תמונות בעמוד

Solomon's ten lavers for the temple had their several bases adorned in the border between the ledges with lions, oxen and cherubs, 1 Kings vii. 29. so that here a cherub seems to be mentioned instead of the face of a man, and to be distinguished from an ox, though in Ezekiel's vision chap. i. and x. the face of a cherub is plainly the same with the face of an ox. Yet on the plates of the ledges were cherubims, lions, and palm-trees; 1 Kings vii. 36. where neither the face of an ox or man is mentioued.

Perbaps these differences may be in some measure reconciled if we observe that these cherubs which adorned the walls of Ezekiel's visionary temple, and of Solomon's real temple, and the borders of the brazen lavers, are only graven or carved upon the flat or plane, or at least with some little protuberance above the flat, which the Italians call Basso Relievo : And then that figure wbich would have had all four faces visible if it had stood forth by itself as a real animal, or a statue, namely, that of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, can have but two faces visible, or three at the most, when figured upon a plain or flat surface; the other one or two being hid behind : And thus the cherubs may be in all these places the same four-faced animals, and yet only two or three of their faces appear according to their designed situation and the art of perspective. And perhaps Solomon might diversify these figures for the sake of variety in different parts of these sacred works.

Upon the whole, what if we should conclude a cherub to be most usually figured with a body like a man with four wings, two whereof are stretched for fligbt, and two covering the lower parts; with the feet of an ox or calf ; with the head of a man or an ox, wbatever other faces were joined to it whether lions' or eagles, or whether it had any other face or no. It is more likely there was but one sort of face belonged to each of the two cherubs on the mercy-soat, because it is said, their faces looked toward oire another, but whether this was the face of an ox or a man is not yet absolutely determined.

I think we may allow Jeroboam to be supposed to imitate these cherubs which were on the mercy-seat in his idolatrous worship; and though they had the perfect shape of a calf, yet they might be called calves in scripture language, by way of reproach and contempt, because they had the feet of a caif, if not the head also.

It is the opinion of some learned men that Ezekiel's temple was but a kind of a repetition of the pattern of the same people which God gave to David, and by which Solomon built his temple. And that this pattern was given to Eze. kiel that he might shew it to the Jews, if they were pious and obedient, to anima'e them to hope for another temple in their own land, and instruct them in the building of it when they should be released from Babylon; Ez k. xl. 4. and xlii. 10. 11. since it was supposed none reinained who could remember so inuch of their old lemple as to give particular directions for the building of it,

It is evident that Aaron's idol, which was called the golden calf, had wore of the resemblance of an ox or calf than of a man, because the Israelites are said to change their glory, that is, their God, into the siinilitude of an ox that eateth grass ; Ps. cvi. 19, 20. which would hardly have been thus exprest if the idol had nothing of a calf but its feet.

If any will imagine that in Ps. xviii. where God is said to ride upon a cherub, the grandeur and terror of the appearance may require the whole figure of a flying ox rather than of a flying man, or rather of a flying animal with all these four faces, I will pot oppose it, since it is plain from this whole account that a cherub is described sometimes more like a winged ox and sometimes more like a wioged man with feet like oxen or calves. But where it is represented complete in all its various forms united as in the first and tenth chapters of Ezekiel, it seems to be the body of a winged man with calves' feet, and with four faces, namely, that of a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle; and thus it is always desigued to represent the various properties of angels, which are attendants upon the blessed God, more perfectly than any one of these creatures could do alone.

Perhaps when the Jewish nation shall be converted and becume believers in Christ, there may be such a new effusion of the Spirit on men, or such a happy discovery some way made of the darker parts of the Mosaic economy and the writings of the prophets, as may shew us much inore of the resemblance which God designed between the types of the law in the temple and priesthood, and their antitypes in the gospel, than bas .ever yet appeared ; and among other things the form of a cherub, as an attendance of angelic beings (on the majesty of God in the holy of holies, may appear more conspicuously in its original truth and glory. XXI.-The Author's solemn Address to the great and ever

blessed God on' a Review of what he had written in the Trinitarian Controversy, prefixed by him to some Pieces on that Subject, which it was not judged necessary to publish.

