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pernicious consequence, however, of their rash assertion, they are not justly chargeable: They mean not to invalidate the particular claims of Jesus of Nazareth as a prophet, and the Deliverer promised to the Jews; but they would raise an objection to the notion of a plurality of persons in the undivided substance of the Godhead. They are particularly unfortunate in choosing for the ground of their objection this imaginary circumstance of the late rise of the opinion they would controvert. Would to God they would but open their eyes to this plain historical fact, of which it is strange that any men of learning should be ignorant, and which will serve to outweigh all the arguments of their erroneous metaphysics, that the Divinity of the Messiah was no new doctrine of the first preachers of Christianity; much less the invention of any
later age: It was the original faith of the ancient Jewish church, delivered, as I have shown you, by her prophets, embraced and acknowledged by her doctors, six hundred years and more before the glorious æra of the incarnation. Nor was it even then a novelty : It was the creed of believers from
the beginning; as it was typified in the symbols of the most ancient patriarchal worship. The cherubim of glory, afterwards placed in the sanctuary of the Mosaic temple, and of Solomon's temple, had been originally placed in a tabernacle on the east of the garden of Eden, immediately after the fall. These cherubim were figures emblematical of the Trine persons in the Godhead of the mystery of redemption by the Son's atonement and of the subjection of all the
powers of nature, and of all created things, animate and inanimate, to the incarnate God.
This therefore is the first character under which the person is described whose coming is foretold, that of the LORD JEHOVAH of the Jewish temple. Other characters follow not less worthy of notice. The prosecution therefore of the subject demands a separate discourse
MALACIII, iii. 1, 2.
And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly
come to his temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in : Behold
He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming ?
and who shall stand when he appeareth ?”.
Although the words of my text are too perspicuous in their general sense and meaning to need elucidation, yet the characters by which the person is described whose coming is announced, and the particulars of the business upon which he is said to come, deserve a minute and accurate explication. The first character of the person, that he is the Lord of the Jewish temple, has already been considered. It has been
shown to be agreeable to the descriptions which had been given of the same person by the earlier prophets; who unanimously ascribe to him both the attributes and works of God, and frequently mention him by God's peculiar name, “ JEHOVAH;” which, though it be the proper and incommunicable name of God, is not exclusively the name of the Almighty Father, but equally belongs indifferently to every person in the Godhead, since by ils etymology it is significant of nothing but what is common to them all, self-existence.
The next character that occurs, in the text, of him whose coming is proclaimed, is that of a messenger of a covenant : “ The Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in.”
The covenant intended here cannot be the Mosaic; for of that the Messiah was not the messenger. The Mosaic. covenant was the word spoken by angels; it is the superior distinction of the gospel covenant, that it was begun to be spoken by the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah, who lived long before Malachi, had already spoken in very explicit terms of a new cove
nant which God should establish with his people, by which the Mosaic should be superseded, and in which the faithful of all nations should be included : « Behold the days come, saith the JEHOVAH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the JEHOVAH, — I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” In a subsequent prophecy he mentions this covenant again, and calls it an everlasting covenant. He had mentioned it before, in less explicit terms; but in such which perspicuously though figuratively express the universal comprehension of it, and the abrogation of the ritual law :
66 In those days, saith the JEHOVAH, they shall
say no more, The ark of the covenant of the JEHOVAH! neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they visit it; neither shall any