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my woes and
influences of light, strength, and comfort; nor will I cease grieving for his absence till he return again.
“ Come, O eternal Spirit, come and visit my poor dark and disconsolate soul ; come and awaken all my powers to follow hard after my Father and my God! Come, invigorate my faith, and lead me to the Mediator, the blessed Jesus ; come, open to me the promises, and let me into the covenant of his unchangeable love, ratified and sealed with blood. If ever I find my God again, it is there, I know, I must find him: Christ is the only way to the Father. It is by the interest of his Son Ishall get near to him, even to his seat; then will I pour
my wants in his sight, I will order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. Will he plead against me with his great power? No, but he will put strength in me, and assist and suffer me to prevail with him.
“ Then, when I have found him whom my soul loveth, I will hold him fast, and not let him go : I will charge all the powers and passions of my nature pot to yield to one sinful practice, nor provoke him to depart; for he is my everlasting and my almighty Friend.
“ Then, though I should have a thousand enemies set themselves against me, I would not be afraid ; yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have found my God, and my God is with me."
XIX. The FIGURE of a CHERUB. A CHERUB is a name used in scripture to denote some angelic power or powers, under the figure of some strange animal : the plural number in the Hebrew is cherubim, which signifies cherubs, and I know not how our translators of the Bible came so often to speak of cherubims, adding an s to the Hebrew plural number, instead of the English plural, (viz.) cherubs. Perhaps some learned writers using
the word cherubini in Latin, instead of cherubi, might lead them into this grammatical irregularity.
The Jews themselves greatly differ about the form or figure of a cherub. Josephus, in his Antiquities, book üi. chap. 6. tells us, that cherubs are flying animals, like to none that were seen by men, and whose form no man knoweth. Abenezra, a learned Jew, supposes it to be a general name, extending itself to all forms or figures ; though in the writings of Moses he supposes it to come nearer the figure of a young man or boy.
Some have imagined, that the mere face of a boy with wings is sufficient to describe a cherub; and accordingly such figures are wrought into the ornaments of buildings and curtains, &c.; but I know no just ground for this imagination, except it be that those on the ark were beaten out of the same mass of gold which made the mercy-seat: and it must be confessed, this sort of figure is more easy to be thus formed than any tall shape with a body and feet. Exod. xxv. 19. and xxviii. 7.
It is generally represented in scripture like some strange living creature, with one or more faces, having both wings and feet: when it has four faces, they are borrowed from a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle: the wings are described as very large, and the feet, when they are particularly described, are like those of an ox or a calf: but whether the whole figure be more like that of an ox or of a man, the learned are not agreed. This is certain, that the several scriptures wherein cherubs are mentioned can hardly be reconciled, without supposing them represented in different forms, sometimes nearer to one of these forms, and sometimes to the other. If, therefore, after all our searches, we cannot come to a full determination, we must be content to acknowledge our ignorance, though perhaps, by diligent inquiry, we may come pretty near to the truth.
If we consult the derivation of the word, it seems to come from 72 charab, which, in the Chaldee, Syric, and Arabic languages, signifies to plough, which is the known
work of oxen. This favours the sentiment of those who describe it as a flying ox.
Others tell us, that 2199 cherub, in Arabic, is a ship that carries merchandize, and that a cherub is a chariot of God, appointed to carry the shechinah, or bright glory, which is the symbol of God's presence : and therefore God is said to ride upon a cherub. Psalm xviii. 11. 217 hy 237 jirchab al cberub, be rode on a cherub, and Psalm civ. 3. it is said, he maketh the clouds his chariot, 2127 rechub; so that, by the transposition of a letter, which is frequent with the Hebrews, it seems to signify a chariot; and in 1 Chron. xxviii. 18. the cherubs upon the ark are called the chariot of the cherubim, and the whole figure in Ezekiel's vision had wheels all about it as a chariot ; and yet it is some times called the cherub in the singular, and sometimes cherubịm or cherubs.
All this is true; but in a chariot there are generally some animals represented as moving, drawing, or carrying it. And though in Ezekiel's vision it is a living or animated chariot, with living wheels, which had the spirit of the animals in them, Ezek. i. 20. yet there are winged animals to move it, or to move with it. The whole is composed of four living creatures which had faces and wings, and feet and hands, joined together in a living machine with wheels, and the God of glory rode upon it. But let us proceed and consider several scriptures more particularly and in order.
