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us, but that we must either reject entirely all belief in Scrip-fwould not deceive you must be your evidence of things unture, or that we must understand the words of Scripture in a seen." different manner from that in which we should understand the Nor is the utility of a revelation disproved, should its cirsame expressions in any other treatise, or, lastly, that we cumstances and detail exceed our present capacity, and should must acknowledge the Persons thus identified and distinguish- our faith be tried by information which we as yet imperfectly ed to be, in certain respects, at once united and separate, in comprehend. Snch information, like the elements of a science, certain relations with each other, at once subordinate and has reference, we may conclude, to a future state of progressequal.
ive knowledge and inquiry. Byłthe glimpses of truth which Nor will this appear, on sufficient testimony, incredible, to it affords, we are induced to expect far brighter discoveries any one who recollect how often in the works of nature an hereafter, and to contemplate with less of terror than of apparent contradiction is solved and rendered consistent by a anxious hope, that period at which all our doubts shall be more perfect discovery of relations and circumstances; how removed, and when those things which we now see through many peculiarities there are in those things which are most a glass darkly, we shall be permitted to look on face to face. obvious to our senses, which we believe to exist in contradic. Dissolve this tabernacle, rend but this fleshy dungeon in tion, utter contradiction, to the testimony which those senses twain, and all shall at once be clear which now perplexes offer.
us; all shall be light which now appears obscure, and That the sun is stationary, and that the earth is in constant all which we doubt of now shall be known even as God and rapid motion, a motion more rapid than the swiftest bird, knoweth us. This is the gate of knowledge; from this poiut the dolphin, or the cannon-ball, some of us believe, because our discoveries begin; and, the darkness of the grave once it has been demonstrated to us : but many more there are who traversed, we shall enter into a refulgence of day which no acknowledge it against the evidence of their eyes and feelings, cloud shall obscure, no evening terminate! on no stronger ground than that they have heard the fact from Meantime, however, though it be worse, perhaps, than others, of whose information and integrity they entertain a merely idle to weary our souls by a fruitless curiosity after better opinion than of the extent of their own knowledge and undiscoverable secrets, or to attempt to reconcile with our the accuracy of their own observation. Let but so much of bodily apprehensions those truths which are not the objects credence be given to the Omniscient, as we usually in facts of sense; yet is it a delightful and a holy exercise to ascerbeyond the limits of our own research accord to our fallible tain, as far as possible, the limits to which the words of Rev. fellow creatures, and we shall hear no more of the impossi- elation extend, to meditate often on the abstruser oracles of bility of any doctrine which is explicitly revealed in, or cor- God, and to collect with humble and patient scrutiny those rectly deducible from, those writings which we confess to be scattered facts which he has incidentally communicated rethe oracles of God.
specting his own mysterious nature. Of those, indeed, who assign as a sufficient ground for un- Nor is it any imputation on the truth or importance of a belief in a Divine Revelation, that its circumstances surpass doctrine, that we discover it, like the Trinity in Unity, not so our mental comprehension, it may be asked, in return, whether much from the direct assertions as from the implied meaning they themselves believe in the existence of a Divine and In- of Scripture ; that it is a consequence deducible from revelafinite Being, who fills all space, who is Allwise, Allpowerful; tion, rather than, itself, in express terms revealed. whose justice and mercy are alike without end ? Such a For this is not the only instance in which the oracles of God Being they will, doubtless, answer that they acknowledge ; convey most important information through circumstances yet how many circumstances apparently impossible in them- seemingly indifferent, by an arrangement which contents itselves or inconsistent with each other, are involved in this self to disclose the grounds on which our faith is to be founded, short and usual definition !
and which permits us from these grounds to infer the belief If the presence of God be infinite, then must we acknowledge, for ourselves. with Spinoza all things to be God; or more than one indivi- When the Almighty announced himself to Moses in Horeb dual must, at the same moment, be in the same portion of as the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, it is evident that space. If his power and wisdom be infinite, where is the in these expressions no definite assurance was contained of a freedom of the human will ? and if the will be not free, how life beyond the grave. Yet, inasmuch as this opinion might can the Almighty judge the world? When these questions be reasonably though incidentally collected from the premises are answered, and the innumerable other mysteries are ex-afforded, our Lord, we know, referred to this single passage plained which beset the first entrance not of revealed only, as sufficient to confute the Sadducees, and reproved them but of natural religion; it may then be time to inquire, whether sharply for a culpable error in not having themselves made it be impossible that an Omnipresent Being should be mani- the right application. fested in more than one hypostasis; or that three distinct hy- Nor is there any thing in this manner of instruction at vapostases should be capable of a connexion so intimate as to riance with those methods which we might previously have be only one Divinity.
