« ForrigeFortsett »
in which the Rabbins too, give their suffrage. This is a key to the sense in which it was understood by antient ages ; the Was, the Is, and the About-to-come. Its general intent seems to be to meet the three different stages of man, the first upon earth, the second during the interval between death and the resurrection, and the third the consummation in glory after the last day. These three general attributives of time are applied to him, not absolutely (for Jehovah, unlike to his creatures, does not exist in time) but considered with respect to finite existences, who, after death, having a different view of him than while upon earth, term him with respect to that view, the Was, and their present intermediate enjoyment of him, the Is, and who expecting a still different appearance of him after the resurrection, call him in relation to that appearance, the Aboutto-come.
This last appellation founded upon the first letter of the name (Jehovah) which in the Hebrew is the characteristic of the third person future, was appointed to have, through the different ages of the world, a growing and germinent accomplishment, until its highest point should arrive, when the various degrees of glory it had shed upon. earth, should be quite absorbed in that last and superior blaze, and when they are to see him ashe is. All preceding views being only his back
parts, but the present, a seeing him face to face. The ordinary course of his providence is his appearance upon earth, but his extraordinary visitations are specimens, and promissive of his last appearance, which is, in the most eminent sense, termed the day of our visitation.
When the Seraphim proclaim the whole earth to be full of his glory, it is not glory in general that is meant, but his especial glory as Jehovah. His interposing, visiting, and delivering, through all ages, was the train which filled the temple.
It is evident from the words of Zacharias, the father of the Baptist, that whatever subordinate accomplishments this promise given to Moses, might have, still the prophets, through the suçcessives ages, took it up and dwelt upon, not as a thing exhausted, but as growing and advancing to its sublimest point: in the same way as the rest promised to Israel did not terminate in the settle ment in Canaan, but was such a rest as met the to-day of every succeeding generation, and into which, all they who believe, do enter.
. * This transaction of God with Moses, although intended to apply immediately to the present situation of the Israelites in Egypt, was nevertheless, as appears from his words to Moses, ap
* Deus his verbis Ehjeh asher Ehjeh promittit se populo suo adfuturum, & illos ex presenti & aliis tribulationibus liberaturum; atque iis perpetuo adfuturum. Buxtorfius.
pointed to meet the state of his people, not only through every age upon earth, but even after death, through the intermediate period. This is my name (Le-Olam) through the future age, and this is my memorial to generation, and generation. The memorial and name are the same, and it is Eljeħ, Jehovah will appear, and this glorious and final appearance forms an object of expectation, both to men on earth and to departed spirits in the invisible state.
" By my name Jehovah,” says he, “ was I not Ex.6.3 known to them,” (Abraham and Isaac.) Let now this distinction be attended to, that to hear a name is one thing, and to have its latent significations made known, as intended by the framer of it, another. The first might be familiar to the ear of Noah or of Abraham, as denoting the great invisible Being; and the second, that particular revelation that was made to Moses, and ever after to be a cloud and pillar of fire, both to the Jewish and the Christian churches.
It is given as an apothegm of Rabbi Eliezer, that before the world was created, there existed only the blessed God and his NAME, from which we gather, says Maimonides, that his derivative names were formed after the creation of the world, because each of these possesses a particular reference to his actings, among the children of men. Whereas this teaches solely concerning his
essence, and is termed the name separated, or the rame declared. • In this transaction God charges Moses to bid the children of Israel to fix their trust on that part of his name which expresses futurition, as intending, when their distress should be at the height, to visit and redeem. This was to be a theme in the mouth of all the prophets, and receiving, in subor. dinate events, many an intermediate accomplishment, verifying the title until in the end the promise should meet its most extended sense, by Jehovah appearing in visible glory at the last day.
I apprehend that from the common translation, I am that I am, the intent of the promise here conveyed is darkened and misunderstood; and that the words in the original are employed to express, not merely existence, but an appearing at an after period to work a deliverance. Through succeeding ages the form of the words introduced into Exod. vi. 6. “ Say unto the children of Israel, I am Jehovah," was kept up, and in any particular emergency of distress, when the Almighty interposed, it was termed a visiting.
« What is his name?” says Moses. “ Say unto them, I shall be who I shall be.” The phrase, I shall be, now assumes a remarkable attitude : first, it is for ever to possess its verbal power, as denoting a future appearance: then this signification steps back a little, and the word now meets
the view as a proper name, and becomes the agent or nominative to the following verb, “ Say unto the children of Israel Ehjeh hath sent me unto you.” Now such a transaction as this never took place between God and Abraham. Such an analysis of the name Jehovah, and the promise built npon it, were never spread out to his view. This lamp, which afterwards burnt bright on Zion, was first lighted up to Moses, and appointed from that time forth, to diffuse abroad its rays unto the end of the world.
A few of these rays are now attempted to be traced, as they shone both in the Jewish and the Christian churches. And first in the Jewish, "Say unto the children of Israel, I am Jehovah,” i. e. the FUTURE APPEARER. This was to express something great to follow, whether in the way of blessing or judgment. The words which come after are exegetical of the sense inclosed in the name; which, with whatever emphasis it might meet the ear of an antient Hebrew, is, in our version, unhappily neglected, as if nothing more than a simple annunciation of the term. “I am Jehovah, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage. I will redeem you ; and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God.” Exod. vi. 6. Isaiah, xli. 8. “ I am Jehovah; that is my name,