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earth. But I say, except this, we have no example of any appearance of the divine Majesty in human shape, or in any other manner whatsoever.

That therefore we must distinguish this from the subject we are now entering upon, for that the appearances of God are extremely different from the apparitions of creatures, whether angels, devils, or souls of men. That the question is not, whether God can do this or that; but whether the spirits, spirits inferior, can do it: and, which is yet more to our purpose, suppose it has been so formerly, and in ancient times, whether they do continue to do so still, or have power to do it, let the occasion be what it will.

Thus the inquiry is reduced to a narrower compass. I take upon me the affirmative ; and we are now to look back into time for the confirmation or proof of it, and by inquiring what has been, inform ourselves of what may be, is, or is to be expected, as occasion may require.

And first, to describe the thing, and explain what is generally understood by the apparition of spirit; that I may not hold you in suspense, or criticise upon the bare words 'spirit' and 'apparition,' I come plainly to the meaning, as I am to be understood in this work: by apparition of spirits then, I mean, when the invisible inhabitants of the unknown world, be they who they will, assume human shapes, or other shapes, and show themselves visibly to us, so as that we can see them, speak to them, hear them speak, and the like.

This is what our people vulgarly call walking ; and when any such thing appears, they know not what otherwise to call it, they say, something walks; and if it be the

appearance of

any
known

person lately dead, they say, such a one walks.

Thus I lay everything down with the utmost plainness, that I may leave the reader in no uncertainty about my meaning in the subject I am upon, or give room for cavilings or disputings, at either the thing itself, or the manner of expressing it,

We speak in vain
Of truth itself, unless we speak it plain.
Words wrapt in clouds, till their full meaning's known,
Such words are not the hearer's, but our own.
The end of speaking's lost
For speech was given to be understood.

Asking pardon for giving this loose to my thoughts, I return to the subject, lest I should be but an apparition myself.

The apparitions I am to speak of are these.
1. The appearance of angels.
2. Of devils.
3. Of the departed souls of men.

These are those, whom we mean by the inhabitants of the invisible world, or worlds; the world of spirits, and the superior beings, who are said to converse with the spirits embodied, by vision or apparition, or any other superior way.

By apparition also I am to understand such appearances of these superior beings, as are spontaneous and voluntary, or at least so far as relates to us; that is to say, I distinguish between those apparitions which appear

of their own accord, or by superior mission and authority, and those which that dark race of people among us, who would be called magicians, talk of; spirits, or things called spirits, which are raised, as we foolishly call it, by the arts of men; by witchcraft, sorcery, magic, and such other infernal arts, as are, or have been made use of for that purpose; and by which they tell us spirits are called down from the superior regions (or wherever their abode has been) to show themselves visibly, speak to, and converse with mankind, answer questions, foretell events, and the like; as Samuel is said to be brought to appear to Saul,

1 Sam. xxviii. 14. How far these magicians, witches, and other dealers in these dark things, have or have not power to cause such appearances, and to form apparitions; and how far they impose upon, and delude the world in it, that I may speak of it by itself, and indeed it well deserves consideration. But for the present, I say, I am talking of another kind of apparitions.

H. A.

с

CHAP. II.

Of the appearance of angels immediately in mission

as from heaven ; and why we are to suppose those

kinds of apparitions are at an end. THAT angels have appeared to men, we have abundant testimony in the histories of times past, as well sacred as profane; nor shall I spend one moment of your time to examine or confirm it, except as it comes necessarily in by the occasion of other discourse: for it is not the appearance of angels as such, but the appearance of angels in the shape of men, that is the present inquiry.

That this has been, is evident, and in general the Scripture gives this testimony to it: when the apostle advises to hospitality, and to entertain strangers, he adds, For thereby some have entertained angels unawares ; Heb. xiii. 2. This must be meant of angels in human shape, otherwise the hospitable person could not be mistaken in such a manner : besides, it plainly refers to Abraham, Gen. xviii. 1. sitting in the door of his tent, ver. 2. three men stood by him ; two of these were certainly angels; who the third was, I have shown already. It may likewise include Lot, in whose story, Gen. xix. it is expressed, ver. 1. that they were two angels, and ver. 8. Lot calls them these men, and ver. 10, 12, 16. they are called the men; so that Lot believed them to be men only, and as such he not only invited them unto his house, ver. 2. but he made them a feast, and they did eat,

ver. 3.

These apparitions of angels, in the shape of men, are undeniable on other occasions; but when they appear as angels, it is said so plainly, and in so many words; as in the case of Abraham, when he was going to offer his son Isaac, Gen. xxii. 11: The angel of the Lord called to Abraham out of heaven; and again ver. 15: The angel of the Lord called the second time.

There are innumerable examples of angels appearing as angels; but we are upon the appearance of angels as men, and in the shape and habit of men. The next instance is, of an angel appearing to Joshua, and who is called the captain of the Lord's host, Josh. v. 13: Joshua looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him, with a sword drawn in his hand. Immediately Joshua, soldier-like, gives him the qui vive, or in English, who are you for? art thou for us, or for our adversaries ? and the spectre or apparition spoke immediately again, ver. 14. and then Joshua perceived that it was not a man, but an angel in apparition; and in the heads or contents of the chapter, it is expressly said, An angel appears to Joshua.

Another example is, of the angel that appeared to Manoah the father of Sampson; his wife indeed, calls him a man of God, and that he appeared to her ; but says, that his countenance was like an angel of God, very terrible; Judges xiii. 6. But still, when he appeared a second time, it was in the shape of a man, or else why did Manoah desire him to stay till he could dress a kid for him ? and the words are express, ver. 16: He knew not that it was an angel of the Lord.

There are other examples in Scripture, where the angels have appeared in human shape, and conversed with men upon earth, besides such as have appeared in their real angelic form as angels. How and in what they were known to be angels, in what form they have been seen, and in what voice they

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