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dispensations, so he will be found to have appeared in a human form under all of them.
1. Unless I be much inistaken, his first visible descent took place, when a mysterious Deliverer was predicted who should bruise the head of the serpent.
(1.) We are told, that upon this occasion our first parents heard the Voice of the Lord God walking in the garden."
Now both the attributed sound of footsteps, and the subsequent action of making coats of skins and then clothing the guilty pair with such habiliments, seem almost necessarily to imply the presence of a visible and substantial being : * but, that a person of this description was then present, may be additionally inferred from the peculiar mode of expression which the inspired perman has been led to adopt. He says, that what Adam and Eve heard was the Voice of the God Jehovah walking in the garden. But the construction of the Hebrew original, as the Rabbins justly remark, leads us most naturally to suppose, that the participle walking agrees with the substantive Voice and not with the substantive Jehovah : hence they contend, that the footsteps, which were heard, were the footsteps of a person denominated the
Voice. Now, according to the Targumists, this Voice of Jehovah is the same being as the Word of Jeho
Gen. iii. 8.
Gen. iii. 21. 3. Vox enim est res illa, de qua dicitur, quod ambulaverit in horto. Maimon. Mor. Nevoch. par. i. c. 24.
vah : for they agree in paraphrastically expressing the passage under consideration, They heard the Word of the God Jehovah walking in the garden; and one of them somewhat more copiously would interpret it, They heard the voice of the Word of the God Jehovah. That by the Word they meant a person, is abundantly clear, both from the general mode in which they use the term, and from the particular context of the place now before us as it occurs in the Jerusalem Targum: for the author of that paraphrase begins the next verse in the following manner; And the Word of the God Jehovah called unto Adam, as if such was the sense in which we ought to understand the more brief original. And the God Jehovah called unto Adam.' Agreeably to this view of the passage, the author of the Tzeror Hammor remarks upon it; Before they sinned, they saw the Glory of the blessed God speaking with God: but, after their sin, they only heard the Voice walking. Here we have no room for asserting the existence of any ambiguity. The Voice is not only declared to be the person that was heard walking; but the Voice, which walked, is evidently the same as the Glory which is said to have previously spoken with God. We have already seen however, that the Word of Jehovah or the Angel of Jehovah is acknowledged by the Jews no less than by Christians to be the predicted Messiah : for, however they may differ
Gen. iii. 9.
as to the character of Jesus of Nazareth, they agree in maintaining the Word and the Messiah to be one and the same person. The result therefore is, that the visible manifestation of Jehovah immediately after the fall must have been a corporeal manifestation of the only-begotten Son : for no man hath seen God the Father at any time.
(2.) Various reasons might be assigned for our believing, that Adam and Eve were not left in ignorance as to the character of their celestial judge and visitant; but that they were taught the important truth, that the identical person, whom their eyes beheld under a human form, would hereafter be born into the world under the same form as the promised Seed of the woman.
Without some such revelation, it is difficult to conceive, how the patriarchs could have had any prospective faith in Christ, which were at all suitable to the condition of a fallen creature : for to a fallen creature no faith can be suitable, but that which involves the doctrine of an atonement. We are assured however, that the elders obtained a good report by the very faith of the gospel itself: for, in the long enumeration of them given by St. Paul, analogy requires us to suppose that he is speaking of the same faith as equally existing in them all; but the faith of Moses is expressly declared to be a prospective faith in Christ; therefore the faith of the other patriarchs must have had an exactly similar object.' Now this pro
! Heb. xi. 1, 2, 24, 25.
spective faith they could not have had, except through the medium of a revelation sufficiently explicit to serve as a basis of it. Hence I conclude, that they must have had some such revelation explanatory of the first-made promise.
In favour of this opinion might be largely urged the universal establishment of vicarious piacular sacrifice, associated even in the gentile world with some very extraordinary notions respecting a divine victim : but I content myself at present with pointing out that remarkable exclamation of Eve on the nativity of her first-born, which is wholly voaccountable except on the hypothesis of some explanatory revelation. In our common English version, she is made to say; I have gotten a man from the Lord: but this is not an accurate translation of the original, where no word occurs which' answers to the preposition from. The term, which is so rendered, is in reality a substantive, denoting the very essence of a thing, and minutely corresponding with our pronoun-substantive self. Hence the true purport of the exclamation is ; I have gotten (not a man, but) the man, eden Jehovah his very self: as the Latins would say ; Acquisivi virum istum, nempe Jehovam ipsissimum. Such, accordingly, is the manner, in which the old Paraphrast understands the passage: and we may be sure, that his exposition would never have been received by his countrymen, unless it had accorded with the general sentiments of the Jews his contemporaries. He expounds the whole verse, after the following very remarkable manner. And Adam knew his wife Eve, who desired the
Angel : and she conceived, and bare Cain : and she said, I have obtained the man, the Angel of Jehovah.' Now we have already seen, that the ancient Jews acknowledged the Angel of Jehovah to be the same person as the Messiah. The paraphrast therefore plainly understands the passage to denote, that Eve expected the immediate birth of the promised Seed in a human form, and that she knew this promised Seed would be that Angel or Word of Jehovah who had recently conversed with her husband and herself under the visible and tangible figure of a man."
2. It is probable, that various appearances of a similar nature took place during the earlier period of the Patriarchal dispensation, particularly when God conversed with Noah immediately before and immediately after the deluge: but the brief history of those remote times. forbids us to adduce any specific instance. That such manifestations however were numerous, we may infer, both from the gentile traditions that in the infancy of the world the gods were often wont to converse with mortals in a human form, and from a remarkable superstition which entered largely into the very essence of Paganism. In consequence of the several appearances of the Angel of Jehovah, Nimrod, when he excogitated an apostate state religion to subserve his ambitious projects of universal domination, gave out, that each of the great patriarchs, and himself among the rest, was a de
See Jamieson's Vindic. book i. c. 5. 2 See this point more fully discussed in my Orig. of Pagan Idol. book vi. c. 6.