expected the Almighty to adopt in the illumination of his But to apply to spiritual existences, of which we know creatures, or different from the usual tenour of that more imnothing, illustrations or objections taken from those bodily mediate intercourse which he has at times carried on with substances with which only we are acquainted, is to apply our mankind. knowledge to an end which it was never intended to answer; The soul of man is not only delighted with knowledge, but it is to measure space with the thermometer, or heat with the if she be in a healthy and natural condition, she is delighted compass and square. To what extent, indeed, those glorious also with the act of learning. But that this act should be but tinite beings who behold the face of God, are enabled by either agreeable or efficacious, it is necessary that we should that blessed intercourse to understand the mode of their do it for ourselves. What is merely didactic is always weaMaker's existence, we know not, nor does it greatly import risome; and the most effectual advances are made and our us to inquire. But one thing we know, that we are, ourselves, progress is then most pleasurable, when, with no more assistas yet, in a state of pupilage; in which whatever we believe ance from others than is absolutely necessary, we master as to our future destinies, or the Being on whom we depend, every difficulty by our own resources, and associate in our reis founded on testimony only. The state of the Sceptic is not collection the beauty of truth with the triumph of successful dissimilar from that of a human being born and educated in a inquiry. dungeon, who should deny the existence of light because his Accordingly, to confer on his creatures rather the means of organs had never perceived it, and because the properties as- knowledge than knowledge itself; to encourage them to elicit cribed to it appeared, as to such an one they mighi naturally the truth by their natural faculties from data supernaturally appear, inconsistent and contradictory. And if the distinc- communicated, is that conduct which we should, a priori, and tion of colours should seem impossible to one with whom every in a gracious conformity to the frame of our nature, most reathing alike was gloomy, if the fair variety of this upper sonably expect from an allwise and beneficient instructor. world should militate against all the prejudices of him who Such indeed, we find is the course which, in his arrangehad
grown old and obstinate within the narrow compass of ment of the physical world, the maker of that world has folhis four stone walls, what ground of conviction could his in- lowed. He does not feed us, but he furnishes us with the structor offer but the pledge of his own integrity ?
means of procuring food; and how dull and inanimate would “You cannot,” might be his words, “I know you cannot that existence become, which was never diversified by the as yet understand me; but if these prison walls were away, ardour of pursuit, never stimulated by the craving of anxiety, you would be at once convinced of my truth. On that truth, nor rewarded with that luxury of repose which is the offhowever, and on the opinion which you entertain of my spring of successful labour? What wonder then, if there are knowledge and veracity, must the certainty of all these won- certain truths which he has reserved as the reward of an atders at present repose ; and the faith which you retain that I tentive consideration of those which he has expressed more clearly ; what wonder if many remarkable features of his na- were promised as a peculiar Comforter to the Apostles only, ture and government are revealed to us by implication only? or to the universal church of Christ; and in what respects
Accordingly, in the types, the prophecies, the parables of and by what perceptible benefits, he was to evince, if I may Scripture, the frequency of such a process is obvious even to use the expression, his title to the name of Paraclete. a careless reader of the Bible. The religion of the Jew from And, of these inquiries, the first, apparently, need not dehis cradle to his tomb, conveyed in all its ceremonies a per- tain us long; since the same Divine 'Teacher by whom the petual allasion to the future sacrifice for sin in the person of promise of a Paraclete was given, has promised also that he the Messiah, and the prophecies of the old and the parables should remain for ever with those who were to be the objects of the later covenant, are each of them an exercise of that na- of his care. But that this expression, " for ever,” is not pertural faculty, by which we reason to things from their resem-sonally applicable to the immediate hearers of Christ, and blances.
that the promise cannot therefore be confined to them, is apWe find, nevertheless, that the meaning of such expressions parent from the very fact of their mortality. For the words was not to be neglected with impunity; nor, when all who of our Saviour do not, it may be observed, imply that the desired to understand them might easily find the key, could continuance of the Comforter with them was to be to the end those plead ignorance as an excuse, whose indifference or of their lives. If this had been the case, we might reasonably prejudice was the real cause which had kept them thus ex- have doubted whether succeeding generations were included cluded.
in the promised benefit. But it was not “ till death,” nor It was, therefore, at their own tremendous peril that the" always, nor “continually," that the Paraclete was to Pharisees refused to understand the ancient prophecies in abide with those to whom he was promised. It was " for their natural application to our Saviour; and the Sadducees ever," "eternally,” or “ to the end of the world,” sis tòr alwver, and were reproved by him as guilty of a grievous error, in ne- it answered in purport to the remarkable expression whereby, gleeting to attend to the deduction which followed from the after his resurrection from the dead, and immediately before words of God in Horeb.
