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privileges themselves are given to the christian church, and continued with it, which were only typified and set forth by those symbols under the church of the Jews.
There remains, however, one article to be taken notice of, which constituted, indeed, the principal splendour of the Jewish tabernacle ; and that article is the divine Presence or Glory, above the mercyseat, between the cherubim, which the Jews, by a particular title, term the SHECHINAH, and which St Paul' calls the cherubiin of glory. Of this, therefore, which was not only the honour of the Mosaic economy, but at the same time the chief foundation-stone of the more glorious fabric of christianity, it is chiefly my intention at present to treat; so that, if it can be made to appear from scripture, that this Shechinah was still visible, while Christ our Messiah was upon earth; in other words, that Christ himself was this Shechinah, it may be of use, if not to convert or convince any of the apostate Jews, yet to instruct and satisfy christian believers in the divine origin of their most noble and excellent faith.
In order that I may be enabled to throw a somewhat clearer light on a point of such infinite importance, and which has hitherto been but slightly discussed by theological writers, I hope I shall be
excused if I go back to the original of things; and even introduce some observations, which, tho' at first sight they may appear foreign to my subject, will yet, upon a little closer attention, be found both necessary and intimately connected with it. In the course of these olvservations, if there shall be any thing advanced which may give offence to a certain fastidious class of readers, as no doubt may happen, I have only to plead that no offence was meant; assuring them, that if they really wish for conviction in a discussion so important, they have only to take the original language of scripture for their guide; where, by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, they may rest assured of deriving profit as well as pleasure, so far as profit may arise from sound and salutary instruction.
• In endeavouring to shew, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was and is the Shechinah, or divine glory, exhibited between the cherubim, the reader must bear with me patiently, while I go back to the first institution of these cherubim, and see whether the holy scriptures afford us any light in the discovery of what they were. But, as the first account which we have of this cherubic exhibition is immediately upon the expulsion of man out of Paradise; the history and nature of this delectable garden will not improperly become the object of our first enquiry. .
After having fully described the creation or for.
mation of man, the sacred historian proceeds to inform us ', that the Lord God planted a garden
in Eden eastward.'. This description would seem to imply that it was some extraordinary place, from the particular account of its original, and of God's bestowing, as it were, more pains upon it than even upon the formation of the light itself; which, if we may venture so to speak, cost him but a single word. Hence in scripture we sometimes find it alluded to as denoting pleasantness and delight *, and described in a peculiar manner as the garden of Jehovah; an expression, which implies that it had some eminent relation to Jehovah, and was a place properly sacred to God. Thus we say, the Lord's house, the Lord's day, and the like ; to signify, that although all houses, all days, &c. be' by right of property the Lord's, yet some there are, which being consecrated, dedicated, set apart to Him and his worship, do thereby become his in a more eminent and distinguished manner. And so here, this garden, this paradise, must have been, above the rest of the earth, a consecrated place, serving the purpose of a tabernacle or temple, designed and set apart for worshipping the Jehovah Aleim, “the Lord God.' Into this garden did the Lord God put man', as into a sacred grove, to employ his mind in divine meditations, to feed and VOL. II.
1 Gen, ii. 8. .. ..
3 Gen. ii. 8. 15.
delighit his soul with spiritual knowledge, ' to dress • it and keep it,' says our English translation; but according to the meaning of the original Hebrew, more properly to worship, be a religious disciple, „serve God and keep his covenant, in it.
In this sacred inclosure, grove, or tabernacle, Jehovah set up and instituted emblems of his own presence, and symbols of spiritual blessings, to come fort man's heart, and direct him to the true foun. tain of all comfort and knowledge. Of this sort, and to this purpose, was the river so particularly described' and alluded to in many places of holy writ, especially in the book of Psalms . There
is a river, the streams whereof shạll make glad • the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle • of the Most High, Again », • Bless ye God in the • congregations, the Lord from the fountain of Isra
ele? And still more particularly “, • Thou shalt • make them drink of' (originally pun tashkem, * thou shalt water them with) the river of thy plea
sures, literally of thy Eden, for with thee is the fountain of life. To this river of paradise the Jewish prophet Ezekiel had a clear retrospect, in his vision of the holy waters s; and our christian · prophet St John had also a similar typical vision - And he shewed me a pure river of water
i Gen. ii. 10–14.
2 Psal. xlvi. 4.
of life, proceeding out of the throne of God.' And, that this paradisaital river was an emblem of spiritual blessings, is evident from several passages in scripture, where such blessings are denoted or held forth under the type of water, ask • With joy
shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.' ** Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the * waters.'_** My people have forsaken me the * fountain of living waters,' &c. ** He that believ* eth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of * his belly shall flow rivers of living waters; but * this spake he of the spirit,' &c. and “* The water, * that I shall give, shall be in him a well of water * springing up to everlasting life.' And from this original use of water, according to its institution in Paradise, it is, that water, both in the Jewish times, and more signally under the gospel, became the symbol of washing or purification, and was chosen by our blessed Lord' to be the element of the christian sacrament of baptism, by which we are spiritually washed, purified, and regenerated. Very probably too, the primitive Jews had a view to this symbolical signification of water, when in their eucharistical cup, or cup of blessing, after eating the passover, they not only had a custom, 2 D
* Isaiah xii. 3. : 2 Isaiah lv. 1.
4 St Joba vii. 38.
6 St John iv. 14.