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vention of a dark and, superstitious age. This assertion, were it not clearly falsified, as happily it is, by the whole tenor of the apostolical writings, would cause a more extensive ruin than they seem to apprehend: It would not so much overturn any single article of doctrine, such as men may dispute about, and yet be upon the whole believers,
it would cut up by the roots the whole faith in Christ. Mahomet well understood this: He founded his own pretensions prudently, however impiously, on a denial of the Godhead of Christ. "There is one God," said Mahomet," who was not begotten, and who never did beget." If the Father did not beget, then Christ is not God; for he pretended not to be the Father: If he claimed not to be God, he claimed not to be the person which the Messiah is described to be by the Jewish prophets: If Christ was not Messiah, the Messiah may come after Christ: If he was a prophet only, a greater prophet may succeed. Thus, Christ's divinity being once set aside, there would be room enough for new pretensions. Mahomet, it should seem, was an abler divine than these half-believers. With the
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.
MALACHI, 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 its 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