his return to heaven, our Lord assured them of the perpetual Not only, then, is it possible that a doctrine may be true continuance of his own protecting care. But an eternal which is incidentally only, and not in explicit terms revealed; guardianship and comfort can only be exercised on an eternal it is, moreover, possible that such a doctrine may be of the subject. It is therefore as a collective body, and as an endhighest and most vital importance to our conduct here and less succession of individuals, that the church of Christ reour eternal hopes hereafter; it may be such an one as, in ceived the promise here recorded : and it will follow that it itself or in its consequences, may affect our everlasting salva- was communicated to the Apostles, not as its exclusive intion. Nor, though it be presumptuous to decide as to the heritors, but as the representatives of all who in after ages, by lowest degree of knowledge or of faith to which the mercy of their means, should believe on the Son of God. our father may extend, can it be doubted that those doctrines Nor can it be reasonably urged in answer to this position, in which the objects of our adoration are concerned, are ques- that the Apostles, though exposed to death, and destined, tions of the highest practical moment.
each of them, in a few years to die, were, each of them, It cannot be safe to neglect whatever God reveals to us nevertheless, in a certain sense, immortal, and that admitted, respecting his own mysterious essence; nor can it be regard- as they doubtless are, to a yet closer intercourse with the ed as grateful to refuse whatever of prayer or praise is autho-Spirit of Truth, it is improbable that such spiritual advantages rized and commanded in Scripture to be rendered to the Son as they in this life enjoyed, have in the succeeding life been by whom we are redeemed, and the Spirit by whom we are taken from them. For it is not, we should observe, a spiritsanctified.
ual communion simply speaking, it is not the presence and And, so far is the indirect species of proof from incurring, favour of the Holy Ghost abstractedly considered, which is as our antagonists pretend that it incurs, the charge of weak- the subject of our Saviour's prophecy; it is in his capacity ness or insufficiency, that, in written documents, (and docu- of Paraclete that the Spirit was then about to descend ; he ments above all which have descended to us from distant was promised as an Intercessor for their infirmities at the ages, and have been exposed, as all such must be mcre or throne of grace, as a Comforter under that distress which the less exposed, to the injuries of time or the misuse of men,) a departure of their Lord occasioned, as an advocate and orator legitimate inference from unsuspected premises will often in the cause of Christianity against the violence and prejudice more avail in the establishment of an ancient opinion, than of men. even the strongest positive testimony.
But in paradise they need no Intercessor, for by their enThere is always a greater chance when such positive as- trance there the object of intercession is obtained. In sertions are produced, that the text may have suffered by dise they require no Comforter, for Christ is there, and has indiscreet or fraudulent zeal; and the more expressly and wiped away every tear from every eye: in paradise what closely any passage corresponds with the faith or wishes of room can be found for an advocate or a defender, for the aca particular sect, so much the greater reason will there be to cuser of the brethren is shut out from thence, and the storms apprehend, that those who anxiously desire to convince of the world roll far from that asylum. others, have not been always content to bring forward those It is plain, then, that the office of Paraclete had respect to proofs by which they have been convinced themselves. this world only, and that if the continuance of that office be
But, when a proposition is presented incidentally to our commensurate with the world's duration, it is one to which notice; when it is elicited from recorded facts, or from asser- every race of believers have a right to look up in all humble tions so circumstanced as to be a necessary part of the treatise confidence for the fulfilment of our Saviour's promise. or history in which they occur; when it follows as a neces- As the promise, then, of the Comforter is to ourselves and sary corollary from arguments of which the immediate refer- our sons and our sons' sons for evermore, it is natural and it ence is to another subject; there is no longer room to appre- is necessary to inquire with all becoming eagerness, the purhend the collusion of partizans or the wilful inaccuracy of port of an assurance in which we are so nearly and greatly transcribers, and the proof has the same advantage over the concerned, and to ascertain the nature of that goodly heritage strongest positive assertions, as that which is ascribed by to which the word of God is our title. lawyers to circumstantial, over direct but unsupported evi- Before, however, we proceed to ascertain, in the third place, dence.
by what display of power, what gracious and benignant It may seem, then, that the Scriptural proof of the Holy agency Divine and Eternal Spirit was to evince himself the Ghost's personality, and of the existence of that Triune God- Comforter of Christians, it is an inquiry neither in itself unhead to which he belongs, is of the kind least obvious to important, nor irrelevant to the general subject, to ascertain rational suspicion, as being least open to fraud or negligence; the part which that good Spirit had sustained in the scheme and that the faith which the church confesses in her public of God's providence as previously displayed in the Patriarformularies is, in truth, no other than that eternal rock on chal and Mosaic dispensations. which, though it be a stone of offence to worldly wisdom, he For, in all the works of God, and more particularly in that that hopeth shall not be ashamed.
