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st Io is said, that these Answers were communicated by the Stones in the Breastplate; cwhich express'd an Affirmative, by sparkling much, and a Negative, by nog altering their common Lustre. But it is most probable, the Answer was given by the High-Priest, who was empower'd
upon fuch Occasions by the Urim con| taind within the Breast-plate,i to which God had annex'd such a Quality go
As to inquiring of God by Prophets, it was a very ancient Usage. In the Days of Samuelp it is said, Befaretime, in Israel, « Sam. when ai man went to inquire of God, thụs ix.9. þe_fpake, Come, and let us go to the Seers,
Prophet. Benhadad, King of Syria, being fick, fent one to enquire of the LORD , Kings
by Elitha, saying, Shall I recover of this viü. 8. i difeafe?
And sometiines, when God was offendcd with the iniquitous Courses of either, or both the Persons, the Enquirer, or, him by whom he enquired, he would permit an evil, lying Spirit, to return the Answer; to the Deception and ConfufiPA, perhaps, of both.. aya
Of this, we have a notable Instance; where Abab King of Krael, and Jehofhaphat King of Judah who was come to visit him, fate each on bïs throne, cloath, ed in their robes, at the entring in of the gate of Samaria;' and all the Prophets prophefied before them, saying, Gó up to Ramoth Gilead, for the LOR'D"malt deliver it into the band of the king. But, Micaiab unwilling to speak his Mind, becaufe he knew how ill the Truth would be relied by Abab, when it did not fuit with his
Inclinations; being at laft press'd to it, 2 Chron. told him, Behold the LORD bath put a
lying Spirit in the mouths of these thy Praca phets; and the LORD bath spoken evil egainft thee." Which is afterward thus ex plain'd's If thoù return in peace, then bath not the LORD spoken by me. ! 31
Another Way of God's declaring his : Will, was by Dreams: communicated, in such an extraordinary Manner, that the si Person dreaming might certainly know that God had spoke to him. The LORD'SW
exprefly declares that he would sometimes 18 Numb. thus reveal himself. If there be a ProesM phet among you, I the LORD will makebris
ib. ii. 196
bny. felf, known to bim, in a vifon; and will
speak unto him, in d. dream; my fervant * Mofes iso not fo, &c.
Of schis Manner of God's declaring his Will, we have Abundance of Instances, throughout the whole Bible: In the new Testament, we read that, the angel of the Matt. i.
LORD appeared to Jofeph in a dream; several Times. And ic, is among the Signs sand Effects of the Promulgation
of the Gospel, prophetically, faid; It shall Joel ii.38. t come to pass afterward, that I will pour
out my spirit upon all flesh; your fons and.. your daughters all prophesy; your old men Shall dream dreams; your young men fall! see. vifons.
Sometimes God. imparted his Will to Men, directly and immediately); sometimes he appointed his Angels to be instrumental: in it, Bor, in whatever Manner it was convey?d to Men's Understandings, when
ther by only hearing a Voice, or more - over by actually feeing a Vision, all that
we can precend,, or ought to desire, to know, is only this; that the Minds of Men were hereby convinc'd of the Truth: and Cercaincy of a divine. Revelation.
And, when God is said to speak or ap pear vo any Perfon, we are to imagine no more than this; that such person's was affected, by the incomprehensible Operation of God's holy Spirit, in such a Manner, as to make him perceive the Intent and Purpose of the divine Monition, as clearly, as if he had heard à Voice, or seen a Person speaking to him. Since, it may easily be conceivd, at the fame Time, that God (by' whose Power the Elements, and every thing in Nature subfifts,) can so model Air, which is the Vehicle of Sound; and Light
which all Objects become vifible, as to convey what Voices and sha
Shapes he thinks proper, to the Ears and Eyes“ of Men.
For as God is a Being (as the Articles of our Church* declare) without Body, Parts, or Pasions, we must understand all thofe Passages of Scripture, where he is reprefented as doing any thing after the Manner of Men, to be written only by way of Accommodation to our mortal
T Capacities, to which God, in his own Nature, is incommunicable. So that when he is written or spoken of, it can be donc
.. HOLY PERSON S, no other way than in those Terms which we use, when we write and speak of one another. Therefore he is introduc'd as talking, being angry, pleas’d, repenting, grieving, sometimes in one Place, fometimes in another, having Eyes, Hands, a, Mouch, with other Circumstances of the fame Kind. Als which argues no Imperfection in God, but in us poor Morials;
to think or speak of him in any other
in any other Terms than those which relate to our felves. ?
And for this, as long as we continue in our mortal State, there is no Remedy. And therefore, God, ac fuch Times as he thought proper, has conveyd his Will to Mankind, chiefly by inspiring some Men to declare and deliver it to others; by which Means, it comes to be call’d, the word of God, spoken by the mouth of the LORD, &c. The. Persons, who were so inspir’d, being callid Prophets; and the Things which they deliver'd, Propheses, And cherefore it is frequently said of them, The word of the LORD came unto them. And shey themselves, are oblig'd to say, The LORD.Spake unto me, saying,