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some great new thing emerging, to remain for all time ; such as will account for the assumption and proclamation of that name, as with the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God. And in fact in the history we find Jehovah's own completed definition of the name (Jn. i. 18). The completed meaning of this word, He expounded in His actions (so in Jn. ii. 11, cp. i. 1). And (as we have seen) He expounded it through the two great symbols of “memorial" and "testimony.” Historically, there thus is folded in the name the two things, represented by “Immanuel ” and by “Jesus,” which are one in the person and office of Christ. “I am" is Immanuel, and “the coming one" is Jesus. The completed meaning thus exhibited is, that He, the Almighty, the I AM that was and is and shall be, is now going forth, in self-manifestation and self-communication, to the completed accomplishment of that Redemption, which was the burden of the Covenant promises to the fathers. Accordingly this is what He declared in Sinai at the renewal of the Covenant (Ex. xxxiv.), in the great proclamation of His name by Himself. And this is what He had shown in the foundation of the Covenant by the actions embodied in the symbolism of the Tabernacle and the express definition of the Passover words of institution.
NOTE (2). -Covenant. “ The Sinai Covenant” is title of one of the Theological Dissertations of Dr. John Erskine, who began his speech in a famous debate on Missions (1796) with, Rax me that Bible.” The Abrahamic Covenant, of grace which now has come in Christ (Jn. i. 17), is distinguished from a “Sinai Covenant,” which was superinduced upon it (cp. Ga. iii. 24, etc.), as a veil was put on the shining face of Moses. This Covenant, with reference to Israel's tenure of the land of Canaan, was on the face of it a Covenant of works, whose blessings were to be enjoyed in and through a loyal service to the head of the Theocracy. But the real meaning underlying that temporal rest was, the true “rest which remaineth unto the people of God." And even the Sinai Covenant, which for a temporary purpose was on the face of it "a Covenant of works,”treating the son and heir in his pupilage of minority like a servant, -was in the true heart of it "a Covenant of grace," the “everlasting Covenant" (Ge. xvii. 13) -as is shown behind the veil.
Covenant, whether of works or of grace, has always been prominent and vital in the relation of God to man, as constituted by God's revealed will (Witsius : Economy of the Covenants). The essential thing in it is will: something positive, not arising from any necessity of nature, but constituted by free determination of a person. This is folded in the meaning of the Hebrew word (běrîth) for Covenant,--pactum, “pact ;"—whether with or without a “com”-compact. Some high theologians question the propriety of making God a party in a Covenant with man as another party,—who thus, so to speak, has an interest and a title at law to plead, as if against God. (But why against ? Moses, Ex. xxxiv., xxxiii., can plead it to God.) They would prefer, to regard the Covenant of God as monopleuron—“one-sided" -(as a man may covenant with himself). Within the Trinity they will perhaps allow two parties,-God the Father covenanting with God the Son; or, God as one party, with a Divine-human Mediator as the other. In this way they
seek to save the dignity of the Most High. He, on the other hand, is not consulting His dignity, but showing His “condescension" (cp. Phi. ii. 6-10), when He converses now with Moses “as one converses with His friend,” and allows him to plead God's promises in appealing to His Covenant faithful and brings Israel along with Himself into a Covenant, signed and sealed. Individuals have been greatly moved, especially to adoring wonder of humiliation, at the Divine condescension in saying, to a corrupt guilty creature, “I will make an everlasting covenant with thee" (Is. lv. 3); and we may venture to look on the matter as the Scripture speaks of it.
