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show that it will bear the sense here given. It is the same word, for instance, that is used when God is said to have dwelt in the bush, * and certainly his continuance there was but of short duration. It must be remembered that the office of the cherubim here was but temporary. How long they retained their position we have no means by which to determine, but probably until the tree itself perished, and all traces of it were lost, and the garden which contained it ceased entirely to be a paradise.
3. The expression “turning" signifies turning upon itself; and as it is sometimes used for a fiery seraph, it has on that account been thought to mean in this place the person who was to suffer for human transgression, and no less than the Son of God himself. But it must be obvious that even should it be conceded that the words “ flaming sword” ever mean an angel or fiery seraph, (which may be doubted,) it would then follow that a created angel represented Christ on this occasion, which does not seem to be in accordance with other parts of the word of God. That he appeared as an angel is true, but never as an ordinary one. Could the theory above contended for be fairly maintained, the conduct of the Almighty in regard to the expulsion of man from paradise would assume a most interesting and instructive character, but the ground chosen does not seem to support it; besides which, it may be questioned whether, at that early age of the world, and in those circumstances in which our first parents were placed, a prefiguration of the kind supposed would be made.
* Deut. xxxiii. 16.
4. The above explanation of the words contained in the Book of Genesis goes upon the. supposition that the sword and the cherubim were apart from each other; but it would appear, from the very manner in which they are spoken of, that they were connected,—the one being the instrument, the others the agents by whom it was employed.
5. The tree of life is often spoken of in the Scriptures, particularly in the Book of the Revelation.* It cannot be fairly inferred, however, from such being the case, that it possessed a typical character, any more than it can be maintained that because the antichristian church is designated Babylon, the ancient city properly so called was designed to be a prefiguration of the apostacy that bears its name. No doubt all that is intended in the inany places in the New Testament in which the tree of life is spoken of is merely an allusion, to convey the idea that all which was lost by the fall in Adam is regained in Christ.
6. The last reason that we shall notice assigned for considering the tree of life a type, is, that the cherubim here are the same as those mentioned in other parts of the Sacred Volume, particularly in Ezekiel's vision of and the Book of the Revelation ; I and as they are there considered to represent life, or glorified manhood, it is thought to be the same here, ş but that they are identical cannot be proved; and even if it could, it might then be questioned whether that is the principal thing set forth in them, for * See “The Pulpit," vol. vi., p. 321. + Ezekiel i. 4.
| Rev. iv. 7. § See Fairbairn's Typology, p. 313.
the face of a man was but one of the four which the living creatures possessed; and there is no reason to consider one as peculiarly significant any more than the other three; nor is there any good authority for taking the human face as setting forth glorified humanity rather than some other things which it might, with equal propriety, be thought to represent.
There are several other places in the Scriptures in which mention is made of the cherubim, but the chief of them is where Moses was commanded to make the ark with the mercy-seat,* and to which frequent allusion is made in the Psalms, and in other places.
Now, it is evident that though these beings are called by one name, their forms greatly differed; for while those which Ezekiel saw had four faces, (a lion, an ox, an eagle, and a man,) it would appear, from other references in which the same creatures are mentioned, that they had but two, one of a lion, the other of a man.t
As to what was represented by these beings on the different occasions on which they appeared, writers have very much differed in their opinions, particularly in reference to those seen in the vision of the prophet. Differing, as they did, both in their form and the occasion on which they appeared, they could not mean the same thing, though, with the exception of those seen by Ezekiel, the general idea of them is, that they represented the angels attendant on the Deity.
* Ex. xxv. 19, 20. + Ezek. xli. 18.
THE BURNING BUSH.* There is scarcely anything more desired by a conscientious servant of God than to know the path of duty,—to ascertain whether he is in the place for which God has designed him, and about the work that he has intended him to perform. His anxiety on this ground is occasioned partly by a desire not only to serve God, but to glorify him to the utmost of his ability, knowing that it is not every one that is employed that will be approved, but that servant who does what his Lord has commanded. Hence Paul inquired, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" It is occasioned also partly by a desire to do the greatest amount of good; for though a person may be useful even in a station for which God has not designed him. and for which he is not fitted, yet his efforts will not be so efficient as when used where they ought to be made.
There is, however, a great difficulty in obtaining satisfaction on this point. God seems, with regard to our situation, as with many other things, to make our state in this world one of probation. Our faith is to be exercised, prayer offered and maintained, and all proper means of inquiry employed; and in some cases, after all, it is a long time before any. thing like a safe conclusion can be drawn, and much uncertainty will attach to our path even to the end of life. Few persons have found the difficulty of which we speak greater than it was felt by Moses. He was born in the land of
* Ex. iii. 2.
er, and which it. God desi Divine
Egypt, and, by a remarkable interposition of Providence, taken into the family of Pharaoh. When about forty years of age, having, it may be supposed, become acquainted with his origin and nation, he acquired much knowledge of the Jewish people. It now came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel, and whilst so doing he interested himself in the case of one of them who was suffering oppression. This interference took place not in the spirit of meddling, nor yet from motives of mere humanity, however right it might have been to come forth on that ground, but to show the Jews that he was willing to become their deliverer, and to risk his life on their account,-an office for which it is evident, from what came to pass afterwards, God designed him; but so difficult was it to know the Divine mind and will, that at that time his undertaking seemed altogether a failure. Now behold the mystery of Divine Providence; instead of this defeat being followed by another opening for him to proceed in his design, every avenue seemed to be closed. He was thrown into the shade, and forty years passed before he had any further intimation that the work of emancipating God's suffering people was to be done by him. At that time it is likely his mind had lost much of the ardour which it had once possessed in regard to this object; for who, at the age of eighty years, and in a station into which he seems to be moulded down, would think of changing a quiet condition for one so perplexing as that which Moses formerly contemplated ? but then it was, however, that he made the discovery that the