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fied the Mosaic books by such standing miracles, unless the facts contained in them, were substantially true.
Although we are abundantly satisfied that the evidence cited is sufficient to establish their validity and authority; it is thought it may be well, as the truth of the doctrine we are labouring, rests very considerably on Mosaic support, to briefly remark, that there is much subsequent and rational testimony for us. The nation of the Jews, and their lost tribes, and dispersion amongst all nations, remains a monument, a living and continued witness, not only of the truths contained in the writings of Moses, but likewise of the truths contained in the books of the Jewish prophets; for except the ten tribes they remain as foretold, a distinct people unto this day; witnessing to all people of the truths of the threatenings of God against that people, contained in the last book of Moses, and in the books of the prophets; which threatenings were on condition of their disobedience.
If the premises and facts above stated, can be relied upon, we have a true history of the creation of the world, and all things contained in it, and that God created man in his own image, and placed him in the garden, eastward in Eden, and all things that transpired at that period respecting man are correctly handed down to us. And in that spot, and at that period, we have one of the first and most substantial promises of a sayior, to bruise the serpent's head.
CHAPTER XII. Of our Lord's Divinity, and pre-existent personal existence, &c."
NOTWITHSTANDING the evidences which may be derived from the scriptures in favour of our Lord's real divinity in his pre-existent state, many have doubted whether he had any personal existence, until he came in the flesh.
Others have doubted whether he possessed a .. nature superior to that of an angelic, or superangelic kind.
Neither ought we to wonder, for John tells us ... < the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” And we may be sure in all cases, that light comprehends darkness, but darkness never comprehends light. It is astonishing, to see that darkness hath prevailed in every age, notwithstanding all the displays of divine light and power, which God has made under the law and gospel.
Stephen informs us why this thing existedhe saith, “ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost : as your fathers did, so do ye.” And these words were very well applied, and always will apply for three reasons—Ist, It is a natural consequence in all cases, when the enlightened and softening influences of the Holy Ghost are resisted, that darkness and hardness of heart follows; for it is by the enlightening influence of
the divine spirit, that we behold and know tire things of God. &d, And it is equally as true that it is the softening influence of the divine spirit, and that alone, that can soften and change the obdurate heart. 3dly, Stephen referred to an astonishing instance of that kind, of their fathers in the wilderness, " they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifices unto the idol, and rejoiced in
the works of their own hands. Then God turn?;. ed, and gave them up to worship the hosts of
heaven; and it is written in the book of the prophets." " Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your God Remphan, figures which ye made, to worship them; and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.”
How astonishing is it to behold a nation, running into idolatry, when the glory of God was visible in a miraculous manner, even to the natural eye. The glory of God had not yet left the Mount, and they had heard the trumpet of God with their own ears; and no doubt they heard the voice of God, which spake to Moses; and before Moses came down from the mount, they had made a golden calf in imitation of Apis the Egyptian god, and were worshipping the works of their own hands, and were proclaiming, these are the gods that brought us up out of Egypt.
It did not end here--they “took up the tabernacle of Moloch” which was a small portable chapel in which was the image of their God. Moloch was the planet Mars, which they worshipped under a human shape. Remphan, that is, Saturn, they represented by a star;" And these they worshipped. These three species of idolatry continued and increased in that nation till they worshipped the whole host of heaven, that is, the sun, moon, and stars. And God gave them into the hands of their enemies. God was faithful to his covenant at that period. He raised up to them a number of the most eminent prophets, to proclaim the judgments of God against them, on condition of their continuing in their rebellion and idolatry. But when they became totally incorrigible, although the Lord professed to be married unto them, he told them they had gone after other lovers, and had committed lewdness; and he would divorce them, and put them away; which he really did, by giving them up to worship the host of heaven, and sold them into the hands of their enemies, and withdrew his glorious presence from the Temple, with all the popular miracles which attended it.
Notwithstanding, the prophet acknowledges, and we also, that Christ's bodily presence gave the second temple such glory as Solomon's temple had not; even with its silver, and gold, and tokens of his presence in the first temple. The Jews, acknowledge that the first temple had five signs of the divine preserce, which were wanting in the second ; namely, the Urim and Thummim, by which the high priest was miraculously instructed in the will of God; the Ark of the covenant, containing the two tables of stone on which the law was written, “and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables ;'> the fire upon the altar, which came down from heaven; the Shekinah, or visible display of the divine glory; and the spirit of prophecy.
Paul, speaking of the tabernacle, gives us to understand, in his epistle to the Hebrews, chap9 and 10, that we may still reap a further advantage by it; he informs us the law was a “ shadow
of good things to come;" but we will still attend to the declaration of Stephen. He charges the Council with being stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, and resisting the Holy Ghost, as we have stated before. They had not only all the means of grace above stated, but had seen the accomplishment of the prophecies, and Christ had really come in the fesh. Had done among them the works that no other ever did; and not only so, but they were eye witness of the glory which then at his mock trial, glowed in the countenance of the prisoner at the bar, for all the Council beheld his face as an angel of God.
When we return in our thoughts, and review the last subject under consideration, and behold the blindness, insensibility, and hardness of heart, envy and malice, which reign in a soul which has resisted the Holy Ghost-we are under the necessity of acknowledging with the pious Mr. Fletcher, that death and the grave will give way to the power of God before superstition and unbelief. And the words of Pope, in this matter, are perhaps more faithfully exemplified and verified, than perhaps under any other temperament of the human heart, viz:
*** A man convinc'd against his will,
Is of the same opinion still.” And we may well adopt the language of Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, that if they hear not. Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one should arise from the dead.
There is one thing more we will attend to from the old testament, and this is, that Christ was esteemed king of the Jews in his pre-existent state.