The ark, which was the heart's heart of the revelation, was distinctively “of the covenant” (Nu. X. 33); and (Ex. xxxiv, 28) the moral law on the stone tables, which was in the heart of that heart's heart (Ex. xx. 2), had the very name of "the covenant” itself. Here, still, the essential conception of will is retained. For the moral law, though rising out of the constitution of man's nature in relation to God, is here prescribed by the Divine will; and, though the commandment be in the nature of things as old as creation, yet (1 Jn. ii. 7, 8) the obedience to it, which is to be rendered by the human covenanters, is a new thing (cp. 1 Pe. i. 14-17, etc.). In fact the obedience of unfallen spirits has in it this supernaturalism, of will, on their part and on God's. So if the stars be made covenanters, it is by a figure of speech (cp. "law of nature," and Darwin speaking of Natural Selection as if it had been a goddess), based upon the fact that the living personal God “doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth” (Da. iv. 35, cp. Eph. i. II). So if the rainbow be of covenant, it is not in the bow that the blessing is reposited, but in the unchanging will that has freely so disposed.
The fact of Covenant, entering into the highest life of man from the beginning, is a great preservative against mere naturalism, to which fallen men are prone like Nebuchadnezzar (Ps. cxix. 25). But in the Covenant of grace there is set forth, not only the living personality of God here conversing with man, but, also and especially, the redemption, which He “sent to His people," and here and now applies. “ The blood of the Covenant,” (Ex. xxiv.), with which almost everything under the Mosaic constitution had to be purified (He. ix, 22), reminded men of this ; like, “the new testament in my blood," in the Lord's Supper. There has been much discussion about the word for · Covenant," in the Epistle to the Hebrews, for which in some places our Version has "testament.” Some question the legitimacy of this rendering in any place. The original Greek word diathēkē, is literally translated in the Latin, dispositio ("placing "). And the Bible use of the word unquestionably carries in it the conception represented by the law-Latin dispositio (a legal “disposition"), disponement ("placing") by will. The question is, whether, in connection with the death of Jesus (He. ix. 16, 17), the word does not acquire the affecting additional significance of a testamentary
disposition," a "will and testament,” which is as it were sealed with the blood of the disponent, as it comes into full force with his (exodus, "departure," in) death.
In Exodus we are not brought to the point of having to determine for ourselves what new colouring the word may thus have received from the specialty of that
New Testament exodus. But even the discussion of the disputed question, about the shade of meaning in the N. T. Greek word, may be serviceable through detaining the attention, with exercise of discriminating understanding, in the region of the thing, that is signified and sealed, by sacred Covenant blood, alike on Sinai and on Calvary. And the essential thing is, not by necessity of nature, but by will of the living God, the real God,-supernatural redemption, from a common doom of death by the way of bleeding sacrifice.
THE EVIDENCE OF THE REVELATION.
THE Revelation may have in it a self-evidence (Jn. vii. 16, 17); as the sun is evidenced by shining, that is, by effectively being the sun. No doubt Israelites (Jn. v. 39), in simply being placed face to face with God as revealed through His ordinances of words and sacraments, may have felt as if (Ex. xxiv. 9-11) looking into an open heaven. And the nation, in the continuance of “ordinance” and of “testimony," had a means of realizing, in effect, the “heaven” that had “surrounded it in infancy.” But, in addition to the internal evidence, of what the thing is in itself, it is possible to have an external evidence, like the seal on a letter, or the credentials of an ambassador. Such attestation of the revelation, or proof of the doctrine, may be in its nature fitted to reach only the individual first addressed ; as when in the patriarchal ages men were visited by angels, or by visions of the night or day, or by some other mode of assurance within their own minds, the nature of which may not be known to us. A producible evidence, fitted to reach the common mind of men, and to operate as a pleading for the religion in the open court of the world's judgment, first appeared before mankind in Egypt, in connexion with supernatural redemption of Israel. There went to Egypt, and appeared before Pharaoh and his people, as well as before the Israelites, not only the revelation, in a message from God, and the still further revelation effected in and through the work of redemption, but also, as a distinct though connected thing the external evidence of miracle and prophecy. This (on our side of the flood) was the beginning of public religious instruction, as a
systematic operation for the establishment of the kingdom of God among men, and overthrow of the opposing world-power, of wrong and falsehood, of darkness and moral evil. The instruction was addressed, not only to the Israelites, but to the Egyptians. Of those with whom God was dealing in that whole campaign of “mercy and
. judgment,” there was not one whom He did not in the first instance approach in this way of instruction, addressing itself to the reason, the conscience, the heart. He thus showed Himself as the "good shepherd,” entering by "the door," the lawful way, conforming to that rational constitution of man (Is. i. 18) which He had created in Him, the Word (in Jn. i. etc., logos, rendered “word,” has also the meaning of “reason") addressing the free soul. “Come, and let us reason together,” said the Creator of the universe to the “. Jacob,” and also to “the worm ” upon the throne of Egypt. And the instruction, which was dogmatic, was at the same time apologetic. That is to say, it not only delivered a doctrine, regarding Jehovah as the living God, the real God, Israel's Covenant God and Redeemer; but also gave proofs of that doctrine, in the shape of wondrous works performed and prophecies fulfilled, through which it could be seen that Jehovah is indeed the one true God and only Saviour.
