The Angel Of Jehovah -- By: C. Goodspeed

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 036:144 (Oct 1879)
Article: The Angel Of Jehovah
Author: C. Goodspeed

The Angel Of Jehovah

Prof. C. Goodspeed

Any one who believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, and who regards the human race as sprung from those who were his direct creation, need not hesitate to accept as literal the statement that God walked in Eden with our first parents, and manifested to them his visible presence. We can scarcely conceive, otherwise, how they could have gained an adequate idea of his existence and attributes — such an idea as would have elicited from them the acts and feelings which he desired.

It is true that we are left greatly in ignorance as to the mental endowments of Adam and Eve; but all the knowledge we have seems to be against the conclusion that they were able to grasp directly the indefinite idea of God as a spiritual being. Ever since the Jewish worship was established there have been provisions apparently designed to overcome this difficulty. In both the Tabernacle and the Temple was the awful Shechinah or Divine Presence hovering over the mercy-seat, and giving vividness and power to the idea of a personal God; and even now, under that more spiritual dispensation for which the mind of the race has been in training during ages of a more material form of worship, — even now, with all their cultivated powers of abstraction, men are able to have but dim and vague ideas of divine attributes inhering:

in a spiritual essence; and it is only as they behold God reflected in his incarnate Son that they can rise to this highest of human conceptions, and feel their hearts and lives under the full pressure and power of a clear apprehension of the attributes of the great spiritual Supreme. But if, when men were more able to apprehend God in his true spiritual nature, there have been provisions to obviate the lesser inability which still remains, are we not permitted — nay, required — to conclude that more manifest provisions existed at first to meet the demands of greater infirmity? If God’s presence was revealed to the Israelites in the mysterious cloud hovering over the mercy-seat, how much more evidently might we expect him to manifest himself to our first parents as they stood wonderingly in Eden, filled with eager questionings of how they came to exist, and looked around for an object upon which to expend the emotions of reverence and worship which were welling up in their souls. It seems natural — at once in harmony with the divine nature and the divine condescension — that God should have impressed the fact of his own being and nature upon the race at first, by speaking to them through a form which his wisdom found most suitable.

Neither can we understand how men could have been trained to confide in truth communicated by direct mental and s...

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