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as esteem, reverence, love, trust, subjection, self-dedication) whereby we acknowledge such infinite excellencies and supreme authority to belong to the being we adore; or external worship, which is partly expressed by our words and our prayers, praises, &c. and partly by gestures, as merely standing, bowing, &c.
Now that such worship is due to God alone, is evident,
§ 10. From reason : for to worship God supposes him to be present with us, to understand the homage we pay to him; nay, to know not only our particular case and circumstances, but even our very heart, and with what inward intentions and affections we offer such honor and respect to him. It supposes that he can both hear and help us, and that he can judge of the sincerity of our devotions. Now, such an unlimited knowledge of human affairs, and dominion over them, especially such a knowledge of the heart of man, and such a presence with all worshipers, wherever they are, are perfections which belong to no mere creatures, but to the blessed God alone.
§ 11. From sacred Scripture: religious worship is so peculiar a prerogative of God, that he will by no means suffer any meaner being to share in it. He assumes the character to himself with a divine jealousy, lest any thing beneath God should partake of it. " Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; for the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you.” Deut. 6: 13–15. This charge is repeated in chap. 10: 20, and doubtless the first commandment includes the same truth : “ Thou shalt have no other gods before me," i. e. no other objects of worship; and this is again repeated, Exod. 34: 14. Indeed there is scarce any command more frequently renewed, or guarded with more awful sanctions and more terrible examples of the wrath of God against the breakers of it, than the worship of the one true God.
§ 12. This truth is further proved by the fifth fundamental article of our people's creed, which reads thus: “I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator, blessed be his name, is the only object of adoration, and that no other being whatever ought to be worshiped."
And now, my dear Benjamin, having shown at considerable length that there are certain names, titles, attributes, works, and worship which are the distinguishing characteristics of the true God, and incommunicable to any creature; it follows, therefore, that if it appear that such names, titles, &c. are given to any creature in the holy Scriptures, the argument from such names, titles, &c. will hold good to prove his being the supreme God. And if an angel is revealed to whom these titles, attributes, &c. belong, we must necessarily conclude that he is a divine person, and yet distinct from him whose angel he is said to be. I shall therefore endeavor to show, in my next letter,
That the angel Jehovah who appeared to our fathers under the Old Testament, possessed all these divine criteria, and therefore was a divine person. Farewell.
To thee alone ourselves we owe;
Let heaven and earth due homage pay;
Deny their claims, renounce their sway
Their idol deities dethrone;
And reign, as thou art, God alone.
THE ANGEL JEHOVAH,
Permit me to invite your attention to the various appear. ances of the angel Jehovah to our fathers, under the Old Testament, who appears to possess all the Divine criteria, and therefore was a Divine person.
§ 1. I am persuaded that my dear Benjamin, being so well acquainted with the Hebrew language, will require no apology for my calling the Malach Yehwaoh, the angel Je. hovah, without the preposition of between; and it would have tended much to elucidate the doctrine of the blessed Trinity, had our translators done the same. Pardon this digression. · To present this subject in a clear, and I hope convincing light, I would beg the attention of my dear Benjamin to the following propositions, which I shall illustrate and confirm, both by sacred Scripture, and by testimonies from our ancient and modern Rabbins.
But as I shall refer also to the writings of Philo, it will be proper to say a few words respecting him.
$ 2. “ Philo was an ancient Greek writer, of a noble fa. mily among the Jews, and flourished at Alexandria during the reign of Caligula. He was at Rome A. D. 42. There are certainly in his works many excellent things. Though he is continually allegorizing the Scriptures, he abounds with fine sentiments and lessons of morality; and his morals are rather the morals of a Christian than of a Jew. History, together with his own writings, give us every reason to be. lieve that he was a man of great prudence, constancy and virtue." Ency. Brit.
In all his writings there is no allusion either to the New Testament, or to Christ, or any of his apostles. The design of his writing was to make our people understand their law according to the Medrashim, i. e. explanations, in an allegorical way, and to teach the heathens that their prejudices against the law of Moses were unjust, and that they ought to acknowledge the divine unity of the law. His writings are acknowledged by our Rabbins to be his as a Jew, and are frequently quoted as such for authority, by Menassah Ben Israel. See his Exposition of Exod. p. 137. It is abundantly evident that Philo did not derive his opinions from Plato; but rather Plato, by conversing with Jews in Egypt, borrowed his best notions from them. See Jameison's Vindication of the Deity of Christ, fol. 1. p. 22. Simpson's Deity of Christ, p. 415, No. 29.
§ 3. I will now call your attention to the promised propositions.
1st. We read of one called the angel Jehovah, who appeared under the Old Testament to different persons.
2d. This angel Jehovah our Rabbing call by different names.
3d. In all these appearances they say it was the selfsame person.
4th. This angel Jehovah they believed to have been the promised Messiah, who was to become incarnate.
5th. To this angel Jehovah are ascribed the incommunicable names, titles, &c. of Jehovah, and therefore he could not have been a created angel.
6th. This angel Jehovah was not the Father, but a distinct person from him.
7th. Hence it is evident that our ancient, and some mo dern Rabbins, believed the Messiah to be Jehovah, the true and living God, the second person in the blessed Trinity.
I proceed to illustrate these propositions, and begin with the first.
§ 4. The angel Jehovah appeared to the following persons :
To Hagar, Gen. 16:7-14.
To Jacob, Gen. 28: 10–22, and 35:1,7—compare 48 : 15, 16—see also 32:24-30-compare Hosea, 12:15
To Moses, Exod. chap. 3.
Instead of transcribing at large every one of these appearances, which would extend the subject too much, I would beg my beloved Benjamin to take his Bible and read the places referred to.
$ 5. This angel our Rabbins call by different names, such as the Shechina, Memra, Logos, the Word of the Lord, the Angel of the covenant, the Mediator, the Redeemer, the Messiah, the Only Begotten, and the Creator.
With respect to the Shechina, I need only to bring to the recollection of my dear Benjamin, that R. Menachem teaches, in the name of the most ancient and renowned Rabbins, that it was the Shechina which appeared to Adam, imme. diately after he had sinned, and clothed him, fo. 59:4; that he appeared to Abraham, fo. 35: 2; to Jacob, fo. 36: 2, and 41: 42; to Moses, Exod. 3, fo. 55:12; to the people on Mount Sinai, fo. 56:2; and that it was the Shechina that gave the law, fo. 57:2, 3; 58:1; 84: 1, 2.
To the same Shechina they give the name of Adam from above, after whose image Adam was created; and they give to him the title of exalted and blessed, which they give to the true God only; and they say also that it was he to whom Noah sacrificed; that the temple was built to the honor of the Shechina, and that it was to him, and not to the ark, that the Levites said, “Arise, O Lord, unto thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength.” Psa. 132: 8; and
that the sa