The Bible religion is, of all the religions that have really lived among mankind, the only one that has been thus apologetic. No one of “the religions,” but this, has presented itself for the judgment of mankind, on the ground of evidence that can be tested in the open court the world, thus far depending for success on reasoning men out of worldliness into godliness. The Bible religion was thus apologetic in its first appearance before mankind, claiming right of sovereignty, in Egypt. The Egyptians were not invited as a people to come into God's covenant with Abraham and his seed; for that, at the time, the provision was in the process of adoption of individuals. But God had a message for Egypt. He had a purpose for Egypt to serve. And He gave Egypt the opportunity of freely conforming to that purpose, submitting to His righteous will. He gave warning, that refusal to obey His righteous will would be punished by His righteous judgment. But there was no stroke of judgment until Egypt had first been visited, and tried with instruction, which was apologetic.
The Apologetic evidence was both by prophecy and by mighty works. The common element, in respect of which both word and work were evidential, was, their being in character manifestly extraordinary supernatural. They were not only supernatural, like God's works of ordinary providence. They were extraordinary, like true creation. In order to their intended effect, they had to be manifest (Jn. ii. 11), such that men could perceive them with their bodily sense of sight and hearing. But, also and especially, they had to be manifestly extraordinary, out of the course of the system of the world. It is the extraordinariness, the “wonder," that constitutes the properly miraculous evidence—“the finger of God.”
That was in the prophetic word as well as in the works. That is to say, the prophecy in its fulfilment (Ex. iii. 8), was a "sign." Prediction of what is naturally incalculable, what does not arise by necessity out of the existing condition and course of things, is competent only to the Omniscient; because only the Omnipotent can determine that contingent event beforehand, so as to make the future occurrence of it certain : prædixit quia prædestinavit (“He foretold because He foreordained”). Prophecy as prediction, manifested forecast of the incalculable, serving as a “sign,” evidential wonder of wisdom, miracle of foresight, had a distinct place and part in the history, both in Egypt and in Sinai.
But the commanding part was that of the mighty works. Prophecy is itself a mode of public instruction ; which in Israel's later ages was to expand into a system within itself, in continued operation through an epoch. Its appearance, consequently, in the exodus crisis of origination, is not so distinctive as in that later period, when it filled the air for centuries, and was almost alone. It was the first ap arance of the stars in the evening twilight, to pass into further appearance of them, more clear and full and manifold when the sun was completely down. On the other hand, the mighty works in Exodus are like a true creation, which is not repeated nor continued, but is succeeded by a providence that is a specifically different manner of working. There were occasional appearances of wonder of God's working in the later ages. But there was nothing that can bear comparison with the wondrous works made known to Israel through Moses, until the coming of Christ.
NOTE (1).-On Prophecy (on prophetess, see under xv. 17-21). I. Restricting our attention to the wonder of wisdom, prediction of the incalculable, we first observe the fact of it, beyond possibility of doubt. It is not only that the voice from the bush foretells, what no creature could have forecast through calculation, and yet which came exactly true according to appointment (Ex. iii. 12). All through the Egyptian campaign, there went on a foretelling before the work