptian notions and superstitions) that the one supreme God had no name or title of distinction'. Zachariah evidently alluding to these notions, when he prophesies of the worship of the supreme God,
• In the history of the acts of Hezekiah, king of Judah, it is said, that, “ He removed the high places, and brake the “ images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the “ brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the “ children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it “ NEHUSHTAN.” [2 Kings xviii. 4.] The historian's care to record the name which the king gave to the brasen serpent, when he passed sentence upon it, will appear odd to those who do not reflect upon what hath been said, about the superftition of NAMES. But that will thew us the propriety of the observation. This idol, like the relt, had doubtless, its name of honour, alluding to its fanative attributes. Good Hezekiah, therefore, in contempt of its title of deification, called it NeHUSHTAN, which - fignifies A THING OF BRASS. And it was not out of season either to nickname it then, or to convey the mockery to pofterity: For the NAME of a demolished God, like the shade of a deceased Hero, ftill walked about, and was ready to prompt men to mischief.
f Hic fcripfit libros --- in quibus majeftatem fummi ac singu. laris dei afferit, iisdemque nominibus appellat, quibus nos, Deum & Patrem. Ac ne quis NOMEN ejus requireret, ANONYMON esse dixit ; eo quod nominis proprietate non egeat, ob ipsam fcilicet unitaten. Ipfius hæc verba funt, ó
igitur nomen non eft, quia folus est: nec opus eit proprio vocabulo, nisi cum discrimen exigit multitudo, ut unamquamque personam sua nota et appellatione defignes. Drv, Ing. I, i. c. 6.
unmixed with idolatry, says, In that day Mall there be one Lord, and HIS NAME ONE 8; that is, only bearing the simple title of LORD: and, as in the words of Lactantius below, ac ne quis NOMEN ejus requireret, ANSNYMON esse dixit ; eo quod nominis PROPRIETATE non egeat, ob ipsam scilicet UNITATEM. Out of indulgence therefore to this weakness, God was pleased to give himself a NĂMe. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: And be said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you". Where we may observe (according to the constant method of divine Wisdom, when it condescends to the prejudices of men) how, in the very instance of indulgence to their superstition, he gives a corrective of it. – The Religion of names arose from an idolatrous polytheism; and the name here given, implying eternity and self-existence, directly opposeth that superstition.
This compliance with the Religion of names was a new indulgence to the prejudices of this people, as is evident from the following words: And GOD Spake unto Mofes, and said unto him, I am the Lord: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the Name of God Almighty, but by my Name JEHOVAH was I not known to themi That is, as the God of Abraham, I before condescended to have a Name of distinEtion : but now, in compliance to another prejudice, I condescend to have a Name of honour. This teems to be the true interpretation of this very difficult text, about which the commentators are so much embarrassed. For the word Jehovab, whose name is here said to be unknown to the Patriarchs, frequently occurr
& Ch. xiv. yer. 9.
h Exod. iii. 14.
i Exod. vi. 3.
ing in the book of Genesis, had furnished Unbelievers with a pretext that the same person could not be author of the two books of Genesis and Exodus. But Ignorance and Scepticism, which set Infidelity on work, generally bring it to shame. They místook the true sense of the text. The affertion is not, that the word Jehovah was not used in the patriarchal language ; but that the NAME Jebovab, as a title of honour, (whereby a new idea was affixed to an old word) was unknown to them. Thus, in a parallel instance, we say rightly, that the King's SUPREMACY was unknown to the English Constitution till the time of Henry VIII. tho the word was in use, and even applied to the chief Magistrate, (indeed in a different and more simple sense) long before.
The common folution of this difficulty is as ridiculous as it is false. You shall have it in the words of a very ingenious Writer.—“ The word
JEHOVAH signifies the being unchangeable in his “ resolutions, and consequently the being infinitely “ faithful in performing his promises. In this - sense, the word is employed in the passage of « Exodus now under examination. So that “ when God says, by my name Jehovah was I not s known to them, this fignifies," as one faithful “ to fullfil my promises, was I not known to them." “ i. e. I had not then fullfilled the promise which “ I had made to them, of bringing their pofterity “out of Egypt, and giving them the land of Ca“ naank.". By which interpretation, the. Al
k - il fignifie Petre immuable dans les resolutions, et par consequent l'etre infiniment fidelle dans ses promeses, et c'est dans cette acception que ce nom est emploié dans le passage de l'Exode, que nous examinons. Qu' ainsi quand Dieu dit, Je
mighty is made to tell the Israelites that he was not known to their forefathers as the God who had redeemed their pofterity from Egypt, before they had any posterity to redeem. A marvellous revelation, and, without doubt, much wanted. To
Moses however appears still unwilling to accept this Commission; and presumes to tell God, plainly, Behold they will not believe me, nor hearken to my voice : for they will say, The Lord bath not appeared unto thee'. But could this be said or thought by a People, who, groaning in the bitterest servitude, had a message from God, of a long promised deliverance, at the very time that, according to the prediction, the promise was to be fulfilled, if they had kept him and his dispensations in memory ? When this objection is removed, Moses hath yet another; and that is, his inability for the office of an OR ATOR. This too is answered. And when he is now driven from all his subterfuges, he with much passion declines the whole employment, and cries out, O my God, send I pray thee by the hand of him whom thou wilt send". This juftly provokes God's difpleasure: and thereon, he finally complies. From all this backwardness, (and the cause of it could be no other than what is here assigned; for Moses, as appears by the former part of his history", was
ne leur ai point esté connu en mon nom de Jehovah, cela signifie,
Chap. iv. ver. 3.
* EXOD. hap. ii. ver. 12. Vol. IV.
forward and zealous enough to promote the welfare of his brethren) we must needs conclude, that he thought the recovery of this People from EgypTIAN SUPERSTITIONS to be altogether desperate, And, humanly speaking, he did not judge amiss ; as may be seen from a succinct account of their behaviour during the whole time God was working this amazing Deliverance.
For now Moses and Aaron discharge their missage; and having confirmed it by signs and wonders, the People believed: but it was such a belief, as men have of a new and unexpected matter, well attested. --They bow the bead too, and worship o; but it appears to be a thing they had not been lately accustomed to. And how little true sense they had of God's promises and visitation is seen from their murmuring and desponding' when things did not immediately succeed to their wishes; though Mofes, as from God, had told them before-hand, that Pharaoh would prove cruel and bard bearted; and would defer their liberty to the very lait distrefs?. And at length, when that time came, and God had ordered them to purify themselves from all the idolatries of Egypt, so prodigiously attached were they to these follies, that they disobeyed his command even at the very eve of their deliverance'. A thing althogether incre
• Exod. iv. 31. 2 Chap. v. ver. 21.
4 Chap iii. ver. 19, 20, 21.
* A learned writer (Mr. Fourmont - Reflexions Critiques sur des Histoires de anciens Peuples] hath followed a system which very well accounts for this unconquerable propensity to Egyp. tian fuperftitions. He supposeth that the Egyptian, and con. fejuently the Jewish idolatry, confifted in the worship of the dead Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, &c. The mischief