process of salvation, of which, from the beginning of the Having determined, then, the Personality, and ascertained, world, the Old and New Testaments are the continued and though briefly and incidentally, the divine nature of that connected history; so much prevails of general harmony, that Comforter whose advent our Saviour foretold; it remains that no single period can be otherwise than most imperfectly comwe examine, secondly, who were the objects of that promised prehended, unless such period be considered as a part of, and appearance; and, thirdly, what were those effects which in reference to the whole. And we may expect, therefore, to were to be anticipated from so awful a visitation. In other find, on inquiry, the distinct operation of the third Person in words, we have yet to ascertain, whether the Holy Ghost the Trinity, in his character of the Christian Paraclete, in
VOL. II.2 K
parasome respects at least analogous to those by which he en- accompany it,) whether the second or the third Hypostasis lightened or influenced or defended the primitive worshippers of the Godhead is intended. And, while this community of of the one true God, or the subsequent theocracy of Israel. name may account for that vagueness of opinion respecting
Of that definite and distinct interference, however, in the the essence and character of the latter which is discoverable earliest ages of the world, it would, perhaps, be vain, and it in the Rabbinical writings, we cannot but observe, in the ex. certainly would be unreasonable to expect any recorded ac-amination of the present passage, that the act of creation is knowledgment. Too little is known of the first two thousand one which, on the authority of the Apostles, we ascribe to years of the world's duration, to enable us to ascertain any that eternal Logos, without whom “ there was not any thing more as to the opinions of its long-lived inhabitants, than the made which was made.” Nor should we forget that David fact that they, like us, adored a God, and, like us, relied on a identifies, in the sixth verse of the thirty-third Psalm, the Mediator. And, with all due deference to the learning and creating Spirit of God with his Word; nor that the Rabbins, piety of those who have attempted to demonstrate the mys- in some of their oldest commentaries, explain the text which tery of the Trinity from the plural number of the word “ Elo- we are now discussing to signify " the Spirit of the Mes. him;" and from the apparition of those glorious Beings who siah." visited Abraham beneath the oak of Mamre, it is wiser and But, while the application of the name of Spirit to the Perbetter to place no reliance in argument, on circumstances son of our Lord is in itself a strong presumption, against the which must be allowed to admit of other applications, and of followers of Socinus, that he who is thus distinguished from which the application thus given (whether true or false), has all mankind must necessarily have been something more than been found by experience less likely to conciliate those who man; and while this community of name should teach us are in error, than to give occasion to indecent raillery, and to greater caution in the interpretation of many remarkable pas. the grossest imputations against that truth which we by such sages in the Old and New Testaments, the analogy of Seripmeans endeavour to defend.
ture will, nevertheless, forbid us to doubt that the functions There is another passage, however, which has been, with of the Holy Ghost, peculiarly so called, were as important far more plausibility, applied by the great majority of com- and as proininent under the ancient as the Christian Comentators to the third Hypostasis of the Godhead, but which venant. the modern Jews, and those Christians who are concerned in Nor is it any objection to this hypothesis, if we should the support of Socinianism, have been anxious to understand suppose, as many striking passages of Scripture lead us to of a material and natural agent. That passage, I mean, in suppose, and as the Fathers of the second century with one the first chapter of Genesis, wherein the Spirit of God is de- accordant voice maintain, that, during the Patriarchal and scribed as in the act of creation, and as brooding on the sur- Mosaic ages, some few, at least, among the recorded revelaface of the chaotic waters.
tions of the almighty Presence and Power were revelations That a rational, not a material agent is there intended, can of that Everlasting Son, who was destined himself, in fuladmit, perhaps, of little doubt.
ness of time, to assume mortality. No other instance can be found in Scripture (though I am For, such occasional displays of glory on the part of the ready to admit that the word " Elohim” is often adjectively Second Person in the Diety, will by no means preclude the used as an epithet of greatness and power) in which the Third in that mysterious union from a frequent, perhaps a phrase “Ruach Elohim” can be, from the context, applicable more frequent intercourse with mankind, whether by visible to a natural wind, however rough or violent. The words inanifestations of his Person and Majesty, or by the silent which are united here, wherever they occur besides in union, influence of Inspiration, and those more usual but not less are, by that connection, sanctified to miracle and divinity, blessed bounties which, under the name of Grace, are pecaand to the still and tranquil whispers of that Holy Being, liarly ascribed to his influence. Under the Gospel Covenant, from whom, whether by the agency of the Spirit or ihe Son, when Christ had now ascended to heaven, and after he had himall grace and goodness emanate. Nor does the quivering self declared his intention of resigning to another Divine motion implied in the Hebrew word which we render simply Person the ordinary guardianship of his orphan Church, we “moved," though it admirably accords with the hovering of find, nevertheless, the Son of God appearing not infrequently a bird over her young, or with the shudder of a sudden appre- in person for the instruction and consolation of his Apostles. hension, (the only two senses in which it elsewhere occurs Nor will it follow from the appearance of the Divine Word in Scripture), agree by any means with an agent so furious on particular occasions to Adam, to Abraham, and to Moses, and rapid as a storm; should we even grant that a physical that the Holy Spirit was not their other and their more frequent storm were possible before the atmosphere had, as yet, been Monitor, any more than it would follow that the interference formed.
