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perfection; so 33, cherub, signifies, like a great one, &c. This is the substance of what Mr Hutchinson', with a great deal of learning and judgement, has said upon this subject ; although, indeed, as he himself foresaw, there is little doubt but it will be found fault with, by some who have no relish for such discoveries.
In general it will be allowed, that the cherubim of the tabernacle and of the temple were, by God's order, set up to be an oracle, or sacred adytum, towards which the priest was to present the prayers
of the people, and from which God was to accept their petitions, and give his answers, according to his own gracious promise *; and as Solomon in his dedication prayer observed , that thine eyes may be
open towards this house (the temple) night and • day, toward the place, of which thou hast said, my " name shall be there, that thou mayest hearken to the prayer which thy servant shall make towards this place.' We find too; that over the mercy-seat, between the cherubic faces, there was an appearance, a glorious appearance, as of a man ; and this appearance is what the Jews call the SHECHINAH. As this was the construction of the tabernacle and temple cherubim, it will not be denied, but the cherubim to the east of Eden were the same ; and set up for the same intent, to be the place toward
I See an account of Mr Hutchinson, in the Sketch of Mr Skinner’s Life, 2 Exod. xxv. 22.
3 1 Kings viii. 29.
which prayer was to be made, and worship to God performed. And, since the priesthood in the patriarchal church is acknowledged to have been a right of primogeniture, and to have belonged to the first-born, as long as Adam lived, he was the priest of the most high God; and while his family continued together in the neighbourhood of their first dwelling, it is probable, if not certain, that this cherubic exhibition was the place of worship, or temple of the Adamic church, to which Cain and Abel, “in process of time,' (or as it might be rendered, “ on a set day'), brought their sacrifices; and from which Cain, for his horrid crime of murder and apostacy, was excommunicated, perhaps by his father's sentence as priest, as well as by the punishment of God. • Behold,' says he', “thou hast * driven me out this day from the face of the earth, · and from thy face (the cherubic faces) shall I be hid. And it is said, “Cain went out from the presence (the face) of Jehovah, and dwelt in the • earth-nod,' a fugitive, separated, excommunicated person; not as we read it, ' in the land of Nod, ' as if Nod had been the name of a country to which Cain went.
Upon this schism, or separation of Cain, (for it scems his semoval from the place of worship was an act of his own, as well as a church sentence, and that he never sought to be reconciled by repen
tance), it is probable, idolatry began ; and Cain might have imagined or set up symbols of his own devising, before which his own family and church might worship. The true worship of God was to be found only in the family of Seth; and he, as the first-born next to Cain, would become priest on the death of his father Adam. We accordingly read, that. then, in his days, ' men called on the
name of the Lord,' which is not only a usual phrase for worshipping God in general, but has likewise a particular view, as will be seen hereafter. And, as the true and pure church was in Seth and his successors, so from what we read in the beginning of the sixth chapter of Genesis, it has been thought that Cain's idolatrous and wicked church had multiplied to so great a degree, as to prevail on the church of Seth to mix among them, and have communion with them in their idolatrous worship, as well as in their abominable practices; and that for this universal apostacy and corruption, God brought on the flood, and destroyed them all, except Noah and his family, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord'.
What became of the cherubim at that awful æra of divine vengeance, we know not, any more than what became of Paradise, or what particular change was wrought upon the earth by this universal deluge. No doubt Noah, who was the first
1 Gen. vi. 8.
born', and consequently priest, and who had lived six hundred years before the flood, might have himself seen, or heard from others who had seen it, that the cherubic appearance was a symbol of great importance in, and encouragement to, the worship of Jehovah. For the first thing he does, after leaving the ark*, is to build an altar to the Lord; which, as we have no mention made of precept for his doing so, and as the Lord approved what he did, and accepted his offering, is a strong argument that such had been the custom before the flood; and that he had seen such altars then, for the sacred purpose of worshipping God.
of worshipping God. There was, however, a Ham in his family, as there was a Cain in Adam's; and it was from an idolatrous imagination that the project of the tower of Babel was formed. This tower was designed for a temple, and for a separate worship, divided from, and independent upon, the true worship among the children of Heber. “Go * to,' say they, let us build a city and a tower, ' whose top may be sacred, may reach to the hea* vens, and let us make us a name,' in opposition to the name Jehovah, which the true church worshipped, and of which we shall take some further notice as we proceed. This idolatrous project was soon disappointed, and instead of paying their devotion to one idol, as they designed by their union
i St. Peter calls Noah a preacher of righteousness, a well-known title of M м ah.
2 Peter ii. s. 2 Gen. viii. 20.
3 Gen, xi.
among themselves', 'the people being one, and
having one language or worship, they, by the just judgement of God, fell off into a confusion of worships: and from this dispersion at Babel, proceeded all the different idolatries and kinds of worship, as well as the different languages of after times. In consequence of this, and in order that a true church and a pure worship might be preserved, God called Abram, as a chosen person for that purpose. And here again, as in the case of Noah, we find it was among Abram's first actions after his departure out of idolatrous Haran, to build an altar", and call upon the name of the Lord. This first tent and altar was between Bethel and Hai; a second tent and altar he built on the plains of Mamre? Again he planted a grove, an action of a sacred import, and to the same intent with building an altar, in Beersheba, and called upon
the name of the Lord. After his death, his son Isaac, the son of the promise, dwelt frequently in some of his father's old habitations, and had therefore the use of the altars which he had made. Only oncé at Beersheba, where Abrahamn had planted a grove, we read that Isaac pitched his tent, and built an altars. In the history of Jacob, we have frequent testimonies of his zeal in this respect; as in his first journey to Padan-aram”,
1 Gen. xi. 6. 3 xiii. 18.
2 Gen. xii. 8.
6 xxvi. 25. 6 Gen, xxviii. 18.
4 xxi. 33.