RIGHTEOUS art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee; yet I may talk with thee concerning thy judgments. Permit me, O my God and Father, to plead with thee concerning the revelations of thy nature and thy grace, which are made in thy gospel : And let me do it with all that humble reverence, and ihat holy awe of thy Majesty, which becomes a creature in the presepoe of bis God.

Hast thou not, O Lord God Almighty, hast thou not transacted thy divine and important affairs among men by thy Son Jesus Cbrist, and by thy holy Spirit ? and hast thou not ordained that inen sliould transact their bighest and most momentous coucerns wille VOL. IX.


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thee, hy thy Son and by thy Spirit ? Hast thou not, by the mouth of thy Son Jesus, required all that profess his religion to be washed with water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost ? Is not my duty then, to enquire, who or what are these sacred names and what they signify ? Must I not know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ thy Son, whom thou hast sent, that I may fulfil all my respective duties towards thyself and tlıy Son, in bope of eternal life? Hath not thy Son himself appealed to thee in his last prayer, that eternal life depends upon this knowledge ? And since thou hast made so much use of thy holy Spirit in our religion, must I not have some knowledge of this ihy Spirit also, that I may pay thee all those honours thou requirest from this divine revelation?

Hast thou not ascribed divine names, and titles, and characters to thy Son and thy holy Spirit in thy word, as well as assumed them to thyself? And bast thou not appointed to tbem such glorious offices as cannot be executed without something of divinity or true godhead in them? And yet art not thou, and thou alone, the true God ? How shall a poor weak creature be able to adjust and reconcile these clashing ideas, and to understand this mystery? Or must I believe and act blindfold, witb. out understanding?

Holy Father, thou knowest, how firmly I believe, with all my soul, whatsoever thou hast plainly written and revealed in thy word. I believe thee to be the only true God, the supreme of beings, self-sufficient for tbine own existence, and for all thy infinite affairs and transactions among creatures. I believe thy Son Jesus Christ to be all-sufficient for the glorious work of mediation between God and man, to which thou hast appointed bim. I believe he is a man, in whom dwells all the fulness of the godhead bodily. I believe be is one with God; he is God manifested in the flesh; and that the Man Jesus is so closely and inseparably united with the true and eternal godhead, as to become one persoll, even as the human soul and body make one man.

I believe that this illustrious person is hereby possessed of divine dignity, sufficient to make full atonement for the sins of men by bis sufferings and death, even though sio be accounted an infinite evil; and that he hath all-sufficient power to raise bimself from the deaci, to ascend to beaven, and fulfil the blessed works for which thou hast exalted bin), and to govern and judge the world in thine appointed time.

I believe also thy blessed Spirit bath almighty power and influence to do all thy will, to instruct men effectually in divine truths, to change the hearts of fallen mankind from sin to holiness, to carry on thy work of illumination, sanctification, and con. solation on the souls of all thy children, and to bring them safe to the heavenly world. I yield myself up joyfully and thankfully to this method of thy salvation, as it is revealed in thy gospel

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But I acknowledge my darkness still. I want to have this wonderful doctrine of the all-sufficience of thy Son and Spirit, for these divine works, made a little plainer. May not thy bumble creature be permitted to know what share they can have in thy deity? Is it a vain and sinful curiosity to desire to have this article set in such a light, as may not diminish the eternal glory of the unity of the true God, nor of the supremacy of Thee the Father of all.