of the Paraclete is disproved in the diffusion of the Gospel, It may, therefore, be assumed as the most probable hypo- because it was Christ himself who appeared in vision to St. thesis, that the “Ruach Elohim” of Moses was not a natural Stephen, St. Paul, or St. John. wind, but a Spirit Intelligent and Divine. But that by the Nor will it be, perhaps, a very difficult task to show, on Intelligence here described, as well as by the creating Spirit the diligent comparison of Scripture with itself, that the disof Job, the third Person in the Diety is intended, is an tinction of Persons in the Diety is little less evidently imopinion which may well be questioned.
plied in the Old Testament than in the New, and that to the For, it is a fact to which sufficient attention has not yet Third Hypostasis in the Trinity, as distinguished both from been paid, (and it is one which may lead, perhaps, to the the Father and the Son, we are to ascribe, on the authority explication of some of the obscurest passages in Scrip- of the Sacred Writers, not only the inspiration of the Scripture), that, by the ancient Jews, by the Christians of the two tues of the elder Covenant, but the tutelary guidance of the first ages, and by the sacred writers themselves, the name of Church of Israel, and the disposal, as a general and superinspirit is very often applied, not only to the third, but to the tending Providence, of the political fate of empires, in so second Person in the Holy Trinity.
much at least as those empires were connected with the This circumstance was noticed, in the first instance, by the chosen people of the Lord. learned Fell, in his notes on Theophilus; and it has since When Joel predicts the more abundant fulness of glory been confirmed from the apostolic Fathers by Albert Zum and power which was to adorn the Dispensation of Grace, be Felde, and from the early Rabbins by Schöttgen; to which ascribes, as it should seem, this ampler inspiration to the we may add, that the same term is applied to Jesus Christ same influence, (the influence, that is, of the same identical in a remarkable passage of the Koran. Lactantius, we Person,) as that whence his own prophetic powers proceeded. have already seen, was, on the same account, assailed for And our Saviour announces the Spirit who was to comfort heresy by the too ardent zeal of Jerome; but how unjustly the Apostles, as a Person whose name, at least, was al he was thus accused is apparent, not from these examples ready known and familiar to the devout expectation of his only, but from several passages of the New Testament in hearers. which a similar language is held.
The Church is therefore fully justified, when, in that comSt. Paul, when quoting, in his first Epistle to Timothy, a mon Confession of Faith in which both East and West agree, prophecy uttered by Christ while on earth, introduces it as she ascribes to one and the same Divine Spirit, under either spoken by the Spirit.” The “second Adam,” according to Covenant, the dispensation of prophetic knowledge. the same Apostle, was to be a "quickening Spirit;' and the Nor is this all.–For, unless we assign a certain and a very same appellation is repeatedly given by St. John in the important part to the Holy Ghost in the original institution Apocalypse, to the Person of his glorified Master. and conduct of the Jewish Theocracy, it will be impossible
When the name, therefore, of " Spirit” occurs in Scripture, to reconcile Scripture to itself, or to understand the appara doubt may always arise, (unless some note of distinction ently different language of Moses and St. Stephen, whea speaking of the same occurrence. The Law, says the Author comparison of the accounts afforded by Isaiah and St. Paul to of the Pentateuch, was received by Moses from God himself, the same identical transaction, the disobedience of Israel in face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend. The Law, the desert. says the Protomartyr, (and he is supported in his assertion When the first of these Evangelists (for to both that name by the similar assurance of St. Paul,) was given by the dis- is applicable) describes his ancestors as having grieved the pensation of angels.