The first place where we find the name mentioned is Gen. iii. ult. God placed cherubs and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life. This does not seem to mean a chariot or chariots, but living creatures: if they were in the shape of men, then a flaming sword is waving in their hands. If in the form of Aying oxen, then with fames about them flashing out like a sword from their eyes, nostrils, or mouth. Perhaps the brazen-footed bulls breath, ing out flames, which guarded the golden fleece in Colchos, may be derived hence by the fabulous Greeks.
Adamanteis volcanum naribus efflant æripides tauri.
OVID. Or, as the Greeks were wont to compound and divide stories at pleasure, these bulls might keep the gardens of the Hesperides where the golden apples grew, that is, by the fabling interpretation, the fruit of the tree of life; though generally, I confess, a dragon is made the guardian of them; which wild fable might arise from the serpent being there, Gen. iii. 1.; for stories taken from the Bible are variously mangled and confounded by the Heathens.
Some have supposed, indeed, these cherubs and flaming swords are only a flaming division visible, made of burning pitch, and such materials, and that this was kindled in the borders of that ground to guard it from men, and that it is attributed to angels after the Jewish manner : others think it the divine Shechinah itself guarding the passage to the tree of life, and cherubs are added by Moses to represent God's being attended with invisible angels. But neither of these two last suppositions carry probability with them, because the word cherub is never used in narratives for mere invisible powers, nor for visible inanimate beings; but it always signifies some visible figure of one animated being or more joined together, though it is designed to denote these invisible angelic powers.
The next scripture where it is mentioned is Exod. xxv. 18. Among the orders given to Moses for making the ark and the mercy-seat, with the two cherubs to cover it with their wings ; one at one end, and the other at the other end, ver. 19. 20. * And whatsoever figure belonged to these cherubs,
which * The cherubs in Solomon's temple stand in another situation, 1 Kings vi. 23. for they are placed side by side, so that their four wings reached the whole length of the most holy place. But these seem to be made as some further attendants on the Shechinah or divine glory, besides the two cherubs which were on the mercy-seat ; for it was the very same ark which Moses made that was introduced into Solomon's temple, 1 Kings viji. 6. and the cherubs on it were beaten out of the same mass of gold which made the mercy-seat, or covering of the ark, Exod. xxxvii. 7. 8. so that it is most likely those ancient cherubs continued there still, and Solomon's were additional attendants in the most holy place, of a much larger size, and overshadowing those on the mercy-seat.
which is so much unknown to us, it was certainly a common idea and well known figure to the Jews in that day; for Moses doth not concern himself to give any particular description of them, as he does almost every thing else, and yet the Jewish artificers made them right.
Some think that these two cherubs on the ark were in the shape of Aying oxen, or something near to that figure, and that for these reasons :
1. Because both their faces looked toward one another, and yet both faces downward toward the mercy-seat, Exod. xxv. 20. and xxxvii. 9. which posture and description is well suited to an ox, but not so happily adapted to the figure and aspect of the face of a man.
2. Because the same face, which is called the face of an ox, Ezek. i. 10. is called the face of a cherub, Ezek. X. 14. and thus a cherub's face is actually and expressly distinguished from that of a man, and determined to be the face of an ox.
3. Because God is said to ride upon a cherub, Psal. xviii. 10. Though this be a metaphorical expression to describe the grandeur and majesty of God, yet the metaphor must be derived from some correspondent sensible figure: now the figure of a winged ox, or at least of a chariot carried or drawn by winged oxen, is a much fitter vehicle to ride upon in glory and grandeur, in majesty and terror, than the figure of a man.
4. Aaron's calf is reasonably supposed to be a cherub; for neither he nor his abettors can well be imagined so foolish as to make the figure of a mere calf, as some would have it, or of the Egyptian god Apis, who was worshipped under the form of an ox, when it was made as an idol for the Israelites to adore ; since the Egyptian gods as well as men partook of the vengeance of the God of Israel for the oppression of his people. Numb. xxxiii. 4.
It is therefore much more credible that Aaron's calf was designed as a visible symbol of the presence of the God of Israel, even that very God who released them from their