Hadst thou joformed me, gracious Father, in any place of tby word, that this divine doctrine is not to be understood by men, and yet they were required to believe it, I would have subdued all my curiosity to faith, and submitted my wandering and doubtful imaginations, as far as it was possible, to the holy and wise determinations of thy word. But I cannot find thou hast any where forbid me to understand it, or to make these enquiries. My conscience is the best natural light thou hast put within me, and since thou hast given me the scriptures, my own conscience bids me search the scriptures, to find out truth and eternal life. It bide me try all things, and hold fast that which is good. And thy own word, by the same expressions, encourages this boly practice. I have, therefore, been long searching into this divine doctrine, that I may pay thee due bonour with understanding. Sure I ought to know the God whom I wor. ship, whether he be one pure and simple being, or whether thou art a threefold deity, consisting of the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit.

Dear and blessed God, hadst thou been pleased, in any one plain scripture, to have informed me which of the different opi vions about the holy Trinity, among the contending parties of christians, had been true, thou kpowest with how much zeal, satisfaction, and joy my unbiassed heart would have opened itself to receive and embrace the divine discovery. Hadst thou told me plainly, in any single text, that the Father, Son, and boly Spirit, are three real distinct Persons in thy divine nature, I had never suffered myself to be bewildered in so many doubts, nor embarrassed with so many strong fears of assenting to the mere inventions of men, instead of divine doctrine; but I should have humbly and immediately accepted thy words, so far as it was possible for me to understand them as the only rule of my faith? Or, badst thou been pleased so to express and include this proposition in the several scattered parts of thy book, from whence my reason and conscience might with ease find out, and with certainty infer this doctrine, I should have joyfully employed all iny reasoning powers, with their utmost skill and activity, to have found out this inference, and ingrafted it into my soul.

Thou hast taught me, holy Father, by thy prophets, that the way of holiness in the times of the gospel, or under the kingdom of

the Messiah, will be an high-way, a plain and easy path ; so that the warfaring man, or the stranger, though a fool, shall not err therein. And thou hast called the poor and the ignorant, the mean and foolish things of this world, to the knowledge of thyself and thy Son, and taught them to receive and partake of the salvation which thou hast provided. But how can such weak creatures ever take in so strange, so difficult, and so abstruse a doctrine as this; in the explication and defence whereof, multitudes of men, even men of learning and piety, have lost themselves in infinite subtilties of dispute, and endless mazes of darkness? And can this strange and perplexing notion of three real Persons going to make up one true God, be so necessary and so important a part of that christian doctrine, which, in the Old Testament and the New, is represented as so plain and so easy, even to the meanest understandings ?

O thou Searcher of hearts who knowest all things, I appeal to thee, concerning the sincerity of my enquires into these discoveries of thy word. Thou koowest me, thou hast seen me, and bast tried my heart towards thee : if there be any lurking bypocrisy in my heart, any secret bias towards any thing but truth, uncover it, O Father of lights, and banish it from my soul for ever. If thine eye discovers the least spark of criminal prejudice in any corner of my soul, extinguish it utterly, that I may not be led astray from the truth, in matters of such importance, by the least glance of error or mistake.

Thou art witness, O my God, with what diligence, with what constancy and care, I have read and searched thy holy word, bow early and late, by night and by day, I have been making these enquiries. How fervently have I been seeking thee on my bended knees, and directing my huinble addresses to thee, to enlighten my darkness, and to shew me the ineaning of thy word, that I way learu what I must believe, and what I must practise with regard to this doctrine, in order to please thee, and obtain eternal life!

Great God, who seest all things, thou hast beheld what busy temptations have been often futtering about my beart, to call it off from these laborious and difficult enquiries, and to give up thy word and thy gospel as an unintelligible book, and betake thyself to the light of nature and reason : but thou hast been pleased by thy divine power to scatter these temptations, and fix my heart and iny hope again upon that Saviour and that eternal life, which thou hast revealed in thy word, and proposed therein, to our knowledge and our aeceptance. Blessed be the name of my God, that has uot suikered me to abandon the gospel of his Son Jesus! and blessed be that holy Spirit that has kept me attentive to the truth delivered in thy gospel, and inclined me to wait longer in my search of these divine truths under the bope of thy gracious illumination.

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