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GOD IN CHRIST, IN THE NAME JEHOVAH.
* The word of JEHOVAH came expressly unto Ezekiel.”
EZEK. i. 3.
IBID. iii. 14.
HE Prophet Ezekiel was carried captive to
Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, with Jehoiachin,
king of Judah, in the time of the first taking of Jerusalem (2 Kings xxiv., 2 Chron. xxxvi.), eleven years before the final destruction of Jerusalem, in the reign of Zedekiah. The sons of the good king Josiah were wicked princes, and brought down the vengeance of heaven upon the nation, and upon themselves. This prophet's commission was to foretell the final captivity, the destruction of the holy city, the call of the Gentiles, and reign of the Messiah. The holiness, zeal, and consecration of the good king Josiah seemed to be an extreme aggravation of the sins of his sons, and of the nation. This history of the kings reveals to us the responsibility of authority—the account that is demanded of those who assume it. As we read these dreadful voices of JEHOVAH — of the great “ Angel of the Covenant,” voices almost too terrible to comprehend ; these captivities and exiles of the holy people; these wrecks and ruins of “the holy nation," we can only account for them upon the position assumed. The higher Ruler of the universe demands a reckoning (Matt. xxiii. 8, 9, 10). Some are called to special commissions, as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, St. Paul; and God upholds them in them by special grace-coerces them to obedience to fulfil His will. But it is not all who are called by the same persistence of grace : all are called in Christ, but if God suffers some to reject the call for the display of absolute grace, this does not lessen the doctrine of Infinite Love. Justice balances the scale, which attribute is goodness, under the direction of Infinite Wisdom. Thus may we understand these voices in Ezekiel, severe reprehension, but love surpassing knowledge. “The Spirit of the JEHOVAH fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the JEHOVAH” (Ezek. xi. 5). “I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen” (Ezek. xx. 14, 22, 44). Spiritual authority is alone from God. These falling kingdoms suggest these reflections.
My purpose here is not at all to go into the writings of the Prophets; suffice it to say, they lived under the theocracy of JEHOVAH; and my purpose is to give, if possible, a new form of expression, if I may not say version, of the reading of the Word of God under that name. The name governs this book, as it does all others of the sacred writings; the word to Ezekiel came from JEHOVAH. He is the presiding Deity of the Bible, of the antediluvian. page, of the Patriarchal Church, of the writings of Moses, of the Judges, of Samuel, of David, of the Prophets, of the Evangelists; for when He said, “ The Son of man is LORD, or the JEHOVAH of the Sabbath day" (Matt. xii. 8), He connected His humanity with His divinity, declared Himself to be the JEHOVAH of the Old Testament, of the law as given at Sinai; He who delivers us from the bondage of the letter of the law. None but “the Deliverer,” God the Saviour and Redeemer, could do this.
The Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins (Matt. ix. 6). Here, again, is the humanity and Divinity, for none but the God who was made sin for us can forgive sin. And if my reader will trace this designation of Himself, “The Son of Man,” throughout the Gospels, he will find it connected with the power and the prerogatives of the Almighty.
The name JEHOVAH governs no less the Epistles; and, as I have shown, and shall still show, the Divine Being of the Book of Revelation is the JEHOVAH of the whole Bible: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the JEHOVAH, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;" or, the faithful witness—" and have the keys of hell and of death." The Divine Being, who 80 solemnly consecrated Ezekiel to the prophetic office, “The hand of the JEHOVAH was there upon me;"
“The appearance of the likeness of the glory of the JEHOVAH” (Ezek. i. 3, 28); “The hand of the