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he saw his glory and spake of him.” St. John had just alleged that particular prophecy of Isaiah, which is introduced with the description of the vision in the year of Uzziah's death. This prophecy the evangelist applies to Christ, the only person of whom he treats in this place ; subjoining to his citation of Isaiah's words, -" These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” It was Christ's glory, therefore, that Esaias saw; and to him whose glory he saw the prophet gives the name of Jehovah, and the worshipping angels gave the name of JEHOVAH God of Sabaoth. Again, the prophet Joel, speaking of the blessings of the Messiah's day, saith, — “ And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord,” in the original “ JEHovah," “ shall be delivered.” Here, again, the Holy Spirit hath vouchsafed to be his own interpreter; and his interpretation, one would think, might be decisive. St. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, alleges this passage of Joel to prove that all men shall be saved by believing in Christ Jesus. But how is the apostle's assertion, that all men shall be saved by faith in Christ, confirmed by the prophet's promise of deliverance to all who should devoutly invocate Jehovah, unless Christ were, in the judgment of St. Paul, the Jehovah of the prophet Joel ?
From the few passages which have been produced, - more, indeed, might be collected to the same purpose, - but from these few, I doubt not but it sufficiently appears to you that the promised Messiah is described by the more ancient prophets, as by Malachi in the text, as no other than the Everlasting God, the JEHovah of the Israelites, — that Almighty God whose hand hath laid the foundations of the earth, whose right hand hath spanned the heavens, – that jealous God who giveth not his glory to another, and spareth not to claim it for himself. These explicit assertions of the Jewish prophets deserve the serious attention of those zealous and active champions of the Arian and Socinian tenets who have within these few years become so numerous in this country; and who, as they cannot claim the honour of any new inventions in divinity (for their corruptions were indeed the produce of an early age), are content to acquire a secondary fame by defending old errors with unexampled rashness. They are said to have gone so far in their public discourses as to bestow on Christ our Lord the opprobious appellation of the “ Idol of the Church of England." Let it be remembered, that he who is called the Idol of our church is the God who was worshipped in the Jewish temple. They have the indiscretion, too, to boast the antiquity of their disguised and mutilated scheme of Christianity; and tell their deluded followers with great confidence, that the divinity of the Saviour is a doctrine that was never heard of in the church till the third or fourth century, and was the invention of a dark and superstitious age. This assertion, were it not clearly falsified, às happily it is, by the whole tenour of the apostolical writings, would cause a more extensive ruin than they seem to apprehend : it would not so much overturn any single article of doctrine, such as men may dispute about, and yet be upon the whole believers,— it would cut up by the roots the whole faith in Christ. Mahomet well understood this: he founded his own pretensions prudently, however impiously, on a denial of the Godhead of Christ. “ There is one God," said Mahomet, “ who was not begotten, and who ne
ver did beget.” If the Father did not beget, their Christ is not God; for he pretended not to be the Father: if he claimed not to be God, he claimed not to be the person which the Messiah is described to be by the Jewish prophets : if Christ was not Messiah, the Messiah may come after Christ : if he was a prophet only, a greater prophet may succeed. Thus, Christ's divinity being once set aside, there would be room enough for new pretensions. Mahomet, it should seem, was an abler divine than these halfbelievers. With the pernicious consequence, however, of their rash assertion, they are not justly chargeable : they mean not to invalidate the particular claims of Jesus of Nazareth as a prophet, and the Deliverer promised to the Jews; but they would raise an objection to the notion of a plurality of persons in the undivided substance of the Godhead. They are particularly unfortunate in choosing for the ground of their objection this imaginary circumstance of the late rise of the opinion they would controvert. Would to God they would but open their eyes to this plain historical fact, of which it is strange that any men of learning should be ignorant, and which will serve to outweigh all the arguments of their erroneous metaphysics, -- that the Divinity of the Messiah was no new doctrine of the first preachers of Christianity, much less the invention of any later age : it was the original faith of the ancient Jewish church, delivered, as I have shown you, by her prophets, embraced and acknowledged by her doctors, six hundred years and more before the glorious era of the incarnation. Nor was it even then a novelty : it was the creed of believers from the beginning; as it was typified in the symbols of the most ancient patriarchal worship. The cherubim of glory, afterwards placed in the sanctuary of the Mosaic temple, and of Solomon's temple, had been originally placed in a tabernacle on the east of the garden of Eden, immediately after the fall. These cherubim were figures emblematical of the Trine persons in the Godhead, - of the mystery of redemption by the Son's atonement, and of the subjection of all the powers of nature, and of all created things, animate and inanimate, to the incarnate God.
This, therefore, is the first character under which the person is described whose coming is foretold, that of the Lord JEHOVAH of the Jewish temple. Other characters follow, not less worthy of notice. The prosecution, therefore, of the subject demands a separate discourse.
Malachi, iii. 1, 2.
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. But who may abide the day of his coming ? and
who shall stand when he appeareth ?
Although the words of my text are too perspicuous in their general sense and meaning to need elucidation, yet the characters by which the person is described whose coming is announced, and the particulars of the business upon which he is said to come, deserve a minute and accurate explication. The first character of the person, that he is the Lord of the Jewish temple, has already been considered. It has been shown to be agreeable to the descriptions which had been given of the same person by the earlier prophets; who unanimously ascribe to him both the attributes and works of God, and frequently mention him by God's peculiar name,
“ JEHOVAH ; ” which, though it be the proper and incommunicable name of God, is not exclusively the name of the Almighty Father, but equally belongs indifferently to every per