Holy Spirit, he means, we may suppose, that person in the It is evident, then, that the beings, to whose conduct was Godhead who was their guide into their promised territory. entrusted the guidance of Israel, were such as were at once But when the latter instances their sin in tempting Christ, it divine and messengers of divinity. But wherefore do we is plain from the context that by Christ he intends that Jehohear of more than one? Wherefore, unless that both the one vah who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and of and the other of those mysterious persons, to whom only the whom the manna, which they sinned in refusing, was a type apparently discordant terms of God and angel are equally ap- and bodily image. plicable, were engaged in the former, as they were, doubt- And so perfect is the parallel between the corresponding less, both engaged in the latter covenant of Jehovah with features of that vast design whereby the salvation of mankind mankind.
is secured, that as, in either case, it was the second Person of And that more than one divine person was actually mani- the Trinity by whom the Church was brought out of bondfested in those awful transactions, an attentive examination age, so was it in both the third in that mysterious union who of the book of Moses will be sufficient to make us sensible. was to conduct them to their appointed Canaan. The mysterious being who promulgated the law from the The most important, however, and certainly the clearest flaming height of Sinai, who is called in Scripture both Jeho- discovery of the existence and functions of God's Holy vah himself and Jehovah's messenger, the Creator of the Spirit under the Mosaic dispensation, is communicated by world and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; this awful that Prophet who, of all the servants of the Almighty, had person is, by all these circumstances, still more than by the the most perspicuous notices of his nature and the general accordant opinion of the Christian fathers and the elder Jews, scheme of his government. And as the chapters of Daniel identified with the Logos or eternal word of God. But, of in which this account is found have been the subjects of the further progress of the tribes into Canaan, the legislator very general misapprehension, and as they have been even of Horeb was not himself the guide. “Behold," are his perverted into a source of error the most childish and idolawords, "I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, trous, I may be excused if I enter somewhat at length into and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Be- the circumstances which they detail. ware of him and obey his voice, provoke him not, for he will On the banks of the Tigris, we read in the tenth chapter of not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him." his prophecy, was Daniel visited, after a long preparation of
It will not, however, he denied that he, whose peculiar fasting and prayer, by a Person clothed with every attribute presence thenceforward hallowed the tabernacle; who spake of celestial majesty and terror, in a white and glittering garb, with Moses from between the cherubim of the mercy-seat; and cinctured with a golden girdle; “ his body like the beryl, who announced himself to Joshua as the captain of Jeho- his face as the appearance of lightning, his eyes as lamps of vah’s army; and whom the prophets invoked as the tutelary fire, his arms and his feet in colour like polished brass, and Deity of the former temple; this person in himself, it cannot the voice of his words as the voice of a multitude." be denied, must needs have been both God and Lord. Nor This awful Spirit, whose words, no less than his appearis it easy, on a due comparison of these several premises ance, betoken the highest pitch of majesty and power; who with each other, to do otherwise than acknowledge, in that describes himself as the sustaining Providence of the Peralmighty person who was sent by God the word as his vicar sian empire, and to whom the angels of God apply as to an and delegate; who was to reveal to the chosen tribes the oracle for a knowledge of futurity; has been variously remore perfect will of heaven; and against whose authority all garded by the greater number of commentators, either as the rebellion was, apparently, irremissible; a conformity of office Divine Logos or second Person in the Trinity, or as a creand character with him by whose inspiration the prophets ated though very powerful angel. und evangelists alike composed their volumes; who is the The former of these opinions has, I apprehend, been Comforter and Patron of the Christian church, as he was of founded on the supposed similarity of attire and dignity beold the Ruler and Defender of the church of Israel.
tween the Person here described and our Lord Jesus Christ, And this conclusion will receive additional force from the as he appeared in glory, after his decease, to the beloved similarity of those actions and ordinary influences which be-Writer of the Apocalypse. lievers in Christ ascribe to the Holy Ghost, with those which But on a correspondence like this no such conclusion the Jews impute to the Schekinah or tutelary and inhabiting can be justly founded, inasmuch as the features are those Spirit of their tabernacle and former temple. The name of general ones only of royal and celestial authority, adopted, as Schekinah has been indeed confined by some modern theolo- it may seem, from the usual attire of eastern and Jewish mongians to the open appearances of God's glory, and more es- archs, which belong not only to the Son of Man, but the minpecially to a certain luminous form, which (contrary to all ister of God's will, whoever he was, who 'descended to probability of reason and all authority of Scripture) they sup- unlock the sepulchre wherein that blessed Son lay buried; pose to have occupied with its actual presence the golden and which, as may be seen in the seventh chapter of the mercy-seat of the ark, or to have hovered, as a visible same prophecy, are ascribed not to these alone, but to the object of adoration, between the wings of the emblematical Ancient of Days or Eternal Father himself. Cherubim.
And that, notwithstanding such general similarity, he who The falsehood of this popular doctrine the present is not stood on the waters of Hiddekel was not the second Person he time to show; but it is sufficient for my purpose to ob- of the Trinity, is apparent from his speaking of Michael, the serve, that, though the Jews undoubtedly ascribe to the Prince of Judah, as another and distinct Intelligence. igency of the Schekinah whatever display of God's glory
For that Michael is one of the names ascribed to our has been made to man, whether in the sanctuary or else- Saviour in his pre-existent state, may be proved, not only by where; yet is it certain that their doctors speak of it, not as a the clearest evidence of Rabbinical tradition, but also by the phantom only, or bodily vehicle, whereby the eternal father more forcible and unexceptionable proof which is obtained by hought fit to announce his presence to maokind; but as a comparing Scripture with itself. rational and (for the most part) an invisible person, who Michael is represented in the books of the ancient Jews, as pore witness before the Father in behalf of those who were the Chief Priest and Expiator of heaven; as offering, on that infeigned converts to the truth ; who dwelt in the hearts of celestial altar which John in the sixth and eighth chapters of such as rejoiced in the ways of piety, and received their de- his prophecy describes, the souls and the prayers of all faitharting souls; who protected the faithful during travel ; who ful Israelites; as defending his people, before the tribunal of yresided over their congregations in prayer, and over the almighty Justice, from the malicious accusations of Satan, private studies of the Seriptural student; whom, lastly, in He is described as the pillar of cloud and fire which guided he ceremony of ordination, they identified with the Holy the Tribes through the wilderness, and guarded them in the Ghost as descending with unseen influence on the appointed sea from the pursuit of the Egyptians. He was, they tell us, ninisters of religion.
the Spirit on whose peculiar intercession David relied; who It may be thought, then, that it was indeed the Son of God alone was able to obtain the admission of the bloodstained vho spake with Moses from Sinai, but that it was the Spirit but penitent monarch into the assembly of the blest in paraf God, peculiarly so called, by whom the work was com- dise; and who knows the wants and who pleads for all the leted of Israel's deliverance. Nor can any better solution necessities of the faithful in this nether world. But the le desired of that apparent difficulty which arises from the Jews do more than all which I have hitherto mentioned. They expressly distinguish him from every created angel or prove the unsoundness. What could be, in such a hierarchy, spirit, and assure us, that wherever Michael is said to have the limits of each angel's sovereignty, or how were those appeared, it must be understood of the Divine Majesty. limits to be adjusted in the perpetual changes of polity and
And that these opinions, however wildly expressed, are not, language which have passed over the face of the world! in their essential features, at variance with the Scriptures of Are we to suppose, with Ephrem and Theodoret and Origen, either Covenant, a comparison of the first verse of Daniel's that an angelic guardian was allotted to each particular lantwelfth chapter with the seventh verse of the twelfth chapter guage? How were these guardians to act when the parent of the Apocalypse, is in itself sufficient to prove. In the tongue branched out into a multitude of distinct and corrupted former, Michael is described as “the great Prince" who, in dialects? Is the tutelar genius of the Goths at once the the latter days, was to stand up for Israel ; in the latter, the sovereign of the German, the Swedish, the American and expulsion, by his means, of the powers of evil from heaven is the English nations ?. If a language becomes extinct, does predicted in terms and under círcumstances which can only the angel abdicate his throne ? When one tribe subdues suit the Messiah.
another, is the guardian of the conquered race himself in He is called by St. Jude the Chief or Prince of Angels, captivity with his clients? or are the wars which desolate and the voice of that mighty Prince is identified by St. Paul our lower world the echoes only and more faint reflections of with his voice, whom, if we believe St. John, all those who those quarrels which shake the empyrean? Is it possible are in the grave shall one day hear.
that the pure inhabitants of that peaceable world, “wherein He, then, who is distinguished from the Archangel Mich- the wicked cease from troubling,” should have strife and ael cannot possibly be identified with the second Person of faction among themselves; that, like feudal chieftains, or the Triune Godhead. At the same time, the language of the the old Homeric deities, the ministers of heaven should Person described by Daniel is no less inconsistent with the oppose each other's plans, and the mandates of their common character of a finite or created Intelligence.
Master; or can he to whom all things bow down be swayed “In the first year,” he tells us, " of Darius the Mede, 1, by the secret influence or senseless mutiny of those glorious even I stood to strengthen him.” Is this the language of a but fragile beings, whom, as he has created them from nothmerely ministering spirit; or have angels authority over the ing, the withholding of his breath can annihilate ? destiny of mankind, to overturn or establish empires at their These are, however, conclusions, to which, on Socinian pleasure ? “ There is none,” he subjoins, “ that holdeth principles, the book of Daniel must inevitably conduct us. with me in these things save Michael your prince.” But For, if we refuse to acknowledge a distinction of Persons in can a finite being compare with Michael in any thing; or the Deity, we must needs regard as created Spirits both the will the very chiefest of heaven's officers assume a tone so Person who spake with Daniel, and that Michael who asnearly approaching to equality with him whom all the angels sisted him to subdue or conciliate the Prince of Persia. And worship; who sits enthroned above all dominations and prin- as the language of Daniel's monitor is not the language of cipalities and powers, whether they be in this world or in the one who was the mere instrument of another's will, but of world to come ?
one whose proceedings were guided by his own discretion; Those, indeed, who have considered Daniel's instructor as that conclusion must follow, against which the modern Socino more than a created spirit, have been obliged, for the most nians with so great indignation contend, that created spirits part, in consistency with themselves, to degrade the Arch- are associated with the Almighty in the moral and physical angel Michael also to a level little superior; and to adopt, government of the world. If, however, we suppose that glowith various modifications, that wild and portentous system, rious apparition who conversed with Daniel, and who was which would commit the government of earth and heaven, the fellow-labourer of the Word of God, to be himself no like the empire of Darius son of Hystaspes, to a number of other than the Holy Ghost, the whole perplexed machinery celestial but created deputies.
of tutelar spirits fades away like the shadow of a dream. The It is thus that learned and holy men have unintentionally princes of Pars and of Javan become, according to the obsanctioned the grossest and wildest superstitions, and have vious purport of the expression, the moral governors of Persia built up in their imaginations a hierarchy of tutelary spirits; and Macedon; the resistance which, during one and twenty who watch, as they would teach us, with an active, but often days, the first opposed to the will of Heaven, is the reluctwith an erring zeal, over the insulated and jarring interests of ance exhibited by the government of that country to dismiss individuals and dynasties and nations.
the Jews to their home; the victory which Daniel's InformAll this arose from their opinion who regarded the celestial ant, assisted by Michael, obtained over those evil passions, visitant of Daniel as a created and angelic agent. For, if is meant of that gracious influence, which, joined to the Rehe who spake to the Prophet were an angel, it was concluded deemer's intercession at his Father's throne, overpowered the that the Prince of Persia, whom he had at first supported selfish policy and softened the idolatrous hatred of those lords and with whom he was now to contend, must needs have of Israel's captivity. been an angel also; and that Michael, who aided him in his And of the protection, even in temporal matters, and unquarrel, was another, and a yet more potent celestial satrap, connected, apparently, with the return of the Jews to their (the Vizier, perhaps, of Paradise,) who either interfered mountains, which the providence of God, during a certain with his good offices, or arrived on the field of battle with space, afforded to the Persian empire, the same conversation such an overpowering army of cherubim as might reduce the affords a remarkable instance. In the first year of Darius contumacious provincials to order and obedience.
the Mede, I, even I,” saith the Spirit, “ stood to strengthen If we desire to know the grounds of debate, which thus, him.” “I now return," are his words in another place, " to according to the ancient Fathers, had kindled war in heaven, fight with the Prince of Persia; and when I am gone forth, we may find them laid down with historical precision by the Prince of Grecia will come.' Ephrem Syrus, in his commentary on the present chapter. In this sentence, if we understand the Hebrew particle by “ After the confusion of languages," are his words, “and to signify against or in opposition to, his meaning will be, “ I the division of tribes which took place at Babel, each nation return to renew my gracious influence on the heart of the Perreceived its Angel-Governor; and Michael was the Guardian sian governor, correcting his evil habits and prejudices, and of the Hebrews. This people being captive in Assyria, restraining by my presence the natural excesses of an idolaDaniel prayed for their return after the appointed seventy trous and arbitrary monarch.” But if by be rendered with, years of bondage were accomplished. The Angel of Persia, as on the side of, and favouring his quarrel, it will import that however, opposed the measure, and maintained, on this occa- the Spirit of God was about to assist for a certain
time the sion, a vigorous war against Michael and Gabriel. He empire of Persia, in its triumphant progress over Asia, Thrace desired to detain the Jews at Babylon, because he was glad and Egypt; and that, while his presence abode with the counto have under his jurisdiction a people who worshipped the sels and armies of the king, those counsels and armies should true God, and because he hoped that, in process of time, the be alike irresistible and prosperous. Jews would convert to their faith the nations both of Assyria But, whichever of these interprctations is preferred, what and Persia."
follows can admit of no interpretation but one. “When I How naturally such opinions would lead to the worship- am gone forth, the Prince of Grecia shall come.” As if he ping of angels, has been shown by one of the ablest and had said, “ I now return to that residence which the intermost learned advocates w] Providence has raised up for cession of Michael hath for the present allotted me; I return, the defence of the Catholic faith; and who, both before and to shed light, prosperity and empire on the throne of the sucsince his death, has been, of all others, most honourably dis- cessors of Cyrus, But, when the intentions of the Most tinguished by the rancorous abuse which the enemies of that High are answered, for which that government hath been faith have heaped upon his fame and memory.
raised from obscurity; when their hardness of heart hath a But of such a system the bare enunciation is sufficient to little longer resisted, and their tyrannies have a little longer